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Are You Ready To Have "The Talk" With Your Kids?

There are two topics that parents are usually loath to discuss with their children. The first, of course, is sex. But, if you don't discuss the birds and the bees with your offspring they, like every generation before them, will figure out how to make babies. In fact, each new generation tends to be of the opinion that they are the first generation ever to discover intimacy.

The second topic is something not only parents, but, just about everyone is reluctant, if not downright scared, to discuss with anyone else. That would be money.

Do you know anyone that starts to hyperventilate when money is mentioned? Maybe stop breathing entirely? Or suddenly leave the conversation without a backward glance?

How about anyone that laughs nervously and begins to have a never before seen twitch in one eye at any hint of a discussion about income?

Like the majority of kids back through recorded history, parents and schools systems have pretty much ignored their responsibility to prepare children for…

Still Packin' Your Payday Blinders?

Know anyone who thinks everything will be okay as soon as payday arrives? "Come on payday!"
Does that same person, shortly after payday, think everything will again be okay as soon as the next payday arrives? "All I have to do is make it to next payday!"
Focusing on the next paycheck as the cure-all for money problems is what I call wearing "payday blinders." It's like walking a path in deep fog with a flashlight that shows you only the trail ahead. A person who focuses only on the next paycheck is missing out on a whole world of possibilities that lie just out of sight beside the trail.
What if the "payday blinders" were removed? What would be possible with a fog free picture of your income? How can we do that? What would that look like?
Rethinking How To Manage IncomePutting aside the payday blinders requires rethinking both how we look at, as well as how we keep track of our income. Budgeting and tracking expenses are methods that are actuall…

How To Slay The Spending Money Ogre Part 2

Are you working on a spending money log as suggested in Part 1? Nice. Keep going for the full month. A good appreciation for how much you spend on out of pocket expenses is the base from which you start the process of taking control of spending money.

No idea what a spending money log is? Or why it's important? Before continuing here, read Part 1. The background information in that post is needed to fully appreciate the process discussed in this post.
Focus On Weekly Spending The key change that will bring your spending money under control is to start "paying" yourself the same amount of spending money on the same day every week. How much and which weekday are your choices that you make here and now.

A spending money log is invaluable in that it gives you insight into the daily spending habits of which you may or may not be aware. In addition to possibly bringing some surprises to light, a spending money log will help you answer these two key questions. Take a moment to ta…

How To Slay The Spending Money Ogre Part 1

Have you ever heard someone complain "I don't know where my money went!"

Do they often follow this statement with something like "I can't pay my bills!"

These feelings are the result of a problem that is all too common. We'll take a look at a prevalent contributing cause here. Then, in Part 2, we'll look at a very easy solution for getting control of this problematic aspect of your household finances that you can start doing today.
It's So Simple ... Right?When people enter the workforce they typically have the goal of getting a paycheck. When, as is usually the case, they have no idea how to effectively manage the money they earn, the receipt of a paycheck becomes the default trigger that drives their day-to-day financial cycle. I call this the Trigger Model.
Get paid.Pay the bills that are due.Use what's left for spending money until next payday.Most people manage their day-to-day finances this way because, with no formal training, this is the…

Can you improve your MPG like your BFI?

Do you know anyone who worries about where their money goes?

Do you know anyone who worries about their car's gas mileage?

These two concerns are similar in that the benefit you get from using gas (MPG) and money (BFI) can be improved if you know how. There is a multitude of well meaning financial gurus on the Internet, in bookstores and at seminars who tell us, sometimes for payment, how to improve our finances. There are only three strategies that are consistently suggested.

Let's imagine how the three entrenched methods that the gurus recommend for managing household finances would work when applied to improving gas mileage.

The first step for upping your MPG is to add a second, third or more gas tanks. With the extra tank capacity you can go farther between fill-ups. This strategy may not improve your mileage, but, you will get to go further until the needle approaches empty. It will feel like your MPG is higher.

By far the most preferred method for improving MPG is to plan how…

Would you rather barf than talk about money?

Do you know anyone who feels uncomfortable talking about money; maybe is even scared of, or frightened by money?

Do you know anyone who thinks that the only way to have more money is to get a raise, move to a better paying job, or start a side hustle?

Do you know anyone who has tried budgeting and failed? Anyone who feels that living paycheck to paycheck is inevitable?

The discomfort felt by many people about money is aggravated by the myriad financial gurus who are adamant that budgeting is the only way to get control of your finances. With 3 out of 4 people in the United States not preparing a budget, it is possible that the gurus who are trying to help are actually perpetuating a mindset of failure.

Imagine using a tool that makes managing your household finances understandable and fun for your entire family. A tool that doesn’t require a lot of your time. A tool with a one-time price that is about the same as a book about budgeting. That magical tool, or software, is available now.

Thi…