5 Financial Resolutions blog image

5 Financial Resolutions for 2019

5 Financial Resolutions blog image

We talk with Consumer Reports’ Senior Money Editor Tobie Stanger about timely financial resolutions for 2019.

Consumer Reports published a great article on smart money moves for 2019. On The BIGG Success Show today, we talk about them with Tobie Stanger, Senior Money Editor at Consumer Reports. Here are the highlights of our conversation…

Financial resolution #1: Protect your nest egg from inflation

The best way to do this is to make sure your portfolio is broadly diversified. You should own both stocks and bonds. Consider TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) for a portion of your bond holdings.*

Financial resolution #2: Freeze your credit report

Thanks to Consumer Reports lobbying on behalf of we the people, you can now freeze your credit for free. If you do not anticipate needing applying for credit in the near future, freeze your credit by contacting each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.

Then, even if a scam artist gets your personal data, they won’t be able to open a new credit account in your name.

Of course, when you want credit yourself, you will just need to contact each of the three majors to unfreeze your credit. While it may not be the case, assume there will be a time lag between your request and the actual unfreezing.

Financial resolution #3: Safeguard against cell-phone account fraud

This is a new scam. But with the number of breaches which occurred last year, there’s a lot of personal information floating around. A fraudster uses that info to get a cell phone account in your name. Now, they can set up a new credit account, even if it requires two-factor authentication.

You can minimize the risk of this happening to you by setting up a PIN on your cell phone account. Note that this is a separate PIN from the one you use to unlock your phone. It provides you with another layer of protection from fraud.

Financial resolution #4: Rethink how you pay for doctor’s visits

Direct primary care (DPC) or concierge medicine is growing rapidly as more and more people discover its benefits. With this arrangement, you contract with a doctor directly, rather than through a health insurer.

In this case, you will actually pay more for medical care. But you also get premium service for about $100 a month. Do you:

– frequently visit your doctor’s office?

– need 24-hour access to a doctor?

– have diabetes, high cholesterol, or hypertension?

– need frequent tests?

– need regular checks on your vital signs?

– have a high-deductible health insurance plan?

Note, though, this is NOT health insurance. Nor does it reduce the need for health insurance (although, you may be able to afford a higher-deductible plan and, therefore, reduce your premium).*

Financial resolution #5: Get maximum returns on your savings

Interest rates are going up. Just a couple of years ago, you could only collect something like 0.01%T on your savings. Now, you can find savings products paying 2% – 3%. Visit the article on Consumer Reports for a great table of your options

*One final note before we go – As with all things financial, we highly recommend that you consult with your financial advisor about the specifics of your situation.

Here’s to your BIGG success!

signatures: George & Mary-Lynn

George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:


Retirement Planning an Easier Way

retirement planning an easier way blog image

There’s good news on retirement planning, whether you’re early in your career or further along.

We discussed an easier way to plan for your retirement on The BIGG Success Show today. Here’s a summary of that discussion.

This show was inspired by a study on the power of retiring later, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Which of these two options sounds harder to you…

(1) saving 1% more every year for 30 years, or

(2) postponing your retirement by 4 months

The two of us agreed that Option 1 sounds harder. Yet the researchers found the two options deliver similar results.

Read more

A Costly Cost Cutting Measure

cutting_costs.jpgBigg Success is life on your own terms. Today, we’ll focus on one of the five elements of bigg success – money.

We’re all looking for more ways to save money. That’s understandable. However, we need to think about not just survival, but “surthrival.”



Many business owners and managers, small and large, are cutting back on their advertising. This cost-cutting practice can be very costly in the long run.

Could not advertising cost you $1.5 million?

A McGraw-Hill study, about the recession in the early 1980s, found that companies that maintained or increased their advertising had sales 256% higher three years after the recession ended.

Think about that … two companies, each with a million dollars in sales go into a recession. The company that holds tight on its advertising, or perhaps even increases it, will do over $2.5 million within a few years after the recession ends if the second company, the one that cut its advertising, treads water.

Signaling the end of your business

A recent study by Ad-ology found that 56% of the people surveyed thought that retail stores that cut back on advertising must be struggling.

In other words, your advertising sends a “signal” to both your existing and potential customers. Just like a company cutting back on its dividend, you’re telling the public you don’t expect your future to be bright when you cut back on advertising.

The signal is so strong that 15% of the people surveyed thought it meant that the firm who cut back on its advertising wouldn’t be in business much longer.

