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Choose Your Direction

3x3 You Hold the Power

It is easy to fall into a rut and live your life with the same thoughts repeatedly circling in your brain, mindlessly traveling through life without thinking about what you are saying. Maybe it is time to explore whether your words and actions regarding your finances still ring true.

Are you comfortable with the old story you tell – or is it time to intentionally listen, analyze and make changes in your vocabulary?

You may say, “I’m broke; I never seem to get ahead.”

Maybe you can investigate a new way of thinking and begin to say, “I’m broke; I wonder why I always feel that way.”

Without blaming yourself, you can possibly change the intent by stating what is really happening with your decisions. One option is a statement like this: “I’m broke because I chose not to save any money this week.”

This gives you the opportunity to be curious, note your actions and think about what other choices you’d prefer to make. Hmm….”I am curious to see how and where I am spending my money. I’d like to find ways to shift some of my dollars this week toward my dreams.”

So instead of repeating, “I’m broke”…

How about: “I am going to make positive choices with my money. I want to consciously decide where I want my income to go, instead of drifting with old habits and being unhappy at the end of the month.”

Take back your power to choose. Envision what you want to spend your money on and state how you might make some changes.

For example, if you like having nice clothes and the trendiest shoes, but have no money in the bank and are ready to make a change – you can begin to choose a new way of talking to yourself.

Try this on for size: “I want nice clothes and I want money in the bank. I will choose to wait and buy the shoes when they go on sale and will put the difference in price in the bank.” Or maybe you decide, “I like nice clothes and I have trouble telling myself no, so I will put $25 in the bank each week before I go to the mall!”

Now you are choosing to say “yes!”

Yes to change.

Yes to new possibilities

Yes to conscious choices! That’s a great way to be “stepping-out!”

May you bring conscious change to your life this week-


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Small Steps lead to Success

When you set your financial GPS, you choose your final destination. Next, you have to decide how to get there.

Just imagine… you are driving from California to Maryland with your spouse, your four kids, a poodle and a hamster… can you imagine taking that trip without any stops? While it would be possible, it’s highly probable that your family may lose some of its sanity along the way. You are going to need to break your trip into smaller steps.

You would probably check the map and figure out how many days you can drive for eight hours. You’d plan enough time for meals and extra stops, and you’d have a rough estimate of how long the trip will take and how much it may cost. These projections guide you directly to your target.

Fast forward to your financial goals: You want to save $20,000 for a down payment on a house or condo. Break that big sum into more manageable “mini-goals” and calculate what you can realistically put away each week or each month. Determine how long it will take to set aside that amount. By going from A to B and C to D, you will “go the distance” from A to Z with more assurance.

Each time you reach your weekly goal, the balance gets higher. I have had clients that got so excited; they devised ingenious ways to save more money once they saw the benefits of working their plan. It’s exciting to help others build upon each success and see them reach their goals.

Winning the small battles makes it easier to win the big ones. Winning is a habit that everyone can master. The dynamic nature of our mental strength flips a dream into a new reality. As you determine a new financial target, think about where you are right now. Here are a few exercises for you to explore your perceptions about money.

A) Listen to yourself speak about money this next week. Write down what you said. Is it true? Is it time to make some changes?
B) Identify where you are financially right now.
C) What are your core beliefs about money – and do those still work for you?

There’s no need to be perfect, and we all have to make adjustments along the way – that will always be part the journey. Let me know if any of this resonates with you. I would love to hear your story.

Hope that helps!


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The Power of Words

As I mentioned last week, a mental map is a visualization of a goal you want to reach. Once you have established your mental map, one of the best ways to stay on target is to change the way you speak, especially to yourself!

Your words have the power to change your point of view. I know, it sounds a little crazy, but you will be amazed at the difference you can make by choosing your words.

Consciously develop a new habit to talk about your life in a more proactive manner. One great example is to substitute the word “but” with the word “and.” So instead of saying, “I really want to save, but I don’t make enough money,” try this: “I want to save more money and maybe if I eat lunch out one less day a week, I can save $60 each month for a vacation.”

