was successfully added to your cart.

Monthly Archives

September 2014

Iowa Couple’s Generosity Goes Viral

By | News | No Comments

news-imageA couple in Iowa demonstrated a huge act of generosity by paying it forward to what seemed like an underperforming server as they tried to celebrate their wedding anniversary with a night out at a new restaurant in their town.

Despite a dining experience that “sucked,” Makenzie and Steve Schultz of Cedar Rapids decided to leave their server a 150 percent tip on their $66.65 bill instead of the typical 15 or 20 percent. Makenzie wrote on the receipt, “We’ve both been in your shoes. Paying it forward.”

Just how bad was the mean? According to Makenzie, it “took 20 minutes to get water, 40 minutes for an appetizer and over and hour for an entrée.” But the Schultzes looked around and noticed that there was only one server waiting on 12 tables while doubling as the bartender at the same time.

Both of the Schultzes have had similar nights in the past. The couple met when they were both servers at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at the Mall of America in Minnesota. They understand that it’s not always the server that is at fault; sometimes the kitchen messes up or someone calls in sick for their shift without finding a replacement, but guests still pin the blame on their server by leaving terrible tips or no tip at all.

“Steven and I agreed it would feel good to make this guy’s night when he would probably be getting minimal to no tips to slow service,” she wrote in a post on her personal Facebook account accompanied by a photo of the receipt for the bill.

Since Saturday night when the photo was posted, it has received over 1.2 million likes and thousands of comments. Of the several positive comments on the post, many reference people’s own experiences with waiting tables or bartending and the time they too received a good tip from a generous customer.

The Thief of Joy

By | Blog | No Comments

blog-imageWe’re all been there. Your boss complimented you on a job well done, but your best friend got a promotion with a raise. You’ve hit the gym daily and feel great, but your sister dropped two dress sizes. There are so many scenarios I can list here, but the bottom line is that we all occasionally have moments when – no matter how good we think we’re doing – someone else is seemingly doing better. And it can rob us of positivity, kill our motivation and wreak havoc on our self esteem.

Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt

No matter how good things are going for us, if someone we know is doing better it can sometimes leave a bad taste in our mouths. Haven’t we been working hard enough to land our dream job like our neighbor did? And how can that coworker afford the new car when we’re still struggling to pay the note on the one we have now? Read More

Consumer Prices Fall First Time in 16 Months

By | News | No Comments

U.S. consumer prices dipped in August for the first time in 16 months, due to a decline in the cost of gasoline, the government reported. A decrease at the gas pump gives relief for many, but only a temporary offset as the prices of groceries has risen.

The consumer price index, a closely watched inflation measure, dipped 0.2% last month, according to a report from the U.S. Labor Department. The findings should serve to ease pressure on the Federal Reserve policymakers.

Last month, gas prices fell 4.1 percent and airline fares were down 4.7 percent. Household furnishings, apparel, used cares and recreation all saw prices decline. Food prices rose 4.2 percent, which is the largest increase since November 2003. In the past 12 months, food prices have seen a 2.7 percent increase due to droughts in the Western U.S.

Lower inflation has given households a short-term boost by stretching paychecks, so to speak. Inflation-adjusted hourly wages increased 0.4 percent last month, the largest gain since late 2012. Despite this, wages have only risen a stingy 0.4 percent in the past 12 months. Economists believe wages will need to increase at a higher pace in order for the U.S. to see real growth.

Overall, inflation has plateaued recently after a sharp rise early in 2014 on increased food and energy costs. Speculation has eased that the Federal Reserve could seek to raise interest rates sooner than the 2015 timetable that finance markets forecast.

The Fed, which is set to end its bond purchasing stimulus program in October, has said it expects low interest rates to continue for “a considerable time” after the program concludes.

Women Taking Control of Personal Finances

By | News | No Comments

women-taking-over-personal-financesAccording to a survey conducted by Ameriprise Financial, there’s been a substantial shift in women handling their personal finances and investments this past generation.

Women between the ages of 25 and 70 who have more than $25,000 in assets were include din the survey. The final results proved that 56 percent of women are involved in making financial decisions with their partners, while 41 percent had no help with personal finance and made decisions entirely on their own.

Women are increasingly becoming more aware of the need to be included in their financial well-being. The amount of women who believe it’s their responsibility to comprehend financial situation is higher among older women: 91 percent of baby boomers, compared to 84 percent of Gen X and 90 percent of millennial women.

Ameriprise financial advisor, Michelle Young stated that, “Baby Boomer women face some of the biggest financial decisions of their lives between retirement and Social Security choices, so having trusted partners in their spouses and financial professionals is incredibly important.

Women who fall into Gen X face quite a bit of financial anxiety with 62 percent expressing concern about not properly funding their savings accounts. 30 percent disclosed they don’t feel they control their finances adequately. Pam Yellen, a financial expert, says that Gen Xers are caught between caring for aging parents who may need financial assistance and kids who are still living at home due to inability to find work in the weak economy or are in college. The pressures have led Gen X women to put their own financial security at risk.

Overall, Millennial women tend to be more confident and optimistic about their fiscal futures. In fact, 50 percent believe they are “more knowledgeable than my spouse/partner.” Yellen says millennial’s are the most risk-averse and most committed to growing their retirement.

Like this blog? Share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.  Also, be sure to sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter Financial Consciousness. And join the conversation on Facebook where we’ve grown together and act as a community to promote financial healing.