Shopping

Do I have to give up shopping?

Are you a shopaholic? Does saving money seem like a foreign concept to you? If so you are looking at money wrong. If you believe saving or investing your money will cause you to miss out on doing something you enjoy then you have not developed a healthy attitude towards money.

We all value different things. For one person the idea of giving up shopping may be earth shattering. For some people, shopping is their therapy hence the term “retail therapy” but you shouldn’t have to choose between being able to shop or save. If shopping is your vice or something that you enjoy , why not plan for it? Instead of spending frivolously draw up a plan that allows you to put money away and still shop. For example, have a savings account where you put a certain amount of your income into but also a shopping account where you do the same.  When you feel the need to shop you can take from your “shopping account”. I would recommend planning these shopping trips. An example would be to allow yourself to shop every 4 months.  That will give you enough time to fill up the account to where you will have a sufficient amount of funds to splurge on the things you like. Since you now designated an account for shopping you wont have to worry about spending money you need because you will still have your savings account which can be used for emergencies.

Saving money does not equal losing your ability to do the things you enjoy. If you have a plan for your money it will allow you freedom to live a life you desire. Money is a tool for us to get things done. Once you decide what’s important to you, you can then decide how to best utilize your money to make those things happen.

Self help

Sunday [RESET]

Sunday is the perfect time to reflect on your upcoming financial goals. Is there anything you want to change? Looking to rearrange your budget? Sunday is the perfect day to map out the steps you will like to take for the week that will help you meet your long term goals.

Create a list of the things you need to buy for the upcoming week such as food, gas, tolls, maintenance, bills etc… If you know where your money is going ahead of time it will be easier for you to account for where it’s going. Review any retirement accounts you have or your current investment strategies. Sunday is a day to unwind and it will be easier to handle finance goals when you are in a relaxed state of mind. Managing your finances when you are not stressed will make it a more pleasurable experience. What you do today will show in the future. Remember when you have a plan and execute it you are more likely to reach your goals. Action gets you results. Inaction leaves you standing in the same place. Don’t keep holding off until tomorrow, today is the best day to get started.

Self help

GOAL SETTING*

People set goals everyday but not everyone ends up following through with making sure they meet these goals. For example, you may ask someone where do they think they will be in 15 years and they will reply “I will be rich and traveling the world”. Now ask that same person how do they plan to get to this point and they are stuck. They do not know how they will do it. Someone who sets goals will be able to tell you what they will do to accomplish this goal whether it’s start their own business, invest a large percentage of their income, avoid unnecessary purchases etc.

 

 

I recommend having a long-term goal set that includes multiple short term goals along the way to assist you with accomplishing this goal.  Setting multiple goals along the way is beneficial because most people like to see quick results. How many people do you know that start a fitness plan but after two weeks because they only lose 2 lbs they give up. This is most of us because we want instant gratification. This is the culture we live in. To avoid giving up, I suggest setting short-term goals that can be met so you can feel like you are making progress towards the long-term goals you have.

 

Let’s say your goal is to save $100,000 in 5 years. If you are not a high earning individual who could save this amount in a lesser timeframe, I recommend breaking it down into saving smaller amounts of money in smaller time blocks. This will allow you to reach $100,000 by the end of that 5-year timeframe. This can entail setting aside a certain amount of money from each pay check you get to put into savings or investments over time to equal your goal.  If you don’t want to set exact numbers you can also create a chart with a list of steps to take to get you where you need to be. Please see chart below:

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 6.59.09 PM

 

This is just an example of how you can draw out a plan. I would recommend making your chart more in depth and creating a vision board. Place this vision board in an area that you will be forced to look at it every morning. If you see it every morning it will help keep you on the right track. What’s the point of setting goals then giving up on them continuously? Remember to take action , have a plan and work towards reaching each target.

 

“Keep setting short-term goals that will eventually help you meet your long-term goals. “

 

finance

Compound Interest

If you are new to investing you may not know how investing works or what it exactly entails.  It sounds easy but if you have no clue what it actually means to invest or how investing makes you money, you may avoid it altogether.

If you invested $1,000 in Amazon when it first went public in 1997 , it would be worth over $1 million dollars today. Please note that not many people would have stuck with the stock for the last 20 plus years to ride out the lows to get to where it’s at today but this is an example of compound interest at work. I am using Amazon as an example because it has been one of those stock success stories that people look to replicate but if it was that easy to make millions we would all be millionaires so please keep in mind that Amazon is quite the anomaly.  I chose this example to show you how compound interest can work wonders and since it is a company that most people know it is easy to follow along.  Although, there is more to the high returns with Amazon stock I just want to focus on compound interest for this blog post because it really is the reason people risk investing their money.

A simple way to explain compound interest is “interest on interest”.  It is where interest is calculated on the initial principle amount plus any previous interest you accumulated. The compound frequency varies depending on the type of account you have your money in. The compounding frequency can be daily, weekly, quarterly semiannual, annually or continuously.   If you are still lost to what any of this means please see the following example below to help you get a better understanding of how this works.

 

Let’s say you invest $100 in an account with an annual/yearly 10% interest rate. If you initially invested $100 , your money would now be worth $110 at the end of the year. The following year, you make another 10% return on your money which would now leave you with $121.00 at the end of that second year.  The $121.00  in the second year was calculated by taking the initial principle amount you invested the year before of $100 plus the 10% interest which was $10.00  totaling $110 and adding another 10% to that amount.  You can do the same thing for the following year and add 10% to the $121.00 from the second year so that by the end of the third year your money is now worth $133.10. It may not sound like a lot but if you keep that money in that same account for 20 years without touching it that money will be worth $672.75. Most people would continue to add money to the account and not just make one deposit. This is where the magic of compound interest can help you build a nice size nest egg for retirement or any large purchase you may be planning.  If you continue to add money to that account over the 20 years you will have a nice amount of money to fall back on. Let’s say after your initial investment of $100, you continue to add $1,500 to the account annually for 20 years from the date you made the initial investment. Your account would be worth $86,585.25.  There are many different investment vehicles and I would recommend researching this information in books or online immediately.  The earlier you start, the easier it will be for your money to grow. If you have 30 years until you retire you can invest less money over time than if you wait until later on in life and have to play catch up by putting away much more just to be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask below. You can also google compound interest calculators if you want to play with different numbers and lengths of times to see how much money you can have in the future if you start investing now.

 

Disclaimer: Returns aren’t guaranteed and there are risks when investing especially in the stock market. Please do your due diligence in researching or get help from a financial professional before investing your money if you are not sure where to start. ***
Motivation

Do I really need this…?

This is a question I heard my mother say out loud plenty of times growing up. I would go shopping with my mother and as she pushed the shopping cart to the checkout she would begin to question if she needed all these items she picked up. She still asks that same question today.

How many times have you gone into a store and put things in your cart you didn’t necessarily need? You spend more money than you planned to and end up wondering what happened to your money. To avoid unnecessary spending try making a list at home or in your phone of the things you need and stick to it. Having a list in front of you will help you avoid adding items to your cart you didn’t actually need.

So next time you have a cart full of items , stop and and ask yourself “Do I really need this?” If not, put back what’s not needed, add up those prices and put that extra money you would have spent away in your savings.