Communication

Using Google Maps To Get Free Phone Calls

I recently discovered a fantastic new feature in Google Maps that can actually save me a lot of money. Here’s how it works. Let’s say hypothetically that I’m sitting at work in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area and I want to pick up a delicious pizza from Papa Murphy’s on my way home from …

Nine Social Skills To Practice – Even For The Socially Unskilled Like Myself

This morning, I got a first hand glimpse of how good social skills make all the difference in the world. I watched an individual who looked tired and angry (but other than that was attractive) get told that the coffee machine at a local gas station was out of order, then less than five minutes …

Categories: Careers, Communication

How To Write An Effective Letter – And Why You Should Do It, Too

Continuing on our sub-theme this week of skills that complement strong personal finance management, I want to cover the topic of how to write an effective letter. In this electronic age, many people have forgotten the elements – and the value – of sending a letter via postal mail, but this skill is something important …

Categories: Communication

Financial Independence Week: The Dangers Of Damaging A Relationship

I wanted to finish up this week with what I felt was the biggest danger with financial independence. From my perspective, the biggest challenge that people on the cusp of financial independence face is the danger of a damaged relationship. Parents are afraid to let go, or push their children away roughly in an effort …

Financial Independence Week: The Dangers Of Financial Dependence

For many people, adulthood is a time to find your own path and walk alone, but some parents and children have difficulty breaking the financial ties that bind and the financial dependence continues well into traditional adulthood. This is a dangerous path, fraught with many challenges for both the parent and the child, some of …

Do I Really Need To Talk To Chuck?

For the first time ever, my wife paid attention to an advertising campaign produced by a major brokerage firm. In this case, it was the nearly ubiquitous “Talk to Chuck” campaign for Charles Schwab, in which cartoon people discuss their financial needs to the camera. This particular spot showed a man concerned with having to …

Financial Independence Week: Paying For Your Own Education

College-age readers (and younger), this post is directly aimed at you. Paying for college isn’t easy, whether it’s you doing it or your parents covering it for you. Unless you were very lucky in the scholarship department, someone is facing a financial hardship from this: your parents, you, your future self, or maybe even someone …

Child Is Father To The Man: When Financially Stable Children Want To Help Their Parents Prepare For The Future

Several times during the ongoing discussion of financial independence on this site, readers have asked about how they, as young and financially stable professionals, can help their parents who have given them so much. Parents are often very uncomfortable about such situations, as they view it as a reversal of the parent-child relationship that they …

Financial Independence Week: Paying For Your Child’s Education

As a parent of a young child, I’m already struggling with the question of whether or not I should pay for my child’s post-secondary education, and how much I should pay for if I do. To put it simply, there is no easy answer to the question; if you were hoping to be told what …

Financial Independence Week: Should I Expect My Parents To Rescue Me?

For many young people, one of the biggest fears of financial independence revolves around what happens in the event of a disaster. Should you expect to be able to move back in if something goes awry? Will they provide financial assistance? Or are you on your own? Although it is best to expect no assistance …

Financial Independence Week: Should I Rescue My Children?

As a parent, there is a strong likelihood that at some point, your child will fail at their goals during young adulthood. Their situation may even become dire, and as a loving parent, you may feel a very strong desire to jump in and rescue your child. Before you do that, consider the following advice: …

Financial Independence Week: Talking With Parents About Money

Earlier today, I discussed methods for parents of young adults to talk to their children about money. Now, I’m going to tackle the opposite direction: how can a young adult (a college student or a young professional) discuss financial matters with their parents? Many college students dread talking to their parents, mostly because they believe …

Financial Independence Week: Talking To Adult Children About Money

Many of my friends during my college and early post-college years were swimming in debt, some of them to the point of being scared to open the mail. Whenever I would suggest talking to their parents or guardians about it, their faces would freeze with an additional layer of fear, as though it was the …

Afraid To Talk About Money With Your Spouse? Ten Tips For “The Talk”

For the longest time, my biggest obstacle to financial success was simply discussing matters with my wife. Money was the most uncomfortable subject between the two of us – every time we discussed it, even with the best intentions, one of us wound up very upset. So, for years it was a complete taboo topic …

Categories: Communication, Marriage

The Talk: Tips For Difficult Financial Discussions

Eventually, there always comes a time in which a serious financial talk is required. You need to have a heart-to-heart with your parents about their retirement plans, your significant other is spending too much, or your children are wondering loudly about their college plans. Most of the time, we put off these difficult discussions because …

Categories: Advice, Communication