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Worth: All about finances in Austin Woman magazine

Aw_banner_cropped_17954 One of the first publications I picked up upon moving to Austin in 2005 was austinwoman. I was new to town, new to freelancing and the magazine appealed as a way to learn a bit about my new hometown, as well as serve as a potential job source.

I'm pleased to report that it has more than met both expectations. On the newcomer front, I've learned a lot about Austin and some of the city's many notable women. Professionally, I have been contributing to the magazine's monthly financial column, Worth, since its debut in June 2006.

In addition, I also get the chance to step off the money merry-go-round and write about other topics and interesting Austin and Central Texas women for austinwoman.

Here are PDF versions of the articles and columns I've written for austinwoman:

Worth columns

  • Independent Appraisals: Knowing What Your Stuff is Worth, October 2010 -- You have a great collection of antique dishware, but do you really know what it's worth? An appraiser can help.
  • Cleaning Up Your Credit Score: Keeping a Top-Notch Credit Rating, September 2010 -- For better or worse, credit rules our lives. A good credit score is critical in ensuring we get the most out of it.
  • Coping With Credit Cards: Now Easier Under New Law, August 2010 -- We all have credit cards and sometimes we let them get away from us. A new consumer law, however, is helping us rein in our plastic.
  • Smoother Landings: Is Travel Insurance Worth It?, July 2010 -- When planning your much-needed vacation, take some time to consider whether travel insurance needs to be on your preparation itinerary. It could come in handy if your trip runs into trouble.
  • Homebuyer Homework: A Quick Lesson, June 2010 -- A little bit of pre-purchase study can ensure you get a good grand and a great house.
  • Retirement Planning by the Decade: Whether you plan to call it career quits next year or in 10, a retirement strategy is crucial, May 2010 -- Regardless of your age, there are steps you can take to ensure that your golden years truly shine.
  • Don't Cheat Yourself Out of Tax Savings: Last-minute tax moves, April 2010 -- April 15th is almost here, but there's still time to make sure you've taken every tax break possible. Here are five tax moves you may have missed.
  • Bring the Music Home: The advantages of setting up a personal stage, March 2010 -- Austin is the place for music. You can make the tunes even more personal by attending or even staging a house concert.
  • Personal Shoppers – A Good Buy: When help at the mall is worth it, February 2010 -- If you hate shopping, then a personal shopper could be your savior, both financially and emotionally.
  • Money Moves for the Young (and Young at Heart):     Finances for every stage of your life, January 2010 -- We all know time is money, but the time of our life could also affect how we deal with our money. Here are some financial moves for the young – and young at heart!
  • Fabulous Festive Frugality: With a little creativity, you can fashion fine holiday cheer on the cheap, December 2009 -- Even if time and dollars are at a premium, you still can throw a party that pops everything but your budget.
  • It's Not Your Mother's Tupperware Party: Direct sales offer bright opportunities in a dim economy, November 2009 -- Direct sales, or network marketing as it's known today, offers promising career and financial opportunities that are especially appealing to women entrepreneurs.
  • Diamonds Can Be Your Best Friend: The perfect diamond is the dream of every woman, October 2009 -- But getting the precious stone you want can be intimidating ... unless you get the proper help.
  • Covering Your Bling (and Other Treasures): Do you own some unusual or expensive items? September 2009 -- Then you might want to make sure they're covered property via a rider to your homeowner's insurance policy.
  • Turning to a Tutor: Is your child having trouble making good grades? August 2009 -- A tutor may be the best lesson plan.
  • Why Risk it All? If someone depends on you financially, you probably need life insurance, July 2009 -- Too many of us, however, put off buying this critical policy. Not only are the choices confusing, but we tend to avoid dealing with such a tough subject. That's a bad move, for you and your family.
  • When Retirements Don't Coincide: He wants to retire, but you love your job. Or vice versa, June 2009 -- Either way, couples face a challenge of not only saving enough to one day quit work, but in deciding just when that "one day" will be.
  • E$tate planning: It's Not Just for the Wealthy, May 2009 -- Your estate might not be the biggest in Texas, but it's worth the world to you. Protect it and your heirs by putting a well-considered estate plan in place.
  • Don't Short-Change Your Business: Check out these tax tips, April 2009 -- Tax time is upon us, but there is still time to shave your company's IRS bill. Commonly overlooked tax deductions could add up to some nice tax savings.
  • Social Media: It's not Just for Kids, March 2009 -- Popular online ways to reach out to existing and potential customers could help your business survive, and even grow, in this tough economy.
  • Getting all the Credit You Deserve: Borrowing money is tougher in a tight economy, but it's not impossible, February 2009 -- Improve your chances of getting that loan, and at the best rate, by keeping an eye on your credit history and score.
  • Financial Resolutions to Make (& Keep!): Too often, New Year’s resolutions are wasted efforts. But some simple fiscal pledges can really pay off for years to come, January 2009 -- This year, don't let these good financial intentions fall by the wayside.
  • Financial Gifts That Pay Off: Be a savvy Santa this holiday season by throwing away your usual list. Instead, make your gifts the kind that keep on giving for years, December 2008 -- Better than a sweater, these presents are priceless, not pricey.
  • Telling Your Story by Yourself: Ease, economy and autonomy make self-publishing an appealing solution for writers who wish to stay in control of their work, November 2008 -- Sometimes the best move for an author is doing it all yourself.
