Archive for the ‘finances’ Category

Busy Doing What?

Nobody is too busy; it’s just a matter of priorities. Laura Vanderkam has an eye-opening TED talk on this subject.

What if you could be in charge of designing your days by creating a time budget? You know how to budget your money, right? If you have a regular paycheck and you’re aware of your monthly income, presumably, you know how much goes to rent/mortgage, utilities, food, transportation, etc., and what might remain for saving or random spending. And if you don’t have a regular paycheck, then you really have to budget to stay on top of things.

How about applying the same principles to your calendar? Realistically, how much time can you/must you devote to work? To health? To taking care of your home? To your family, friends, community? You can use your calendar to block time for your priorities in each area. Some things will be high priority items, some medium, and some low. You want to commit to the high priorities as much as is realistically possible. It also makes sense to have both cushions and flexibility. For example, include travel times for appointments, and padding for things that run longer than intended.

Sometimes the best laid plans…, so when that happens consider rescheduling as an option. When something unexpected happens – maybe you get a flat tire on the way to your workout class – look for a place later in the week when you can get a different workout in, and make sure to put it in your calendar.

Of course, a portion of your time needs to be spent creating your time budget and updating it daily. Schedule that too. And pay attention to how long things really take so that you can improve your time budgeting skills.

Three Tips to Avoid Late Fees

Penalty word in 3d letters on a steel bear trap to illustrate punishment, fees or fines for breaking rules

Do you ever procrastinate on paying bills? Solutions exist.

 

The List

First make a list of all your monthly bills and their general due dates. Note that some may be due weekly, while others are monthly or quarterly. Some bills will usually have due dates early in the month while others will be due later in the month. Organize your bills in the order that they need to be paid.

 

Pay Date versus Due Date

This is a place where lots of people screw up. Whether you pay electronically or send in a check, there is a time span between when the payment is made and when it arrives. If you pay online, your bank will usually have a note as to how many days it takes for the money to be transferred. If you put a check in the mail it could be anywhere from two days to who knows when. Scheduling pay dates a week before due dates is generally a safe bet.

 

Alert, Alert

If you’re income varies, have you noticed that institutions don’t like it when you try to pay a bill with money that doesn’t exist? Alerts can help with this. With online banking you can set alerts to send you an email with your balance daily or weekly. They can also let you know when a check posts, when you have a low balance threshold, and more. This is great information whether you are paying all your bills yourself or using automatic deductions to handle the job.

 

Finally, tips are only good ideas without implementation. So schedule a chunk of time in your calendar each week to be used for bill pay. Make it an appointment. If something that feels more urgent comes up, make sure to reschedule to a time within 24 hours.

To Buy or Not to Buy…A Very Good Question

Sale! This weekend only! Prices slashed! Best prices of the season! 20141125_152620
How can I possibly resist offers like these? Why look at those things. They’re wonderful. What great boots. I love that lamp and mine is so old. A new phone with no contract, I’d better get that, my phone has a cracked screen. Oh yeah, and gifts for the family. My nephew is into….

And so it goes. The proverbial “bright, shiny objects” have led to a whirlwind of impulse buying. The credit card now has a really scary balance and the enjoyment of new things is tempered by the anxiety over paying for them.

Are there solutions? Absolutely.

Do:
Make a list of all the people you really must have a gift for.
Look at how much money you realistically can spend.
Decide how much you can spend for each person and if there’s any left for yourself.
Think about what kinds of gifts fit your budget.
Consider things you can make yourself.

Don’t:
Go to stores and holiday fairs credit card in hand and ready to buy things that appeal to you.
Shop with friends who have way more money than you have and can spend freely.

And here’s a tip, if you don’t wait until the last minute you can start gathering things through the year and storing them so you have your own cache of gifts.

Still not sure you can manage. Find someone who will help you set limits and hold you accountable. Maybe a coach.

Lessons not Mistakes

Mistakes will be made. We all make them. They may be due to carelessness, lack of understanding or information, or some other reason. Many mistakes can be corrected, all can be teachers. What I want to focus on are the mistakes of behaviors that those of us with attention deficit disorder often make and how we can reduce the kinds and numbers of mistakes in our lives.

We may frequently forget appointments, people’s names, tasks we were to do; we may lose important things, get lost ourselves, procrastinate and miss a deadline. Maybe we say inappropriate things at inappropriate times, spend too much money on something because we didn’t research the options, overdraw our checking account. Yep, we may make these and other mistakes, and we may make them with some regularity.

The key here is to use every mistake as a learning opportunity. What kind of reminder would help you remember an appointment? How might setting up online banking and checking your account daily help you know how much money you have? What if you set start dates for stages of a project as well as due dates? How might you be more successful if someone held you accountable for something you said you’d do?

This is what we do with coaching. You get to make mistakes. There’s no blame, no fault-finding. We evaluate what occurred and come up with strategies you can gradually implement.
Mistakes will always be made, but improvements can also be made.

Struggle with Keeping Track of Payment Due Dates? These 3 Easy Fixes will Change all of That!

Is the thought of looking at your bills and getting on top of your business payments overwhelming? Have you neglected looking at your statements? Are you so behind on bills that you don’t even know where to start? Or when you do finally start you get side-tracked and completely forget to tackle your upcoming or missed payments?
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Hundreds, if not thousands, of creative entrepreneurs have a hard time getting a handle on this side of their business.
The money side. The paperwork side. The so-called structured, linear, organized side.
For some it’s because it’s hella boring and they’d rather be doing anything else. But for others, it’s because they haven’t found a flow, routine or ritual that helps them complete these tasks while still honoring their artsy, non-linear qualities.
If you happen to be one of these people, possibly working with ADHD, be kind to yourself. Being an entrepreneur is the best personal development crash course you’ll ever put yourself through. And if you plan on being an entrepreneur for life, plan on being in this course until the cows come home.
But, in order to remain being an entrepreneur and continue doing what you love, you have to put effort into finding a flow to pay your expenses that works for you and your habits.
If you know that you have a hard time remembering due dates, schedule 20 minutes to calendar all of them in your phone. And if you really want to master this, set the due date one week ahead of schedule in your phone.
If you’d rather pull your hair out than regularly track your expenses to make sure you haven’t overdrawn your account, take 5 minutes to log in to your bank account and set up daily text alerts with your daily balance and every time an expense hits your account.
I’m a true believer in the power of automation so that we don’t have to rely on sheer will to get things done.
Most of us fail when we rely on willpower. And that’s ok. Because the moment we realize our shortcomings and stop beating ourselves up about it, is when we can design an environment that supports our success.
And if keeping tabs on your expenses has been a difficult area for you to master, here are three steps that will set you up for life-long success.
1. Write a list of all of the expenses to run your business on a sheet of paper. I like to use bright colored markers to make it fun.
2. Next to each item, write the due date.
3. Take out your phone and type in the expense one week before the due date. Set it up so that it alerts you monthly.
Of course, it goes without saying that you have to take the step and pay the expense when the alert pops up on your phone. Or if you know you won’t do that, set it up for automatic payment. Done and done.
Wishing you financial success and happiness,
*Muah*
Miss Danetha
Your BFF- Helping You Keep the Money You Worked Your Tail Off to Get.

Learn more about managing your finances from Danetha at her site: www.MissDanetha.com