Tag Archives: finance

“SMARTER Finances” Spring Seminar at Milton Keynes (Bletchley) SDA Church

The 2014 series of “SMARTER Finances” seminars continues with the one-day Stewardship Youth programme at Bletchley church.  Attended by over 40 youth and adults, the morning session covered the basics, drawing on the bible-based principles.

The afternoon was a fun interactive session looking at personal and church financial goals and the best ways to achieve them.

The results of the straw poll (sample 20 members) above has been added to the total responses so far.  To see the results as at March 2014 click here.

Get support for you and your church on your financial journey!

About the FREE  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars – These are  bible-based seminars and are delivered in your local church. As part of the Stewardship of our knowledge, member’s have supported other church groups by running these seminars annually since 2004.

Start-up a locla MONEYCLUB a training and learning  workshops and practical support sessions for members. From June to December run these as weekend, or one-day church based seminars.

A number of local church groups in England already use these sessions for basic financial literacy in a Stewardship Day programme whilst others use the weekend workshops or one-day seminar services for both the church and local community outreach.

If your church has never participated or held one of these sessions, ask your Treasurer and your Stewardship Co-ordinator to arrange a session this year.

Your Seven Day Plan to Achieve that New Year’s Resolution (Day 6)

Welcome back to the penultimate of this series of blogs!

We’ve nearly at the end –  so well done for not giving up! Remember: Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

(We will resume our regular weekly posts in a two days after this series of blogs ends, but for now we are focussing on tips to help our 2014 financial goals)

By completing this seven day series of activities, one day at a time, you are already that many steps closer towards your financial goals for 2014. And as you continue to progress you become one of the group of 8% in the population that achieve New Year’s Resolutions and go on to master their goals!

Before we look at the tip today, can you honestly answer ‘YES’ to these questions?

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Question 1: Did you read the earlier Days?  If not take a moment to read those you have skipped – just click the link for the Day:

Day 1 – the one about developing your Spending Plan
Day 2 – the one about Reducing your Debts
Day 3 – the one about Increasing your Savings
Day 4 – the one about gaining more Financial Knowledge
Day 5 – the one about checking your Credit Report/ Rating

Question 2: Did you order or at least look online at the companies that can supply your credit report?  Making this part of your financial knowledge this year will help your understanding.  You still have a few hours today to make this happen if you haven’t yet done so…but make sure you take action in the next 24 hours!

Question 3: As part of your morning devotional study and reflections today, did you thank God for the opportunities being brought your way, and commit  to  achieving the activities planned for this day to move closer toward your goals? Remember: But let him ask in faith, never wavering; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 (NKJV)

So, if you’ve not yet done so, just pause for a moment now to do this… and then read again to refresh your mind about at least three activities you will do this week to move your goals closer to become a reality.

OK, now let’s move on to the tip for Day 6!

Tip No 6: Make SURE EVERYONE is  ‘on board’ 

For you to make good financial progress it is important that everyone able to affect your progress is aware of, understands, and can commit to what it will take to make your goals a reality.

But achieving  your financial goals is well nigh impossible if you are battling less positive financial behaviour within your own family or circle of friends.  When you face resistance you have a tug-of-war as your family or friends fear they may lose out as a result of your financial decisions. And they may inadvertently do things that end up working against you.

First, be clear about why you are doing this:  Remember, your goals should be SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound, Ethical and Responsible) or it may be that the resistance you face is quite valid!

If this is your first time you may want to first share with your family the information in Days 1 – 5 so they understand how this fits into your goal.

Next, make a commitment to having the chat, pick a good time and stick to the time – if you said it will be for an hour, keep your promise.  If you need to talk further or if you need to gather financial information together, agree and set aside space for another time – don’t drag out this first meeting.

Decide and agree on exactly what it is you would like to achieve from the discussion and work towards these points in the meeting.

OK, so you faced a few snags?

Try to identify what the root causes are for any resistance you are facing. Some problems you might encounter may include:

We’ve no time to have this sort of chat.. everyone is really busy  – this is not an excuse to hold on to.  People who became billionaires or paupers all had the same number of hours in the day – they just used them differently. Choosing how you want to use your time in these early days of your financial journey should be  important enough for you to put aside the time to make this happen.

