On today’s vlog session, I’ve gathered the following topics – all related to debt:
Flashback to 2008 – Bear Stearns: the precursor of the Great Recession
Assessing stocks – the most important company metric is debt and risk level
Book review: Squeezed. What the author describes as new for our economy is actually not new at all. And by maintaining low levels of debt, you can maintain a high level of resiliency when responding to changes in the financial environment.
How are you managing your debt or is your debt managing you?
When it comes to your financial knowledge, stop pretending that you don’t know what you’re doing. There are more resources than ever. If you’re a book lover, read a few on personal finance. If you’re a net surfer, start Googling up on financial terms.
Answer the following questions and take a few minutes to research anything that you don’t know. Don’t be afraid, we all have an area that we need to focus on. These items are off the beaten path, and from what I’ve seen, points that cause confusion. Some are Yes/No or True/False, while others are thought questions.
I’m all about sharing knowledge. I learn something new every day and never stop reading.
True or False: I have a progressive career plan that will increase my earnings within the next five years.
The last time I improved my work skills was ______________.
What I’ve accomplished during 2017 inspires me to keep it rolling. I pulled off some difficult projects at work and earned a top evaluation rating and raise. I finished an 18-credit certificate in Web Programming. I started this blog. Learning WordPress on my own and customizing the blog page was a challenge, but the struggle stretched my skillset. Blogging isn’t just about writing. It’s learning about social media, like Facebook, Pinterest, affiliate marketing, guest posting, and commenting on other blogs. My professional development wasn’t ignored. I conducted two financial planning workshops and presented at the IRS Practice and Procedures conference with the New York State Society of CPAs.
Interest rates do not make for the most exciting chat topic. You won’t find it in the conversation starter game that you unwrapped for Christmas. It’s probably easier to clear a room by yelling ‘Interest Rates!’ than FIRE! Watch your friends and family run from you as you broach the topic of how the Federal Open Market Committee voted to keep the Federal Funds Target Rate at 1.00% – 1.25%. Fed Prime Rate Info
During my latest financial planning workshop, I had the pleasure of meeting a few millennials. It was refreshing to see their hunger for financial knowledge. As we talked, some problematic issues of their generation surfaced, one being how to build a credit history. They conveyed that friends wanting to rent their own apartment were turned down because they didn’t have a credit history. Here’s one of life’s ambiguities. Like applying for jobs that require experience when you can’t get a job to gain experience, how do you build credit when you’re just starting on the path to financial adulthood?
I’m conducting a personal financial planning workshop at a local bookstore. In three sessions, I plan to provide an overview of the following aspects of financial planning: saving, spending, investing, retirement, and insurance.
The first session, this past Thursday, was a success. A small group showed up representing all age groups. I started with my usual introduction, explaining how each person’s mentality towards money drives their money habits. With the following visual, I outlined the topics that, when combined, result in balanced financial management.
“I’m wealthy enough and I have enough money, I don’t need anymore” – said no one ever
If you read many financial planning blogs on how people are retiring early, traveling on a whim, and writing their own rules, you may be taking their straight advice to reach the same result. Save, save, save, budget, cut expenses out of your life forever. If it leaves you wondering, What’s the secret recipe?, you’re not alone.
While it’s always good to read reference material or find the most important tips, have you stopped to ask yourself questions?
Questions require self-reflection and elicit a deeper response. Questions provoke brain-simmering. When you let questions float through your mind, you stir up your cognitive ability, reaching into your deepest feelings. The edges of your mind will connect to concoct a spark of clarity that will throw the mental shades back. You will be surprised at the ideas and awareness that will surface. Flashes of creativity will pop to the forefront of your mind when you least expect it. Like, when putting dishwasher detergent in the little slot, you may think of the easiest change you can make to improve your financial status, then think, “Where did that come from? And why didn’t I think of that before?”
It may be as simple as asking someone for advice, looking up a book title in the library, or going all in on opening up a new investment account. Maybe you’ll figure out how to defer medical expenses when you re-instate your flexible spending plan. Maybe you’ll boost your savings by making a bi-weekly habit of transferring money from your checking to your savings account before you can spend it (a proven successful habit). Maybe you’ll pull all your credit card statements together and put them in order of payoff priority.
Challenge yourself to answer the following questions and see if you can create some new money habits or tweak your current methods.