Archive for planning

7 Fundamental Footsteps To Finding Financial Freedom

Achieving Financial Freedom – providing for yourself and your own family is certainly not easy, but independence has its rewards. It astounds me every time I encounter someone who takes pleasure in being dependent on someone else or worse, the government.

As soon as I graduated high school, I left home to go into the Navy where I would start providing for myself.  In fact, I enlisted in the Navy in October of my senior year.   I love my folks, but being dependent on anyone, including my parents was just not something that had any appeal for me.

These days, it is common for adult children to continue living with parents indefinitely.  They may move away for a while, then boomerang back home to enjoy the life of dependence.

Financial Freedom begins by achieving a state of Self-Sufficiency, being free from dependence on another for your basic needs. Sometimes there are good reasons for returning home. It is good to have parents that can assist for a while, but not when there is no effort to return to an independent life.

Break Free From Dependence

Maybe you have found yourself at the point where I was many years ago.  After serving in the Navy for about ten years, I was not earning enough to support my growing family without some assistance from the government.

You can read the long story of how I got to that point and how I recovered in Who is Responsible to Provide Basic Needs of Americans? That post laid out the problem and referenced next steps. This post should be more of a challenge to take the next steps toward independence and gives you clear steps to that end.Whether you are dependent on the government or on your parents, it is time to plot a course for… Click To Tweet

Now, if being broke and dependent on the government or someone else describes your situation and you are ready to start on your path to financial freedom, this article is written for you.

Don’t give up hope.  There is a way out when it feels like there is no way out.  It might not be quick and it may even get darker before dawn. Read More →

Leave A Legacy Of Prosperity For Your Children

Set new expectations of American life for your Children that will bring about unparalleled prosperity for their generation. The concept of leaving an impact on the world can be scary. Intentionally deciding what your legacy will be is awe inspiring. It can feel overwhelming.

Have you begun to contemplate the concept of raising children? What legacy are you going to leave them? Whether you have children already or not, the actions you take today are shaping the world that your children will inherit.

Before Having Children, Think About Their Future

Before you ever have children is the best time to start thinking about the future you will leave for them.

I’m not talking about the material wealth you will accumulate and leave as an inheritance for them. I am talking about participating in the American economic system and bolstering it.

Don’t make your children cope with the same mess that young people are living with today.

Realization Strikes

One day you wake up and the realization hits you that the decisions you make now affect not only your future but the future of your offspring. The fate of generations is in your hands. Wow, what a thought.

The question is – what will you do with it? Keep living for the here and now or start making the best future possible as your legacy?The fate of generations is in your hands. Wow, what a thought Click To Tweet Read More →

Launching A Practical Get Out Of Debt Plan

The quote from Suze Orman that “Debt is bondage” is so true.  Debt not only holds you in bondage, it steals from you in the form of finance charges.

Do you find yourself avoiding answering the phone because you are tired of the bill collectors calling? I can remember being so broke that I had to spend extra money overnighting my house payment to the mortgage company. That was before the days of online bill payments. You have got it so much easier than ever before.

I have discussed debt and relayed my story about how I got into and out of nearly $100,000 of debt in earlier post Who is Responsible to Provide Basic Needs of Americans?

In today’s post, I want to help you create a plan of action and milestones. A good plan will lead you directly from where you are today to the point of complete freedom from debt. I will give you practical and actionable steps that you can follow to do what I did that got me out of debt.

Philosophy – The How and Why

Vale le Pena! Translation – It’s Worth It! Financial freedom is worth the sacrifice that it takes to get there. There will be some discomfort between where you are and where you want to be, but by enduring it you will reap the reward.Financial freedom is worth the sacrifice that it takes to get there Click To Tweet

When you are financially free, more of what you earn is yours to keep. You can buy and actually own more if you are not sharing a portion of your income with your creditors.

In the future, when you need to borrow money for big purchases like home or car, less money will go to finance charges allowing you to have nicer things.

Maybe you are in a place now where you are forfeiting too much of your hard earned income to finance charges. Perhaps you are not able to get the financing for a new car you want. Is your FICO score where you want it to be?

Pitfalls to Avoid

Setting the target unrealistically high

When you take account of how much you owe and how long it will take to get out of debt, the timetable of the goal could cause you to quit before you succeed. Read More →

Last Minute Guide For New Years Resolution Breakthrough

What is your New Year’s Resolution this year?  Did you make one last year?  If so did you achieve what you set out to accomplish?  Not me!  Didn’t make one.  In fact, I cannot even remember the last time I did make a new year’s resolution.

