What Makes Us Take Action

In nature, only things happen when people do them under pressure. It is the pressure that causes us to take action.

In school, remember pulling those all-nighters to finish those term papers or to study for that final exam? We all knew the dates when they were due, but the majority of us would wait until the last minute. When we feel the pressure to do something, we will do it. If there is no pressure then we tend to not take action; we are all great procrastinators.

Here are some examples of when people will take action with their money:

• Not until the financial emergency happens do they scramble to find the money to pay for it
• Not until nearing retirement will people begin to save for it
• Not until their children graduate from high school, then they start to save for their child’s college education
• Not until the credit cards are maxed out, they need to defer the student loan, are behind 2 months on the car payment and 6 months on the home mortgage, the pressure has reached the boiling point and then they seek help to change their financial situation

Creating a financial plan under pressure is dangerous. There is an easier way which involves no pressure at all. It may feel a little uncomfortable in the beginning since anything new does, but in the long run you will be financially secure. The easiest way is simple: Start saving now and be consistent each and every month. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t wait for the pressure to move you. Move yourself now by being a doer, not a pressure cooker.

Let me share a story with you that took place twelve years ago. I can relate to the ultimate pressure anyone can feel. It was not until I found myself living in a dingy motel room, jobless, having chronic pain, a broken relationship, shut off by my family and eating ham sandwiches out of an ice chest that I finally knew I needed to make some changes. I know what pressure and pain feel like. My saving grace was that I had money in the bank, my emergency fund. Without it I probably would have put an end to the pressure and would not be writing this newsletter for you. That event changed my life. That was my wake up call, my rock bottom. I made a commitment to the world during that time period. If I could overcome it and get myself out of the hole I put myself in, I would make it my mission to help people overcome their financial challenges. So this is why I write these newsletters, why I wrote a book on the subject of debt free financial independence, and how I’ve come to speak and coach people about their finances. I started this revolution so that people can live with money on their terms instead of everyone else’s. I don’t want anyone to suffer the way I did. The pressure and pain is too much to bear.

Since I did make it out of that hole, I am here to help people at whatever life stage they are in when it comes to money, whether they don’t know where their money is going every month, need some advice on how to plan their finances, or are on their last lifeline feeling the pressure of their debt load.

If you can remember just one thing from Tim Mann, remember this: Go against nature and start planning your finances TODAY and continue to be constant with the plan until you reach your own financial calm.

Successful Investing Made Easy

The stock market continues to perform well.

As long as the stock market continues to climb, everyone is excited. (clap, clap, clap).  

People fully invested have increased their net worth as of late, but half the population still stays away from putting their money in the markets. 

Let’s face it: people are scared they will lose money. Markets must correct and go back down at some point. Having patience and staying calm during market fluctuations can be hard for some people to stomach. However, the good news is that they always move into new high status at some time in the future. 

If you have been thinking about getting into the markets but don’t quite know how, or you are thinking about putting more money into the markets, here are a few ideas so you can put the odds in your favor to build a nice nest egg for yourself.

1. Just getting started

If you can get into the habit of putting money away every month, whether that is in a 401K, IRA account, or your own investment account you are doing something that will reward you later. This is a hard concept to grasp because we as consumers are not used to it.  We would rather experience immediate gratification, instead of delaying something beneficial for the future.

I often time advise clients to start small. I have even advised clients making six figures that were previously struggling to save money to put five dollars a month into an investment account as a starting point. It is all about the consistency of a habit that is important. Then, that five dollar turns into $100 then $500 then $1000 every month because the habit turns into a priority in their life that becomes manageable. Big changes always start small.

2. The Advisor is yourself

Investing on your own was non-existent decades ago. A half century ago, self-directed investing was nonexistent. Using a stock broker through a big brokerage firm was the norm. Expensive commissions ate away at any gains.  Today, all of that has changed. The internet has been a big factor in the emergence of the discount brokers.  Paying only $4.95 a trade is not uncommon.  There are good financial advisors out there, but everyone can do it on their own with a little education.  There is a plethora of information on the internet and cable television teaching you how to invest. My favorite show is Mad Money on CNBC.

