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A Happy Ending to a Long 2016

December 26, 2016

This time of the year I let my sense of control down, and plan for a happy ending to a long year. I’ve worked a lot, volunteered, cared for others, traveled, raised a puppy, let go of a surrogate daughter for her to spread her wings, made some big decisions, and most of all have tried to be present in the moments as they flew by.
These next few weeks, though, are the tough ones to manage. I want you to think about your long-term goals, and to celebrate awareness of all that you enjoy this holiday season. There are expectations, fuzzy boundaries, and always those with less. Some don’t see this time as a celebration, and struggle to make it through to the new year. Here are some end-of-year guidelines:

  • What expectations do you have for yourself and others? Communicate with your co-workers, friends and family so that we all understand your needs. Reveal If you’d like a quiet day or week. Let them know if you’d like some company. Convey that quality time is the most precious gift of all.
  • Be aware when shopping, now that most everything has been thought about and purchased. The ones you “forgot” probably were not really on your list, so don’t buy last minute gifts. The sales before and AFTER Christmas aren’t a good deal if you don’t need anything.
  • Whatever festivities you do participate in, be present and enjoy. Don’t worry about who didn’t show, or who looks more generous or more dressed up than you. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a big threat this time of year; only attend the events that make you happy.
  • Your health is more valuable than all the happenings. Make healthy food choices most of the time, offer to be the designated driver, and stay home if you are not feeling well.
  • Last of all, be generous with any time or resources you may have. We just rang the bell for Salvation Army this afternoon, and enjoyed spreading good cheer. Drop some change or a bill in the next bucket you see. Help those less fortunate, or make some plans to volunteer in the new year. Be present in all you do.


  • Money is not the tool to make this a joyous time of year. People and the valuable time you spend with them are the best of all. Celebrate whatever meaning the holidays have for you, and have a prosperous New Year.


    Have you Planned Your Taxes?

    November 15, 2016

    Here it is, the end of 2016. You already ate the Halloween candy you got early on sale, decided who is hosting Thanksgiving, and made a holiday shopping list. Have you scheduled your year-end tax review? Have you ever met with your tax preparer before the end of the year? Let’s make this year this first of a new tradition. Who are you going to meet with? CPA, friend, relative, Tax Software provider, Store Front preparer? Have they ever offered this service to you? Probably not.
    I’d like to introduce you to a profession called Enrolled Agent (EA). EAs are the only federally licensed tax preparers who also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. That should tell you right away that an EA is a highly trained professional. Even better, they charge what I would call very reasonable rates for the high quality of expertise compared to the other options mentioned earlier.

    Here are a few ways an EA will help an individual or business:
    – Effective tax planning – planned timing can make a substantial tax difference
    – Paycheck withholding advice
    – IRA advice
    – Entity selection for business
    – Team up with your Bookkeeper, CFO, Financial Advisor, Business Coach to make valuable personal and business decisions that work in all segments
    – Review prior years’ returns
    – Financial records organization
     

    EAs can’t do everything; you will need a CPA for audited financial statements (Large corporations, public corporations, non-profits) and audit preparation. Popular tax software does not always include business schedules; an EA will prepare all necessary schedules.

    I personally recommend Rochelle Margucci, EA. I have seen her contribute outstanding Business Consulting, guide many with Business Entity Selection, provide IRS Representation, and is always my go to professional when my clients need accurate and appropriate advice. Please contact Rochelle, or another qualified Enrolled Agent and plan your taxes before this year ends.

    The overall goal is to help you take control of your money, reduce stress, and start THRIVING.Enjoy the good life, knowing you have reduced your financial risk, and have taken well-planned steps to ensure a thriving future. Give it try with a complimentary 60 minute strategic session. Get motivation from my posts on Facebook. Call 916.217.1967 or email me to set a time to discuss your action plan.


    3 Ways Doing Nothing is Costing You

    September 4, 2016

    When I was supervising a large office, I often felt I was fighting fires instead of proactively running the business. It’s not easy to turn around the flow and sense of urgency. My business partner and I made a commitment to each other to return our position to preemptive management. It took planning, setting and sharing goals, and commitment to making positive changes. With these changes we turned our department into a leading customer focused operation. Our office ran on less staff time, created highly satisfied customers, and grew our business, setting new records.

