What's Your Money Motive?

Unless you’re Scrooge McDuck and enjoy swimming through piles of cash, money is not an end in itself.  Instead, money is a means to something else. Your money allows you to purchase necessities and luxuries, to finance family vacations and evenings out with friends, to feel good about yourself (or even superior to others), and to have some security in an uncertain world. There is always an underlying reason why we value money and use it the way we do. Understanding those reasons—why you earn, save, and spend your money—is where wisely managing your finances starts.

A Little Margin Goes a Long Way

Margin is that space between your normal and your maximum capacity.  It’s that cushion in your life between your everyday responsibilities and your absolute limits.  It’s that Saturday morning when you sleep in, or your 35-minute daily workout, or your few minutes alone with your cup of coffee in the morning before your kids wake up.  Tapping into that margin when needed is fine (and inevitable), but the closer to your limits you live, the bigger the risk of hitting a breaking point. This applies to time, career, and of course money.

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.