3. Keep it Simple

KISS really does work in the stock market.  “Keep It Simple Stupid.”  Investing need not be that complicated.

Through the years, I have come across some investment experts that have offered their pearls of wisdom that make sense for people to build wealth.  Warren Buffett, Jim Cramer, and Dave Ramsey are the go-to experts for that advice.

a. $10,000 or less to invest

Jim Cramer, co-founder of financial site TheStreet.com and host of CNBC’s Mad Money, advises putting your first $10,000 in an index fund. Cramer even advises his kids to put money into an index fund called the Vanguard 500 Total Return Fund. That is the simplest way to get started, and you will be well diversified while keeping the fees to a minimum. Once you have built an investment account up to $10,000, you can put further investments into a small basket of stocks to buy. Check out TheStreet.com for those stocks.

b. Called “The Million-dollar Bet”

Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha, is set to win a $1 million dollar bet.  Buffett bet in 2007 that a Vanguard S&P 500 index fund would beat five hedge funds selected by Protege Partners, a hedge fund, over a 10 year period.   Currently, Warren Buffet is winning big time, and the outcome of the wager will conclude at the end of this year.

Buffett advises on an investment plan that is simply putting 90% of your money in a low fee stock index fund and 10% percent in short-term government bonds.

c. Financial Peace

Dave Ramsey, the Personal Finances Radio star and creator of Financial Peace University, advises investing in 4 mutual funds.  In the Dave Ramsey mutual fund investment strategy, he urges investors to invest in – one Growth fund, one Growth & Income fund, one Aggressive Growth fund and one International fund.  Furthermore, he recommends the mutual funds’ past performance has a good track record.

The stock market will continue to go up and continue to fall.  You are your own best financial advisor. I have laid out some great strategies for you to build wealth. Keep it simple and remain calm. The financial markets are there for you to win with your money.

Money and Relationships – Do they Match?


Last year, at a speaking event, I posed this question:

What is more powerful – love or money?

To find the answer to this compelling question, I took a survey of the room.  I asked everyone that felt that love was more powerful to raise their hand.  About 60% of the room raised their hand.  Then I asked those who felt that money was more powerful to raise their hand.  Roughly the other 40% raised theirs.

In any relationship you would think that love would always prevail.  But does it really?  I would like to believe it does and I am sure you do too.  However, if you look at the statistics of what breaks up relationships, money seems to be the driving force.

My job as a money expert is to make money work not only in your life, but in your relationships too.  You see, money is emotional.  We come from different backgrounds, belief systems, and attitudes about money, so it can get rocky at times if you don’t have the insight on how to match it up with the people you care about the most in your life.

So how can money and relationships become a match?  My answer: By following these simple 4 keys to a Financial Calm Relationship.

Key 1Commitment: There is something powerful about working on goals together.  Accomplishing goals together not only builds your confidence that “we can do this”, but also creates bonds of strength, connection, and harmony.

Key 2Clarity: You really want to bring some calm to your life.  Start tracking where all your money is going every month. Although the financial picture may not look pretty when you first do this, avoiding the truth causes too much stress.  Putting things on paper in an Expense Tracking and Spending Plan worksheet can move mountains.

Key 3Communication: The quality of your relationship is based on the quality of your communication.  In our culture there is a taboo around talking about money.  People would rather stuff it in the closet or brush it under the rug.  We oftentimes wonder how the other person might react to us bringing up those difficult financial challenges that are going on.  We need money to live, so if you want your relationship to be full of life then talk about it.  Though it will feel uncomfortable in the beginning, once you start doing it, it will open the door to making money and your relationship match.

Key 4 Consistency: The major problem when making changes in our lives is consistency.  The adage of “old habits die hard” really does exist because people are not taking small action steps on a consistent basis.  It is always, always, always the small things that you do that will make the biggest difference. Taking small steps is easier than trying to take that giant leap.  Pace yourself and don’t let your wiring of wanting instant gratification make you give up on your undertaking of bringing about those changes you want to make.

