Look Before You Leap!

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Look before you leap is a common saying that simply means think carefully about what you are about to do before you do it.

Sometimes we rush into financial decisions without weighing all of the outcomes.

This has been the month of calls from clients and non-clients who failed to think carefully before making a major financial decision.

One woman called me the day after she went car “looking.” She told me that she was going to the dealership to find out what her trade-in value would be on her current vehicle.

Two hours later she drove home a brand new car with a car payment that went from $500 to $700 per month.

She was feeling buyer’s remorse and to make matters worse her budget was already tight with a $500 payment.

Another call came from an arguing husband and wife who the day before had consolidated a bunch of debt into one payment.

This couple couldn’t afford the payment. Part of the consolidation included rolling in some very small credit card balances into a locked-in larger monthly payment that was part of the consolidation.

That immediately eliminates the possibility of quick wins by paying off a small balance.

As a third party looking in, my heart sinks when I hear those stories and get those questions.  When people ask what should they do, the tiny voice in my head says, “Turn back the clock to BEFORE you make the decision and call me for help.”

Too many times we look before we leap due to emotional reasons.  Money and emotions shouldn’t be so closely tied together, but many times our emotions cloud our decision-making process.

As a Coach, I’m not emotionally invested in the decision at hand and can give more rationale suggestions. Of course, ultimately any decision is yours, but simply REACH OUT!

Emotionally, I don’t want you to be struggling.  Emotionally, I want you to succeed in all areas of your personal finances. I simply can’t do it for you, but I’m great at providing a non-emotional viewpoint, suggesting alternative scenarios and simply cheering you on!

Act BEFORE you leap. Get some counsel and wisdom. Then if it feels right, go for it! If not, I may have saved a bunch of regret and stress down the road.

Why I Do What I Do!

This is a bit of a different type of post.
 
I simply am overwhelmed with the success I get to be a part of when people improve or enhance their financial position.
 
I have been coaching really ever since I had employees in my business that I started 25+ years ago. As many of you know, I really had a desire and passion to work one on one with folks as opposed to the daily rigors of running a 10-person business.
 
So, of course I sold and have not looked back. I look forward each and every day as I get to visit one on one with so many different wonderful people. Some reading this are friends and family and some of you reading this have never heard of me, and that’s OK. You’ll see at the bottom of this post why I am writing.
 
Others are current and past clients. Some have simply said hello, some have heard me speak or some have simply turned down my coaching services, and that’s OK!
 
The success stories, tears, joys and struggles are far too numerous to mention and they continue to grow as we meet face-to-face or online. It’s amazing that I have relationships literally all over the world.
 
There are a couple of common issues that come to mind as I write:
 
1. All of us, myself included, want to put ourselves in a better financial position so that we can serve others and have peace in our lives!
 
2. There is such a sense of community as we help each other change behavior and experience success that people don’t get until they experience it.
 
That success and experience isn’t measured by zeros. It’s measured by cheerleading, praying, celebrating, laughing and crying together as we navigate this thing called our financial lives.
 
The natural byproduct is a bunch of financial wins that seemingly come about too slowly. But, through continued support the wins materialize right before our very eyes! That’s exciting!
 
My hours are limited in a day. The bummer is that as my schedule is full, I simply can’t meet with more people.
 
So, in order to increase success and reach more people, I have created a FREE MINI 5-Day Money Challenge for EVERYONE including clients, non-clients, tire kickers. It doesn’t matter!
 
Regardless of your financial position the challenge is a series of emails and small daily tasks to help you find extra money that you can use each month.
 
Hopefully, that extra money will reduce a bit of stress, put extra in savings or help you pay off some debt or save for that special event.
 
In addition to the daily emails, I’ll invite you to a brand new Private Facebook Group where we all support and encourage each other. I’ll also host a live Q&A each day.
 
This is my attempt to share experiences that so many people continue to use to find that extra money.
 
I invite you to be a part of the FREE 5-Day Money Challenge.
 
I sincerely hope you join our growing group, and I’ll see you on the inside!

Operate or Co-Operate?

“I will be with you.” That’s the simplest, shortest explanation of the two points that I deal with as I visit with couples and individuals all over the world!

Point 1

First as couples you must say to each other, “I will be with you” when it comes to your financial journey.

Financial organization and decision making is HARD! You’ll have several million dollars passing through your bank accounts during your lifetime.  There’s no way one spouse should be expected to handle that responsibility.

Are you operating as individuals or co-operating as a team?

The best tip on how to plan as a team is to sit down once a month and discuss your income and expenses. If you don’t have, make time. It’s important. Or schedule some time with me. We’ll do it together.

Point 2

Single or married, the aspect that I love about coaching is helping others and cheering and encouraging while holding people accountable.

