Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, Building Wealth, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

It’s New Sponge Day!

Ok, it’s not as exciting as it sounds.  But it makes me happy because it is a monthly reminder of how I saved money and how I learned patience.  Let me explain.

About a year ago, I needed a new kitchen sponge – a simple 2-sided sponge (one spongy, one scrubby).  I had been buying the generic brand at Wal-Mart for 97 cents and making it last as long as I could.  I did try to buy 2 at a time because the less I go to Wal-Mart the better.   About this time, we signed my daughter up for 6 free months of Amazon Prime (a deal for college students).  One day I was doing some comparison shopping and found a 21 pack of the Scotch brand of sponges for just 63 cents per sponge.  That was a savings of 34 cents a month, I got the brand name and I didn’t have to go to the store every month to get a new one.  And with this, I could have a new, clean sponge every month which was great for my OCD.

See, I told you it wasn’t very exciting.  But when you have a savings mindset, every penny counts.  Today, when I opened that new sponge, it was just a reminder of the money that I had saved.

A savings mindset will not make you wealthy in and of itself, but it will definately contribute to it.   Many people focus all of their energy on savings.  Others, focus all of their energy on bringing in more money.  But it is having a great balance of both that will bring you wealth.  Building wealth is a lifestyle not just a diet.  And like a diet, all the plans out there for building wealth will work for a short time, but in order to sustain, you must make lifestyle changes.

After I had my aha moment 19 years ago, I didn’t just become debt free over night and start building wealth.  As a matter of fact, I would pay off a few credit cards and find myself using them again.  The reason was I didn’t have the right mindset.  I was taking the actions but my mind, and as a result my habits, weren’t changing.  When I realized this little gem, my finances starting changing dramatically and have been ever since.

Whether it is sponges, toilet paper, paper towels, or anything else you find a way to save a few pennies on, celebrate the savings because by saving money you are building a savings mindset and that along with increasing income will bring you to where you want to be – building wealth and reaching financial freedom

For more about how Debbi got out of $200,000 worth of debt as a single mom making $10,000 a year and to learn everything she learned in her journey, check out her best selling, award winning book “The ABC’s of Personal Finance” wherever books are sold and in ebook form on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, & Google Play.  

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Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, Credit Cards, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

Awesome Budget Tips – Carrie Wilkerson

As promised on this week’s broadcast/podcast, I am sharing these great budget tips from @CarrieWilkerson.  She is a fellow motivational speaker and author and when I read this, I knew you needed it, even as a reminder, because I did.  What I loved about it is she, like me, didn’t sugar coat it.  Sometimes we share dessert with you, making what we have to say go do smooth.  But every so often we need to give you meat & vegetables to keep you healthy in your life and in your finances.  I hope you will read this the way it was intended – with lots of love and support.

You can win in your finances – you will win in your finances!  But the decision is yours.  You are the author of your own story!  Write a best seller!

Some budget tips…

[SPEND LESS]

+ If you want to make more, spend less. #truestory
+ If you’re complaining about being broke, spend less.
+ If you’re stressed about minimum payments or juggling dollars, spend less.
+ If you’re mad at yourself or your spouse or fighting about money, spend less.
+ If you’re jealous of other folks because of ______ then spend less.
+ If you want more choices about where to live, what to drive, where the kids go to school, quitting your job or having some options… SPEND LESS.

This is where it STARTS. YES – you can make more with your business. YES – you can still work to change your circumstance- but first SPEND LESS.

[BE AWARE]

Evaluate EVERY expense. Is is NECESSARY or just something you ‘deserve’?

What if you did ‘without it’ for a few weeks/months? Would it change your quality of life?

Print out 3-6 months of credit card and debit card statements.

+ Highlight EVERY recurring charge.
+ Highlight EVERY disposable thing.
+ Highlight EVERY spontaneous purchase.
+ Highlight EVERY expense for something you don’t wear/play with/use/cook with/read or watch anymore.
+ Highlight EVERY unlicensed therapy expense (meaning you were self medicating with food/shopping/movies/girl time/drinks/etc.

Then… (here’s the hard part) – STOP THOSE THINGS.

Also – evaluate insurance, credit card rates, cable plans (unplug it), phone plans (downgrade) and new clothes (seriously. stop)

When I’m getting ahold of my sloppy financial habits again (this is a process, you know I’ve paid off boatloads of debt MORE THAN ONCE #slowlearner) —-

I ALSO DO THESE THINGS….

[BLINDERS ON]

I UNSUBSCRIBE from email ‘sales and newsletters’ – can’t buy what I don’t see!

I THROW AWAY catalogs that come in the mail – they don’t even come INTO THE HOUSE. Do NOT fool yourself ‘I’m just getting ideas, I’m making a wishlist, I’m just planning for when I can afford it.’ – NO NO NO NO – THROW IT AWAY. It will still be available for purchase when you can afford it. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER SALE.

I do NOT click on Facebook ads (those things follow you around and wear you down until you cannot help but buy. STOP IT)!

I do NOT attend home parties or demonstrations or trade shows or craft fairs or open houses or garage sales or ANYTHING WITH THE CHANCE TO BUY. Not when I’m reining it in. NOPE.

I TAKE THE APPS off my phone… Amazon, Starbucks, Instacart, ZigZag, Macys – ALL OF IT — OFF THE PHONE. Y’all – they have us figured out… if we can purchase with a click and without a brain, they WANT THAT. STOP THAT MESS. TAKE OFF THE APPS.

