You Gotta Have a Plan


If you want to succeed, you need a plan.

financial planning, personal finance, debt managment, saving and investment

How that is some people can retire at 50? Or not lose their shirt when there’s a stock market “crash?

Why are some people able to earn high incomes or even have “multiple streams of income?

How come some people retire to a life of luxury and world travel, while others barely have enough to feed and house themselves?

Of course, one part of it the answer is that some people are more intelligent and industrious than others. No matter what anyone says, we are not all the same. We may have been created equal, but no one has ever guaranteed us equality of results. That depends on our own efforts.

Another part of the answer is that some people consider the risks they will face and do something before they occur to mitigate the damages. One obvious way of doing this is by buying the proper kinds and amount of insurance to protect your home, health and life ?if you have an income stream to protect.

Less obvious, but still a very helpful plan is to become an expert at whatever you choose to do ? to make yourself indispensable to your employer.

If you work for yourself, you want to be the best at whatever it is you’re doing, from practicing medicine to baking bread. You also have to have the will to persevere and work long hours at making yourself a success.

Yet another part of the answer is having a plan. Some people get up in the morning and let events carry them along through their day. Others plan what they will do with their life and stick to it.

They will learn about investments and how to diversify, so that when one asset goes down another holds its own or goes up. Or they will hire financial profesionals to do the work for them.

They save as much money as possible, using every tax sheltered vehicle allowed, including 401-K’s, IRA’s, Health Savings Plans and 529 educational savings plans. And then they will invest even more in taxable accounts.

They live well within their means. Some like Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men, lives well under theirs. They will use credit judiciously or not at all.

Successful people will invest in businesses, rental real estate or work part time, while maintaining their full time job just so they have many streams of income. If one is lost, their world does not come to an end.

Many people play the lottery and hope they will strike it rich. The sad fact is that many think this is the only way get rich. But anybody with the will can find the way.

Our public libraries are filled with books on how to invest, how to insure yourself, how to set up a financial plan or how to open and run a business.

Many employers have tuition reimbursement plans ?they will pay your way if you want to better yourself. Or community colleges offer free adult education courses to help you learn new skills or improve on the old.

The internet now makes it easy to set up an online business while you continue with your day job.

The bottom line is you have to rely on yourself to earn and save as much as possible. If you do you can be one of the “lucky?ones who retire young with lots of money to spend.

If you don’t you’ll be living hand to mouth on your Social Security check.

The choice is yours.

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The Road to Financial Freedom


With a solid plan you can grow wealthy.

financial planning, personal finance, debt management

The road to financial freedom is a lot shorter than you may think. For those of us who did not start our lives wealthy because of our family, we only have 46 to 49 years of income producing ?more if you want to work into your “retirement?years.

During that time, we must complete our education or training, get a job or open a business, while meeting the many demands on what income we have left after

We have to provide for food and shelter, clothes and transportation, child rearing expenses, college tuition, vacations, Christmas presents, insurance premiums and more. The list never seems to end.

How is it that some people can retire at age 50 in spite of all this while others will never retire at all. If you read the article, Get Rich Slowly – – you can see how you can use the power of compound growth to amass millions if you start young. However, this is the period in
most people’s lives where the greatest demands seem to be made on their income.

First of all, you’re just starting out and are nowhere near your peak earning power. You might have just married and need a home and furnishings.

You might have to buy your first suits or business dresses for your new job. And you want to enjoy life, so you vacation, buy or lease new cars frequently and just basically run up debt, many times to be piled on top of your existing student loans.

But some people manage.

First they live within their means and save as much as possible.

They take advantage of all the tax shelters the government allows and if possible, save even more.

They invest in or start a part time business, rental properties or learn to increase their returns by smart investing.

They insure against potential risks that could ruin them financially.

They use debt wisely. They don’t necessarily shun debt, but use it as a tool to grow wealth. For example, they can leverage one 20% down payment into a string of
houses using mortgages. They can use margin debt to double the amount of their investment funds.

They can take advantage of tax credits, government guaranteed loans or grants offered to small businessmen or to certain minorities to fund multiple streams of income.

But they don’t use debt to fill the house with things. They pay cash for their new TV’s and stereos.

They take taxes into account when planning their lifestyle and investments and use all the tricks the IRS lets them get away with.

For a little over $3.00 a day, starting at age 22, you can amass over $850,000 in an IRA.

