Budget your way to success

466

Budgeting sounds like a boring strategy used by our parents. For a long time, budgeting was considered the way to manage money because it helped people keep track of where their finances were going.

loans, uk finance

Budgeting sounds like a boring strategy used by our parents. For a long time, budgeting was considered the way to manage money because it helped people keep track of where their finances were going. But lots of people are choosing not to budget because it seems so needlessly complicated with little or not benefit. But there is a benefit to budgeting; the real trick is finding a budgeting method that works for you. Here is an excellent strategy to help you manage the money in your personal portfolio.

The first thing you need to do is create a budget. Creating a budget does not have to be restrictive, but it should be a guideline to help you manage your income and your expenses each month. The first thing you want to do is list all your expenses on a month-to-month basis. The next thing you want to do it list all of your income on a month-to-month basis. Then compare. Many people who have trouble saving find that their expenses are very close to their income. So what can you do?

One option you have is to reduce your expenses. This might mean going out with friends a little less or giving up on some luxury that you typically enjoy. Another option you have is to increase your income. Unfortunately, for many people, this is easier said than done.

One way that you can reduce your expenses and increase your income is by using a debt consolidation loan. By consolidating many outstanding debts that are due throughout the month into a single loan with a single monthly payment you will be accomplishing several things.

First, you will be reducing your monthly payment because you will be securing a larger loan and is spread out over a longer period of time. Second, you’ll be reducing the amount of interest you pay because you will be consolidating your many debts into one debt from one provider. Reducing your interest not only helps to reduce your expenses but also increases your income!

And if you are able to find some assets that can help you get a secured loan, you’ll be able to spread out your payment over a longer period of time and you will likely qualify for a lower interest rate because you have some security to offer the lending institution to back up the loan.

Now that you are actively pursuing a budget, you will need to find a way to continue to reduce your expenses over time. A secured loan will help you do that. But don’t forget that there are many ways you can also increase your income.

Congratulations! You are assembling a budget and getting control of your finances and at the same time you are reducing your expenses and increasing your income.

Check out monzi personal loans for short term loans up to $10,000.

Bad Credit and Unsecured Credit Cards

323

If you are a consumer that is suffering from a poor credit history you are likely to be aware of how hard it is to get an unsecured credit card. A good majority of consumers are enjoying the conveniences of being able to shop with a credit card carrying and unsecured credit limit.

unsecured credit cards, bad credit

Bad Credit and Unsecured Credit Cards: Two terms that don’t often go together.

If you are a consumer that is suffering from a poor credit history you are likely to be aware of how hard it is to get an unsecured credit card. A good majority of consumers are enjoying the conveniences of being able to shop with a credit card carrying and unsecured credit limit. While it is extremely nice to be able to apply for and actually qualify for a credit card you do not have to put money down to get you will quickly see that an unsecured credit card is usually the type of credit card that someone with bad credit is not very likely to obtain.

Since an unsecured credit card isn’t very likely if you are having issues with your credit the best plan of action is to look into a secured credit card for the time being. There are many different types of secured credit cards out on the market for people with bad credit all with different options so be sure to shop around so do some comparison shopping so you locate the card that is going to best meet your needs.

Now while there is no rule set in stone about the exact time that you would be able to apply for and actually qualify for a credit card with an unsecured limit there are some factors that will determine what types of cards that you will qualify for. For instance your debit to credit ratio plays a big factor in whether or not you could get an unsecured credit card.

So while it is not unheard of for someone with a bad credit history to obtain an unsecured credit card the route that is easiest for most consumers is to obtain a secured credit card build up their credit and then apply for the unsecured credit card if they so choose.

Debunking Common Knowledge About IRAs

356

According to a recent “Retirement Trends” survey by Fidelity Investments, 96 percent of Americans saving for retirement don’t know the current contribution limit for an individual retirement account, with some guessing as low as $1,000. The reality is that for tax year 2005, IRA contribution limits increase to $4,000 — up from $3,000 in 2004.

