Missed Your Money Goals? Don’t Give Up: Review, Adjust, Push Forward

Missed Your Money Goals? Don't Give UpA little while back I shared that I had set a goal for losing weight this year.

I set a target amount and a target date of June 30.

Well the target date has arrived. I can report that I have reached about 30% of my goal. In other words, I missed my goal.

So the question is, do I give up?

Not a chance! Setting up an improvement goal helps you focus your efforts.

And even when you miss a target, you are still better off simply because you tried to get better.

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In game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs were 28.5 seconds away from winning their 5th NBA title in 2013. They ended up losing that game and eventually the series to the Miami Heat in 7 games.

The Spurs could have thrown in the towel, never think about it again and let that loss overwhelm them. Instead, that loss became a motivating factor.

This year, they went through an entire NBA season and 3 rounds of playoffs just to get a chance to play Miami again. But they were ready and won the 2014 title in 5 games.

So if you have missed your money goals so far this year, don’t give up. Instead, review, adjust, and push forward.

Review Your Results

In looking over the last 6 months, I can first focus on what went well with my weight loss goals.

I did lose some weight. My clothes fit me better. I feel great and I am more active. And I am making better choices with my food. I can celebrate all of that.

When you look at your money goals, you too can focus on what went well. Did you start using a budget? Did you finish your starter emergency fund?

Have you paid off any of your debts? Are you now paying more attention to your money?

When you focus on what results you have accomplished thus far, you can maintain your hope that you will win the battle to gain control of your finances.

Adjust Your Goals as Needed

For me now is time to see if my goals were realistic and adjust as needed. I am convinced I can do better and I can reach my ultimate goal.

It make me longer so now, I have set a new target date for around my birthday in September. And I also have added a new goal: I am going to run my first 5K this year.

With your money you also may need to adjust your goals. Maybe you need to add more extra hours so you can increase your income.

Maybe you need to trim your budget even more. Or simply your initial target for getting out of debt was a bit unrealistic.

It could also be that no major adjustments are needed. Whatever the case, do make sure you take some time to think about any changes you need to make.

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Push Forward

For me and my weight management goals, there is no going back to what I was doing last year. That was not working for me.

No, I am going forward. I have reset my goals, I have a plan, and I am pushing forward. No retreat, no surrender.

In the battle to gain control over your finances, you can’t give up either. You have to keep pushing forward.

Not having any control over your money, not having any savings, being deeply in debt is no way to live.

You can do better and I know you will. Just push forward and don’t give up!

Question: How will you keep pushing forward with your financial goals?

Winning With Money: It’s a Mind Game

Winning with Money: Mind GameHow easy is it for you to master a new skill?

How quickly can you absorb all of the different things you need to learn?

I recall a couple of years ago when I moved into a new role at my company.

Prior to that job change, I had pretty much the same type of role for around 8 years.

I knew how to perform that previous role almost mechanically.

The transition was not easy.

Over just a few weeks I had to switch gears, learn what I needed to know and at the same time execute on what was required day to day.

It was overwhelming and exhausting at times.

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Lessons from a Young Samurai: It’s a Mind Game

This learning process brought to mind a scene from one of my favorite movies, “The Last Samurai” starring Tom Cruise. Watch this short clip:

The young Samurai clearly outlined my problem. It was a mind game. I felt in the trap of “too many mind“.

Too many new tasks to learn, too many meetings, too many fires to put out. How did I deal with it?

I had to do a reset and make a list of things to do and then I had to prioritize them.

Having a list of items, each with an associated priority allowed me to put the right focus and effort to be successful.

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The Application to your Money: Prioritize your Efforts

The trap of “too many mind” can also affect your ability to win with your money. As you look at your situation you might think that it’s too much to handle.

You have to do a budget, you have to save for emergencies. And then what about college and retirement?

Do I have the right kind of insurance? Where do you put your energy or focus?

Before you drive yourself crazy, let me give you some encouragement. Winning with money is also a mind game.

You can break down the task of financial management into smaller steps.

You can then prioritize those steps and focus with great energy on one task at at a time so you can gain traction

Today it might be just simply learn how to do a budget, or finishing your beginners emergency fund.

Or perhaps your great focus today and for the next few months is paying down on debt and other things can wait.

So What?

Yes, you need to address all of the elements of  your financial plan, but you can do it in priority order.

Set your mind on the right track. Go from “too many mind” to “one mind“. Focus on winning with money, one step at a time!

“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”
John Wooden, UCLA Head Basketball Coach

When Will I Get Out of Debt?

When Will I Get Out of Debt?That’s a great question isn’t?

Could you answer it with any kind of precision today?

I wanted to talk about how you can get out of debt.

About what it takes to end that slavery.

My assumption is that you want to be free of the chains and the burden of carrying debt.

However, that’s a big assumption because debt is normal and the numbers suggest that for the average American, that’s ok.

Just take a look.

The total household debt is $11.65T (as of Q1 2014):

  • Student Loan debt is at: $1.11T
  • Auto Loan debt is at: $875B
  • Credit Card debt is at $659B
  • Mortgage and Home Equity Debt stands at $8.7T

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As a financial coach I can teach you the process, the steps for getting out of debt.

I can also give you the reasons of why it is a good idea to live free of any debt.

What I cannot give you is the desire and the passion to get out of debt. That has to come from you.

In order to get out of debt, something has to change in your spirit, in your heart.

You will get out of debt only when you:

1 Admit that using debt will not bring you prosperity

You basically have to stop believing the lie that debt is a tool to help you win with money.

Just look at the high levels of credit card debt, car loan debt, and student loan debt.

Ask any of those people to see if they are prospering with their finances.

