money

Attitudes For Successful Money Management

Attitudes For Successful Money Management

Attitude of Successful Money Management

Do you really need to learn money management or do you need to learn a new attitude about your money? Where did you learn your ideas about money? Probably if you’re like most, you learned what your parents taught you. Maybe your spouses’ money habits and concerns have rubbed off on you. Most importantly, how will yours rub off on your children? Before you can teach money management to your teen, what do your words and actions say? If your children use the same techniques for money management in 20 years, will they be headed toward success or disaster? Maybe it’s time you rethought this love/hate relationship with your old friend, money. Maybe it’s time you adopted some successful attitudes; such as:

Have A Attitude of Gratitude

So often, as parents we give our children this line when there are complaints about what’s for dinner, who got what toy or got to sit in which seat. We say, “Stop complaining and be grateful for what you have,” or something to that affect. If it’s become rote, more than likely what you’re really saying (which is what your child is hearing) is “Shut-up and stop complaining,” which amazingly enough, doesn’t sound grateful at all, does it? The way we teach our children to be grateful is by being thankful for what we have and expressing it regularly; and no other topic comes to mind so regularly as money. Are we thankful for our good health and yet whining about our paycheck or our taxes? The more grateful we are for what we have, the more we’ll have to be grateful for.

Have a Attitude of Respect

We’ll spend time teaching our kids to respect their elders, respect our rules and have respect for themselves, but too often respect for money gets pushed aside. There seem to be 2 schools of thought, neither of which are respect; fear or disregard. If the budget rules your house with an iron fist and every penny is squeezed, you are passing down a fear of money to your child. If money is so scary that it controls even Mom and Dad, the most powerful people in the universe, it must be bad. Total disregard of the finances is just as bad. A lazy attitude of, “Oh the mortgage will just be late and I have no idea how we’ll pay for the credit card, but we’ll stop thinking about that once we go shopping,” teaches disrespect for money, which will translate into lack of money later in life.

Be Joyful

Money is fun and if you’ve forgotten that, let me remind you. There was a time; maybe a long time ago, maybe you were still a child that you suddenly “came into” some money that you weren’t expecting. There it was, a whole $20 and you couldn’t believe how great it was and started right away imagining all the cool stuff you could buy with it! Why should you give up that joy as an adult? Spending money is fun and when you give with love and an open heart, not only is it fun but you are making abundance possible in your life. Spending money begrudgingly and reminding your children and spouse about how much they “cost you” every time you leave the house not only stops the abundance coming into your life, but makes you a killjoy.

Show Interest

How much do you really know about money? We all know that in order to have a good relationship with our spouse, we have to communicate. We have to find out what makes them tick. We have to get to know them. We know as parents that we need to know our child’s interests and spend time growing those talents. We are successful at what interests us because we automatically take the time to find out more. So wouldn’t that apply to our money as well? How can expect to have a great relationship with your money if you don’t know the first thing about it? When the only time you spend with money is that dreaded day of the month where you grip the checkbook, hope for the best and pay the bills, how can you really know what makes your money tick? Get involved with your money and invest the time in finding out more. Get your family equally involved with the finances. If one spouse handles all the money, the other one should still know the essentials of what this family is doing with finances. Your family budget, the one your kids know exists but never find out why or how it works, is a “family” budget. Take the mystery out of your money and spend time with it.

Understand the Value of Money

Understanding the value of money goes beyond, this is $10, it’s worth $10. How you value yourself and your personal values in life are expressed through your value of money. Are you spending every waking moment in a desperate attempt to keep up with the Jones’s? Are your kids always dressed to impress even though they’d rather be just comfortable? Is it not good unless it’s the most expensive? These are all ideas that scream, “I am not enough, not valuable without money.” Is that what you want your children believing later in life? On the other end of the spectrum we have those that never buy anything new, their house is in desperate need of repair, their children live in hand-me-downs and they’re not satisfied unless they got “it” the cheapest that they could get. They even love to brag about how little everything they own cost. Are you really being frugal or have you taken the “we don’t deserve nice things” and made it a lifestyle? Are your feelings of self-worth controlling your money habits? And if so, what kind of value are your children seeing?

