Tag: Debt

Wishing is different than doing!

star141Most of the people I meet, are in “The Secret” frenzy, in positive thinking, in submitting to the fates.
Meditation, praying, visualizing, positive thinking, are all great and do work if you know how to use those tools. Simply sending positive thoughts out “there” and believing that some supreme being will bring it to you is wrong.
If you REALLY want to have food at your table, you have to work HARD to get it. Continue reading “Wishing is different than doing!”

Holidays are around the corner

November is already here and with it starts a frenzy of spending.

This is a very good time to budget your expenses, because most of my clients come to me wide eyed after the Holidays asking themselves where all the money went. We tend to forget that the year comes to an end and we need to prepare for taxes. Do you have all your ducks in a row?

I have talked about creating a budget in the past. If you haven’t done so, PLEASE start now. Make sure that you are out of debt! If you have consumer debt (credit cards, store cards, etc.) get creative about the upcoming Holidays. Expensive gifts are not going to help you with your debt, and don’t show how much you love your friends and family.
Start simply with an excel sheet, write down ALL your monthly expenses and include your credit card debt payments.
On the next column write down what you bring in every month. Subtract expenses from income and see what you have left.

If there is nothing left, then you have to set some goals and get rid of your debt as fast as possible. Wait to do some basic shopping after Thanksgiving, when prices are at their best.
Make a very conservative list of people you NEED to buy presents for. If you have kids, they don’t need 20 presents each. They can do with 2. Don’t fall for the social pressure trap, and never compare your situation with others. Everyone has their own financial situation and never forget that we create our situation.

Make these Holidays simple, happy and surrounded only by people that truly matter. You can absolutely decline invitations that do not mean anything more than more expenses, and that are not surrounded by friends.

I have cut my list down to 8 people. Everyone else, like colleagues, social acquaintances, my hair and nail salon people etc., will be very happy to receive a small package of cookies or a cake that you baked. You can easily find cheap festive baking pans in your local super market, and simply bake something. The cost of this will only thank your wallet.

I will be posting more ideas as the days go by. Have a great November, and remember! Good finances give you absolute freedom from stress and anxiety.

 

 

 

Are we repeating the same mistakes?

Live within your NEEDS instead of within your WANTS!

This is the mantra you must learn and repeat daily. The economy is changing, I see credit card offers coming back, I see loan offers for home buyers, I see the past coming back and fast.

Haven’t we learned from the past? Haven’t we seen and felt the results of our past actions?

And when disaster strikes again what will we say then? “Oh I thought that this time things would be different?”

Wake up people. See what’s happening all around the world. Banks are failing, money is not a granted commodity any longer. Make sure that you always have an emergency fund. Financial gurus all over the world are sick and tired of repeating this.

STUFF is not important. Having a roof over your head, and food is important. Having money to pay your bills is important. And when I say bills, I don’t mean debt! Having some money aside in case you get sick.
Good finances is a way of living, is a mentality. Why do you think you need 40 pair of shoes? Why don’t you get the same happy feeling deep down when you see that you have a stash of money and you owe zero? Why do you like to be a sheep following the consumer craze blindly? Take a look around you, and stop for a moment. Think! Seriously think about millions of people who don’t have a job, who lost all their savings because the Banks decided to do so, who are losing their homes because they can’t afford to pay mortgages, or utilities. Yes this is happening people.

Do yourselves a favor and change mentality before it is too late and you come back crying and desperate because you have no way out. You do have a way out. STAY debt free. Live within your needs.

Don’t give lame excuses like oh but this dress is on sale. Do you own a dress? Then you don’t need another one if you don’t even have a budget.

My tone is harsh, I know. But this is the only way to scare you into reality. I have customers who come to me always saying the same words: “Why didn’t I listen to you earlier?” I hear it so many times that I am about to make a huge poster and hang it behind my desk.

Learn to have a budget. It is not rocket science. How much do you make, how much you you NEED to spend? (Rent/mortgage, utilities, gas, car payment, health insurance, taxes, groceries, gas). That’s it.

Hairdos, manicures, lattes, clothes, accessories and facials do not fall in the NEED category. There is so much that any coach can do if you don’t understand the basics of good housekeeping. Keep your financial house in order.

