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Holiday Financial Tips

That Have Nothing to do with Budgeting

Mr GrinchBlack Friday is behind us, and the shopping frenzy has started. By now (hopefully) you have a spending plan for your gift giving this season. Whether you are braving the malls or online retail shopping carts, I have several financial tips to keep your financial identity safe this season.

Parent Personal Financial Management: Changing Perspectives

Vintage Portrait of ChildrenWhether your parents are growing old gracefully or not, most likely your parent-child relationship is changing. In helping my senior clients with personal financial management, I witness all kinds of familial relationships. Sometimes they are loving and supportive. Others are fiery and confrontational. Sometimes they are courteous yet distant. Regardless of where your relationship fits on the continuum, I invite you to look at your elderly loved one with a different perspective.

Personal Finance & The New Year

FireworksHappy 2013! With the start of a new year, I get the privilege of helping my clients create their personal finance plans. New Year’s resolutions that focus on money run the gamut of getting out of debt to saving for a special purchase. This is the perfect time of year to think about what you want to achieve in 2013 and lay out the steps to get there.

Aging Parents’ Home for the Holidays

Feeding the DogSome of my clients are returning from visiting their aging parents over the Thanksgiving holiday. For some, it was an annual trek out of state. The holidays can be a wonderful time of year. Yet for some families it can be a wake-up call. If a senior is struggling with their independence, it may come to light during a family visit.

Personal Financial Management Tips for Surviving Holidays

As a Daily Money Manager, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about credit card debt and personal finance management during the holiday season. With the flurry of sales and other Black Friday specials, it can be all too easy to get caught up in a holiday spending spree.

Organizing Papers for Year End

We’re officially 52 days until the end of the year. With the holidays nearly upon us (actually some of my clients mark Halloween as the official start of the holiday season), it’s easy to let important paperwork slip. I’ve found that if you spend a little time before the end of the year organizing papers, it makes tax time easier and less stressful.

Spending Plan & Emergency Fund 101

LightsLast time we touched on spending plan surprises, those expenses that aren’t fixed and routine. Things like unexpected car repairs or special anniversary gifts that can derail your cash flow. This seems to be a great time to talk about building an emergency fund. Back before the economic meltdown, financial advisors recommended a reserve at least six months and optimally up to 18 months. For those of us who live in the Bay Area, we scoff at this seemingly insurmountable figure. Realistically, in light of layoffs and other employment challenges, many of us need this safety net when looking for a new position or transitioning into a new career.

Spending Plan Surprises: Managing Varying Expenses

Now that you’re fresh off the 7-Day Challenge, you’ve got a better handle on your spending. Last time we talked about creating an accurate spending plan, one that incorporates a realistic accounting of your income as well as costs. Fixed and routine expenses (like rent or mortgage payment) are easy to manage, but I find that my clients have a much harder time remembering and dealing with those expenses that vary or are sporadic. Spending plan surprises can derail your efforts toward living a financially organized life.

Spending Plan Fundamentals

In a quest for a peace of mind as it relates to one’s finances, inevitably the subject of budget planning comes up. Personally I like to call it a spending plan because the term “budget” has such negative connotations. The last several months we’ve covered a lot of ground as it relates to getting organized. Freeing up your paper clutter is an important step. By now, everything should be filed in a place where you can easily retrieve it.