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Setting Your Financial Mindset, Five Ideas for Drastic Change

The Money nerve

Setting Your Financial Mindset

Money is a part of our lives, we all plan how to spend it, and we all plan to save it!

Today, we look at some fiscal challenges and offer tools for setting your financial mindset. Emotions and old habits can rule your decisions about money. Here are some challenges people have in managing their money and a few suggestions for shifting toward a new “money” mindset.

See if these issues sound familiar:

1. I Don’t Have Enough Money

2. I Will Never Get Ahead

3. I Don’t Plan; The World Will Bring Me Good Fortune

4. It’s Not My Fault; Nobody Taught Me

5. I Don’t Have Time to Budget

It is easy to drift on an endless journey when you have no plan, goal or destination. When you are ambiguous about the direction you want to go, cruising on autopilot will never result in the “real-life” successes you dream about.

Five ideas for making drastic change and setting your financial mindset:

Enough Money

Before you can determine whether or not you have enough money, you will need to know how much money you make. Many people will use their full salary to plan their expenses, but forget to consider taxes and social security deductions. Under-estimate the money coming in and over-estimate your spending.

Never Get Ahead

Focus on positive choices each month, and eliminate the resignation and depression that come from reacting to financial headaches. Choose how you want to delegate your dollars. Change the way you view money by thinking of money as a choice, not a dictator, in life. If you have $100, you have the power to delegate a third for saving, a third for eating lunch out 2 or 3 times and a third for bills.

The World Will Bring Me Good Fortune

Well, I am a firm believer in sending out positive vibes and seeing that energy coming back my way. However, I also know that when I have an action plan to support that attitude, I am more successful. It is no suprise that the people who plan their days and work the plan seem to luckier than everyone else! Set aside five minutes to write down the main focus for your day or your week, and set yourself up to your best advantage. No one can help you better than YOU CAN!

It’s Not My Fault

Take a good look in the mirror, you are the CEO of your life. Take a truthful look at your assets and your bad habits. Explore where you can make small changes that will move your life toward a more abundant mindset. Making intentional choices creates a feeling of independence and eliminates the need to blame others. Every choice you made in the last five years resulted in where you are today. If you are not happy with your life, snap out of the routine of non-decision-making. Begin making new choices that will give life to the dreams and goals you have.

Don’t Have Time to Budget

People are so busy, being busy, that they often mistake insignificant activity as being more valuable than a scheduled chunk of time for planning. It’s a bit of a paradox, but setting aside 30 minutes a month to review your finances and make a plan for the next month, can actually save you time and money. Just jotting down your monthly bills on an index card and slipping it your wallet, will help you stay on track. Dividing your spendable dollars into envelopes is another good idea for seeing where money flows.

We all have the opportunity to create the life we dream of, it takes a little faith, a plan and choices to make it happen. A goal is merely a dream with a deadline. Go for it!

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Keep Focused in a Cluttered World

Keep focused Keep Focused in a Cluttered World

You are intent on finishing the task at hand, and suddenly “something” comes up. You don’t realize the chunk of time distractions can steal from your day — you just change direction and give it attention. Keep focused!
In a world full of political strife, constant social media pop-ups, continuous alerts from emails landing in your inbox and worries about matters you cannot control, the ability to keep focused is a dynamic tool for keeping a positive mental attitude and a sense of purpose.

Over half of us get distracted after 15 minutes and — boom — you have no idea where you started or why you can’t get your mind and heart into your goal. You can’t stay focused at work anymore and are becoming less productive. Valuable time and effort go right down the tubes, and so does your momentum and energy.

One way to keep focused is breaking big projects into more manageable bites of time. Richard Branson shares that people should “take the stairs,” literally, to stay in shape with physical activity and also as a metaphor for big goals and life dreams. It’s a “gradual climb,” with “inevitable failures and setbacks along the way.” Very few people can take the elevator to instant success.

It’s almost impossible to shut out the world while you’re busy. It is your choice or decision to stay focused. Explore the right techniques for you, know your priorities, and stick to them. When you achieve this – You are in the zone!  Five minutes, ten minutes. Sometimes you may stick with a project for hours. When you look up, time has flown, and you have been incredibly productive.