    How are your business or personal finances suffering from your inaction? Here are some ways you may be inadvertently losing time and money:

    1. Precious time lost. If you don’t have a daily, weekly, and monthly plan that consistently works, stuff happens to you at an alarming rate. At home, I’d check my bills every day, and pay as I received them. It took time every day, instead of only twice a month as I do now. At work, I didn’t plan the job assignments and share the goals clearly to our employees so they could be focused on their responsibilities. I did not break down my varied accountability to a planned day on my calendar so I could focus on each one at a time.

    2. Loss of Capacity. How much time, energy and resources could you save with strategic planning? How much more revenue could you create if your finances were streamlined? How much easier would it be to focus on the planned task if nagging distractions would vanish?

    3. Not pursuing your passion. What dreams have you left behind? Is where you are in your current situation not exactly where you expected you’d be by this time? Do you feel resentment because others are thriving? Does it just seem easier for some people to be successful?

    Stop the chaos and get out of the firefighting business. Make a commitment to turn your personal or business activities around. Write down what you’d like to achieve in the next month. List measurable action steps that you can start today. We can’t do it all by ourselves. Ask for help from your family and business partners.

    Hire a Personal Money Coach to help you identify the best strategic path. {tweet this} 

    Share your goals to have more accountability to results. If you don’t change soon, how are you going to improve your position?

    The overall goal is to help you take control of your money, reduce stress, and start THRIVING. Enjoy the good life, knowing you have reduced your financial risk, and have taken well-planned steps to ensure a thriving future.Give it try with a complimentary 60 minute strategic session. Get motivation from my posts on Facebook. Call 916.217.1967 or email me to set a time to discuss your action plan.


    8 Ways Being Money Mindful Can Improve Your Finances

    July 10, 2016

    One of the first things I do with new clients is ask them some questions to identify how aware they are of their money and spending habits.  Here are eight ways to measure your money mindfulness.

    Take a moment and notice your spending impact on your partner/family:  I agree that everyone should have a little bit of discretionary money to spend without having to share the details with everyone else.  When it’s “our” money, and I decide to spend it on “me”, and it isn’t planned, how will your partner feel?  Will you sneak your online purchases into the house when no one is there?  What if they found out?  How would you feel if they slipped some new tools into the garage when you weren’t there?  I’ve seen couples “get even” when the other slips up, and spend even more.

    Be present for happy, fun moments that don’t cost money:  We love to walk through our neighborhood, and we often take pictures of what we see.  It’s fun, and even healthy.  Beneficial activities are first on the list, and also include picnics and front porch dinners with the torches lit.

    Be aware of needs vs. wants: I need soap to take a shower; I want fancy smell-good shower gels.  I need a clean home; I want a housekeeper.  I need a refrigerator, I want the stainless steel one with all the latest improvements.  It all adds up – big and small purchases

    Notice when you are avoiding a money decision:   You left your job for a new one, and haven’t rolled the 401K account yet because you’re not sure where to put it.  You know you should compare insurance rates, but you have to find your current policy, look at the coverage, find competitors, call or chat with the sales rep, on and on and on.  Income taxes – how many ways are there to procrastinate?

    Be cognizant of rationalizations when making decisions:  I worked extra hard this week, so I deserve to have a nice dinner out this weekend.  These clothes are out of style, our son should join both sports, all my nieces and nephews need gifts on birthdays and holidays to show we care.

    Be discerning when shopping:  I bought a pair of pants on clearance that needed to be dry cleaned.  One dry cleaning trip cost more than the slacks.  Just because it’s at the warehouse store doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for you to buy it.

    When receiving knowledgeable financial advice, be conscious of your hesitations, ask questions, and share all pertinent information:  When you are meeting with a financial advisor, make sure you understand the investment products.  If you don’t understand what it is, ask.  If they ask you if you have any other investments, give them an honest answer.  You don’t want to invest your money in the same product and be more at-risk.  If something just doesn’t sound right, ask more questions.  I once had three appointments with a financial advisor about a new product.  At the third meeting, I still didn’t understand, and did not invest in the product.  Don’t feel guilty about wasting their time and feeling like you have to invest in their product.

