Tag Archives: Bail ME out

Self Help Yourself To Wealth (No, Seriously)

I’ve been reading the Chris Gardner book “Start Where You Are.” Chris Gardner is the inspiration for the movie The Pursuit of Happyness (the movie that starred Will Smith as Chris). If you don’t know his story, you should Google him or at least start with the movie. That should motivate you that no matter who you are or where you are you can make a difference and you can both save and invest for the future. While Chris was once homeless, he is now a multimillionare. He didn’t do it with get-rich-quick. He did it with hard work. He did it with focus. He did it with will power.

He has a great story. You can utilize his story to inspire you to “Start Where You Are.” While I am not usually a person who loves a lot of self-help (funny for a person writing two self-help personal finance blogs). If you’ve been reading this blog or our main blog (www.stickyasset.com/blog) for any time, you know that we are working to make good decisions and save regularly while we attempt to help others do the same.

Today’s buzz words are: Start Where You Are. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your family is begin. Begin to save automatically. Even if you start by saving only 1% of your next after-tax paycheck, begin. Then, increase it each paycheck or once a month by another 1% each paycheck or month. Do this until you reach 15%.

You can build a safety-net for you and your family and then begin to truly save and invest in a way that will help you to build wealth.

All I can say is “thank you” again for reading our blog. And “Start Where You Are.”

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

Don’t Accept No As The (Only) Answer

Welcome to 2010. Does this seem early? Well, you better get on board. The old days are gone and they’re not coming back.

You could almost hear when the band stopped playing, right?

As we open the new era, it looks as if the U.S. is settling into a major reset in terms of income and spending. While some continue to spend, most have pulled back and savings has surged as people deal with fear of not knowing the future.

Of course, we’ve never known the future. If we did, we would probably mess it up. However, we can develop a strategy to improve our personal financial performance in the rough economic weather.

As the reset continues to develop (some would call this “trickle down”), a new era of “the consumer” should sweep the nation. While downward pressure is applied to income, consumers are going to have to reset their thinking about negotiation. In fact, you are going to have to become much more skilled at negotiation. Gone are the days when you could say, “I am embarrassed to negotiate.” Gone are the days when it was okay to “let price slide.”

What Is True Negotiation All About?

These days it should be all about research (in advance), pricing set up before you go (if possible) and the #1 tool in the woodshed for consumers: Be prepared to walk away.

Think of it this way. Any product you desire – a home, a car, a blender, a phone, a television (and the list goes on) – can now be purchased by you at a wider variety of retailers than ever before, on-line and in a variety of second-hand or used environments (not to mention E-Bay and Craigs list). So, if you don’t buy X at X Superstore, you can get it at Y Superstore or on-line (and often for a better price).

When you negotiate you need to play along, have patience and knowledge on your side. Don’t allow a salesperson to “frame the issue.” Get ahead of them and use the knowledge you have about them (their stock, their quotas, their competition) to put downward pressure on them. Consider that you likely only have to purchase one (1) or one (1) TV, but they have to sell hundreds or more. Each month comes with a quota. They have goals.

When you save money with negotiation, make sure you take the money saved and shift it from checking to savings. If you don’t do this, you have saved NOTHING.

2010 (and you might as well start now) is your year to make ’em earn it. Negotiate on EVERYTHING!

Negotiation is not only for things you purchase. Are you up for a great job? Don’t think only in terms of standard compensation. Sometimes businesses can pay a cell phone bill or put you up in an apartment for thirty (30) days (or six months). Think about other options Vs. cash or standard compensation. Maybe you can gain access in negotiation before you accept the job to an additional week of paid vacation per year.

The main thing is this: Start thinking about how you can harness value out of everyday interactions. Don’t settle. Don’t accept no as the (only) answer.

Look for ways to give people what they want in return for a real deal for yourself. Experiment with negotiation. But always be willing to walk away.

The world has gotten tough for the 2010 model. You get tough right back.