So, make the pledge to make your money and relationships match.  You will be surprised on how much calm it brings to your relationship.

Leave a comment below on how this article has an impact on your life.

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Have you ever found yourself wanting what your neighbors have?

This happened to the Graffney family in the action comedy movie, Keeping Up with the Joneses. 

If you had a chance to see the movie, I’m sure you had some good laughs.

The story takes place in an American neighborhood where the Joneses move in across the street from Jeff & Karen Graffney. Things seem to be grand from the outside looking in with the new neighbors. Tim & Natalie Jones drive a new Mercedes, wear designer clothing, and have a worldly sophistication about them. The Joneses become the talk of the neighborhood, making Jeff & Karen become more curious about their new neighbors. Yet as they start snooping around, they find that the Jones’s life is not so rosy after all. The Joneses are international spies and the Gaffney’s wind up being caught up in the middle of an international espionage battle.

Some great one-liners from the movie are, “Things are not what they seem,” and “They are not who they say they are.” You can relate these same lines to your typical Jones family living in neighborhoods across America. Everything looks great from the outside, however, in most cases there is something wrong on the inside. What you can’t see is their overall financial picture. Traveling the world, having nice luxury cars, high-end trendy furnishings, fine dining and having everything materially you could ask for are all great, but borrowing the money to live this type of lifestyle does not make good financial sense. Don’t get me wrong here – I am not writing this to bash living a luxurious lifestyle. I think everyone is entitled to fulfill the dreams they have a passion for. I myself like some of the finer things in life. Instead, the point I would like to make is that there are households borrowing money to maintain a lifestyle they cannot afford.

Since we live in a “have it now” culture, it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to keep up with the Joneses. This leads to lots of stress. To relieve some of your stress, you can let go of keeping up with anyone. You don’t need to let society and advertisers dictate how you should live.

So the next time you see your neighbors, the ones that seem to have everything, just be happy for them. Let go of the impulse to have what they have. By doing this you may just find yourself avoiding being caught up in an international spy ring. 😉



Bad Financial Decisions are not Your Fault

Celebrate Money

When you look at money, you probably think of it as something simple.  Money is paper, a piece of metal or a number in your bank account.  The goal is to acquire more of it and everything will be ok, right?

Why is it then that money is the number one stressor in people’s lives?  Why is it that money ends up being so complicated?

I just read 50 Weird Ways People Go Broke and the article reveals how people make poor financial decisions. Investing in a pyramid scheme, being a cosigner, losing in a restaurant startup, and even living on credit cards are just four examples of the 50 ways people part with their money.

Could all the wrong decisions we make about our finances be our fault?

Not necessarily!

Drs. Ted and Brad Klontz, authors of the book Mind Over Money and financial psychologists working as a father and son team, say our troubled relationships with money aren’t our fault.

Hooray, we finally have someone in our corner to put the blame on something else!  Time to break out the champagne and toast to that!

But before popping the cork on the champagne let’s look at what they mean by, “It’s not all our fault.”

Drs. Ted and Brad Klontz in their book talk about the deep-rooted beliefs we have about money, called our Money Scripts.  According to the Klontzs, they say our relationship with money is a product of our subconscious beliefs and behavior patterns that started in childhood.  These beliefs are formed by watching how our parents and peers dealt with money, or could stem from a painful traumatic experience we had with money, and also comes about by the economic environment we were raised in.  A child that comes from a wealthy environment will definitely have acquired different money scripts than a child that is raised in poverty.

Here are some common money scripts I found in the book:

“You can’t trust people around money.”

“Someone else will always take care of me financially.”

“Money is the only measure of your worth.”

“Good people shouldn’t care about money.

“Money is the root of all evil.”

“Being rich will make me a bad person.”

Do you think any of these scripts will improve your financial situation?

