Archive - July, 2012

IHHE RANT: Get Fired Up!

For the next few days, I’m going to be sharing a few of my IHHE (I Have Had Enough) Rants.

IHHE Rant: Get Fired Up!

There are a lot of people in life who apparently believe that life is supposed to be perfect without any difficulties whatsoever.  They feel like since they want something, then it should just happen.  The moment that they are faced with a struggle or tussle or tough conversation or lack of funding, they give up and say, “It’s just not fair!”

I have news for that type of person – “Fair is where you ride rides.  Life is not fair.”

We all face challenges.  We all have less than stellar days when we want to give up, but at least we still have life!  It might not be easy to smile all of the time, but smiling is so much better than frowning.  Someone might tell us the word we all hate to hear – NO – but hearing NO might be the most important thing to hear at the moment.

Listen, if you can’t get fired up for what you do, go find something that DOES fire you up!  Life is way too short to just wander through it.  Being fired up doesn’t mean that you have to be loud and ridiculous about it (my preferred method), but it does mean that your work allows you to wake up every single day and say, “I can’t believe I get to do this!”

It’s time to get fired up!

Who’s fired up?  Tell me in the comments WHY you are fired up!

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Why I Do What I Do

A reader of shared her story with me, and it really sums up why I do what I do.  With her permission, here is her story …

I was OVERWHELMED with JOY as I dropped my oldest child off for college last weekend! NOT because I was happy to have her leave the house … she has been such BLESSING and a BIG part of my life since I was 17 years old and learned I was pregnant … but because I have PRAYED, PLANNED & PREPARED for this day for YEARS.

I made a lot of COSTLY mistakes. I turned my back on God and did things my way! I maxed out my first credit card at 15 YEARS OLD! That was the beginning of several bad financial decisions since I didn’t put any thoughtful planning into them! They were “this will do ’til the next bill arrives” solutions which is NO solution at all!

I hit rock bottom and was in BONDAGE financially, spiritually & emotionally by my early 20s. After a divorce, I was living in an apartment I couldn’t afford and my car was being repossessed so I swallowed my pride, went to D.S.S. and applied for assistance. I was denied for everything. I was told that my full time job paying minimum wage put me over the limit for any assistance for myself and two children. I was devastated. I asked the lady how anyone would qualify if the standards were so low. She advised me to lose my job and showed me that if I would stay home with my children instead of working then I would actually make MORE money on welfare. I left and never went back. I got sick of hot dogs, grilled cheese and pb&j sandwiches but kept working.

I EVENTUALLY came to the conclusion that this wasn’t the life that I wanted for myself or my children!! I was raised in a Christian household and accepted Christ at seven years old. I KNEW that how I was living was wrong. I wasn’t going to church, tithing, or budgeting my money. I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit when I made bad decisions whether they were moral or financial. God had more in store for me than I could ever imagine and I was cheating myself by cheating Him!

I began going to church, budgeting my money and planning for the future. I saved what I could … as often as I could. I got life insurance on myself and my children. I started a Future Scholar 529 College Savings plan (direct so I managed it myself and didn’t pay anyone a fee) for both of my children. I started saving the minimum amount allowable. $50 per month. It was A LOT to me but I am so thankful that I did. I was able to raise the amount over the years and I am pleased to say that my daughter’s first tuition payment was paid in full directly from that account!! AND she is driving a car that is completely paid for!! I think I was the happiest mom at the college last weekend. I literally found myself skipping with joy as I transported her belongings from the car to the dorm!!

If I could say anything to the moms & dads out there it would be this, “Don’t let time get away from you! Start saving NOW!” Ideally, you should save $200 per month per child to plan for their college expenses but WHATEVER you save will help!! God has great things in store for you and your children!! I am still saving every month for college expenses because I know there are more tuition bills on the way.

My goal now is to help my daughter through college with NO student loan debt. I don’t know what’s in store for us over the next four years but I know that I will keep PRAYING, PLANNING and PREPARING every day!! 

