Category Archives: Financially Secure

Accept That You’re Different!

We’ve taken some time to see where our money has been going. Possibly even beginning to wonder why we have some of the credit cards and loans that we have too, now that we’ve had a chance to look at our spending. This can be expected once we’ve had the opportunity to lay everything all out in front of ourselves and look at it from a totally different perspective.

As we have been discussing, if we were to consider why we were purchasing some of those items at that very time in the first place it made perfect sense right then. Now things most likely seem totally different.

We talked a little about how we’re feeling when we go shopping – the distractions around us, are we hungry, can we just say no to what looks like a good deal at the moment.

All these types of things impact our thought process as we’re out on a mission to buy.

Then we also discussed how in today’s society, and all around in our environment, we’re being bombarded with ways to put ourselves further and further in debt. And then made to feel that this is alright to do!

Let’s look at this for a moment.

For one thing, when we’re not in a position to be making our best decisions for ourselves or our family then we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be influences by anyone trying to get us to do more. This includes just going grocery shopping when we’re hungry!

Next, it’s important to remember that as a person we’re not the same as that person who’s standing next to us, be it in line to get a hamburger at whatever fast food joint we may go to, or wherever we may work. As individuals, everything about us is different.

So, when we’re given all types of statistic as to how people do better consolidating their credit cards into a loan, or how one medication works better for any specific illness, or even that getting a secondary education will put people in a better position financially, it’s important to remember that as statistics these numbers have only an average that is being referred to.

One thing to realize about considering average numbers is that any of the numbers on the extreme ends weren’t considered, and there are always numbers on the extreme ends. Then depending on where those cut offs were there are always numbers below the average as well as any above. Also, it’s important to remember that these numbers are referring to people and how they live. As people they’re more than numbers too!

If you want to compare yourself to the others that are part of the statistics, that’s fine. Just remember that we weren’t part of the study they did to come up with the numbers for the statistic, so we can’t truly say how we rate in comparison to all the others.

In addition, the statistic was done to provide an overall idea of whatever that number was about. It wasn’t provided to compare individuals against the whole.

Finally, as an individual, we are completely different than the whole so there is no comparison!

What I’m trying to do here is to make certain that as we look through our finances, we do this keeping in mind that what we see is our own individual information and as such it’s specific to ourselves. To resolve any issues or concerns we may have we must also approach them specific to our own circumstances and not be comparing to others who will be trying something different to fit their situation.

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

Do You Know Where Your Money Is?

Today we’re raised in an environment that tells us it’s all right to put ourselves in debt and to rely on credit cards and loans from others. This type of life style is encouraged everywhere we go and in all manners possible. You see it through advertising on television, the radio, on the computer, in our schools, our governments, and of course the banks.

But this isn’t the way it’s always been! As a matter of fact, this life style has been only around for the past 30 years. Prior to that people would have the money in hand before they purchased things. In fact, even the banks would refuse to loan out money if a person couldn’t place a substantial down payment (20% minimum usually) on what they were interested in acquiring before the bank would provide the remaining amount.

A lot of things have changed since 1913, when the Federal Reserve was created, that has to lead to this lifestyle we’re used to living today. I won’t go into any of this, but it has resulted in many things that has changed the world. Anyone, who likes to research history is welcome to dig into this to find out more. The main change that occurred about 30 years ago is when the United States went off the gold standard for the US dollar and became a true fiat currency similar to the rest of the world.

One good article that shares more about this is by Orrin Woodward called, “Fractional Reserve Banking.” In this article Orrin Woodward mentions how this is tied to what he refers to as the Financial Matrix. Something that we all need to understand what we’re a part of and how to break free of it if we’re to consider being wealthy in our own way.

Having an idea of where we’re spending our money is important but knowing why we’re having to do the things we have to do is also just as important.

Sometimes with all that’s going on every day we may not feel like wanting to know why things work the way they do. Fortunately, life isn’t as difficult as some organizations try to make it. As long as we’re in control of our finances then truly no one else needs to be or can be.

Because we know what’s going on with our money, we’re able to challenge anyone to want to know why they’re coming for more of something they don’t have any right to!

Be the only one in control of your money. Be free of the Financial Matrix that has been created and determine the life you want to live!

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

Smart Spending!

By now, many have a good idea of what the first step to becoming wealthy is; smart spending.

In itself, smart spending would include:

  • Knowing where your money is going
  • Knowing why your money is going where it’s going
  • If there is waste spending, be willing to admit it and make necessary changes to stop it
  • Identify spending habits that will help to make necessary changes that help with changes
  • Begin planning ahead when knowing spending will be taking place
  • Learn the good sense of spending appropriately

Moving forward, we’ve learned from all this where we’re able to cut back and where to save on when we spend our money. This will lead us to have money left over after each paycheck at the end of the month. The question now is what to do with that leftover?

