Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Ideas for Home Financial Gain

How many have included home financial goals in their New Year’s Resolution for 2016? If you are like most, it’s more about healthy living, exercising, and increasing quality of life resolutions than money issues. Consider new goals and achievable plans for your New Year’s resolutions with your home finances. Money deserves our attention because it is the tool that affects every aspect of our life. So be sure to reminisce your money mistakes and anticipate the positive changes you can make in the New Year to help your home financial situation.  
I have enjoyed taking a holiday break from my blog but as the New Year reminds ticks closer, I am reminded to get back at it. My school studies and responsibilities to share quality information improves focus that helps me achieve my goals and allows an opportunity to share what I learn along the way.
So let’s ring in the New Year of financial income gain with these tips. Some I have personally used and others I will implement myself in 2016. Hope you find this information useful, practical, and applicable to help increase your home financial income too.
Consider saving your income tax refund to compensate your monthly income through the year. For instance, most do file taxes. Many get back income refunds and spend it so fast, they have no idea where it goes.
Example: $1200 refund money. Put $1200 in a checking account. Withdraw $100 a month to add to your regular income. If we were not paying taxes, we’d have this income in our NET income. This would make it easier if we didn’t have to wait all year to get it. But if you get income tax refund, save it to use through the year. This could be used for entertainment, clothing, groceries, or emergencies.
I know many anticipate their income tax refund to spend it without planning. However, by planning to use income tax refunds wisely, there will be less chance for wasting it. This can greatly add supplement income through the year. By saving the income tax refund to use through the year, it will help balance the feast and famine that most working class Americans struggle with through the year. In the summer months, utilities costs go down. They increase in winter. In having a small nest egg, as income tax refund, this can go a long way to having extra funds monthly through the year.
Consider saving $10-20 a month or a larger amount if you can afford. It make sound like a large sum of money for those who do not have excess funds. However, we all have excess funds if we regulate, monitor, and focus control on our “controllable” bills. Electricity, cell phone, landline, satellite/cable and utility costs are controllable bills that require monitoring of use to maximize savings.
Do you need those 250 television channels now as you once did? Do you need unlimited global call or text plans as you once did? Do you really need to have all those extra lights on your home of room unoccupied?  What about water use? Do you turn on the water wide open or do you decrease the water stream for only what you need? There are ways to decrease expenses. But it takes awareness, want too and dedication.
Electric companies try to teach us to unplug items we do not use frequently. Leaving items plugged in that are not used regularly does contribute to the light bill. However, many things of controlling and monitoring use of bills as this does require dedication of wanting to lower expenses. The lower the expenses are; the more increase of profits one can achieve.
In business, same period last year or same period last month or time slots are given for exact amounts of previous operation expenses. These totals are usually figured into this year’s data of operational expenses to customize a budget projection of what costs will increase and how much revenue or gain maybe lost, due to rising costs of operation.
A home budget is no different. Most bills have cycle dates of use on it. Utility and phone bills will usually have a same period last month or last year on it. Weather, temperature, medical issues, unforeseen emergencies, and life circumstances can produce more expenses this year than last year. However, in monitoring what was used to back then to how services are being used in your home now will help you learn where and how you can decrease operational expenses. If you would do this for your employer, why not implement this into your home budget? It is never enough to just pay a bill. Home bills should be monitored and regulated in responsible use as your employer expects from you. It’s good financial sense. It is easier than you think once you implement positive financial changes in your home. The rewards of trying are worth it.
Now let’s look at credit ratings as a financial New Year’s resolutions. Many have credit issues or do not even know what their credit score is. Credit is the system of commerce in our great democracy of America. It is not a fair and equal system. This system does not start everyone out on the same scoring number. Credit score numbers reflect how well your ability is to problem solve, manage your personal finances, and to make wise money decisions to obtain, receive, and maintain credit. This score is similar scoring system to a report card you received in college or high school. The more you apply yourself to achieve higher grades and do the academic work required, the higher your grade. The more you learn of how to help your unique credit score, the more you can change to apply and use it to your benefit. By fighting and being bitter or resentful to credit score system does nothing productive. So try new ways to approach old problems. With learning and patience, you can achieve the credit score you want in the ways you can afford.