I find it impossible to get through to him/ her about this –  It is possible that you are dealing with an ‘impossible person’ and that no matter what you try, it is difficult to talk about money with them.  See our blog about handling this type or detracting influence.

Talking about money causes a fight – I’d rather avoid this…With most of the arguments and causes for divorce caused by money (this finding is also supported by our poll!) this is not unique to your relationship.  Making your financial goals a joint project that includes the whole family is one way to engage everyone on the same path.

We don’t share, we keep our money details separate… this can result one day getting a nasty surprise if either of you has no control over your spending or rapidly escalating debts.  It is always best to get any of those sorts of hidden problems out in the open sooner rather than later so that you can sort them out early – together.

If you find yourself feeling under attack, don’t go on the defensive and avoid coming off as negative: Statements that start with “You always…” or “You never…” are put downs and not the best basis to try to build consensus for moving your financial goals forward!

Attend one of the FREE Access the Power (ATP)  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars to continue to support you on your financial journey – These are all bible-based seminars and are delivered in your local church. As part of the Stewardship of our knowledge, member’s have supported other church groups by running these seminars annually since 2004.

The first quarter, from January to March, is used for workshops and practical support sessions for members new to the programmes. From April to December we then run the weekend, or one-day church based seminars.

A number of local church groups in England already this session for basic financial literacy as a Stewardship Day whilst others use the weekend workshops or one-day seminar services for both the church and local community outreach.  If your church has never participated or held one of these sessions, show this blog to your Stewardship Co-ordinator and they can arrange a session for your church group within your Stewardship Day programme this year.

“SMARTER Finance”  sessions are open to all participating church members in any Seventh-day Adventist church group in the UK.   For more information or to arrange a programme at your local church click here – (this will take you to the feedback form on this blog)

Hopefully the information covered so far has been is useful – but please suggest any other areas you would like to see more about and we’ll post a blog about it.

Tomorrow, we will look at the final tip to help you with your financial goals.  As always, share how you are getting on with these, any questions or comments you have.

Until then….onwards and upwards!

Your Seven Day Plan to Achieve that New Year’s Resolution (Day 5)

Welcome back to another step forward on this seven day plan!

Today as a good start to the week, remind yourself of this promise: For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. Phil 2:12 (NIV)

(We will resume our regular weekly posts in a few days after this series of blogs completes on day 7 , but for now we are focussing on tips to help our 2014 financial goals)

By now you know that only 8% of the population actually end up achieving their New Year’s Resolutions and by continuing today, you have committed to be one of that group that master their life goals!

You also know from ATP’s 2013 survey completed for UK Seventh-day Adventist believers UK, scores of respondent actually admitted they either did not practical tools to enable them to achieve many of their financial goals. No surprise there as most people whether in the Britain or elsewhere, all struggle with the same challenges.  So, by completing these seven day’s tips, one day at a time, you will have some tools to help progress your financial goals for 2014.

Before we look at the tip today, can you honestly answer ‘YES’ to these questions?

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Question 1: Did you read the earlier Days?  If not take a moment to catch up on Day 1 here , find Day 2 herereview Day 3 here and check out Day 4 here.

Question 2: Did you list out at least one area of financial knowledge you would like to improve this year and identify where you can access this information?  You still have another 24 hours to make this happen if you haven’t yet done so…but make sure you take action within the next day!

Question 3: As part of your morning devotional study and reflections today, did you recommit your plans to God, asking for focus, guidance and clarity of purpose to help you achieve your goals and plans for this day, week and year  Remember: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14.

So, if you’ve not yet done so, just pause for a moment now to do this… and then quickly write down or review at least three of the activities you will do this week to move your goals closer to become a reality.

OK, now let’s move on to the tip for Day 5!

Tip No 5: REVIEW (or get hold of your first) Credit Report

Remember, furthering your knowledge is an essential pillar to help you achieve your goals in finance, or in fact, any other area in personal development.  Knowledge of what is on record about your credit information is beneficial so don’t put this one off!