The time – money trade-off

One of the other elements of bigg success is time. If you’re a regular here you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating:

If you don’t have money, you have to spend time. It’s part of the price of bigg success.

So if you really feel the need to cut back on how much money you spend on advertising, it will pay to spend more time promoting your business.

That means networking

Depending on your business, you may primarily build relationships offline or online. However, you will probably be well-served to do both. Integration is one of the keys to success in business today.

If you have employees with down time, make good use of it. Tell them that you want to keep spreading the word so you all surthrive.

What you ask them to do will also depend upon your business. You may have them put out door knob hangers or give away free samples of your product. Perhaps they can make some phone calls or send e-mails to your list of customers.

Where to place your focus

We stated it subtly in that last sentence. We should emphasize it – focus on your existing customers to get the best return on your investment (of money and time).

Research has shown that it costs between five to eight times as much to get a new customer as it takes to keep an existing one. So, at the very least, make sure you’re communicating with your existing customers at least four to six 6 times a year.

Find out what their problems are. Find a solution – even if you can’t solve it directly, help them find the answer to build your relationship.

The most cost-effective way to grow your business

Building relationships with your best customers is the most cost-effective way to grow your business. When you can “wow” your customers, they will …

  • buy more
  • buy more often
  • tell others

Segment & tailor


marylynnWhile we’re talking about your existing customers, can you segment them into smaller groups so you can tailor your communications more precisely?



georgeI used to own a heating and cooling service company. We got our technicians to note the age of the furnace or air conditioner when they were in our customer’s home or business. Then we wrote a letter specifically to this group. We generated over $300 of sales for every letter we mailed!


This highlights another point we alluded to earlier – get your staff involved. Help them understand how it not only makes their jobs more secure, it also means you continue to grow as a company so there will be more opportunities for everybody. That’s bigg success!


Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!


Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we discuss what the underlying meaning of “I don’t have enough time.” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:

Related posts

5 Marketing Strategies to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck During a Recession

Increase Your Sales by Knowing the Answer to this Question

(Image in today's post from hisks)

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.



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!


Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!


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!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:

Related posts

Giving Yourself Permission to Spend

Savers Spenders and Investors

(Image in today's post from Cna110703)

Giving Yourself Permission to Spend

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

Some people struggle to save money in the first place because they love to spend it. Other people have no trouble saving it, but they get uncomfortable spending it.




georgeI grew up with one of each. I’ve never seen research on this, but I bet that happens fairly often. Mom was a saver and Dad was a spender. I learned from both of them.



So I know the answer to this, George, but share with everyone which one you are.



georgeI think I’m both so I face this internal battle – there are times when I swing to the savings side; there are times when I lean toward spending. The challenge for me is not letting it get out of balance when I shift one way or the other.



marylynnBoth of us tend to spend on small ticket items. We’re not bigg ticket buyers so we can completely relate to one of our readers, Paul.


Bigg question

Paul sent us an e-mail about his dilemma. He’s a regular saver, but he has trouble spending it – especially on bigg ticket items. For example, he could comfortably take a vacation but he’s not sure if he should pull the money out of savings. He wants our advice.

Bigg solution

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Paul wants to spend the money but he’s afraid he’ll need it for something else. Here’s the bigg solution:

Set up a separate account dedicated to the next bigg purchase you want to make. Set aside a portion of what you save in this account.

Right now, you’re implicitly saving for these things, Paul. By planning for your purchase and explicitly saving for it (i.e. by stashing money for it in a dedicated account), you’ll feel comfortable buying it once you’ve accumulated enough money.

Since you’ve been saving all along, Paul, consider taking a portion of the money you have in your general savings account and seeding this account with that money. You may feel you have enough to take that vacation now. If that’s the case, go for it! Then use this separate account for your next bigg ticket item.

Live (a little) in the moment

It’s important for all of us to save for our future. It’s also important to live a little in the moment and enjoy life along the way. Otherwise, we risk forgetting why we’re doing what we’re doing.

So Paul’s going to save for a vacation. If you can’t afford that right now, plan for a weekend away. If that’s going to stretch your budget too much, plan for a nice dinner out this month. Maybe even that’s too much … plan for a nice meal at home. Make it an event. Every day … every hour … every moment is precious. Don’t fall into the trap of living too much for the future. Strike a healthy balance between now and then. That’s living bigg!

How do you save for bigg ticket items?

Share that with us by commenting below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at


Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!


Please join us next time when we discuss getting your employees to take a step toward personal leadership. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:

Related posts

The Deal of Your Lifetime

Savers Spenders and Investors

(Image in today's post from vranarc)