Tag Archives: Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves

How Many Licks Does It Take To Get To The Center Of A Blow Pop?


It’s tough to live in what I call “the hard middle.” By the time you reach “middle age,” you are grinding it out with multiple priorities of family life, job, debt and a variety of things that only come with the words middle age.

But do you remember when you were a kid? Do you remember those ads for the Blow Pop? You know, “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Blow Pop?”

Most American families are struggling with the power of the great recession and the pull backs by corporations and small businesses who are allowing fear to drive business decisions. You can’t blame these companies. After all, we have seemingly been to the edge and everyone is watching the decision makers in politics and economics to see how or when they can get the U.S. economy back on track.

How can you add true savings to the mix of family priorities and bill paying even if you may face a no raise environment (or have suffered from a reduction in pay over the last several years)?

Steady and regular savings should not be optional in any family that wants to survive and thrive in the next two decades.

You can begin by calling a family meeting and simply brainstorming about current and past spending for the purpose of reducing expenses now and in the future.

If you don’t have a savings plan in place today, go to past blog entries to see our “1% Savings Plan.” It may knock your socks off and it can absolutely increase your steady savings without killing your lifestyle.

Look at all the money you spend for any reason. Take your cue from the major corporations: Reduce your expenses across the board by talking to EVERY company that sends a bill to your home. Negotiate with them to reduce your bill with them by 10 – 15% each month. Be open-minded to their suggestions and be consistent and relentless. If they say no, ask for a supervisor. Tell them you really want to remain a customer of theirs, but tell them you need help. It may take multiple calls, but you will be happy when they give a little breathing room. Any percentage they give to you, you must add to your REGULAR and STEADY monthly savings from that point forward.

Think of it this way: The money you make is only important until you pay for your very basic food and shelter for the family. The real IMPORTANT and KEY money that flows to your family IS ONLY WHAT YOU SAVE & INVEST.

This is 2010 (almost 2011). We must become more aggressive about steady savings and investment. Focusing your family and including everyone in this will be a powerful friend to help you build wealth.

In 2010, you should have 15 to 18 months of your expenses in emergency savings. Don’t have it? Don’t worry. Just get started. It will build faster than you can imagine.

Slow and steady really does win the race. Put it to the test. You’ll be glad you did.

You can do it.

HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD

If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My own family didn’t believe in saving. They don’t believe in having a 401k. Our people have had “emergencies” all our lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly, and our family is not different than millions of other good American families. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. My parents thought they were shielding me from the realities of bills and worry. In fact, they were isolating me. I have had to learn from my own mistakes over time. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle or allowing “it” to overwhelm you. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”) associated with our mission!

It is our goal to encourage everyone to teach our children about money, managing money, and saving regularly (and automatically. Children should receive lessons about compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future before they face the hard choices of adult life while being subjected to the consequences of the high-speed marketing culture we live in. 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 by simply 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. You can get our free e-saver newsletter by signing up at http://www.StickyAsset.com/blog.

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.

Good luck to you and your children.

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

Connect with us on Facebook with these free groups:
“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
“Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves”
All on Facebook – join. It’s free.

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The Secret To Pay Yourself First


What if you could start over? Think about it. That is where your children are now. If you could teach them the secret of wealth-building, they could become wealthy and challenge themselves to live their dreams.

I always hate those people who say, “Pay yourself first.” Yeah, I know. I’m the personal finance blog guy. I’m supposed to like them, but I don’t.

If it was easy to pay yourself first, everyone would do it….right?

Here’s how you really do it without the slogan.

Take your very next paycheck. Look at the after tax amount. Multiply it by .01. Take that amount of money (before you pay any bill or spend even a nickel of that money) and push it to savings. That’s 1%.

This is our 1% Savings Plan. And you can do it.

Then, the next time you get paid, multiply that after tax amount by .02. With each paycheck after that you will add an additional .01 so that you are gradually building your regular savings until you are “paying yourself first” 15 – 20% with each paycheck you receive.

The truth is that you CAN develop your own plan for saving more money out of what you spend and blow up your savings on a regular basis. Here is another truth: You can reach your children the coolest habit that will help them generate savings and then wealth.

How much savings? It should be your goal to raise – with regular savings – 15 to 18 months of expenses in actual money market savings and certificates of deposit. Once you have done that (and you can), you can move to investing for retirement and more.

Prove to yourself that it works. Then, show it to your children. Include them. You will be shocked at the great results across your life and the life of your children.

HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD

If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My own family didn’t believe in saving. They don’t believe in having a 401k. They have had “emergencies” all their lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. My parents thought they were shielding me from the realities of bills and worry. In fact, they were isolating me. I learned nothing until I had made many of the mistakes they made. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle. I have had to learn the hard way how companies mislead with marketing. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”)!

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

Connect with us on Facebook with these free groups:
“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
“Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves”
“Saving Money”
“The Money Store”
All on Facebook – join. It’s free.

The Secret Of Happiness


It seems that people are largely controlled by emotion and circumstance. Some things we feel we can control and some things we obviously cannot. You can’t truly control how long you will live. About every 100 years we have an entirely new population.

If you don’t believe your emotions are controlled by circumstances, just let something happen to a family member, lose your job or have a health issue that changes the way you feel about money and the future.

This blog is about personal finance and protecting yourself in an unpredictable future and economy. We focus on encouraging everyone who reads us to develop their own plan to boost savings and grow wealth.

I keep a list of things that I know are true. Near the top of that list is this: Good things and bad things will happen to everyone. This is very true in personal finance and family budget, but you know that.

So, how can we be happy?

Start by knowing you cannot control a lot of experiences you will have in your life. I’m not sure we would be happy if we could control events and experiences. Look at a lot of rich people who seem self-destructive.

Take things one day at a time. To do this effectively, you should think about reducing the things that overwhelm you to percentages. A lot of people get overwhelmed when thinking about saving money for short and long-term goals. When people are overwhelmed, they tend to get more emotional and either make mistakes or shut down. This rarely works to their favor.

We encourage you to reduce this personal finance “work” of saving short and long-term to percentages so you may reduce the emotion and give yourself a strategy that you know will work over time. In fact, you can prove it to yourself in the next three (3) months.

Let’s look at your job.

Everyone has a boss. Maybe you have a good one. Maybe you don’t. If you have a good one, you are lucky. If you have a bad boss, it can make your life miserable unless you use a correct strategy to redefine your bosses’ role in your life. If you have become stressed by your work, your boss or the economy in general, using percentages can help you overcome the stress and feel better about your work life and your personal finances.

Are you ready?

We recommend setting a path – beginning today – to grow your emergency savings fund until it reaches the proper size for today’s economy. Before we talk about how much money that is, let me be specific with you that the amount of money this represents is not important. We are going to give you a way to generate the “amount of money” by using percentages and the overall number will change the way you approach your job, your boss and the stress in your life when you have achieved this goal.

What is the proper emergency savings fund in 2010? 15 to 18 months of your expenses in money market savings and certificates of deposit.

Over the next three (3) months, we want you to try our “1% Savings” strategy. It starts like this: The next time you get paid, take the after tax amount you receive and multiply that number (down to the penny) by .01. Take the answer to that question and put that amount of money in savings before you pay any bill.

That represents 1% of your pay. You can likely easily take 1% away from your payday and send it off to savings.

The next time you get paid, change the .01 to .02 and multiply your after tax pay by that amount. Put that amount in savings before you pay any bill.

You will want to repeat this by adjusting UP .01 each time you get paid. This allows you to launch a regular savings program without killing your lifestyle. Each time you get paid, you will adjust up. After three (3) months, you should be able to see that you have moved your savings to about 6% of your pay without creating harm to your lifestyle. The key is to do this every time and increase it slowly (1%) with each paycheck.

If you are encouraged by your savings growth, continue to add .01 to what you are saving in each paycheck until you reach 15%. At this point, you will have established a good range of savings on average. You will be using percentages instead of emotion to grow savings and give you more confidence about personal finance.

PAYING YOURSELF FIRST

If you can afford it, think of paying yourself a fee for what you do to manage your personal finances, pay bills and do the “work” of your everyday life because paying yourself for this work will help you build an overall strategy when it comes to money that will allow you to add to your savings.

We generally tell people that your checking account is a money laundering account for other people’s money. You want to lose money? Keep your money in checking. It will leak out and leave you scratching your head at the end of the month.

Don’t do it. Use any excuse to move money from checking to savings.

We’ve all heard it. Slow and steady wins the race. It is true.

Control your emotions by using percentages. Use percentages to grow savings and concentrate on controlling your overall plan – not what is happening today. Don’t focus on if you can save big dollars. Forget about that. Focus on regular and steady savings from each paycheck by percentage and using any excuse you can give yourself to take money from checking to savings.

Let’s let your money stay your money.

People focus too much on what they earn (pay) and not enough on saving a percentage of what you earn.

