Finding Perfect Financial Picture

My good friend Dewitt Jones, who was instrumental in helping me set the course for my book, You Should Only Have to Get Rich Once, just recently spoke at an event in Chicago. If you have not seen Dewitt speak, it is something I highly recommend. As a former photographer for National Geographic for over 30 years, he always has something interesting to say.

In the hundreds of events he has spoken at, one question, one frustrating question keeps coming up over and over again: “How many good pictures do you get out of one roll of film?”

He would quickly respond that they were asking the wrong question (if only life were so simple). Instead, he would ask them, how many rolls of film would you use, how early would you get up, how long would you sit in the rain, what are you willing to commit to get that one picture? The perfect image rarely happens on cue and it is never easy. He was an exceptional photographer because he was not afraid to take thousands of pictures. He was searching for the perfect image and just kept taking pictures until it appeared in the viewfinder. Because, in the end, the only question that matters is “Did you get it”?

Finding Perfect Financial Picture

Financial planning can take a lesson from the pursuit of the perfect photograph. If you wait for the perfect situation and perfect ending, you will fail. Trial and error is a necessary component for success. You cannot script good things to happen. You can only create the right process, right thinking and a willingness to keep trying. Every failure is an opportunity.

It is my belief and one that success often involves failure. Fail often and you will find success. Just make sure that each failure is measurable because if you over commit to one situation and fail, you don’t get to fail again which means you won’t succeed. Life seldom works out as we plan and financial planning is no exception. Markets and investments have ups and downs and successful weathering those ebbs and flows requires the ability to continually learn from failure and be willing to keep trying.

As you set out to create your ideal financial picture, remember that the amount success you achieve is often directly proportional to how much you are willing to put into achieving your goals.The average National Geographic article has about 30 pictures. Dewitt would take 40,000 pictures to find those right answers. After all, a roll of film is cheap relative to the reward.


Manage Your Loans with Personal Financial Management

There are sometimes certain situations in life when you have no other option then to opt for a loan. For example, a sudden hospitalization of a family member or college admission fee of your daughter. But taking a loan is not the problem since there are a number of institutions and organizations that would happily lend you money for any purpose. The problem is repaying the loan in time that creates an issue. If you are able to manage your personal finances well and repay the loan on time, then again there would be no problem at all. But if you cannot manage your personal finances to repay your loan on time, you would have to face the consequences. The very first consequence would be facing the debt collection agencies and then dealing with your credit rating report.

Personal Financial Management

To avoid falling into this trap of loan, the first thing that you can do is save. Every month make it a point to save, even if it is a meager amount. Save on petrol consumption, save on bills, save on grocery shopping and so on. And this bit by bit saving on small things would ensure that you have quite an amount of saving at the end of the month. Thus saving like this would help you in two ways, firstly you might not have to take a loan ever if you can combat a financial crisis with your own saved money and secondly, even if you have to take a loan, you can repay it within the time limit with the help of this saved money. Hence you see saving is a part of good personal financial planning that would not only prove to be a cushion when you are faced with a financial crunch but is also kind of a security against any odd situations.

But even after giving up all your savings, you cannot repay a loan do not worry as there are other ways too. The first thing you should do once you feel you will not be able to repay a loan is to be honest with your lender and discuss about your situation openly. If time is all you need to repay your loan then ask for it. But if you think you will not be able to repay your loan even if you are given extra time then you can go for loan consolidation, if you have more than one loan to repay. By going for loan consolidation you would probably end up paying more money in the long run since the interest would be more but presently the amount of money you need to repay would decrease considerably. Hence plan your loans like you plan your personal finances.

Money Management on a Tight Budget

Leading your life on a tight budget and trying your level best to save some money for the future might actually be a hard task for you. There are a lot of people, who will tell you to start investing for securing your future needs, but none of them would show you the right path.
The good news is that, the amount you can save for meeting your future needs does not depend upon your income. It is all about figuring out some unique ways for cutting short the expenditure habits.
You just need to follow these simple but amazing ways, which would create opportunities for you to indulge in the process of savings.
Tips for Managing Money on a Tight Budget

Spending Cuts:

One of the most effective ways for making your future secured is to cut short all your unnecessary expenditure habits. Some people who are already on a tight budget often fall into the trap of believing that they are already limiting themselves to the strict necessities, but if they can get a look at the big picture, their beliefs may start to shift. Organize all your monthly bills properly for detecting your spending habit on your favorite cup of coffee.
Once you have a complete idea about your expenditure habits, you can proceed on making some changes in your daily expenses. The task of money management needs a little creativity from your part. Cutting all the entertainment cost is one of the most important things for everyone to follow. Think about availing the public transport facility for saving some extra money on your fuel cost. You can also try to pack a lunch whenever possible, and carefully plan your meals for the week, and you can save a lot on food bills.
Finally, don’t start picking things from sales as instead of saving some money, it would end up in making you spend a lot on unnecessary items.

Build an Emergency Fund:

Think about having an emergency fund for managing some unexpected situation in life. In spite of providing you with a low interest rate, these accounts are also well known for getting an easy access, when you are in need. These accounts are efficient enough for saving you from taking a loan.

