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10 Easy Ideas to Make Your Next Budget Session Fun

This month, I’m challenging the listeners of the Marriage, Kids and Money Podcast and the readers of this blog to live on a monthly budget. Let’s make this budget challenge fun!

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MKM Challenge: Budget Your Way to Wealth

It is the first Monday of the month my friends! That means, we’re throwing down another MKM Challenge. For you “personal challenge types” out there (like me), this can be a lot of fun and, if you stick to it, quite rewarding.

Last month, I challenged myself to develop a chore and reward system for my 5-year old daughter, Zoey. The goal was to help Zoey correlate hard work with reward. This way she knows if she really wants something in life that she has the power to make it happen.  

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Transform from Starving Artist to Money Master – with Philip and Julia Olson

I am continually amazed by the amount of talent we have in our world. Designers, creators, entrepreneurs, artists, developers … These are people who push the bounds of what is possible to create a product, service or business that revolutionizes their respective field. While these folks might be masters of their craft, the creative class can sometimes lack the financial know-how to be masters of their money.

Enter Philip and Julia Olson. These two talented theater majors turned dynamic financial gurus developed a company called The Art of Finance that helps the creative class become more intelligent with their money. Philip and Julia help their clients to realize that being a starving artist is just no way to live. They advise their creative clients on areas like debt elimination, budgeting and investing so they can do what they love while earning the money they deserve.

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Skip the Toy and Give the Gift of College – with Wayne Weber

The cost of college is completely out of control. Every year, the cost to attend a 4-year university increases by twice the inflation rate. To put it in some more personal terms, by the time my 5-year old little girl goes to undergrad, we’ll need around $200,000 to make a 4-year in-state university a reality. Did I mention I have two kids?!

The other major crisis affecting our country right now is the massive amount of student loan debt we all have. According to Time in 2016, more than two-thirds of college grads graduated with debt, and their average debt at graduation was about $35,000. According to that article, this number will be tripling in the next two decades.

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What Our Mortgage Freedom Looks Like at 35

The home mortgage is quite often the largest expense in your typical annual budget. Since your mortgage eats up such a huge chunk of your monthly income, completely ridding yourself of it could be quite freeing.

My wife Nicole and I completely agree with this sentiment of mortgage freedom. We’re just not interested in having a mortgage anymore. So, we’re getting rid of it.

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Why You Need Life Insurance Today – with Jen Fowler

Life is precious. One day, we’re spending quality time with our family and making beautiful memories together. And the next day, we’re diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 brain cancer. I don’t say this to be flippant. I say this because we truly don’t know what tomorrow will bring. That is why we need to protect our family’s financial future with life insurance.

I’ve spent some time on Reddit lately reading stories of families who have recently lost a loved one and how life insurance (or the lack of it) has affected their lives. Not only does death take an immense emotional toll on the family, it can take a huge financial toll as well.

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5 Books To Inspire the Entrepreneur Inside You

A lot of people dream of creating their own business. Not a lot of people act on it.

The thoughts around startup costs, the time commitment and the competition swirl in their heads until they are completely paralyzed. To combat the small business paralysis, I believe the budding entrepreneur should start off with an inspirational book. It’s a low-cost way (or no-cost way with the library) to take the first important step on your entrepreneurial journey.

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How to Leave Your Investment Broker in 5 Simple Steps

If you’re feeling like your investment broker doesn’t have your best interest at heart lately, it’s time to move on. When they’re more focused on selling you products than ensuring your portfolio is earning at its optimum level, it’s safe to say that you have a salesman and not an advisor.

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How to Create a Chore and Reward System for Kids

This month, my goal is to get my daughter Zoey focused on helping out more around the house. I remember when I was a kid, we had a chore chart list and if I completed all of my tasks, I would get an allowance. It helped me correlate hard work with reward. I want to do the same thing for Zoey.

Now, she’s only 5 years old so I can’t exactly get her to shovel the walkway or cut the grass quite yet. There are a lot of other age-appropriate activities for her though. 

Nicole and I want Zoey to do certain chores around the house because she’s just a member of the family and that’s “what you do”.  And there are other chores where she’ll receive money. 

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Retirement Target Date Funds: Pros and Cons

Retirement Target Date Funds are rapidly surging in popularity lately. Investors are flocking to this “set it and forget it” retirement tool as an easy way to diversify their portfolio and eliminate the fees of working with a high cost broker.

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