Budgeting: Member Guide

This Money Zone covers-no, no, no!-the “B” word that so many of us dread. A budget is a diet for your finances, and who likes to diet? But diet we must, if we want to fit into that swimsuit or achieve our financial dreams. So here’s the (relatively) painless Money Club guide to budgeting. Icebreaker […]

Setting Up Your Budget

This Money Zone covers-no, no, no!-the “B” word that so many of us dread. A budget is a diet for your finances, and who likes to diet? But diet we must, if we want to fit into that swimsuit or achieve our financial dreams. So here’s the (relatively) painless Money Club guide to budgeting. If […]

Financial Generosity: Member Guide

Charity is twice blessed-it blesses the one who gives and the one who receives. Throughout history, women have demonstrated their philanthropic spirit.

Your Money Style: Member Guide

What’s your money style? Do you save every dime or live it up for today? Do you avoid the topic of money altogether? Are you a Hoarder, Splurger, or Avoider? This Money Zone will help you learn about your Money Style-so you can build on your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. Icebreaker Go around […]

Your Money Style Quiz

Take this quiz to see if you are a Hoarder, Avoider or Splurger. Circle the answer that best describes how you feel. The profiles are rendered in the extreme for quick recognition.

Widowhood: Member Guide

Widowhood is a tumultuous experience. At a time you feel least able to cope with life’s challenges, you must often make serious financial decisions that will have a lasting impact on your future well-being.

Widowhood Checklist

Whether your husband’s death is expected or sudden, dealing with the details of death is not an easy job. At a time when you feel least able to cope with life, you must often make serious financial decisions that will have a lasting impact on your future well-being.

Using the Internet for Financial Education: Member Guide

The Electronic Age has created tremendous opportunities for financial education. You can use the Internet to learn about investment options, keep up on the latest financial trends, and improve your general financial skills. So round ’em up and head ’em out as we explore the wild new Cyber-Frontier.

Searching the Internet

You may be wondering: How the heck do I find what I’m looking for in the vast expanses of cyberspace? How do I tell good quality information from junk?

Social Security: Member Guide

Social Security is one of the more controversial financial questions of our time-will it be there for you, or won’t it? Should it be privatized or not? What happened to the trust fund? Of course, politicians will still be debating by the time all of us are retired. Here’s how to make sure you get […]

Determining Your Benefits

The average monthly Social Security check for a woman over 65 is $697– $207 less than a man’s– because women take time out of the workforce to care for families or ailing parents, and often earn lower salaries while working. How can you ensure that you get every bit of the money that has your name on it?

Saving: Member Guide

Do you show yourself respect with your money? When you pay yourself first, by contributing to your savings, you show yourself respect-that you are at least as important as all of the other people who are asking for your money.

Start Your Savings Program

Let’s see where you stand on the whole savings issue. How many of these items can you check off?

Retirement Planning: Member Guide

Retirement just ain’t what it used to be. Back when a pension was guaranteed, and 65 was “old age”-retirement was a different affair. Now that people, and particularly women, are living into their eighties, nineties and beyond, retirement is about planning for the rest of your life.

Easy Retirement Planning

To estimate how much you’ll need in retirement, look at several factors: how early you plan to retire, your longevity (and that of your spouse, if you’re married), the income you will earn in retirement from part-time employment or consulting, your expenses in retirement, and the effects of inflation. Here is a worksheet you can […]

Remarriage: Member Guide

Love is even lovelier the second time around, and solid financial planning is even more important if you plan to remarry. This time, it’s likely that both of you have accumulated more assets, possibly more debt, and more responsibilities than before your first marriage.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Tying the Knot

Before you tie the knot again, take steps to make sure you’ve finished with old business, set up your new arrangements, and made agreements to handle your financial lives together.

Reading the Financial News: Member Guide

We are all members of an intricate financial network that spans the globe, relating gold miners in South Africa to rice farmers in Japan to bankers in Switzerland to restaurant owners in the United States. The name of this financial network? The global economy. Reading the financial news is how you find out what’s going on in this delicate yet powerful system.

