Category Archives: Family

Time, Money, Budget, Culture, Home, Health, Relationships & Money. Life Balance

I’ll Blow the Budget Tomorrow

English: A set of EBC performance disk brake pads

English: A set of EBC performance disk brake pads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought I’d talk about procrastination today, but I decided to wait until my next article . . . not! Instead of procrastinating, let’s talk this very minute about how procrastination can blow your budget.

Let’s consider your car as an example. A few weeks ago, it started making that strange noise. You know the one I’m talking about. Something is clearly wrong, but you just haven’t had the time to take it into the repair shop. The noise got louder and more obnoxious. You finally took it in. The mechanic informs you that your original problem was that your break pads needed replaced. That would have cost you $200. Because you waited, however, the problem grew worse. Now you’re looking at an $800 bill to replace the brake pads AND the rotors.

Here’s another common example. You don’t plan for a meal until 7:30pm. Looking in to the refrigerator, you discover it’s empty. You’re hungry, so instead of cooking a meal for your family at home for $5-$10, you spend $40 eating out.

It’s easy to blow a budget through procrastination. Fortunately, it’s a simple fix. Plan ahead and save big!

Not only do these items need to be high priorities on your to-do list, but you need to actually schedule time on your calendar for them. Be sure to reasonably estimate how much time each task will require, and add a little extra time to that amount. Don’t allow procrastination to blow your budget. Instead, focus on procrastination and prioritization management.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan D. Cooper
My Financial Life Coach LLC
“Helping You Get Your Financial House In Order”
2280 W William St., Suite A
Delaware, OH 43015
 
http://www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net
https://www.facebook.com/MyFinancialLifeCoach
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bryan-cooper/26/199/722

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Filed under Auto, Budget, Family, Finance, Food, household budget, Personal Finance, Priorities, Procrastination, Relationships & Money

You Get What You Focus On: Your Appreciation Journal

Coat of arms of Haiti

Coat of arms of Haiti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Caught up in the day to day issues of life, it’s easy to forget our blessings. What do you appreciate in your life? Your health? Home? Family?

When you’re learning to budget, don’t get so caught up in the money issues that you forget the more important things motivating you to get your finances in order. An appreciation journal is a great way to remember those motivators. Take some time to reflect on the positives in your life. Write them down and look at them when you grow discouraged. Remember why you’re making these changes and how they line up with your goals.

You get what you focus on. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, look to the positives. You’ll be surprised at how easily you’ll note the good in situations, giving you strength to continue pressing on even during the tougher days.

The first 4-6 weeks of budgeting is often very difficult. Things break, unexpected bills show up, and it is easy to grow frustrated and to start focusing on your problems. I tell the folks I coach that when (not if) this happens, I want them to find $35 dollars or something they can sell for $35 and give it to an organization that will help a child in a country such as Haiti.

Why? The $35 you just sent can feed an impoverished child for about a month. Most likely, the setback you are currently dealing with isn’t anywhere near as difficult the issues the child in Haiti is dealing with on a daily basis. As you reflect on your situation and the situation of that child, you will begin to understand the benefit of using an appreciation journal to track and reflect on what is really important in your life.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach LLC

“Helping You Get Your Financial House In Order”

Delaware, OH 43015

http://www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

https://www.facebook.com/MyFinancialLifeCoach

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bryan-cooper/26/199/722

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Filed under Attitude, Budget, Change, Family, Finance, Health, Money, Personal Finance, Priorities

How Is Your Spare Tire?

A flat tire on a Mercury Villager van.

A flat tire on a Mercury Villager van. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we carry around a spare tire in the back of the car, we’re covered in case of a flat, right? Not always.

A few years back, I had the privilege of experiencing a flat tire at midnight on a dark, muddy country road. I thought, “No problem, I’ll just pull out the spare.” It was also flat. The spare tire was placed in that vehicle when it was new and had never been used. The assumption was that it would do the job when needed. But what changed? Time.

As time went by, the spare had slowly lost its air. What “spares” do you currently have that are no longer doing the job? Spares don’t last forever. They need to be maintained. Below are a few things I suggest you look at this week:

  1. Life Insurance: Does it still match your needs? Have you added a mortgage or had children since you first obtained that plan? Are the correct beneficiaries listed?
  2. Homeowner Insurance: Do you have the proper coverage?
  3. Your Will: Again, is it up to date? If something happens to you, what will happen to your kids?
  4. Emergency Fund: Do you have one? If you don’t, will you pull out the credit card and incur additional debt if something happens? Are you prepared for an emergency?