6. An Attitude of Confidence

Obviously if you are married with children, fear of the unknown doesn’t really faze you. You walked down the aisle despite what the statistics told you that the odds were. You had children and are raising them in the face of awesome odds. Look at you – you’re doing it! So why, when we’re brave enough to face the challenges of marriage and parenthood, do so many of us figure that money is totally out of our control. We can trust God with our kids, but money is up to fate, luck and maybe the lottery. We can count on our spouse to be with us through sickness and through health but we can’t count on ourselves to be “good” with money. We’d start that business if we had the money. We’d buy that stock if we had the money. Confidence with money comes from the knowledge that you come from abundance. There is plenty more where that came from. Being bold is the only thing that’s going to take you from struggling to success. Are you passing down an entrepreneurial spirit? Or are you going to whine about all the missed opportunities? Will your kids?

Be Ethical and Honest

Are you honest with your family about the finances? Isn’t it amazing that as a parent, you can expect your child to be truthful about why they got in trouble, and yet cheat on your taxes, feeling somehow that you’re entitled? Why is it that we expect our spouse to tell us every little thing that happened at work that day but what’s going on with the checking account is a big mystery? Do you talk about your salary like you talk about that 6-foot fish you almost caught? What’s your money story? And if it’s not a good one, or it doesn’t have a happy ending, what’s the moral of the story for your kids? If the truth shall set you free, how free are you financially?

When you think about the relationship you have with one of your old friends, or the relationship you have with your spouse when things are going really well, what are you doing to make that relationship a success? Of course you’re grateful for the time the two of you spend together. You have a deep respect for that person and you feel a joy when you are with them that always brings you back for more. You are extremely interested in what they’re doing and find their ideas and feelings to be fascinating. You value their ideas and opinions and love knowing they value yours. You are confident that the future of your relationship is going to be even better than the past. And you would never dream of dishonoring that relationship by being anything less than truthful.

If you became friends with your money, would you need to manage it? Growing a relationship with your money is not only key to your own success, but a vital part of teaching your child to reach for their own financial freedom.

 

Posted by Tom in Finance, 0 comments
Take Control Of Your Personal Finances

Take Control Of Your Personal Finances

I have been working in finances since I was about 18 years old, most of the time I was just guessing at what I was doing. Then one day I woke up and knew that I had learn the in’s and out’s of finances if I was to be successful. I found out early in my career that people that are financially successful at the ones that take the time and energy to regularly budget and plan out their finances. Most of them like myself have taken the time to get a financial education and continue to expand their knowledge over their lifetime.

Some of us go through life with no formal financial education and then there are others of us that have received a education in finances and receiving a education is a primary component of financial success. Here are some steps that will help you gain the financial foundation to help you to be financially successful.

 Mark your calendar to spend a few hours a week on your finances. 
Millionaires spend, on average, 8.4 hours a month managing and planning out their finances, according research by business theorist, Thomas Stanley. To be financially successful you need to dedicate time and energy just like the millionaires do. When I started my career I found out early that it takes dedication and time to regularly plan out my budgets and my road map to financial success. Don’t think it happens overnight like winning the lottery.

Set up a recurring date on your calendar to study your financial road map weekly and dedicate an hour a week just to your personal finances. Take a look weekly at your budget, look at your upcoming expenses and make sure you have the money in the accounts to cover your bills, then pay your bills which should already be automated to your accounts. Take a look at all the transactions for the week to make sure no one is siphoning money from your account and check to make sure that your accounts are accurate. Be consistent with this weekly money date and make it a fun time don’t think of it as a chore.

 

Commit 30 minutes a week to study about personal finances.

There are plenty of reading material on personal finances and financial education. The more knowledge you have the more you will feel comfortable with your finances. Don’t burn yourself out trying to learn everything overnight, break up your education sessions in to 30 minute increments. I love reading about personal budgets and financial secrets, but like  I said there are thousands of topics when it comes to finances.

Ask for advice from successful people that you know.

Talk to mentors, ask successful people to help mentor you. Seek out advice from people you know that are successful in business. Most of these people have made the mistakes that you will want to avoid, this is why it is best to get advice from them so you do not go through the same troubles that they have lived through. Take their advice to heart and make sure you thank them for sharing their information.

Gather information and put it to work for you.

Now that you have studied some different ideas and asked successful people for advice. Take these things that you have learnt and try them out for yourself. As you have done your research you have seen that there are lot’s of examples and strategies out there on the web, you need to look at these examples and strategies and see which ones best fit your finance goals and give them a try. If you try something and it does not work, don’t get discouraged look for something else that will fit your goals and keep looking till you find the one that best works for you. The key is don’t give up.

Hire a professional.

If at the end of it all you are still not comfortable about your finances then hire a professional to help you get your financial affairs in order. Sometimes we all need that helpful hand from a professional just to get started on the right track, and then there are those that just don’t have the time to dedicate towards their finances.

Conclusion.