How then do you get on the right track to overcome your money woes?  You would think the best way is to do something fundamental with your money, like starting an emergency fund or creating a plan to pay down debt.  However, getting on the right track consists of taking a look inside and examining the way you were raised with money.  Look at the self-defeating beliefs you have about money that are affecting your financial wellbeing today.  Once you have awareness of your beliefs about money, you then can rewrite your money scripts that will mentally move you toward a better financial future for yourself.

What are your money scripts?

Start with this simple exercise.  Awareness always puts leverage on your side. Take a blank sheet of paper and pen and jot down your money scripts. Let me walk you through the exercise by rewriting a couple of my own old self-defeating money scripts.

My old money scripts:

“Money is the root of all evil.”

“Money does not grow on trees.”

Next you want to cross out those old money scripts and rewrite them in a positive frame that will let you win with money.

My new money scripts:

“Having money in my life is good for me.”

“Of course money does not grow on trees,
but there is plenty of money if I work for
it and make the right decisions with it.”

Once you take the first step by getting a handle on your money scripts by producing ones that are healthy, you can then move toward the fundamentals of planning your finances.

So, do the exercise and then pop the cork and enjoy your newfound beliefs about money, and celebrate with some champagne while you are at it.

In my Money Coaching practice we work on eliminating your old antiquated money scripts and produce refreshing healthy ones that work for you.  Contact me at (818) 292-2548 so we can discuss ways you can start your journey toward a healthy relationship with your money

Stash Your Cash for Calm

Layoffs, health complications, and car troubles may come as a surprise if you’re not a psychic. Surprise expenses can result in unpaid medical bills, withdrawals from retirement accounts, late mortgage payments, and even bankruptcy. The best way to prevent this is to create and stick to an emergency fund.

Determine your End Goal

First, figure out your ultimate goal. Every household has different incomes and amounts of spending, so, you need to determine how many months of expenses you would like to cover.

According to an article by twocents.com, many finance gurus disagree on this topic. Suze Orman recommends saving eight months worth of income because it would usually take that long to find a new job. Well, other financial experts claim three to six months worth of expenses will do. We recommend seven months worth of expenses. There’s no single way to decide how long or how much you want to save. What is most important is it has to work for you.

Here are questions to consider for determining your goal:

– What is a realistic goal based on your income?

– Will you be able to downgrade your lifestyle if you get laid off?

– Do you have bad luck like Dick and Jane? (Jane quit her job and later that day, her husband, Dick was laid-off.)

Stash your Cash

The best place for your money is somewhere not so accessible for you to run to when flat screen TVs are on sale. But, it also needs to be accessible enough if an emergency occurs.

Bankrate.com mentioned Ray Lucia’s tip in their article, “5 ways to grow an emergency fund”. The nationally syndicated radio host has advice that may come to your advantage.

“I like using an account away from my normal checking account to build a psychological wall between my spending habits and my emergency fund. Credit unions work well because they normally allow you to start with smaller amounts of money.”

Here are a couple more ideas to consider:

– Online banks (you can’t just walk in and withdraw your cash)

– No penalty Certificate of Deposits. The interest may be lower than regular CDs, but you won’t be penalized for withdrawing money early.

– Money markets, which the investment management company The Vanguard recommends. According to NerdWallet, benefits include the same protection as a savings account but with a higher interest rate.

– A combination of locations such as an online savings account, in savings bonds, and as cash in a lockbox at home.

Stick with it!

Realize how important emergency funds are. Create your plan, and next, you’re on to the hardest part – sticking to it!

Here are a few Do-It-Tips:

– Figure out what counts as a true emergency. Discuss it with your spouse if you are married.

– Treat it like a bill. Bankrate.com writer, Nancy Mann Jackson, recommends this. “Paying yourself first through a direct deposit from your paycheck into your emergency account will help you build that fund steadily”.

– Make it harder to access. This is mostly based on where you put your money, so be smart about it.

Of course, it will be tempting to take money out and tell yourself you’ll just replace it later. You’ll want to make compromises with your money. But, remember, emergency funds are for emergencies. Do you really want to ruin your savings just to go on a shopping spree? Your car could break down a month later, and you’d be strapped for cash. It happens. And no one sees it coming. Is that a risk you’d like to take?

