Archive for October 2011

Stop Whining. Start Doing.

When things are going poorly with money, it is easy to fall into a cycle of “whining” instead of “doing.”

This means that they have substituted an “h” for one of the “n”s in “winning” – they move from “winNing” to “wHining.”

Have you ever noticed that whiners rarely win?  Think about it.  Name ONE whiner who is a consistent winner.

We all have times where we descend into “whining.”  That is when we have to make the CHOICE to STOP WHINING and START DOING.

Don’t know if this is helpful to anyone, but it was helpful to me!

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That Old Broke Feeling

A crazy thing usually happens when I ask people if they have ever been broke before – nearly ALL of them have been absolutely broke in the past.

They tell me about it, and they usually are smiling as they tell their story.  That is, unless they are still broke.  If they are still broke, there are no smiles – only tears, anger, humiliation, frustration, and agony.

It does not have to be that way.  That’s why I do what I do – helping people free up their finances and equipping them to fund their plans, hopes, and dreams.

Do you remember when you were broke?  Share your story with us in the comments!

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What’s Next After Debt Freedom

I meet a lot of people these days who are in the midst of their pursuit of Debt Freedom.  I call it a “Debt Freedom March.”

They have used a tool like our Debt Freedom Date Calculator to calculate their Debt Freedom Date, and they have realized just how much of their money is going to a bank or lender.  For the average family with non-house debt, somewhere between $500 and $1,250 per month is being paid in monthly payments.  If you include the house payment, that average amount is between $1,250 and $2,000 or more per month.

For those who remain focused and diligent, debt freedom is achieved, and it is incredible!

Then the inevitable question shows up – “What’s next?”

If you are one of those who is asking this question, here are a few things to consider using the newly-released money for:

  • Pursue a dream
  • Give more away to causes you really believe in
  • Build a larger emergency fund
  • Invest money into a dream
  • Invest money into someone else’s dream
  • Reward yourself with a purchase of something you’ve always wanted

What other things would you recommend using this money for?

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Teaching Young People About Money

I taught over 500 young people about money at West Ridge Church in Dallas, GA recently, and it was INCREDIBLE!  I was teaching from my book, What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World.

Here is what stood out to me:

  • They were very energetic – but also paid attention very well
  • The compound interest example captured ALL of their attention – even the 6th and 7th graders!
  • Young people dream more than adults
  • Their dreams are much less impacted by the potential financial cost
  • They are just more passionate about life – period!
  • Most of them are more aware of money and money issues than the young people I was teaching five years ago.  I think the global recession has caused this generation to truly pay attention to money.
  • They clearly know that it is EZ™ to win with money!

FIRED UP!

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Financial Basic Training

I distinctly remember attending my brother’s graduation from basic training in the Army.  After a long car ride, we finally pulled up at the wonderful Army establishment known as Fort Leonard Wood.  My father got out of the car and went to find out information about where and how we were to meet up with our brother.  After quite a while, my father walked out with a mean looking man dressed up in Army fatigues.  This man looked like he could personally kill a tiger and an elephant at the same time with his bare hands.  He was squared away, and built like a brick house.  Muscles rippled on his arms, he had huge shoulders, and his uniform was immaculate.

Then he spoke to me.  It was my brother!  I had absolutely no idea that it was him.  You see, my brother was always chubby.  He left for basic training with some flab and really long curly blonde hair.  Just a couple of months later, here he was – a fine-tuned, fit, and ripped member of the US Army.  The change was so dramatic that I literally did not recognize my own brother!

If you feel like your financial situation is out of shape, maybe it is time to send your money to basic training!  My brother told me that the first thing that happened was that they took all of his possessions and handed him the clothes and equipment he would need.  It was very basic.  The nice things like his cassette player (they were awesome in the 80’s) and candy were taken away.  Applying this to your finances, this means it might make sense to look at everything you have and consider what is really necessary.  It is incredibly freeing for many people to sell unused and unwanted items and “de-clutter” their lives.  This allows you to focus on what is most important.

As soon as my brother arrived at basic training, he was being instructed in a new way of thinking.  Everything was focused on training him and his fellow troops to be the absolute best soldiers they could possibly be.  This required a lot of training.  This training required intense focus and expert teachers.   When was the last time you took a class or read a book on the subject of personal finances?  Seek out financial experts.  Buy their books.  Attend their training.  Listen to their radio shows.  Read their blogs.  Find financial mentors in your life that can help you learn how to become incredibly personal financially fit!  Becoming great at money management won’t usually “just happen” – it requires attention.

Eight weeks of intense training converted my slob brother into a disciplined, fit, and forever changed leader.  If you choose to put your finances through basic training with the same intensity, eight weeks could forever change your financial future.