48 Items across 6 Categories

RECENT IN THOUGHTS & IDEAS

Two Minutes 'Til Touchdown Read Article
 

I was returning home late one evening last month on a United Airlines flight from Boston after attending a board meeting for the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood. The irony of this connection will be evident shortly.

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Adults, Organizations
Family Gift Giving Resolution Read Article
 

The holidays can create unhealthy expectations, especially for kids. How do you create a more manageable and enjoyable holiday experience for you and your family?

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Parents, Kids
  • 2014: The Year of the Conversation
    As we ring in the New Year, it’s common and also helpful to do two things related to your personal finances: reflect on the choices you made (small and large), as well as, think about the choices you hope to make in the future.
  • Happy Thanks-Getting
    Should we really be surprised it has come to this? The National Retail Federation (NRF) projected that millions of Americans will begin their holiday shopping on Thanksgiving. Seriously?
  • 5 Steps to Successful Back-to-School Shopping
    Creating a back-to-school shopping plan can help kids develop healthy money habits while minimizing, what can be, a very stressful experience for families.
  • From Idea to Action
    Never underestimate the power of a single learning experience. Back in June of 2012, I led a learning event for alumni at my alma mater, St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. During the presentation, I talked about the benefits of using a Share Save Spend allowance with kids as a way to introduce them to the topic of money
  • Building Wealth - One Choice at a Time
    On the eve of financial literacy month, it’s a good time to talk about what it takes to accumulate wealth – be it $1,000 or $100,000. More specifically, how it often boils down to our daily spending decisions.
  • 10 Tips to Achieve Financial Sanity in 2013
    2012 provided me with many opportunities to interact with LOTS of amazing people throughout the U.S and Canada. Based on hundreds of conversations with fans of Share Save Spend, here are my 10 Tips to Achieve Money Sanity in 2013. Thanks for your inspiration!
  • How to Maintain Your Sanity at the Holidays
    We often go to incredible lengths to make the holiday season spectacular—like tracking down the perfect gift for someone we love. Finding just-the-right-thing to make someone else happy and give us something to feel good about, if only for a few weeks.
  • How to Engage Young Philanthropists
    Millennials approach things differently than previous generations. From the way they work to the way they communicate, Millennials have developed unique ways of engaging with the world. It’s not surprising then that this generation also has a unique way of approaching philanthropy.
  • Nathan Talks Money Trends and Consulting with Ross Levin
    Nathan recently sat down with Ross Levin, Founding Principal and President of Accredited Investors Inc. for an interview.
  • Save the Date?
    Move over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Back-to-School Saturday has arrived—and it’s targeting your children. When it comes to shopping, marketers and retailers live by a simple rule of thumb: Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.
  • From Cash to Plastic to Cell - R U Ready?
    The shift to electronic payments via smartphone is here—and with it comes huge implications for consumers.
  • Managing Debt and Achievement
    The other day on my way to do a TV interview about student loan debt, I drove past the University of Minnesota campus and noticed a common wardrobe theme – funny looking caps and oddly shaped gowns – a powerful visual reminder that we are definitely in the midst of graduation season.
  • My Money Values
    We make thousands of spending decisions each year. Some purchases are truly needs, while others are clearly wants. But why is this distinction, which appears to be so simple, often so confusing?
  • Help Kids Develop Healthy Savings Habits
    Saving is a learned behavior. It’s something kids need to practice over and over from an early age. When teaching your child how to save money, it is important to start early. I worked with a family whose 12-year-old son, Luke, decided he wanted to buy a car when he turned 16.
  • Launching the Boomerang Generation
    There’s no question about it, everyone has suffered through the recession. But, according to a recent study released by the Pew Research Center, young adults are arguably being hit the hardest by today’s economy. Only 54% of 18 to 24 year-olds are employed, the lowest since the government began collecting this data in 1948.
  • Can Money Buy Happiness?
    There’s no question about it. Money is a necessary ingredient for happiness. We need it to meet our basic needs on a daily basis.
  • Teaching Generosity in an Era of Austerity
    How does our culture’s hyper focus on shaping youth spending habits square with the new austerity trend that is sweeping the globe? The contrast couldn’t be more dramatic. Imagine how confusing the message of austerity must be for youth around the world.
  • Money 911
    Establishing and maintaining an emergency fund is one of the most important things you can do for yourself—both financially and emotionally.
  • Transaction vs. Interaction
    Nathan did a brief interview with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham when he was in town speaking at two events sponsored by the foundation.
  • Guess who’s cashing student loan checks?
    Last month Walmart announced that it is extending its reach into the alternative check-cashing industry. The retail giant’s expansion of services means that you can now cash checks for rebates, pensions, retirement accounts, and student loans at any one of its stores.
  • Healthy Money Habits for the Next Generation
    In my experience of working with high-net-worth families, there is a significant imbalance in the amount of time and energy they devote to the transaction of wealth versus the interaction of wealth.
  • Help Kids Gain Valuable Money Lessons with Back-To-School Shopping Plan
    Creating a back-to-school shopping plan can help kids develop healthy money habits while minimizing, what can be, a very stressful experience for families.
  • Lessons to be Learned from the Debt Ceiling Crisis
    With American households spending about 106% of what they are earning we need to be honest about our financial situation and plan ahead for the unexpected.
  • Learn To Earn: 5 Reasons Your Teen Should Have a Summer Job
    As parents, we want to give our children every possible advantage to help them grow up to be mature, responsible, contributing members of their communities. Teens and college students who work part-time in high school or college earn 16 percent more after college than those who do not. And colleges are factoring in work
  • Getting the Most Out of Money Sanity Solutions: Tips for Financial Advisors
    Let’s face it, every family knows they should have conversations about money. The problem is that most people don’t know how. Where do they start? What do they want to accomplish? How do they broach difficult subjects? That’s where Financial Advisors have a unique opportunity to step in and help families proactively address
  • Money Sanity Solutions Contest Winners!
    We have a winner! No, actually we have three winners. We had a terrific response to our Money Sanity Solutions: Linking Money + Meaning giveaway contest and had a very difficult time selecting a winner. So we chose three!
  • Free Resources for Money Sanity Solutions
    Two, free resources for Money Sanity Solutions: Linking Money + Meaning are available for download
  • Money Sanity Solutions Giveaway
    The contest is now closed. Click here to see who won!
     