With an emergency fund, you won’t have to stress about getting by without hitting a speed bump. You’ll have that financial calm you need.

And remember, we are here to help!


Written by Epiphany Johnican, Journalist for Money on Your Terms

How to Plan a Financially Calm Vacation

Vacation deals

School’s out…
the air is warm…
Its time for vacation deals!

Planning a vacation involves many factors, such as organizing meals, recreation, transportation, packing, and souvenirs. It’s easy to overspend on a vacation and you don’t want to fund your vacation on your credit card or stress out over the planning.

Paying for your vacation should not stress you out; you should be excited to have some time to relax and re-charge with your family.

You won’t be stressed out if you come up with a plan ahead of time, and look for deals on hotels and excursions online. Here are some ways you can plan ahead so you can have a relaxing and stress-free vacation:

Pick a destination that is right for your family.

Kiplinger.com lists some tips for planning a vacation that is less stressful for you and your family. It includes ideas like waiting to vacation until peak season is over, or finding a vacation spot that’s different from the big attractions like Disneyland or Hawaii. In places like these, there can be a lot of crowds and expensive hotels. When you pick destinations that are off the beaten path, you reduce the stress of planning and the stress on your bank account.

Make a plan.

How will you fund your trip? Maybe you’ve got some money saved up, or your tax refund to spend. Do some research to see if driving or flying is the more cost effective option. Look into things to do and places to stay at your destination. There may be some activities that cost more than others, so weigh your options against one another.

Let the Internet find you deals.

If the only way to finance your vacation would be to use the old reliable credit card, then you might want to look at these types of strategies. The internet has many sites you can use to book deals on hotels and flights. Sites like booking.com and kayak.com can help you when you’re comparing prices between different hotels, as well as expedia.com.

Get cozy with the relatives.

Staying with family is another option–just don’t show up on their doorstep with your bags unannounced. When I was growing up, we always vacationed with family members, and looking back now, that was an important part of our vacationing experiences. Not only did we get to hang out with family that we didn’t normally see, but we got more bang for our buck and got to go to places like Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, or the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Another bonus of staying with family is that you can decrease your restaurant tab for your vacation.

Plan fun things for you and the family.

Any time I plan to visit a new city, I go to Tripadvisor.com to see the best ranked excursions in that city. They will also give you prices and directions for each activity. Trip Advisor is also another good place when looking for hotels, flights, and things to do wherever you go.

Don’t rule out all-inclusive destinations.

In some cases, an all-inclusive resort may be the best option for your family. Expedia.com offers destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico, while applevacations.com offers more choices to places in Central America and Hawaii. An all-inclusive vacation would eliminate the hassles of planning meals and recreation, and you would have more time to spend with your family than stressing over every detail of the vacation.

Planning a vacation doesn’t have to be stressful. It can be easy and fun when you use online tools like these, and create a plan so that you don’t have any unexpected costs. With these easy tips, you can be on your way to a relaxing, fun-filled vacation with your family.

Written by Stephanie Black, Journalist for Money on Your Terms

Maintaining Calm After a Job Loss

money coaching

My dad lost his job when I was five. After seeing my parents’ marriage fall apart, I learned many things that could’ve helped keep our family together. Here are seven do’s and don’ts to help you keep your family together while maintaining financial calm during a job loss.

Can you remember much from age five? I have very few memories of that year: teaching myself to tie my shoes, my dad being on the couch a lot, my mom being at work a lot, our van getting taken away by a big truck, and being in the dark for a little while. I didn’t understand what was going on at the time, my parents weren’t financially stable.

Now I understand that my dad kept getting laid off. He was a steel mill worker, and that job was never stable. My mom and grandma supported our four siblings, with a baby on the way. We ended up moving to a new house without my dad. As I grew up, I made up my mind that I would have a good job, and I worked very hard in school.

But as I grew up I realized things don’t always go as planned.

Things happen. Getting laid-off is unavoidable. Neither you nor your laid-off spouse should feel guilty. But you are responsible for the next steps you take if you want to get back on your feet. The best way to do that is with your spouse, not without them.

