Archive for April 2014

Is Your Budget Prepared For Next Month?

It’s the last day of another month.

Here are some questions I challenge you to ask yourself:

  • Did I prepare a budget for this month?
  • If so, how did this month’s budget go?
  • What did we learn about our spending and income that needs to be incorporated into future budgets?
  • Have I prepared a budget for next month?

In a recent survey we conducted, 60% of respondents said they do not prepare a budget every month. 60 percent. No wonder people are struggling with money! Money is difficult enough with a budget – let alone attempting to operate without one.

We asked survey participants “What is the biggest challenge you face in preparing a budget every month?” and received amazing feedback which is shown in the below chart.BudgetingSurveyChallenges

I found it very interesting that ZERO PEOPLE said “I don’t believe in budgeting.” Yet, 3 out of 5 people end up not budgeting every single month.

Here are some tips to combat each issue:

  • Not enough time in the day. Be intentional with your calendar. Block out one hour each month to sit down (with your spouse, if married) and prepare a budget. Put a “reminder” notification on the calendar so you will not forget to do this!
  • Don’t make enough money. This is the biggest money lie in the book. Change financial behavior to match your income. As Dave Ramsey says, “Act your wage!” You might have to make sacrifices now, but it will be worth it later when you are able to fund big-time dreams!
  • Spouse won’t participate. This is perhaps the biggest challenge of all. Seek understanding as to why they choose not to participate. Do they carry money wounds and scars from their upbringing? Are there unresolved issues in other areas of your marriage? Life coaching or marriage counseling can be hugely helpful in resolving these issues. One thing that helps my bride and me work well together is the “set meeting” to talk about the budget each month. It allows us to keep very short accounts on any issues because we know we’re committed to sit down again the next month.
  • Too frustrating and emotional. Money is indeed emotional because it is tied to the funding of our plans, hopes, and dreams. I encourage you to prepare a written list of these dreams and ensure you are always in the process of funding at least one of them.
  • Don’t know how to budget effectively. Here is a YouTube video I’ve prepared to help you eliminate this reason. You can do this!

My book and study – I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. – will help you prepare a budget that actually works and helps you maximize your money so you can fund your dreams. Learn more and purchase HERE.

Kids & Money Tip – The Rewards of Saving

One of the greatest lessons I learned from my parents as I grew up was saving money for a dream purchase.

honda_c70_deluxe

 

soybean-field

When my twin and I were just turning into wonderful and perfect teenagers (a fact not exactly verified by our parents), we really wanted to purchase a motorcycle. We lived out in the country, and a motorcycle would be a great way to explore our farm and beyond. Our father came up with a great way for us to earn the money to purchase it.

In one of the farm fields, we grew soybeans. The field was producing a fabulous crop of weeds that year. Dad said he would pay us one penny for every weed we pulled or cut down. We pulled enough weeds to buy the motorcycle. It was a Honda C-70 Passport, and it was awesome! Good planning and hard work – coupled with saving – led to a rewarding purchase.

One of the greatest things you could do for the children in your life is to help them fully grasp this concept as it will equip them with a key skill necessary to live a fully funded life.

NOTE: This is an except from my book for young people – What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World. It is written for young people just beginning their money relationship. You can learn more and purchase this book and its related study guide HERE.

Monday Money Tip: Cash Envelope System

In today’s Monday Money Tip, I share one of the best ways to control those “impulsive” spending categories of your budget – things like spending money, groceries, restaurants, clothing, and entertainment.

By the way, my bride loves THIS CASH ENVELOPE WALLET offered by Dave Ramsey and his team.

Can’t see the YouTube link? Copy and paste the following link in your favorite browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCzTTlMiIuA

DISCLOSURE

Working With The Wrong Tools

IMG_8419One of my favorite things to do is gardening and farming. I grew up on a farm, and I loved everything about it. From raising crops and a huge garden to feeding out cows, chickens, and hogs, I learned a lot about the principles of sowing and reaping. A great joy of mine is to have the opportunity to jump on a tractor (John Deere, of course) and raise some grain on my own farm.

As I was tilling up the soil the other day, I thought, “I’m so glad we have the right type and size of equipment for this task.” I have the right size tractor and tilling equipment, and it made the work easy. How difficult would it have been to till up several acres by hand with a hoe and a rake? Virtually impossible!

My next thought was how this applies to our personal finances. How many people are attempting the equivalent of tilling up a huge field with a rake? Let me connect the principle a little better:

  1. They want to retire someday, but they are not investing and using the powerful tool known as Compound Interest
  2. They want to maximize their money, but they are not utilizing the amazing money tool called a Budget
  3. They want to pay for their child’s college, but they are not capturing the power of the awesome tool called a 529 College Savings Plan
  4. They are sick of living paycheck to paycheck, but they’ve chosen not to utilize the awesome tool called Automatic Saving.

Are you working with the wrong tools?

The I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Study was created to help you maximize your money and apply the right tools to your finances. Learn more HERE.

Small Business Tip: The Power of Partnerships

If you ever find yourself stuck with a particular aspect of your business, it might be time to find a partnership.

For example, when I fired up I Was Broke. Now I’m Not., I was the developer of all our web resources. I created most of them with Microsoft Word. You don’t even want to know how bad those looked! So I found a couple of web developers and the partnership helped both of us. The web developers made money and the websites helped us get more free financial tools to people and sell more helpful financial resources!

Our organizations have also partnered with companies that provide database management, marketing consulting services, and leadership coaching. They’ve all helped us move our businesses forward.

Great partners bring expertise and focus that may be difficult (impossible?) for your company to deliver.

One last thing:I’ve heard it said before that “Good partners COMPLETE each other. They do not COMPETE with each other.” Be sure your partners aren’t participating in the same business space as you are as it could create unwelcome competition.

Application Questions:

  1. What areas of your business do you feel are STUCK?
  2. What partnership(s) could you form to get UNSTUCK?