Is the resolution working? Then try this.
They say the percentage of people who achieve their resolutions are about 8%. You may be thinking this is going to be one of those blogs that will fire me up to work harder to achieve my resolutions or one that reminds me that I have failed once again. I can throw out statistics that say if you do A+B=C every time (yeah sure it does, NOT) you will do better. We have been smothered with work harder, do more, do it better, that when we fail we say, well I guess I am just can’t change. Well we do know if we quit we do not have to measure up to everyone else that seems to be succeeding. One reason I love the gospel is that I was not good enough, and Jesus fixed that problem for me! No more having to do better, I get to do better! You don’t have to do better at whatever your resolution is, but you get to do better if you want. Don’t compare your problem, your progress or your success to someone else. We all move at different speeds and handle things differently. If you have ever taken a DISC profile you know that we have different personalities, and react differently in life situations. One of the animals they use to describe different personality types is a lion for the strong type A personalities. For the more stable and lower keyed faithful types they use a golden retriever. We all know that a lion and a retriever will react differently and handle things differently. Neither personality type is wrong, they are just different. We need all the different types in our lives!
So what should you try? Whatever your resolution is write it down and create steps, baby steps, to achieve it. Don’t make it to large, such as I am going to get my finances straight. That is very broad because you are dealing with, saving, spending, getting out of debt, paying off the mortgage, retirement, college etc. That can overwhelm you when the Christmas bill comes in and it will make you want to quit on your resolution. Start in one area, if all of the areas overwhelm you. Start with just a budget. Write down everything you will spend and try to trim those numbers. The big thing is to try and stick to the number you determine to spend and track it. A budget takes about 3 months to begin to work right, so stick to it. Make sure you spend what you save wisely, savings or applying it to debt. Sit down at least once a week and see how much you have actually spent vs. what you have written down. Depending on your personality, you can either live on the bare necessities or trim things slowly but surely. The more you sacrifice the faster you reach your goal. But if you don’t like the idea of going too fast you may sabotage yourself and quit before it works. Go at a speed you can handle. You did not get into the financial shape you are in overnight and you will not get out overnight. Be patient and take one step at a time. Let me know if you want my help.
Go West Coaching 1-11-14
Avoiding the Christmas spending High
Well its Christmas time again. Wow it got here fast as usual and if you did not save throughout the year you will be hopefully working it into your budget. Here are just a few tips to help you keep within your budget and not get carried away. It is easy to get into the mindset of its Christmas everyone is spending a lot, it won’t hurt if I do also. I have done it and come January I regretted it. You do not want to be paying for Christmas when it is time to go on vacation in the summer.
Remember these things when buying a gift: 1. If the only reason you buy someone a gift is because they bought you one that is not a good reason. I know you may think it will make them mad if you don’t, but if all they wanted was to manipulate you into giving them a gift they are not much of a friend anyway. 2. Make a gift list, of who you want to buy for and how much you can spend. 3. Don’t overspend that amount! If you have a hard time determining how much to spend look back at what you spent last year. 4. Get creative, make gifts, set a smaller amount that normal and challenge others to stick to it. Remember time spent with others is the most valuable of all. Give out daddy daughter date night cards etc. 5. If you do use a credit card pay it off ASAP! Don’t let it hang around like a stray cat.
Just remember we are able to celebrate Christmas because of Christ. God gave us the gift of reconciliation with Him through Christ. Give Him thanks and love on others, that is better than any stuff we can buy!
Have a Mary Christmas!
Go West Coaching
In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. Proverbs 21:20
Make all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.-John Wesley
We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.
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I hope you are having a wonderful week, and enjoying the non Augusta GA like summer. I hope some of the tips from the money
lies newsletters helped you out. If you ever have any questions or suggestions feel free to email me and I will try to answer them for you. This week we will talk a little about debt and getting out of debt. Thank you for reading! I will be
helping single parents with any personal finance issues at Vineyard Church. Come by and see me!!
Go West Coaching
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Challenge to Change
We have all heard the saying, if you want a different result you need to do something different to get it. That is very true, but it is not comfortable. If you want to lose weight, you have to change your eating and exercise habits. I can give you a few pointers on those things but I will just stick with your personal finance. If you are tired of the same pattern your life is in, try a couple of quick changes and stick to them. If they are not working change them. I will issue you a budget challenge, a debt challenge and a saving challenge. Pick an area that you want to work on and dive in. Here they go-
1. Budget Challenge- If you dont live on a written budget every month this may be for you. First list all of your expenses, debts, bills, hobbies etc. List them in order of importance. (Hint-Food, clothing, shelter, Transportation and utilities most important.) Set the amounts you need to spend and make sure you stick to them. Remember this concept that the government cannot, you cannot spend more money than you make. When you have spent every dollar you made, on paper, you are finished. If you come up short you have to either make more money or cut some categories. Download a budget here if you like.
Let me know if you have any questions. Also let me know how you do, it helps to here the successes of others who have the same struggles. It is encouraging!!
Quotes to think about:
"You can't build a reputation on what you're GOING to do." Henry Ford
A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor people perfected without trials.
We cannot start over, but we can begin now, and make a new beginning" Zig Ziglar
When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane. Stephen Wright
Its Time to Act!
What and why
In dealing with people and their finances I not only teach them what to do with their money, but we have to understand why they got to this place financially. Everyone usually starts out thinking that they are broke because they don’t make enough or that one certain circumstance caused them to get behind and stay there. Some times this is true, but not always. If a person can add and subtract they have the head knowledge to know when to stop spending. If financial problems were just a math issue we would never spend more than we have. Personal finance is more behavior than head knowledge. There is usually a behavioral reason as to why we spend more than we make other than just not paying attention or bad luck. Although paying attention is part of it, we also may be trying to cover up an inward problem or a possible addiction. We try to treat the problem with spending money to make us feel good. Financial problems show up, a lot of the times, just a symptom of the real problem. Our financial problems can point to the real issue when we unpack everything. Bankruptcy attorneys tell us that filing bankruptcy will solve our problems. Bankruptcy just treats the symptoms and never changes the spending habits we have developed that cause the problems. Once you determine why you are having financial problems, and why you want to get out, you can determine what to do to fix the problem. Money, or the lack of it, can get your emotions in high gear. We are created to use our mind as well as our emotions to get our finances under control. It takes head knowledge and emotional passion to change your life to go in the direction you want it to go. Can you imagine your life being debt free and having 3-6 months of living expenses in an emergency savings account? If this sounds good to you, start to change your life by finding out- why you are where you are at financially,- and why you need to change. These answers will tell you what you need to do. Let me know if I can help you with your plan!
Go West Coaching 6-30-13
Building a life or building a prison
I have always heard if you want total security, food, clothing, and shelter that prison is the best place to find these things. You will never have to worry missing out on these things in prison. You will get them daily. Our default mode in life is usually “play it safe” for ourselves and our families. In football they call it the prevent defense. It usually keeps teams from winning. We always have that dream of what we want and we compare it with the reality of where we are at in our lives. When reality does not measure up with our dreams we get discouraged at where we are at in life. We may be comfortable but it is not quiet our dream so we get settled where we are at and determine to keep that status. The longer we stay the same in life and put off our dreams and desires, the more valuable settling where we are at gets. We listen to ourselves and others and in the name of responsible and reasonable and we determine that chasing a dream is foolish. Once this thought settles in, we protect what we do have and say this is great and we build the walls around that to keep us in and set up a prison we were not intended for. We will choose to do things that keep the status quo whether we realize it or not. We do this all to keep everything the same and strengthen the walls of our custom built prison. If this is not your dream then begin to act on where God is moving you. He is usually moving you to help people in His name and He gives us dreams and desires for direction. Remember we are here to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. It hard to have true joy in prison, I would think. Watch out who you associate with also because a lot of people don’t want you to succeed and be happy. If you hang out with people who limp you will eventually develop a limp yourself. You may ask “what if I fail?” You will, but don’t make failure permanent. Failure is life’s way of adjusting your path and getting you back on track. And remember it will not happen as quickly as you like. It’s all part of the adventure. So begin to act and open the cell door also feel free to mess up, because you will. If you don’t mess up you are not doing something right! So dream, enjoy, and remember to build a life not a prison.
Go West Coaching 6-20-13
Saving – just start somewhere
We don’t save like we use to for many different reasons. Here are a few statistics to help show where we are as a nation: 38% of American adults have an emergency fund. 41% save something regularly, $ 35,000 is the average amount saved for retirement in America. Out of people who do save for retirement only 18% feel they have enough saved when they do retire. Now I can try to make you feel bad and list all of the other countries that do better at savings than us, or tell you how the generations past always saved better than we save. Or I can fill you with fear, doom and gloom to scare you into saving more, but you can watch the news or go online and get that. I don’t want to beat people up, it never works, I just want you to start somewhere so you don’t have to depend on someone else when you need money. We will all have financial emergencies in our life; saving helps us have a plan for them. I have had one for the last three months and figured out I need to save more! (I am not perfect; I hope I don’t try to sound like I am.) Let’s identify what keeps us in America from saving more besides being taxed more. The more we make the more we spend. The first thing we think when we make more money in America is what can I buy next? We are endlessly advertised to by T.V., radio, internet, magazines, billboards, mail, cars wrapped with ads, clothes, and everything else. All of the advertisements tend to make us feel like we are lacking something and their product will fill that void and we spend our hard earned money on the product. Once we have it we will find out that that thing is not the thing to fix our lives and make us happy forever and we look for something else to buy to fill that void. We can stay in this cycle for decades and spend what we could have saved and retire or enjoy life more. Basically we turn these things into idols, and an idol is something we look to, to bring us joy and satisfaction. We make it an ultimate thing. Be careful that we do not make an idol with money also. Money is a tool, not a god. Enjoy your stuff don’t look for it you make you eternally happy. Another problem is that we are in a microwave society, we want it and we want it now. We are used to getting what we want instantly from, cooking to information. If there is something we don’t know we Google it with our phones. How many of you remember waiting for an hour or two while one of your brothers or sisters was on the phone!? I was the younger one and had the joy of bothering my sister while she was on the phone. A whole generation will miss out because everyone has a phone now! So, don’t panic they make more than one of the things you want and you will have time to buy it! The next reason we spend and don’t save is because we want to keep up with everyone else buying stuff. We are always trying to impress people we may never see again, or don’t even like. Also, it is easier to spend more when we do not use cash. I myself can keep hitting the “add” to cart button while online shopping and not realize how full the cart is when checking out on Amazon! Use cash when possible and set an amount in your budget when you are shopping. Lastly don’t get to the point where you think you are too far gone that you say, what is the use of keeping up with what you spend, there is no hope, just enjoy life. Usually there is a lot more life left when we think this way and guess what, it requires money! Don’t give up hope. There is always hope because you can start doing things differently with a plan for your money. Not everyone can save 10-20% with their each pay check. Don’t panic, start somewhere whether it is $5 a week or a $100 a week. Get in the habit of paying yourself first before paying others and budget some blow money so you can buy some stuff for fun!
Go West Coaching 6-9-13
How far would you be now?
Do you remember when you were a kid and someone told you to go do something and you got half way to your destination and they called you back and asked you; I wonder how far you would be now if you didn’t turn around? Do you notice how we often do the same thing to ourselves by not doing what we set out to do originally? We usually have an idea of where we want to go, or where we would like to be at certain stages of our life. Things in life happen that “call us back” and ask us where we would be now if we continued on. I remembered when I turned 41 and woke up that morning and realized my house would have been paid for if I had got a 15 year mortgage! But we cannot stay in those places mentally because we will never get to a destination worth going to if we live in regret. I heard one time that if we are depressed we are living in the past, and if we are anxious we are living in the future. When we do either one of these we sacrifice the life we have now and it drains our energy for the future. How about I issue us a challenge this Memorial day? A lot of our fellow Americans gave it all so we could go where we planned without regret and help our country and glorify God with the blessings He gave us to subdue the earth. Determine what you want to do, weather it is lose weight, get out of debt, get in shape, run a marathon or start a new career or business. If you stay in the thinking about it or the planning mode without executing you will ask years from now where would I be if I followed through with that idea? If you are afraid of failure embrace it, the bigger you fail it usually means the bigger the payoff will be. I would rather fail at an endeavor than to never try and wonder where I would be if I had tried. I am glad our veterans didn’t quit because there is no telling where or who we would be now. Let’s not listen to that voice that calls us back because it is just going to ask; how far would you be now?
Go West Coaching 5-27-13
Like most everyone today, I have been hearing a lot of examples of hardships this week. No jobs, no retirement funds, worthless stock, cancelled vacations, new violence and political unrest, and general uncertainty. Rather than trying to create something profound I’d like to share this old story.
Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, because he owned a beautiful white horse. People offered fabulous prices for the horse, but the old man always refused. “This horse is a friend, not a possession,” he would respond.
One morning the horse was not in the stable. All the villagers said, “You old fool. We told you someone would steal that beautiful horse. You could at least have gotten the money. Now the horse is gone, and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”
The old man responded, “Perhaps. All I know is that my horse is gone; the rest I do not know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say.”
After fifteen days the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses back with him. Once again the village people gathered around the old man and said, “You were right – what we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.” The old man responded, “Perhaps. Once again you’ve gone too far. How do you know if this is a blessing or a curse? Unless you can see the whole story, how can you judge?” But the people could only see the obvious. The old man now had twelve additional horses that could be broken and sold for a great deal of money.
The old man had a son, an only son. He began to work with the wild horses. Unfortunately, after just a few days, he fell from a horse and broke both his legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and said, “You were right. The wild horses were not a blessing; they were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs and now in your old age you have no one to help you. You are poorer than ever.” But the old man said,“ Perhaps. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. We have only a fragment of the whole story.”
It so happened that a few weeks later the country went to war with a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army.
Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he had two broken legs. Once again the people gathered around, crying because there was little chance their sons would return. “You were
right, old man. Your son’s accident was a blessing. Our sons are gone forever.”
The old man spoke again. “You people are always quick to jump to conclusions. Only God knows the final story.”
And so it is with our lives. What we see as a blessing or a curse may simply be part of God preparing us for what lies ahead. Be careful in seeing “disaster” in any change. Just recognize it as change – which opens the door for good as well as bad – for gain as well as possible loss.
I’ve spent 25 years seeing people go through unexpected and unwelcome change – and have enjoyed seeing most move on to more opportunity, freedom, fulfillment and income.
What experience have you had – where initially what seemed a curse turned out to be the beginning of a blessing?
Tithing, offering and giving part 2
Last week we learned the difference between tithing, offering and giving. Tithing is the giving of 10% of your income to your local church that you are a member of. Offering was that which is presented in divine service; an animal or a portion of bread or corn, or of gold and silver, or other valuable articles, presented to God as an atonement for sin, or as a return of thanks for his favors, or for other religious purpose; a sacrifice. Giving is the bestowing of money, time or something of value to you to someone else in need. I will try to answer, in this blog, how much we should give to God. As Christians we want to be obedient to God and honor Him. We humans love to have rules, because we feel like we are doing what is good and acceptable to God when we follow them. We also set up an unwritten rule that God likes you more when you follow all of the rules. This is our default mode, to follow the rules better than others and make God smile at me more than you. There is probably not an area in our lives that we do not do this, but I will talk about the money part. First the idea that we give God money is insane. It’s His money, which he gave us the intelligence, ability and resources to acquire and manage it for Him. God needs nothing, He is self-sustaining. God needs nothing from us, but He lets us give, because He is a giver and made us in His image. When we are giving it gives us a break from thinking about ourselves. Also as far as the rules are concerned Jesus fixed that issue for us, He followed all of them, perfectly, and we got the credit as if we done it ourselves and He got the punishment that we should have.
When it comes to managing Gods money for Him, it starts with the tithe. Our tithe should be giving 10% of our income to our local church where you are a member. Yes I heard the next question, on the gross or on the net. I would ask you the question, what’s in your heart to give? Tim Keller states in his book Counterfeit Gods- ‘I’ll tell you why you don’t see the tithing requirement laid out clearly in the New Testament. Think. Have we received more of God’s revelation, truth, and grace than the Old Testament believers, or less?’ Usually there is uncomfortable silence. ‘Are we more ‘debtors to grace’ than they were, or less? Did Jesus ‘tithe’ his life and blood to save us or did he give it all?’ Tithing is a minimum standard for Christian believers. We certainly wouldn’t want to be in a position of giving away less of our income than those who had so much less of an understanding of what God did to save them.
So where do we go from there? The tithe should be a starting point or the minimum standard as Tim Keller states. He gave it to you to manage and gives you a clue of what to do with the first 10 percent. If a Christian is sold out for the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ, they will give up every endeavor and pour all of their effort into it, worshiping Him. They would also manage their resources that He gives us to manage into where He directs us. Don’t get to upset none of us starts totally sold out for Jesus. Heck Peter, the rock which the church was built upon denied Him three times. When we are afraid of giving because we might need the money, we obey what our bank account says. When we make money an idol we make it an ultimate thing. When we put money in this position it becomes everything to us such as security, joy, peace and comfort. We can fear because we base our security on what we see in our bank account (idol.) As Dudley Hall stated, the best way to fight poverty is with generosity. Once you give a lot and see your security, well-being, joy peace and comfort is not in your money you can give and not worry. If you have a clinched fist with your money, none can get out, but none can get in either. Remember, if you have not met the mark in your giving, Jesus met it and you get the credit for it. This doesn’t mean that we do what we want with His money and resources. If God has done a work of grace (grace-love for the undeserving) in your life and your relationship is growing with Him you will want to give not because you have to because you get to give. We get to give something acceptable to God because Christ death burial and resurrection made it acceptable to the Father. So never let your lack of giving make you think God is not going to bless you because you are not following the rules. I don’t care how much money you get none of us will ever receive anything close to what Jesus gave us. With that said I think God has fulfilled Malachi 3:10. As far as the most famous question in tithing, do you give off of the gross or the net, the answer is give it all for the gospel! Although this takes time for us to let loose and live our lives this way, we are always a work in progress. The deeper our relationship with Christ the more he opens our eyes to see more of what He has for us. My eyes need opening more, and He loves us too much to let us stay the same. So start where you are, give and enjoy your life because all of your debt to God is paid in full. He saved us from Him to Him. We can now live without fear and enjoy participating in subduing the earth. Let’s give all we can and keep seeking Him and learn to enjoy what He has done, and what He is going to do.