Your credit report is an up to date record of your credit history but is a ‘snapshot’ at the time it is requested and things can change.  For good financial housekeeping make it part of your activities to check your credit record regularly, at least once a year.

First, request a copy of your credit report: You have a statutory right to obtain a full copy of your credit report from any credit reference agency such as Experian , Callcredit or Equifax .

There is a statutory fee of £2 to receive your report either online or hardcopy in the post although there are offers that give you access to your credit file for free if you sign up with the company.  As different credit agancies may have different information on file if this is your first time doing this you may want to request the file from all three of the credit reference agencies.

For more information on UK resources and information on credit reports and credit reference agencies, look out for future blogs as these will are posted and updated over the year.

OK, so you have your credit report, now what ?

Next  – and do this within the next 48 hours –  identify any information you find worrying and check your records to see if your file may need to be corrected.  The instances of people being subjected to credit fraud are increasing, so learning how to master some simple anti-fraud activities will also help in your financial goals.

More information on Protecting your reputation and identity later…

If you have a specific creditworthiness issues, don’t delay in addressing this –  Be sure to research how to address areas of poor credit or reach out to a friend with good knowledge to help you or financial advisor if this area of your finances needs serious sorting.

But remember, if you are not clear about what you need advice for you will be throwing away good money on professional services.  Know exactly what it is you would like to achieve before you go spending on advisors.

Attend one of the FREE Access the Power (ATP)  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars that deal with Credit, Loans and Debts – These are all bible-based seminars and are delivered in your local church. As part of the Stewardship of our knowledge, member’s have supported other church groups by running these seminars annually since 2004.  Most seminars are run from April – December.  The first quarter of the year is used for workshops and practical support sessions for members new to the programmes.

If your church has never participated or held one of these sessions, show this blog to your Stewardship Co-ordinator and ask him/ her to arrange a session for your church group within your Stewardship Day programme this year.

“SMARTER Finance”  sessions are open to all participating church members in any Seventh-day Adventist church group in the UK.  A number of local church groups in England already this session for basic financial literacy as a Stewardship Day whilst others use the weekend workshops or one-day seminar services for both the church and local community outreach.

For more information or to arrange a programme at your local church click here – (this will take you to the feedback form on this blog)

Knowledge is nothing without Wisdom…

The book of Proverbs is a fantastic way for you to start gaining some of the basic understanding of how successful people approach managing credit, business, wealth and finances. One chapter a day and you have covered the whole book in a month!  It’s never too late to start now.

For ladies in the UK, see our blogs on Proverbs 31 for secrets on successful living , business and financial success.  And see the Sorority created just for you, by women just like you PI TAU OMICRON (Π Τ Ο).

For ΠΤΟ sisterhood eligibility criteria click here.

Hopefully this information is useful – please suggest an area you would like to see more about and we’ll post a blog about it.

Tomorrow, we will look at another tip to help you in your financial goals.  As always, share how you are getting on with these, any questions or comments you have.

See you again tomorrow….onwards and upwards!

Your Seven Day Plan to Achieve that New Year’s Resolution (Day 4)

Well done on continuing to move forward on this seven day plan!

You are doing such a good job.  Remind yourself of this promise as you continue to move forward, leaving your past behind:  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

(We will resume our regular weekly posts after the first seven days of 2014, where we are focussing on tips to help succeed in financial goals this year)

As we’ve noted earlier this week, only 8% of the population actually end up achieving their New Year’s Resolutions and we want to be in that group of successful winners!  Also, from the hundreds of responses to the ATP’s 2013 survey of church members in the UK, we met scores of members who admitted they either did not practical tools to enable them to achieve many of their financial goals.

There’s a simple solution for this; continuing to keep up with and revisit these seven days of tips and hints, one tip at a time, will help you progress your financial goals for 2014.

Before we go through Day 4, can you honestly answer ‘YES’ to these questions?

 

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Question 1: Did you read the earlier blogs for Days 1, 2 and 3?  If not, you can catch up on Day 1 here , find Day 2 here and review Day 3 here.

