Archive for December, 2008

3 D’s of Financial Discipline

December 31, 2008

A new year present opportunities for better money management.  It also holds the opportunity to repeat your past mistakes.  If you wish to have more success financially, please read the rest of this article.

1) DEVOTE TO A BUDGET

While the term “budget” may leave a bad taste in your mouth, it is a must to succeed financially.  Every dollar spent must have a destination.  Money that doesn’t have a destination ends up being spent frivolously.  Having a budget “in your head” is not enough.  It must be in writing before the first dollar is spent.  There are good budget programs available in software like Microsoft Money and Quicken.  Each expenditure can be listed with the monthly amount entered in each listing.  If the idea of a budget seems restrictive, go ahead and budget a “fun money” line item for you and your spouse.  This amount needs to be agreed upon by each spouse.

2) DECIDE WHAT MATTERS

What you spend money on reflects your priorities.  Spending $1,500 on a comfy cruise without an emergency fund says something about your priorities.  What percentage of your budget is spent on needs vs. wants?  The payments you’re making on that flat screen TV…they would come under “want.”  Your house payment would be a “need.”  If your budget is devoted more to needs than wants you can say that you’re on the right track.  As mentioned earlier,  having some fun spending in the mix is tolerable as long as it’s within reason.  After all, all work no play makes Jack an incontent boy.

3) DELAY GRATIFICATION

You can’t always get what you want.  I’m sure there’s a song with such lyrics out there.  The artist’s name evades me right now.  The quicker you realize this principle, the further progress you will make to financial success.  This simply means saving for future expenses.  Yes that other dreaded word in this post, SAVE.  It’s well known that American families are saving less and less these days.  Are you willing to wait to enjoy reaching a goal?  Do you have to have it now?  What is your preference?  Saving monthly to enjoy that great vacation a year from now?  or whipping out the plastic for a Visa Vacation?  Your answer will tell how well you’re willing to wait.  Have a great and disciplined new year!

 

 

 

 

The Makings of a Good (Financial) Goal

December 29, 2008

A good financial goal must meet several criteria before being called “good.”  Below are the characateristics of a good financial goal:

Measurable.  You must ba able to chart progress.  If there is no measurement then you can’t identify if you’re progressing or not.

Specific.  The goal must have specific timelines in which it must be achieved.  To say “lose more weight” is not enough.  To say “lose 15 pounds in 45 days” is specifically stated.

Realistic.  Can your goal be achieved?  If you select unrealistic terms it will not be a good goal.  To use the previous example, desiring to lose 15 pounds in 7 days would classify as unrealistic.  The goal must be realistic to have a true chance of being achieved.

Sample Goal:  To fund a $1,000 emergency fund by June 2009.

Is it measurable? Yes

Is it specific? Yes

Is it realistic?  It depends on your situation.  Do the math.  $1,000/6 = 166.66 saved per month.  If you don’t have this much avilable to be set aside then a 12 month time horizon ($83.33 per month) may be more realistic.

When setting a financial goal ask your self the following questions:     Is it measurable? Is it specific?  Is it realistic?                                            

This should help you know if you’re on your way to success.

IT’S THE LITTLE FOXES (EXPENSES) THAT ROB THE VINES

December 26, 2008

If you desire to have financial success in your life you have to ACCOUNT FOR THE LITLE THINGS.   Expenses like car repairs, rec league sign ups, and clothings needs don’t occur every month like other things on your budget.  It’s important to plan ahead and see the needs before they get to you.  The best way to address this issue is a savings account that you can store this “irregular expense” money in.  Things will break and need repair.  Children do grow.  Oftentimes we get into financial straits because we haven’t accounted for “the little things.”  Having an emergency fund with a minimum of $500.00 can help be prepared for the unexpecteds of your financial life.  As you appraoch a new year it’s a great time to map out your plan to ward of those “financial foxes.”  Have a great new year!

Hello world!

December 26, 2008

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