Life and Money

car loan

Should I Buy a Car with Cash or Take Out a Loan?

by Sophia Bera August 16, 2017

Suppose you decide to buy a new car and, after considering whether to buy or lease it, you’ve decided to buy. Now comes your next big decision: should you pay cash for a car or finance it? Once again, there’s no one “right” answer. It truly depends on a few factors, like: The kind of […]

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Car buying vs. leasing

Should I Buy or Lease a Car?

by Sophia Bera August 9, 2017

Getting a car is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make, and it’s one that can affect your cash flow for years. Beyond the cost of the car, you’ll have to pay for maintenance, fuel, insurance, and parking. A car can cost you just over $700 per month on average, according to AAA (and […]

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Online financial tools

The Best Financial Tools, Apps, and Calculators I Recommend All the Time

by Sophia Bera June 28, 2017

Managing and automating your finances has never been easier. There are so many online and mobile tools available (most for free!) that setting yourself up for financial success involves little more than 30 minutes of set-up and a few minutes of monitoring a month. You’re more likely to meet your financial goals if those goals […]

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Online experts

My Favorite Online Experts

by Sophia Bera June 21, 2017

Helping a client with their financial plan involves a lot of conversations about numerical data. We chat about their current net worth, their debts, the amount they have in savings, and their financial goals like buying a home or retiring. My clients are in a phase of life that comes with a ton of change […]

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blogs and podcasts

Personal Finance Blogs and Podcasts to Add to Your List

by Sophia Bera June 14, 2017

Summer’s a quiet time for financial planners. Lots of clients worry about money in January after setting New Year’s resolutions, or in April when taxes are due. For now, everyone’s going on vacation! But summer is a great time to learn about personal finance. You’ve got time to fill on long flights, after all! And […]

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Lower tax bill

4 Legal Ways to Lower Your Tax Bill

by Sophia Bera March 8, 2017

By now, you might have completed your tax returns for 2016 … and for some of you, the joy of getting your taxes out of the way is lessened by how much you owe the IRS. If it makes you feel any better, a big tax bill is a sign you made a lot of […]

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Lending money to loved ones

How to Lend Money to Loved Ones Without Wrecking Your Relationships

by Sophia Bera February 22, 2017

Here’s a question that can negatively affect your relationship with a friend, relative, or significant other for years to come: Can I borrow some money? When someone you care about needs financial help, you don’t want to leave them in the lurch. After all, these are the people you’d turn to in a crisis — […]

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Thumbnail image for How to Talk About Money With Your Significant Other

How to Talk About Money With Your Significant Other

by Sophia Bera February 15, 2017

When you’re dating someone, there are some conversation topics that are tough to bring up — and I’m not talking about how your last relationship ended! I’m talking about money. We’re taught from a young age that it’s rude to discuss money, and when you’re on your best behavior around a new romantic prospect, it’s […]

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Couples and money

How to Combine Your Finances as a Couple: Real-Life Advice I Give My Clients

by Sophia Bera February 8, 2017

If you’ve built up savings and  investments while single, it can be tough to shift your mindset from “me” to “we” when you meet someone you want to be with for the long haul. I answer a lot of client questions about merging finances and setting joint money goals — while still leaving each half […]

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Budgeting

A Values-Based Way to Build Your Budget

by Sophia Bera January 25, 2017

Let’s be honest: budgeting sucks. There’s a reason everyone (including me) dreads sitting down and figuring out a budget. It brings to light all the things you spent money on that you probably shouldn’t have, and in the end you’ve got a list of super-responsible stuff to spend money on instead. It’s the financial equivalent […]

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