Go to our main blog to sign up for your FREE monthly e-saver @ http://www.stickyasset.com/blog.

Thanks for spending a few minutes with us.

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

10 Years Is A Long Time

Ten years ago I didn’t care about saving money or retirement or investing or anything related to preservation of assets. In fact, I never gave any such thing a thought. Not a single thought.

Maybe you are like this, too. Perhaps you just started thinking about the difference between now and the future and you have begun to see that you must make significant plans for the future or you may not have one.

If you are reading this and have children in high school or college, you have opportunity to help them recognize and benefit from a philosophy of saving and investing that will make them wealthy by the time they are in their forties.

While most Americans are taught by our modern pop culture that wealth is something that can happen instantly, the single best weapon you can give your children is knowledge that time is on their side. Great wealth (or even just plain wealth) does not happen very often “overnight.” You can show them how dedicating a percentage of their incomes – rain or shine and no matter what – automatically to savings (money market and certificates of deposit until you have the recommended emergency savings fund) will all but guarantee they will be wealthy by their mid-to-late forties.

In a world where financial crisis is likely to show up several times in their lifetime, the best gift you can give him is knowledge of automatic savings, smart investing and watchful consumerism.

It’s not too late for you either.

We constantly preach to stay away from credit cards and any form of payday loan. It’s more than saying live below your means. Have the guts to refuse to fold in with these people. They are your enemies.

We say you can’t own credit cards – CREDIT CARDS OWN YOU. We should reject these people as our enemies as consumers and as people. It will help us rebalance our lives and improve the lives of our children.

We state often that your checking account is a money laundering account for other people’s money. Use any excuse to get money out of checking and into savings.

We recommend an emergency savings fund of 15 to 18 months of expenses.

We recommend that you put at least six (6) months of this emergency savings fund in money market savings with an FDIC-insured bank and the remaining amount in laddering certificates of deposit (with CD of more than six (6) months in length each).

Once you have the correct amount of emergency savings, begin investing in mutual funds. No load. Do your research on their history (and recongnize that their history may not be their future). Get to know low-cost mutual funds that have strong track-records.

If you want to become wealthly, always watch the expenses with any investing. Never look at your paycheck as your monitary value. Never look at your checking account as your monitary value. You build monitary value by what you save and what you steadily invest.

You can take control one day at a time and build real value in your future. This fact and helping our own children is what forced us to write the e-book “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” (available at http://www.stickyasset.com). We simply wanted to lay out the simple ways to save, invest and build real value in any economy. We did it in a way that can save people thousands of dollars every year (or more). There are so many people hurting in this economic environment. We are hopeful that our blogs and efforts will help many.

Check out our main blog at http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and sign up for your FREE monthly e-saver. Doing your own research and taking issue with the big business that has gained access to our financial future is easier than you think. You can do this!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

The Plan For Surviving The Great Recession

We are all hopeful that a depression has been avoided. Of course, the serious economists are still watchful of the possibility that the government cannot hold on and keep us away from still slipping into a modern version of the 1930’s style depression. If you are someone who likes to plan for the future, you shouldn’t be sounding the all clear to your friends and family either.

We continue to watch company earnings, unemployment, home sales and a variety of other factors in determining if we can truly “turn the corner.”

The truth has not changed. You must have a plan for surviving the “Great Recession.” This plan should include a reality view of the world YOU live in today.

You should have or work to build an emergency savings fund that includes 15 to 18 months of expenses in money market savings or certificates of deposit (or best in both). Now is NOT the time to pull back from a 401k unless you are carrying extra credit card debt and cannot afford to pay that debt off and push ahead in your 401k.

You must work to eliminate credit card debt and see these guys for who they are: The devil. That’s right – I said it. They are the devil. Your enemy. You should always treat them as such. Too many millions of Americans are still chasing their credit score when CASH IS KING.

Once you have secured your debt (eliminated or highly reduced it) and you have the proper emergency savings fund, work to steadily invest in mutual funds and diversify. We like no-load mutual funds. Look for low fees.

