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.
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.
Need some last-minute gift ideas for the holidays? Never fear, we’re here to help — though you’ll have to excuse us for the pervasive money theme we can’t seem to shake.
With a month to go until the ball drops and we flip to 2019 (a.k.a. the year in which Blade Runner and its flying cars are set — we’re just a bit behind!), now is the time to make sure all your year-end tasks get done. Without further ado, here’s your year-end financial checklist.
Do you live in South Carolina? Then quick: check to make sure you don’t live anywhere close to Simpsonville, point of sale of the winning $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot ticket. According to recent research, living in the same neighborhood as a lotto winner is fraught with financial hazards.
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.