Categories
Never to Late for Success Personal Financial Advise

The Most Destructive Force – Debt

When we wake up one morning and realize how careless we have been in our workplace with our earnings. Suddenly when you go to pay a bill to get a message that your card has been declined. But how could it, you think – I just got paid yesterday, where did it go? You feel helpless in despair. Suddenly there is no one, if you go to your parents after they just loaned you money they will ask where that money went. How can you tell them, “I don’t know!” You look around, we have all this nice stuff – it’s just doesn’t make sense.

 

Ringing phones Summons Thoughts – “What Now?”

Phone calls start seeking payments long overdue. The utility company has given you your last chance, if you don’t send in payment by end of the week the lights get shut off. You are tired of constantly worrying if you will have enough to pay the rent this month. Anxiety builds on almost a daily basis. You ask constantly where am I, how did I get in this state. You are being held captive by the most destructive force – debt.

Society has taught us subconsciously we need to keep up with the Jones es next door. Look they just got another new car. You think, they must be doing so well. Last year you and your husband took out a loan and added a pool out back for your children – you smile how happy they were to have their friends over for pool parties. Then you look down, but how are we going to make the next payment?

Stop Trying to “Keep Up With Anyone!”

Your lack of money is no one’s fault but your own! Putting off this month payment so you can get something new, totally irresponsible. You are just spending money you don’t have when you resort to borrowing or pull out a credit card. Also, it is your lack of manageability of your funds that is also affecting your health and making you look older beyond your years. Your life is virtually being sucked out of you while being placed on hold. Where will it all end? When will it end?

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Truth is, you caused all this with your needs and wants. Did you really NEED another pair of shoes? Do you really need that timeshare you are buying with your neighbors in Florida when you cannot even pay your light bill for this home? Money truly is the root of all evil. It is the source and cause the most destructive force – this DEBT that is keeping you prisoner and not allowing you to experience more happiness.

In your most desperate state, you need to stop and weigh your options to make decisions to change your ways. Get up and take a stretch – take a walk around the block and just focus on the surrounding things on your walk – rustling trees, birds chirping, squirrel chattering at you, smell of spring in the air, sound of that brook down the street babbling, don’t think about any troubles. Come back in an hour or two, and take a deep breath.

Where Exactly Are You Today?

Investigate your situation – what do you have right now that you have not spent? Make a list of all sources of revenue – even your piggy banks, change, checking, savings, all area. List them, and then put the amount available in each area and total it all up. Circle that total and take a moment – you are not broke, oh, you may not have much but as you see you still have some cash available.

Now grab another sheet of paper and make a list of all your bills along with the amount due and when its due. Make one more column to list the amount you are overdue for each expense. Add everything you can think of to this list and when you feel you have everything on this list – total up amount due. It is understandable if this number seems rather overwhelming, because it probably is.

Ok So Now, The Truth Comes Where Do You Stand – Your True Worth

Now take your total expenses owed and subtract it from your total money available at this moment. My guess, if you are feeling anxious and uneasy, the result will be a negative number. This is your true (or net) worth. Now take your fist and punch that pillow on the sofa next to you as hard as you can as you think about this number. This is your release, from here is the first day of the rest of your life. Oh, it won’t be easy – but trust me, you can do it. I already have been there, and I am here now in a better position and ready to help you.

Are You Ready to be Shaken Up?

The truth is you have given your money permission to rule your life. Money is the root of all evil, it needs to be over seen and monitored continually to keep it in line. I am holding a series of four workshops this month to help re-position you for next month. You will begin to see just what your money is doing behind your back and how it is controlling you. I invite you to sign up and go through this FREE workshop to start experiencing less stress and less anxiety in your life.

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Categories
Finance & Budgeting Personal Financial Advise

Change Your Ways to Saving with CHANGE

Time to Change Your Ways

I have heard people say they don’t like to collect a lot of change. Perhaps they find it too cumbersome, however it can change your life and add more value to your bottom line. Starting today we will begin making all that loose change your new best friend for life. It is time to change your ways and realize though small in value individually, collectively it can mount up to Saved change vessela good size savings or emergency account.

Set a New Routine

The first thing you must do is set a new routine to help you do this and manage all that change that gathers around, especially in the bottom of our pocketbooks for you ladies out there. Go find some old container now that would make a perfect thing to collect your loose change every day and put it where you will remember to unload your coinage every day. Here I have chosen an old pitcher that is chipped at the top, and put it on the back of my counter or laundry shelf or somewhere you will be reminded to stop and drop in your change for the day.