If you focus on percentages, you will end up with 15 to 18 months of expenses in emergency savings. And how will you feel about that crappy boss then?

You can do this. Get started with your next paycheck and watch your mood get happy.

HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD

If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My own family didn’t believe in saving. They don’t believe in having a 401k. They have had “emergencies” all their lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. My parents thought they were shielding me from the realities of bills and worry. In fact, they were isolating me. I learned nothing until I had made many of the mistakes they made. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle. I have had to learn the hard way how companies mislead with marketing. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”)!

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

Connect with us on Facebook with these free groups:
“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
“Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves”
“Saving Money”
“The Money Store”
All on Facebook – join. It’s free.

How To Produce An Immediate Savings Account – Old School


Now we are going “old school” with the world famous garage sale. Are you ready?

When you want to jump-start savings, there is no better place to start than with the “stuff” you already have around the house. You can put individual items up for sale on ebay and Craigslist, but our goal here is to clean house and really boost savings with a kick-start.

You should go all out and organize a two-day garage or yard sale specifically and only to raise money for emergency savings. By having a two-day sale, you have opportunity to use the power of higher pricing on day one and discount to get rid of everything on day two. If you do it right, you could end up with a great start with just a little work.

How do you do this and really make the most money? Let’s take a look at 11 ways to boost savings with a two-day garage sale.

1. Take a week to really look at everything around your house. This is the time to be honest with yourself. Most of the things we purchase are really impulse purchases or things that make us feel better at the time but fade into our “old stuff.” Try to separate your “things” into things you love and things you don’t. If you don’t love it, figure out its’ value and add it to the list of “things” you are selling in your garage sale.
2. Organization is critical. Make sure you review everything you want to sell, price it and organize it. This will be important.
3. Presentation is everything. You’ve probably heard this before, but most people don’t put the extra effort into a garage sale. If you will put in the effort, the results can really improve what you make during the sale. Clothes should be presented on a rack. Electronics should be showcased. Special sale items can be sectioned off in a closed in area (like your kitchen) and you can make a special sign that asks “Do you want to see our SPECIAL ITEMS?”
4. Have a plan to produce good looking signs with simple messages and spend some time thinking about how you can drive traffic by placing these signs in the most high-traffic areas. Make sure you can read the signs from twenty feet away. Don’t allow scribbled out signs to represent your garage sale. These signs are not effective and are a waste of time. Put a specific person in charge of placing the signs and make sure they know exactly where you want each sign and how you want it placed. Use balloons and other “distracters” to draw attention to your sale.
5. Make sure you know the rules and guidelines to having a garage or yard sale in your neighborhood and county. If you need a license, get one.
6. Recruit other people in your neighborhood or friends to “partner” with you to sell their things at your garage sale. We call this “plumping up” your garage sale so you have a wider variety of items to sell. You’ll also love having the teamwork. It’s hard to do everything yourself.
7. Check your location. Are you near high-traffic areas? If not, consider doing the sale at someone else’s house. After all, the goal is to partner up and make the most money anyway. High-traffic is the way to go; low traffic is a waste of time.
8. Make it easy for people to purchase. You want to have a variety of pricing. This gives everyone a reason to “mingle” more and shop. Have your price marked on each item. You should also have a section that offers “discounts.” In other words, the prices are clearly marked, but you can have a sign that says, “1/2 off until 11 a.m.” This encourages the bargain hunters who want a “steal.” (Something for everyone). Make sure you price all items to sell. You know people expect garage or yard sale prices when they show up. Be realistic about your approach because your goal should be to sell it all.
9. Advertise your garage or yard sale on Craigslist. It’s free. You want to be specific. You want to talk about a wide variety of items at your sale and the fact that you have specialty items shoppers can view upon request. This helps you stand out. Make sure you put your sale on Craigslist about six days before the opening of the sale; repost the ad each day of your garage or yard sale. Focus on the hot sellers.
10. I know we covered signs earlier, but the bigger and brighter the sign, the better the results. If you put out crappy signs, you get crappy results. Your job is to get attention in high-traffic areas and lead people to your garage sale. Great signage will do this for you – don’t skimp on the signs.
11. Don’t forget the up sell. Bake cookies and other baked items. Offer lemonade and tea. Yes, you are going to charge for this. Set a reasonable price and make sure it is the first thing people see when they get out of their car. If you or your garage sale partners have children, consider cutting them in and letting them do the selling on these items.

