Money And Me – A Love Story

All my life money has had issues with me. I’d work hard to make it, put it in the bank and watch it disappear.

Oh there were patches there where money and I would reconcile and stay together for long periods of time, but inevitably I’d find my money cheating on me with my bills and I’d realize  that money didn’t love me as much as I loved money.

It took me a half a century to figure out how to keep money happy and believe you me, that makes me happy too. I want to share what I’ve learned with you and if I can help just one person to improve their relationship with money – well that would be a good thing.

1.     Don’t spend other people’s money

Other people’s money, that means credit cards,credit union loans, bank loans, student loans and anything else that you will have to pay back with interest.

Other people’s money seems like a great idea when you’re in the line at Macy’s and the cashier says you can get 10% off of your purchase today if you sign up for a card RIGHT NOW. Trust me the one day sales and percent off coupons and those gratuitous credit limit increases will have you in debt up to your eyeballs in no time and that 10% off won’t offset the 16 to 30 percent interest you’ll be paying on your balance each month.

IF YOU CAN”T PAY FOR IT WITH CASH, YOU CAN PROBABLY LIVE WITHOUT IT. Remember your money will leave you when it discovers your affair with other people’s money.

 2.     Don’t spend money now that you think you’re going to earn later

You just got a new job, big promotion, your tax refund is going to be awesome this year- so you think to yourself “I’m going to earn that money later, so why not go ahead and  treat myself or the family to____”. I think this was one of my major shortcomings, always spending money I thought I was going to earn before it was actually in my pocket, I like to call that “euphoria spending”. Just think about it, if I’m spending as though I’m making more, when I’m not, then something is going a gangling as they say. Maybe it’s the electric bill, the gas bill, money for the commute to work next week, lunch money for the kids…whatever.  DON’T SPEND WHAT YOU DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE…YET.

3.     Pay your bills in full every month

Keeps the bill collectors at bay, makes you feel rich , and helps you to keep your sanity.  This is a hard one for some people, they tend to pay half of this and a quarter of that, steal from Peter to pay Paul and end up in this deep pit full of past due bills. I’ve never been one of those people, just wasn’t in my DNA, but I wasn’t always able to stay  on top of things and would suddenly  discover that the cell phone bill was 3 months past due because I  got busy and wasn’t keeping up. Continue reading and I’ll tell  you how I fixed that and how you can too.

4.     Open an ING account

I am sure that by now there are other online banks that allow you to open as many accounts as you’d like and manage your money in the way that I am about to explain. Back when I started ING was the one that I found and that’s the one that has worked for me

  1. Open an Electric Orange account and have your paycheck Direct Deposited there.
  2. Add a savings account and call it “Emergency Fund” because this is where you will stash a little money every month for unexpected things like a busted water heater or car repairs and the like
  3. Open one savings account for each one of your bills – this will keep you on track so that you don’t miss any of your monthly payments. I name my accounts after my bills: The Rent, Gas bill, electric Bill, Cell Phone,Car etc.

 

5.     Set up automatic transfers from your Orange account to each of the savings accounts

This will ensure that each month when that bill comes due – you have enough to pay it. Here is an example:

Bill and his wife earn $1000 per week. The table below shows their bills and the automatic transfers that should go into each account when they get paid every week,( the math may be off but I hope you get the idea):

Bill Amount Weekly Automatic Transfer
Mortgage $1000 $250
Electric $120 $30
Gas $30 $7.50
Cell Phone $200 $50
Cable $75 $18.75
Car $350 $87.5
Credit Card $100 $25
Gas and groceries $550 $137.5
Savings (external Account) $800 $200
Emergency Fund $300 $75
$3525 $881

As I hope you can see – by saving money from each check to pay their bills, Bill and his wife are able to live happily with their money.

6.     Open an external savings account

I need to have money that is hard to get to, so I have an account outside of ING where I transfer out 20% or so of my income each paycheck. That amount is based on how much I usually have left over after bills, groceries, gas, and other necessities.

