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Monday Money Tip: No Means YES

In today’s Monday Money Tip, I’m sharing about the financial truth that saying “no” right now can allow you to say “yes” to more important things later.

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How to Make a Difference – Part 5

I am passionate about helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.

I’ve committed my life to traveling and sharing this passion but I need your help to reach others with the simple message that:

  • God owns it all
  • We are managers
  • INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO

So with this series, I am going to challenge you to teach one person this simple message during the next month.

PART ONE  Who are you going to teach this to?

PART TWO  What is the best setting for teaching?

PART THREE  Prepare for your meeting

PART FOUR  Set up the meeting

PART FIVE  Have the meeting

Remember, authenticity speaks volumes.  Teach them the tools you have actually used.  Offer to help them put together their first budget.  Point them to the free tools on our website (HERE).  Help them calculate their debt freedom date.

Encourage them!  Pray with them!  Offer to meet with them again.  Follow up with them.

I can not wait to hear how your teaching goes!

How to Make a Difference – Part 4

I am passionate about helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.

I’ve committed my life to traveling and sharing this passion but I need your help to reach others with the simple message that:

  • God owns it all
  • We are managers
  • INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO

So with this series, I am going to challenge you to teach one person this simple message during the next month.

PART ONE  Who are you going to teach this to?

PART TWO  What is the best setting for teaching?

PART THREE  Prepare for your meeting

PART FOUR  Set up the meeting

Of course, this conversation could happen spontaneously which would be terrific.  But if it does not, take the time to set up the meeting.  In Part 2, you thought about the best setting for a meeting to occur.

It is important that you are clear about what you want to discuss.  It is also extremely important that you let them know that you are not wanting to tell them about all of the bad decisions they are/have been making when it comes to money.

The invitation needs to be born of your own authentic desire to help others learn these principles that have had such an impact on your own finances.

Here are some ways to phrase it …

  • “I have had my finances rocked lately – in a good way!  I would love the opportunity to show you what I been able to do to take my finances to the next level.  I am not going to sell you anything.  I am just so excited about what has happened!”
  • “Remember how broke I was?  Well, I am getting un-broke and I can’t believe how straight-forward and easy it really is.  I would love to have you over for dinner to show you the free tools I am using.”

How awesome is it when you can help someone and there is no sales-pitch at the end of it?  Just a genuine desire to help them learn a tool/tip or two that can help them too!

How to Make a Difference – Part 3

I am passionate about helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.

I’ve committed my life to traveling and sharing this passion but I need your help to reach others with the simple message that:

  • God owns it all
  • We are managers
  • INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO

So with this series, I am going to challenge you to teach one person this simple message during the next month.

PART ONE  Who are you going to teach this to?

PART TWO  What is the best setting for teaching?

PART THREE  Prepare for your meeting 

First, I want you to know that if you are taking this challenge, I have an assumption that you are applying these tools/principles. You can not fake authenticity. The best teachers I ever learned from are the ones who are actively thinking about and applying the knowledge they have.

Since you are indeed applying these principles and tools, then it is important that you provide some transparency to the individual you are teaching. Of course, it is not necessary for you to reveal all of your personal financial picture. Where it makes sense, show them a copy of your budget, debt freedom date calculation, before/after insurance quotes, and retirement calculations.

Have samples of these readily available before the meeting so that you will have them available should the opportunity present itself.

Maybe it would be worthwhile to take a few moments to brainstorm some key financial decisions you have made that have impacted your life – both good and bad.

 

How to Make A Difference – Part 2

I am passionate about helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.

I’ve committed my life to traveling and sharing this passion but I need your help to reach others with the simple message that:

  • God owns it all
  • We are managers
  • INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO

So with this series, I am going to challenge you to teach one person this simple message during the next month.

PART ONE  Who are you going to teach this to?

PART TWO  What is the best setting for teaching?

In part 1, you chose one person that you were going to teach these financial principles to.  Now, it is important to determine the best setting for teaching to ensure that they will be receptive to the information you are sharing.

If you attempt to teach this to your son while he is playing in a high school basketball game, the chances are pretty good that he will foul you.