    Read all your bills and statements as a concerned consumer: For one full month, read every single bill and statement you receive.  That means mail and email.  Look at your balance, the due date, and the itemization of the invoice, the fees incurred, the interest rate, the investments held, including all the transactions on your bank statement.  You may find a few items that you can question, and perhaps stop fees that you have been paying without knowing.

    The overall goal is to help you take control of your money, reduce stress, and start THRIVING.  Enjoy the good life, knowing you have reduced your financial risk, and have taken well-planned steps to ensure a thriving future. Get motivation from my posts on Facebook. Are you ready for a complimentary 60 minute strategy session? Call 916.217.1967 or email me to set a time to discuss your mindfulness.


    Happy Graduation

    May 10, 2016

    As spring turns the corner into summer, graduations are celebrated everywhere.  You may have invitations to attend a few, and gifts are always appreciated.  What can you give to a college graduate who isn’t sure what their future holds for them?  I have a solution:  A Custom Graduation Money Coach Summer Session.

    Students absorb so much information over the four years of classes, and I know my brain was ready for a break after the last set of finals and term papers were completed.  This is a time to relax, sleep in, and enjoy perhaps your last summer of true freedom.  Summer is also a time to reflect on your school experiences, and make some plans for the future.  I help graduates learn some basic money and risk management skills, networking expertise, saving strategies, and completing a written plan to use as a guideline for decision making.

    Grandparents, Parents, Godparents, Aunts/Uncles all want the best for the future generation of employees and business owners.  Providing a Money Coach Summer Session will give your loved one stronger footing when stepping out into the big world out there.  Those learning some new skills, having some guidelines to use when making decisions, and actually writing down goals are 42% more likely to achieve their objectives.

    Helping college graduates is important to me, because I’ve been there, and appreciated the wonderful advice I received, and also had to learn a lot of lessons myself that were expensive in terms of money lost, increased stress level, and wasted time.  The pricing for the Money Coach Summer Session is $1,000 if paid in full by June 30, 2016.  As of July 1st, the price increases to $1,250.  These sessions will only be available for purchase through August 30th.

    Reflect on the excitement and apprehension you experienced during your first summer after college, and provide some extra tools and resources to your graduate to make the journey a bit more enjoyable in this complicated world.  Visit my website at http://moneywiseadvisors.com to learn more about me and the services I provide to help clients take control of their money.

    My goal is to help you take control of your money, reduce stress, and start THRIVING.  Enjoy the good life, knowing you have reduced your financial risk, and have taken well-planned steps to ensure a thriving future. Get motivation from my posts on Facebook. Are you ready for a complimentary 30 minute consultation? Call 916.217.1967 or email me to set a time to discuss your action plan.


    Simple Steps to Save Successfully During America Saves Week 2016

    March 19, 2016

    Simple Steps to Save Successfully During America Saves Week 2016
    By Tammy Greynolds, America Saves Communications Coordinator

    America Saves Week (February 22 – 27, 2016) is an annual opportunity for individuals to assess their savings and take financial action. The theme for this year’s America Saves Week is simple: Save Automatically.

    Try these five simple steps during America Saves Week to help yourself save automatically – and successfully:

    1. Assess Your Savings.
    Like your health, you should assess your savings annually to make sure your savings priorities are on the right track. Complete this simple 12-question assessment to find out your current standing and help you plan for the future.

    2. Evaluate your Savings Preparedness.
    Check off your savings accomplishments on the Saver Checklist to further evaluate where your savings habits need strengthening for your future goals.

    3. Take the America Saves Pledge.
    Those with a savings plan are two times as likely to save for emergencies and retirement than those without one. Join more than 450,000 American Savers who have already committed to save. When you take the pledge, you can choose to receive text message tips and reminders to help you save towards your goals.

    4. Share Your Savings Goal.
    Take part in the 2016 #imsavingfor Photo Contest. Share a selfie that shows what you’re saving for on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and enter the contest at http://americasavesweek.org/imsavingfor for a chance to win $500. Savings never looked so good.

    5. Make Your Savings Social.
    Are you on Twitter or Facebook? Join America Saves in encouraging your friends, family, and colleagues to save this week. Better yet, join one of the many Twitter chats that America Saves will be a part of this week to get real-time savings tips and advice.

    America Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council. Started in 2007, the Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.


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