What a simple change! As your thoughts change, strong positive words become a statement to live by and influence your actions. You have now given yourself permission to make more conscious decisions. Today is the time to change your world.

Here’s to an abundant life!

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Set A New Destination

Are you where you want to be financially? All the steps you have taken in the past have led you right to where you are today!

Now if that’s not where you thought you would be, it may be time for a change. If you are in pain dealing with money and your money nerve is throbbing, you are probably ready for a change. And being open to change, you will find the motivation to create a new path. Determine what motivates you to target a new goal or lifestyle; you can then point yourself in a different direction.

Visualizing the destination you want to reach is a powerful tool for making a mental shift. Before you start on any new journey, you have to know where you are, know where you want to end and decide how you are getting there. Once you have set a destination, it is easier to make adjustments, change the road you travel on or take more time to get there. You are still planning to reach your goal, but allow yourself to be flexible.

Having a visual image of your goal is also called “mental mapping.” Much like reading a road map or setting the GPS in your car, there are many routes that lead to the same destination.

In the same vein, by identifying your current financial position, you can now set your financial GPS to reach your new goal. By creating a path from A to Z, you have built a powerful tool for traveling in the right direction. You may make adjustments, take the scenic route, or even choose another road to get there – but you are always traveling to a specific location. And that makes the trip easier.

It’s possible that the journey may have some roadblocks or detours along the way, slowing you down at times. You may have to take some extra turns or allow more time to get there. Just like a physical roadblock, mental blocks or old habits can hamper your efforts to make financial change.

Are you still juggling numerous credit cards and making a big payment to one card and the bare minimum to all the other credit card companies? Do you only have one card with a balance low enough for you charge stuff? Do you consistently spend your money before your paycheck arrives? Do you make the same choices over and over, without really thinking about why?

Be aware of your surroundings! Whether you are driving on the freeway or you are managing your money, too many roadblocks (unsustainable financial habits) can raise your probability of having an accident. And I guarantee nobody wants that!

Ready for change? Let’s go!

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You Are Not the Only One

Hi! My name is Bob Wheeler, and I am a certified CPA with my own firm in Los Angeles, California. I’m also the CFO of The Comedy Store. I have been listening to clients talk about their money for over 20 years and have found that many people struggle with their financial decisions. It doesn’t matter where they live, what their profession is or the amount of money they make – most people feel they are the only ones who wrestle with finances.

Not true! If you have ever felt that you are the only one who can’t seem to balance a budget or you “just don’t get it” – you are not the only one!

You can begin to make some conscious choices about how YOU want to allocate your dollars. You can create a better lifestyle for yourself and your family.

One of the best ways to get started is to explore how you spend your money and your time. Take a step back and think about some of the emotionally charged decisions you have made in the past. Did those choices point you in a positive or a negative direction? If you find that a majority of those choices backfired, caused you anger, guilt or financial turmoil, you have the option to shift your focus to make proactive choices. Forming calm or thoughtful choices ahead of time can assist you in channeling your new direction.

Visualize where you want to be financially. By creating this destination or mental image in your imagination, you are now defining some life goals and can take steps to make that mental shift transform into a fresh reality.

In my early days of being a CPA, I found I was often more of a counselor than a “numbers guy.” Listening to my clients opened my eyes to the emotional impact money has on people. The “everyone else has it together” attitude permeated through a vast number of people who came to my office. I learned that a person can’t let their perceptions of what others are doing color their world. Each of us can empower ourselves for a change.

Let’s explore new pathways that will help you define the change you want in your life along with some tools to help you reach your destination. I would like to offer my thoughts and assist you in your journey toward a healthy relationship with your money. I hope you will check in with me each week to learn more.

Today’s tip for building your financial muscle: Know you are not alone; take time to explore past financial decisions to determine which choices worked for you.

Have a great week!