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Red, Yellow, Green: Easy Budget Planning for Couples

I’ve heard the most common marital fights are over intimacy and money. While I’m not a relationship expert, I do think that one way to improve your love life is to tackle your money problems!

Many newlyweds make exciting plans to save for this and that because they think they’ll have so much extra money once they combine households. However, when the honeymoon is over, many couples find themselves arguing over where all the money is going each month.

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College Pride

I remember fondly the day I moved to Tulane; the fraternity house across the street from my dorm had a big sign “SAE Welcomes Your Daughters!” I am sure it was reassuring to our parents to know a house full of fine young men was just across the street watching over us now that we were on our own. It was such a rush of excitement to be on my own and have my whole life ahead of me – the world was my ocean and I was just jumping in! We all want our children to have the full college experience, but how do you ensure they don’t waste all their time in the frat house and bypass the library? Dean Wormer in Animal House summed it up well, “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” So, how can you keep your kids’ interests in-line with your checkbook?

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Kids & Money

Every summer, my nephews spend a week with me – we call it Camp Aunt G – and I’m always shocked at their blatant disregard for money. They lose games and toys with no care “Aunt G, we can just buy another one, duh!” They leave half empty cokes all over the house and just go crack open a new one.  They are constantly begging me to buy them this and that, but when I do break down they play with it for just a few moments, then it’s on to the next gotta have it item.  I honestly don’t know how my sister puts up with the constant badgering! I stopped taking them to the grocery with me because we end up with food for a small army.  I pack their days with lots of fun – tubing on the lake, baseball games, museums, zoo, water parks, 6 flags- if it sounds like fun, we do it. Yet, they really have no idea what anything costs because at each spot I hear “can I get this?”

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Austerity or Not?

Austerity has become quite the buzzword recently. What does it mean and how does it affect you?

According to Wikipedia, austerity is when a government reduces its spending and/or increases taxes to pay back creditors because its fiscal deficit spending is believed to be unsustainable.

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MARKET UPDATE APRIL 14, 2010

The S&P 500 rose about 5% this quarter and is now up over 70% from the March 9, 2009 bottom. Consumer spending is higher, earnings are rebounding, GDP is positive, inflation and interest rates remain low, unemployment is still high, but temporary hiring has increased. The market is still down about 20% from its October 2007 highs, but what a difference a year makes! However, I continue to be cautious.

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