It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Time for renewal. Time to start over. New Year New You!! How many people do you know who drink and eat excessively all through the holidays, then, guilt-racked by their overindulgence, come up with grand plans to turn things around completely starting January 1st. THIS will be the year I finally clean up my diet, pay off my debt and give up throwing tomato sauce at my friends through the window as I drive by they say.
(Ok, maybe that last one refers only to one specific person. A person whom I will never forgive!)
You don’t need me to tell you what happens next. After brown bagging their lunch for the first week back in the office, they splurge and blow all the money saved on lunch (and more) by drinking it away with dinner and Sunday Funday! over the first weekend.
People fail their resolutions. They fail them hardcore. Something like 97% of resolutions fail. They fail for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest is that people set these pie in the sky goals without any plan in place to make the goal happen.
This time of year almost everyone has money on their minds. Many of us have spent the past several weeks blowing out our budgets to buy our loved ones holiday gifts. I’ll save my ranting on that topic for another day. And, with the start of the new year, we have our resolutions to save more money or pay off debt or whatever else firmly in place.
It’s that time of year when we want to do all the right things like spend responsibly and save. That time before the drudgery of actually doing the right things takes hold and people give up on their resolutions. When they realize doing the right things is much more difficult than just talking about doing the right things. (more…)
This week I want to share a short, but vital, financial tip: It’s okay to let coupons expire.
The other day at the gym, I overheard someone sharing a story with her friend how she ran to Kohl’s that weekend because she had $30 of Kohl’s cash (free money!) that was going to expire. Letting this coupon expire would be like throwing $30 down the drain, so off shopping she went.
You don’t need me to tell you what happened next. (more…)
Not to brag (ok, to brag a little #humblebrag), but over the past two months Bank of America and Chase have each paid me $300, just for opening and funding new checking accounts, netting me a cool $600. Well, less taxes, and the annoying $6 worth of transfer fees Bank of America charged me (but more on that later.) How did I pull that off you might ask? Well, read on, my friend (don’t consider me a friend just yet? we can fix that!).
When it comes to practical wisdom, one of my favorite people to follow is Derek Sivers, a musician, blogger, programmer, best-selling author of Anything You Want, and the founder of CD Baby – in its heyday, the preeminent online store for independent musicians. What does Derek Sivers have to do with your finances, you ask? Just you wait…
The Dangerous Lure of Dramatic Success
Before we tie this to your financial life, allow me this quick tangent.
One of my favorite posts by Sivers is Kurt Vonnegut explains drama.I won’t rehash the entire post (honestly, just take a second to go read it and then come back. I’ll wait.) but here’s a quick summary:
Think of life like a graph with a continuum of joy and despair on one scale and time on the other. The stories we grow up with lead us to believe that life is a wildly dramatic affair, that, as time goes on, life is all over the place on the joy-despair scale. Think about the story arc of well-known favorites like Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast or almost any popular movie.
These stories are just a series of sensational twists of fate, one after another. Because we love these stories, we think these wildly dramatic oscillations between happiness and pain are normal, or, worse, to be expected. We can easily start to believe our lives should be like that. There should be exhilarating highs, crushing lows, and drama, drama, drama.
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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (and maybe even then) you’ve certainly been hearing a lot about Bitcoin. Recently, it seems like you hear about bitcoin reaching a new high every single day (it surged to above $9,000 shortly after drafting this post). This price surge leads to more publicity which leads to more interest which leads to more people throwing money into it, further raising prices and continuing the cycle upwards.
With all the noise around bitcoin, I get asked my thoughts about it all the time. Well here’s the short version of my opinion:
Bitcoin is a bubble that’s going to collapse.
Now, bubbles, by definition, are unpredictable so Bitcoin could easily double in price over the next year or two before it collapses. Feel free to throw this post in my face when a year from now Bitcoin has jumped from $9,000 to $15,000, but, eventually, when the crash has occurred, I’ll get the last laugh.
Obviously I don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, so nothing I say is guaranteed. This is simply my opinion, but here’s why I think the Bitcoin bubble is headed for an inevitable bursting. (more…)
As a financial planner, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about financial success, it’s this – No dream is beyond planning. With the right mindset and a realistic approach, building a business out of your passion or hobby is a great way to diversify and increase your income potential.
The opportunity for success in business is unprecedented in the online marketplace. A 2015 study by Pew Research Center showed that 79% of Americans now shop online, compared to the mere 22% who shopped online in 2000. As even more people become comfortable with making their purchases online, more retailers are adjusting their platforms to include an online presence.
The old business adage used to be “location, location”, but when it comes to being an online business, you could be located anywhere and still drum up as much (if not more) sales than a brick and mortar store in a prime shopping center downtown.
Getting Started With An Online Business
The process of writing a business plan allows you to literally invent a world from scratch, taking into consideration not just what gets done, but how everything in your business happens. (more…)
Salary Negotiation Doesn’t Need to Be Intimidating
I’m really excited about today’s post. We have Claudia Telles, founder of Trailblazing Business joining us with a short video with tips that can drastically change your financial life.
Getting a salary increase, or negotiating for a higher offer with a new company, can literally put hundreds of extra dollars into your pocket each month. Even a one-time salary bump can be huge for your entire financial life as that extra money each month compounds.
If you’re like me, though, you’ve never been told how to actually go about asking for more money – and maybe you’re a little intimidated by the sound of “salary negotiations” like I was.
Claudia to the Rescue
Fortunately, Claudia’s business is in career coaching and a big part of that is helping people get comfortable with negotiations of all kinds. It was certainly never a strength of mine, but she has helped me get comfortable with it and her advice has paid dividends for me personally – at one point her advice helped me get a $5,000 higher salary with a new employer with one quick conversation.
Check out the video above.
What do you think? What’s your biggest hang up when it comes to salary negotiation? Comment below, post to Facebook, or email email@example.com and let us know.
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When I tell people I wrote a book (shameless plug alert: The Modern Day Millionaire, available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your other favorite retailer – makes a fantastic gift!) they always ask me why I wrote it. Now, I love coaching people towards their financial goals, but plenty of others enjoy that and don’t go writing a book about it.
When I really reflect on it, I realize I wrote the book simply because I enjoy creating things. With my passion for financial planning, the book ended up being a personal finance primer. But, had my passion been interior design, I’m sure I would’ve written a book about that.
The point being, I didn’t write this book to build my brand or to position myself as an expert or any of that hullaboo. I wrote it because I wanted to create a book. I wrote the book that I wished I would’ve had in my early 20s. I wrote the book to help those people that want to get a handle on their finances but have no idea how to start or no idea what they’re doing. (more…)