THIS READER’S STORY FIRES ME UP!  How about you?  Do you have a story that you want to share with the readers of Send it to me at along with written permission to share it with our readers. Your story could be used to inspire tens of thousands of other people!!!

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Is Home Mortgage Interest Deduction A Good Idea?

Is home mortgage interest deduction a good idea?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions at our live events.  Below is my answer.

If you have a mortgage and are paying interest, it is ABSOLUTELY very important to take the mortgage interest deduction. BUT there are a few key facts to consider as well.

One thing I have heard commonly stated is “I am not going to pay off my mortgage early because I do not want to lose the mortgage interest deduction.” I believe this saying was initiated by banks because it is much more costly to keep the mortgage than to pay the taxes owed without the interest deduction.  See the example illustrated below.

The Mortgage Interest Deduction
Let’s say you paid $5,000 in interest on your mortgage last year. By taking the deduction, you effectively reduce your taxable income by $5,000. You receive back the tax rate on that home mortgage interest deduction. If your tax rate is 30%, you will receive a refund of $1,500 because of the home mortgage interest deduction (30% of $5,000). Of course, the bank keeps the $5,000 you paid in interest. Uncle Sam receives 30% of your taxable income which is now $40,000 because you were able to reduce your taxable income by the $5,000 interest you paid. The total net OUTGO from your bank accounts to Uncle Sam and the bank is $17,000!

The Paid-Off House Scenario
Well, you are living life pretty good in your debt-free condition! You have paid off your house, so now you no longer pay interest to the bank (yay!). This means you will be taxed on your full income of $45,000. If your tax rate is 30%, the total net OUTGO paid to Uncle Sam is $13,500!

NET RESULT:  By eliminating your mortgage, you have $3,500 LESS OUTGO from your bank account to someone else.

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In school, if you did not pay attention in class and did not study the subject matter, you would receive an undesirable letter grade.  It would be the dreaded one-legged “A” – also known as a big ole “F”.

I don’t know what would have happened in your family, but if would have ever brought home a “F” on my report card, I am pretty sure that I would have become the first person who achieved near-earth orbit via an explosion from my parents.

This is an example of near-instantaneous feedback.  If I choose not to study, it would take no more than a few months later to receive the dreaded “F” and ultimate accountability with my parents.

It is NO DIFFERENT with your finances!  You might think that you are getting away without studying the subject.  You might have convinced yourself that you do not really need to take time to plan your finances.  You could even believe that you are doing well enough without learning more about finances.

I will tell you that you are dead wrong.

If you do not learn about the subject of your personal finances, you WILL have accountability.

It will come in the form of:

  • Not being able to pay for your children’s wedding
  • Not being able to pay for your children’s college
  • Not being able to retire
  • Not being able to take that vacation that the rest of your friends/family are taking because you are broke
  • Daily FINANCIAL STRESS that just will not go away
  • Questions from your children on why you and your spouse are always arguing about money
  • Having to work tons of overtime just to pay the bills
  • Having to take a second job just to pay the bills
  • Not being able to be a stay-at-home mother because bills have forced you into the workplace
  • Not being able to start that business you always wanted to start
  • Not being able to realize a lifelong dream to travel around the world

I do not know if any of these have hit home with you, but I made a decision long ago that I would NOT allow money to dictate what I do and do not do.  I will take the money that I have and tell every single George Washington where to go.  I will ensure that quite a number of George’s are given away and that large quantities are saved BEFORE I start spending them on anything else.

My PRIORITY is to get an “A” on my finances.  The only way I will accomplish this is to continue learning and applying what I learn to my finances.

Every. Single. Day.

Looking for financial accountability?  The I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Group Study is the perfect tool to learn about winning with money in a setting where accountability is created.  Click HERE to get your group started or learn more.