See your home for what it is: your home. Many millions of Americans refuse to see their home for what it is in terms of your wealth or poverty – your BIGGEST LIABILITY. Work to pay even small amounts extra in principle if you can because it will save you more than you realize in the life of the loan. In fact, if you steady-up on paying principle in addition to your monthly house “note,” you could knock YEARS and many, many thousands off of your debt. Homes are to live in. They are not speculative investment.

Invest in yourself. This means personal education. You can do it at the local community college or on-line. You can do some formal learning or training or teach yourself about saving and investing and work to generate passive income streams in addition to your “day jobs” to fund savings and investing.

People often only think to save when trouble comes. Steady and automatic savings will add up faster than you think.

You can do this. Develop wealth as a hobby. Be serious about it. Look to purchase things that begin to generate money on their own. This can be savings or mutual funds. It can – eventually be more.

Sign up for our FREE E-SAVER now at our main blog (www.stickyasset.com/blog). Good luck!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

Tools To Help You Boost Savings & Add Wealth

Everyone wants to get rich quick. Who wouldn’t like that? You sit back and relax, money just drops into your account. Hey, when you wake up, we thought it would be nice to provide you with a few sites to give you tools you can use to boost personal savings, develop your own plan for increasing wealth over time and giving your family more options later in life. This is one of the most important things you can do. Develop your plan and stick to it. You can do it.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/calcs/n_expect/main.asp

http://www.walletpop.com/calculators/budgeting

http://www.mindyourfinances.com/calculators/home-budget

The true way to wealth: Time + focus + automatic savings + moving money from checking to savings = production of wealth. Get rich quick is for losers. We’re not saying it cannot happen, but it’s not the way to bet. Take it slow and easy as you do your research and develop your plan – and then stick to it.

Keep checking in here and at our main blog (www.stickyasset.com/blog) to give yourself an edge for your family. You can also sign up for our FREE monthly e-saver @ http://www.stickyasset.com/blog.

Thank you for reading – always.

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

The Secret About Death & Savings

People always think of saving money as something they should do or they could do. It’s as if saving is an option for people. It is something you don’t have to do?

The truth is that the most successful people long-term are automatic savers. It is part of a balanced life, and it is a lot more than something you should do.

Think of it this way. People don’t think about dying. Not in person. They think about it as something that happens to older people or those who are unfortunate – just not themselves.

The same is true in terms of losing a job or really needing money and not having it. People think about now and not about the future. It is human nature.

Plenty of people didn’t listen to the warnings on the Titanic. They just thought everything would work out, and it did. Everything always works out.

How do you want YOUR STORY to work out in the future?

Spend the rest of your time on the internet today or tonight investigating ways to save money automatically. The best advice we can give you is this:

B E G I N!

Start a savings program. Build it yourself.

Sign up right now for your own FREE e-saver each month by going to http://www.stickyasset.com/blog.

Good luck!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

Practical Things To Save Money That Really Work For You

There are two kinds of savings:

Saving – 1

http://www.pricegrabber.com

http://www.retailmenot.com

http://www.shopittome.com

Not enough? Do your own research to find coupon codes, savings and additional ways to negotiate for price. Then – put what you save in actual savings.

Saving – 2

IngDirect.com

HSBCDirect.com

Make sure you are getting the best rates on money market savings accounts and certificates of deposit at http://www.bankrate.com.

Make sure YOUR bank is FDIC-insured.

Investing

Check with your employer to see if you are eligible for the 401k. Check to see if they have forms for automatic savings for Roth IRAs and Traditional IRAs. Then….

http://www.vanguard.com

http://www.troweprice.com

The keys to the mansion are: Automatic saving, negotiation and “tricking” yourself into saving additional dollars whenever possible.

Check out our main blog at http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and sign up there for the monthly FREE e-saver.

Check out the e-book “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.

And good luck! You can do it!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog