Let’s review!

July 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Let’s review Marion’s Ten Commandments of Finance:

 1.)  Money doesn’t equal happiness

2.)    It’s in your hands

3.)    Don’t disrespect yourself

4.)    Don’t disrespect your family

5.)    Don’t let others disrespect you

6.)    Don’t discount emotions

7.)    Expect the unexpected

8.)  Ignore the Jones

9.)    Practice charity

10.) Let it go

 Money matters. It matters substantially and its use in your life demonstrates your character. Wrap your brain around your money. Take control without being controlling. 

 I would remind you to encourage each other and consider each other all the while minding our own freaking business and working to improve your understanding of your life and money.

 This learning about life and finances is a process. We won’t ever be entirely perfect in every area of any subject, including money.. We will always be learning, grappling, growing.  The only way that it will be better tomorrow is because of your actions today! Wrestle your money to the ground, baby! Get things under control. Learn to love a budget. Do it!


The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment X Letting Go

June 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

10) Let it go

 Once you have done everything you can,  you can’t do anymore. Please be at peace knowing you are only responsible for your piece of the Universe, not any other portion. As you grow wiser, you will spend your life tweaking elements and characteristics of the good you know to do. 

 You can’t regret, look back or beat yourself up. Life is full of surprises and some of them really stink. You knew less in the past when confronted with those options than you know now, so please forgive yourself.

 If things go swimmingly for you, you shouldn’t think you are better, smarter or wiser than others around you. Nor should you think you are a dolt and everyone else has it together.

 Sometimes it was because you were careful, but sometimes repeated job losses, divorce or illness have nothing to do with us, or our good, or bad, planning. Winning the lottery, an inheritance or a medical settlement can be like rain or sunshine. What now, that’s really more important. Here, in this place in your life, with stuff ‘under the bridge’ things yet to come in your future, what are you going to do in the present?

The Ten Commandments of Finance- Commandment 9 – Charity

June 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

9.)  Practice charity– Your finances may be in your hands but life is not all about you.

As I have said before, you need to be the master of your freaking domain, of where your money goes. You need to know where all your pennies and dollars are headed. But an essential place for them is into the hands of others. You need to practice charity.

Why? Cause life’s not all our you or me; because the difficulties of others puts our life in perspective; because what goes around comes around; because  how you spend your money is a direct reflection on what you value.

What DO you value?

The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment VIII Forget the Jones’

June 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

8.)  Ignore the Jones

 Peer pressure is not simply a problem for kids.  Grown-ups also succumb to it. Be it in the brands they think they must own, or vacations or even how they invest their money.

 If you hang around people who have different values about money or who make considerably more money than you, you may feel upset about your life and chosen priorities; that shiny truck in your neighbor’s yard, the vacations . You really can’t know how much debt they have or the financial situation in their life simply based on external appearances.

 Do you remember the commercial  – Lending Tree-loan services company

Stanley Johnson, who brags about his big house, his new car and how “I even belong to the local golf club. How do I do it?” he continues with a big, dumb smile, “I’m in debt up to my eyeballs.” Lowering his voice, but still smiling, he adds, “I can barely pay my finance charges.” The smile doesn’t leave his face as he drives a riding lawn mower, saying, “Somebody help me.”…

Recognize the potentially bad influence others may have on your spending and your attitudes pertaining to your life and your satisfaction.

 But also consider this: You might be a stinky influence on others. You may spend a lot when others are trying to be more frugal. You may brag about how easy finances are for your family and what a great job you have when others are struggling. Do a little self-evaluation and recognize the potential trouble or unintended pain you may cause to those you love, chickadee.

 And recognize that the influence you have includes the messages you are sending to your kids. Study after study show that if you make shopping your hobby you will teach kids to spend more. How do you spend your time with those babies of yours…? Do you encourage the hobby of shopping in them?

The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment VII Expect the Unexpected

June 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

7.)  Expect the unexpected

 Things change. Be it bumps in the road with your plan. You’ve seen enough of life and had enough experience to realize that your very good plan of using this particular check go towards paying down the credit card may get sidelined. Maybe the car and the refrigerator break or your daughter needs special sports paraphernalia tomorrow and forgot to mention it.

 Eventually, if you persist in doing good, the money will go to pay down debt and you will have more money saved for retirement. Don’t be too quickly discouraged.

 Sometimes the fork in the road may be an entirely new road, a new way of thinking about mortgages or investments, as new instruments are developed. You don’t want to assume new things aren’t bad because they are ‘new fangled.’  Cars , computers and texting were new for someone.  Instruments you, or your parents, didn’t know about previously doesn’t automatically make them bad.

 Learn what you need to know, be open, concerning the new things so you can have options about different ways to save for retirement or get a mortgage.

 The lesson here? Be flexible and expect the unexpected.

The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment II

May 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

2.)    It’s in your hands – I don’t care what you didn’t learn. And I know all about being raised by wolves. But here we are in the Land of TODAY. What are we planning on doing about things in the here and now.

You must take responsibility for your life, for your happiness and for your money.  Please don’t let me hear that this is ‘too hard for you.’   Dive in and dig deep.  What would you tell your daughter if she told you, ‘finance and learning about money is hard; I don’t really like it?’  Perhaps you’d advise her that she needn’t worry, ‘You’ll get a prince and he will take care of all the hard things…’

The First thing you should know- the most basic thing is: Know where your money goes.  How much do you bring home each pay period or month or year.  Knowing where you money goes is NOT a budget.

A BUDGET, from the French word for PURSE, how awesome is that?!!!! Is a numerical representation of your action plan. It’s the numbers that goes with the dreams of your life and future!  The story might be: I want the freedom to take a job that I really love because I have less debt and more liberty! Make paying off debt part of your plan, your numerical story, your budget.  A budget has what you pay in rent or mortgage, debt repayment and’ living.’  How much goes to investments?

You should be very clear, you should be able to tell me right now- don’t, but you should know!- what percentage of your money goes to various categories. If you don’t know, that’s fine for NOW. We all star somewhere. But by next week, you need to KNOW.

What are some standard figures for these categories? You can do an online search or email me and I can get you something I use, but there are many ways to organize this depending on YOUR brain and your most comfortable tools. Just be a grown-up and do this.

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