Category Archives: Personal

Stay away from self-imposed exile

Stay out of self-imposed exile (debt)

Whether we have a little money or a lot – it is the commodity of our time. One of the great trials of handling money is it that it is a science which can be learned, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you have had past (or present) troubles with saving money and handling debt, here is a quick and simple guide to get you started.

Money uses Math – the addition and subtraction kind of math.

help with debt-self imposed exileBe encouraged – you have the skills! There is nothing about budgeting that is too complex… …

Stay out of self-imposed exile (debt)

Whether we have a little money or a lot – it is the commodity of our time. One of the great trials of handling money is it that it is a science which can be learned, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you have had past (or present) troubles with saving money and handling debt, here is a quick and simple guide to get you started.

Money uses Math – the addition and subtraction kind of math.

help with debt-self imposed exileBe encouraged – you have the skills! There is nothing about budgeting that is too complex… it just takes time and will power (and usually a written plan). Budgeting uses the same calculation as dieting, because it’s all about how much you take in and how much you give out. If we want to lose weight we have to burn more calories than we take in. If we want to have more money left over the day before we get our paycheck, then we will need to spend less than we make. Even though it is simple – it’s not always easy. This is where our will power comes in to play, but that’s a whole different blog post :-).

To ease the planning part of this, here is a simple guide to help get us started.

BUDGET EQUATION:
Income minus expense = money you are supposed to manage (and management includes more than spending)how to for growing money tree

  1. Know how much money you give out each month. Whether your goal is a trip next summer, or just that you’re tired of having to make your decisions based on how much money you have available at that moment. It is vital to know how much you’re spending. It is one thing to lower your debt, but knowing how much money you have going out (expenses) every month must be controlled, or debt will continue to sneak up on you. You can’t ever make more than you’re capable of spending.
  2. Know how much money you make each month… exactly. We realize this sounds silly, because – how can anyone go to work every day and not know what they’re making. The reality is that most of us don’t track what is on our paychecks. We are typically so happy to see money in the account that we don’t take the two minutes per paycheck to look at the stub and make sure the amount is accurate. Know how much you put in your bank and what frequency it is delivered.

Even though there are a number of other tools that help with budgets and tracking money, the above info is what goes into a budget. This is as simple as what you make (income) minus what you spend (expenses), and the remainder is what you have to give and save and spend.

**if you are finding that you have less money than you need after doing this “money earned & money spent” equation – that is when you need to bring your expenses inline with your income. Sometimes budgets aren’t fun to do, because we want to pretend that we should live like we are richer than we actually are*** (sorry)debt free prison escape

 

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Winterize Your Insurance
Winterize Your Insurance

Winterize Your Insurance

Winterize Your Insurance

While our warm fall weather doesn’t make it seem real, winter is just around the corner. With winter, comes winter weather – ice, snow, and the inevitable cold air that can bring a bite to the holidays. Living in Colorado brings several options on how to handle the cold. You can either huddle up by the fireplace with some hot cocoa or bundle up in your best winter gear and brave one of the various outdoor adventures Colorado offers.

Winter Activities are here.

Regardless of your chosen winter activities, now is a good time to re-evaluate your …

Winterize Your Insurance

While our warm fall weather doesn’t make it seem real, winter is just around the corner. With winter, comes winter weather – ice, snow, and the inevitable cold air that can bring a bite to the holidays. Living in Colorado brings several options on how to handle the cold. You can either huddle up by the fireplace with some hot cocoa or bundle up in your best winter gear and brave one of the various outdoor adventures Colorado offers.

Winter Activities are here.

Regardless of your chosen winter activities, now is a good time to re-evaluate your current insurance policies to be certain that you, your home and your belongings are protected during these cold months.

Homeowners Insurance & Liability Coverage. Whether its heavy snow fall, frozen pipes, or slippery sidewalks – winter is bound to deliver unpredictable weather that can lead to accidents and mishaps. Talk with your insurance agent today to be certain that the policies you have in place will protect your home and the guests you welcome into it.

Recreational Vehicle Insurance. Time to stow away the boat and dust off the snowmobile. Typically, both of these vehicles are not covered under standard home and auto insurance. If your current policy does not extend to recreational vehicles, it is important to secure additional coverage. If you’re tempted to cancel the boat insurance for the winter, you may want to think again. Any threats of theft, damage or repairs still exist during the off-season, and you’ll be sure to want your insurance coverage if those threats become a reality.

Fire Insurance. While most homeowners insurance will provide coverage for your home and belongings in the event of a fire, it is a good idea to know exactly how much coverage your policy provides and what coverage it doesn’t. You don’t want a cozy night around the fire to turn into a homeowner’s nightmare.

avoid the teen driving drama

Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can discuss the needs of your teenage drivers and which insurance policies are best for them. We have offices in Denver (303-388-7216) and Castle Rock (303-688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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avoid-the-teen-driving, teen driving
avoid-the-teen-driving, teen driving

Avoid the Teen Driving Drama

Avoid the Teen Driving Drama

For the parents of teenage children, the joy of September’s “Back to School” can also bring with it the fears of having your teen hit the highway. It’s a milestone that both parent and child look forward to: the day when your child is old enough to drive. No more carpooling for Mom. No more chauffeur duties for Dad and the seemingly unrestricted freedom for child.

