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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Financial Confessions

Financial freedom involves being honest with yourself and others about your financial situation. If you avoid taking a good look at your saving and spending habits then you risk falling into a downward spiral of economic despair. If you pretend that you have more than you really do then you put yourself in a position where you can fall into the trap of living beyond your means simply to keep up with the Jones'. Almost everyone has some guilty pleasure that is preventing them from reaching that pinnacle of prosperity that defines their own economic success. The longer you keep your financial situation in the dark, the more you allow yourself to sink into the abyss of economic destruction. It is time to gain control of your finances by facing your situation head on; thereby, successfully destroying any roadblocks that stand in your way to prosperity.

Because I walk the walk and not just talk the talk, I am going to share my own financial confession and subsequent wake-up call. Yesterday, I drove to work ($14 to park), bought Dunkin Donuts for breakfast ($6.49) and ordered delivery from the local pizza place ($10 after tipping the driver). I spent a total of $30.49 in one day simply because I was being too lazy to walk to the train or prepare my meals at home. Now what if this were typical of every day (and I'm embarrassed to say that it is more often than I would care to admit), then I would have spent over $600 every month and that is not even counting the gas money I eat up by driving.

Now let's look at the other option. My monthly transit pass is $86. Last night I purchased instant oatmeal packets, cereal bars, a box of teabags, cold cuts, cheese slices, a loaf of bread, Miracle Whip, a family pack of chip snacks, cookies, and a box of Capri-Suns for a total of $36. Combined with my other groceries already in stock at home, this should last me at least 2 weeks so we can safely say $72 worth of groceries for just breakfast and lunch would get me through the month. $72 in groceries plus $86 in transit is equal to just $158. So if I did the smart, responsible thing and both took the train in to work as well as brought in my meals, then I would save well over $400 every month which can either be put away in my savings and other investments or redirected to pay off credit card bills, loans and other expenses that are accumulating interest.

So I ask you, what is your financial confession?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Believe, Achieve, Receive

This morning as I drove into work in my new-to-me Toyota Rav4, something amazing hit me. I had spoke and willed my ride into existence. Seriously! The power in thought and words is immeasurable. I had been dreaming of owning a small truck for a very long time and had even wanted it to be forest green. I told everyone that one day I would have it and now I do and it is exactly as I had imagined years ago. But it wasn't just the thought and words that brought my dream into fruition.

Words are powerful. In fact, a great deal of the Bible talks about the power of the tongue as a double-edged sword and the effects words can have on our lives. We are cautioned about how we use our words with one another from early childhood because of the impact that they can have. An entire revolution sprung forth after the book/movie "The Secret" highlighted the benefits of the law of attraction. But something very critical was missing in that movie.

My thoughts and words by themselves are very powerful indeed but in order for me to fully realize my dreams, I had to also be moved to action. Because I did want a new ride, I chose to believe that I would get it but then I also performed the necessary steps to make it be. I started reviewing and revising my credit history in case I needed a loan. I began saving specifically for the vehicle and I launched a search to begin pricing vehicles. Then I went out and test drove my options until I was ready to make a purchasing decision.

I share this with you because not too often do things really happen on a wish and a prayer but many of us walk around with our heads in the clouds thinking this to be true. I know that I have often dug my hands into the hope chest - hoping my dreams would come true.

The truth of the matter is that no matter what your dream is, it is probably achieveable; but, you have to DO something to make it happen. To ensure that your wildest dreams come true, you have to set your B.A.R.

B. Believe that it can happen and speak it into existence.
A. Achieve by creating an actionable plan that you consistently work on completing.
R. Receive all the fruits of your LABOR!

Your level of engagement, or how high you set your B.A.R., is a direct indication of how fast, if ever, you will make your wildest dreams come true. I set my B.A.R. really high and have yet to be stopped.

Choose to continue sifting through the hope chest or become unstoppable. Really, it's your choice!