Don’t Settle for Default

The iPhone 6 came out a few weeks ago.  Many of you probably got one.  But let me ask you this: How many of you got your iPhone 6 and left it with all the default options?

Do you still have just the standard, pre-loaded apps on there and no others?  Still have the default wallpaper and background?  Still all the default settings?

No way!

You’ve put your favorite picture or graphic as your wallpaper.  You’ve customized each option to your liking; you’ve downloaded every app, and you’ve signed into all your services so it works just right, exactly how you want it.

You do this because the default options aren’t really that great.  Maybe they were at first, when the iPhone was originally invented, but now the […]

By |October 30th, 2014|Faith, Life, Money|0 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [004]

- You’ve gotta stop asking, “How much down, and how much a month?”  That’s what poor people ask.  Rich people ask, “How much?”

– It’s exactly that kind of thinking that gets people in to homes they can’t really afford, cars they can’t really afford, vacation homes they can’t afford, boats they can’t afford, etc.  If you can’t pay for it, you can’t afford it.

– In a home buying situation, if all you ask is, “How much down, how much a month?” you could be spending $90,000 more than you should.

– Asking “How much?” helps you get an idea of the purchase’s affect on your overall financial picture, not just your monthly cash flow.  Also, it helps you see the opportunity cost more clearly.  The […]

By |October 28th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

It’s Time to Invest!

Disclaimer: This is not a guarantee of investment returns, equity performance, or economic growth.  I am not an investment advisor.  Consult yours or ask me for a recommendation.

$3.1 Million.  That’s $3,100,000.

“What of it?”  you ask?  Well, that’s the amount of money you could have.  That’s what you could have, for yourself, one day.

What could you do with a cool $3.1 million?  You name it!  Just about anything you want, I’d imagine!  I could do a few things with a cool $3.1.

So how do you get there?  How did I come up with this number?

Well that’s probably the best news of all.  This number is the product of 35 years of saving for retirement on a median salary.  Nothing fancy, nothing secret, nothing extraordinary.  You don’t […]

By |October 27th, 2014|Life, Money|0 Comments|

It’s time to Make Things Happen!

I’m so thrilled to be able to attend and speak at the Making Things Happen Conference today and tomorrow in Chapel Hill, NC!

I first went through MTH in March of 2013, and it was an outstanding experience.  It provided a ton of clarity for me and helped crystallize some things that were swirling around without much specificity.  You take time to do some serious thinking, dig deep, and figure out what really matters.

The whole theme of the conference is its desire to help people make what matters most happen.  What are the important, key things in your life that you need to make happen?

It’s such an awesome experience.  Follow the conference Instagram feed here!

By |October 27th, 2014|Life, Money|0 Comments|

How to Track Your Savings + Free Tool

It seems there’s always something to be saving for!  Maybe it’s family vacation.  Maybe it’s a new car.  Maybe you need to replace some furniture, or fix up something in the house.  Most people can’t just stroke a check for these expenses, so if you’ve committed to avoiding debt, you have to spend at least few months saving for them.

Just over one year ago, Nancy and I celebrated our 5th anniversary (late) by going on an incredible trip to the British Virgin Islands.  We lived on a boat for a week (!) and saw some incredible sights.  While we don’t have a house payment, we didn’t just write a check and pay for the entire trip in one fell swoop.  We had to save up […]

By |October 23rd, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [003]

- I’m all for systems that translate into as little work as possible to maintain.  Auto-draft should be your best friend when it comes to paying bills.  Sitting at your table writing checks or navigating to each website to pay bills is so 2004.  That doesn’t give you license to not pay attention, though.  I still get paper bills so that I have to open them and see them each month.

– Auto-draft is also how you ought to be investing!  Take a lesson from the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie, and “Set it and forget it!”  Your 401(k) and traditional IRA should be coming from your paycheck before you see it, and your Roth IRA and other non-retirement investments can be drafted directly from your checking account. […]

By |October 21st, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

How to Keep Someone Accountable on Finances

As a financial coach, keeping clients accountable to work towards the goals they set forth is part of what I do on a regular basis.

What do you want to do?  Where do you want to go?  Where do you want to be in five years from now?  All of these questions and more get answered in our initial session, and they help to form the long-term goals and short-term action steps folks need to accomplish.

Anyone who has accomplished something difficult will tell you a key to success is accountability – knowing that you have to answer for your progress.  That’s part of what keeps people productive and moving forward.  There’s something in the human psyche that will push itself towards greater success when it […]

By |October 20th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Three Thoughts on a recent “Global Wealth Report”

International bank Credit Suisse recently released its Global Wealth Report for 2014, an annual research-based report on global levels of household wealth.  If you want to read the report, you can here.  Be advised, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Much more digestible was Lauren Davidson’s great summary of the report in the UK Telegraph Online.  I had just a few thoughts based on the information contained in the report:

– You are lucky to live in the US, if you do. 

Visiting an underdeveloped country will drive this point home, but the following graph is helpful as well. 

While North America has about six percent of the world’s population, we hold just under 35 percent of the world’s wealth.  Wow.  We have the highest number of millionaires, and […]

By |October 16th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Tuesday Tips for Your Money [002]

- The most important thing in relation to marriage and money is not following Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, Ramit Sethi, or my advice to the T.  The most important thing is being on the same page, in 100% agreement on your course of action.  It can supercharge your marriage.

– Embrace your differences as a couple.  Most likely, one of you is more inclined to saving, the other to spending.  One can talk about money and finances for hours, while the other gets tired after four and a half minutes.  That’s ok!  One of you helps y’all have money, and the other one helps y’all have fun!

– If you’re in financial crisis, you need to be talking about your money at least once a week. […]

By |October 14th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|

Mutual Funds For Beginners

NOTE: The inclusion of a company logo in the header image above does not constitute investment advice.  Seek professional investment advice before dumping money into a fund managed by one of the companies above, duh.

When we get into talk of investing, it can get confusing pretty quickly.  I like to break things down and try to keep them simple.  When I recommend that people start investing, I encourage the use of mutual funds.  Mutual funds represent a great investment opportunity for the average investor.
1) Mutual funds are pools of money that invest in stuff.
The total amount of money in a mutual fund could be billions of dollars.  That comes from individual investors like you and I, as well as large companies that may have 401(k) plans accessible to those […]

By |October 13th, 2014|Money|0 Comments|