Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 06/18/2018: Controlling Your Finances by Kate Welker

I recently spoke with someone who told me “I have a good job, I have a budget, but I feel like I just can’t make it.” A report by CareerBuilder last summer stated that 78% of U.S workers live paycheck to paycheck and 10% of those struggling make over $100,000.  In our society of easy to obtain credit cards, outstanding student loan balances hitting $1.5 trillion, and often just a general lack of financial knowledge there are many people struggling to “make it.”

This makes me think of getting on a fast moving treadmill without the controls.  Once you are on the belt you have to keep moving and as long as you take steady steps, you will stay on upright.

Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 06/11/2018: It's NOT Normal

“A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” – Walter Bagehot

It’s been a few weeks since our last Monday Morning Quarter-Buck!  We apologize for the brief hiatus but stay tuned for lots of content over the remainder of 2018.  The team has been hard at work getting ready to educate on a variety of topics!

I thought the quote this week was fitting because it has been three-years since I went “independent.”  I can’t believe it!  I remember being told I would fail, and believe me, there are times where I wondered if it were true.  However, all of you reading this blog have continued to be an inspiration to me.  I also have a bit of a “watch me” personality.  A characteristic that was challenging to my mother when I was a child, but has been the light at the end of the tunnel.  Additionally, I am so thankful that I have such a supportive, encouraging husband that pulled me up in my moments of self-doubt.

Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 05/21/2018: When Saving 5 Cents Costs So Much More

This morning I was running behind and realized, of course, my gas tank was dangerously close to empty. I quickly pulled into the gas station and pulled a little too close to an advertisement sign that was placed by the pump. I had to squeeze by the sign to access the pump so while I was filling my tank I was reading over the sign. In large letters was the promotion “5 cents off a gallon” and below a picture of their credit card.

That thought of that sign stayed with me. I love saving money so 5 cents off gas sounds great, but I also know that trying to save a few dollars can sometimes end up costing more in the long term. Are you one to approach promotions like that with caution or do you see a discount and want to sign right up?

Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 05/07/2018: Getting Out Of My Funk

Have you ever had a point in your life that you felt like you were in a “funk.”  You know, just a period of time where mentally, physically, and emotionally you have felt like you just can’t get your mojo flowing?  As I often do, I Googled the definition of “funk” and the two definitions I found were:

  1. North America - A state of depression

  2. British – Avoid (a task or thing) out of fear

I have heard that statement several times recently, perhaps because the winter was so long for my northern clients, or perhaps it is just that many have been hit by some pretty big issues recently.  I’ve experienced it a time or two (or twenty) myself, so after I heard it several times I tried to think of what caused it to happen and what got me out my “funk?”  

Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 04/23/2018: Should You Trust the Sweet 403b Donut?

I’ve probably put more time and energy in this blog than any other blog I’ve written.   When I wrote the first draft I was steaming mad.  My fingers were slamming the key board so hard and fast my fingertips were actually warm.  If steam could come out of my ears, it would have been for sure!    This is a little on the “rant” side, but what I am about to share with you is not a story, it has actually happened, more than once.

Picture this, you are in the Teacher’s Lounge, lunch room of a hospital, or some other “community” room that has a table full of donuts a financial advisor brought in today.  They are there to talk to you about saving for retirement with a 403b account.  They are one of the “approved” vendors that have the privilege of meeting with you in this environment. 

Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 04/16/2018: Let's Have the Disability Talk

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to preserve and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve

As I was preparing for today’s blog, I came across the above quote.  No doubt, “Superman” was a hero to many of us, and not for the role he played in the movies, but for the role he played in life and the inspiration he gave to many.   In a million years, we would have never expected him to become disabled – he was Superman – how could that happen to him?  And if it could happen to him, then it’s likely it could happen to any of us.  It’s critical we talk about these issues.  No, it’s beyond critical.

Monday Morning Quarter-Buck - 04/09/2018: Don't be a Financial Squirrel

“One reason, doubtless, why squirrels are so bold and reckless in leaping through the trees is that, if they miss their hold and fall, they sustain no injury.  Every species of tree-squirrel seems to be capable of a sort of rudimentary flying, at least of making itself into a parachute, so as to ease or break a fall or a leap from a great height.” – John Burroughs

Have you ever noticed how a squirrel seems to lack focus?  They get the job done, but they seem to take the long way around and they jolt back and forth from spot to spot.  I’ve also called this the “oh, did you see something shiny?” syndrome.   Have you ever felt that way yourself?  We live in such a distracting world it is often really hard to focus on one thing at a time. 

Monday Morning Quarter-Buck - 04/02/2018 - Fiduciary"

I’ve noticed recently the word “Fiduciary” has been tossed around in various contexts and statements, for example:

  • I am a fiduciary
  • It’s my fiduciary responsibility
  • I acted as a fiduciary

A couple of times in the last few weeks I have heard these phrases and I was not completely sure the individuals stating actually knew what the word meant.  Sometimes it’s being used as a noun and sometimes as adjective. 

Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 03/19/2018 - Wise Words for the "Money Honey"

“If you are saving, you’re succeeding.” – Steve Burkholder

Last Friday we released Wine and Dime Episode 13 – The Six Letter “B” Word with the “Money Honey.” Nancy and I have worked together on projects for Cornell Cooperative Extension Steuben County for many years, and her commitment to educating the community is extraordinary.

In addition to the podcast, we hope you enjoy the following guest blog from Nancy on “Who’s Watching?”  For more information about the amazing programs being offered through Cornell Cooperative Extension Steuben County, and to help them celebrate their 100th anniversary, go to their website:

Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 03/05/2018 - Financial Education

Last Friday I released my 12th Episode of Wine and Dime!  I look forward to all of my guests, but this one touched a place in my heart and soul because it was about financial education for our youth.  This is an area of great passion for me personally; I can’t wrap my head around why financial education isn’t a class that is required each year, just like math, science, etc.   Please take the time to listen to this episode and share it with friends and family – as a community let’s start a movement to make financial education just as important as the traditional education subjects, it is a skill we use for the rest of our lives!