Debunking Common Myths About IRAs

According to a recent “Retirement Trends” survey by Fidelity Investments, 96 percent of Americans saving for retirement don’t know the current contribution limit for an individual retirement account, with some guessing as low as $1,000. The reality is that for tax year 2005, IRA contribution limits increase to $4,000 — up from $3,000 in 2004.

When it comes to knowing the facts about retirement, misperceptions can lead to missed opportunities. Today’s workers will face rising health care costs when they retire, as well as declining pension benefits and a higher cost of living. That’s why it’s important to save as much as possible, and as early as possible, in tax-advantaged accounts like IRAs.

Knowing the facts can help dispel common myths that may keep some investors from making the smart move of saving in an IRA.

* Myth No. 1: My 401(k) savings should be enough.

Nearly one-third of Americans in their prime savings years who have not yet opened an IRA account think their 401(k) savings will be sufficient for retirement, according to the Retirement Trends survey. However, Fidelity estimates that retirees will need approximately 80 percent to 100 percent of their pre-retirement income to live comfortably. Using an IRA now to supplement workplace programs can help investors make sure their savings will continue to grow and last throughout retirement.

* Myth No. 2: I have to come up with thousands of dollars all at once to open an IRA.

For the one in four non-IRA owners surveyed who say they can’t afford the initial investment required to open an IRA, opportunities to save even more for retirement may be daunting. But getting started without an initial lump sum is as easy as setting up automatic monthly payments through a Fidelity SimpleStart IRA.

* Myth No. 3: IRAs are for older people with lots of money to save.

The truth is that younger investors could benefit the most by starting to save early because they have time on their side. Nearly two-thirds of young adults have started to save for retirement before age 30, according to the Retirement Trends survey. That’s good news; starting to save as early as possible is one of the best ways to prepare for the future.

Get in Control of Your Credit Card Debt

697

Using credit cards can make day to day life more simple, reducing the need to carry cash and making it easy to shop online and by telephone. However, spending with plastic can sometimes be a little too easy, and many people find their balances get out of control.

credit cards,debt,reduce

Few people would deny that using credit cards can make day to day life more simple, reducing the need to carry cash and making it easy to shop online and by telephone.

However, spending with plastic can sometimes be a little too easy, as it doesn’t always feel like you’re actually parting with any cash. This means the temptation is to spend without thinking about the consequences too carefully, until you hear the ominous thud of a huge credit card bill hitting the doormat.

If you’ve been caught out like this, the size of your card debt may seem overwhelming, but don’t panic – there are a few simple steps you can take to start getting your debt back under control.

Try and make a little more than the minimum payments:

The minimum payments required by credit card companies have steadily fallen over the years. Where once it was typical to have to repay a minimum of 5% of your balance every month, it’s now common to only have to pay 2.5% or 3%. With repayments this small in proportion to your debt, a large chunk of each payment gets swallowed up in interest charges. Depending on the APR rate of your card, up to 75% of each payment could be ‘lost’ in this way, meaning that it takes a very long time for your balance to reduce to any great extent.

By trying to repay more than the minimum, even if only by a little, you can speed this process up, and in the long term you’ll end up paying much less in interest charges.

Prioritize your card debts:

If you have more than one card with different rates of interest, it makes sense concentrate on the one with the highest interest charges. This means not just the one with the highest interest rate, but the one which actually charges you most each month, which could have a lower rate but a higher balance.

Check your statements to see which card is costing you most in interest each month, and try to focus on repaying this card first by putting any spare cash you have into extra payments while keeping to the minimums on your other cards.

Change your card:

The credit card market is very competitive, and rates have fallen over the last few years. You may be stuck with an old card charging an old rate that is much higher than newer cards. If you can get a new card with a lower rate and transfer your account balance on to it, you could save a lot in interest charges, helping you to bring down your debt. If you can get a card with an introductory rate on balance transfers then all the better – you’ll get a few months of interest free credit which you can use to really drive down your balance as 100% of each repayment will be helping to clear your debt.

