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 Building Wealth, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, You and Your Money

The Silliest Thing I Ever Heard

Today, I heard something that really floored me.  A lady tweeted a negative comment to a colleague of mine and she said “Things cost more if you are poor, everything!”  At first I laughed at the absurdity of this statement, but then I began to realize she truly believed this.  And with this mindset, she is going to stay poor forever.

We all have the same opportunities.

We all pay the same thing for stuff.

We all can be millionaires.

These are all true statements, but you have to believe them in order for them to come true for you.  Everyone has the opportunity to get a job, excel at that job, move up in career and do well.  This is the same whether you work at McDonalds or a Fortune 500 company.  This isn’t determined by your education.  It is determined by your work ethic and believing in always doing your best.  It is the key to succeeding and going far – not your pay or where you work.  But if you choose to be a victim of your circumstances your whole life, you won’t go very far at all.  Some may have it a little bit easier, but where you end up is all up to you.

A loaf of bread cost the same for me as it does you.  A shirt or pair of jeans cost the same for me as it does for you.  Wal-Mart doesn’t run a D&B report in order to know what to charge you.  They charge everyone the exact same thing.  However, your ability to pay may be different than mine because of the choices that we have both made.  As stated in the previous paragraph, you job, career and pay are determined by how hard you are willing to work for it.  If you aren’t willing to work as hard as someone else, you may not have the same income as they do.  A manager at McDonald’s makes the same as an entry level bookkeeper.  One requires education and one doesn’t.  There are no excuses for getting what you want, but it is excuses that will keep you where you are.

We can all be millionaires.  Most of you aren’t sure about this one.  But if you invest just $100 a month from age 25-65 into a good growth stock mutual fund, you will have around $1.7 million when you retire.  And even the guy making minimum wage can find $100 a month.  You are where you are because of choices.  And you will end up where you end up because of choices.  If you choose cable, eating out, movies, car payments, cell phones, etc. over investing that $100, then you will not be a millionaire.  But if you choose to invest the $100 and build your budget around the rest of your pay, you will be a millionaire no matter where you work or what you make.

I really wish I could have had 2 minutes with the lady who wrote the comment.  Although, sadly, after the 2 minutes nothing probably would have changed.  You see, people want an excuse to stay where they are because it is hard work to succeed.  To succeed in your finances means you have to be a big boy/girl and put on your big boy/girl pants and make good decisions.  This can be challenging at times because it means saying no some things or maybe saying not now to others.  So we take the easy way out – or what seems to be the easy way.  However, I’ve been broke and it ain’t easy.  I find the life I have now much easier even though I don’t get everything I want.

To the lady who wrote the comment, let’s talk.  And to all of you out there, you can do it.  You can have a career, you can make a great income and you can make wise financial decisions that fall within the boundaries of that income.  I know people who make $200,000 a year and are broke and I know people who make $30,000 a year and are in great shape financially.  It is all about choices.  And if you are that $30,000 guy or gal, be grateful and content during this season, but don’t stay there.  Always be working toward bigger and better.  You are awesome and you are worth it and with a little hard work, you can get there!

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!