Here are some ideas: coffee house, your house, their house, break room, church, or library.

Now I am a huge fan of moving to action points.  I am not a big fan of “talk-talk-talk”.  So I like to meet in places that have wireless internet so I can pull up the FREE TOOLS on our website and walk them the tools that can help them.

The key here is that you know this person.  Choose a spot that will be conducive to their learning style and will enable you to discuss this stuff distraction-free.

You have chosen the person and a spot you want to meet.  Next up, we will talk about preparing for the meeting.

How to Make a Difference – Part 1

I am passionate about helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.

I’ve committed my life to traveling and sharing this passion but I need your help to reach others with the simple message that:

  • God owns it all
  • We are managers
  • INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO

So with this series, I am going to challenge you to teach one person this simple message during the next month.

PART ONE  Who are you going to teach this to?

Take a few minutes to think about who are going to intentionally teach this information to. Who is it?

  • Child
  • Parent
  • Friend
  • Co-Worker
  • Employee
  • Employer
  • Family Member

It would be INCREDIBLE if you would share who are you going to intentionally teach this to during this month!

 

Monday Money Tip: 5 Swings of an Ax

In today’s Monday Money Tip, I’m sharing a great parable on the topic of persistence. This parable can be applied to far more than just your finances so be sure to check it out. I truly believe this tip could change your life.

Want to automatically receive a helpful and practical money tip every Monday? Just sign up HERE (It’s FREE)!

Monday Money Tip: A Must Have Helpful Money App – Mint.com

In this week’s Monday Money Tip, I’m sharing about a great money app that I personally use. I’ve found this app very helpful with managing my personal and business finances. Check out the below video for all the details:

Want to automatically receive a helpful and practical money tip every Monday? Just sign up HERE (It’s FREE)!

4 Benefits of Having Financial Margin – Part 4

Margin is an alternative way to communicate “space.” Remember when the English teacher ruined your life by announcing that you must hand write a two page composition? She would say, “Be sure to avoid writing in the “margins.” In other words, it was important to maintain appropriate spacing. The same is true for your finances. Financial margin creates space in your life. During this series, I’ll be focusing on the real and emotional effects of living WITH and WITHOUT financial margin. Ready?

PART ONE – LESS STRESS

PART TWO – FREEDOM

PART THREE – IMPROVED RELATIONSHIPS

PART FOUR – FILL UP THE TANK
There are so many benefits to having financial margin, but one of the greatest is the ability to just “fill up the tank.” Let me explain.

When there is no financial margin, it may not be possible to drive to the gas pump and fill up the gas tank. Lack of margin means that one has to put $16 in one time and $37 the next. Whatever money is available goes into the gas tank. This can be very costly – especially in time costs!

When you are not filling up the tank every time, you lose time because:

  • You have to fill up more often
  • You have to waste time figuring out how much can be spent this time

For many people, it also costs more money because more visits to the gas station equal more trips into the convenience store to buy super-overpriced soda and snacks!

When you have margin, you can just “fill up the tank.”

Here are other ways this applies to having financial margin:

  • You can buy the proven name-brand appliance instead of the el-cheapo model
  • You are in the position of power so you are not subject to obtaining financing and buying the junk they are trying to sell you
  • Pawning, short-term financing, and other highly expensive ways to obtain money become completely unnecessary

To me, the sacrifices to obtain financial margin are worth it just to “fill up the tank” every time!

Looking for more information on creating financial margin? Check out this resource (HERE).

4 Benefits of Having Financial Margin – Part 3

Margin is an alternative way to communicate “space.” Remember when the English teacher ruined your life by announcing that you must hand write a two page composition? She would say, “Be sure to avoid writing in the “margins.” In other words, it was important to maintain appropriate spacing. The same is true for your finances. Financial margin creates space in your life. During this series, I’ll be focusing on the real and emotional effects of living WITH and WITHOUT financial margin. Ready?

