Kids Need Money Mentors

With the level of consumer debt skyrocketing and the cost of housing, education, and health care increasing at double digit rates, younger generations are facing unprecedented challenges to achieving economic security and financial independence.  Therefore, helping our youth to learn effective money management skills, and to adopt good financial habits and attitudes, is more important than ever.

So what can you do if you are worried about the financial future of your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews?  The place to start is by considering the positive influence you can have in shaping their financial well-being.  Next, think about and choose specific ways that you can be a proactive Money Mentor in their lives.  Here are suggestions and resources to get you started: (more…)

Does Goal-Setting Give You Stress?

This piece on goal-setting (reprinted with permission from Money Quotient) is one that I share with my clients during the initial stages of our Financial Life Planning ® goal-setting process. The article offers “7 Tips” for setting effective goals – insights that can help you laser-focus on the right goals for you. (more…)

Spring Cleaning

Come Clean: It’s Time To Clear Out The Clutter and Do Some Good

Let Those Treasures Go—And Make Room for What Matters to You

Unlike other icy, snowy and utterly frozen parts of the country, the Bay Area has been basking in some spring-like temperatures for a few weeks already. As the days get longer and the mercury edges upward, I’ve spotted plenty of my neighbors venturing outdoors and puttering around in their garages. (more…)

Setting Goals That “Make Your Eyes Shine”

As I mentioned in a recent post, Are SMART Goals Wise? certain types of goal setting may actually be limiting rather than liberating. The principle of SMART goal setting is that your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Tangible. I believe that while these types of goals can be helpful in some situations, they can pull us back into the frame of measurement and competitiveness, shutting down creativity and vision.

The only purpose of having goals is to make your eyes shine!” ~ Benjamin Zander (more…)

Put Savings (and Yourself) First With a Budget

Americans, it seems, are spenders. Although personal savings rates have increased recently, they remain low by historical standards, as many people continue to spend beyond their means.

If you’re among those Americans who can’t seem to save, it might be time to create a budget. A budget allows you to understand where the money goes and may help you free up cash for important savings goals, such as college and retirement.

Getting Started

Setting up a budget will require some work, but the benefits more than offset the time invested. How you create your budget is up to you. You may choose a piece of financial planning software such as Quicken, or you may choose the paper and pencil route. The worksheet below is a simple yet inclusive budget that you can use to get started. (more…)

The Power of Purpose

live-on-purposeIn Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, bestselling author Daniel Pink presents (in a very engaging and understandable way) the latest research in human motivation. One section, “The Good Life,” is particularly enlightening in regard to how we as individuals establish and pursue our life goals. Pink makes the point, and science confirms, that “satisfaction depends not merely on having goals, but on having the right goals.”

One of the studies that Pink cites asked a sample of soon-to-graduate college students about their life goals and then followed them early in their careers to assess their progress and well-being. The students’ goals were categorized as either “extrinsic aspirations” or “intrinsic aspirations.” Becoming wealthy or achieving fame are examples of extrinsic motivators and labeled “profit goals.” In contrast, learning, growing, and helping others are examples of intrinsic motivators and labeled “purpose goals.” (more…)