money management

Men & Money

May 29, 2013

Men and women and moneyMarin Mommies presents another great article by Marin mom and financial planner Katy Song, CFP®.

Money causes more fights between couples than children and sex. I have found that most of these money fights stem from a lack of communication and understanding of a partner’s actions and priorities. Good news! You can build a bridge across the chasm of money mysteries and woes. Here are five keys to understanding men and money:

    1. Acknowledge a man’s primal need to be the provider. Being a bread winner tends to be an important part of the male identity. Managing the family finances is a natural extension of this, and across cultures, women value this attribute when looking for a partner. However, conflict can arise as women bring more to the table. According to CNN, working wives now contribute over 33% to the family’s income, and in a third of married households women are the primary breadwinner. As the wife’s contribution to the income grows, so does her involvement in the family finances. However, this does not change the primal need of man to be a provider. My advice… acknowledge this and he will be happy.

The Year of the Snake & Money: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

February 13, 2013

Year of the SnakeMarin Mommies presents another great article by Marin mom and financial planner Katy Song, CFP®.

The Year of the Dragon is coming to an end. Last year I wrote that it was to be a year of excitement, unpredictability and intensity. It was supposed to be a great year for innovative businesses and ideas. However, the Dragon could also cause you to spend more money than you should. Some astrologers even warned that HP would not do well in 2012; I think a 40% drop in stock price indicates that they were right! How did you do in the Year of the Dragon?

The Snake is considered to be lucky and means that your family will not starve. Those born in the sign of the Snake are supposed to be wise, intuitive, cunning and modest. So, what will the Year of the Snake and 2013 mean for your finances?

Here is some advice based on Chinese interpretations of the year to come:

  1. Pay attention to detail. The Snake is able to read very complicated situations quickly and in a controlled manner, which can be good for business. When signing any kind of documents, pay very close attention to the details. The Snake is cunning, and you can use this to your advantage by looking for loop holes that sway terms in your favor.
  2. Be focused and disciplined to accomplish your goals. A new-found ambition to greatness will inspire you to be all you can be and provide you with the follow through to actually achieve your goals. Steady progress is what the Snake is all about. The 2013 year of the Snake also supports added responsibility. (New baby? Promotion at work?)
  3. Watch your spending. This year you need to watch spending even more diligently since Snakes are inclined to spend money more quickly than earned. The Snake is materialistic and likes the best of everything. The Snake sees it, likes it and buys it. This can create tensions in personal relationships.
  4. Create a safe place from which to work. The Snake likes protection and needs to feel safe and secure to use its special analytical skills. This is the year to make headway in slow and methodical ways. As you focus, you will definitely accomplish things this year.

Can Money Buy Happiness?

December 19, 2012

TreadmillMarin Mommies presents another great article by Marin mom and financial planner Katy Song, CFP®.

In the last 15 years, positive psychology has tried to tackle the question of “can money buy happiness” by studying people’s happiness levels along with changes in income levels. Also known as the “hedonic treadmill” theory, studies show that once your basic needs are met (clothing, shelter, food) that rich people are not happier than poor people.

As a person makes more money, expectations and desires also increase, which results in no permanent gain in happiness. While a change in fortune may temporarily make you happier, in the long run you are likely to revert back to your normal level of happiness.

However, a big part of happiness is linked to your intentions. Psychologists say that by setting and achieving your goals, you have higher life satisfaction and more sustained happiness than before.

As a financial planner helping my clients navigate their financial future, the hedonic treadmill theory raises two important questions. First, if you have money above your basic living expenses, what should you do with it? And second, how can you make yourself happier? Here are three steps to help answer these questions:

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