The difference between the financially independent and most of the rest of us is that they can find that $100 a month and don’t consider it some kind of sacrifice to invest it rather than spend it.

Most people will complain they have no money left over and that they live from paycheck to paycheck. But in almost all cases this is a lifestyle choice.

There are many stories of very low income people managing to put multiple children not only through college, but also graduate school or leaving millions to a favorite

These people are special in the sense that they had a goal and stuck to it no matter what. They worked hard, saved their money and achieved what they wanted to achieve.

Everyone can do this. You just have to ignore the siren song of commercialism, and decide whether a secure future for yourself, a college education for your children or a large bequest to your favorite charity is worth skipping the daily double latte at Starbucks.

That about all it takes to get you well down the road to financial freedom.

The road to financial freedom is literally paved with gold, yours for the taking.

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Should I Look For Financing Before I Make A Major Purchase?


Get your financing before you shop for your major purchase so you can save money! This is very important. You could save yourself lots of money by doing your research before you buy! Find out tips on where you should consider looking for your financing needs!

financing,vehicle financing,home financing,pre approved, personal finance,financial planning,credit

Yes, yes and yes! Get your financing before you start shopping for a home, vehicle or other major purchase. By doing this beforehand you’ll save yourself lots of money! Not only that, you’ll be in a great position to negotiate your purchase with the seller. There are so many ways that you can shop for your financing these days. Here are some tips and information to assist you with finding out where you can start looking for your financing needs:

1) Using the internet is a great way to do research on your financing. The internet provides you with an array of financing options to choose from. You get to check on what company provides you with the best interest rate for your needs. You’ll even find financing options you didn’t even realize are available to you.

2) Your own bank. Go to your bank and apply for the financing you need. Get pre approved for your loan prior to making your purchase. What better place to secure your financing than your own bank! You’re banking with them so why not consider giving them the opportunity to help you with your major purchase. Just make sure the interest rate their charging you is a good one!

3) Consider credit union financing. Sometimes you’ll find lower interest rates for that major purchase you’re trying to make via a credit union. Credit unions are also competing for your business as well and have become major players in the financial world these days. This is good, because you have another outlet to secure your financing from.

4) Check your local newspaper, phone book and other media sources for prospective companies that provide financing that you may consider using.

5) As a last resort, consider using the seller’s financing provided. The seller may have competitive interest rates you may be interested in applying for to make the major purchase you’re interested in.

So as you can see, there are several financing options available to you to secure your financing before you make your major purchase! You’ll have the edge on your seller when you’re getting ready to make your purchase. Yes that’s right! You can negotiate how much you’re paying for that home, vehicle or other major purchase before you sign on the dotted line. You’re in the driver’s seat because you have your money already, remember you’re already pre approved! So, let the negotiations for your major purchase begin!

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The Four Golden Rules Of Personal Finance


Many successful people have mentors to guide them in learning the skills that lead to achievement, and I’ll do my best to offer you some critical personal finance perspectives. They say that life is a school where you learn the lesson after the test. The same thing applies to money, but you can’t go back in time to fix catastrophic financial mistakes that you have made over time. As long as you are alive, you are a player on the field of the money-game, and you need to know t…

personal finance,savings,debt management,credit cards

Many successful people have mentors to guide them in learning the skills that lead to achievement, and I’ll do my best to offer you some critical personal finance perspectives. They say that life is a school where you learn the lesson after the test. The same thing applies to money, but you can’t go back in time to fix catastrophic financial mistakes that you have made over time. As long as you are alive, you are a player on the field of the money-game, and you need to know the basic rules before you get tagged by the experienced players.

Rule #1: To earn money from money. The only way to escape becoming a wage slave for the rest of your life is to set aside savings. The profit on your savings can be used to increase your lifestyle spending, reduce the number of years until you retire, or allow you to actually have any retirement at all. How are you doing so far toward saving and getting it to earn money for you?

Every dollar that you spend eliminates its ability to earn money for you in the future. I am not recommending that you stop eating at restaurants and going to movies, I am recommending that you use some common sense, like looking at your four biggest expenses over the last few months and aggressively finding a way to reduce them.