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Why Smart People Sometimes Do Stupid Things With Money

Why do smart people sometimes do stupid things with money?

I’ve seen really smart people make strange financial decisions.

  • Bought a brand new car and financed 106% of it (sales tax and all!)
  • Go to college and finance it 100% with student loans while obtaining a degree comparable to a degree in basket weaving
  • Go on a very expensive vacation to Hawaii and put 100% on their credit card and have no money to immediately pay it off
  • Withdraw all the equity out of their home to start an unproven new business

These types of decisions are made every day by very smart people! Perhaps even YOU have made one or more decisions like this. You may have to only look into the mirror to see someone who has done one or more of these financially horrendous items. I know that is as far as I have to look!!!

Back to my question. Why do smart people sometimes do stupid things with money?

Possible Answers

  1. No plan. They wanted to spend the money on the item, but they did not plan for the expense. Consequently, they only money available when the purchase was made was very expensive debt.
  2. No self-control. They wanted it! They wanted it now! They did not want to wait. No! Must have item … Must have item now … Will be emotionally scarred for life if item is not obtained now …
  3. Hope I can pay for this. Not willing to face up to the fact that they can’t have an item now, but they buy it anyway hoping that “the money will come from somewhere.” The reality is that “hope is not a strategy” and this usually leads to tremendous financial penalties.
  4. Talked into it. See #1, #2, and #3. You’ve seen it happen. The friends start talking about it. The friends are going on the vacation. The friends have the new car. Your friends are going to college and are not having to work while there. Justification is found through others’ circumstances.

If I were to attempt to sum the reasons that smart people sometimes do stupid things with money, I would say it is because they were ignorant of the REAL and LONG-TERM COST of those major financial decisions. If they truly knew the COST of those decisions, many tears of sorrow and regret and many money fights with their spouse could be avoided.

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158 Days Until Christmas

A friendly reminder from your corner personal finance website,

As of today, July 20, 2012, there are 158 days until Christmas.

Have you started saving?

More specifically, have you started saving for the following?

  • Presents
  • Christmas travel
  • Christmas Cards
  • Postage
  • Decorations
  • Giving to the less fortunate

Even better, have you begun shopping for or making the presents you will be giving away?

I know that I obtain much better deals when I am not under time pressure.

Jenn and I save for Christmas every single month because it is a Known, Upcoming Expense.  We also save for other Known, Upcoming Expenses like vacation, annual insurance premiums, etc.  We used the Known, Upcoming Expense Calculator to determine how much we should save each month/pay period.  You can too –HERE.

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Known, Upcoming, Expenses – Capital One 360 Sub-Account Tracking

//This blog post was written by Joe Ziska – I loved this idea so much that I personally implemented it with my Capital One 360 accounts!//

Q)  What two things do the following have in common?

Christmas; A flat tire; Your son going to college; Vacation in Hawaii; Your daughter getting married

A)  1. They all cost money.   2.  We forget that they cost money until the bill comes!

Let’s face it.  Even the most organized of us tend to forget things now and then.  Whether misplaced car keys or forgotten reservations for Valentines Day, our imperfect memories always seem to make life more difficult.   In my experience, forgetting large upcoming expenses is one of the most demoralizing things that can happen to you.  Unlike true emergencies, such as a sudden illness or job loss, known upcoming non-monthly expenses (KUEs) such as these listed above, can and should be expected!  As Joe always asks, “Should it be a surprise if your car breaks down?”  Of course not.  That’s what cars do!

Many of you reading Joe’s blog are trying desperately to get out of debt and gain financial freedom.  For my wife and me, one of the most disheartening things in that process was a big expense wiping out our emergency fund.  Just when we felt we were finally getting traction, a $500 car repair or having to pay for Christmas presents would knock us off course.  We constantly felt like we were starting over.  I knew that we should be saving for these expenses but didn’t have a good way to separate this from our emergency fund.  We’d generally leave a decent balance in our checking account and just hope that it would absorb most of these expenses when they came up.

