Simple Ways to Save Money on a Wedding

Maybe you (or someone close to you) got engaged over the holidays. Maybe you’ve enjoyed your engagement for awhile and are ready to set the date and start planning. Either way, a wedding is a most special day for you, your friend or a family member’s new life together. Almost always however, anyone who has ever attended a beautiful wedding party knows that after the celebrating is done they all wonder, “What the heck did they spend on this shindig?” Weddings can be very, very expensive, and it’s not uncommon to spend $20,000, $30,000, or even $40,000 today on one today, with the average exceeding $30,000! But there are ways to save money on a wedding while still making your day extra special.

Simple Ways to Save Money on a Wedding

So many weddings come later now since people are waiting longer than before to tie the knot. As a result, the wedding costs are falling on the bride and groom more often than ever. The last thing you want to do is make that most exciting, beautiful and happy day the beginning of a huge new ugly debt!Continue reading“Simple Ways to Save Money on a Wedding”

Creating a Budget and How We Make It Work

With the new year now upon us, I am proud to say my wife and I have hammered out our new budget for 2016. As a retired person for the past couple of years it has become increasingly challenging to maintain a comfortable life style when a big part of our income comes from my Social Security benefit and IRA distributions. Because of that, we have to plan carefully each year to try to increase our savings and emergency fund by finding new ways to save money.

Creating a Budget and How We Make It Work

This time around, instead of just preaching what you should do, I’m going to go through our approach to creating a budget and examine what it is we actually do. I’ll also show you how we erred this past year and how we’re planning to change so we can achieve all our financial goals this coming year!Continue reading“Creating a Budget and How We Make It Work”

Making A Success of Your 2016 Financial Resolutions

Today is New Year’s Day and I’d like to wish everyone happiness, health, and prosperity for 2016. And how do we get to happiness, health, and prosperity?

Resolutions: every new year we make a list of them and then by February they just seem to disappear in the cold north wind. I know you know what I’m talking about. You’ve pledged to lose some weight or to give up your nasty smoking habit, but it’s so much easier to say it than to do it.  You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?

Well, when it comes to your financial resolutions, it’s much the same. Making resolutions that can make real changes in your life is something that most of us think, talk about and plan every year. But what becomes of that plan?

Making A Success Of Your 2016 Financial Resolutions

About a year ago, I wrote about how to make a better plan, by setting measurable goals, dealing with setbacks, engaging others, and more. This year I’d like to talk about what some of those financial goals might include.Continue reading“Making A Success of Your 2016 Financial Resolutions”

15 Money Movies That Make Great Last Minute Gifts

As we are rounding third and heading for home (excuse the baseball reference please, but I’m so deprived at this time of the year!), I thought what’s more of a holiday treat than to get a DVD of a classic movie that you love and other family members may not have seen? Classic DVD’s are usually a bargain and can even be purchased used online to save even more. (If you order from Amazon today, there’s still time to get it by Christmas with standard shipping.) Then I thought why not tie it all in and pick money movies that can entertain and teach you some great financial lessons!

15 Money Movies That Make Great Last Minute Gifts

While I haven’t gotten to see The Big Short yet (it’s not playing near me until next week), here’s my list of some of the best money movies of the past 40 years. So why not take a stroll down memory lane and give one of these to a loved one or friend? It’s a great evening at home with popcorn and an entertaining money lesson without any of the pain.Continue reading“15 Money Movies That Make Great Last Minute Gifts”

Avoid These 8 Costly Retirement Planning Mistakes

There are lots of mistakes we might make throughout our lifetimes that can cost us and our family some serious money. That’s why financial advisors and other experts are always talking about what you should do to make sure you are positioned to maximize your earnings and avoid the mistakes that will derail your retirement. The Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute in 2015 points out that only 22% of all American workers feel very confident that they are properly prepared for retirement. It’s important to understand how our financial planning strategies are helping or harming our ability to maximize our retirement savings.

Avoid These 8 Costly Retirement Planning Mistakes

Today, we’ll look at the 8 most common retirement planning mistakes we need to understand and attend to. Have you looked at all of these and put yourself on solid ground towards your goals and successful retirement?Continue reading“Avoid These 8 Costly Retirement Planning Mistakes”

10 Year End Tax Planning Moves to Save Money

It’s that time again to examine the moves you need to make to increase your net income and save on your tax bill for 2015 and beyond. It’s really important to start now and review all the opportunities that can save you money, since in most cases (for personal taxes, not business), December 31st is the deadline for adjustments. Doing your year end tax planning now means you can claim these benefits when you file your return by April 15th. If you itemize your deductions, many of these actions should look familiar, so let’s begin!

10 Year End Tax Planning Moves to Save Money
Continue reading“10 Year End Tax Planning Moves to Save Money”

How to Find the Right Lawyer for Your Needs

We have all heard the lawyer jokes, haven’t we? Ones like “How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? His lips are moving!” Well, as funny as that one is, it’s not a laughing matter when you actually need an attorney to help you in real personal or business matters. Whether it’s to prepare your will, make estate plans, resolve a tax issue, handle a personal injury claim, evict a tenant, draw up a business contract, defend against a civil lawsuit, or even handle a criminal proceeding, lawyers are invaluable professionals in navigating the complex legal maze and protecting your rights.

How to Find the Right Lawyer for Your Needs

The interesting part of needing the help of a good lawyer is that most of us really don’t know where to look or even begin. Unless you’re someone who has unfortunately dealt with lots of legal issues, you may think you can just look in the yellow pages, run a quick search on the internet or call some number you see advertised on TV. That’s probably not the best idea. But there are some ways you can find a lawyer who will meet your needs and become a real asset to you.Continue reading“How to Find the Right Lawyer for Your Needs”

Thanksgiving Roundup: Being Financially Thankful

Every year, Thanksgiving gives us a wonderful opportunity to sit around the table and celebrate with our family and friends by sharing the many things we have to be thankful about. It may be the fact that we can simply gather together and share the love or that we have our health or a roof over our heads and food on the table. There is always something to be thankful for! I hope for all of us it’s not just a day off from work or another day to watch football or shop for a bargain, even though for many people that may be how they spend part of the holiday. I hope it’s much more than that for you.

Thanksgiving Roundup: Being Financially Thankful

Having said that, I thought today on the eve before the eve before (at least here in the US), I’d look at Thanksgiving from a slightly different angle:

What was the single best financial decision or action this year for which I am most grateful? (click to tweet)

Continue reading“Thanksgiving Roundup: Being Financially Thankful”