5 Vital Questions for New Parents

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAShopping for my new baby earlier today, I met two very anxious soon-to-be mothers. Talking to them made me realize how much easier it is to be pregnant the second time around. Not only am I more relaxed about everything, but I also know...

The iPod Issue: How Much Can -and Should- You Spend on Your Children?

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAI took the subway uptown today, to meet a colleague at a favorite lunch place. Turns out, the subway I was in also had twenty-something ten-year-olds, on a field trip coming back from the New York Stock Exchange. As Sebastian is only three,...

How to Manage Student Loans

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAA young woman at a recent Savvy Ladies seminar had just received her first student loan bill, and subsequently, her first panic attack. What was she supposed to do? There was no way she could spare that much money per month. Could she make...

Lending Money to Family and Friends

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAI received an interesting email this morning. It was from a mother-of-two in her early thirties, who was broke because over the past five years, her parents had continuously borrowed money from her, supposedly to get into some miraculous...

What Are Living Trusts and How Do They Work?

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFADuring a charity dinner last night, one of the women mentioned that she and her husband are drafting a trust. The discussion then went from wills to trusts and back to wills again as the other people at the table tried to grasp the...

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...

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...

Talking to Kids about Money

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFADuring a dinner party last weekend, a woman told me her son had taken her by surprise by asking “are we rich?” She said she was dumbfounded, and as she had no idea how to respond, she mumbled, “no.” Her son got extremely anxious, and she...

Pet Healthcare and Insurance

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFALast week, I spent a long afternoon in the animal hospital with my cat. The good news is that Sunshine is doing just fine – the bad news is the bill – almost $700. Most people who – like me – love their pets to death have considered...

The Financial Impact of another Child

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFAMy nutritionist had a baby a month or so ago. She told me over the phone that she was relieved beyond words that her insurance company had covered most of it, because the bill for her birth and subsequent hospitalization added up to a...