During commercials on TV I pick a project. I might tidy the sink or move a load from washer to dryer or go outside with the dogs – I AVOID MARKETING MESSAGES. YES – this is extreme. So is debt. So is financial stress. So is bankruptcy. So is NOT PAYING YOUR BILLS.

I SHOP in my CLOSET. IF I see an outfit I like on someone else or on FB — I go into my closet and drawers and put together something similar. Or do without.

I grocery shop ONCE a week and plan meals ahead of time to avoid mealtime meltdown and drive through overspends.

I use cash instead of cards.
I think in terms of effort… “how many xx do I have to sell or hours do I have to work to pay for this delivery pizza instead of doing a frozen pizza?”

YES DELIVERY TASTES BETTER… but debt free tastes BEST. #TrustMe

Don’t be a victim to marketing messages, bad habits, lack of will power and deserve levels.

Think of what you what MOST (financial stress-lessness and freedom) instead of what you want NOW (cute shoes or a top).

Think of WHY you’re so quick to spend and what you are self-medicating about or delaying…

You can do this.
I do a spending freeze at least once a year. It’s not fun but it keeps me in check.

This is a TOUGH time of year to do it – but HONESTLY… the MOST EFFECTIVE time of year! If you wait until JANUARY… how many more THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS will you have overspent??

Change your habits. Change your life. #DareYa

#1 — SPEND LESS
#2 — BE AWARE
#3 — BLINDERS ON!

 

Have a blessed day and please share this great information with your friends and followers!

Look out for Debbi’s new book, “50 Shades of Money”, in a few months.  Until then, check out her best selling , award winning book “The ABC’s of Personal Finance” on her website, http://www.debbiking.com or anywhere books are sold!

Posted in Budgeting for Everyone, Building Wealth, Financial Freedom, Quick Guide to Insurance, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

6 Types of Mandatory Insurance

health-insurance

In today’s insurance world, there are hundreds of types of insurances available.  This can be overwhelming at times – trying to decide what you should have and what is just a gimmick.  With so many gimmick insurances out there that sound good, I want to help you sort through them so that you have everything you need in case “life” happens to you.  Today, I want to share the 6 types of insurance policies everyone should have.

  1. Home/Renters – If you live on your own, you need some type of insurance to cover your belongings.  Home insurance is obvious and is required by mortgage companies to have.  But renters insurance is just as important.  If you are renting, you don’t need to replace the actual home/unit you live in.  However, your stuff is valuable and you would want something in place to cover if anything happens to it.  Renters insurance is extremely inexpensive.  Just like all insurance, don’t overbuy.  A $10,000 policy is enough in most cases.  Take an inventory and make sure you have enough to cover your valuables.
  2. Auto – Auto insurance is another mandatory insurance if you own a vehicle.  Make sure you have enough to cover the car you own and that you have the right coverage for the age of the vehicle.  Make sure your deductible is in line with your emergency fund.  If you have a good emergency fund, raise your deductible in order to save money.  Going from $500 to $1000 can save you hundreds a year.
  3. Health – At the moment health insurance is mandatory with a penalty if you don’t have it.  But many Americans have chosen to pay the penalty over having the insurance.  I know health insurance is crazy right now, but not having it can cost you way more than having it.  You may be young and healthy, but that can change in a moment.  Our son had his appendix removed a few years ago and without insurance it would have cost over $50,000.  Without some form of health insurance he would have been responsible for that and most 26 year olds don’t have that kind of cash laying around.  Shop around and find some form of health insurance even if the deductible is a little high.  $5,000 is easier to pay off than $50,000.
  4. Life – If you have a spouse, kids, a house, debt, you must have life insurance.  When you die, you don’t want to leave a burden for your spouse or family.  At the very least, get a term policy to cover your income and debt.  Ideal is to get 10 times your income and I highly recommend this, but so many people get no insurance because they think they can’t afford the ideal.  Start somewhere and add to it as you can.  Term is always better than life, but something is better than nothing.
  5. Long Term Care – If you are 60 or older, you need long term care insurance.  People are living longer and the price of elderly care is rising.  The younger you are when you get long term care insurance, the less expensive it is.  And if you all the sudden are diagnosed with something, you may not be able to get it.  Remember, this doesn’t just cover a nursing home – it covers in home care and many other items that health insurance won’t cover.
  6. Long Term Disability – What would happen to your finances if you were disabled or had a long term health condition?  This insurance will help relieve the stress of an already stressful situation.  Again, this is a relatively inexpensive insurance, but can change your world if needed.

There are a few other that may be good to have in your situation – umbrella policy, identity theft insurance, etc.  But you need to understand that many policies seem like a good idea, but are really just gimmick insurances.  2 examples come to mind right away – pet insurance and cancer insurance.  An emergency fund will cover any pet costs and your health insurance and long term disability will cover cancer cost.  If you run the numbers on this policies, you would see that if you take what the policy costs and save it, you will be covered if the emergency happens.

So now that you are ready to get your insurance portfolio up to date, where do you go?  I always recommend an independent agent who can shop the best policy and company for you among hundreds.  Your goal is to get exactly what you need at the best possible price.  You may be saying “I can’t afford all this insurance” but can you really afford to not have it?  Shop around and set a goal to have all six in place as soon as you can.  You won’t regret it!