Reap the Benefit of Saving with Change

Once a week, or every other week, dump the contents into something like a money bag that is sturdy and can withstand the weight of a lot of change. Put the money bag away, perhaps in an underwear drawer away from temptation to dip into it. Now you have made room to collect more change in that pitcher for the remainder of the month.

Make Monthly Deposit to Your Savings

The last day of the month, empty the pitcher once more into the money bag to leave it empty and fresh to start the next month. Find a bank near you where you can open a “savings only” account and gives you some interest to build up as you put more and more change in. Also, one where they may have a coin counter to count the change for you and then deposit it into your new account.

Tracking Change is a Measurable Goal

Like anything we attempt to change, always make sure it has a measurable benefit. To change your ways abo

ut saving Change is just that – very measurable and rewarding. Get a check register from the bank and start with your initial monthly deposit, adding the amount of change and calculating the current new balance with every monthly deposit. If you collect and deposit just $50 a month, and deposit it into your new savings, that is $600 a year. In ten years you will have $6,000 in your savings change fund. So you see, change is more valuable as it collects with other change.

While you are at it, why not make it a family affair and see who can save the most in a year. The winner may get $5-10 from each of the other members funds to add to theirs; and the process then would begin a new year. Make it a fun challenge for all members of your family.

What a fun way to start saving for your emergency fund and just see how high you can get it – all simply by saving your loose change every day.

Now, let’s hear your thoughts and progress on the subject of saving loose change.

 

Categories
Personal Financial Advise Retirement Planning

Naked Retirement – Helping Ease Smoothly into Your Retirement Years

One of the biggest downfalls to traditional retirement planning is the false sense of time that it can create. People assume that when they retire they’ll have 20, 30, or even 40 years to do whatever they please, but that’s not often the case! A stroke, divorce, loss of a loved one, or even a declining sense of vision or hearing can dramatically change the way it plays out. It pays to plan ahead and I found just the book that gives great advice that will lead you in the right direction called Naked Retirement by Robert Laura.

It All Begins with Your PLAN!

Traditional retirement plans are often designed to get people from point A to point B. However, as you begin to sketch out this relatively unknown journey, we sometimes forget that, as the first explorers, there are sections of the map that are uncharted, with boundaries outside of which nothing can be seen or explained.

It’s not uncommon to overlook these voids. We simply assume they will remain outside the mapped area. However, instead of considering the unknown as off-limits or bad, I want to encourage you to embrace and explore them. To walk off the path in order to survey the depths of your heart and soul, and to seek out those distant places and expand the retirement horizon instead of putting boundaries around it.

Approaching retirement planning as a voyage that embraces both the known and the unknown leads to very different conversations and results. Discussions that are not only more fun, creative, and personal but also more meaningful.

Invest In Yourself

Taking this unchartered path begins by making a commitment to invest as much time and energy into yourself as you have with the financial aspects of retirement. That means seeking out professionals, tools, and resources to help you replace your work identity, fill your time with useful things, stay connected to family and friends, as well as keep mentally and physically fit.

Do-It-Together

Next surround yourself with like-minded people. Whether you participate in one of our online classes, attend a workshop in your area, or just invite a friend over to go through our worksheets, don’t try figuring it out on your own. We weren’t created to do life alone and neither was the Naked Retirement book and bonus material we’ll share with you shortly.

Now is the time to start – get Naked Retirement and begin planning today!

Leave A Trail For Others Finally, infuse your life with actions now. Don’t wait for it to happen…make it happen. Great personal stories and family legacies aren’t created by following the same path as everyone else. They are blazed by going instead of where there is no path and leaving a trail for others to follow.

You’ll realize immediately that profound benefits of this approach as you redefine retirement ton your terms instead of those associated with money.

His humorous words, comments, and years of client experience make it an essential tool and resource that you can completely quick but use for a lifetime. It’s time you joined the exclusive club of people ready to make a meaningful and successful transition into retirement.

