Tag: Personal Finance

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!”

What if you are underpaid for what you offer…..

A very common sentiment these days. I have spoken to a lot of people and most of them say, NO I would never ask for a raise, for I might lose my job.

I have this to say: If the people who have hired you disrespect your job performance so much, then if they let you go simply because you have asked for a raise, they don’t deserve you. Every solid company should reconsider your salary once a year.  Part of the discussion when you are hired should be future raises and the maximum that you can eventually get to. Continue reading “What if you are underpaid for what you offer…..”

Oh, I’ll find a way… Seriously??

Today I will share a dialogue and I want you to really “listen” and think:

CLIENT: Hey, I just bought a brand new car!!! Am so excited!!

ME: What? How? Can you even afford it?

CLIENT: Well, I am in debt anyway. I will find a way to make the monthly car payments. Don’t be so uptight.

ME: OK, How much credit card debt do you have?

CLIENT: Oh, not much only about $55,000. Others have hundreds of thousands

I will not share the rest of the conversation.

My thoughts on all this, which by the way made me livid: This client makes about $4,500 per month. She has a mortgage payment of $1,800, utilities of about $800, credit card payments $900, groceries, gas etc $1,100 on average. Where will the car payment come from? Where is money to put aside for an emergency fund?

I am flabbergasted. Seriously? No thought about security whatsoever? Big mistake! Everyone in debt seems to think about today and not about the future. We are human, we can get ill, have an accident, need some cash for an emergency.

What is wrong with having a car for 10 years while you are in debt? What is wrong with being more responsible?
Please people! Create a budget and if you don’t know how to do this, contact me. This is ridiculous. This client of mine is 65 years old, has nothing to fall on, no savings, no retirement plan, still works to make ends meet.

I am more upset about this than she is, and all I hear are excuses.

I insist that our education system absolutely MUST include financial 101 as a basic part of their curriculum. We are becoming a nation of people in debt. And nobody is to blame but our choices, our decisions and our aloofness.

I went into debt because I had no choice and needed my small business to stay afloat. Never again! Never! I am debt free now and intend on remaining so. Now that my debt payments are over, I put 75% of this amount that I used to pay monthly, in an emergency fund. I already have 5 thousand. This feeling of security is priceless.

I can’t stop shouting this. I will never stop writing and hoping that my advice does not fall on deaf ears.

It is totally up to YOU. Take charge of your finances! NOW

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.

 

Debt Relief Services: Part 2

Today I will explain some facts.

Before you even decide to enroll in CareOneCredit’s program, you absolutely HAVE to own your problem. You need to understand what made you get into debt in the first place. Be honest with yourself.

Understand that having more than one credit card is NOT a must! Once you make peace with your situation, make the decision to truly and honestly work at this. One credit card is more than enough. Keep a card for emergency expenses and not to splurge into shopping frenzies, or go to restaurants every week.
Talk with the credit counselors and DO NOT stop making payments to your credit cards, until all the proposals that CareOneCredit will send to your creditors are accepted. There is no reason to panic, or make nasty remarks on their website. I’ve read through the years, posts by many of you that say this program is terrible, that your credit collectors keep calling you.

Credit counseling is NOT your nanny. These services exist for people who are ready to embark in a difficult task to get debt free. If you follow the rules and do what you must, have no doubt that in time you will be debt free.
I am aware that if you had the money you would pay your cards off and this is your reason to ask for help. BUT you can still make the minimum payments to your cards for another month or two. Most credit card companies are happy to accept the proposals, because they are sure that your debts will be paid off.

If a credit card company does not accept a proposal, it is NOT CareOneCredit’s fault. It is usually their policy. This is rare though. I talk from my own experience. I was ready to accept my responsibilities, did all the work and am now debt free.

If you have money to make the monthly payment to CareOneCredit, then you sure have some money to make the minimum payments to your cards. This is no game and you must face the fact that you made some mistakes. We all make mistakes, but we can correct them.

So be a grown up, take the first step and get out of debt as fast as possible.
Another issue I keep hearing that makes me mad, is that a lot of people complain about their credit score taking a dive. Well, when you are up your ears in debt, your credit score is shot anyway. Why do you even care about your credit score when you are in debt? What can you possibly buy when you can barely pay off your debts?

Rest assured that your credit score will be going up in points as you pay your debt off. The credit score is important for loans, car purchases, and home loans. If you tell me that while in debt you want to make any of the above mentioned moves, then I have to say to you that you will NEVER get yourself out of debt. Do not be impulsive. Be honest, be ready to do the work and get rid of this burden once and for all.

My third part will be about people getting right back into debt after paying off their first debt.

 

 

 

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.