CoachDeclute Blog

Pay * Attention * to Your Money

Posted in Articles by coachdeclute on September 21, 2010

One of our primary goals and a big part of our planning must include the plan for building our personal wealth. Paying *Attention* to Your Money is the first step and if mastered you will be amazed by the results. I remember being told by a mentor, at a very young age that if I contributed the maximum allowed every year to my RRSP and in addition invested prudently another 10-15% of my gross income I would never have to worry about retirement. What good advice!

Just imagine if Paying *Attention* to Your Money was taught in school. Wouldn’t that be an amazing benefit for young people? Just having an understanding and a system for guiding one on the handling of their disposable income! Even as a student working part time, perhaps to pay for education or some other personal expenses, we might think twice about stopping at Starbucks or eating another unhealthy meal on the run. We might pack our lunch and make coffee for a “to go” cup a bit more often!  We might stop to think twice before buying that next frivolous item. Okay, not to a point of taking all the fun out of life, but just to introduce a bit of moderation along the way!

I acknowledge that at certain stages in life this truly can be difficult. With families to provide for, and life’s opportunities to enjoy, it is easy to get off track. But like everything in life, we can always rewrite the plan and get back at it. Nothing is carved in stone. It is important to get a good balance working for you, a balance that will serve your best interest now and in the long term. I must also emphasize this is not all about retirement. It is about living life as you want to and having the financial freedom to do so, at every stage of life!

Very early in our full time working life we should engage the assistance of a good financial planner or a financial wellness coach. This is separate from and different than an investment advisor who is getting paid commissions on a transaction basis. These are two independent roles. Some investment advisors are good at looking at your total picture and then on a fee basis able to help you with planning your financial and investment strategy. Just be certain that whether you have one of two advisors assisting you everyone understands your tolerance for risk, the diversity of investments you want and have clarity on your short and long term financial goals.

Take a moment to consider how different things might be if at the end of every day you did a quick tally of the money coming in, the money going out and the balance still in your possession. On first blush daily may seem onerous but it is pretty easy. You see at the end of the day we can pretty accurately add up our spending in our head – $50 for gas, $10 for parking, $10 for lunch, $100 for a pair of shoes and so on. The same applies to our income. If we are a commissioned individual we know what guaranteed commissions we have earned on the business of the day. If in a salaried position we also know for each working day the amount of our income. If an owner of a small business the invoices of the day will tell the income story too. Give it a try. I can send you an excel spreadsheet to help – just email me at dorothy@coachdeclute.com.

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Do you have a *Plan* for 2011?

Posted in Articles by coachdeclute on September 7, 2010

As the last quarter of 2010 approaches, it is essential to take some time to reflect. Reflect on:

•    the successes of the past year

•    the work left to make it everything you planned

•    the dreaming piece about the “big picture” future

•    the thinking about and putting of *PLANS* in place for 2011

Every day, week and month we spend time in action. Time doing the things we know are needed to ensure successful completion of current goals. To ensure we meet all of our personal, family, business or career goals.

However, the action part must be predicated by the dreaming and planning part, otherwise it is like a boat without a rudder. Every business and stage of life is different. Some require much longer lead times for the planning part. For example:

•    Consider the retail business for a moment. The time for planning to have the right quantity and type of inventory on shelves for this Christmas season is a piece of history. Even for Spring 2011, the planning is well advanced or completed and production is started by now. Regardless of all the emphasis on “just in time” fulfillment it is essential to have the dreaming and planning part figured out many seasons ahead!

•    Consider the new home or condo development industry. Builders and developers work way ahead on land acquisition and community planning. They can work a bit closer to the present on the roll out of their marketing plan and sales launch, but that as well is months in advance of the construction phase.  Once again the dreaming and planning piece must be done well in advance or the ability to grow and achieve the “big picture” just won’t happen.

•    Consider entrepreneurial businesses and the importance of their advance planning. The need for excellent communication with their customers or potential customers is critical. Constant attention to identifying means of differentiating themselves from their competitors. A defined program, often called a Signature System that customers easily relate to, recall and appreciate for its added value. Entrepreneurs must be well prepared to provide the service or product components, on a timely basis, if they expect to prosper and achieve the dream they have for their future. Being well prepared requires attention to planning and the building of a “right sized” infrastructure.

•    Consider elements of our personal life that require constant planning and attention. One that is so important is the plan for retirement. This cannot be left to chance or there will be significant disappointments when quality of life is compromised in later years.

In every aspect of life, our ability to make life what we want it to be is dependant on our dreams and then the attention we put into making and executing the plan for achieving them.

Don’t wait until January 1st to define your *PLAN* for 2011. Start now!