Money Worries

Interestingly, my clients who have MORE cash in the bank often worry more! Funny, right? But it’s normal human nature….

You see, under all guidelines and measures, my finances are very solid. I’ve got a thriving business which is more secure than most people’s jobs. I work with numbers and am very good at taming balance sheets.

Yet, I still sometimes worry about money.

After a lengthy time of thinking, discussion and some more thoughts into the matter, below are a few techniques I’ve settled on which can help us ALL reduce our worries over money.

1. Realize that It’s Exaggerated – Worry is a funny feeling – it seems to exaggerate any problem. While there are certainly many people who actually run out of money, those are usually not the people that tend to worry.

2. Spend the Same Time Making Money Instead – If you are going to spend time worrying about money, why not use that time and get a side job instead? Maybe start a website (or two, or three). I know it’s easier said than done, but the more you work at it, the easier it gets.

3. Confidence – Part of the reason why we worry about money is because of the lack of confidence in our own abilities to earn an income. How can we boost our confidence you ask? Confidence comes from success, and success starts from taking action. So try a few low-risk entrepreneurial ventures. If they bomb, see it as a laboratory: learn from it and try again.

But never (never) allow it to touch your identity as a person.

4. The workplace plays a big role in worry. Are your colleagues encouraging? Is your boss supportive? If not, then do something about it. Don’t get into the thinking of “I can’t find another job”. Yes you can — especially if you HAVE a job right now. If you got this job, you can get another one!

5. Worrying is Actually Good – A little, measured worrying is actually healthy for us. It’s what drives us to be better. It’s what turns our energy switch to the “On”

position. The right way to deal with it is to channel it into your work ethic, and your desire to be better.

How Do You Deal with It?

Of course, what I listed above is just the tip of the iceberg. How do you deal with worrying about the lack of money? Or do you? What has worked for you? I’d be interested to hear.

Posted on November 1, 2011 Read More

When The Rich Act Like They are Poor (Part 2)

I hate to see those with resources squander them, simply because they fell prey to the rampant fear.

Watch out for it in your own heart, in that of your children and spouse — and avoid these behaviors of the poor:

*They use credit habitually for “lifestyle” purchases: Delayed gratification isn’t something that they’ve heard of, and if they want something they just put in on credit. After all — it’s at a 0% interest rate for the first 3 months! One purchase leads to another, and before they know it they’ve got thousands in credit card debt.

Debt loads in the wealthy can look different, but the principles remain the same. Avoid leverage these days; keep your powder dry. Your lifestyle isn’t worth expensive cashflow.

* Always pay more than they have to: Often people who are broke have gotten there because they don’t know how to shop for a deal, negotiate or ask for a discount. You can get a discount on just about anything — from electronics to health care. Never pay more than you have to.

Why is it that the wealthy take perverse pride in paying full retail? It goes before the fall, as they say … so don’t become pennywise/pound foolish — but neither should you eschew effective negotiation in multiple categories.

* Fall prey to lifestyle inflation and “keeping up with the Joneses”: This is a biggie for the wealthy. Even people with higher incomes have problems with staying ahead in their budget because they fall prey to lifestyle inflation. Instead of banking and saving raises, they raise their standard of living — buying a bigger better house, a new car and a new wardrobe. They feel like they have to keep up appearances with everyone in their neighborhood.

Take a good hard look at what motivates your purchasing, and clean out the dustbunnies of comparison, lest they fill your brain with poverty-thinking.

* They rely on others to fix their problems: We’ve probably all known someone who is always going to their parents, family or friends to bail them out. They create a pile of debt, and then rely on the kindness of others to get them out of their bind.

* They forfeit future gains for fun today: These people often have a hard time visualizing how saving and hard work will pay off down the road, and instead live for the fun and pleasures of today. They don’t realize how saving for tomorrow can improve their quality of life today.

Don’t sacrifice your retirement (or your eventual estate) on the altar of present-ease.

Obviously, I’d like to help you move past these behaviors, if any apply. You may not carry every one of these traits, but just one or two can get you into hot water.

If you feel that you’re slipping into any of these traps, please do let us know … we’re here to help as your Family’s Personal Financial Guide.

Posted on October 1, 2011 Read More

Halftime Adjustments

You have six months of financial info to use for some quick math about your year as a whole, and to prepare for a pleasant upcoming tax season.

To begin, all you have to do is take your cash flow for the first half of the year, and multiply by two. Add up your wages, dividends, interest, and any other income, and then–if this represents approximately what you’re expecting for the second half of the year–double the sum.

Once you have your estimated 2011 income, give us a call (or send me an email), and we’ll help you determine the appropriate tax rate and deductions to apply. Because once you’re armed with this info, we can help you determine the amount of taxes you might expect to owe for 2011.

By then comparing this against your projected withholding, you can adjust the withholding on your paycheck in advance as needed, and ensure a happy visit to our office in the early winter.

This can also be a good time to organize your financial records and/or get started with some financial software. (Quicken, Microsoft Money, or the free online utility are some popularly available options for this.) Getting organized now can make gathering a report of all those deductions a breeze come tax time!

Posted on September 1, 2011 Read More

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