Homes, vehicles, personal loans, and many mostly require credit to make large or personal purchases. This requires skills to build knowledge of how to use the system to benefit you. It’s not a choice of chance.
Credit scores require making a committed choice to learn. Creating a personal plan to work for your finances. There are many ways you can play the system to make it work for your situation. No matter how horrible your credit score is or if you have no credit; you can rebuild. But you must be willing to learn, make a plan, and achieve these goals to succeed increasing your credit scores.
For instance, most usually buy gasoline, groceries, and household cleaning supplies and necessities monthly. Most do have a checking account. Regardless of what your credit score is, you can be on your way to achieving a better credit score. How?
Apply for a credit card. Even if you must apply for a secured credit card, it’s worth it to invest money to build/rebuild your credit score. If you do as you should to responsibly manage credit, the secured credit card will go to unsecured and you will get your deposit back increasing your limit and opening you to new lower APR opportunities and larger credit lines.
The items you purchase regularly such as gasoline, groceries, and household cleaning supplies can be budgeted and used only for this credit card. If the balance of total credit on the credit card is: $150. You will not want to exceed 20% of the $150 balance.  You would spend no more than $30 on a month on this credit card. You’d pay the balance off each month before the due date. This immediately increases your credit score. It’s a new account. It would be a responsible account staying below 20% of the total account balance.  It’s a financial step in the right direction. Credit scores are like a ladder that you can never give up on trying to climb and master. Credit score numbers are more important than your GPA or report cards of school. It can make or break your financial opportunities and your quality of life.
It will take time to build your score where you want it to be. It didn’t get broke overnight. It will take time to fix it. But if you used a few accounts to do this, you’ll build your credit up in no time using funds you already have. You will be using your budgeted monthly amounts differently to rebuild or establish credit. There would be no interest charges because your balance should be paid off every month.
It may appear aggravating to open a credit card to pay that bill instead of using debit or cash for your monthly expenses. But it depends on how serious you want to be in rebuilding or stabling credit. This system works. You can only try it to believe it. Most secured and non-secured cards offer free credit tracking report cards so you can monitor you progress and see areas where you can improve on. It’s an investment.
Some credit cards will charge small monthly fees or annual credit fees. View the fees as a small investment to pay for a larger goal to be achieved. You can do more on your own of learning and applying than paying some else to do what you can do on your own.
We pay into a 401K waiting until retirement to cash out. What’s the difference? Checking accounts can charge fees if the balance falls below their margin too. So we spend more toward financial investments than we realize. Why not invest in rebuilding or establishing credit too?
Looking for new ways to spend money differently can improve and achieve larger goals with greater returns of profits. The word, investment; is the only way to view money to properly budget, allocate, and spend money wisely and responsibly.  
There are many more financial tips I will share in my blog as the New Year progresses.
Finances are a stressful situation in all occupations. In the retail industry, you are dealing with everyone’s money to create responsible, mature, and honest integrity. In the medical industry; this is done through medical coding and billing. In filing our taxes, we are helping our America to financially function and operate. Granted, politics can ruin money in their methods of how they spend our money. But the truth is, do not worry about the money of others. Do the job you have with all money and be responsible with money at work and at home. If your finances are not balancing responsibly at work and at home, it’s time to analyze and find out why. The problem of money will not go away with negligence. It will only decrease. The only way to grow money opportunities is to be aware to them, learn about them, and apply new and healthier ways of financial control and wise spending habits.
There is always room for financial improvement in business and even more in personal finances. Many can operate a profitable company while their personal credit rating is down the toilet. Why is that? Home finances do require a system of checks and balance and knowledge; as much as, our occupations ever do.
Money can only work for you as a tool in personal finance as you are willing to learn the many roles it can take on to grow and work for you.
Let’s use more patience, less impulse, and work to create financial plans to achieve our financial goals in 2016. If individuals in this country can retire on minimal funds and live comfortably in a quality life of limited budgets than you better believe the rest of us can. No more money excuses in 2016. Let’s turn America finances around by beginning in our homes. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Keep It Simple Money Plan