Debt consolidation:

If getting a cheaper card isn’t an option or isn’t something you feel happy about, then maybe a consolidation loan would be worth considering. If you take out a loan and use the money to pay off all your card debts, you could benefit from a lower rate as loans are normally quite a bit cheaper than credit cards.

The downside to these loans is that the repayment period might be quite long, and so even though your monthly repayments will hopefully be lower, you’ll stay in debt for longer and so end up paying more in interest. Done carefully, however, consolidation can be a sound move if there’s little chance of clearing your debt in any other way.

Watch your spending!

All the above strategies for getting your debt under control will only work if you stop getting deeper into debt – and this means stopping spending on your cards. Ideally, you’d cut them up so that you can’t use them again, but this might not be realistic as you may need to keep them as a credit option in an emergency. In any case, cutting your spending to an absolute minimum will keeping your repayments as high as possible is the only sure strategy to clearing your debt in the long term.

Effective Ways Of Getting the Best Rates for Your Credit Cards

511

How many times a day do you receive offers through email or phone for free credit cards with money back schemes, low introductory rates and other perks of credit cards? All banks and financial institutions vie for maximum customers by pouring umpteen perks to tempt you, the customer, in one way or the other.

credit card,credit score,free credit cards,borrowing money,credit card plan

How many times a day do you receive offers through email or phone for free credit cards with money back schemes, low introductory rates and other perks of credit cards? All banks and financial institutions vie for maximum customers by pouring umpteen perks to tempt you, the customer, in one way or the other.

Remember that a credit card is just a form of borrowing money that has to be paid later. However, it is better to choose a credit card with good rates to avoid ending up paying too much interest to the banks. Make it a point to compare credit card terms and fees before opening a credit or charge card account. Once you find the credit card that has an interest rate that best fits your needs and budget, you can then open an account with that bank.

The annual percentage rate is the measure of the cost of credit the bank offers and is expressed as a yearly rate. Make sure you are aware of this rate before accepting a credit card as some credit card plans have interest rates that change when other economic indicators change. This plan is called a variable rate program. In such a case, when you first get the credit card, you may be offered 5% interest, but in case of index changes, the interest rate may go up to 8%. This means you will later have to pay more interest with the increased interest rate! So confirm if the credit card offers a variable rate program or ‘fixed rate’ program where there is no change in the annual percentage rate, even when economic indicators change.

It is beneficial for you if the credit card you have has a ‘grace period’. This is the period where you can avoid finance charges by paying your balance before due date. This is because with a free period, you will be sent your bill at least 14 days before the due date, thus giving you enough time to pay. Check if the credit card charges annual membership or participation fees or any other costs like transaction fees. It is better to choose the credit card company offering the least ‘extra costs’! This is because the more extra costs there are, the more money you have to pay the company!

When applying for a credit card, it is better to first consider if the credit limit is up to your requirements. Then only is it beneficial for you to apply for the credit card. To get the best rate for your credit card, make sure you understand all terms and condition of the card before accepting it. This is to avoid any future misunderstandings and misconceptions with the credit card company.

Of course, the main point that is taken into consideration to get the best rate for your credit card is your credit score. The better the credit score you have, the better will be the rates the credit card company offers you! This is the reason it is always advisable to have, and maintain a good credit score!

Family Budget Secrets to lower Household Expenses, Higher Family Income and wise money management

1091

The Home Budget, finances and uncontrolled expenses have caused unhappiness and divorce. Learn the three areas to look for wealth if you want to increase the Family Income and reduce household expenses.

The Family Budget: Consumer Secrets to lower Household Expenses, Higher Family Income and wise money management.

Copyright 2006 AAA Consumer Credit Solutions

A healthy home budget is the key to wealth, success and even a healthy family life. American and Canadian Families could create a much healthier home budget with a bit of discipline and planning. Ask a Consumer and she may tell you, up front, that paying the Grocery Bills gives the greatest cause for concern in the family’s home budget. Too often, money creates family fights. Paying bills, the Home Budget and family finances too often cause divorce. Parents can avoid such calamities with financial discipline, greater research and some professional help. Unfortunately, areas for greatest financial relief too often lie off limits, outside of the usual scrutiny for possible savings in the family’s home budget.