Exploring the Financial World

Every day you are bombarded with a bewildering array of financial and economic information. Reports on such items as the GDP, unemployment rate, consumer price index, and the money supply are publicized not only in the financial news but also in local newspapers.

Providing for Your Parents: Member Guide

If you are part of the “sandwich generation”, caught between having to provide for your children’s college education and your parents’ care, while planning your own retirement, you are probably feeling the pinch.

Taking Control

Women are born nurturers, and we have a tendency to overextend ourselves emotionally as well as financially when it comes to taking care of loved ones. We too frequently take on the role of caregiver without fully realizing all that we’re being asked to do.

Net Worth: Member Guide

How much are you worth? As a human being, your value is priceless, and has no relation whatsoever to what accountants and bankers call net worth. Net worth is merely a way of calculating where you stand financially-do you have assets to call your own, or do you they really belong to your creditors? It’s […]

Your Net Worth

What is your net worth? Quite simply, it’s what you have minus what you owe, your assets less your liabilities.

Mortgages: Member Guide

It’s smart to shop for financing before you shop for a new house. Pre-qualification can be a valuable negotiating tool, since the seller will know you’ll be able to close on the home quickly. And by pre-qualifying, you can make sure you’re shopping in the right price range, so you don’t fall in love with a house that costs far more than you can afford.

Paying For It

A big dilemma is whether to choose a fixed-rate mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). With a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly payment is set at the beginning and will never change. If you opt for an adjustable-rate loan, your initial interest rate may be lower, but the interest rate and monthly payment can climb quickly as interest rates rise.

Money Attitudes From Your Childhood: Member Guide

What was your life like as a child, and how do your experiences affect your life now? Exploring your childhood memories of money will have a tremendous payoff-less stress and confusion, and a deeper understanding of yourself and the way you fit into the world.

Kids and Money: Member Guide

Teaching your children about money is the best way to impart your most important values-as well as to make sure that they don’t wind up broke on your doorstep at 35. Giving your kids the tools to manage their own money wisely can instill in them a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence as they set […]

Kids and Money: Playing Games With Your Money

Learning about money doesn’t have to be tedious or dull. Games are a fun, non-threatening way to teach your kids about money, saving, and responsibility. Use the three games below to get you started “playing with money” in your family. Once you have the hang of it, see if your kids can come up with […]

Investing: Member Guide

Now that you’ve learned to cut expenses, save money, and budget, you’re ready to learn about investing. Investing can seem like a daunting topic-but we’ll cut it down to size.

Investing: Your Risk Factor

To help you figure out your relationship to risk, we’ve created a short quiz. Take a few moments to complete it, choosing the answer that best describes you.

Insurance — Long Term Care: Member Guide

Long-term care is a subject on many people’s minds nowadays-and for good reason. Medicare does not cover extended stays in nursing homes. Medicare only covers a short period of time, after which-sorry to say it, gals-you are responsible for footing the bill! Since most people will spend an extended period of time in a long-term […]

Just for You: Do you need long term care insurance?

Here’s a quick and easy exercise to see if long-term care insurance is for you.

Holiday Spending: Member Guide

Ho, ho, ho! Cookies are baking, bells are ringing, and sounds of holiday cheer fill the air. The holiday season is fast upon us. In this “most wonderful time of the year”, it’s easy to slip into the holiday mood and buy just one more present for an acquaintance, one more outfit for a holiday […]

Just For You: Holiday Spending Planner

To stretch your savings this holiday season, create a holiday budget.

Getting Organized: Member Guide

Getting organized is a never-ending process-just when you think you’ve gotten it all together, something changes and you need to organize it all again! This Money Zone will help you get more organized and (believe it or not) enjoy the process. Icebreaker Go around the room and give an example of an organizational technique that […]

Getting Organized: Organizing Your Family’s Records

Got records? Most people do. But can you find last month’s bank statement? A copy of your will? The manual for your VCR? If your answer was something unprintable, you might need to get a bit more organized. This is an excellent time to set up a financial record-keeping system for your family. So, let’s […]

