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I Don't Know How to Spell Millionaire, But I is One!

On the show, George shared a story from when he was a young man. So, obviously, this is an old story! He met a gentleman who was very successful in business and real estate investing. But you wouldn’t have known he had a dime to his name.

George said he can still picture this man sitting at the table in his coveralls with his cap. He was a great guy who said something George never forgot.

This man said, “I don’t know how to spell millionaire, but I is one.”

How did he become a millionaire?
He bought something!

Not a new wardrobe. Or a bigger house, a new car, a second house, or a boat.

He bought an income-producing asset. He bought a duplex.

What he bought is important
He put down a small amount of money and found a bank that helped him finance the rest of it. He improved the property by doing minor things like painting, putting down new carpet, and some basic landscaping.

So now he had a property that looked much better. So tenants were willing to pay more to live there. So he increased the rent.

Then he went back to the bank because he was making more money. They gladly refinanced his loan, because the income from the property would support it.

What he did next is even more important

He took this money from the bank and bought another investment property. A slightly bigger one. Which he then improved. He kept doing this over and over again until he became a millionaire. Eventually he owned a whole bunch of things.

What you don’t need to become a millionaire
You don’t have to be that smart to become a millionaire; just be sensible. It also doesn’t take that much money to get started. You don’t have to be a super savvy business person. And you don’t have to have a fancy education, although education is a good investment.

And you don’t have to wear flashy clothes!
 
4 tips that can lead you to a million dollars

#1 – Start small.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Assume you’ll lose everything, so don’t invest more than you can afford to lose.

#2 – Know your strengths and weaknesses.

Get help. If you’re handy, find someone who is financially savvy. If you’re financially savvy, find someone who’s handy. If you have time but no money, find a partner with money. If you have money but no time, partner with someone who has the time.

#3 – Make yourself accountable.

The CEOs of the biggest companies in the world answer to a Board of Directors. Get someone who will hold you accountable – be it a mentor, a coach, or a partner.

#4 – Logic, not emotion, rules.

Don’t fall in love with a property. You’re not looking for cute; you’re looking for cash flow. Don’t rent to a tenant because you like him or her; rent to them because of their good credit score.

Our bigg quote today is by Brian Koslow:

“Any self-made millionaire listens for opportunity. The average
person listens for what's wrong and why something won't work.”

Paying attention may just pay you a million!

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Next time, we’ll offer up nine questions to answer before you make extra mortgage payments.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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Help – My Spouse Spends Too Much!

 
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Bigg Challenge
We received an e-mail from Diane, one of our newsletter subscribers. Diane says her husband has a passion for electronics and their credit card debt just keeps rising. She wants to know how to confront him and get their family finances back in order.

Bigg Advice – 4 tips to stop the bleeding without getting bloody

#1 – Plan for a conversation, not a confrontation.
You want to solve the problem, not have an argument. So use the word “we” frequently and “you” infrequently. Now that may be tough when you’re not the spender. If it’s easier, talk about the “situation”, so you remove yourself, too.

#2 – Make it an event.
Gather up any needed information and go out for cup of coffee or a very inexpensive dinner. This signals that you’re not planning on arguing, so your husband’s defenses will be lower. Find a place that’s private and doesn’t have a lot of background noise, so you can hear each other.

#3 – Agree to this rule, “Pay today or say no way.”
Repeat this rule out loud to each other, over and over again. This is where you have to start. Stop the future bleeding today so you can focus on the problems from the past tomorrow.

Saying it is one easy, doing it is hard. If your situation is really extreme, put yourselves on a cash allowance and agree what expenses that covers. If it’s less extreme, you can use debit cards that draw on separate accounts – one for you, one for your husband.

#4 – Create a fun account.
Set aside an agreed percentage of your incomes into this account. IF, and only IF,   you’re able to pay all of your other bills in full, THEN you get to spend this fun money.

So if you’ve met your goals, your husband gets bonus money for the gadgets he wants. By the way, you’ll get bonus money, too. This is how you get his “buy-in” and keep him from going into withdrawal, which is crucial because you can’t do it alone.

Don’t think you have to be debt-free to trigger any bonus money. You just have to see a reasonable level of progress. Sometimes a small investment in rewards pays bigg dividends.

For example, you may agree that when you’ve reduced your debt by 25 percent, you’ll draw down 10 percent of your fun account.

As you get your financial house in order, check out our article on 206 the five piggy banks]. This will help you keep it in order.

Thanks, Diane for sharing your bigg challenge. We wish you bigg success!

Do you have a bigg solution for Diane? Share it with a comment.
Are you facing a bigg challenge? We’d love to help!
E-mail us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

We don’t know who originally came up with our bigg quote today, but we sure like it!

“Between work and family, I’m really not spending
enough quality time with my money.”

So give yourself time to get to know your money so it can get to work for you!

Next time, since it’s leap year, we’ll look at leaping from place to place. You can see the world while you work! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Don’t Make This Costly Mistake

image of broken piggy bank with the blog post title: Don't Make This Costly Mistake

There’s a basic finance principle that many people get wrong, and it’s a costly mistake! We help you understand this key concept.

Which is better – a $100 decrease in costs or $100 increase in income? Read more

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Don't Make This Costly Mistake

Which is better – a $100 decrease in costs or $100 increase in income?

