Set the pattern for your life to know the joy of work, the importance of saving, and spending less than you earn.  Despite the difficulties in the world, most of us are greatly blessed with resources and have more than enough.  Yet, financial difficulties are a major factor in unhappiness in families today.  We can smooth these difficulties with wise choices, and smart decisions.  Get out of debt.  Use your surplus funds wisely.  Live within your means, and make saving a part of your budget. Small decisions set the tone for your financial success.   

TIPS TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE

We want to accomplish as much as possible each day. We all struggle to keep up with the “to do” list. How can we be more productive and meet our goals, check off our list? We have all heard the suggestions:

Fine tune your routines to get more done.

Work smarter not harder.

Use time more efficiently.

Organize your time better.

How do we accomplish these simple suggestions?

Think about how you begin your day. Do you start your day with coffee, e mail, visiting coworkers? That sets a slow pace and keeps you less motivated.

Start your day thoughtfully, with your mind on your goals. Prioritize your tasks to complete the most urgent or important items first. Spend your first few hours, the most productive time for most of us, working hard to achieve those goals, complete those tasks.

Take a break after a few hours to keep yourself fresh. Make your break count.

Stretch your legs.

Rest your eyes.

Limit breaks to 10 minutes.

Get back to work, and focus on the tasks that accomplish your goals.

Make this a rule for yourself, deliberate actions. Make it a rule, and a ritual until it becomes a habit. If you have a rule that you always work thoughtfully toward your goals, rather than a decision to try. The rule means you are more likely to complete your task as planned, follow the rules rather than just “try”.

Now get started setting rules with your goals, whether job, family, or preparing for the future. Set your schedule, goals, and rules for the tasks and goals you want to achieve. Follow through, and discover that you will be more productive.

KEEP HOLIDAY SPENDING UNDER CONTROL

The holidays are coming, how can you keep your spending under control, avoid overspending and going into debt?  Start with a plan.  Make a plan and list all of the holiday expenses, include gifts, cards, wrapping supplies, holiday food and drinks, postage, and travel.  Set a budget for each area, and a resolve to stick to the budget.  Beware of the hidden costs of holidays by planning ahead for them.  

Stick to your budget, and buy gifts that are meaningful.  Avoid buying gifts out of a sense of obligation or guilt.  With enough planning, you can set aside money each month or pay period, and shop throughout the year.  Have your shopping done far enough ahead to allow you to fully enjoy holiday activities spent with friends and family. 

If you do go overboard with holiday spending, resolve to pay down your debt as quickly as possible.  Adjust your holiday spending plan and budget going forward so you avoid repeating the same problems.  Make the most of discounts, loyalty cards, and specials.  Stretch your holiday dollars while indulging sensibly.

 PREPPING TIPS FOR FINANCIAL EMERGENCIES

Prepare for a financial emergency or financial crisis.  During stressful times, we may not think clearly or know what decisions to make.  A plan in place that you created gives you security.  You have thought about the decisions you must make, and have taken the time to know what is most important to you.   

What are the most important items you may need in a financial emergency?

 Cash

Copies of Important Papers

List of Emergency Contacts

Inventory of Belongings

Keys

Emergency Supplies

First Aid Kit

Ask yourself, are you doing the right things today to get where you want to be in 10 years? Establish 3 to 6 months of cash reserves for emergencies. The more reserve you build up the greater decision making ability you will possess. If times turn difficult or emergencies arise, you can face the challenges from a position of financial strength.

 BETTING AGAINST THE ECONOMY

Are you betting against the economy of the United States?  Are you buying food, water, first aid and emergency supplies?  Is prepping selling short our economy, betting against our government or the collapse of our society?  In an emergency, the Government cannot rescue you, be there for you, help you.

Preparedness is a positive way to live.  You have the peace of mind to know that, no matter what, you can take care of yourself and your family.  You understand that bad things happen to everyone, and will be better able to deal with whatever comes your way.  Why wouldn't you want to have extras of things that allow you to live and enjoy your life?  Store food, water, gear, even guns and ammo if you like trips to the shooting range or hunting.  Stockpile extra supplies of food, water, first aid, sanitation, and more.  Keep on hand of the items you actually use, enjoy having and never want to be without.

