Helping you take control of your money. My goal is to support your actions to keep more income, pay off bills, and start saving for the future. I'd like to share my personal stories and ideas to help make a positive change now. http://www.moneywiseadvisors.com
I can’t count how many people have told me they will be
ready to work with a money coach as soon as they take care of a few other
things.What could those things be that
would delay starting a positive change in your life?
·I’m too busy or I can’t afford it
·My bills and bank statements are disheveled and
I need to get organized first
·Let me get done with this big project at work
that is distracting me
·I’m stuck right now anyway, so how could I work
someone told you the work phrase “do you want fries with that?” could be in
your past, and the new job pays twice the wage with benefits, why would you
stay in the old job another minute?If
you received a gift certificate for a house cleaning, would you pick up the
house first so they wouldn’t think you are sloppy?
all have reasons we are afraid to move forward.What if I start the new job, and find out that they don’t like me?If we try a new spending plan we might not be
able to see the inside of a restaurant ever again unless we’re working there to
make some extra money.It’s so
overwhelming that looking deeper into the problem will only make it worse and
I’ll get depressed.These fears sound
familiar to most of us thinking about a change in our lives.
recently was in the same quandary about working with a personal coach.I’m afraid I’ll try and fail.I want to be positive that I choose the best
coach for me.I’m not sure that I need
to change all that much.I could spend
the money on something else.I finally
realized if I think the right coach is going to add value to my life, I should
get started.I can think of a few big
decisions that I delayed, and later wondered what took me so long to make the
gone through this thought process, I’ve committed to hiring that coach.I’m ready to be open to change, and I don’t
have to be done with everything else to start the coaching process.Personal coaching is valuable to me, and I
know I’ll make the time and effort to get the most out of it.
What decision are you delaying?Take the first step right now.
Question:What excuses did you overcome to move forward?Share in the comments.
The numbers are shocking. I see the evidence when talking with friends and family, or when I go to the discount stores. One-third of senior households have no money left over each month or is in debt after meeting essential expenses (Institute on Assets ad Social Policy). Many of my friends help their parents when they can, but it's tough to raise a family and help older relatives while we are on a tight budget ourselves.
We all know someone who was raised by a struggling single mom, and that actually describes many adults right now. Think about those people's moms and grandmas now: 60% of women over 54 across the country lack the income to meet basic expenses (Wider Opportunities for Woman.) The struggle never stopped when the kids moved out, the (maybe) child support ended, and mom never had a chance to increase her job-earning skills.
America Saves is stressing the need for all Americans to save for their future. With Americans, especially women, living longer - the reality is that Americans need to save more money for retirement - or work longer. You may have seen these points on Money Wise Advisors, and here is America Saves' version:
Tips to Prepare to Live Debt
Free in Retirement
1. Start saving, keep saving,
and stick to your goals
2. Know how much you will need
3. Save at work and/or through
a Roth IRA
4. Find places to cut back so
you can save more
Let's say you're already retired and need help. How much was held out of your paycheck each month while you were working? A Lot. You paid into government programs, and they are now available to provide the support needed to remain healthy and independent. They are not handouts. Millions of low-income seniors can access $1.2 billion in benefits that can help them pay for their health care, prescriptions, food, utilities, and more.
Money Wise Advisors help folks locally in the Sacramento area who need a Benefit Care Coordinator to help them navigate their existing benefits. Our goal is to educate the public on services available and avenues they have to qualify. For those of you who are not local, here are two national services available:
BenefitsCheckUp - a service of the National Council on Aging (NCOA) - is the nation's most comprehensive web-based service offering information on benefits programs, specifically programs for people with Medicare and limited income and resources.
The Eldercare Locator, a public service of AoA and administered by 4na, is a nationwide service that connects older adults and their caregivers with information on senior services. In addition to the link above, they have a toll-free hotline at 1-800-677-1116.
Use the benefits you worked hard for, and share these resources with those who could use them. What is your biggest fear when you look towards retirement?