I recommend that you do one more thing- go out to your car and check your spare tire to make sure you are prepared should you have a flat. Don’t procrastinate!!

You never know when you might end up with a flat tire at midnight on a dark, muddy country road.

Until next time . . .

Bryan Cooper
My Financial Life Coach LLC
Financial Life Coach
“Helping You Get Your Financial House In Order”
Delaware, OH 43015

Visit us at http://www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

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Filed under Auto, Emergency Fund, Family, Insurance, Life, Money, Personal Finance, Uncategorized

Create your spending plan– maximize your income

Less than half of adults (42%) keep close track of their spending.

                                          National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) – April 28, 2009

What happens when you go into the store hungry? That’s right . . . you buy more.  The same thing happens if you don’t have a spending plan. You buy more because nothing is spelled out. So what will a spending plan do for you? A written plan will help you to avoid overspending.

You have a lot of resources to manage.

Take your current yearly household net income (left column) and multiply by the number of years to determine your income during that time period. Below is an example of someone who had an annual income of $70,000. Note that this example does not figure in any type of pay increase over the next 30 years.

Example . . .

_70,000______  x  10 years  =  __700,000_______

_70,000______  x  20 years  =  __1,400,000______

_70,000______  x  30 years  =  __2,100,000______

Now, go ahead and calculate this for your income.

____________  x  10 years  =  ________________

____________  x  20 years  =  ________________

____________  x  30 years  =  ________________

Wow!!  You have a lot of money to manage.

Have you ever thought about this before? In the example above this individual will be managing $2,100,000. Let’s put that into perspective. If he was going to build a $210,000 house he would have to have a survey, building plans, permits, and many inspectors & inspections to manage this $210,000 project. If that much planning is needed for a $210,000 house, how much more planning should be done on a project (your financial life) that is ten times larger?

Take a few minutes and think about your finances. The last time you received your W-2 did you ask yourself “where did all of the money go?” It is time to start putting a plan together if you don’t have one. If you have one please take the time to review it. One more thing…a plan is worthless if no action is taken on it so get out there and take some action this week.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours. – Coach Bryan

Thank you for reading the My Financial Life Coach blog where we talk about money, goals, family, life events, spending, and economic news. We do make every attempt to avoid the topic of politics but we will bring up economic policies that need communicated. Our job is to educate and motivate you to the debt-free life style.

Don’t forget to checkout our website, www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net  for 100’s of resources including tips, articles, spreadsheets, web-based training, and more.  Why not tell a friend? Looking for daily motivation on your financial walk? Checkout the My Financial Life Coach Facebook page.

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Filed under Budget, Children, Family, Finance, household budget, Money, Personal Finance, Saving Money

The Value of Your Time; Your Life.

Trading your life for stuffSpending your time equals spending your life.

(This blog is a continuation of yesterday’s blog)

There is one more piece to this process I want you thinking about. I want you thinking about what things cost you in hours worked. When you go to work you are exchanging your life (time) for money. Here are some examples.

Let’s assume you make $25 per hour.

1. You will have to work 61.32 hours to bring home enough money to buy the $1,000 couch. That means working just shy of 8 full work days.

2. You will have to work 4.6 hours to bring home enough money to pay for a $75 night on the town.

3. You will have to work 1,840 hours to bring home enough money to buy the $30,000 vehicle. That means working 46 weeks. That’s right…almost a FULL YEAR!!

Let’s assume you make $15 per hour.

1. You will have to work 102.2 hours to bring home enough money to buy the $1,000 couch. That means working just shy of 13 full work days.

2. You will have to work 7.65 hours (a whole day!!) to bring home enough money to pay for a $75 night on the town.

3. You will have to work 3,066 hours to bring home enough money to buy the $30,000 vehicle. That means working just shy of 77 weeks or about 1.5 years. (This vehicle will go down in value too but that is a topic for another day).

Is it worth it?

I’m not against buying couches, nights out, vehicles, or other items. My goal with this article is for you to understand and calculate the real cost of every item you purchase.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours. – Coach Bryan

(Note: a. For those of you who participate in biblical tithing (10%), your factor is 170% instead of the 153% so you would need to earn around $1,700 to have enough to buy the $1,000 couch. b. Tax percentages may be different for your situation).

Thank you for reading the My Financial Life Coach blog where we talk about money, goals, family, life events, spending, and economic news. We do make every attempt to avoid the topic of politics but we will bring up economic policies that need communicated. Our job is to educate and motivate you to the debt-free life style.

