Words of Candor

Who doesn’t love credit cards? They give you the opportunity to carry a balance while also rewarding you for your spending, providing cash back and points. Credit cards are meant to encourage you to extend yourself though. Carrying a balance from month to month will only increase the total amount you pay in interest. And even if you’re someone who pays your credit card off each month, studies show you’re still spending an average of 18 to 20 percent more than you would if you used cash or a debit card. Psychology shows us we feel differently about seeing a checking account going down versus watching the balance of your credit card increase.
Starting a new job is always exciting, but it can also be overwhelming, especially as you page through a hundred pages about employee benefits. There are so many choices to make, and we often focus most of our attention on things like retirement plans and health insurance. Truthfully, there are so many other benefits companies can provide, like matching contributions, a health savings account, life insurance, and prepaid legal.
Do you have family meetings in your house? Dedicated time each week or month to discuss events, changes, or money? My parents sat my sister and me down regularly for family meetings, even discussing finances with us. Admittedly, I remember my own loathing during these meetings, wishing I was somewhere else, but as an adult I recognize how influential those meetings were on my own relationship with money.
At nearly four years old, my daughter is a bit young for assigned chores that will earn her money, but when the time comes, my wife and I plan to give her an opportunity to do just that.
Years ago I wrote an article about making “cents” for your child’s future (catchy, I know) in an effort to provide practical tips on how to talk with your kids about money and budgeting. Back then though, I didn’t actually have kids. Now, two children later, I’m gaining much more insight into how to introduce these topics in our household.
We are all guilty of comparing ourselves to others, and it’s especially easy to do so based on how we share our lives through social media. A quick scroll on your phone will convince you everyone you know is happy, prosperous, and confident. But is that reality? The truth is, we all have our own internal struggles, and we are all trying to do the best we can in our own circumstances.