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Diversify Your Money by Joseph Hogue, CFA

Diversify Your Money The MoneyNerve Blog
Diversify Your Money

Diversify Your Money with

My Three Favorite Investments

Part of planning a sound investment plan is diversifying your money from simple stocks and bonds. Let’s look at how to diversify your money with my three favorite investments.

It’s nearly a decade from the last big crash in stocks and people are beginning to wonder if the stock market will just keep going up forever. It’s a nice thought but that always seems to be about the time that the market makes fools of us all.

Part of being ready to invest means understanding the terminology and creating a simple plan around your goals.

That long-term focus on investing will help you look beyond stock prices whether they’re rising or falling and reach your retirement goals. A slow and steady approach to personal finance and investing often leads to financial freedom.

There’s another important idea in investing though, one that will protect your money when stocks do tumble. It will also help you reach your long-term goals, but this idea will make it easier to put up with the short-term hiccups in the market.

It’s the idea of diversification and it’s one of the most critical pieces in any investing plan.

What is Diversification?

Diversification is the idea that investing in different assets will help smooth the ups-and-downs in your overall wealth, especially when stocks tumble. If stocks are 100% of your investments, then a stock crash can wipe out much of your hard-earned money.

Many investors try to balance out their stocks with some investments in bonds, which are loans to companies, but there’s a real problem here for most investors.

Bonds don’t make much money!

Most bonds earn less than 5% a year and that’s before inflation takes a 2% chunk out of the return. That’s not bad and I’m not saying to avoid bond investing but many investors don’t have the patience to stick some of their money in bonds and wait for them to protect their portfolio.

They end up getting tired of that lower return on a piece of their portfolio, especially while stocks are producing double-digit returns each year. They sell their bonds and stick it all back in stocks…then get hit with a market crash.

How Do I Diversify My Investments?

Even if you had the patience to keep some of your money in bonds, there is a better way to diversify your money(ie. your investment portfolio).

Looking for other assets, other broad types of investments, will do several things for your portfolio:

• Help you earn a higher return than bonds but not have all your money in volatile stocks
• Reduce the amount of money you need in bonds to protect your portfolio from a crash.
• Produce a higher level of cash flow to pay expenses when you start spending down your investments

Now that you have an idea of how diversification can help create wealth and keep you from freaking out over the next stock market crash, here are my three favorite investments to diversify your portfolio.

Real Estate is the Great Wealth Creator to Diversify your Money

Few assets have created as much wealth as real estate. Like the man said, “It’s the only thing they’re not making anymore.”

If you’ve only got few thousand dollars to invest, buying property is out of the question but there are other alternatives.

• Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are real estate funds that trade like stocks. These are special companies created to hold commercial real estate. They get a special tax break for paying out most of their income to investors which means these investments pay out massive dividends.
• Real Estate Crowdfunding is a newer way to invest in real estate. Developers offer their projects on crowdfunding websites for investors. You can invest as little as $1,000 in a debt or equity investment in each property.

Peer to Peer Lending isn’t Just for Borrowers

I learned about peer-to-peer loan investing from my cousin several years ago. Platforms like Lending Club allow borrowers to apply for personal loans for up to $35,000 and investors can invest as little as $25 in loans that meet their criteria.

Actually, the idea of investing in loans is nothing new. Banks traditionally package and sell their loans to investment firms which then sell the packages to anyone that needs consistent cash flow. That means pension funds, insurance companies and college endowment funds are some of the biggest investors…and that you probably already have money invested in loans and may not know it.

Returns on Lending Club generally range from 5% to 14% depending on the types of loans in which you invest. I invest relatively conservatively in borrowers with a lower risk of defaulting and have earned a return close to 10% for several years.

The best part about Lending Club is that you can automate your investments to tell the website to invest your money in any loans that meet certain criteria. Since you receive money monthly from your loans, in principal and interest, it’s important to reinvest this money quickly to keep earning a return.

Go West for Diversification, Way West

This last investment isn’t necessarily a different asset class but it’s one that most investors avoid. Investing in stocks of foreign-based companies, will help protect your portfolio from the ups-and-downs in the American economy.

It’s true that the largest U.S. companies sell products overseas and that can help immunize your portfolio from trouble here at home but that doesn’t quite cut it. Investing directly in foreign stocks can help you diversify even further by investing in companies with most of their business outside the United States.

