Financial Wellness @ Work

Is Uber Cheaper Than A Car Payment?

My colleague Doug Spencer asked himself that question when his oldest daughter began to drive and so far for him, the answer is “yes!” Like many families, they have two busy kids going in different directions for school, activities and work and with a third driver, a third car seemed like the answer. For many people it probably is, but here are the reasons that Doug has decided to hold off on purchasing another car: Read more

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Money Saving Tips I Learned As a Frequent Traveler

As a senior resident financial planner for Financial Finesse, my job requires me to travel from time to time. As you can imagine, there are several perks to business travel. For starters, you sometimes get to go to exotic places like Parker Dam, CA, Newcastle, WY, or Elko, NV and then there are the luxurious accommodations like the Budget Host Inn & Suites in Memphis, TN or the Rime Garden Inn & Suites in Birmingham, AL or a personal favorite of our planner team, the Hacienda Hotel in our very own El Segundo, CA. All kidding aside, it is fun to travel every once in a while, and you do pick up a travel tip or two along the way. Here are a few of my favorite tips to help the less-than-frequent travelers among you: Read more

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How Not To Go Broke On Vacation

Okay, I will admit it. I am cheap. I hate spending money unnecessarily so when my family asked about a family vacation this year, I asked them if being together wasn’t enough. Apparently everyone, including my husband (traitor), wanted to go away for vacation so I immediately had to strategize on how to do this on a budget. Read more

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3 Tips To Protect Yourself When A “Creditor” Calls

A few months ago, my wife received a call from someone claiming that we owed money from an unpaid medical bill. If you know anything about my wife, the idea that we owe anyone anything is troubling. Considering how many doctor bills, hospital bills, dental bills, and who-knows-what bills cross our table every year, it would not be inconceivable for us to have missed a payment. Fearing that perhaps one bill did go unpaid and the  possible threats of legal action and bad credit, my wife gave the caller our credit card information to satisfy the bill. Read more

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My Top 5 Back-to-School Sanity Savers

Right before the school year starts, I hear this imaginary bell going off in my head with Michael Buffer saying, “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.” My first year was utter chaos – registering my kids at school, understanding what they can or cannot wear, the infamous list of what feels like 1,000 items to bring to school, and dealing with picky eaters who liked one lunch one day and thought the same lunch tasted like garbage the next week. The following year, I swore I would develop a strategy to keep myself sane. These are my top 5 sanity savers: Read more

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How I Got My Teenage Niece to Save

Have you ever tried talking to a 19 year old about financially preparing for her future, especially one that considers shopping to be a way to serve her country? I was talking to my niece about getting her financial house in order. She actually tried to rationalize to me that shopping was really helping the economy out.  Read more

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How My Tax Preparation Software Let Me Down

For the last seven years, I have used tax preparation software to help me file my federal and state income tax returns, and I’ve never had a problem…until now. You see, each year I’ve been entitled to tax refunds, and each year when the tax preparation software asks me if I want to have my tax refund directly deposited into my bank account, I would say yes, but this year was different. This year, instead of getting a tax refund from the state, I ended up owing the state more money, so instead of asking me if I wanted my tax refund directly deposited into my bank account the software asked me if I wanted to have my tax payment debited from my account.   Read more

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A Big Day And A Bigger Check?

Many moons ago, I remember going from catering company to catering company doing tastings for my wedding. Then there were the conversations with florists, musicians, photographers, venues, etc…it’s all a blur now. Because it was a long time ago and because I was trying to be frugal, the wedding came in well below the average cost of a wedding. I believe that all in, the cost was around $10,000 for everything. Sadly, the divorce 17 years later cost WAY more than that!!! Read more

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Bigger Is Not Always Better

I recently took my son to a local family entertainment center to escape the heat and enjoy a little bowling, laser tag, and arcade action with his friends. After a few hours of running around, they all started to get thirsty so I walked up to the concession stand to purchase drinks. They offered drinks in three sizes: 16, 24, and 32 ounces. The 16 ounce drinks were $1.75 and the 32 ounce drinks were $3.25, making them a slightly better deal. Read more

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The Only Extended Warranties I Usually Buy

I am not normally a fan of extended warranties on many things.I once worked with someone who owned car dealerships and in discussing their business, I learned that the extended warranties have very high profit margins so the consumer in me said “if the profit margins are that high, they probably aren’t a good deal for me as a buyer.” I usually opt out of the warranties on relatively durable goods like a car, washer/dryer, microwave, etc. So far, it hasn’t come back to bite me (so far…). However, I do give consideration to buying the warranty on less durable things, like electronics (laptops, TVs, etc).  Read more

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Financial Finesse’s unbiased financial planning blog wins Gold for "Blog of the Year" in the 2014 Best in Biz Awards!

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