These three areas: Mortgage Payments, Taxation of Income and Credit Card Debts drain away the family’s fortunes in ways we least suspect. In trying to reduce expenses from the Home Budget, you can dismiss high gas prices as a temporary event. Fluctuations in fruit and vegetable prices due to vagaries of the weather can impact the monthly home budget too. Those numbers pale in comparison to the heavy hitters in a home budget, such as Income Taxes paid, Mortgage Interest and excessive and un-necessary loan or Credit Card Payments.

An annual, Income Tax Refund Check can offer relief in many a Family Budget. In order for your family to benefit, you must arrange your finances to profit from all income tax deductions you might be entitled to. You may hear about certain deductions. But since you, like many an employed Consumer, are no Finance Wiz, you tend to ignore them to your peril. Unfortunately, as an Employee, your income tax deductions are limited. They are almost cast in stone by government legislation. As a Business Owner, however, the rules are much more generous. You could save huge sums in income tax payments because of business expenses. Fortunately the distinctions and the rules are not quite as rigid as you might think. Let’s leave out the obvious personal deductions, medical, and educational expenses and similar employee and work related expenses. Here are some additional income tax deductions you can snag if only you had the know-how. These tax deductions, when astutely applied, would add considerable income to your home budget:

1. You can create a Home Based Business and immediately qualify for related expenses as income tax deductions
2. You could increase your Savings for Retirement and for your Pension to create additional income tax deductions
3. You could use Other Peoples Money for Investments. Here again is a third very legit means for tax deductions most Consumers are not familiar with.

These are three key areas around which you could build substantial tax deductible expenses and hence keep a much larger portion of your income. They could add to the Income portion of your Household Budget and significantly reduce expenses.

On the expense side of the Home Budgets, American and Canadian Families pay way too much in housing costs. A recent study of home finance revealed that the cost of housing approaches closer to 50% of the household budget than the 30% and 40% debt service ratios, which bankers use in screening applicants for mortgage financing. Rising House Prices and lower interest charges have allowed many to occupy homes they may soon be unable to afford. Tenants have used rent money to purchase homes. As interest rates continue the recent upward trend, foreclosures will increase and Canadian and American Households as Tenants or Home Owners will be priced out of their regular home expense budget.

Newer approaches to mortgage payments have uncovered huge sums of excess profits that Lenders have been enjoying for years at the expense of the average Home Owner. These studies found that over the life of a mortgage, Consumers typically hand over DOUBLE the Purchase Price of their Homes as extended and un-necessary mortgage payments. At a time of record low interest rates, these large sums represent a voluntary contribution to the Lenders?Profit margins. In the event you are hearing of these developments for the first time, then this over payment of a mortgage applies to you too. Almost every mortgage holder pays too much! Consumers as a group have been cajoled into giving our infinite trust to the Loan or Bank Officers. What we failed to realize is that in the lending industry, no one represents the interests of the Consumer. You must seek out your own professional for help.

The final item of Credit Card Debt relates to impulse buying of clothes, shoes, trinkets, entertainment and vacations, CD’s, snacks, lattes and other consumables. Such expenses dramatically increase the monthly household expenses. As a Parent or Single Mom, responsible for the Home Budget, you would be shocked to review actual expenses from impulse and non-essential purchases. One Bank engages a prominent Financial Planner, who advises Customers to refrain from needless expenses on items such as cigarettes, lattés, candies, coffee, and gum. These savings, they claim, could help to create a tidy retirement fund.

With a bit of discipline, Consumers could reduce expenses by huge amounts in differing ways: 1. At $10.00 a purchase, you could drive a Mercedes Benz by giving up 6000 Trips to the Dollar Store. 2. At $40.00 a pack for cigarettes, a Consumer could have the entire gas bills paid if he simply quit smoking 3. A $250.00 a month Retirement Savings Contribution could result from ignoring the daily craving for an expensive latt?or the three cups of coffee a day habit.