  • Why Can't Americans Save?
    Why Can’t Americans Save? This week the New York Times "Room for Debate" section took on that very topic. The article featured several different perspectives on a recent Harris poll that examined American’s savings habits.
  • Episcopal Church USA: A Collaborative Success Story
    I recently wrote an article for The Episcopal Church USA’s first edition of their new e-newsletter, The Steward’s Well, a quarterly resource created especially for those leading stewardship in their congregations.
  • New Book & Minneapolis Family Featured on NBC Affiliate
    Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with a local family and talk about money.
  • Deal or No Deal?
    Are you a fan of coupons? And would you use them, without hesitation, even if you were on a first date? I ask the question because it’s no secret that there has been a bit of a social stigma associated with coupon clipping – especially with the 30 & under crowd.
  • Facebook Founder Launches Social Network to Inspire Philanthropy
    I just read an interesting article in The New York Times, A Facebook Founder Begins a Social Network Focused on Charities, about a new social networking site that aims to “connect individuals and organizations (nonprofits) working to change the world.”
  • A Preview of Coming Attractions
    Imagine this scenario: your daughter or son is heading home from school and they receive the following text from their favorite retailer.
  • Giving Through Lending
    The other day I received a reminder email from Kiva to relend the money in my Kiva account. The goal: lend money to eager entrepreneurs from around the world who are going to great lengths to overcome the grip of poverty.
  • ERD: Making a Meaningful Difference
    As we approach the holiday season and are overwhelmed with messages telling us about the hottest gifts and “must have” gadgets, I’d like to recognize the work of a remarkable organization that works with the world’s most vulnerable people.
  • Talking to Your Kids About Money
    After a recent speaking engagement in San Rafael, California, a group of parents approached me with the following dilemma. In near unison they shared, “We want to talk with our kids about money, but we don’t know where to start or what to say.”
  • Addressing Workplace Productivity & Money Stress
    Back in August I was contacted by a senior HR manager at Best Buy corporate headquarters with a very specific request. He was planning a weeklong focus on the topic of financial well-being and wanted me to kick-off this first-ever event.
  • Money as Interaction

    At a recent workshop for prominent financial advisors in the Bay Area, we had a terrific discussion about the need/opportunity to rethink their current service models for multigenerational families – especially in light of the current economic environment. 

  • The Impact of Credit Scores
    Every semester for the past several years, I have had the privilege of being a guest presenter at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. It’s a great opportunity to interact with some wonderful students who are always eager to learn more about personal finance.
  • Team Decisions
    All major money decisions, be it debt, retirement, college savings, managing an emergency fund, credit card management and expense management to name a few, should be a team decision. It’s a great way to maintain household accountability and ensure that you stay on track with all of your money goals.
  • Needs vs. Wants
    Wherever I travel for work people these days, I’m hearing two common themes from people. One, they want guidance on how to shift their money behavior to match the current reality. Two, they are sharing that it’s much more difficult to change their money habits than they thought.
  • Battling Birthday Extravagance
    If you’ve attended a child’s birthday party recently, my hunch is you’ve already figured out that birthday celebrations ‘ain’t what they used to be
  • The Power of Money Mentoring
    Let it be known, I am a huge fan of money mentors. That is people who are willing to share with a young person their highs and lows around all things money. It’s a wonderful way to cut the learning curve in a complex money world.
  • My Forthcoming Book
    As I point out in my forthcoming book, Money Sanity Solutions: Linking Money and Meaning, there is a major technological shift underway that will change how we pay for goods and services in the very near term.
  • Boomerangers
    Boomerangers (young adults) moving back home to save money is an interesting trend and one that is likely here to stay, at least until the recession eases.