Spending Money

When someone tells me they want to stick to a budget, but they have never been able to, and they don’t know what they are doing wrong, they are usually referring to their day to day spending budget. This budget is pretty hard to manage. It consists of many small transactions that seem insignificant at the moment of the purchase, but when your bank is flooded with them, it’s actually pretty detrimental. 


Most people don’t even see that and they wonder where all their money goes every month. That’s why every year I like to do a no spend month. You can read more about what that is in my last blog post. Jump in with the rest of us and finish out our No Spend February. It’s totally worth it and very effective even if it’s just for two weeks. Having a reset every year is a great way to start the new year and really gets your mindset and habits in check.


Some people say “no spend months” are like “crash diets.” Like crash diets that are unrealistic, hardcore, and short-term, no spend months won’t get you to really change anything besides the one month you do them. After a no spend February people will go into a “Willy nilly March” and spend all the money they saved on all the things they wanted in February. They go right back into those old spending habits and stop the progress that was made, because they actually have not changed the way they manage their money. There’s no new plan or system to do things differently.


However, the way I see it, our no spend month isn’t meant to be long-term or make a drastic change in our money going forward. It’s actually supposed to be short-term and challenging and hard. It’s meant to be a reset to wake us up from mindless spending and spending by default, and realize that we need to be more intentional with our money. But having one reset month isn’t what is going to bring lasting change to your money.


So, then what will happen? Where do we go after our no spend month? Well, I’m glad you asked. I’m going to share with you what I teach my clients about spending. Ready? Let’s get started. 


Introducing your new spending account for day to day spending. 

Let me explain. Many people budget by category: groceries: $600/month, gas $250/month, eating out $200/month, etc. I’ve done this too. What I have found in my own life is that the tracking isn’t worth it. When I’ve set a monthly budget on a spreadsheet or an app, I go throughout my month and track where I’ve spent and at the end of the month, inevitably, I go over every budget, every category, every month. This wasn’t helpful to me. Tracking is not the same thing as budgeting. Also, it takes time many people don’t have or choose not to use on tracking.


There is a better way. And this is the way I teach my clients. What if we had a budget that followed us around so we knew how much was in it at all times and we could be guilt free on using every dollar of it? There’s no tracking involved, no categorizing, no sifting through many little transactions. It’s wonderful.


Want to learn how? Here’s what you do. 


Step 1: Determine the amount

Determine how much you need per week for your spending. This spending would include groceries, gas, eating out, Amazon purchases, entertainment, Target runs, etc. You can categorize it out to get an initial estimate and then you won’t have to worry about doing that again for a bit.


Once you get a number per week, you will figure out how much you need per pay period. For example, if you are paid bi-weekly, take this weekly amount and times it by 2. Let’s say my total was $300/week. If I am paid bi-weekly, then my per pay period amount would be $600. 


Step 2: Open a new checking account

Next, I want you to open a second checking account and call this your Spending Account. Every pay period, as soon as you get paid, transfer money from your main checking account to your new spending account. This spending account will have its own debit card and you will use this debit card on all the purchases that are related to those categories that you broke out initially. 


So in our example, once I get paid, I would transfer $600 to my spending account. This is the amount that I can use until I get paid again and transfer another $600 to my account. Make sense?


Why are we doing this? 

Now we have a budget that follows us around and we know exactly how much is left in it at all times. We also only have to manage this amount until the next pay period. We can use every last dollar. But don’t go over! You can check the balance of this account to see how much you have left for groceries, gas, etc for the rest of the pay period. 


Now for those that use their checking account balance to gauge how they are doing financially, this works pretty much the same way. But now you have a separate account just for your spending. And for those that never had a limit to their spending, now you have a limit, but you can feel free to use it all – guilt free!


How does that sound and feel? I think it’s pretty freeing. You have boundaries, but you can feel free to spend within those boundaries. And as a coach, I don’t set this number. I help my clients determine what they are comfortable with spending. We talk about their values, their goals, their lifestyle and we find a number they are happy with while still achieving their goals. 


I would love to hear how it works for you. This is one of the key foundations of the framework that I teach my clients. It helps really get clarity and awareness around our money so we can feel confident and know that we are in control and making progress towards our goals. 


If you are interested in hearing more and getting personalized help with your finances, I would love to talk with you. Click here to schedule a quick call to see how coaching can help you. 