Today, money and I have a healthy relationship based on mutual respect. I’m able to eat out, shop, shower my children with unexpected gifts, build up my savings – and pay my bills on time. We’re finally happy together – and you can take that to the bank.

Keeping Hope Alive – Behind the White Noise and Shiny Objects

recessionAs you probably already know my recession started in late 2006 following a (in retrospect) bad decision on my part to accept a new position in another division of my company. I was let go and then I had to learn how to let go:

  • Of resentment
  •  Of anger
  • Of fear
  •  Of material things (like my house and my car)
  •  Of the past

 

Four years later, even though I have worked several decent paying gigs:

·         my bank account is light

·          if you ask a financial adviser they’ll tell you that my retirement plan is looking a lot like a job as greeter at Walmart

·          I don’t remember what an annual physical or mammogram is like because I belong to one of those (insert number in thousands or millions depending on your party affiliation here)  people with no health insurance

·         I do not possess a credit card or a high credit score

And you know what? I’m fine with all of that. Every day is a beautiful day, a blessing to be cherished. I appreciate what I have and what I can actually afford to buy [I bought my son a laptop and paid cash, I was so proud when I realized what I had done]

 

So, Where are YOUR Bootstraps?

 

And I’m telling you this because….

  1. I want you to know that no one is going to come and “fix” your personal economy. Once you get far enough away from a steady income and deep enough into debt, it’s a long road back
  2. I want you to realize that you can’t blame the government for your situation, then say the government is too big, and then blame the same government for your situation – yes I repeated myself, reading it makes as much sense as doing it does.
  3. I am slightly angered by corporate sponsored candidates who will tell you that if government stepped out of the way, companies would step in and take care of the “community”. Bullshit, is what I say. Why aren’t they doing that already? There is no legislation stopping these companies from taking care of the community now!  So why would you believe for even one moment that the people with the real power (jobs) to turn the economy around, who have not exercised that power, are going to make things better if they gain political power. Yeah they’ll make things better – for them.
  4. I tripled my yearly earnings under Clinton, lost everything under Bush, and gained some of it back under Obama. But I’m not assigning credit or blame to any of them, because this is my life and my responsibility, and it’s my hard work, foresight, intuition that causes me to gain or lose. I want you to stop blaming the wrong people for where you are. As a matter of fact, I want you to stop blaming altogether, that’s a lot of your spiritual power that you’re giving away there.
  5. I’ve learned that if you turn off the external noise – friends, family, media – and turn inward to the place in you where God is – he really will make a way where there is no way. I have never considered murder–suicide – not mine, not the President, not my family – as an alternative. You see I know that in 10 years, the past 4 years or so  will be just that – the past, and life and the world will have moved on and the angry people will find someone/something else to be angry about, and I’ll be living and crocheting in Europe (which is a dream of mine and honestly nothing personal against y’all).

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Conventions Are So Darned Awesome!

Ameriplan Family Reunion 09

Ameriplan Family Reunion 09

I just got back from my company’s convention in Dallas,Texas ( is that the hottest state in the union or is there one that’s even hotter?)  and I am so pumped!  I think that recharging your entrepreneurial battery  and  reconnecting with your “people”  are two of the top reasons why we attend conventions. It most certainly isn’t  for the rest and relaxation as we stay up late into the night  and roll out of bed  early in the morning.

This year our convention was titled “Family Reunion ’09 ” and you know what?  That  is exactly what it was like, I have been to many events in the past and it really was like coming home. The faces were familiar, everyone had a smile or a hug for you, and we all had something in common didn’t we?  We are just ordinary people  taking a chance so that we can  live extraordinary lives.

The best part of convention this year was meeting all of my Facebook friends – like my sister from another mister Catey who is just the sweetest, tiniest person it will ever be my pleasure to know. I was also inspired by the young people – the under 30 crowd – who are setting goals, achieving them and setting new ones; cocktail waitresses and single Moms who have created  or are on their way to creating a monthly multiple comma income. And then there is my roomie and new BFF Waple  Michelle, who has vowed to stay on this ride with me no matter what!