Tithing, offering and giving
This is a topic that brings a lot of confusion discussion and argument amongst Christians. There is lot of unnecessary guilt that can be associated with tithing, offering and giving. First let’s distinguish between them, tithing and offering and giving. Tithing is a giving of the first fruits of your income. (First fruit- the first fruits of the crop: - first fruit (-ripe [figuratively), hasty fruit.)
The word tithe literally means a tenth “You shall surely tithe all of the produce from what you sow, which come out of the field every year.” Deuteronomy 14:22; Bring up the tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse.” Nehemiah 10:38. To summarize it give a tenth of what you have earned and to bring it to the store house.
Since it was agrarian society, they were farmers and their tithe would be food of some sort they have grown or raised, or it could have been sheep they raised etc. Fast forward to now our tithing would be money, because that is the fruit our work generates for us and we use money to get other things we need. To sum tithing up you give a tenth of your earnings or what your work produces to the store house or in modern times the church you are a member of.
Offering - an offering, according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, Offering, n. That which is presented in divine service; an animal or a portion of bread or corn, or of gold and silver, or other valuable articles, presented to God as an atonement for sin, or as a return of thanks for his favors, or for other religious purpose; a sacrifice ( Sacrifice To offer to God in homage or worship, by killing and consuming, as victims on an altar; to immolate, either as an atonement for sin, or to procure favor, or to express thankfulness;); an oblation. In the Mosaic economy, there were burnt-offerings, sin-offerings, peace-offerings, trespass-offerings, thank-offerings, wave-offerings, and wood-offerings. Pagan nations also present offerings to their deities. Christ by the offering of Himself has superseded the use of all other offerings, having made atonement for all men. (Remember the last sentence from this definition; it plays a big part later on.) Our offering nowadays is usually anything we give above our tithe. It can also be a giving of time and talent. But we can offer nothing greater than Christ offered. God was completely satisfied with Christ’s offering and we can never give anything to compare so ours could be called giving. Offering in the Old Testament was to please God.
Giving- this should be the easy one- Bestowing; conferring; imparting; granting; delivering. Or you could say that giving is the passing on something you have possession of to someone you desire to. Next week will discuss how these things are applied now days and how we should handle our possessions in relation to tithing offering and giving.
The concept of the lottery is so simple. Pay a dollar or so and pick some random numbers. If you pick right, you win big. If you don't, hey, you're only out a dollar.
Welllll ... there's more to it than that.
First, you're counting on false hope to lead you to prosperity when you play the lottery. Your shot at winning is ridiculously long. And lots of people don't just bet a dollar. They'll do 5 or 10. Each week.
On top of that, since the majority of people who play are struggling with money, that $20 or $40 a month really adds up. If a person of any income isn't doing a budget, they'll spend too much on the lottery and on bounced checks and overdraft fees.
The worst part is that, by investing that $40 a month over 50 years (you can play the lottery for that long) into a growth-stock mutual fund averaging 12%, you'll end up with more than $1.5 million. That sounds like a jackpot number to us, and it will happen every time instead of 1 in 800 billion gazillion.
Let's say you play a lottery where you draw six numbered balls randomly from a machine. The balls are numbered 1 to 56. The odds are 1 in 32,468,436 (we calculated it) that you will wind up with the grand prize. For some perspective:
You have about a 1 in 2,000,000 chance of being struck by lightning.
A pregnant woman has a 1 in 705,000 chance of giving birth to quadruplets.
Someone eating an oyster has a 1 in 12,000 chance of finding a pearl in it.
If that's not enough, here's a visual example. This one might seem a little out there, but bear with us.
Get a rope that is 59 feet long and lay it in a circle so the ends touch. Get a pair of tweezers and (we're not kidding) pick up a grain of sand. Toss it anywhere inside the circle that you want. Then pick up a second grain of sand and step into the center of the circle. Close your eyes and do something to disorient yourself, such as spinning around.
Once you are confused enough, drop the second grain of sand from a foot above the ground. Your odds of hitting the first grain with the second are roughly equal to 1 in 32,468,436.
Read how lottery winners don't really win anything when the smoke clears.
The reason people play the lotto is because they are greedy for something they can't or shouldn't have. They want a shortcut to an easy life so they can goof off. Pursuing that will lead you to ruin. Build your wealth the smart and slow way. Once you're rich, you'll be glad you did.
Source: Webmath, Saving Advice
Go West Coaching 4-21-12
Doing it for God?
When a person feels like they have found their calling they often feel like that’s what God has put them on earth to do. We feel like we need to do this for God. I believe that our calling is a wonderful gift from God, but a lot of times we make that our god. We use our calling to define our identity and not who we are as Christians, sons of God. We as men, especially, shape our whole life around our work. We look to our calling to bring us happiness, fulfillment, peace and joy. Our calling cannot hold up under this kind of pressure, it is not made to carry that kind of weight. We want Gods power to push our calling on to the next level, to be better than everyone at what we do. Doing your work with excellence is what we should do, but if our work is not worship to a most holy God, we may have the wrong motives pushing us to succeed. Don’t worry if you’re His child He will fix the problem so that you do not continue on that path. We may not even be in our calling and we just try to add His power to where we are and say we are doing it for God. I have, more than once, determined that Almighty God is self-sufficient and doesn’t need me or anyone to “do anything for Him.” “Jesus didn't come into the world to lend His power to already existing appetites. That's the fundamental mistake of the prosperity gospel. Leave people untransformed in what they crave, and simply add the power of Jesus as the way to get it. That is not the gospel. It is a kind of acclamation that Jesus walks away from. John Piper”So one might ask; what needs to be my motive? Do I have to do anything with the talents God gave me? Shouldn’t I use the talents He gave me? Am I just wasting my talent and passion? I struggle with this a lot. But, God will always lead us to where he wants us, teaching us a lot on the way. Humans default mode is generally, we have to do things in this world to earn approval of man. We carry this over in our relationship with God and assume we have to do everything in our life to earn Gods approval. I have found out that I do not have to use my calling as a way to earn “God points.” If I mess up it does not do well with man here on earth but Christ purchased my standing with God. I am accepted and redeemed! With that in mind this frees me to pursue my God given talents and passions as worship and not as a system to earn a smile from God. Our standing, as Christians, with God is the same as in Christ’s standing with the Father. I don’t have to work at my calling to be accepted, I get to freely pursue the joy that it brings in my life and if I fail God sees me the same, accepted! The great thing about failure is that it teaches me to win by pursuing my calling in a new way or moves me on to where God wants me. So, if you are a Christian, you can feel free to take the risk of your calling. If you mess up along the way, and you will, its ok you have nothing to earn with God. Jesus took care of that for us! Christ made our work acceptable to God as worship. So let’s go out and worship with our work and enjoy our talents and remember that God uses our work to bless us and help others! Our calling should be used to worship God not to make God smile. Jesus made Him smile for eternity and we can enjoy it forever. You don’t have to work, you get too!!
Should I rent or buy?
At some point in our lives we all have this question. Half of the people you talk to say rent and the other half say buy. Every situation is different and there is no one size fits all when it comes to this question. Let’s talk about a few of the issues that can arise from this question and help answer some of the problems you may run across. I will agree with most folks out there that, now is a good time to buy a house. This is true only if you can afford to pay for a house. Just because you can pay the monthly mortgage payment does not mean you can afford the house. There is more than just a mortgage payment to deal with. When you are the owner you must pay for the maintenance of your home, and any other fees that are applicable. Maintenance includes things such as heating and air conditioning systems, roofs, appliances, plumbing and everything else in your home. Just because your mortgage payment is a little cheaper than paying rent it should not be the sole reason to buy a home. If you have a major repair it can cost thousands of dollars that will cause not only a house problem but also a financial problem. Then there is the “you can use interest on your mortgage as a tax write off.” Don’t get me wrong tax write offs are great but if you are paying more in interest to the bank than you are to the IRS you are not saving money, you are actually spending more in your interest. Example, suppose you make 100,000.00 a year income, and let’s say you pay 10,000.00 in interest a year to the bank. If you are in the 30% tax bracket, with this income that means you would pay 3000.00 in income taxes on 10,000.00. Now answer the question would you rather send the mortgage company 10000.00 a year to avoid sending the IRS 3000.00? If you save your money long enough and have patients you could start off buying your first house and have it paid for. But most of us cannot wait and get a mortgage. Here are a few things that will let you know that you are ready to buy a house. If you have at least a 20% down payment when the time to buy rolls around. Since the mortgage bust a few years ago this is becoming more common when you get ready to purchase. You should also should have 3-6 months of emergency savings left after the down payment. Everyone has been told these things are impossible to do now days, but that is not true if you have the patients and a good financial plan to get you there. You should not get a mortgage payment that is more that 25-30% of your net pay, anything much higher will have the majority of your money going into your home and you will not have much fun outside of that. Also you should get a 15 year fixed rate mortgage. We tell ourselves a lot of times that we will pay extra on our 30 year but we rarely do that. A 15 year mortgage pays off in 15 years every time. If you can do these things your home will be an enjoyment to you and your family and not a source of worry and financial problems.
Is it time for a change?
We often do the same things day in and day out, year in and year out, and become comfortably numb to the way we live. A lot of the things we do we may not enjoy such as our job and the way we handle our money. We keep on going to our place of work and instead of enjoying it we just learn to endure the day. This also affects the way we handle our finances. When we are not happy in our daily work routine we will try to find something to buy or go on as many vacations we can to find joy. Money can buy fun but it cannot buy happiness. So how do you know when you need to make some changes? Here are a few things that may indicate to you to change your life.
I am not saying quit where you are at, but begin to plan where you want to be whether it is in your career life or your financial life. We get so busy doing the things in life we declare as “urgent” that we always live in crisis mode. When you are constantly in crisis mode without a plan it is hard to take time to make a plan for what is really important in life. Remember you don’t have to, you get to.
You might need a financial coach if….
Most of us have heard the “you might be a redneck if…” jokes from Jeff Foxworthy. I have always enjoyed them and have been accused of being a redneck myself, many times. So, what gave me this idea? I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a lottery commercial. After that I heard the commercial for getting help if you are addicted to gambling. Hey I guess it was a public service announcement to “help” us with a problem. Just a thought don’t pass the lottery to get people addicted to gambling and you may prevent a gambling problem that way, just a thought. Anyway here is my you might need a financial coach if-
Your retirement plan is your local state lottery. Hey jack it’s not what you make its how much you keep. The average American family makes 40,000 a year. Over a 30 year working life that is 1.2 million dollars going through your hands. Save some of it and get a plan before you make the money and tell it where to go. Just like the commercial says you have a better chance of getting attacked by a grizzly bear and a polar bear in the same day than winning the lottery.
You might need a financial coach if- you are paying for Christmas in July. If I have learned one thing Christmas rolls around the same time every year and if I don’t save money for Christmas I don’t have any to spend. Start saving now if you have not and stick to the budget. You are not a bad person if you don’t buy everything that your kids want. If you haven’t noticed kids have a endless desire for stuff.
You might need a financial coach if- you think the words “budget” and “no” are cuss words. Telling you money what to do before you get it is what a budget does. When you live on a budget you actually get a raise most of the time because your managed money does more than money that is not managed. Saying no will save you time, energy, effort and money.
You might need a financial coach if- you say I will save money when I make more. If you do not start saving when you make a small amount you will not save money when you make a lot. Look at NFL players; 80% of them are broke after being out of the NFL for 10 years.
Finally, you might need a financial coach if- you talk to your creditor on the phone more than your family and friends. The answer to getting out of debt is not borrowing more money. Hey if you are in a hole stop digging. Creditors can be a pain to deal with. Get a plan and get them out of your life.
2013 – The New Year
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas this year. It is hard to believe that we are at the end of 2012. There is a lot of wonder and anxiety going into 2013. We have the fiscal cliff we are facing, struggling economy, the tragedy in Connecticut and basically a divided country. I wished I could say that I could solve those problems overnight, but no one can and a quick fix usually sets us up for a future failure. I believe the best way for us to see changes in life that we want is to work on our own life. I cannot fix the national economy today, but I can make a lot of progress on my personal economy. I read a blog by Kevin Miller yesterday that was good about pleasure necessity and significance. I thought this would be a great time to invest more time in the significant things in my life. We start out this year on fire to change our lives and then we fail to plan , and we wind up in the 92% that do not accomplish their resolutions. Are resolutions simple? No. Are they easy? No. Is it hard work? Yes. Is it worth it? It is to me when I meet a goal. Well you may ask how can I do it? Attempt to change, and stick to it is the best start. Feel free to download a goal worksheet from my website (toward bottom of page) and go through it and make plans in the seven different areas that make up your life. Make the goals attainable, but challenging. You may be like me; you can make the goals and forget to check the sheet monthly to see if you are hitting the marks to attain your goal. It’s hardly a waste of time when you check your goals because you are changing your life. Remember to set goals that are possible, such as, if you make 50k a year but you want to make more don’t make the goal 250000! Remember by the inch it’s a cinch by the yard it’s hard. Take baby steps to get there. Speaking of baby steps I am hosting a Dave Ramsey’s financial peace university starting Jan 13th. Click here for more information. If you just hope that your life changes and take no action you will be facing 2014 saying nothing is different from last year. If you quit trying to reach your goals you will fail also and be discourged. Be Blessed this 2013 and when you change yourself remember you are changing the world!!
The problem with freedom
I know it sounds strange, that a problem would exist if you are free. I believe that we, as Americans, have a problem with freedom. The problem is that we do now know how to live free! We say we want freedom of speech, freedom from an oppressive government, freedom in our finances, freedom to do work we love, freedom of religion and so on. When we think we have these freedoms we subconsciously begin to go back into bondage in these areas. I believe with true freedom there is a responsibility to make the best choices we can, not the easiest choice. The best choice is the one that leaves us free to prosper. I have come to learn that freedom is not free or an easy choice to make. It cost you something, but the cost is well worth the payment. We think freedom is easy because we define it as doing what we want, not what is best. When things get hard, because we made a difficult choice, we begin to go back to the easy bondage that we were used to before. Take your finances for example; suppose you want to become debt free and you decide to stop using credit, save money to pay for purchases and pay off your debt. We start off like our hair is on fire to reach that goal, but when it doesn’t happen quickly (six months, one year or even two years) we start feeling trapped, we feel like we will never have anything or do anything fun again. Before you know it all you are looking at is what you cannot do without realizing that by paying off your debt. You are becoming less of a slave to the bank you borrowed your money from. You free your money up when it no longer belongs to the credit card company. Proverbs 22:7 says “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender.” That does not sound free at all. We also do this in our careers, I want a job where I can do work I love and be free to do work that matters. Maybe we decide to open a new business in an area that we love to work and serve others. We jump off into it on pure emotion knowing this is what God called us to do! Well maybe He has called us to do it but we believe just because God called us to do it we cannot fail. We make our calling our god and plan poorly without counsel. Before you know it bills are coming in the way you thought money would be coming in and you panic and decide to quit. You run back to the job that you were in bondage to before. You think it just wasn’t meant to be. Everyone else can do it but me. Remember freedom is neither free nor easy, it is hard and costly, but the return can be out of this world. Don’t give up on what you have been called to do, create a plan, make mistakes, change the plan, and make a bunch more mistakes, keep changing and tweaking the plan till you reach your goal. It will probably take longer that a couple of years, this life of freedom is a process, and it is exciting, crazy, tragic and beautiful. Look at all of the ups and downs the Israelites had going from slaves in Egypt to the “Promised Land”. It was tough but they were learning how to be free. Finally, how about being a Christian. Jesus came to the earth to set us free from the wrath of God. He came and paid the price so we could live free indeed in the Kingdom of God, and enjoy Him forever. Now look He done it for us and we still mess it up. Christ came and lived the perfect sinless life, paid the debt we could never pay, gave us credit just as if we had done it , even though we could not have. What is the first thing we do when Jesus saves us and frees us from the penalty of sin? We start doing good works to try and earn what is already counted as ours. Instead of doing good works because we get to do them, we think we have to do them, earn it, and we enslave ourselves in a works mentality that He died to free us from. We live like if we do enough good things God will like us more. If we work up our faith muscle enough God will smile more at us. If I pray more and read my bible more God will like me better. If you are a Christian He looks at you and sees Christ weather you are doing the disciplines or not. Don’t get me wrong the disciplines are good for you, but we need do them because we are free to do them and not because we are earning righteousness that only Christ can earn for us. There is a joy when you do something because you want to instead of because you have to do it. Go do the hard things that others who don’t want freedom choose not to do!!
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought
for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of
John Quincy Adams
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
― Benjamin Franklin,
“Freedom lies in being bold.”
― Robert Frost
Will the election change your life?
November 6th is approaching quickly and, as the news always says, this is the most critical election in history. I do believe it is critical anytime we elect someone to lead the country. I always wonder who would really want to lead a country where nearly half of the people you are leading are already against you before you even take office. How much will this election change your life? Or I guess the better question would be; how much will President Obama change your life if he is re-elected, or how much will Governor Romney change your life is he is elected? I believe that no matter who is elected the responsibility for changing your life is yours. Policies and procedures and laws, they implement may help in your path, but it is ultimately all up to you. No elected official sends anyone a check, finds them a job, or starts a business for them. No official will improve your finances, health, or attitude for you. They will take the money you earn and spend if for you, through taxes, but you have to go out and get the money for them and your family. I would hope that most Americans would see that their life is not someone else’s responsibility. Politicians will tell you what you want to hear for a vote but it is impossible for them to do for all of their constituents what they must do for themselves. Why not try and change your own life, become extraordinary. What has ordinary got us? I have tried and failed and keep trying. I have learned a lot and am really challenged and changed. Remember no candidate will do things just like you all the time. I do urge you to go and vote because many Americans sacrificed a lot to give us the right to vote. So go ahead and make up your mind before the election to change your life. May be you want to lose weight, get your finances under control, or find a job that you really like and are passionate about or start a new business that you have always dreamed about. Don’t let who is in office determine what you do or don’t do. It’s up to you to manage your life. To expect someone in Washington to manage your life the way you think they should is to expect too much from them. God has this whole thing under control whether we believe it or not. Go vote and live your life!!