These expenses, when paid by cash, reflect an unnecessary drain on the household budget. Because of service charges, the drain is even more severe when you use Credit Cards and even Debit Cards for small and impulse purchases. All of a sudden, that Latt?which costs you $3.50 is in fact $4.50 if the Credit or Debit Card Company charges a $1.00 fee for each transaction. After one month, that two Lattes-a-day habit becomes a $140.0 a month cost. With maximum financed credit or debit charges they become a $200.00 to $250.00 a month expense.

Consumers can generate huge savings to the Family’s Home Budget from a bit of research and from prudence and discipline in household expenses. It is vital for you to understand mortgages, loans and credit expenses much better. With a little tax planning, some stinginess and some savvy, Consumers can improve the household budget in ways they least expect. As a thrifty Consumer, you must start the search for more efficient ways to run your family’s home budget. The pay back would be terrific.

Have no apprehensions about your personal needs – Immediate decision Bad Credit helps you!

394

Don’t despair, if you have accumulated bad credit score and dread to take finance to meet your personal needs. Immediate decision bad credit loan offers ultimate solace to you.

immediate decision loans, immediate decision credit cards loans, immediate decision Bad Credit Loan, unsecured immediate decision Loan, immediate unsecured same day loans, immediate decision on guaranteed personal loan,

Your bad credits will usually affect your credit standing. County Court judgement, arrears, loan defaults, or bankruptcy affects you and accumulates a bad credit score. Don’t despair, if you have accumulated bad credit score and dread to take finance to meet your personal needs. Immediate decision bad credit loan offers ultimate solace to you. Bad credit personal loans are more often a way to fix your negative credit score. Every time you go for a loan, the bad credit trademark hurts your odds of finding a loan. For a bad credit personal loan, it is necessary to discover your standing as a loan claimant.

They can sometimes also offer a larger rate if you are planning to borrow a lesser sum of money. You absolutely would not benefit from lots of activity on your credit report due to the fact you have made an application to a large number of various personal loan companies to ask how much interest rates will be, so how can you find out about quotes without applying?

Although the financial watchdogs have given notice to personal loan companies that they should promote their typical APR in place of their best quote, you may continue to notice you are given a different interest rate than that which you assumed. The reason why rates of interest could be dissimilar from what you see advertised to that which you are offered is a result of the personal loan companies’ lending conditions.

Immediate decision bad credit loans are designed keeping in mind the borrowers’ inconvenience while dealing with these kinds of situations. As the name suggests, these loans are approved within the same day. The main advantage of availing such loan is that it is available to all sorts of borrower. This implies that borrowers with bad credit, good credit, students, tenant and self employed are all eligible for this loan.

The tenants who have a record of bad credit history due to late payments, arrears, defaults or CCJs can also get immediate decision tenant loans easily. They are only required to satisfy the lender of their repayment ability. The borrowers can easily get these loans from banks or financial institutions. They can also apply through online mode which is an easy and fast method comparatively. You can compare the interest rates and then you may choose the best suited option for yourself.

Creating Surplus Cash For Savings and Investments

860

Living below your means is more a matter of self-discipline. A few adjustments here and there could be all it takes to have the necessary funds available for saving and investing.

Saving, investing, money, debt, spending less, credit cards

You know you need to be saving money but you never seem to have enough at the end of the month or worse, you are further in debt.

Living below your means is more a matter of self-discipline. A few adjustments here and there could be all it takes to have the necessary funds available for saving and investing.

Some mutual funds can be opened up for as little as $200 with minimum contributions around $50.

Here’s a list of ways to save money by spending less.

*Open up bank accounts that have little or no service fees. Keep a cushion to avoid accidental bounced checks. These can eat you alive. Be sure to maintain your minimum balance to avoid service charges.

*Try to avoid banks that charge you a transaction fee for using their debit cards. If you have no choice, plan how much money you will need in a given period and then withdraw it all at once to avoid too many transaction fees.

*Compare credit cards. Look for the ones that have little or no annual fees. It’s not too hard to find those with no annual fee.

*Avoid specialty store charge cards as they often have interest rates six or seven points higher than major credit cards.