 

Check-out The 1-Minute Introduction To Naked Retirement: A Revealing Look At Everyday Life In Retirement 

Or Get Immediate Access To The Entire Naked Retirement Bundle here

Courtesy of Robert Laura, the Retirement Activist and author of Naked Retirement. Your committed companion to changing the way you think about and prepare for every aspect of retirement. Learn more by visiting: Naked Retirement today. Too many people start their first day of retirement with only a financial plan and nothing else. Don’t let this happen to you.

 

Categories
Personal Financial Advise Wise Budgeting

Building A Strong Financial Foundation

Your life depends on the decisions you make. How you manage your money is a major decision. If you build your home without the proper fortifications your home is at risk of being wiped out in the first storm you encounter. At that point you must start all over from scratch, and you may not achieve the necessary experience to properly fortify without being taken down another two or three times.

If at first you don’t success, just get right back up and start again.

Well, I must confess that I, like many others I imagine now, like to think we know it all and financial distress will never affect us. We graduate from high school, some go to college to get more expertise in a field of there choice, others go straight out to work and frankly I can see we don’t really know what we are getting into. I enjoyed working, and was a workaholic of sorts. Yet now I can see I made many foolish financial decisions with my own money.

Those decisions wreaked havoc over time causing my foundation of life to crack and leak. Not realizing the seriousness of my personal finances, I failed not once but three times in the course of my life. The cracks got bigger and bigger each time until finally the structure of my life collapsed into the cracks. Credit cards played a major role at the start of my life, everyone had one it seemed except me, and I asked my stepdad how to build credit to get one.

I wish he had told me straight out – don’t get involved with any credit cards, put your money in savings. But he didn’t, and the rest is history. Perhaps though, I was meant to go down this path to help others see they are not alone, and to help them get out of the cracks of there crumbled foundations and realize it is never too late to wake up and smell the coffee.

Building a strong financial foundation is key.

We seem to take so much until one day we decide we have had enough. Some event or obstacle rolled into our path that seemed to huge or heavy to move and tears us apart inside. Some may call it quits, but that is not the solution as I found out – I decided the third time that was the last time (hopefully) I would go down that path.

In my lowest moment I realized with the help of my stepdad there was only one thing that would help me and that was to start budgeting. I journaled all my available cash into a ledger and then what bills I had left to pay that very night of my stepdad’s pep talk. I remember how excited I was to discover the IRA account I had won over a radio contest in 1999.browsing the internet

It was what I needed to resolve my immediate struggle before me, and I realized I was not 59-1/2 yet so there would be penalties. The bank lady understood and helped me minimize the frustration of the penalties. From that point on, I kept a journal of my income and expenses. Having a budget in place is the key to building a strong financial foundation.

Research the areas you seem to struggle in

Over the next year I found budgeting helped me identify the areas I seemed to struggle in, and began to research other options on the internet. I learned it was not wise to carry all your cards around with you – they are too convenient that way. By the end of the first year I was sitting at my desk doing my taxes when I realized I had done it – improved my status and increased my credit score, while lowering my debt. But could I do it again?

I decided to repeat the year and do the same things, only this time document along the way. I successfully did it once more. If something isn’t working, pose a question in google to seek other possible options you can try. Talk to friends and relatives and see if they have any advice.

With your experience, and new knowledge, begin again.

As I gain new knowledge confronting my financial struggles even today, I find I am building a strong foundation for financial success. Growing up families did not talk about there financial situations openly, it seemed to be a taboo topic of conversation. However it is essential to set aside those old-fashioned ways and open up to talk openly and share our struggles.

There is nothing wrong with seeking help. Nothing wrong with letting our kids know what the families going through financially so they are aware and can make more educated decisions as they grow into adulthood. Keeping up with the Jones’ family is not a good image to follow as that new Corvette in there driveway may not be the status symbol that others think it seems like. It may be a mask of another real issue, they are hiding there true financial state so no one knows they are deeper in trouble financially.

Documentation helps reinforce your progress.

The grass is not always as green as it looks on the other side of the fence, there may be a constant infestation of disaster at the root. So don’t look at what your neighbors or friends are doing or have; but pay attention to your own affairs and seek to live differently by incorporation of a budget that you look at almost every day.

A budget is the documentation that will help reinforce your progress financially, and regular maintenance will help eliminate areas such as debt and enhance other area such as savings.

In conclusion you need a budget to help achieve all your goals and dreams in life. The earlier you start the better. We are all different so find the tool that works best for you whether it be the Everydollar App or open an Excel spreadsheet, or my favorite – and I have tried them all – the software program invented by Jesse Meecham, “You Need a Budget” or better known as YNAB. So, now go research an option that works best for you and get started TODAY fortifying your fortress.