How many feel emotionally and financially overwhelmed through the holidays because of budgets? How many feel the strain and drain after the holidays? How many financially plan and set a goal to keep holiday spending simple? How many wished they had when the debt of bill statement come in?

The internet allows us to learn about money, income, bills, finances, and how to rebuild or obtain credit. Creditable websites teach us how to manage our finances. New skills can teach new ways to do old things. Many people never look at their old way of doing things with their money. Many simply get comfortable with personal income and expenses and the bills paid to never evaluate nor set plans with personal money.

We can manage finances at work. We can manage finances by telling our kids, family members, or others how to spend or budget their money. But most of us, teach something that we do not live our self.

Football has a plan of action before the players ever hit the field of defensive and offensive plays they will make to attempt to a win a game. Musicians, pros or novices; have a plan to create the sound they want to share with others. Students have a plan of curriculum to follow and standards to meet in order to graduate successfully. Businesses function every day with a plan of action daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.

Why do we allow and watch other’s money plans and do nothing to have a plan of our income and budget finances?

The simplest plan to begin money control is to put the dollar and cents on paper of income and bills with necessities of gas, groceries, household supplies, and entertainment costs.

By writing or typing, income and budget on paper; a person is making time to stop and think of what they spend, before they spend it. By having a consistent plan of income and expense, we can see our faults. We can learn to improve those financial faults. We can create U-turns with our money by due processes of an action plan.

I know this will seem like outdated information. But there are many who do not write down nor keep a paper trail of income received and income spent. They merely estimate, without thinking ahead. If they make it to paycheck to paycheck, they feel accomplished. That’s not the healthy way to manage money.

They spend. They borrow from family or friends. They spend. Government agencies or nonprofit organizations pay their bills for utilities, housing, and other monthly necessities when they fail to manage their money.

This is not looking down at nor saying anything bad about those who do have true unpreventable emergencies. These agencies are there to help. But for each person they help that does not manage their financially wisely, they are using resources to help those who truly need it. This is simply discussing the income and budgets of those who fail to control their expenses.

A money action plan can turn our money situations around. How? Because we then are forced to face the truth of how we spend our money. We are faced to face the truth of our income and the expenses we splurge on.

Each time, income is received; it should have a plan on paper before the first penny is spent. Each bill should be the first priority to pay and not the last. Each entertainment should be on hold or delayed until the bills are paid. Lifestyle should be adjusted to the limits of the income received.  

For decades, Americans have been filing bankruptcy as the only means of financial escape and relief to debts created that are larger than their incomes can pay. Not all cases of bankruptcy are failures to budget with lay-offs or natural disasters; but many are. Vehicle repossessions and foreclosures usually occur due to financial neglect of income and expenses. This is financial truths that paper trails reveal.

By creating a plan of action on paper for money, we see the truth of who we are and how we spend our money. It is easy to sign on a contract to state we will pay the debt when the monthly payment is what we can afford. However, by failing to have a plan to pay this debt off earlier; we simply get stuck with a bill that evolves to a situation that we cannot nor will be able to afford. Why? It’s simple. 

A contract is the beginning of something. The end pay date will be the end of this debt when all payments are made. However, if most would calculate the end of payment, as scheduled; they will realize the price they are paying for the credit is not worth the value of the item they are financing.

The majority of the richest class of Americans do keep America going. This is the truth of our democracy. It is their investments and wise financial plans that keep our country in operation. The working class of Americans have jobs because of the efforts, finances, labors, and plans of those who created financial actions with their incomes and in their budget plans to follow them to gain the maximum benefits.

Most of us, cannot compete financially with the incomes of others nor should we. We must plan and manage within our incomes to set a plan that works for our situation.

If we want to gain credit with lower finance rates, a plan must be created to make this happen. If we want to purchase a home, a plan must be created to afford a home on the income we have now and have a plan to pay it off earlier than the due date. If we want to purchase a vehicle, we must have a plan when signing the contract to pay the loan off before the final payment due date.

One should view paying credit off as a financially mature challenge. An accomplishment to achieve to pay it off earlier. A goal to reach that will pay the debt off earlier with the least of amount spent toward financing.

Many Americans receive income tax refunds. However, many Americans do not have a plan for this money they receive. Do they save their income tax refund to divide the amount by 12 to supplement their income as spending money through the upcoming year? Do they use this money to pay extra principle toward their mortgage or vehicle contracts? How can a money plan for income tax refund help a person achieve a greater reward of their money?

