Money Matters

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Before you transfer a balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate, understand how it affects new purchases and other fine-print traps that can cost you.

Join me at Buzz Cafe in Oak Park to help 2020 be a year that you "not do another year of excuses" at this Free Financial Literacy Seminar. While this event is at no-cost, please consider purchasing Buzz Cafe food and drink while we touch on: Goal SettingBudgetingEstate PlanningTips to Move Forward You will have the opportunity to purchase your own ...

​I am so excited to tell you that I will be on the radio, Jan 3rd at 11:30 am on WVON 1690AM.  I will be a guest on HER Wintrust, empowering Black women in finances with host Ms. Perri Small.  "For more than 50 years, WVON has been and remains the drum major for the African-American community of Chicago. It continues to pro...

In September everyone and their mother came out with their 10 Best High-Yield Savings Account list. I normally just scan the list, because for the past several years my bank has been listed at the top. However, this year I noticed my bank didn't make all the list. Hey, don't judge me. Yes, I'm one of those people who actually do...

I'm no longer a big fan of the monthly financial to do list. This year it's just been too much pressure to keep up. Hey don't judge me.☺ I still however have some notifications that find their way to my inbox. The latest was the FAFSA® Announcements October 1, 2019 is the Open Date for the new 2020–21 FAFSA form. I know, you're sitting there s...

Do you have that friend or relative that thinks all problems can be solved in 30min. as if life was a sitcom? I truly believe you can have a great financial life, but it's going to require some changes, and lifelong changes takes time. Permanent change takes persistence, and even some trial and error. You don't know which financial tool you like un...

I just completed another class for my CFP (Certified Financial Planning) certificate. The wonderful world of income tax planning. After purchasing the 600 page Income Tax Planning book and the 8 mini books from Kaplan one fact was confirmed. People should hire a competent accountant! 

Did I learn anything else? Yes, I spent 10 weeks looking at tax forms and trying to figure out the consequences of a person’s actions. Example here’s Bob’ and all of his financials now figure out his total income. What is the amount of Robert’s AGI? (Adjusted gross income), allowable itemized deductions. Oh by the way he owns a company and he’s using LIFO. Now calculate his deductible business expenses for federal income tax purposes. Hey did we tell you he sold some property in Question 8 above, for a net return of $140,000, how much Section 1250 recapture would he have? And all of this happened in the first two weeks. But nothing opened my eyes like the section on tax penalties. Question #2 in review - describe the calculations you would use to determine the following penalties. Yikes, can we discuss this? It seems the answer is no. 

Is it time for an accountability partner? Last month, I did a review of my goals and realized there was a particular goal that was almost a year old. It’s not difficult; just a little out of my comfort level. I however had to make a decision if I wanted this opportunity I had to get moving. The fact that I had made no progress in a year told me I was in trouble. So I called a friend and asked for an accountability partner. 

If you feel stuck on your financial goals it may be time for an accountability partner. A budget takes minutes, but if it’s year two and you still don’t have one you need help. An accountability partner should act as your conscious not your mother. Their job is to help you stay on track. Sometimes you need a sounding board and sometimes you need someone to just tell you to get your butt in gear. Your accountability partner will not do the work for you, but they can help you as you navigate your goal. Don’t over think this; keep it simple. 

Okay guys, I just completed another class for the Financial Planning Certificate which leads to the certification. And I came to the conclusion that there’s a language barrier. I struggled a little until I realized the material was in a different language. For me, I had to translate from financial jargon, to common sense every day words. For example they loved the words deferred. Now this is a perfectly good word, however how many of use it in day to day language. So I kept having to translate deferred compensation to delayed or postponed compensation. My other favorite word was nonqualified. You can tell it’s a foreign langue when you discover no one can agree on the spelling. When trying to find the translation for the word I found some groups use Non Qualified, others use Non-Qualified and the text book used nonqualified. When in doubt on financial matters I go with the IRS. I also used the no-nonsense IRS description. 

Keep this in mind the next time you’re chatting with your financial person. The advisor may not be speaking over your head, they’re just speaking a different language. Think of it this way. You’re high school Spanish and they’re advanced or a native speaker. In high school you may use the word "maleta" to describe a suitcase, but perhaps in the advanced class you use the word “velija” which is more descriptive. You may in fact be discussing the same item just in different terms. 

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