WEBINAR - Living The Savvy Life
October 8, 2014
10:00 am PST
Learn how to look at your day-to-day finances from a lifestyle perspective and discover the power of purposeful spending.  Uncover easy ways to find additinal money for retirement and that crucial emergency savings account.
Presented by Melissa Tosetti, Founder, The Savvy Life

Hosted by Greg M. Charnes II, CFS®, Financial Advisor, Thacker, Charnes, Stowe and Associates, A private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services

RSVP by October 3, 2014 to receive the Webinar link email on October 7, 2014.

Call: 788-5162, area code 800.  Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Please invite your family and friends.  There is no cost or obligation to attend.

The Savvy Life and its representatives are not affiliated with Ameriprise Financial, Inc. Brokerage, Investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. ©2013 Ameriprise Financial, Inc.  All rights reserved.

Affordable Fall Travel Ideas

By Melissa Tosetti

BudgetTravel.com is one of my favorite resources for affordable travel ideas.  They just released their list of the 20 Best Budget Vacations for Fall

San Francisco, Las Vegas and Yellowstone Natonal Park made the list.  Dublin, the Dominican Republic and Barcelona are also listed as affordable vacation spots.

The one destination making the list that is a pleasant surprise is Romania.  My friends Geoff and Kathy visited Romania and Turkey (which also made the list) last year and had an adventure of a lifetime.   

Corvin Castle
WEBINAR: Thriving During the Holidays
October 7, 2014
9:00 am and/or 3:30 pm PST
Before the season is upon us, learn the tips for taking the stress out of the holidays so you can enjoy them again.  How can you find the money for those extra holiday expenses?  Melissa's Savvy Life money saving strategies will show you how to find the time and the money from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve.
Hosted by: Evelyn Dinkins II, CFP®, CFS®, CRPC®, MSFS®, CAS®
                   Angela DeLion, CFP®
                   Dinkins, DeLion & Associates
                   A private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
Presented by: Melissa Tosetti, Founder/President of The Savvy Life.
RSVP by: Friday, October 3rd to receive the Webinar link email.
                  Call: 306-4006, area code 678
                  Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
                 Webinars have unlimited space!  Invite family and friends!
There is no cost or obligation.
Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.  Member FINRA and SIPC.  Some products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients.  ©2011 Ameriprise Financial, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
If It Wasn't On Sale...

By Melissa Tosetti

I was on a call with a client in Atlanta today and she told me a financial rule of thumb I had never heard before. 

She said that years ago she heard fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi interviewed and he advised that when thinking about purchasing a clothing item, ask yourself, "If it wasn't on sale, would I buy it".  She said it's saved her thousands of dollars over the years.  It also ensures she has a closet filled only with clothes she loves.

What a great piece of advice!  No matter how good the sale, if you're not madly in love with, leave it at the store.  

The best part of this habit is that it leaves that money available for when you do fall in love! 

Isaac Mizrahi

Here's What You Asked For...

By Melissa Tosetti
I'm overwhelmed by the amount of responses we received to our survey and by how many of you took the time to write comments. 
The information you provided is priceless and will dictate the direction of The Savvy Life over the coming days, weeks and months. 
The number one request for additional information was on the subject of how to spend less than you make.   In order of popularity, here are some of the other topics you'd like to learn more about:
  • How to build an Emergency Fund.
  • Save for Retirement.
  • Pay off Debt.
  • Savvy shopping strategies.
  • How to save time and money around your home.
  • Purposeful spending.
  • How to save for travel and find travel deals.
  • How to save time and money grocery shopping and cooking.
  • Basic money management.
  • How to get and stay organized.
What surprised me the most is how many of you asked for more blog entries, especially with information about my spending when it comes to raising Dante.  I’m flattered, and will be sure to blog much more often.

Many of the comments mentioned that you want information in as concise a manner as possible.  Knowing how busy we are all, we’ll work toward that goal.
As far as products and services, there was an overwhelming request for checklists for the holidays and other seasonal events. You also asked for a weekly email with a list of “Savvy Tasks for the Weeks”.  We'll begin working on it immediately and launch the first list in the next week or two.
There were many other specific requests which we will work to fulfill as well. 
The winners of the four Target Gift Cards have been notified.  In additional appreciation for you taking the time to respond to the survey, I would like to provide you with the number one tool you requested which is a checklist for holidays and other seasonal events starting with Halloween. 

