Category Archives: Financial

National Thrift Week 2021

A day late and a dollar short… Or in this case two days late.

We typically don’t make new posts on Sundays. That meant nothing posted on January 17 which was the first day of National Thrift Week 2021. Have you heard of it before?

If you haven’t we won’t bore you too much with the background here other than to say that the start day, January 17th is Benjamin Franklin’s birthday. You know the guy on the hundred dollar bill. He was pretty big about promoting being thrifty and it was a recognizable week up until the 60s.¹

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So what was this whole thrift week about? Was it poor people should stay poor so screw changing the minimum wage? Was it a thinly veiled push to support and uphold capitalism and promote more consumerism? Not necessarily. In fact if you visit AmericanValues.org you can read their pdf where they’ve included a number of Franklin’s quotes, including one dissing the choice of the bald eagle as the national bird because it’s a robber and “very often lousy.” Sounds like many a corporation nowadays.

No, the four basic principles that thrift week can be boiled down to are all about things each of us can do to move towards and maintain financial freedom, to not be a gear in the capitalism-induced sucker cycle of living paycheck to paycheck with no end in sight.

  1. Work hard and honestly.
  2. Spend less than you earn.
  3. Give back as much as you can.
  4. Have a plan.

However, those four basic principles can be broken down further as seen in the throwback flyer below.

Work hard and honestly

Don’t have a job right now? Our first tip would be to broaden your view. So often we limit our job searches because we want to stay in the same field or we want to receive a certain pay. In “normal” times we’d be all for that, but right now the best course of action might be to take what’s available to achieve some income while continuing to look for the connections and position that will move your career the direction you want it to go.

Spend less than you earn

This one seems so easy but a lot of people still don’t know how much they’re spending each month. So start simple by adding up your receipts and looking at what came out of your checking account each week. (Because we know you’re smart enough to not be using a credit card right now if you’re trying to free yourself financially.)

Give back as much as you can

This one seems counterintuitive but it’s not. We could go into quoting scripture and citing karma but the plain facts are if you’re focused on giving then you’re not succumbing to the push to buy, buy, buy as much.

Have a plan.

Wanting something is useless without a clear plan on how to get there. So make one. Need help making one? We’ll help you for free.
Schedule an appointment today.


¹ Bring Back Thrift Week (Opinion) – Education Week https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/opinion-bring-back-thrift-week/2010/01

Retirement and the Dreams of Children

First, we’re sorry that this didn’t post yesterday as planned.

Secondly, we’re sharing this post from Todd Garlington because he asks a number of good questions that we’d like to know our readers’ responses to after you take a look. So please talk back to us below in the comments or on our social media.

“I Want to Live Happily Ever After.” This sentiment is understandable in a child. Vulnerable and inexperienced, their growth relies on fantasy to some degree. But retirement services aren’t peddled to children.

Retirement and the Dreams of Children — Image(s)

How Financially Literate are you?

As one year transitions into another, we always see a sudden rush to get or start getting your financial house in order. A lot of bulleted or numbered lists come out of things to do without necessarily explaining why you need to do it. Maybe the assumption is that you already know which begs the question if you did know, wouldn’t your finances already be in order?

The reality is that many people who live in the US are not financially literate or put another way they don’t fully understand the language of money. That lack of understanding is what leads to having a financial mess on your hands. Let’s be clear though – IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT!

Nowhere in the education system in this country is financial literacy CONSISTENTLY taught. That one glaring absence leads to almost half of the population not knowing things that are key to keeping your bank accounts and overall finances in the black.

https://howmoneyworks.com/marieedwards/challenge

Think we’re kidding? Take the quiz on the website above and then post your score in the comments below if you’re brave. Are you financially literate?

If you get a score that you feel is too low to post, here’s how you change it. Register for this free course happening January 6th at 8 PM EST and increase your financial literacy in record time!

Opportunity Cost and Your Career

“Opportunity cost” refers to what you can potentially lose by choosing one option over another – even when you aren’t thinking about it.

Nearly every choice you make precludes something else that might have been.

Opportunity cost exists in everything from relationships to finances to career choices, but here we’ll focus on that last one. Over a lifetime, the cost of career decisions can be massive.

numbers money calculating calculation
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The math
For opportunity costs that can be measured, usually in dollars, there’s even a math equation. (FYI, Ms. ME spent a few years as a Mathematics instructor.)

What I sacrifice / What I gain = Opportunity cost[i]

Let’s say you have two career choices. One is to work as a mechanic at $50 per hour and the other is to work as a karate instructor at $20 per hour.