It’s always good to increase our income, but more people get in trouble on the cost side. This applies to your business as well as your personal finances.

Your business
Assume that you own a retail store. Every product in your store sells for $100 and costs $40. So you keep $60 every time you sell a product.

Now let’s say you’re able to cut your expenses by $100. You get to keep all of it!

So, which is better? Cutting expenses by $100! That yields $40 more!

Now, you may ask, how do you do that? Here’s something we have learned …

As you get busy running your business, it’s easy for costs to creep in that aren’t increasing sales like you thought they would. Get rid of these costs!

One of the biggest complaints bankers have about small business people is that they are too focused on their top line (sales) and they don’t spend enough time thinking about the bottom line (profit).

In the long run, your profit can only grow as fast as your sales. But in the near-term, your bottom line will grow much faster if you keep a close eye on costs.

Your personal finances
This is the same story, but for a different reason. It’s all about taxes.

Let’s assume that you will pay 30 percent on your next $100 of income. So, if you make $100 more, you get to keep $70 after taxes.

But if you can spend $100 less, you’re $100 ahead because you’ve already paid the taxes on that money!

Let’s say you get a $5,000 a year pay raise. You decide to celebrate by buying a new house … you upgrade! Your mortgage payment is now $4,800 a year higher than it was before. But hey, you have $5,000 more income, so you’re still $200 ahead, right?

That’s BEFORE TAXES.

Once we factor in 30 percent for taxes ($1,500), you’re $1,300 behind!

And the bad news has just started. This new, bigger, more expensive house probably has higher property taxes; it costs more to insure; it requires more repairs and maintenance.

Before you know it, you’re $5,000 in the whole!

What should you do with the raise?

Once again, your specific situation will determine what you should do. Consider giving yourself a SMALL reward – you’ve earned it! Then, if you have any debt – particularly credit card debt – pay that off because your return will exceed almost any investment. And it’s a guaranteed return!

Once you have that debt paid off, the money becomes yours! Now you can invest it in things that will 38 jump start your passive income].

The bottom line is this – you have complete control over your expenses. You have to convince someone to say “yes” to make a sale or get a raise. It’s much easier to control your costs!

Where have you cut costs in your biz or personal life?
Share your tips with us!

You’ve probably heard our bigg quote today, but it was so fitting that we used it anyway. Here’s Ben Franklin –  

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

And we bet that, if ole’ Ben Franklin was around today, he’d think about the taxes he was paying and modify his quote to – A penny saved is BETTER than a penny earned!

Next time, we’ll continue the money talk, but with a twist. Comedic writer Jake Novak joins us to share his “Top 5 Signs You're Managing Your Money Like Wall Street.” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Recession Progression

Pretend that we could eat as much as you want, of whatever you want, whenever you want, with no consequences. What would a lot of people do?

Probably eat a lot of their favorite foods!

Of course, in the real world, we know that if we do that for any period of time, we’ll have to go on a diet.

That’s what a recession is – the economy going on a diet.

It’s just the business cycle. Things go well. People get over-exuberant. Too much debt. Bad investments. Then a recession gets rid of the excesses. It’s part of the evolutionary process.

So today, we want to discuss how to survive and thrive in a recession.

How to survive a recession

  • Develop a contingency plan.
  • Start by asking yourself, “What if …?”

    What if you get laid off?
    What if you have to work longer hours because other people got laid off?
    What if your time gets cut back?
    What if your benefits get cut?
    What if your business takes a hit?

    You know your situation. Think about the most likely scenarios and develop a plan for them. Then, do what you can now.

    For example, why put off updating your resume until you need it? Do it now! Most people wait until they need it. You’ll be a step ahead.

  • Watch your spending
  • Businesses cut spending to get through a recession. We should take a clue. Try to avoid making long-term commitments. In times of uncertainty, wait until you’re more certain before making major purchases.

  • Don’t panic.
  • Resist the urge to drastically change your retirement plan and other long-term investments. You need to look at the specifics of your situation. However, as a general rule, if you won’t need the money for five or more years, you should probably stay the course. Historically, that’s been the best thing to do.

    If you need the money before that, you may want to deploy another strategy. Check with your financial planner to figure out your best option.

How to thrive in a recession

  • Take advantage of low interest rates.
  • Interest rates tend to go down during a recession. So consider refinancing your mortgage and other debt. Business owners may have prepayment penalties, but it may still make sense. In both cases, you need to analyze your specific situation.

    Let’s assume you refinance. Use what you save each month to 38 build your passive income].

  • Keep investing in yourself
  • Once again, let’s take a clue from businesses. Businesses that thrive, after a recession, are often those that kept on investing, during the recession.

    There are a lot of opportunities once a recession ends. Position yourself to thrive – take a class, attend seminars, and go to conferences. You’ll build skills and make great contacts. One of those contacts may lead to your next bigg opportunity!

  • Look for great deals.
  • Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities may present themselves during a recession. People are often more willing to negotiate. You probably won’t find your great opportunity advertised anywhere.

    So how do you find it? Network, network, network! You’ll most likely be surprised by it, so keep your eyes and ears open. Your accidental discovery will be the result of your active searching!

Our Bigg Quote today is by an unknown author.

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.”

So keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Be ready for detours so you don’t have to come to a screeching halt!

Next time, we’ll look at the question, “Does it pay to blame others to cover your backside?”

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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