  • Don't Move. Remodel!: Sometimes all it takes to get the prefect home is remodeling the house you already have, October 2008 -- These tried-and-true renovations can enhance your home's livability and value.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tackle Tough Times: Recession is in the air, but there are ways to cope, September 2008 -- Make these financial moves to survive an economic downturn.
  • Family + Business = Success & Happiness: Franchising as a family business, August 2008 -- One Austin Woman's business plan makes a worldwide company her family business in every respect of the word.
  • Medical travel could be good for your health: A trip abroad could Be the right Rx, July 2008 -- With U.S. medical costs continuing to rise, many patients are choosing medical tourism.
  • Coming up with college cash: The cost of college keeps going up, June 2008 -- Luckily for most students (and their parents) educational aid options abound.
  • Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting: Helping Latinas create strong financial futures, May 2008 -- Young women are getting a firm footing in the financial sector thanks to Austin's professional and student members of ALPFA.
  • Taking a Bite Out of Your Grocery Bill: Ways to save on food, April 2008 -- Food prices keep rising, but savvy shoppers can keep their food budgets under control.
  • Make Your Musical Career Perform: Meshing music and business, March 2008 -- Austin arts organizations offer local performers help turning talent into a profitable business.
  • Making a Pretty Penny: A simple regimen can maximize your investments, February 2008 -- Regular rebalancing of your portfolio can keep your finances looking good.
  • An Uncharted Road: Texas' New Franchise Tax, January 2008 -- State officials are working to map out directions for businesses encountering this levy for the first time.
  • Volunteering: Can the Tax Man Giveth, Too? December 2007 -- Spending time at your favorite charity certainly is good for the soul. And with just a little more effort, it could also pay off for you at tax time.
  • Giving (and Getting) With a Donor Advised Fund: Giving like high rollers, November 2007 -- These combo investment/philanthropic accounts offer the rest of us a way to donate like the rich. 
  • FSAs: An Rx for Healthcare Costs, October 2007 -- Flexible spending accounts can be a tax-effective way to pay medical expenses.
  • Organization Can Really Pay Off: A place for everything and everything in its place, September 2007 -- Getting your living space in order can save not only room, but time and money, too.
  • Home Sweet Second Home: Making the vacation last, August 2007 -- A getaway home can offer recreational, as well as financial, benefits.
  • Raising Money-Smart Kids: Beyond the allowance, July 2007 -- Today's kids are probably the most money-conscious generation ever. Make sure your children know how to manage it well. 
  • When Roles Rever$e: Taking care of aging parents, June 2007 -- With the graying of America, more Baby Boomers are finding it's their turn to provide help to their folks.
    Plus, 7 Signs an Older Parent May Need Help.
  • Is an HSA the Right Rx? Pros and Cons of a Health Savings Account, May 2007 -- For some, a high-deductible health insurance policy and accompanying health savings account could be the right medical and financial prescription.
  • Breaking Out of the Cubicle: Starting Your Own Business, April 2007 -- Being your own boss has lots of advantages, but before you tell your boss goodbye, make sure you're ready for entrepreneurship's responsibilities.
  • Wedding Planners: Saving Dollars, Cents and Sanity, March 2007 -- In addition to saving your mental health, hiring a bridal consultant also could soothe your pocketbook.
  • Dealing with Divorce: Break-up Financial Basics, February 2007 -- Steps women can take to keep from becoming just another number on the deficit side of the divorce ledger.
  • Digging Out of December's Debt: Credit card overindulgence can produce a hefty holiday debt hangover, January 2007 -- Here are some surefire remedies.
  • Happy Holiday$: Give like Santa on Scrooge's budget, December 2006 -- By planning large during the holidays, you can spend small and still make your gift recipients happy.
  • Giving + Getting Back: How philanthropy pays, November 2006 -- Your contributions can provide a nice return, to both your favorite charity and your own finances at tax time,
  • Moving Through the Mortgage Maze: Mastering your largest financial transaction, October 2006 -- But with a little preparation, it doesn't have to be your most difficult one.
  • College Costs 101: A Short Course on Paying for Your Child's Education, September 2006 -- College costs keep going up but you don't need an advanced degree to find ways to save for it. Just check out these financing options.
  • Beauty on a Budget: You don't have to spend a fortune to look your best, August 2006 -- Simply approach your personal beauty treatments as investments in yourself and look for the biggest return on those investments.
  • Bright Buyer or Savvy Seller? What every home buyer and seller should know, July 2006 -- You can get a bargain when you buy, and the best price when you sell. These strategies will help, regardless of whether you're in a hot or cold real estate market.
  • His, Hers and Theirs: How couples manage their money, June 2006 -- Money is a contentious issue for many couples. Luckily, they have several financial options that can minimize a relationship's money problems.


  • Pat Hayes: A lifelong leader, committed to community, July 2006 -- Pat Hayes came to Austin 22 years ago, not knowing a soul. Now, newly retired from the Seton Healthcare Network, she's an integral member of the community she helped build.
  • Mommy and Me: The women behind Austin's 24-hour music/entertainment network, October 2006 -- Constance Wodlinger and Jacqueline Renee, the mother-daughter team behind METV, are committed to making sure the musical revolution in the Live Music Capital of the World is televised.
  • Sara Pantin: Tackling finances, the Texan way, July 2007 -- This proud Texas native made her way back home to impart her independent attitude and financial savvy to family and clients of her financial services firm.

If you're in the Austin/Hill Country area, you can pick up your own copy of austinwoman at these locations.


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