*Never choose a card based solely on incentives or reward programs. These include auto reward points and air travel miles. These cards may lead you to spend more money over time than you can afford.

*Most importantly, avoid unnecessary interest charges by paying off the complete monthly balance. You can avoid hundreds of dollars in interest expenses on an annual basis.

*When you buy a car, consider buying one that is one to three years old. A one-year old car will be about 20% to 30% less than a new car. A three-year old car is a good buy because it could be around half the price of a new car. A car depreciates the most in its first three years. After that the depreciation levels off and it will lose less of its value.

*Another good saving when buying a used car is you will pay less for the insurance.

*When going on vacation, consider staying in your home state instead of long distance trips or even international travel. It’s often cheaper to travel within your own borders, that way, you avoid visa and passport costs, border hassles, currency exchanges, tropical shots, medication, and additional health insurance. Frequently, people travel thousands of miles to see sights not nearly as spectacular as what’s next door.

*You should consider off-season vacations. Travel at a time when everyone else is at work or school, and the staff will actually be glad to see you. You may also save 50% or more on the usual travel expenses.

*Avoid large cities and tourist traps; you’ll save a ton by avoiding these places, where you pay more to eat, drink, sleep, and travel. If you do decide to visit a big city, consider accommodations in a smaller town close by.

*If you have a lot of credit card debt at high rates, look into consolidating your debt at a lower rate.

*Refrain from making impulse purchases. Exercise self-discipline.

*Refinance your mortgage or debt at a lower rate.

*Refinance your car loan at a lower rate.

*Shop around for cheaper car insurance rates. There can be a big difference.

*Lower your phone bill by using self-control on long distance calling.

*Use a phone card for long distance or international calls.

*Use coupons when you shop.

*Don’t buy things just because they are on sale.

*Wait for things to go on sale before buying them. Keep a record of when things go on sale. Some items will seasonally go on sale. Ask stores when certain things will go on sale.

*Buy generic, or non-name brand merchandise. Most times the quality is just as good.

*Stop smoking. This habit is extremely expensive.

*Contribute the maximum each year to your 401K or to an IRA.

*Remember, paying down debt is also a way to save money. If you can make extra payments on your mortgage or go for a 15 year mortgage instead of a 30 year mortgage. The savings are enormous.

*Reduce the number of times you eat out. Oftentimes eating out at a restaurant involves paying a lot of money for over-priced and over-sized meals. For healthy meals and to save money, eat at home.

*Watch videos or DVDs at home instead of going to the movies. Pop your own popcorn instead of paying a lot for theater popcorn.

*Evaluate your entertainment and recreational activities. Many are very expensive to participate in. There are many others that are just as fun and entertaining that are at the fraction of the cost.

*Don’t try to compete with your friends and neighbors. Sometimes, an apparent prosperous lifestyle can be an illusion. Those illusions come with a lot of debt. It’s much better to have peace of mind.

Be alert. There are always ways to save money. Soon you will yourself with money you never knew you had. The key is to put that money to work for you instead of spending it.

2006 Economy: How to Avoid Overextending Yourself

344

The U.S. is the world’s largest economy and is moving into its fifth year of expansion. The biggest risk is the housing market which is expected to slow this year and potentially drag the economy down with it. Many people are betting that the housing market will avoid a major crash but instead will plateau leaving prices stagnant. The resulting rise in interest rates could put a lot of families under financial stress.

finance, housing, credit card, economy, 2006

The U.S. is the world’s largest economy and is moving into its fifth year of expansion. The biggest risk is the housing market which is expected to slow this year and potentially drag the economy down with it. Many people are betting that the housing market will avoid a major crash but instead will plateau leaving prices stagnant. The resulting rise in interest rates could put a lot of families under financial stress.

A housing market that is not growing quickly turns into a buyer’s market. People will have a number of houses to choose from which will block any increasing value for current home owners. To most home owners this will not be a problem because they have conventional fixed-rate mortgages and only need to wait until the market improves. People who have unconventional 5-year arms and interest only loans may be seriously hurt; especially if interest rates rise.

