As you read this, you are probably facing some type of financial challenge but don’t know where to go or what to do to find the answers you need to move past this issue. Even I, as a financial coach, face numerous challenges everyday in both my personal life and in this business I own. The difference is, I usually know where to go to find the answers I need to move forward with my financial journey. I have taken the steps necessary to educate myself in financial literacy topics and stay on top of the latest economic trends.
Usually when I meet a prospective client, they tell me that they just don’t know HOW to remove or resolve the financial challenge they are facing. But none of them can tell me why they need to resolve their difficult situation. Asking why…is what will develop the behavior change that is ALWAYS needed to move forward with progress. Without understanding the WHY, the HOW will never be implemented.
Once you recognize why you need to eliminate your debt, or save 3 to 6 months of emergency savings, or buy a used car for cash, you will have the power to implement the how.
Proper coaching is a methodical approach, with a personal touch. If done correctly, it will produce exponential results and change the way you look at money forever. You will no longer think about credit card reliance, running out of money before the month end, or using things as a status symbol to impress others who really don’t care.
Once you’re focused on you and understand WHY you should implement actions in a certain way, a behavior change will follow. You will become the person you have always wanted to be and live your life practicing sound financial decision making. You will no longer need to expend the energy that was previously needed to survive your financial quagmire.
Financial Freedom can be achieved with the understanding that the WHY needs to precede the HOW.
A paycheck is issued by a company for services rendered by their respective employees. It is direct indicator of the value they place on the services that are provided.
My 19 year old daughter is visiting this week and told me this morning that her bank account continues to become smaller and that she THINKS the company she works for owes her money.
Since she is in school, my daughter works a few days a week scheduling interpreters for the hearing impaired. She works virtually from home, answering the phone and updating the master schedule.
She complained to me that she is supposed to have direct deposit, but occasionally will receive a paper check. She also stated that she had not seen a check or direct deposit since April. After some digging, I discovered that she had only one direct deposit and 6 checks issued since she started 6 months ago. She is missing at least 5 to 6 paychecks from what I can tell.
This is a lesson that we all need to intimately understand and become very close to. If you are working a job, you deserve to be issued payment for the services you have provided. Your responsibility is to know when you are scheduled to get paid, if it is direct deposit or paper check and if it is the correct amount.
Additionally, you need to know what your rate of pay is multiplied by the number of hours worked. If you worked overtime, then you need multiply the overtime hours by the differential. If you are salaried and get paid every 2 weeks, divide your annual salary by 26.
Lastly, you need to review all your taxes and deductions to ensure you are not paying for something you did not agree to and to make sure the amounts look correct. Make sure your exemptions are what you thought they were and that your vacation time/sick leave is accumulating correctly.
When you receive your pay statement, look at every line item for accuracy and correctness. If you find a discrepancy, notify your supervisor or HR rep immediately. Make sure you know your Paycheck.
I was talking with a close friend of mine yesterday. He was excited to tell me that he just bought a Samsung 65″ Curved 4K Ultra TV yesterday for only $3,000. As we were talking he disclosed to me that his monthly payment was going to be only $85. He told me that he used his Best Buy Credit card, but did admit that the interest rate was a bit high at 22%.
Admittedly, I gasped with astonishment and disbelief. I couldn’t wait to get home to calculate the true cost of this purchase and to analyze the opportunity cost he was giving up.
The $85 monthly payment is actually the minimum you can pay for this purchase. At this rate, he will be paying for his TV for 230 months (19 years) and pay $4,860 in interest. The true cost of this purchase is not $3,000 but $7,860.
But even on a larger scale, the opportunity cost is much greater. If he invested that same $85 per month in a fund earning a modest 8% for the same 19 years, he would have accumulated $45,600 in the fund.
Sensibility is not an understood word in today’s culture. Do yourself a favor and calculate the true cost before you make your next big purchase. Credit cards place bondage on your life and eliminate the chance for your money to work for you.
Let’s develop a healthy plan so our financial journey is not a rocky ride, but one that will help you prosper and reach your destination with dignity.