Many foreign stocks trade on the U.S. exchanges as American Depository Receipts (ADRs) so you can buy them just as you do shares of a U.S. company. You can also buy funds that hold shares in hundreds of foreign companies like the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (NYSE: VEA).

These aren’t the only alternative investments that will help you diversify your money but they’re three of my favorite. All three pay consistent cash flow that is regularly well above that of stocks. Putting it all together in a portfolio with stocks and bonds will smooth out any stock market troubles while still providing a return you can count on.

Joseph Hogue, CFA
Guest Blog by Joseph Hogue, CFA |  The Money Nerve

 

Joseph Hogue worked as an equity analyst and an economist before realizing being rich is no substitute for being happy. He now runs five websites in the personal finance and crowdfunding niche, makes more money than he ever did at a 9-to-5 job and loves building his work from home business. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and has appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg. To learn more, visit: https://mystockmarketbasics.com

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Emotions Around Money

The Money Nerve
Emotions around Money

EMOTIONS around MONEY

“Emotions Around Money” – how does your money get sidetracked by your emotions? Some people say they don’t have any emotions surrounding money. And then they start talking about money and the floodgates open. I developed the Money Nerve concept by working as an accountant, financial advisor, and business consultant for over twenty-five years. I am thankful to the many people and businesses that I’ve helped who have, in turn, helped me.

I have spent decades sitting across from my clients—most of the time feeling more like a therapist than an accountant. I realize now that many people have money issues because emotions and money are tied together hand-in-hand, Many think they are supposed to know how to handle finances intuitively and can’t –but they are ashamed to ask for help. I see business owners, other CPAs, lawyers, therapists, doctors, and others in major financial crises. I am no longer surprised when clients come in, start talking, become emotional and break down crying. There is a lot of fear and shame surrounding “emotions and money.”

Define Your Emotions aka your “Money Nerve”

It’s time to start admitting, without shame or embarrassment, that we weren’t taught how to handle money (or that we don’t know all the answers). We need to bring our money issues out in the open and start changing our belief system to set ourselves up for success. What pinches your Money Nerve? If you have more month than money, it is time to explore a new pathway toward financial freedom.

Many people are in denial because they don’t want to deal with their financial situation. I had a conversation with a client that went something like this:

Client: I was more upset about coming to see you today than I was about finding out whether or not I had terminal cancer yesterday.

Me: Your priorities are messed up. It’s just money.

Client: I didn’t want to come to see you. My finances are a mess! I almost canceled. Now I’m glad I’m here—you always make me feel better. I know you’re still going to help me and get my mess all straightened out. I’m not sure why I was afraid.

Me: This is only about money. Do you hear what you’re saying?

Client: I know, I know.

Illusion of Money or Vision for the Future

Huge companies like Fannie May, Freddie Mac, or Lehman Brothers built their empires on the illusion of wealth. When the time came to pay up, however, their house of cards came tumbling down. It should come as no surprise that many individuals who make up these companies have the same problems. Many people’s lives are also a house of cards, an illusion.

If major corporations are having problems, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about your personal financial problems. It’s epidemic! FYI, there is no 700-billion-dollar bailout for you. You have to help yourself. Start today by creating your vision for the future. Define Your Money Nerve.

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Time Is Money ~ Benjamin Franklin’s Wisdom

"The

Time is Money

Have you ever analyzed that famous quote to see how it affects your life? Many people use “time is money” when talking about making more money. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin’s words ring true today. If you don’t maximize your time or money, you have essentially thrown both away and taken a loss.

Finding a Balance in Life

Think about a seesaw balancing your time and money. How do you approach “time and money” to create optimal benefits for you and your loved ones? Applying this integrated view may spark new ideas. Let’s take another look at this simple phrase and unpack some new options.

Grab a notepad and jot down your schedule for the next few days or the upcoming week. Take a moment to think about the time you have each day, the finances you have available, and determine if these two entities are moving you forward efficiently.

Articulate the dreams you hold and prioritize these goals so that you can start using your time and money to create a new life pattern. Setting key goals to achieve benefits your life as you acquire a fresh attitude, develop new habits and initiate change in your daily life.