Lucky us, we’re back from our vacation to Anaheim and Los
Angeles for a late spring break.We invested in
a time share (bought it years ago, lesson learned), so we exchanged to a suite
in Anaheim for a $150 fee.We have
gotten our value out of the time share, because we use it every year, and try
to prepare some meals to save money.Here’s what we did to make it a green vacation:
1.Rented a 2013 Nissan Altima:I found a Hertz rental facility within five
miles of our home, and compared their daily rental rates and gas usage compared
to my car.I had already researched that
my car costs .46 per mile.The Nissan
was estimated to cost .38 per mile.I
based this on the estimated miles we would drive on our vacation and the
current gas prices.Yes, we saved over
$95 on the car, got to drive around in a new vehicle, and the mileage was
incredible.We filled up the day before
we left LA while out doing some sightseeing.The next day we drove all the way home without filling up, and returned
it to the rental store empty and they refilled it at a guaranteed low
price.We only had to put gas in that
car two times the entire trip! Almost
1,500 miles – that was a green decision.
2.I brought reusable grocery bags from home.We packed some snacks in them to eat on the
way, and we used them for souvenir shopping as well as for groceries.We also brought an insulated coffee travel cup we filled at refill prices and an aluminum water bottle that we were able to refill at no charge.
3.Even with staying in a hotel room, we recycled
our bottles and cans; the hotel had a recycle bin for the complimentary
newspapers and other paper products we used. Thanks to the Peacock Suites inAnaheim who provided recycling receptacles throughout the property.
4.Use public transportation when possible – we took
the local transit bus to visit local attractions.We saved on parking fees, the hassle of
locating our car, and we had to travel light with only what we could
carry.Always better for long days with
lots of walking.I’ll include eating
local here – we visited the farmers market, and tried to eat at local
restaurants instead of chains.
5.We visited three parks during our stay, and
planned our itinerary via Google maps before we started each day of adventuring
to take the most economical route.Local
parks keep us active, and are fun for people watching without using any fuel.We packed food we prepared at the hotel, and
brought cold drinks and hats to protect us from the sun.
Knowing how to be green and saving money made the vacation even more
fun.Of course, paying for everything in
cash helped, too.How can you make your
next vacation greener?
Money is an advantageous instrument.It’s magnificent to make money and a hobby or
small enterprise can be a fun way to bring more in.Hopefully, one of these start-ups can go big
and we will have arrived.At what point
does the small become big enough to manage?As soon as there is money involved.This is the lesson my friend Ron learned with EBay.
With a Great Idea
Ron had a
couple of collections, tired of them, and decided to sell stuff to make room
for his other collections.He started
shipping out boxes a couple times of week, and enjoying it.Next thing you know, he’s heading out on
buying trips around the state to find more treasures.Now, he’s receiving packages a
couple times a week.
Is it Making
will always share stories about their wins, but we rarely hear about the losses.Sound familiar?He went to the estate sale and found a $250
item for $10 and sold it in one day.Did
those Dancing With The Stars ferret outfits not sell like you expected?Perhaps they are tax-deductible donations to the
local pet shelter.
start your new adventure, write down specific goals.Make them big enough to justify the effort
you have decided to take.
many items do you want to list and expect to sell each week?
is the initial amount of investment? Use cash, not a credit card.
margin of profit do you expect?
expenses are their besides listing fees, packaging materials, shipping,
mileage, shopping for new items?
storage space to use and cost of inventory?
and how will the profits (if any) be used?
out the Money Start
tracking expenses and income right away.You can do it on a computer spreadsheet or in a notebook if it’s not too
many.Make sure this is a profitable
enterprise, not a hobby.If your intent
is to make money, make sure it really is bringing in a profit.Total it up at least monthly to see how you
are doing.If you used any credit cards
to start out, pay them off in full as soon as possible.Profits should be used as planned – hopefully
for an emergency fund, towards a large purchase, or to invest.
How is your adventure doing? Share your experiences here. Learn more about taking control of your money at www.moneywiseadvisors.com
Controlling your finances means understanding all
of the money-related statements that your receive online and in the mail.I don’t look forward to reviewing them; it’s
a tedious task, but an important step to see everything is o.k. with your checking
and savings accounts. Here’s a list of
things I have found myself and heard through my clients:
Insurance on Boat Loan (my hubby before we married)
Overdraft or “Convenience Fee”
and Credit Card Fees
Payment Protection Plans or Subscription Services
are usually not small fees, and removing that $15 monthly life insurance on the
boat loan (yes, the heirs would get a paid-for used boat) is instant money
saved.I just look through the line
items and make sure they are legitimate. I look for any surprise fee hikes or excessive
ATM fees I didn’t anticipate. This is
how you take control – know what is happening to ALL of your money.
