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