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Jeff Corder or "Quarter" (nicknamed because of his sound-alike last name) is a Chicagoland food, improv, and live music fan who's always out wherever there's great pizza, plenty of laughs, and a good (or bad) band playing. Corder "grew-up" (…questionable) 28 Metra stops from Michigan & Randolph in the Southside paradise known as Blue Island. He graduated Dwight D. Eisenhower HS as "Most Likely To Be Unlikely" and attended Illinois State University…before they asked him to "please leave." When not on the air, Jeff can be found volunteering for local charities, playing with his Mom's parrots, or learning the art of power-napping.
When I was a little girl in Little Rock, Arkansas I used to stay up late with my favorite Christmas present - a transistor radio. I would tune in WLS AM, broadcasting from the exciting big city of Chicago, and when I heard Yvonne Daniels on the air I thought “YES! THAT’S what I want to do”. Dreams do come true because years later I ended up hosting the same show on WNUA that Yvonne Daniels hosted at one time. After college and some time touring with a band, playing keyboards and singing, I landed my first radio job in Little Rock. I then moved on to stations in Detroit and Chicago before doing mornings on WNUA. First solo then partnering with Jazz Great Ramsey Lewis. I joined Lite FM three years ago.
I live in the Northwest Suburbs with my hubby (the most patient man in the world) and my two sons. They’re used to Mom’s early morning hours and indulge my cooking obsession. They’ll try anything…once! Partially by necessity, I love to run. I’m not too speedy but better at endurance. This year will be my third Chicago Marathon. I do yoga to de-stress and tennis just to make my friends feel good about winning. I live for Family, Friends, Food and Music (maybe in that order). I love live music especially outside in the summer - From the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra to Ravinia to catching my friends’ bands playing in the local clubs. Looking at my Facebook page it seems like all I do is post about live shows and restaurants!
I really do feel like I am the luckiest person in the world to be able to do what I love – helping people wake up and get going in the best city in the world. Yes Karen… Life is Good!
photo credit: flickr
1. Old rule: Buy stock and let it sit and grow over time.
New rule: Rebalance your portfolio every year.
If you have a mixed investment portfolio, such as your 401(k) which contains bonds and stocks, buying and holding shifts the ratio of these investments over the years, since riskier vehicles usually grow faster. "You could be taking on more risk over time, which isn't necessarily what you want as you get older," says Eleanor Blayney, a consumer advocate for the CFP Board (the organization that credentials certified financial planners) and the author of Women's Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence. To avoid this, Blayney suggests setting up your 401(k) to rebalance automatically each year, a standard option with most plans.
2. Old rule: Hope for a big tax refund.
New rule: Be happy if you owe the IRS money.
Sure, a fat government check can seem like the proper payback for the grueling effort of filing your taxes. But getting a refund means you've been overpaying your taxes-loaning the government an average of $3,000 to $4,000 per year, says Blayney. It's better to have that money working for you all year long in an interest-making account. Blayney suggests using tax software or talking to a professional to get the amount of taxes you pay closer to what you actually owe.
3. Old rule: Pay off your highest interest credit card first.
New rule: Pay off your low-balance cards first.
If you want to get out of debt with the psychological boost of seeing results quickly, take the new advice above from Angie Grainger, a CPA and financial planner and the author of Principles of Mastery for Wealth and Relationships. Here's why: "If you pay $100 toward the low-balance card, and just $25 toward each of two other cards, when the first card is paid off you'll have $125 to pay toward the second card. When that one's paid off, you'll have $150 to put toward the third," she explains. "Allowing more of your payment to go toward the principal balance will keep you motivated until you retire your debt."
4. Old rule: Protect your job at all costs.
New rule: Your health is the most vital thing.
There's nothing good about losing a job. But it's not the leading reason people file for personal bankruptcy in the US: A medical crisis is. "Medical debt is about not having the insurance you need and not having a reserve fund to cover you when you can't work due to illness," says Blayney. The solution's obvious: Eat right, exercise and guard your health as well as you can. But as important: Always have medical insurance, even if it's a high-deductible policy that covers only catastrophic situations, and continue it if you ever become unemployed.
5. Old rule: Invest in your home to protect its value.
New rule: Invest in yourself.
Will putting $5,000 toward a bathroom renovation get you more money when you sell it some day? You might see a higher return investing in your own human capital. "The amount you earn over your lifetime, taking inflation into account, is likely to top $1 million," says Blayney. "Few of us live in a million-dollar home. So improving your ability to earn money through education or training is likely to be a better investment."
6. Old rule: Lend money only to family members.
New rule: Don't even do that.
Say your son's in a financial bind and you have the resources and desire to help. Lending money is a lovely thought, but it could permanently harm your relationship. "The problem is, there's no formal arrangement to keep people honest," warns Blayney. "If money gets tight, your son will probably pay the cable bill and car loan before he pays you." If this happens, the potential for resentment is enormous. So loan money to a family member only if "you're prepared, mentally and financially, for it to become a gift," advises Blayney.
7. Old rule: Buy in bulk.
New rule: Buy only what you need when you need it.
Sure, each toothpaste tube in a six-pack costs less than a tube bought individually. But buying in bulk doesn't save significant money. "You have to put up a lot of cash," points out Grainger. "That's money that's not in your pocket. Plus, there's the real risk you won't use all your purchases." And buying more can mean consuming more. "You may get a better deal on a case of yogurt, but now you have to eat all of them before they expire," says Grainger. "I'd rather have $20 than two dozen yogurts I don't want to eat," she says.
8. Old rule: Never pass up free money.
New rule: Be wary of giveaway offers.
It's great to get a bargain-except when that bargain costs you money you wouldn't have otherwise spent, says Blayney. That second pair of shoes that you got for half price-well, if you didn't need them in the first place, then the thrill of the deal lured you into spending money you didn't need to. That free trial subscription is free only until the cancellation deadline-and who remembers when that is? And if you finance, say, a family room sofa at 0% for two years because you couldn't afford to buy it outright, then near the end of two years you have a depreciating asset that the kids have spilled on, and you're still paying for it. "It doesn't feel like free money then," says Blayney.
9. Old rule: Balance your checkbook every week.
New rule: Automate your banking and check in once a month.
It's important to reconcile your finances, but the old-fashioned way-with paper, pencil and your checkbook register-is so last century. There's plenty of room for arithmetic errors, and the task's sheer tedium may dissuade you from doing it regularly enough. But the ATM shouldn't be your sole source for knowing what your account balance is-there's a lag for both adding deposits and taking debits. It's smarter to sign up for online services through your bank, so you can track payments, withdrawals and deposits and even set up automatic bill paying for fixed monthly payments, like your mortgage. You still need to check on your account regularly and make sure everything is correct, but "computers don't make as many mistakes as humans," says Blayney, "and reviewing automated banking statements helps make you more informed about your finances."