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Save Now Without Depriving Yourself

dollar_sign.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on money.

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When it comes to money, we’re all conscious these days that we have to save more. We saw a great definition of saving the other day by Carolyn Jabs. Her Growing Up Online column appeared in an article in Columbus Parent. She said:

“In its finest form, saving doesn't mean depriving yourself or your family of what you want, much less need. Instead, it means comparing long-term and short-term goals to decide which matter most.”

Bigg trade-offs

When she puts it that way, saving doesn’t sound so bad! We often think of savings as “doing without.” It’s not doing without. It’s deciding on the timing.

Saving, in and of itself, is not a noble act. It’s a means to an end, not the end. It’s about trade-offs – trading now for later or later for now.

If you pay cash for something today, you give up earning money on the money you used for the purchase. Your money will work for you if you save it and invest.

If you buy something and finance it, you’re deferring cash out the door today in exchange for even more cash out the door (since you’ll have to pay interest) in the future.

So, ultimately, it’s a decision about what will make you the happiest – enjoying your money now or stashing it away so you can enjoy it more tomorrow.

It’s living with purpose on purpose – defining your bigg goals and living each day to achieve them.

Your bigg plan

What if you don’t have to sacrifice the present for the future? That’s a bigg idea! Look for ways to enhance your present and your future.

You are the entrepreneur of your life, irrespective of whether or not you own your own business. Your life is your enterprise. You, and only you, are in charge of this enterprise. As the entrepreneur, plan your purchases.

Don’t get caught buying on impulse. It’s a trap that really hits us hard. And we’re not just talking about those insignificant items at the check-out. Marketers are really good at making us think we can’t afford to wait.

For example, think about the ads that promise “No Payments for Two Years.” We translate that, in our minds, as if we’re not spending money for two years. But the reality is, if we don’t have that money already set aside, it’s probably going to give our finances a jolt when the payments kick in … at incredibly high interest rates.

Synergize to ramp up your savings

By planning our purchases, and then sticking to the plan, we’ll only buy those items that we’ve determined make us happiest. We can keep our eyes open for the best deal which saves us money now – money that can go straight to our savings.

If you’ve set aside $2,000 and then only spend $1,500, give yourself a night out on the town in celebration of a job well done. Take the rest and put it into your savings.

By synergizing our savings with our spending, we can save more money for the future because we get the best deal when we buy today. That’s how we get what we want today without depriving ourselves. It’s one thing we can do to propel us to bigg success!

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Thanks so much for checking in with us today. Please join us next time when we’ll talk about the biggest time waster of all. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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(Image in today's post from Cna110703)

Savers Spenders and Investors

investments When personal finances are discussed, the experts usually divide people into savers and spenders. We ran across a press release from Fidelity, the mutual fund giant, about a survey of workers in the non-profit world. They asked the participants if they were a saver, a spender or an investor.

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We thought it was very astute to add that third category. Which one do you fit in?

The workers in the study split themselves about evenly between saving and spending. 46 percent claimed to be savers while 45 percent admitted to being spenders. So that leaves only 9 percent who classified themselves as investors.

Merging the two categories

We suspect that fewer people today would classify themselves as spenders than say a year ago. A lot of us are getting on the savings bandwagon. That’s definitely a step in the right direction, but saving it isn’t good enough.

This data suggests a bigg idea. We shouldn’t think of ourselves as either savers or spenders. We should always think like an investor. We should merge the two categories – spender and saver – into the third category – investor.

We must know how to invest it or we won’t end up with the resources we need to live the life we want.

From spender to investor

Here’s some good news for spenders: thinking like an investor doesn’t necessarily imply that you don’t spend. It means that you spend differently.

You look at every single dollar you spend as an investment. Is it going to bring you enough return to make it worth giving it up? And that “return” may not come in dollars earned on dollars invested.

It may mean that it adds enough to your level of “happiness” to make spending the money worth doing. If it passes that test, then spend, spend, spend! If not, hold onto it.

