Financial Wellness @ Work

Out With The Old

As the cold weather settles in for the winter here in the northeast, out come all the wool sweaters and turtlenecks from the back of the closet.  This is also the time of year I do a once over of my wardrobe to prepare for my yearly donation to Goodwill. Now, I don’t have any sweaters that could win in the contest for the ugly Christmas sweater party, but there are a few that I accidentally washed and shrunk that no longer fit. So these shrunken sweaters, along with out-of-fashion cowl neck and peplum tops, need to go. Even the long, flowing waterfall sweaters that I stocked up on last year are no longer fashionable, according to whowhatwear.comRead more

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Which Credit Cards Are the Most Rewarding?

One of my favorite things this time of year is being able to use credit card reward points to cover most or even all of my holiday shopping. While it obviously doesn’t make sense to buy things just to earn rewards (especially if you can’t pay the card off in full), why not get as much as you can from purchases you’re going to make anyway? In deciding which cards to use, there are a few rules of thumb I like to follow: Read more

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10 End-of-Year Tax Tips

Are you worried about paying too much in taxes this year? If you wait until you file next year, it will be too late to do much about it. As the 2014 year winds down, you’ll want to note some simple things you can do to reduce the amount of income tax you owe Uncle Sam this year, while planning for the year to come.  Read more

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Happy Holidays Now and in January

The holiday season is officially here and I can honestly say that it may take me a few days to fully recover from Thanksgiving dinner (and a few rounds of leftovers). Despite spending about 20 hours in a car, it was fun setting some time aside to do nothing but eat, watch football, and express a little gratitude. In our household, the peaceful tradition of starting an Advent calendar on December 1st is usually countered by the hectic activity of trying to coordinate family logistics for the next month.  Read more

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Shave Your Budget, Not Your Moustache

A recent Wells Fargo study found that 31% of survey respondents do not think they will have enough money to “survive” on in retirement, yet more than half say they plan to save later for retirement in order to “make up for not saving enough now.” If we have learned anything from Aesop’s fable regarding the ant and the grasshopper, it’s that waiting until later is NOT a good strategy. This is especially true when it comes to saving for retirement. Read more

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Think Long Term For The Holidays

So the weather is cooling down and immediately we start thinking about all of the yummy holiday food and spending time with our loved ones. After we start basking in the glow of chocolate chip cookies and family, it slowly starts to sink in that this time of the year is expensive. Between traveling, Thanksgiving Day meals, and presents, you and your wallet are exhausted by New Year’s. So what is a gift-giving person to do? Read more

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The Season of Generosity

One of my favorite pre-holiday meetings involves gathering the kids together to discuss our holiday plans. In our household, it’s inevitable that kids will find that perfect moment of cute childhood brilliance to break out their Christmas wish list at a moment when they are polite and well-behaved. In the spirit of giving to others, my wife and I encourage them to also create a wish list for things they would like to give to others in need. Before you start donating online or breaking out those checkbooks, let’s review the basics of why, when, who and how. Read more

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A 5k Vacation

One of my favorite commercials is from Mastercard with all the kids begging their parents to “take one more day” of their unused vacation and they present Mom and Dad some pretty compelling reasons why taking at least one more day is priceless.  For those that do decide to take a family vacation, there IS a price, and it’s usually not cheap.  In fact, a recent Forbes article puts the average cost for a family of four at almost $5k after tallying up the cost of airfare, hotel, food, and taxes.  Read more

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Is Bigger Better?

JLo and I have something in common regarding our rear ends – our recent car accidents, that is. We both walked away unhurt and with minimal damage to our SUVs after being rear-ended at a stoplight. Not so lucky was the  young driver of the Honda Civic who hit me from behind since his entire front end was crushed like an accordion.  JLo’s accident was due to a drunk driver so he is probably even more unlucky. Read more

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Should You Have an Anti-Budget?

A friend of mine recently sent me this blog post called “How the Anti-Budget Can Save Your Wallet.” The basic premise is that a traditional budget isn’t realistic for most people because they just don’t stick to it and it isn’t even necessary to have one. Instead, it suggests simply setting aside your savings first (at least 20% of your income) and just spending the rest without having to categorize each of your expenses. Read more

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