However, that freedom definitely comes with responsibility, and as a parent it is important to discuss such responsibility with your child. Even with the best insurance policy, coverage can …

Avoid the Teen Driving Drama

For the parents of teenage children, the joy of September’s “Back to School” can also bring with it the fears of having your teen hit the highway. It’s a milestone that both parent and child look forward to: the day when your child is old enough to drive. No more carpooling for Mom. No more chauffeur duties for Dad and the seemingly unrestricted freedom for child.

However, that freedom definitely comes with responsibility, and as a parent it is important to discuss such responsibility with your child. Even with the best insurance policy, coverage can only go so far. Having an open, honest, and informed conversation is the best way to get your teen driver to maturely embrace their new driving independence.

Privilege vs. Right. While it’s a normal “rite” of passage for many sixteen year old to get their driver’s license, it is definitely not a guaranteed “right.” To obtain your license, let alone have a car to drive, is indeed a big privilege that not all young adults are privy too. It is important that your child does not take this for granted.

Real Talk. While people love to refer to their automobiles as “toys” – they are anything but. The cause of over 30,000 deaths per year, a car can be a dangerous luxury and should be treated with the utmost respect and responsibility. It’s important to remember that car insurance can only go so far to protect you in the chance of an accident.

Mutual Understandings. The “Rules of the Road” are meant to be followed. Period. Whether it’s speeding, texting while driving, drunk driving, or even “distracted” driving – discussing with your teen the expectations and, perhaps most importantly, the consequences of these rules is necessary for both preparing and protecting your child.

Have a Little Faith. You’ve prepped, warned, and maybe even (slightly) shocked your child about what it means to obtain their driver’s license. Now it’s time for you to trust your child. Trust that you’ve taught them well. Trust that they’ve listened. And trust that will develop into both mature drivers and mature people.

avoid the teen driving drama

Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can discuss the needs of your teenage drivers and which insurance policies are best for them. We have offices in Denver (303-388-7216) and Castle Rock (303-688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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back-to-school insurance quotes
back-to-school insurance quotes

Back-to-school insurance quotes

Open Lowry article – Published by: Living Well in Lowry by neighbors, for neighbors (serving Lowry since 2002) This article is a transcription from the Lowry newsletter by www.jewelcommunications.com Insurance Town and Country: Denver’s Family Owned Insurance Broker

As a homeowner or business owner, it’s rarely a favorite topic to discuss. It’s hardly ever the first thing you like to spend your money on, and at the same time it’s always a good idea to buy some. We’re talking about insurance.

Joan Burkett, owner of Insurance Town and Country, says, “It’s the thing you hate to buy, but you’ll love the fact that you …

  • Open Lowry article – Published by: Living Well in Lowry by neighbors, for neighbors (serving Lowry since 2002)
  • This article is a transcription from the Lowry newsletter by www.jewelcommunications.com

Insurance Town and Country: Denver’s Family Owned Insurance Broker

As a homeowner or business owner, it’s rarely a favorite topic to discuss. It’s hardly ever the first thing you like to spend your money on, and at the same time it’s always a good idea to buy some. We’re talking about insurance.

Joan Burkett, owner of Insurance Town and Country, says, “It’s the thing you hate to buy, but you’ll love the fact that you have it when something happens.”

Residential Umbrella InsuranceInsurance Town and Country is a family-owned insurance business serving us in the town (Denver Metro area) and those in the country, specifically the Castle Rock area, since 1997. They are an independent insurance broker business that can shop more than 25 companies to find the best rate for your personal situation.

Back in 1983, Joan’s husband Norman begged her to get licensed so she could help run his insurance office in Kittredge. She really didn’t want to at first because she didn’t think it was her thing. At the same time, she knew her husband was quite the sales guy and she had a knack for explaining things to people. Maybe Norm was on to something after all?

The following decade or so proved to be trying at times, but kept Joan and her family on their toes as they rode out the ups and downs of various agencies and insurance firms. Joan is a firm believer in God and she believes everything happens for a reason. “While insurance is not my passion, it helps fund my passions. I’m truly blessed with this opportunity to support myself and help my community.”

Joan joined forces with her middle son Jeremy in 1997, and shortly thereafter Norman passed away in 1999. Joan and Jeremy’s partnership became a blessing in disguise for her while they both mourned his loss. Jeremy wasn’t easily convinced to join the insurance business either, but it didn’t take long for them to become the perfect business partners. Jeremy’s dream at the time was a career in the NFL. After two years with the New York Giants, though, he returned home with his Mom to get things started. “it’s easier on his knees, ” jokes Joan.

How is Insurance Town and Country different from other agencies?

