Dear Olga: Rolling over retirement funds
Dear Olga, I am unemployed and not sure if I should keep my 403 from my former employer as it is or roll it into an IRA. Thank you, Kim Dear Kim, Unemployment brings so much uncertainty about the future and the lack of funds can be very stressful. Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post about dealing with financial setbacks. You can read the advice here. Before going into my advice, I urge you to think about what you're trying to achieve with this transactions. Your intentions
Dear Olga: Clashless envelope system
Dear Olga, How would you use an envelope style system for bill paying when you don't use cash? Thank you, Anonymous Dear Anonymous, The envelope system tends to be a favorite because it helps you visualize your goals and physically putting away money each time you get paid gives you accountability and satisfaction of watching your efforts grow. Because this system works, banks have been working on incorporating cashless envelope systems within today's banking institutions. In
Dear Olga: Retirement Savings Without a 401k
Dear Olga, Can you give me tips to start planning for retirement when my full time job does not provide me with a retirement plan? Thank you, FBR Dear FBR, I recently explored how many employers provide 401k plans in a blog post and about only 56% of employers actually provide a 401k account as a benefit for their employees. I'm glad you asked this question, because you're not alone. For those folks who don't have a 401k plan provided by an employer or you're a freelancer, th
Dear Olga: Paying for Graduate School
Dear Olga, I have been working as a Developer (entry level) for 1.5 years. I used all of my money so far to pay off student loans from a different country. I want to go to a good business school in1.5 years. How can I save up enough to fund my education? I’m afraid of accumulating another student loan but I want to dream big. Please share your thoughts on this. Thank you, Pink Panther Dear Pink Panther, I can relate to wanting to keep your student loans down and staying out o
Dear Olga: Wedding Planning on a Budget
Dear Olga, I've been "planning a wedding" for some time now. The truth is I'm building a freelance business and my fiancé doesn't make a whole lot of money and we aren't saving anything, and it's been about ten months now. There's still no ring and lots of pressure for a wedding. Please help! EV Dear EV, Wedding planning can be extremely stressful, there are so many expectations to manage. It's a special day that you want to remember forever, naturally your families will begi
Dear Olga: Debt Repayment
Dear Olga, I am trying to get out of debt asap. I am looking at getting a part time job to supplement my income. If it rains we don't work. We have been slow at work so I am not earning enough to pay extra on anything at the moment. Thanks for any advice, Anna Dear Anna, I have several suggestions to point you in the right direction. While you're looking for a part-time job, focus on making the most of your situation as it stands right now. My first suggestion is review your
Dealing with Financial Setbacks
Before we go into advice for dealing with financial setbacks, it's important to address that not all setbacks are the same. Types of Financial Setbacks There are minor setbacks like a car emergency that required you to dip into your savings or slipping from your budget, making a purchase you couldn't afford and now can't return. These setbacks don't drastically change your overall picture. Maybe your savings is $500 less or your total credit card debt is up by $200, but overa
Dear Olga: Strategies to Pay for College
Dear Olga, I have a child in junior high. What are some things or strategies we can implement so he will be able to attend college without student loans? Thank you, Scott Dear Scott, College tuition costs have been growing at a rapid rate over the decades. It seems any time I read about the statistics, the numbers get scarier each time. US News reported at the end of 2018 that in-state tuition for public universities has grown 243% in the last 40 years! The good news is there
Dear Olga: Maximizing Savings.
Dear Olga, What is a good way to maximize savings? Thanks, May Dear May, The best way to maximize your savings is to build your savings goals into your monthly budget and set intentions for your savings. By building your savings goals into your budget, you will be paying yourself first each pay period and less likely to borrow from yourself in the future. If you're not using a budget already, the first step would be to review your income and spending. You can find a budget te
Money Conversations. Do You Have Them?
Many people have been taught that it's inappropriate to talk about money. This mindset may be something you brush off as insignificant but it can impact many parts of your life. You may find yourself avoiding financial conversations until very last minute or when you're faced with a hardship you ignore all of the warning signs and once you're in the weeds you're too overwhelmed to face your mistakes head-on. I've been reading Activators: A CEO's Guide to Clearer Thinking and
Dear Olga: Savings. HALP!
Dear Olga, What percent should one put aside for savings every month? I have a 401k and mutual funds that I pay into monthly, but how much should I be saving on my own for a "just in case" scenario? R.A.Y. Dear R.A.Y., Instead of telling folks what to do with their money, I prefer to teach the decision-making process that will help them to navigate their situation and provide tools that build money smart habits. I believe if your strategies don't resinate with you, then the
How to Spend Additional Income
Additional income is any income received outside of your regular stream of income. With tax season underway, some of you are receiving refunds in upcoming weeks! One of the biggest questions I'm asked around this time is what to do with a tax refund. Do you use all of it to pay down debt? Do you put it all towards savings? Spend it all?! There isn't a simple answer that can be applied as a blanket statement to everyone's life, but here are some things to keep in mind that wil
Are You Setting Intentions For Your Savings?
When you have a specific goal for your savings, you're more likely to stick to your goals when your self-discipline is put to a test. Creating buckets for the most important areas will help you focus on building those safety nets for your future. Here are some groups you can break your savings into: Emergency savings - this amount should be enough to help you with an extreme financial hardship, like loss of a job. Consider your total monthly bills and how long it could potent