Hope for your financial life and beyond

Want to Chase Your Dreams? This Is the Right Way to Win Big

I hope you have some big goals you are trying to reach. Setting the right type of goals is key for personal and professional growth. But have you adequately prepared for what is ahead as you chase your dreams?

Our family faced a situation several years ago when my wife was facing a professional identity crisis. She enjoyed teaching math to high school students and was quite good at it. Although she loved the students, teaching wasn’t leaving her personally and professionally fulfilled.

So we began to discuss a big goal for her – making a career change that would take her from classroom math teacher to CPA. Those initial discussions were exciting. But, they were also filled with some indecision, apprehension and a little fear about how to accomplish the task.

chase your dreamsThe point here isn’t to be a discouragement as you chase your dreams. By all means, find your passion and go for it. However, many people have a tendency to jump before they think. That’s a mistake. You have to plan for the drawbacks and unforeseen situations that will arise as you chase your dream. The better you can prepare for those ahead of time, the easier they will be to deal with when they come.

We faced our share of issues during my wife’s transition. The great thing is we dealt with them and she eventually reached her goal.

Could it have gone smoother? Absolutely! That’s why I’m sharing five hints today from our experience that I hope will help you chase your dreams and reach that goal. You have to think these things through ahead of time and know how to deal with them if you want to win big.

[Read more…]

The Government Won’t Solve Your Money Problems

In case you didn’t know, tomorrow is a mid-term election day in the U.S. If you live here I really don’t understand how you could not know it’s a voting day given the emphasis placed on it by the news media and advertising groups for months now. It should be interesting given the frustration many people in both parties are having with functioning of the current government.

Capitol Hill Everyone has their reasoning for why they chose to vote or choose not to vote. That reasoning can easily turn elections to one side or the other. In the past presidential election, we now know that 4 million conservatives stayed home, choosing not to vote. That groundswell of opposition and apathy towards their candidate followed by their subsequent inaction when it came to voting turned the election for the incumbent.

Whatever your political persuasion, I hope your beliefs are deep enough that money isn’t the only consideration when it comes to choosing an elected official. Too often voters only vote with their wallet, casting a ballot for the candidate they think will improve the economy, thus making their financial life better off than it currently is. I’m not saying the issue of improving the economy should be ignored. We just can’t base our entire decision on that one factor.

Money isn’t everything.

The Government and Your Money Problems

[Read more…]

Why I’m So Excited to Spend Money Again on Cable TV

cable TV

I revealed last week in “The Fear of Spending Once the Debt Is Gone” that my wife and I haven’t begun to wildly spend now that we have paid off all of our debt. It was a relief to know the discipline that drove us to pay off our mortgage early has continued to define our post-debt lives. We have no inclination to spend, spend, spend now that more money is available in our monthly budget

In all honestly though, we have loosened the reins on our spending a little bit.

We’ve brought back cable TV!

What? That’s blasphemy in the frugally-minded personal finance world. Cutting cable TV is always the first expenditure to go in those “10 Ways to Save Money and Pay Off Debt” posts. I’ve surely even said that before myself.

If cable TV is the first thing to cut, why can’t it be the first thing to bring back? Seems logical to me.

Needless to say everyone in the house is thrilled with this decision.

Short Term Cable TV Sacrifice For Long Term Gain

[Read more…]

4 Ways to Punch Through the Scary Questions at the Start

ID-10083769Do you long to finish what you start?

Finishing is huge for our psyche. It wows and gives us confidence. It releases pressure and tension when we finally reach our goal. Finishing creates momentum and catapults us forward to even greater things.

But we don’t start at the finish…we start at the start; and the start can be a very confusing place to be. Remember what it was like in those moments when the dream was birthed in your mind? Wasn’t it exciting and scary all at the same time…and full of questions?

Can I do this?

Where do I begin?

Do I have adequate knowledge for this?

Who out there can help me?

What if I mess something up?

And the most paralyzing question of all – What will other people think?

Unfortunately, the answers we give stop us dead in our tracks. We don’t move beyond the initial stages of exploration because of fear, uncertainty and doubt. Our dream is brought to a screeching halt before it ever begins.

[Read more…]

What’s More Valuable: Short or Long Term Goals?

long term goalsWe usher in October tomorrow which means that 2013 is rapidly coming to an end. Remember all those New Year’s resolutions you swore would be accomplished this year? How did those short and long term goals pan out?

Most likely you accomplished some and dropped some. That’s the norm for most of us. I’ve been able to finish two short term goals and two long term goals so far this year. I postponed one to be completed in 2014. The only long term goals I have left for this year concerns my running.

Goals give us targets to shoot for and assist us in moving forward in life areas that we feel need improvement. When they are written properly, they serve to keep us focused and motivated. When accomplished, they give us an incredible boost of confidence and spur us on to create greater ones. I love the feeling of winning with my goals.

Bringing my goals into the public eye this year via this blog has been an interesting experience. It’s helped me develop a clearer understanding of goals and their importance in my life. Most notably, I’ve realized the need to establish a balance between goals that can be accomplished quick and those that will take some more time. Both types have value, bringing unique things into my life.

The Value of Short Term Goals

[Read more…]

I’m at the Top of the Hill…Should I Go On?

Hilly RoadI’ve been running consistently now for almost two years. In that time, I have learned that runners face many mental and physical challenges. From the everyday muscle aches and pains, to the mental exhaustion of a four-hour marathon, to getting yourself out of bed for that 30-degree winter morning run, there is much to overcome.

The obstacles we runners may despise the most are hills. I don’t mean gradual inclines in the road or the gentle rolling hills you can fairly manage. I’m talking about the long, steep, crush-your-pace kind of hills that make your heart feel like it’s going to pound out of your chest as you climb to the peak. These are brutal especially when multiple ones are strung together in a short distance. Up and down, up and down, peak then valley, peak then valley…ugh!

I’ve had a lot of experience running hills because they surround me where I live. I’m actually thankful because by running them, I have been better prepared on race day. During all my training though, I have found this to be true – it’s both exciting and intimidating at the top of a hill.

[Read more…]

What My First 50 Blog Posts Taught Me About Myself

shakespeare bloggingOn July 3, 2012 I started writing this blog. It’s taken six months of part time posting to reach this, my 50th blog article. So in honor of this personal milestone, I am writing a two-part series on what my experience has taught me thus far about myself and what it has taught me about blogging.

So, for part one – 50 blog posts have taught me these things about myself:

[Read more…]

Have a Dream? You’ll Have to Change This

Daily schedules can be an exhausting grind. We wake up, hit the morning home routine and life doesn’t stop all day…kids to school…rush hour traffic…(some of you are worn out already)…hectic, mentally draining work-day…kid pickup from school…rush hour II…quick dinner…county rec-league sports practice…evening projects…10 minutes (maybe) talking to your spouse…your favorite late night show…repeat again tomorrow.

But wait, I missed a step in the daily schedule…a step that is crucial to us being able to “repeat again tomorrow.” Our bodies can’t do without it and, if truth be told, it is something we all look forward to everyday.

[Read more…]