Five Tips to Focus more Effectively:
1. Have a “to-do list” with the most important or longest tasks at the top.
2. Clear your mind from emotionally charged worry. Sift through the clutter. Learn to separate what you can make better and what might be out of your control.
3. Work offline: Try using paper and pen — perfect for brainstorming! Put your phone on silent and check email only occasionally (try once every hour). Set a timer to keep up with time and allow yourself to check mail.
4. Create Plan with Prioritized Goals and Tasks (daily, weekly, and long-term).
5. Organize your life, your office, and your desk. Studies have shown having a clean life-space declutters the mind.

Looking for tools to manage your day more proactively? Check out these resources.

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Seven Spiritual Laws for 2017

3x3-place-in-this-worldToday I would like to share a post from http://www.chopra.com/. I invite you to explore these Seven Spiritual Laws as you formulate your plans and goals for the new year:

Many of us grew up with the belief that achieving success requires relentless hard work, grim determination, and intense ambition. As a result, we may have struggled for years and even reached some of our goals but wound up feeling exhausted, our lives out of balance.

As Deepak Chopra observes in his transformational work, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, such desperate striving isn’t necessary or even desirable. In the natural world, creation comes forth with ease. A seed doesn’t struggle to become a tree―it simply unfolds in grace.

The Seven Spiritual Laws are powerful principles you can use to fulfill your deepest desires with effortless joy. If you put them into practice, you’ll realize that you can manifest whatever you’ve been dreaming about.

Fortunately, the laws of success aren’t difficult or mysterious but are easy to understand and apply. There are also many ways for you to learn more about using The Seven Spiritual Laws to attract the life you truly want, and right here is a great place to begin:

Sunday: The Law of Pure Potentiality

Take time to be silent, to just BE. Meditate for 30 minutes twice a day. Silently witness the intelligence within every living thing. Practice non-judgment.

Learn more about The Law of Pure Potentiality 

Monday: The Law of Giving

Today, bring whomever you encounter a gift: a compliment or flower. Gratefully receive gifts. Keep wealth circulating by giving and receiving care, affection, appreciation and love.

Learn more about The Law of Giving

Tuesday: The Law of Karma

Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. Choosing actions that bring happiness and success to others ensures the flow of happiness and success to you.

Learn more about The Law of Karma

Wednesday: 
The Law of Least Effort

Accept people, situations, and events as they occur. Take responsibility for your situation and for all events seen as problems. Relinquish the need to defend your point of view.

Learn more about The Law of Least Effort

Thursday: 
The Law of Intention and Desire

Inherent in every intention and desire is the mechanics for its fulfillment. Make a list of desires. Trust that when things don’t seem to go your way, there is a reason.

Learn more about The Law of Intention and Desire

Friday: The Law of Detachment

Allow yourself and others the freedom to be who they are. Do not force solutions—allow solutions to spontaneously emerge. Uncertainty is essential, and your path to freedom.

Learn more about The Law of Detachment

Saturday: The Law of Dharma

Seek your higher Self. Discover your unique talents. Ask yourself how you are best suited to serve humanity. Using your unique talents and serving others brings unlimited bliss and abundance.

 

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FINDING YOUR FINANCIAL GPS

3x3 From A-ZReady to start a NEW PATH?

By setting a financial GPS, you can navigate more efficiently to reach your goals. Using this analogy of traveling through time to reach your next destination is an excellent way to approach your finances. As you journey through life, new opportunities arise, and you have the choice to make changes to hit that next target. Even as you move closer to some of your goals (or destinations) and “things” are on the right track, it is inevitable that roadblocks or challenges will pop up.