For example, you may see a real deal on some non-perishable consumer good. Buy it. Stock up. Say an item is on sale for half off. Let’s pretend that you know that it only goes on sale once a year. If you buy a year’s supply, you’re making 100% on your money. That’s hard to beat!

So get to know the promotional cycle of the brands you use regularly and time your investment appropriately. Know when various businesses need the money more. For example, from car dealers to contractors, there are seasons when people are buying a lot and times when people aren’t. Time your purchase for their slow periods and reap the benefits.

From saver to investor

Now let’s think about savers. It’s great to save, but if you’re only earning two percent on your money, where’s that getting you?

We know … we know … you’d rather earn 2% than lose 40%! We completely understand that thought process.

However, investors don’t operate out of fear. They operate rationally. And we have to resist the temptation to go with the masses because they’re usually wrong in the long run.

Just like with consumer goods, there are some real deals out there on assets right now if you can afford to hold them long-term.

The best time to get out of a particular market is often when everyone else is getting in. And the best time to get in is usually when everyone else is getting out.

Years ago, we were told by a very successful real estate investor that when you see the no-money down real estate infomercials proliferating, it’s time to get out of real estate. How many of those do we see now compared to three years ago? 

Now think about stocks. Many of the same people who are touting doom and gloom now were spouting off about the end of the business cycle and the ever-upward spiral of stocks just a couple of years ago.

So to think like an investor, think for yourself. 

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Thanks so much for spending some time with us today. Join us next time when we ask, “Does haste still make waste?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00336-022309.mp3

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Should You and Your Spouse Have Separate Accounts?

games Disagreements about how to handle the family finances is often sited as a leading cause of divorce. There seems to be an increasing number who are separating their finances so they don’t separate! This would have been unheard of just a generation or two ago.

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Opposites attract

In many relationships, there is a spender and a saver. Or sometimes you have two spenders who spend differently – one who frequently buys little incidentals that may add up to a lot of money over the course of the year and another one who can’t resist the major purchases.

Is it wrong?

While some people are finding separate accounts the way to go, others think that it’s just wrong. They believe that it’s a bad sign if a couple doesn’t co-mingle their funds.

Does that stem from a time when you had one wage-earner in the home?
Is it a control issue?
Perhaps it has to do with religious beliefs?
Or maybe it’s a trust issue?

We don’t know the answer, but we do know that many couples are making this work.

Why it works

We think keeping separate finances works for a number of reasons. Among them:

  • The saver isn’t frustrated by money being spent on things they think is unwise.

  • The spender doesn’t have to defer gratification so long that they just can’t stand it anymore. 

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How it works

We’ve seen a number of ways to do this. Here are two examples:

The Allocators. These couples begin by allocating who pays for what. It’s a negotiation process. If you choose this system, determine your respective spending priorities. Then, whenever possible, let each spouse pay for those things they feel are most important. Divvy up the basics however you see fit.

Once you’ve figured out who will pay for what, each spouse then gets to spend, save or invest however they want.

The Allowancers
. Okay, we struggled with a name for this group. That’s the best we could do!

Allowancers may maintain a joint account to pay mutual bills like the mortgage or the utility bills. Then they divvy up the excess as allowances.

But don’t forget to take out the trash or you may lose your allowance!

With their allowance, each spouse can save or spend however they want. One spouse may even save to spend … on that next major purchase.

A final thought

You may have heard us say this before, but our thought on this issue is this:

If it works for you and your family, it works.

It doesn’t matter what other people think or even say. What does matter is that you find a system that helps you keep your finances in order. After all, they are a key component to living out your bigg dreams!

How do you and your partner handle your finances? 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00326-020909.mp3

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(Image in today's post by hisks)

Don’t Show Me the Money

wallet The List Universe recently published their list of ten lost rules of etiquette. The one that really got our attention was their #1 reason – talking about money and possessions.

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When it comes to money, the author says that a gentleman would never:

Read more