Question 2: Did you add an amount towards your savings goal/s into your Monthly Spending Plan? If not, then take some time to complete that task before moving on to today’s tip.

Question 3: As part of your morning devotional study and reflections, did you recommit your plans to God, asking for focus, guidance and clarity of purpose to help you achieve your goals and plans for this day, week and year?

Remember: Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:13-14.  So, just pause for a moment now to do so… and share your vision of better financial stewardship today with your fellow church members.

OK, now let’s see today’s tip!

Tip No 4: Increase  (or start to acquire!) More Knowledge to Master Your Finances

Furthering your knowledge is an essential pillar to help you achieve your goals in finance, or in fact, any other area in personal development.

Nowadays, with so many resources available, there is no excuse for not getting the knowledge you need.  With the Internet accessible at home, on your smartphone, at school and at work  information is now (literally) 24/7 at your fingertips.

There are a number of good websites, free online courses, TV programmes, and educational books available that offer practical insights into personal financial mastery, money, finance and its ever-growing areas.  For a list of the UK resources look out for future blogs as these will are posted and updated over the year.

First start off by making a list of the areas in your financial understanding that you would like to learn more about – these will also need to be relevant to the financial goals you have set.

Focus on something you are familiar with and would like to know more aboutMany people want to dive into shares, bonds and investing in the stockmarket,  options trading, mutual funds…. all without having basic understanding of financial markets or how to read the underlying information on the companies listed and publicly traded.

Don’t rush ahead without getting the foundations for your financial knowledge properly set up!

Next  – and do this within the next 48 hours –  identify where you can get the information to move your financial goals forward.  If this is a first time activity,  just focus on one of your short term goals and build up your sources of research and information.

So for example if you are looking at more information on savings, read all you can about ways to save, or understanding some of the simple examples on saving.

Sign up for one of the FREE Access the Power (ATP)  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars – delivered in your local church, these have been made available annually since 2004 and now run between April – December.

If your church has never had one of these sessions, show this blog to your Stewardship Co-ordinator and ask him/ her to arrange a session for your church group as your Stewardship Day this year.

“SMARTER Finance”  sessions are open to all participating church members in any Seventh-day Adventist church group in the UK.  A number of local church groups in England already this session for basic financial literacy as a Stewardship Day whilst others use the weekend workshops or one-day seminar services for both the church and local community outreach.

For more information or to arrange a programme at your local church click here – (this will take you to the feedback form on this blog)

In the UK, the government launched the Money Advice Service in 2010 which, in spite of its name, is not a financial advice service!   It is a free resource of financial information, although at the end of 2013 it  came under fire as the Treasury Select Committee and MPs condemn Money Advice Service as ‘not fit for purpose’

If you have a specific individual planning advice need, don’t skimp on paying for professional help –  Be sure to reach out to a good financial advisor if you have an area in your finances (eg insurances and retirement planning) that you would like to sort out. This will not only provide you with a deeper understanding of these financial products  and other financial matters, but it also will allow you and your advisor to improve your financial goals.

If you are looking for a financial planner or financial advisor make sure they have the required accreditation to offer their services.  But remember, if you are not clear about the area you need advice for you will be wasting good money.  The most expensive is not always to best and you don’t always get what you pay for.

Brighten the Corner Where You Are…

The book of Proberbs is a fantastic way for you to start gaining some of the basic understanding of how successful people approach business, wealth and finances. One chapter a day and you have covered the whole book in a month!

For Ladies in the UK, see our blogs on Proverbs 31 for secrets on successful living , business and financial success.  And see the Sorority created just for you, by women just like you PI TAU OMICRON (Π Τ Ο).

For ΠΤΟ sisterhood eligibility criteria click here.

So, do let us know if  more financial knowledge is an area you would like to see more about and we’ll post further information on practical ways to do this.

Tomorrow, we will look at another tip to help you in your financial goals.  As always, share how you are getting on with these, any questions or comments you have.

Until then, have a blessed Sabbath….onwards and upwards!

Your Seven Day Plan to Achieve that New Year’s Resolution (Day 3)

We will resume our regular weekly posts after this week. But for this week, the first seven days of 2014, we’re focussing on a plan to help us for the rest of the year.

