Category Archives: Economy

Economy, Costs, Market, Goods, Services, Taxes, Income

The enemies of your financial goals

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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,  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.



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

Three attitudes that really mess with your financial wellness

Attitude is Everything!

Attitude is everything in the game of personal finance. About 60% of the folks I meet with have the right attitude, the attitude that they can take action and correct their situation, no matter who caused it. For this post I want to talk t0 the other 40%.

1.   The government or my employer will take care of me.

It isn’t wise to allow others who have little or no vested interest in your well-being to have control over your future. I’m not making a political statement here. It is in your best interest to take an active role in your finances, your education, your employment, your health, and your retirement.  Being passive or not taking responsibility in these areas could result in a non-positive outcome. You need to take action and own the responsibility.

2.   I’ll do something about my situation tomorrow.

You need to DO IT TODAY! Stop procrastinating. Take action. The two main reasons I see procrastination with finances is a) lack of knowledge, or 2) the fear of failure so no action is taken, which results in failure anyway.

3.   I don’t need a written plan for my financial goals.

I’m sure you have heard the saying “What is measured gets managed.”  It is also true with budgets. Writing it down:  a) it keeps it in front of you b) it improves the communication because it is documented, and c) it makes it real because you can read it and touch.

Remember, YOU have a choice, and the choice is YOURS.

Ten years or twenty years from now, will you be saying “I wish I had gotten my finances in order”, or will you be saying, “I’m REALLY glad I DID get my finances in order!”    – Bryan Cooper

Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

Delaware, Ohio

Thank you for reading the My Financial Life Coach blog where we talk about life, food, 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.


Filed under Blog, Budget, Change, Economy, Events, Family, Food, Goal Setting, Goals, household budget, Money, News, Personal Finance, Priorities, Procrastination, Saving Money

Week in Review: February 13-17

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I’m trying something new. This blog entry will include everything in the week that I posted on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn; along with links to WordPress posts.

February 13

Proactive people take the initiative and responsibility to make things happen. They cause action rather than being victims of circumstance. -Chris MacAllister

By concentrating single-mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more. –Brian Tracy

Blog – Paying the Bills


Shared ArticleFear the FAFSA? Here are five mistakes to avoid when applying for college financial aid

Decide today to change your $ habits. Procrastination costs you $ and opportunity. – Bryan Cooper

February 14

Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, do something else. –Franklin D. Roosevelt

Want more time? Stop worrying about your money and start managing it. Better money management equals better time management.–Bryan Cooper

Shared Article401(k) plans: Did yours grow? Most didn’t in 2011.

A wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.-Epictetus

February 15

Don’t make your life all about money, take your money and make it all about life. – Bryan Cooper

The #1 and probably most important, key to consistently doing what’s right is actually quite simple: think before you act.-Eric Harvey

Blog – Is Saving a Lost Art?

If you only need to use an item once or twice, consider borrowing or renting the item instead of purchasing it.

February 16

Optimism is a crucial choice we make in establishing expectations for ourselves and others as we begin to move forward through adversity. -Christopher Novak

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. -Michael Altshuler

Men are like bank accounts. Without a lot of money, they don’t generate much interest. – Unknown

Don’t like the idea of changing your spending habits? Don’t; but you’ll dislike being broke the rest of your life even more. –Bryan Cooper

February 17

When someone offers you a challenge, don’t think of all the reasons why you can’t do it. Instead say, “Yes!” Then figure out how to get it done. -Katherine Hudson

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. -Lily Tomlin



Shared ArticleMore Americans say it’s OK to cheat on taxes

The number who advocated cheating ‘as much as possible’ doubled last year, to 8% of taxpayers. An additional 6% say it’s OK to cheat a little.

Don’t forget to stop by the My Financial Life Coach Facebook page and click like.

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Filed under Balance, Blog, Change, Credit, Debt Elimination, Economy, Emergency Fund, Events, Family, Goal Setting, household budget, Life Balance, Money, News, Personal Finance, Saving Money, Time Management, Uncategorized

Friday Rewind

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

So Guys, How is Your Spare Tire?

No, I’m not talking about the one you start seeing as you approach your mid-thirties; I’m talking about the one in your car. I know this is a money blog, but allow me to explain.