“I think one of the principal risks is whether or not home prices decline and the impact that that will have in terms of influencing the savings rate and personal consumption growth as we have already seen in the U.K. and Australia?said David Rosenberg a U.S. economist at Merrill Lynch (Wolk, 2005).

A bigger problem is people’s personal savings rates. Because debt is so easy today and most families are at a maximum borrowing limit many people who will see a jump in their interest payments may begin to default. This default raises the interest rate even further due to increased risks associated with lending money. In the end many people will not have money to spend or save which could have serious consequences for the economy as a whole.

The best measure to avoid such pit falls is to put a larger sum down on your house during purchase which gives you a cushion to work with incase you need to sell your house quickly. The second measure is to avoid all credit card balances, home equity loans and charge cards. Finally, only engage in fixed-rate mortgages.

8 Money Myths

1623

8 Myths about money that harm our financial lives.

Personal Finance

8 Myths About Money
I grew up on a farm in Nebraska. My family had always worked hard for their money, and as a result, I always equated working hard with making money, with no idea that my beliefs could not have been further from truth. As I educated myself on human behavior and financial strategies, I learned that it’s actually the people who make their money work hard for them, rather than the people who work hard for their money, who end up with more of it. Since creating my millionaire-making program, I’ve learned that I was not alone. There are many people who shared this same myth.

Much like our views about many things — people, relationships, food, and health to name a few — our beliefs came from our parents, our teachers, and other adults in our lives. And it goes back even further, beyond them, back to the circumstances through which they lived, or what they learned from their parents, what their parents learned from their parents, and so on. These beliefs are ingrained, and because they’re usually subconscious, the cycles are continuous — until someone breaks them. You can break the cycle. Beliefs about money are many and varied, but in my research, I’ve discovered that there are a few that predominate.

Money is scarce. Several of us have parents or grandparents who lived through the Great Depression, an era that rooted an entire generation in a scarcity mindset. These people passed onto their children the idea that money was in short supply and that when it did surface, spending had to be limited and saving was imperative. If any of the following ever crossed your mind?A penny saved is a penny earned,?”Don’t dip into savings,?or “We can’t afford it?– then you have this perspective and rainy days loom ominously. Money doesn’t grow on trees. These threats create a fearful relationship with money.

Money is evil, dirty, or bad. Several of us have parents or grandparents who believe that the road to bad places is lined with green. They’ve only ever seen the drawbacks of the rat race, the downside of the money chase, and the audacity and indulgence of those with too much money. Some even believe that wealthy people are bad people. Novels and films often highlight the idea that it’s the crooked ones who make the money. The meek shall inherit the earth. Such prophecies create a hands-off relationship with money.

Money comes monthly. The most common way to make a living is to be employed, either with a company or as a skilled professional, with a weekly wage or an annual salary. Historically, this provided the safe, sure thing required by heads of households. Yet, that level of risk was usually balanced with an equal level of reward — low and low. For most, even those who do very well, working for a company or as a skilled professional is a constrained opportunity. Except for the outrageous exceptions, the average CEO of the average company making six figures a year will still experience only a small increase in salary during his or her lifetime. Slow and steady wins the race. Such fables create a cautious relationship to money.

Money is not for me. Some people feel that they don’t deserve to be wealthy or that there is only so much of the millionaire pie to go around. Creating wealth and financial freedom is available to everyone. It is our right to be wealthy, and my hope is that people take their space and know they deserve it. By making money, you are not taking it from someone else; this isn’t Bonnie and Clyde Go to the Bank. By making money, you create a greater capacity to contribute, and it’s your duty to do this. Better them than me. Such adages create a defeated relationship to money.

Money is a man thing. There was a time that men made and managed the household money. That time was not so long ago, and some of you may have grown up with such conditioning. Though there are gender tendencies, for example, men tend to carry more money in their pocket than women and are more likely to invest than women, the reasons behind this are not genetic; they are realities falsely fabricated from years of conditioning. Women and men need to understand that money knows no gender. One of my programs that really resonates with up and coming wealth builders is “Wealth Diva: A Man Is Not a Plan.?This is a must-do seminar for every man and woman, and the daughters and sons they love. Let him bring home the bacon. Such perceptions create an apathetic relationship to money.

