Archive for April 2007

What legacy will you leave?

I was at home recently and my cat, Kiki, jumped up on my lap for some petting.  Now, you may not like cats, but I have always loved cats.  My cat is a "people" cat.  She is fine with letting complete strangers pet her, pick her up, and rub her belly.

It was very pleasant to have Kiki lying on my lap, but it made me think that I was starting to get old.

You know, Grandpas are the ones that sit around snoozing with a sleepy kitty cat lying on their lap.

Why is it that my image is of an older person having the cat lying on their lap?  I think that it is in part due to the fact that there will be a day when we will grow older.  There is coming a day when sitting in a rocking chair may be all that we can do.

I can promise you that when you get to a point that all you can pysically do is sit around, your mind will still be at work!  Your thoughts become much more active and clear while sitting around.  I mean that is all you will be able to do!

So my question is this:

What will you be thinking about?

Will you be fully satisfied that you did absolutely everything you could with what God had given you?  Will you know that you did everything you possibly could?

Based on statistical evidence, I am at or near half-time of my life!  I am 33 years old and nearly half-way done!

Have I done everything I could with what God has entrusted to me?  Have I effectively managed the money He has provided me?  Have I effectively managed the family He has given me?  Have I effectively used the gifts/talents He has provided me?

At the end of the day, when my youth and vitality is gone and a cat is dozing in my lap, will I be able to say, "I gave it my level best.  I gave it my all."?

At this point of my life, I can honestly say that I am giving it my all!

Can you say that? 

Saving Money had a great article about American's savings status on April 11, 2007 titled Have Less Than $25K In Savings?  Get In Line

It is sobering and backs up what I have been saying about American's spending habits!  We are spending ourselves to oblivion!

Key Points

  • Nearly half of all workers saving for retirement have savings that fall short of the $25,000 mark …
  • Overall, 40 percent of respondents said they are not currently saving for retirement while 34 percent said they didn't have ANY retirement money saved whatsoever.  A full 25 percent, meanwhile, said they had no savings at all – retirement or otherwise!

This makes me want to CRY!!!  What are we thinking?  That some magical fairy will show up at retirement and pay all of our bills?  Are we so oblivious to this epidemic that we can't see it or have we just chosen to ignore it?

Read that key point again!  Forty percent are not saving for retirement right now!!!  What are they going to do?  What are their plans?

Folks, this crusade is so HUGE!  I need your help in reaching others!  Have you spoken to your friends and family about this?

It is NOT HARD!  It is NOT hocus pocus … it is FOCUS pocus!  It takes about 2 hours to sit down and put together an INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO budget!  The tools are free on!  Just click on TOOLS at the top of the page!

Go tell your neighbors!  Go tell your friends!  Go tell your family!  Invite them over for dinner!  Show them what you are doing that has changed your entire financial future!  Show them that it can be done!  Show them that there is HOPE!  Show them that you are there to help them!

Let's reach America and show them a better way! 

Charles Schwab Teens & Money 2007 Survey

If you are interested in how teens are learning about money and their feelings about money, the Charles Schwab Teens & Money 2007 Survey is worth reading.

Key Points I Took Away From Reading The Survey

  • Teens believe that they'll be earning an average salary of $145,500 PER YEAR!  WOW!  Talk about unrealistic!
  • 1 in 4 teens agree that "I am young, so saving money isn't that important."  Have they heard about compound interest?
  • Teens assert they don't like the way it feels to owe someone money, with 88% agreeing with this statement.  It does not get any better the older you get, either!
  • Most teens (51%) agree that it is easier to buy things with a credit card than cash.  Yes, but is it easier when you are paying it back with compound interest working AGAINST you?
  • One in four (25%) say they sometimes feel guilty for being a financial burden to their parents.  So sad!
  • More than half (56%) are concerned about their parents'/guardians' financial well-being.  With good reason!
  • 89% say they want to learn how to make money grow.  AWESOME!
  • Only one in three teens (30%) believe that their parent/guardians are concerned with making sure that they are learning the basics of money management.  This is why YOU need to teach your children!  Few others are going to teach them with their best interest at heart!

What facts stood out to you?

Financial Hero – David Bach

Why is DAVID BACH a Financial Hero?

A friend of mine named, ironically, David, gave me a copy of David Bach's book, Smart Couples Finish Rich, to read.  That was all it took for me to name David Bach a Financial Hero.  In this book, David Bach talks about the importance of working together as a couple on your finances.  In relationships, money represents so much more than just something that is used to pay for things.  If allowed, money can dictate who has the power and control.  Money is connected to so many aspects of life and relationships.

David Bach also emphasizes the importance of making things AUTOMATIC!  If you make your investments automatic via automated monthly withdrawals, you can't help but become wealthy!!!

I have also read David Bach's, The Automatic Millionaire.  This book really details HOW to set up your investments and the POWER of compound interest.  I love reading about compound interest.  It is such a GREAT friend when it is paying you!

David Bach's materials should be required study for juniors and seniors in high school!

David Bach, you are an official Financial Hero!  I admire your personal crusade to help others win with their finances!

Other books written by David Bach include Smart Women Finish Rich, Start Late, Finish Rich, and The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner.


Read about other Financial Heroes! 

Pay Frequency – Does it impact your ability to save?

I wonder if a person's pay frequency contributes to their ability to save money.

For example, is it easier for a person to save money if they are paid weekly or is it easier if they are paid monthly?  What about bi-weekly?  What about twice/month?  What about daily?

My hypothesis is that those paid MONTHLY have a better chance of saving money.  This is not backed up scientifically, but here are my reasons to support my guess.

  • Most bills are monthly – mortgage, utilities, car payments, student loan payments, insurance payments, etc.
  • When a person is paid monthly, they automatically know that there will be no more money for 30 days.  This fact forces the average person to go into "saver-mode".  They do not want to be eating bread crumbs for the last week of the month!
  • The majority of investment plans suggest a monthly contribution – $25/month minimum; $100/month minimum; etc.
  • Development of a spending plan (budget) is easier when paid monthly.  There is no need to develop a budget for multiple paychecks during a month that are attempting to pay individual monthly bills.

I would LOVE to conduct research on this!