As we’ve noted, only 8% of the population actually end up achieving their New Year’s Resolutions and we want to be in that group of successful winners!

Over half of the church members (based either in London or the South East of England, UK) that took part in our 2013 survey said they had a handle on their finances…. but after further discussion it became clear to many that they either did not have (or worse) did not know how best to apply the practical tools to enable them to achieve many of their financial goals.

Part of gaining the skills as one of the successful 8%  who achieve goals they set includes having  a simple and practical roadmap to make the way easier. And then, being consistent in developing and following the map!

Continuing to keep up with and revisit these seven days of tips and hints,  one tip at a time, will help you progress your financial goals for 2014.

Before we begin the tip for Day 3, can you honestly answer ‘YES’ to these questions:

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Question 1: Did you read the Day 1 and Day 2 blogs?  If not, you can catch up on Day 1 here and you can catch up on Day 2 here

Question 2: Did you add your payments towards paying down your debt into your Monthly Spending Plan? If not, then take some time to complete that task before moving on to today’s tip. Remember

Question 3: As part of your morning devotional study and reflections, did you recommit your plans to God, asking for focus, guidance and clarity of purpose to help you achieve your goals and plans for this day, week and year?  If not, just pause for a moment to do so.  Remember: A double minded man is unstable in all his waysJames 1:8 King James Version (KJV).

OK, now let’s now move on to consider today’s tip.

Tip 3: Make a goal to Increase (or start!) Saving

First, write down one short term goal – perhaps for this year’s holiday or to start an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses.

Next, write down a medium term goal – perhaps it’s that dream vacation, or a deposit on a home.

Finally, decide on a realistic deadline to achieve these goals – and list the regular action you will need to do within that time to accomplish your goal.

Now, make a plan of what you need to do today to move your goal/s forward.  If this is a first time activity, you may wish to just focus on your short term goal to help build your confidence first.

Always try to keep your savings activity regular even if the amount you can save is not the same each time.

That way you  get into the habit of regular savings –  a great tool to help you on your financial journey.  See our 52 week challenge –  “A simple way to save £1,000 in one year” a short blog showing you a straightforward method of creating and achieving a short term financial goal.

 

JOIN OR START A LOCAL CHURCH MONEY CLUB

Remember, if your church is interested in supporting a local money savings and investments club and would like more information let us know in the feedback form, just click here.

Let us know if this is an area for more discussion and we’ll post more information on savings and ways to save.

Tomorrow, we will look at another tip to help you in your financial goals.  As always, share how you are getting on with these, any questions or comments you have.

Until then, onwards and upwards!

Want a really easy way to save at least £1,000 this year? The 52 week challenge

I’m taking the 52-Week Money Challenge, which gets a lot of interest online at this time of year.

This can be one of your New Year’s Resolutions!

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It’s very straightforward. You simply start by saving £5 in the first seven days in January (so, five days to go!) and you build up the savings by saving a larger or smaller amounts each seven days over the 52 weeks.  You can start with £52 the first week and then work down to £1 by December, when the festive season means money is a lot tighter.  I find the summer and autumn are best to do the bigger saving amounts.  The most you would have to put away in any week is £40, everything is less than that.

The variety in the saving pattern means that you can build up in a way that suits you!

To make it something everyone can take part in, why not make it a joint family goal.  Would be great to get comments on the tips for saving the amounts each week

… I’ve opened a ‘jam jar’ account with my local church Money Club…for my shoes and handbag fund … ssh, don’t tell hubby!

