Tag Archives: credit card debt

Make Yourself WEALTHY (Let’s Get Started in 2010)


They are all around you: people who seem like normal everyday people – only they have saved an invested over the last twenty-five to thirty years and are either close to or are already millionaires.

How did ordinary people get there?

Steady saving and automatic investing with every paycheck.

Goal setting for their financial future.

You can do it, too.

1. Sit down and look at your current debt and the bills you have every month.

2. Check your emergency savings fund (do you have 15 to 18 months of expenses in savings?)! If you don’t have enough savings, work to save money and split those amounts between savings and debt reduction until you are rich.

3. Review credit card debt first; If you cannot put all of your credit card debt or those with the highest interest rates onto a lower interest rate card, then pay the minimums on all cards except the one that has the highest interest rate. Single out the highest interest rate card to pay as large of a monthly payment BEYOND the minimum that you can until you pay it off. Then, move to the next highest interest rate card and do the same. Repeat this until you are credit card debt free. Then remember what horrible enemies these companies are to your own family future.

4. If you have difficulty identifying ways to save, use our 1% Savings Plan (see previous blog entries for fast tips).

5. If your company offers a 401k, get in it. If you don’t believe in a 401k and your company offers one, GET IN IT. If you have trouble with this one, repeat it until you understand how it can make your long-term retirement a reality.

6. Establish a regular and automatic way to save with each paycheck. If you can, you can also establish a regular and automatic way to invest with each paycheck. Focus on the percentage of your after tax income you will be saving and investing – not how much.

The real secret is: saving + investing regularly + steady debt reduction and elimination + time = wealth. Yes, you can. You just have to develop your own plan. Almost no one becomes wealthy overnight, but you can do it. Begin TODAY and stay with it. You will see results.

You can do this! It’s 2010!

HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD

In this country we don’t do enough to teach our children about money, managing money, saving regularly (and automatically), compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future. As a parent, we are always concerned that they get a good education and go to a good college so they can make a lot of money or have a valued career path. The truth is that we could do our children the biggest favor and one of the best things by sharing with them sound saving and investing principles.

You can join our free Facebook group (or have your children do it, too) by searching in the Facebook bar on your “wall” for “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves.” Click on “become a fan.” It’s free and it ties our free blogs into that group.

If you want to give your children the same information we are giving ours, you can purchase the only thing we sell on any of our blogs or groups. It’s called “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” and you can get it for only $4.95 at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.

Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog
http://www.middleclassmoney.com
http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com
http://www.squidoo.com/boostmywealth
http://www.stickyasset.com

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Ghosts Of Past Year Savings

savings pic
If you could go back to talk to yourself even five years ago, would you share mistakes with your younger self and how to avoid them? Would you find a way to avoid more credit card debt? Save more?

Time is essential when it comes to wealth-building (for most of us). Anything real is real work. You know this.

The best news about today is: If you have a job, you are in the best position to establish or increase savings today. While most people understand that the economy has shifted, most don’t understand their real power in this economy. Consumers are driving the economy. More than this, the amount of savings you may need if things go wrong has increased. In the old days, “they” talked about 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings. This is wrong-headed thinking. It’s old. Today we are recommending that you establish regular and automatic savings patterns that help you build 15 to 18 months of expenses in savings. This can be money market savings and certificates of deposit in an FDIC-insured institution. The goal is simple: It may take you that long to find a job should you lose yours or even longer to replace your current income if you lose your job.

You can establish a savings pattern by seeing the people where you work. See if they allow you to take a small amount out thru direct deposit each time you get paid. Begin socking away a little bit per paycheck.

We constantly tell people to forget about focusing on the money you make or the amount you are saving actually. We encourage you to focus on the percentage of your after tax income that you are saving.

Remember that your checking account is a money laundering account for other people’s money. Any excuse you can give yourself to push money out of checking and into savings is a good excuse.

What you make does not matter as much as what you save or eventually put into investing, but start with building the emergency savings fund. You will be glad you did.

