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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

Personal Improvement: Interest Isn’t the Only Thing that Compounds!

What do you say when you get a 1.25% annual return on your savings account? You’re excited, of course! But have you ever thought about the idea of compounding personal improvement?

Look at it this way. Say that you improve yourself 1% each week for a year. Over the course of a year, that’s 52% just by adding the weekly “interest.”

But wait- there’s more! Do you remember the magic of compounding interest? It’s more than 52%! Not only do you gain the 1% each week, but you also gain improvements on those improvements as time goes on. It’s easy to improve yourself 1% each week. Do you watch TV? How do you use the commercial time? Instead of watching them, find something productive to do during that time. Clip some coupons. Fold the laundry. You get the idea.

Speaking of TV, have you ever considered taking that idea further? What if you reduced it? What could you accomplish during that saved time? What about your commute to work? Instead of listening to a talk show about celebrity gossip, is there something else you could be listening to? Try an educational CD or MP3 download to attend what the late Zig Ziglar called Automobile University. Now that’s a great way to improve your time management! You can add hours of learning to your life without an additional time commitment since you’re replacing rather than adding an activity.

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, Change, Events, Goal Setting, Goals, Inspiration, Life, Life Balance, Personal, Priorities, Relationships & Money, Thoughts, Time Management

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

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

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

Evaluate

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

www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

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

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

Let Go of the Past

Letting go

Nothing will defeat you faster than not letting go of the past. I encourage all of my clients to draw a line in the sand and not look back. I also warn them that typically around week 4 or 5 of digging out they may become discouraged and when they become discouraged they will start thinking “I wish I would have or I wish I wouldn’t have…” Whatever happened has happened. You cannot go back and change it so don’t focus on it. If you focus on negative thoughts…you get negative results.

Can you ever look back?

Is there every an exception to the “don’t look back rule”.  I hesitantly say yes.  I tell them it is okay to look back only if they take a lesson from their experience and to share the experience with others. But they are to only share the story so others can benefit from the experience, not so they can wallow in self-pity; what I don’t want them to do is to dwell on the past mistakes. They are already dealing with the consequences of the issue so why make things worse by focusing on the cause as well? So if you are going to share the experience, share it quickly and move on.

Refocus and move forward

Draw the line in the sand and don’t look. What would happen if you looked in the rear-view mirror for a minute or two while driving? You would veer off course and maybe crash, right? Guess what happens when you look back while trying to move forward with your goals? The same thing, you get off course and you just may crash.

So remember, look forward, not back. Your future depends on it.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

Delaware, Ohio  43015

http://www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

Check out our new, totally online program, yours today for just $29.99.

Balance Up: 42 Days to Maximize, Energize, and Organize Your Life

Balance Up is different than most other programs because it combines Goal Setting, Financial Management, Prioritization Management, Time Management, and Life Balance into a single program. In the mid 90’s Bryan developed and delivered corporate training in the areas of Goal Setting, Action Planning, and Time Management, so he understands adult learners. Bryan has combined that experience with his experience in financial coaching to create Balance Up.

So what are you waiting for? Take action today and start working on your dream, goals, or finances.  Let Balance Up walk you through the process.

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Filed under Balance, Budget, Change, Events, Family, Goal Setting, Life Balance, Personal Finance, Relationships & Money