Teach Your Teenager How to Handle Money with This 4-Letter Word: SAVE

Teach Your Teenager How to Handle Money with This 4-Letter Word: SAVE

Kids aren’t naturally patient. Okay, so that’s not really a shock to any parent. From the day you brought your kids home, they wanted to be the center of your universe—partly because they depended on you and partly because they wanted their needs met as quickly as possible. Even if patience is a virtue, it’s still a challenge to make it a part of our normal lives—and the lives of our kids. But one great way to nurture patience is by saving money, which is where you can connect with your kids in a meaningful way. After all, teens want stuff. Sometimes, they want big-budget stuff. So, challenging them to save up for those things actually teaches them some incredible life lessons, like goal-setting, delayed gratification, sacrifice, self-discipline and, yes, patience. With that in mind, here are five things your teen may be thinking about—and could be saving for—right now. 1. Emergencies Teen emergencies probably look different than adult emergencies. They may be dealing with a phone that fell in the toilet rather than a major medical event. But the scale isn’t as important as the habit. Building an emergency fund of at least $500 is something every teen needs so they’ll be prepared for the unexpected. 2. Technology Whether it’s a new phone, a new computer or a new gaming system, the price tag for technology can be high. But the sense of accomplishment and pride from saving up cash and buying it with their own money can make a powerful impression on teens. 3. Cars When it comes to saving for a car, nothing beats clear communication....
Easily Boost Your Retirement Savings With This Simple Tip

Easily Boost Your Retirement Savings With This Simple Tip

When it comes to saving for retirement, most people aren’t saving enough—and they know it. Of those who are already saving, a Ramsey Research study found that 70% wish they could save more. That makes sense in light of the fact that only one in 10 Americans are saving the recommended 15% of their income toward their future. But planning for your retirement doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Increasing the size of your nest egg—and your ability to live out your dreams in your golden years—can be as simple as increasing the percentage you put toward retirement every month. Consider David and Susan to see how a simple change can make a big difference. A Little Goes a Long Way David and Susan are both 35, making the average household income of $56,000 per year. They started contributing a total of 5% of their income into their 401(k) plans last year to take advantage of the employer match offered in their plans. After meeting with their investing pro, David and Susan realize that investing 5% of their income won’t be enough to fund the family vacations they dream of taking in retirement. So they map out a plan. With the help of their pro, David and Susan set a goal to contribute 15% of their income toward retirement. That’s a big leap to make at once, so they decide to bump up their contribution to 8% this year. That’s only $140 more per month than they invest right now! The next year they’ll increase their percentage to 11%. The year after that, they’ll make a 4% jump...
3 Questions to Ask Before You Use Your Emergency Fund

3 Questions to Ask Before You Use Your Emergency Fund

You know the drill—something breaks, wears out, or costs more than you can cash flow. So where does the extra money come from? If you’re following Dave Ramsey’s seven Baby Steps, you’ve got two options: dip into your emergency fund or start a savings fund. Your emergency fund is the money you’ve saved for those unexpected costs that would otherwise blow your budget, like a midnight trip to the emergency room. Your savings fund is the money you’ve been socking away toward a future goal, like a cruise to the Bahamas. But not every situation is as clear-cut as medical bills and island getaways. So what classifies as a true budgeting emergency? It all boils down to these three simple questions: 1. Is It Unexpected? Life has a few surprises we could all live without. A job layoff is one of them. But your emergency fund should help by keeping your lights on and your belly full until you land that next dream job. And if a tornado or flood visits your neighborhood, it’s perfectly fine to use your rainy-day stash. Let it cover your insurance deductibles or other property damage your policy doesn’t cover—that’s what it’s there for. Annually reoccurring expenses, however, are not an emergency. Christmas happens on December 25 every year. So there’s no excuse not to save up before the gift-giving season hits. Same goes for back-to-school shopping. It shouldn’t come as a shock that your kids need new binders, index cards and composition notebooks every August. By saving a little each month in a savings fund, you can actually enjoy these big occasions instead...
Brandon Kennedy: Owner/Financial Consultant

Brandon Kennedy: Owner/Financial Consultant

Brandon has a passion for helping families make smart decisions about their money. He believes genuine relationships are a cornerstone of doing business the right way, and they need to be based on two foundations – trust + accountability. He takes pride in educating and helping others, and strives to live his life with integrity and Christian values. A lifelong resident of Southeastern Michigan, Brandon is a devoted husband to his high school sweetheart, Danielle. They are the proud parents of three, Logan, Henry, and Juliet, and live in Rochester Hills. Brandon is a die-hard baseball and Detroit Tigers fan, and is a supporter of local youth baseball organizations. You can also find him building things in his worksop, speaking in movie quotes, and working on cars. Brandon graduated from Oakland University, earning his Bachelor’s degree in Finance. He has also achieved the Accredited Asset Management Specialist, AAMS, which provides specialized training in providing comprehensive financial planning. He is a board and active volunteer at his local church and offers personal finance educational seminars and courses throughout the year, including Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Fun Fact: He spent 60+ hours taking rough cut Walnut lumber and building a one of kind crib for his children and hopefully grandchildren (one day). Favorite Movies: Pan’s Labyrinth, Gladiator, Fight Club Why He Loves His Job: “We help take the burden off the shoulders of families, so they can have more of the most precious asset in this world – spending time with each other.” Contact Brandon: brandon@kennedyfinancialgroup.org 248. 528.0485 For more information on this advisor click the link...
Wedding Budget Blues: How to Plan the Wedding of Your Dreams Without Breaking the Bank

Wedding Budget Blues: How to Plan the Wedding of Your Dreams Without Breaking the Bank

Written by Lauren Reisig for Sharpheels.com The story is familiar to us all: Once upon a time, there were two people who fell madly and deeply in love. They decided to spend their lives together and host a beautiful wedding to celebrate. They found the perfect dress, the perfect cake, the perfect venue, the perfect rings– they had it all. Then, they lived happily ever after–under a formidable mountain of debt. At times, it seems as though this is how the modern fairy tale is destined to go. After all, in 2015, the average cost of a wedding in the United States was between $29,000 and $31,000, and that’s not including the honeymoon! Unfortunately, wedding planning is only getting more expensive as time goes on. In fact, since 1990, wedding prices have increased 100%! With the whirlwind of emotions you feel while planning the big day, it’s easy to get swept up, go over budget (only 50% of couples manage to stick to their budget during the process), and land yourself in a hole that’s hard to dig out of. It’s definitely not a good way to start your married life together, but thankfully, it’s completely avoidable. Set a Realistic BudgetYou don’t have to be part of the 50% of couples who overspend when planning their weddings if you set—and stick to!—a realistic budget. Nothing is worse than having your heart set on something for the big day and then realizing later that you can’t afford it because you spent too much money on something else. So, do some research. Look up the average cost of everything in your...