19 Ways To Win With Money

Here it is. My quick list of ways to win with money.

  1. Spend less than you make.
  2. Invest early.
  3. Live on a budget. For a great free budgeting program go to: EveryDollar.com  All you need for set up is an email and a password.
  4. Don’t compare your wealth to others. Make goals that match your values.
  5. Make a very high income.
  6. Write down your financial goals.
  7. Work hard.
  8. Be disciplined. See my previous post.
  9. Save 10% of your income for retirement.
  10. Be united with your spouse about money.
  11. Educate yourself about money.
  12. Be content.
  13. Know your values.
  14. Create passive income streams.
  15. Invest in Real Estate.
  16. Own a business.
  17. Give to causes important to you.
  18. Define your financial priorities.
  19. Treat debt like a dreaded disease. Use the snowball method to attack your debt.

Discipline & Killing Debt

What do dieting and attacking debt have in common? Discipline. It’s not a popular word but definitely necessary when attacking debt. You need to get focused with your money. Every dollar has to have a destination. Attacking your debt often means saying no to the ‘extras’ in life like eating out and vacations. Saying no to excess is a discipline. Deciding to live on less requires discipline. Deciding to live on a budget takes discipline. There will be days you don’t want to exercise. There will be days when you don’t want to cook a meal at home. You MUST be focused on the bottom line. You must be willing to sacrifice now to have more later. You must see the more confident future self that discipline produces in you. How motivated are you to put debt away? It’s much easier to get in debt than it is to get out. Be disciplined and you will be on your way to financial success.

How do you begin to show discipline with your money? Below are some tips to get you started.

  1. Live on a budget. You must have every dollar accounted for before you spend your first dollar. For a free budget resource, visit
  2. Save something. Begin small but save something. Just $25 a pay period is a start. You need to make Savings a line item in your budget. I recommend putting your savings in an online savings account like Ally or Capitalone360. A couple tips for beginning to save are: 1) When you pay off a debt, begin to set that money for savings; 2) Save your pay raise.
  3. Spend on Needs not Wants. You need to begin examining each purchase and ask yourself, “Is this a need or a want?” There will always be a better version (upgrade) of what you own. Just because a newer version exits doesn’t mean you have to buy it.
  4. Create your Debt Snowball. Simply put, this is a listing of all your debts from smallest to largest. Having this list in front of you can heighten your awareness for more discipline in your financial life.                                                                                    While discipline can be painful it is no doubt a necessary skill when it comes to winning with money. With any new skill you must start small and begin incremental growth. What money tip would you add when it comes to discipline and money?

Is Your Money Working Hard?

Are you paying interest or earning interest? This could very well draw the line between the rich and the poor. The poor pay interest to others. The rich earn interest on investments. Which camp are you in? The Bible says the borrower is servant to the lender. How much of your monthly income goes to debt payments? What interest rates are you paying? There are real consequences to paying interest. Money spent on paying interest is money that could be used to earn interest. If you find yourself paying more interest than you are earning, below are some tips to help you get on a better financial path.

  1. Have an Emergency Fund. Many people go into debt because they have no plan for life’s emergencies. Cars and appliances break down. Medical expenses can burst onto your financial radar. The unexpected will occur in your financial life. A $1000 emergency fund is a good start as a defense against going further in debt. Put it in a separate savings account that can be linked to your checking account. Not having an emergency fund will result in you borrowing money through credit cards or other loans. Take action today to start saving toward your emergency fund. Sell something. Take a second job. Just saving $50 a month is sufficient enough to get you moving toward the $1000 goal. It’s okay to start small. Use your income tax refund. This is step Number 1 in the war against acquiring new debt.
  2. Eradicate Debt. Your debt payments are consuming your opportunities to earn interest. List all of your debts, their balances and interest rates on a spreadsheet. List the debts smallest to largest. After this exercise you are to throw all your money paying off the smallest debt. This is a practice called snowballing that is encouraged by finance guru Dave Ramsey. Once you pay off the smallest debt you throw the payments you put toward that toward your second smallest debt. You continue this practice until all your debts are paid (except your house).
  3. Get On A Budget. To some people the word ‘budget’ sounds constraining. However, if you don’t tell your money where to go you will wonder where it went. There is a great free budgeting program available at EveryDollar. This program is very user friendly. You can set up your own budget in 15 minutes. All you need to register is an email address and a password.
  4. Start investing on a small scale. You can invest with as little as $50 a month. A good place to start for beginners is Betterment. You can choose how much to invest in stocks or bonds with just the click of a mouse. You can link the site to your checking account and choose what day of the month you want the money drafted out. Once you get to $3000 balance I would recommend selecting a mutual fund with Vanguard. I would recommend you get serious about educating yourself about investments because nobody should care more about your money than you. For more information on other options for beginning investors click here. Follow the above steps and see how well you can begin earning more interest and paying less! Good Luck!

