4 Tried & True Tips for Taking Control of Your Finances

How many people feel like money disappears at the end of each month? Sometimes life gets in the way and there is just too much month at the end of your money. In my career I have met many people who have said they would like to take control over their money, but never know how to get started. They are afraid to take the time to get the ball rolling.

I know that the main reason this happens is because getting ready to handle finances and start saving money for retirement can be intimidating. But if you follow the steps I’m sharing here then I am certain that once you take the time to begin the process you will get it done in time!

Here are 4 foolproof tips that will hopefully make it easier for you to get started:

  1. Create a budget. The fact is that not everyone can stick to a budget. Many wind up spending more than they originally intended so they get discouraged and give up. Start off by simply cutting down on your spending a little at a time. Pack your lunch, make your own coffee, buy more generic brands at the supermarket. You will soon start to see results and feel better about saving more money.
  2. Become money savvy. Start to read about personal finance. Commit to picking one topic regarding personal finance at a time and try to read about that topic for 30 minutes a week.
  3. Start paying yourself first. Setting money aside for your savings comes before even paying your bills. When you squeeze that extra money out of the budget you must set aside money for yourself automatically. If you cut out buying coffee, (which, say, costs $2 a day), at the end of the year you will have $730 saved in your emergency account, or you could make coffee at home so you could find out what are the benefits of caffeine creams, since you’ll know all the preparation, and also save money. Not bad!
  4. Talk to a financial professional. We all need to talk to an expert on something once in awhile. You need someone with financial experience to give you an objective, unbiased opinion.

Before you play any game you need to know the rules. It’s the same with saving your money. Once you know the rules of the financial game and follow them you are on your way to taking control of your financial house. Start slow and be consistent. The key is to make sure you stick to the plan! When you see how simple it is you will never be intimidated by money again!

We’d love to hear from you! Contact us with any questions, comments, or just to say hello!

Three Simple Principals to Make Your Money Work For You

Personal Finance Tips For Millennials

Break Through Your Money Blocks

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Ladies, think back to all the negative perceptions we were taught about money growing up. “Money is the root of all evil.” “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” “Money is not spiritual.”

It’s this kind of thinking and this kind of mindset that is the cause of most people’s financial demise. Yes, money does NOT buy happiness, but neither does poverty.

I feel like I can be as bold and as blunt as I want with you because I have your best interest at heart. Additionally, I’m talking from my own personal experience. I was always surrounded by friends and family members that were the biggest proponents of thinking negatively about money.

I have been in the financial industry now for almost two decades. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to help clients that come from all different financial and economic backgrounds. What I’ve found over the years is that even though I help them understand the importance of having a financial road map- they tend to fall short on the execution.

The inability to follow through with their plan stems from their belief system regarding money -that’s where I come in.

After digging deeper through asking the right kinds of questions, I was able to identify the mental and financial blocks my clients were experiencing. All it took was a little redirecting of their belief system and then they were finally ready to take those first steps towards financial stability. It wasn’t long after that they were started seeing success from their efforts.

 

For more any comments or questions CONTACT ME

ETTM Think Tank with Marcy Cortez of LAI Financial Group, LLC

After working in corporate accounting for more than 25 years, Marcy Cortez decided it was time to devote her knowledge and talents to her own business. Marcy is a certified Quickbooks specialist with extensive Accounting, Management and Human Resources experience. LAI Financial Group LLC grew out of her need to share her financial and business savvy with the public. A local entrepreneurial business owner can relate to your needs and requirements as a fellow member of the community.
Marcy will be speaking about the advantages of outsourcing services, specifically financial services for the small business entrepreneur and the role outsourcing plays in helping the entrepreneur to reduce their overhead, increase profits and improve cash flow.

Join ETTM & Marcy on March 7th. Please RSVP HERE.

Have you had “The Money Talk”?

Contributed by Lynette Barbieri
It’s Almost 2013!! 
It may be obvious, but one of the most important financial conversations to have this year has to be with YOURSELF!!
Take some time and think about your financial life. Are you happy where you are or where you are going? What changes can you make to improve your situation going in to the new year?
Next, have a money talk with your partner. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only been together for a short time, or for many years, you have to sit down as a couple and see how you have been managing your money. Look at how the financial decsions you have made over the last year have impacted you. 
Lastly, if you have children…have the money talk with them. 
Talking with them earlier in life helps them to develop good money habits. Explain the difference between wants vs. needs in their language (e.i.: Do they need the new iPhone or do they want it? The game? The candy?) at whatever level they are at.
Make it a habit in the new year to share with your circle any finance or saving tips you might have learned. Share on Face Book, blog articles, great articles, whichever way you can get the conversation started,  just start it!
Remember, if you arent happy with where your year will end up financially (the defenition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results!) what will you do differently next year?

Sneaky Ways to Save More

Contributed by Lynette Barbieri


Getting motivated to save can sometimes be tough. Here are some “sneaky” ways to help you reach your goals:

  1. Label your accounts. Did you know that people who assign specific goals to savings accounts put away 31% more than people who don’t? It’s true!
  2. Use photos to stay motivated. Got something specific in mind? Try using a picture of what – or who — you’re saving for to keep your eye on the prize. Keep it on your computer or in your wallet – wherever it will be most useful in the battle against impulse buying.
  3. Hang out with frugal friends. Spend time around people who are trying to save money, and some of their attitudes and ideas are bound to rub off on you. Conversely, limit time spent with big spenders.
  4. Autopilot your savings. Make saving automatic by setting up regular balance transfers to your savings account. When your money doesn’t appear in your account, you are less likely to spend it.
  5. Organize your goals. People who set fewer but connected goals save nearly five times as much as those who have many disconnected goals. For example, you might focus on three goals – saving for retirement, college fund for the kids and an emergency fund – and create a theme to integrate them like “improving my family finances.”

    4 Bad Money Habits

    Contributed by Lynette Barbieri

    The little decisions you make every day determine the health of your financial future. The following are four bad money habits – and how to break them.

    1. Skipping an emergency fund. Do you have three to six months’ salary stashed? If not, you’re not alone – a majority of Americans say they don’t have enough cash on hand to cover a $1,000 emergency. To find extra cash for your fund, get creative: take on part-time work helping families  or trim some of the “extras” out of your monthly bills (think entertainment costs like dining out and cable/satellite service).

    2. Carrying a balance on credit cards. The average credit card balance last year was $6,576.2 With an average interest rate of 17%, that adds up to more than $1,100 in interest every year! Strive to live within your means and pay down your debt. Did you know that I can provide you with self-help tools for you to use to create a game plan for paying off your credit card debt?

    3. Ignoring your credit score. A shocking 56% of people have no idea their credit score is the most important factor when applying for a mortgage, car loan and new credit card.3 Do you know your credit score? If not, you should! Your credit score can also influence whether or not you are approved to rent a house or apartment, the cost of your homeowner’s and car insurance and in some cases, whether or not you are eligible for a job (13% of employers check credit reports for all candidates; 47% check them for certain positions)4. Regularly monitoring your credit is essential to your financial health.

    4. Thinking you can’t find money to save. Anyone can save. Here are some ideas that really add up: Put aside $1 in change each day and you’ve got $365. Buy a prepaid cell phone for $10 and pay by the minute instead of a contract ($360 saved per year, if spending $10 monthly, vs. $40 monthly contract). Instead of spending $5 on lunch each day, spend $2 making lunch at home—you’ve saved $780. That’s a total of $1,505 in one year!

    Do you have any questions? Need help in knowing how you can break these habits? Please leave your comments or contact me here.
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