Tag Archives: www.middleclassmoney.com

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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Three Important Factors That Matter When Building Wealth


I see it all the time. You do, too, right?

You can get rich quick if you will just pay $5,000 to do this or that. You can become wealthy if you invest $500 a month or purchase a product to get rich quick.

There is no free lunch. You’ve heard that, right? True value is built with real things. Fortunately, true value can come from a commitment to save and invest regularly.

If you save regularly and build a proper emergency savings fund and then begin investing regularly, you can absolutely become wealthy over time.

Here’s what matters:

1. How much money are you willing to invest regularly?
2. How much time will you allow that money to “work for you”?
3. What is the best rate of growth you can get (and the safest way you can grow it)?

If you look at your money in two simple piles, you can get ahead quickly. It really shows you how this works.

Pile One:

Money you need to live – rent, mortgage, bills, et all. We always say this is money in your checking account. “Checking accounts are money laundering accounts for other people’s money.” If you leave all your money in checking, it will leave you.

Pile Two:

Money you can “push to the other side.” This is money you can put to work for you and your family. You should use any excuse you can to push money to saving and investing vehicles. There is a saying that if you are willing “to work hard now, you will have it easier later.”

People get caught up in the rat race and feel saving and investing is not for them.

But you can be different. Why focus on how much you save? Focus on what percentage of your after-tax income you are saving. Set goals. Develop your plan and always work to keep your PILE TWO money working for you.

Regular saving of money will give you an edge over people who want to save but don’t.

More than this, you should develop your saving and investing plan to fit your goals and your ideas of what is comfortable for you. If you do this, you will reach higher than you thought possible when you began.

Try. Start. Begin. Don’t listen to those who tell you that you can’t. Find additional ways to earn money outside of your regular day job. Put that money strictly to investing.

Be willing to work harder now so you can have it easier later.

You’ll be glad you did, and you will set an example others can follow.

You’ll help others.

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

How Your Family Is Actually Doing Financially

money house
There’s no question that we all need a roadmap. You can do research on the internet and develop your own ideas on what you will need in terms of what you will need to retire.

More important than retirement is the need to make regular saving in your life MORE than optional. Saving money regularly gives you options when you feel whipped by your job or your crappy boss. It can give you options when your child is sick or when unexpected things come up (as they always do).

We recommend that you spend a set amount of time working for yourself each week. That can be three hours a week or one hour a night five days a week, but the idea is simple: you are your best resource. Use it to look for unique ways to save money. Check out research on coupon codes on products you use.

Okay. You still want someone to tell you how you are doing? Check this out:

http://bit.ly/bF47d

EMERGENCY SAVINGS FUND

Use our “1% Savings Plan” if you haven’t already begun your savings program (scroll back to previous blogs to get the details). We recommend you work toward having 15 to 18 months of expenses in emergency savings (hey, it’s not the 80s anymore, people).

We say it all the time. The only recession that matters is the one at your house. Get a plan, move ahead.

You can do this!

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

Shortcuts To Happiness & Getting Ahead In This Economy

short cut
Everyone is looking for tips or shortcuts to get ahead. People have been doing it forever, but the financial crisis and dimly lit economy bring it all home to you that you need to really focus over the coming months and years on saving more, investing wisely and gaining any advantage you can in terms of supporting your family, growing your savings and wealth and dealing with retirement down the road.

How can you reinvent yourself, your personal finances and grow stability, savings and eventually wealth for your family in the coming months and years?

START SIMPLE

Review your debt and focus on reducing and then eliminating all credit card debt. Separate credit cards by interest and pay extra on the highest interest rate cards first until you have any credit card debt under control. Treat it like a war. Fight to win and don’t give up.

Debt is the #1 impairment to the production of wealth in the middle class.

Check out our “1% Savings Plan” to boost your personal savings (see previous blog entries).

Aggressively pursue the companies you do business with today (cable, telephone, regular bills) and seek their help reducing the amount you pay out to them each month. Be open to their ideas as well as any you have to reduce the bill you pay each of them 10 – 15%. If they provide any savings, you MUST take this savings and put it in a money market savings account (FDIC-insured).

If you don’t put savings in actual savings regularly and force yourself to push money from checking to savings, you are NOT saving money. You are allowing money to control your life.

CHECKING ACCOUNTS are money laundering accounts for other people’s money. Use any excuse to push money from checking to savings. The more you do this, the better off your family will be as the days, months and years roll by.

WHERE YOU LIVE

If you are living in a big pillbox house in the suburbs, consider your space and your real needs. Would you consider downsizing and using the extra savings to pay off your mortgage on a new and smaller place?

THE NEW MATH

Think about this: Smaller place = smaller payments = less debt = more to pay off mortgage, credit card and other debt and more for savings and investments.

THE STUFF YOU LOV(ED)
We all have things in our homes that we don’t use anymore. Sell it. Put that money in savings. With Craig’s List and ebay, you can sell anything. And why not? It is a great way to juice your savings without changing your lifestyle.

HAGGLE ON DOWN

We also believe you can make great progress if you negotiate for EVERYTHING. Remember – we are consumers and we drive 60 – 70% of the U.S. economy. We don’t have to purchase from one retailer or on-line vendor. We can use the power of choice and negotiation.

Today is your opportunity to start. Today you can begin a new beginning. Today you can start developing your own plan for saving money that can lead to real stability and savings that will help you eventually build actual wealth.

Are you ready?

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

Getting Your Savings Off To A Good Start In This Economy

ebay
We usually focus on ways to save money regularly and automatically on this blog. These ways can be accomplished easily in the pay-yourself-first fashion of going to your employer and setting up a 401k and a paycheck-by-paycheck debit that goes to an account with someone like ING Direct, T Rowe Price or a savings account of some kind. We always recommend you do your own research on “where to land money” for savings and investment.

However, if you are seeding an emergency savings fund, we always recommend a money market savings account or certificates of deposit with an FDIC-insured institution.

Sometimes you need a little help to get your savings started or boost it up. If you are ready to try your hand with this, we want to help.

This blog entry looks at additional ways to BOOST SAVINGS with things you already have at your fingertips. Things you own. This blog entry is about selling things you currently have but are not using. You know we all have items in our homes that we have not used in a long time. Trade them for peace of mind. Boost your emergency savings.

Where do you sell such things? I guess everyone knows about ebay. What if you had a lot of different options to sell your old things? Would that be a game-changer that would allow you to really boost an emergency savings fund or start one?

Try these:

http://www.narts.org
http://www.half.com
http://www.secondspin.com
http://www.dealitlive.com
http://www.buymytronics.com
http://www.bonanzle.com
http://www.craigslist.com

If you are going to sell things you already own, you have to learn to be patient and know in advance what you will accept for any item. There are always negotiators (and you should always be one of them when you are BUYING), but boosting your emergency savings or savings in general by selling things you already own is a great way to build a little savings.
Just know what you want to get for your things and stick to your plan. And always put the money directly in your savings.

How much emergency savings is enough? 15 to 18 months of expenses. No, you won’t get there all at once, but hang out with us and we will continue to show you ways to can enhance your savings. You’ll get their faster than you think.

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 2 Big Keys To Wealth-Building For The Middle Class

money key
Credit cards are tempting. Credit card companies are….very profitable. The difference between middle class families that build wealth over time and those that fall more and more behind could come down to a simple scientific fact: Percentage and persistence.

PERCENTAGE

Families who make savings non-optional and focus on a saving a dedicated percentage of their after tax paychecks every time they receive a paycheck tend to grow savings first and then assets. Of course, growing performing assets is the critical fire for wealth production just as debt is the #1 impairment of savings and wealth growth in the middle class.

The key is percentage + automatic savings + regular focus on saving and moving money from checking to savings vehicles along with steady investment. Checking accounts are money laundering accounts for other people’s money. To build wealth, you must save regularly and you must build produce assets. But you must build the proper emergency savings fun before you even think about investing. That does not often happen with people who don’t make saving money with each paycheck a priority.

What is a good percentage to save regularly? 20%. Don’t gasp. You can do this. If you have to, begin with our 1% Savings Plan. Don’t know about that? Check out past blog entries and you’ll pick it up pretty quickly.

You can pay down debt. You can surrender a percentage of every paycheck to savings. You can mark time by building savings. Time is what you need. Build your own strategy for savings so you can USE time.

Time is the thing you cannot control. That’s why the next word is so important.

PERSISTENCE

Life is filled with good news and bad news for everyone regularly. We will spare you the lesson on how bad news highlights the good and makes you grateful for the highs, but we will absolutely point out that one of the best philosophies you can have in personal finance is to expect highs and lows.

People like to think they can’t save a lot of money because of bills or unexpected problems. The truth is that you don’t have to save it all at once. Time is the only thing you truly cannot control. Use it to your advantage. Start saving. Do it regularly.

Everyone faces bumps. Being persistent with regular and automatic savings will help you grow a proper emergency savings fund for 2009 (15 to 18 months of expenses in a money market savings account or certificates of deposit – both in FDIC-insured institutions).

Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot grow savings. Commit. Get started today. Spend more time reading our past blogs and you may find some additional “love” for saving and easier ways to get it done for yourself.

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

Top 10 Secret Coupon Code Sites

sale

Sometimes you have to build your own money saving tree. Every once in awhile, we like to present either saving opportunities or coupon opportunities. Today, it’s coupons, people:

http://www.promotionalcodes.com

http://www.couponcabin.com

http://www.retailmenot.com

http://www.coupons.com

http://www.fatwallet.com

http://www.coolsavings.com

http://www.val-pakcoupons.com

http://www.smartsource.com

http://www.dealcatcher.com

http://www.couponwinner.com

If you are not negotiating on every purchase you make, you are making a mistake. If you are not putting the money you saved in actual savings when you have a coupon, you are not saving.

You can help your family build actual wealth. Start by saving regularly. You can do it.

HELP YOURSELF & THEN HELP YOUR CHILDREN

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