Groceries are NOT a fixed household expense

A lot of people assume that the monthly grocery bill is one of those expenses in the home that just is what it is. A most common refrain is this: “We’re a family of four. We spend $1,200 a month on groceries no matter what we do… More if we’re hosting. That’s just what it costs to feed us and we’re not willing to compromise on quality.” Continue reading…


Teenagers and Money

The best research studies often lead to unexpected insights. A few years back, several hundred young adults in their 20s were surveyed on what they wished their parents had taught them growing up. The results were a little surprising. They wished they had been taught how to limit debt, how to save and invest, how to plan ahead and how to live within their means. If these are so important to 20-somethings, what should we do as parents to address these topics with our teenagers? Continue reading…


New Year’s Resolutions that stick

If you have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s Resolutions, you’re not alone.

We’re supposed to make them every year. They’ll make us better people, and if we only stuck to them we’d be richer, thinner and smarter. But we don’t stick to them. New habits are tough to create and sustain, and the rewards are often too far out. Continue reading…


The most important number in your financial life…

It’s tough to argue that the most important number in your financial life is your net worth. You calculate it by adding up all your cash, assets, house value, investment statements and cash surrender value of your life insurance and subtract from this sum all of your debt, mortgage, and any other amounts owing. Put another way, it’s all your assets minus all your liabilities. Continue reading…


Mortgage Insurance: A good idea or not?

There is one financial product that many people purchase without even remembering they said ‘yes’. It is offered at a stressful and emotional time for an individual or couple who are about to make the biggest purchase of their life. The price seems paltry compared to the mortgage payment they’ve just agreed to, and the answer to the question posed seems like a no-brainer. Continue reading…


“Why is there no money at month’s end?”

I hear this question perhaps more than any other. “Why is it that, no matter what we do, there is never any money left at the end of the month?”

I typically answer this question in one of two ways. First, “what is so magical about month-end that you think there a pile of cash on the counter left for you?” And second, “who in this world truly wants you to succeed with your money?” Continue reading…