Build Your Financial House

I have no idea where the phrase “getting your financial house in order” comes from. A quick Google search resulted in nothing useful. I guess the idiom makes sense since a house starts with blue print (plan) and is comprised of rooms that have purpose like a kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms (specific accounts or areas […]

Year of the Rat & Your Money

Say goodbye to the Year of the Pig, and hello to the Year of the Rat, the first year of the 12-year Chinese Zodiac cycle. Last year, the Pig was supposed to symbolize wealth and generosity, and be a calming force in world events. Hmmm, not so sure that manifested. The Rat is all about […]

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 […]

Charitable Giving & Taxes- What you need to know

Around Thanksgiving and the calendar (and tax year) end is when commercials and requests for donations tend to really pick up. Most people I talk to wish that they could give more financially to the causes they love but given the high cost of living and high taxes most people feel they cannot afford it. […]

The Diligent Squirrels

It’s been seven years since I first met the Squirrel family, who live in San Francisco, have three children, aspirations of the best education for those children and a strong desire to be homeowners. With all of these goals, they seem to make the improbable possible. A family needs to make more than $250,000 per […]

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 […]

Keep On Truckin’

In 2014, I started working with Bill. He wasn’t my typical client. Divorced, dad to two teenage sons, not working in finance, law or technology. He was laid back, and he knew what he loved: his boys, his dog, music and surfing. Financially speaking, he felt like a wreck. He wanted a budget, to get […]

Should You Both Work?

Affording life in the Bay Area is expensive. In general, it takes two working parents to make ends meet and be able to save for your bigger financial goals like home, retirement and education savings. The breakeven point is trending upward with the cost of housing, which is most families largest expense (25-45% of all […]