I had the privilege of experiencing a flat tire at midnight on a dark, muddy country road, only to learn my spare tire was 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.

Time went by and the spare slowly lost its air. What “spares” do you currently have that are no longer doing the job? Below are a few things I suggest you look at this week:

  1. Is your life insurance still adequate? Life brings changes, we add mortgages, we have children, etc…

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Filed under Auto, Change, Economy, Events, Stress

Taking Control of Your Finances – Is the Economy Really that Bad?

The Situation

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. Most people want to become financially independent, but only 5% of Americans ever attain that status.

Most Americans have no idea where their money goes each month, yet they can tell you about the latest Hollywood gossip or the latest sports statistics. What are your priorities? It is nearly impossible to change your situation without investing time in creating and following a plan (budget).  A budget is a very simple written plan that, used consistently, can help you attain your goal of becoming debt free.

You can decide to take charge of your life by getting on a budget, or you can continue to do what you have been doing. Are you getting the results you want and need? No? Then it is time for YOU to take ownership of your situation and take action.

I use the following steps in my seminars and my on-line coaching program. I will be discussing these steps in my blog over the coming months.

The Plan

Balance Up – Eight Steps to Maximize, Energize, and Organize Your Financial Life

Step 1 – Know your financial condition

Step 2 – Determine your goals.  Think LONG-TERM

Step 3 – Make the best financial decisions; calculate the REAL cost

Step 4 – Create your spending plan – maximize your income

Step 5 – Create and maintain life balance

      Step 5b – Six Areas of a Balanced Life

Step 6 – Establish your Emergency Fund (EF) of $1,500

Step 7 – Eliminate your debt (except the home)

Step 8 – Establish your Emergency Living Expense Fund (ELEF)

       Step 8b –  The Power of Savings – the sinking fund approach


Anytime you start something you need to evaluate the situation. If you are going to cook dinner, you need to make sure you have food to cook. You need to know what equipment you’re cooking with, and you need to know that there will be someone to eat it. If you miss one of these elements you will not have a successful dinner.

It is the same way with working with your finances. You need to understand your situation and the environment that you are working with. For that reason I start all of my seminars and sessions reviewing some economic statistics. It gives the participants a fresh look at the economic conditions. Here are the two I want to talk about today.

The Stats

1.   National unemployment rate for January 2012: 8.3%.

Bureau of Labor Statistics– February 3, 2012

2.      Nationally, 7.89% of mortgages (3Q 2011) are either 90 days or more past due, or are
in the process of foreclosure.

                                                                          Mortgage Bankers Association –November 17, 2011

So what is being said here is that 1 out of 12 adults are out of work and 1 out of 13 households are behind on their mortgage or being foreclosed on. Those are not good statistics if you are one of these folks but let’s look at these numbers from another direction.

Just the Facts Ma’am

11 out of 12 are working.

12 out of 13 are not being foreclosed on or are not 90 days or more behind on their payment.

When you look at the statistics from this view you can see that a lot of folks are employed and a lot of folks are making their mortgage payments and making them on time. I bring this up because I have had many conversations from folks who are employed, who are current on their mortgages, who were thinking about defaulting on their mortgage because things are “so bad.” Basically, many Americans have listened so much to the media (bad news sells) and the Politian’s (who only they can save you) that they had given up hope even though things were going well for them.

I’m not discounting nor ignoring those who are hurting. What we are reviewing here are not really statistics, but people who are out of work and/or who are behind on their mortgage. But it is important for us to look at these numbers and see the positive in these numbers.  When we start looking positively at our situation, we can help others to see the positive in their situation. It is time to look at the actual numbers without the commentary and without the hype that generally comes with statistics.

Is it time to switch off the News with all of its unnecessary negativity? No, I’m not saying go bury your head in the sand…I’m saying re-evaluate where you get your News. Are you getting the real news or are you getting the sensationalized version of it? If you are getting the sensationalized version of it it is time to say “You’re Fired!”

– Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

Delaware, Ohio is a provider of financial education, coaching, web-based training, and seminars for individuals, businesses, and non-profits.


Filed under Change, Economy, Education, Finance, Food, household budget, Money, Personal Finance, Relationships & Money