Tag Archives: family budget crisis

Take The Test

Are You Ready For "The Test?" Many Americans are being tested now. Some are being tested for the first real time in their adult lives because of the financial crisis that continues to grip everyone’s attention. However, many Americans may not yet recognize that this test could turn out better for them than they ever imagined.

Question number one: What is really important to you in your life? We often think about how we are going to increase lifestyle. Perhaps that is the wrong question. Maybe our focus all along should have been “What’s important now?”

Question number two: Do you believe in yourself? This is more than a passing question. The worldwide financial meltdown makes this question more serious than ever, but the question is much more personal than about believing in yourself at work. This question is only in this “test” so that you really think about who you are and what you want.

Question number three: Do you believe only the rich get richer, or can you have a vision of yourself building savings and wealth?

Question number four: Can you commit to a strategy to build emergency savings, life-long savings and retirement investment? If you can, all you need is a plan.

Review your spending over the last three months. Look at your personal spending like a business would look at expenses. Make a commitment to reducing your spending by 10 – 15%. Call everyone you get a bill from and let them know that you have to reduce expenses by 15%. See what options present themselves. You might be surprised.

At the same time, make sure you take the time to look at your checking account for what it is: A MONEY LAUNDERING ACCOUNT for OTHER people’s money. Use every excuse you can to remove money – even small amounts – from that account and put it in money market savings.

While you focus more time on the most important thing in your life (question number one), make an effort to increase spending….on savings. If you have to start with a small amount, take only 1% from your next after-tax paycheck. Push it to savings. Then, each paycheck or at least once a month after, add 1% to it until you reach 15% savings every month.

Commit to this strategy (question number two) of using automatic savings to drive emergency savings. You should work to build 15 to 18 months of expenses in savings (money market savings account or certificates of deposit). Remember: savings will build faster than you think. Just focus on the automatic savings paycheck to paycheck and month to month. You are building to actually generate longer range goals. While that does not happen immediately, you should focus on the going the distance. How would your life be impacted by having 15 to 18 months of expenses in emergency savings? I thought so.

You must seek out examples of people who began with nothing and built wealth. If you look, you will find example after example. The best news: There are thousands of examples of wealth building that does not involve the lottery or a windfall. In other words, saving and investing for the long-term WORKS.

Work to learn all you can about saving and investing. Start with building your emergency savings fun, but don’t stop there. Keep going.

If you answer these four questions above and are ready for the journey, you are ready to shake things up and truly build wealth for yourself. Get started today.

Good luck!

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

Advertisements

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

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

What If The Financial Crisis Was An Adventure?

Suppose that you were charged with the responsibility of representing a group of people on an important mission in a foreign country. What if your assignment was to learn as much as you can about the local culture and develop relationships to get ahead and bring the rest of your “group” along to success in this new country. Maybe their are people in your own family tree who did this in the 1700’s, the 1840’s or even more recent.

What would you do?

I guess you would find out as much about the people and how they get along, right? You might read as much as you can on how to become a part of the community. You might research and learn as much about the people as possible, right?

Okay. We’ve had a meltdown. Some people lost everything. Some people didn’t have anything to begin with. Some lost money in 401ks or in pure stocks. What about you?

Well, today is a new day. You have the power to begin something new. You can begin a new adventure. The “group” you will represent will be your family. The foreign country will be your process of building a more secure financial life.

How do you do it?

The same way you would do it if you landed in a foreign country on a mission for your “group.” You would learn all you could about the people and the mission.

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you know we are big believers in doing your own research, spending an hour a day or an hour every other day working for “just yourself.” You know that we believe in automatic savings and building assets that generate income for now and in the future. But you should know about our philosophy of “getting to know the people and the ways of the foreign country” (known as wealth-building). After all, many people with money for some reason don’t want you to know how to really get ahead. So, we recommend that you make it easy on yourself.

That’s right. Check out sites like http://www.bloomberg.com, http://www.wsj.com, http://www.kiplinger.com and more. We recommend that you have regular subscriptions for Money and Kiplinger. Work to understand people that save and invest regularly. This is not so you leap off the deep-end and start buying penny stocks (we recommend AGAINST that) or the latest hot thing. We recommend that you have these types of magazines in your home so that you spend time getting to understand and think like richer people.

Oh, and I should say that we are not recommending that you boost automatic savings and build wealth for the sake of becoming rich. You boost savings to increase the safety net around your family, and you build wealth so that your family will have options. Times could become worse for the average family. If you have a job, you have opportunity to save.

Take the opportunity. Start automatic an savings program. Start learning how rich people think. Take advantage of their “showing off” how to increase savings and build wealth.

If you haven’t already signed up for our FREE monthly e-saver, you can do it now @ http://www.stickyasset.com/blog.

Good luck on your new adventure. I hope your “group” does very well indeed.

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

If You’ve Not Seen The Recovery Package, Here You Go

If you’ve not seen how the U.S. Government is selling the bailout now, check it out at http://www.recovery.gov.

Once you’ve read this “package,” you should be seriously motivated to save your booty off in the coming days, weeks, months and years.

For those of you who have already read the ebook “The Sticky Asset: How To Survive Any Financial Crisis,” we thought we would update you on the jar in our kitchen. Yes, the story really is true. This year we are already at $28.15. That money will go directly into a CD at the end of the year with the remaining amount we find on the ground between now and then.

As you know, we constantly preach that you can create ways to save money. However, once you do that – you must take the “savings” out of your checking account and put it in a high-interest savings vehicle. It is not saving if you don’t do this. Your checking account is a MONEY LAUNDERING ACCOUNT for OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY.

If you have not checked out our main blog, you can do so at http://www.stickyasset.com/blog. If you are looking only to purchase the e-book, go to http://www.stickyasset.com.

Good luck on getting your bailout. Prepare now so that if things get worse, you will NOT be as bad off as many you will know.

You can save your family in this financial crisis and for the long-term. Just act now. Get started by developing a specific plan to save and secure wealth for your future one step at a time.

And good luck!

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