If you aren’t quite ready, please sign up for my newsletter where I share personal money stories and tips on ways to manage your money this new year. When you sign up, you get my free guide to cutting your grocery bill in half!


I look forward to hearing from you and seeing how this impacts your money. 


Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. Financial Coaching services are only provided to those with a financial coaching service agreement in place.  Investment advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.


Maximizing Your Wealth: Tax Strategies for High Income Earners

As the saying goes, “With great income comes great tax responsibility.” High-income earners often find themselves facing substantial tax burdens, but with careful planning and strategic maneuvers, it’s possible to minimize tax liabilities and retain more of your hard-earned money. Here are a few effective tax strategies tailored for those in the upper income tax brackets.


1. Contribute to Retirement Accounts
One of the most powerful tax strategies available to high-income earners is maximizing contributions to retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, or Roth IRAs. Not only do 401(k) and IRA contributions reduce current taxable income, but they also allow investments to grow tax-deferred.* Roth IRA contributions also grow tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free. For those in high tax brackets, this can lead to significant long-term savings.
Bonus points if you’re a business owner – there are even higher contribution rates. Your Verde Advisor can help determine the maximum amount allowed based on your business.


2. Harness the Power of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offer a triple tax advantage: contributions are tax-deductible, earnings grow tax-free, and withdrawals are tax-free when used for qualified medical expenses. High-income earners can benefit from contributing to HSAs, especially if they have high medical expenses or anticipate them in the future. HSAs provide an additional avenue for tax-efficient savings.


3. Implement Tax-Loss Harvesting
Tax-loss harvesting involves selling investments at a loss to offset capital gains and potentially reduce taxable income. High-income earners can strategically employ this technique to rebalance their portfolios while minimizing tax implications. By strategically realizing losses, individuals can optimize their tax position and enhance after-tax returns.


4. Leverage Charitable Giving
Charitable giving not only benefits worthy causes but can also yield significant tax advantages for high-income earners. Donating appreciated assets, such as stocks or real estate, allows individuals to receive charitable deductions while potentially avoiding capital gains taxes. Moreover, establishing donor-advised funds or charitable trusts can provide additional flexibility and tax benefits.


5. Consider Business Ownership
For high-income individuals with entrepreneurial aspirations, establishing a business entity can unlock numerous tax benefits. S-corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) offer opportunities to deduct business expenses, optimize income distribution, and potentially benefit from lower tax rates on business income. Proper structuring and ongoing tax planning are essential to maximize these advantages.


6. Engage Professional Guidance
Navigating the complex landscape of tax planning requires expertise and specialized knowledge. High-income earners can benefit from working closely with a Verde Advisor, qualified tax professionals, and estate planners to develop tailored strategies aligned with their financial objectives. These professionals can provide valuable insights, ensure compliance with tax laws, and optimize tax efficiency.
In conclusion, high-income earners have a range of sophisticated tax strategies at their disposal to minimize tax liabilities and preserve wealth. By proactively implementing these strategies and staying abreast of changes in tax laws, individuals can maximize their after-tax income and achieve their long-term financial goals. Remember, effective tax planning is not just about minimizing taxes today but also about building a solid foundation for future financial success.


*Note, IRA contributions and their possible reduction of taxable income are based on several factors, including your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and whether you (and/or your spouse) are covered by an employer sponsored retirement plan. Talk to your Verde Advisor and/or a tax professional to learn more.

Verde Capital Management is a registered investment adviser. Information presented herein is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Readers of the information contained in this email should be aware that any action taken by the viewer/reader based on this information is taken at their own risk. This information does not address individual situations and should not be construed or viewed as any type of individual or group recommendation. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser, tax professional, and/or legal counsel before implementing any securities, investments, or investment strategies discussed.

No Spend February

Well a new year is upon us and sometimes coming into January instead of feeling the excitement of the new year, you might be feeling kind of guilty about all the spending you did at the end of last year. 


First, I’ll just say, “let it go!” 


Regret or shame will not get us anywhere. The new year brings a new page, hope, and a clean slate in which we can work off of and grow in areas we want to change in the new year.