Finding an Advisor: Member Guide

Finding a trusted advisor is one of the most important steps along the road to financial freedom. A financial advisor who knows your situation and has your best interests at heart can motivate you to move quickly toward your dreams and can provide an essential sounding board for your financial plans. An advisor you trust […]

Finding an Advisor: Step-by-Step

Just as when choosing a doctor, you want to find a financial advisor who has the experience and expertise you need and whose opinion you trust. Some planners are focused on selling products to boost their fees rather than tailoring an investment strategy for your individual needs, while others can be “pushy” or condescending. But […]

Financial Generosity: Exploring Your Gifts

What can you do to make a difference? When we Money Guides began our quest sixteen years ago, we developed five guiding principles to make sure that we were using our time, talents and money in the most effective way. We continue to use these principles today. And so can you. Use them as you […]

Fighting Money Fears: Member Guide

Everyone has fears about money. We worry that we won’t have enough money to pay our bills at the end of the month. We worry that we won’t be able to afford a vacation. We worry that we’ll outlive our money. We picture ourselves working behind the counter at McDonald’s at age 85, while bizarrely […]

Fighting Your Money Fears: Confront Your Money Fears

Let’s clean out the old subconscious, shall we? People hang onto their money fears long after the danger has passed, and they worry about things that will never, ever come to pass. How much of what you worry about actually happens? For this one, you’ll need some paper and a timer. Set the timer for […]

Estate Planning: Member Guide

If you don’t have a will, you don’t have a way.to control your own estate and ensure that your assets will be distributed as you wish. Yet millions of Americans don’t have a will or trust in place. You shouldn’t add to those numbers-providing for what happens after you go is the responsible thing to […]

Estate Planning: Contingency Day

Because you never know what might happen in life, we encourage everyone to schedule a “Contingency Day,” a day on which you and your partner discuss your finances frankly and openly. After going through the process once, you should update your discussion by having a contingency day meeting each year. The most caring activity in […]

Establishing/Repairing Credit: Member Guide

Establishing credit in your own name (or fixing the credit you already have) will help you buy a house, a car, or any other major purchase you desire-at the very best rates. Improving your credit is easier than you think. We’ll show you how. Icebreaker When did you first use a credit card-your own or […]

Credit Beginnings and Credit Fixes

If you don’t have credit in your name. Then, you need to get some! Getting your first credit card can be tricky, because many credit card companies want to see a credit history before they give you credit, and you need to develop a credit history by having a credit card account. Seems like an […]

Education Planning: Member Guide

If you have children, chances are that providing a college education for them is high on your list of goals. With the cost of tuition, fees, room and board for four years at a private university averaging $108,000 and state school costs averaging $42,000 for four years, it’s no wonder parents are in a cold […]

Education Planning: Calculating the Costs

Given the high cost of a college education, you might sometimes say “Why bother? I’ll never be able to save enough.” But as a future Money Star, you know that ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. There are lots of ways you can conquer the education cost woes. We know of someone who […]

Earning Money Without a Job: Member Guide

You can still bring home the bacon without a full-time job. Making money from your own business (of whatever size) can be rewarding financially as well as emotionally. You are in control. The business can be part time or full time, solo or with partners and employees, big or small. It’s all up to you. […]

Earning Money Without a Job: Starting a Business

Before you decide to start your own business, figure out whether that’s the right move given your circumstances and personality. Remember, if you go into business for yourself, you will have no one to report to. While that may seem like a blessing, you must also be prepared to do many jobs yourself, at least […]

Divorce: Member Guide

You might be happily married, or divorced, or you may find yourself somewhere in between. Or perhaps you have a friend or family member going through divorce. Divorce touches almost everyone’s life, at some point. As devastating as divorce can be, it is also a time for growth and new opportunity. Icebreaker If your parents […]

Divorce: Avoiding the Pitfalls

A bit of advance planning goes a long way. Before you begin divorce proceedings, take steps to prepare for what lies ahead. When you divide property and income, each of you will have only half of what you had before, or perhaps less. If you don’t have your own regular income, you will need money […]

Cutting Expenses: Member Guide

Want to have lots of savings and no debt? Don’t we all! 🙂 But.how to do it? In this Money Zone, you will learn how to s-s-s-squeeze your budget for more cash, without living like a pauper, so you can start a savings program or pay down debt. Icebreaker Take some M&Ms, but don’t eat […]

Cutting Expenses: Where Does Your Money Go?