I will write more on this next week. In the meantime, stay out of trouble! I mean it.

 

4 Ways to Conquer the Debt Beast!

Debt, debt, debt! It seems like this word has become our nemesis and we are all looking the other way to make it disappear. I was right there, until I got really mad at myself for feeling defeated.

Debt can feel so big and overwhelming that it almost feels like it is a living breathing creature, a beast. I decided to use the idea of debt as a beast as a tool to help me fight.

“Hey Debt! Can you hear me?? Are you playing David and Goliath with me? Do you know who won in the end? I will beat you!”

You may be laughing at my childish outburst, but this really gave me the power to start my war to conquer this beast. Here are the four keys to my success in fighting the debt beast, maybe they will work for you….

1. The first thing I did, was sit and write down what I spend and why. Then, I started deleting all the “extra stuff” like new shoes, clothes, music, restaurants and did not stop until I was satisfied from the outcome of the first battle. NOTHING is more important in life than ourselves. No clothes, no jewelry, no restaurant. NOTHING.

2. The next step was to ask for help. Me, ask for help? Well, yes I did and it feels wonderful, because the feeling of receiving actual help is lifting a ton of weight from our shoulders. You have to look at this in a very cool fashion. It isn’t personal; it’s just part of life. Be honest with yourself, and you’ll see that nothing can hold you back once you get in the mindset to live a debt free life.

3. Be happy and live within your means. It feels so good to look the debt beast in the eye every month and say: “Ah I just cut another limb from your ugly body!” This mental game made me feel so empowered, so happy every month that I could sleep at night knowing that I was doing the right thing.

4. Another tip is that you can pay a little extra when you have it, and you will be out of debt in no time. But be careful. Do not pay more when you don’t have enough money left to pay for food, rent/mortgage, or utilities. Paying off debt and being responsible for your day-to-day bills is the key to final and absolute success. I usually pay a little more here and there during the Holidays. I see this as a small gift of freedom to myself, instead of hitting the Malls and buying gifts. A little radical some may say, but it works for me.

So, let’s go and face the battle together! We can slay the debt beast, and live FREE at last!

Why we create debt

I have been tormented by this question for years. Growing up, I was told over and over that money doesn’t grow on trees… how many of us haven’t heard this from our parents.

Now that I am older, I see the trends and the “conditioning” of our belief system. We like to compare ourselves to others who usually have more than we do; we copy behaviors that we think are good for us, or rather our image. We have an internal need to belong, to seem successful, and to blend with the high and mighty of this world. Most of us like to feel inadequate and feel sorry for ourselves because our thought patterns derive from a place of need. But if we truly think this through, we create needs because we think that STUFF will make us happy and successful. So, we embark in this trip of no return and the psychological effect of swiping a credit card which doesn’t make us actually reach into our pockets and take cash out. So a lot of people think that since a machine swiped a transaction, we are good until…well until we get the bill next month. On we go to the next store and we do the same. Follow the pattern?

Not everyone falls in this category (some people have to get into debt for health, business, and education reasons). I am not talking about that, but about the majority of us who do, if we want to be honest with ourselves. Our teenagers have credit cards; they roam the malls because they were “conditioned” to become consumers. Even the economies of the world see the trends and measure the success of an economy by the consumer spending.

Needless to say that it is very difficult to start thinking in painfully true needs versus wants! Of course we need an extra pair of shoes, or do we? We need the brand new cell phone, or do we?

Let’s put our lives into perspective here for a moment. We actually need air to breathe, good health, a roof over our heads, a job, and food to survive. Those are true needs. We want the better car, tons of clothes, manicures, haircuts, movies, cell phones, shoes, clothes, gadgets, and the list goes on. This makes us happy for a brief moment, but then the yearning for something better and newer emerges again and again.

I will ask all of us to reflect a little and to think: We all know that we are here for a “limited” time. Nobody is immortal. When we depart from this earth, how much STUFF do you think we will take with us? Harsh question I know. But it keeps it all in perspective. So next time you feel the need to spend, think how much better it will be next month, when you owe no money to any credit card, but are still alive, well, and happy.