As I write this commentary, there is still no solution to the Fiscal Cliff situation. In all my assumptions about our budget for next year, I have decided to be realistic and assumed that our taxes will go up. Thank you Washington for dropping the ball.
Despite whatever efforts have been made, I question if any solution would really fix the problems that revealed themselves in 2008. In a sense, I wonder if we’re simply putting duck-tape on a leaky pipe. Are we actually addressing the real problem? Consider the facts:
I hope everyone had an outstanding Christmas! We’re really digging having the week off.
I couldn’t believe how quickly the holiday flew by. Didn’t we just buy all those presents? This was the year of the Lego sets for my kids. They got just a ridiculous amount of them. Does anyone else’s kids have those Monster Fighter sets? They’re kind of cool …
My Blog Updates:
You would NEVER guess it, but I’ve been really busy behind the scenes working on My Money Design. Here’s a few of the things that have been going on:
Now that my wife and I have been married for more than 10 years, picking out Christmas presents has become somewhat of a challenge for each other. She’ll ask me what I want for Christmas, and I’ll do the same. But neither of us can really think of many things in particular.
It’s not that we’re fussy or don’t know what to get each other. We’re both got a lot of things that we really want to do, but they’re not really your classic “under $50 and under the tree” variety. Part of the problem (if you can really call it that) is that we’re both pretty realistic about what we want. We don’t get too carried away. Plus we’re both working professionals, and so we’re accustomed to buying the things we need when we want them.
But then there’s the fact that now that I’m older, my priorities have changed. The things that keep me up at night just aren’t the same things that bothered me when I was younger. So unlike when I was eight years old, when someone asks me what I want for Christmas, my answers tend to carry a little more personal meaning than they used to. In no particular order, here they are:
What would the Christmas season be without the huge variety of Christmas songs out there. You’ve got your classics, your modern ones, funny ones, religious ones – there’s a little something for everyone.
So which one do you think is the best Christmas song? Which one do you like the least?
Not too long ago, I was trying to demonstrate how NOT taking full advantage of your 401k matching contributions offered by your employer was causing you to lose out on more money over the course of your career than you probably thought!
While it’s never too late to get your personal finances in order, one simple mistake I see people making all the time that kills me is when they wait as late as 5 to 10 years before they finally get with the program and start contributing enough to their retirement plan to get the full 401k matching from their employer. I beg you – Please don’t waste another year! Remember time is one of your greatest assets as an investor, so don’t squander it!
In this post, I’ll show you just how powerful taking advantage of your full 401k matching from your employer as early as possible can be for you.
Very shortly it will be a brand new year and a chance for brand new beginnings. So with that, I ask: What are you going to do differently with your finances than you did last year?
Not sure? That doesn’t surprise me. We all want the best for our money and our future, but it’s pretty hard to figure out how to go somewhere if you don’t even know where it is you’re going. To really understand what it is that you want, you need to expand your financial perspective through a series of goal setting activities that help you figure out how you feel about yourself and your money.
Once you’ve had the chance to visualize what it is you really want for your money, I think you’ll be surprised by how easily things will come together. Please take the time to read through each of these goal setting activities (either alone or with your spouse), answer them as honestly as possible, and really challenge yourself to see if you’re as confident about your plans as you thought. Enjoy!
I was originally planning to post something fun or entertaining this weekend for my usual wrap up. But given the recent events with the Connecticut school shooting, I really didn’t feel very comfortable doing so. Instead, let’s take a moment of silence to extend our hearts out to those who were affected by this hideous tragedy.
Why do budgets fail? You read through your receipts. You set your goals and limits. And you track your purchases. Yet, even after accounting for every dollar and laying out the best laid money design possible, there is still one thing that could sabotage the whole thing: The motivation to participate.
One of the hardest things about keeping your household budget on track is staying motivated. No matter how great your plan is on paper or what kind of budgeting advice you follow, it will all be meaningless and accomplish nothing if the people involved can’t agree to stick to it. People often under-estimate how quickly a low morale can derail your best efforts.
But fear not! A few small rewards or signs of success can be just enough to keep everyone viewing this as a positive thing. So with that, here is my budget advice for keeping everyone motivated and making your household plan work!
The following post was provided by guest contributor Angie Picardo of NerdWallet. If you are interested in being a guest contributor for My Money Design, please feel free to contact me.
It’s a responsibility that practically all of us have, not only to ourselves, but also to our families. A strong retirement plan now will literally pay dividends later. It’s not easy to fit it into your monthly budget at times, but it’s become a necessity. With continuing advancements in medicine and healthcare, the average life expectancy is consistently rising, and along with dwindling Social Security funds, it’s up to us to create a retirement saving strategy that fits our goals and creates enough income for us to live upon.
So how do we stop making excuses and get started?