August 2021

Family Finance

You’re Never Too Busy to Save

by Thomas Wynn

As Mick Jagger once said, “Please allow me to introduce myself.”  My name is Thomas Wynn and I’m the CEO of Wynn Capital Management, a registered investment advisor.  

This is the first of what I hope to be an ongoing conversation about managing a family’s finances.  The topics we’ll cover will be guided by questions and feedback from readers.   I’ll also touch on seasonal financial issues and topics that are in the news.  I’m hoping to make the complex and intimidating world of finance a little less confusing and hopefully, a little less boring.  

To find out where you are in your financial planning journey, you’ll need to start with a budget.  This is easy to say, but hard to do.  You’ll need to put a time slot on your calendar.  Early morning on the weekend is what works for me, before the temptations of everything that’s more fun than budgeting, distract me.  I try to do about an hour of work at least once a month.  In one hour, I can compare our monthly expenses vs. our budget and determine if we added to or subtracted from, our savings.  

If you already have a budget, great.  If not, now’s the time to start.  I use the free version of Mint.  A quick web search will show you the many choices that should match your budget and your technical abilities.  The good news is that the current software products are more intuitive, less expensive, and easier to use than ever.  
I know we are all very, very busy.  Keeping a budget and working on the many financial questions that we all deal with is a challenge.  For Growing Up in Santa Cruz readers, I’ll try to make that challenge just a little bit easier.  

Like many families, we started saving and planning late.  My wife Beth and I moved to Ben Lomond in 1996.  Our kids were born at Sutter in 2003 and 2005 respectively and grew up in Santa Cruz.  We now have a junior in high school and a freshman in college.  Through fits and starts we pieced together our finances.  Approaching college expenses have a way of focusing the mind.  

Through a combination of hard work and good luck, our family has attained some measure of financial security – but the mistakes along the way were many.  Through these columns I hope to help you avoid some of those mistakes and begin a journey that will lead to less anxiety and a higher quality of life.  

Thomas Wynn is a professional trader, investment advisor and financial planner.  Thomas worked on the floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange from 1981 to 1996.  Thomas started Wynn Capital in 2003.  Thomas is a delusional basketball player, dangerous table tennis player, below average guitar player and owns a record player.  You can reach Thomas at [email protected]

One Comment

  • Ceco

    Comment for the new Family Finance Colum: What do you suggest in terms of saving for those of us who are renters and are now in our 40/50s with elemtary school age kids; double-income with solid jobs; and don’t see purchasing a home in Santa Cruz as attainable? Saving up a 20% downpayment when the median house price is $1.3 mil doesn’t seem possible. How can we possibly save up $260,000? If you were/are in this position what would/do you do? How do you prioritize paying down debt, saving for a house, saving for college for your kids? Like many families we have things come up like car payments, medical bills, kids expenses (after school care, summer camps, clothes/shoes, sports gear, etc). Even with triming back expenses (keeping rent as low as possible by living in a small space, not eating out, buying used, finding bargains) and trying to stick to a budget, saving just seems impossible. Once we save up some money there alwasy seems to be something big that comes up like car repairs, dental work, etc that eat it up. We are always asking ourselves: How do people do it? What’s their secret? How can people afford to buy a home here? We talk about moving out of the area but California is generally expensive and moving away from family, friends and our support network is just not appealing. We tried to move out-of-state for a while and it just didn’t work well for us. Is there something we are missing? I just don’t get how people do it.

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