Here in America we are the best in the world in this category, marketing! An American will see, hear, or be exposed somehow to 3000-4000 advertisements per day. An American child will see as many as 40,000 television ads per year. Marketers have trained us in this country to chase happiness with stuff, and it robs us of our money and peace because we are trained to get the latest and greatest product.
China knows how to make money in the U.S., make a bunch of cheap junk and sell it to Americans. Now they have our money and we are borrowing it back from them to buy more of their goods. There is not a product we do not want if we hear about it enough. We need to wise up when it comes to marketing.
Marketers want to do everything to get your money and your vote in the political arena. Since Christmas is just a little over 2 months away the marketers will be getting geared up for the season. They start with Halloween in August, and I have already seen Christmas stuff on the shelves. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with marketing, but we need to not spend all we have because we think we need something. We need marketers to find out what is out there, but we also need control over our money. Here are a few tips for you to get control of your finances.
Have a great week!!
I will be doing a free budgeting class, Checkbook checkup on October 6th. Let me know if you are interested.
I recently watched the documentary, Monumental, and Kirk Cameron stated that the pilgrims had a 500 year plan. I think I am looking ahead when I do my yearly goals! They were not just thinking about themselves and what they could get, they thought generational. They had a dream about starting something so great that would be a blessing for generations to come, and not just to get them some quick relief and prosperity. They wanted freedom to pursue a life they felt God called them to live. A huge number of them died and they all suffered unimaginable difficulties, but they were committed to what they felt was a just cause. I am glad that they did, because we have all reaped the benefits of their unselfish life. I look back at what they did and realize if I had to do it now with others, it looks impossible and the country would not be here now. Their failures put them in jail; cost them their lives and possessions. We are ready to quit after a little hiccup, but they tried again and again until they succeeded. Their failure eliminated the wrong way to do things. They did not give up when things were bad, really bad. They obviously didn’t adhere to the idea that the government will handle it! As a nation that has had, is having and will have tough times, we need to plan and work for a future that will be a blessing to us and others, instead a quick fix. We were started by people who took responsibility for their own lives and obeyed God and stuck to what they believed. We wait for a candidate to improve the economy instead of getting control of our finances and living on a budget. We don’t step out in faith and start a business or pursue work that stirs our hearts and fulfills our calling because we think it’s safer if you stick to a “secure job.” During this economy we have found out that your only safety is in your ability to produce. You have to leave the shore to find a new land when the old place is unbearable! If we want things to change we are going to have to do hard things, sacrifice and invest for the future, and not just our future. What do you want America to look like in 200 years? We have the ability to shape what our country looks like. A boat load of determined people shaped what our beginning looked like. The best time to plant an oak tree for shade was 50 years ago. The next best time to plant one is today! We may not get any shade from that tree but our children’s children might. I hope your great grandchildren have a wonderful country to live in. I also hope you wish the same for mine. How about let’s leave them with the same blessing we have had, a wonderful country where they are free to pursue what God has called them to do on earth. We will have to sacrifice but they will reap a great blessing. Just a few proverbs for wisdom;
“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.”
“The plan of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to
poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
“Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” Proverbs 13:22
“May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalms 20:4
I will be doing a free budgeting class, Checkbook checkup on October 6th. Let me know if you are interested.
To get anything accomplished in our lives we must have a starting point. Once we get started we must continue the journey. I have noticed getting started can be extremely hard at times. When working with people and their finances everyone wants to have a monthly plan to get control of their money, but we can always find an excuse or something else to do instead of a budget. It can be the same in losing weight or even cleaning the yard. All of these tasks can look overwhelming before we start but we will never finish them if we don’t start. We know if we don’t start we will not finish, that’s obvious. But that still does not motivate us to start, so we have to be reminded. If you are doing a budget it can take about three months to get all of the kinks worked out. When we hear that we tend to want to not get started. Or we think we can’t do a budget until we get more money to work with. We must start where we are at with what we have. Doing a budget for the first time can be a little time consuming. Most of the time we don’t know how much we spend in certain areas, this is why it takes about three months to get a budget to flow. If you are married sit down with your spouse and go line by line and put in an amount for the areas that you will need to spend money on for the month. Don’t panic if you don’t have enough money to go in all of the item categories. Feel free to download a budget here for free. If you run out of steam the first time you sit down, don’t panic, just pick back up later and continue. After about three months you can do your budget in about 15 minutes. Now remember the next most important thing in this process is tracking what you actually spend. This can be a part that is hard to follow up on but it is vital to get your finances under control. If you don’t know how much you are spending you will all ways chase your expenses and guess how much you spend. I suggest you pick one day a week and enter all that you spend in your budget and that will let you know how much you have left in each category to spend each week. If you like you can save all of your receipts and go through them weekly. Remember to just get started! You will never finish if you never start. I will be doing a free budgeting 101 workshop this fall. Let me know if you are interested.
Health Insurance: You will get it and like it!
Health insurance is a great thing to have and is much needed because of the cost of health care. The only
thing that grows faster than health care costs is the national debt. With recent legislation it looks like we will get taxed if we do not have a government approved plan. If your employer offers
health insurance you are limited to what they offer unless you go at it on your own. I have had to provide my own health insurance for the last 8 years. When you pay for your own insurance you learn
more about health insurance than you can imagine. I generally have to shop for it every year to keep my rates as low as possible. You have several options such as a HMO, Health maintenance
organization; it is a prepaid health plan. As an HMO member, you pay a monthly premium. In exchange, the HMO provides comprehensive health care for you and your family, including doctors' visits,
hospital stays, emergency care, surgery, laboratory (lab) tests, x-rays, and therapy. You also have a POS, POS: Point-of-Service Plans
Many HMOs offer an indemnity-type option known as a Point-of-Service or "POS" health care plan. The primary care doctors in a POS plan usually make referrals to other providers in the health plan. But in a POS plan, members can refer themselves outside the plan and still get some coverage. If the doctor makes a referral out of the network, the health care plan pays all or most of the bill. If you refer yourself to a provider outside the network and the service is covered by the health plan, you will have to pay coinsurance.
PPO: Preferred Provider Organizations
The preferred provider organization, or "PPO", is a combination of traditional fee-for-service and an HMO. Like an HMO, there are a limited number of doctors and hospitals to choose from. When you use those providers (sometimes called "preferred providers", other times called "network providers"), most of your medical bills are covered. And I will cover one more an HSA; this is a health savings account. This is a tax sheltered high deductible plan. I would recommend this one if you do not go to the doctor a lot and you cover your routine trips to the doctor out of pocket. One advantage to this is that you can save your deductible in a tax sheltered savings account and use it on approved health care expenses. I will not recommend which one you need but I will give you a few tips for helping you decide. Determine how often you and your family go to the doctor for routine care, if you have young kids or go to the doctor a lot an HSA may not be best for you. HSA’s, on most of them, cover 100% after you meet the deductible. Now to save on your premium and co-insurance amount, increase the deductible. The whole idea in insurance is if you take on more risk, or pay more, you will not have to pay the insurance company as much money. In health insurance you have to deal with your maximum out of pocket expenses or in their lingo the stop loss. This is the maximum out of pocket you will pay. Like the 80/20 plan. They pay 80% you pay 20% maximum of your medical expenses. If you increase the 20% to 30% you premiums will be lower. So decide what you and your family needs. Pick an independent agent that has the heart of a teacher. Make sure you understand what you are buying. When it comes to insurance you have to shop it often, I suggest yearly on health. They are like cable companies; new customers get the best deals. The new health care law has yet to be figured out completely other than it’s a tax. People often ask; when should I implement insurance in my financial plan? I suggest ASAP. Having insurance shifts the financial risk from you to the insurance company. If you do not have proper insurance it can cause a huge financial burden or even bankruptcy. Email me any questions or comments you may have. Thanks for reading.
Life Insurance: What do I need and how much?
Insurance is that thing you spend money on every month and see no results, until there is an accident! The only time we appreciate insurance is when they do what they are designed to do, protect us from risk. Insurance transfers the financial risk from you to the insurance company. Proper insurance is very important. If you do not have proper insurance you might have a huge bill that will cause you financial difficulty or even bankruptcy. I will discuss different types of insurance in several blogs. Today we will talk about life insurance. Life insurance is one of those things we put off until we realize we will die one day. It is not as pressing as automobile and home insurance because you are not required by law to have life insurance. We need to view life insurance as taking care of our family or loved ones, financially, after we are gone. The goal of life insurance is to replace you financially when you die. There are two types of life insurance, term-life and whole life, also called cash value or universal life. Term life is for a specified amount of time, it is cheaper and it has no savings plan built into it like whole life. Now, whole life, cash value, or universal gives you a payout when you die but it also has a savings plan built in to it as well. It costs more monthly because you are saving in the process. I never recommend whole life, universal, or cash value unless you cannot get any term life. Insurance sales people will tell you that you can convert it so you can have permanent life insurance. You don’t need permanent life insurance if you have a solid financial plan and save and invest through good mutual funds and Roth IRA’s and not cash value insurance. You should be able to self-insure if you save and invest throughout your life. The reason why so many insurance sales people push whole life is because it pays them quite well or they don’t understand what they are selling. I prefer using term life. The goal with term life is to buy it for 10, 20, or even 30 year term. You should get 8-10 times your annual income. The reason for 8-10 times is because you can invest that whole amount and get a 10% annual return and replace your income. Example- if you make 50,000.00 a year you would get 500,000.00 in term life insurance. If you were to die your loved ones would get the 500,000 and invest it at 10% annual return, which would be 50,000 a year. You would have replaced your income if you were to die and your family would be able to financially continue on. A 35-40 year old can get 500,000 for 30-40 dollars a month. Most people will tell you that you cannot get 10% returns on an investment, but the average return for the stock market is almost 12% over the last 75 years. You have to take some time and make an effort to get the results you want. You may ask why not whole life if they can make 12%? The returns are historically low on cash value insurance. They have a lot of hidden fees and costs. That’s why it’s a good deal for them when you buy it. They may make the 12% but you get only get 3- 5%. If you have cash value insurance when you die, and let’s say it is a 50000.00 policy; when you die lets say you have built up 65,000 in the account, you get 50,000.00 they get the rest. Not a bad deal for them. They use your money to make money for them. Like I said the only time to get whole life is if you cannot get term. I recommend buying only term for you and your spouse. If you have children only get enough to cover funeral costs. Let me know if you have any questions. Also be sure you buy from an agent who can fully explain the product you are buying so you fully understand it.
If we are having a money problem do we need more of what we are having a problem with? Would it be like being in a tornado and wishing a strong wind would come along and blow the tornado out? Sure if we were having money problems and someone gave us a lump sum amount of cash it would help out temporarily. But I have said this along with others, if I ever get out of this situation I will never let it happen again. Then some time later we find our self in a similar situation. So how do we change a money problem or any problem in our life and not return? With a plan! We most of the time get into these situations by not paying attention to what we are doing and follow the banks financial plan they have for us. So I suggest that we learn how to handle a little money and manage it so we can learn how to handle a lot. If we cannot handle a small amount and do irresponsible things with it, we will just do it on a larger scale with more money. If you are having problem weather its money or something else make a detailed plan and start from where you are at and determine where you want to go. It’s just like unpacking a suitcase, one item at a time. Sit down and spend every dollar you have on paper and follow your plan out. Get yourself in good shape so you can handle more if you get it. Remember it’s a life style not something you will just do for a few months.
Tough Times or learning opportunity
If you are human you go through tough times and problems. Dozens of books have been sold with techniques and principles to help you avoid them. But, somehow we still have tough times no matter what advice we follow. If you are a Christian, like me, we sometimes have been led to believe that if we try hard enough or believe more we will be rescued from trouble and tough times. In the book, When Hard times come, Dudley Hall says God doesn’t offer escape as His solution to difficulty, but rather grace. The grace provided through the gospel of Jesus Christ embraces trouble and transforms it into a display case for Gods glory. That is one thing I need to do is embrace trouble and learn to grow from its training. We should look at our tough times as training; instead we view them as an obstacle we cannot get over and begin to count it as an injury and walk with a limp. We make excuses such as; I will save money when I make more. I will look for work I like better, when the job market improves. If you listen to the news as your indicator of when things get better they never will. Bad news makes the headlines juicier. We think everyone who has reached the levels we want to reach did it without many problems. Something encouraging, for me, was Dan Millers Living Loving Working, Dan and Joanne share a lot of problems they faced that prepared them for what they do today. I want to encourage you to look at the problems you have today and recognize that no matter how long you have been going through them that you are getting the strength to handle the success you have been dreaming of your whole life. Another thing I have to recognize is that you are either going into a trial, in the middle of one or coming out of one. Professional athletes don’t have to get in shape one time for their whole career; they have to do it every year and battle through the injuries. Don’t just focus on the problem but on where you are going. If we focus on the problem, that is all we see and it becomes an idol. Keep on keeping on and learn from your tough times. Also share them, it helps us who are going through similar issues and gives us hope!! As Dennis Peacocke says “Power is guarded by Problems.” "The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears." Let me know if I can help!
Inflation and National Debt
We hear about inflation and the national debt so much in the news and on news talk shows that we get to where we tune it out and assume we understand what they are talking about. We also may not care what they are talking about and just worry about what is going on in our own little world. I will try not to bore you with too much nerdy information but hopefully explain it better than the news. I will start with inflation first. Inflation is an increase in the amount of money. At first glance that doesn’t sound too bad. Inflating the supply of money seems like it would be a good thing because a lot of us could use more cash. When we inflate, or print more money we are actually making each dollar go down in value. It would be like adding air to a tire. It looks bigger but it will burst easier because it has less integrity. When money goes down in value you will need more of it to buy the things you want. Prices rise as a result. When more money is printed you need more of it to buy things because money has less value. The way we do things now is print more money whether we have gold in the bank to back the money. When the government wants more, like they always do, they inflate money to get what they want and we re-elect them to reward them for devaluing the money. Therefore if worse comes to worse you could use your paper money to start a fire to stay warm because it has no precious metal backing it. But if things were that bad I would not trade a loaf of bread for a bar of gold. So save your money and don’t spend all you have. Hopefully our country will wake up and act responsible. If money becomes worthless you can use it as kindling. If you would like to learn more about inflation go to this website. http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/
Now all of our wants and bail outs by the government have led to a huge national debt with the help of inflating the dollar. The national debt is almost 16 trillion. That is 16,000,000,000,000. We have heard this number so much it sails right by our dock and never unloads. When we use the number trillion, it sounds like we are studying space, not money. In his book, What ever happened to penny candy Richard J. Maybury explains it. He says, imagine Columbus when he discovered America. As soon as he stepped ashore he would have had to begin borrowing money at a rate of 20,000.00 per minute and by the year 2010 he would still not have borrowed enough to reach the national debt. (It was 12 trillion at the time he wrote this.) I still stay it is very important to live on less than what you make or you will have what we have to day, 16 trillion in debt and no plan to get out. Let me know if I can help! We can help our national debt by electing people who want to pay it off.
Ordinary Living 6-20-12
How do you live? Do you live an ordinary life? By ordinary I mean similar to what everyone else does in their daily routine. You try to manage life to go as smoothly as you can and avoid all of the hassles and rough spots that may happen. I believe it is easy for us to fall into what everyone else is doing and shoot for a calm as possible lifestyle. Hey, who wants to take a risk in times like these, you could lose everything. At some point in your life you realize that, it’s hard to live an ordinary life when you are not ordinary. The world says get a steady job with good benefits, that’s the responsible way to live. Well as we have found out those are hard to come by nowadays; companies found out that being like the other ordinary companies is hard. I believe that each person is created uniquely different and are talented in different areas than others. Ok, so that is not rocket science to figure out that we are different. So why do we try to be like everyone else. We waste the person that we were designed to be when we try to be ordinary. Ordinary is living pay check to pay check, that’s what 7 out of 10 homes in America do. You could be different and actually use the budget you have written down somewhere, but never implemented. Start searching for that job or career you always wanted but didn’t think was for you. Hey, which life are you going to do these things in? Just start where you are at and draw a map to where you want to go. It is really more responsible to pursue what you were created to be. Make it impossible to for the life you want to refuse you. Create an environment to succeed. It’s not fast or easy, but it is where you find the extraordinary life you were meant to have. You are guaranteed to have an ordinary life if you do not try the out of the ordinary routine. Let me know if I can help!
We have heard this statement since we were kids; you have to take responsibility for your life. There is a lot in life that we have to take responsibility for. It is easy to get on cruise control and let the status quo take over and run things. For example, we can depend on the government to take care of us with social security. We all know how good the government is at handling money! Do you really want them saving for your retirement? We also depend on our employer to take care of our pension and our health insurance. I have determined one thing; other people looking out for their best interest will not make decisions in you, or your families, best interest. During the current economic times we hear about a lot of companies who have realized the promises they made to their employees, to provide a pension and health insurance, after they retire are not in the company’s best interest. When they determine this, they begin to take away the benefits from the employees because they cannot afford to support them or the retirees. If you have found yourself in this situation, or you have a job that does not provide these benefits you have to get a plan to provide these things yourself. I know most of us don’t like to do the uncomfortable things like, calling and get insurance quotes, learning about saving for retirement, but it’s worth the trouble when you need these things. Only you have you and your family’s best interest in mind. Determine what you need and create a plan to get there. There is no use in staying mad at the company or the government, which may have taken those benefits away because that doesn’t make you better but, it makes you bitter. Bitterness is like you drinking poison and hoping it hurts someone else. Determine what you need, map out your plan to get there and most importantly execute your plan! If you need some help with it let me know. I want you to get control of your life and make the best decision for your family.
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Single Parents and Money
Well this is putting two challenging things together, single parenting and money. Being a parent has its challenges, but it can be one of the most joyous experiences you can have. There are many challenges you can have as a parent so I will try to help you with the money challenge.
