• Cash flow,  Taxes

    How Will The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Affect Families?

    9 Things Families Need To Know About The TCJA Wondering how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) will affect your taxes next year? The tax law will affect families in a myriad of ways. While there were a variety of changes made that affect everyone, this post will focus on the ones that are most impactful to families with kids. Keep in mind that many of these provisions are set to expire in 2025, but this will at least give you something think about as you move through 2018. Tax Rates Were Reduced Tax rates were reduced for all brackets except for the lowest bracket, which remains…

  • Cash flow,  Savings

    6 Things To Do With Extra Cash

    Got a little extra cash burning a hole in your pocket? I don’t know about you, but when I find myself in the fortunate position of receiving some extra money from a bonus or tax refund, my first instinct is to get Chinese take-out and spend at least some of it on something for me. While I’m probably not alone there, our instincts aren’t always our best guide. It definitely helps to pause and be more intentional with unexpected cash. For example, last year we got a small state tax refund - nothing too exciting. At the time, we were planning a trip to Disney and we were really trying…

  • Budgeting,  Cash flow

    Eating Healthy on a Budget: Pro-tips from a Pro-Athlete

    Guest Post! I'm very excited to bring you a guest post on eating healthy, real food while on a budget from Brandon Hudgins an elite middle distance runner with Sketchers Performance. Brandon is also connected with AthleteBiz a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that connects world-class track and field athletes with fans. Check out the bottom of the post for more information on Brandon and AthleteBiz! Are you trying to eat healthier food? Are you worried that eating healthy food might stretch your budget? If you are just now making the switch to healthy eating, you might be scared of spending more money, or scared that you can never eat things you…

  • Cash flow,  Employee Benefits,  Savings

    Is an HSA Right for Me?

    Many people sign up for a high deductible healthcare plan (HDHP) either at work on the exchange but don’t realize that these healthcare plans work best when paired with a healthcare savings account (HSA). An HSA is triple tax-preferred. What the heck does that mean? You can take a deduction against your income on your taxes or make pre-tax contributions through your payroll provider. Money contributed to an HSA grows tax-free while inside the HSA. Money withdrawn for qualified medical expenses (as defined by the IRS) is tax-free. Want to know more about the mechanics of an HSA? I wrote an article for Richmond Family Magazine that explains HSAs. Important side…

  • Cash flow,  College,  Planning

    Do I Qualify for Public Student Loan Forgiveness?

    Student loans are the bane of many young professionals’ existence. I have worked with several physicians with $200,000-300,000 in student loan debt. Fortunately one of these physicians met the 4 requirements for Public Student Loan Forgiveness. Which means that if he continues working for a qualified employer and makes 120 on-time qualified payments on his Federal Direct student loans, a good portion of that debt will be erased. Tax-free. There are 4 important requirements you must meet to qualify for Public Student Loan Forgiveness and to stay qualified until your remaining loan balances are actually forgiven. Today we’ll go over four things you need to make sure you’re doing so…

  • Lauren Zangardi Haynes
    Budgeting,  Cash flow

    Maximize Your Salary: How to handle the question every job seeker hates!

    Fee-Only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Practitioner Lauren Zangardi Haynes There's one question all job seekers hate- "what is your current salary?" If you are interviewing for a new job I have some good news - in some areas of the U.S. this question is illegal. Unfortunately, a lot of job seekers are still going to have to deal with this tricky question.  This question really bothers me and as a Certified Financial Planner Professional I want to help my clients not only grow the money they have already saved but maximize what may be their largest asset - their earning power!  With that in mind, I spoke with two of my…

  • Cash flow,  Employee Benefits,  Investing

    Hidden 401(k) Loan Risks to Your Career and Finances

    Getting hit with a cash crunch is stressful. What should you do if you need quick access to cash? For many of us who have been working and saving in our 401(k)s, that pot of money can be very tempting. Let’s be honest - 401(k) loans can be relatively cheap and easy to get. They’re kind of like the fast food version of loans. And just like fast food, 401(k) loans can seem like a good idea at first, but they can quickly lead to heartburn.   What you really need to know: there are some serious risks involved with tapping a 401(k).   There are two major risks you…

  • Budgeting,  Cash flow

    5 Ways to Save More Money!

    I get it, having kids is not exactly conducive to saving money. In fact, if you aren’t careful, you can spend an unlimited amount on your kid’s 2nd birthday party thanks to Pinterest. Forget saving for college! Today I’m going to share with you 5 ways I save money, despite having kids. You can start using these ideas today to get a handle on your money. Tip #1 to Save More Money: One card to rule them all We use just one of our credit cards and we put as much of our spending as possible on it. Then we pay it off every month. Generally, there are only a…

  • Budgeting,  Cash flow

    A budget you can stick with: the Anti-Budget

    Look, we all know that budgeting does not evoke happy feelings in most people. For most people the word “budget” is a cue to stop listening. But what if I told you that budgeting could be pretty easy? That you don’t need to count every penny? Today we are going to talk about the “anti-budget”, what it is, and how to do it. The Anti-Budget: Budgeting Made Easy OK, here’s a little secret. I don’t count every penny every month. Frankly, that sounds stressful. I don’t freak out if I have extra money in my gas budget but run low on my food budget. You don’t have to know your…