To cut expenses, you will need to find out where your money goes. This is not much fun 🙁 but we’ll try to get it over with as quickly as possible. And when you are finished, you’ll be so glad you did this exercise. Step 1. Document your spending Begin by getting a little notepad, […]

Credit Card Debt: Member Guide

Credit cards are convenient and easy to use — sometimes way too easy. No one likes to say no to herself or her loved ones. It’s much easier to just whip out that plastic and make the problem go away — at least until the end of the month when the bills come! If you […]

Credit Card Debt: Get Out of Debt Quick

For this one, you’ll need your credit card bills. A recent copy of each of them. We’re not kidding. Ughh! Don’t worry — no one will see them. This is just for you — between you, yourself, and your credit rating. Also, get a calculator and a piece of paper. First, let’s get an idea […]

Couples and Money: Member Guide

Whether you are married, single, or somewhere in between, you can’t depend on Prince Charming. No marriage lasts forever, and many women never marry at all. As a result, you are likely to be handling money on your own for most of your adult life. So what’s a gal to do? Taking responsibility is the […]

Couples and Money: Test Your Money Relationship

Download this Quiz (PDF) Love may be blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener. For a marriage to succeed, both partners must work together financially as well as emotionally, rather than competing against each other. What’s the answer? Repeat after us: communicate, communicate, communicate. Talk openly and frequently about your finances. Here’s a quiz to help […]

Career: Member Guide

How you define success may depend on your gender. Often, a man’s sense of accomplishment is closely tied to his professional achievements-a prestigious title, large salary and material possessions are integral to his sense of self-worth. Generally, women are more multi-dimensional and place as much value on time spent with loved ones and on self-development […]

Career: Finding Your Passion

To figure out what you like to do and get someone to pay you for doing it-that’s the goal. Get focused by taking some quiet time to complete the worksheet below. Don’t dwell on each question or over-think each answer. Simply jot down any idea that comes to you, no matter how ridiculous it may […]

Buying or Leasing a Car: Member Guide

Lots of us love to shop-but how many of us love to shop for cars? A show of hands, please. Do I see even one lone hand out there? Buying a car is still not one of life’s enjoyable experiences-after all, who wants to haggle with car salespeople? Well, there are lots of ways to […]

Buying or Leasing a Car: To Lease or Not to Lease

If you are in the market for a new car, you may have been tempted by offers of “low, low monthly payments” if you lease. Leasing has its advantages: With a lease, you can expect to make little or no down payment and make lower monthly payments. At the end of the lease period, you […]

Buying a House: Member Guide

Each member can print this out and have it available to follow and take notes. There is a tremendous sense of pride that comes with owning your own home-and terrific financial advantages as well. You can take an income tax deduction for the mortgage interest and property taxes, your house may appreciate in value, and when […]

Buying a House: Finding Your Dream Home

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Finding the right home at the right price can be tricky. To start, get clear on your vision. Do you want a quiet bungalow in the countryside, or a duplex in the heart of downtown? Are two bedrooms enough for your needs, or is your family growing? Visualize the perfect property, and […]

Banking: Member Guide

Your financial institution can be your partner in pursuing financial freedom. Whether you use a bank, credit union, savings and loan, a money market account at a brokerage company, or some combination, your choice of financial institution can make your financial life much easier. Icebreaker What kinds of financial institutions have you used in the […]

Banking: Choosing a Financial Institution

People generally choose a bank based on three things: location, location-and, of course, location. But is your neighborhood bank the best financial institution for you? By examining your needs and available options, you can make sure that you are getting the best deal. And that research can really pay off, possibly saving you hundreds of […]

Money Club Meeting Guide for Leaders

Read this before your meeting so you can keep the meeting running smoothly.

Money Club Pledge

Confidentiality and No-Selling Agreement

Money Truths and Dreams Questionnaire

It’s time to figure out what’s up with your finances!