Here is a big revelation, men and women view money differently! I know it’s a shock but we do. Single parents have a lot going on and have a tough assignment. My parents were divorced when I was eight years old; although I did not realize it at the time, I can now see some of the things my mom had to face. Mothers try to nurture and create that loving safe home environment and train up a child in the way they should go. If you throw in bread winner and provider to their duties that makes for one busy day and can lead to a lot of frustration, fear and confusion. Women, as a whole, tend to get fearful when they don’t have the money they feel they need to take care of their household. Whatever is affecting mom is picked up by the rest of the family. Also when you get busy and begin to think you are not doing as good in some areas you may want to compensate for it with money. You may buy them something they want or take them on a vacation you cannot afford. Once you spend that money on those things the bills come around and it puts you in a bind then you panic. It is also easy for dads to overspend because dads feel, as the provider and bread winner, we can convince ourselves that if we provide this or that we can use it to substitute for mom. Now, single dad has money problems because he has spent too much trying to replace mom with cash. I have noticed one thing about kids, they love mom or dad and they forget about the toys and big vacations before they forget the time spent with them daily. Quantity time is quality time! When the kids get older they remember the struggles moms or dads had and appreciate them for the sacrifice. I did!! Don’t buy into the worlds systems of you need to get you child this or that to be a good parent. Being a good parent is saying no when you cannot afford something. Don’t spend the grocery money on a social class or a video game. Sometimes the things you need to do don’t give you the warm fuzzy feelings inside like doing what you think your kids would enjoy and make you feel like a good parent. The best way to solve a problem is to have a plan. Create a budget monthly and use it. When I say use it I mean follow it and set your spending amounts and stick to them. Sometimes you have to adjust the amounts so do it and stick to them. There is nothing wrong with buying your kids something they want or taking them on vacation, just plan for it. Don’t spend the money until you have it saved. Don’t spend it out of guilt. When you save the money for vacation and spend it on vacation don’t feel guilty, enjoy it. Disney has a plan for your grocery money, and it is not food! Have your cash saved and follow your spending plan not theirs. Set down every month spend every dollar on paper, and hey it’s okay to spend some of your money on a vacation or a build a bear! Enjoy your children, and don’t feel guilty because you cannot do everything they want. Children are like us, their wants are unlimited, and a budget gets that in order for your family. You can create a plan to enjoy your children and your money. Knowing what to do with your money before you get it helps you enjoy the time you have with your children more. Let me know if I can help.
Go West Coaching 6/2/2012
Learning to live with money
Have you ever had a difficult time dealing with a situation or a relationship? The problem you are dealing with leaves you confused and not knowing what to do or where to turn. Then you get to the point of just tolerating the thing and doing the best you can, hoping something changes. I have learned that things will deteriorate worse if you do nothing. We must be proactive if we want things to change. We must have a plan. Don’t wait till the perfect plan comes along. As the great George S. Patton said “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Money is one of those things people have a hard time learning to live with. I once heard that rich people and poor people can have the same god, money! Why is money so hard to live with? It is basically addition and subtraction, right? No, as Dave Ramsey says, it is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. We would never have a money problem if it was only a math issue. There is not an area of life that money does not touch. We give money more power than it deserves in our lives. You may be thinking, yes it is just like oxygen we need it to live. I guarantee you that most people would give every last penny they had to buy a little extra oxygen if it was needed to live. If we really had to we could learn to live with a lot less than what we have. The things we “think” we need are not really necessities. Determine what is important in your life and use money as a tool to get the important things. Learn to live with money, as a tool, and not as if it is life itself. Money is the medium that we use in exchange for things of value. Money is amoral; it takes on the personality of its owner. We have all probably heard this bible verse in 1 Tim: 6:10- For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. We are familiar with the first part but the second part really speaks to me. You can do some crazy things for money if you do not learn how to live with it. Get a plan, and prioritize it according to Style what is important to you and your family. Get on a budget and execute your plan, violently, and get your life back. Let me know if I can help.
Have you quit playing?
If you have been getting beat up by life, you may have thought of giving up on your dreams. It is tempting to get mad and just say why keep trying when things have not been changing the way you wanted them to change. I recently went to a Columbia County Chamber of commerce breakfast meeting and got a fresh perspective from the speakers. I didn’t think that I would have enjoyed the presentation as much as I did because our speakers were our state representatives and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. I, like a lot of other people would think, will endure the political speeches and over abundant applause and enjoy the free breakfast. But to my surprise they were informative and had a good outlook. These people summarized what they have been doing for the state, over the year and cast a vision to where they wanted the state of Georgia to go in the future. Lt. Governor Cagle said “you cannot prosper in business by cutting all of the time.” He went on to tell us how the government was investing in different areas of the state and planning for growth during this time of economic turmoil. Then he made an interesting statement that he believed that more billionaires would be made in the next decade than ever before because of the potential for growth in our state and country.
His statements energized me again! Hey, I haven't been motivated by a politician like that in my entire life! Maybe except when one was voted out of office. This breakfast pointed out to me that maybe I have quit playing in a lot of areas that I didn't realize. A lot of people have quit and gave up. So many people have pulled out of the stock market because their retirement has crashed. They also missed the great increases that it has had recently. I believe that there is more than enough opportunity in our country for everyone. We must not quit playing! People I coach come in thinking the light at the end of the tunnel is just another oncoming train. They have surrendered their hope. I want to encourage you to stop cutting and start investing in your dreams and ideas. Keep trying to get out of debt and get your finances in order. Don’t give up on an idea because you think it cannot work . Consider failure as a readjustment to your idea or plan. If you were a farmer would you quit planting seeds? If you did you would starve and not make any money. Things are not easy but if you quit because you are afraid to lose, you will never win. Don't get complacent on the sidelines. Let me know if I can help.
Oh yeah, Happy Mothers day! Thank you moms for not quitting on us kids, cause I know raising me it got rough!!!
Is your mind a coffin?
What are some of your dreams and ideas that you do not act on? Everything that we do starts in our brain as a thought. We can choose to act on it our not. Some things are just crazy and wild that we come up with. We can either act on ideas or keep suppressing them. If we act on it we either fail or succeed. If you fail keep trying and perfecting/shaping the idea or dream until you succeed. or determine to move on to something else. If we keep suppressing the idea or dream, it can turn into loss of hope or depression. Why do we work so hard to fight living our dream and acting on ideas? Are we afraid of the unknown, or of failure? Do we not want to risk the “safe comfort” that we think we have? We all will die someday, live until you die, don’t just sit around waiting to die and miss life. Your idea may be a business idea or a change of life style. So it leads to the question; “:Is your mind a coffin or an incubator for your dreams and ideas?” A coffin is a funerary box used in the display and containment of dead people – either for burial or cremation. A incubator, for our purpose is-. A place or situation that permits or encourages the formation and development, as of new ideas. So are you burying your ideas and dreams by thinking that it will never work, or I cant do that only other people can. Why don’t we start using our minds as incubator's by putting them in a mental environment that is conducive to growth and development. God has given us these dreams and ideas to develop and not bury. Don’t bury your dreams or passions, feed them by reading, getting a coach, or getting around people who are having success in the areas you are interested in developing. 48 days.net is a great place to incubate! Don’t expect God to “miracle” you to your dream without any effort on your part. Don't let that dream or idea die, incubate it and let it hatch and grow. Let me know if I can help!
You cant do business going out of business
With all of the talk of the economy up and down, and gas prices going up again, we tend to think that things are just going to stay the same or get worse. When we think and act that way those results show up in our lives; our actions make them come true. Sometimes we try to change our thoughts and we give it a good try, thinking our situation will change. When the results don’t show up like we think they should we fall back into the same mode, “this is just the way things are” and we give up. The world of instant information, microwaves, calling people on the go and technology in general have made us forget that these things are tools to help us. These great tools don’t replace the seed time and harvest principle that God uses. I see so many people get caught up with the mind set that everything is doomed to fail. The church thinks that way sometimes. Just hang on til Jesus comes and everything will be OK. There is one thing we need to remember, you cannot do business going out of business! I have been taught this from my father in the faith, Wade Trimmer. Now whether you are a Christian or not the principle applies. How do you plan for the future when you think things are over now? You can't, you go out of business if you think things are over now because you just don’t care. What if you opened a business just knowing that it will go out of business eventually? How do you think that would turn out? Every thought and action done without zeal care and hope will push your mindset closer to the “its over” mentality. “Oh just give up, the little man cant get ahead.” I say keep working toward the dreams and things in life you want. Keep trying to get out of debt, even though you income has went down. Make plans for that new career or business you have dreamed about. So keep doing business we need you. Remember Colonel Sanders, he didn’t cook any chicken till he was 67! He didn’t go out of business in his older age! Let me know if I can help!
Cost versus Value
Most of us have heard the saying we know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. We can apply that to many areas of our lives. Sometimes we have paid more money than we have intended when purchasing something but received a lot of value out of the purchase. To value something, is to esteem and put worth on the item. What are you doing that will or will not bring value to your life now and in the future? Small deposits whether, financially or relationally cost us something. We may deposit a small amount of money to save for something in the future. It will cost us a trip out to eat or a little “thingy” we feel we must have, but it is worth it if you are saving for your golden years or you children s college fund. We fail to plan our lives because it cost to much time and is costly to stick to the plans we make. Sometimes it just doesn't feel good. As Dave Ramsey says “children do what feels good, adults devise a plan and follow it.” It may not be just a financial cost, but a time and energy cost as well. We all have 168 hours a week to invest in our lives. Please if someone can find more than that I need to know where! Subtract 40 hours a week for work, say 56 hours a week for sleep. According to Nielsen Co. we watch 28 hours of T.V. A week! That would leave you 44 hours a week left to live. Our time is very valuable! How you spend it will determine what you value and determine what you get in return. When coaching people we set goals and priorities. Just like when making a budget, telling your money what to do, you can do that with your time and invest in things that will bring you value in your life. So what are you doing now that will bring you value down the road? What do you need to eliminate that is costing a lot and not bringing any value? (28 hours a week of television would be something good to eliminate) Is what you are spending your time on going to bring value to your life? Is your work worth spending your life on? Is your money being spent the best way it can be to bring you things of value in your life? Are things in life costing you everything and bringing little value? Remember you are in charge of you, make the necessary changes. Let me know if I can help.
You have probably heard the saying to focus on where you are going to get to where you want to be. That is true. You have to know were you are going to arrive at that destination. Or as Yogi Berra would say, if you don’t know where you are going you may wind up some place else. When helping people get out of debt or working with them on career direction, I help clients (friends) keep their eye on the goal. But sometimes, and I have been guilty of looking too far ahead myself. We get so focused on where we want to be that we take our eyes off what we should be doing now and get discouraged. We also miss the lesson we should be learning from the process. We can be so focused on being debt free that we don’t do the small things like put the extra money aside that we squeeze out of our budget for the debt. When we do this it slows our progress down and we get frustrated and have a pity party and buy something instead! (yes I have done that!) Always keep in mind where you want to go, but keep looking at each step you take. If you write a book you want to focus on finishing it, but you have to go one page at a time, and one word at a time to get to the end. So I want to encourage you to look to where you want to be, but focus on the step that you are on. God has you in the place where you are now for a reason, so keep on focusing and don’t sweat the small stuff. You will get there, not in the amount of time you would like, but in the right time. Don't miss the woods for the trees!
The first month of the new year is almost over. If you are having trouble with your new budget plans don't quit! You only fail if you quit, so hang in there. There are a lot of budget busters that may come up that you didn't plan for this month. Its okay, a budget usually takes about three months before it starts operating smoothly. Just adjust until it smooths out. No one budgets perfectly. So here are a few things you can do to help get you back on track.
Remember spend every dollar you make on paper before you get it. If you tell your money what to do and where to go before you get it, your money will not disappear before you pay the necessities. Its easy to go get something to eat at a fast food place when you don’t feel like cooking, but that can bust your budget. Also, subtract your expenses from your income so that you get a zero balance. If you have some left that means you didn't do it right. If you come up short you need to go back and change the amounts in some of your categories or get some extra income. Once you set the amounts in each category, stick to them. If you do not, you will come up short and panic. Try not to borrow from other categories, it can create a bad habit that will cause you to spend more than you need. Use cash as much as you can, it hurts to spend cash more than it does to swipe a card. When we make our budget we tend to put it up till the next month. You must track what you have spent on your budget. If you don’t know the exact amount going out you cannot prepare for it the next month properly. I sit down at least once a week and enter how much I have spent and find out how much I have left. If you don’t track it you will over spend and sabotage your budget. You can either do it with a pencil and paper or down load a budget. If you are really nerdy like me, email me and I will send you one that has all of the bells and whistles. Remember a budget is telling your money where to go before you get it. After you have done it a while it will take you about 15 minutes every month to prepare it. If you don' t take the time it can cause you years of trouble down the road. You would not set out to build something with out a plan. You cannot build a good financial future with out a budget (plan). I struggle like everyone else too, so just don’t quit! Let me know if you have any questions or need any help.
Money and your Marriage!
Have you ever had a money argument with your spouse? The greatest cause for divorce in the America is because of money and money fights. We as people are the ones that give money that kind of power. I believe God talked so much about money in the bible because of the power we give it to be a god. As Seth Godin said “Money is more than a transfer of value. Its a statement of belief.” In a relationship your values, should be on the same page. What you do with your money says loudly who you are. So lets try and learn a little bit about each other to see how to get our life back and get our money under control.
One of you is probably a spender and one of you is probably a saver. One of you may like the details and one of you may hate them. One of you is probably late to everything and one of you is probably 30 minutes ahead of time. Use these strengths to win in your financial life. Let the detail person prepare the budget, but the non detail person needs to have input. Both the husband and wife should make the financial decisions( Remember two become one). Two heads are better than one, take advantage of it. Ok detailed person don't over-control the free spirited person, I know you think you are taking care of them but don’t kill them with the details. Non-detailed person, show up and give input, don't sell out by saying, what ever you say is fine with me. You both have a equal vote when making your budget and you spending decisions. You are a team, work together and win together. If you think you are beating your spouse at a money game, wrong your both lose. If you are struggling right now financially, which a lot of people are, don't let money take your marriage! It is not worth it, money and stuff gets old and changes, relationships are the most valuable things on earth. It is the only thing that will transfer to the other side. All of the money and toys stay here. You have never seen a U-haul following a hearse. If you are struggling , men look at money like a score card; if they are doing good they are winning, if not they don’t feel like a knight in shinning armor. Encourage him and let him know you are proud of him for the effort. Yes us men folk still like to impress our girl!! Men, listen up, when women are struggling financially, they feel insecure, and terrified. If momma is scared you need give her extra hugs every day and show her you are there and fighting for her.
Take one day at a time sit down and plan your budget monthly with both of you in agreement. Don't do anything that is not on your budget. No secrets, you are on the same team. Don't get historical about past mistakes, just suit up and work toward your financial goals together. Worrying does not take away tomorrows troubles; it takes away today’s peace. Let me know if you need help with your plan.
Many of us may have made a resolution at the first of the year to get out of debt, or start the process. If you haven’t quit on your resolutions yet, here are some tips to help you reach your goal. First I would start a small emergency fund so you don't have to go further into debt if life happens. (A New Year of Saving) Once you have a small emergency fund, list all of your debts, excluding the mortgage smallest to largest. Now most of the time you hear pay off the highest interest rate, it makes more sense mathematically, but if this were a math issue we would never go into debt in the first place. The only time I recommend starting with the highest interest rate would be if it was like one of those, rip-off payday loans or title pawn type places with 30 to 60 percent interest rates. Here is a good article on msn money, you may want to read for more information about those type of rip offs. The reason to start on the little one is so you can get a quick win. So squeeze everything out of your budget you can and throw it at your smallest debt, then once you have paid it off go to the next one. If you want you can sell what you can or get extra work so you can attack the debt with more money. The key to this is focused intensity, make paying off this debt your mission. Think about this; what if you added up all of the payments you make on debt every month and invested it, how much would you have? Here is an example that will get you fired up, say you spend $200.00, in credit card payments, the average car payment is $460.00, not to mention a home equity line of credit or say, $180.00 per month. This would be $840.00 a month. If you just put it in your piggy bank that would be $10080.00! What if you invested it at say 6%, $138,346.93!!! That is what the lenders do and that’s why they have so much money! I would have to agree with Dave Ramsey, debt robs you of the ability to build wealth. Get started on your plan and get free. Let me know if I can help.
Money Saving Ideas
Last week I talked about creating a plan to save money. We need to learn to make it a habit that we continually do the rest of our lives. Today I want to give you some tips on how to save money when you spend it. It sounds weird, but I want you to, as Clark Howard says, spend less avoid getting ripped off! So here are a few suggestions for you. I may have to do this a couple of times, there is a lot we can do to keep more of our money. Here we go:
It is not a bargain if you don't need it! If you don't need something don't buy it. This could be anything from a soda to a house. Don't get me wrong, it is okay to buy something if it is in your budget ,but check your motives. Sometimes we buy things just to get that quick high, of getting something. Getting a bargain is good if you need something, not if you want it. Just thing if you buy lunch everyday at work at a great price of $5.00, that is 1300.00 a year. In a some households that is three months worth of groceries.
Ask for a deal. This is a lost art in America. We never ask for a deal, we see the price and think we don't have an option. What if it embarrasses your spouse or kids, as Dave Ramsey says that is just a bonus! There is a lot of competition out there for your money, make them earn it the way you do. Don't just show up and give it to them. Also ask them what they can throw in the deal if they don't want to come off of the price. We need to train the retailers. Besides what is the worst thing they can say, no.
When you go out to eat, do you really have to pay over a dollar for soda or tea? Ask for water! Not only is it better for you it will keep the calories and sugar from piling that bulge up on you waste line. I know if refills are free, I will drink more soda.
Go generic when you can. I know some things don't taste the same, but the generic is not bad either. You can save a lot when you buy the store brand, try different ones until you find the best fit for you. Also, if you get prescriptions, go generic all you can. Name brand is outrageously priced.
Tag team on the big items. Women like the thrill of the hunt, or shopping. Men usually like to just buy it and leaving the store. Ladies if you have to buy a big ticket item find it and let him do the negotiating, unless you are the negotiator. Ladies if he is the one doing the negotiating, and you want it bad, let him negotiate by himself. If the sales person knows you want it all he has to do is say no on the offered price and wait. When momma wants it, they have you hooked!
