Category Archives: Personal Finance

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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

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

If you can’t leave the freshly baked cookies alone, stay out of the kitchen

Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingredients: b...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The kitchen

You’ve heard the saying “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of kitchen.” In my case it should be “If you can’t leave the freshly baked cookies alone, stay out of the kitchen.”

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or my blog, you know that I’m on a mission to shed 20 lbs in 56 days. Today is day 29 or 56. This weekend I made some progress and I fell off the wagon at the same time. My progress was that I ran over a mile this weekend. That is a really big milestone for me.

The cookies

The bad this weekend? …my wife’s home-made cookies. I’m very disciplined except for about five food items and her cookies are one of those items. When she bakes I try to be very helpful…I am a self-appointed cookie tester and it is my duty to test EVERY batch, without my wife catching me of course. (Full disclosure-I may have had two cookies for every batch but let’s keep that between us).  Then I justified having a soda because I was off my diet anyway. Because of this lack of discipline (and logic) I get to work on lb #12 again.

Not following my own advice

I advise my clients that if they have an issue spending money on things not in the budget that they should avoid the stores so they do not have this temptation. Had I followed my own advice this weekend I would have stayed out of the kitchen and I would be working on lb #13 instead of a do over with lb #12. So the lesson is stick with your budget (or diet), if you don’t, you will be extending how long you are paying on debt (or extending how long until you hit your ideal weight goal).

Knowledge or Behavior?

One more point, it isn’t always about knowledge, sometimes it is about behavior. I know that cookies and soda are counterproductive to my weight goal but I did it anyway. But like learning to ride a bike I’ll get back up and start riding again this week.

What goal are you struggling with this week?

Let’s hear about your goal or your struggle for this week.

Remember, 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.

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Filed under Budget, Change, Goal Setting, Goals, Health, household budget, Life, Personal Finance