I wanted to save for these KUEs.  However, the mathematical part of me rebelled at the idea of gaining no interest on our savings (especially as some of these expenses can be quite costly).  Wouldn’t it be better to just pay down some debt or invest the money?

Enter Capital One 360.  I’d been using HSBC and Capital One 360 to earn good interest on money we were saving for a down payment for our house.  However, it wasn’t until almost a year after opening our accounts that I realized how they could help with my KUE problem

One day, I was checking my account balance online and I noticed a large button labeled “Open an Account”.  I figured this was used for investing or to open a new CD but clicked on it anyway.  After browsing for about 30 seconds, I realized that Capital One 360 will let you create numerous new savings accounts linked to your original account.  Not only that, you can give each a unique name to help you identify them.  We created categories for all of our Known Upcoming Expenses to keep them separate from actual emergencies.  Below is an example screenshot from an account (click on it to see it better):

We have also set up automatic transactions to each individual account.  So now, at the beginning of every month we move $12 to our pet fund (unfortunately, our dog doesn’t pay her own vet bills), $40 to our Christmas fund, and so on.  When we need the money for these expenses, it takes only 3-4 days to move it back to our primary checking account.  Meanwhile we’ve been earning interest on our money instead of paying interest to a credit card company when these events sneak up on us.  Last time I checked, Christmas is still in December so you’ve got 5 months to save up for all those gifts.  Why not create an account for it and make it automatic?
========= End of Guest Post by Joe Ziska ===========

Thanks for the article, Joe!

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Strategies For Saving Money

One of the largest issues I see during our one-on-one financial coaching meetings is the inability to save money.

Here are some facts about saved money:

  • Saving money is essential to long-term sustainability
  • Saved money relieves stress
  • Saved money allows you to take a chance
  • Saved money allows life to happen (job loss, disability, pay cut, injury, etc.) without going broke!

But you already knew that part.  We all know that we are supposed to “save money for a rainy day.” Yet, even though we KNOW how important it is to save money, most people fail to do so.

My hope with this blog post is to challenge YOU to take a next step. If you have negative savings (no money plus overdrafted accounts and debt), the goal is to bring you to zero.  If you are at zero savings, the goal is to get to at least $2,500 in a beginner emergency fund.  If you have been able to save a substantial amount of money, it is my hope that you will participate in the discussion and share your own tips that have worked well for you.

Automatic Draft From Paycheck

Establish a savings account and have the money drafted from every single paycheck.  Whether it is $25 or $250 per pay period – just SAVE!  You KNOW that the car is going to break down.  You KNOW that the school is going to send home a surprise expense.

By establishing this draft, it allows the money to be “out-of-sight.”  When money is out-of-sight, it can be out-of-mind.  This allows the account to grow without you robbing it!

Now, I personally had a problem with this when I did not have a monthly budget.  I would ROB my own savings account about 2.1 microseconds after I was paid.  Only after I had a plan developed together with my bride, Jenn, did my savings account begin growing in a healthy manner.

Create An Escrow Account For Known, Upcoming Expenses

For those unfamiliar with an escrow account, it is a savings account that is established by a mortgage company.  The mortgage company totals the annual cost of property taxes and homeowner’s insurance and divides it by the number of payments being made each year.  The mortgage company then pays for the taxes and insurance from this escrow (savings) account.  For example, if the property taxes are $1,200/year and the insurance is $600, then the total amount needed each year is $1,800.  The mortgage company will collect $150 extra with each monthly payment to place into the escrow account.

An escrow account smooths out the cost over a year – instead of having to pay for it all in one month.  It tightens the monthly budget, but having a fully funded escrow account sure is AWESOME when vacation arrives and the money has already been saved to pay cash for it!  Those who have a mortgage with an escrow account will testify to the fact that they never worry about paying for the taxes and insurance – ask someone!