Here is an honorable mention: if you shop at Kroger for groceries and use the points for discounted fuel. Start buying the fuel cards for Shell from Kroger and get more taken off for your gas. Shell now takes Kroger cards for discounts also. You can also find gift cards from places you may normally shop at also and get more points earned.
Feel free to share any tips with me. I will probably blog on them from time to time. It helps me to save and I hope it helps you!
A New Year of Saving
I hope that you have had a good 2011, if you didn't, hang in there you have just about made it! Start planning your 2012 by downloading a goal setting sheet or budget. If you don't have any financial goals set for this year let me give you a little help. Why don't we start saving, for purchases and emergencies. The hardest thing for me to do in making my budget is paying myself (saving). Something always comes up that I, want or need to spend that money I wanted and needed to save. Lets all try this in the new year, determine how much you want to have in savings by this time next year and calculate how much you need to save a month to get there. When you get paid, pay your necessities and yourself first, because if you don't do it right off, you might need a new fishing pole or outfit when it starts to warm up. If you don't know how much you should have, excluding retirement, ( I will deal with that later this year) use this rule of thumb. For a mini emergency fund I recommend 1000.00, if you make 20000.00 or under you may try for just 500.00. You may think that is a little amount but, you should work on your non- mortgage debt after you get your mini emergency fund. Once you are ready to begin fully funding your emergency fund I recommend 3-6 months of monthly living expenses. Once you have that met then go to work on retirement. Don't get so focused on the end amount that you miss the small weekly and monthly deposits that can easily slip away if you get discouraged. Saving is best done little by little, because you appreciate and value more if you have more time and energy invested in the effort. If you get it easy it has little value to you. When your work hard and it takes a little time, you are less likely to buy that new thingy with the money. I know because I have wasted more that enough of what I have had. If you don't know how you are going to get the savings started off, sell some stuff you bought with the money you should have been saving! Pick up some extra work anywhere you can get it. What ever the amount is that you want to save, set your goal and start doing what you need to do to get there. Yes you will have set backs, just use them to learn and to get re-focused. Let me know if you have any questions or need any help.
The Gift of Son-ship
Well it is just about that time, Christmas! We kick into neutral and enjoy life differently from any other time of the year. The retailers probably don’t get to enjoy much time off because they are working hard to get as much stuff sold as possible. I have been caught up in the, I have to buy a bunch of stuff and get a lot of stuff to have a “good” Christmas before also. Its easy to do and I have to resist it this year because of my new daughter (big smile). This year I want to start enjoying my life as a son of God. The great thing about this gift that was given to us is that you can enjoy it every day and not just in late December. God sent us Christ, His son so that we could be adopted as sons and not have to live like a orphan. As Dudley Hall says Jesus isn’t the the ticket to get to the event in Heaven, He is the event! I highly recommend his book Orphans no more to understand and view life as a son and not an orphan. Lets start living our lives enjoying the gift God has given us and quit living as if we don't have a Father. Don't get wrong I am not a scrooge, I love to give gifts, and as of today I have never rejected one! But why not this year and every year afterward we enjoy being a partner with God and manage His creation with Him. The Gift He gave us in Christ allows us to have a relationship and partnership with Him, that’s the best gift ever! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!!! Go West Coaching
Financial Peace University begins January 15th 2012 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org more information
Blessed To Be a Blessing
During a time of recession and struggles we tend to get focused on the negative things that have happened to us during these times. We see things like our income go down, losing jobs and our savings accounts shrink. Sometimes we get so focused on these things we neglect what we do have that are blessings in our life. We wonder why the principles that God has given us don’t work the way we think they should or why they work for others and not us. I believe God sometimes presses the pause button in our lives and interrupts the path we are on to get focused on what is important. He done it to the Israelite s and we are no exception to the rule when we lose our focus on what He wants. I can get focused on building my kingdom and ignore the One that I serve. When life is going well we get focused on what we can get and forget that we get these things to be a blessing to others in the world. I think when God holds back the blessings we are working towards it is a good time for a recalibration on our part. I have been given these things, not to see how much I can accumulate, but to help others. I challenge you to take an inventory on what you do have and let the creative juices flow to where God wants you to be in your life. Maybe we should be using these tough times in our life to squeeze out the things we should be doing to be a blessing to others. What are the talents that you have been ignoring because you thought it was some crazy idea that could not produce anything to help you. Maybe those ideas are to help others. What if you have been called to teach a class or serve in an area that you are interested in but feel like you are not qualified to do so? Why don't we serve there until we get better and then we will start seeing the blessings flow to others and us when we do. I believe once we get our focus off of ourselves we will see the world around us open up and life will flow out of these areas. Consider the areas that you have strong convictions in and begin to move forward and be a blessing to the world! Maybe the blessings are waiting on you to act on a dream you have had in the past. “The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble.”
Money to the Max
You may be thinking that I am talking about more money than I know what to do with, wrong. I am talking about how we live, or use to live, our financial lives to the max. Before the recession era most of us were making more money than we are now and we could afford more “stuff” to buy. You never really realize how much less you can live on until you have to. We cut the unnecessary things out of our budget, although they were fun we can live without them now. A lot of times we wait to long to remove those items from our lives and dig a deeper hole. Think of all the things you use to live with then and look how you live now and you will see just how much money you may have been able to save. Don’t get me wrong we should do fun things but we should control how much we do them. We tend to get into the habit of buying fun and that can make you broke fast! A recession will tend to help make us content the hard way. Why don't we take this new budget that we now have and apply it when our income does go back up? A lot of people have had over a 50% decrease in income over the last three years and now realize how much they spent. Here is a challenge for you when your income goes back up again. Live on less than what you make. Do some fun things but do them less than you use to. You may be able to live on 75% of your income and save the rest for a 3-6 month emergency fund, retirement and for purchases. Get a plan and start following it and create the financial life you want to have. Besides, all the fun you use to have before, is not any fun now because you probably cant remember what you spent your money on then. Nothing can run maxed out for a long period of time without breaking.
The new time way
I drove past a church the other day and the name of it was the old time way church. I thought why would you always want to stay in the old time way when things change all of the time, and the majority of the time for the better. Don’t get me wrong there are some things in church that don’t change and should not. Some things should but I will not discuss that. I was thinking more on the lines of our life. I know some people will not try computers, my mom for one will not get a computer. There are people who don’t want a cell phone. There is nothing wrong with that because I hate my phone sometimes. Some people think they have to stay where they are at in their work lives. They think, I have always done it and its not great but, its the way I know so why change. I want to challenge that mind set this year. You may be like a lot of people who wanted last year to be over with only to find out that 2011 wasn’t that much better. The old time way says keep waiting and something will change. I suggest we try the new time way and stop waiting and start working. Move out on faith. Its not faith until we put it in action! Thanks Tr Sweeney for that word. Make a plan and start executing it this year. What area do you want to change this year? Feel free to download a goal sheet and plan out your new time way. Feel free to contact me if I can help. "There are a lot of ways to become a failure, but never taking a chance is the most successful." - Anonymous
What to do with seeds
The answer seems obvious, PLANT them, but sometimes we dont.I am reading a book by Ralph Doudera ,Wealth Conundrum, and he is telling his story about how he wrestled with the love of money. In one part of the book he tells about putting money in a non- profit organization and God showed him that money (seed) is made to plant. He was stating the money was not doing any good stuck in the organization if it wasn’t producing anything. He compared it to the wealthy man in the bible that built bigger barns to store his harvest for himself where it rots and does no one any good. Now there is nothing wrong with saving money, in Proverbs 21:20 it says in the house of the wise there are choice stores of food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. I am all for saving, God says its smart, but hoarding doesn’t do any good.
This made me think; what are some seeds that we may not use that could be going to waste? One area I think we let our seed lose its germination by not using it, is in our talents and God given abilities. God designs us to be and do certain things while here on earth, but some people never plant that seed. Why?
One reason I believe that we waste our seeds of talent is the fear of failure. No one likes to fail but it is vital in the process of succeeding. I know what you may be thinking, I have failed enough that I should be the most successful person in the world, I am right there with you but it is a learning process. A seed needs proper, temperature , adequate water, oxygen, and recovery from the dormancy stage, to sprout at the opportune time. We need certain elements also to sprout in our perfect time. Such as time to learn and educate ourselves, strength to withstand the new environment and proper light to see where we are going. Seed also has a germination inhibitor to keep it from sprouting at the wrong time and not producing. That would be maturing for us! God knows what He is doing when it comes to keeping us from sprouting before we are mature enough. Don't let fear keep you from planting. How would our world be if farmers were too scared to plant because the seed may not come up. Not every seed a farmer plants comes up, but that does not stop them from planting. Another thing we may do is quit when we do not see the results we want. If you attempt to do something and it does not happen in your time frame, you must keep working the ground to help the seed you planted sprout. A farmer never goes out after a week and digs up the seeds he planted to see if they have started to grow. That makes the crop fail. So get an inventory of your seeds and start planting them and working your field. We need the crop you produce. If you do not, your seed could just wither away or get eaten by insects, rats, birds, or wither away with time. Get a plan and start planting! Let me know if I can help.
Black Friday- Get a game plan!
Its that time of the year, turkey, dressing, eating till you cant eat anymore and the super bowl of shopping, black Friday. This is no place for men, sorry guys, we just cant cut it in this atmosphere. Men if you think you can hang with your woman on this day you will think you are in the middle of an Old Testament plague with no end in sight! Think about it, Target has the commercial of a woman training for this day. I know women who start at midnight on Thursday, and you may not see them till Sunday! I prefer the on-line shopping method, Amazon, e-bay, and Cabela's , (my favorite) its a lot safer than the mall. So ladies I thought I would try to help the men out so they do not pass out when you give them a total cost for the event.
I think the ladies will like this, its kind of like a battle plan when you storm the beaches of retail.
Set a budget on how much you will spend before you get in the store. Spend your money on paper before you actually get in the store. (Include a couple of stops at Starbucks for a caffeine boost.)
Make a list of everything you would like to get, and stick to it.
Resist the urge to reward your self with a nice gift.
Don t get caught up in its cheap I should get two. Stick to the people on your list, don’t add if you don’t have to, or you really want to, and you can afford it. Don’t feel guilty if someone gets you a gift and you don’t get them one. That is part of the joy of the season, giving without anything in return.
When you get to the exhausted part go home and take a nap, you will spend more and will not care what you buy when you get really tired.
Remember you do not have to buy everything that day. There will be plenty of other opportunities before Christmas.
And finally have fun, and don’t stress out. (Men trust me do not go if at all possible, you cannot survive.)
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Financial and Career Coaching
Putting off the future
This is a weird title but the more I think about it I realize its true. We put off our future in many areas of life. We put things off for many reasons such as waiting for the the conditions in our life to be perfect. We put them off because of fear, apathy, or just good old laziness. I have been guilty of all of those at some time or another in my life. Since its time for the holidays we go into a holiday mode. We just lay back and kick on the cruise control and enjoy the ride as much as possible. This feeling usually starts sometime in November all the way to the first day back at work in January. During the time between Christmas and New Years, we get that feeling of a new year with new possibilities. Then we decide what we will change in our lives for the upcoming year and get exited about what can happen. For most people that feeling lasts till around January 15th and we put off what can start to happen with our changes till later and later doesn’t happen. Lets face it, the future is coming and we can plan for the future we want. When I work with people in there finances, we determine where they are and create a plan to where they want to go in the future. Most of us think we will save when we have more money to save. Actually we have to determine to save before we get any money. If you don't save a little when you make 2000.00 a month you probably will not save much if you make 20000.00 a month, but you will have fun spending the money, then wonder where it went during a recession. Most people say they cannot save and don’t even make an attempt. If you want to change your life, in finances or any area, start taking the little steps now to your new future. You have to make an effort to change even when it is not the easiest time to change. You also have to stick to your decision and be committed to the change when the results are not what you thought you would be getting. We are tempted to quit and go back to what was normal and safe and we put off our future to a later date. Any goal worth reaching takes work and you will have failures and disappointments along the way. Quitting is a guarantee that you will not reach the goal. So over the holiday season decide how you want your future to be and begin to plan for the future you want. If you need some help feel free to ask, no one gets where they want without help. Feel free to down load a goal sheet on my website.
What is a coach?
When people hear the word coach, they either think of a sport or think about a counselor. Can a coach help you? Lets find out. I help coach people in personal and small business finance .I also work with people in finding the right career to match their calling or to find their calling. Now a counselor is someone who deals mainly with the past and events that have happened to people in the past to lead you to where you are today. Consulting is objective observation of where the individual or organization is and gives specific recommendations on where to go. A Coach is someone who actively listens and focuses on where the client wants be, understanding the past, but moves with a plan to where the individual is going. The client is the initiator of direction. A coach has a partnership with the client. The coach assists the client in maximizing skills, talents and gifts already there that they may not recognize or have been forgotten about or overlooked. A coach listens observes an shapes the process for the individual. Or to put it in a football application, the coach designs the play to the abilities of the athlete and walks them through it while cheering for them on the sidelines.
There are many areas where coaching can be beneficial. I am constantly running across new fields where coaches are emerging. If you decide you want to be coached by someone in a particular area that you want to improve and prosper in make sure you and the coach are compatible. Are you comfortable with them, do you trust them, do they really care about you and helping you win in the area you seek help. Set up a meeting to see if the coach fits you and your personality. You are investing in yourself when you hire a coach and it should produce returns the rest of your life. So determine if you need a coach, counselor or a consultant. It can change your life! As Robert Kiyosaki said amateurs don't have coaches, professionals do. Let me know if I can help.
Tim West 11-8-11
Its time for a plan
Its time for a plan
Its that time of the year, the fun, crazy and busy season of the holidays. I believe a lot of people beginning 2011 was glad that 2010 was finished, but things may not have gone a lot better this year. I have had multiple changes over the last two years of my life that I did not plan for at the beginning of the year. There are a lot of things we can plan for that helps get us through the rough times . I want to challenge you to set down and look at different areas of your life and set goals for the upcoming year. After you set them you need to track them to see how your progress is going and adjust them if necessary. We always have ideas and dreams of what we want to get accomplished, but if we never write them down, and track them they just float around and no progress gets made. What are the areas that you would like to improve on? Finances, maybe you want to get out of debt and start saving money. How about your health, career or your spiritual life? I don’t know how you feel about the people protesting wall street, the “occupy” movement but just yelling and protesting and not creating a plan to change things makes you tired ,burned out, and nothing gets done. Start thinking about what you want to change next year and let me know if I can help. Feel free to down load a goal sheet I use by Dan Miller, . (Goal Sheet) Let's plan the life we want and not just wait for something to happen.
"People with goals succeed because they know where they're going." Earl Nightingale
Financial Peace university begins January,15th. Email Tim at email@example.com for more information.
I have a few of Dan Millers 48 Days to the work you love Career kits available. It comes with the hard back book, work book, and bonus CD's for $40.00
The cavalry is not coming!
I read something yesterday by Kevin Miller “A case for convictions”. It really got me fired up about what I am put here to do, financial and career coaching, or just plain helping people. I love doing it but I can sometimes get caught up in building the business the way I want it to be and forget the main thing, helping people. I think I am failing because things don’t look the way I think they should. But I forget that “ duty is mine the results are up to God.” ( Cant remember who said that, someone brilliant.) I get to thinking that I am failing because everyone in the country is not wanting my services, and I adjust my sails to what the status quo is and I need the cavalry to come and rescue me. I wait and try a few things and nothing changes. But after reading a case for my convictions I realized I am the cavalry and I need to stick to my plan and the reason I am doing it, to help others. Its up to me! Don't just lay there and get beat we are designed to reign let's act like it!
"The day you understand and accept that no one owes you anything is the day your winning streak begins." ~ Unknown (by another brilliant person.) So thanks Kevin Miller and Andy Traub for posting it. I need to go out be bold about what I do and love people, that's where the joy is and the fulfillment. Maybe I will make some money at it or not, but my conviction(belief) to help others will be met, and you cant buy that!! I am not doing it for the money I do it because I love to help people and I have a duty to help. I will not stop that until I die into eternity. That Jesus gave us a unbelievable deal! So get your cavalry ready (you) and go do what you have been called to do! Let me know if I can help you!!
Quote: The deepest need that you and I have in weakness and adversity is not quick relief, but the well-grounded confidence that what is happening to us is part of the greatest purpose of God in the universe - the glorification of the grace and power of his Son - the grace and power that bore Him to the cross and kept him there until the work of love was done. John Piper
Go West Coaching
The past; an anchor or a sail?
My pastor talked about remembering the past and learning from it but not staying there. We always should remember what happened and how we came through the situation. This happens a lot in our lives. When something happens to us a lot of the times we interpret our future by that place we anchored at, our past bad experience. We get a job we are not to crazy about and we don’t really enjoy our work so we think this is what work is supposed to be like, always, because we base it on our past. Then if we try to get out of the place we are at and don’t succeed the way we want we get discouraged and say oh well that’s it I failed so “things like that don’t work for me.” Well, you always fail when you quit trying. Our failure should direct us to a better path to where we are going. So ask your self when you feel like you are anchored, what am I hung up on, and remember past experiences of how you got through them. Don’t stay anchored to the failure; use how you got out the situation as a sail. I see people get anchored in their finances. They think just because they were told to “build up your credit by getting a loan” that you have to always be in debt to have anything. Not true, but it takes discipline and hard work to get there and you will enjoy , whatever you bought more, without a payment attached to it. So don’t let your past experience be an anchor to hold you where you are at, instead use it as a sail to take you to where you want to be.
Oh what a difference a day makes!