So with that in mind, I want to help start you in the right direction. Sometimes our spending can get a little out of hand. Maybe that is mostly during the holiday season for you, but maybe it’s more like all year round. Sometimes I’ve gotten into times where I feel like I’m spending money left and right. Random small things I need at the house or things for the kids, and it just feels like my money is water and I’m watering all of the green things out there.


Well not sure if you heard, but there’s this thing called “No Spend January.” Since we are already in the middle of January, don’t worry. I did a no spend February last year and it works just the same 😉 Now before you stop reading and say, “There is no way I’m doing that!” Here me out. And just maybe, you’ll want to do this with me. 


Last year a few of my clients tried this out. One couple saved a few hundred dollars in two weeks alone and they were surprised there was so much more in their bank account. Another couple told me since they were being more conscious, they stopped eating out and realized that was a HUGE part of their weekly budget. 


Ok, so I’m sure you are dying to know exactly what a “No Spend February” is. Well it does not mean “absolutely no spending any money for a whole month.” But it does mean “no spending on non-essential, discretionary items.” Things that are in: basic groceries, gas, bills, etc. Things that are out: Amazon purchases, random Target runs, eating out, clothing, etc.


Our goal here is to break habits we’ve created over the year (or over our lifetime) and stop the mindless spending.


The first thing you want to do to get started is to create a goal. Analyze your spending for the past few months and see how much you spent on non-essential items. That total will be your goal on how much you should be able to save for this challenge. If this seems like too much work, just skip this step and see how much money you can save in one more. You’ll probably surprise yourself as you see your bank account growing.


Then, you’ll want to decide on what to do with your savings when you are done. Will you make an extra payment on your credit card? Will you put it away for your emergency fund? Be sure you know why you are creating this goal and how you will use everything you saved ahead of time.


Now, how will you actually make this goal happen? Here are some ways to save:

  • Shop your closet: If you reach out back deep in there, I’m sure you will find some clothes you haven’t worn in ages. Pair it with some other items and see what new styles come from it.
  • Watch movies at home: once the kids go down or as a family, find a movie with your streaming service, pop that popcorn, and hunker down in your living room instead of the movie theater.
  • Make coffee at home and pack your lunch: instead of the daily bagel and coffee to go or quick pick up for lunch, take a few extra minutes and sit down for breakfast with the fam, and pack an homey, but adequate meal for your lunch. Leftovers work great!
  • Remove the Amazon app from your phone: Stop the urge! Set up boundaries. Say, “that can wait until next month.” Most likely it can and nothing can hurt from a little extra waiting.
  • Meal plan: oof we can talk about this for hours. If you need help with this one I have a whole talk about it that you can watch in this video.


Kristina Ellis, a former Dave Ramsey team member, is doing her “No Spend January” again this year and she has tons of suggestions and ideas for making this happen. Check out her Instagram if you need more ideas!


If a whole month feels intimidating, maybe just try one week or three days. But, if you are willing to make a big change and do one whole month and kick start your year off to being more intentional with your money – then let’s do this! 


Don’t give up if you miss the mark on one day! Just keep signing up and challenge yourself. 


The results of walking away from this no spend month will be valuable in more ways than one. You’ll be learning so much related to patience, contentment, creativity, and delayed gratification. Who knows what innovative food creations you’ll come up with or free activities to do with the kids when you really get to thinking. You will stop old habits, implement new habits, be more mindful in your spending, AND have all the money you saved at the end to show for it. Who knows? Maybe this will motivate you to keep it up! If not another no spend month, maybe just tightening that spending budget since you know now it’s possible. 


Let this challenge change your habits and the way you spend your money. Your goals, your family, and your future is worth it.


You have a few weeks to prepare, so get going! Me? I’m off to convince my husband this is a good idea again!


But seriously, if you would like help in your journey, know that I am here for you. If you are looking to make financial progress in 2024, click here to find out how.


Want content like this more often and sent directly to your inbox? Sign up for Money Chats with Michelle here!


Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. Financial Coaching services are only provided to those with a financial coaching service agreement in place.  Investment advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.


Debt Reduction with Financial Coach Michelle Kopp

As Verde Capital Management’s Financial Coach, Michelle Kopp works hard to empower you to take control of your financial journey. If you’ve ever felt the weight of debt hanging over your head, you’re not alone. In today’s fast-paced world, managing finances can be a challenging puzzle, but fear not – we’re here to help you put those pieces together.