One more thing - make sure you receive all of your statements
if you have more than one account.Awareness of address changes can prevent identity theft.(Think exes and businesses you frequent.) It’s
not the latest Moscow gang taking our ID’s, it’s most likely someone we
This is one more action to take towards controlling
your finances that doesn’t take money out of your pocket.Hopefully, you’ll find some places you can recover
money.Now, don’t take all the findings and
celebrate – pay off that nagging credit card bill that won’t go away.Now, that’s control.
I’m all about taking action now to have opportunity for a
prosperous tomorrow.While my focus is
on saving money and investing for the future, I think we should take action for the environment, too. Our planet earth could benefit from
our healthy lifestyle. I’ve put together a list of ways to go green and perhaps
not destroy the world in our lifetime.
Cut your commute: hybrid or electric
or just high mileage?
None of the above; save the old car.Don’t waste
it and send another vehicle to the rust pile.Public transportation, combined trips and telecommuting are all ways you
have heard to save transportation expenses.Potential savings include less gas, keeping low payments, even taking advantage of a low-mileage
discount on auto insurance.
Take care of accounts online
It's so easy with instant access to your balance,
direct deposit, and statement delivery, automatic bill paying service with no
stamps, envelopes or checks.Look at how
to switchat www.payitgreen.org/consumer
I grew up drinking water from the
in the yard when we were playing
outside, and it hasn’t affected me affected me affected me at all.Seriously, this bottled water craze has gone
too far.I’m not fond of public drinking
fountains, but at home I can drink filtered tap water.Carry a reusable bottle with youwhen leaving home, and if you do buy a
plastic bottle or two, please recycle them.
Actually use your local library
Moms, this is especially true for you.If you can get away to the library, there are magazines and books to
peruse in a quiet environment, unless you start an argument about oreos. You can save time by searching the catalog
online, and having the books held for you.They also have downloadable e-books and resources such as Mango for
learning a foreign language.How does
this prevent global warming?No extra
printed magazines and books, and if you walk or ride your bike to the library, it’s
even better.Try this
Try these suggestions, and share
other ways we can make a positive difference on our environment and bank
When banks and utility companies are all encouraging me to
use online bill pay, I think, what are they getting out of it?My money, of course.What am I giving up?Hassle, stamps, check fees, possible
late fees and last minute changes on the amount I pay.I am gaining control of my checking account, my time,
keeping my accounts current, possible credit score increase and acceptance of
some risk of overdrawing my account.
Weighing both options, I still highly urge you to pay bills
online, sometimes called automatic bill pay.There are a couple of ways to get set up:
Pay through the company billing you
and even the DMV have online bill pay options. You can pay with a credit card or from your bank account. Don’t worry about identity theft, their websites are safe. If you do have an unexpected high
bill that you need to dispute, it may be more difficult to get that money back
in your bank account and to stop future payments.It could be time consuming to update all the various sites if you change
Pay through your bank
Most banks offer free online bill
pay, and if yours doesn’t, find one that does.Pay anyone on time and accurately.The bank pays most electronically, while the gardener or babysitter will
receive a paper check in the mail.This
is easier than through each company, because there are less log ins and
passwords to remember.You can also stop
payments any time.Decide how much and
when to pay, streamlining the time you spend paying bills.
Pay through bill-paying service
There are several
companies who offer this service for a fee.It can be used even if you have more than one bank account.It is convenient and a quick way to
streamline your bill paying.Here is a
website that compares some of the bill paying companies .
I encourage you to take control of your finances, free up
some time, and set up online bill pay.Gather your bills, select one of the
options above, and get it started.Figure out whether paying through the biller, your bank, or a bill
paying service is best fitted for your circumstances, and make the switch.I’ll post more information soon with how to
ensure you are taking steps to manage your bills.Remember, you are in control when you tell
your money what to do.