Monday Money Tip: Pay Off Debt Swiftly With The Debt Snowball Technique

To launch this week off right, I wanted to share the process I used to eliminate all of my non-house debt in just 14 months and my house mortgage in 10 years. The great news is that YOU can do this too!

In the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Video Teaching Kit, I teach more tips about debt elimination as well as many other key tools that can help you live a fully funded life. I encourage you to check it out HERE.

Can’t see the video? Simply copy and paste the following link in your favorite browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbyAkBz_BU0

Research – Why Do You Give?

“Why do you give?”

This question is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile. While I know the reasons my family gives money away, I would rather hear from you!

Would you take a quick minute to share your thoughts on the subject with me? I’d be so grateful, and I’ll also be sharing the results of our survey in a later post!

Can’t see the survey? Simply copy & past the following link in your favorite browser: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JoFFaW0XGcCsR9QkavMVi1h1obU9PVZSVI9rEqiuEFM

Never Say “We Can’t Afford That”

“We can’t afford that.”

I hear people say this phrase all the time. Many times, it is said with great intentions. However, this statement has significant power over future decisions.

It starts out when we are children. We want something so we demand it from our parents. Their response? “We can’t afford that!”

And we think, “Oh. We can’t afford that.”

We begin to connect the dots that things we really want are too expensive and not attainable.

Slowly, over time, we allow this thinking to rob us of the ability to dream. Instead of asking, “What if?” We say, “We can’t afford that.”

But it is not true.

Somebody was able to afford it. Somebody purchased it. Somebody funded their dream of sending their children to college. Somebody was able to purchase a nice reliable vehicle. Somebody was able to start up a business. Somebody decided to dream again, and went to work to make it become reality.

An alternative to “We can’t afford that” is “HOW can we afford that?”

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT  The words “We can’t afford that” are not allowed to be spoken or written on this blog OR in my family OR among my team.

The following statements are better (and still allowed):

  • We will need to save up for that
  • We will start saving for that in our budget each month
  • We need a miracle from God to pay for that

Financial Oxen are the best way to fund big-time dreams. I’ve written all about birthing and acquiring them in my book, OXEN – The Key To An Abundant Harvest.

Monday Money Tip: With Money, Sometimes “No” Means “Yes”

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

Would you take a quick moment to share the Monday Money Tip with your Facebook friends and family? Just click the “share” button on THIS WEBSITE.

Can’t see the video? Simply copy and paste the following link in your favorite browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfhskVcfHYM

Great Graduation Gift Idea – Money Book

weskamgsYou might think a book focused on teaching money tips would be a terrible graduation gift idea, but consider the following about the graduate in your life:

  1. They won’t remember most of their graduation gifts.
  2. They probably haven’t had a single class about managing and winning with money.
  3. If the graduate is your child, lack of financial prowess could result in them moving back into your house.
  4. They’ll probably listen better to someone else teach about money (even though I’ll teach them what you’ve been trying to tell them – something about that parent-child relationship makes them close their ears!).
  5. This is a gift that can help them fund all of the big time dreams in their life!

I encourage you to get your copy of the book (and its related study) today. Most orders ship the same day they are ordered!

Kids & Money Tip: Dreams Should Drive Financial Decisions

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. By the way, this book makes an excellent Graduation Gift!

What do you want to accomplish during your lifetime? What have you been put on earth to do?

As you embark into life in the real world, there is no doubt that you have been asking yourself these questions. Sometimes these questions can cause one to feel overwhelmed or fearful. Other times, these questions can fill one with hope and joy. You may be experiencing all of these feelings.

Every person has hopes and dreams they want to achieve. I believe every person has been put on earth for a specific purpose, and I want you to accomplish your hopes and dreams. Most people, however, do not have a written plan for how they are going to achieve their dreams. In fact, more than 50 percent of people who attend one of our personal finance teaching experiences have never written their hopes and dreams on paper. This is very sad.

Henry Ford once said, “Fail to plan. Plan to fail.” This is an incredibly true statement.

I clearly remember the day I was teaching the Financial Learning Experience in a small town. I asked everyone in the room to write their hopes and dreams on paper. When they had finished this task, I asked them this question – “If this is the first time you have ever written down your hopes and dreams in your adult life, please raise your hand.”

As usual, more than half of the room raised a hand, but one person’s hand caught my attention more than the others. It was a man who was over 70 years old and still working a full-time factory job to produce an income for his family. He was working because he had to. I wonder if he would still be working full-time at 70 if he would have written down his hopes and dreams on paper when he was 18.

You have huge potential. What do you want to make sure you accomplish during your lifetime?

You see, it is these dreams which should drive your financial decisions. Not the other way around!

ACTIONS:

  1. Have the young person in your life ask some adults in their life, “What are your dreams?”  Once they have asked several of them, determine how many of those adults are truly allowing their dreams to drive their money decisions and how many are stuck allowing their current financial situation to drive (or prevent) their dreams.
  2. Grab a copy of the book and study it together to help the young person in your life prevent financial mistakes.

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?