Life gets crazy some times and things in life don’t necessarily go the way you planned them to go. It is easy to get discouraged and want to stop and go back to the comfortable easy way that doesn’t produce the results you want but it is familiar. My wife and I have been in the process of adopting her 7 year old cousin. We have been going through the process for over a year now working with two state governments (= double inefficiency on both ends) and we spoke with them on the 8-22-11 and they said one office could not find the paper work the other one filled out, so it was looking like a few more weeks before we would get her. We kept on doing everything we could do . Then the next day they called and said come get her. Don’t we go through things in life like that also? We work on a project or a business, or work to get out of debt and it seems like nothing is happening good. We try and try and it seems like the only one listening is you. Then after you keep doing the things that don’t seem to pay off that day comes when it pays off. My former pastor use to use that analogy about Christ’s resurrection. That day changed the changed eternity for mankind. So I encourage you to keep on keeping on do the hard things even when your emotions are telling you it will never happen, always remember; oh what a difference a day makes.
Looking for Greatness?
My pastor, Brian Fields, preached on Jonah yesterday and one of his points was, God uses storms to bring out greatness in us. He went on and talked about Peter walking out on the water to go meet Jesus and how all the others on the boat were to chicken to try. Isn’t our life like that. If you step out and mess up everyone notices. The ones who give you the most grief about it are the ones sitting in the boat. They want you to stay in there with them so they don’t feel bad about themselves because they will not try. People are like that when you want to get out of debt. They say you cant have anything unless you are in debt, or you will always have a car payment. All of the sudden you take the plunge and try it. When those people, the ones that are making fun of you, start sounding off, that’s when you know you are going down the right road. Its hard but the payoff is great. How about if you want to start a new business or switch jobs. They tell you “stay where you are at, its safe” you don’t do crazy things like this in this type of economy, that's not going to work. I have stepped out and got knocked around, but I have learned a lot and grew from those experiences. Hey, 5 star generals are not made during peace time. I say take on that new task, get out of debt, start that new business, start looking for that new job or what ever it is you are wanting to try. When a storm comes during the experience learn all you can from it and get better. As my pastor said, God will use storms to show you what calm seas cannot. Find out what God wants you to do and go for it, and don’t listen to the ones still sitting in the boat!
Go West Coaching
48 Days to the work you love Workshop Starts October, 2! Email me for more information.
A message from the vice chairman of Capital Research and Management Company- American Funds
Dear fellow investors,
The past few days have been very difficult for investors. The steep one-day losses on top of the volatility of the past few months and the decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the credit rating of long-term U.S. government debt have been unnerving. I’ve been in the investment business for more than 40 years, and I wish I could tell you that living through periods like this gets easier with practice, but it doesn’t. We all know that we should stay focused on the long term, but I know how difficult that can be in tumultuous times such as these.
Still, over the years, I have learned that one of the best things any investor can do is step back and put the markets’ often chaotic behavior into a broader context. I know how hard that is, but I also know it’s crucial to long-term investing success.
For many investors, the context for today’s market is 2008. This is not 2008. Recent losses in global equity markets notwithstanding, there are major differences between then and now. The major U.S. banks are in much better shape than they were when the housing market collapsed. Today economic growth is weak, but it is positive. In 2008 stock prices often seemed disconnected from economic reality. Today corporations are producing solid earnings even in a weak economy. As an investor, I find that reassuring.
What has and hasn’t changed?
When deciding how to invest, I ask myself what’s changed and what hasn’t. Interestingly, the two things that seem to be behind much of the recent unease in the markets are things that haven’t changed much in the past year: the European debt crisis and the situation in Washington, D.C.
Concerns over Europe’s sovereign debt troubles are certainly justified, but they’re not new. Whether Greece, Portugal and Ireland, or Spain and Italy, the basic problem — how to handle the debt that hangs over Europe — hasn’t changed. In fact, European monetary authorities seem more determined than ever to avoid a default. At American Funds, we’ve watched the European debt situation closely from the beginning and continue to factor it into our investment decisions.
Standard & Poor’s actions were also disquieting. But again, context helps me as an investor. I was investing in the late 1970s when we first heard the term “stagflation” to describe inflation with no growth. I remember 1981, when interest rates on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond moved above 15.5% and it seemed rates would continue to climb.
Of course, knowing that things have worked out in the past doesn’t necessarily soothe nerves today. However, contractions are a natural part of any market cycle. In fact, during my years as an investor, the Dow Jones has suffered a one-day loss of more than 4% of its value 36 times. That doesn’t make the current losses easier to take, but it helps me put them in perspective.
The lure of the sidelines:
If I could share one thought with you while you’re watching the news on TV or reading the paper, it would be this: Remember that an index, whether the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones, isn’t a measure of your portfolio. It’s what your portfolio is doing, not what “the market” is doing that matters. A globally diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds doesn’t move in lockstep with any single market or index. A downturn in one market — whether U.S. or international, stock or bond — can be cushioned by an opposite or lesser move in a different market.
Still, I know that during a period of volatility the lure of the sidelines can be very strong. In fact, probably the number one question on every investor’s mind today is “What should I do now?” Every individual’s situation is different, but I believe the answer to the question is the same for everyone: Talk to your financial adviser. Your adviser can help you stay the course or make the necessary adjustments to maintain a well-diversified portfolio designed to help you reach your financial goals.
I noted at the beginning of my letter the importance of putting events into context, and I believe the most important context of all is simply time. During the four decades I’ve been at American Funds, I have seen strong bull markets and tough bear markets, huge gains in a single day and big one-day drops. Through all the ups and downs, the nation’s economy has expanded, our standard of living has improved, and individuals who stayed invested in a well-diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds were positioned to reach their financial goals. To me, that is the most important context of all.
The Easy Button
Staples has the easy button for office supplies. The commercial also gets you thinking about, what if life had an easy button for hard situations. It made me think, how often would I use the easy button for the rough times in life? My conclusion would be, eventually be all the time! Once things have been going well for a while, then all of the sudden a tough spot in life occurs we want out, and quick. The down hill ride is fun and easy but eventually you have to go back up hill to get to the top again. If it was not for the uphill rides in life we would never build any strength or endurance, we would never discover new opportunities. When you coast downhill you just kick everything in neutral and let the momentum carry you. Even a turkey can fly in a tornado! What do you do when the wind or hill comes to an end? We need to try new and difficult things and grow our strength and broaden our minds. Pick the hill before you have no choice. Try the hard stuff. We cannot lose unless we give up. So keep stretching and keep growing and don't look for the easy way out. If we cheat to win it catches up with us. Heck anyone can cheat and win but its hard to do it without the easy button, but the reward is much greater. (Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds. Norman Vincent Peale.) So lets keep climbing the hill and building our strength instead of looking for the easy downhill route. Take on a challenge in your life and quit avoiding them. If you pick the down hill route all of the time, you get to the bottom and all you have is a hill on two sides of you.
Debt Ceiling : The next gloom and doom
While we are still not out of the recession our next gloom and doom story for the media is in full swing. The debt limit ceiling, should we raise it or what? The media is on fire with this one and it has a lot of people beginning to stoke the fires of fear that may have cooled down since the recession struck in 08. Wow that was three years ago and we are still here and not living under rocks and using gold instead of money! Guess the media got another one wrong. Half of the government thinks we should raise the debt ceiling. Hey that's smart dig out of a hole through the bottom. The other half just wants to disagree with them to make them mad. So I have to ask what are you going to do? We have options here, we can panic and worry day in and day out about what will happen and just wait, or you can work on what you can control. Like Zig Ziglar says there is not a whole lot you can do about the national economy, but there is a whole lot you can do about your personal economy. I say we don't buy into the fear machine the media wants us buy into. So stand up and go forward. Lets face it, 2/3 of the world would beg for the economy we have right now, in a recession. As John Piper stated, recessions come and go in America, but they just keep coming for the rest of the world. Our worst economic times are prosperous times for the rest of the world. I suggest we control what God has given us to manage to the best of our abilities. The world will always be looking for a story to fill us with fear and improve their ratings and get people talking about them. Look at the facts and believe the truth! Dave Ramsey gave us a message of hope for the great recovery and challenged us to stand up and take control of our country. Got to this link and watch the great recovery and change your life, the government cannot only you can. By the time you read this the government will pass a bill and then the media will find something else to worry about. Lets take control of our life and do what we were put on the earth to do, take dominion.
Declaration of Independence
The nation celebrated its Independence yesterday, and all weekend. We recorded a show off the History channel called the Revolution. It told a lot of the history that was documented about our founders and what they done to make this nation. One feeling I could not shake was how the narrator kept saying the spirit was freedom and it was spreading throughout the colonies. I bet the atmosphere was was infectious and there was a lot of excitement in the air. With all that said it got me to remember that I have not checked my goals that I have set for year in a while, so I went and pulled them up. Some goals I was on track for and some I felt like the train ran me over on the track! But I did find out that George Washington’s first battle was an embarrassment to him and everyone was doubting him as a leader. Just like George Washington I had to adjust my plan to get me where I am trying to go. ( Im glad George didn’t quit.) So whatever goals you may have set at the beginning of the year look at them and make adjustments where necessary. If you didn't set goals, well catch the spirit! Get some action going in your life! Set a financial goal, a health goal or a career goal, read that book you “ are getting around to reading”. If you want a different result, do something different. Let your goal be a road map to where you want your life to go instead of wondering how it got there. Declare your independence from mediocrity! Download a goal sheet here.
We have all heard today is all you have, so make the best of it.
This is very true,but I did say that yesterday and I made it to today and I might even make it to tomorrow. I am a firm believer in planning for tomorrow and the distant future, because I just might make it there. We spend so much time worrying about tomorrow sometimes that we do not live today and accomplish what we want to get done. Sometimes I have to take a deep breath and slow down and re-focus. I want us all to enjoy what we have, today, and plan for tomorrow. I love the way Dan Miller puts it, make deposits of success in your life. I assume if you deposit something today you are putting it up for a future purpose, that’s why we save money, to use it later. You might think, “my future plans are big” what can I do today to get it there. I suggest you make at least a small deposit today and everyday in your, “little today” so it can grow into something big. If you have a goal to save a million dollars, give a little something each day until it grows, and don’t blow it on a something (bass boat) that will steal your tomorrow away. When that tomorrow gets here you can get that thingy. Right here right now will rob your future. Debt robs our future because it assumes we will be able to pay later. You are basically borrowing from your future to have something right now and the bank, with your help, has predetermined where your future earnings are going, I would rather be in charge of that. Be patient, its hard but worth it. Make a deposit in your career, or a business idea that you have. You don’t have to quit your job today and open the business tomorrow but take some action, today. Read a book and study, take a class, go back to school, start inching toward it and your momentum may just pick up steam all the sudden you look up and today could be where you wanted to be five years ago. Its hard but its worth it!
What if I __________________________?
I read a blog by Andy Traub yesterday and it was great and also got me thinking. What if we didn’t worry about failing, how would we live then? What would our results be if we used the energy to worry and focused it on what we were doing? We are going to fail at things in life but if you are not failing you are not going to succeed. So I will ask you to fill in the blank, what if I ___________________; what is your answer. What if you were to get out of debt and get control of your finances this year? You may think what if I fail at it? Don’t worry you can always go back to the current way of doing things. What if you started that business or looked for the job you have always dreamed about? What if it fails? What if it doesn’t? Can you guarantee I will succeed? No, but I can guarantee you will not if you don’t try. Remember failure does not always mean you cannot do it, but it does mean the way you may be doing things that need to be changed. Thanks Andy!! Now people lets go give it a try! Let us know how you do!
What if you succeed????
Tim West 5-30-11
How do you believe?
I have the privilege to teach our teenagers at my church, and we have been talking about faith the last few weeks. One point I was trying to get across is that just because you don't see something with you physical eyes does not mean it does not exist. Hey, I have never seen my brain but I am confident I have one, you may disagree, but I feel pretty good about it right now. Another point I have been trying to get across is to not live by our emotions. We get anxious and depressed happy and sad over stuff that most of the time does not come true. Emotions are good and fun but they cannot accurately tell us the truth. We focus on what bad thing happened and then we focus on what “could happen” and we miss the present time we are living in today. Pastor Bill Johnson states “ When we submit the things of God to the mind of man, unbelief and religion are the results. When we submit the mind of man to the things of God, we end with faith and a renewed mind. The mind makes a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”
So, the question arises, what are you dreaming and believing? Do you believe you can get out of debt or start that new business, or new job, you feel is your dream, but your mind just doesn't see it happening. Don't let your emotions get carried away here. I have the bad habit of getting an idea and a plan for it and if it doesn’t happen, in my time frame (usually an week or two), I want to panic and get worried. I have been described by my friends as patient! I will soon realize I need to pray when its not happening in my time frame, and I pray for God to give me patients and give them to me now! I suggest you do your best to believe what your inspired dreams are, no matter what you “think” is real, and to abandon the commotions of your emotions and be patient. Talk to some trusted people who have done what you want to do. Get good counsel from others. A good place, if you want to become self employed is 48 Days.net , there are great people on there with tons of information, and encouragement. Hey just because it doesn’t look like you can or it worries you doesn’t mean its impossible. Like Henry Ford said “weather you think you can or you think you cant, you are probably right.” As my spiritual mentor, Wade Trimmer says, we need to live above SEE level. Lets start believing, and we will start seeing. Now go change the world!
Are you qualified?
I was reading in Colossians the other day in Chapter 1 Verse 11-12 and it said “May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. I thought about it for a while and thought, wow, if God called you, He has qualified you. How many times do we set out in our businesses or finances, and think I am not qualified to accomplish this task? I don’t know about you but I like the idea of being qualified by Him. I think that means if you are called, He will get you there, sometimes kicking and screaming, but you will make it there. Although I sometimes may wonder, when setbacks occur if He dialed the wrong number! If you are called to do something He will provide the means by which to do it no matter what the circumstances might be. Remember it is a process and that power is guarded by problems. I think the setbacks are very important to build strength in us to succeed. God wants to expose the weak spots in our character because it can turn into rot if it is not addressed. Power when not submitted to Gods grace will tend to corrupt us. It is a process to get us there to accomplish what we are called to do. If I don’t fail I will not be able to succeed. We cannot achieve perfection but we can have great progress. If you think you are perfect that’s your first mistake. I want to encourage you to go after whatever it is God has called you to do because the world needs what you have. Remember if you are called He has qualified you to succeed!
Mastering Your Budget Pt. II
Well the Masters Golf tournament is over and it was great, if you like golf. So this week let’s try to finish off mastering your budget. We stated last week that personal finance was 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge. Our first step was to sit down with your spouse or an accountability partner and plan your budget. Our second step was to determine what is most important, such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation and utilities etc. Always pay the most important first, these are your necessities.
After you have determined how much you bring in and how much each item costs start allocating the money. Now once you set the budget it is the boss of you, so don’t steal form the gas category to get a cheeseburger and fries. Your goal is to have a zero based budget. A zero based budget means income and outgo should equal zero. Every dollar should have a place to go such as groceries, gas, blow money, savings etc. If you tell it where to go it will be there when you need it, as long as you stick to your game plan. Now here is a critical step, you MUST track what you spend. Most of the time we do not know how much to budget because we have never done it before, this is where tracking your expenses will help. When you track them it gives you an exact number so you can budget better. If you don’t track them it will be a guessing game every month. If you don’t know exactly how much to budget for some categories, you may want to fund it a little heavy, such as groceries and gas. The way gas prices go up they should have an odometer on the pricing sign. Don’t worry it’s easy to forget stuff like birthdays and children’s activities; you will get better at it as you go. One thing that sneaks up on you every year is Christmas and the Thanksgiving grocery bill, try not to for get them. Don’t worry; no one budgets perfectly every month. It takes about three months before you budget starts working out smoothly. I guarantee you it will not work if you don’t do one and track you’re spending. Once you get the hang of it you can do your budget in 20-30 minutes with no problems. Feel free to email me with any questions. Start to master your finances. Budget forms
Master your Budget
Well it’s that time of year again in Augusta Georgia; the Masters Golf tournament is upon us and Augusta comes to life. I have lived here 33 years and I have never played golf in my life, unless putt- putt counts. No, I did not play putt-putt at the Augusta National. I love to watch the Masters when it is at the Augusta National and that’s the only time I watch golf. I have gone to a practice round but, I just don’t play golf, maybe I will someday. They say it is good for your walk with God because when you are playing you are always repenting. I will have to say once you step onto the Augusta National property it looks like you have stepped off of the planet, it is more beautiful than I can describe. Now there is one thing I do and that is teaching people how to build a budget to fit their needs. The biggest part of mastering a budget is to do one and follow it! I have been on a budgeting kick this week and the thought occurred to me that I haven’t blogged on a budget much. So why not start. A budget is telling your money what to do instead of wondering where it went. I didn’t come up with that definition but I got if from Dave Ramsey, via John Maxwell, via God. Let’s face it, managed money works harder for you. Most people I coach say “I didn’t know I made as much money as I did, it feels like I got a raise.” So, first, things first, if you are married you both need to be involved in the process and you both have an equal vote. One of you is probably a nerd who likes preparing it and the other just wants to be left alone and given the information. Let the one who loves preparing it prepare it, but both of you must have a meeting about it because you are a team. Both of you must have input on your money. Have a budget meeting every month to determine what your budget will be for the month. If you are single prepare it and share it with an accountability partner. The average family in America earns 40,000.00 per year. Over a 30 year working life that is 1.2 million dollars going through your hands, why not tell it what to do instead of wondering where it went. During this step you will learn that your money problem is not caused by lack of math skills, it is a behavior problem. If it was a math problem we would have never went into debt in the first place and spent more than we make. That is the government’s job. Second, determine what is the most important. I teach you it is your necessities, food, clothing, shelter, transportation and utilities. You do not usually need clothes every month so don’t put anything there if you don’t need anything. Also if you want to save money this should be at the top of the list, because if you do not make it a priority to save, you never will. As a Christian I put my giving first, saving second and then the necessities. God gives us the first step in a budget, 10% goes back into the store house (your local church) and He also tells us about savings in Proverbs 21:20 “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” Don’t spend all you have, live on less than what you make. A wise man or woman will save. I will not overload you this week so I will pick up from here on my next installment and help you Master your budget. Feel free to down load a budget from my website. Start prioritizing your budget before next week and we will pick up from there. Also, feel free to email me if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I heard Michael W. Smith say the other day that I survived success. This made me think about surviving success in the future. But, the more I thought about it the more I realized that it can be a hard thing to survive future success. We always think that if I become successful and make a lot of money, I will have it made. But, they say that 80% of NFL players are broke after they have been out of football for 10 years. We all want to win at whatever we do, but how many of us prepare to handle success in the future. I want to survive success, don’t you! One thing that I have to teach my clients, in financial coaching is how to live on less than what they make. We can always find something to spend our money on, no matter how much we make. You can buy fun but, you can’t buy happiness. So, I show people how to live on less than what they make and set limits, if you learn how to do it making 40k or 50k you will know how to do it making a million. So, do you plan on success weather it is financial or in any other area; if not start to plan on winning. If you don’t plan on winning in life, there is a good chance you will reach that goal. This is not necessarily a goal you want to reach. Success is, according to John Maxwell, knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing the seeds that benefit others. So, don’t set your goal just as financial, because you can always earn more. But, if you do what John Maxwell says you are always on the journey. You may make some good money on your journey, but that is just some of the fruit that success produces. Success also comes in the form of helping people change their lives. It is fun to see someone’s life transform and for them to do work that matters. I also work with people in career and life coaching. I love when people discover the talents and gifts God puts in them and they begin to follow the plan we lay out. So, what about you, would you survive success if it fell in your lap today? If it falls in our laps and we don’t have a plan we may not survive, so plan on how to handle it! Learn how to handle what you have now and you will be prepared for the success to come. Only you can do what God has called you to do and we need you to do it, and survive it!!! Be blessed.