Example: $2400 income tax refund. $1200 in savings account. $1200 in checking to add an additional $100 month income to the next 12 months until filling income tax again. Next year, when filing; do the same thing. Use the $2400 to pay on mortgage or vehicle loans. Do not use income tax refund money as spending money. Focus on the debt that needs paid first. Bills first. Necessities for home living. Then, money that is left is to be spent outside the home in entertainment and luxuries.

Most spend overtime wages and income tax refunds as free or extra money. This is not free nor extra money. Many hours and government obligations make these monies happen because of the work you do. Don’t you want your money and income and your labors to do more financially for you? You control this. Don’t you want a larger plan of action with your money? Learn to let your money work harder for you by creating and following a plan that makes good personal cents to create financial business sense for your income in your home.

There is not much difference of plans in business finances and personal finances. You have to be willing. You have to be dedicated. You have to be persistent in creating a plan and following a plan. Never being afraid to learn a new plan. Never become so stressed about income and money that you cannot find a solution or learn a new way to solve income problems.

The greatest hidden asset about money is that if you control money, plan money, and spend money with a course of action; you’ll realize just how repairable, invest-able, and stress-free money can be when doing the right thing – the first time – with money.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Remove the Emotional Ball and Chain from Money

Many times, we focus on paying the bills or the bills not paid that we overlook the fact; that we create the debt and the bills we are in. We get into this stale cycle of not being able to swim around in the financial mess of our creations. Many want a quick fix to money problems without realizing the damage has been years in the making. It takes time to fix and swim above money problems. But it is a goal worth pursuing.

There will be times situations arise as in healthcare expenses and unexpected medical bills or unexpected life emergencies that we are not financially prepared for. Many live in the blink of an eye about money and finances versus using 20/20 vision of hindsight to help guide the how and where money is spent today.

Many times, in life; we never get a second chance to correct our mistakes when we hurt others or are hurt by others. We simply accept come what may. Many quit talking. Many lose trust. Many fear the repercussions of apology or facing their inabilities to change their past mistakes. Many will never make amends for the wrong they do. It’s a sad truth of human nature and about relationships of marriage, parenting, partners, families, and friends.

But with money and finances, we do have control to make amends. We do have an effective 20/20 hindsight that we can look back upon to do the right things with our money now. No pride to feel trampled upon. No personal shame of admitting wrong. Just a silent transition to be made to turn bad money mistakes around.

Crimes of finances and money will be harder to turn around with a conviction record but will not be impossible to do, if a person chooses to make restitution and a lifestyle change that amends the damage done.

For some people, once trust is broken; you will never gain it back, no matter how many positive changes and exceptional honest results you create. This is okay too. For their opinion is their right to choose who to trust and who not to trust; just as you trust who you want too as well. It’s not personal. It’s a financial and logical evaluation of people that require no emotions. If you were in their situation, would you trust you when you fouled up in the criminal system? It’s not personal. Some are truly less forgiving and less trusting because of the hurt they endured because of the broken loyalty or broken trust they have survived.

For many, they focus on the emotional aspects and they forget to use their logical and rational brain processes to ease their emotional burdens. Our heart gives us emotions to feel life and enjoy life. Our brain gives us the tools we need rationally, logically, and maturely to handle and cope healthy through the bad stuff.

An addict of gambling thrives on the thrill on the chase to beat the game. To beat the video lottery machine. To compete with self and to compete with inanimate objects. When a lottery win occurs or a machine locks up to spew out large sums of cash, the gambler is consumed in reaching this high over and over again. The financial detriment that gambling addictions will do is a selfish and destructive high that not only hurts the gambler and the gambler’s finance but hurts and harms others around them. This is time wasted that cannot be replaced. This is money wasted and mostly dishonestly used to a compulsive and addicted gambler.

A gambler addict will justify their funds for gambling as entertainment or to down time or as relaxing. It could not be further from the truth. For when something is of a healthy entertainment or mature relaxing; it will produce a healthy environment for all to enjoy. Mature entertainment will be financially budgeted to be afforded when it is wholesome and honest fun.

So what can a person afford to do with money within a budget? How can a person know if they can afford to buy a large expense or to absorb in an entertaining hobby? How will a hobby or entertainment costs be a wise emotional and logical choice? Are there ways to distinguish healthy from unhealthy things we do with money?

