Tag Archives: Finance

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

Create your spending plan– maximize your income

Less than half of adults (42%) keep close track of their spending.

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

What happens when you go into the store hungry? That’s right . . . you buy more.  The same thing happens if you don’t have a spending plan. You buy more because nothing is spelled out. So what will a spending plan do for you? A written plan will help you to avoid overspending.

You have a lot of resources to manage.

Take your current yearly household net income (left column) and multiply by the number of years to determine your income during that time period. Below is an example of someone who had an annual income of $70,000. Note that this example does not figure in any type of pay increase over the next 30 years.

Example . . .

_70,000______  x  10 years  =  __700,000_______

_70,000______  x  20 years  =  __1,400,000______

_70,000______  x  30 years  =  __2,100,000______

Now, go ahead and calculate this for your income.

____________  x  10 years  =  ________________

____________  x  20 years  =  ________________

____________  x  30 years  =  ________________

Wow!!  You have a lot of money to manage.

Have you ever thought about this before? In the example above this individual will be managing $2,100,000. Let’s put that into perspective. If he was going to build a $210,000 house he would have to have a survey, building plans, permits, and many inspectors & inspections to manage this $210,000 project. If that much planning is needed for a $210,000 house, how much more planning should be done on a project (your financial life) that is ten times larger?

Take a few minutes and think about your finances. The last time you received your W-2 did you ask yourself “where did all of the money go?” It is time to start putting a plan together if you don’t have one. If you have one please take the time to review it. One more thing…a plan is worthless if no action is taken on it so get out there and take some action this week.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours. – Coach Bryan

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, www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net  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.

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Filed under Budget, Children, Family, Finance, household budget, Money, Personal Finance, Saving Money

The enemies of your financial goals

English: A picture of a large drill used in co...

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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, www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net  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.

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

5 Reasons Your Goals May Have Failed in the Past

In my last blog article we discussed the need to re-evaluate your goals. Now I want you to look at why your goals may have failed in the past:

1. You didn’t have any goals or they were not written down.

If it isn’t written down, don’t plan on them happening.

2. You lacked POSITIVE SELF-TALK and/or you had a negative opinion of yourself.

If you keep telling yourself you can’t do something, it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Will you hit every goal on time? Probably not but you have a greater chance of hitting goals if you keep trying, so stop the negative talk to yourself.

3. Your attitude toward failure.

Failure is an event, not a person. Don’t be afraid to fail or make a mistake. The person who has not failed has never really tried. It is the law of numbers. The more things you try to do for the first time the greater the chance is that you will fail. Expect it, learn from it.

Did you fall down the first time you tried to walk? I’ll bet you fell down a number of times. So how did you learn to walk? You kept trying. You got up again and again until you were walking. The same thing goes for following through with your goals.

4. You stopped trying.

5. You did not ask for directions.

No one knows everything. Sometimes we just need to find someone who can assist us with what we are not familiar with.

Conclusion

It is so important for your goals to be written down. It is so easy to forget about them when they are out of sight, out of mind. You want them where you can see them on a regular basis. Believe that you can obtain those goals, attitude is key!

If you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, your right…you won’t be able to do it.  Stop listening to all of those negative influences around you. Turning off the TV is a great start..do you really need to hear all of the negative news?  Plug away on your goals. When you hit a wall, read a book on the topic or find someone who knows. You really can do this, believe in yourself and start working toward your goals.

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. Looking for motivation multiple times per day? Check out the My Financial Life Coach Facebook page.

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Filed under Attitude, Blog, Change, Events, Family, Goal Setting, Goals, News

Step 1- Know Your Financial Condition

Now that you spent time putting your budget together how are you feeling about it? Have you been looking for spare change in the car or couch?

I typically hear one of the following four responses

1. We are so stupid with our finances.

Now that the spending has been put down on paper it becomes real, very real. Most of us never had any personal finance training in school; instead we were busy learning things like the Periodic Chart (which most of us have never used), instead of learning personal finance that we all need/use every day.  Bottom-line, you had no training in personal finance so your issue may be that you lack knowledge, but it doesn’t mean you’re stupid.