Although you may be tempted, remember: Everything goes in actual savings. That’s the goal. You should have 15 to 18 months of expenses in emergency savings. Do you? Are you ready? If not, don’t let it overwhelm you. Using strategy like this one and others found in “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” at http://www.MiddleClassMoney.com can help you save faster than you think and without killing your lifestyle.

HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD

If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My own family didn’t believe in saving. They don’t believe in having a 401k. They have had “emergencies” all their lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. My parents thought they were shielding me from the realities of bills and worry. In fact, they were isolating me. I learned nothing until I had made many of the mistakes they made. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle. I have had to learn the hard way how companies mislead with marketing. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”)!

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

Connect with us on Facebook with these free groups:
“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
“Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves”
“Saving Money”
“The Money Store”
All on Facebook – join. It’s free.

The Powerful Formula To Save Money & Boost Actual Wealth


A lot of people feel they cannot save money based upon what they make (income) and what they spend (bills). The truth is that you can use specific strategy to overcome these issues and begin building savings so you have a proper emergency savings fund for 2010 (15 to 18 months of expenses in money market savings and certificates of deposit). By not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed and developing your own strategy, you can make HUGE headway in building savings and eventually wealth.

A Formula That Will Work For Your Family

The formula for getting ahead begins with looking at your expenses and removing emotion from why you spend money.

Begin by looking at everything you spent over the last 90 days.

Separate what you pay in “hard bills” (mortgage or rent, electricity) and “other spending” (shopping or Starbucks coffee).

The idea is simple for this kind or review on actual spending. Begin with the end in mind. Our philosophy is to set a goal of reducing your overall spending by 10 – 15%. To do this, you will have to be open-minded and you will also have to use your creativity. However, this goal can be reached only by removing emotion and focusing on the reduction of spending by 10 – 15%. Keep in mind that you should be open to suggestions when you begin calling the people who send bills to your home. Tell them you must reduce your bill by 15%. Be prepared to talk to a supervisor (who has more power to “cut a deal”) and be willing to call back every 3 days until you see some firm results. Any percentage they drop your bill should be added to your REGULAR and AUTOMATIC savings plan. If they give you 5 – 7%, that is 5 – 7% of new savings beginning the very next month. As long as you take that savings to actual savings….you will be participating in getting ahead.

Once you have called every single business that sends a bill to your house and negotiated to find a way for you to reduce what you pay to them, you will also want to look at the other spending with the same effort in mind. In other words, your goal should be to reduce your spending by 10 – 15% each month. You can do it if you remove the emotion, set the goal and work toward it. However, it is very important to use these “savings” to produce yourself and your family with a “bill” each month for savings that is paid before any other bill or spending.

Another Helpful Way To Boost Savings

Use our “1% Savings Plan.” We especially recommend that you use this plan AFTER doing the exercise above.

Take your very next paycheck. Look at the after-tax amount of that paycheck. Multiply the after-tax amount by .01. This represents 1 percent of your after-tax income. Take that amount – 1% – and push it to savings.

The next time you get paid after that, change the percentage or the multiple to .02. Take that amount to savings.

The paycheck after that, take the number to .03. Take that money to savings.

Keep doing this with each after-tax paycheck you receive until you reach 15%. Make sure you are doing this with each paycheck. You will be shocked and amazed at how quickly this adds up and gives you the savings you need in today’s economy and the one to come.

Want more details? Go to http://www.MiddleClassMoney.com and check out “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis.” It is the only thing we sell on our blogs or websites and it is only $4.95. If you really want to save your family and boost your savings and eventual investing (so your money works for you), this $4.95 is a great deal without question.

Our goal is to always be helpful to other families like ours. You can do this. It is your economy. It is your family, and the only recovery that matters is the one at your house.

HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD

If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My own family didn’t believe in saving. They don’t believe in having a 401k. They have had “emergencies” all their lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. My parents thought they were shielding me from the realities of bills and worry. In fact, they were isolating me. I learned nothing until I had made many of the mistakes they made. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle. I have had to learn the hard way how companies mislead with marketing. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”)!

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

Connect with us on Facebook with these free groups:
“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
“Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves”
“Saving Money”
“The Money Store”
All on Facebook – join. It’s free.

Do You Get The Picture On Negotiation For Your Family?


Many consumers have been too embarrassed to negotiate in public at a retail store or even at car dealers, we are believers that everyone should negotiate. The economy has shifted. Honestly, the economy has been tilted toward the merchant or big companies for a long time.

Now is our moment to study negotiating.

Now is your time to experiment with negotiation.