During this Fireside Chat, we’re diving deep into the art and science of debt reduction. Whether you’re dealing with student loans, credit card balances, or other financial obligations, we’ve got your back. Our goal? To provide you with practical strategies, insightful tips, and a roadmap that can lead you towards a debt-free future.

So, if you’re ready to break free from the shackles of debt and embark on a journey towards financial freedom, you’re in the right place. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and check out the video below for actionable steps and mindset shifts that can make all the difference in your quest for debt reduction.

Want to hear more from Michelle? Sign up here for the monthly Money Chats with Michelle email. You’ll receive her free guide to cutting your grocery bill in half when you sign up.


Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. Financial Coaching services are only provided to those with a financial coaching service agreement in place.  Investment advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

Bonds may act as a steady anchor over a full market cycle

Tommi Harris, Financial Advisor


Here’s why they are worth considering.


There are two ways you may make money investing in bonds: appreciate in value over time and systematic interest payments. Lately, investors are forgetting about the latter.


Imagine stepping on board a large boat on a warm summer’s day, you realize it is both calming and exhilarating to be out in the open water for an extended period of time. However, the desire to cool off in the deep water becomes too irresistible, and you find yourself jumping into the water. The water wraps you up in a refreshing embrace, and you are lost in the moment. Soon after, you begin to notice that your boat is starting to drift away from you, and you find yourself stranded in the middle of the deep water. You realize you have to swim back to the boat with all your might, hoping you can reach it. Your heart begins to race, and soon you find yourself struggling to keep your head above the water. You wish you had decided to swim in shallower waters or had a more stable anchor to prevent the boat from drifting away. Ever feel this way when it comes to investing? When markets are good, it can be exhilarating, but when markets turn downward, you may wish you had a stable anchor to hold your portfolio in place.


With the aggressive Federal Reserve rate hike cycle over the past year and a half, bonds and cash have become more common topics within investment-related conversations. Here is what to consider when reviewing your own portfolio and the speed at which your investments are driving.


Diversified bonds as a segment of one’s portfolio may provide a stable anchor. Over a full market cycle, providing some diversification from other asset classes or segments during a heightened period of stock market volatility. Bonds are essentially loans made by the government, municipalities, or corporations, and when you invest in them, you become a creditor.


Three things that may be advantageous are…

  1. Income stream: Bonds offer regular interest payments creating a consistent income stream even in uncertain times and when the bond itself has depreciated. Consider it like an investment property. You purchase the house with the hopes the real estate market will appreciate over a long time period. Every once in a while the house may depreciate in value; just like a bond, its price may fluctuate. The second way you hope to make money when buying a house as a rental property is through a tenant paying rent each month; this is similar to a bond, by receiving systematic interest payments.
  2. Capital Preservation: Bonds are generally less volatile than stocks over a long period of time, such as in 2022, which was during an extreme period of interest rate hikes.
  3. Diversification: Including bonds in your portfolio diversifies risk, especially if the bond itself has a negative correlation to the stock segment or other asset classes within the portfolio.


High-yielding money market accounts and the temptation of liquidity. Money market accounts offer liquidity and higher interest rates compared to traditional savings accounts. They are often seen as a safe haven. When allocating the right amount of someone’s overall net worth to a money market account, a high-interest rate environment may be advantageous. However, any more than what is needed in ultra-short liquid accounts may not be the ideal choice for wealth building or preservation.


Here’s why you don’t want to over-allocate your net worth or liquid money into a high-yielding money market account.

  1. Limited growth potential: Money market accounts provide liquidity. While we can all agree it is important to have funds in a liquid account, they offer limited growth potential compared to bonds, which typically yield higher returns than cash over time.
  2. Inflation erosion: When interest rates rise, even a high-yielding savings account will have a hard time keeping pace with inflation. Also, the real purchasing power of money market funds can diminish over time.
  3. Opportunity cost: Opting for money market accounts alone may result in missed opportunities for long-term wealth generation.


When aiming to maximize wealth, there are various options worth exploring, including diversified bonds, money market accounts, or CDs. Although diversified bonds can yield higher returns over time, they also entail some degree of risk. Conversely, money market accounts and CDs typically offer lower returns but are considered to be safer choices. Ultimately, the optimal selection for you will depend on your unique financial objectives, risk tolerance, and investment timeline. It is worth seeking advice from a Verde financial advisor to determine the most suitable investment strategy.