Here’s one way to do this weekly saving that makes it all a bit easier:

 

Week Number Dates         Weekly Amount Monthly Amount Saved So Far
1 1-7 Jan £5
2 8-14 Jan £4
3 15 – 21 Jan £3
4 22 – 28 Jan £2 £14
5 29Jan -4Feb £1 £15
6 5 – 11 Feb £10
7 12 – 18 Feb £9
8 19 – 25 Feb £8 £28
9 26Feb-4Mar £7 £49
10 5 – 11 Mar £6
11 12 – 18 Mar £20
12 19 – 25 Mar £19 £52
13 26Mar-1Apr £18 £112
14 2 – 8 Apr £17
15 9 – 15 Apr £16
16 16 – 22 Apr £15 £66
17 23 – 29 Apr £14 £174
18 30Apr-6May £13
19 7 – 13 May £12
20 14-20May £11 £50
21 21 – 27 May £30
22 28May-3Jun £29 £269
23 4 – 10 Jun £27
24 11 – 17 Jun £28 £114
25 18 – 24 Jun £26
26 25Jun – 1Jul £25 £375
27 2 – 8 Jul £24
28 9 – 15 Jul £23 £98
29 16 – 22 Jul £22
30 23 – 29 Jul £21
31 30Jul- 5Aug £35 £500
32 6 – 12 Aug £25 £103
33 13 – 19 Aug £25
34 20 – 26 Aug £25
35 27Aug-2Sep £25 £600
36 3 – 9 Sep £25 £100
37 10 – 16 Sep £25
38 17 – 23 Sep £25
39 24 – 30 Sep £25 £700
40 1 – 7 Oct £25 £100
41 8 – 14 Oct £40
42 15 – 21 Oct £39
43 22 – 28 Oct £38
44 29Oct-4Nov £37 £154 £879
45 5 – 11 Nov £36
46 12 – 18 Nov £35
47 19 – 25 Nov £20
48 26Nov-2Dec £10 £101 £980
49 3 – 9 Dec £10
50 10 – 16 Dec £5
51 17 – 23 Dec £5
52 24 – 31 Dec £5 £25 £1,005!

If you get your money once a month, the monthly saving target is also given to make it easier for you to keep a check on how you are progressing!

TOTAL: however frequently you save, it’s over £1,000 – simples!!

Try it out and let us know how you get on! Join me and let’s see how much we can all save in 2014…

Onwards and Upwards!

Your Seven Day Plan to Achieve that New Year’s Resolution (Day 2)

As we said yesterday, the most New Year’s Resolutions tend to focus on losing weight/ health and financial goals.  But studies show that only 8% of the population actually achieve their New Year’s Resolutions!

Gaining the skills to be part of that successful group who achieve their goals includes having  a simple and practical roadmap that makes achieving your goals that much easier.  So, every day, for the next 7 days, we’re sharing one simple tip that will help you progress your financial goals for 2014.

We will return to weekly posts next week.

So here is the tip for Day 2 that will help  boost 2014 as an even better year for you financially.  But before we begin, can you honestly answer ‘YES’ to these questions:

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Question 1: Did you read Day 1 blog?  If not, you can catch up on Day 1 here

Question 2: Did you created a Monthly Spending Plan?  If you would like help creating your Spending Plan please complete the online comment form below.

OK, now let’s now look at today’s tip.

 

 

Tip 2: Make a goal to Reduce (or Eliminate!)  Your Debt

This year write down your list of all the debt you owe – yes, this is a difficult but should only take 20 minutes at the most.

Then, make a plan to pay off your debts using the priority of those with the highest interest rates first.

Always try to pay more than the minimum monthly payment if you’re financially able to  do so. That way you will pay off that debt faster –  and save money on interest charges.

Let us know if this is an area for more discussion and we’ll post more information on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt.

Tomorrow, we will look at a tip for savings, until then onwards and upwards!

Your Seven Day Plan to Achieve that New Year’s Resolution (Day 1)

Happy New Year!
As all the party hats and streamers are all swept away, holidays  come to an end as it’s time to get back to work.

January –  that time of year when we set goals and hope these will improve our lives in the year to come.

The most common resolutions tend to focus on losing weight/ health or financial goals.  But studies show that only 8% of the population actually achieve their New Year’s Resolutions! What’s needed is a new skillset to learn how to be part of the successful group.

Whatever your plans, having a simple and practical roadmap makes achieving your goals that much easier.  So, every day, for the next 7 days, we’ll share one simple tip that will help you progress your financial goals for 2014.

Here are the tips in Day 1 that will help  boost 2014 as an even better year for you financially.  Here we go!

 First off – make sure you can honestly answer ‘YES’ to these three questions:

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Question 1: Are you sure you understand or have at your disposal the tools to gather all the facts, personal drivers and core values to get the end result you want?

Question 2: Are you aware of and committed to using all of the elements that must be applied for you to be effective in reaching your financial?

Question 3 – Is everyone – yes, EVERYONE – that will benefit or be affected by your financial goals just as committed as you to making the changes or decisions you need to make?  Do they understand that any new plans are congruent with your personal development.  Are they aware that this is congruent with your other plans and that these will actually improve and will not disrupt your current systems?

Tip 1: Make a goals to Improve (or Develop!)  Your Spending Plan

A Spending Plan is the most powerful tool to help you developing the new you in 2014.

If you have always thought of a “budget,”  or “budgeting” that is a very limiting mindset.  A budget feels like a calorie controlled diet, or a food fast – rather restrictive and usually, not much fun.

It really does help if you think of how you use your money as part of a Spending Plan instead.

You’ll gain a better idea of where you’re money goes and how much you have available to you for the necessities, activities and  financial goals you want to achieve.

The Access the Power Team does seminars and workshops in local churches throughout the year, with the first three months being the busiest.

Church members and local community friends meet and learn the practical tools and skills for personal financial planning and financial wealth.

Your Spending Plan will give you a clear idea and tools to be more effective in the way you plan for expenses like utilities, food, hobbies and entertainment, travel education, and is the first step towards achieving financial freedom.

3 signs you’re heading for a financial meltdown (and how to avoid it): Part 2

In Part 1, posted earlier, we noted that everybody, especially women, has an important role to play in creating a foundation of good money management through using the simple skills and practical tips from life –  this is as much a  priority in your business or at your work.

This can sometimes means taking a hard look at the relationships that hold you back and cost you in terms of time and effort as well as money… and then tackling them. Thinking about who you usually interact with and share your plans with, here are 3 more signs that you are heading for a financial meltdown

1. You continue to keep company with the same people who make you lose focus and stifle your energy: Most people know someone who seems to pour cold water on every plan and financial goal you have; being around them makes the environment toxic and impossible.

2. You try to get them to see why achieving your financial goals is important to you, but it is impossible to get them to understand Pointing out that these people are detracting from your progress won’t get you anywhere,  — odds are, they don’t even see a problem and actually think they are experts at helping you.

3.No matter what you suggest, they know better and tell you that you are foolish not to follow their advice: They may either suggest lots of ideas or actively discourage your saving or spending plans, egging you on towards your financial meltdown.  Then when you fail to achieve your goal, they quickly turn round and say smugly “Didn’t I tell you that you wouldn’t reach your goal?!”

Let’s look at how to handle detractors and impossible people in the final part of this blog. How you choose to react to these people will determine your success in achieving your financial goals.

Here are 5 tips to help  navigate and overcome interactions with  these sorts of friends, co-workers or relatives so that you keep focussed on your financial goals.

1. Acknowledge that these people exist, and accept that dealing with them will be difficult. When detractors come into your life, their first step is to try to control your choices.  So your first step is to face reality: if you think you might be dealing with an impossible person who detracts from your financial dreams, you’re probably right.

Acknowledging this will make sure you have the best approach to handling the negativity that they will throw in your direction.

2. Do not feel you need to defend your financial plans:  You have shown them your ideas and financial plans but they think you should do something different and then get angry when you do not change your plans to match their ideas.

In their minds, you are doing it all wrong and nothing you can say is going to make them understand that you actually know what financial goals will work best for you. Relax, and don’t feel that you need to justify or defend your savings and spending plans.  Keep on top of your Spending Plan Journal and ignore the negative comments.

3. Do not let them convince you to allow your short term financial goals to slip: Detractors will often badger you or say things like “you should take things easy… don’t plan too far ahead, you never know what will happen” and will go on and on until they get on your very last nerve.

Keep focussed and calm, especially if you are in a relationship with this person.  Your financial goals may be challenging some of the short term fun and spending they usually enjoy and they will want to do anything they can to return things to the way they were.  Keep focus and achieve your daily, weekly and monthly activities towards your financial goal.

4. Do not get emotional, keep a positive attitude to help maintain your self-esteem. If you have regular dealings with someone who always pours cold water on your financial goals and is dismissive of your plans to be financial free when you share them with friends or family, always be proactive and keep positive thoughts in mind to maintain positive self esteem.

Remind yourself that this person’s opinion is not necessarily right or accurate. and dismiss them. It is not their opinions that count towards your success, it is your constant regular actions towards your goals that will confirm and prove the truth of your financial plans.

5. Consider ‘parting ways’ with friends or family that are negative towards you achieving your financial goals:. At some point you may need to put either some physical space or some ‘head’ space between you and negative people. Whether they are a friend, a family member, a parent, the time to make that break will eventually manifest.

Maintaining your goals whilst battling in a relationship where an impossible person is doing everything to thwart your success is and uphill battle.  Keeping focus on achieving your success is hard enough without running a gauntlet of negativity.  Move away, and stay away from these so called ‘friends’ and ‘well wishers’.

Do you have a story about how you have dealt with someone who was negative about your financial goals?  Please share by writing adding your comments or sharing the thoughts that struck you as you read this blog – comments are always most welcomed and thanks for following!

Onwards and upwards!

3 signs you’re heading for a financial meltdown: Part 1

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As we come to the close of another year, and the world gets into the swing of end of year celebrations, it’s time to reflect on what’s facing your finances as we head towards 2014.

It’s clear that we will need to continue to need to balance the challenge of efficiently managing your day to day finances with the same or better effectiveness and also have an external focus on helping to create the wealth and savings you and your loved ones need to prosper.

If you were born in the 60’s or 70’s a recent study indicates that, unless you are due to get an inheritance, you will probably be ‘poorer’ than your parent’s generation because the cost of living is going up faster than salaries and other income.

Affordable and sensible finance plans must therefore be your new reality. If you are going to have any chance of re-balancing your books, plans to adjust by becoming more proactive with your financial plans and ‘doing more with less’ (or ‘doing less for less’) – is the only way to get fit for the financial future.  It will also mean you start to focus on how to achieve what you need and start to get what you want along your wealth cycle journey.

At the latest P31 Sorority meeting, members discussed and shared  the three main issues women (and men) often fail to deal with to make sure they can avoid the road to financial meltdown:

  • You don’t Set a Priority – insufficient attention is often paid to deciding in an objective and critical way what you really should be in the business of doing – your purpose.  When you fail to do this, you risk gathering a legacy of activities that are not relevant to your current needs or where you want to go in life.
  • You don’t measure and celebrate your Progress – unlike in  work or diets, often we do not set out progress measures in a well developed way.  This leads to focussing on vey high level outcomes than can often look daunting and unachievable. Rather, pick a few specific areas that show an understanding of what financial activity or objectives you are trying to achieve, and that will function as your programme of how you will do it.  Commit to regular and objective review of your progress and ask for help if needed.  Joining a group of likeminded people like the P31 Sorority can boost your success rate.
  • You don’t align your financial goals to the rest of your life goals  – regardless of your financial status at the moment, your  capacity to connect your financial strategy and execute it is often limited if it is not matched to the other goals you have in life.  This mis-match creates a a confused approach to your money, or worse,  you tend to have high aversion to risk,  a reluctance to drive forward any wide-ranging changes you may need in your life, and risk a life of unmet expectations in your  financial and personal relationships as well as in service to your local community.

As noted in earlier blogs, everyone, but women in particular, have an important role to play in creating a foundation of good money management through using the simple skills and practical tips from life –  this is as much a  priority for your business or employed life as it is for your personal goals and relationships.

All of this also needs to be achieved while improving your quality of life and living standards.

This can sometimes means taking a hard look at the relationships that hold you back and cost you in terms of time and effort as well as money… and then tackling them.

We’ll look at how to handle these impossible people in the final part of this blog later this month.  But whilst you are waiting why not add a comment or thought that has struck you when you read this blog – comments are always most welcomed and thanks for following this blog

Until later then, onwards and upwards!