2. I’ll bet you have never seen anyone in this bad of shape.

There is always someone worse off than you, both in your town and in another country. Be thankful for what you have, and if you are feeling sorry for yourself . . . STOP!! You are now aware of the situation and you have the resources to correct the situation. Read a book, read a blog, take an on-line training course, attend a class, or talk to someone who knows how to help you. You have options…but you MUST take action!!

3. I’m so embarrassed

Don’t be. None of us are experts in everything but it is your responsibility to get out there and learn what you need to learn so you can effectively manage your finances. This will be a continuous process, not a once and done. Like I just mentioned above, you have options to get this corrected. Get out there and find the resources that meet your needs; and ignore the advice from that broke brother-in-law of yours.

4. I’m (We’re) better off than we thought.

Good for you! You may be better off than you thought but are you where you need to be?

Whatever your reaction, whatever your situation, the key is to not ignore it. Get in there and get your situation turned around. Budgeting is not rocket science, you can do it.

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

Bryan Cooper
My Financial Life Coach, LLC
Delaware, Ohio
www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net
www.facebook.com/MyFinancialLifeCoach

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Education, Family, Finance, household budget, Money, Personal Finance, Stress

Sara’s Journey Through Balance Up – Days 11-12

Note: For the first couple of weeks of January 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 11 and 12

Day 11

Today we begin to work on our spending plan. I have done this in the past off and on, but never felt hugely successful. While I was able to make a plan and get from month to month, I didn’t ever feel like I was getting ahead.

Bryan’s spreadsheets are a little different than anything I had come up with in the past, and to be honest, it was kind of fun. I have to pause here a minute and let this soak in. I, never in my entire life, have, nor ever thought I would…say that figuring out my monthly budget was fun. Most of my bills are due around the 20th of the month and it is pretty common for me to start waking up in the middle of the night panicked about my money a few days prior. It doesn’t matter if I have the money in the bank to cover things or not. This post traumatic stress syndrome is so much a part of my monthly routine that when I wake with a start, my first thought is, “What’s the date?”

So…we’ll see how this process changes things. Bryan’s demo of this spreadsheet was fluid and easy to understand, and his tips were enouraging.

Bryan says:

1. At first you’ll forget things. Don’t sweat it.
2. It takes about 3 months to get your monthly budget down.
3. Be serious.
4. Make it your plan. (Otherwise it won’t work.)
5. Celebrate your victories. (My favorite part.)

Plug your paychecks into the spreadsheet and divvy it up amongst your expenses. When you assign some money to a bill, that amount is subtracted from your total. Once you get your spreadsheet filled in, take a look to see where you can cut costs and how you want to arrange your paycheck across your expenses. I was thrilled to see that I could be putting more money on my debt that I thought. I am pretty excited to start watching those balances tick away.

Ready to come on board? Leave a money tip, and go into the drawing for a free chance to go through Balance UP!

Day 12…recording the details

I…am a big picture person. I understand details. I respect details, and when possible, I defer details. I would truly rather be at the dentist than wade through number details. (No offense Dr. Tony.)

Given this, you can probably imagine how quickly my eyes glazed over when today’s video started talking about making a separate ledger for items like eating out and car stuff. My first thought was, “How can I get around this?”

I know. That was bad. We don’t eat out. It’s not a challenge to manage our once a month pizza, so that’s one less sheet for me. My focus is paying off debt and I am not buying a thing that isn’t a necessity. When I do, I take that off the extra I am putting onto the debt. Maybe I don’t need these. I wondered, “Can I get to where I want to go without doing this part?”

I haven’t yet.

Bryan says this will take some getting used to, and to play around with it for a while. OK. I printed out my ledgers, and I’ll give it a try. Cross your fingers for me!

– Sara

Let’s hear from the readers!  What part to tracking expenses do you find to be the hardest?

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

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.

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Filed under Budget, Finance, Financial, Goal Setting, household budget, Miscellaneous, Money, Personal Finance, 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