A lot of people think of negotiation as being only saving money. We use negotiation as a way to find common ground with a merchant. Sometimes that is a reduction in the cost of an item that we want to purchase. However, sometimes we use negotiation to get an entire additional item added to our purchase for free.

I know what you are thinking. Some merchants won’t negotiate. That is true, but more negotiation happens than you think. There is no harm in asking and no shame in getting the best deal for your family.

Some examples?

When we purchased a television several years ago, we negotiated on price (just like normal). My wife actually thought I was done negotiating, but I wasn’t. I had done my research, and I knew I needed more than just a television. In addition to the purchase price, I also asked the merchant to throw in a metal and glass stand for the TV for free. And do you know what? They did it for free.

We didn’t have a table for the TV. Negotiating that in our overall deal saved us having to purchase one.

Negotiation is about being prepared in advance, knowing what you want and framing the issue with the salesperson before, during and after the sale.

We also want to point out that negotiation is not about taking advantage of the retailer. If you do your research in advance, you will have a strong idea of what the product is worth. Always be prepared to walk, but don’t misunderstand the purpose of negotiation is to get your family a fair price for what you need to purchase.

If you negotiate, you can save more money than you think. In keeping with our overall philosophy, make sure you put the amount you save in ACTUAL SAVINGS. If you don’t, you are not saving anything.

HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD

If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My family is filled with hillbillies from Louisiana. There are members of my family that don’t believe in 401ks or IRAs. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle. I have had to learn the hard way how companies mislead with marketing. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”)!

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

Connect with us on Facebook with these free groups:
“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
“Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves”
“Saving Money”

When You Can Turn Bad News Into Good News


Employers added 162,000 jobs in March (according to The Wall Street Journal). Unemployment is holding at 9.7%.

The average length of unemployment is rising. In fact, last month the average period of time people like us were unemployed rose to the highest point since 1948. 1948!

Average time people are unemployed when they lose their jobs in 2010? Currently, that number is now 31 weeks.

Sounds like pretty bad news, right? We don’t like bad news at this blog. That means we have to use the tools we have to turn it around.

WE CONTROL 20% OF OUR LIVES

I have a friend that recently told me that we can only be in control of about 20% of our lives. Think about that. 20% is what you have. We should make the most of it.

We must take control of the 20% we can control and set goals to boost personal savings and grow a significant safety net.

How long could you pay your expenses without work?

How can we turn the bad new above into good news? We can set our own individual plans for saving money. No excuses.

It would be easy to say that the first step is to pay yourself first, but I have always found that difficult advice to really put into practical use. So, we have come up with some strategies that help you boost savings beginning with your very next paycheck. More than this, we believe in finding unique ways to add to your monthly savings totals and gain access to your own safety net.

THE 1% SAVINGS PLAN

Start with our 1% Savings Plan. This is where you set automatic and regular savings to give you steady savings beginning almost right away.

How does the 1% Savings Plan work? When you get your very next paycheck, look at the after tax amount. Multiply this amount by .01. Before you do anything with any of this paycheck, take this .01 amount and put it in actual savings (not checking).

Each time you get paid….add another .01 to the number you use to multiply your after tax income. So, the second paycheck you would multiply your after tax income by .02. The third time, you will multiply your after tax income by .03. You should continue to add to this number until you eventually reach .20.

OTHER WAYS TO BOOST PERSONAL SAVINGS
The biggest way most of us can boost personal savings is by using honestly. Be prepared to be honest with yourself about your spending. Take a look at your spending over the last six (6) months.

Divide your spending into bills (that you must pay) and spending that you see as optional. Your goal is not to eliminate all spending for fun. Your goal should be to reduce your “spending” by 10 – 15%.

Check out our past blog entries for tips on reducing your actual bills by 10 – 15%, how to deal with credit card companies and additional ways to boost both savings and investing income (outside of your day job income) OR check it out at http://www.MiddleClassMoney.com.

REMEMBERING THE SAFETY NET

How big should your safety net be today? We believe it should be 15 to 18 months of expenses in money market savings and certificates of deposit.

Don’t worry – it builds faster than you think.

So, we take the above statistics (bad news) and turn it into a positive by using the 20% that we can control. Excellent!

You can do this.

HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD

If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My family is filled with hillbillies from Louisiana. There are members of my family that don’t believe in 401ks or IRAs. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle. I have had to learn the hard way how companies mislead with marketing. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”)!

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

Connect with us on Facebook with these free groups:
“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
“Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves”
“Saving Money”