Opportunity A / Opportunity B = Opportunity cost

Here it is with numbers: $50 / $20 = $2.50

To translate that, for every $1 you earn as a karate instructor, you could have earned $2.50 as a mechanic. The ratio remains the same whether it’s for one hour worked or 1,000 hours worked because it’s based on earnings per hour.

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Adding a time element
We can only work a certain number of hours in a week and we can only work for a certain number of years in a lifetime. Adding time into the discussion doesn’t change the math relationship between the opportunities but it does recognize real-world constraints. Sometimes these limits are by choice. You could be both a full-time mechanic and a full-time karate instructor, but most people don’t want to work 80 hours per week. Something has to give, and that’s where considering opportunity cost comes in.

If you only want to work 40 hours in a week, you’ll have to choose one career over the other or split your time between the two. But even in splitting your time, there is an opportunity cost. Think about it like this: Every hour spent in a lower paying job costs money if you had an opportunity to earn more doing something else.

The bigger picture
In our example using the mechanic vs. the karate instructor, the difference in annual income is over $60,000 per year ($104,000 minus $41,600). Over a 40-year working career, the difference in earnings is nearly $2.5 million, and it all happened one hour at a time.

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Life balance
Your career choice shouldn’t just be about money – you should do something you enjoy and that gives you satisfaction. There may be several other considerations as well – like opportunity to travel, the kind of people you work with, and the greater contribution you can make to the world. However, if there are two choices that meet all your criteria but one pays a bit more, just do the math!

Strange as it may sound thanks to Covid-19 and everything else that happened in 2020 many people are doing the math and reevaluating what they want to do with their lives. For some, reconnecting with a long lost passion as a side gig or even a full leap into entrepreneurship is the direction that they are considering to achieve their desired level of wellness. If you’re in this category, tell us in the comments below. 🔻

[i] https://blog.udemy.com/opportunity-cost-formula/

Set Yourself Up for (Financial) Success in the New Year

A new year is a massive opportunity.

There’s something liberating about closing one chapter of your life and beginning a new one. You realize that this year doesn’t have to be like last year, and that there are countless possibilities for growth.

Now is the perfect time to write a new financial chapter of your life.

In the mindset of new beginnings, the first thing is to forgive yourself for the mistakes of the past and start fresh. Now is your chance to set yourself up for financial success this year and potentially for years to come. Here are three simple steps you can take starting TODAY, January 1st that might make this new chapter of your life the best one yet!

1. Automate wise money decisions ASAP

What if there were a way to go to the gym once that somehow made you steadily stronger throughout the year? One workout would be all you need to achieve your lifting goals!

That’s exactly what automating savings and bill payments does for your finances.

All you have to do is determine how much you want to save and where, set up automatic deposits, and watch your savings grow. It’s like making a year’s worth of wise financial decisions in one day!

2. Give your debt the cold shoulder

Debt doesn’t have to dictate your story in the new year. You can reclaim your cash flow from monthly payments and devote it to building wealth. Resolve to reduce how much you owe over the next 12 months, and then implement one of these two powerful debt strategies…

A. Arrange your debts on a sheet of paper, starting with the highest interest rate and working down. Direct as much financial firepower as you can at that first debt. Once you’ve cleared it, use the extra resources you’ve freed up to crush the next one even faster. This strategy is called the Debt Avalanche.

-Or-

B. Arrange your debts on a sheet paper, starting with the smallest debt and working up to the largest. Eliminate the smallest debt first and then work up to the largest debt. This is called the Debt Snowball. It can be a slower strategy over the long-haul, but it can sometimes provide more motivation to keep going because you’re knocking out smaller goals faster.

3. Start a side hustle

You might not have thought much about this before (let’s be honest if you’ve read this blog before you’ve likely had no choice but to think about it 😁), but you may have what it takes to create a successful side hustle. Just take a moment and think about your hobbies and skills. Love playing guitar? Start teaching lessons, or see if you can start gigging at weddings or events. Are you an embroidery master? Start selling your creations online. Your potential to transform your existing talents into income streams is only limited by your imagination!

Start this new year strong. Automate a year’s worth of wise financial decisions ASAP, and then evaluate what your next steps should be. You may even want to meet with a qualified and licensed financial professional to help you uncover strategies and techniques that can further reduce your debt and increase your cash flow. Whatever you choose, you’ll have set yourself up for a year full of potential for financial success!

Which step are you committed to taking today? Share below.