savings /

How much money should keep on hand in the bank? And what if that money doesn’t earn very much while it’s there?

One of the first recommendations I often make to new clients is that they stuff some money in a boring old bank account, ignore the interest rate the bank is paying and see even a 0% paying account… for the wonderful wealth building opportunity it can be.

How much should you have? I often hear three months’ worth of your spending.

Hoarding vs Affording

Oct 24, 2018
Angus /

In this segment I often talk about the dangers of overspending.

Today I want to talk about the dangers of under-spending.


It’s one thing to make sure you can afford a thing. It’s another thing to be so gripped by fear, that you hardly spend any money. For the person so gripped by fear, the issue is not affording. It’s hoarding.

The difference between affording and hoarding is usually fear. And fear usually thrives in the absence of facts.

Habits of Thrift

Oct 3, 2018
Images Money /

I have a lot of people ask me what everyone else is doing to save money?

One way to get the wrong answer every time is to ask the wrong question.


If the vast majority of America is struggling financially, why would you want to know how they do it? They sure aren’t doing it!

So don’t look around at everyone else you know to solve the riddle of “how can I save money?”

Here’s the short answer: by saving money.

401(K) 2012 / FLICKR.COM

When it comes to spending, are you in control or out of control?

Well if you tilt towards the out of control camp, you’ve got a lot of company. But the good news is…you can change.

But it won’t be easy. And you likely can’t do it alone.

Some people look at themselves in the mirror and see someone who is out of control, impulsive and just plain messed up when it comes to spending habits.

Jeffrey Beall /

Last week, we began looking at the four most common ways to tap into your retirement funds for a regular income stream.

Let me do a quick recap in case you missed it, then I’ll cover the third and fourth methods.

1. Interest only. This once most-common method involves depositing or investing one’s funds so they will produce interest, which is paid out and used as income. As we said last week, one risk is that interest rates fall so low that one can’t live off the pittance of interest produced. Like today.

Maria M /

For all these years you have been faithfully putting money into your retirement accounts. At first it was hard, but then it became a habit. Then it just became a part of who you are…you’re a saver. And you feel good about that.

But then comes the day you’ve been working for – retirement – and they say you’re supposed to do the very thing that was anathema to you as a saver –…out!

If you are a true, died in the wool saver, it just feels weird. Kind of…risky.

frankieleon /

With interest rates so low, does it still make sense to keep a pile of cash on hand for emergencies?

Short answer: yes!

You may have a line of credit at your bank or a credit card with high spending limits. Btu not a single one of your credit cards comes with a lifetime guarantee. You could get a letter in the mail any day informing you that your bank no longer wishes to extend you credit (under any circumstances) and your credit cards can be canceled with little notice.

Cash … can’t be canceled.

Here are a few reasons why you need to save money:

What to Do with IRA Distributions You Don’t Spend

Mar 7, 2018
Hamza Butt /

Welcome to age 70. Believe me, you don’t look a day over 69.

If you’re not quite to age 70, don’t worry…its coming sooner than you think!

What happens at age 70…or 70 ½ to be precise?

That’s the age Uncle Sam says you must begin taking a required minimum distribution (RMD) each year out of your IRA. And if you don’t do it, you’ll owe a 50% penalty on every dime you fail to withdraw on time, plus the taxes due. I’m not kidding – they are serious about this stuff!

Expect Savings On Thanksgiving Dinner

Nov 20, 2017
Sarah_Ackerman / /

You will see savings this year on Thanksgiving dinner.  An American Farm Bureau Marketbasket survey estimates it will cost $43.27 on average in Louisiana.  Farm Bureau Federation News Director Neil Melancon says a large inventory of turkeys are helping to drive prices down.

That is over three-dollars cheaper than 2016 for a 16-item meal including turkey and all the trimmings. Melancon says since turkey prices are very low right now, he recommends to shop around and compare.

Melancon says we are paying less for other items, some which are grown locally.

Why Save Money?

Nov 8, 2017
Images Money /

Why save money anyway?

I meet folks all the time who say “I’m never going to retire. My philosophy is to live for today and not save a bunch of money for a day I may never reach.”

When someone tells me that, I’m always tempted to respond - why stop there?

If you can simply will your way to work as long as you live, why not just will yourself to not get sick or die?

Not so simple, is it?