Make Intentional Choices with Money and Time

Where do you want to be in one year? Five years? Do you dream of being free of credit card debt? Have you been hoarding travel brochures because you are longing to travel the world? Now is an excellent time to determine retirement goals too! Having goals generates more deliberate choices and boosts your potential for success.

Being intentional. You can find the time to get a second job or to invest in professional development/education. Honing your skills and remaining valuable is essential in today’s ever-changing environment. Determine where to adjust your work schedule to make time for family activities or the obligations of parenthood. Proactively set aside money today for a better life tomorrow. This process is all about finding the balance and value that makes YOUR life meaningful. And the most empowering part of this exercise is that You choose and You implement your life plan – it is your choice!

Goals to Change Your Life

Write down your dreams, project a time frame and you have set a new goal. Consciously choose what you value most in your life. Quiet all the negative voices or thoughts in your head. Use this outline to move forward and make a change because the only obstacle between you and your goal is time. Life is imperfect; you will make changes or readjust your forecast. That’s okay – life happens!

Remember this:

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other is called tomorrow, so TODAY is the right time to love, believe and mostly live.” ~ Dalai Lama

Being intentional and being in the moment are beneficial tools for creating value and living an abundant life. Be present this week, strive to maximize the time is money attitude, and live fully!

Bob

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New Tax Law Raised Your Paycheck

Federal Tax

New Tax Law Raised Your Paycheck

Hello Money Nerve followers

I have had so many questions regarding the new tax law from my clients this year. People want to know how it will affect them and what action they should take. This in-depth article from MarketWatch gives you some advice for reviewing how the new tax law will impact your finances

About 90% of wage earners saw an increase in their paycheck this month now that the 2018 federal tax withholding tables are out.

The new tax law tables determine how much tax employers take out — or withhold — from an employee’s paycheck and the 2018 tables reflect the updated tax rates under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as well as other changes that affect individuals, including a repealed personal exemption and increase in the standard deduction. Under the new law, there are still seven tax brackets, but six of them are lower.

Deciding How Much Money to Withhold

Workers choose how much money they want their employer to withhold from their paychecks on a Form W-4, usually claiming either 1 or 0 allowances. The higher the number of allowances, the less money is withheld, which means a larger paycheck. But when people choose fewer allowances (and have more money withheld), they’ll see the money with the new tax law when they file their returns the following year and get a refund.

The new tax law lowered federal tax brackets, hence the extra money in paychecks now. The changes are automatic, and if people want to adjust their withholdings, they will have to go to their employer and submit a new Form W-4 to do so.

Keep or Invest the Extra Money

This is the eternal question and the answer is, “it depends.” Some might find the extra cash will help them reach financial goals or pay off debts, but others say workers might want to adjust their withholdings so they don’t get a pay increase right away.

Why? The money might not be put to good use or, in certain cases, employees may end up having to pay more income tax next year, tax experts said. “If they’re afraid they’re going to spend it and not save it, then they should increase withholdings,” said Michael Berry, head of the advanced planning team for Voya Financial.

Tax Refunds

About 62% of taxpayers expect to receive a refund this year, according to a Credit Karma Tax survey, and half of those people already know what they’ll do with it. Only 11% intend to use the refund for a vacation or major event, and 6% said they’ll use it to buy themselves something. Another 20% said they plan to save it for a rainy day, 18% said they’ll use it to pay off credit card debt, 16% said it will go toward paying off other debts, 10% are saving for a major purchase, like a home or car, and others mentioned student loans, medical debts or helping family members.

Income Taxes

The new tax law act keeps the seven income tax brackets but lowers tax rates. Employees will see changes reflected in their withholding in their February 2018 paychecks. These rates revert to the 2017 rates in 2026.

The Tax Act creates the following chart. The income levels will rise each year with inflation. But they will rise more slowly than in the past because the Act uses the chained consumer price index. Over time, that will move more people into higher tax brackets. This graph along with a detailed list of the tax changes is provided by The Balance.

