3 Major Financial Goals

I don’t think young people think about finances like they should. We think we are making money therefore we can spend money. At times, we spend more than we have and really get ourselves into trouble. It is important for us to make wise financial habits. Here are three of my financial goals:

  1. Live debt free: This is so important! Debt is like slavery. When we are in debt, everything about our lives can fall apart at any moment. The bank can take our homes, cars, and savings because of debt. We may lose our jobs and create major trouble for our families. It is so important to get out of debt, and stay out!
  2. Invest: Passive income is awesome. You probably don’t want to have to work for the rest of your life so it is important to figure out how to generate passive income. Consider investing in stocks, bonds, and real estate. There are several factors you’ll need to consider, but creating passive income for yourself is a great way to have income in the future.
  3. Save: There is always something to save for whether it’s long term or short term. Short term would be saving for a new computer, long term would be saving for a house. I highly recommend you start saving now. You should be saving up for a home and your retirement. The earlier you start, the more you’ll have later.

Developing financial goals can help all aspects of your future, so set aside a little money each paycheck for the future. Also consider how the decisions you make now can affect the rest of your life. $100,000 in student loans now, $30,000 car loan, $300,000 home loan all adds up to a lot of debt. You will be working the rest of your life just to pay these things off. Take your time and be smart about your money.

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Learning to Say “No”

Women are called to wear a lot of hats. Wife, mother, housekeeper, launderer, doctor, lover, chef, CFO, CEO, COO. Ugh, the list goes on! Although I am not a wife or mommy yet, I still feel the pressures of wearing a lot of hats: daughter, sister, parishioner, teacher, fried. All these hats come with their own set of activities. I tend to say “yes” to everything and let my plate get too full. This, of course, leads to decreased productivity: stress! So we have to learn how to say “no”. Here are a few tips:

  1. Think it over: Most of the time, an answers isn’t needed right away. Just let people know you will get back to them tomorrow. Take a night to think things over and determining whether or not you can add something else to your plate.
  2. Ask for a second option: Consult with your husband or parents to determine whether they think you have the capacity for something else. Chances are, whatever you are doing is going to take away time with them. They may think you should cut back something you aren’t devoting enough time to them while you think everything is fine. Before you take on anther assignment, consult with them and find out what their needs are.
  3. Prioritize: God needs you first, your family needs you second, you need you third. I have fallen into the temptation of thinking I can do three bible studies at the same time for Christ. This is loony and bummed me out. It also prevented me from connecting my heart to Jesus because I was so worried about doing my homework when I went to chapel. It also took me away from my family three nights per week. That is a lot of time away. Set your priorities wisely and stick to them.

My final thought on this is don’t worry about other’s feelings when you say no to the second book club. If they ask why, tell them your plate is full and most people will understand. It is okay to say “no,” let’s start saying it more often.

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Change Your Life

Many Americans today are dissatisfied with their jobs. Some are underemployed, some unemployed, others don’t want to be employed where they are. The thing that breaks my heart most of all is the fact that we feel trapped. No one should ever feel stuck in any situation; we should always have the power to change our lives for the better. The challenge is, the system isn’t set up for us to find something better or to create something better. So what do we do?

Ignore the system! You can branch off and start your own business. Ask Nicola Tesla or George Washington. Each of us has the ability to create, don’t let that creativity be stuffed under bureaucracy in the work place. I’ve started this blog to help me quit my job. I can be creative with words, so I use them. You can be creative too!

You can also challenge the system. Again, don’t be stuffed under corporate bureaucracy. You have a voice, so use it. Use words of kindness and gentleness to share how you are feeling at work Don’t’ allow other to take your voice.

A little voice in my head is screaming “HYPOCRITE” as I write that last paragraph. I prefer option 1 rather than option 2. I don’t want to tell the people in authority how I”m feeling. Things are the way they are and that’s it…right? I’m not sure. I often tell children that someone can’t fix a problem they don’t know exists. I sit here thinking, obviously the problem exists, one cannot just be blind to the chaos. But perhaps they are blind to it. We’re all just frogs they were in a boiling pot, they could climb out. Or maybe one frog should just jump out and leave all the other frogs in the water to die.

Sorry…that was a really unexpected tangent. The point is, we should spend less time complaining about our jobs and more time trying to make our stations better. We shouldn’t settle because we’ll just be bitter and eat our feelings. Change can sometimes be good, but it always takes a leap of faith.

My encouragement for you today is to take the first step to changing the aspects of your life that you are unhappy with. Be daring, fearless, and courageous.

