Tag Archives: Money

ABOUT LAST NIGHT… 

HERE’S THE REPLAY LINK TO LAST NIGHT’S SCOPE “SESH”

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aW6uPDFheWpWWUFkcExLcHJ8MVlxeG96WURWdmtKdsV4Vt7DrhBljltbBi-yv0ImbZzrRXOYwp-6bOqvxu0x
~The Financial Hack ©2015

Advertisements

LET’S TALK THE “B” WORD… BUDGETING!

budget

Oh no… The dreaded “B” word. BUDGETING. Some people are offended by it. For others, it comes naturally like eating and sleeping or walking and talking. There was once a time, well a few times actually, when you would never hear me utter the words, “That’s not in the budget,” but I find myself saying it quite often now and for good cause. Here are a few reasons why incorporating the “B” word into your daily lexicon isn’t such a bad thing after all.

  1. BUDGETING HELPS YOU ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS: Is it your goal to start paying off financial debt? Is it to start your own business? What about a vacation in Belize this year? How about establishing an emergency fund or as I like to call it, a “shit happens account?” Do you plan to invest more this year?  What about saving for your child’s college education, or perhaps saving for a down payment on a home? Budgeting makes these goals possible.
  2. BUDGETING GIVES EVERY DOLLAR A PURPOSE: By budgeting, you tell each dollar where to go, therefore giving you control over your money. There’s no guessing how much money you can save this month or how much you can save from this pay check, that sale, etc. IT’S RIGHT THERE ON PAPER… AND IT’S DONE EACH MONTH. Budgeting keeps you on task. Think of it as a map to your financial freedom. That’s part of the purpose right? You can’t reach an unknown destination without following a map or guide to point you and keep you moving in the right direction.
  3. BUDGETING HELPS BUILD HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS REGARDING MONEY: Spouses and partners who budget may feel more as equals in the relationship as opposed to one person being responsible for how the monthly income is spent. THE COUPLE THAT BUDGETS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER. Keep in mind the majority of marriages/partnerships end not because of infidelity, but because of money issues. Having a monthly “sit down” to discuss your finances is a good way to keep the lines of communication open and flowing. Not only can this method be beneficial to spouses/partners, but to parents and their children. Allow your child(ren) to have some input regarding the monthly budget (although they don’t of course get the final say.) By doing so, you are teaching them financial literacy at an early age and allowing them some level of autonomy regarding the household finances at the same time.
  4. BUDGETING HELPS IDENTIFY “TROUBLE” AREAS AND/OR BLINDSPOTS: Perhaps you’re spending too much money on entertainment or realize you have more discretionary income than you thought you did. Perhaps after reviewing your budget from last month, you’re not saving enough money to reach a financial goal. Budgeting can easily help you identify those trouble areas/blindspots so you can make any necessary adjustments.
  5. BUDGETING HELPS YOU FORM HEALTHY HABITS IN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE: Once you get into the habit of budgeting your money each month, other habits will begin to form as well. Perhaps you weren’t very organized until you started budgeting monthly. Now that you are, you may begin to notice yourself writing “To Do” lists, decluttering and organizing your space therefore decluttering your life. You may notice a shift in your mindset where subjects or topics that were once important to you, no longer hold its value in your thought process. You may even find yourself spending less time with friends/acquaintances you once had. Budgeting can manifest itself in the form of “reprogramming” the mind. I may be “reaching” here for some, but in the grand scheme of things for those who have experienced a change in your “financial mindset,” you may or have experienced this change in mindset and can truly relate. Change is good.
Keep in mind, for your budget to work, you’ve got to put it to work. It won’t be easy in the beginning, but stick to it. Stay the course. Some behaviors will have to be learned, others, unlearned and in some cases, totally forgotten. To create a budget and not follow it through is surely a lesson in futility, but I know that’s not you. NO WAY! You haven’t come this far to stop and turn around. There’s nowhere to go but up from here.
Click on the “Worksheets” tab of my website to download the Monthly Cash Flow/Zero-Based Budget Worksheets to get you started, or you can click the link below.
~The Financial Hack (copyright 2015)

ALL THAT… FOR NOTHING

overthinker

Sometimes I have a tendency to “overthink.” Overthinkers tend to create problems that don’t exist which at times can cause undue stress, strain and anxiety on oneself. This can be manifested in your behavior or in some cases, your body. If you’re in tune with your body, you know when it’s in distress. Let me explain further.

