Financial Cleanse tips!

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Recalibrate with a Financial Cleanse

With pen poised over a blank page, I struggled to ink my first goal for 2017. Granted, this may be partially attributed to the general pain I feel when marking the virgin pages of a fresh notebook. But I digress. I sat at my desk and tapped the pen against the paper while letting my mind daydream about seemingly unattainable goals for 2017.


Short term goals

 I would obviously lose the weight I’d been talking about shedding for four years. I’d magically understand what it took to feel fashionable on the streets of New York City, but on a capsule wardrobe. My book would become a New York Times bestseller as soon as it hit shelves in May. The podcast I’m starting would become so popular that Gimlet, Panoply and WNYC would get into a bidding war to acquire my talents. I’d learn to meditate and be able to do inversions at yoga. Basically, I’d be a cross between Tim Ferriss, Blake Lively and any woman from a Lululemon print ad.

Needless to say, even those of us who are financially fit screw up and need to recalibrate, which I why I’m participating in 30-day Financial Cleanse, hosted by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, daughter of investing icon and founder of Charles Schwab (aka Chuck Schwab). Carrie is a CFP® and serves as board chair and president of the Charles Schwab Foundation and helped found several financial education programs. I started by writing down a few short-term and long-term goals for 2017 and beyond. Needless to say, I got a bit overzealous.

If you feel like recalibrating your financial life, or doing a complete overhaul, then join me on this 30-day financial cleanse challenge. Start by downloading (or even print out!) the PDF overview here. Then hold yourself accountable by declaring yourself a participant on Twitter with hashtag #financialcleanse.   Get encouragement from me by tagging @BrokeMillennial or from Carrie @CarrieSchwab. You can also follow my own experience participating in the cleanse that I’ll share both on Twitter and here on the blog. And don’t procrastinate starting because it’s towards the end of the week so you’ll just hold off until Monday. Just get going now!

Cleanses are important!

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Are You Your Parents’ Retirement Plan?

A perverse game gets played in my family. For lack of a formal name, let’s call it the Percentage Adjustment Game. In moments my younger sister or I do something to jokingly tick off my Dad (this could be as simple as the time my sister saw Friday Night Lights and said, “oh, it’s like rugby”) he will respond with, “You just lost X percent” or “your sister just got Y percent.” He’s referring, of course, to the splitting of our hypothetical inheritance.

What you should know from your parents

This conversation is uncomfortable. Parents don’t want to talk about a time they’d be unable to feed themselves or handle their own bodily functions, and you don’t want to seem churlish or unloving by asking, “hey, am I going to have to take care of you in 20 years?” There are certainly more tactful ways to open a dialogue with your parents and the conversation doesn’t need to all happen at once.

Unexpected expenses can destroy the best-laid budgets and drain emergency funds. Taking care of a parent could have the same financial consequences as having a child, which is why it’s best to understand early if your parents will be relying on you in 10, 20, 30 years. Just like couples that save up before trying to start a family, you can begin investing and saving with the idea of putting the money aside to help your parents. This simple practice can help keep both of you out of debt.

Yes, you should absolutely consider the financial implications of being your parents’ retirement plan. Not only can you start planning early, but it also offsets the chance of being blindsided when a parent becomes unable to care for himself. But ultimately, it’s about more than just money. It’s about providing the best, possible life for the people that raised you. Being kind, understanding, available and emotionally supportive cannot be translated into dollars and cents.

Prepare your future plans!

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