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Planning a Garage Sale

It’s that time of year again! The weather is changing, the children are playing outside, we are harvesting our gardens and people are jogging outside. Time for a quick fall clean out! Today is about what to do after the cleaning, organizing, and sorting is finished. Those boxes that you have marked “sell” now need to be merchandised for a garage sale. Here are a few tips:

  1. Find out if your neighborhood is having a garage sale. There are many pros and cons to neighborhood garage sales. Many people like that they have their neighbors outside selling their stuff at the same time so they can talk across the street to one another. Also, advertising costs are usually paid by the association or at least split amongst the participants. A few things that make it less desirable are the fact that your neighbors probably won’t be shopping because they have their own garage sales to run. You may have people that only want to spend a particular amount of money through the whole day and if you are the fifth house, their budget is low. Finally, parking can be a pain for your shoppers. They may park two blocks away but they want to buy the heavy bookshelf. Unless they REALLY want it, they may leave it behind. So your best bet is to host two sales, probably on back-to-back weekends or throughout the week. This way, you get the benefits of the neighborhood sale in addition to the benefits of a solo sale.
  2. Advertising for your sale is really important and it doesn’t have to be too expensive. Of course the costly way to go is to buy posters and set them out throughout the neighborhood. This is a great way to gain traffic but you are going to want to do a few things with the posters:
    a. Check the weather. If it rains, cover the posters with a clear bag.
    b. Write clearly. The posters made by kids are cute, but not effective.
    c. Make sure the arrows are pointing in the clear right direction and still write your address.
    d. Place the signs strategically to pull people in from the main streets around you and to help guide people.
    The other, cheaper, form of advertising is though social media. Text, tweet, and message all of your finds and family to let them know some of their favorite pieces from your home are now on sale.
  3. Set your price. Remember your things are used so don’t charge what you paid for something even if it is in great condition. People don’t spend much on things at garage sales so be realistic. Also, consider whether or not you would like to negotiate. Often people negotiate at garage sales so be prepared. If you are willing to bargain, then have an absolute bottom line that you will let the person walk away if they don’t pay. Also, label everything so guests don’t have to ask.
  4. Organize your merchandise. Your most expensive products should be in the garage. You want these things to be protected from sticky fingers so keep them inside.
  5. Do it with a friend. Spending 8 hours a day for three consecutive days in a lawn chair by yourself can be dreadful. Ask your fiends and family to come help. This will also be useful when the crowds come. One of you can handle the transactions while the other can help shoppers. You may want do it with several people and take shifts.
  6. Don’t let anyone you don’t know in your house. I’m all for hospitably, but I’m also for safety and stranger danger is real.
  7. Make sure you have change and a good place to hold your money. A lot of office supply stores have lockable boxes for just this sort of occasion.
  8. Make it enticing. I went to a garage sale one that had music playing and the daughters of the owner selling lemonade. That garage sale had people in it all day because it felt like a fun shopping experience.
  9. Have a plan for the things that don’t sell. It is likely that you won’t sell everything by the end of the weekend so consider your options:
    a. Keep everything and try having another garage sale later in the season.
    b. Try selling the stuff on eBay.
    c. Donate everything to charity.
    d. Leave your garage door open a few nights and let people come raid your garage.
    e. Throw everything away.
    My advice would be to try selling on eBay then donating everything else.
  10. Determine what you’ll do with the money. Remember to calculate the cost of the garage sale (advertising, equipment, change, etc. ) and reimbursed yourself for your investment. After that, spend it, save it, invest it, donate it, split it amongst those who helped you. I’ve heard of some parents giving the teenagers all the junk they want gone, then the kids organize the sale and keep the profit. I’ve also heard of people putting the money toward the vacation fund. It’s all up to you.

My final tip is to have tons of fun! Yes garage sales are work and they are exhausting, but fall is about hard work so we can rest in warmth in winter. Happy selling!

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Have a Dream, Make it a Reality

Too many of us feel stuck by our current economic situation. I used to work with a young man who has a heart for feeding others, a joy for farming, and $100,000 in student loans. My dad works everyday with a boss that drives him crazy, a family to support, and a passion for computers. I used to have a boss that loved to craft but she was trying to get two kids through college. As children, we are told to do what we love and never work a day in our lives. But as adults, we know better. We have to work, bay debts, save if possible. We are all working like ants with little to know hope of getting ahead. We all have dreams but few of us will fulfill them. This is because few of us try. Here is my little tip to you: dream like you did as a child and work toward your dream like an adult. 
 
The worst part of the current economic climate is that so many feel trapped. We have big dreams and ideas that can change the world but we feel stuck  in our own reality. Guess what, you can change your reality! Never feel hopeless so stuck because as long as you have breath within you, you can make your dreams come true.
A few things that you may need are:
  1. Vision Board: It helps to see yourself making your dreams come true each day. To do this, design a board for your bedroom, office, and car. Put words and pictures on it, take your time and really visualize it.
  2. To-Do List: Your dream is probably pretty big, in which case you will need to break it down into smaller goals that are relatively easy to attain. By doing this, you will be able to track your progress.
  3. Accountability Partner: Share your dream with a friend or family member you trust that will encourage  and support you. When you do things with a friend, it makes it more fun, so try finding someone with a similar goal and reach for it as a team.
All of your dreams are possible, so run to them. Don’t sell yourself short by thinking they are unattainable. You can do anything if you’re willing to fight for it. Never let anyone tell you your dream will never come try. Instead, be strong and lift yourself to the heights others never thought possible!
If you’re looking for ways to make money to help make your dreams a reality, please contact me for information on how you can meet your financial goals.

 

I’d love to know what your wildest dreams are, so post them in the comments section. Subscribe, because tomorrow I will be sharing a YouTube video with my 2016 Reading Challenge. Thanks for stopping by, and have a sparkly day!