 

FINANCIAL PREPPING: EMERGENCY FUND BASICS

It is important to have an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a stash of money set aside for emergencies.  Emergencies are sudden, stressful, and usually expensive.  Set aside your emergency fund three ways.  

Have cash on hand emergency funds, short term emergency funds, and long term emergency funds.  

Keep cash on hand to keep you safe and see you through  with the basic needs.  Cash allows you to get a bottle of water, give kids money for a field trip, some businesses only accept cash. Having cash on hand can ease you through small events.

Organize your bills, track your expenses, set up accounts especially for your emergency cash fund stash.  Continue to track your home expenses and organize your receipts for easy tax preparation.

Try some of these strategies to build your emergency fund.  Make a plan to build your emergency fund.

Emergency funds are vital in case you lose your job, someone in your family has a medical emergency, the car breaks down. Cash in your emergency fund means those expenses don’t take away from living expenses, and don’t end up on credit cards.

Long term emergency funds are for fixed expenses you realize will come one day. Your house will need a new roof. You will need to replace your car. You need to travel to an out of town family emergency.

Having cash and a budget to face life’s expenses prevents you from being stressed and in debt. Learning to budget and save means you have the money for emergencies, and probably can save for wants, not just needs. Save up for a vacation, holiday gifts, summer camps, retirement. Make saving and budgeting a choice that works for you.

PLUNGING GAS PRICES - WHAT DOES IT MEAN

The price of gasoline has been plummeting the last few months.  We love paying less for gas, saving money when we fill up our cars, trucks, and other vehicles.  Why is the price of gas so low, who is responsible, will it last?  Historic prices of gas, and political effects can cause the price of gas to fall or skyrocket overnight. 

Enjoy the low price of gas, and realize it cannot last forever.  Make a financial plan to save the money you are saving on gas to help ease the pain of higher gas prices when they shoot up again.  If gas is a dollar a gallon less than it was, save a few dollars in your fuel budget so you have extra to pay when the price rises. 

Plan for increasing expenses to keep your budget working for you.  

DOCUMENTS TO SHRED

Are you hanging on to piles of receipts and papers?  Sort them quickly, and know which ones to shred.  

Papers you need to shred include anything with account numbers, birth dates, passwords, pin numbers, social security numbers, signatures, and confidential information.  

Shred receipts with identifying information, bank statements, old credit reports, and more.

We all get a ton of junk mail, credit card applications, insurance packets, retirement and investment fund portfolios, and more.  

List of Documents to Shred

  • Application for Jobs

  • Bank Account Data

  • Bank Account Data

  • Brokerage Reports

  • Canceled Checks

  • Classified Information

  • Confidential Letters

  • Contracts

  • Correspondence

  • Credit Card Statements

  • Debit Card Numbers

  • Drivers License Numbers

  • Employment Information

  • Financial Reports

  • Insurance Policy Info

  • Inventory Records

  • Legal Documents

  • Medical Records

  • Outdated Business Records

    Personnel Data

  • Profit & Loss Statements

  • Receipts/Invoices

  • Signatures

  • Social Security Numbers

  • Tax Records

  • Telephone Numbers

  • X-rays

 WHAT PAPERS TO KEEP FOREVER

Are you wondering what papers to keep forever, and which you can toss at some point?  There are important papers you need to save always.  

Some of those important papers include birth and death certificates, adoption papers, medical and military records, educational records, and contracts from your job or pension.  

Save your social security card, wills, and trusts.  Protect your identity by guarding your important papers.  Organize your important papers and store them together.   That way you will know what you have  and where it is located in emergency situations.

Birth, Adoption, Death certificates

Social Security Cards, Medicare Cards

Pension Plan Documents

ID cards, Passports

Marriage License

Business License

Insurance Policies

Wills, Living Wills, Power of Attorney

Vehicle Titles, Loan Documents

House Deeds, Mortgage Documents

 

SURVIVE ANY CRISIS WITH A PREPARED MINDSET

Are you prepared for the eventuality of an emergency situation?  If you watch the news of unrest and economic hardships around the world, know that these issues can affect us all, when we least expect. 

