Starting Over Financially

Manipulative gift giving

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money M Are you giving a gift to make up for not getting something right in a relationship this past year? V To be clear, we cannot do a lame job of parenting all year and the “fix it” with an IPhone, Spotify account, and Netflix account. That is not a fix, it’s a pay-off. Here’s a question all parents need to ask themselves: do the gifts I am giving my son or daughter reinforce the value system I am trying to teach them, […]

Gifts and debt

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money M  56% of Americans will take on debt for Christmas gifts and 16% will take over 6 months to pay it off.  Average amount is $930 but parents average $420 per child. (American Research Group)   V Now, I even get the $420 per child in that I have a son in his 20s that was in the military, so that’s a plane ticket home.  But $420 average? Does that mean some 5 year old is getting $420 worth of Barbies?  Again, when […]

Meaningful gifts Low budget high impact

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money M  We’re encouraging you this season to spend more time, rather than more money on gift giving. V You may want to show your loved ones how much they mean to you, but impulse overspending is not the way to do it.  Thoughtful, well planned gifts are better. Why not buy a beautiful Christmas card and write out 3 of your favorite attributes of that person you love and gives examples of when they displayed those great attributes?  Why not write out some […]

Gifts that Matter.

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money M Have you listed the gifts you need to buy?  Write across your long Christmas list:  It’s not about the stuff.  What communicates your personal care?  Likely it won’t be the most costly gift that makes the keepsake list.  What do people treasure? V  Mom, you give picture mugs, and family picture calendars.  Memorable events and defining moments.  We save our picture mugs of the homes we’ve lived in, baby faces and siblings.  No clothing item is ever treasured for long. It takes […]

Listing upcoming expenses

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money   M  What would happen if you took 15 minutes each day to make a list of what you need to accomplish?  I’m pretty good at list making.   V  Then take another 15 minutes to list upcoming expenses.  Groceries might be planned,  but spontaneous stops for special coffee, not planned.  We wanted to give to a missionary and were already maxed in our budget, including giving.  I found a way to satisfy my coffee break more cheaply.   M  That resulted in […]

Donating things

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money M This season, most of our living spaces will have more stuff added.  Our tradition of gift giving is based on Scripture, a good thing.  The wise men gave precious gifts to baby Jesus. V  Consider sorting a bit and taking donations to a donation center.  We have one where all proceeds are distributed to faith based organizations in our neighborhood.   Many families in need do their Christmas shopping there.  What means little to us may be their discovered treasure, wrapped and under […]

Required minimum distribution

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money M Early December is a good time to plan carefully and put in place gifts to those ministries you value.  For some of us ‘vintage’ folks, we are required to take from our IRA’s (Individual Retirement Account) V  A very efficient giving strategy is giving an appreciated asset from that account, such as stocks or mutual funds directly to your church or ministry.  You don’t sell it, pay taxes on the gains and then end up with  a smaller amount to give. M […]

Charitable giving

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money M Many of us do most of our charitable giving in December.  Rather than simply looking through the glitter mail asks, think, what do I want to promote.  My local church matters; this ministry Widow Connection matters. V  We’ve seen the real need of people struggling with finances and know that God’s word give directions.  God says give generously.  Plan and execute your giving to maximize dollars.  Giving an appreciated asset is an option with most ministries. So are gifts through wills or […]

Plan avoid impulse

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money M  Why use cash instead of credit cards this season?  According to credit cards own studies, you might save 20% at least each month just by paying cash over credit card purchase.   V  My experience is that percentage is even higher. No mindless swiping. You have to calculate and plan with cash. Also – no impulse buys.  Think about how many items are in your basement storage right now that were impulse buys.   M  One year I thought the automatic floor […]

Christmas, Cash not credit

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money M  Christmas gift giving. Making a plan.  What are your goals?  You might find that you are spending money in ways or amounts that do not align with your personal goals or values.   V  Getting this right just requires paying attention, then planning Christmas gift giving.   Try Try Try to make purchases, even gifts with cash and not on credit cards.  This forces you to stay on budget and not to overspend or to spend on impulse.  If you do not have […]

Make a Christmas budget

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money Christmas season can be a time for comparing.  Gift giving, elaborate decorations, traditions that are meant for generosity and joy can become ‘how am I doing’ compared to others.    V  II Corinthians 10: 12 tells us clearly not to compare ourselves to others.  During this season, pause and ask this question.  Can I give this with gratitude and joy?  Am I honoring God with my financial choices during this season?  How can I include God’s message of Christmas in my home?   […]

Moving back home

I’m Miriam  Neff-with STARTING OVER FINANCIALLY,-and I’m Valerie Neff Hogan, and we’re here to talk about money M Moving back home is not just about college grads getting on their feet.  Increasingly households are combining after divorce, widowhood, and financial transitions.  Before that move cover these important points. V Room and board–what is the expected contribution.  Shared chores.  Then make a list.  Guests and friends.  Adjust to the needs of the home owner.  Child care.  Rather than ‘hope’ it all works out, have a plan and discuss. M Yes my home has been home for three separate ‘move backs.‘   One […]