SAVE MORE THAN MONEY

In this country we don’t do enough to teach our children about money, managing money, saving regularly (and automatically), compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future. As a parent, we are always concerned that they get a good education and go to a good college so they can make a lot of money or have a valued career path. The truth is that we could do our children the biggest favor and one of the best things by sharing with them sound saving and investing principles.

You can join our free Facebook group (or have your children do it, too) by searching in the Facebook bar on your “wall” for “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves.” Click on “become a fan.” It’s free and it ties our free blogs into that group.

If you want to give your children the same information we are giving ours, you can purchase the only thing we sell on any of our blogs or groups. It’s called “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” and you can get it for only $4.95 at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.

Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog
http://www.middleclassmoney.com
http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com
http://www.squidoo.com/boostmywealth
http://www.stickyasset.com

The Best Advice You May Ever Get On Money

Numbers

The Numbers

10.6% – The charge-off rate on credit card debt in May, the highest on record.*

2.9% – The delinquency rate for prime mortgages in the first quarter, up 20% from the previous quarter.*

49% – The portion of recipients who have exhausted their unemployment benefits BEFORE finding jobs, as of May vs. 37% a year ago.*

These numbers speak for themselves. Our biggest concern at this blog is the millions who feel they would like to save but don’t because they think they can’t.

YOU CAN save no matter who you are and no matter what you earn. Most Americans gain a certain identity from their job and what they earn in their paycheck. If that identity shifts to saving and investing, the course of future history can be completely altered.

Think about this: You don’t need to change future history for many. You can focus on how you can change future history for your family and all that it touches in the future. You can change the way you educate your children on personal finance.

Regular savings + Investing in assets that produce other assets of the same kind + commitment to reduction and elimination of debt + time = wealth.

Do you really want to grow wealth? If you do, you will follow this formula and seek more informal and perhaps some formal education to always learn more about how the rich put money under pressure

Saving Is Not An Option

Because we focus on what we would call “other education” in the United States, millions and millions of children grow up to think that saving is optional. The truth is: Saving is only optional if you want to guarantee poverty when you are older (or even sooner).

If you are serious about learning the path of the rich when dealing with money, you should spend more time learning what they already know and pass along to their own children. You can utilize our blogs (www.stickyasset.com/blog and http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com).
If It Is Free, It’s For Me

Sign up for our FREE monthly e-saver @ http://www.stickyasset.com/blog. Look for the e-mail sign-up window. We will not sell your e-mail address or share any of your information. We are all about you and your family developing your own plan to boost savings regularly, lose or eliminate fees and waste and grow long-term wealth.

A BONUS FOR YOU
Finally, the only thing we sell of any kind is “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis.” You may purchase this for $4.95 for a limited time only at http://www.MiddleClassMoney.com. We don’t apologize for charging people. It is a very small fee, and it is totally worth it. Inside “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” we share direct secrets with you about strategies used by the rich to propel wealth. If you are not interested in these secrets, don’t purchase it. If you are, it cost about the same amount as a cup of coffee at Starbucks. You can do this.

Join our FREE Facebook group Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves™. The only thing we ask is that after you join you invite at least five (5) additional people you care about to join as well.

No matter who you are – you can do this. If you want to build savings, it won’t happen overnight. However, it will grow A LOT FASTER than you think.

Get started. This is the best advice you will ever get. Take it and run with it. Start today.

Thank you.

Loyd Ford
http://www.middleclassmoney.com
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog
http://www.stickyasset.com
http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com
http://www.squidoo.com/boostmywealth

Don’t forget to invite others to join Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves™ only on Facebook.

*from the July 20, 2009 Fortune Magazine. Sources: Moody’s office thrift supervision: Department Of Labor.

The Road For Investing Is Not Open To Everyone

Road Closed Sign
A lot of people think the road to saving and investing is closed to them. Let’s face it. When you start out “on your own,” you have freedom. Many of us experience true freedom for the first time at that moment, but the moment doesn’t last.

