The Everything Guide To Personal Finance For Single Mothers Book: A Step-by-step Plan for Achieving Financial Independence

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Overview

Are you a single mother who worries about your family's financial future? The Everything[Registered] Guide to Personal Finance for Single Mothers has the savvy financial advice you really need. Packed with helpful tips and sound financial practices, this practical yet inspirational guide leads you on a step-by-step journey to financial independence and security.

This guide features tools to help you: Assess current financial health, Set goals near and far, Narrow the wage gap, ...

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The Everything Guide To Personal Finance For Single Mothers Book: A Step-by-step Plan for Achieving Financial Independence

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Overview

Are you a single mother who worries about your family's financial future? The Everything[Registered] Guide to Personal Finance for Single Mothers has the savvy financial advice you really need. Packed with helpful tips and sound financial practices, this practical yet inspirational guide leads you on a step-by-step journey to financial independence and security.

This guide features tools to help you: Assess current financial health, Set goals near and far, Narrow the wage gap, Conquer debt. From how to get out of debt, establish good credit, and qualify for a mortgage to opening a college fund, planning for retirement, and even starting your own business, The Everything[Registered] Guide to Personal Finance for Single Mothers is the financial advisor you need to secure your future-and that of your children.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Susan Reynolds is a journalist, author, businesswoman, and single mother who handles her own financial affairs, including managing her retirement fund. She most recently wrote Change Your Shoes, Change Your Life. She lives in Pembroke, MA.

Robert A. Bexton, CFA, has been an investment analyst since 1999. Currently, he manages $70 million of clients' assets for Moirai Capital Management. He holds the prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst designation and earned a B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley. Mr. Bexton lives in San Francisco, CA.

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Table of Contents


Top Ten Ways to Improve Your Finances     x
Introduction     xi
Single Mothers and Personal Finance     1
Everyone Needs a Personal Financial Plan     2
Your Feelings about Money     3
Surrender the Fairy Tale     4
How Money Myths Affect You     6
How Your Past Shapes Your Future     8
Divorcing Your Marital Habits     10
On Your Own...Again     13
Making Smart, Necessary, Immediate Decisions     14
Establishing Your Bottom Line     15
Making Long-Term, Calculated Decisions     16
Assuming Fiscal Responsibility     16
Keeping the Ex-Husband Accountable     19
A Healthy Foundation for New Relationships     20
Where You Want to Be: Setting Your Goals     25
Why Goals Are Important     26
What to Do First     27
How to Create Long-Term Goals     29
How to Create Short-Term Goals     32
How to Monitor Your Progress     36
Becoming Financially Literate     39
Learning the Lingo     40
Creating a Workable Budget     41
Calculating Your Net Worth     45
Consulting a FinancialAdvisor     46
Establishing Your Values and Trusting Your Instincts     49
Investment Clubs Versus Investing Solo     50
Banking and Short-Term Investing     53
What You Need to Know about Banking     54
Selecting a Bank     55
Controlling Your Finances     56
The Virtues of Short-Term Liquidity     57
The Virtues of Mid-Term Liquidity     61
Assessing and Conquering Your Debt     65
A Maxed-Out Economy     66
Good Debt Versus Bad Debt     66
Pros and Cons of Credit Cards     67
Avoid Department-Store Credit Cards     69
Create a Game Plan to Reduce Debt     70
Develop a Cash Mentality     74
Repairing Credit and Improving FICO Scores     75
Credit Reports Defined     76
Credit Report Errors     77
FICO Scores Defined     80
How to Improve Your FICO Score     85
When and How to Take Drastic Measures     86
Avoiding Identity Theft     89
Identity Theft Defined     90
How Does It Occur?     90
How to Protect Yourself     91
If Your Identity Has Been Stolen      95
Starting Your Own Business     97
Time to Start Your Own Business     98
Assessing Your Motives     100
Assessing Your Skills and Talents     101
Spotting Global and Regional Trends     102
Creating a Business Plan     104
Creating an Action Plan     109
Financing Your Business     110
The Pros and Cons of Franchises     112
Budgeting for Wealth     115
Mapping Out Your Real Situation     116
Establishing Concrete Savings and Investment Goals     119
Saving Early Can Make You Rich     122
Investment Goals Based on Age     123
Managing Income Property     128
Inheritances Can Make You Wealthy     129
Rules for Creating Wealth     130
Deciding Whether to Rent or Own     133
The Pros and Cons of Renting     134
The Pros and Cons of Home Ownership     135
All about Condos     136
Buying a Home     137
Using a Real Estate Agent     144
When You're Ready to Buy     145
How to Sell a Home     147
Buying a Car     149
Investing in Stocks and Mutual Funds      153
How to Establish Realistic Goals     154
The Virtues of Long-Term Investments     156
Mutual Funds     157
Variable Annuities     166
Individual Investing     166
DRIP Investing     166
Do Your Research     167
Protecting Your Assets     171
Why You Need Insurance     172
Health and Dental Insurance     172
Life Insurance     176
Home and Mortgage Insurance     179
Car Insurance     179
Disability, Long-Term Care, and Children's Life Insurance     181
How to Research Insurance Options     183
How to Find a Reputable Broker     184
Naming Guardians and Beneficiaries     184
Wills and Trusts     185
Affording Child Care     191
The Family and Medical Leave Act     192
Day Care Options and Their Costs     193
The Pros and Cons of Nannies Versus Au Pairs     197
The Pros and Cons of Day Care Centers     201
The Pros and Cons of Family Day Care Centers     203
How to Lower Child Care Costs     203
Funding College     205
Weighing Your Options      206
Coverdell Education Savings Accounts     207
Section 529 College Savings Plans     209
Custodial Accounts     214
Education Savings Bonds     215
Education Reward Programs     216
The Hope Credit     217
Lifetime Learning Credit     218
Federal Student Aid Programs     218
Other Ways to Maximize College Savings     221
Funding Your Retirement     223
Take Control of Your Retirement Savings     224
Tax-Advantaged Retirement Savings Accounts     225
Employer-Sponsored Defined-Contribution Retirement Plans     226
Alternate Employer-Sponsored Plans     231
Individual Retirement Plans     234
Self-Employed/Small-Business-Owner Retirement Plans     240
Maximizing Your Tax Advantages     245
Special Tax Breaks for Single Parents     246
Tax Deductions Versus Tax Credits     248
The Dependent Exemption     249
Child Tax Credits     251
Child Care and Dependent Care Tax Breaks     252
Health Care Tax Breaks     255
Ways to Maximize Your Tax Advantages     256
Teaching Your Children about Money     259
The Benefits of Starting Early     260
How to Develop a Wealth Consciousness     261
Why Allowances Must Be Earned     263
They're Never Too Young to Save     265
The Pros and Cons of Credit Cards for Kids     266
Using the Internet as a Teaching Tool     268
Living a Frugal Life     271
Changing Your Money Attitudes     272
When You Need to Spend Lavishly     273
When a Bargain Is Not a Bargain     274
Having Fun Without Spending Money     275
Concrete Ways to Foster Frugality     277
Other Fun Ways to Live a Fabulously Frugal Life     280
Avoiding Common Financial Mistakes     281
Face Reality and Make a Plan     282
Establish a Retirement Fund     282
Watch Those Deductions     283
Get in the Game!     284
Investing Pitfalls     285
Resources     287
Additional Reading     297
Index     301
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