If you already have to spend on child care, healthcare and have are enrolled in a high deductible health plan, you may want to consider whether or not you want to save more money through your employer's benefits. Yes, you read correctly, you can save more money if you are strategic about enrolling into a Flexible Spending Account ("FSA") through your employer.
I'm a true believer that Just know, there is no such thing as bad money, except money that goes to waste. So if you don't want to to waste money by giving more money to Uncle Sam then you have to, keep reading.
For those who don't know the benefit of FSA, FSA allows you to set aside pre-tax money which helps you pay LESS federal taxes. You get your money back when you submit claims e eligible health care and day care expenses and use the reimbursement for anything; including more expenses, Christmas money or vacation money.
Under the law, there are three types of FSAs: A Dependent Care FSA, general purpose Health Care FSA, and a Limited Expense Health Care FSA. A Dependent Care FSA reimburses eligible day care expenses for your children under age 13 and your tax dependents of any age who are incapable of self-care, as well as elder care expenses. The only catch is that reimbursable expenses may be necessary to allow you and your spouse (if married) to work, look for work or attend school full-time. So you don’t even try to get reimbursement for weekend respite care.
A general purpose Health Care FSA (HCFSA) reimburses eligible health care expenses not covered by your employers health plan, dental or vision plan, such as co-payments, co-insurance, deductibles, over-the-counter medicines (with a prescription), medical supplies, prescription drugs, vision and dental care, shipping and handling charges for mail-order prescriptions and eligible over-the-counter items, and much more.
Lastly, A Limited Expense Health Care FSA (LEX HCFSA) is designed for individuals who are enrolled in or covered under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). Those who are enrolled in an HDHP must spend HIGH deductibles and group plan covers the remainder. And if you already must pay high deductibles, why not get a reimbursement for it? Just note, when you enroll in a LEX HCFSA and an HSA at the same time, a LEX HCFSA limits reimbursement to only eligible dental and vision expenses.
Hopefully this information will help someone make the right move so that they can have better outcomes with their income. Of course, accountants may know of other loopholes to save you from giving the IRS all of your coins.
Do you have any other suggestions to help individuals use their employer benefits for their benefit? If so, please leave a comment below and let me know. Additionally, please don’t forget to share this post with your friends because every should get a free legal treat every once in a while.
The Boss Builder, Toni Moore, Esquire, is an author, speaker, estate planning attorney and financial coach who is committed to helping women have better relationships with their money so they can live better lives. Twitter/Instagram: @thecoinboss
Someone once said money has eyes which has never been truer since every time money enters my pocket there is something or someone who tries to keep it for themselves, including my boys. Similar to many of my friends who are now parents, I found myself responding the same way as my parents and grandparents did whenever I requested money as a child. More specifically, when my older son asked for yet another game or app or pair of sneakers, I find myself saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” Similarly, when my younger son made plans to see yet another 3D movie, I found myself snapping way too often whether he thought I was made of money. Because I never had a real money talk with my kids, the lessons I was teaching them was that when I had money they got what they wanted, but if I didn’t have money, I made them feel bad about asking which was much like what I experienced as a child.
I hated my childhood money story of not having enough and always wanting what other kids had despite the fact that my mother who had limited education, limited support and limited cognitive skills tried the best that she could. Since no one spoke about why we didn’t have and thus couldn’t do, I grew up feeling negative about money, hating to talk about money and feeling inadequate about money. Unfortunately, even when I had opportunity after opportunity to change my money story as an adult, a wife and ultimately as a, I found myself focusing on the feeling of lack that I experienced as a child instead of merely transacting an exchange with money.
In effect, that feeling of not having and the subsequent rejection in turn grew into an insatiable need to show others that we were good enough to be in the same class as the Joneses. That feeling of rejection is often internalized by women which manifests as stronghold that limits and restricts us from appreciating money for what it really it, a tool. And because there is nothing new under the sun, I would like to share 5 tips to help you raise children with rich money mindset instead of a broke one.