Remember the key to successful wealth management lies in striking the right balance between safety and growth. Speak with your Verde advisor to tailor a strategy that aligns with your unique financial goals and risk appetite.

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this graphic and email are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc. and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

How Do I Improve My Credit Score?

Your credit score is a vital financial tool that plays a significant role in your life. It influences your ability to secure loans, credit cards, and favorable interest rates. Whether you’re planning to buy a home, start a business, or simply want to have better financial opportunities, improving your credit score is a smart move. In this blog post, we’ll delve into actionable steps you can take to boost your credit score and pave the way for a brighter financial future.


Establishing Credit

If you have no credit history and are trying to establish credit, you may find the process quite frustrating. Check out options like petalcard.com where you can get approved for credit without any history using alternative methods like income, fixed expenses, and assets.

Be sure to check out experian.com. This credit bureau will show everything that is affecting your credit score and how to improve it. They have a feature called Experian Boost that will pull in your bank accounts or credit cards and find any bills that could be reported to the credit bureau. If they are not currently being reported, Experian will report them for you in an effort to provide you with credit history.

Understanding Your Credit Score

Before diving into the strategies to improve your credit score, it’s essential to understand what it is and how it’s calculated. A credit score is a number which represents your creditworthiness based on your credit history. The most widely used scoring model is the FICO score, which ranges from 300 to 850. The higher your score, the better your creditworthiness.

Factors that influence your credit score include:

  1. Payment History: Your record of making on-time payments on loans and credit accounts.
  2. Credit Utilization: The ratio of your credit card balances to your credit limits.
  3. Length of Credit History: How long your credit accounts have been active.
  4. Types of Credit: The various types of credit accounts you have, such as credit cards, mortgages, and installment loans.
  5. New Credit: The number of recent credit inquiries and newly opened accounts.

Now that you have a better grasp of what constitutes your credit score, let’s explore ways to improve it.

  1. Pay Your Bills on Time

Consistently paying your bills on time is one of the most crucial steps in improving your credit score. Set up reminders, automate payments, and establish a budget to ensure you never miss a due date. Payment history carries significant weight in determining your credit score, so make it a priority to be punctual.

  1. Reduce Credit Card Balances

High credit card balances relative to your credit limits can negatively impact your credit score. Aim to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%. Paying down credit card debt can have a swift and positive effect on your score.

  1. Avoid Opening Unnecessary Accounts

While having a mix of credit types is beneficial, opening new credit accounts frequently can be detrimental to your credit score. Each credit inquiry can cause a small dip in your score, and opening new accounts may shorten your average account age. Be selective when applying for new credit.

  1. Maintain a Diverse Mix of Credit

Having a diverse range of credit types, such as credit cards, installment loans, and mortgages, can demonstrate your ability to manage different financial responsibilities. However, only take on credit you can manage responsibly.

  1. Regularly Review Your Credit Report

Obtain free copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) annually. Review them for errors, inaccuracies, or fraudulent activity. Disputing and rectifying any mistakes can positively impact your score.

  1. Settle Delinquent Accounts

If you have past-due accounts, work to settle them. Negotiate with creditors to establish payment plans or settlements, which can help improve your payment history over time.

There are many tools and apps available to help you monitor and improve your credit score. Be careful about signing up for paid subscriptions – make sure you’re not paying for a service that you can otherwise get for free. Check out resources like Nerd Wallet for reputable apps and credit card programs that may help you build up your credit score.

Improving your credit score takes time and consistent effort, but the long-term financial benefits are well worth it. By following these actionable steps, you can take control of your creditworthiness, open doors to better financial opportunities, and secure a stronger foundation for your future financial endeavors. Remember that improving your credit score is a journey, so stay patient and committed to your financial goals!

Mastering the Art of Saving: Practical Tips to Build a Strong Financial Future

In today’s fast-paced world, saving money has become more crucial than ever. Whether you’re striving for financial independence, planning for a big life event, or simply want to create a safety net for the unexpected, developing a habit of saving is a skill that can empower you with greater control over your financial future. In this blog post, we’ll explore a range of actionable tips and strategies that will guide you on your journey to saving more money effectively.