·       Love and belonging. If you have trouble creating connections and meaningful relationships, you may buy things to meet the need of "love.”
·       Play and fun. If you are a workaholic, spending can become a substitution for fun and play in your life. You may meet this need with a fun purchase or expensive vacation instead of creating a more balanced life.
·       Personal power. Is your spending always someone else’s fault? You had to because...? If you feel like your life is out of your control, spending can create a false sense of control or power at the time.  You may also use it to unconsciously get back at someone or prove something.
·       Freedom. Do you feel trapped by life circumstances, an unsatisfying job or unhappy relationship? Spending can increase in this situation because it feels like an area where you can exercise choice. If you feel trapped, you may overspend.
·       Sadness. People experiencing sadness spend 30 percent more than people in other chronic emotional states. Spending can feel like a way to fill the emptiness that sadness brings.

When spending money is the source of pain creating conflicts; is this the fault of money or the people who have an inability to discuss money rationally and logically? Could it be that many emotionally spout off in hurtful words because they fail to see the bigger picture of responsibility and accountability?
Telling someone, no, about money and purchases can be emotionally hard. But when discussing the no of what cannot be afforded, use rational illustrations of finances and the budget to prove facts of reason versus emotional responses to help others understand why you must say no; even though; emotionally, you want to say yes. Money can be controlled if you choose to control it.

Carl Richards teaches us a new way to view the things we think we can afford in Controlling Your Emotions When Deciding What’s Affordable. She took the time to work through the trade-offs. She understood that by saying “no” to the newcar, she got to say a much bigger “yes” to the goals she built into her budget.It’s only then that we can know whether we can really afford something afterall.

Our income and budgets must have goals. We must have plans to account for every penny and dollar we have in income and what we spend in bills and home budgets. We must be able to say this is a priority or this is a luxury. We must set short-term and long-term goals.

We must cling to the power of control we have over money when we do the right things with our income and budgets. We must not get caught up in the emotional pity or emotional grief or emotional sadness that occurs when we deny our self-something we want or what others want from our money.

The high emotions of spending money can produce euphoria, immediate gratification, increase self-esteem, and make us feel invisible, or superior to others; because of the money we have to spend.

However, just as addict will float high and suffer deep lows of withdrawal or crashes; we can too - when we emotionally attach the value of self to money.

We eat vegetables or take vitamins to keep our bodies healthy. We must keep our emotions and brains healthy by focusing on the bigger picture of our income and budgets by balancing our emotional wants with our essential needs. This balance is created by an individual choice and individual plan to control money before losing control to wants.

With the holiday season of shopping going on all around us, we all seek to gift our loved ones the most expensive or trendiest gift on the market. We want to be able to boast of things we obtain. But can we afford it?

When the bill rolls in to pay for this item will we still smile and feel that good to pay it? When we are still paying on that item 6 months to a year from now; will we still appreciate the value that came from a few seconds of high?

Many spend without giving thought of what they can afford in the short-term and long-term of their money. The payments maybe affordable but when the final payment is paid; will the item be worth it for the hundred or thousand dollars of interest paid on it?

Delayed gratification of money is the best reward to seek in spending and controlling money. Why? Because delayed gratification teaches one to be patient, tolerant, compromise, invest, save, and to reap a larger reward that lasts years longer than seconds of quick high feels resulting in a crash and burn that occurs when emotionally spending money.

Many will disagree I am sure. Many will read between the lines choosing their interpretation. This is okay. As long as you feel in control of your money and that you are doing all you can to do the right things with your money; then there is no debate.

But if you have a dead weight and feel ill toward your income and your budget; then perhaps, learning new skills and new ways to manage old business with a hindsight of 20/20 vision of your finances could help you a lot in your emotional and financial life.

Money is not the tool that buys our happiness. Money is the security that keeps us in our home. Money is the electricity that keeps our lights on. Money is the hygiene that keeps our water flowing to keep us clean. Money is not supposed to be the tears we cry or heartache we feel because we wanted to buy something that we could not afford.

Money is a tool and an object as a hammer is. What we build or destroy with our money and our finances will be the consequences of the actions we chose to do with our money.