Category Archives: Resolutions

Do You Live Like an Inbox?

What is your work style? Could you be an inbox type of person?

People who live like inboxes don’t prioritize. Instead of looking at their work and formulating a plan, they get straight to work at whatever is dumped on them. If you do this . . . STOP! Planning is a critical part of generating results. Your time is limited. Be selective in how you spend it. Decide what you will and will not do. You don’t have enough time to finish everything. Determine what your priorities are and start with those.

Managing your time is not someone else’s responsibility. It is yours. You are responsible for your own time management and prioritization management, so do not allow others to dictate your life and your schedule.

When someone gives you a new task, don’t automatically do it. Take the time to look at each item to decide whether or not it is a good investment of your time and talents. Ask 1) Is it important? 2) Am I the right person for the job? and 3) Should I say no?

Every day, evaluate how you will spend your time. Prioritize. How do these items align with your personal goals, priorities, and mission? Think before you work.

 

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, Balance, Goal Setting, Goals, Inspiration, Life Balance, Miscellaneous, Priorities, Resolutions, Stress, Time, Time Management

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

Paying the Bills

Today we are going to look at another statistic and like last time we are going to evaluate them by flipping them.

The original statistic

Twenty-six percent, or more than 58 million adults, admit to not paying all of their bills on time.

           National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) – April 28, 2009

The flip

74% are paying their bills on time, or in other words, 3/4 of the folks are paying their bills on time. So let’s talk about ways to pay your bills on time.

4 steps to paying your bills on time

1. Participate in monthly budget programs that are offered by your utility companies.  This keeps your payment the same month after month which eliminates those up and down utility bill swings.

2.  Move to automated bill paying through your bank or credit union. This will prevent you from procrastinating in submitting the payment and may eliminate late fees. Just be sure you have the funds in the account.

3. Spend less. By spending less you will have more money to work with to pay your bills.

4. Stop spending in one or two categories (such as eating out of clothing) for a couple of months. This will help you to temporarily free up additional cash to pay your bills, get everything current, and possibly establish some much needed surplus / Emergency Fund.

Experience

Some of you may be saying Bryan, you just don’t understand what these poor people are going through. Yes, I do understand. I experienced it when I got out of the military and I purchased my first home. My housing costs for a very basic 900 square foot home were over 60% of my budget. Yes, buying that house was not a wise choice at the time but like you, I never had any financial training in school.

I was curious what those numbers would look like in today’s dollars so I went to Inflationdata.com and punched in the numbers. In today’s dollars the 900 square foot house would cost $101,000 and my primary, 40 hour per week job would now paying me a whopping $13 per hour. Oh, by the way did I mention that interest rates back then were 16.5%?

So yes, I do understand what it is like to experience tough financial times because of some bad choices, my bad choices. But fortunately for me I wasn’t one to watch the news, attend a rally, demand a bailout, or pay attention to the politicians.

            Get this…I didn’t realize I was poor!!

I wasn’t bummed, I wasn’t in despair, I didn’t blame others; I just took action. I  worked a couple of jobs  to make ends meet and I attended college at night so I could land a better paying job.

Lessons learned

That experience taught me to:

1. Count the real costs

2. Evaluate the situation before making decisions.

3. Take responsibility for my actions and decisions.

4. Do what it takes to pay my bills and to pay them on time.

Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. That one poor choice gave me the opportunity to grow, to learn, and to share.

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

Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

http://www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

Delaware, Ohio 43015

Other Related articles:

Identity TheftMy Financial Life Coach

Clean Slate  My Financial Life Coach

End of the Day Evaluation for Work & Home  My Financial Life Coach

Someday  My Financial Life Coach

Celebrate the Successes of Yesterday and Today  My Financial Life Coach

NEW: Check out our new online program called Balance Up. 32 mini lessons in 42 days.

