photos courtesy of Gary Morrison

One Day At A Time

by Steve on June 23, 2015

“Your life is the sum total of all the little actions you take, your daily habit pattern. Successful people are those whose daily habits add up to something great.”

Chellie Campbell, “Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

This is how you become financially free. You won’t become financially free all at one time. Even lottery winners must develop smart money habits one day at a time. You start one new smart money action today. Then tomorrow, you do it again. And then again the next day. After a month, this action becomes a habit. The next month, you start another smart money habit and do it every day for 30 days. It too becomes a part of you.

Smart money habits are not hard to identify. You’ve probably got a list of them in your head and you’re resisting starting them because it seems too hard. Change is hard. Delayed gratification is hard. That’s what smart money habits usually are. A smart money habit means choosing not to do something today so you can use that money for something bigger, more important, and more valuable to you at a time in the future.

From a personal standpoint, when our son was born 18 years ago, my wife and I decided that paying for most of our son’s college education was important to us and we opened a 529 College Savings account for him the month he was born. We saved $250 every month in his account, even when it was hard. Even when we wanted to do something else with the money, we saved the $250 each month. We never wavered from this money habit and when our son graduated from high school last week, we knew he could go to college and would not graduate from college with a mountain of debt. Saving for his college costs was a money habit we began 18 years ago and stuck with it.

I suggest you start one new money habit today. Pick one smart money habit that you know you should do and begin it today. You will be amazed at the progress you’ll make and how good you’ll feel when you realize that you’re making great progress on your path to financial freedom.

Talk About Money With Your Partner

by Steve on June 16, 2015

“There are two kinds of people in life — spenders and savers. Usually, they are married to each other.”

–Anonymous

“When Can I Retire?”

June 9, 2015

This is a question we frequently receive. The short answer is, “Whenever you want.” Retirement, like many things in life, is a choice. True, there are probably tradeoffs that you might not like if you want to retire today, however, what most people mean when they ask this question is, “When can I retire in […]

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Why Some Investors Are Confused

June 2, 2015

I received this email recently announcing an upcoming webinar. “Join the ABC mutual fund family expert as he discusses how: • High growth and high quality focused managers have been facing an uphill battle for some time now • “Growth” headwinds appear to be shifting into tailwinds • Compelling secular growth trends are emerging in […]

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Best & Worst College Degrees for Starting Pay

May 26, 2015

Because it’s graduation season, I thought you might find it interesting to see what one company’s research shows are the best and worst paying college majors for 2015. I realize that the pay that a college graduate receives when he or she graduates is not the only reason to go to college, but it is […]

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What is the Purpose of Your Money?

May 20, 2015

When we ask this question of clients, the answers are often enlightening because the question is different than asking about financial goals. Those are important too, of course. However, asking what is the purpose of your money digs deeper into the reason you work, why you save and spend. One day recently I asked a […]

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Today Is A Special Day For Me

May 19, 2015

I don’t usually write much about myself or my family on this blog because I want to be helpful to you and reading about the Juetten family is not that great. However, today is a special day. Our son, Kyle, was born at 6:01 p.m. 18 years ago today. The day he joined us in […]

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What Is A “Fiduciary” and Why It Matters to You

May 12, 2015

I’m studying to take the CFP® Board exam on ethical standards today and the idea of being a fiduciary really struck home for me. As part of being a CFP® financial advisor, I take the ethics exam every other year. It’s one of the elements of being a CFP® that I appreciate. It’s a reminder […]

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What Does “Retirement” Mean to You?

April 28, 2015

This is a multi-layered question, of course, and my bookshelves are piling up with books that help people try to figure this out. A slightly different take on this question comes from Chris Farrell, author of “Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community and the Good Life.” Mr. Farrell […]

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45th Anniversary of Earth Day

April 22, 2015

Did you know that: Earth Day was created by Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin in 1970? He was appalled by the environmental damage done by an oil spill off the coast of California and wanted to do something to raise awareness of the fragility of Mother Earth. The first Earth Day was celebrated on April […]

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