The concept of making a resolution on New Year’s Day never made much sense to me.  Whenever I decided to do something, I would just resolve right then and there to accomplish it.  Why wait until New Year’s Day to start? Just because it happens to be New Year’s Day, I could not arbitrarily decide that there is something I am willing to dedicate my energy to.

If you read my post on creating habits, you will see that I am apt to resolve myself to reaching my objectives all the time.

Why would you want to make a resolution for next year?

Something makes us want to make life better.  The only thing that will make you happy is to make progress.  I love tracking my progress and celebrating little victories along the way!

Resolution means that you have resolved to do something.  Making progress is the secret to being happy.  Making progress to that monumental something that you have resolved to accomplish in the next year could bring you happiness.

Last Minute Guide For New Years Resolution Breakthrough

Make a resolution right now!

Look back before looking forward.

As you begin drafting your resolution for next year, reflect on 2016. Review the entire calendar.  Ask yourself “What did I achieve?” Turn your experience into insight.  Look at the area of Businesses / Relationships / Finance / Family / Faith

Stay in a positive state throughout the process by expressing gratitude for the blessings of the past year.  Now ask yourself the question that Ray Edwards uses to prepare for the year ahead.  “What do I most want to be thankful for one year from now?” – Ray Edwards.  Let this become a focus for the New Year.“What do I most want to be thankful for one year from now?” - Ray Edwards Click To Tweet

This nugget is from a fantastic primer for preparing for the new year, ACHIEVE WHAT MATTERS MOST IN 2017 by Michael Hyatt

Three Components of a compelling Resolution:

  1. Have a Vision.  “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” – Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
  2. Strong enough Reasons to Follow Through
  3. Got to Review it and Feel it Every Day

Where there is no vision, the people perish. - Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) Click To Tweet
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Breakthrough As A Student Loan Debt Free College Graduate

Student loan debt is a common cause of financial distress for many college graduates.  There are some ways to lessen the weight of student loans both before getting into debt and after.

College graduates walk away from college with a diploma and a weight around their neck called student loan debt.  Students that leave school before graduation, only walk away with the debt.  Popular wisdom is that it will take years and years, maybe decades to finally pay off student loans.

One of the worst things about student loan debt is that students who are accruing them rarely have prior experience in dealing with debt. Students are almost victims of the system in that they are sort of put on automatic to getting into the debt.  The FAFSA data gets forwarded to lenders and all the student has to do to accept the loan is to sign for it.  The government encourages and enables the process.  There is not a step in the process where students are ingrained with the values of limiting the amount of debt they take on or any sort of urgency to break free from the bonds of debt.  “Debt is bondage” – Suze Orman

Debt is bondage! -Suze Orman Click To Tweet

Student Loan Debt Seems to Linger for a Lifetime

How Long Will it Take to Pay Your Student Loan Debt

Student Loan Debt Seem to Linger Forever

College graduates take for granite and accept that debt will be a part of their life for the next decade or more after graduation.  This does not have to be the case.  Someone needs to stand in the gap for the student and help them understand the down side that having this debt will bring to their life.  So many students are looking to others to make the debt go away after they acquired it.  The natural process that drew them in does not provide a roadmap to get them out.  Unfortunately, only the student is liable to meet the obligation.

Whatever phase of the student debt experience you find yourself, whether that is prior to getting into student debt, in school and increasing debt each semester, or a graduate looking for a way to get free from the weight of debt, I want to give you some hope and direction.

Sooner is better

Hopefully you are reading this before finding the noose of debt around your neck.  If that is the case, take heed and let this be words to the wise.

It might not be possible to get through your college education without any debt, but at least make an effort to keep it to a manageable level.  Only take out what you need to get through.  It is not wise to live lavishly on borrowed money.  You and only you will be paying back that debt.  Well, I take that back.  Possibly you and your future spouse will be paying that back.  Oh and add your kids to that list of who will be affected by the debt you take on during school if you let it get out of hand.  So, maybe you aren’t concerned about how it will affect you, but at least pay attention out of love for your future family.

Phases

Pre-loan phase

If you are at this stage, it is the perfect time to gain an operational understanding of the principles of debt.  There are a number of financial pitfalls waiting for you at college.  Hopefully your parents can give you guidance, but increasingly across the country people of all ages are struggling with debt and finances in general.

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Which is Better: Improving the Boss’ Bottom Line or Yours?

