Secrets to Savings

iStock_000004130332XSmall piggy bankWe all know that saving money is important to our financial future. We need to save for retirement, need to save for emergencies, need to save for your child’s education, as well as for that new car or new house purchase.

However, many of us find it difficult to save. There is always something else that seems to be more important that prevents us from saving. To help you begin to save I wanted to share with you the secret formula to saving. Whatever your goal is retirement, new car, or new house. This secret formula will help you get there.

Secret #1 Budget for it – if you want to save a specific amount budget for it on a monthly basis. This way it has already been accounted and there is no need to hope you have money left at the end of the month to save.

Secret #2 Always pay your self first – by doing this there are no more excuses such as I didn’t have any money left at the end of the month to save. Do it first before all other expenses are paid.

Secret #3 Automate the saving process – have a certain amount automatically deducted from your pay check or from your bank account monthly preferably at the first of the month. This way it is done without you having to remember to do it.

Secret #4 Set a goal – by setting a goal you have a specific amount to aim for. Once your goal is set break it down into monthly or quarterly goals so you can measure your progress.

Secret #5 Stop impulse buying – in order to begin saving stop those impulse purchases. If you did not budget for it don’t buy it.

Now you have the secret formula, its now time to take some action by implementing these 5 secrets so you can reach your short-term and long-term saving goals. By implementing these saving secrets you will be on your way to creating a simplified financial lifestyle. I am sure you know someone who could benefit from these secrets so make sure you share the secret formula with them.

Financial Planning is EASY as Vacation Planning

We all dream of that perfect vacation.   We always seem to find a way to make it happen by planning ahead and making the appropriate plans and accommodations well in advance.  We find a way to save enough money at the end of the month, we shop around for the best deals, and we know where we are staying and what we will be doing while on vacation.  But when it comes to our personal finances we seem to forget how to plan. We usually spend more time planning our vacation than planning our financial future. We usually don’t apply the same excitement or develop an itinerary for our financial plans, which can have just as much impact on our lives as a vacation.

So why not apply your vacation planning skills to your financial planning. Here are some tips to make your financial planning just as simple as your vacation planning:

Know where you want to go – What is your financial destination?  When planning a vacation you must choose a destination. For example, your financial destination may be to be debt free in 5 years, retirement by age 60 or whatever you want it to be. But you must choose a financial destination, when preparing your financial plan.

How do you plan to get there -When vacation planning you usually decide if you’re traveling by car or plane and you map out your trip.  The same can be applied with your financial plan. You must set goals and objective to reach your destination.

How much do you plan to spend – You usually set a budget when planning for your vacation at least I hope you do.  So why not set a budget for your personal finances. Having a budget is the key to a good financial plan.  A well prepared budget enables you to have a clearer picture of your spending.

Hire professional help – When planning a vacation you hire a travel agent to help you arrange your travel plans and accommodations.  If you’re traveling by air you hire a pilot to fly you to your destination you usually don’t fly the plane yourself.  So when preparing your financial plan hire some professional advisers to help you reach your financial destination.  The ride to your destination will be smoother and quicker if you hire good financial professionals to help you.

So take action now by applying these simple tips to design your financial future and begin to simplify your personal finances.

Are you living a Financially Proactive or Financially Reactive Life?


PROACTIVE is defined as acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes

REACTIVE is defined as tending to be responsive or to react to a stimulus

Which one are you currently living?

Do you take charge of your financial life or do you just let it happen? Individuals who live financially reactive lives do not have a contingency plan in place when a financial disaster strikes. They do not know where their money was spent each month. When the financial markets are crashing their looking to hide. They always seem to be a step behind and never seem to get ahead.

On the other hand, individuals living a proactive financial life are not stressed when a financial disaster strikes because they have several contingency plans in place.  When the financial markets are crashing they are looking for opportunities.  They prepare budgets so they know where their money is going even before they receive their weekly or bi-weekly pay check.  They are always a step or two ahead.

Living a proactive financial life allows you to be in control of your finances while living a reactive financial life you just hope things will work out for the best.  So you decide what financial lifestyle you want to lead the proactive or reactive one?  If you are ready for things to change for the better you must decide you want to improve your current financial ways and become proactive because if you won’t do this for yourself no one else will do it for you.

The best way to begin to live a proactive financial life is by simplifying your personal finances.  Here are some action steps to take to begin simplifying:

  • Access your current financial situation.  Do you have more debt than you can handle? Is your financial net worth positive or negative?
  • Create a budget.  Know how much money is coming in and how much is going out.  Know where the money going out is allocated to essential or non-essential items.
  • Automate your financial life.  Set up auto-deposit and auto-payment as well as automated financial reminders such as your checking account is low or your rent or mortgage payment is due.
These simple tips will go a long way in redesigning your financial life from a reactive lifestyle to a proactive lifestyle.

8 Must Break Financial Habits to Simplify Your Finances

Which one of your financial habits do you wish you could break?  We all have habits we have developed over time.  Some habits we develop prevent us from living the financial life we desire or reaching the financial goals we set.

Here are 8 financial habits you must break in order to help you achieve your financial goals and objectives as well as begin to live a simplified financial lifestyle.

Bad habit #1 Not creating a monthly budget – You must know where your money comes from and where your money is spent on a monthly basis.  This way your not wondering at the end of the month where did my money go or why I do not have any money left at the end of the month to save.

Bad habit #2 Not creating an emergency fund
– You just never know when financial emergency will occur.  By not having an emergency fund you can set yourself up for financial disaster.

Bad habit #3 Making only the minimum credit card payment – If you want to get out of financial debt and your only making the minimum payment you will never get out of debt.  You might as well just stop using your credit card if you can not make more than the minimum monthly payment.

Bad habit #4 Paying your bills late – If you find yourself always incurring late fees every month, you need to look to see why your incurring these fees.  Paying your bills late can significantly impact your credit score which can impact your ability to borrow money or increase your cost to borrow money.

Bad habit #5 Using store credit cards -
If you sign up for those store credit cards just to receive the 10% to 20% discount on your recent purchase, is it really worth the money you save in the long run.  These credit cards usually have high interest rates and most can only be used at that individual store.  Its also one more bill to keep track of and one more bill to pay at the end of the month. Just say no to those store credit card offers.

Bad habit #6 Not checking your credit report regularly – Most of us only check our credit report usually when we are going to make a large purchase such as house or car if you even check it then.  Many times we don’t look at our credit reports unless there is a problem such as we were denied credit because of an issue on our credit report and then find out it was a mistake.  If you check your credit report at least annually you can prevent these issues from arising.  Know where you stand when applying for credit so your able to dispute any discrepancies prior to making an application for credit.

Bad habit #7 Living for today only – Many times we only live for today not for our future. How we spend and what you save impacts how we will live in the future.  We don’t know what the future holds but we can help predict your future a little better by planning for it and taking action now.  Not saving for retirement today will impact you later in life.  You look back and say if I only would have saved a little more I could be living a better life.  You must plan for your future financial life so it can be better or just as good as the life your living now.

Bad Habit #8 Stop trying to be a financial do-it-yourselfer – We all have the Home Depot mentality. I can do it and save myself some money or I can do it better than the expert.  Think about how much time will you spend trying to learn the new tax laws or researching stocks to add to your portfolio. Hire the expert you will save time and money by letting the expert handle your specific financial task.

What are some other financial habits you have that you would like to break to help simplify your financial life?