MyFinancialLifeCoach.net is a provider of financial education, coaching, web-based training, and seminars for individuals, businesses, and non-profits, Our website has over 300 money and time saving tips. Visit us at www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net




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Filed under Balance, Change, Goal Setting, Goals, Life Balance, Priorities, Resolutions, Uncategorized

Sara’s Journey Through Balance Up – Days 9-10

Note: For the first couple of weeks I’m posting Sara’s (Single Mom’s Ask Sara) journey through the Balance Up program.  I will be including some additional posts during this time too and then later in January you will see a little more topical structure with my posts. Enjoy

Day 9 

Stop watching the Joneses

Those darned Joneses! They make us keep thinking we need more and more. When will they stop consuming?

In all seriousness, it’s not the Joneses, it’s our continuous materialist sweet tooth that is causing our debt obesity.

As we learned from Bryan, we need to think of our expenditures in terms of monthly payments, the hours we must work to pay for them, and what that money costs us over time. It’s not easy to manage these ideas at first, but as will any lifestyle change, the turtle wins the race.

Start slowly, but keep going. We discussed giving to others on Day 7. Today we are encouraged to pay ourselves, and to do it first. I know that is so very hard when you don’t have enough money to get to the end of the month. Even if it is $5 a month, set it aside for yourself. Do you best. You will just feel better.

Now, how can we impact our monthly expenses?

Do you have a mortgage? Bryan encourages us to consider a bi-monthly payment, or an extra payment over the course of a year. Either of these approaches will take years off your mortgage.

Can you decrease your electricity? Changing to fluorescent light bulbs can decrease your lighting costs by 75%, not to mention decreasing your lightbulb replacement costs. The price of these bulbs has decreased enormously over the years and it is no longer a burdensome purchase.

Turn off and unplug. You can save up to 8% in electrical costs by turning off lights, and uplugging and other electrical appliances such as TVs, computers, and chargers when not in use.

Change your showerhead. Switching to a low water showerhead, or even toilet if you are able, will decrease your water costs, and you won’t even notice the change. (I grew up with a well as our water supply, and the water bill is simply one I just hate to pay.)

Do you pay for voicemail? Even if the voicemail is only $1 month, over 20 years that will cost you $240, if the rate never goes up.

Bryan has even more tips for Day 9, and none are the least bit painful. Remember, every dollar you save per month on your regular bills, is money you can save, use to pay debt off, or buy some great shoes!

Bryan has offered to give away Balance UP to one visitor of Single Moms Ask Sara, and to a friend of that visitor. To enter, simply go to my Money Saving Tips and leave your favorite tips for my readers.

Day 10!

All caught up! Today is tip day! Bryan offers a series of money saving tips. Today I am going to give you a few of his, and a few of mine.

I have to confess that I am feeling much more relaxed and much more confident about money. It is a relief to know that I have been on the right track, it was a shock to look at my finances across the long term, and it is encouraging that Bryan thinks that no matter where you are in your financial life, you can get on track.

Tips
Bryan: Don’t grocery shop hungry, and shop from a list.
Sara: Make your list from a menu. For a downloadable menu and shopping list, check my Free Downloads page.

Bryan: Use coupons. Check Bryan’s site for great coupon websites. (scroll down tot he links section)
Sara: If the house brand is cheaper (and it often is) don’t spend the extra money to use the coupon on the name brand item. Be sure to sign up for your store’s discount program.

Bryan:Don’t waste food. Make larger servings to use for other meals or to take for lunch.
Sara:Incorporate leftovers into your menu. Today’s leftover roast is tomorrow’s beef and noodles or roast beef sandwiches.

Bryan: Save money on clothing by buying at the end of the season.
Sara: Shop with a plan. Put together your wardrobe in a logical way. Click here to see what Clinton and Stacy recommend for wardrobe basics.

Bryan: Go to www.gasbuddy.com to check gas prices in your area.
Sara: Make sure your change your oil regularly, and your tires are inflated to the proper amount. Both of these can affect your gas mileage.

