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The Bright Side of Tax Day PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 08:28

 The bright side of April 15th is that tomorrow, Tax Day will be a year away!

Your Book Pile PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Friday, 03 April 2015 06:39
By Melissa Tosetti
Earlier this week I was on a call with a client, looking for ways to streamline his spending.  When we got to the Books & Music category of his Spending Plan he stopped for a moment.  Being a retired academic and avid reader, this is an area that's incredibly important to him.  I thought for sure he would choose to spend rather than save in this area.  Instead, he described to me the towering height of his "to read" book piles and vowed to read those titles before purchasing any new material.
I've been thinking about that conversation ever since! 
Paul and I both worked at book stores for years and with the exception of the kitchen and bathroom, there is an overflowing bookcase in every room of our house.  I'm pretty good about only keeping books that I love or that I'll use again as reference.  Paul and Dante prefer to keep almost everything they've ever read.  With Paul tearing through a book a week, they add up!
However, it's not the "have read and want to keep books" that can be a financial drain.  It's the pile of "still need to read books" that tie up our money.
If you're a book person you know exactly what I'm talking about.  That pile of books sitting in a corner sadly staring at you while you read the book you just purchased that afternoon.  At one point all of those titles appealed to you, but you kept getting distracted by new titles and the books keep piling up.  With books ranging in price from $16 - $26, that equates to hundreds of dollars tied up, that could be used for other things right now.
I confess to having six books staring at me from my office bookshelf. Three were gifts and two were picked up in trade at my favorite used book store, but still, they need to be read before I get distracted by any more titles.  That is, after I finish reading the two books I'm in the middle of right now.
Pennies PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Friday, 27 March 2015 08:00

By Melissa Tosetti

The last of the three speaking engagements I had in Virginia was held in a private dining room at a club in Virginia Beach. There were about 10 women in attendance. After my presentation, we stayed at the table and talked about the impact of money on life for almost another hour.
One of the women educated and entertained  us with stories of the six months she lived in Paris and how it changed her entire way of thinking about money - especially when it came to her spending on clothes. She was shocked at how everyone looks to the French as fashion icons, but in reality, most of the women she met had a wardrobe made up of a handful of black clothes. What gave their wardrobe depth were the gorgeous scarves they wore.  So instead of a closet overflowing with clothes, they have basic, work-horse pieces and the stars of their wardrobe are their accessories.
As we all told our favorite money stories there was one woman in attendance who sat back and quietly took it all in. I will remember this woman for the rest of my life. Not just because she’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, but because of her presence.  I can't find the exact word to describe her presence.  The closest word that comes to mind is "noble". 
I won’t even pretend to guess her age, but her gorgeous African American skin and stunning dark blue eyes defied the cane she used. She also wore her dark gray hair long and straight. I’m a sucker for long hair on older women. 
This woman sat quietly the entire evening, listening to us jabber on and about the same time, the rest of us realized we were in the presence of a woman who obviously had stories to tell and lessons to teach. We asked her thoughts about money and what she said and the way she said it, reaffirmed for me the importance of the smallest details.
She said the one thing she remembered as a child was being told that “Pennies add up to nickels, nickels add up to quarters and quarters make dollars.” 
Such a simple truth and yet, in this day and age, we don’t mind the dollars let alone the pennies.  Money goes in and money goes out and we hope there’s enough to do the things we want to do.  But, when we track our spending and pay attention to the pennies it makes a massively positive impact on our finances. 
Magic happens when you begin to track your spending. You see where your money is going and you can redirect it to where you want it to go. 
Start minding your pennies today!
Inspiration in Vienna PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 12:11
By Melissa Tosetti
At last night’s Living The Savvy Life presentation in Vienna, VA I met an inspiring character.  After I was done speaking he came up to tell me about how in 1984, his company was bought out by another. Previously, he’d been making $350 a paycheck. The new company bumped up his salary to over $500 a paycheck. 
He went on to tell me that an investment consultant came in and told him and his coworkers, “Ok you guys. You’re never going to get an opportunity like this again. Don’t screw this up!” The rep then explained the various retirement-type programs available. My new friend told me how he immediately put all of his pay raise toward his retirement and how it was the smartest move he’s ever made. 
When his company downsized him a few years earlier than he was hoping to retire, it wasn’t a financial crisis. In fact, because of the smart money move he made back in 1984, he was more than fine.
The next time you get a bump up in salary, whether it's a big bump or a little one, consider taking a cue from my friend and putting the increase toward your retirement or other wealth building accounts.
Hello Virginia PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 23 March 2015 09:32
By Melissa Tosetti
I'm on my way to Virginia for three speaking engagements which will take me to three corners of the state.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the area. 
I'm also looking forward to paying non-California gas prices.  That always makes me happy!
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