1. Teach your children how to delay their gratification. Give your children a budget. I tell my boys all the time that nothing worth having is free. And while both try to argue me down because of free samples at Sam’s Club and Costco, they appreciate that most things they want comes with a price. In knowing the price of the things they want and the amount I’m willing to pay, they get a choice of whether to spend or save to have a bigger budget the following week. And because I don’t want them to repeat my money experience, I’m relentless about how much I will spend on their childish requests. In response, my sons have gotten better at sharing their coins and “saving” up to have more fun every weekend or so.
2. Let your children earn money. Similar to most parents, I will give my boys an incentive to make money, but I will also bribe them. Whether I need them to be more quiet than usual while doing conference calls , allowing me to sleep for a few extra hours on weekends or to just do what I need them to do, I will give them a few coins. And nothing gives kids more pleasure than seeing their money grow to achieve a particular goal. Of course, parents can use the increase as a lesson about interest or even compounded interest by giving kids an incentive to hold on to their money week after week by matching their children’s savings at particular milestones.
3. Let your children learn the hard money lessons early. Some lessons must be learned, but the consequences of bad decisions won’t be catastrophic when they are learning the lessons as children instead of wasting their coins as teenagers and young adults. So allow them to make mistakes and bad decisions on what they actually spend their money on. In effect, they will hopefully learn that money is a tool that shouldn’t be wasted on just anything nor be emotionally attached to everything.
4. Try to alleviate any bad feelings about money. It isn’t easy robbing Peter to paying Paul, paying down debt, raising a family and making decisions about who and what to give to based on the ebbs and flows of money. However, parents who are committed to raising children who are faithfully enriched instead of financially broken, will be relentless, vigilant and committed to doing whatever they must to ensure the spirit of lack doesn’t affect their children’s money story. Accordingly, don’t speak negatively about money, about lack or about scratching and surviving because when you do, lack enter into your existence and limits you and those affected by you.
5. Teach your children to trust God to supply all of their needs. Without faith, it is impossible to please God with our praise and worship about what he’s done, what he can do and what he’s going to do. Accordingly, you must be just as committed to teaching your children to be good stewards with their money just as much as you are committed to training them up to trust God.
Do you have any other suggestion to help children have a rich money mindset instead of a broken one? Please leave a comment below and let me know. Additionally, please don’t forget to share this post with your friends because one day their kids will also be taking care of us when we’re old and fabulous.
How can we makeover our lives so that we're no longer comfortable with being financially incapable of making our dreams come true is a question I often ask God. Most of us are far from being the little kids who live carefree in the urban jungle. However, as first generation/second generation achievers occupying the middle class, we aren't too far from being sucked back into the pit of poverty and defeat that we escaped from. In actuality, we are not leaps away from whence we came, but perhaps maybe a paycheck or two from our old stomping grounds.
When we look back over our lives, we could point out a few obstacles that caused us to back slide to the point of no return in our finances. Perhaps it was the credit cards we collected as college students, the educational loans we used for education, housing and living expenses or the fact that we over expended ourselves on credit to live as fabulously as we could. Eventually we learn that the endless cycle of spending, swiping and paying interest instead of earning it didn't help us upgrade our lives. But it kept us indebted to everyone so much so that we don't live our blessed lives for ourselves.
If life as you know it is good enough for you, then keep swiping, spending and pretending that you're in complete control over your financial destiny. But if you want to reclaim your finances, the following are 5 changes to make to achieve rich girl coincidence.
1. Adjust your attitude about money. You can do anything successfully by having the right attitude. Attitude determines your altitude because thoughts are things that either help you or hurt you. So if you think good thoughts about money, you attract those things that will help you make more money.
2. Visualize what you want out of life and write down the necessary steps that it will take to get to the finish line. Always remember, without a vision, your hopes die, dreams die and you become so consumed by debt that you start praying that you die. So regardless of what you're going through, keep your eyes on the prize that's only manifested through the price of sacrifice.