What did I learn this weekend? Well I learned that I definitely chose the right company two years ago. One that has survived the economic downturn and is still  focused on helping people to save money and make money. I won’t bore you with the details, awesome though they may be (you can check it out on my website ).

I also learned that you absolutely cannot stand still, say a couple of prayers and hope that God hears you and sends abundance and prosperity your way. God hears you all the time, and  is just waiting for you to act, to move, to set your foot on that path and keep going no matter what. Life is all about the jorney, but most of us keep praying that we get air lifted to the destination.

Stop trying to hit your target and hit it already! Leave a comment and maybe tell me about your convention experience.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

And This Christmas Will Be – Made Possible By My Home-Based Business

Presents under the tree, courtesy of my residual income check

Presents under the tree, courtesy of my residual income check

Late this year the US government finally admitted that there might be a recession going on, but some of us have known it for a long time.  I started this year with three streams of income  – a consulting position that led me to Russia back in January and provided a steady income through May; a customer service job that took up a lot of my time but paid weekly; and my home based business which I worked sparingly because the other two left me drained.

The consulting position began to fade away in April, and had disappeared altogether by late May, thousands of dollars in income just gone bye bye. But that was OK, because I still had the customer service job, I was working for an online Real Estate service providing instruction and a helping hand to their clients. Unfortunately, it was Real Estate and we know what happened to that market – the weekend before the 4th of July I got a call saying that my last check was in the mail, and they were really sorry and blah blah blah.

That left me with my home based business which I threw myself into working for a while, until I lucked into another consulting position which offered a great salary,long term income, and financial stability for me and the fam.  I was very busy working long hours, traveling quite a bit and again unable to work my home-based business because I could not be as available to my down line as I like to be. Well, as we all know shift happens and it happened to me again.  Another one bit the dust due to the gloomy economic outlook and the reluctance of many of our clients to invest in “frivolous” upgrades to their existing systems.

And that left only one leg of my three-legged stool /streams of income. Fortunately for me, the sporadic bursts of involvement in my business had produced three promotions within 8 months which meant a strong  and deep downline. The residual check that I receive from my business pays bills, buys groceries, allows me to donate to charities. In this season of  giving I worried that there would be no Christmas dinner and no presents under the tree (due to some other issues that I will discuss in another post, as well as the fact that recruiting is so difficult in December). While I searched for a job and worked on upgrading my skills, I also set a dollar amount of what I wanted my business to produce so that I could purchase a present or two. My  home based business came through for me again and… well every picture tells a story don’t it, so just check out the picture. If working my business in a part-time way can provide this much financial freedom , what could persistence and consistency bring us next year?

Tell me are you better off than you were a year ago? How many streams of income do you have going? Are you actually working your business or are you waiting for it to produce “income while you sleep”?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

5 Reasons to Recession Proof Your Income With a Home Based Business

As we descend deeper into this dip in our economy, we find our portfolios shrinking, our paychecks dwindling, unemployment rising, and disposable income disappearing. Due to job losses many two-paycheck families are down to one paycheck and maybe an unemployment or part-time job check. As we head into the holidays our children are affected by our lackluster approach to the holidays, and our fears of what the New year will bring.

There is a way to approach the season with anticipation rather than hesitation. Here are my five tips to recession proof your income this year:

  1. You can Lower Your Tax Debt Or Increase Your Refund – By owning your own home business you are eligible for tax breaks and incentives not available to an employee.
  2. You Can Help Yourself By Helping Others – As a home based business owner you are in a position to offer those hardest hit by the recession something that they need – a hand up as opposed to a handout. A Home Based business requires only a small investment and with a little hard work can be profitable almost immediately, so someone who is out of work but has a small severance package or an unemployment check, can invest in a home based business and start generating an income for their family!
  3. You Will Be Able To Create Residual Income – That’s income that grows over time based on work that you do only once. This is recession proof income that won’t be affected by the stock market, the world market, or the job market. It’s what you earn , as some in the business so eloquently state “before your feet hit the floor every morning”.
  4. You Can Determine What You Are Worth – instead of an employer telling you what they are willing to pay you, you can determine what you want to earn each month and how hard you are willing to work to make it.
  5. You Can Improve the Quality of Your Children’s Lives -Our children want more than great presents at Christmas, they want quality time with their parents! Why do we have them and then turn them over to day care centers, babysitters and the school system? A home based business allows you to be there for your children whether it’s breakfast before school, chaperoning school trips, helping with homework, or coaching their little league team. You can shape your kids lives through active participation in their lives.