These are just a few of the money saving tips available at Bryan’s site: MyFinancialLifeCoach.net.

– Sara

Interested in learning more about Balance Up? 32 online lessons taken over a 42 day period for only $29.99.

Let’s hear your comments…1) What are your 1 or 2 favorite money saving tips? 2) Have you stopped over at Sara’s website to post your money saving ideas? All money saving posts will be entered in a drawing to win a Balance Up program.

Related Articles – (Note from Bryan – Along with some of my articles below I also included some articles from folks who I read on a regular basis…enjoy!)

Phantom ElectricityMy Financial Life Coach

New Money-Saving Holiday Strategies- Smart MoneySmart Money

Are You Eating Your College Fund?My Financial Life Coach

Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

Delaware, Ohio

www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

My Financial Life Coach is a provider of financial education, coaching, web-based training,

and seminars for individuals, businesses, and non-profits.

Leave a comment

Filed under Balance, Budget, Change, Finance, Financial, Goal Setting, Goals, household budget, Life, Life Balance, Miscellaneous, Money, Personal Finance, Priorities, Resolutions, Stress, Uncategorized

Sara’s Journey Through Balance Up – Days 7-8

Note: For the first couple of weeks I’m posting Sara’s (Single Mom’s Ask Sara) journey through the Balance Up program.  I will be including some additional posts during this time too and then later in January you will see a little more topical structure with my posts. Enjoy!

Days 7 and 8…Tracking the Bucks

Day 7

Only 42% of people track their spending.

This means, as Bryan points out, 58% of people do not track their spending. I do track my bucks. I might not track for a week or two, but I always balance up (no pun intended) when I sit down to pay my monthly bills. I was surprised to learn that so many people do not track their spending.

Bryan reminds us to think about how much money we actually have to spend over our lifetimes. Think about how much money you make a year (the net amount) and write down your number. Now multiply the number by 10. This is the amount of money (discounting raises) that you have to manage over a ten year period. Now multiply by 20 years, and then by 30 years. You likely have much more to manage than you ever realized.

Looking at that grand total, it is much easier to see how you can become debt free and use your money to fulfill your dreams.

Not feeling it? Still having that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach? Bryan says this is when you should pull together $10 or $20 and give it to someone else. Suze Orman echos this sentiment explaining that her clients who had the most money were the ones who gave away the most money, and Wayne Dyer tells us to give away the very thing we want to receive. Someone is always worse off than you. By giving, you shift your focus away from yourself and your issues, and you do something wonderful for someone else.

Day 8

Monthly payments rob you of your future wealth.

I hate those monthly payments. It’s one thing to be paying something off and knowing those payments will someday disappear…but the phone, the electric, the gas…I hate paying those every month…forever and ever.

But what about those payments you don’t think about. What about that $1 coffee everyday? That is $30 a month, or $13,000 over 20 years. What about that $25 or $50 mani-pedi payment? That every other month haircut? Etc.

By breaking your spending down to a per month basis it is much easier to track your spending. The process can cause a few butterflies, but ultimately, knowledge is power. You can’t manage it if you don’t about it.

Almost caught up! Ready for Day 9!

– Sara

Interested in learning more about Balance Up? 32 online lessons taken over a 42 day period for only $29.99.

Let’s hear your comments…1) Do you track your spending? 2) What are 1 or 2 items you can eliminate that will give you cash to apply to your debts?

 

Related Articles – (Note from Bryan – Along with some of my articles below I also included some articles from folks who I read on a regular basis…enjoy!)

Take Control of Your Life?My Financial Life Coach

Are You Fearful of Writing Your Goals?Motivation to Move

SomedayMy Financial Life Coach

Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

Delaware, Ohio

www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

My Financial Life Coach is a provider of financial education, coaching, web-based training,

and seminars for individuals, businesses, and non-profits.

