Getting organized

Your Net Worth: What It Is and What It Isn't

Around here, we tend to talk more about cash flow — earning, saving, and spending — and less about net worth. Why? Because net worth is the sum of what’s happened in the past — how much you’ve previously accumulated — while cash flow drives where you’re headed right now. Are you saving more than you’re spending? Are you throwing money at high-interest debt payments? There’s only so much you can do right this second to increase your net worth, but there’s plenty you can do to improve saving and spending habits and start trending in the right direction.

That being said, net worth awareness is one of the building blocks of financial health. There’s quite a bit of fixation on net worth out there, so we’ll take some time to talk about what it is and what it isn’t, and then we’ll go over how to approach your own net worth.

The Essentials of Everyday Estate Planning

A secret last will and testament, a fifteen-year fight to remove a comatose woman’s feeding tube, a last-minute model wife who sues for the late billionaire’s estate — this is the stuff of John Grisham novels, Supreme Court cases, and Us Weekly. For the rest of us, estate planning may be less dramatic (hopefully), but it remains an essential piece of ordering your financial world.

Where to Keep Your Cash Money

How much cash should you keep on hand?  That’s a question that comes up with every client, and rightfully so: too little and you’ll be unprepared for emergencies or unexpected expenses, but too much and you won’t be investing your money wisely.  While the answer depends on your goals and personal circumstances, here are some rules of thumb that apply to just about everyone.

Best Practices for Using Mint

Spending your money in the right way starts with understanding how you’re spending your money. Reviewing credit card and bank statements or using an online expense-tracking tool will help bring awareness to how you’re spending your money. If you don’t currently have a system in place, I recommend you give Mint a try. Check out my recommendations for best practices with Mint.