Where ever you are in your financial path remember it takes dedication, time, energy and continued education to be successful with your finances. To be a master it takes a person to devote the time and practice consistently to sharpen their skills. If you devote the time to study and commit the dedication to honing down your skills with your finances one day you will be a master of your financial success.

 

Posted by Tom in Finance, 0 comments
11 Ways To Save Money

11 Ways To Save Money

11 Ways for Saving Money

Are you new at budgeting your finances? Do you really need to start saving up for a new vehicle, plan a vacation, save for retirement, pay on some medical bills? Here are some thoughts of how you can say for these items.

1. Make a total of all your monthly bills. Monthly bills are ones that occur every month, usually on the same day. Insurances, house payments, cell phone bills, and car/school loans are all considered routine monthly expenses. Don’t include things like grocery shopping, clothing, or eating out, these are flexible and can change from month to month.

2. Make a list of net income after taxes you receive each month. This would also include rental income, child support, interest you receive from investment, and etc.

3. Subtract your monthly bills from your income and what is left over is your true free income.

4. Take a look at your credit cards. Put your highest interest cards at the top of the list to pay off first. We need to get rid of these first and only keep the one with the lowest interest rate in your wallet. The ones in your wallet should only be used for emergencies only, like car repairs, medical emergencies, and home repairs that are a must!

5. Think about all the money you need to spend to SURVIVE. Not on dinners out, new toys, or clothing. Things you need to keep your family fed and healthy. Subtract this money from your free income, it should only be half or less of your free income money.

6. Use the rest of your free income to start paying down your credit cards. If you just pay the minimum each month you will not see your credit card debt drop. You must make a diligent effort to pay more than the minimum.

7. Repeat these steps until your credit card debt is under control. This doesn’t mean having absolutely no debt, but I would recommend an amount you can pay off in 3 months or less.

8. Congratulations on making it to step eight and getting your debt somewhat under control! Now let’s start saving. If you like to see what you need to save to retire, here is a free retirement calculator for helping figure our what you may need. Retirement Calculator

9. If your company has a 401k and they offer any sort of match (any percentage), start the 401k. This is free money that your company is giving you, if you do not take advantage of this you are losing out.

10. With you car loans, mortgage companies, and credit cards you may want to try and connect with the lenders and ask if they would consider lowering your interest rates. Even if you only get one yes, it is better than not asking at all and continue to pay high interest rates.

11. If your employer directly deposits money into your bank account, set up an extra account to add money into. Since you don’t ever see it, you won’t think about it. If you deposit your checks yourself, take advantage of a savings account or do what I did and set up an account at another bank and then on my bill pay each month I automatically transfer funds from my working account to my other bank account, what do they say, out of sight out of mind.

As hard as it sounds, try not to indulge. Cut back your cable package, go out to eat once a month, and instead of seeing movies on the big screen with your entire family, wait until you can rent the movie. Chances are you can rent movies through red box for less than $2.00! You can save a lot of money if you just put some effort into it. Our family had to make adjustments, but now we can sleep at night and don’t have get scared if the phone rings thinking what collection agency is after me now.

Posted by Tom in Budgeting
Simple Ways To Save Money

Simple Ways To Save Money

When it comes to saving money I enjoy this game. I treat saving money as a game in order for the whole family to join in and it does not become a threat or a chore. Let’s take a look at some ways we can save money and not make it a negative thing to do.

  • Buy In Bulk

There are many reports by us news, cbn, money magazine and business insider that state purchasing in bulk can save you time and money. Most of the time if you purchase items from warehouse stores like Sam’s club or Cosco you can save on average of about thirty percent over the chain grocery stores.

  • Eat At Home

I know so many people that never eat any meals at home, this is so ridiculous. First eating at restaurants is not healthy for you and the money you waste can easily add up versus the money you would save if you purchased the food and cooked it at home. Example, my wife and I love a good rib eye dinner once a week, if we were to purchase this at a local chain restaurant we would easily spend $50 – $75 for this meal. I can purchase two rib eye steaks for $13 and potato, salad and vegetable I would spend no more than $20 for the both of us.  Right there I would save $30.00 from one meal.

  • Shop Smart

Shopping is a huge chore and many of us hate the thought of going shopping each week for groceries but if you shop smart it can save you time and money. Example, my wife and I sit down and plan out our meals for the week ahead then we put together our shopping list. First, by having a shopping list and stick to it you won’t spend money on things that you don’t need. We also keep track of prices at the local stores and farmers markets. When we put together our shopping list we will make separate list for different stores because we know that items will be cheaper at one store over another. Also we purchase all our fruits and vegetables at the local farmers market because the items are fresh and it puts money back into the community. By shopping this way we save a lot of money each week.

