Tag Archives: help with money

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

How Do Some People Save And Others Don’t?

I have to give some credit to HSBCDirect.com for the following:

• Active Savers, a group of people characterized by their dedication to saving, entered the recession better prepared than others because of their savings lifestyle. They have not had to take drastic measures to adapt to uncertain financial times and are less likely to have had to cut back on spending, eating out, and making large purchases.

• For more than half (57 percent) of Active Savers, learning to save started at a young age. Putting money away is a value their parents instilled in them (73 percent).

• Savings comes first for nearly half (46 percent) of Active Savers. They’re willing to make sacrifices in order to be able to put money away.

Overall, a majority of the population has not allowed the economy to hamper their savings plans—81 percent have been able to put the same amount away, if not more.

Here’s the idea: Steady savers are better prepared for the downturns that always come in economy and personal situations. Steady savers that are most successful are those who save AUTOMATICALLY. This can include:

401k
Roth IRA
Traditional IRA
Emergency Savings

And you should have each one of these with automatic savings everytime you get paid.

Savings should be put away in FDIC-insured banks that offer the best interest rates.

Want more? Check out or main blog at http://www.stickyasset.com/blog.

Good luck. You’re on the right path thinking about putting money away for the future. Now…take more steps to protect your future by putting the automatic savings into action in each of the categories above.

Thank you.

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

5 Things Every Parent Can Teach Their Children

We all want to give our children access to a great education. You hear a lot about this all the time. You must get excellent grades. You must get into a great school. You must do all you can to “get on the path.”

Why? Most of the reasons behind this is so that your kids and my kids will be good employees. EMPLOYEES! The American Dream is often centered around our identity at work and getting ahead recognized as how much you make. The true look at building personal wealth over your lifetime (and the lifetime of your children) should have much more balance.

No, we are NOT against education. You should want your children to have a good education, but you should arm them with the sharpest knife you can give them: an education in personal finance and wealth-building.

The earlier we start having a personal finance plan and developing ways to build wealth, the better off we will be. You likely know this as an adult. With children, time is on their side.

If you have been reading this blog, you know that we are big to encourage you to teach your children that automatic savings from any paycheck and automatic monthly savings from checking are not a choice – THEY ARE ESSENTIAL to personal financial health over time.

Giving your children an education and really teaching them how time impacts money can give your children more than their education ever will. It is difficult to overestimate this potential.

We started with our boys in this way:

1. From paycheck one, each paycheck should have an automatic savings paid directly from your paycheck to an emergency savings fund (until you have 15 to 18 months of expenses in savings – 6 months in high-interest savings and the rest in rotating six month only certificates of deposit). This will help your children build a real safety net so they have more time to make any decision should they lose their job or have other issues that impact their ability to stay “flush with cash.”

2. See your checking account as a MONEY LAUNDERING ACCOUNT FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. That’s right. Don’t get your value from a checking account. That money is a holding account and the money does not belong to you unless you REMOVE it to savings.

3. You cannot own credit cards – CREDIT CARDS OWN YOU. So many millions of Americans are chasing their credit score. How did this happen? The marketing “people” turned the truth on its’ head. They started showing how credit is your friend (credit is not your friend). While we don’t want you to harm your credit, the truth is that CASH IS KING….not credit. Limit your use of credit cards and always pay them off. If you cannot pay them off each month, get rid of them immediately (or put them in a safe) and pay them off. Credit cards are not your friend.

4. We like to say that in the old days there was Social Security. Then, people began to say, “Social Security isn’t enough and it might not even be around for you and me.” Now, people say, “get a 401k. But it isn’t enough. You should enroll in your companies’ 401k, but you should also have a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA that you give steady (again with that automatic word) savings to month after month and year after year.

5. It is critical that you teach your children that once they have secured the proper emergency savings fund (15 to 18 months of expenses), the should focus on purchasing assets that create their own income. This might be stocks. It might be real estate. However, the key is to have a dividend or income that comes from owning whatever it is. This is the true key to building wealth over time. For instance, if you choose stocks with dividends, reinvest those dividends for the LIFE OF THE STOCK and you will be building wealth.

Take our advice here and you will teach your children how to build real wealth over time by starting them off with an actual HEAD START over the other kids!

That’s where you want to be with your children, isn’t it?

Thank you for spending a moment with us today. Check out our main blog at http://www.stickyasset.com/blog if you want more.

Good luck!

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

Life Moves When You’re Not Watching (Why Strategic Savings Work)

You’ve seen the national insurance company say, “Life comes at you fast!” It’s funny, right? Well, it can be funny if you are prepared. Are you prepared? Let me explain.

It’s easy to look back on the moment you met your wife if you’ve been married for twenty years. How about looking back on your graduation from high school or college? Remember the moment you had your first kiss? How long ago was thall that?

Time moves faster than we are regularly monitoring. The longer you live the faster time seems to “slide right along” as a friend of mine says all the time.

If you develop a strategy that depends on automatic and steady savings, you will learn over time that it adds up faster than you think. Thinking strategically about problems like proper savings, automatic ways to save thru work (payroll) or home (checking to savings transfers) along with investing in low cost no-load mutual funds (once you are reached your proper emergency savings fund), will make your life better over time. This is because you will have more options.

If you have a job today, you must not see savings as an option. You should build your own plan to boost savings thru automatic savings. Seek out resources like this blog and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog to help you build the path you want to take.

Good things and bad things happen to everyone. You can’t change that. You can change how you react to those events of your life. That means planning to succeed.

One thing is absolutely certain. Time passes faster than any of us thinks about it. Time will move along. Thinking strategically and building a plan to save and invest wisely will make you the genius in your family. More than this it will build a safety net for your family and make your eventual retirement easier on you.

Your life shouldn’t be about a crisis. Your life should be about a plan. That will help you enjoy your life with your family. If you want more help, check out the e-book “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” at http://www.stickyasset.com and continue to do your research on personal finance on the internet. It is good investment you are already investing in now!

It’s the best gift you can give yourself and your family.

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