3 Challenging Financial Statistics

Here are 5 financial statistics to mull over (and 3 challenging questions for you to consider):

  1. $10,890 is the median financial net worth of an American household today – According to calculations by Edward N. Wolff, an economics professor at New York University.  See how your net worth stacks up using the CNN|Money Net Worth Calculator
  2. The average large bank is currently paying 0.01% interest on regular savings accounts (and that interest is taxed). Let’s put this in real dollars and cents. If you had $10,000 in savings, you would be paid $1 in interest for the entire year. One single dollar. This is while they lend the money back to the average American with a credit card at 12% or higher.
  3. The poorest give more than the wealthiest to charity.  This article written by Ken Stern focuses on the research about why this is the case. The poorest give 3.2 percent while the wealthiest give an average of 1.3 percent of their incomes. According to the website JustGive.org, 75 percent of all gifts to charities are from individuals – not government or big corporate entities.

So here is the challenge for you right now – ask yourself these 3 questions and DO SOMETHING about them:

  1. Do you know what YOUR net worth is and where you stack up versus your peers? Take a quick moment to use the CNN|Money Net Worth Calculator to find out.
  2. What interest is YOUR bank paying on your savings account? Take steps to address it!
  3. How much money are YOU giving away? There’s nothing like giving. If you don’t like the amount you’ve been giving, take steps today to begin giving more away and discover the joy of helping accomplish great things together with like-minded people!

Monday Money Tip: How To Pay Off Your House In Less Than 10 Years

I was able to pay my house off just 6 years using this technique. I’m confident you can apply it and see dramatic results too!

Can’t see the YouTube video? Copy and paste the following link in your favorite browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFleb2h0HrY

You can receive the weekly Monday Money Tip in your email by subscribing HERE.

Small Business Tip: Projecting Income

One of the greatest challenges small business owners face is projecting income.

When providing financial coaching to small business owners, I ask, “How much are you paid by your business?”

The answer is usually some variation of: “Whatever I can take. It’s always up and down.”

This makes it extraordinarily difficult to manage household financial affairs and can literally drive the bill payer completely crazy.

Here’s solution to this problem.

  1. Stop “investing” (spending) all the extra money. When you have a great month of revenue, don’t view it as a ticket to spend money. Instead, view it as a ticket to stabilize your income! Save the extra money in an operating reserve account.
  2. Establish a monthly (or weekly, bi-weekly, or bi-monthly) salary. In your household budget, determine the amount of money your business needs to pay you each month in order to thrive. Ensure your household budget includes saving for Known Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses (KUEs) such as Christmas, Special Days (birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, showers, etc), HOA, Insurance Premiums, etc.
  3. Pay yourself the set amount of money each payday – and leave the rest alone at the business! Even when the business is thriving, it is important to continue to draw only your salary. This is because the “down times” will be coming soon through the natural business cycle of your business. It’s not fun to leave the money in the business during times of plenty, but it sure is nice to have those reserves when the business is struggling!

It’s how I operate my businesses, and I’m confident it will work for you too!

My book, Oxen, is a great resource to help you establish a new business or acquire an existing one.

Kids and Money Tip: No Spending Until You Prepare A Budget

Money is a foreign concept to most children until they are about 4 or 5 years old. It is at around this age they become aware that money has the ability to purchase things. However, most of their financial knowledge is focused on spending because that is what they SEE happening with money.

  • Mom gives money to the grocery store clerk and carries groceries out of the store.
  • Dad swipes his credit card at the gas pump, and it allows him to put gasoline in the vehicle.
  • Grandma gives money to her beautiful grandchildren (your children, of course) and you take the child down the toy aisle to buy something with it.

Since “spending” is what we see happening with money from our earliest days, it is what most children grow up knowing about money. For them, money equals spending.

The important financial principles of giving, saving, investing, and budgeting are not learned. Consequently, grown children leave the house knowing only that money equals spending. This is a recipe for financial disaster!

Here’s a simple thing you can do immediately to change that for your children (grandchildren):

Ask the child to prepare a budget for any money they receive – BEFORE they are allowed to spend any of it.

For example, my daughter receives money for her birthday. She and I count the money so we know exactly how much she has received, and then I confiscate it. Upon receipt of a well-planned budget, I release the money to her for use. Later on, I do a “check in” to ensure the money has been used according to the plan.

In a recent budgeting moment, my daughter was planning the use of $20. Her first budget had $2 for giving, and $18 for spending. I rejected it because there was no saving or investing. Her revised plan showed $2 for giving, $0.25 for saving, and $17.75 for spending. She gave the budget to me with a smile – knowing there was little chance of it being accepted.

I rejected it.

Her third try included giving, saving, investing, and spending. I released the funds to her.

Here’s the reasons I love this process:

  1. Teachable Moments This process creates space for “teachable moments” about money. It forces conversation about the importance of giving, saving, and investing. It allows us to talk about the “spender” mentality that we both share.
  2. Learned At Home Before my daughter enters the real world, she is receiving real financial knowledge that will set her apart. She knows what a mutual fund is and how it operates.
  3. The Pain of Wasting $20 is Less Than The Pain of Wasting $20,000 I want her to recognize the pain of poor financial decisions NOW when she is making $20 decisions so she doesn’t have to learn the lesson with a $20,000 purchase later.
  4. My daughter actually enjoys the process My daughter actually enjoys the process. It has helped her save a substantial amount of money toward her first car. She has financial margin. She knows her parents care about her.

I have my daughter use our FREE BUDGETING TOOL called the “Mini-Budget.” It’s perfect for kids.

My book, What Everyone Should Know About Money BEFORE They Enter The Real World, is a perfect resource for helping your child start out life with the financial tools and principles essential to life.

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