“Well, someone will always answer the phone! There’s no 800 number here, it’s personal and we care. Nicole, our account manager, is amazing! If I could clone her, I would,” explains Joan.

When you visit Joan and Jeremy for the first time, they’ll give you a broad brush review of your individual situation. “We look to see how we can save you money. We can help you understand your current coverage by explaining what you already have. And, sometimes, we even assure you that you’re best off staying put where you are.”

Now that summer vacation is almost over, some of you will be sending kids off to college and taking an inventory of your current policies.

Here are some things Insurance Town and Country can help you evaluate this fall.

Did you know if your child goes to college more than 100 miles from home and does not take a car, you can save money?

denver insurance choicesHave you considered insuring your child’s big-ticket items that he or she is taking to college?

  • When we went away to school, we may have taken a record player, or a stereo and microwave, but kids today take flat screen TC and laptops.

Do you understand your healthcare plan? 

  • It’s no secret that the current healthcare system is very difficult for the average person to understand. Let Insurance Town and Country help you navigate the paperwork to determine what you’re really covered for.

When was the last time you reviewed your coverage and/or your insurance carrier?

  • Joan and Jeremy encourage you to review your policies every three years (not sooner). It’s always a good idea to see how your life and needs change over time, but don’t change providers too often. The next guy might decide not to cover you at all, or you could lose valuable renewal credits.

Have you recently gotten married?

  • You could save 20% on your insurance by combining your policies under one company.

How can you pay just one deductible the next time it hails?

  • Make sure your home and auto is on one policy so the next time we have a major story, you only make one claim and pay one deductible for the repairs.

“Yes, insurance companies can be difficult, but you have to be at a place where you can trust your agent and your insurance company. Insurance is not simple so who you choose for an agent does matter. We are invested in getting you a good deal and we want you to have a good claim experience,” explains Joan.

Insurance Town and Country provides a level of customer service and personal care that the larger companies simply  cannot. While it’s not a buttoned-up office, it’s Colorado-casual by design. They’re approachable and they understand the broad range of their clients, from the young to old.

“We’re small enough to know your name, but we’re big enough to meet your needs,” explains Joan.

For more information on Insurance Town and Country, visit www.insurancedenver.net, or give them a call at 303-388-7216.

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Drive in Snow
Drive in Snow

Weather Hazards in High Country while having Drive in Snow

Winter Driving help Be prepared for hazards you may not see

Drive in SnowWhile most of us are enjoying the early onset of spring here in Denver, the weather conditions in the high country can be unpredictable during this time of year. The chance of extreme winds, pelting rain, and blinding snow is constantly knocking at the door most especially while having a drive in snow. Even the most experienced drivers can be tested by Mother Nature’s power during a winter storm.

In order to protect yourself, your passengers, and all vehicles on the road, we suggest these simple tips when driving …

Winter Driving help

Be prepared for hazards you may not see

Drive in SnowWhile most of us are enjoying the early onset of spring here in Denver, the weather conditions in the high country can be unpredictable during this time of year. The chance of extreme winds, pelting rain, and blinding snow is constantly knocking at the door most especially while having a drive in snow. Even the most experienced drivers can be tested by Mother Nature’s power during a winter storm.

In order to protect yourself, your passengers, and all vehicles on the road, we suggest these simple tips when driving in fickle mountainous climates:

  • Keep an Emergency Kit on hand. This should include at least the basics of a blanket, boots, shovel, flashlight, and some nonperishable food items.
  • Don’t slam on the brakes. Use a “toe tapping” approach when you are planning to stop or turn, especially if the roads are wet or icy.
  • Maintain a steady speed. No need to stop suddenly or speed up too quickly.
  • Stay the course if you are skidding. Your “locked” wheels will take the lead; follow this lead. Do not steer away or try to brake.

Despite your best efforts, an accident may still occur while on a mountain trip. If you find yourself in a crash, keep in mind the following action steps. These will help to keep everyone safe while on a drive in snow and assist in letting Insurance Town and Country work through any necessary claims.

  • Don’t stress. While it may be natural to get worked up, or even start thinking irrationally, it is important to stay calm and maintain composure. Stay at the scene (but out of the way), and be sure to utilize your warning lights or road flares to alert other drivers.
  • Call 911. This is a job for the professionals. Let them do what they do best.
  • Reach out to Insurance Town and Country ASAP. Letting your insurance company know about the accident immediately will help speed up any possible resolutions.
  • Maintain innocence. Keep any ‘blame game’ comments limited to your conversation with the police and your automotive insurance company.
  • Obtain contact information. Be sure to exchange names, phone numbers, and even email addresses with any other drivers or witnesses involved.
  • Take photographs. Pictures are very useful when a claim is being settled.
  • Verify the other driver’s insurance is in effect. You can do this by calling the # on their ID card.

Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. Let us help you navigate the hazardous roads of life and work to keep your insurance costs down. We have offices in Denver (303-388-7216) and Castle Rock (303-688-1251).  Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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