Turn budgeting into date night #WMW16 @12LocalNews @sslatton

Turn budgeting into date night  #WMW16  @12LocalNews @sslatton

This week you can find more financial advice for women, as part of National Women's Money Week. Several topics and articles are on www.womensmoney.org. Maple Grove personal finance author Carrie Rocha is involved with the nonprofit that promotes financial education for women.

"So much financial information is geared and written toward the way men think, however women are central to a family's financial experience, so it's really set out to target and empower women," says Rocha, who encourages readers to learn something new this week about smart money management.

"Whether it's setting a budget or getting out of debt, or investing or managing your assets, wherever people are, they need to make the wisest choices for their unique situation," she said.
 

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THE FINANCIAL CONFIDENCE GAP #WMW16

THE FINANCIAL CONFIDENCE GAP  #WMW16

When it comes to retirement saving, many women lag behind many men. Historically, that has been the case. The 2015 edition of Financial Finesse’s annual survey, The Gender Gap in Financial Wellness, offers more evidence of the problem – along with a few encouraging signs that women may be catching up.

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Career Advice for Women Looking for Work Life Balance #WMW16 @moneycrashers

Career Advice for Women Looking for Work Life Balance #WMW16 @moneycrashers

Women wear hats. A lot of hats. So many hats, in fact, that one could say that they wear more hats than any other group in society, including ball players and construction workers. Women’s hats include the mom hat, the wife hat, the friend hat, the daughter hat, the sister hat, and the employee hat.

With so many roles that women have to play, the role of career often becomes rushed, half-hearted, or interrupted. Women have so many demands on them that they cannot always live out their dreams in the workplace. Working can become a burden, instead of a way to fulfill ourselves.

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How to Start Saving for College - #WMW16 @BrightwaterFin

How to Start Saving for College - #WMW16  @BrightwaterFin

When I talk with parents about their biggest financial concerns and goals, saving for college inevitably comes up in the conversation. And I understand why college savings is on their minds. The average 2015 graduate will have to pay about $35,000 back in student loans and about 70% of 2015 college graduates left school with student debt, as shared in this Wall Street Journal article. Yeesh! Not to mention the results of this college cost calculatorcan be a little depressing.

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7 Ways to Become a Better Parent and Investor - #WMW16 @BrightwaterFin

7 Ways to Become a Better Parent and Investor - #WMW16  @BrightwaterFin

Now that we have two kids, the stakes are a little higher in the parenting department. Lately, I’ve been reading the book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. While feeding our newborn son at 2am or trying to fall back to sleep, I started thinking about how parenting advice also applies to investing.

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Rent or Buy? This decision can save $100-$500 or more each month! #WMW16

In some areas of the country, you can save thousands of dollars a year just by making the decision of renting or buying.  

Never follow the advice of "it's always better to own".  THAT'S NOT TRUE!!  And, many of us found that out in 2008 or after.   

So what do you need to know to just if it is right for YOU. 

Here are some key "tests" to judge for yourself. 

  1. Check Your Local Economy - Some places are hot markets right now, and it makes it so tempting to buy a home "before they are all gone".  It's like a fire sale, but don't get sucked into the crowd mentality.  Get a calculator, and figure it out for yourself.  For example, let's say homes are selling for $100,000 in your area - that's somewhere about a $500 monthly payment at current interest rates. If similar homes rent for $800-$900 a month - buying a home would save your $300-$400 a month.  Conversely, if rents are lower than what you would pay for a mortgage, and you really have no other compelling reason to buy...renting might be better for you.
  2. Check Your Lifestyle - Your lifestyle is a good predictor of renting vs. buying. If you travel or move around a lot, you may not be ready for that dream house on a half acre.  You may best be served by renting now and saving for when you are ready for your dream house.
  3. Check Your Tolerance Level - Do you have the tolerance to manage pest control, taxes, HOAs, lawn maintenance, plumbing and other household repairs? Consider your spouse's tolerance too.  The great thing about renting is you make one call to the landlord or management company. You don't have to call service providers for quotes and hope they show up.  Many people fall in love with the idea of buying a house, but rarely calculate the additional emotional and irritation costs of home ownership.
  4. Check Your Additional Home Costs - The follow up of #3 are the financial costs to those home issues you have to tolerate.  You will have to add a few hundred dollars a month to pay for plumbing, HOA, pest, lawn, upgrade costs to a home. You don't want to have to put these on a credit card because you can't afford them.  Depending on your rental, some or all of these may be paid for. 
  5. Check Your Deduction - Mortgage interest and property taxes are tax deductible ONLY if you itemize on your federal return. Also, keep in mind, if you have to pay the alternative minimum tax (AMT), you can't take itemized deductions for real estate taxes. 

Was saving for college a New Year’s resolution? #WMW16 @NVTreasury

Was saving for college a New Year’s resolution?  #WMW16 @NVTreasury

Raising children is quite challenging, and doing it alone brings its own set of financial and emotional setbacks and choices. As we juggle financial priorities between life’s needs and wants, I reflect back on the New Year’s resolution I made a few years ago, to purchase a prepaid tuition program for each of my children.