After last night’s Periscope Session ended (Knowing Where Your Money Is Going,) my lower back IMMEDIATELY began aching. It wasn’t that rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, pinch nerve kind of pain, but that “you’re stressing yourself out and this is ONE way I’m going to show you” kind.  I knew where the stress was coming from however, I didn’t immediately address it. I was so drained. I was bothered. I felt defeated. I didn’t even call Mista to say goodnight as we normally do. I sent a text instead. I just wanted to crash out. The problem is, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up the first time. It was almost 2am. I hadn’t been asleep three hours. The second time? UGH OH! Here comes the anxiety. I knew it because an hour later, I woke up in a state of panic. I hadn’t had one of those episodes since my “drowning in debt days,” but somehow I managed to fall asleep once again. My alarm went off at 5am. I tried to lift my head and it felt like a ton of bricks. “Please no,” I said as the pain pulsated from temple to temple. A sinus headache? How can this be when my humidifier is right next to the bed?

I knew what this was all about. As I lay there, I began thinking (because I do that sometimes,) “Why are you stressing about the scope session?” The “Overthinking Perfectionist” in me  didn’t believe the Scope Session went well. Why some of you may ask? I wasn’t getting the positive feedback I normally receive. If you are familiar with Periscope, you know giving “hearts” lets the “Scoper” know someone agrees with what you are saying or likes what you have to say, or likes you period. In a nutshell, hearts can be used to measure a person’s “likeability.” Likeability? What the hell? I’m not on Periscope for followers to “like” me per se. Don’t misunderstand me. Likeability certainly helps. My goal however, is to present information that I pray other people can take, use and benefit from. Perhaps, I stepped on some toes last night, or maybe, just maybe, those that were tuned in were actually LISTENING to what I was saying.

Usually, I will rewatch my Scope Session before bed and critique my presentation, but I didn’t do that last night. I had already made up in my mind the presentation was “craptastic” therefore resulting in a “craptastic” Scope Session. 

What a “craptastic” way of thinking.

Self-talk is so important. It can make or break you. When you are confident in your abilities, you have to trust and believe in them regardless of the feedback you may or may not receive from others. Simply put, had I watched my scope session as I normally do, I’m positive I wouldn’t have awakened this morning feeling like I wrestled with a grizzly bear in my sleep.  

I’ve always said over the years no matter what I was engaged in be it my “marathoning” days, making people laugh on YouTube, teaching my students, or giving back to the community, “If I can touch the life of ONE person, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”

This morning, as I scrolled through my Twitter mentions (I like to go back and individually thank those who share my Scope Sessions,) one person I thanked in particular said, and I quote, “I am loving your work. So many people need this.”

There it is… The affirmation from God that confirmed what I already knew. I did what I was supposed to do. 

To you Shawn S…. Thank you.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

TO WATCH LAST NIGHT’S PERISCOPE SESSION CLICK HERE:

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aVwDxDFheWpWWUFkcExLcHJ8MWxER0xZYXpuUnpKbaAmVbLid6XwrHJHRInjOIrrzOmAtfcLil5XptfvwXew

 

 

2016 IS HERE: THOU SHALT NOT WASTETH TIMETH!!!

  
January 1st. The start of a new year. A new beginning. 2015 is in the past. Blah blah blah. You’ve heard it. I certainly have, and now that we’ve had our New Year 2016 pep talk, IT’S TIME TO GET TO WORK!

THOU SHALT NOT WASTETH TIMETH!!!

In the “Financial Fitness Boot Camp” postings on my website as well as in our Periscope chats, I’ve stressed the importance of financial independence and freedom. It is my prayer that those that are “in this to win this” will fully commit to their financial journey and not just “come along for the ride.” Achieving and maintaining financial independence is an ongoing process. You’ll hear the “F” word… A LOT. FINANCES is the purpose of this entire blog. I’ve actually dropped FIVE “F” bombs already. You’ll hear the “D” word just as much. DISCIPLINE is not to be taken with a grain of salt…Not with what we (yes WE), are about to do. To obtain and maintain financial independence (there’s the “F” word again) and peace, discipline has to be a part of the equation. When I speak of discipline, I’m not just speaking of financial discipline, (well mostly I am), but discipline in ALL areas of your life. Discipline can be incorporated into your daily routine. Forming habits such as becoming more productive, exercising daily, becoming better organized or using your time wisely to name a few, can be attributed to employing discipline.

You’ll hear me say the “P”  word too. PLANNING of course. How can you execute any project without a plan? Simple tasks require planning. Maybe not sophisticated planning, but planning to some extent is still needed nonetheless. Reaching financial independence requires a plan… A BIG PLAN! And let’s certainly not forget the “B” and “S” words. That’s right, BUDGETING and SAVING. Those are the “Queen Mothers” of words that not too many people like to hear when it comes to their finances which may be in shambles. The truth HURTS.

Now that your finances have been “verbally assaulted,” Welcome to Financial Fitness Boot Camp.

