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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

These People are Toxic!

When you make a mistake, these people are never far away. Lurking behind the corner, they are quick to criticize and slow to congratulate. It is almost as if they are only capable of seeing the negative in everything. Even if they unintentionally run across something good, they manage to twist it into a negative. They drain the joy out of everything.

Their negativity applies to your finances and life balance. Instead of encouraging, they tell you what you can’t do. You can never pay off your home. You can never send your kids to college. You can never eliminate your credit card debt. You will never have enough time. Your goals are too idealistic. They say these are facts of life we must all accept. They tell you that the glass is half empty, and it’s ugly.

Here’s the good news- they’re wrong! Since they’re wrong, you don’t have to listen to them. Avoid their negativity. Exposing yourself to it only undermines your ability to get out of debt and into the life you want. Don’t believe the lies. You can pay off your home. You can send your kids to college. You can reach all of these goals!

Also, don’t just avoid the toxic people. Replace them with positive people! These people can encourage you as you pursue your goals and strive to live debt free. Listen to people who encourage you. They will help you as you attain your goals, and they will be there to celebrate your victories with you.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan 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 Attitude, Budget, Events, Finance, Goal Setting, Life Balance, Money, Personal Finance, Relationships & Money, Stress, Thoughts

What about the Past?

Kids make mistakes. This is a commonly accepted fact of life. While learning to ride a bike, they fall and scrape a knee. Proudly displaying a flower picked from mom’s prize garden, they rush into the house. Naturally, the trail of mud leads straight across the new, white carpet.

When these things happen, what should parents do? Should they never forget the incident, telling their child to give up and never try again? Of course not! They should never allow their children to be locked into the past by mistakes. Instead, they should encourage them to learn from the mistake and move on.

As an adult, you are faced with a similar question. What will you do about your financial mistakes? Will you carry them with you, refusing to ever move on? Will you give up? Or will you learn to leave the past behind you so you can move on in your life? Remaining trapped in pain and failure accomplishes nothing; you must learn to let go of the past if you are to succeed in your finances in the future.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean you entirely forget your past. Instead, you acknowledge that it happened. It is over. It no longer controls you. Rather than being trapped by it, you are free to chase your dreams and goals.

You cannot improve your financial future without first accepting the past. Learn from it, and move on. The past is for teaching, not for stopping.

Brianna Cooper
Frugal College Student
Editor at My Financial Life Coach, LLC

http://www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

https://www.facebook.com/MyFinancialLifeCoach

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Filed under Attitude, Budget, Change, Children, Finance, Financial, Goal Setting, household budget, Inspiration, Personal Finance, Relationships & Money, Resolutions, Thoughts

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

Time to say goodbye….

Dear John (or Mary),

I’ve been patient. I’ve put off writing this letter as long as possible, hoping things would change. I dreamed that this would finally be the year you follow through on your promises.

I can’t do this any longer. Every January, you tell me things will be different. You say this is the year you’ll pay off your car. This is the year you’ll follow a budget. This is the year you’ll let your goals control your finances.

John, don’t you understand how much this is hurting me? I want this for you, not for me. I have always wanted what’s best for you. I want you to take control of your finances so that money isn’t running your life. You have goals. I’ve heard your dreams. They’re wonderful. I want you to achieve those, but you never will until you get your finances under control.

I hope you defeat this monster you’ve created. I hope you reach your goals. But John, I can’t stand the disappointment. I have to leave you. You’ve given me no choice.

It’s not about the money. Financial success is about you achieving your goals, living out your dreams. It’s about living the life you’ve always wanted, for both you and your family. You’ve given up on me. We’ll never have a healthy relationship if you keep living like this

I wish things could have ended differently between us.
Best of luck,

Your Financial Success & Dreams

(Note from Coach Bryan – So what are you willing to do to make your finances or your work-life balance better in 2013? Need some daily motivation about saving money or saving time? Please stop over at https://www.facebook.com/MyFinancialLifeCoach  and “Like” the page so you can start receiving daily tips. While you are at it, hit the “share” button on one of the articles and bring your friends along for the ride as well. You will find yourself more successful in saving money and saving time if you are doing it together with your friends. Bryan Cooper – My Financial Life Coach).