Many people are in financial debt today because they are trying to find their security, identity and esteem in material things. So they end up buying things that they don’t need to impress people who really don’t care!
This erroneous mindset leads to the destructive habit of folks spending beyond their means, making only partial payments on their monthly credit card bills, and overextending themselves with mortgages they cannot afford and car loans they cannot service. Then, they end up wondering why there is no provision for their debts.
Being caught in this destructive habit and debt cycle is not healthy or sustainable. Let’s understand that having more things cannot and will not complete who you are. When you become debt free, your identity and purpose become crystal clear. Find your security not in material things but in the knowledge of living financially free.
My 1962 home is in need of a back door. The current door is probably the original door and provides no insulation during those very frigid days of winter. The single pane window frosts up and the draft around the seal feels like a blowing air conditioner extending a chill to anyone standing close by.
Since I live by the same standards as our business promotes, I save up for all my home improvement needs. Since I reached by budgeted amount, I decided it was time to find a reliable contractor to provide me with a product and installation quote.
Since it is just a rear entry door facing the back yard, my specifications were very simple. I wanted a basic half window door with standard hardware and a simple, yet durable screen door.
I decided to call a very popular window and door company who scheduled a consultation with me to discuss all my options. Keep in mind, that I wanted simple and inexpensive.
To my amazement, the cheapest quote he could muster was $4,000. REALLY! The appointment was scheduled for 90 minutes…after 20 I told him his services would not be needed.
I live and breathe by sound financial principles and refuse to acknowledge and give credence to overpriced and hyped up products.
I may not get the top of the line product and service, but I will get a quality door installed for much less. Don’t be bullied or pressured to make a deal that you don’t feel comfortable with. Shop around and do your homework.
The key to financial success is to be content with what we already have. If we are not content, then we cannot be happy. Being content is a choice that we make, it’s about changing the way we look at and perceive our own situation. If we count our blessings and appreciate our place in life instead of focusing on all the bad and negative toxins that surround us, then we will be able to have a greater focus on accepting and even embracing the direction our life has taken. We will begin to see value and experience true contentment with this new acceptance.
Despite our condition, our situation or our position in life, if we choose to be happy, and find true contentment in what we already have instead of wishing we had something else, then we will experience a great transformation. Many people fall into the consumer trap, convincing themselves that they need more. It is so easy to be discontent with what has been dealt us. Many people think that life would be better and easier with more money and more possessions. In fact, modern day advertising encourages us to think this way. But, it’s not true. We are such a privileged people with all the blessings that surround us. So many people in our world lack the very basic needs that we take for granted. Many do not even have a dry shelter to sleep in, warm clothes to wear or access to clean drinking water or nutritious food. We should be thankful that we are blessed with food, shelter, friends, family and a job.
We are always so focused on our tomorrows…for a happiness that we believe will come with more pay, a nicer car, a better vacation, a larger home and a more prestigious job. We would live a more satisfied and joy filled life if we could only focus on today, be happy with what is happening in our lives RIGHT NOW and stop dreaming of what tomorrow might bring. Tune into optimism and dismiss the negative. Remove the toxicity in your life and only allow the positives to influence you. Don’t let the negatives overwhelm any contentment that tries to enter your heart. Remove the black hole where life is supposed to thrive.
Once you start to realize your dreams, will you actually be happy or will you still want more? Think about that one time when you were at the height of your game…good pay, great job, material possessions. Did you want more? I would guess; yes! Be happy with where you are today. Be happy with where you have been placed at this very moment in time. Be happy with life experiences; with spending time with your children, your loved ones and your closest friends. Dismiss those who bring you down, talk bad about you and complain about who you are and what you do. These people are not happy with their own lives and get some sort of pleasure bringing others down to their discontented level.
Simplify your life. A cluttered life will lead to a discontented life. Free yourself of disorganization, clutter and time consuming non-sense. Develop a plan for your finances and prepare to remove the financial clutter from your life. Once done, peace will surround you.