Family Financial Cents: Time and Money Saving Tax Tips

Sarah L Cook, Family Financial Cents Tax Time

Sarah L Cook, Family Financial Cents contributor on Sacramento and Company

Have you filed your taxes already? If not, take a look at this video for ways to make the process less stressful and keep more money in the family economy. The tax webinar mentioned in the segment already took place, but you can opt in to receive the replay by adding your name and email here.

Family Financial Cents: Fiscal Fitness

Family Financial Cents Fiscal Fitness Sarah L Cook SacandCo

It’s that time of year when so many families are “catching up from Christmas” spending. It’s also that time of year when many people realize they didn’t just spend too much, they also ate too much over the holidays. On this month’s segment of “Family Financial Cents“, I share some simple but effective tips on how to get fiscally fit with personal finances and the family budget. 

Take a look: :-)

Be sure to leave a comment below on how your family has become more financially fit! :-)

Family Financial Cents: The Art of Living Grateful

The art of Living Grateful Sarah L Cook

The presents are all unwrapped and now it’s time to see things through the Lens of Thankfulness.

Take a look at this quick video for tips on how to learn the Art of Living Grateful and how it can bless you and your family now and throughout your life.

Be sure to share your thoughts on Living Grateful below!! :-)

4 Tips to Teach Kids About Shopping and Spending Money Wisely

SarahLCook teaching kids about spending wisely1. Teach and Lead by Example

2. Use the GISS System – Give, Invest, Save, and Spend

3. Empower kids with age-appropriate financial experiences.

4. Encourage kids to make their own wise purchases with money they have earned.

 How do you teach your kids about money? Don’t be shy, share your ideas with others by commenting below! Spread the word about financial literacy for kids and families by posting on your favorite social media sites!! 

Mobile and Online Banking Perks and Tips: Making it Secure

  1. Prevent Phishing – Never follow a banking link sent to you in a text message or e-mail unless you requested the link from your bank directly. Also, never send account info via email or text.
  2. WiFi Network “No No” – Never use a public WiFi to access your bank accounts.
  3. Authentic Apps – In general, a bank’s official smart phone or tablet app will be more secure than sending information by SMS or e-mail.
  4. Login Laziness – Your mobile device may let you store your password to make login faster, but this also makes your banking info more accessible to anyone who uses your phone.
  5. Keep Away From Keyloggers –  Mobile devices are less prone to malware attacks than computers, but still be very careful when downloading all apps — not just your banking app, but all apps.
  6. Lock Down Logic – If your device has a digital locking mechanism, use it!




Systems for Savings and Teaching Financial Concepts to Kids

300_moneysystemsThe 2012 Annual National Survey Assessing Household Savings found some startling statistics – that less than 67% of US households spend less than they earn and that only 42% have a savings plan with specific goals!

Are you and your family part of those dismal statistics? If so, wouldn’t you like to change your financial situation?

Last week on Sacramento and Company, I talked with host, Mellisa Paul about saving money – why it’s so important and ways to make it fun and easy on ourselves and our children!

**I’ll post the replay link to the segment here as soon as it is made available**

Making Savings Easy

No matter what our savings goals are, we can make it super easy on ourselves by making our savings automatic! The most simple way to do this is to set up automatic deductions through your bank into one or more savings accounts. When you don’t see the money come into your main checking account, you will often forget about it being there making your savings safe in your savings account!  Of course, you can always go into your savings account and transfer the money and spend it, but it is less likely that you will do that after it has been automatically withdrawn.  :-) This simple method can be used to save for a car, Christmas, a vacation, a new TV, and more. What will you start saving for today?

I love Saving 4 Jars SISSHow to Teach the Value of Savings to Children 

Teaching financial concepts to children is best done in alignment with their learning style. For a few years now, we had only been using a spreadsheet to show my youngest son how to track his money into the categories of: Sharing, Investing, Saving and Spending (SISS).

The problem was it wasn’t really working. He would burn through his money so quickly and we couldn’t figure out how to break him of the habit.

Finally, at Christmas I decided to make things more tangible for him and helped him turn containers from his stocking loot into “4 Jars” for splitting his money into. For the last two months he has split his money up every week and has set aside nearly $15 in each of the 4 jars. That’s quite a bit of money for a Little Man who used to buy a Little Cesar’s pizza every time he had $6.45 in his account. He’s spent a bit of money on candy grams for a couple of friends and almost has enough in his Spend Jar to buy a new game for the Xbox Kinect he saved for and purchased several months ago. Making the financial education match his learning style of visual/kinesthetic has really paid off.

How are you teaching your children about money? 

How to Make Saving Money FUN 

It’s never been very effective to save money for the sake of saving or to simply “pay of debt”. Our brains just don’t seem to be wired that way. If you know you need to save money in your family budget so that you can get out from under a mountain of debt, why not make it more fun by saving a portion of that money to fund a fun vacation or a purchase you really want. At the same time the automatic deduction comes out to pay the debt, you have another automatic deduction take out to fund your dream as well. Every day when you wake up, see yourself on your vacation. Cut pictures out of the destination and post them in places you will see them. When you lay in bed at night take yourself on your vacation in your mind, make it so real that you can touch, taste, and feel like you are already there! Could you get excited about taking that vacation and paying for it with CASH all while getting your financial situation in shape?

Come back next week and I’ll share with you a BUNCH of ways you can potentially save $100 in just one week!! :-)