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.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Create a Money System that Works for Your Income and Bills

There are many database systems and techniques available to help a person create a budget, track expenses, and manage money wisely. The problem is that most fear or fail to make the time to find one that works specifically for their income, their bills, and their needs versus their wants.

Needs should always be the first priority with money – not wants.

Many suffer ill effects on their health when they do not manage money wisely. Nausea, anxiety,fear, and headaches are only a few issues of not managing money wisely. Many times, the struggles produced by a repetitive stressful money situation occur because the income and budget are not being controlled. Instead, many try to force money and budgets to do what it cannot do. We must want to live within the income we have to control it to reap positive stress-free rewards.

Just as each monthly income is different to each individual, so must the bill system be managed differently for each person. Every person has to customize their own method. The internet is a useful tool and free library of resources to help everyone manage income, budgets, and expenses wisely. This requires creating new skills, knowledgeable understanding of money, and self-motivation to make it happen to have a stress-free money life.

Some people work for their money by working for an employer and paying taxes. Some people do not work and are disabled or retired to receive their income. Either/or; is fine as long as the money is being controlled and spent wisely to the income one has to live within.

These are a few examples of different monthly incomes.
·        Some people get income once a month.
·        Some people get income every two weeks.
·        Some people get incomes paid weekly.

These issues can present problems with due dates of bills or simply make it difficult to control and budget money to get from one income cycle to another. These issues of money stresses will increase with poor management skills when spending exceeds the income because of failure to budget.

If a person works; they pay taxes, medical insurance, 401K plans, and additional contributions that decreases their Net income to live on. When they work overtime, they will receive additional income and additional deductions that will be contributed to their bottom line of Net income.

Each year, many taxpayers file their taxes to get back some or all of their income with a refund. When they depart work, they can cash out their 401K through retirement or when laid off to get by to find another job. Their delayed gratification of monies earned, comes at a later time than those who receive only one monthly check of retirement or disability and the benefits they receive immediately.

If a person receives disability or retirement incomes, their process can be much simpler with their money; though most, will have less than if they were working. But they must manage all their benefits and count this as income that should be spent wisely. Many will receive benefits of EBT cards (free food), free medical care or low cost contribution medical costs, housing costs paid through HUD or other organizations and utilities can be paid for them through DHHR services.  These are their hidden and instant benefits, in addition to income; their rewards are instant and many do not calculate to budget these benefits wisely. Why? Many are not taught too or they simply fail to understand the importance of budgeting and balancing their budget of their income.

When we fail to budget the instant and delayed benefits, we do not control all of our money.

If a person gets $500 a month in EBT food benefits and does not manage their groceries monthly or weekly; they usually will suffer at the end of the month of not having enough food. They will rely on food banks, additional non-profit organizations, or other systems of borrowing and loaning to carry them through. This only entitles and enables their bad decisions of poor financial judgments. The help is temporary, but creates a bigger financial dependency problem. To teach is to decrease problems. To enable is to create and increase problems.

When taxpayers file their income taxes to get their refunds, do most have a plan for this money? Do most simply see it as “extra money?” Do many fail to realize that the refund amount is as additional Net income? The same of overtime wages. How many spend overtime wages before it gets here by shopping with credit cards and then will pay off the card or make additional payments without paying the balance off or simply just waiting until the overtime is on the net income before they spend it?

In America, there is no high class or low class. There should never be the word, poverty, in our financial communication language. For the benefits of those who work and those who do not work will balance out to the primary financial needs of survival – not one above the other. Many times, those who choose poverty or other substandard choices of living do so at freewill or suffer because of neglect to be taught money education that can help them to help self.

Poverty is truly an individual state of mind and personal choice. Those who rise above poverty, even if born into it; want a choice and option to not live like that anymore.

If you believe you are poor and live as you are poor, then you will be poor. If you believe you are rich and spend as if you are rich, you will be rich. But if you value life upon needs and not wants and live within your income to budget wisely; you soon realize how important quality of life is that money cannot buy nor achieve simply by having money.

The more one wastes money, the more one wants of money. The more one spends carelessly of money, the more one seeks to have more money to spend. Money that is not controlled is money wasted. This is not respecting money as a tool. This is not respecting self when wasting money by adding insult to injury of bad money habits that must be broken. So what should money do?

        1)        Provide Shelter – Housing within the limits of income.
        2)        Provide Food – Budget of groceries within the limits of income.
        3)        Provide Utilities – Budget within the limits of income.
        4)        Provide Transportation – Budget within the limits of income.
        5)        Provide Medical Care – Budget within the limits of income, when medically possibly.
        6)        Provide Basic Necessities of Survival.

Erica Sandberg, Go Banking Rates; teaches us how to create a bill budget and spending budget. One helpful tip is to share the budget and spending with family members to find new ways to cut expenses and save money on services used in the home. To brainstorm your family budget.

Everyone will need to customize a method that works for their individual income. By creating a bill budget management system one becomes focused on how money is spent, where it goes, and find ways to save or eliminate waste of money. 

Why do you think companies produce so many financial reports? To increase income opportunities and decrease expenses that produce waste of money.  

Even the most challenged of Americans growing up in substandard living, abusive, and neglectful home environments can learn how to grow and gain new skills to manage money. Even those who are over indulged to the privileges of money can learn how to respect money and gain new skills to use money as a tool and not as an object to produce false happiness.

It is easy to get caught up in sale ads, commercial marketing, and trends that captivate us to make us feel special or feel good by buying or owning something new and nice that makes others envy. That’s truth of human nature.

But when you sit and are faced looking at that bill statement each month; will you still feel as good when you pay the bill for what you buy? Will you still smile each time you see your Net income decrease on what you bought? When the item is paid for, will you still feel so great about it?

Companies want profit by their products that produce emotional highs. This strategy can be detrimental to a customer who spends beyond their income limits. Instead of companies, learning how to reach and target all customers based on their incomes; they consistently seek impulsive, emotional, and illogical individuals who buy before thinking. Not all consumers are like this nor companies; but most are.

·        Focus on your income before you buy or spend.
·        Look at all of the income benefits you receive now.
·        Look at all of the delayed benefits you will receive.
·        Create a plan of what you can afford to do now with the income you have.

  • Create a plan for all of your benefits.

·        Be honest about what you can and cannot afford to do.
·        Clean up the budget and bill system failures you have.
·        Never stop working to improve your money and to gain budget control.

No one can make you care about your money and force you to manage it wisely – but you. We can all use help and new skills to get the most of our income to increase our quality of life and decrease the stresses of our debts. The first step of walking is to move one leg slowly at a time. One will fall down but never gives up until they can walk. The first step of money control is to admit our failures and work to control our money.To move forward with positive changes so we don't fall down with our money again.

The success of managing money is a process that requires time, focus, patience, compromise, dedication, understanding, and new skills. Make it happen. Life is too short to stress over money when we do not have too. Before the internet, our learning and skills were limited; but not anymore.