Don’t forget to checkout our website, www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net  for 100’s of resources including tips, articles, spreadsheets, web-based training, and more.  Why not tell a friend? Looking for daily motivation on your financial walk? Checkout the My Financial Life Coach Facebook page.


 

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Filed under Balance, Blog, Family, Finance, Financial, Goals, Home, Life, Life Balance, Money, Personal Finance, Time, Uncategorized, Work

Confession – My Financial Life Coach Lacks Discipline

I lack discipline

That’s right, I lack discipline. Did I go out and borrow money for a car? No, I have pretty good discipline with money; my challenge is with eating and exercise. I like to eat and I don’t like to exercise.

False advertisement?

The 20 ounce soda says it contains 2.5 servings. I find it only has one serving. The peanut butter flavored cereal says 12 servings; a new box is half gone when I finally push myself away from the table…so it only contains two servings for me.

No it isn’t false advertising, it is MY lack of discipline, MY inability to control the amount of consumption, and MY frequency of consumption. Bottom-line, MY eating habits and MY lack of exercise habits are similar to the money management habits of my clients.

Reflecting back

I was in great physical condition when I was in the military. That was 32 pounds ago or about a pound a year. I have rationalized that this rate of gain is acceptable until I realized last week I could live as long as my grandfather who lived to be 100 years old. If I live that long and keep up this current pace, I will have gained about 80 pounds. Totally unacceptable – I want to have good health and energy to do what I want to do.

Changes start today

It is time put my money discipline skills to work in the area of my health. Focus and discipline. That starts today. For those of you who have worked with me as a coach or have gone through the Balance Up program you know that is important to  1) Set goals; make them visible, 2) Put a plan together to achieve the goals, and 3) Hold yourself accountable to others. When clients do this they typically see significant progress in about 6 weeks.

I really like the 6 week time frame. 6 weeks is 42 days. It takes 21 days to form new habits so 42 days gives you twice as much time as you need to form new habits.

Next Steps

My goal – Shed 15 pounds in the next 6 weeks through exercise and eating discipline. How will I keep this goal visible?  I’m going back to the military haircut, the haircut of my prime. I will be reminded of my goal, my plan, every time I look in the mirror.

My plan – Eliminate the ice cream, soda, and PB cereal over the next 6 weeks. Drink more water and less coffee (ugh). Exercise no less than 4 times a week.

My accountability – I know that the My Financial Life Coach audience will hold me accountable and will cheer me on. I will update my situation twice a week on my blog and on Facebook.

Current Facts

Today’s weigh in – 180 lbs.

It’s not all about me.

Now a challenge for you. What are you going to do to in the next 42 days to improve your health or your financial health?  Feel free to join in the challenge by commenting on either the blog or on the Facebook page.

You know that I always end my post with the following quote…

“You have a choice, and the choice is yours.” – Bryan Cooper, Financial Coach

I think it is appropriate to change it for today…

“I have a choice, and the choice is mine.” – Bryan Cooper, a middle aged out-of-shape guy who needs discipline to get back into good physical shape.

Thank you for reading the My Financial Life Coach blog where we talk about money, goals, family, life events, spending, and economic news. We do make every attempt to avoid the topic of politics but we will bring up economic policies that need communicated. Our job is to educate and motivate you to the debt-free life style.

Don’t forget to checkout our website (www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net)  for 100’s of resources including tips, articles, spreadsheets, web-based training, and more.  Why not tell a friend? Looking for daily motivation? Checkout the My Financial Life Coach Facebook page too.


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April 2, 2012 · 10:45 am

My Financial Life Coach – Week in Review – March 10-16, 2012

This blog entry includes everything from this week that I posted on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn; along with links to WordPress posts.

March 10

Consumer Credit Increased 8.6% in January 2012 http://ow.ly/9yhpQ

The days of homebuyers going after the biggest, best house they can afford (and sometimes can’t afford) are over. http://ow.ly/9yBdO

March 11

Banks foreclosing on churches in record numbershttp://ow.ly/9yBFk

Thought for Tomorrow: When your life is busy and stressful, sleep. Just as relaxation and recreation are necessary to help you recover from a busy day, a good night’s sleep will help you to rejuvenate so that you can be ready to pursue your goals. So why not start the week out right by going to bed on time tonight?

March 12

Time Tip: While delegation is generally a means to efficiency, it can sometimes create frustration and poor results. Be careful to delegate tasks to the correct people, those who understand them and can complete them well. Also be clear as to who has which responsibilities. Accidentally assigning the task to multiple people is a huge time waster.

