“Winning at money is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge.” 

– Dave Ramsey

Would you like to become wealthier and leave a financial legacy? Although there’s no proven way to get rich quick, there are three timeless principles you can follow to begin to build your fortune over time.

This month’s information outlines principles of wealth from a book displayed on every entrepreneur’s shelf: The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. This book offers practical advice to develop smart money habits. Also listed are some helpful books and podcasts to complement your financial journey.

Want a reputable financial pro to help keep you on track? Give me a call – I have a great referral!

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Happy tax season! There is so much to think about as we dive into the 2018 returns. Last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) introduced many new changes to the tax code. If your head starts to spin at the mention of the word taxes, take a deep breath – the enclosed piece will help make things clearer.

Here you’ll find a guide that breaks down the biggest changes to the tax code to help you figure out which ones might affect your 2018 returns. I’ve also got all the major deadlines listed so you won’t miss a beat.

If you’re considering hiring a tax pro to help make sense of it all, call me! I have a great referral and I can connect you.

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How much money will you need to retire?

Are you ready to retire? Whether you plan to retire in the next few years or in a few decades, saving for retirement is likely a top priority. After all, many of us wish to maintain our lifestyles after we’ve stopped working.

This month’s information helps you figure out how much you may need to maintain your lifestyle in retirement. Although experts typically suggest saving up to 12 times your current income, the amount you’d like to save may be more or less, depending on the factors outlined on page one. For many people, the immediate demands of life and family prevent them from saving as much as they’d like. If that sounds like you, page two offers strategies to help get your retirement savings back on track.

Whether you’d like to save more for retirement or build funds for a down payment on a home, give me a call! I’ll connect you with a reputable financial professional in my network.

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It’s almost time to celebrate the spirit of the season with parties and get-togethers to reconnect with our families and friends, especially those who live far away.

The information for this month will help you throw the perfect holiday party without breaking the bank. You’ll find several tips to help make the planning process fun, stress-free and budget friendly, from prioritizing where you’d like to spend most of your dollars to ordering food and coordinating entertainment your guests will love. Whether you’ve been planning your holiday party for months or you’ve just decided to throw one, you’ll find this information valuable.

I want to take a minute to thank you for your business. Your business and referrals drive my business and make it successful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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Are you thinking of listing your home this spring? You may be wondering what you can do to make your home more attractive and allow it to stand out from other similar homes in your market.

This month’s information is about the seven features that may help your home sell faster. From energy-efficient windows and appliances to hardwood floors, these are the most popular features buyers look for when searching for homes. The second page outlines other features that help your home stand out, from updated kitchens and bathrooms to home offices.

If your home has these features, we’ll be sure to highlight them if you decide to list. If not, and you want to renovate to add them, give me a call and I’ll connect you with a great contractor in my network. Also, if you’re thinking of listing your home in the coming months, I’d love to discuss the market with you. Give me a call and I’ll give you a comparative market analysis of your home and answer any questions you may have.

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How to Pay for Your Home Renovation


“Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it.”

-Horace Mann

Have you ever set a goal or made a New Year’s resolution only to give up or forget about it a few weeks later? You’re not alone. Many of us set goals and then fall off track after a few weeks. The reason? We haven’t changed our habits.

Good habits help us achieve our goals. To help you stay on track to reach the goals you set for 2016, this month’s information offers tips for developing better habits. These nine tips will make it easier to incorporate a new habit into your daily routine. Whether your goal is to get healthier or buy a home, these tips are sure to help you rethink your habits and adopt new ones. Since habits take time to develop, it’s important to remain patient and, of course, never give up.

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Saving More for a Down Payment


VM blog 2015 10 30 (before & after 1)There are many ways Sandy Spatz helps her clients reorganize their homes, condos and offices.

“I think what makes me the happiest is when I check in with them, and they say it’s still working,” Spatz said. “(When they say) ‘I’m using the new filing system,’ (or) ‘my home just flows better.’ Your house should be a sanctuary. That’s my goal, for you to feel really good in your space.”

Spatz, who lives in Andersonville, started her business in 2002, but it’s fair to say that she’s been interested in organizing and re-organizing all her life. She’s worked with clients living in Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Rogers Park, and the Chicago suburbs, helping them move or to create a more stress-free environment.

Over the years, the owner of Step-by-Step by Sandy has had a variety of clients, some of whom have had a more difficult time sorting through their belongings than most. One woman in particular was recovering from a personal tragedy, and “she was scared to let go of anything. She had experienced so much loss.”

After working with Spatz for an extended period, the client lost 50 pounds, started entertaining again, and obtained a job. “She started feeling better about herself and the future and was able to finally make some progress,” Spatz said.

How did she do it? Every client is different, Spatz said, and she takes time to determine what process will work for VM blog 2015 10 30 (before & after 2)them. Are they more visual, meaning it’s helpful for them to have reminders within their sights of what they want and need? Do they have a small apartment or home filled with belongings they don’t need anymore, that they are working to pare down?

“I encourage people to buy a file cabinet and a shredder, but I think the learning comes from establishing a new habit,” Spatz said. “It’s really helping them see and really give 100 percent to try a new system, especially with paper. You have to practice it, learning and asking yourself the right questions. I try to learn how they think and how they live in their home.”

Spatz works with realtors and others when helping her clients move, packing and unpacking boxes and arranging furniture. “If you are able to, the next day, to take a shower, eat breakfast and get dressed for work, then that shows (great progress),” she said.

Different organizers fit different people, Spatz said. “You have to find the one that works for you. It’s a very personal, intimate process. Somebody is going through your stuff with you, and you want to feel comfortable.”

For more information about Step-by-Step by Sandy, visit Spatz’s website at

Victoria MartyVictoria Marty has written for newspapers and magazines for more than 15 years and recently moved to the Lincoln Square, Chicago area. A frequent runner who loves learning and exploring new places, she has perfected the art of getting lost while simultaneously finding unique landmarks, boutiques and out-of-the-way nooks worth writing about. Her blogs are geared toward the newly transplanted who want to learn as much about Chicago as they can, as quickly as possible.