Income Tax Rate Income Levels for Those Filing As:
2017 2018-2025 Single Married-Joint
10% 10% $0-$9,525 $0-$19,050
15% 12% $9,525-$38,700 $19,050-$77,400
25% 22% $38,700-$82,500 $77,400-$165,000
28% 24% $82,500-$157,500 $165,000-$315,000
33% 32% $157,500-$200,000 $315,000-$400,000
33%-35% 35% $200,000-$500,000 $400,000-$600,000
39.6% 37% $500,000+ $600,000+

Trump’s tax plan doubles the standard deduction. A single filer’s deduction increases from $6,350 to $12,000, while the deduction for Married and Joint Filers increases from $12,700 to $24,000. It reverts back to the current level in 2026. It eliminates personal exemptions and most itemized deductions but keeps deductions for charitable contributions, retirement savings, and student loan interest.

 Pull those February pay stubs and see what changes have happened! Use this opportunity to start a savings account and invest in your future!

 

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BUDGET: What does this mean to you?

financial freedom with budgets
The Money Nerve Budget

BUDGET: What does this mean

to you?

Budget: an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time. Or “keeping within the household budget.” Many people cringe when they hear the word budget, and instantly assume it is a gloomy, painful process of giving up all the joy in their lives!

Since the word budget has such a bad rap, let’s make a change and call it “proactive money management” or a forecast. A forecast is a general vision of what’s to come; it allows us to make decisions for the next few days. We all know that the weatherman isn’t always exactly right, often changing the outlook as the clouds roll in faster or the sun bumps up the temperature.

When you forecast how you want to spend and save your money, you are pushing out your projection for the next week, month, 1-year plan and beyond. Just like a weather forecaster evaluates new information to share with viewers, you may have to adjust your financial timetable as “life” happens.

Be Honest and Accurate

To accurately predict the weather, you must set the destination. Knowing the temperature in Seattle has no meaning if you live in Miami. With your finances, you need to know where you are; how much you bring home and what your monthly expenses are. Creating an estimate of how you want to direct or point your extra money into different funnels establishes a roadmap for the plans or goals you set for the future.

If you are like 90% of Americans, you tend to inflate your salary and round down your bills. Try to flip that assessment around. By underestimating your take-home pay and then basing your monthly bills at the highest projected amount, you have now given yourself a cushion of cash reserves. That’s refreshing!

Inflow and Outflow

A budget doesn’t always mean cutting costs; it is merely a plan for how your money will flow into your life and then dispersed to others for the benefits you want. Most people apply their money to three main priorities: food, housing, and transportation. These are essential components for a higher quality of life, and once you have these taken care of, you can begin to set aside money for other important goals or dreams.

Write down every expense, good or bad. Don’t pretend that you always spend money wisely. We all have habits and plenty of opportunities to be wasteful with our dollars.

One of my colleagues Kelli, (aka the Freebie Finding Mom) has developed a handy budget sheet to track your cash easily. Take a moment to download this helpful resource HERE.

Finding Balance

If you discover there is not enough money for the three essentials of housing, food and transportation, then you must explore your options to find a reasonable balance. You could cut down on one of these components, (smaller apartment or using coupons for groceries) or you could ask for a raise, look for another job or add a second job on the weekends. Creating a forecast (or budget) of what bills need to be paid each month, along with one time expenses that come up each year –– gives you a good guesstimate of where your cash flows in and out. A lot of people arrange to get monthly insurance bills instead of one massive bill annually, and this makes it easier to stay on track and “In-Budget.”

Financial Freedom

Work your desires into your budget. Save for special events and big purchases. Once you have identified where your money comes in and how you want to spend it, you have the power to change your plans. You have opened a new door of opportunity with intentional, proactive choices. The benefits of forecasting your money flow include less financial stress, a new sense of understanding of what’s important and the freedom to choose how you spend your money!

Follow me @themoneynerve on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ To receive our monthly newsletter with financial tips and tools, visit https://business.facebook.com/TheMoneyNerve/app/100265896690345/

 

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Six Best Financial Goals to be Financially Smart 

The Money Nerve blog
Guest-blogger Patricia Sanders

Six Best Financial Goals

to be Financially Smart

2018 has already arrived. Now is the time for you to set some serious financial goals and chalk out the strategies for achieving your success.

Didn’t get any time to make a list of new financial goals for the year 2018?

Don’t worry. We have compiled a list of six best financial goals to be financially smart – that will help you to improve your wallet and your life in 2018!

