financial wellness


Financial Literacy for Young Adults

A client asked me if I had any financial literacy suggestions for teenagers. It kicked off a reading festival! Here are my notes. Years ago I read Suze Orman’s Young Fabulous and Broke and I was underwhelmed. She seems to think that everyone is as clueless as she was and needs to have a come-to-Jesus moment and she’ll tell you how. Most people I know just want to know some facts and they’ll integrate them into their […]


How long do you need to keep that document?

“How long should I keep paperwork around for?” I get this question a lot, but it’s not a quick answer. Here’s an article I wrote to help clarify it. Regarding income tax returns: The IRS has 3 years from the time you file to audit a return or the due date, whichever is later, so absolutely keep all the backup materials to your tax return for at least three years. They get 7 years to […]


Tips about Savings

Have some emergency money in the house, enough to pay for necessary groceries and medication if the banking system went down and you had to pay cash. You can also think of it as “refugee money.” If you needed to evacuate NOW, how much cash would you want for travel costs to far away family? Gas, hotels, meals on the road? Have that much in small bills and rolled coins.  (We like rolls of dollar […]


Some tips on data security, specifically touching on LastPass and ShareFile.

As you get your finances organized you’re going to wish you had a secure place to keep all your online passwords to websites. There are several on the market, but I personally use a Chrome Extension on my web-browser to an app called “LastPass”. It’s free if you just use it on desktops, and a small subscription cost if you want to use it across mobile devices. https://lastpass.com/ Once you have a strong master password […]


Uses and Abuses, Tips and Tricks About Debt

Last April, I watched as my eldest son drove out of my driveway in his loaded-down Subaru with a brand-new Thule box on it, headed for Utah with all his possessions loaded in his modern-day Conestoga wagon. As many of you know, a month later he fell off a cliff and received a terrible spinal cord injury. (Happy update: it was a terrible adventure, but thanks to a whole host of blessings, he is nearly […]


Charity

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving this year is designated locally as “Giving Tuesday.” A company called Razoo has figured out how to gamify giving. I don’t want to stop anyone from playing if they’re so inclined. Far be it from me to tell you social media has no redeeming qualities. But there are a lot of different ways to think about charitable giving. First, it’s good for you. There’s a fairly new field of study called […]


Book Review: Pay It Down

Jean Chatzky’s take on debt.   This was a quick read from the library: Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10/day by Jean Chatzky.   The  book is abbreviated and condensed into this series of articles on Money.cnn. First off, this book is nearly entirely about budgeting.  Figure out what you’re already spending, and then take a look.  The topic was just as dreary as it could be in this relentless little book.  It would not let you […]


Five characteristics of financial wellness

I work closely with the finances of hundreds (and over the years, thousands) of people.  I learned early on that income doesn’t correlate to happiness once you get past starvation level.  But in recent years I’ve really been noticing that feeling rich is almost entirely unrelated to income levels.    For the past year or so I’ve been trying to nail down what being “wealthy” actually means. I think a better term for “wealthy” is […]