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Can you believe it is that time of year again? My kids start school next week, wow has this summer flown. For our family, summer usually does go quickly because our kids are on a year-round calendar for school and summer break is only 6 weeks long. That means it’s time to get out the list of needed school supplies, go shopping as well as trying on clothes, making sure they fit and everyone has what they need.

One thing I have noticed in working with my clients in the past month is that what they want to get for the kids and what they need are two very different things. Don’t get me wrong, I also have to do a gut check and make sure I am looking at our needs and not our wants when deciding what we are going to buy. I thought an appropriate article this month would be some tips to use when purchasing items for back to school. Here are 5 things to consider as you go about preparing for back to school shopping: Read the rest of this entry »

It’s really never too early to teach your children the life lessons you want them to carry throughout their lives. It’s with this in mind, I want to share with you the two that are most important to my wife Amy and I. Read the rest of this entry »

Wouldn’t it be great to get paid without the work or hassle of getting a different job or a second or even third job? Well there is a way to have more money without getting a different or a second job. That does not mean you will have more money to spend in the short term, however, if you work the plan you should have more money in the near future. And yes, the word near is relative to each individual.

Here are four steps to increase your monthly funds.

  • First we need to find out where our money is going. That means making a “cash flow plan” also known as a “BUDGET”. For this step, some people use an excel spreadsheet, others want a fancy software program, but most will do great with just a pencil and paper. It really doesn’t matter what you use. What matters is that you use it to develop a plan that works. Since everyone has a pencil and paper, lets start there. At the top of your paper, write down your actual take home pay for the month. Then list all of your fixed expenses such as rent, utilities, car payments etc… Next list your flexible or discretionary expenses such as groceries, dining, clothing, auto fuel, etc… Finally, list all of your debt payments (minimum payments only at this point). Total your expenses and subtract from your income. If your income is greater than your expenses, fantastic, advance to step 2. If your expenses are greater, then we need to examine our expenses and determine where we can trim and temporarily eliminate some spending.
  • Quickly save a $1000 emergency fund. You may need to be creative to fund your emergency fund. Have a garage sale, sell items on Craigslist, and once again, identify areas in your budget that can be trimmed or temporarily eliminated.
  • Start to eliminate debt. List your debts from smallest to largest (do not include your house payment in this section). If you are current on all of your debt payments and you have $1000 in your starter emergency fund, then all extra money can be applied to pay down your debt.
  • Develop and use a “Cash Envelope System”. Put away your credit cards and debit cards and use cash on discretionary expenses. For each cash category take an envelope and write the name of the category on the envelope. Place the cash for that category in each envelope. Typical categories that you may want a specific envelope for are: groceries, dining, entertainment, clothing, gifts, and hair-care (or dome-care for some of us).

Having an emergency fund to pay for unexpected emergencies and eliminating the drain that monthly debt payments place on your monthly budget will increase your available funds. This is essentially the same as giving you a pay raise.

You may find these steps somewhat overwhelming. Or, you may be procrastinating on getting started. If this happens, give me a call and let’s see what we can do to get you over the hump. I can be reached at Jeff@TheFinanceCoach.net or 317.858.7270. Also, check out www.FinancialUTurn.info to register for our free seminar on Tuesday, June 21st.

Dealing with high gas prices.

We are all up in arms is it price fixing? Why does gas jump 20 cents overnight? What will the government do? I for one do not want the government involved any more. We live in a country with a free market and they (the gas companies) have the right to sell their product at what they can get for it. But this is not about why we are paying this much it is how do we survive and prosper in spite of it. Read the rest of this entry »

There are many ways we are wasting money and do not realize it. I meet with potential clients and they say “We are doing everything we can but there is just not enough”. On the surface this may seem to be true, they cut and scrimp in many areas: entertainment/going out, stopping at convenience stores and little things like this.

But, there are many areas that we do not even think about looking deeper into and it is costing us big. So this month I have some areas for you to really look at to see if you can find some cash that is getting wasted. Read the rest of this entry »

budget debt emergency fund

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