Some or our initial tendency will be to go and spend that extra money on something that we’ve been working all month to keep from purchasing in the first place! This is what we’re at the most wanting to avoid doing all over again.

As you research, others you will find may make two initial recommendations; put ten percent of your income aside into a type of account that you don’t touch and allows you to save the money and put ten percent of your income toward charitable donations.

Even though I do agree with what this is recommending, there are some things about it that I will suggest in a way that I feel helps us to become more accommodating with this change depending on our own specific circumstances.

For instance, if we’re already struggling to make our ends meet paycheck to paycheck by just cutting some of the excess we start to see a little light that can now be applied to pay off some of the credit cards or loans. Then let’s take care of these things first to lessen the pain as quickly as possible before storing extra amounts away.

At this point we’re trying to not only keep our spending in order, but also to now lessen any amount that we owe to others. To do this we should take as much of this new extra money that has been made available through removing wasteful spending and applying that to a specific credit card or loan that we owe on.

Some might suggest targeting the one with the highest interest rate. Myself, I prefer to start with the one with the lowest amount due. This allows us to begin getting rid of payments to the number of different accounts as quickly as possible. As we begin to see them disappear this helps to show us making headway on what we’re trying to accomplish while also feeling good in ourselves.

Ultimately, we’ll be continuing to pay on all the accounts and will pick up payments on the high interest ones also, paying them off much quicker that we otherwise would have.

If we hadn’t done anything, we wouldn’t have been putting money aside to save or donate anyway. Once all credits cards and loans are payed off, we’ll be able to then begin placing necessary amounts away in proper savings and for donations.

Saving our money and helping others is important, but whenever we don’t spend smartly we’re still wasting our money.

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

That’s One I Don’t Even Use!

While at the store recently looking at food dehydrators, a gentleman commented to me that the I was looking at was one that he had but doesn’t even use. Consider how frequently we will purchase things on a whim, for whatever reason, and then not use them beyond an initial first time or at all, as this fellow at the store kindly wanted to share with me.

For whatever reason we’ll be off with the intention to purchase specific items and once in the store other items catch our eye, either because they’re on sale, we’re been thinking about getting them for a while anyway, a salesperson convinced us it was quite the deal, or some other good reason.

Then once we get it home off it goes to the shelf until we plan on using it and there it sits…collecting dust never getting used because we never really needed it in the first place.

Can we all admit that we’ve done something like this? I can on several occasions.

This is part of what keeping track of our spending is about. Tracking will allow us to identify unnecessary items that we purchase along with when we may have a greater tendency to purchase them!

These are just a few things to keep in mind as we head out to spend our money while also trying to keep that spending under control:

  • Be aware of how you personally are feeling before you head out to shop; i.e. statistics show that if you’re hungry when you go grocery shopping you will purchase more.
  • Knowing what item you may be looking for, search beyond what is right in front of you. Stores will often place higher ticket items on shelves at eye level to catch one’s attention quicker before they search elsewhere for better priced, but just as good items.
  • Some of us have a greater tendency to give in more easily when shopping. Be willing to shop together with a partner who is more likely to stick to an original plan of only what’s required, or if necessary, let the partner take care of the shopping altogether.
  • Quite often having younger children with us can be distracting, especially when there may be more than one. Removing the distractions when shopping is important allowing us to remain focused.
  • Know ahead of time by preparing a list, before you leave your home, what it is you intend to purchase and stick to that list!
  • Taking time to plan ahead and do necessary research online is a big help. This will allow one to identify better brands, what’s on sale, and possibly any sales coming up that would require us to consider putting things off a few days.
  • Occasionally we will purchase items where the price may not be set, and the seller will consider something we offer; such as when purchasing a vehicle. Under these circumstances determine beforehand an absolute maximum price, and never ever go over it no matter how bad you might want the item!

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

Time To Cut The Fat!

Collecting receipts is simple enough as we’re out and about, even just sorting through them to see where the money is going. There are plenty of reasons to be collecting the receipts anyway that can be discussed another time, but for now once it’s been determined where the money is going and where to begin cutting the fat out of our spending, this is a great first step!

Taking this first step can be very difficult for some. Admitting what is waste spending and accepting the decision to stop the spending can cause some people from moving forward on their journey to becoming wealthy. Giving up convenience for a short term might be just too difficult to accept.

That’s an important fact to remember here. The changes we’ll be making to put our finances in order only need to be for a relatively short term. Once we’re securely on track to financial freedom if there is still a desire to pick up some of our old habits then they can be revisited and determined if they’re wanted.

At this time what we’re doing is identifying those things in our lives that we purchase on a regular basis that aren’t needed. We’re cutting out the fat in our regular monthly expenses. It’s time to bite the bullet and accept what’s wanted but not needed.

This will allow us to finally see how much extra money we have at the end of a month. No, this won’t be used for purchasing extra stuff that we just cut out. The purpose of this extra money will be to apply to credit cards and loans that we can get rid as quickly as possible.

