How to Track Your Savings + Free Tool

It seems there’s always something to be saving for!  Maybe it’s family vacation.  Maybe it’s a new car.  Maybe you need to replace some furniture, or fix up something in the house.  Most people can’t just stroke a check for these expenses, so if you’ve committed to avoiding debt, you have to spend at least few months saving for them.

Just over one year ago, Nancy and I celebrated our 5th anniversary (late) by going on an incredible trip to the British Virgin Islands.  We lived on a boat for a week (!) and saw some incredible sights.  While we don’t have a house payment, we didn’t just write a check and pay for the entire trip in one fell swoop.  We had to save up […]

By |October 23rd, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [003]

- I’m all for systems that translate into as little work as possible to maintain.  Auto-draft should be your best friend when it comes to paying bills.  Sitting at your table writing checks or navigating to each website to pay bills is so 2004.  That doesn’t give you license to not pay attention, though.  I still get paper bills so that I have to open them and see them each month.

– Auto-draft is also how you ought to be investing!  Take a lesson from the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie, and “Set it and forget it!”  Your 401(k) and traditional IRA should be coming from your paycheck before you see it, and your Roth IRA and other non-retirement investments can be drafted directly from your checking account. […]

By |October 21st, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

How to Keep Someone Accountable on Finances

As a financial coach, keeping clients accountable to work towards the goals they set forth is part of what I do on a regular basis.

What do you want to do?  Where do you want to go?  Where do you want to be in five years from now?  All of these questions and more get answered in our initial session, and they help to form the long-term goals and short-term action steps folks need to accomplish.

Anyone who has accomplished something difficult will tell you a key to success is accountability – knowing that you have to answer for your progress.  That’s part of what keeps people productive and moving forward.  There’s something in the human psyche that will push itself towards greater success when it […]

By |October 20th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Three Thoughts on a recent “Global Wealth Report”

International bank Credit Suisse recently released its Global Wealth Report for 2014, an annual research-based report on global levels of household wealth.  If you want to read the report, you can here.  Be advised, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Much more digestible was Lauren Davidson’s great summary of the report in the UK Telegraph Online.  I had just a few thoughts based on the information contained in the report:

– You are lucky to live in the US, if you do. 

Visiting an underdeveloped country will drive this point home, but the following graph is helpful as well. 

While North America has about six percent of the world’s population, we hold just under 35 percent of the world’s wealth.  Wow.  We have the highest number of millionaires, and […]

By |October 16th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [002]

- The most important thing in relation to marriage and money is not following Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, Ramit Sethi, or my advice to the T.  The most important thing is being on the same page, in 100% agreement on your course of action.  It can supercharge your marriage.

– Embrace your differences as a couple.  Most likely, one of you is more inclined to saving, the other to spending.  One can talk about money and finances for hours, while the other gets tired after four and a half minutes.  That’s ok!  One of you helps y’all have money, and the other one helps y’all have fun!

– If you’re in financial crisis, you need to be talking about your money at least once a week. […]

By |October 14th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Mutual Funds For Beginners

NOTE: The inclusion of a company logo in the header image above does not constitute investment advice.  Seek professional investment advice before dumping money into a fund managed by one of the companies above, duh.

When we get into talk of investing, it can get confusing pretty quickly.  I like to break things down and try to keep them simple.  When I recommend that people start investing, I encourage the use of mutual funds.  Mutual funds represent a great investment opportunity for the average investor.
1) Mutual funds are pools of money that invest in stuff.
The total amount of money in a mutual fund could be billions of dollars.  That comes from individual investors like you and I, as well as large companies that may have 401(k) plans accessible to those […]

By |October 13th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

How is There Freedom in Budgeting?

I remember when my sister first went through FPU and started planning for her expenses using a budget.  I asked her how it was going one day, and she said, “It’s really different.  It’s a great feeling to be able to fill up the gas in my car without worrying about it, because I planned for it!”

In that one answer she had expressed the paradox that budgeting actually gives you control, peace, freedom.

It almost doesn’t make sense.  How can submitting to a plan, limiting yourself, making choices, and actively deciding not to do whatever you want give you more freedom?

Here’s a number of ways:
1) It gives you the freedom to say “No.”
“No” is a powerful word, but it can be one of the hardest things to […]

By |October 9th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [001]

I’ve elected to expand the Tuesday series to cover more than just budgeting!  It will now cover tips for your money – which may include saving, spending, investing, or other financial topics! 

– If you have a spouse/family and have an income, your family is going to need your income replaced when you’re gone.  That’s the purpose of life insurance – income replacement – and that makes life insurance a must-have.

– When purchasing life insurance, look to buy 20- to 30-year TERM life insurance with a benefit of at least ten times your income, with a minimum of $500,000.  Make $75,000/year?  Just add a “0” and get $750,000 coverage.

– I don’t want to shop dozens of companies; I want to go to one place and get […]

By |October 7th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

How You Can Become a “Shark”

Nancy and I were thrilled when a new season of Shark Tank premiered last week.  We’re huge fans.

This may surprise you, but I believe that the average person, you and I, can become Sharks.  How do we do it?  It’s not necessarily by inventing the next Snuggie, creating a new, shippable sweet-treat or photo book, or even by getting a deal with the Sharks.

How did these folks, the “Sharks,” become Sharks?  All across the board, they built a business that became a multi-million (or -billion) dollar enterprise, and then became an investor in other companies.  All of them have incredible stories.

They are all on Shark Tank now because of that second step: they want to become investors in other companies.  They all understand on a very deep […]

By |October 6th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Announcement for Subscribers

As my blog has grown, I’ve made use of a plugin from for email subscribers that also serviced reader subscriptions.

After some research, I’ve decided to go with a different service for email distribution of blog articles.  The bottom line is this:

If you already receive blog posts in your email or prefer reading the blog in your web browser, you don’t have to do anything.

If you currently get my blog posts via a reader and would like to continue to subscribe for regular updates, just put your name and email in the signup form in the sidebar.  

The current reader distribution will be discontinued, though RSS is still supported.

Your email is always held securely, and I will NEVER share it.


By |October 3rd, 2014|Faith, Life, Money|0 Comments|