PART ONE – LESS STRESS

PART TWO – FREEDOM

PART THREE – IMPROVED RELATIONSHIPS
Individuals who are against the wall financially for extended periods of time can many times hurt people in ways that they never would do if they had financial margin. I’ve seen business owners (with no margin) who completely lose their minds on a customer who owed them $1,000 even though they are late on $10,000 of bills to their own suppliers. They are agitated, angry, and threatening. But a third party could easily say that the business owner is completely out of line. What is causing this issue? No financial margin!

I’ve seen countless relationships injured or destroyed because of no financial margin – families, friendships, business relationships, working relationships. My bet is that you’ve seen it too or maybe you’ve experienced it! It is incredibly hurtful and can cause enormous stress and heartache.

Here’s a question to ask yourself:

What would these situations look like if each person had financial margin?

Wouldn’t there be a lot less borrowing? Wouldn’t there be less heartache, pain, and agony?

Make the greatest investment into your peace and state of mind – establish financial margin!

4 Benefits of Having Financial Margin – Part 2

Margin is an alternative way to communicate “space.” Remember when the English teacher ruined your life by announcing that you must hand write a two page composition? She would say, “Be sure to avoid writing in the “margins.” In other words, it was important to maintain appropriate spacing. The same is true for your finances. Financial margin creates space in your life. During this series, I’ll be focusing on the real and emotional effects of living WITH and WITHOUT financial margin. Ready?

PART ONE – LESS STRESS

PART TWO – FREEDOM 
When financial margin is established, it provides a sense of freedom! I know that when we finally established some beginner margin in 2003, it was like scales fell from our eyes. We saw life in an entirely new light! Instead of wasting tons of energy determining how each bill was going to be paid (anyone who has lived paycheck-to-paycheck KNOWS the energy this takes!), we began looking forward. It allowed us to start asking new questions like:

  • How much should we save each month for our children’s college?
  • Any question that starts with “I wonder what would happen if … ?”
  • Who can we bless this month?
  • How can we use our gifts and talents in the most impactful way?

When we established margin, I discovered the freedom of knowing that I could pursue a dream! It did not matter as much if I really did pursue the dream – what mattered most was the fact that I could pursue the dream! I’m not sure this really makes much sense, but knowing that fact was incredible. Let me share a few examples to better explain this. I am entrepreneurial by nature. This means I love starting things. When I was broke and living paycheck-to-paycheck, the option to start a business or new venture was out of the question. Financial margin gave me the freedom to consider the options without being overcome by the fear of living in a cardboard box.

Here’s another example. When I took the leap of faith to go on staff at NewSpring Church, a church Jenn and I were a part of starting and LOVE being a part of, I took a massive pay cut. Jenn was able to make the decision to work or continue to be a stay-at-home mother without really having to worry about the financial aspects. This was only possible because we had financial margin.   How many people can take a 50% pay cut and still have this option available to them? Not many, but I will tell you with 100-percent confidence that those who have established financial margin CAN – and that FREEDOM to choose is incredible!

If you have no financial margin, make a decision to start building it today! If you do have financial margin, celebrate the fact that you have made the necessary choices to establish it and then use that freedom to pursue a dream!

4 Benefits to Having Financial Margin – Part 1

Margin is an alternative way to communicate “space.” Remember when the English teacher ruined your life by announcing that you must hand write a two page composition? She would say, “Be sure to avoid writing in the “margins.” In other words, it was important to maintain appropriate spacing. The same is true for your finances. Financial margin creates space in your life. During this series, I’ll be focusing on the real and emotional effects of living WITH and WITHOUT financial margin. Ready?

PART ONE – LESS STRESS 
I still remember the day that my family first established financial margin. It was in February 2003 and we had just received our tax refund. Instead of immediately using this money, we put it into our savings account. This meant that we were not able to attack debt with this money, but our eyes had been opened to the need of establishing financial margin. Depositing the check into our savings account was incredible, but it was the emotional feeling that surprised me! We were able to breathe in a way we had never breathed before. I’m talking about literally being able to breathe differently. With that one key decision, we eliminated a load of stress that we did not even realize was there.