1. Pay off your debts

Decide how much debt you wish to get rid of in 2018. The best option is to get out of debt completely. But it may not be possible depending on your income and debt amount. So set an amount you can pay off in 2018 with strategic planning. Figure out how much extra you want to put towards your debt every month and then try to reach it. You can follow a debt repayment plan to speed up your repayments. Smart investments help to accelerate your savings. Likewise, unpaid debts eat up your savings. Late fees, compounding interests, fines, finance charges, penalties, etc. increase your outstanding balance, and you end up paying more in the long run. So, make it your goal to get rid of debt in 2018.

2. Review your investment plans

Investments should be made with particular goals in mind. They should help you attain your financial goals in 2018. Have a look at where your investments are now and evaluate your progress.

Here are a few tips to review your investment plans:
(i) Calculate your actual return to know if you’re on the right financial track. Once you get the number, compare it to your expected return. Find out if you have made any financial progress in the last few years.
(ii) Compare each individual holding to a benchmark. This comparison would help you discover portions of your portfolio that need adjustment. Monitor those parts of your portfolio every month.
(iii) Analyze your overall asset allocation to identify the areas where you need to make changes. For instance, sell those investments that are not meeting your expectations. If you don’t have proper information or tools to review your investment mix, then it’s best to consult a qualified and experienced CPA financial adviser. He can make an in-depth analysis of your portfolio and help you make the required changes.

3. Stick to your budget every month

Budgeting is vital for proper allocation of funds and resources. It helps you know the amount designated for each expenditure line. A budget also assists you to determine the maximum amount to be spent on a particular item. If your goal is to invest in the stock market in 2018, then budgeting can help you a lot. Your budget gives you a better idea of how much you can invest or save in a particular month. Remember, if you can stick to your budget, then you’re financial goals will be reached more effectively.

4. Invest more in your retirement plans

Do you have a 401(k) plan? If not, open an account today. How much are you contributing to your 401(k) plan every month? Is it enough? Are you getting the maximum employer match? If not, then find out if there is a “catch up” opportunity this year. Increase your IRA contribution if you haven’t reached the maximum limit for the current financial year. Take full advantage of the new year’s opportunity for building your nest-egg.

5. Choose the right 529 plan

The right 529 plan can help to accelerate college savings. Research and choose the right 529 plan in 2018 by the following factors:

(i) State tax benefits
(ii) Investment choice
(iii) Fees and costs
(iv) How much you have to invest initially

A good way to kick-start your college savings is to invest a set amount each year. Consider the daily expenses you need to take care of and select a plan that has a minimum investment.

6. Create a long-term financial plan

Where do you see yourself after five years? Do you see yourself
living with your children in a nice house? Do you see yourself leading a peaceful life? The answers to these questions help you create a long-term financial plan.

Outline your timetable:
● When you’re planning to buy a new apartment
● When you’re planning to switch job
● When you’re planning for retirement
● How you’re planning to build wealth
● What type of investments you’re interested in
● How you’re planning to invest your money
● When your kids will go to college

A long-term financial plan can help you make the right financial decision not only in 2018 but also in the next few years. Try implementing these six best financial goals into your life. Note: Don’t compare your long-term financial plan with others since it won’t be beneficial for you. Your long-term financial plan will be different from your best friend’s, especially if he is married and you’re single. I hope you understand my point.

Summing It Up

Remember, you have to work hard and make plans to achieve your financial goals. Believe in yourself, set a strategic course of action, and start making positive changes using these six best financial goals to get your money matters organized. Best of luck! Patricia

About our Guest Blogger: Patricia Sanders is a financial writer and a blogger as well. She has been associated with DebtConsolidationCare for a long time. She writes regularly for wiki.debtcc.com on a variety of topics and also contributes valuable posts to different financial communities, blogs, and websites. Connect with Patricia on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Money Nerve College Scholarship Opportunity

The Money Nerve College Scholarship Opportunity

Money Nerve College Scholarship

Bob Wheeler, Author of The Money Nerve: Navigating the Emotions of Money, and founder of RWW CPA, is proud to offer a $500 Money Nerve College Scholarship opportunity to students majoring in Accounting. I am a proud alumni of Rhodes College, located in Memphis, TN. Although I cobbled together a variety of financial scholarships and financial aid, I loved my education experience, and have a successful career today, despite being very aware of money!

One of the core values of The Money Nerve and RWW CPA is that financial education and good money habits start at home. This Money Nerve College Scholarship opportunity is for students who are majoring in Accounting. Some of you may wish to serve your community in the future as a CPA.

