Should Your Kids Have Credit Cards?

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAThe children in front of me in line at the grocery store today were no older than eleven or twelve, yet when the time came to pay for their snacks and sodas, they pulled out their MasterCards. I started to wonder, is this normal now? Do all...

Kicking Your Worst Spending Habit

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAIn line at the grocery store the other day, I picked up a magazine and spotted an article about women who had kicked the one habit that was the most detrimental to their health. They were able to beat their 20 year habit of smoking. This is...

Marriage and Money

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAOne of the most common reasons women call me up is that they are dissatisfied with the way their husbands handle finances. They would therefore like to learn more, so that they can take over this crucial part of the household management. I...

Shopping Triggers and How to Curb Them: Depression

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAAt a seminar today, a woman desperate to take control over her finances confessed that her worst shopping trigger was depression. Whether she was feeling lonely, overworked, fat, poor, or just blue in general, the only way she could cheer...

What Size Allowance Should I Give My Child?

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAAt the park today, the moms were discussing allowances. At what age should a child start to receive them, and how much is appropriate? All at once they stopped and asked me, “You are the expert, tell us what to do!” Talk about pressure. I...

Taxes: Should You File Jointly or Separately?

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAEven after tax season has come and gone, one of the main topics of discussion at a recent seminar was: what are the benefits versus drawbacks associated with married couples filing separately? An excellent question. However, just like with...

Shopping Triggers and How to Curb Them: Hobby Shopping

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAA friend called me up last night. “We are getting the old gang together,” she said, “for some shopping.” Would I care to join them?This last shopping trigger (for now, anyway) is also one of the most common, and one of the most encouraged...

The 10% Rule

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAYesterday, I went shopping with a colleague of mine. (Yes, I know I advise against hobby shopping, but if kept under control it can be a great way to bond with your peers.) Everything was lovely, until she found a suit she liked, determined...

When Your Account Is in the Red

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAA lady I met last night while I was waiting for my husband to arrive at a restaurant was intrigued that I am a financial planner. As usual I typically get questions about their personal investment and/or finances. This case was no...

Finding and Understanding Your Credit Score

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA“Now that real estate prices are falling,” a woman told me over the phone today, “I would like to buy a town house or a condo. But I hear you need really good credit these days, and I have a feeling mine may be pretty bad.”I asked her what...