“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.”

– Napoleon Hill

As I write this, Congress is still dawdling around with the politics of extending the current tax rates. They call it a “tax cut”…but really, it’s the avoidance of a tax *increase*. By the time you read this, it may have already been “resolved” … and I’ll give you fuller commentary once they’ve done SOMETHING.


Moving on from taxes, this holiday season is probably busy for you (it is for us!) … and I’ve become increasingly aware that though I send you strategies, tips and whatnot every week — it can be a pain to pull them off in the evenings, when the demands of family and the necessity for down-time pulls at you.

So, I have a bit of a novel proposal for you in this week’s post. I believe it could help you in multiple ways–your bottom line, your taxes … and even your mental health!

Let me know what you think!

[Oh, and we have a couple spots left for clients who want to talk over last-minute tax moves to make in order to keep their 2010 taxes low. Call: 414-325-2040 to snag one of these final spots!]

Your Fiscal Sanity Day

It’s true: inactivity is costly.

You see, if you’re like most people, I bet that when you get your house insurance renewal notice, you quickly glance at the price — and renew it.  You renew it simply because you don’t have the time to search around for better prices.

In my experience, working with family finances for YEARS, I’ve learned that most people have a good sense of what needs to be done to improve their finances but they simply cannot find the time.

So here’s my proposed solution for you:  Take a day off work.

In fact, many financial tasks simply cannot be completed in the evening or on the weekend.  By taking a day off work, you can contact people who may only be available at regular business hours.

On top of the true bottom-line impact a day like this could create, there is, of course, the “mental health” aspect of it all. HR professionals often recommend taking a mental health day, from time to time–well, call this your “Fiscal Health” Day!

Possible tasks to consider accomplishing on your day off:

1. Dump your savings account with a puny interest rate and open a high yield savings account.

2. Get quotes for cheaper insurance: health, life, auto, house, and any other insurance. And you can even do a little calculating to determine how much you could save by changing your deductible.

3. Complete any important (but not obviously-pressing) financial tasks like making a will. Best done with a professional, by the way!

4. If you’re carrying credit card debt, call the companies and ask them to reduce your credit card interest rates. Believe it or not–they’ll often say yes! Take time to develop and formulate a good plan to get out of credit card debt.  Find or prepare a debt reduction plan.

5. Apply for a cash back debit card.

6. Get more organized with your finances by shopping around for and using a good personal finance software program.

7. Review your budget, get caught up on your budget, or learn how to budget.

8. Shop around for the best online broker.  Be sure you’re getting the best price for your stock trades.

9. Make energy efficient changes to your home and lifestyle.

10. Find a good second hand store to shop at instead of the local department store.

11. Set up automatic payments for your bills to be sure you avoid late payments.

12. Google It.  Use the phrase “how to save money”, and then fill in the blank “on groceries”, “on gasoline”, “on kitchen expenses”, “on babies” …

13. Sell stuff on Ebay. Look for junk lying around the house and list it on Ebay.

Undoubtedly, there are more things which can go on this list, if you’re industrious about it. But simply put, I’m hoping to give you “permission” to see your financial health in a similar light as you see your mental health.

And remember– I’m in your corner!