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Table of Contents

Section 1: The Basics 1 Chapter 1: Goal Setting 3 Smart Goals 4 Specific 4 Measurable 5 Attainable 5 Relevant 5 Time-bound 5 Smart Goal Application 6 Smarter Goals 8 So Why Don't People Set Goals? 13 In Summary 15 Chapter 2: Taking Control Budgeting 101 17 Examine Your Financial Goals 19 Identify Your Current Monthly Income and Expenses 20 Evaluate Your Budget 25 How Do You Compare? 25 How To Get On Track 27 Easy For Her to Say 29 From Paycheck to Paycheck to Savings 31 Creating Structure 33 Importance of Keeping Records 35 In Summary 36 Chapter 3: Budgeting Strategies 37 The Importance of Paying Yourself First 38 The Real Difference Between "Wants" and "Needs" 40 The Ripple Effect 42 Walk The Talk 44 Where's The Cash Going? 46 Back To The Envelopes 47 Have An Emergency Fund 49 Don't Forget The Obvious 51 Increase Your Means 52 The Benefit of Asking For Help 55 In Summary 55 Chapter 4: Penny Wise and Savvy Investor 57 Small Savings Add Up to Big Money 58 Delayed Gratification 61 Garage Sale Treasures 62 Bulk Buying Benefits 63 Be Mindful of Receipts 65 Taking Advantage of Every Opportunity 66 Reducing Your Income Taxes 68 The Savvy Investor 70 In Summary 73 Chapter 5: Good Debt, Bad Debt 75 Credit Cards Good Or Bad? 81 The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly 83 Credit Cards and Emotion 85 Debt Counselors 87 But It's Interest Free Debt! 89 They Chose Me! 91 What is My Credit Score and Credit History? 93 So How Do I Get From A Bad Credit Score to A Good Credit Score? 95 In Summary 96 Section 2: Money and Relationships 97 Chapter 6: Money and Marriage 99 The Money Talk 101 Prenuptuals 102 Postnuptials 104 The Dream and Plan Talk 104 The Putting Into Practice Talk 105 The Credit and Debt Talk 108 The Reality Check Talk 110 In Summary 111 Chapter 7: The Dreaded Divorce 113 Divorce and Personal Financial Planning 114 Planning For Your Advisors 116 Mediated Or Traditional Divorce? 117 Hidden Costs of Parenting Post Divorce 122 In Summary 124 Section 3: Raising Financially Savvy Children 125 Chapter 8: Kids and Money 127 Setting Goals 129 The Power of The Bank Book 131 Making It Fun 134 Making It A Game 135 The Family Vacation 136 The Family Budget 138 My Own Budget 142 The Entitled Generation 143 The Power of Earning It 144 From Earning to Investing 146 Investing In Stock 147 In Summary 148 Chapter 9: Allowance 149 Spend Less Than You Earn 154 Where Does My Money Go? 156 Budgeting Basics 157 Write It Down 159 In Summary 162 Chapter 10: Teens and Money 163 Value of Money 164 Lesson 1: Developing A Budget 165 Lesson 2: Getting Creative Earning More and Stretching More 169 Stretching the Budget 171 Igniting Creativity 173 Lesson 3: Saving For The Future 174 Having Savings Creates Options 175 Utilize and Maximize Your Savings Opportunities 177 Lesson 4: Using Credit Wisely 178 College Out of Sight But Still In Your Pocket 181 College, Pizza, and Bouncing Checks 183 Lesson 5: Parents As Bankers 184 Support Not Dependence 184 In Summary 186 Chapter 11: Paying for College 187 Systematic Savings From Birth 189 Systematic Savings Vehicles 191 Traditional Savings Accounts 191 Education Specific Savings Accounts 192 "Outside The Box" Innovative Systematic Savings Ideas 193 Scholarships and Grants 197 Scholarships 197 Grants 198 When You Still Need A Loan 199 Federal Education Loans 199 Private Borrowing 200 In Summary 202 Chapter 12: A First for Everything 205 First Cell Phone 206 First Checking Account 207 First Car 209 Moving Out 213 First Home 218 Your Wedding 224 In Summary 226 Chapter 13: Importance of Charity 227 Experience is The Best Teacher 228 Gratitude is The First Step 230 Closer To Home 231 Learning From The Younger Generation 233 It Is Never Too Late to Teach Your Children 234 In Summary 236 Section 4: Plan for the Future 237 Chapter 14: Life's Unexpecteds 239 Do You Feel Lucky Today? The Concept of Risk 240 Loss of A Loved One 245 Financial Safety Net 247 Special Finances For Special Needs 248 Identity Theft 253 In Summary 257 Chapter 15: Retirement Planning 259 Start Saving Early and often 261 How Early is Too Early? 262 How Much Will I Need to Save? 264 Retirement Planning Strategy 264 Roller Coaster Markets, Roller Coaster Emotions 266 Importance of Trusted Advisors 269 In Summary 272 Chapter 16: Retirement Saving 273 What Pension Plan Do I Choose? 274 Take Advantage of Your Employer Plans 274 Not So Early In Life? It Is Never Too Late! 278 Other Retirement Plans 281 How Can I Plan For Retirement If My Employer Doesn't Offer Retirement Benefits? 281 The Roth Ira A Plan With Tax-Free Earnings 283 Options For Small Business Owners 285 403(b) and 457 Plans 287 Retirement Planning Using Annuities 287 Retirement Planning With Traditional Investments 287 So Many Options...How Do I Choose? 288 In Summary 289 Chapter 17: Estate, or End of Life Planning 291 Isn't Estate Planning Only For The Rich? 292 So Where Do You Start? 293 Estate Planning For All Ages 294 Over 18 294 Young and Single 295 Unmarried Couples 295 Married Couples 295 Married with Children 296 Comfortable and Looking Forward to Retirement 297 Wealthy and Worried 297 Elderly or Ill 298 Will Your Estate Be Taxed? 299 Exemptions and Maximum Tax Rates 299 Choose Your Executor Wisely 300 Share Your Plans With Your Loved Ones 302 Protecting Your Parents 304 In Summary 306 Section 5: You Are Not Alone 309 Chapter 18: Value of Great Advisors 311 Sudden Wealth Syndrome 320 Through The Eyes of The Advisor 325 In Summary 327 Chapter 19: The Next Steps 329 Afterword 335 Appendix: Financial Education Programs and Resources in Your State 337 Contributors 341

About the Author

Sharon L. Lechter, CPA, CGMA, Founder/CEO of Pay Your Family First, is creator of the award-winning ThriveTime for Teens board game, coauthor of Think and Grow Rich-Three Feet from Gold, and Rich Dad Poor Dad, and annotator of Outwitting the Devil with the Napoleon Hill Foundation. She served as a member of the first President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, and is a member of the AICPA's National CPA Financial Literacy Commission. For more information visit

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