The biggest obstacle for the first rule is personal debt of any kind (other than a mortgage for your home) or a lease of any kind. Every personal debt that you incur reduces your net worth which could have been working for you over your life time. Acquiring personal debt is exactly like putting a large hole in your wallet. In the money-game, a huge transfer of wealth occurs between the ‘Haves?and the ‘Have-Nots?over the words, “I can afford that monthly payment.?Here is a hint: the “Have-Nots?are the ones who make that statement. So please don’t ever look at whether you can afford a monthly payment to make a purchase; pay in cash after you’ve saved for the item. [Everything that you buy with a 0%-interest payment plan must be over-priced. Behind the scenes, your payment contract is sold to a lender with an interest rate, and retailers don’t do this without building-in an acceptable profit for themselves. Ask retailers how much the item will cost if you pay in full, and you could get a lower price.]

Rule #2 Always keep your finances under control. The first step in losing financial control and spiraling into debt and money problems is simply not dealing with personal finances. Prepare for catastrophic financial accidents with health, life, disability, and auto insurance. Plan and save before you buy something. Create a balance sheet for yourself at least once a year to see how you are progressing. Pay every bill on time, or contact the creditor to tell them what is going on and make a partial payment. If you are temporarily unable to handle any of this, ask for some help immediately and find someone trustworthy who will do this for you.

The most common source of financial trouble is a trauma in your life. This can be a health problem (large expenses or unable to work), an emotional problem (divorce or loss of loved one), or a financial problem (losing a job, cut in pay, relocation, unexpected expenses). Whichever the source may be, it leads to three emotional problems: the first is denial, the second is being overwhelmed, and the third is hopelessness. Denial causes people to not open their mail and continue spending as usual, and being overwhelmed paralyzes people from getting assistance and dealing with the situation. For example, if you just lost a loved one, balancing your checkbook and paying bills is not high in your priorities. Unfortunately, tiny amounts of debt grow with interest and penalties into seemingly insurmountable mountains of debt; leaving you with loathsome options such as bankruptcy, poor credit, declining lifestyle spending, and added stress that you bring to relationships and work.

Rule #3 Pay attention to the finances of the people with whom you spend the most time. Whether they are relatives, friends, or co-workers, these people have the most impact on your financial life. Do they consistently follow the first two rules of the money game? Do they earn about the same money as you? If the answer to either of those is “no? then I recommend that you start spending a little less time with them; and this is why. If they don’t consistently follow the first two rules, it is unlikely that you will either. You unconsciously model the people around you, and the more people you are exposed to that don’t follow the first two rules, the more likely that you will unwittingly follow them. No one thinks they are ‘trying to keep up with the Joneses? but we all do it to some extent, and this is the mechanism. On the other hand, if they earn a lot more money than you, you may rack up a lot of debt trying to keep up with them (meeting them at their favorite expensive restaurant, joining them for another expensive vacation, buying a new car because yours is the junker among all of your friends, etc.) On the other hand, if most of your friends earn a lot less than you, you will turn into the group’s banker. For example, you’ll find yourself in the pattern of putting your credit card down to pay for dinner and they’ll all say they’ll pay you back later, but 50% of them never do; and they don’t mind taking advantage of you because, after all, you earn a lot more than they do. Or, you and your friends need to pay a deposit for renting a house and they expect you to write the checks because you have the money available and they do not.

The neighborhood that you live in also creates financial pressure to violate the first two financial goals. Your neighbors are likely to become friends (and I’ve already gone over this), but they also influence the size of your home, extent of your landscaping, price of furniture, and the size of your TV. So pay very close attention to the finances of your neighbors ?if you don’t like how they are measuring up for first two rules, move somewhere more in alignment with your financial goals. If your family and friends, don’t measure up financially, find some additional people to spend time with that have financial habits that you’d like to emulate and learn from. I have friends with a wide range of income, but it is much more difficult to follow the first two money rules when I am with the extremes from my own income. You’ll just find it easier to reach the next rule when the peer group that you hang out with aligns closer to your economic level.

Rule #4 Accelerate the other three rules:
Add to your savings by increasing your income through advancing your career. It doesn’t matter whether you enjoy it; it is a means to an end ?with the end being progress toward the fulfillment of rule #1. Increase the amount that you save by aggressively lowering four of your highest expenses. Start spending time with people that talk about investing money and are systematically building their wealth the fastest. The combination of all four of these rules will hopefully offer a next-step for you to take today to start getting more ‘wins?in the money-game.

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