There are steps you can take to prepare so that you can weather government downturns and other emergencies.  Be certain that you are preparing financially and that you have your finances in order.  Prepare physically by staying physically fit, able to face a challenge, and that you have provided the physical things you need to face emergencies. 

Do you have food, water, first aid supplies, and other gear to take care of yourself and your family?  Prepare emotionally so you know the future is uncertain, you understand bad things have happened, will happen, and you are strong enough to stay calm and do what you need to do.  Accept that once you have prepared you have done what you can, and you are ready to live your life, knowing you will be alright no matter what comes along.

VENEZUELA FOOD CRISIS - ARE WE NEXT?

Lines of Hope - citizens of Venezuela are standing in long lines for hours, hoping if they make it into a store that some food will be available.

 Venezuelans are suffering from shortages of chicken, milk, coffee, cooking oil, cornmeal, rice, sugar, detergent, soap, and toilet paper.  These shortages have worsened over the last several years.  Nothing on the shelves in stores.  Are you prepared for such an ordeal in our country?  Socialism, Communism, and corruption on all levels leave people with daily hardships.  

Prepare for emergencies that are likely to happen where you live.  Assess the risks you may face.  Stock up on things you need while they are readily available.

 

PREPARE FOR A GOVERNMENT DEBT CRISIS

Have you read the news?  Governments in Greece, Puerto Rico, and more are each having a debt crisis, negatively affecting the people of their country or territory.  What can we do as individuals to prepare for challenges we may face if government debt crisis happens where we live?  

Are you financially prepared?  Do you have cash on hand? What will you do if the ATM doesn't work?  Do you have enough food, water, medicine, and sanitation supplies in case there is a problem with supply lines?  Have enough supplies to take care of yourself and your family for at least 30 days.  Do you have a plan if you need to evacuate or bug out?  Where will you go, how will you get there?  Prepare for the consequences of Government Default or other emergencies that may come your way. 

Assess the risks to emergencies where you live, plan to have the supplies and cash on hand you would need.

 

GREECE DEBT CRISIS - FOOD AND MEDICINE SHORTAGES

The debt crisis and economic default situation in Greece should be a warning to everyone to prepare for unexpected emergencies.  No matter where you live, emergency situations come along that challenge our ability to have the things we need, at a price we can afford. The people of Greece are encountering closed banks, limited cash, empty grocery shelves, and rationing of gasoline.  Supply lines have been interrupted due to financial instability.  The immediate situation looks grim for local people.  

Take the current economic crisis in Greece as a wake up call to get your house in order. Get your finances in order, organize your paperwork.  Make sure you have supplies and plans for water, food, sanitation, first aid, medicine, and shelter.   

Are you prepared to face the possibility of closed banks, limited cash, empty grocery shelves, and rationing of gasoline?  Stock up on emergency supplies to ensure the comfort and safety of your family in an uncertain future.  Spend money on things you need, rather than want.  Save the rest.

 

FINANCIAL BUG OUT BAG

Do you have an emergency preparation file?  Everyone needs a kit that includes your identification, cash, investments, and medical information.  Gather important documents so you are prepared for any situation that comes your way.  

The documents you need to take with you in an emergency situation include the following:

Insurance Policies

Prescription and Medical Records

Birth, Adoption, Marriage Certificates

Mortgage Information

Car Registration

Passports

Drivers License, Identification

Social Security Card

Recent Tax Records

Employment Information

Will, Deeds

Bank Information 

Stocks, Bonds, Investment Information

 

Make a folder with a copy of all of your identification, insurance information, emergency contacts, medical records, important contacts, and more.  Keep this with your emergency gear to grab and go in an if you need to evacuate.  

After a hurricane, tornado, or other emergency is not the time to be gathering documents.

 

 

WHY MAKE A FINANCIAL PLAN

Did you realize 50 percent of Americans saved nothing last year?  30 percent have less than $1000 in savings.  The economy of the American people appears to be in jeopardy.  Americans have forgotten how to save for the future, at the same time our government is spending at an unsustainable rate.   Recognize that you are responsible for your future.  

