Friday, December 29, 2017

How to Protect Your Money From the New Tax Code

Many people know they should track their spending and create a budget or spending plan but don’t want to.  The thought of knowing how much money you actually owe, how much money you earn and how much money you actually spend each month is terrifying.  If you create a budget you will quickly see how you spend your money.  You won’t be able to hide it or run from it any longer.  If you know, other people may know too, yes those other people are your creditors who continue to call asking for a payment. Learn more at
Many people are fearful of creating a budget and have good intentions by creating one but don’t stick to it.  To stick to creating a budget you have to view a budget as a tool to help you.  You are the only one who has to see your budget.  Many people today live paycheck to paycheck and are in mounds of debt, in some cases because they didn’t create a budget or didn’t stick to it.

If you know how much you earn, how much money you owe and how much money you spend you can change the direction of your life.  A budget helps you if you have an unexpected expense and when an economic change occurs such as tax code change. In 2017 the country experienced several fires, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes some in areas that were not expected.  If you did not have homeowner’s insurance to cover the damages that is example of unexpected expense. 

Create a budget by writing down everything you spend money on each week or during each month and subtract your income.  If the result is less than 10% of your monthly income you need to make some adjustments to your spending.  A balanced budget consists of: 15% transportation, 15% debt, 10% savings, 35% housing and 25% other expenses. 

Create an emergency fund to cover your total monthly expenses for 9-12 months.  Creating a budget will help you to reduce spending and prevent you from using credit cards to pay for purchases.  Use credit cards for emergencies only.

Develop financial goals when creating your budget. Financial goals provide motivation for you to work towards reaching that goal and provides a sense of accomplishment when the goal is met. Some examples of financial goals are: pay off a credit card, buy a home, start a business, take a vacation, etc.  Here are 6 ways to create a budget and stick to it.

  1. Take accountability. Take accountability for your actions, don’t blame others for your current situation.  Learn how to be flexible and adjust to changes in your life.
  2. Use pen and paper, use a software tool like Quicken or Microsoft Money or use the envelope method.  Once you visually see where you are spending your money it will make it easier to reduce spending.
  3. Create goals. Write down a list of at least 5 financial goals. If you cannot achieve any or can only achieve 1 or 2 of your financial goals you need to make some changes in your spending habits. Write down a list of all of your debts.  Develop an action plan and beside each debt write down steps on how you can pay the debt off: reduce spending, use coupons, use money savings tips, earn extra income, etc.
  4. Pay off small bills first. Pay down any small bills and debt first.  Once all your small bills have been paid off start tackling the larger bills. Setup payment plans for bills you cannot pay off in full. Be sure the account balances are updated on your credit report.
  5. Support network. Surround yourself with at least three people who are doing better financially and gain financial advice from them.
  6. Seek professional help. Consult a financial coach, financial planner or advisor to help you create a budget or spending plan and provide recommendations to help you stay on track.
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Friday, December 22, 2017

Start 2018 Off Right


Transform Your Life Forever In Just a Couple of Hours

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Do These 3 Things in 2018:

1) Regularly contribute to a savings account
2) Regularly contribute to a retirement account
3) Pay off debt

Here’s why.

Approximately 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Your neighbor who already owes over $10,000 in debt. Your friend has less than $2,000 in savings.

You are not alone.

Most Americans have not saved enough or owe too much debt and may never achieve financial freedom. You may ask why? Because they don’t know how. You can start late and still achieve financial freedom — but you need a strategy.

My book contains the plan. It provides my personal financial challenges and victories. It’s easy to read, inspirational, and is based on proven financial strategies. Achieving financial freedom cannot be accomplished overnight. It took time to get to this point and it will take time to get past this point. It will take hard work. But you can do it. Just like I did!

I’ve helped thousands of clients get their finances in order — and I can help you too. You only have to spend a few hours with me to achieve your goals. Give me the chance to become your financial coach.

It’s never too late to get out of debt and achieve financial freedom. All you have to do is just take the first step with this book.

Learn more at

Saturday, December 16, 2017

6 Super Tips to Ensure a Smooth Open Enrollment

For those currently employed, you can make changes now during your employers Open Enrollment. The ACA open enrollment period ends on 12/15/2017 in states that use the website. Some states have different enrollment periods. Check the guidelines in your state for enrollment dates. Health insurance plans will be effective January 1st. Hurricane Irma and Harvey victims can enroll until 12/31/2017.

As always you can make open enrollment changes when a qualifying event occurs such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child or adoption, loss of health coverage, moving to a different state, or becoming a U.S. citizen. Alaskans and Native Americans and can enroll year-round.  Applicants who are eligible for Medicaid can also enroll year-round. Here are x steps to health make open enrollment a smooth process.

All plans cover doctors’ visits and services, inpatient and outpatient care, prescriptions, mental health services, pre-existing conditions, pregnancy and childbirth, dental coverage for children and preventive services. Insurance plans cannot reject you, refuse to pay for basic services or charge more for service prior to the start of coverage. Once enrolled in a plan, you cannot be denied coverage. 

Verify all of your health information is accurate. If you have benefits that will no longer be paid, ask your health plan provider if you can pay for the services using a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account.

Children up to age 26 can be added to their parent's health insurance plans and be considered qualified dependents for a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account.

Reimbursement from a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account for over-the-counter medications and drug purchases requires a doctor's prescription.

During Open Enrollment you should also sign up for dental, vision, and life insurance benefits. Learn the different between the main health insurance plans such as Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), and Point-of-Service (POS) plans.

Comparison shop during Open Enrollment season and consider the cost of the plan including but not limited to: the monthly cost of each plan, deductibles, services provided and prescriptions costs. Coverage should also be based on what you can afford and what is best for your family.