More Than A Budget

Over the years, I have had many people take that step of faith and walk up to the front of the classroom and cut up ALL of their Credit Cards. Not because they decided to implement a budget, but because they decided that they needed to change the direction of their financial journey. They no longer wanted to be treading on dangerous waters and made a conscientious decision to stop the insanity.

Good personal finance management doesn’t stop at developing a budget. It takes faith, courage and a behavior change to say enough-is-enough.

Anyone can put a dollar amount to a group of expense categories and call it a budget, but it takes commitment to live and breathe by the numbers you have established as part of your plan.

If you continue to use credit cards, then your plan will never work, you will never succeed and you will fall right in line with the majority of your neighbors and your friends.

If you really want to make a difference in your life and leave a legacy for your children, make the decision today to change your behavior about spending, learn to develop a plan, execute your plan and begin to live a life that is free of financial stress.

Financial Absolute Truths

Say you’re 25 years old and you put $500 in a mutual fund that earns 8% a year, then you add just $100 each month. You would wind up with more than $335,000 by the time you’re 65.

But if you wait until you’re 35, invest $2,500 (five times as much as above) and then add $100 a month, you’d only have $167,000 by age 65.

H&R Block estimates that at least $1 billion; that’s $460 per do-it-yourself taxpayer; is overpaid every year in taxes by Americans who fill out their tax returns by themselves, neglecting to take advantage of often overlooked tax deductions and credits.

Social Security isn’t going away. Social Security’s trustees expect the program to remain in the black at least until 2019. The trust fund will evaporate by 2033 if nothing changes, but incoming money from payroll taxes will still be enough to support 77% of promised benefits, the trustees estimate. All of which gives Congress nearly two decades to work out a relatively modest fix. That could involve raising payroll taxes, extending the retirement age, or making a small cut in benefits.

Just be sure you keep Social Security’s original mission in focus: It is a supplemental retirement insurance program and was never intended as a pension per se. You will need multiple sources of income to live comfortably in retirement.

Buying a home is NOT a fast path to wealth. Homeownership still makes financial sense for millions of Americans. Mortgage interest provides a significant tax break for homeowners who itemize, and paying down the principal on a home is a systematic way to generate long-term savings.

But homeownership is no longer an easy path to riches. One major downturn…you could owe more than your residence is worth.

NEVER borrow from your 401K. When you do, you are borrowing before-tax dollars set aside in your 401(k) — and paying the loan back with after-tax money. That money will get taxed again when you withdraw from your savings after you retire. You end up paying taxes twice on your money.

And it gets worse. If you quit your job or are laid off or fired, you will need to pay the loan back, typically within 60 days — at a time when you may least be able to afford to pay it back. If you can’t pay it back, the outstanding balance will be considered a taxable distribution and, if you are under 55, you will get hit with an additional 10% early-withdrawal penalty.

Half of all Americans ages 55 to 65 don’t have a last will and testament. Die without a will and you let complete strangers decide how to split up your estate and raise your children. It’s called dying intestate, an act (or failure to act) that leaves the divvying-up process to state law. In lieu of a will, the court gives first dibs to a spouse and children, followed by other relatives. If you have no family, your property goes to the state. And unless you appoint a guardian for your minor kids in a legally executed will, their future will be determined by the court.

What’s your financial Fitbit?

I received a Fitbit for my birthday. A Fitbit is a small wireless device that is used to track my activity throughout the day and night. When worn during the day, this device will monitor the number of steps I take and the distance I walked. The Fitbit can be worn at night to track my sleep habits. It also tracks my heart rate, number of stairs climbed and has a workout function to track intensity, calories burned and duration of the workout. The web based dashboard is also a great tool that displays all the Fitbit stats and allows me to log my daily food intake so I can make sure calories burned is greater than calories consumed. All-in-all, it gives me a way to track my progress and make sound decisions concerning my workouts and foods I plan to eat. So far, I have lost 4 pounds and without this nifty tool, I would not have a way of tracking my progress.

Likewise, our WayPoints Financial GPS (Goal Planning System) can do the same thing for your financial health. It too helps you formulate a plan to reduce spending, it tracks your results and helps guide you towards developing goals so your inflow is greater than your outflow. It is a healthy way to plan your finances so you can win with money. With some practice, you can master cash-flow planning, track results, develop short and long term goals, watch your net-worth increase and retire with dignity. I love my Fitbit and you will love our GPS.

Who Planned YOUR Journey?