Managing Money & Marriage

Managing money and marriage can be a delicate endeavor. Timing is important. Discussing a major financial decision right before bed may not be a good idea. My spouse and I made a pact to not discuss money on Sunday (God’s day) because we don’t want to set the day off in a negative direction. You also have to have money boundaries that work for the two of you. The two of you may decide on an amount of money (fun money) that you can spend without having to discuss it. Trying to micromanage your spouse’s spending is not going to have a positive outcome in most cases. It’s also important to discuss money goals. What do you both want to accomplish with the money you earn? Have you discussed retirement? Do you have adequate life insurance? If you have children….are you planning for college expenses? Do you have a budget? Which one of you crafts and maintains the budget? Not talking about significant money issues will NOT solve the problem. It’s not just what you say but HOW you say it. If things get too heated it’s OK to call a time out as long as you agree on another specified time to discuss the issue. Remember you are on the same team. Have you merged your two paycheck into 1 checking account? Do the two of you operate from separate accounts? What bills get paid from each account? The two of you may want to have a Money Date. This is an opportunity to discuss money issues specifically. You don’t have to go to a restaurant.  You can have the date on your front porch if you wish.

Money Talk Guidelines:

  • Use a civil tone of voice
  • Discuss one topic at a time
  • Agree to research a topic and bring it back later
  • Don’t play the blame game
  • Take responsibility for poor decisions
  • Be willing to forgive each other for mistakes
  • Be consistent in scheduling money talks (at least once a month)
  • Listen closely to each other
  • Remember that you both are on the same team

Discussing money issues in your marriage can be both challenging and rewarding. It is my hope that suggestions in this post can help guide your money conversations. What talking tips could you add to my list? Feel free to share your tips in the comments.

12 Money Goals

Do you have a goal for your money? Where do you want it to go? What do you want it to do? Without a goal for your money you are unlikely to succeed. Goals give you direction. Goals give you motivation. To succeed with money you need to have financial goals. Have you ever written a financial goal? Are you guilty of the “get it and spend it” mentality? Below are some suggested money goals for you to establish in your financial life.

  1. I will save $1,000 in an emergency fund.
  2. I will live by a budget. For a free budgeting resource visit http://Www.everydollar.com
  3. Spend less than you earn.
  4. I will open a retirement account and invest $50 a month.
  5. I will talk regularly about the budget with my spouse.
  6. I will save up and pay cash for vacations.
  7. I will visit personal finance blogs to learn more about managing money.
  8. I will check books out of the library to learn more about managing money.
  9. I will schedule an appointment with a financial advisor to discuss my financial situation.
  10. I will purchase term life insurance to cover my family if the unexpected occurs. Great company with competitive rates: http://Www.zanderins.com
  11. I will talk to my spouse and make sure he/she has adequate term life insurance.
  12. I will begin talks with my children about making, spending, saving, and giving money.

Continue reading “12 Money Goals”

Win With Money? Have a Plan.

Ever wondered where all your money goes? Ever wondered why you end up with more month than money? It’s because you have no plan. A plan plain and simple is a budget. As much as some people hate the word it is a proven way to win with money. You tell every dollar where to go before the first dollar is spent. Do you want access to a great budget system with no cost? Go to http://www.everydollar.com All you need is an email address and a password any you are ready to go. The program already has categories available for you to use. You can add or delete categories as your needs change. Your budgets carries over to the next month automatically. You don’t have to reset when a new month begins. Remember: Those that fail to plan, plan to fail. Get yourself on a budget. Make your money behave.