When is Enough Enough?

In a culture of work and spend, there can be an endless search for more. However, research shows that money only affects emotional well-being  or happiness up to an annual income of ∼$210,000 per family, or ~$275,000 when adjusted for the cost of living in the Bay Area. Too much money can actually have a negative […]

Money Club

I hate book clubs. I have tried a few over the years and find that either I’m the only one who reads the book, or we talk about the book for five minutes and spend the rest of the time drinking wine. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just isn’t for me. […]

Maximizing Fun

I love doing fun things! Who doesn’t? Living in Europe provides me with a new playground of opportunities, and after being in France for more than a year I can look back and see how much money I have spent on that fun. My budget is not unlimited, so for the next year I am […]

Keeping up with the Joneses and Social Spending

“Keeping up with the Joneses” refers to benchmarking oneself vis-à-vis your neighbors or social circle when it comes to material goods or social class. This idiom dates back to a comic strip that started in 1913 and ran all the way to 1940. While social climbing and keeping up with your neighbors is mostly seen […]

Optimize Your Employee Benefits

For a lot of working people, open enrollment is approaching (October through November). This usually means boring emails from your HR department and having to make a bunch of decisions to make that you may not be sure about. According to the Department of Labor, benefits through work account for 31.8% of the cost of […]

Money Management On The Go

The #1 issue facing families with young children that live in the Bay Area is managing cash flow. The most common story is a couple, making very good money, get married and buy a house based on their DINK income levels (“dual income no kids”). Then, baby #1 arrives. Things get a little tighter financially […]

Slash & Burn: A Fresh Start for Your Finances

In elementary school I remember learning about the farming technique “slash & burn” where farmers burned their crops to the ground in order to fertilize the soil and get the land ready for the next crop. The farmers did this because the soil was exhausted and needed to be replenished. This same technique can be […]

Keeping Up With the Joneses

One of the most common things that couples say to me is, “We make a good living but don’t have nearly enough to show for it at the end of the year.” Sometimes it is worse, and the family has accumulated credit card debt to keep afloat. The culprit is not knowing cash inflows and […]

How much is Mom Worth?

Being a mom is one of the hardest (if not THE hardest) job. While it is a rewarding pursuit to create good little citizens that will hopefully make the world a better place, it is nearly impossible to take “time off” from being a mom and working overtime is part of the job. Due to […]

Time To Buy A New Car

I bought my last car a year after finishing business school and pre-kids. I bought an Audi Allroad (which my boss at the time called a “grocery-getter”), and it served me well through a few ski leases in Tahoe, two babies and a dog. Last year I was faced with a big car repair bill […]