After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the different types of taxes that you may owe, when to pay them, and how to set aside enough money to pay them. Track expenses and keep good records so you do not overpay.
  • Develop a saving strategy based on your goals. Prioritize how much to put into savings and the appropriate type of account for your savings based on your goals.
  • Estimate how much you will need to invest to be financial independent at a given age and income. Compute how much you will need to invest to reach you goal. Summarize the types of accounts that you can use for long-term investments and in which circumstances each is appropriate.
  • Prepare for irregular cash inflow, and develop tools that will allow you to maintain a consistent standard of living despite irregular cash inflows.
  • Identify the basic estate planning documents and their purposes.
  • Discern the differences between financial advisors and prepare questions to ask to interview advisors.
  • Define the different types of insurance and explain the circumstances where they may or may not be appropriate.
  • Prepare questions to ask yourself before you take on new debt (especially student loan debt). Develop tools to analyze the tradeoffs that come with debt.
  • Illustrate the costs that come with children, and develop a checklist of questions to help you prepare financially for children.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a house/condo/live work space vs. renting. Analyze the financial aspects of a real estate purchase.


Additional Resources

Presenter: Chris LongCFP® NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor, is a graduate of both Yale and Stanford. Long is a certified Financial Planner at Long Financial Planning, which operates on a Fee-Only basis, serving both individual clients with personal financial planning, and small business and non-profit clients with retirement plan advice for their 401k or 403b plans.

The series is funded in part by grants from The Coleman Foundation, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, as well as a CityArtsGrant from the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

Survival Guide is produced by Chicago Artists Coalition for Chicago Artists Resource.

Taxes for Different Business Types

How to be Taxed as a Sole Proprietor

  • Types of taxes: FICA, federal income, and state income taxes
  • How to calculate taxes
  • How to pay taxes


How to be Taxed as a Corporation

  • Limited liability company 
  • Employee tax details
  • Employer tax details
  • Payroll vs. Dividend 


How to be Taxed as an SCorp

  • Professional Services to Contract Out
  • Payroll
  • Accountants


Additional Resources

Planning for Taxes

Records for Taxes

  • How to keep good records
  • Separating personal and professional banking
  • Keep receipts


Setting Aside Money for Taxes

  • Calculating tax amount 
  • An example
  • Saving anticipated taxes


Additional Resources

Cash Flow

Cash Flow

  • How to maintain regular cash flow
  • Cash flow buffer account


Online Tools for Cash Flow

  • Capital One 360


Developing a Cash Flow Plan

  • Understanding the 4 types of expenses
  • Developing a budget
  • Discretionary spending plan
  • Tracking monthly spending


Additional Resources

Dealing with the Unexpected

Fixing a Deficit

  • What is a deficit?
  • Conscious choices in the short term
  • Conscious choices in the long term


Unplanned Expenses

  • What is an emergency fund?
  • How to set up an emergency fund


Additional Resources


Setting Aside Money for Savings

  • What are you saving for?
  • Creating a savings plan


Long Term Savings with Employer Plan

  • Types of employer plans
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Employer Matching


Comprehensive IRA Information

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Self-Employed Pension IRA
  • Simple IRA


Where to Invest
  • Low-Cost Index Funds
  • Mutual Fund Companies
  • Target Date Retirement Funds


Additional Resources

Long-Term Considerations


  • Questions to ask yourself before taking on debt
  • Evaluating the impact of debt


Financial Independence

  • What is Financial Independence?
  • Developing a Strategy to Get There


Additional Resources

Real Estate

Renting vs. Buying

  • Pros and cons of buying
  • Pros and cons of renting


Investing in Real Estate

  • Speculative Investment
  • Long-term Investment
  • Calculating Speculative Investment


Additional Resources

Starting a Family

Planning to Start a Family

  • Phase 1: The Early Years
  • Phase 2: The K-12 Years
  • Phase 3: The College Years
  • Illinois Bright Starts Savings 529 Plan


Family Expenses

  • Additional Considerations & Expenses to Factor In


Estate Planning

  • Will
  • Trust
  • Beneficiary Statements


Additional Resources


Life Insurance

  • Primary Purpose
  • Term Life Insurance
  • Permanent Life Insurance


Auto Insurance

  • Liability Coverage
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
  • Strategies for Determining the Best Coverage for You


Homeowners Insurance

  • Liability Coverage
  • Dwelling Coverage
  • Strategies for Getting a the Best Deductible for You
  • Excess Liability Policy


Disability Insurance

  • Short-Term Disability Coverage
  • Long-Term Disability Coverage


Additional Resources

Financial Advisors

Help from a Financial Advisor

  • Why Seek Help?
  • Financial Advisor Expertise

Seeking Financial Advice

  • The 3 Types of Financial Advisors
  • How to Choose a Registered Investment Advisor


Additional Resources


Further Readings