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

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January 7, 2013 · 8:30 pm

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

Calculating the REAL cost of every purchase you make.

How much?

One thing I have found to be consistent over the past 20 years when working with folks is that they do not understand the real cost of the purchases they make. I always ask the question “How much does a $1,000 couch cost?” When I ask this I normally hear “Am I paying cash or am I charging it?” For the following example the assumption is cash.

Only a $1,000, Right?

You are looking to buy a $1000 couch, and you say, “It is only $1,000.” Right? Wrong. Let’s look at what it really costs to make that purchase.

Taxes and More Taxes…

First, let’s assume you need to pay sales tax of 7%. So now you need to come up with $1070. But you actually need to earn more money because where I come from there are taxes to pay such as federal tax, city tax, state tax, and FICA. Let’s assume you are in a 15% federal tax bracket, 6% state, 2% city, and your portion of FICA. That means you will need to earn at least $1,533.00 before taxes to make that $1000 purchase.

In other words, the $1000 couch will cost you $1533 or 153% of the sale price. So when considering a purchase, make sure you evaluate the real cost.

So another way of saying this is…

  • You need to earn $1533 to buy a $1000 item
  • You need to earn $15.3 to buy a $10.00 item
  • You need to earn $1.53 to buy a $1.00 item

It impacts other areas…

Let’s shift from couches to vehicles. You know that vehicle sitting in the driveway that you paid $30,000 for? You had to earn $46,000, pay the taxes, in order to bring home enough money to buy it. OUCH!

Can’t seem to get ahead?

Have you ever wondered why it feels that your money doesn’t go very far? Here is why. If I ask you how much you make, what will you tell me? 9 out of 10 times you will tell me the gross amount that you make because we normally think in gross. So if your gross income is $70,000, you are walking around thinking you make $70,000 a year, and you are beating yourself up because you are wondering why you can’t make it on $70,000 a year. The reality is if you are grossing $70,000, you are bringing home (net) somewhere in the $46,000 range. That is a long way from $70,000. Once you start thinking in net, you will find yourself less frustrated and more understanding as to why you don’t have the purchasing power you thought you had.

Tomorrow we will talk about the value of your time.

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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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

Poor vs. Broke – How do you look at it?

Civil engineering and infrastructure repair in...

Image via Wikipedia

First let’s start out with a few bullet points for each and then a real world example.   

Poor   

  • Victim mentality
  • Someone else’s fault
  • Justify why they can’t get ahead
  • Complain
  • Do not take responsibility

Broke

  • No victim mentality. They realize it is temporary.
  • Not someone else’s fault. They take ownership.
  • Do not justify why they can’t get ahead
  • Do not complain (at least not for long)
  • Do take responsibility

Poor versus Broke. (from an earlier blog)

After a hurricane Katrina, my daughter and I traveled to the area affected by it to assist in the rebuilding. My job was to install plumbing in the new homes that were being built in one of the poorer areas.

Broke

While there, I had the pleasure of meeting a retired gentleman who lived across the street from where I was working. He was in his late 80’s, and he brought over some sodas for us to drink as we worked. He told us he appreciated the work we were doing in his neighborhood. He informed us that the water had been about 4 feet deep in his home and truck. He had cleaned up his place himself and was currently working on his truck so he could get it running again (his truck was worth about $200).

He said that he was living on a $600 per month income and that the storm had set him back a little financially, but he felt he had bounced back fairly quickly. He was broke, but not poor.

Poor

Beside him sat a house that still had all of the flood residue in the yard. On the porch sat three teenage boys who lived there, each listening to his MP3 player. They motioned for me to come over to where they were sitting, so I did.

When I got there, they asked if I knew when the work crew was coming to their house to clean their yard. I stood there in disbelief. Here were three able-bodied young men who had the physical ability to take care of their own situation but were waiting on volunteers- volunteers their own age who were paying to come from other states to help. It then occurred to me that these young men had been raised to believe that they were poor and that they could not do anything about it.

Which are You?

So as you look at your own finances, are you broke or poor? Broke is temporary . . . just a bump in the road. Or are you poor, thinking that you have no control over and no input into your situation? The two definitions I’m using have nothing to do with money; they have to do with people’s attitudes and perceptions of their situations.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours. – Bryan   My Financial Life Coach, LLC

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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