Of course, our personal bottom line is the reason we all go to work.  We try to bring value to our boss‘ bottom line in order to get rewarded, compensated and promoted.  Rather than putting forth all our energy providing for the boss’ bottom line, we have an option in America of  creating our own wealth independent of a boss.

Since America is built on the Free Enterprise system, we are free to choose whether to work for ourselves or be an employee of someone else.  There are advantages and disadvantages of each.  You may be better suited for one over the other.

Employee or Employer

Some people value the certainty that accompanies being an employee.  They have no desire to be the business owner, assuming the risk of the business’ bottom line making money and staying afloat. The employee is only responsible for his own performance.

Only a few value the challenge of making their own business succeed.  The perceived rewards of success include the opportunity to make a higher income, the freedom of self-direction, the feeling of significance of having his name on the business and owning the successful enterprise.

Who ever feels like they are being paid enough?  Could you make more money by working for yourself or as someone else’s employee?  Given a profitable idea and the resources and means to market it, you might be able to develop an income greater by having your own enterprise.  However without proper execution, the cost of doing business could wind up exceeding what you make.  When your outgo exceeds your income, this is known as a deficit.

Being A Business Owner is Not for Everyone

Not everyone is capable of running a business.  One benefit of being an employee of another is a much more predictable income and a much lower risk of not making money or worse, losing money.  Owning your own business requires that you have an internal drive.  It is analogous to moving off to college.  At college, no one wakes you up and ensures you go to class.  In high school, a truant officer will be dispatched to round you up in some cases.  When your own your own business, you are completely responsible for getting it done.  Self-motivation and self-direction are two required attributes to successfully run a business.  In a recent blog post, 5 Better Solutions Than A More Competitive Minimum Wage, I listed six ways to increase your bottom line.  Some of those are as an employee and some are in a business of your own.

Improve Your Bottom Line and Fulfillment Through Self-Employment

Which is better for you: working for someone else or working for yourself?  Which is better for you: working for someone else or working for yourself? Click To Tweet

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Is The College Education Route Best For You?

Are you a high school student who has been thinking that perhaps you were not meant to go to college?  Maybe you are right and College is not the best choice for you.  College was certainly not the route I took right out of high school.   Maybe you are feeling pressure from teachers, parents, relatives and fellow students to go to College.  Let’s explore the pros and cons of going to college vs not going, and look at some options that might be a better match for you in your particular situation.

The Big Decision – College or Wait

This post is not intended to talk you out of going to college, nor is it intended to talk you into going.  The intent is to help you as you make one of the most significant decisions you will have made up to this point.

In my case, I did eventually get a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree and ultimately a Masters’ of Science (MS) degree.  But that is a long way from where I started out.  Early in my senior year in high school, I enlisted in the US Navy; October 28 to be precise.  My GPA in high school was not very high.  In fact, I often joke that I was a high school push-out.  My French teacher made me promise not to take another level of French before she gave me the passing grade I needed to graduate.  She said that if I didn’t promise, she would not give me the passing grade.The Big Decision - Go to College or Wait Click To Tweet

The decision as to what to do after high school graduation can be daunting!  What will happen if you don’t make the right decision?  Like, what if you go to college, but it is not right for you? What will be the worst case scenario?  Failing out and returning home? Disappointing parents and grandparents? No one wants to let our parents down.  What if you don’t go to school?  What will you be labeled by your family and friends?

Before you make the decision to go to college or take another route, let’s examine the options and make sure you are equipped with knowledge to make the best choice for you.

What are the Options besides College

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How to Create a Practical Blog Project Planner

A Blog Project Planner will help you shape the vision of what your blog can become.  Once the completion of my Master’s Degree Plan was in sight, it was time to start making the plan for my next project.  All my life, I have been big on making and following through on plans.  My youngest daughter really takes after her father in that arena!  This blog project began with a search for opportunities to learn something new, gain a new certification or generate income through on-line ventures.  Having settled on creating a blog, I grabbed a pen and paper and started drafting a Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) that would lead to me  becoming a successful blogger.  One of my favorite Habits from Stephen Covey’s book and course, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to “begin with the end in mind”.

“Begin with the End in mind” -Stephen Covey

Before beginning this endeavor, I wanted to have an idea of what it would take to become a blogger, and what it would be like to have accomplished the goal.  Following solid project management principles enables the achievement of all of the project objectives, goals and key tasks while acknowledging  constraints, or costs.  It quickly became clear that the steps and tasks were numerous and cumbersome enough to group into phases.  My little POA&M had grown into a multi phase Blog Project Planner.

Blog Project Planner

Six Phase Blog Project Planner

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