Necessary problems?

I need some of my problems to help take my mind off some of the others.
Ashleigh Brilliant

Can you see yourself debt free and having saved enough money to do things you enjoy now and in retirement without worrying about the cost? Can you see yourself with nothing to worry about?

If you can’t envision either of these scenarios, chances are they’ll never happen. The familiar is so comfortable that subconsciously we often keep recreating it! It makes no logical sense, but that doesn’t stop us.

For example, we become comfortable with a certain level of debt, so as soon as the car is paid off, we go out and buy another car with yet another loan even though it’s not needed. A new phenomenon I’ve seen with more older retirees on the Internet is that they attract and forward the scariest e-mails with dire warnings of all the latest ways someone may try to kidnap, kill or rob them.

Being cautious makes sense, but having more and more things to worry about is simply tiring and non-productive. What problems and worries do you have right now? Are they real? Do you need them? Could you do something to make them go away? Would you be comfortable without them? Make tomorrow a worry-free day!

Money Saving Tip

saving moneyLast comment about raises: Present the facts. Leave out words like “it’s not fair” and “I deserve it”. It sounds like whining and will get you nowhere. If you’re not successful, ask what you need to do more of, less of, or differently to qualify for a raise and don’t settle for vague answers. Have an open attitude and really listen. Ask for examples. If your company has an internal coaching program that may be an excellent resource to help you, or you can hire your own coach to help get you on track and keep you there.

What made you smile today?

What made you proud of your money choices today?

Differentiate for Success

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Anonymous

Sometimes it can be discouraging that all your great ideas have already been taken.  However, if you look for a way to differentiate your idea, you may have a winner!

Recently, I was listening to the radio thinking that while there are already a gazillion songs about love, new ones always seem to climb to the top of the charts.

Then I went into a shoe store and marveled at how many new styles there are where someone took a basic sandal and, by changing the material or adding a new decoration, created a whole new line of popular footwear.  In the field of charitable giving, there are many organizations that help children yet one young woman successfully set up a program in her country to specifically help young girls escape slavery and get an education.

In the crowded field of snack foods, designer cupcakes have been a big hit and recently there’s talk of designer personal pies (like apple, chocolate, etc.) making their mark.  If you have a passion to do something and you have an idea—don’t worry if it has been done before.  Persevere! Do your research, see how you can differentiate yourself and develop a plan to move forward.

Money Saving Tip

saving money More about raises:  Always be prepared to present yourself well.  Keep an on-going up-to-date file with your specific accomplishments, positive e-mails and nice notes you’ve received.  Document your impact.  Have you helped people compromise or reach consensus?  Did a change you introduced result in saving time or money—or avoid long-term negative consequences?  Did someone you hired exceed expectations?  This is the time to toot your own horn, but let the facts speak for themselves.

What made you smile today?

What made you proud of your money choices today?

Ropes and Risks

Self-confidence is the result of a successfully survived risk.
Jack Gibb

Have you ever gone on a ropes course going from point A to B on an unstable walkway high above the ground?  You have to overcome your fear of heights, trust the equipment and rely on your team to support you. That’s taking a risk but is it risky behavior?  Not really.

If this is a reputable organization with good equipment and trained people, you will wear a harness and are always safely connected.  The worst that can happen is that you slip and safely dangle in the air for a minute or two.  In any event, once you’ve reached the end, there is a tremendous sense of relief, joy and success.  Afterwards,  there is a new confidence and strength

Being prepared is the key to taking risks. Taking a risk is engaging in something that has the possibility of danger, failure or loss.  Get all the information you can to assess the degree of risk.  Ask questions.  Talk to people who will agree and people who don’t and really listen.  Put their comments into a context.  What do they have to gain or lose by influencing you?  What are their hopes and fears that they may be projecting on you? Most of the things that seem like huge risks are really just feeling uncomfortable about going outside of your comfort zone. It’s what adds spice to your life and makes you able to face new challenges with confidence.  What can you do today to take a step out of your comfort zone?

Money Saving Tip

saving moneyMore about raises:  Avoid asking for a raise when budgets are being prepared, audits are happening or your boss is dealing with a crisis.  Being distracted or feeling stress related to money will predispose your boss to respond negatively.

 

What made you smile today?

What made you proud of your money choices today?

Question your Assumptions

Make a list of everything about your situation that you know to be true — no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Now go back and question every assumption you’ve made. “Is that really so? Does it have to be that way? How could it be done some other way?”
 Joel Saltzman

Whenever I assume that something can’t change I think about huge changes in our society that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago.  Who could have imagined that states that grew tobacco would one day make it illegal to smoke in restaurants and public buildings?  Who could have imagined that 57% of college students in American universities would be women and professional graduate programs would often have a 50-50 mix of men and women?

Those big comparisons give me the motivation to question more personal day-to-day assumptions I make about what I can and cannot do.  Look back at assumptions that created obstacles in your personal path or limited your options.  Look back at assumptions you made expecting things would work out and they proved false.

Think about what you’d like your life to be like.  Now, list all the assumptions you’re making about why that can or can’t happen and challenge each one.  Don’t get trapped by assumptions.  Find a new way to build bridges or make intentional detours to make take more control of your life and your money.

Money Saving Tip

saving moneyAsking for a raise?  Best time is 5 o’clock when your boss is not rushed, may have some extra time to listen and is in a good mood knowing the day is about to end.  In addition, your body temperature elevates in the late afternoon so you’ll be more alert and capable of presenting a good case.  Also, try it on Thursday or Friday when people are more open to negotiation and compromise.  They subconsciously want to minimize conflict to end their workweek on a good note to have a more enjoyable time over the weekend with friends and family. Tip: If the end of the day or end of the week is the busiest time in your work, look for the least rushed times.  (Buy Ketchup in May by Mark Di Vincenzo.)

What made you smile today?

What made you proud of your money choices today?

Choose your pain

7-14tree sunset Each of us must experience one of two pains – the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
Which pain will you choose?
Jim Rohn

Nisa had no problem with the pain of being disciplined when it came to her education. She was willing to work extra jobs to pay her tuition and readily sacrificed time with her friends and family to stay focused on completing her coursework to get her nursing degree and finally her Ph.D. It paid off. She loved her career and never regretted the sacrifices and the investment she had made in herself.

However, when it came to money, that was another story—no discipline at all. Nisa earned a good salary and paid her bills on time, but never planned or saved for her future. She lived in a beautiful condo that had been lavishly decorated and redecorated by an interior designer. For convenience Nisa ate out or purchased prepared foods for most of her meals. Her vacations were always first class tours and she shopped as a pastime buying clothing, jewelry and shoes that appealed to her without a second thought.

When she retired her lifestyle changed dramatically. She had three large closets full of expensive clothes, many unworn, but not enough money to visit her mother and sisters who lived in other states. Eating out and shopping had to be limited. Nisa regretted that she had not made wiser, more thoughtful financial choices throughout her life. She could easily have afforded to live a nice lifestyle and save for the future if she had gotten some guidance and made difference choices. Are you making wise choices and practicing some discipline today so you won’t face regrets next month or next year?

Can you have automatic retirement deductions taken from your paycheck or set up other means of saving to avoid future pain of regret? Even small amounts made a huge difference in the long-term!

Money Saving Tip

saving money Renting? Late payments on your rent may affect your credit score. It used to be just late mortgage payments were reported, but some landlords or rental agencies will report late payments, especially if it is a recurring issue. Remember, if your name is on the lease, you are held responsible regardless of whether a roommate hasn’t paid you on time.

 

What made you smile today?

What made you proud of your money choices today?