Posts

You Know What Time It Is

Well, we crossed that invisible line this week. That line that divides The Holidays from The Rest of the Year. November begins the season of spending. We have Thanksgiving which means, perhaps, travel for us and our family or inbound travelers staying with us. What it means regardless is more money spent on these seasonal things like trips and extra food and more wine. That is quickly followed by the gift-giving season. It all amounts to budget-busters unless you stop, take a breath, and make a plan.

Here is your quick and easy template to stay on top of your spending so that you enter 2017 large and in-charge of your checkbook!

 

Why Am I Spending? Comments Last Year I Spent This Year I Plan to Spend
Holiday Travel      
Extra Meals      
Thanksgiving Dinner      
Holiday Cards (and postage)      
Gifts: (list each person)      
       
       
       
   Total      

 

Fill this out (excel would be best so that it can do the math for you) and consider what you did last year, how much that cost, and what you are planning for this year.

Consider the enjoyment that you get from this. If you love it and consider it priceless, then you are doing the right thing to allocate funds toward it. If you are anything less than ecstatic, think about what you could do instead. If you hate traveling to a relative’s house, could you have them come to you instead? Could you put in a plan to alternate going forward?

Gifts are important so I encourage you to be mindful about who, what, and how much. Can you give something that is very thoughtful, very personal, and inexpensive? What talents do you have that others would love to experience? Yes, this takes time to think and plan and create AND that’s why you are going through this exercise now….

You are in charge of your wallet, your plans, your gift-giving, and your holiday experience. Start now and make sure that you can afford the plan, that the plan lines up with what is truly important for you to experience this holiday season, and that you come out the other side without a big, fat credit card bill!

To your financial (and holiday) success,

Tana

Is Your Network Really Your Net Worth?

 

Have you ever met someone who had a base of followers on social media that made you wish you could buy their secret sauce, and learn how you too could be an Online Superstar?

Well, I have – on more times than I can count. But, one person in particular struck me as a little odd. She had a lot of followers, shares and likes, but she couldn’t keep her customers long enough to sustain her business.

How was that possible I thought? It was intriguing. I asked her why this was a challenge. Her response: “I’m really good at engaging people online, but once I convert them to a customer (she had a brick and mortar store front), it’s not easy to keep them engaged into coming back into the store.”

Huh? That was mind boggling to me! How could someone who had gained all of this popularity on social media and who is able to get her fans and followers into her store, not be able to convert them over as long time customers?

That’s when I had my AHA moment! People who are successful in business typically are in business because their passion speaks louder than anything else. Often times, passion outweighs our common sense and our ability to think outside of our own realm.

This woman’s gift was her ability to interact and engage online and actually bring people into her store locally. But, she only had one store and her fans and followers were worldwide. She was missing out on a huge population of the world just by being a single entity and it was indeed impacting her net worth. Her network that consisted of tens of thousands people did not add up to sales in business.

The solution was easy: She needed to go to where her audience was. So she turned that brick and mortar store into an online store, expanded her sales beyond her local area, and began marketing to the world!

What about you? Does your network measure up to your net worth? Are you looking everywhere accept the obvious to have your network and net worth be in sync?

Remember, your network can be very telling and can also leave you with a lot of questions. Now, it’s your job to go out and seek the answers.

Graduating to…

For many, May is the season of graduations. It’s so busy, so exciting and sad and involved. There are activities and tasks and parties. There are pictures and gowns and diplomas. It is a whirlwind of action and everybody talks about “graduating from” – from high school, from college, from grad school. It’s funny that we don’t talk about what people are graduating “to” – to the next level in school, to a job, to “real life.” It’s there in the background, but at graduation time, we are looking backward and not forward.

So what is your graduate graduating to this year? Is he graduating to a new level of responsibility with his money? Is she graduating from being dependent to being independent financially? It’s helpful to take this time of year and see how you can help your kids graduate to a new financial level.

For grade school kids, perhaps you set up a weekly allowance and tell them that’s all they get – treats, activities, things that they want all must come from that one pot. It will be interesting to see how each child manages their pot of money. The older they are, they more than should be responsible for.

For middle school kids, perhaps they need to earn their pot of money – bigger jobs equal bigger pay. Initiative and creativity result in bigger payouts. This is a time when kids can be a babysitter, a pet sitter, or provide some basic yard work around the neighborhood. What is the rule about giving, saving, and spending when they earn their own money?

For high school kids, it is really time for a job. For anyone under 16, those jobs need to be local but for those over 16, hit the fast food places and find a way to make some money. What have you discussed about saving some of those earnings for college? Now is the time to set an expectation.

For college kids, it is really the time to talk about managing money, having a spending plan, and setting up a savings strategy. These folks ought to be working or at least interning in their field to start getting ready to launch into financial independence. It is important for them to start getting in tune with how much “bills” cost – cell phone, car insurance, health insurance, etc. These not-very-fun purchases will soon be part of their everyday lives – are they getting ready?

Amid all of the excitement about graduating from, take a little time to focus your kids on what they are graduating to with this new school year. Summer is a slower time for most so seize this time and start focusing them on graduating to good money habits.

To your financial success!

2016 – The Year of …

What? What will this year be for you? It is a new year, filled with promise and anything is possible. Oh, the things that we can do with a whole year ahead of us! The goals we can achieve; the adventures we can have! Whether it is making new friends or finding new passions or reaching new heights, anything can happen, but the only things that will happen are those that we make happen. So what is important for you to make happen with your money this year? If we really want to control our destiny and make this year count, we have to have the vision to see where we want to go, the focus to stay on task, the commitment and dedication to take action consistently, and the obstinance to push through barriers and obstacles. So first and foremost, what is your most important financial vision for 2016?

Just one thing – your #1 most important financial priority for the coming year is:

____________________________________________________________________________________

For example, it may be to increase revenue in your business by x% or to pay off a specific debt or to save $x. It may be to redo your will and other legal documents or increase your life insurance. Consider what 1 thing that you could achieve that would make you feel financially fantastic. Pick that as your one area of focus. It may be something you can achieve within a week or 2 or it may take you an entire year. Importance is not measured by how hard or easy it will be to achieve but rather by how much of a weight it is on you to have it hanging over your head or how great it would make you feel to accomplish it.

I have a format that I use for helping my readers set and achieve financial goals that is very focused and specific so I have provided that format below for your use. Since Working On Your Now is all about balanced living and a whole life approach, I set this up for all of those WOYN areas of your life.

Simply drop in your current situation, what you want to be different in 1-3 months, 3 specific actions that you can take to create that change, and then consider what obstacles are likely to get in your way. The more that you can plan for overcoming those obstacles before they come up, the better chance you have of knocking them flat when they rear their ugly heads.

Situation as it is today What I want to  be different in 1-3 months 3 Actions I can take to create this change What obstacles will I face to making this change?
Personal Growth

 

1.

2.

3,

Career

 

1.

2.

3,

Finance

 

1.

2.

3,

Spirituality

 

1.

2.

3,

Health & Wellness

 

1.

2.

3,

 

I set this to measure for 3 months to narrow the time-frame so adjust your target accordingly. The best way to achieve big goals is to break them up into smaller goals. If it works better for you to focus on a month or even a week, adjust to what will work for you.

I hope that you will take a few minutes to think about each of these areas of your life and consider what would be the most impactful thing that you could do in each area that would make all the difference in your 2016. Only you can envision your best year, focus on consistent action to make it happen and blow through obstacles. 2016 – The Year of…..

To your most successful year yet!