#Goals

At any given moment you should have 50 goals.

Thats right:

Here’s why:

You’ve all heard the saying “shoot for the stars, if you fall you’ll land on a cloud.”

Well, if you only have one goal in your mind, you’ll likely get bored waiting for the joy of accomplishment to come. Likely you’ll get distracted and end up falling short of the goal. If you have fifty goals, from small to  very unlikely, even better if they’re written down, you’ll find that every time you reach one you have a reason to congratulate yourself.

Of the 50 goals you should have 5 that you focus on – on an ongoing basis. And they should have a concrete plan attached. A good way to think about these goals are in time frames with different categories.

1 year goal  (place to visit) (career) (personal life)

3 year goal (place to visit) (career) (personal life)

5 year goal  (place to visit) (career) (personal life)

10 year goal (place to visit) (career) (personal life)

30 year goal (place to visit) (career) (personal life)

Even if it seems like the goals you have are unrealistic or — out of your control (i.e get into relationship) write them down anyway. Having a clear vision of what you want is crucial to success in life.

Foundations For Financial Freedom

Many people are living pay check to pay check and can’t understand why. Maybe you would like to enjoy your money more. 

My first question is what are you trying to achieve by getting in control of your finances?

If you don’t see an actual value in gaining control over your personal finances you won’t succeed in doing so.

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The foundation of good personal finances is one, or hopefully, multiple goals.

What are your goals and do you have them written down? Goals can be small or large and once one goal has been completed there is room for more. Whether your goal is to become independent from your parents, travel more, or make a large purchase such as a house or car — get in the habit of creating and keeping track of your goals.

The next step is education.

We know that most schools and even colleges do not educate people on personal finances. It’s up to you to seek the knowledge. Information about personal finances can be found easily with Google search. Podcasts, Youtube, Blogs etc. all offer free and useful information.

 

An even better way to learn is to seek out and speak to the people who have reached the financial goals that you want for yourself. For example if you want to buy a home, speak to homeowners. Ask them not only how they achieved the goal but also what were the mistakes they made along the way. Knowing what they did wrong can help you know what to avoid.

 

BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET

BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET

BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET

BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET         BUDGET

 

A budget does not require limited spending! Budgeting is a tool that you can use to be more aware of your spending habits. Once you know where you spend most of your money you can plan accordingly and make better decisions about spending.

Many people don’t realize how many small purchases they make and how quickly they add up. Ever go to the 99-cent store and spend way more than anticipated after picking up things because it only cost a dollar? The same happens between paychecks as we make several small purchases that we don’t view as making a dent in our cash flow. Plan ahead. Why not allocate a specific amount for specific expenses?

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Another major component to achieve success at anything is accountability.

Maybe you’ve applied these tenets before and failed. Did you have a means of holding yourself accountable? There are several methods you can use to hold yourself accountable. One way is to find ways to make it harder to go against your plan. Another way is to set up reminders about what you planned to do. You can do this electronically using apps or personal alarms.

Another option is to pair with another person who is working towards better personal finances. Find someone you can trust and speak openly about the changes you need to make. Then check in with each other periodically to ensure that you’re following through.

 

 

Why You Can’t Pay Your Bills On Time – Some Tips on How You Can

Every one wants to get their finances in order. A great place to start is paying your bills on time. This is also a great way to build and increase your credit score. Here are a few tips to help you take charge of your finances and pay your bills on time.

 

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Set Calendar Reminders

Don’t be a dumb person with a smart-phone. Even the most basic cell phones have a calendar app. You can even set a repeat reminder. Make a monthly for each bill.  

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Choose Your Own Due Date 

This is an easy way to take control of your own finances.

Many people don’t realize it only takes a phone call to change the date of most payments. Do you g4et paid bi-weekly, the first and the fifteenth? Why not set the due date for your bills on two days that are most convenient for you?