Here are seven do’s and don’ts I wish my parents would’ve followed that could help you stay calm financially.

Do know where you stand financially:
“Track your spending for a month,” says Stacy Francis, certified financial planner. “Pinpoint where you are spending your money. Cut out expenses you find unnecessary. Then, record what you think your expenses should be next month.”

According to Sharon Epperson, CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent, you should use the money from those cut expenses to increase savings and pay off some debt.

Don’t use your credit cards:
Although it may be tempting, don’t use your credit cards. Instead, explain your situation to your creditors. Many creditors may be willing to work with you under their hardship program once they know your situation.

Do immediately find new sources of income:
File for unemployment benefits right away, Epperson says. Find new sources of income. Try refinancing your home if you have good credit, or monetize your home by renting out the basement or an extra room.

“Get as many people on your team looking for a job as possible,” YourTango.com writer Tobi Elkin says. Connections are so important. Take a job that pays less until you can find something better. Even if you find a job that does not pay as nearly as much as your old job, something is better than nothing.

Don’t raid your retirement savings:
Epperson advises against dipping into your retirement funds. If you do, your employment benefits will likely be reduced, and you’ll have to pay ordinary income taxes on any traditional 401(K).

Do consult experts:
There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Get advice from experts to find out the best ways to manage your existing resources. You need people who can guide you through this. That’s where we come in.

Don’t forget about your family:
Your children might not understand why they can’t buy as many things as they used to. They should learn to understand that you have to work for every single thing they have.
Have a family meeting to keep them in the loop. Spend time with your kids at home. Watch movies together, or play some games around the house. Remember, love doesn’t cost a thing.

Keep the line of communication open with your spouse:
If you want to bounce back from being laid-off, you and your partner have to work together. Spend time creating a financial agenda and reviewing it every week. Don’t be afraid to talk about money with your partner. There may be feelings of shame and failure with the job loss, so be sensitive to each other’s feelings.

It’s important for the spouse who was laid off not to be hard on themselves, and their partner should remind them that they are in this together.

I use the word partner, because at the end of the day, that’s what your spouse is – your partner. Make “for richer or poorer” a reality. Don’t give up on each other. Work together through it all. Follow these do’s and don’ts closely. Knowing that you are taking the best proactive steps will help keep you at peace. And remember that going through obstacles together will make your marriage even stronger!

Written by Epiphany Johnican, Journalist for Money on Your Terms

Elkin, Tobi. Reader’s Digest. Reader’s Digest, n.d. Web. 3 May 2016.
Epperson, Sharon. CNBC. CNBC, 18 July 2011. Web. 3 May 2016.

Shop Like Carrie Underwood and Save Big


When I was in college, I worked summers at Target as a cashier. As part of my job, I helped promote the saving deals that Target offered, like Pharmacy Rewards and RedCards, the store’s debit and credit cards. Because I was an employee, I took advantage of these shopping deals, too.

For me, the best deal from Target was their smart phone app called Cartwheel. The app had a list of coupons for hundreds of items in the store, and you could save the coupons you wanted to a barcode.

As an employee, I saw shoppers who had saved thousands of dollars by shopping with this app. Because I also had these great shopping deals, I kept better track of the kinds of coupons on the app, and used them when I could. I also spent less money overall because I saved so much with my coupons.

This might sound easy enough for me, but what if you don’t shop at Target as much as I did, or you don’t have time to look for deals and cut out coupons? It would be easy to overlook all of the other options out there for saving while shopping.

When you hear the word “coupons,” do you think of sitting down at a table with a pair of scissors and a newspaper full of ads? You may be surprised to find that there are a lot of people still using coupons to shop, including a number of celebrities. Yahoo Finance talks about several celebrities who take advantage of saving and shopping deals

Actress Kristen Bell shops with coupons at grocery stores.

Supermodel Tyra Banks always puts part of her income into savings. If they can do it, you can do it too.

Country singer Carrie Underwood eats more cheaply at Subway, and also uses coupons to shop.

