Monday, January 24, 2011

John's Money Tip number 4 - New Habits!

Well, we are at our last week of "John's money tips" Whoo Hoo!!! Sorry, this isn't my favorite subject but I know it is necessary. :)
Ok heres' John......

Being conscious of how we spend, what we spend and when we spend money is the key to success.

Pay attention to details - breaking patterns and habits have to be looked at closely.
Questions to ask yourself:
  1. Why am I always out of money?
  2. Why can I never accomplish my financial goals?
  3. Why are I struggling financially?
Details are part of the solutions to these questions. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Being successful with money is a thought out process.
It's better to ask yourself these questions:
  1. When considering a purchase - ask yourself "Do I need this right now?"
  2. Is there a less expensive method or alternative?
  3. Is main stream marketing creating a "false" need in my life?
Some ideas to help you know how much money you have to spend, where are you spending it and how to create new patterns and habits in your life. Click on these links.....
My philosophy of money is to take a simplistic view of it and it's capabilities - you can use it in four different ways:

you can spend it, save it, invest it or you can give it away - how you use money says alot about how you think, your behavior and your beliefs. Think about whether these areas are in balance and if not make the necessary adjustments.

Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also".

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

John's Money Tip number 4 - Prevention through Planning

One of my key points in saving money is preventative maintenance.  The point of this is that neglect will cost you more later.   Maintaining the integrity of your vehicles and home will save you money in the long run - it is regular and routine checks that will save you from having unexpected or much larger problems.  Whether you do these things yourself or have someone else do them they are important to overall financial stability.

Here is a list of suggestions of what you may be keeping a maintenance schedule with:

Vehicles -
  • Checking the car fluids levels monthly - such as oil, transmission, or power steering
  • Have someone you trust that you can take your vehicles to for repairs
  • Check tire pressure every 3 months
  • Brake inspections are free - good to do while oil is being changed
  • Check your wipers before the rainy season - at least once a year. 
  • Check batteries, tires and belts before long trips.
Home -
  • Every two years have your air conditioning system cleaned and checks by an AC professional
    • change air conditioning filter at least every two months
  • One of the most damaging things to a home is water damage - 
    • inspect the perimeter of the house for standing water after rain as this can cause damage to the structure
    • the ground should always slope away from the house.
    • pay attention to water stains on the ceiling or roof leakage after rains
  • It's a good idea to change the  water heater every 10 - 12 years as they can often spring a leak causing damage to the home
  • Replace smoke alarm batteries every time you turn your clocks back
  • Keep clutter and debris away from the outside structure of your home as that can invite termites and insects
  • If you notice your toilets are continuously running you have a leaky flapper valve that needs to be replaced - this will cause your water bill to go up.

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    John's Money Tip number 3

    Today we will be talking about a financial concept that many people miss. This concept is what I call, "creating margin" So what does that mean?

    Life creates a lot of unexpected events for all of us. For example, cars or appliances breaking down, unexpected insurance increase, medical emergencies or people we who need some financial help. I could go on and on but I think you get the point.

    So the way we prepare for these unexpected events is to create, "Financial Margin" which to begin with saving a $1000.00 emergency fund. Margin does something to our thoughts and emotion. First, we don't panic, we feel empowered because we have taken charge of unexpected problems through preparation.

    Now, many people may say at this point, 'I don't have the extra funds to save $1000.00. Over time this can be done by anyone. You start with small increments - let's say all you could save in one month was $50. You will have an emergency fund in less than 2 years. But realistically most of us can do more. If you save $100 a month you will have your emergency fund in 10 months. If you try this you will begin to see the value of having margin, it will give you confidence and will more than likely create a desire to begin increasing that fund.

    There are some basic rules you apply to your emergency fund:
    1. If you use any money out of the fund you always replenish the amount needed to maintain the $1000.00 balance.
    2. You never use it for anything other than emergencies


    38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
    Luke 6:38 (New Living Translation)

    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    John's Money Tips for the New Year

    Ok here we go with the next tip - last post we talked about stocking up on off-season supplies - today we are going to jump-start the new year with some new perspective about what you are really doing with your money.

    Just like many of us ate too much and gained a few pounds toward the end of the year we now are being more aware of what we are eating and eating less to get the physical part of our lives on track.  Well, in the same way we have to spend less and track our spending to get the finanacial part of our life back on track.

    So here is the first tip to get started.
    We are going to SHOCK our system.......
    For one week write down everything you buy in a notebook or journal.  Just like a food journal this will give you an awareness of what your are really spending money on.  Just like food we tend to think we are eating less than we are,  with money we tend to think we are spending less than we are.

    You will be surprised at how much is spent on small unneeded things or impulse buying.

    Some things you may notice is how much you are spending on coffee drinks, sodas  or eating out.  A suggestion on the impulse buying would be when you see something you want to buy and it wasn't planned - walk away from it for 24 hours and then decide if you still want it.  Most of the time you won't. 

    "Financial success is 80% behavior and 20% knowledge"  Dave Ramsey

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    Happy New Year!!

    As we begin a New Year and a new decade I was thinking about what would be a good place to start my blog for the New Year. As we are hopefully coming out of a recession and everyone pretty much is having to make adjustments to their lifestyle and especially if anyone spent too much on Christmas or lost a job or had a their income reduced....I thought a good start to the new year would be to have a few posts about "Resourcefulness and Saving Money."

    So, if you are reading this blog and know me, you are probably wondering how and why I would write such a post being these are not my strong points. :) Well, you would be right about that - I will not be writing these post but will be bringing in a special guest for this series on "resourcefulness and saving money" That guest would be my hubby - John who is one of the most resourceful and "frugal" (there are other words for that) :) person I know. So I am bringing in the expert!! This should be fun!

    So today we will be begin with John's money philosophy:
    "My basic philosophy on money is not just about saving it but pragmatic and and resourceful use of money in everyday life habits"

    Today John will give one small tip -

    Seasonal Shopping and Clearance pricing- after a holiday (such as Christmas) or a season (such as winter or summer) stores begin to reduce their prices on items - today's tip is to begin to buy at the end of a season or after a holiday for the next year. This will mean having a little extra cash put away to do this but the savings can be big.

    Example - the day after Christmas - Target puts all their Christmas Items on sale for 50% off. We go and get things we feel will not last until the 75% off starts - which is not alot of things. - we then wait and watch for the 75% and buy all our Christmas wrap, bags, candy for the next few months, cookies for upcoming events, tissue, any new Christmas decorations we want for the next year. Target puts their after holiday items to 75% off usually 6 days after the event - so if Christmas is on Sat - 75% off will be on Friday. Next year we do not have to buy anything for Christmas except whatever gifts we may buy. You can even keep an eye out for gifts at 75% off at various stores if you know what someone might want. The key is to have some extra cash ready for these sales and to be looking for them.

    Next Post: Using "Tools" (the things you already have or may need to obtain) to complete a specific task.