So you see, the purpose of this blog really wasn’t to give you an overview of what to expect in the weeks, months or possibly years to come. You can peruse the website for that. This blog posting served the following purpose:

FINANCE (MONEY): In relation to THIS BLOG POSTING, time is money. My money. Point blank period.

DISCIPLINE: Writing this blog posting on New Year’s Day even though there are a million other things I could be doing instead? That’s discipline. Enough said.

PLANNING: Although I didn’t know exactly what I would say or how I would say it because I like to freestyle and let the thoughts come to me as they flow oh so eloquently while I speak poetically as my fingertips tickle the keyboard…. (insert chuckle here), this was a planned post.

BUDGETING AND SAVING: I had to “budget” my time in NOT being so long-winded which I have a tendency to do and “saving” some of my “financial rhetoric” for future posts.

As you can see, I love using analogies when writing. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

~The Financial Hack ©2015

THE ULTIMATE STRESS-FREE VACAY


Oh if I could only have SEVEN MORE DAYS… I’d probably ask for seven more.

I’m back from vacationing feeling relaxed and refreshed but slowly transitioning back to “the real world.”  As I reflect on the good times, the smiles and the laughter, there was something different about THIS particular vacation. It wasn’t because Mista and I were together (although that had a lot to do with it,) and it wasn’t necessarily because I got to spend time with a great group of people (although they played an integral role in making my vacation more enjoyable~Happy Birthday Teresa!) but looking at my vacation canvas from a financial perspective, this vacation was like that of no other. But what was different about this vacation? I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, then it hit me…..

THIS WAS MY FIRST DEBT-FREE VACATION!!!

In all my years of traveling, I had never traveled DEBT FREE. A weekend getaway here, a few days there was fun, but it was nothing compared to the feeling from my past trip that still lingers. I casually strolled about the ship as if I didn’t have a care in the world. I could truly appreciate taking in the sea air, closing my eyes and slowly exhaling while watching the sun set from our balcony. For the first time in my life, I felt an overwhelming sense of “calm.”

The key to having the “ULTIMATE STRESS-FREE VACATION” is to travel debt-free. Being debt-free is a feeling like no other and traveling debt-free is an even greater feeling. 

How many times have you vacationed and had the time of your life only to have those feelings of euphoria doused after returning home because of the dreaded credit card statement that is sure to follow?

If you are not debt-free, you should not take a vacation.

While traveling, I was able to read Michelle Singletary’s book “The 21-Day Financial Fast” ($15.99-Barnes and Noble.) She wrote of a speaking engagement where a young lady stood and proudly stated she was able to save approximately $2500-$3000 on an impending vacation. She was asked by Ms. Singletary if she had any debt, to which the young lady replied, “Yes.” Ms. Singletary advised her she should not take the vacation she saved for and to use the money to pay down her debt. I’ve got your back on that one Michelle. She spoke absolute truth.

In the past, I could never truly relax going on “vacation” even on those weekend getaways (sometimes alone) knowing I was in debt. I have passed on TWO trips to Africa and one trip to London because my finances were not in order. I felt if I was in debt, it was in my best interest NOT to go on vacation.

Now. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time off from work. We ALL need that. However, if you are in debt, it is wise to use any monies saved towards a vacation to pay down debt and delay that vacation. NO SACRIFICE NO REWARD. Look at the big picture. It all boils down to discipline and delaying gratification. I’m sure this isn’t what you want to hear, but I promise you, If you follow this principle, you’ll thank me later.

Don’t misunderstand me. Just because I’m debt free, didn’t mean I broke the bank while traveling. Budgeting for my vacation was like budgeting for any other task. I gave myself a set amount to spend and even allowed myself to splurge a little (like arranging for car/limo service to and from the airport.) After calculating the amount it would cost to use the Park and Fly airport shuttle service coupled with the fact I saved boarding fees for my dog Sherlock because my Mom kept him, I was actually saving money, so why not? I was even able to purchase a few Christmas gifts with the spending money allotted for myself, so I still came in under budget.

So the message I pray you take from this posting is simply this: THE BEST WAY TO TRAVEL IS TO DO SO DEBT-FREE.

CHECK OUT MY LATEST POSTING PERISCOPE TV: THE ULTIMATE “STRESS-FREE” VACATION HERE:

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aUBDQjFheWpWWUFkcExLcHJ8MWVhSmJNZERRbGFHWEPvoDeCcyeveEDpb6tZkUA1xpJBGfTxoNXpTil4Pn6y

As always, thank you for visiting my site. Feel free to leave your comments/feedback and/or email me at AndreaColeman@TheFinancialHack.com

~The Financial Hack ©2015