Take a moment to read THIS POST about how to calculate the amount you need to save each month for your known, upcoming expenses.

Take it from one who has lived it – if you do not plan for your known, upcoming expenses, your ability to save money will be tremendously hampered!

How about you?  What are some ways you have made saving money easier in your own finances?

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NOTE: I hold my Known Upcoming Non-Monthly Savings in an account at Capital One 360. It allows me to save money “out of sight – out of mind” and allows me to create “sub-accounts” for each item I am saving for. For example, I have created a “Christmas” and “Car Replacement Fund” in my account. You can check out Capital One 360 HERE.

Irregular/Seasonal/Cyclical Income Budgeting – Part 4

This series of posts has been focused on how to manage the home economy when it is powered by irregular income.  It is my goal to help you eliminate the feast/famine lifestyle (especially the famine part!!!).

Before we focus on today’s step, let’s review the previous steps.

Step 1 – Recognize it!  To avoid living the feast/famine lifestyle, you need to recognize that you are earning irregular income.

Step 2 – Determine monthly expenses   It is important to understand how much income is necessary each month to ensure that the household operates smoothly and free from the feast/famine lifestyle.

Step 3 – Save up at least three months worth of expenses  This is your buffer that absorbs the wild patterns of your customers!  It allows you to live life smoothly without the feast/famine episodes!

Step 4 – Become personally debt-free and operate your business debt-free

What are the advantages of operating a business debt-free?

  1. Monthly expense load drops!  There are no interest payments to make!
  2. You business can absorb downturns much more effectively.  Again, there are no interest payments to absorb!
  3. Breathing room.  It is amazing how much stress a pile of debt brings on.
  4. When you spend your own real money, you will manage it better.  I don’t know why this is, but if I am spending someone else’s money (i.e. the banks) I am much more susceptible to make a riskier decision!  When I am spending my money, I am much more likely to do thorough due diligence before doing a deal!

Question of the Day:  What are some other advantages of operating a business debt-free?

Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

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U.S. National Debt Update – July 2012

The US National Debt has increased by $109,763,882,862 since our last update on June 5, 2012.  Another month, and the United States has dropped another cool $109 billion in the hole.

National Debt as of 7/11/2012


That is an increase of $3.05 BILLION PER DAY since our last update 36 days ago.

One day, the credit card WILL run out, and America will face what many countries have faced in the past – massive budget cuts and slashed programs and a crushed economy.

In my own personal life, I found that it was a lot better to TAKE CONTROL OF THE SITUATION before SOMEONE ELSE DID! Shouldn’t we demand the same of elected leaders – that they take control NOW – before the country is forced to?

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Irregular/Seasonal/Cyclical Income Budgeting – Part 3

In this series of posts, we are learning how to manage the home economy when it is powered by irregular income.

Over the last few posts, we have learned the first two steps to prosper with irregular income and put away the feast/famine lifestyle forever!

Step 1 – Recognize it!  You must recognize that you are living with irregular income!

Step 2 – Determine monthly expenses  It is important to understand how much income is necessary each month to ensure that the household operates smoothly and free from the feast/famine lifestyle.

Today, we look at the next step – Save up at least three months of monthly expenses.

Step 3 – Save up at least three months worth of expenses    

WHAT?!!!!  I am sure that is what many of you are saying right now!  Yes, I did say that you need to save up at least three months of expenses.  Remember in step two that you calculated your monthly expenses?  Multiply that number by three, and you have your savings target.  I call this savings the “Known Slumps Fund”!  You know that slumps are coming, so be prepared!!!  This is HUGE in eliminating that horrible feast/famine lifestyle!

WHY?!!!  You might be asking this question.  Why on earth should I save up at least three months worth of expenses?  Man, I am glad you asked that question!

Let’s say that you have monthly expenses of $3,000.  This means that you need to have at least $9,000 in your Known Slumps Fund.

