Family Finances with Katy Song, CFP

Katy Davis SongWith a passion for personal finance, Katy has been working as a financial planner since 2008 and passed the CFP® exam in July 2009. She has expertise in financial planning for families with young children and knows first-hand the challenges and opportunities of raising a family in the Bay Area. Katy has extensive expertise in the area of home affordability and how to support a growing family.

Raised in Rye, New York, Katy moved to California in 1993 to attend the UC Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs!). After graduating in 1997 with a BA in Global Economics, honors in her major and Phi Beta Kappa, she worked for the US Department of Commerce in the International Trade Administration. She then attended the Haas School of Business at the UC Berkeley and graduated from the full-time program in 2002. Katy worked for Citigroup’s Investment Banking group for five years and left as a vice president with the birth of her daughter.

Katy lives with her husband and two young children in Mill Valley. Visit her online at www.katysong.com, or contact her at katy@katysong.com

Surviving the Cost of Kids

September 3, 2013

Surviving the cost of kidsJust like your body, your personal finances can be toned and shaped with some planning and steady work. In this guest article, Mill Valley mom and Certified Financial Planner™ Katy Song offers some workout tips to help you get your financial life in shape.

It is hard to save money when you have kids. The cost of full-time childcare so that both parents can work is astronomical. Adding to those fixed costs are all the extra expenses like activities, camp, baby supplies, toys, birthday parties and even an extra seat on the airplane while travelling. Having kids is expensive!

Once children get into public school, the big spending goes down. However, if you have more than one child full-time childcare expenses could endure for nearly a decade. These are supposed to be your prime earning years but all that extra cash was supposed to go to saving for college and retirement, not babysitting.

So how can you survive and save while your children are young? Here are my Top Four Action Items to get you saving during the cash crunch years of early childhood:

  1. Find cost effective childcare. The need for childcare varies widely depending on whether both parents work full-time and how much flexibility you have at work. A full-time nanny may cost $2,500 per month, while full-time pre-school will run you $1,900 per month. Co-ops are a cost effective option at a few hundred dollars per month. Figure out how much you can spend and what is right for your family. A nanny share is a great way to get the personalized care of a nanny at half the cost.

Surviving the Cost of Kids

September 3, 2013

Surviving the cost of kidsJust like your body, your personal finances can be toned and shaped with some planning and steady work. In this guest article, Mill Valley mom and Certified Financial Planner™ Katy Song offers some workout tips to help you get your financial life in shape.

It is hard to save money when you have kids. The cost of full-time childcare so that both parents can work is astronomical. Adding to those fixed costs are all the extra expenses like activities, camp, baby supplies, toys, birthday parties and even an extra seat on the airplane while travelling. Having kids is expensive!

Once children get into public school, the big spending goes down. However, if you have more than one child full-time childcare expenses could endure for nearly a decade. These are supposed to be your prime earning years but all that extra cash was supposed to go to saving for college and retirement, not babysitting.

So how can you survive and save while your children are young? Here are my Top Four Action Items to get you saving during the cash crunch years of early childhood:

  1. Find cost effective childcare. The need for childcare varies widely depending on whether both parents work full-time and how much flexibility you have at work. A full-time nanny may cost $2,500 per month, while full-time pre-school will run you $1,900 per month. Co-ops are a cost effective option at a few hundred dollars per month. Figure out how much you can spend and what is right for your family. A nanny share is a great way to get the personalized care of a nanny at half the cost.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.