Credit card companies (and many others) come along and promise that you can go in a little debt and boost your “lifestyle.” Years pass. You get married. You have kids. Suddenly, you have just enough to scrape by – maybe not even that. And you arrive at “How can I save? How can I invest? I can barely get by.”

Let me open the door to saving just for you. You have to take your life back from these people. And you have to do what all great explorers do: start with baby steps.

Review your life. I mean your financial life. See where your money is actually going by looking at the last three months of your expenses.

See what could be eliminated. Then, start to look at where you could reduce expense. Don’t stop at regular spending (eating out, movies). Look at regular bills as well. Call the individual companies and tell them that your family has been slammed by the recession and you need their help in reducing the bill by 10 – 15%. You may be surprised to get their help, but be open-minded to ideas they have in reducing your bill. You have to pitch in, too.

When you get a bill reduced by 8% or 10% or 15% (good job), calculate that money and earmark that money for savings BEFORE you pay your first bill each month. Remember: If you are not actually saving that money, YOU ARE NOT SAVING.

Look at your paycheck. Look at the after-tax amount you get every time you get paid. If you have to do this, begin by saving only 1% off the top of your after tax pay each time you get paid. Each month after that, increase the amount you take OFF THE TOP and put in savings by another 1%. It will make transitioning into savings easier for you and your family, and chances are you will not miss the money that much.

The key to wealth-building is:

#1. Automatic savings month after month or paycheck after paycheck. You cannot look at this as optional.
#2. Eliminate or lower debt all the time. Focus on first reducing debt and then eliminating it (especially credit card debt).
#3. Purchasing assets systematically. This means regular investments in assets (assets – by our definition – are those things that pay a dividend or reproduce the source element of the asset).

The road is now open to you IF you will begin. Do as we say and you will grow more secure and you will grow wealth. This is not get rich quick, but it works.

If you want more tips on saving money (tricks) and boosting wealth (strategies), sign up for our FREE monthly e-saver at http://www.stickyasset.com/blog. You can also get our $4.95 “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.

You can do this. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

Good luck!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog
http://www.middleclassmoney.com
http://www.squidoo.com/boostmywealth

Do You Have A Personal Financial Plan?

letter writing

What is your plan? Do you have a plan for building savings? Do you have a proper emergency savings fund should you lose your job or run into more significant difficulties?

I was talking to a good friend of mine and we were talking about how easy it is to fall into credit card debt. We talked about how “we all know” what we “should” be doing, but time slips away.

DO THE REVIEW

This is why you must take some time to sit down and review your expenses over the last three (3) months. Have you done this? Look at all your spending and put your spending in categories.

Look at what spending you might be able to cut out in the future.

PUT YOURSELF ON A MANDATORY REDUCTION

Then, treat yourself like a business in a recession. Put yourself on a mandatory 10 – 15% expense reduction across the board. Call every company that sends you a bill (yes, even cable and electric). Tell them that you have to cut your expenses by 10 – 15% in the next thirty (30) days and ask for their help. You might be surprised at the good results.

Remember: this is an across the board reduction. You are taking this away from cutting a specific bill. Everyone reduces and you get to save more. That’s the idea, and it works.

Take any money you save and “earmark” that money for a monthly automatic withdrawal from checking to savings (money market or certificate of deposit).

COUPONS, SAVINGS

Spend an hour of your time three (3) days a week to research coupon codes and savings on the internet. Any money you save must be removed from your checking to your savings. You can do this as the savings occur. If you don’t take this “savings” from checking to savings, you are NOT really saving.

RETIREMENT

Are you enrolled in your company 401k plan? Do you have opportunity to enroll? If you do, make it happen. This is an excellent way to partially pay for retirement. Did you see that word PARTIALLY?

In the old days, your parents believed that Social Security would pay for their retirement. Then, we all began to believe that Social Security would go bust. Over the past decade, people have believed that a 401k would be enough to help you retire with strong income. Now we know that you will need a 401k and either a Roth or individual IRA. It should be a part of your “plan.”