Go West Coaching
If you find yourself unemployed or wanting to change jobs I want to help you with some tips this week. I have this posted this on my resources page but I wanted to make it a little more available. Feel free to email me any questions you may have and keep looking up. We usually go where we are looking in life. It’s hard sometimes to stay encouraged but I have found one thing that is a big help; turn off the television! Have a great week and keep on keeping on. Laid off checklist
Your destiny is waiting!
I saw a commercial the other day for the Biggest Loser television show. Jillian Michaels, one of the trainers for the contestants said, “You can do it, your destiny is waiting for you to show up!” This statement made me think about everything we do in our lives. God has a destiny ready for us, but we will not show up! What are some of the reasons we don’t show up. I think the main one is fear. We will not try that business venture because we may fail. Remember failure is part of success; it’s a chance to begin new, with more experience. If I quit my job, that I dread going to on Mondays, for one I may like, I will lose my “security”, or what we think is security. As Helen Keller says "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all." What is the destiny you think God has for you? We all have hints and clues thrown at us throughout our lives. What are your values dreams and passions? What do you do that makes time go by without a care? You may think it is crazy and that you cannot support yourself or your family, but others have. Why can’t you do it also? If God is for you, then who can be against you in life? Do remember that His plan doesn’t always fit your mold, okay it never does for me the way “I” think it should. So will you show up for your destiny? Charlton Heston, while filming Ben- Hur was having a hard time staying in the violent cart being pulled by the horse. In the movie he was supposed to win the race, but he told the director I can’t do it, I cannot win because I cannot control the cart and barely can stay in it. The director said you focus on staying in the cart and I will make sure you win. Wow, if we stay in the cart of our destiny, God will make sure we win no matter how out of control it may seem.
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Move your stand
I use to deer hunt a lot and enjoyed hunting the right stand whenever I got the chance. I can remember some of my favorite ones over the years, ones that I saw a lot of deer and other wildlife. We would go out in the woods and look to find the perfect place to hunt, the place with the most signs of deer usually got all the attention. Often, I would hunt that place several times. Although, there was evidence deer had been there previously, I never saw any deer. Before I would give up I would go there a few more times and finally I would come to the conclusion, “I am getting no where”, and then move my stand. Doesn’t life sometimes get that way; we keep working at a place we don’t like, where there is no sign of enjoyment or fulfillment. Still we keep hunting the same place expecting a different result. We see the sign of a “good job” but the good job never shows and twenty years later we are still sitting there. We do that in relationships also, we are hunting for one thing from someone and it never shows up. Still we keep hunting for it in the same place, then one day we get disgusted and just give up and say it will happen someday, maybe. Hey, if you are hunting in a place that “looks” promising and never produces, maybe its time to move your stand. Let’s face it many times in life you will have to move your stand to a new area. As my pastor says, if you walk the same rut long enough, eventually it will turn into a grave. So what is it that you are tired of in your life? Are you tired of your job, are you tired of your money managing your life? Read a book on some thing you enjoy and find another place to hunt. Move your stand and get a different view.
Stages of Grief 2-25-11
I am currently going through some training, for adopting a child, through the state of Georgia, its called impact training. They were demonstrating that when a child gets pulled from their home, no matter what the situation is, that was home for them. Because of the change they can go through these emotional stages (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance) and they ask us to think how we would act it someone just came up one night and pulled us from our family and told us this was your new family. It really helps you see, as best you can, what they go through. When I was on the way home I realized we do the same thing with our money and our careers. Denial “I can’t believe I am this bad off in my financial life, or job, oh it’s not that bad.” You think about it more and get angry, “he/she spent how much, I ought to….” “Ok honey I will make a deal with you, quit spending as much and I will quit spending as much and we will see what happens, it will be ok. (Bargaining)” Then you look at it all over again “oh this is bad. I don’t care what happens to us now; we were trying hard?(depression).” The final phase, acceptance, “ok this is just the way things are now, you can’t have anything you want unless you are in debt up to your eyeballs. You win some you lose some. ” I have done these things before that is why I know how it feels. But you don’t have to live the rest of your life that way, you just need to focus on where you want to go and have a plan to get there. I just read a book recently, which I recommend its called money makes me crazy by Ted McLyman. We need to take a look at our behavior and not accept the status quo that the world thinks is right. You can have the financial life you want and do the work you were put on earth to accomplish. It takes hard work but its worth doing. Don’t keep going through the stages in your money life and career life, if you do you will miss life.
Quitting at good 2-25-11
A good friend of mine has a quote he uses that says “If better is possible, then good is not enough.” So that got the wheels turning in my head and it leads me to the question, why do we quit at good? Some quit at good because good is enough, or they don’t think that they deserve better or they feel greedy if the want something better. Whatever the reason is we quit sometimes when it is good. This mentality makes me think of “average” and we all know what average is, the best of the worst and the worst of the best. Why would you not want better in your life? Don’t get me wrong I don’t want you to be unhappy or discontent, but there is life and challenge in doing better. I can carry it overboard because I always think I have to be perfect until I realize I am not, but I do want to do better. I love to help people do better, because it helps me and everyone else in the world when people do better than doing just good. I am really happy that doctors want to do better; they could have quit 30 years ago when they were good! Zig Ziglar says “you are the only person in existence who can use your potential. It is an awesome responsibility.” Your potential is great, and I want you to get better at it because the world needs what you have. So let’s not go crazy and try to be perfect in a not so perfect world, or let’s not stop at good enough. I want to get better and I want to see others get better and find the life and challenge and happiness in better. Wow I feel better already.
When in doubt
I read this and thought it was really good. We all go through doubt in out lives, we especially doubt ourselves and God. So no matter where you may be in your life dont quit, breakthrough will come,just not in our timing but in His.
When the One You Doubt is You
T. Suzanne Eller
"Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'" Matthew 14:31 (NIV)
I walked away discouraged. It was a disaster! The end of the world! I mentally listed all the ways I had messed up.
Things had not gone the way I had hoped. Later that night as I lay in bed, going over the events one more time, regret plopped right in the middle of my chest.
I wish that I could say that self-doubt was never a problem again after that day, but it has tried to spring up again from time to time. It's just that I handle it in a different way now. I finally recognized self-doubt for what it is. It's an unhealthful twist on humility. It appears to be self-assessment, or even meekness. Instead, it is distracting to my dreams and the direction that God is trying to lead me.
Self doubt can be paralyzing unless we learn to unpack it. Asking questions like:
Is there a valid reason I am doubting? Maybe there are gaps that need to be filled with education, with knowledge, with training, or good old-fashioned time alone with our Heavenly Father.
Is it due to a certain person or my past? My friend and Proverbs 31 Ministries sister Lysa TerKeurst describes twirling around as a child, her dress fanning out around her, to capture her father's attention.
How many times do we twirl, trying to fill that place where a father's words or a mother's hugs didn't? We keep on twirling hoping that someone might notice, and we come up empty if they don't, even when there is no way that anyone can see that need.
Is it the enemy? We have an enemy according to Scripture. An enemy that desires to steal, to take away, to wound by distracting us from God's grace, call, and leading. Do we so intently focus on the things we didn't do "right" or well, at least in our eyes, and fail to see the good that took place?
When I stopped to take an honest look at the event where the world was coming to an end, the reality is that it was a small hiccup. A perfect learning experience, allowing me to fill in a gap that needed to be filled.
Self-doubt can either riddle us, consuming our thoughts, or it can be an avenue to honestly assess why it's there, and what we can do about it—with God's help.
Consistency equals accuracy
Back when I use to do competitive shooting there was a saying “consistency equals accuracy and accuracy equals consistency.” If I am consistent in my shooting I will be accurate, if I am going to be accurate I need to be consistent, its not rocket science but it is something we overlook when we manage our money and also in other areas of our life. It is not mathematical genius in our finances but it is behavior. If I consistently save, budget, and have a plan in my financial life, I will achieve my goals in life, and hit the target. Hey, I had to shoot a lot of bullets to hit the bullseye that was the diameter of the pencil lead. If I go week to week, month to month without having a plan and telling my money what to do before I get it, I will be consistently missing my target. Most people get in bad financial situations by not paying attention to what they are doing. We go day by day living off of emotion instead of a well thought out plan.
Since we are just starting a new year why don’t we determine to be consistent so we can hit our goals we set for ourselves? I don’t like the word resolution because even if you resolve to do something you still don’t have a plan laid out. Example, “my resolution is to fid a job I enjoy this year!” How? When you have your plan, be consistent in executing it so you can hit your target. Don’t quit and don’t worry if you have to modify your plan. The biggest thing is to get a goal and be consistent with executing it. Keep shooting and getting closer to the bullseye and let me know when you hit the center. I love to hear when people win, it helps us all!
Do you want to be weird? From Dave Ramsey Newslwtter.
If you want to be weird for 2011 let me help you! Go West Coaching
11 Weird Things To Do In 2011
Everyone has their own definition of what "weird" means. To us, it means having some—or actually a lot—of money, because so many people are broke! If you could keep hundreds of extra dollars a month instead of paying credit card bills, car payments and your alma mater, would you want to become weird?
If you're tired of being normal (aka broke) like everyone else, here are some ways to get started on your journey to weirdness!
Without a proper start, big plans will eventually crumble. We are here to help you along the way during this weird year that will carry through the rest of your life. Find out how to set a solid foundation.
According to The Literacy Company, 90% of learning is based on reading. You would think that Americans would read a lot, right? Well, about 27% of adults read no books at all in the past year. Set yourself apart from the majority by reading a few beneficial, nonfiction books this year! Here are some suggestions from Dave's library.
Food often costs more than you think. Plan your meals ahead of time to eat healthier and avoid hitting up your favorite fast-food spot five times a week. It's not a daunting task when you get help from eMealz for just $5 a month!
The Joneses are broke. They're in debt and don't have money for emergencies, retirement or college. Do you really want to be like them? Doubtful. So compare yourself to them and determine what you need to do so you aren't like the Joneses.
There are so many good things to do, but you can't do it all. Learning to set limits in your life will actually allow you to do more, whether it's with your time or money. Plus, you'll be better at those things you do since you aren't rushing around trying to cram a bunch of stuff into your schedule.
Who says giving to others only has to take place at Christmas? Challenge yourself to continue giving like no one else throughout 2011. You'll be amazed at how much better life is when you give to others!
Just because you're a responsible adult who's all grown up doesn't mean you have to stop dreaming. But don't just be a dreamer; do something about it! Determine what's stopping you from making your goal a reality, and challenge yourself to overcome it.
Most people cringe at the "s" word. But sacrifice doesn't mean you have to live in a cave and never have fun. Maybe you need to pick up an extra job or cut out a monthly treat from your budget to get closer to achieving your goal. Think of something you can give up, and commit to following through this year.
About 60% of Americans die without a will. So what's the big deal? That means that when you die, everything you owned is either left to the government to divvy out, or your relatives will fight over your belongings. Avoid that heartache by creating a will. Stop procrastinating and just do it! USLegalForms.com makes it easy for you to leave this legacy for under $30.
Don't love your job? Then quit it! Find your passion and do work that truly matters to you. Yes, even in this economy you can quit your job—just be smart about it. Think it through. Have a plan, and be wise about your decisions. Consider this.
It's cool to be weird! Tell others about your journey to weirdness and how you're changing your life for the best. Send them our weekly email challenges, pass along your budgeting knowledge, or invite them to a free Financial Peace University class. Dave has so many resources available for you and your friends that there's definitely something for everyone.
What is a good job? 12-27-10
This question hit me the other day and I started to think about it and all of the answers a person could have. I remember what I would have said several years ago. “One that pays well and you don’t have a lot of urgent demands placed on you. That answer developed the mindset of” Hey lets work to have fun on the weekend and just make it through the week. We can start living the life we want when we retire. Every one wants good money and to have very little expected from them, right? We will enjoy life when Social insecurity kicks in, right? I have had good jobs where I have done what was required and got paid, on time, every time, and really didn’t like it that much. Money is never enough compensation to trade your efforts and time for the rest of your life. So I worked there 15 years and had no fulfillment other than I was dependable and provided for my wife and myself. Providing for your family and being dependable are good things, and should be done, but they are not the only things, you have a purpose from God. After being trained to be a financial coach, I realized, this is what I want to do, help others in their finances. I realized this and during this time I have also realized, I want to help others find out what they want to do with their lives and help them to achieve it. Like Dan Miller says, do work you love! He asked a question once “Do you think it would be easier to earn money doing something you love or something you don’t really enjoy?”
48 Days to the work you love class begins January 10th, spots are limited email me now to register, or call 706-840-0992
What’s next in 2011? 12-17-10
2010 is winding down, and a lot of people are glad to see it going. It has been a challenging year to me as well as others. I remember at the end of 2009 thinking I know 2010 will be better. I now look back on 2010 and think it may have been tough, but I sure learned a lot about life, that’s better. Just because it was a challenging year doesn’t mean it was bad. Heck there are millions of people around the world that would love to have a bad year and live in the U.S. We have learned that just because we cannot have a booming economy all the time, we can still prosper in many ways. Our economy is more emotional, I think, than anything, turn off the news and it will get better. Drive around in Augusta Georgia on a Friday or Saturday night and the restaurant parking lots are full not to mention Wal-Mart is always full. They could make a profit if no one was on the earth! We have also learned to keep our focus and work through the times of uncertainty. Even though we may not be out of the woods we know we have to keep on keeping on. It will be interesting to hear all of the stories about how people started their businesses during this time and how they learned new ways of managing their money. So what if life doesn’t change in 2011? I guess it will be more time to learn and to grow in our lives. Good times go by easy, when you are learning and improving, to me, that should be good times. I hope you all have a great 2011!!!
Living beneath your dignity - Great read by Dan Miller
I read this article by Dan Miller, author of 48 Days To The Work You Love. For those of you going through transition take these words to heart.
Yes, I know times are tough. I spoke at a conference recently and had the opportunity to talk to people who are wondering if there is any reason to be cheerful or optimistic.
As a Russian priest (1829 – 1908), Father John Sergiev first thought he wanted to be a monk in the remote areas of Siberia – but after a vision, he realized God wanted him to be a missionary right where he was – in the hustle and bustle of the big urban city of St. Petersburg. While most priests remained in the safe confines of their cathedrals, Father John would go out into the noisy, dirty, crime-ridden slums and back alleys of the city.
He would find someone down and out in the gutter, sleeping off the effects of the previous night’s drink and activities. Father John would cup his chin; look him in the eyes and say, “This is beneath your dignity. You were created to house the fullness of God.” Wherever he went, people found new hope and optimism because they discovered, or were reminded, of who they were. Seeing ourselves in the light of who God made us to be is both exciting and contagious.
So, are you expressing the fullness of God today? If you are full of despair and hopelessness because of the current economic situation, I doubt there is room for much else. If you are angry and resentful because your stocks crashed, your house dropped in value or you lost your job, I suspect that is what people will first hear about you.
Can you remember what you were created for? When I hear people complain about how bad their lives are I’m going to start saying, “This is beneath your dignity. You were created to house the fullness of God.”
Entrepreneurs have ruined me
The title says it all, I have been ruined by entrepreneurs, and I like it. When you think about it the traditional way of employment ruins you more. By traditional I mean work for a company for years and retire, get laid off or they shut down. One way or the other you will leave there. Since I have jumped into the world of working for myself, I have found freedom and creativity, uncertainty, fear, joy, and ambition, drive, anxiety, depression, and fulfillment and encouragement. Oh yes, and the ways to overcome the negative things. Negative things help re-direct you to positive things, so don’t look at the fear, depression, anxiety and uncertainty as the end of the world, learn from it and move foreword. These things exist in traditional employment to except we do not realize it until they start talking about downsizing and the pink slips are handed out. You may ask how entrepreneurs have ruined me. They have ruined me because this is the way I want to live now, work for myself, and do what I feel God called me to do on this earth, help people reach their purpose in different areas of their life. This is really a blessing! Yes this life style does lead you to have all of the before mentioned emotions and more, but there is LIFE there. I do miss the regular paycheck from time to time because, like a circus lion, I waited for the three meals a day and forgot how to go hunt my own food. Nice kitty!
So do you have that feeling that makes you want to escape the circus, if you do start to take action on it immediately! If you don’t act you will continue to wait and keep putting it off. I am not saying jump off of the boat and swim until you see some land, but create a plan to get there and instead of jumping and hoping to find land. You can take the right steps to get there. Will I mess up? Yes. Will it be easy? No. Will it be fun? Yes and challenging. Why not start to formulate your plan in 2011? If you do attempt to be ruined by entrepreneurs, remember most of them didn’t do it overnight. Read success stories of others, and get help from others who may have been down that road. You may ask what if I fail. Use it to move forward or in a different direction. Hey life is an adventure, set sail! Don’t be the king of the jungle that everyone looks at behind bars. Remember his biggest highlight is the meal that the trainer is going to bring to him. To all of you entrepreneurs out there thanks!
