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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

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

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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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

Re-evaluate Your Goals – 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

Goals

In an earlier blog you were asked to write down your goals, breaking them into…

< 1 year

1-5 years

> 5 years

Now that you have done that, it is time to re-evaluate each of your goals. I want you to look at each of your goals and ask yourself the following questions that I ask my clients.

1.   Why do you have each goal? Are they your goals or someone else’s?

I have to ask that because so many times I find folks working towards what is “expected” of them instead of what is important to them. Some examples:

  • The mom who has a desire to stay home and raise her family but feels pressure to work so they can have the larger home and new minivan
  • The son who doesn’t like sports but plays football because his father expects him to.
  • The young doctor working in a prestigious hospital instead of working in a third world country which is where his heart is.
  • A young man returns home from the military only to buy a home he can’t afford. Yes, that person I’m talking about is me.

2.     Are your goals in agreement with your values?

  • Working 70 hours a week climbing the corporate ladder may be in direct conflict with the time you want to spend with your family.
  • New car payments may be in direct conflict with your desire to give generously to your church or other non-profit organization.

3.     Are your goals still relevant to what is important to you?

  • Change your goals as your life changes. Re-evaluate every other month. If you are expecting triplets maybe the two-seater sports car is no longer a good idea.

Conclusion

It is so important for your goals to reflect you, to reflect your values, and to reflect what is important to you. Take time this week to either start writing down your goals or re-evaluating your existing goals. Post them where you see them every day. Stop listening to and taking advice from people who have no goals. 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, home, and economic news. We do make every attempt to avoid the topic of politics but we will bring up economic policies that need communicated. For more daily motivation to get moving on establishing your life and financial goals, visit us over at the My Financial Life Coach Facebook page. 

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Filed under Blog, Change, Events, Family, Goals, Home, household budget, Life, Money, Personal Finance