Set up an Auto Pay

Again, one phone call can mean one less thing to keep track of once you set the payment to be automatically taken out each month. After auto-pay has been in effect a few months or years it’s easy to forget that it will come out– set a phone reminder to make sure you have funds in the accounts the bill will be taken from.

Pre-Pay

This is another option for the extra-responsible persom. As mentioned in my recent blog post What to do with your Tax Return paying off your bill a few months in advanced can be a great way to help you avoid thinking about a bill each month.

Tips for a Higher Credit Score

The rhetoric around credit scores is that they “indicate whether a person is financially responsible.” The truth is, a credit score is a way to punish people who are already financially disadvantaged by charging them more for things they already can’t afford.

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Still, your credit score WILL keep you from moving forward financially if you don’t find ways to increase and maintain it. So here are some quick tips on how I got mine to a reasonable number.

Pay your bills on time!!!

This is a no brainer. Make your bills your priority and allocate a specific amount of money from your income to be used for leisure spending.

Look out for my future post with some strategies that have helped me stay disciplined.

Stop Buying shit you can’t afford!!

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If you have to finance it, chances are you can’t afford it. You’re doing yourself a disservice and collecting debt. Of course some things are necessities and make sense to finance, but before you make a purchase and finance it, ask yourself “do i really need this”  and “will it take resources away from a bigger goal?”

Stop Maxing out Credit Cards!!

Credit cards make it easy to spend money you don’t actually have and be charged for it. I understand the temptation.

tom hiddleston cookie monster temptation
Credit cards are one of the easiest way to build credit, but also the easiest way to destroy it. Never spend more than a third of your credit limit if you don’t intend to pay the full balance. If the amount you owe on your credit card is more than the amount you have in savings, this is an issue.

Secret Saving Strategies

Save by a percentage

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You ever look at your paycheck and just think… “nah next week” ? We’ve all been there whether it be you got sick or took a few vacation days. What about when you get a lump sum of unexpected money — tax returns, lawsuit settlement or a family member blesses you. It’s easy to see a sum of money and want to spend it all. My advice is to come up with a number that you can use as a percent to be saved.

You might want to have two different numbers for different forms of income. For instance 15% of money from employment and 30% of unexpected cash flow. (Adjust up or down accordingly) Write down these numbers and make a commitment to save that percent each time. You’ll never be able to say you don’t have enough. If you have more bills than you do income, perhaps it’s time to level up OR maybe you can make adjustments in the way you spend your money

 

Have a Written or Electronic budget & Stick to it

Spend a month documenting ALL purchases. Aft the end of the month, come up with some categories for your spending. If you know that you need to begin saving money, look at some of the expenses you can avoid.

A budget can be created with pen and paper but why not create a google doc so that you can update your spending habits on the go from anywhere you are? There are also templates for budgets already available free in google sheets.

Once you have a written pledge for your amount to be saved, SET UP AUTOMATIC DEPOSITS. Ask your job for a direct deposit form and fill it out adding the amount you want to save each pay period.

Hide your money

Credit unions are a smaller and smarter option for a savings account. They usually do not charge any monthly fees and since they are smaller institutions, they have less locations and are thus harder to access. When it comes to saving this is an easy way to hide your money. With a Chase bank on every corner, accessing a savings account with them is much easier and may lead to impulse withdrawals. The easiest way to save money is to forget it exists. Stop hiding your money under the mattress

Breastfeeding is For Everyone — How YOU can be successful too

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I am a mother of three children under three have been trained and previously worked as a Lactation Counselor both privately and in a hospital setting. Perhaps this is your first child or you’ve had children in the past and were unsuccessful with breastfeeding. Here are some tips that I have learned over the past few years in my work and personal experience.

Make a Decision to Breastfeed & Make It your Only Option

This is an important step in achieving any goal. However, this is even more important when deciding to BF because society is not always supportive and formula companies are hell bent on getting you to stop so that they can make money when you give up.

