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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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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.

If you would like for me to come speak and inspire others at your club, church or community outreach center, click HERE

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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!

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Training Your Financial Garden to Bloom

The Money Nerve
Investing in a Bull Market

Training Your Financial Garden to Bloom

We often speak about putting your dollars to work or controlling your money to avoid bad fiscal habits controlling your actions or pinching your Money Nerve, but today I would like to discuss training your financial garden to bloom. When you plant a garden, you want to nourish the seeds, water the plants, pull out the weeds and give it some of your attention every day. Let’s apply that same concept to your garden of dollars to enrich what you have by growing your finances with a definite plan, proactive actions, and being mindful about money every day.

 

Bull Market Jitters

With the stock market at an all-time high, during this nine-year run of the Bull Market, many people are now wondering and worrying about the best time to harvest their returns. Do you cash out of the stock market now and funnel the cash into tangible assets like real estate or gold (up 2% in the last two weeks)? Or do you ride the Wall Street Wave for as long as you can and hope your losses will be offset by the past five years of high returns. Don’t let emotions rule your decisions. We all know that day of reckoning is coming, but we just don’t know when it will happen. Continue to grow and train your financial garden, keeping up with the positive trends and weeding out the bad investments.

Rebalancing Stocks

Rebalancing is essential any time you invest but even more so when the market is peaking. You should be reviewing your assets on a regular basis and tweaking as the need to reduce risk or increase it changes over time. The habit of rebalancing also helps to keep any emotional, knee-jerk reactions to the market’s volatility under control. Be sure to ask yourself what comparative advantages/products/services made you buy a stock in the first place, and decide if that same mindset holds true today. Additionally, having 30-40% of your assets in cash can help insulate your portfolio from stock price declines. Although you won’t generate the higher returns, you have given yourself liquidity and a degree of safety.

Five Investment Strategies for a Bull Market 

(Via USA Today, photo credit: Getty Images)

1. Reassess your investment thesis for each holding

Dividend stocks come with some key advantages.  The main reason many people like dividend stocks is that dividends paid are a beacon for income-seeking investors looking for time-tested business models. In other words, a company isn’t going to pay a regular dividend if its management team doesn’t expect profits to continue.

2. Add dividend stocks to hedge against inevitable stock market corrections

In an environment where the Fed is walking on eggshells and only incrementally increasing rates, growth stocks should continue to have access to relatively cheap capital that they can use to expand and hire.

3. Consider focusing on growth stocks in a low-interest environment

Buying into high-quality stocks on a regular basis helps to remove emotions from the equation, and it eliminates trying to “time the market.”

4. Regularly buy into stocks to lower your cost basis

Another great idea, now that the stock market at an all-time high, is to buy into new and existing stocks on a regular basis. Whether that’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly, buy into companies that you believe in regardless of where the three major U.S. indexes are valued.

5. Trust the process (and the data)

Last, but not least, trust the process and the long-term data. As noted, the stock market has returned an average of 7% annually, inclusive of dividend reinvestment. This percentage would work out to a doubling an average of once a decade.

Spending time thinking and planning to train your financial garden to grow in a bull market will reap benefits when market corrects itself.

 

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Radical Abundance Workshops

Radical Abundance Workshops are happening this September in Montreal and Toronto!

Radical Abundance Workshops in Montreal and Toronto
Find Radical Abundance with The Money Nerve

Join us in Montreal September 15-17, and in Toronto September 22-24!

Do you have limiting money beliefs? Are you ready for a path to create financial freedom? Want to heal your relationship with money in a creative, collaborative and supportive way?

FINANCIALLY TAPPED, EMOTIONALLY TRAPPED?
You CAN create a new path for financial freedom. If you feel the heat rising when you pay those monthly bills, that could be your money nerve alerting you that it’s time to make a change. The Money Nerve concept will inspire you to make a real change in your perspective about money. I love working with groups and leading workshops – to help each of you navigate your emotional response to money, create a healthy budget and chart a new course!

Our Radical Abundance Workshops have been engineered to create a transformation of your limiting financial mindset and help you to uncover new pathways for creative solution and a richer life experience.

Join us…

Join me  and colleague CORE Energetics professional Josee Martel, for an incredible mind-opening experience that will change your life! You will be given tools and techniques for personal and professional success, while learning to live a life of proactive abundance!

Be a part of this weekend workshop in either Montreal or Toronto

Take advantage of this opportunity to evolve your capacity to play big in life and relationships. We’d LOVE to have you at our Radical Abundance Workshops!

Select Your Location

Montreal911 Rue Jean-Talon E, Montréal, QC H2R 1V5, Canada

Montreal Facebook Event Info HERE

Toronto: Colt Paper Building, 151 Sterling Rd, Toronto, ON M6R 2B2, Canada

Toronto Facebook Info HERE

Schedule both weekends:

Friday: 7-9:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30 am – 5 pm

Radical Abundance Workshops
Bob Wheeler & Josee Martel

 

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Easy Hacks For A New Financial Habit

The Money Nerve

Easy Hacks For A New Financial Habit

Today is the best day for starting a new habit. Try these easy hacks for a new financial habit. You may have decided that it is time to do “things” differently, but the thought of making lots of significant changes at the same time can be overwhelming. Let’s break it down to make it easier to stick with a new mindset.

Keep It Simple

Let’s say you have decided to start an emergency fund and your long-term goal is to save three months of salary. When thinking about such a big hairy goal, it would be so easy to admit defeat before you ever started. So, take $50 and open that savings account. Tell all your friends that you are working on saving more money. When you talk about your goals, you plant the idea more firmly in your head.

Now automate a small amount of money, how about $25, to be directed into this new account with every paycheck. You will be surprised at how quickly your account will grow, and how little you miss that small amount you may have been spending on “junk.”

Starting with small steps makes a change of financial habits easier.
One glass of water a day. One extra vegetable. Three pushups. One sentence of writing a day. Two minutes of meditation. Voila! You now have a habit that lasts.

Keep Your Focus Positive

We all know a friend or colleague that seems to be “practically perfect!” They work out every day, eat healthy, volunteer at the local shelter and blog about their good deeds. It’s easy to compare yourself to others and begin to tear apart all the good work YOU are doing.

Keep your positive attitude; you are making one small step toward a more positive outcome.
Only you can make a personal change. When seeds of doubt begin to grow, you need to squash those negative voices that pop into your head; demanding you to quit, taunting you with past failures or demoralizing you with doubt and fear. Shove those thoughts into a box and mentally throw the box out! Embrace your new habit and nurture your small wins.

Keep It Real

Every week or two, hold yourself accountable and move forward a few steps. If you didn’t do as well as you wanted, jot that down and try again with a slightly different approach. Did you spend your “emergency fund” money on a movie and popcorn? Next week, add fifty percent more, you will still be ahead.

Did a great job of saving each paycheck for the past month? Tell yourself what an awesome job you are doing. Acknowledge your good work, reward yourself, and enjoy the success. Share your success with others, it may motivate them to start a new habit too. It often takes less time to create one simple habit than it does to make excuses for your inability to change.

For insight and motivational tips to create a healthy relationship with your money, AND for easy hacks to develop a new financial habit – sign up for the monthly Money Nerve newsletter.

You can do anything for one month!

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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.