When you look at a map or plug a route into your GPS system, you will see numerous roads lead to the same destination. One choice may be the scenic route. Another faster option might be to take the highway, and if you plan several stops to run errands or take in more experiences, your choice might meander a bit – although you have packed more action into your trip. All three choices ultimately lead to the planned location. We must know where we are to make savvy decisions that lead us to the targeted destination

If your only goal is to be rich, your goal may not be specific enough. A financial GPS is no good unless you plug in a dream, a goal or a destination. How can your finances get on board if you do not know where you are going? A grandiose idea such as “being rich” is not a destination. Plugging in a smaller, more strategic financial goals provide you with a meaningful roadmap that brings positive results. You may choose to save $10 per week, freeze the credit cards for one month or save for a big vacation or a home.

Becoming aware of your Money Nerve and exploring what upsets you, helps to redefine your financial GPS. Blindly following the crowd, allowing emotions to rule your decision-making or ignoring money issues – these reactions keep you from attaining your desired financial goals.  Drop old habits that no longer work for your current situation. Stop making choices based on outdated information.

As you recognize your Money Nerve flaring up, take control and empower your financial life. Examine your current lifestyle without blame, make thoughtful changes, and choose proactive actions each day — expand your perspective! Create a life with purpose and a sense of abundance today.

Follow @TheMoneyNerve on Facebook.

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PAY DOWN CREDIT OR SAVE?

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One of the most asked questions I get is: Do I Pay down credit or save? I say do both at the same time!

If a lower income is the cause and you hate your job, find your passion and work in that field. If you don’t have skills, take classes. While the classes may have a cost, the benefits often generate higher income. Just like a game of Monopoly, when you circle around the block each month, you can pick up that extra money!

If you hate being broke, start saving. If you are unhappy with your debt, make a plan to pay it down while curbing spending. What is working for you and what isn’t? Start creating your financial freedom now, even if it’s scary or feels too big.  Making proactive choices is the way to begin heading in a new direction.

Financial security may feel like it is unattainable, but you may need to change your perspective. The cure for being financially overwhelmed is persistence and knowledge. Want to know the best way to a robust savings account? It is one step at a time! Pay down credit on your lowest balance and then start saving ten dollars per paycheck knowing that, over time the account balance will add up to a significant sum. In that way, you can create a new habit that is not painful and creates more wealth.

Surround yourself with books and people that provide financial advice or go online to reputable sites. If you are more comfortable with personal interaction, try to find a personal friend or colleague who excels in your area of weakness, then schedule a time to have coffee with them, and seek their advice.

Financial stability may not happen overnight. Setting goals starts the journey, and you may find the distance to realign your life is closer than you thought. Just put one foot in front of the other and get moving! Pay down your credit AND Save.

Step by Step!

(image available as a screen saver at http://www.hasbro.com/en-us/media/monopoly-money-screen-saver:D4496164-19B9-F369-10B8-4A25863AC342)

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BUYING A HOME

3x3 Buying a HomeBuying a home is the biggest financial decision most people will make in their lives – and choosing a mortgage lender goes hand in hand with that choice. Because it’s a long-term commitment that has a daily impact, it’s crucial not to go in blindly. With the sheer amount of options available today, you will want to consider numerous options to simplify the process. Having the correct knowledge can save you thousands of dollars.

I often advise my clients to understand their emotional needs and create a new path to ease their “money nerve” before making critical financial decisions. It is essential to map out best choices to create your long-term strategy. If you are ready to buy a home this summer, I have some resources for you.

While spring is traditionally the busiest time for real estate sales, this summer could prove to be the hottest time for buying a home, according to a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University. “From a buyer’s perspective you have more choice, but you’re also competing against far more buyers,” says Ken Johnson, Ph.D., a professor of finance and associate dean at FAU’s College of Business, who also has sold hundreds of homes as a real estate broker. “Sellers are also looking to sell over the summer, particularly if they have children and want to get a deal done before school starts again.”

First Steps for Home Buying
Too many potential buyers find the house and only then worry about financials. That might be why they’re still potential buyers. Instead, first take an X-ray of your financial life, says Eric Tyson, co-author of “Home Buying for Dummies.”

Put exact numbers on the figures you’ve probably been estimating up to now:
— What do you make every month?
— How much do you spend every month?
— How much do you have in your down payment account?
— What are your assets and liabilities?
— How much are you carrying in debt — credit card and otherwise?
— What significant expenses or windfalls (a raise or bonus) do you expect in the next six months or year?
— What’s your ideal monthly house payment?