In the end this gives us money that we’ll have available for emergency situations, preparing for our next big purchase item, investing appropriately, when we retire.

Cutting the fat from our expenses helps us to become a lean, and knowledgeable spending machine! Know where your money is going.

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

How Do You Spend Your Money?

Yesterday we mentioned the importance of knowing where your money is going. Consider if where you work, they had no idea where their money was going to or coming from how long they’d be in business? For any company to stay in operations and be profitable, they must track their money flow. Fortunately, if a company is intending to stay in business for any time, they’ll have an accountant take care of this.

I’m not suggesting that everyone go and hire accountants to do their money management for them, although if you were an accountant I’m certain that you’d like that idea. However, having a way to keep track of our money flow daily is just as important as any profitable company!

If you’re not used to this, then this is something that must change and become new in ones life.

To start, let’s look at our money situation. Consider these questions:

  • Do you know how much of your money is available on a daily and a weekly basis?
  • Are you familiar with how much is left in your checking account after all the bills are paid at the end of the month?
  • Are the amounts on your bills consistent or will they vary from month to month?
  • If the bills vary, do you know when that will occur and by how much they will change?
  • Is the amount you receive as income a consistent amount or does it vary?
  • If your income is variable do you know how often it can vary and by how much?
  • Are checks being written that you may or may not be aware of until after they are cashed?
  • Do you and anyone else in your family have access to your account through a debit card?
  • If so, do you communicate to the other(s) when making separate purchases?
  • Do you use cash to make purchases or are they strictly through credit card or debit card?
  • When making a purchase do you accept/request the receipt, or do you ignore it?

We’re not all accountants when it comes to our own personal financial accounts but being aware of those finances and where they’re going is necessary if we’re ever to be in control of them.

Right now, some might be considering taking a huge next step to find ways to be tracking their money. There are some excellent ways to do this, but I’m not going to get into any of that now. I’m suggesting that if anyone is willing to make some changes then let’s start small and first see what we’re spending the money on.

Let’s start with picking up a receipt anytime we buy something. After a week look at all the receipts and see what’s been purchased. At that time, this may also help to open our eyes toward some of the necessary items that were purchased and consider reevaluating just how important some of those items were!

This will give us some idea of our weekly spending habits, and ideas of where we might need to begin making those changes.

We can’t fix a problem if we don’t know what it is. Starting small with just obtaining the receipts for our purchases helps us to narrow down our focus and to identify where changes should begin!

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

Becoming Wealthy Is A Decision We Make

The idea of being wealthy is something just about everyone has for themselves in one manner or another. I mean really, who wouldn’t enjoy having enough money to not have to worry about bills, or purchasing anything when it’s needed, and when we’re done working to be certain we have enough to finish out our years without having to wonder if it’ll be there.

Fortunately for all of us, becoming wealthy is possible for anyone who is willing to make the decision, and put in the effort that is necessary. When I say this, I’m not talking about having funds to invest in stocks or other things either. I’m talking about having an income, paying attention to where our money is going, and learning the good sense of how to spend, and not spend, appropriately.

Let’s talk about this and see what’s possible. You’ll also more than likely come up with thoughts and ideas where you’ll disagree. That’s fine. Let me know. Not everyone has the same life, but there are many thoughts, habits, and ideas that we all have that are similar, if not the same, and are true money wasters!

Every day we all have some sort of regular habits that we tend to go through. Things that we enjoy, like, prefer, and often don’t even think about since they’ve become habits. For example, I always enjoy a hot coffee in the morning to get going. If I were to purchase this along my way to work, I could get it at a local establishment for $1. That would work out to $5 a week, $20 a month, and $260 in a year. Making this myself at home before I left, I can make it for approximately $0.10. That works out to $0.50 a week, $2 a month, and $26 per year.

That’s a difference of $18 a month, and $234 per year that this money can be used elsewhere if need be, or not at all depending on my financial circumstances. Now some might be thinking, “What’s the big deal of $18?” Apply that to other habits you might have and the money you’re spending and could be using elsewhere or saving.

This describes one of the first steps in becoming wealthy where things may seem minor and insignificant, but to those who are serious it’s an important decision-maker! Are you willing to make the changes necessary that will require giving up things that may seem foolish or stupid, but over even a short time will make a huge difference financially?

You see, many aren’t willing to make the simple changes it will take, and that’s also why there are so few in the world who truly desire to become wealthy!

Think about what some of your daily habits are, and what the costs related to those habits are. No matter what it is we do there is a cost related to it somehow.

Right now, consider what it is that you do and has no true use in your life and can be given up. This can includes extra foods and drinks that we acquire for the simplicity of it, some of the fancy things in our lives that we either don’t need at all or could have gotten by with some simpler and less expensive, or that special gadget we just had to have that was on sale and we’ve used only once or not at all!

If you’re truly making the decision to become wealthy then know where you’re spending your money, and be willing to make the necessary changes in those spending habits!

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke