The Emergency Fund

Any rock-solid seminar or book on the topic of handling one’s finances will most certainly involve the strategy of an emergency fund.  But why?  Well, at a glance it seems so easy.  Just put away a certain dollar amount, usually $500 or $1000 to start.  Here’s the problem that almost no one will be honest enough to tell you…you’ll have an emergency almost every month, and the only way to stay on track is to continue to feed the emergency fund.  And over time, your (LARGE) EMERGENCY’S will only be (small) emergency’s and then as more time goes by, you’ll have less and less (small) emergency’s.  This is not necessarily because you’ve become lucky.  It is, rather, because you begin to become sensitive about the emergency’s that you encounter, you’ll be more able to be pro-active in dealing with them, as opposed to re-active, which is what you are when you operate without an emergency fund. A simply story…when we began my journey, we started with a $250 emergency fund.  Why not $500 or $1000, as the professionals suggest…because I didn’t have $1000 and just the idea of ever having $1000 sitting in a bank account not doing anything except waiting for an emergency was mind-blowing.  But, I did it.  In the beginning, I drained that thing every single month to pay for things that I deemed emergency’s.  But, as I stated above, it was them that I began to see those things coming: oil changes were going to happen every 3 months, and they usually cost the same amount, and those 5-week months at daycare (oh man, those...

FREE FINANCE COACHING?!

When I began this venture, I asked myself a seemingly simple question, “Why is it that folks have difficulty with obtaining financial wellness?”, and “How can I help them?” I had already helped many friends and family members, and quite well might I add, and so I knew that I could help others, but of course, I wanted to become a millionaire, too.  I mean, after all, isn’t that what we all want?  To do what we love, get paid to do it, and make a million dollars in the process, so that we never have to work again.  But, as I began my journey, I began to notice that I was concerned about the dollar above all else.  I had let GREED seep into my life. And so, I went back to the basics.  I spent a few days doing nothing but thinking, deep thinking.  Trying to uncover how I could obtain what I sought out to do when I began this business without losing my soul in the process.  And what happened next astounded me… I read the following passage in the Bible… Proverbs 11:18, 25, 31 “The wicked man works a deceitful work: but to him that sows righteousness shall be rewarded.” “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that waters shall be watered.” “Behold, the righteous shall be compensated in the earth: much more than the wicked.” Then, of course, there’s the whole story of Job, who had obtained extreme wealth, lost it all, then due to his unwavering faith, received it all back, and them some. As I read, I felt the...

WHY YOU MUST HAVE A PERSONALIZED BUDGET

Please allow me to share a story… Not so long ago, I had the grand idea of bringing in a proven personal finance course at a local community venue.  The goal was simple…to give folks the tools necessary to get a firm handle on their personal finances, so that they could reach their life’s goals. Once the class began, we discussed a myriad of personal finance topics, one of which was the budget, but according to the course, we were only to hand-out a written budget outline, and have everyone fill it in…as if they had a clue what to put in each category.  And there I saw the problem…these people are not yet capable of writing a budget because they had never done it before and had no guidance on how to complete it.  It is similar to buying a gym membership, not knowing the first thing about how to become fit…you just walk around, doing what you see others doing, then cancel your membership within a month because “it’s not working”. I cannot tell you the amount of questions I fielded as the course went on, most of which stemmed from the misunderstanding of how to construct a budget. You see, the budget is the cornerstone of your entire ‘personal finance’ building, and without an accurate budget, you are set up for failure.  Please know that’s it’s not your fault…you’ve simply not ever been told. For example, it’s very easy to say that you spend $400 a month on food, $200 a month on gas, and so forth, but it’s a paradigm shift to know that I...