1. Make a financial plan.  Stick to it.

2. Make a preparedness plan.  Gather supplies, and learn to use them.

3. Take charge of your future.  It is up to you to take charge of the future for yourself and your family.

If you don't know the destination, how will you know when you have arrived?  A financial goal is an aspiration.  The financial planning process will help you define and work toward your goals. 

 

 

EMERGENCY FUNDS: HOW MUCH DO YOU REALLY NEED

Take charge of your finances.  People who have had unforeseen expenses arise tell how happy they were they had emergency funds.  Prepare for unforeseen financial emergencies by saving and having cash on hand to cover basics, and stay on track with your financial goals.  

 It is critical to establish an emergency fund so you control choices in your life.  Figure out how much your Essential Expenses are, housing, utilities, true basics.  Save that amount to cover 3-12 months.  It is hard to save money, but we all need to do it. Be a financial Prepper.  

With a fully funded emergency fund, emergencies become inconveniences.  We will all face broken appliances, plumbing back ups, lost items, car problems.  Plan for these unexpected expenses as a part of your regular budget. 

 

PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT:  WHAT DOCUMENTS TO SHRED

Last year nearly 13 million Americans had their identity stolen.  Here are documents you need to shred to keep dumpster divers from stealing yours.  Get a shredder, and use it for any papers that have your basic or sensitive information.  Remember, no one cares more about your safety and security than you do.  Take charge of yourself.

 

PAPER SHREDDER TIPS

Every household needs a sturdy paper shredder.  Shredding documents with your personal information, banking records, old tax statements, medical records, and more is a habit we should develop as we open the mail or sort piles of paperwork.  

A good paper shredder will last for decades, while protecting you from identity theft or fraud.  

 

 

 

 

IS ECONOMIC COLLAPSE POSSIBLE?

What do people fear most?  Economic collapse.  You can prepare for the hardships that could precede or accompany such an event.  Save emergency funds.  Store food and water.  Gather supplies and learn to use them.  Prepare so you are ready to deal with whatever comes your way.

Watch for economic signals. 

Unemployment Rate

Inflation Rate

Number of Americans in Debt

U.S. Economy Rate Hikes

Stocks Significantly Overvalued

Find places to stash some cash and valuables in your home.  In an economic collapse, banks may be closed, ATM's not working.  Protect copies of your passport, credit cards, identification.  Keep your valuables on hand and out of sight.

FINANCIAL SUCCESS TIPS

Reduce the stress of the unknown with basic preparedness that ensures your financial stability from catastrophes such as fire, flood, theft, medical emergency, changes in family status from marriage, birth, divorce, or more.  Many things change in our lives over time.  Don't be caught unprepared.

Record all your expenses so you know where your money is going.

  • Decide what is really important and spend your money only on those things.

  • Write up a detailed budget and follow it, or do something simple like at the beginning of every month put cash in envelopes for each category of spending.

  • Keep tabs on tax deductible receipts.

  • Start researching new ways to make money.

  • Increase your work skills and gather the necessary tools for a better paying job.

  • Make a list of your hopes and dreams, ideas and goals big and small. Have a vision for where you want to be, and work toward those goals.

FINANCIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

Ask yourself, are you doing the right things today to get where you want to be in 10 years?

Have you established 3 to 6 month cash reserve for emergencies?

Do you have the cash reserve built up so you have greater decision making ability?

If times turn difficult or emergencies arise, are you ready to face the challenges from a position of financial strength?

Take control of your finances so you have peace of mind, and the ability to face whatever financial challenges come your way.

ATTITUDES ON MONEY - MAKE THEM POSITIVE

Your attitudes on money make the difference in meeting the goals you set.  Strike a balance with your budget to be able to spend on the things you truly need and want.  Your attitude will make or break the life you want.  

Simple choices can help you spend your money on the things you really need, instead of conveniences, which can rob you of the pleasure of having money for the things you truly want.  

Credit card debt is the number one obstacle to financial success. Credit cards are easy to use, we forget it's real money we're spending. Despite our intention to pay off credit cards quickly, the reality is most people don’t. Credit card purchases end up costing far more than if we had used cash.