3. Develop a financial plan to ensure that you do whatever you can to make your dreams come true. Spending just for the sake of spending is counterproductive because it will keep you in debt whereby you are counting your coins to see if you have just enough instead of appreciating that you are worthy of having more than enough to go where you want to go and do what you want to do. In the alternative, being picky and choosy about what you will and won't spend your money ensures you have more for the greater things in life.
4. Make decisions that will help you achieve your vision of financial success instead of throwing away long term goals for a fleeting temptation that passes as quickly as a twinkling star in the night. Good, bad or indifferent, you're more than enough to live the life you choose to live. So instead of getting side-tracked by every little shoe, bag, outfit or hard-to-refuse opportunity, ask yourself whether your choice will help you or hurt you in the long-run to living a fabulous life.
5. Treat yourself throughout the in between. Trust me, only a few can stick with a Dave Ramsey debt-reduction plan wherein all of your coins is used towards getting out of debt. And while it may be right, it may not not be right for you. So as you make progress towards changing your money mindset, set milestones for your just because reward.
Just know, nothing in life comes easy, but you must do whatever you must to earn your coins, protect your coins and become a good steward with your coins to achieve Rich Girl Coinfidence with your coins. Ready to make shifts happen for you?
The Boss Builder, Toni Moore, Esquire, is an author, speaker and coach who leverages her skills, knowledge, abilities to help women gain coinfidence about the ability to increase, maintain and protect their coins. Stay connected!
Much like you, I once heard to succeed in life you must go to school, get good grades and get a good paying job upon graduation. And while many have been given the same advice and either ignored it, adhered to it or is still trying to figure out what, if anything, to do with it, we can all attest that what we once thought was “good” advice no longer applies today.
Throughout my life experience, I have met many individuals who achieved success after attending trade school, college, graduate and/or professional school. But I have also met individuals who became mega successful despite dropping out of high school, barely completed two years of college and seemingly doomed to fail from the very beginning, but continually. And despite being baffled by the seeming contradictions and inconsistencies regarding the “good” advice we have heard, the following is what I learned along the way.
Toni Moore, Esquire, a legal empowerment coach and the Founder of Diva Moment, Inc. whose core belief is that more is possible. To learn more about Toni, please visit www.divamoment.org.
The other day, my seven year old son told me that he needed to bring a collection of 100 things to his first grade class in celebration of 100 days of school. During the past few years, I have visited Pinterest to help both of my sons create unique school projects in between long work days and fly by night weekends. But this year was different because I had just returned from a week long business trip and was faced with tons of laundry and a huge to do list of simplistic things that seemingly only wanted my attention.
As I looked down in my son's big brown eyes, I pondered whether he would be content with bringing a box of 100 paper clips, a bag of 100 staples or 100 sheets of copy paper to school for his class presentation. But then I recalled my promise that I would give him an experience of a lifetime if I was blessed to conceive him and to give birth to him despite my challenges with fertility. So with less than 20 minutes to spare, we ran off to Target to purchase a collection of 100 things before it closed.
While my son excitedly ran through aisle after aisle hoping to find something fun and creative, I trudged along. We couldn't find anything that caught our eyes that wasn't banned on the school list, such as marbles, colored Pom Pom balls, thumb tacks and collectible cards. After ten minutes or so, I made an executive decision to buy 100 character stickers to place in a hand-drawn maze to depict Maze Runner, a movie we recently watched. But as I waited at the check-out counter to purchase the poster board and stickers, I saw a bag of Dum-Dum lollipops lying next us.
And as I picked up the bag of Dum Dum pops, I began to think of myself, my clients and our competition. Much like Dum-Dum pops, thought leaders, inspirational speakers and transformational coaches have similar wrappings in that we have similar messages, similar platforms, similar pricing and similar promises of making life sweeter for others. But despite what people see on the outside as being the same, what is on the inside makes the difference. Much like the flavors of the Dum-Dum lollipops, our process of becoming was different in that some of us have been cherry picked, some have always been an apple of another's eyes and others have been surprised by life. Similarly, our tastes have been molded and shaped based on our life experiences. In effect, some of us have become a little bitter, a little sweeter, a little more savvy, a little more strategic, a little more spiritual and a little more braver for some, but just right for others.
However, unlike Dum Dum pops none of us are limited to sitting off to the side in hopes that someday we would be discovered, selected and appreciated by others for a fleeting moment. Instead, we can seek, find and connect with those who crave a solution to their problems based on their tastes. We can also offer opportunities to allow others to taste and see that we are good enough to satisfy their cravings for the sweeter, finer and more fulfilling things in life. Lastly, the sweetness within is abundant and everlasting which help us satisfy those who like us, know us and get us throughout our lifetime. And as we continually appreciate our inner sweetness, we inspire others to keep coming back for more!
Toni Moore, Esquire is a legal coach and Purposeful Makeover Strategist who inspires women to embrace their personal power to redefine their possibilities. Feel free to connect with Toni on Twitter/Instagram/Gmail: @ToniDivamoment.
Someone recently commented on what I recently became aware of which is that I am seemingly meant to teach, inspire and motivate the masses about financial literacy. My brief bio: I was budgeting my mother's TANF benefits before I was ten, starting my own businesses before 12, stretching dollars and cents for many years as a bookkeeper before becoming a estate/tax attorney, insurance agent, investment consultant, nonprofit legal professor, benefits specialist and now retirement plan examiner. What pains me most is knowing that if we are not good stewards with our money, we become helpless servants to many who manipulates our wants and deny our needs. And for most, financial manipulations and financial warfare on our welfare happens sooner than later due to a sickness, death or financial loss of income.
Through the years of teaching about money and seeking more knowledge about what causes most of us to live as indentured servants to bankers, creditors and the deity of money, I discovered that my Civil Rights foremother and father's repeated requests for economic freedom and literacy went unanswered. But what I know for sure is that some things aren't given when they were never meant to be learned. However, true knowledge is revealed when we learn more and commit ourselves to doing better to make our little into much. So for some, the inclusion of faith, fellowship and finance as Diva Moment's platform seems a drastic shift to the message of making life beautiful for you. However, we can't life beautiful if we are being taken advantaged and being played by a system that knows the rules but keep us ignorant of financial literacy. And you know what they say about a woman on a mission, she doesn't stop until she makes the pain go away or at least commits her blood, sweat and tears to helping other women and girls appreciate that money isn't a dirty word or the root of all evil.
Instead, the knowledge of money amasses power to gain the respect of those who thinks that it is okay to financially manipulate us with facts and figures and continually makes withdrawals while patting our butts, kissing our cheeks and manipulating our pocketbooks for their own benefit. While the love of money is the root of all evil, gleaned knowledge has taught us that when we don't learn the rules of money, we will continually be played by someone who offers consumer goods on sale and feigned consideration when they offer safe investments at minimal rates while using our money to make more money to feed their greed. What I know for sure is that no one will give you what you want, but they respond when you use what you have to negotiate for what they most want. I'm not sure if we are ready for another FEM Movement, but I truly believe financial education matters. Let's stop being victims of our circumstance, but Divas of our destiny by ensuring that we are in better position to protect our pocketbooks from the greed of others. Ready to play for keeps?
Toni Moore, Esquire is a Purposeful Makeover Strategist and President of Diva Moment who truly believes that anyone can be the CEO of their destiny if they choose to seek knowledge and play for keeps. @ToniDivamoment
Toni Moore, Esq.
Toni is an attorney and business coach who is committed to helping women uplevel their success.
All Budget Business Career Goals Coach College Dreams Estate Plan Girls Inspiration Law Leadership Life Balance Mission-driven Money Motivation Oprah Winfrey Personal Finance Pursuing Dreams Rat Race Scholarship Spiritual Balance Strategy Success Wealth Women Women Business Women Empowerment