To download your copy, click here: 5 Minute Halloween Organizer

Enter to Win a $25 Target Gift Card
In our effort to make The Savvy Life as beneficial as possible, we’ve created a survey. The survey will help us tailor articles and products to meet your needs. 
The survey takes less than 2 minutes. When you're done, send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with "Survey Complete" listed in the subject line and you’ll be entered to win one of four $25 Target gift cards. The gift card winners will be notified on Sunday, September 21, 2014. 
Thank you in advance for your input. - Melissa Tosetti
To take the survey, click here:


Social Spending
By Melissa Tosetti
Going out with friends can potentially be a money draining situation.  If you aren’t careful, one evening can blow your spending money for the month.
This can be a tricky area, as your friends may be in a different financial situation. As financial expert Suze Orman suggests, be honest with your friends about your intention of being careful with your finances. Suggesting less expensive alternatives or saying no if you don’t want to go may be your best bet.
While it may be tempting, don’t lie to your friends about your situation. There is no shame in saving money to spend on the things that are important to you. In fact, it is empowering. You're taking control of your finances instead of letting your friends influence your spending.
Mikey Rox of Wisebread wrote a great article on the subject of social spending titled, 7 Nice Ways To Tell Your Spendy Friends You're Staying On A Budget
One thing to keep in mind - The majority of clients I've worked with who decided to suggest alternative entertainment ideas to their friends were surprised at how their friends jumped at the suggestions.  Your friends may want to spend less on entertainment as well, but are afraid to approach you about it. 
Save on Your Smartphone Plan
By Melissa Tosetti
When I work with clients to create Spending Plans, we look for ways to help them plug their financial leaks so they can focus their money on what's most important to them.
An area that always gets scrutinized is cell phone plans.  Because everyone has different needs, there is no right answer when it comes to picking a plan. 
When doing a little research for a client the other day, I stumbled on an article by Clark Howard, one of my favorite personal finance authors.  The article titled, Smartphone and Data Plan Guide for 2014, helps you compare plans so you can find the best deal for you and your family. 
If you think you're spending too much on your cell phone bill, check out the article and think about what you can do with the money you'll save by switching plans!

Savvy Kitchen Investments
By Melissa Tosetti
Thursday night I gave a presentation on running a Savvy Kitchen at the Cooks Nook in McPherson, KS. 
It’s one of my favorite talks because in my experience of working with clients, food is the number one area where people struggle. The presentation focuses on how to save both time and money from creating an effective grocery list all the way to managing leftovers. 
What was particularly cool about doing the event at the Cooks Nook is that part of the presentation concentrates on the importance of investing in good tools. Not gadgets, but tools. 
Gadgets are the As Seen On TV items you buy that never get used. Tools are the things that get used on a regular basis and are worth spending a little more on to ensure they work well and last. For example…
  • Invest in a good set of knives and you’ll be amazed at how much faster you can dice an onion or slice a tomato.
  • Purchase a quality set of pots and pans and they’ll cook more efficiently and last twice as long as their cheaper counterparts. 
One of the aspects of a professional kitchen that's worth imitating is that everything pulls its weight. There’s no clutter to slow down the process of preparing each and every meal.
With that said, it’s important to note that one person’s gadget is another person’s tool. It all depends on what you like to cook. For example, my husband Paul is crazy about egg salad. Fifteen years ago I purchased an egg slicer for about $5 that has paid for itself over and over again by saving me time. 
Another item that could be considered a gadget in one person’s eyes but a tool in another is the Chop Stir. I first saw one at my Aunt Sadie's house that she used while cooking hamburger. She has rheumatoid arthritis so the tool is a blessing for her! My mom now swears by it too.
To take the first step to streamlining your own kitchen, consider going through everything in it and getting rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year. This will not only help make cooking more efficient, but will also help make room for quality tools you may purchase down the road. 
One of the racks at the Cooks Nook

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