Selecting The Top-Rated Mortgage Companies
The team at Simple Dollar spent six weeks analyzing 181 mortgage companies and found five options that met their standards. The team personally tested the finalists, evaluated customer service and analyzed rates and fees. Need advice deciding between government-backed loans versus private loans, and adjustable rates versus fixed rates? If you are ready to take the next step of buying a home, this informative guide will assist you in the application process: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/best-mortgage-lenders/

Find a collection of budgeting tools, financial advice, numerous guides, and creative, frugal ideas via The Money Nerve HERE.

Additional Home Buying Info

Happy House Hunting!
Bob

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Become More Aware with Daily Journaling

Daily Journaling

Setting aside a few minutes for daily journaling each morning or at the end of the day creates a greater awareness of your actions, and what changes you would like to make. You may have noticed that you have an emotional response when dealing with your finances. As you define your “Money Nerve” and begin to see what makes you uncomfortable, quiet reflection each day provides you a powerful tool to become more proactive with your decisions.

This process of self-discovery is not easy. If it were, everyone would be debt free and have enough money in the bank to live comfortably. Facing your Money Nerve can be stressful and frightening. Let’s say at this point, you are fearful and not yet taking steps to make your life better. Are you willing to experience the fear and still push through it? Most people go toward change kicking and screaming. They may think there is less risk when they box themselves up and resist change. The environment around us is changing so quickly that adaptation is a necessity. Those who are willing to make changes by being honest and facing their emotions are the people who are moving toward success.

Taking an emotional inventory at the moment is the first step. This self-reflection helps you become aware of how you feel when you make financial decisions. If you are having difficulty figuring out how your Money Nerve affects your finances, use daily journaling to think back to moments during the day when you had to make a financial decision. Choosing to buy coffee for a friend or waiting to make a credit card payment may have triggered your Money Nerve. Ideally, you’ll start to note your emotions at the end of every day, as part of your mental mapping and reflection. Tips for starting a daily journal.

If it is hard for you to carve out time, try this strategy: When a client or friend is 15 minutes late or cancels their time with you, see that moment as “extra time” and use it to meditate or find a calm spot in your day. You can simply enjoy the quiet or jot down notes on how the day is going, and what you would like to see happen — by the end of the day. Are you making daily decisions based on fear or are you proactively forming decisions that can be accomplished with small conscious choices each day?

Be aware and make time to address the change you want to see in your life. Become responsible for your life, your finances, and your mental attitude. You are now making a choice to create change – now is a good time to purchase blank paper to reshape your life dreams with daily journaling! Want to learn more about easing your Money Nerve?  You can receive a monthly newsletter with helpful tips and motivational guidelines to find your financial freedom.

Time to sharpen your pencil!

Bob

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Vacation Travel Hacks

The Money Nerve travel hacks

Everyone deserves an escape from work now and then and you don’t need to break your piggy bank. Make the most of your vacation dollars by planning ahead, and using money-savvy travel hacks to create an oasis of fun and relaxation!

You know you need a break and want to find the best spot. Here are a couple of tips for you to find the best solutions for both traveling and sticking to your budget.

  • Book fixed-cost trips: Explore and select trips that fit the exact dollar amount in your budget. No extra fees & no surprises. Another method for destination selection is to pick a theme. Base your trip on some of your favorite activities. Love wine? Tour a few vineyards or participate in a cooking class seminar. History buffs can find numerous forts and museums across the country while nature lovers have incredible opportunities to hike and bike, enjoying a personal experience in stunning landscapes.
  • Plan Ahead: Find discount codes for your favorite destination and pre-purchase museum tickets, boat rides or city-saver coupon books ahead of time. You will be amazed at how much money you can save!
  • Road Trips: Today, gasoline is still very reasonable and driving is a cost efficient mode of travel. Allow time for side trips and enjoy several stops along the way. Check out some of the most popular USA road trips HERE.
  • Spectacular Landscape: Another fabulous way to see America: Visit nps.gov to find a national park within driving distance. For more road trip ideas, visit http://www.visittheusa.com.
  • Lower Hotel Costs: Travel with friends and family and rent a condo or house. One option is to find smaller independently owned hotels that are not part of a chain. Many times you will get more personal service and spend less. Tired of slow elevators and too many people? Investigate AirBNB or Vacation Homes By Owner for spacious digs at half the price of hotels.
  • Popular Destinations: Find the “hot-spot” and stay in the nearest town for bigger savings. For example, if you are going to Niagara Falls, stay outside of Buffalo, New York – it’s only a 20-minute drive across the border.
  • Flying: Be sure to check flight rates often, use the online travel services that compare prices and send you alerts; farecompare.com, farecast.com, yapta.com, travelocity.com.