Money is good medicine. For some people, retail therapy goes a long way; there’s no difficulty a new blouse can’t cure. At the moment, we live in a culture of consumerism, and many of us use money to fill the unsatisfying holes in our lives. Some people grew up with a sense of entitlement about money, assuming their parents or a trust fund would always pay for everything, and in the process, they became careless about what they had. This is a vicious and unproductive cycle. The new car gets old, the closet fills up with clothes, and the toys pile up in the playroom. This is notto say there aren’t wonderful things to buy and spend our money on; after all, money should be fun. But as with overeating, too much spending on the wrong things can get any of us feeling sluggish and sad. Shop till you drop. Such bombarding messages create a disrespectful or nonchalant relationship to money.

Money is always a menace. For too many of us, money was always a problem. Bills were a hassle, keeping up with the Joneses was exhausting, entrepreneurs were considered nuts, and one’s station in life was, well, stationary. And getting rich would be worse. Money can be such a burden, not to mention all that paperwork and responsibility. These views of money create a perspective that money is actually a problem, not a solution. It’s hard enough just to survive, let alone thrive. Such pessimism creates a negative relationship to money.

Money talk is taboo. Many of us have been brought up to believe that conversations about money are in bad taste. Money and financial success, and failures, are considered personal subjects that shouldn’t be discussed and certainly shouldn’t be taught. Few of us asked our parents how much money they made, and even now, there are people who don’t know their spouse’s salaries. The results have unintended consequences and have created a world where very few people are having real conversations about money and finances, the very conversations they need to learn and succeed. These things are not discussed in polite society, dear. Such a scolding creates an ignorant relationship to money.

In each of these examples, it’s clear that unless your parents made a conscious choice to think and act differently, they conditioned you to have the same mindset as them. If you make a decision to break this cycle, you will have the opportunity to teach your children to have more productive beliefs about, and a more profitable relationship to,money. As you come to understand the beliefs you hold, you will work to change them. Through the action steps in this process, and with the help of mentors and respected friends, you will change your behavior. By sharing your desire for new beliefs and asking your mentors and respected friends to help you spot the subconscious limitations you may be putting on yourself, you will teach your brain to follow your behavior. Begin now by restating your beliefs. For example, if you’ve discovered that you hold any of the above examples as beliefs, you will

1. Change “money is scarce?to “money is abundant?and support a courageous relationship to money.

2. Change “money is evil, dirty, or bad?to “money is good and acceptable?and create a hands-on relationship to money.

3. Change “money comes monthly?to “money comes from a range of sources?and create an opportunistic relationship to money.

4. Change “money is not for me?to “who better than me for money to come to?and create an empowered relationship to money.

5. Change “money is a man thing?to “I can and will know about and understand money,?and create a thoughtful relationship to money.

6. Change “money is good medicine?to “money is a tool to help make my life better?and create a respectful and concerned relationship to money.

7. Change “money is a menace?to “money is a solution?and create a positive relationship to money.

8. Change “money talk is taboo?to “money talk is vital?and create a knowledgeable relationship to money.

You can see how much better it is to be courageous, hands-on, opportunistic, empowered, thoughtful, respectful and concerned, positive, and knowledgeable than to be fearful, hands-off, cautious, defeated, apathetic, disrespectful and nonchalant, negative, and ignorant. The choice is yours and it looks like you’re well on your way. You’ve already taken a huge step by deciding to actually take the first step. By making the decision to start right now, you have created the opportunity to raise your financial consciousness and change your life.

Copyright ?2006 Loral Langmeier from the book The Millionaire Maker McGraw-Hill; December 2005;$24.95US/$00.00CAN; 0071466150

Loral Langemeier is a master coach, financial strategist, and team-made multimillionaire who reaches thousands of individuals each year. She is the founder of Live Out Loud, a coaching and seminar company that teaches her trademarked program Wealth Cycles.