Leave a comment

Filed under Balance, Budget, Change, Finance, Financial, Goal Setting, Goals, household budget, Life, Life Balance, Miscellaneous, Money, Personal Finance, Priorities, Resolutions, Stress, Uncategorized

Sara’s Journey Through Balance Up – Days 4-6

Note: For the first couple of weeks I’m posting Sara’s (Single Mom’s Ask Sara) journey through the Balance Up program.  I will be including some additional posts during this time too and then later in January you will see a little more topical structure with my posts. Enjoy!

Money…Days 4, 5, and 6.

Spreadsheet free days! Yep, these are my kind of money lessons!

In days 4 and 5 we learn about what we think about our lives in relation to money…and what we should think. We all know,

Attitude is everything

But we don’t always realize those forces that are negatively impacting our attitudes. For example, do you feel like you are lacking? Do you feel that society is passing you by? Do the Joneses have a lot more than you do? Maybe you are just watching too many commercials. Something as simple as pitching the ad magazines and turning off the TV can make a major difference in your perceptions.

Bryan reminds us there is a difference between being broke, and being poor. I have long said that poverty is a mindset, and has little to do with your cash flow. Lesson 4 addresses the very reasons why.

In Lesson 5 Bryan addresses the emotional side of getting your finances in order, and reminds us that there is no shame in getting your dollars in line and making great plans for your life going forward. Here, Bryan echos the profound observation of Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad:

You were never taught to manage money

Think about it. You probably had English class (your native tongue) your entire school life, but never had a money management class, beyond figuring out what kind of career you needed to pay the monthly bills. How in the heck are you going to know how to plan your life and work your money to support that plan?

Ready for Day 6? Me too!

Day 6: Cost in Hours

“Change Your Thinking”

We all know how much our purchases cost. After all, everything has a big fat price tag on it. But is that price tag telling us the whole story? Bryan says “no”.

In just 7 minutes of video instruction Bryan brings our purchases into some quick perspective.

Bryan asks,

“How much is a $1000 couch?”  (Careful, it’s a trick question…)

Answer: $1532.95.

What?

Yes…the COST TO YOU is $1532.95.

Why?

With taxes, the actual sale price of the couch is $1070.00. But those are just sales taxes.

You also have all those lovely taxes that are taken out of your check. You know, FICA, State, Federal, Local, etc. So for you to have $1070.00 to spend you have to have earned $1532.95. Yikes.

If you earn $15/hr it will take you 102 hours, or 2 1/2 weeks to buy the couch…if you pay cash. You had better really like that couch!

That $30,000 minivan? Well…let’s just say it’s A LOT more hours. That $10 birthday gift for your child’s classmate? At $15/hr you worked just over a full hour to pay for that, and you probably don’t even know the kid!

I do think in these terms, and I get a bit frustrated when I think about the number of hours I spend working to pay for things. When you think about the hours you slave at a desk, a store, a construction site, etc., it makes you think twice about whether or not you really need the item you’re looking at!

-Sara

Interested in learning more about Balance Up? 32 online lessons taken over a 42 day period for only $29.99.

Let’s hear your comments…1) Where you ever taught about money? 2) What can change your mind about money? 3) What do you think about the concept of the $1000 couch?

 

Related Articles – (Note from Bryan – Along with some of my articles below I also included some articles from folks who I read on a regular basis…enjoy!)

Financial GrowthMorning Coach

Are You Truly Living the Life You Want?My Financial Life Coach

The Major Obsticle to Financial Success Brian Tracy

How to Stay MotivatedDenis Waitley

How Much Does a $1000 Couch cost?My Financial Life Coach

Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

Delaware, Ohio

www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

My Financial Life Coach is a provider of financial education, coaching, web-based training,

and seminars for individuals, businesses, and non-profits.

1 Comment

Filed under Balance, Budget, Change, Finance, Financial, Goal Setting, Goals, household budget, Life, Life Balance, Miscellaneous, Money, Personal Finance, Priorities, Resolutions, Stress, Uncategorized