If it wasn’t WayPoints Financial Services, then why not? WayPoints Financial Services consists of four highly skilled Financial Coaches who call themselves Navigators. They were all trained by the Dave Ramsey, Lampo Group in Brentwood, Tennessee and bring diverse talents to the organization.

WayPoints is the successor to PDR Financial Coaching Services which was founded in September of 2008 by our current President, Mr. Ed Malinoski. Mr. John Murdock, our current Vice President, joined the PDR team as a contract employee in June of 2010 and then as an owner in January of 2011. Mr. Robert Savage joined the team in March of 2014 as a contract employee.

In August 2014, Mr. Murdock proposed a business transformation and retooling of the business name, image and LOGO so we could begin to optimize and service a larger client base. In December of 2014, Mr. Bryan Angelilli joined the WayPoints team also wpfs_sitelogoas a contract employee. In December of 2014 our new website went live thanks to Raney Day Design. Finally, Ms. Connie Bence of Pittsburgh SEO Expert became our Website Optimization expert in March of 2015.

WayPoints Financial Services has been servicing the community for 6.5 years. We pride ourselves with the compassion we offer while we teach, educate, instruct and guide our clients towards making sound financial decisions for their financial journey.

We don’t sell a product but provide a financial navigation service that will produce a plan for families to win with money. We guide families through their crisis, help them develop a Zero Based Budget, teach them how to fund an initial Emergency Fund, provide them with the necessary tools to eliminate their unsecured debt, help them save for a longer term Emergency Fund, help them understand the dynamics of purchasing a home, guide them in their retirement planning, provide them with college savings tips, show them how to accelerate payment on their home and give them the hope to give like never before.

If you are lost in your financial journey, we can guide you toward a better tomorrow.

Are you lost on your Financial Journey?

When a ship is lost at sea, the Captain will call on his Navigators to get him back on course so he can reach his destination in the quickest and safest manner possible. Like a ships journey, our own Financial Journey can be disrupted by unpredictable events. But the better we plan our journey, the less likely those disruptions will sink our financial ship.

Ship’s Navigators will utilize complex measuring devices, navigational gauges, nautical charts, a ships GPS and Waypoints to guide the ship on an optimum course. Likewise, Our WayPoints Navigation Crew will use our own GPS (Goal Planning System), gauges (calculators), charts (WayPoints Navigation Chart) and very clear WayPoints to guide our clients securely on their financial journey. Our Crew is trained in all areas of personal finance management, utilize the GPS in their own lives and are following the 10 WayPoints process. We have helped thousands of clients get back on track with their journey toward financial freedom. If your feel lost or lacking direction, we can help. If you are a WayPoints Financial Services client and have successfully used our GPS, please provide a comment or some encouragement below.

2015 Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when millions of people resolve to make a change in their life. New Year’s resolutions have become an end of year tradition for many people who have lost their way during the previous year and want to make amends for straying from the direction they wanted to go. Some may resolve to eat better, exercise more, set new goals, get a better job, give more, drink less, or even get on a healthy financial plan. All of these take commitment, perseverance, dedication and will power. It takes saying “enough-is-enough” and developing a plan that WILL take you to your destination. It’s never easy to follow-through long term with resolutions. We all have fallen, have come short of our goals and quit when a roadblock fell in our way. Many fail because they did not develop an executable plan that is broken up into bite size actionable items.

Let’s look at 2015 as a New Year with a New Plan. Let’s commit together to resolve one issue in our lives that has caused us much stress. If it’s your finances, focus on creating a budget that includes not only your fixed and variable expenses but your periodic expenses as well. Reduce or eliminate any discretionary expense that is unhealthy, adds no value to your life, habitual, or unnecessary. Use that freed up money to pay down your lowest credit card debt until it is gone then concentrate on the remaining debt. Make sure you have an emergency fund established in case of the unexpected. Find ways to increase your income and decrease your expenses. Make every effort to develop a plan that will bring you closer to your end goal every day. Good luck and may you all be blessed abundantly in the coming year.

The staff at WayPoints Financial Services extends our best wishes to you and your family. If you are lost in your financial journey, give us a call.

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DISCLAIMER:  We do not sell any financial products, investments, instruments or endorse any financial service providers.  Financial Navigation (Coaching) is designed to give you accurate and authoritative information with specific regard to the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that the WayPoints Financial Navigator is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, investment or other licensed professional advice.  Since your situation is fact-dependent, if needed, you must additionally seek the services of an appropriately licensed legal, accounting, investment or other professional.

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