Vacations are great stress relievers and bring a sense of renewal to the fast pace of everyday life.  Reward yourself! Be proactive and reap the benefits of your hard work without going into debt.  Be sure to follow @themoneynerve on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more travel hacks.

Have a great vacation this summer — You deserve it!

Bob

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SPRING CLEANING YOUR FINANCES

Spring Clean 4x4 300 dpiWhat are you waiting for? It’s Time to Spring Clean your Finances! For most people, the idea of climbing Mount Everest is scary. The thought of walking along a narrow trail with a three-thousand-foot cliff at its edge may leave you frozen in your tracks. In a similar scenario, some people are terrified of facing their budgets, their level of spending and how they will live once they have retired.

Most people spend their lives confronting financial fear by ignoring it.

Join me for a quick and easy “Spring Cleaning your Finances challenge! For the next two weeks, I will be sharing easy tips for you to clean out what you don’t need and give you some tools to make the most of the income you have! Clear out the dust, drop that debt and take advantage of #TheMoneyNerve tips to “Spring Clean Your Finances!”

Please like and share the Money Nerve posts and feel free to share some of your favorite tips for saving money. Tag @themoneynerve and use the hashtags #SpringClean #TheMoneyNerve when sharing or posting. On Monday, May 2, one winner will be randomly selected from these social media posts to win a complimentary 30-minute financial session with me via Skype.

Financial fear can make you stop in your tracks. Not taking a look at your account balances, not making any decisions, ignoring your family, and not knowing when to take good advice are a few examples of how people start to freeze up. Now that tax time has ended, it is the perfect opportunity to review, refine and move forward financially. It is smart to re-organize your life: the house, the garage, the medicine cabinet, and your finances on an annual basis. Fine-tuning your goals will help to make the next year easier and more prosperous!

Let’s go!

Bob

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Build Your Dream Team

3x3 Being Financial PartnersMaking a plan for a rainy day is always prudent. Some examples might be stashing some money in a savings account, looking toward your retirement or setting aside a three-month supply of food so that you are covered in case of an emergency. Just don’t go overboard, and sacrifice living to the fullest in your present life for an unforeseeable future.

I think of my friend’s grandmother finding an envelope labeled Hawaii trip in her husband’s safe deposit box after he died. They never left mainland soil in his lifetime. He had plenty of money in the envelope; they had the time; he just waited too long to take action. His financial fears kept both of them from sharing unique and fulfilling experiences together.

Have you shared your dreams, your goals or even your credit score with your partner? Maybe it is time to sit down and have a face-to-face conversation about what is important to both of you. Make the time to explore how to make those dreams happen. You want to know what triggers stress in each other and be aware of emotions can trigger extreme reactions.

As you become more aware of your emotions and what triggers your Money Nerve, you will be able to be more understanding of your partner’s Money Nerve. You want to have a conversation with the goal of improving financial communication and a better understanding of the person you love. You may still get annoyed and even upset by the reactions of others— but know you have each other’s back to deal with your situation.

Many times, sharing your financial journey and goals with others can help keep you on track. Keeping a budget together with a common focus becomes fun with a partner because you can “team up” with one another to track receipts, and build a stronger portfolio. When you join forces, you can now plan on how and where to spend your cash, set goals for fulfilling each other’s dreams and laying the groundwork for a better future.