What is Your Passion? Finding Your Philanthropy

What do I consider philanthropy?

For me, it is the budgeting of a percentage of my family’s financial resources, donated yearly to nonprofits that are pursuing missions we agree are important and are being done well. My personal time and volunteer efforts may come along with this financial support (statistically, many people do give more to nonprofits where they volunteer), but it is not guaranteed. My husband jokes that I work more hours than he does in his full-time job, but mine are much more variable!

You have limited resources and only you can decide what is the best way to use them!

I started thinking of myself as a philanthropist through my work with Impact Austin. This is a collective giving group that gathers 500 or more women together who donate $1250 ($1000 to grants and $250 to overhead) and cumulatively give out half a million dollars or so a year in high-impact, targeted grants to nonprofits in the Central Texas area. Sounds kind of magical, doesn’t it? Few of us are wealthy, some are budgeting each month to make their yearly commitment, but most of us are in the middle. We can write that check but it definitely takes away from other charitable things we could do.

Why do women choose Impact Austin? Continue reading

COO of Your Family Corporation?

Wedding DayOn my wedding day, I asked my father-in-law, a highly respected salesman, motivational speaker and the most charming person I have ever known, how he and his wife had stayed so happily and romantically married for so many years. He considered and said he only had one piece of advice after all that time together, “Never call each other names. You can never take them back.”  Continue reading

The Patient Maze


Image courtesy of cooldesign/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

NOTE: Although this post will remain on Kali’s Musings, it has been reproduced and future BMS posts will appear on A Burning Journey. Please check it out if you are interested in more about Burning Mouth Syndrome.

I have been reading about the Affordable Care Act snafus and victories with great interest. Here is a site that has very good coverage: Summary of the Affordable Care Act. I don’t begin to guess how this will all shake out, but from personal experience as a sufferer of Burning Mouth Syndrome, I can tell you that healthcare was a maze, to begin with, and an expensive maze at that!

I have been approached to do an interview about Burning Mouth Syndrome, and in preparation for it, I began combing through my three Pendaflex folders bulging with medical forms, blood tests and most of my records since the syndrome began for me again in 2008. (This is my second time around) I am a fairly organized person and had kept a decent record of procedures I had gone through and meds I had tried, but just to make this interview easier, I spent time putting that all into a spreadsheet.

It is 10 pages long…in double-sided printing.  I could use it as a brochure! Continue reading

Financial Fumbles for Your Kids

Worried coupleThis morning’s paper featured an interesting article from the New York Times about marriage and finances. I have touched on this topic before in “Setting Expectations,” but it is worth re-visiting.

The article said. “…most couples do not want to talk about money before they marry.” It went on to explain why that is such a terrible decision.

I have to agree, and will add that if you do not talk about money with your children and make it clear that it is a highly discussion-worthy topic, you will do them a lifetime disservice.

My husband and I were a bit atypical for our time when we married, but very lucky that we both tend toward transparency and full disclosure. He was 28 and I was 27 when we met, and we had the advantage of education, careers and some investment experience under our belts when we decided to make a life-long partnership.

One unusual thing we did was to write out our expectations.

We had a list of topics that ranged from fidelity and family to finances and future dreams. We wrote them out separately, and then compared to see where the similarities and differences appeared. It was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to any couples who are contemplating engagement, marriage, or even living together. You may find your values align well, and your chances of success are high…or you may discover a fundamental difference in the way you view life and the way you want to live. It is better to discover that ahead of time, when you can discuss and compromise or find that you cannot compromise and this is not the match for you. And of course, it is far, far better to make these discoveries before you bring children into the relationship. Any divorced parent will tell you that.

So, what are the things you should teach your children to discuss with their potential partners when it comes to finances?  

It boils down to their risk profile.   Continue reading