NO PLAN – NO FUTURE

It’s easy to get off track. You must manage your finances with an eye on the future. Good things and bad things happen to everyone. If you save automatically each paycheck and you take money out of your checking at any excuse to build savings, you will be in a good position to help yourself when bad things happen.

WHAT SHOULD YOUR EMERGENCY SAVINGS BE IN 2009?

This is why your emergency savings fund goal should be to build 15 to 18 months of expenses in savings. The first six (6) months should be liquid in money market savings with an FDIC-insured bank with the highest possible interest rates. Then, the balance should be in certificates of deposit (six month cds only).

With automatic savings, your emergency savings will build a lot faster than you think. Focus on the fact that time will move along and you will build this money over time.

BEYOND SAVINGS

Once you have built your emergency savings fund and you are contributing to your company 401k and either a Roth or individual IRA, you should begin to seek ways to purchase assets that generate dividends or other assets. This is the true path to wealth.

THE KEYS TO YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE

The greedy rich want us to continue to use their credit cards. They want us to see our liabilities as assets so they continue to grow wealthier while the common man remains poor.

If you don’t take any advice from anyone, take this advice. Develop your own plan for saving and investing regularly. Avoid credit cards and other debt. Focus on building the correct emergency savings fund for today’s complicated job and financial market. If you have opportunity to contribute to a 401k AND either Roth or indivual IRA, DO IT.

The bottom line is this: Purchase assets that make money themselves. This could be stocks, mutual funds, or real estate. If you focus on purchasing things that make more money on their own, you will build wealth. That should be your goal.

Do you have a plan? If not, sit down and begin right now. You can do this – and you can find ways to save money. More than this, you will reach a point when you can focus on only on purchasing money making assets. This will allow you to build true-wealth.

If you’ve not signed up for our FREE monthly e-saver, you can do so by signing up in the e-mail window at http://www.stickyasset.com/blog. It can save you thou$ands more in the next few years alone!

Good luck!

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

Why You Must Start Now

"The clock is running." When it comes to saving and investing, time is your enemy (or your friend). Delaying is a nightmare that you will see later in your life. If you have children, one of the most important things you can ever do for them is to teach them to save a strong percentage of their income from their first part time job all the way thru their lives. If they establish that saving is not optional early, they will be wealthy on the back end of their lives (when they will need money the most).

Americans focus on education. Get into a good college. Get the degree. But most American children don’t get a good education in personal finance. As a result, they often feel saving and investing is optional. Even if they discover the importance of saving and investing, it is often after 40. Remember what we said about time and money?

We preach this all the time: save and purchase dividend producing assets early and you will be saved from a lot of crisis later. Instead of the lifestyles of the 80s and 90s, we should be focused on owning assets that produce more assets. It is as simple as that.

For most of us, we wish we have begun saving and then investing earlier. Consider that time + regular and automatic saving + automatic and regular investment = wealth creation.

Most everyone is looking for the fast way to wealth. Most of us will never play in the NBA, NFL or MLB. Most of us will never stand in front of 25,000 people singing our greatest hits. Most of us will never win the lottery. However, there are paths to gain access to personal stability and wealth growth.

If you don’t have a proper emergency savings fund, start. It will build faster than you think. We believe a proper emergency savings fund is 15 – 18 months of expenses. That breaks down like this: Six months of it should be in pure cash (money market savings). The balance should be in laddered certificates of deposit so that you are earning as much as possible but remaining as liquid as possible.

Even though people are down on their 401k investments, you should participate if you company has a program. However, the new days ahead will involve happiness for those who launch a Roth IRA with steady savings in addition to their 401k and contributions to emergency savings.

Every penny you save matters.

It will build faster than you think. GET STARTED.

Thank you for reading our blog. If you want, you can get our FREE monthly e-saver by going to http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and signing up in the e-mail block at the right-hand side of our main blog!

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