The Practice Of Personal Finance

The word practice connotes commitment, repetition, and an eye toward improvement. As catchy as the phrase practice makes perfect may be though, it's far from true.

We don't get better at anything simply by doing it over and over again.  We get better when we do it over and over again while trying to get better at it...

What's Become Of Liberty?

Self-evident.  Endowed by their Creator. Unalienable.  Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Today, you and I can check the first box.  As we are often reminded by the news and in our personal lives, that is nothing to be taken for granted.  I try to start and end each day in acknowledgement and deep appreciation for that.  Somedays I’m too caught up in the last one, the pursuit, and I forget.  I’m not pleased with myself when this happens, and it happens more than I’d like to admit...

Cash Flow Yoga

What’s up with the focus on cash flow lately? It seems top of mind with many of my friends and clients. Between running a small business and those darn kids whose needs seem to grow as fast as they do, I've been giving a lot of attention to it myself...

What Financial Health Means to Me

To me, financial health means freedom. And fairness.

And sometimes, it means getting angry.  

The financial services industry that is supposed to serve us is broken. It doesn’t work as well as it could even for high net worth families, and it certainly doesn’t work for the middle class...

Let's Talk About ___________

If you've had your radio tuned to a pop station even once since 1990, you likely filled that blank in with one word - sex.  I was 24 when Salt-N-Pepa released that song, and yes, I still love it!  It's catchy, sure.  But the bigger appeal for me, then and now, is that it challenged a taboo.  At the height of the AIDS crisis, that song got more people talking about sex in an easy and open way than any of the scary headlines...

On Being a Working Mom

I never really got caught up on the whole mommy war thing.  We all find a point along the spectrum that works for us.  There are benefits and challenges to every one of those points, and we live with them.  We're always second guessing, and the grass is always greener...

What If...

Suspension of disbelief has been defined as a willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe the unbelievable.  Its roots are in the literary world, coined by poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the early 1800s. In the entertainment industry, the desired result of the sacrifice of realism and logic is enjoyment. This is why we love the movies!...

Taking On the Giants

Building this business is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and I’ve done some pretty hard things.  Like passing the CPA exam (first shot, one sitting), then the CFP® exam, crash course studying with two kids underfoot.   And let’s not even talk about childbirth.  We’ll see how I do with the teenage years.  That just started...

Women of a Certain Age

Being a woman of about 50, I have occasion to spend time with other women of that same age. Whether it's fellow moms, longtime friends, or new clients, it seemsmore of them are showing up in my life lately. Or am I just more focused on age as I approach my milestone birthday?...

Enough is Enough

Modern life brings with it a pervasive sense of "not enough". Often, the last thought we have a bedtime is that we didn't get enough done. In the morning, we may wake with the thought that we didn't get enough sleep...

Just Do It.

Made famous by Nike in 1988, this slogan feels like the backdrop my generation. Personally, it’s a mantra I’ve always tried to live by. Sometimes it’s been easy. Mostly, not. Still, I love the phrase. And the images it always accompanied. Strong bodies. Sweat. Hard work. And that damn swoosh. All so motivating.  Just do it.  Three little, deceptively easy sounding, words...

Everyone Has a Financial Planner

Everyone has a financial planner.  The only question is, how good is he, she, or, for you DIYers out there...YOU? We make financial decisions every day. Sometimes they are big ones, like how much house to buy, or whether to participate in our 401(k).  Most, though, are small.  But don't be fooled.  Those seemingly insignificant little choices can add up to a greater impact on our long-term success than you might imagine...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! YOU'RE 40! NOW WHAT?

One of my favorite games is Jenga. It's fun and exciting - a perfect metaphor for life! The setup is easy. We spend a few minutes building a tower. The bricks go up easily. It looks so good. So strong and solid.

But the game is only just beginning. Now comes the hard part. Systematically removing the unnecessary bricks...

Weekend Reads: Three Staples & A Newbie

I know.  It's tax season.  But a girl's gotta have some break.  A dear friend once told me she never read more novels than when she was studying for the bar.  I can relate.  My mind's in high gear, but my body can't stay at this desk one more hour.  I need something to help slow my brain down, otherwise the 10 min drive back from dropping the kids at school becomes an anxiety fest focused on all there is left to do before April 15th...

Keep Moving Forward

Tax season pressure is full on. Tax returns are all there is these days. Oh, and that start up I launched in October. That too. And the kids. My plate is beyond full. Daily yoga and occasional walks are my only relief. The kids are spending every weekend with her dad. I'm grateful for that, and sad at the same time. It's hard to stay connected...

Baby Steps, Dear One

In what area of your life are you feeling most challenged lately?  If you’re in the thick of it, and especially if it’s been going on for some time, then this one is for you.    

We all encounter challenges, at many times, during our lives.   You might be working your way through rather well for months, then hit a plateau, or worse – a brick wall.  There is only one way to succeed at something hard.  You must be ready, willing, and able to endure whatever it takes.  And the only way to do that is one step at a time...

Celebrate How Far You've Come!

Part of my job as a financial planner is to help my clients stay motivated to work toward their goals. Sustained effort over an extended period deserves some rewards along the way. That might be a treat or indulgence, like chocolate or a night out. Sometimes, just picking your head up and celebrating all you've accomplished can bring just as much pleasure. This is true in all parts of life...

4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Tax Preparer

If you’ve been doing your own taxes, or giving a couple of bucks to your cousin’s neighbor’s girlfriend, who works in corporate tax but does 1040s on side, it may cause some sticker shock when you see what a qualified preparer costs. But like many things in life, you get what you pay for. So be smart about it, and look for the deeper value, which often comes in unexpected ways...