My office or Skype session is not the principal’s office, and I don’t ever want to put out that vibe. “I’ll be with you” is the message that I want to portray as I help others with the delicate subject of money management.

Sometimes there are arguments. Sometimes there are tears. Sometimes there is tough love. But 100% of the time, there is SUCCESS if you continue on the plan that we lay out together.

So, regardless of your situation: Wealth Building, Improving Communication, Tackling Debt, Budgeting, Retirement Planning, Crisis Intervention just know that I WILL BE WITH YOU as long as you don’t quit.

P.S. I love my job!

Giving Is Part of Your Financial Plan

During this busy time of year, I have to concentrate extra hard not to focus on MY list of things to get done. What do I have to get done? What gifts do I still need to buy? What travel plans do I need to finalize?

While those are important, this season and life in general is not about ME.

I do notice that when others don’t have their finances in order, they tend to focus on themselves. They’re worry robs them of so many good things going on in their lives.

So, I offer a simple challenge to us.

Focus on GIVING something to others. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

Go and buy 10 candy bars, and give them to complete strangers. Buy 10 coffee gift cards and give them to complete strangers. Give 10 one-dollar bills to complete strangers. Give 10 bags of homemade cookies to complete strangers.

It’s not the amount. It’s the ACT of focusing on others. Start looking for people to give to.

It’s easy when you shift the focus away from YOU. The people right in front of us will all of a sudden be perfect candidates!  He or she might be next in line at a store, or standing at the neighboring gas pump.  They’re everywhere IF you look.

I do think complete strangers is a key in this exercise. It takes us to a place that we SHOULD frequent more often.

The quicker you get to budgeting and getting out of debt, the more you can give. Simply it needs to be a monthly line item in your budget IF you are in a place to do so.

It’s fun, healthy and truly is part of who we are called to be and is a key component to any financial plan.

You can follow my 10 giveaways on Facebook.

Getting Ready for the Holidays with No-Spend Month

 

Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas each seem like they are three days apart sometimes. They are upon us. Here’s an awesome tip from a client to help you catch up or put a little extra money in your holiday budget.

How about a no-spend month? No, I’m not talking about walking to work! One client simply doesn’t fund their eating out envelope for one month. It’s easier than you might think, and it’ll put a bunch of money away for the Fall.

In addition, they only fund their grocery budget by half and eat out of the pantry and freezer.

So let’s say you have a $200 per month eating out budget and a $600 grocery budget. Have the no-spend month and you could save $500.

Give it a try and send me an email with your success to greg@gregpare.com.

5 Items That Could Be Cheaper in Retirement

As I help others paint the picture of retirement income and spending I share several items to consider when budgeting. Some are obvious and some are not.

Here area a few items for you to consider as you plan life after work!

  1. Taxes

You’ll probably pay less in income taxes. Taxpayers 65 and older who don’t itemize deductions can receive a higher standard deduction. And you’ll no longer have to pay into Social Security and Medicare (unless you start working again.)

  1. Clothing and Dry Cleaning

Once you leave the workforce, you won’t have to dress to impress! Consider donating your business attire for a tax write-off.

  1. Insurance

Depending on your situation, it might be possible to forgo life and disability insurance once you’ve retired. You may be eligible for lower car insurance premiums, too, if you are driving less.

  1. Dining Out

Unless you’re a dedicated brown bagger, you’ll see a savings when you no longer buy workday lunches. Plus, with your extra free time, you’ll probably prepare more meals at home, not to mention take advantage of early bird and senior discounts when dining out.

  1. Retirement Contributions

This seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll no longer be contributing to your plan once you retire. When budgeting for retirement, people sometimes forget that a significant portion of their preretirement income goes to retirement plans.

 

 

You Do The Possible

I heard a nice Christian inspirational song over the weekend and the words included God talking to us saying, “You do the possible, and I’ll do the rest.”

So, the point of this article is simply inspiration.

When he says to do the possible, He is asking us to take some action. He doesn’t say to let me work first, then you pick up the slack. No, he wants us to be proactive.

Many that I coach ARE doing the possible, and it’s no wonder that they are thriving financially.

The problem is that some of us view the possible as impossible. You could NEVER sell your house, you could NEVER sell a car or get a part-time job or spend less than $300 on a two-year old’s birthday party.

You get the idea. The list is as personal to us as is our spending and saving habits.

The reason that some are not doing anything is simply due to fear or lack of a plan. There needs to be structure and a reason to do something.

I encourage you to visit and revisit your financial goals. If you keep those in front of you, there is a stronger possibility that you are willing to do the possible.

Let your dreams and goals vanish to the depths of your minds and hearts and you are less likely to even feel the strength to do something.

I want to be your biggest cheerleader and challenge you to make one small improvement in your spending and saving habits this week.

Please be willing to change. All He asks is for us to do the possible.