Submissions will be accepted starting January 30th of each year with a winner announced August 1st.

The Money Nerve Scholarship

Being smart is no guarantee that you’ll reach your financial goals in life. In fact, many people with graduate degrees feel like they never received the financial education they needed. as a result, lots of people struggle with their money, often living “month-to-month,” because they weren’t taught to manage their money.

Good financial habits start at home, and I want to reward you and promote your family for making money management a priority. Your essay can assist you to pay for college classes or help with your expenses. As a result of your essay, you will teach Money Nerve readers and followers smarter ways to budget, invest, save and make money. I am happy to offer this Money Nerve college scholarship, and want to help with of the cost of completing college.

Check out the articles on The Money Nerve blog. Share your own financial story. My financial habits are influenced by my family, my emotional reactions to money decisions, and more than 25-years of listening to clients. As a matter of fact, many of my clients share common challenges with their money, no matter what their income is!

My passion for assisting others focuses on three concepts. First: exploring “why” people make the same financial decisions repeatedly. Second: examining “where” positive change can be made. Third: learning to set intentions – creating a “healthy relationship” with money.

This fresh perspective generates a life of proactive abundance. And anyone striving to be a CPA soon learns that the job is more than just numbers. It takes a mixture of savvy financial knowledge paired with compassion to provide assistance for people to manage their finances more efficiently.

How to Apply for The Money Nerve College Scholarship

Applicants must submit an essay (minimum 500 words- no more than 1,000 words). Share what your parents/family taught you about personal finance, and how that benefitted your life. Topics can include: budgeting, paying bills, balancing your bank statement, how to start investing, saving for big goals, making money or other financial skills that you learned. These practical tips will also help you to be a successful CPA.

• Essays must be original and not submitted to other websites.
• Applicants must be either currently enrolled in or actively applying to an undergraduate business program with a declared major in Accounting. Students at both community colleges and four-year institutions are encouraged to apply. One application per student.
• Essays can be submitted beginning January 29, 2018, and must be in my inbox by May 1st, 2018. (Word document format-not PDF)
• Mail applications to bob@themoneynerve.com, and include name, address and phone number. Please be sure to place “Scholarship” in the email subject line.
• Each applicant must state the school the student is attending or registered for, and current college level, (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student).

The Money Nerve College Scholarship Winner

Essays to be featured February – June 2018, on The Money Nerve blog. This is a great way highlight and teach financial education to young adults. The Money Nerve College scholarship winner will be selected on Friday, July 20th, and posted on Wednesday, August 1st. Winning is determined by which submitted essay receives the most social media “buzz” – generating the most social media shares.

Best of luck and I look forward to hearing what money lessons and tips have made a difference in your life!

~Bob Wheeler

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Identify Your Priorities

Identify Your Priorities
Identify Your Priorities

Identify Your Priorities

Priorities are not just limited to material things. A priority could be that you want to spend more time with your kids. You may wish to volunteer for those less fortunate than you. Or you may want to take classes to boost your skills. Now is the time to identify your priorities. It does not always have to be something that involves money—it’s about finding the right value for you.

Making Conscious Choices

When I first started working, money was tight. As a result, I had to be creative with my budget. I decided I needed some help and hired a maid. While that circumstance sounds like a contradiction, it was more important to me to have fresh sheets every week and a clean house than to spend my money on expensive groceries. Consequently, I made a conscious choice to eat lots of rice and soup, and honestly, I felt like a pampered king coming home to my spotless house and pressed linens!

Setting a Clear Picture

At my office, I once knew someone who worked for UPS. He was a smart guy, and I often wondered whether his job was fulfilling enough for him. One day, this deliveryman announced he was retiring! I was quite surprised as he looked too young; only about thirty-five years old. Why would he want to retire?

He started to work at UPS when he was eighteen, then worked for twenty years to earn a good pension. He had a couple of kids at a young age and set a priority to spend his time with his kids each afternoon. This UPS deliveryman chose to leave for work at four o’clock a.m. so he could return home around three p.m. – when the children got home from school. Being there for his family was a direct result of having a clear picture of his priorities.