Categories
Managing Your Budget Personal Financial Advise

Personal Budgeting Made Simple | Free Personal Finance Tool

OK, you are tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck or worse, not even able to manage on what you have coming in, it is time to focus and work on your budgeting skills. Let me break it down into a few easy steps. I just finished paying off everything due this month except for a few items left and have set money aside for food and travel for the remainder of the month. By travel, I basically mean, gas money. So let’s begin…

Where Do You Begin Planning for Next Month?

Realizing that anything comes in now is for next month’s budget, I take my next folder and prepare it for the upcoming month. First things first, make sure you put your summary of debt inside on the front cover for easy reference later. Have your list of bills you are collecting for next month and arrange in four piles – 1-Fixed expenses, 2-Flexible expense,3-Non-essential but fun expenses, and 4-debt expenses. This can just be a list you have made up of all the expenses you paid last month.

Now step away, have a cup of coffee or take a walk. This gives you a chance to come back after remembering you have another bill due next month that you forgot to account for. Once you have the list and piles complete, you are ready to organize your worksheet accordingly.

Organizing Your Worksheet

Everyone’s situation is different. Some may just receive a pension, others get Social Security and still, there are some that get both. This is monthly income so you would have one or two lines at the top under income.  I have a free personal finance tool that will make organizing your worksheet easy to do every month.

You may still be working or be supplementing your monthly income with bi-weekly paid part-time work. In this case, you would have three lines beneath the monthly income lines.

Still, yet, you may also get income or money from different sources throughout the month – for those cases, you would have thirty-one (31) lines beneath bi-weekly for that purpose.

Following the income lines, goes your expense lines. This is where you start with your tithing and pay yourself first items; then follow with fixed expenses, flexible and ending with debt expenses. Any funds left over after these categories are paid are carried over to the other side of this simplified budget sheet and you can use that for the non-essentials, fun expenses.

Balancing the Budget

Okay, you notice we just put everything into categories and put a number that must be paid to stay current or make life easy for the month. Now let’s see how we balance – remember income and expenses should zero out at the very least or best, should show extra money available at the end. Extra funds mean you are living under your budget for the next month.

Starting at the top, you will notice we have added one total for all sources of income. All you need is one income total; however, we divided expenses so each carries there own total and did a grand expense total under the last category subtotal.

Now, we add up each of the expense subtotals for one grand total of expenditures. Now let’s put how we net out beneath the grand total for expenditures by subtracting total expenditures from total income expected for the upcoming month.

Hopefully, you got a number that is zero or greater. If it is higher, you can carry that to the backside of your budget sheet or increase any of

your lines above to create a zero balance. This is my personal suggestion! Either choice is okay, and up to you.

Ready to Start Paying When…

Congratulations! You are ready to start paying your bills next month as soon as your check hits your account. If you are still working, and always from retirement, you record your take-home pay as you get it and then pay whatever bills you can by there due date until there is no more funds available. When you get more money or your next check, you continue on and pay the remainder.

If you find you have more bills than money, you need to rethink what you are doing. Perhaps time to take on a second-job temporarily or get room and board from your child who is working and living with you, but if you must wait until the next month – call the company and tell them, and then schedule the minimum due this month with next months minimum FIRST.

If they are aware of your situation, they may be willing to forego any late fees or interest, but they don’t know if you don’t ask them nicely. Be polite and courteous! By doing your next month a week or two early, you give them time ahead to put the arrangement into there system.

Step Back & Reflect

Now that you have finished finagling the upcoming month a few weeks early, sit back and relax – you have earned it! If you are busy like most people, it may help to get a sheet that is all done for you that you just need to fill in – you can get a copy of my customizable monthly budget worksheet FREE by simply clicking the button below and leaving your name and email address. I will send you your free worksheet direct to your inbox. If you don’t see it, check your spam box for Donna’s Wise Budgeting Worksheet.

With my customizable monthly budget worksheet in your budget toolbox, you will be able to budget like a pro and see measurable results in the months ahead as your situation continues to improve every time you sit down to do the next month’s budget ahead. Just click the button below to get your FREE worksheet today and get started being a wise budgeteer by tonight!

 

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