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

Time To Stand Up For What You Believe

Without getting off on too much of a tangent. I just would like to add on a bit to my last discussion.

Right now, we’re at a point where we’re looking. Something in our lives just isn’t what we want, and because of where I’m writing I’ll just assume it’s along the line of finances.

The ‘world’ is saying, “Don’t worry about it, getting in debt is the way it is and in the end it’ll all work itself out.”

If you’re anything like myself, I came to the realization that whenever I heard someone telling me that it sounded kind of fishy. What I came to realize is that anyone people offering up words of support similar to that had no clue what they were telling me or what they meant!

We’re out looking for assistance and help in our situation, whatever that might be, because we know something isn’t right. We’re not comfortable with the way things are, the status quo, and we’re looking to make a difference in our lives and possibly in others too.

That says we’re not a sheep that follows the herd. We stand out and make our own choices. We are leaders!

That may sound a bit awkward when I make that statement because either you’ve never heard it made before or maybe you’ve never felt that way about yourself. Think about it though, in one way or another, whatever it is that we do we are leaders that make us stand out!

As we move forward in life, we’re more comfortable in some things than in others making us feel better at making a difference. The time will come though to have to make a stand and do something we’re not comfortable with. Possibly something like, confronting a fellow employee that we feel is on a higher level than us, making a stand for something we believe in and a few others have comments against, or even making significant changes in our lives due to health or other bad habits.

We may feel as if we’re standing out like a sore thumb, when in reality there are others who feel the same as us but weren’t willing to do what we did and are now on our side supporting us. There are still those who may have voiced their opinions against us, but we’ve made a commitment to what we believe in and it’s time to stand up for what we said and what we believe!

This is where those who agree with us will come out of the woodwork to share their thoughts, and eventually, once they see that we’re committed will also be willing to join us in whatever endeavor we’re on.

As we move forward to change our lives financially, we will run into comments and receive negative flax from friends and family regarding what it is we’re doing. This most likely will even come from immediate family members depending on if you’re married and with children old enough.

Explaining to them the reasons why you’re making the changes you’ve made, and how in the end it will benefit all is the first best step one can always make; proper communication.

Once they understand the reason and how they will benefit from it, everyone tends to look at the situation through a whole different light.

An even better way to win over the team is to find a way to get them involved in your effort. In this case set a goal with the family, or yourself if it’s only you, that once your finances hit a certain level you’ll do some type of family celebration that is reasonably comfortable with the finances.

This can be done at intermittent levels also with a bigger goal at the end to show all that the team is working together, and success is being made. Keep the cost reasonable and prepare ahead for the expense so that it can be paid in cash.

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