Monthly Archives September 2010

Money Matters from the Author of Does this Make My Assets Look Fat

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The author of Does This Make My Assets Look Fat shares her tips on how to manage your finances and invest like a pro!

Financial expert Susan Hirshman, author of the brand new book “Does This Make My Assets Look Fat” answers our readers’ burning money questions and breaks down the concept of investing and budgeting and puts it into terms any woman can understand.

As Susan sees it, the rules of successful dieting are the same rules that apply to successful money management. In her new book, Susan offers women a 3-phase personalized plan that follows common dieting programs to help them understand their finances.

Susan’s program completely removes the intimidation factor that often accompanies the words ‘personal finance’ and ‘investing’ and provides women with all the information they need to take control of their financial situations once and for all.

Question: How do you ‘get on a budget’? What are the first steps? ((We have a decent income-but we don’t have much to show for it!! We don’t waste $$ on material things-but we barely have anything saved.)

Susan: Believe it or not this question can be answered by discussing dieting and hidden calories. You know what I am talking about – those extra calories you ingest without really counting and paying attention to. The handful of M&M’s from your colleagues candy bowl, the second glass of wine, eating out of the refrigerator, and on and on. Dieting experts state that the first thing you have to do to is to find all these “hidden calories” that are sabotaging your success by writing down everything you eat.

Have you ever done this? If you have, then you are familiar with the first step in developing a budget – writing everything down and finding our “hidden expenses.” Hidden expenses just like hidden calories are things that are not memorable but when you add them together they become significant and tend to impair your financial success. ‘
Budgeting (I prefer using the term spending plan – doesn’t it sound much more palatable?) is all about awareness and measurement of your cash inflows (net salary, dividends etc) less your fixed expenses (those that are must have’s, i.e. mortgage, utilities etc) and your variable expenses (those that are discretionary, i.e. entertainment, clothes etc.)

Bottom line – if you don’t measure you can’t manage.
There are many tools available on the web to help you keep track of your spending plan. In addition your bank and/or credit card companies may offer tools as well. Get on it…☺

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Susan L. Hirshman is a former managing director at JP Morgan. She holds an M.B.A. from Baruch College and is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Financial Planner, a Chartered Life Underwriter, and a Chartered Financial Analyst. She currently lives in Manhattan.

If you have a money question for Susan, email us at beth@rolemommy.com.

This post is sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network.

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A visit with CorCell

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This past Wednesday we had the honor of being invited over to CorCell a subsidiary or Cord Blood America to talk with Dr. Jerry Oneil and Natalie Curry. Dr. Oneil was kind enough to take us threw a brief showing of the facility and what they offer to cord blood banking parents. I know little on the subject, however I have to say meeting these people and hearing their stories really was great!

We also got to have a one on one interview with Natalie Curry, she’s the official spokes person for CorCell and one of the first people EVER to have a successful cord blood transplant. Natalie has some pretty inspirational things to say and I can’t wait to talk more with her in the future. Check out her website here at allaboutcordblood.com

Also anyone out there with friends or family who may be expecting, if you’re looking into Cord Blood Banking for your family, CorCell has extended a fantastic offer to any Healthy Belly members! So encourage them to sign up today before the offer expires and they receive $200 off their cord blood service!!

I’ll have a video to post soon so stay tuned 🙂
-Amber

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Title:  Sleeping by the Book  Subtitle: Advice to New Parents by the Authors of Heading Home with Your Newborn

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Pediatricians, moms and authors, Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP offer a wealth of “parent-tested, pediatrician-approved” advice in Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, Second Edition (American Academy of Pediatrics, September 2010). Available on the American Academy of Pediatrics official Web site for parents, HealthyChildren.org. Also available in bookstores nationwide.

The following are excerpts to help you navigate those first crucial weeks of parenthood and caring for a newborn:
“Sleeping like a baby” can mean different things to different people–usually depending on whether they’ve ever had or taken care of one before. For just about all newborns it fairly predictably means having the ability to sleep at any time and in any place, while at the same time being completely unwilling to entertain any “suggestions” as to how, when, or where to put such talent into practice. You may come across those who have ventured down the path of parenthood before you who simply shake their heads sympathetically and wish you luck in getting your newborn to wake up when you want/need him to, and even better luck getting him to go to sleep when you want. Because we’re committed to helping you set appropriate expectations for yourself and your baby, we’re going to approach the whole subject of sleep by first helping you get into the right frame of mind. We decided to start out by providing you with some basic sleep-related milestones.

Daily sleep. The average newborn spends at least 16 hours a day sleeping, but there can be big differences from one newborn to the next. The total amount of sleep babies need in any given 24-hour day gradually decreases over time, but still totals just over 14 hours at 6 months of age and just under 14 hours at 1 year.
Naps. Sure, many newborns nap in 1- to 2-hour spurts, but before you go planning your schedule around any preconceived idea of nap time, let us add that the length of most newborns’ naps are also very variable and tend to be scattered throughout the day (and night) in a completely random and therefore unpredictable manner. The 3-nap-a-day schedule with which you may be familiar should be considered a sleep pattern you should aspire to down the road, because most newborns don’t settle into this type of nap routine for at least a month or two. Even then, it can take a few additional weeks or months before you can count on a morning, early afternoon, and early evening nap. 
Night versus day. During the first few days and weeks of parenthood, you are likely to find that there’s not going to be a whole lot that distinguishes your days from your nights. More often than not, they just seem to blend together into one big sleep-deprived blur. That’s because it will be almost completely up to your newborn when he chooses to be awake and when he chooses to sleep. Most newborns spend equal amounts of time sleeping during the day and night–a tendency that can be quite challenging for those of us accustomed to more of an awake-by-day, asleep-by-night approach. By the end of their first month, most newborns do manage to figure out how to consolidate their sleep into longer stretches and start to get at least one extended stretch of sleep each 24-hour day. So with any luck, you’ll be blessed with a baby who decides to choose nighttime as the right time to do so. And for the real light at the end of the tunnel: By 3 months of age, many babies get approximately two-thirds of their total daily sleep during the night.

*Book excerpt from Heading Home with Your Newborn (Second Edition/Copyright 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics).

The Heading Home with Your Newborn excerpts are sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network.

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