Make choices.  Ask yourself, do I really want this, or will I want to spend my money on something else later?  Things don't define you.  The true impression of you is the way you live your life and the person you actually are.

1. Avoid debt.  Don't waste money on interest instead of things you want and need.

2. Live within your means.  Have a savings plan. Pay yourself first. Build a reserve to spend on things you truly need and want.

 3 TIPS FOR FINANCIAL SUCCESS

Are you stressed or worried about the future?  Are you concerned with debt and the stress it brings?  

Look for little ways to cut expenses, and don't spend money trying to fill emotional needs.  Small decisions can help calm and prepare you for whatever may come.  

Learn to use the things you have.  

Save for things that really matter to you.  Pennies add up faster than you think.  Do a little each day to build the life you want.

THREE EASY RULES FOR SUCCESS
1. Simplify your life.
2. Prepare for emergencies.
3. Spend money where it counts.
 

FINANCIAL SUCCESS HABITS

Habits for Financial Success begin when you get your paycheck.  Pay yourself first, and add to your savings before you spend.  

Budget the dollars that are left, and your savings will grow.  

Live within or below your means, and look for ways to cut expenses and save a little more.  

Follow these tips and learn more ways to set goals that build your savings.  You will be amazed how quickly your savings will grow.

 

HOW TO PLAN FOR SUCCESS

Have you made a plan, reached your goal, and then allowed bad habits to creep back in, become complacent?  Know yourself.  Push through your challenges, and enjoy the success of your accomplishments by maintaining your success.  

Saved money?  Don't start spending wildly.

Stocked your pantry?  Use the food, inventory, rotate, and resupply.  

Closet full of clothing? Wear them. Shop your closet for new outfits and combinations.

Use and enjoy the belongings you own.  Enjoy the successes of your hard work and enjoy the life you have.

 

MAKE A FINANCIAL ACTION PLAN

Do you have a financial plan to ensure the security of yourself and your family?  Many people in our society are worried about their financial situation,  Fees from overdrafts, late fees, or payday loans are exorbitant, and unnecessary.  Figure out what your essential expenses are, and save an emergency fund.

Live within your means. Make a realistic budget, and stick to it.

Save an emergency fund of 3 - 6 months of expenses.

Pay off debts. Start with the smallest debt, use the snowball method to pay off your debts as quickly as possible. Drowning in debt has a negative effect on all areas of your life.

Include a plan to pay once a year expenses such as car and home owners insurance, annual medical check ups, Christmas gifts and expenses.

Stock your pantry with several weeks worth of food. Plan meals from your pantry food storage, and resupply as you use it. An easy meal plan for cooking at home saves money, and prevents unnecessary expenditures from eating out because “there’s nothing for dinner”.

Save for your retirement. Money saved now compounds into more over time.

Be more financially responsible, save a dollar at a time, and ensure  financial stability for your future. You will enjoy the future more, knowing you are debt free, and can afford the choices you really want.

 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR ECONOMIC HARDSHIP

Is our economy in a slow, agonizing fall?  What can you do to prepare for economic hardship?  Don't be caught short when times are tougher than now because you failed to make a plan and follow through.  Protect yourself and your family.  Money concerns need to be addressed.  Make a plan to deal with your money issues and build an emergency fund.

The simplest way to prepare for financial trouble in advance is to live within your means. Keep personal debt to the smallest amount possible. Those two things will protect your family from most unexpected financial hardships.

Recognize these lessons for living.

Knowledge can get you through almost anything.

Knowledge is the easiest thing to take with you.

Knowledge is the only thing that can't be taken away.

What you know is a very important preparation toward having the life you want.

POSITIVE ATTITUDE - STEPS TO A HAPPY LIFE

Do you feel happy and contented most of the time?  Or does the world seem filled with threats, strife, and bad news?  Here are tips to keeping a positive attitude, important for your long term happiness and inner strength.  Don't allow the negative energy to take control over your thoughts and actions.  You are resilient, strong, and growing in the knowledge and wisdom you need to make it through any challenge.  Don't wait for happiness, work on your positive attitude to build a happy life!

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