Before you give birth declare your decision to yourself and to the people closest to you. If formula is sent to you in the mail– trash it. This way you eliminate the back up plan.

Feed on Demand

In the past some health care providers have asked mothers to time feedings or the time in between. By saying for instance — “feed the baby every 2 hours 15 minutes on each breast. This advice is outdated and will lead to a miserable baby.

The best time to feed a baby is when they are hungry. Feeding what seems like four times in a row is perfectly normal for newborns. Sleeping for four to five hours is also normal.

Each baby is different and weight gain is the best way to know if they are “getting enough.”

Be Confident

YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH! YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH! YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH!

It is very rare that a mother feeding on demand will have a milk supply that is too low. These cases often have to do with the baby not latching onto the breast correctly. A lactation consultant should be able to assist.

Seek Support

Your significant other, if present, family if near and a professional lactation expert (often available in the hospital) can all be sources of support. It is important that  you are open and honest with these people and others around  you to know that they are your sources of support.

Have a conversation with those closest to you about why you are choosing to breastfeed, how it benefits YOU and the baby and specific ways they can help (one way is to refrain from saying anything negative).

Support for new mothers is something that often goes overlooked. When people call or stop by, they often ask about the baby first if they even ask about you at all. When it comes to breastfeeding — I believe support is a great help.

Birth is a HUGE transition for mom and for the entire family. Having honest conversations about how you’re feeling and where you need help is crucial to your continued BF’ing

Spend the First 4 to 6 Weeks Pacifier and Bottle Free

Some babies become confused when switching from a plastic to human nipples. Remember that babies learn from instinct as their sight and other senses are still being developed. Food is a basic and urgent need and they develop a strong liking for which ever feeling is associated with food.

After spending many months in your uterus, babies are very familiar with you, your smell, voice, heartbeat etc. Most babies are able to latch (attach to your breast) right away. When you introduce the plastic nipple they may sometimes begin to prefer it.

Many hospitals offer pacifier and bottles within the first few hours of life– sometimes without asking. Make it clear to them that you intend to breastfeed and would like your baby to be pacifier free. Standing up for the needs of your child will be a muscle you will have to work out very often– this is a great place to start.

Secrets to keeping your credit card bill low

Credit cards are one of the easiest ways to build credit if you know what you’re doing. Did you know that in order to maintain a higher credit score you should only use one third of your maximum spending limit? Here are some ways to stay disciplined and keep your balance low Make your credit […]

Credit cards are one of the easiest ways to build credit if you know what you’re doing. Did you know that in order to maintain a higher credit score you should only use one third of your maximum spending limit? Here are some ways to stay disciplined and keep your balance low

Make your credit card harder to access.

This might include hiding the physical cards and getting rid of your easiest ways to access the card number. Samsung Pay, Apple Watches and other apps make it ridiculously easy to spend money you don’t actually have because you don’t need the physical card. Do you also have the card information saved on Amazon? I would recommend deleting these sorts of apps and only using the card for emergencies.

Plan ahead for credit card use.

“When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

If you’re serious about building your credit, credit cards should not be used for random items or emergencies. To really make ‘flight mile’ or ‘cash back’ card work for you, choose a high or moderately priced bill to pay every month on your credit card. Then use your checking account to pay the bill off right away. This method will show the credit bureau that you are responsible and will likely get you better credit options in the future.

Always pay more than the minimum balance.

If you’re not paying more than the minimum balance then:

Here’s why:

When you run your credit card bill up thousands of dollars and the company only asks you to pay 25 to 35 dollars a month, it seems like a great deal. Over time however you are giving away much more money to the credit company than you actually borrowed.

For example if you carry $1100.00 on a credit card that charges you 25.40% interest each. Your amount due may only be $25.00 a month but you are also adding $23.00 to your debt each month. By the end of the year you have given your credit card company $276.00 of your hard earned money.