Gone were the days of fearing the question, “What will happen next?” Over were the days of stating, “How in the world will we pay for THAT?” Instead of dreading the clunking sound coming out of the dryer, we could simply say, “Appliances break. Let’s purchase a new one – with our financial margin money.”

STRESS! It is the #1 reason why most people want to meet with a financial coach. The stress of living with no financial margin can lead to a lot of effects:

  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Feelings of dread
  • Marital discord (or even divorce)
  • Anger
  • Combativeness
  • Snappy responses
  • Impatience
  • Frustration
  • Feelings of scarcity/lack
  • Craving
  • Unfulfilled

Having money is certainly not the answer to all of life’s issues, but the establishment of some financial margin certainly goes a long way toward easing many of the struggles of daily life! I definitely know that is true in my own life.

With all of the negative consequences related to living life with no margin, is it not worth the effort it will take to establish some financial margin? I recommend starting with at least one month’s of expenses. Saving one month of expenses allows you to manage your finances with a monthly budget, even if you are paid at some other frequency. It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen faster than you ever thought!

4 Ways to Quickly Get Rid of the Mortgage – Part 4

It’s my hope that this series can help you eliminate what is usually the single largest expense in the household budget and free that money up to much greater things!

PART ONE – Lower The Interest Rate

PART TWO – Pay 10% Extra Each Month 

PART THREE – Pay One Extra Payment Each Year

PART FOUR – Eliminate one non-essential monthly expense and put it towards the mortgage 
How much do you spend on non-essential monthly expenses? One example is cable/satellite. Let’s say that it’s $70/month ($840/year). If you’re really interested in getting rid of your mortgage quicker, cancel the cable and use that money towards the mortgage payment. Yes, this does require some sacrifice BUT just think about the end goal –> no mortgage payment! That should get you fired up!

Other items that could be reduced/eliminated include:

  • Dining Out
  • Clothing
  • Spending money
  • Grocery bill (use coupons!)
  • Insurance premiums

Less payments toward these items mean more money for payments toward mortgage elimination!!

 

4 Ways to Quickly Get Rid of the Mortgage – Part 3

It’s my hope that this series can help you eliminate what is usually the single largest expense in the household budget and free that money up to much greater things!

PART ONE – Lower The Interest Rate

PART TWO – Pay 10% Extra Each Month 

PART THREE – Pay One Extra Payment Each Year
One of the most common ways that people get rid of their mortgage is by sending in one extra payment each year. This will eliminate 5 to 7 years from a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

You can send one extra payment each year using a variety of methods:

  • Send in one extra payment when you receive a tax refund or profitability bonus
    • Since this money is extra and not part of the normal budget, it’s easier to put this money immediately towards the mortgage.
  • Set up 1/2 payments to be made every two weeks
    • Since there are 26 two-week periods in a year, this means that 13 full payments will be made each year. Presto! An extra payment!
  • Send in 1/12 (8.3%) extra on each monthly payment.
    • 1/12th payment/month X 12 months = 1 full payment per year

You can run the numbers for your specific mortgage by using the Early Pay-Off Calculator. This is a great tool to discover how much sooner you could be debt-free by making extra payments each month.

4 Ways to Quickly Get Rid of the Mortgage – Part 2

It’s my hope that this series can help you eliminate what is usually the single largest expense in the household budget and free that money up to much greater things!

PART ONE – Lower The Interest Rate

PART TWO – Pay 10% Extra Each Month 
Interested in eliminating 7 years or MORE from your 30-year fixed rate mortgage? Just add an extra 10% to your monthly payment! For instance, if your mortgage payment (including escrowed taxes and insurance) is $1,000, you would send in an extra $100 per month – $1,100/month.

Example – Let’s say you have a $150,000 – 5.5% fixed-rate mortgage with a monthly payment (include escrow) of $1,000 with $852 being applied to principal and interest each month (the other $148 being applied to taxes and insurance). If you send in $1,100 each month (extra 10%), there is now $952/month being applied to principal and interest. This will reduce a 30-year note to a 23 year 4 month note!

You can run the numbers for your specific mortgage by using the Early Pay-Off Calculator. This is a great tool to discover how much sooner you could be debt-free by making extra payments each month.

 

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