Yellow Pad Blog

A Budget for Starting Out (Millenials)

I will grant you that I may not be as up-to-date on the latest technological gadget, but I do know a thing or two about budgets – including how much college debt you are dealing with these days (my youngest is heading into his senior year at a private college)!  Also, I know that even mentioning budgets will cause some of you to panic and click on something else, because honestly talking about your budget is both scary and about as exciting as watching paint dry.  Learning to control your budget though, is the first and most important step on the road to financial success.

Now, About That Budget

The next series of posts are going to address the idea of budgets.  I know, I know, it’s not something that is much fun?  Let me challenge you on that.  Budgets can be fun (well, at least maybe less than painful) if you approach them in the right way.

Should I Become a Landlord?

A lot of people have asked me over the years if they should get into rental properties.  I’m a big fan of establishing multiple sources of income, but jumping into rental properties, while possibly a great business, definitely isn’t for everyone.  Here are a few things to think about.

  1. Being a landlord is a business.You have to set rules and stick to them.Make very clear what you expect of your tenants and what they can expect from you.Pay an attorney to draft a lease for you and know the rental laws of your state.

Keep the Romance - Ditch the Costs! 12 Ideas for Keeping the Wedding Budget Under Control

It’s summer, and we are scheduled to attend a number of weddings so naturally, as a financial planner, I thought it might be nice to suggest some ways to save money on your wedding – hopefully without being a “stick in the mud”!  Having been the father of the bride once and the father of the groom once, I have been on both sides of the aisle!  Here are some random thoughts, in no particular order:

Retirement Stage 3 - Age 50 to the "Gold Watch"

Back to blogging after a short delay to move into our new offices! 

Retirement Savings Stage 2: 35 - 50 Years Old

Doesn’t it amaze you how fast life goes by?  Once you’re in this stage of pre-retirement, you’re likely zeroed in on your “career job” and starting to earn some significant money.  You’re also likely to be married and have a family (although retirement planning should take place regardless of your marital status or family situation).   Along with these exciting life stages, chances are that you are under as much debt as you ever will be, you’re busier than you can imag

Retirement - Stage 1: 18-35 Year Olds

I have 3 children, all of whom are in this category.  Their ages are 32, 30, and 22.  I’ve talked with a lot of their friends too – about life, kids, work, and yes, finances.  Here’s a common thread:

Retirement Wake-Up Call

As you might have noticed, there has been some time since I last posted.  This is a busy time of year for the business, and tax time issues have kept me from my schedule of new posts, but better late than never!  An article from CNBC online this morning was my trigger to get back to the keyboard.  It  stated that the median retirement savings for Americans between the ages of 40 and 49 is only $6200, so that’s a good reason to start a series of blog posts on the topic

One More Word About Emergency Funds...

OK, so I’ve spent the last several blog posts talking about emergency reserves.  Call it cash, a rainy day fund, or whatever you want, but I think at this point we can agree that it’s important.  I also know that the process of saving it isn’t easy.  We live in a consumer culture, with instant availability of just about everything with the literal click of a button.  It takes discipline and commitment to get to work on saving an emergency fund. 

Creating a Budget

A budget is an estimate of income and expenses for a set period of time. Creating a budget can help you get control of your finances and achieve important financial goals, including buying a car, saving for college, purchasing a home, and providing for a family. It can also be beneficial in meeting unexpected financial challenges, such as losing a job.