Jack Wagon (Don’t be one) 11-24-10
I just love that commercial and I some how needed to write a blog with the word Jack Wagon in it somewhere. After watching the commercial I decided that I would probably be the same type of psychiatrist as Sergeant R. Lee Ermey but not as intimidating. Heck I look like Opie Taylor. It is kind of hard to intimidate people when you remind them of an Andy Griffith character. I started thinking about how we can be a Jack Wagon this time of year and it starts for us in two days. Black Friday! Some places have already started the frenzy by being open this week and starting on Thanksgiving Day. Come on over half of America will be in a turkey coma Thursday and not able to function in a crowded store. So the first one’s to be a Jack Wagon on this season is the stores. They have commercialized my beloved turkey day with being open. Okay ladies don’t be mad at me; some of you train for this black Friday event for weeks like it’s a marathon. I am ok with that. It is to you like opening day of deer season is to us deer hunters, except you get up earlier for it and it is dangerous for the other hunters (shoppers) in the stores. Woman world is tuff, especially that day! My wife has a group from our church leaving at 3 A.M. Friday. I may go hunting and I don’t have to get up till 4:30. More power to yall.
So you may ask how we can avoid being the Jack Wagon. 1. Stick to a budget! Get a number that you and you spouse can work with and stick to that number. 2. Don’t use credit cards because next year at this time you will be paying for this Christmas. If you use a credit card you tend to spend 12-18% more than if you use cash. Now lets be honest, I have done it is the past, you shop for someone else and you wind up not getting them anything, but you successfully get yourself a couple of gifts. What ever the amount you decide to spend get cash and when the cash is gone you are done. It’s a behavior issue not a number issue. 3. You don’t have to finish Friday! This is where you ladies need to take a lesson from us men. You can shop up to December 24th and not spend everything at once. Space out your shopping because if you do it all at once you will be ready to get it done and spend that extra instead of looking for a bargain. 4. Make a gift for others, I will tend to keep something longer if someone makes me something, and I will not forget it, especially if its food! 5. Bargain with people; ask for a discount, you never can tell when they will say yes. The answer is always no if you don’t ask. So I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a great shopping experience. Don’t be an overspending Jack Wagon. Ladies be careful, have mercy on us men if you see us in the store with our wives or by ourselves; we are out of our element and we look like Jack Wagons in your environment! Have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Less is more
You may be thinking that I am just trying to make you feel better because your 401k is now a 201k or that your pay has been cut lower than it was two years ago. But think about it, sometimes we are going at a pace to have “more” that we are missing out on winning at other things that may bring more joy in our lives. Hey my income is less because I do not work where I use to but I don’t have all of the stress of being gone as much and feeling like I don’t have time to do anything. Like the late Dale Earnhardt said, slower is faster. When you go slower and don’t wear your machine out, you don’t have to make as many pit stops to work on it and by the end of the race you are up front in a position to win; while the ones running wide open are in the back, pedal to the floor ,trying to get up to the front but they are out of time. Wow I did get something out of Nascar when I watched it! So I suggest that we look at what where we really want to be, take a breath and start pursuing the dream. Weather it is being debt free, doing a job that you always wanted to do, at your pace, or building relationships, which is the most important. Let’s use this time to re-evaluate, re focus and reload to build the life that God put us down here to have. When we do these things we glorify Him and we enjoy ourselves. And yes God wants you to have His money, but He doesn’t want it to have you. And besides don’t you think it is easier to make money doing something you love versus something that pays well and makes you unhappy and takes all of your time?
Are you looking or seeing?
I went to a funeral yesterday for a member of our church who was blind for most of her life. She was a wonderful woman who lived till 91 years of age. Members of our church would go and pick her up on Sunday and Wednesdays and do all kinds of different errands for her. Miss Allen knew what my name was, Tim, but she always called me Kim, and I didn’t argue with her because I would still be called Kim no matter what and I did not want to get in trouble with her for arguing. Our former pastor preached at the funereal and he made a great statement. “We look with our eyes and we see with our mind.” That is a very true statement! I have been blessed with excellent vision all of my life and the wonderful ability to “look.” But I have to confess I don’t see all that well at times. My ability to see often gets blurred by what I am looking at in my life. I have also noticed that a lot of other people suffer from this problem.
We often get so focused on what we are looking at and everything else gets blurred that is beyond the object or situation. It’s the old “I can’t see the forest because the trees are in the way!” There is nothing more frustrating than looking right at something and not seeing it in front of us. We look at our current situations in life and all we see is this is just the way it is, or I will work harder at this and it will maybe get better. Miss Allen never could look at her house to see if it needed cleaning, but anytime I dropped her off it was clean, really clean. She could always see her clean house. Maybe we need to start seeing where we want to go in our lives instead of looking at all the problems in our life. What ever we are looking at is the direction we will be traveling. I believe I will work on my seeing. I know Miss Allen is seeing everything she knew was out there now, and as a bonus, she can now look at what she has been seeing!
Kim West (Tim West) 11-9-10
I can’t see my feet!
It’s true that when you walk you can’t focus on your feet or you will run into things that will hurt you. I like to hunt and spend time in the woods and I have gotten lost on an occasion or three. One memorable time was when a friend of mine was looking at some land and he wanted to show me this great place in the swamp. We crossed the creek and I asked him do you know where you are going? Yes of course I do! 15 minutes later I heard him say that “I don’t know where I am at!” I didn’t pay attention to where we were going because I figured I didn’t need to because he “knew where we were at.” So a couple of hours later we make our way to a paved road and walk up to a mans house and he told us what road were on and we started heading back to the truck. He drove past us a few minutes later and waved. I guess he wanted us to enjoy our country walk and didn’t offer us a ride. We walked 8 miles back to the truck. Nothing like feeling lost in the middle of no where Georgia. Living a life of faith in Jesus Christ keeps you from seeing the path that your feet are on sometimes.
Our walk in life gets that way sometimes, I get a plan and map it out and I know where I am going. But with Jesus in charge of my life, He wants me to trust Him to lead the way and follow His plan that He gave me. He is the greatest leader in history, and a lot of times, like with my friend, I don’t pay any attention to where He is leading and I look up and I am lost. I get lost because I notice I am looking at my feet and then realize I am confused because I hit something. After I recover from the hit I realize I can’t see my leader and I panic. I have to fight off all of those thoughts, I am by my self, what’s going to happen to me, will I ever find my leader, I can’t see Him or hear him. Although I don’t believe it at the time, He knows exactly where I am at and I could probably hear Him if I shut up worrying and listen. When I am in this place I start looking for people who are lost to and enjoy talking about our being lost and how bad it is and complain and have a old fashioned pity party. If I just listen and keep walking in the direction that He told me before I was lost I will begin to see an opening in the swamp to a field, just like with me and my buddy. Although the field was grown up to my head, I kept walking until I got to an old dirt road. I kept walking up that old road until we got to them mans house, and Jesus used him to tell us which direction to go to the truck. I just wished He told him to give us a ride, but Jesus knows there is strength to build in the struggle. No matter what you and I may be going through in our life, when we feel completely lost and helpless and want to give up, remember our leader knows where we are at, stop looking at your feet and look to where you are going. In the words of Joe Dirt, you gotta keep on keeping on!
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I am a quote junkie; I love them because they let you tap into wisdom in a short sentence. I read this quote and it got me thinking ("A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying Him…. The more a tree is like itself, the more it is like Him…." – Thomas Merton). We are created in Gods image and one person cannot adequately reflect all that God is to people. I am glad that He put so many people on earth because, we need you! When I think of all that I am not good at I panic, but I have noticed God has put others down here to help with my problems in life. Just yesterday I was in a mood and had to go to a networking event. I do okay in those type settings most of the time but yesterday I could not get into the “hello what do you do” game. So my natural talent of sarcasm was fighting to escape when a man asked me what I done and he said he does marketing counseling as a volunteer for small businesses. He went on to comment that he coached people like me and he said “I bet my prices are better than yours” with a little chuckle. Then I said true, but the advice you give is worth what you charge, nothing! Okay I didn’t get that line out; I shoved a Twinkie in my mouth before it escaped. (Yes I was having one of those days.) But none the less he is doing what God made him to do, help others in small business marketing.
Look around at others and look at what they do in their life. Ask yourself would you like to do what they do? If the answer is no, then ask your self what is it that I like to do? What is my passion? What was I put on the earth to accomplish? Does my work just give me money and a place to go everyday? Or is what I do blessing me with fulfilling my passion and rewarding me with money to support my family? “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” – Rumi; so what is that desire that has been put in your heart? You may ask so, Tim, should I just quit what I am doing and start doing my passion? No, not until you have determined what your passion is and have created a plan to get there and you see it can support you and your family. Hey as you can tell I could probably use some one to coach me in being nice when I am having a bad day. Never let you or anyone else squash those reoccurring dreams. Those dreams could be an indication of what you were put on the earth to fulfill. Remember we need you and what you do!
Keep your eye on the ball! 10-22-10
When I last played softball at church I was the third baseman. You have to pay attention a lot at third base; you don’t have time to day dream because things happen fast. I was reminded of that when a guy hit the ball right down the line and I caught it with my chin. Like Toby Keith said I ain’t as good as I once was. But hey at least I got in front of the ball, and did not get knocked out. I was once again reminded of this when I played brick breaker (a time wasting game on my Blackberry). All of the little things rolling down like guns, lasers and the life one, get you focused on catching them and you focus on the wrong thing, and miss the ball.
Life is like that, we see all of the cool things that look fun and we go after them. We work extra we spend a lot of time on things that are time burners and we miss the main point of living, which is life more abudantly. We get busy making a living and not a life, and then God sends a hard hit ball down the third base line and smack, you remember what you are doing when your head clears. But if you are not careful you will get scared when another ball is hit your way and you will avoid it altogether and miss the fun in life. Its fun when you make a good play and its fun when you live your life the way God intended, man fully alive. So maybe you are like me, starting a new business, focusing on getting the income to start coming in and you miss the adventure of working and being creative, meeting new people and HELPING them. I love to help people but, when I daydream about making the money that is all I see and I miss out why I love doing what I do, helping people. As Zig Ziglar says “You help enough people get what they want you will get what you want.” So let’s keep our eye on the ball and enjoy making that play and stay in front of the ball (life). Now go have a great game and tell me how you played!
Stress will get me there?
Stress, why do we do it, what good comes out of stressing out over things? You know there are times and situations in our life that come around that we choose to stress over. Yes, I said choose because we usually do worry about things that never come to pass. If you are thinking that I don’t stress, I do sometimes, and I have come to find out it produces no fruit, grey hair yes, fruit no. Many areas we choose to stress in are work, money, relationships, health and every other area of life you can think about. When we stress we sometimes get busy doing activities to reduce the stress. We get busy because we hope with all of our activities and busyness that we are doing the right thing instead of doing the one thing that we should be doing, having and enjoying life. These activities actually create more stress for us because they take time away from what we should be doing. I saw the title of an article that said “Life is required, stress is optional.” Why does money stress us out? When we don’t have the amount we think we need we worry and stress. What’s going to happen if I can’t pay this or be able to buy this, I know, I will get a loan to buy it and start to stress when the first loan payment is due. So I want to make a suggestion let’s start working on eliminating our stress and living life and enjoying it the way God intended. Start your day out reading or listening to something that builds you up and feeds your spirit. You may want to meditate on scripture or a thought or idea. Remember if you able to worry you are able to meditate. Know what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it through out the day. Use the stress time to plan your day instead of stressing. Executing a clear plan of action will take a lot of stress out of your life. Think about Jesus, anytime you read about Him in the bible do you imagine Him rushing around, or do you see Him speed walking from town to town? No; you remember He was sleeping during the storm. He was calm when Pilate was questioning Him. Jesus had a plan from the Father and He lived out the plan out. I am glad He did, it makes it possible for us to have a plan and a future. So, what is it you want to accomplish, what do you want to see different in your life? Quit stressing over not having it and hoping it happens. Figure out what it is that you were put on the earth to do, create a plan and follow it out. I don’t know about you but I get tired of worrying and stressing out about what MIGHT happen. I want to focus on what can happen and enjoy life and see other people enjoying their lives. It may cost you a something up front like, time you would normally spend stressing out. But, it will be worth it in the long run. Winning in life is fun, living stressed out is not. Remember “Life is required, stress is optional.”
Season of the Harvest 9-29-10
This is my favorite time of the year, the fall, when things cool down and the sky is clear and one of my favorite past times begins, hunting season. We have had a long HOT summer this year, over 118 days at 90 or above. It was way above 90; heck 90 was a cool snap!
Farmers are always busy, but this time of year they kick into over drive, corn, peanuts, soybeans and cotton are ready to be harvested. As I mentioned earlier its also hunting season, the smell of the woods the cooler temps makes me feel alive after all of the energy draining heat of summer. Its time to fill your barns, with the bounty from all of the work you have done through the spring and summer. This whole time of year also makes me ask what will I harvest from the work I have done, and the time and energy I have put in my work. It has been a hard summer heat wise, economy wise and employment wise. I had to change jobs in the middle of summer, and start my own business. I chose to start Go West Coaching and begin to harvest what God put in me and put me on earth to do, which is help people. Your first thought may be ,Tim you haven’t planted much in that area, I have thought the same but as I look back all of the situations and circumstances I have gone through, am going through and will go through has prepared me for a time such as this. Just like the farmer that works the ground, he does different things during the year to prepare it to plant and harvest. This whole hot, dry, long economy has made people look at what they can harvest from their fields. There are a lot of new businesses starting; people want to harvest what has been planted in them. These people, just like the farmer, want to share it with others also, and make a living with the fruit that God has placed in them. They want to manage their resources, their money, in a way that helps them live the life they want to live and not the lack of money telling them how to live.
A farmer also gets picked on for complaining about the weather, there’s not enough rain, or there’s too much rain, it’s too hot, the bugs are eating everything. Well I cannot pick on them because I can have a pity party myself every now and then. But just like the farmer I have to keep on planting and working the soil until it produces. If I want corn I have to plant corn and expect corn to come up. If you want to start a business you have to start planting and keep planting those seeds of success. You cannot harvest where you have not planted. And just like the farmer you have to give it time. Have you ever seen a farmer go out a week later and dig up the soil to see if the seeds have sprouted? You have to plant with faith and expect the harvest. God has planted a great crop in us, we have to work it and nurture it, because He created us to yield abundant fruit! Hey farmer lets work the soil hard even when it’s hot, dry, or to wet. It has fruit in it we just have to get it out.
What are you desperate for?
I once heard my former pastor say “when your desperation factor exceeds your embarrassment factor, you will do something about your situation.” You can also put it another way, when you want out of a situation bad enough you will pay the price. No matter what the situation is, when it is painful enough you will try something else. We let things go on in our life that make us uncomfortable that we just tolerate. If it’s our finances, we say, “maybe I can win the lottery” or “maybe the right person will get elected and will make me prosper”, while we go deeper into debt trying to make ourselves happy. If we are in a career that we dislike we say, “maybe I will get a promotion or a new boss”, heck we will pull the lottery in on this one to. If I win the lottery I will quit my job! Then we decide heck things will get better with my money and my job when I retire. We keep putting our life off until this or that happens, by the time we see the light, life is just about over. How bad does it have to get before you try and do something about your situation? Do you have to almost go bankrupt before you realize to pay off some debt and stop spending more than you make, or do you have to start getting physical or mental problems to change your work and money habits? I say the answer to this is no. I believe that we have been created to have an extraordinary life where we can do the work we love and be prosperous; but, we listen to the world tell us “you need to get a good job that pays a lot of money, that will make you happy.” That is true it will make you happy for a little while, until Sunday night, at six p.m., when you realize you have to get up and go to that “good job that pays lots of money ” so you can pay on your car, boat, house, jet ski and your zero turn radius mower.. I am all for the good job that pays a lot, but I am more about having the life you, with the job you want, that also pays great. I don’t think you have to give up one to get the other. If we put that desperate feeling that we get when we dislike something, into energy and effort to find the work we love and manage our finances. Then, we can have both. Life is not about how much stuff you have and how much you make; it’s about life, and a good life. So, I think we should get desperate about our passions and our goals and have fun achieving them and enjoying the fruit that is produced. The world is desperate for what is inside of you! So let’s get about the business of life and start planning the life you want. I know it’s a little scary, but that is the excitement life holds. Don’t wait start your journey now to a life full of passion.
During this whole recession that we are going through we have lost a lot of financial security. Being a Christian, I know that I do not base my security on money but in Jesus Christ. But being a
human, weak in the flesh, I can tend to panic when the whole money scene gets blurred because I look through my worldly eyes and not the ones Christ gave me.;but if we look closely at the recession
and what it has produced, I cant say that it is all bad. One way that it has helped people is, we, as Americans have started saving money again. About two years ago statistics said we had a "negative
savings rate" but now we are around 3-6% of our pay. We have eliminated the wasteful things in our budgets. That's a good thing. We realize that banks will not lend money because you can fog up a
mirror so we use our own money now. Some people have lost jobs or businesses, I have and it has spurred me on to do, what I feel God has called me to do, be a financial and career coach. I have also
talked to others who have started their own business or went to work for someone else in a job they enjoy better. This whole recession has also helped us evaluate how we live our lives and
re-prioritize them. We have seen what is more important and, because of less money we have more time at home with our families. We have become more creative for vacations and gifts. Hey give me a
gift someone made themselves and I will keep it forever over a gadget. One thing we have all noticed is that you cant count on money to help you be secure, it has to come somewhere else, but you can
count on God! Hey think about it money is just what we use to get things of value and service. Value and service come from other people, such as family and friends etc. So the bottom line is that
people are more important, that is where the real value is and that's what the recession has shown me. What about you?
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is a daring adventure or none at all." Helen Keller
We now offer for individuals and businesses the DISC personality profile. Instead of wondering if the personality of a new hire would fit your team, give the the DISC personality profile to get an accurate fit and see how to best use them to work on your team. Contact Go West Coaching. Phone 706-840-0992