Money Tip: When you go out to eat, skip the drinks and dessert. For example, say a family of four purchased four drinks at $1.50 each and four desserts costing $2.50 each. If they were to eliminate those items, they could save $16 every time they go out to eat. If they only go out to eat an average of four times per month, they would still be saving $768 per year!

Thought for Tomorrow: There are people so poor, that the only thing they have is money. –Unknown.  How about you? Don’t go to work tomorrow just for the money. Go there to meet needs of your customer, and the result will be a paycheck to meet the needs of your family. -Bryan

March 13

Time Tip: While multitasking is often detrimental when doing two or more needed tasks, it can work when one task requires little or no thought. For instance, if you want to listen to music, do it while you clean the house. Call your mother during your evening walk.

Article: Government records highest-ever monthly deficit: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/08/government-records-highest-ever-monthly-deficit/

My Financial Life Coach Blog Article:  Enemies of Your Financial Goals   http://myfinanciallifecoach.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/the-enemies-of-your-financial-goals/

Money Tip: Wrap an insulating jacket or blanket around your hot water heater to help it be more efficient in retaining heat.  What ideas can you share?

Video: This three minute video puts the US deficit into perspective –   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0no7O9zmE&sns=fb

Thought for Tomorrow: The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work. Take responsibility of your situation & take action.

March 14

Time Tip: Work expands to fill your time frame. If you schedule a single project, it will likely take you all day. Instead, plan to accomplish several tasks.

My Financial Life Coach Blog Article: Poor vs. Broke – How do you look at it?  http://myfinanciallifecoach.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/poor-vs-broke-how-do-you-look-at-it/

Money Tip: Ask for your children’s input on your family’s financial decisions. You will be educating them, and they may even come up with some great ideas you hadn’t even considered.

Thought for Tomorrow:  Television viewing results in an upscaling of desire which in turn leads people to buy. Every additional hour of TV viewing per week boosts spending by roughly $200 a year. –Harvard Study

 March 15

Time Tip: Work on important tasks when you are more alert. Save more mundane pursuits for the times you are naturally less active.

Dave Say’shttp://ow.ly/9FznV

Money Tip: Heating and cooling costs generally comprise the majority of energy bills. To lower those costs, use appliances that require less energy. Some appliances may cost more initially but will save money over time. Before purchasing one, compare the operating costs over the expected life of the appliance to determine which model is the most cost effective.

And the Winner is… Single Mom’s Ask Sara http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUw0y1L1Wos&feature=youtu.be

Thought for Tomorrow: Want to feel rich? Count all the things you have that money cannot buy. So what you are thankful for tonight?

March 16

Time Tip: When you watch T.V., fold the laundry or clip the coupons. You can eliminate some work while watching your favorite show!

Money Tip: Avoid places where you make unnecessary purchases. For example, if you often buy clothing impulsively, don’t go to a clothing store unless you need and plan to purchase a particular item.

Thought for Tomorrow: You cannot live a positive life with a negative attitude. Are your finances negatively impacting your attitude? Take action this weekend.

Thank you for reading the My Financial Life Coach blog where we talk about money, goals, family, life events, spending, and economic news. We do make every attempt to avoid the topic of politics but we will bring up economic policies that need communicated. Our job is to educate and motivate you to the debt-free life style.

Don’t forget to checkout our website (www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net)  for 100’s of resources including tips, articles, spreadsheets, web-based training, and more.  Why not tell a friend? Looking for daily motivation? Checkout the My Financial Life Coach Facebook page.

Bryan Cooper
My Financial Life Coach
2280 W William St., Suite A
Delaware, OH 43015

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Filed under Balance, Blog, Dave Ramsey, Events, Family, Finance, Goals, household budget, Life, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Time, Time Management, Uncategorized

The enemies of your financial goals

English: A picture of a large drill used in co...

Image via Wikipedia

a.       Discontentment

Nothing will blow your financial goals or budget faster than discontentment. Discontentment leads to purchases that are not in the budget. The neighbors redo their landscaping and so now you feel you need to update yours. You were fine with your landscaping until that happened. So now you go out and update your landscaping, which wasn’t in the budget this year.

b.      No financial training

I’ve talked about this before and this is a big issue. I never had a single class in school on budgeting, managing a checkbook, debt, etc. Unfortunately a lot of training comes from sales people, not teachers. Most of people learned about purchasing and paying for a car from a car dealer or car lot. We learn how to buying a home from a realtor and mortgage company. Many decisions are made based on input from folks who will profit from the sale of the item. They get paid if you buy, they don’t get paid if you don’t buy. It is hard to get unbiased advice in that situation no ma

c.       Impulse buying – using existing resources.

