Thursday, August 29, 2013

Basic money tips...

I like to help people understand money. I explain financial terms as simply as possible.

I have been sending out a weekly money tip to select clients and friends. Over the next few weeks I will publish those tips in my blog. If you find the tips useful and would like to be added to my mailing list just send an email to

Know your numbers...

With this day and age of digital everything we can lose sight of critical numbers in our lives. No, I do not mean blood pressure, your iphone gigabites or favorite cable channel. I mean how much money you make, take home, and pay in taxes.
Then, how much does it cost you to live each month? We have direct deposit, automatic withdrawal, online banking, ATM - each of which distances us from actually handling our money. The farther away we get the less real it feels, like playing Monopoly.

Try this list of numbers. See how many you know and promise yourself to complete the list by the end of the month:
- what is your annual salary? $_____________
- what is your gross pay per pay period? $__________
- how much is taken out for taxes? $__________
- how much is taken out for FICA, etc.? $_________
- how much do you actually take home or have directly deposited?________

- what is your current tax bracket? ________

- do you have life insurance through work? How much is your coverage? $________
- do you have disability insurance through work? What is your coverage?$_________

- do you have a 401k/403b through work?
- how much will your employer contribute? percentage _____ dollars______
- how much must you contribute to get your employer's match? __________
- how much do you contribute to your 401k/403b? percentage _______ dollars ______

- what are the current mortgage interest rates? ___________
- what is your current mortgage rate? _________

- how many active credit cards do you have? ________
- what are the interest rates on the cards you do not pay in full?________
- how much did you pay in interest on each of those cards last month? $________

Score: 5 or more answers - Brilliant! Congratulations.
5 or fewer answers - Trouble lies ahead!

Knowing your numbers removes the guesswork of personal finance and builds financial stability.