If you are employed but don’t feel “safe” or are under paid and considering a second job, a home based business is a better Plan B. Why? Because a second job means more time spent working and less time spent living. It means more income to be taxed by the IRS without the numerous deductions provided by a home based business. It also means less family time and more time away from the place that you are trying to take care of – HOME

.

Who’s Going To Accept Responsibilty For The Recession?

Having been on this planet for quite a few years now (how many is irrelevant to this topic) I’ve been privileged to live through some good times, as well as some bad turns, in our economy. When things are

Image Courtesy of www.freeimages.co.uk

Image Courtesy of www.freeimages.co.uk

going well, everyone steps up to take credit for for a job well done; but when it gets really bad…

  • Politicians will go back 20 years to blame it on legislation passed by some other congress
  • Children will blame it on their parents not giving them an allowance and teaching them how to manage money
  • Investors will assign responsibility to bad income statements from company a or b
  • Economists break out the charts to show how inevitable it all was

And the little guy gets left holding the bag? Doesn’t seem fair, does it?.

I believe that when we accept the responsibility for our successes, but assign blame for our failures to God , the Universe, or the Economy , we are failing twice. I received a bit of flack for my last post about the recession because it was assumed that I was making light of the situation by saying that it only exists in our minds.

Well I stand by what I said previously, but I want to add that we all have to be fiscally responsible. Meaning, don’t spend money that you do not have (credit cards, pay day loans and the like),  because that’s exactly what has gotten us into the mess we’re in – fiscal irresponsibility in government, business, and our own households.

I was going through some things a while back and was blaming everyone but myself; one day as I was railing against the bill collectors I realized that I, and only I, was responsible for the financial mess that I was in and the bill collectors were just working a J.O.B so that they could pay their debts.

People who are spiritually aware will tell you that until you accept responsibility for past bad acts, you will be unable to attain the blessings God and the Universe have in store for you. I have accepted responsibility for my past (bad) monetary decisions, are you ready to join me – or do you have yet another person or entity that you’d rather have carry this burden for you?

Are Americans Thinking Their Way Into A Recession?

My husband and I had an argument the other day because someone on one of the forums he frequents said that we are not in a recession, we just think we are. I agreed with Mr Anonymous, hence the argument. So to clarify for my husband and anyone else who cares to listen in, here are my thoughts on the subject.

” If you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”- Henry Ford

This one sentence describes exactly what is happening to this economy right now. The television tells us the economy is bad, the DOW is down (who is this Dow guy and what does he have to do with me anyway?), retailers are quaking in their boots in anticipation of a bad holiday season . So what can we do but hold on to the money we have for the “just in case scenario”?

  1. Just in case we join the ranks of the jobless
  2. Just in case we are unable to pay holiday bills
  3. Just in case gas prices go up again
  4. Just in case our 401K continues to decrease in value

And what does all this just in casing (yes I know that’s bad grammar but bear with me) lead to? Retailers don’t make any money so they don’t hire as many seasonal workers, they pay less than they did last year to the ones they do hire, and they will definitely let people go when January rolls around.

Did I mention that they probably don’t order anything from their manufacturers, who then don’t order from their suppliers, who have to cut costs probably via layoffs and so on, and so on until our deepest darkest fears become reality and we have to take a pay cut or join the ranks of the unemployed.

Bottom Line – Our thoughts and beliefs, decide our fate. If we think that we live in an abundant world then we do. If we focus on what we fear the most, then it will come to pass.

Go out and spend some money on toys and clothes and stocks and jewelry. It will boost the economy and cheer you and someone else immensely!