Archive for February 2010

SERIES: Fundamental Rules Of Money Management VI

In this series, I have been sharing some thoughts on some fundamental rules of money management that are time-tested and known to be true.   If applied, these rules can help you take your finances to the next level.

Rule #6 Your business idea has a much better chance of succeeding when there is a strategic plan and a financial plan.

As a financial counselor, I routinely meet with small business owners who started their own businesses.   Some of them have been wildly successful.   Others have not had the success that they had expected and desired.   There are always a few exceptions, but it has become very apparent to me that individuals who take the time and effort to prepare a strategic business plan AND a “Seed Fund” for their idea have a better chance at succeeding.

A strategic plan includes developing critical milestones that must be achieved and establishing detailed action steps necessary to achieve them.   It should also include financial targets that must be achieved for the business to be considered a successful effort.

Having some money available to start the business with is essential as well.   I have seen too many good business ideas fail before they could mature simply because the business was too highly leveraged with debt.

And of course, one should always remember Warren Buffets number one rule of money management – “Don’t lose money.”

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Thought Of The Day: Generosity

On Twitter yesterday, I saw the following tweet from “DebtFreeGuy”:

“Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out. “

Well said.   Well said!

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Speaking at 2010 Velocity Conference and Elevation Church

I am PUMPED to be speaking at two places this week:

Monday (2/22) Speaking at ChurchPlanters.com 2010 Velocity Conference pre-conference breakout session with Casey Graham!

Tuesady (2/23) and Wednesday (2/24) Teaching Financial Learning Experience at Elevation Church!   (Click HERE to register)

And then I have the great opportunity to be in Caro, MI at Colwood Church with Pastor Jonathan Herron next weekend!   Click HERE to register for that event!

I can’t believe I get to do this for a living!!!

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I Can’t Believe I’m Reading This

Ever read something and said, “I can’t believe what I am reading?”   Well that happened to me recently when I read THIS ARTICLE via FoxNews.

Here are some one-liners from this article:

  • The House of Representatives Thursday voted to raise the debt limit by $1.9 trillion. That vote raises the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion, a new high for the amount of debt the U.S. has ever carried.
  • If Congress doesn’t hike the debt ceiling, the U.S. would be unable make good on Social Security and Medicare payments.
  • The debt ceiling increase is part of a broader bill that would impose so-called “PAYGO” rules on the House. In other words, the House would have to pay for all tax cuts or programs it creates so they are budget neutral.

Can you believe this is happening in America?   We are paying for outrageous and ridiculous spending as individuals and as a collective whole.   Let me put this into perspective …

  • Assuming there are 310 million Americans, this $14.3 trillion in debt is equal to $46,129 per man, woman, boy, and girl.
  • In the early-80s our national debt was not even $1 trillion
  • We are increasing our debt load while Americans are struggling the most – the burden to repay it will be borne by Americans – and the burden is becoming greater by the minute

I am not sure what I can do to address this mess, but I do know this fundamental fact:   INCOME – OUTGO must equal EXACTLY ZERO

Is that true for your household?   When my income decreases, it means that I must cut out expenses or I will go broke.   It is just that simple.

What on Earth is going on?!!!   As a collective nation, we are spending money like it is water.   It is time for us to “go green” and start conserving all of our dollars – government, businesses, non-profits, and indivudals – it ALL applies to us.

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Are you eligible for the Federal Housing First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit?

Many 1st-time home buyers have benefited from receiving the Federal Housing Tax Credit.   If you are in the market for your first-time home purchase, you should definitely become informed because this credit can be a deciding factor in purchasing your first home!

To find out if you are eligible, you can visit the National Association of Home Builder’s website HERE.   The IRS also has more information about it HERE.

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