  • Shop with Coupons

In order to save money with couponing you need to mentally change how you shop. You will need to make your weekly meal plan according to what is on sale. Go to more than one store for the items on your shopping list. Be organized with your coupons before heading to the store. Don’t be afraid to stock up on items when they are a fantastic deal.

  • Eat Left Overs

I find that in today’s times many of our younger folks don’t eat leftovers. My wife and I were visiting our daughter for Christmas a couple years back and after dinner our daughter and husband took the leftovers and threw them in the trash. I about blew a gasket when I saw this. Now I am a little old fashioned since I was brought up by parents that grew up during the depression and I don’t throw anything away. Plus many foods taste better if they sit overnight in the refrigerator. So much money is wasted when you don’t eat leftovers and just throw them in the garbage.

  • Turn Lights Off

I find so many times lights left on in our home. I am constantly walking behind my wife and turning off light switches. When she gets up in the morning every light in the house goes on for some reason. This is such waste of money that can be used for other things and it is the simplest way to save money on your electric bill.

  • Conclusion

These are just some simple basic ways to save money for other things. Now if it was me and I did not have an emergency fund set up I would take this money and start applying to my emergency fund and get that set up first be anything else.

In some future episodes we will take a look at some other ways to save money and cut expenses.

Posted by Tom in Budgeting
How To Build A Budget For Your Family

How To Build A Budget For Your Family

Building a budget that works for your family

A good budget is the number one tool to helping a person pay off debt, build their retirement accounts, and plan for their financial future. A budget is a road map to help you with your everyday finances. A person should not look at a budget as being a negative item, but a helpful tool. When you take a vacation you use a road map or google maps in order to map your way from point “A” to point “B”, well a budget is the same thing, a map to help you manage your finances.

Many Americans have troubles with their bank accounts and other finances because many of us lack the skills to manage their accounts and their debt. There are many tools out there to help us with skills but most people do not know where to look or what to look for. Many financial tools  are free of charge if you know where to look.

Before putting together a budget the first thing you need to do is track all your expenses for a month. There are mobile apps that can help you record all of your purchases. Every purchase, from small ones to large ones need to be recorded for this month. Even ATM fee’s and bank fees need to be recorded in order to get a good picture of you spending habits.

Take this data after a month of tracking and sit down and you will probably be surprised to see where your money has gone. This is best way to get an overall picture about how you allocate your funds and spend your hard earned money..

When you finally sit down to put together your first month’s budget the number one thing you do not want to do is cut out all the fun things you do. Don’t make this a punishment and take all the fun out of your life. If you are too strict on yourself you will probably fail in a short time period. You will find yourself cheating and eventually you will stop following your budget and you find yourself back in the same boat your are trying to leave. Instead learn to limit yourself. Example would be, “if you stop every morning for a starbucks coffee or eat out for lunch everyday, don’t stop doing these things you enjoy all together. Just set yourself some limits, instead of doing these things daily, cut yourself back to once or twice a week, you will see the benefits add up in your wallet at the end of the month.

Now take your bills for the month and separate them into categories. The first category should be your fixed expenses, such as your mortgage or rent, your utilities, car payment and any sort of membership fees that you pay monthly. Hopefully this does not go over fifty percent of your monthly take home pay.

The next category would be savings. Experts recommend putting away ten to twenty percent of your take home pay into a auto deposit savings account that earns interest. They recommend an auto deposit, this is where the money comes out of your check before you notice it is missing so these funds will not be seen, “out of sight out of mind” kind of thinking.

The third category would be flexible spending. Your monthly budget should not exceed thirty percent of your take home pay for this category. This would consist of eating out, morning Starbucks coffee runs, groceries, gas, entertainment, hobbies, and etc. This category is called flexible because these items can be adjusted. For example, when shopping for groceries, try cutting coupons and look at adds in the paper to save yourself some money. Shopping for clothes, is another area that you can compare prices in order to save money. Filling the car with gas, shop around the area for cheaper prices for fuel. Cut back to once or twice a week for going to Starbucks instead of going daily. These are just a few examples of where you can be flexible and save money.

So if you see, fifty percent of your money goes toward your large ticket items like rent or mortgage, twenty percent goes to savings of some kind, and thirty percent goes toward your more flexible items.

Here is a list of tools to help you build your budget. These tools are online so I have put the links here for you to click on.

Budget Calculator

Mint.com

Budget Worksheet

BudgetPulse

Posted by Tom in Budgeting