I call this the “I want it now; even if it means I can’t get what I really want later.” This is a trap a lot of folks fall into but they don’t see it as an issue because no debt is directly involved with these purchases. Basically they buy what they want and spend everything. The real issue is that because they are spending all of their money, they do not put money away for bigger ticket items like appliances, cars, and retirement. Because they are not saving for these items they will most likely go into debt at a later time for these items.

d.    Impulse buying – using future resources (BORROWING)

I call this the “I want it now. Therefore, I will borrow!” This is called spending more than you make. Anytime you borrow you are taking future income, that you do not know for sure that you will have, to pay for something you will begin using immediately. That involves risk. Another point to this is when you borrow money you pay interest. When you pay interest your money doesn’t go as far. It is like getting a decrease in your income.

e.     Not understanding the differences between needs, wants, and desires.

This is another area that will mess up your budget quickly. I like to use a drill as an example. For an individual uses a drill 2-10 times a year, their need can be met by a $30-50 drill. Nothing is gained by buying a more expensive drill since the users doesn’t use it much. Most likely the batteries will go bad before the drill wears out.

For the do-it-yourselfer who uses it almost every weekend, the $30-40 drill will not hold up so they will need to move to a $70-130 drill. They may be tempted to move to the professional grade drill but all that is accomplished is they spent more money for a drill when the $70-130 drill would have met their needs.

For the professional who uses a drill every day, they need a drill in the $130-300 range. None of the two previously mentioned categories of drills will meet their need.

I understand buying quality products. In example above it would make no sense for the individual who uses a drill 2-10 times a year to shell out $300 for a drill. The $300 drill in this case is totally a “desire” and not a “need.” Look around your house and look at the items that you have purchased where you bought “desire” instead of need or even a “want.”

Two other areas where we confuse needs, wants, and desires are with homes and vehicles.  Nothing wrong with getting into the “wants” and “desires” as long as it isn’t messing up your overall financial goals.

“Is your current lifestyle getting in the way of your goals?”  – Bryan Cooper

Thank you for reading the My Financial Life Coach blog where we talk about money, goals, family, life events, spending, and economic news. We do make every attempt to avoid the topic of politics but we will bring up economic policies that need communicated. Our job is to educate and motivate you to the debt-free life style.

Don’t forget to checkout our website, www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net  for 100’s of resources including tips, articles, spreadsheets, web-based training, and more.  Why not tell a friend? Looking for daily motivation on your financial walk? Checkout the My Financial Life Coach Facebook page.

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Filed under Balance, Budget, Economy, Events, Family, Finance, Goals, Life, Life Balance, Money, Personal Finance, Priorities, Uncategorized

5 Reasons Your Goals May Have Failed in the Past

In my last blog article we discussed the need to re-evaluate your goals. Now I want you to look at why your goals may have failed in the past:

1. You didn’t have any goals or they were not written down.

If it isn’t written down, don’t plan on them happening.

2. You lacked POSITIVE SELF-TALK and/or you had a negative opinion of yourself.

If you keep telling yourself you can’t do something, it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Will you hit every goal on time? Probably not but you have a greater chance of hitting goals if you keep trying, so stop the negative talk to yourself.

3. Your attitude toward failure.

Failure is an event, not a person. Don’t be afraid to fail or make a mistake. The person who has not failed has never really tried. It is the law of numbers. The more things you try to do for the first time the greater the chance is that you will fail. Expect it, learn from it.

Did you fall down the first time you tried to walk? I’ll bet you fell down a number of times. So how did you learn to walk? You kept trying. You got up again and again until you were walking. The same thing goes for following through with your goals.

4. You stopped trying.

5. You did not ask for directions.

No one knows everything. Sometimes we just need to find someone who can assist us with what we are not familiar with.

Conclusion

It is so important for your goals to be written down. It is so easy to forget about them when they are out of sight, out of mind. You want them where you can see them on a regular basis. Believe that you can obtain those goals, attitude is key!

If you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, your right…you won’t be able to do it.  Stop listening to all of those negative influences around you. Turning off the TV is a great start..do you really need to hear all of the negative news?  Plug away on your goals. When you hit a wall, read a book on the topic or find someone who knows. You really can do this, believe in yourself and start working toward your goals.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper – www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

Thank you for reading the My Financial Life Coach blog where we talk about money, goals, family, life events, spending, and economic news. We do make every attempt to avoid the topic of politics but we will bring up economic policies that need communicated. Looking for motivation multiple times per day? Check out the My Financial Life Coach Facebook page.

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Filed under Attitude, Blog, Change, Events, Family, Goal Setting, Goals, News