Direct Your Choices Intentionally

My wants and needs are different than yours. Some of us have a strong desire to save for the future. Others want to live in the moment. Everyone has varying degrees of emotional tolerance toward our current financial situation. If your money nerve is pinched, one of the best vehicles for change is defining what is most important to you. Set three top priorities in your life to point YOU toward your strategic goals. By knowing your direction, it is easier to create a daily action plan to achieve your goals.

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2018 It’s The New Year Again!

The Money Nerve
A New Year Again

It’s the new year again!

It’s a new year again! And, that’s a good thing. You have the opportunity to make a fresh start and make adjustments to create a better life.

January Resolutions

This January, the media will be overflowing with a barrage of top ten lists, resolutions and blogs to show you how to be wealthier, healthier and “be perfect” … and it’s only $19.99, (with a set of knives!) Resist the temptation to overthink your goals.

You can’t do everything – all at the same time. You may not check off all the boxes this year, but you can make a difference!

Decide What is Most Important to You

Whoa! Slow down and decide what is most important to you. Not what the TV pundits, the radio talk-show hosts or the Internet marketing pros tell you, but what YOU genuinely want to see in your life. Make it the best new year ever! You alone can take steps to change. New actions that will bring about new and fresh results. Once you determine personal goals, don’t be swayed by others. Don’t compare yourself or get dragged down because it appears that everyone is doing better than you. President Theodore Roosevelt stated, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Choose Your Reality

Commit to choose your reality with thoughtful intentions and proactive activities. Begin by creating a space of goodwill and generosity toward yourself. No blame – Just realize that shifting some of your priorities will take a different energy. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a positive cash flow? Start looking for the destination you’d like to reach via your mental map.

It’s a New Year, Know Where You Are

The first step before beginning a journey is to know where you are. Take a notebook and jot down your schedule for the day or the whole week. Find time to set aside 15-30 minutes each day for personal time. Use this time to think, plan, and dream of where you want to be in 1 year, five years and even a decade from now. Once you know where you want to be as well as where you are beginning from, you can explore and build an action plan to get you there.

Support Your Intentions with Action

With an action plan, you can set intentions to hit your goal. As we all know, life has many bumps in the road, and things beyond our control can often cause detours or bring us to a complete stop. By having a plan for the new year, you can reroute and make changes to continue toward what’s meaningful with your life. Therefore your life doesn’t fall apart, and you create flexibility to expand your options. You are on the road to Proactive Abundance! Congrats.

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Build A Road To Financial Freedom

Road to Financial Freedom

Build A Road To Financial Freedom

Wish you were living on Easy Street, USA, with an incredible amount of money just earning interest? Here are some simple steps for you to build a road to financial freedom. Many of us long for enough money to pay the bills and then some! Unfortunately, a majority of us have more month than money and feel helpless when trying to manage our bills.

Embrace Your Story

To arrive at a new destination, you need to determine where you are today. No guilt, no accusations or remorse – just figure out where you are financially and use that as the basis for a new direction. Decide to make adjustments, making new or different choices that will empower you.

Set Simple Goals

Explore what things are most important to you. Use that information to begin building your road to financial success. Taking time to set priorities gives you the power to make smarter decisions with your money. If laziness, bad habits or emotional reactions currently drive your budget, you will be amazed how quickly proactive choices can boost your bank account!

Be Accountable

Write down your financial goals and give yourself a deadline. There are many paths to achieve your desires, and by mapping out a plan, you give yourself a higher percentage of hitting your target. When you know what bad habits or destructive emotions have sabotaged your efforts before – you can choose to try an alternate course of action. One of the benefits of having written goals is that they help you stay the course over time. This accountability is a key component for creating financial freedom.

Change Your Mindset

Using positive and powerful words to impact your actions. Stop telling yourself that you just can’t do it or that it’s too hard. Create new mental pathways with positive intentions such as, “I want to save money with each paycheck to purchase a home (car, vacation, etc.) and apply one action to that wish. You can set up an automatic deduction that routes $25 to your savings account.

Small Steps = Big Change

Making one little decision each day that leads you closer to one of your primary goals will reap enormous benefits over the course of one year! Saving $25 a week will earn you more than $1,000 within the year. And that will grow to $6,500 in just five years. One tiny step practiced consistently, can create lasting effects in your life. Check out the first chapter of The Money Nerve book ~ Make time to make a change TODAY!