Comedian Jay Leno saves the money he makes from shows, and only uses his stand-up comedy money as spending money.

Some people take couponing to the extreme. For example, Nathan Engels runs a website dedicated to smart couponing, and according to ABC News, he spent only $30 on groceries that had a retail value of over $500. When you shop like Nathan Engels, you have the potential to save this much money too.

However, not everyone starts this big, and many people don’t have the time to cut coupons. They want something that’s fast, easy to use, and will save them money.

Carrie Underwood is a very busy celebrity, but she still finds time to save, and if she can, so can you. Coupons are still a great way to save money, and companies have adapted to make coupons much more user friendly. When you don’t have the time to sit down and cut out coupons, here are a few techniques you can use to start saving like a celebrity.

Phone apps for saving coupons. Sites like Coupons.com and Savings.com let you “cut out” the coupons to save for later. US News outlines several savings apps that make searching for the coupons you want much easier. An app like Priceblink can be very useful when shopping online, because it will alert you if the item you’re shopping for is cheaper on another site.

Phone apps for budgeting. Daily Worth outlines several options in their article, “8 Free Apps That Help You Save Without Thinking.” One app they talk about is called Level, an app that keeps track of your weekly income and how much you usually spend in a week. The app lets you know if your income can support your spending habits.

Saving money when shopping is so easy that even celebrities take advantage of shopping deals. You might think that you don’t have time to look at all of the deals that are out there, but with easy online tools, you can take advantage of shopping deals and start saving like a celebrity.

Written by Stephanie Black, Journalist for Couples Finances

Time to Make Learning Finances Fun

money coach

When it comes to finances, there are a lot of big scary financial words that are not easy to understand. You may not know what your credit score is, or what it means to default on your loans. It’s easy to make mistakes with your finances when you don’t understand them. That’s why nationwide, we dedicate the month of April as Financial Literacy Month. Let’s make
learning Finances Fun.

The focus of Financial Literacy Month is to make sure that people understand basic things about their finances, and provide resources for financial questions. Ideally, both young and older people will benefit from an education in money matters.

Many people today do not understand their finances, and the importance to setting goals and budgeting. Part of the problem with understanding finances is that many people do not learn about money at a young age. This translates to misunderstanding finances later in life.

In an article from Forbes.com, author Tim Maurer says that people often shy away from terms like “financial literacy,” and we should use more positive statements like “financial awareness” and “financial wellness.” It is important to think positively about learning about finance. This begins with the belief that a basic financial education will benefit you in the long run.

You don’t have to have a degree in finances to understand how credit works. You can balance your checkbook without being an accountant. If you start with easy things like these, you can work your way up to more difficult topics. For the things that you may not understand, there are plenty of resources out there. It is never to late to start understanding your finances.

To start, think about setting goals. Everyone, no matter their age, has goals. For children, one goal might be to save up money to buy a new toy or video game. As you get older, your goals might revert to saving up money for a car, for a house, or for retirement. Whatever goals you set, it is important to have something to work for or save for.

Another simple way to take control of your finances is to record your daily spending. Whether you’re just starting college or looking forward to retirement, it’s never too early or too late to start recording your spending habits. Having a visual of how much you spend will give you a better idea about what you spend, and will help you when you form a budget.

If you have questions, find webinars. There are hundreds of web seminars available for hundreds of different topics, and financial and economic topics are included. For example, the National Financial Educator’s Council offers many different resources, such as training for educators and seminars about budgeting, loans and debt, and careers.

Both adults and children should take advantage of the education opportunities offered by finance seminars. In steps the Council for Economic Education. This program trains teachers in schools about financial literacy, so that they can in turn train their students about the importance of understanding financial strategies for when they move out into the real world.

The resources are endless, and it is important to look at Financial Literacy Month as an opportunity to re-evaluate the way you think about your money. Anyone can learn about their finances, and it will benefit your money-making decisions later on in life. It is time to make learning finances fun in your life.

Written by Stephanie Black, Journalist for Money On Your Terms