2. Get sick of paying interest

Do the math exercise on any of the debt items you are carrying today.

See how long is going to take to pay it off by just making the minimum payments each month.

Then, compute how much that item you bought on credit, will cost you in the long run.

Just do the math. It should scare you and/or make you mad.

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3. Get tired of carrying the debt burden

There has to be a moment when you say: “No more! I am not living this way! I have had it!!!!”

Until that happens you will be happy to go along and you will continue to rationalize your debt.

You will listen to the conventional wisdom that says debt is ok and that credit can help you.

When will you decide to become debt free? What are you waiting for? What will it take?

When you are ready to change your life and win with money, I can help.

 “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”
Proverbs 22:7 (ESV)

Manly Money Management

Manly Money ManagementRecently I listened to a sermon and the topic was, “what are men supposed to be like?

How are men supposed to act? That subject alone could be the subject of many sermons!

The preacher used the following scripture passage to address the question:

13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
14 Let all that you do be done in love.
I Corinthians 16:13-14 (NASB

So this post is dedicated to my fellow men whether you are single or married.

I want to talk about how men are supposed to act with money.

I want us to discuss the subject of manly money management.

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If you are married, you are in the leadership role already by God’s design

If you are single, you need to learn to take control of your finances now so you can be prepared to lead your family.

So let’s unpack this verse and see how it could be applied to help us achieve manly money management:

1. Be on the Alert

Some other translations indicate to “be on guard” or “to be watchful“. When it comes to your money, how well are you keeping track of it?

Do you balance your checkbook every month? Do you keep track of your expenses?

Do you plan how the money will be spent ahead of time? Do you have a good understanding of your investments?

You need to pay attention to your finances. (Proverbs 27:23)

2. Stand Firm in the Faith

The idea here is stand firm in what you believe, in the Word of God, the sure foundation of life.

The Bible has a lot to say about money and possessions.

In His Word, God has laid out the best way to manage the money He has entrusted to us.

You and I would be foolish to ignore His advice. (I Chronicles 29:11, 14-16)

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3. Act like Men, be Strong

Men are supposed to take the leadership role at home. This means you lead the discussion on money as well.

Where is your family going? What are your goals?

You can’t abandon your wife financially by leaving her alone with the burden of managing your finances.

You have to be actively involved in money matters. And guess what: if there is a need to work extra hours or take a second job, you are up.

You take the lead in making the necessary sacrifices.

It is your job to make sure your family is well taken care of financially (I Timothy 5:8).

4. Let all that you do be done in Love

Even though you are in the leadership role that does not make you a dictator. Your wife has an equal vote.

You need to work together on your money, make decisions together. Love your family well by saving for emergencies, retirement, and college.

Finally, love your family well by taking care of what happens after you are gone. Make sure you have the proper level of life insurance and that you complete a will.

Love them well to the end. (I Cor 13:4-7)

So What?

What do you think? We men can get worked up about a lot of things in life that have no bearing on the destiny of our family.

We can get really excited about our toys (cars, electronics, and man caves) and watching our sports.

But what if we were at least half as passionate about what happens with our finances and our families?

Imagine that for a moment. Are you ready to man-up with your finances?

Are you ready for manly money management? If so, let me know, I can I help.

“There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”
Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President

Marriage & Money: Winning by Working Together

Marriage and Money: Winning by Working TogetherWhen is the last time you and your spouse completed a major project working together?

My wife and I relocated to DFW just over 3 ½ years ago.

Before doing that we had to sell our previous home and we had some work to do.

Working Together to Sell a Home

And after owning that house for about 14 years, it was time for a few renovation projects: some fresh paint, a little work on the kitchen, replacing some outdated light fixtures, gardening, and general clean-up.

Some of the work we could do ourselves but for some items we wanted professional grade work.

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We had lots of work ahead of us, so being a project manager by trade and a detailed oriented “nerd” by birth, I put together a quick spreadsheet with an outline for the schedule and the budget that became the essence of our project plan.

But the real key to the success of this plan was that my wife and I worked together on the project.

We had to agree on how much we were prepared to spend on each item, we had to agree on the timeline for each project.

We also had to make decisions like choosing a paint color or the type of tile for the kitchen backsplash.

We had an objective and we had a plan so we had a common understanding.

After working the plan, the house looked great and it sold in 30 days!

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Working Together to Win with Money

Winning with your money also requires having a common understanding between spouses. You can only win by working together.

Regardless of what your income is and how much you may or may not know about managing your finances, you need to have shared goals and dreams.

You also need to have shared responsibility for doing what’s required to achieve those goals and dreams.

Since my wife and I started working together on our finances almost 9 years ago, we are winning with our money.

But in addition to that, we have achieved a level of communication and understanding in other areas of our marriage that we did not have before.

Here are just a few examples of items that require both spouses to be in agreement:

  • Working on your monthly budget. If you can’t talk about the day to day, month to month expenses, how will you decide on major purchases?
  • If you have children, how will you save for their college expenses? What will you teach them about money?
  • Major purchases. What constitutes a major expense (e.g., more than $300)? If you have more than one purchase you want to make, what’s the priority between them? Can you save for Christmas and also for replacing one of your vehicles?
  • What are your goals for retirement?
  • Is it time to upgrade and move to a bigger house?

God’s wisdom tells us that Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.” (Eccl 4:9).

Talk to each other. Determine what those shared dreams and goals are in your life.

Be honest about your fears and. Learn to listen and to trust one another.

Remember that as a married couple, you are supposed to be building a life together. That includes how you handle your money.

You can win with your money by working together. Start today!

Question: What’s keeping you and your spouse from working together on your finances?