  1. Set Clear Financial Goals:

Before you embark on your savings journey, it’s important to define your financial goals. Whether it’s creating an emergency fund, saving for a dream vacation, or building a retirement nest egg, having a clear purpose for your savings will provide you with the motivation and direction needed to stay on track. These will likely change over time, so make time to regularly check in on these goals to make sure they still work for your current needs and vision for your future.


  1. Create a Realistic Budget:

A budget is your financial roadmap. List your sources of income, all of your regular expenses, your annual and/or quarterly expenses, and anticipated irregular expenses (e.g. a vet visit for your pet, a broken windshield for your car, etc.). This will help you identify areas where you feel you can cut back so you can allocate funds towards your savings goals. Keep track of your actual spending versus your anticipated budget regularly (weekly is a great idea so it doesn’t become a huge chore), and be kind to yourself if things look a little wonky. It’s not a failure, just an opportunity to evaluate and commit to creating new habits.


Verde’s Recommendation of Thirds for Budget Management

⅓ Necessities: Your necessities are your groceries, housing (including taxes), and transportation (car payments, gas, insurance, etc) and should not exceed ⅓ of your income. 

⅓ Wants: The other ⅓ should be spent on your wants – entertainment, dining out, toys, etc. 

⅓ Savings: That leaves you ⅓ of your income that you can save!  

While this is a great rule of thumb, we also know that this may not be what your current financial situation allows for – that’s okay.  You can grow towards this goal by using the 5 / 10 / __ method.


  1. Automate Savings:

Automation is your secret weapon to effortlessly increase your savings. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to a dedicated savings, retirement, or investment account each month. This way, you won’t have to rely solely on willpower to save consistently.


  1. Reduce Unnecessary Expenses:

Trimming unnecessary expenses can significantly boost your savings potential. Consider cutting down on eating out, subscription services, and impulse purchases. Small changes in your daily spending habits can lead to substantial savings over time. At times we understand this can be easier said than done! Changing your spending habits and behaviors takes time, patience with yourself, and the energy and willpower to create a new process. Remember, these changes aren’t a “loss” in the short term – they are a gain for your long term success!


  1. Shop Smart:

When shopping, always look for discounts, coupons, and sales. You can make this process more efficient and less time consuming by leveraging apps for stores you shop at regularly; these apps let you digitally add coupons and savings to your rewards or frequent shopper’s card so you don’t have to carry around a load of paper coupons.  You can also use tools to compare prices of items you’re contemplating purchasing across multiple online and brick & mortar stores. Also, consider buying generic brands instead of name brands, and explore thrift stores, consignment shops, or online marketplaces for second-hand items. 


  1. Cook at Home:

Eating out can be expensive, and the cost of restaurant meals can quickly add up. Cooking at home not only saves money but also allows you to make healthier choices. Plan your meals, buy groceries in bulk, and prepare meals in advance to minimize food waste. Check out a presentation by Michelle Kopp, with Hope Financial, to learn more about cost cutting ideas around this topic in her presentation “Is Your Food Eating You?” from August 16, 2023.


  1. Negotiate and Comparison Shop:

Don’t be afraid to negotiate when making significant purchases. Many retailers are open to price negotiations, especially if you’re a loyal customer. Additionally, always compare prices and options before making a purchase to ensure you’re getting the best deal.


  1. Limit Credit Card Usage:

While credit cards offer convenience, they can also lead to overspending and debt if not used strategically. Try to pay off your credit card balance in full each month to avoid interest charges. Consider using cash or a debit card for your everyday expenses to stay within your budget.


  1. Generate Additional Income:

Explore opportunities to earn extra income, such as freelancing, part-time jobs, or selling items you no longer need. Investing your time in a side hustle can provide a significant boost to your savings.


  1. Be Mindful of Impulse Buying:

Practice mindful spending by giving yourself a cooling-off period before making non-essential purchases. Ask yourself if the item is a want or a need, and whether it aligns with your financial goals.


Saving money is a skill that requires dedication, discipline, and a clear plan. By setting achievable goals, creating a budget, automating your savings, and making conscious spending decisions, you can build a strong financial foundation for yourself and your loved ones. Remember, every small step you take towards saving more money brings you closer to financial security and the ability to pursue your dreams with confidence. Contact a Verde Advisor to start or improve your savings journey!