Let’s look at a year’s worth of expenses.  Now, it is easily seen that this person has earned enough to make it this year.  They have taken in $36,500 for the year.  BUT look at how irregular the income is!  Have you seen something like that before in your business?  This causes life to be CRAZY.  In January, you are eating ramen noodles like they are going out of style.  February through April are decent, but then it dies again May through July.  Famine of the worst degree!  All of the sudden, August through October are awesome!  Feasts abound!  Then November and December come in with back to back terrible incomes.  Back to the ramen noodles!

What should you do?  Get a Known Slumps Fund that equals three times your monthly expenses!

Let’s see what difference that makes!

When you look at this chart you realize the POWER of having three months expenses in the bank!  Whether you have a $500 month or a $6,500 month, you live on $3,000 that month.  That means that you get to EAT!!!  That means that you can save money (remember the monthly expenses includes retirement savings!).  That means that you can have some fun each month!

The Known Slumps Fund absorbs the irregularities of your income!  Fill up your Known Slumps Fund – it will take so much stress out of your life!!!

Question of the Day:  Which is more important to you – Debt reduction or funding your Known Slumps Fund?

Obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

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Irregular/Seasonal/Cyclical Income Budgeting – Part 2

This is part two of a series focused on how to prosper while earning irregular income.  It is my goal to help you stop living the feast/famine lifestyle that is so often associated with irregular income.

As we focus on today’s step, it is helpful to review the previous step.

Step 1 – Recognize it!  To avoid living the feast/famine lifestyle, you need to recognize that you are earning irregular income.

The next step is to determine how much money is necessary to make the household operate efficiently for each month.

Step 2 – Determine monthly expenses

To determine your monthly expenses, you should pull up a monthly budgeting form and do the following.

  1. Fixed Expenses  Enter all of your fixed expenses – house payment, utilities, gasoline, car payments, credit card payments, groceries, cell phone, childcare, etc.  This also includes SAVING for retirement!
  2. Variable Expenses  Enter the average of all of your variable expenses – clothing, spending money, entertainment, dining out, etc.
  3. Known, Upcoming Non-monthly Expenses  This is a KEY STEP!!!  If you do not add in all of those known, non-monthly upcoming expenses, you will continue to live the feast/famine lifestyle (more likely the famine lifestyle!!!!).  These type of expenses are BUDGET-BUSTERS.  Here is what I do.  I list all of the known, upcoming non-monthly expenses and place their annual cost next to them.  I then divide that number by twelve to determine how much I need to save per month.

EXAMPLE == Known Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses ==

So in this example, I would include a line item of $483 in my monthly budget for Known, Upcoming Non-monthly Expenses.  This would allow me to bring a stop to the feast, famine lifestyle!!!  Want to read more about planning for known, upcoming non-monthly expenses?  Click HERE.

You now have a monthly budget that will change very little through the year and have successfully completed Step 2Determine monthly expenses!

Now, of course, the trick is to have enough cash on hand every month to make this monthly budget work!  Ahhhhh, that my friend, will be discussed tomorrow!

Question of the Day:  What have been the biggest budget-busting expenses you have experienced?

Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

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Irregular/Seasonal/Cyclical Income Budgeting – Part 1

There is a large group of people whose family economy is powered by irregular income.

Real estate agents, hair stylists, commissioned salesmen, and business owners all experience cyclical income.

Folks who live with this type of income often tell me that it is impossible to budget.  They say that they have no idea how much they will make this month, so it makes budgeting impossible.

I say that not only is it possible, but people with irregular income need a budget more than anyone!!!

In this series of posts, I will explain how to budget with irregular income.  Here’s a hint – It’s EZ!!!

Step 1 – Recognize it!

You must recognize that you have irregular income!  If you have ever starved to death during the “off” season, you KNOW what I am talking about!  In order to stop having your life severely impacted by “off” seasons, you must prepare!

Question of the Day:  If your family economy is powered by irregular income, what do you do to prepare for “off” seasons?

Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

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4 Reasons It Is Hard to Budget

As I assist others in the creation of budgets that actually work, I see certain issues that crop up very frequently.  In fact, here are four reasons that budgeting is difficult for many people.

4 Reasons It Is Hard To Budget

1.  Unwillingness to change behavior.  A refusal to recognize that INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO will not eliminate this fact from being reality.  If someone is unable to pay their bills, but they are still getting weekly manicures – something is wrong!  If someone is unable to pay their bills, yet are still spending a ton of money eating at restaurants – something is wrong! Behavior MUST change in order to move from “surviving” to “thriving” financially.

2.  It is not about money at all.  It is a TRUST issue.  You want to see power struggles in a marriage? Get them to talk about their money!  I believe a lack of trust is a HUGE reason that it is hard for many couples to budget.  It is about trust.  Here are some of the questions being asked.

  • Do I TRUST you enough to put our money together into a single checking account?
  • Do I TRUST you enough to let you pull cash out for spending money?
  • Do I TRUST you enough to follow our written plan – the budget?
  • Do I TRUST you enough to hear your opinion about where we should spend our money?
  • Do I TRUST you enough to believe that we really need to spend that much money at the grocery store?
  • Do I TRUST you to do well in the future! – Because you have messed up with money in the past!

3.  One spouse is not interested in working with the other.  This will kill a budget before it ever starts!  I have seen multiple examples where one person works like crazy to get their money in order, only to have the unfortunate surprise that their spouse has run up a huge credit card bill, or shows up with a new car, or buys a new boat, or signs up for an expensive vacation, or … The list goes on and on.  When this occurs, the “behaving” spouse (who has been following the spending plan) becomes very tempted to throw in the towel and join in with the frivolous spending.  They reason, “Well, if he/she can have what they want, I deserve it too …”  Couples who do not work together on major financial decisions run a high risk of not maximizing their financial potential.  They also run a higher risk of divorce.

4.  Failure to recognize that there is an “INCOME” portion to the INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO equation.  Seriously, I can’t believe I have to write this, but it is SO true!  I have people show up for counseling, and they are not working!  Now, I can understand a couple of weeks without work (maybe), but I REALLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW SOMEONE COULD NOT WORK FOR SIX MONTHS!  How is this possible?  GO TO WORK! DO SOMETHING! Go get a job.  I don’t care if it makes someone feel sad to take a job at McDonald’s!  It makes me feel sad when they draw welfare for 6 months when they have ABSOLUTELY NO REASON that they cannot work – except for “it makes me feel bad”.  Waaah!  Earn some money.  It will help cure depression.

Well, I have ranted enough today.  I know that it can be difficult to budget, but I believe that you can do this!  I believe that you have the know-how, the capability, and the inner-strength to work together with your spouse, avoid the debt trap, develop a plan for your life, and have fun doing this together!


You CAN have a budget that really works!  Check out our FREE BUDGET TOOLS to get started.

My book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not., can help you learn to live and operate with a monthly budget and begin to fund your dreams. Purchase your copy today and get started!

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ING: How Much Money Do You Need To Retire?

If you have read this website with any regularity, you will know that I am a freak about having a financial plan.  I want a written and very detailed plan for anything related to my finances.

One thing that I teach during live events is the importance of calculating how much money you need to retire.  It is also taught in my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

It is SO IMPORTANT to know how much money is needed to retire well.

How much money do you need to retire?

One of my favorite on-line banks, has created a terrific website to help you answer the question. I went to the website and calculated my number, and it FIRED ME UP!!!

I enjoyed the brief exercise so much that I want to CHALLENGE to everyone today to take five minutes to complete the following two tasks (trust me, it will be worth it):

  1. Calculate Your Number at
  2. Calculate Your Number using the “Retirement Nest-Egg Required Calculator“.

Are YOU going to be able to retire well?

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