Living Within Your Means

An editorial by P. J. O’Rourke, the editor of American Consequences, touched on a subject that had us thinking twice about the booming American economy and individual responsibility. He writes about the government shutdown and its effect on a married couple that happen to be senior managers in different departments of the U.S. government. He estimates their salaries to be $200,000 to $300,000 annually, putting them in the top 5% of American earners. Yet, during the shutdown, they were interviewed while standing in line for free food at a pop-up market run by the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, DC. 

It’s shocking to realize that a recent study of 25,000 American adults shows that 6 out of 10 working adults are living paycheck-to-paycheck or, even worse, are accruing debt and saving nothing for emergencies.

Those that do save for the unexpected, the study shows, think that $2,000 is the right amount for a 3-month emergency fund. 

Earning more doesn’t seem to matter either. As incomes rise, the pattern of spending the entire paycheck every month continues!

After some research, we were able to list 7 warning signs that you’re living beyond your means:

  1. Carry credit card debt
  2. Do not contribute at least 5% to a savings account
  3. Have less than 3 month’s pay in an emergency fund
  4. Have no emergency fund at all
  5. Lease a car you can’t afford to buy or finance
  6. Have paid overdraft fees
  7. Don’t budget

If the government shutdown did any good at all (and we don’t mean politically), it may have us thinking about how to live within our means so we never have to take a handout meant for the truly poor, unlike the government employees in O’Rourke’s story. We can all live within our means and still enjoy life — it just may take a little imagination and willpower.

Daily Money Management—It May Be More Beneficial Than You Realize

Friends and associates often ask us “what exactly is a daily money manager” and we’re always happy to explain that it’s a service that we offer to children of aging parents, family trusts, busy executives and entrepreneurs, as well as accountants or attorneys who are too busy or simply unable to handle their day-to-day finances.

Diana Louiso is a recognized member of the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM) as well as a Certified Senior Advisor. AADMM is a membership organization of individuals who provide daily money management services to their clients using the high standards as promoted by the AADMM.

old man at sunsetTo truly understand the benefits of the service for aging adults and their families, we encourage you to read the heartbreaking story of one man, named Bob, in his late 80s, living in an independent senior living facility, as published on the AADMM website. It’s an eye-opener.

Here’s the article.

If after reading this, you have questions, please call our office at (513) 322-1036 and feel free to share with someone you know that may benefit from reading the article.

4 Ideas for Holiday Season at Work

With Thanksgiving Day behind us, we are well into Hanukkah and Christmas seasons and a stone’s throw from New Year’s Day. That is, if we can survive the temptations and stress all around us during this challenging time of year.

Somewhere among the office parties and gift exchanges, beyond the end of the year workload and gift list we still haven’t completed, there is a sense of joy — if we can only stand still long enough to sense it.

moose dollRather than stress out, we can choose to focus on ways to make the holidays around the office healthier and more peaceful.

Have that potluck party, but suggest low-calorie, low-sugar options like fruits and nuts, veggie sticks, festive salads and sugar-free gelatin desserts. With a little less soda and more sparkling water, everyone will still have fun “goofing off” for a long lunch hour and will be more inclined to get back to work after the last cheese cube and olive is gone.

If you have a gift exchange, insist that everyone spend very little and keep it light with fun gifts, gag gifts, or homemade gifts…any type of gift that prevents stress from it’s giving or receiving.

Help employees and coworkers manage their stress. Employees, help your co-workers. Avoid alcohol in the office, or drink in moderation if you choose, and encourage everyone to manage their tasks so that they don’t need to work overtime. Encourage exercise by organizing walking groups during lunch hour.

As the business winds down for the year, encourage everyone to acknowledge the extra efforts put forth. Business owners, managers, and every single worker can’t say “thank you” to someone too often, especially at this time of the year.