In 2017, Congress changed federal income tax rates and brackets with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The changes included a lowering of the personal and corporate tax rates, along with a doubling of the standard personal deduction. For the 2020 tax year, the IRS has made some changed that could affect your … Continue reading IRS Announces Tax Bracket Changes for 2020
Let's face it folks: no matter who you are, it's easy to see that the student loan situation is simply out of control. (Well, unless you're Sallie Mae or Navient). Those goons aside, most any sensible person sees the nearly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt as something that needs a solution right now. Part … Continue reading Student Loans Are the Only Way to Pay For College?
The short answer to this question is no. The longer answer is still no as a general rule, but it may be a consideration in some very limited circumstances. Here's the rationale behind not cashing out the 401k. Sure, it may be tempting to take that big chunk of that savings and throw all at … Continue reading Should I Cash Out My 401k Early to Pay Off Debt?
A client recently asked me if he and his wife should renew the warranty on their vehicle. Because of the cost-benefit analysis on such warranties, I answered no. A warranty is often a nice little peace of mind when you buy a car. Especially if the car is used, having that extra reassurance backing up … Continue reading Are Extended Warranties Worth the Money?
It's a common question that a lot of folks ask when they hear about the idea of working with a coach: " Why should I pay someone when I can’t even make payments on some of our debts?" This is an understandable concern. The bills are already sky-high and it seems like there's hardly any … Continue reading “We Used a Coach…My Cousin Didn’t”
This is a common question that we as coaches get. A lot of people don't understand the nature of our trade and how we differ from financial advisors. That's understandable though, as the financial coaching industry is still a relatively new sector of the financial world. So let's define what advisors do versus what I … Continue reading What’s the Difference Between a Financial Coach and a Financial Advisor?
Step 3 of the Baby Steps program is to save three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund. This fund is not supposed to be used for shopping sprees, vacations, cars, sofa specials, or anything of that sort; only for true, emergency situations like a job layoff or medical incident. What to spend … Continue reading Where Should I Put My Emergency Fund?
Conventional "wisdom" says that there's no way around having a car payment every month. Vehicles are just so expensive that there's just no way a person can avoid it. You're stuck with that $500 a month payment and have to deal with it for the rest of your life. It turns out this conventional wisdom … Continue reading What’s the Problem with Having a Car Payment?
I'm very much an advocate of getting out of debt, you're probably aware of that if you've perused my site. I thoroughly believe in paying off our creditors and freeing ourselves from the bondage that debt brings. Nearly all of the debt in our lives comes from the choices that we made. But one debt … Continue reading Our Biggest Debt Is One We Could Never Pay
It's easy to think that if we earned just a bit more money, we'd be able to get ahead; that a few hundred dollars more a month will do the trick, or that a six-figure income is what really makes becoming wealthy possible. But contrary to popular opinion, that's simply not true. You may have … Continue reading Money Won’t Solve Your Financial Problems