Monopoly has been a favorite board game among kids for over 80 years. Most kids like the game because they get to make money, but what they do not realize is they are also learning valuable personal finance lessons that can help them in the future. Here are the top six personal finance lessons that can be learned from playing Monopoly.
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Finding tax-free ways to save for college is a big deal for a large portion of the population, and for good reason. Obtaining a college education is one of the best ways for your dependents to secure a better job and a better life. However, despite different attempts to lower college tuition at both the state and Federal level, the cost of a college education continues to grow. US Student loan debt in America has reached nearly $1.5 trillion in 2018, equating to an overwhelming balance of more than $39,000 in debt per the average college graduate.
A while back I held a Lunch & Learn presentation at our office in Knoxville, relating to controlling accounting costs. I know…I bet you didn’t know that was possible! Well, this is the 21st century, and it is definitely possible.
A Brief History of Traditional Professional Service Billing Practices
For many years, financial professionals have billed by the hour. Someone might charge $200 per hour for however long it takes to get it done. But, what does this method of billing lack? It certainly lacks any incentive to be efficient or effective in achieving the result. If you’re going to pay me $200 per hour, then what is my incentive to get to the end result quickly and without sacrificing quality for preparing, let’s say, a tax return? Not much. The only risk I run if I take my sweet time to prepare the tax return is that you are unhappy with a high bill. Your risk in being billed in this manner is that I could be inefficient and cause your accounting fees to rise as a result of my inefficiency or lack of urgency, either of which is or should be unacceptable. Acceptable use for this method of billing would include when you are being represented by a professional in front of a government body (think IRS) or for face-to-face meeting time. There are other similar services, but these are the two most common examples of a service that cannot readily be quantified and would be billed by the hour.
A few years ago, I attended the Winning is Everything conference put on by the Advisory Board in Las Vegas, NV. A fitting place for a conference about winning! There are so many topics to consider when choosing a conference, and I end up attending several a year to stay up with professional trends, pronouncements and the latest in technology for my profession: Accounting, of course. Though truth be told, I don’t consider myself much of an accountant in the traditional sense. Not to worry, I’m not having a crisis of identity. I just believe that there is a better description out there for what I do and what we do as a firm.
We’re going back in time with this one, I’m looking at Super Bowl XLVIII in 2013 between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks came out on top with a whooping 43-8 score. I’m not generally a big sports fan. I don’t keep stats or play on fantasy leagues. But I DO come from a college town–Knoxville, home of the Tennessee Volunteers, and most of Knoxville loves to follow Peyton Manning. I am no exception. When he is on his game, whether you love or hate him, he is unstoppable. There is no denying it. The night of Super Bowl XLVIII he and most of his team were not on their game, or they were thrown off their game, or, even worse, they threw themselves off of their own game.
I’m going to take the middle-of-the-road approach here and say it was a combination of all three. What was interesting to watch, as long as I could bear to watch, was just how quickly the morale and energy left the Broncos. They were so low even Life Alert couldn’t pick them up.
I’ve heard this phrase many times over the years: “All growth starts with the truth.” It is such a simple concept. Be honest about where you and your business really are, and decisions can be made that truly make a difference. Whether those decisions ease a pain or propel you to the next level, if you aren’t really honest with yourself, or your team, about where you really are right now in reality, then any change instituted may not have the intended impact. And, in fact, could have negative repercussions for you or your business.
Especially where you have a multiple owner scenario or an entrenched management team, the truth is sometimes hard to come by. Why? Well, there are always egos that have to be checked, but beyond that it comes down to perception vs. reality. Each person’s perception is their own reality, and many times those perceptions do not align. So, it takes some real digging to get perceptions aligned to what the real reality is.
When a business pays non–employee compensation aggregating to $600 or more to a single payee in a tax year, the business must file a Form 1099-MISC to report the payments to the IRS. Similarly, employers must report wages paid to employees on Forms W-2. Copies of these forms (called payee statements) must also be supplied to payment recipients.
Before a law passed last year, Forms 1099-MISC and W-2 were required to be filed with the IRS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) by the last day of February or by March 31 if filed electronically. Now, the due dates have been accelerated.
All that we have done, are doing, or will do, is based upon 1 common element. PEOPLE!
Our business, your business, me, you, us, our team, all represent our “Internal people.”
WE ARE our Human Resources. We are HUMAN CAPITAL to one another.
Those we serve – our clients, networking partners, government agencies, our community – they represent our “external people”: Our market, our partners in service, our friends, our family. All of these are also our HUMAN CAPITAL. Of course, external people are also made up of competitors; some people who may challenge our existence, or wish to harm us. So, just as there is risk in monetary investing, there is risk in “raising and utilizing” our Human Capital.