Is Your Food Eating You?

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s easy to lose sight of our financial goals and find ourselves overspending on things that seem harmless at first glance. One area where this is all too common is our food expenses. From grabbing takeout on busy weeknights to indulging in brunches and coffees on weekends, the money we unknowingly funnel into our food habits can quickly add up, leaving us wondering where all our hard-earned money went.

Financial stability and responsible spending don’t mean giving up the joys of dining out or treating yourself to your favorite meals. Instead, it’s about finding a balance that aligns with your financial goals and values.

Check out this webinar with Financial Coach, Michelle Kopp, CPA, of Hope Financial and Financial Advisor, Tommi Harris as they talk about discovering practical solutions to regain control over your finances, specifically targeting overspending on food.

Here you will learn three key elements to effective budgeting and walk away with actionable steps to start saving immediately.

Click here for a useful handout and to sign up for Michelle’s email list.

Tax Planning with Expert Contributor Teresa Lindberg CPA

At Verde Capital, our Financial Advisors work closely with you to develop a plan for evaluating your tax plan, monitor income fluctuations, and maximize savings rates for your goals. We focus on creating an optimal asset location strategy for you and your family to minimize your lifetime tax liability. Our Financial Advisors partner with our clients to create comprehensive financial plans that help them navigate through life’s financial situations – both near-term and far into the future.

Additionally, Certified Public Accountants work with you on the day-to-day aspects of your tax plan. They create an easy-to-use guide, prioritize what’s important for you to focus on, and customize a list of items to keep track of for deductions. All of these, combined with personalized coaching around better planning habits, can help reduce short-term money stress come tax time.

If you’re interested in learning more, click on the video above to listen to the conversation between Tommi Harris, a Financial Advisor with Verde Capital Management, and Teresa Lindberg, CPA, with ImpAcct LLC, as they discuss cash management, budgeting, and how a financial coach can help improve your financial wellness.


What Makes a Great Investor?

I get this question all the time, and there have been numerous books written on the subject. Warren Buffett, with a net worth of nearly $100 billion, is one of the most successful investors in history. While many authors have tried to explain his tactics and strategies, I think they miss the two greatest lessons Buffet can teach us.


The first lesson is time. Buffett started investing at the age of 11, and has stuck with it for over 81 years. 

  • At 14 he had an investment portfolio of around $5,000, which he doubled to $10,000 by age 19. 
  • At 28, he bought his current home for $31,500, where he continues to live to this day. 
  • By the age of 30 he became a millionaire, and at the age of 55 became a billionaire. 

What Buffet did exceedingly well was learn how much money was enough to live off, and invested the rest over nearly a century. During that time, he never stopped saving, and never exited the stock market. By letting the power of compounding interest work in his favor, he amassed tremendous wealth.  

Which brings me to the second lesson: temperament. Warren has an unwavering conviction that stocks and the market will grow over time. During the last 80 years his steadfast temperament and conviction has been tested numerous times: stagflation in the ‘70s, the fall of the Soviet Union, 9/11, the financial crisis of 2008, and the Covid-19 pandemic. During each of these times, Buffett could have thrown in the towel and said, “the world is too crazy and I should sit this one out,” but he didn’t. Instead, he stayed in the market; this helped him build his fortune. 

So how can we apply these lessons today?  Well first, we need to make a distinction between being rich and being wealthy. Rich is what you can see on the outside, and has almost nothing to do with wealth. Rich is the house, the cars, the expensive jewelry, the clothes, and the Instagram-esque lifestyle some people sink their cash and savings into. 

Wealth is invisible; it’s the value of your company (if you have one), your general and retirement savings, and your stock portfolio. Too many of us spend too much time trying to look rich, and we don’t do the things we need to do to make ourselves truly wealthy. 

What we can learn from Buffett is this: figure out what you need to live on to meet your needs, hobbies, and creature comforts. Then save and invest the rest, and have the conviction in your future goals and dreams to continue to do so even when the world and life events may challenge you to stop.  

Wealth allows you the freedom to do what you want, when you want, with who you want for as long as you want. This is the ultimate freedom, and it’s priceless.

Source: Forbes Profile: https://www.forbes.com/profile/warren-buffett/?sh=10f468564639

Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc.  and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.