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3 Money Mistakes to Avoid in Marriage (And What to Do Instead) #WMW16 @carrierocha

3 Money Mistakes to Avoid in Marriage (And What to Do Instead) #WMW16  @carrierocha

I am often asked, “My spouse and I don’t agree about money. What can we do?” Several years ago I asked Scott Steinbarger, licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist of West Metro Christian Counseling to shed some light on this for us. I’m sharing Scott’s perspective again today as it is Women’s Money Week 2016 (#WMW16) and that makes this article so timely. Here’s Scott’s perspective in his own words.

Money. No worries, right? All right, kidding aside, money stress and conflict is real. Learning to manage money in your marriage is, while challenging, very important. “But we don’t agree on money!” That’s okay. Let’s start by acknowledging there are multiple money styles: spender, saver, planner, spontaneous, etc. Whatever the variation, there are a few things that you should not do.

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Top 10 Female CEOs & Influential Business Women of American Companies #WMW16 @MoneyCrashers

Top 10 Female CEOs & Influential Business Women of American Companies  #WMW16 @MoneyCrashers

Margaret Thatcher once famously said, “If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” Neuroscientists have reported that there are innate differences in the way men and women think, but that doesn’t mean men make better leaders, despite the fact that more men have secured top leadership positions.

Presently, there are roughly 22 female presidents or prime ministers in the world, and about a dozen women executivesat the helm of Fortune 500 companies. Getting to the top hasn’t been easy, especially for these top 10 women CEOs:

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Money Lessons for my Younger Self #WMW16 @ctwbdc

Money Lessons for my Younger Self  #WMW16 @ctwbdc

I look back on those formative years and have to laugh.  Although I was working really hard, I really wasn’t working very smart.  I was a kid, living at home, and had all of my expenses paid for…I guess in a way you could say I had the best gig in town. 

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How To Build an Emergency Fund ->> FAST!! #WMW16 @WomensMoney

How To Build an Emergency Fund ->> FAST!!  #WMW16 @WomensMoney

If you don't have much or any emergency savings, take heart.  You're not alone.  

According to Credit.com, many people aren't adequately prepared to manage paying for an unexpected expense or emergency. According to the Federal Reserve's 2014 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking, 47% of Americans say that they wouldn't be able to cover a $400 emergency expense. That often leads to maxing out credit cards, taking out expensive short-term loans, or worse.

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To Budget or Not to Budget #WMW16 @foundingmom

To Budget or Not to Budget #WMW16  @foundingmom

In the beginning of my transition from 9 to 5 life, I tried to budget every penny, now when I say budget, I mean the part where you try to plan where every dollar is going to go. After my dollars decided to go where they pleased instead of where I’d told them to go I quickly learned that life as an entrepreneur for me was less about planning and more about preparation.

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#WomensMoney Week: Budgeting & Spending #WMW16 @lilmsmoneybags

#WomensMoney Week: Budgeting & Spending  #WMW16 @lilmsmoneybags

Dirty confession: I haven't had a budget in years.

I think there are two ways to approach personal finance, and I've done both. One is a zero-based budget, where each dollar is assigned to a category and once you run out of money in a category, you don't get any more until the next pay period or month. The other way is to track every dollar you spend, so you can monitor trends and adjust as needed. Both work very well, if you're diligent, but I think they work for different circumstances.
 

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5 Tips for Business-Like Budgeting for the Home #WMW16 @barbfriedberg

5 Tips for Business-Like Budgeting for the Home  #WMW16 @barbfriedberg

Successful businesses have one thing in common: they are good with their money. If you want to maximize your money at home, you should take a business-like approach to budgeting. Here are five things that successful businesses do well, and tips to help you do the same!

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How to Save for Retirement as an Entrepreneur - #WMW16 @BrightwaterFin

How to Save for Retirement as an Entrepreneur - #WMW16 @BrightwaterFin

When I asked a group of local working moms, many who are self-employed, about their money and financial planning questions, the very first question was around saving for retirement:

When I left my corporate position to become self-employed, I sacrificed contributing to a [company-sponsored] 401(k). I know I could pursue a self-employed 401(k), but I have no idea how that works. I don’t get matching now and it makes me wonder if it’s even worth it. My husband is saving to his. Do I need to resume, too? So, my question would be – do you recommend any options? Is there a bare minimum someone should save?

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10 Things You Shouldn't Pay For - #WMW16 @simplysavemn

10 Things You Shouldn't Pay For  - #WMW16 @simplysavemn

One of my favorite sayings is, “Don’t pay for what you can get free.” Legally of course. There are tons of things we pay for that we could get free, but we either don’t think about it or don’t know about it. Here are some ideas for you of things you shouldn’t pay for.

There are tons of things we pay for that we could get free.

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Grounded Magic: Rethinking the Law of Attraction #WMW16 @Mikelann

Grounded Magic: Rethinking the Law of Attraction #WMW16 @Mikelann

Can you attract more money?

We’ve all heard about the “Law of Attraction”—that what you focus on, you attract.  (This was popularized in the book and movie, The Secret.) Said another way—many believe that your thinking creates and brings to you what you think about. While this may sound a bit overstated, I do believe that what you focus on tends to expand. Therefore, it is very important to be aware of what you focus your thoughts on.  Yes – the Law of Attraction can be very powerful.

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