Posts tagged personal finance
This is the 3rd in a series on creating a financially healthy life. If you jumped in and did the first two steps, Just Do It and Reality, Get a Dose, this one might be the one you might need extra support in accomplishing. Lots of us like to do projects. We like to plan. The first two steps were projects.
This 3rd step requires consistency. Yes, consistency. This is where many of us jump off the financial band wagon.
I liken it to the health band wagon. Most people can stick to a diet for awhile. It might be challenging, you may not like it, but if we knew that we only had to change our eating habits for 3 months to impact our physical health for the rest of our lives, would we do it? Most of us would.
If I told you that getting into financial action for 3 months, really making a consistent commitment, would change your financial life for the years to come, would you do it? You’d have better results if you agreed to do it for a year, for 5 years, or for the rest of your life. But tracking your numbers for just 3 months will make an impact as well. It will reset your clock, equilibrate the way you look at your spending, and serve you in truly seeing your income versus your spending. More >
In the first of this series on financial well being and health, Just Do It, we walked through the steps of a Fully Fit Plan. I encourage people to take a look at where they want to be before they look at where they are.
It’s the same philosophy as Jim Rohn’s excellent quote “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you’re hanging out only with your current spending plan, only looking at your current reality, energetically you’re creating the same plan for yourself, repeatedly.
If every month you first look at your Fully Fit Plan, it will remind you where you’re headed, where your intentions and dreams are. Simply writing the Plan out declares to the universe, and to your subconscious, that you are on a path.
It also prepares you for a dose of reality: your current spending plan. Now it’s time to look, see and tell the truth.
It’s true that not everyone reading this sees their current spending plan as dismal, tight, something to move beyond. But I’m thinking many of you do. If you’re current spending plan had an extra $1,000 a month in it, you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog, you’d be at Intelligent Investing reading Chris Barth. More >
The secret to financial well being and health is: be in consistent action. Or as Nike so powerfully declares: Just Do It!
That’s the key that separates the successful from the unsuccessful in improving financial health. Those that spend consistent time every month working on their finances build their financial muscle and create a financially healthier life. Those that consistently put a little bit of money away every month, even just a few dollars, create a financially healthier life. Those that learn a little something new, consistently, create a financially healthier life. There is no better, faster, more effective approach to financial health than simply being in action.
One frequent mistake I see, and I’ve made it myself, is that we only take action when money is tight, when something’s wrong. It’s kind of like only going to the gym when you’re overweight and out of shape. You’re spending time just trying to get back to some baseline of health. You never get the opportunity to fine tune your health and strength.
Just what it says. The phrase “Date Night” evokes thoughts of fun, special, coveted. For many, the phrase “Bill Paying” conjures ugh, drudgery, lack. What would it look like if we felt differently about our finances?
Most of us have it backwards. Its no wonder we think of our finances as drudgery. This is how the majority of us “do our money.”
- We squeeze the chore between the laundry and washing the dog. More >
Do you itemize your deductions? If yes, look at your spending plan for charitable contributions. You have 15 days to maximize your gifts. Plus your favorite nonprofits are busily trying to meet their year-end goals, so gifts that come in during December are hugely appreciated! Have you spent out your Health/Flexible Spending Accounts? Now is the time.
Are you a business owner? If yes (and you file cash basis) then every dollar you spend in the next 15 days saves you in the neighborhood of 25 to 40 cents. Our advice to clients at year end: Any equipment you plan to buy in the next six months, buy it now. Any bills scheduled to pay at the beginning of January? Pay them now. And on the income side, for every dollar you put in the bank, you’ll be sending 25 to 40 cents to the IRS on April 15th. This is the one time of year you ease up on your receivables calls, slow down your invoicing process, walk to the bank very slowly.
And for my nonprofit clients? You have 15 days to maximize contributions for the year. Call one key donor every day until the 31st. You can ask for support, or just wish them a happy holiday and thank them for their support. Craft one last personal email solicitation. People want to give this time of year, and it’s your job to remind them.
Happy New Year!
(The accountant’s disclaimer: this is clearly generalized advice. It’s something to be discussed with your trusted advisor. If you don’t have a trusted advisor, we know some great ones!)