Debt Reduction:

Eliminating debt is a huge step when you are trying to build up your savings, and the first thing most people will tell you is to pay off your credit card debt every month or to live without them if it is possible. If you are really failing to save some money at the end of a month, then think about using your credit cards only for some important occasions. The first thing you should do here is, start paying all your debts for creating some future opportunities to save money.
In spite of using credit cards on a regular basis for funding all your basic needs, think about using cash for paying all your important needs. If you will use all your monthly income behind clearing all the debts, then it would become simply impossible for you to stick to your financial goal.

Expenditures Behind Gift Items:

As the festive season is knocking at our door, we need to think about preparing ourselves for meeting with quite a huge expense. Choosing gifts for your loved ones is not at all an easy job as the gift has to be both classy and impressive at the same time. Finding such a gift at a pocket friendly budget can become next to impossible.
On the other hand, opt for giving them some hand-made gifts with your personal touch. Whatever the occasion is, giving a hand-made gift to your dear ones will definitely create a magical moment. You can get the idea of making some unique gifts from the popular online sites. All these gift items might include- a scrapbook, a painting or some knitted stuff.

Look to the Future:

Money management on a modest income is really all about prioritization. As you start to build up the big picture of financial income and expenditures, you can start to see what it will take to live within your means. This is the perfect opportunity for you to grab, where you can start saving for your future requirements. The task of money management can become fruitful, if you have a plan of sticking to your monthly budget.

Buy Second Hand Items:

Think about getting hold of the secondhand items, instead of picking the new ones. The money you will save from your unnecessary shopping will take you a step forward towards reaching your financial goal sooner. For an example- instead of buying new clothes, you can make your old ones look trendy by pairing them with different attires.

Final Words

When you are leading a life with limited funds, it is quite natural for you to get frustrated. However, with the help of these above mentioned tips it would be easier for you to prevent all your bad habits of spending behind useless items. Focusing on other essential things in life like saving for the future should be your sole aim in life.

Financial Management Tips for Small Business Owners

Some people wait for the New Year to fix their finances. Well, the truth is that you don’t need to wait for January to get things done. Although we are quite at the start of the year, why not begin our discussion with a few basic financial management tips for businessmen?
With the dynamics of the economy and industry competition, it has become quite a stressful and tedious task for businessmen to handle their finances. Right from controlling and tracking to regulating and managing personal and professional finances, businessmen anyway have quite the load on their head. Taking care of their own finances becomes a second thought gradually, which may or may not lead to a huge downfall for small and large businessmen alike.
Financial Management Tips
Not all business owners are well-versed and adept at handling their own finances. While most professional finances can be managed, personal financial management can be quite a tricky situation on its own.
Without any drag, here are some helpful tips on how you, as a businessman, can manage your finances well.

# Tip 1 – Always plan ahead

You should plan ahead. Measure your success in your business. This is something you should know because failure to do so will not lead you to your expectations. You won’t even know if you already have reached your goal. Making a clear and understandable business plan will let you know where you are and the direction you are going depending on your time span.
It is always good to plan things. Plan stuff for your present and future to already anticipate and be aware of what lies ahead of you. This will help you to prepare in case of any downfalls or shortcomings your way. A healthy, sound and strong business plan which not only your counterparts but you as a business owner are completely aware and in support of will definitely take you miles ahead, keeping you financially strong and sound.

# Tip 2 – Be Aware of your financial position

It’s good to know your position financially. It’s good that you monitor your business progress regularly. In fact, it’s good if you do this on a daily basis. It’s important that you know how much money you have in your bank, the sales you are making and the level of your stocks. Every month, compare this position and compare it to your targets in your business plan.
Always stay aware of your financial situation. Sometimes, things may look brilliant on the outside but you’ll never know what’s harming your finances and how. Keep monitoring your bank accounts and other financial records to give yourself the periodical reminder that everything is going well with you, at least with the finances.

# Tip 3 – Learn the value of money

You should learn the importance of cash. It’s good to have profit but even huge companies can stop functioning if they don’t have enough cash to burn on daily costs like rents and wages. It’s good to know the minimum needs of your business to make it through and make sure you don’t go below this.
Even if you are a business owner and own all the luxuries possible in your life, always remember to take care of the money that you have earned and saved with a lot of hard work. Learn the importance of money and be aware of the areas and lifestyles that your money allows you to live in.

# Tip 4 – Don’t miss out on your taxes

Always meet tax deadlines. Failure to pay your taxes on due dates will really cost a lot for your business as you will suffer from fines and interests on those fines. However, if you meet these things, you can actually avoid unnecessary costs. Just plan it ahead and you will do really fine.
Do not ever think that you can get away without paying your taxes. As an ethical businessman and a true citizen of your nation and state, it is your duty to pay taxes, if not legally. Apart from this, failure to pay and file for your taxes may lead to major legal issues, which will put your business in jeopardy. Thus, irrespective of whatever you do, always remember to file for personal and professional taxes and abide by their payment always.

# Tip 5 – Request assistance whenever needed

Don’t be an ostrich. Do you know what these animals do? They bury their heads in the ground. If you think for a single minute that your company or your business is undergoing certain financial crisis, don’t ever ignore it. If you can’t solve this for yourself, you need to seek the help of finance experts. Don’t let your pride go up in your head and ask advice as soon as possible. Immediate solutions can stop impending problems. So, don’t wait until it’s too late.
There are more complex ways than the above, but it should still be adequate enough to help you, as businessmen, take care of your finances. Financial management for businessmen has always been considered to be a tough and challenging thing to do. However, with a little bit of research, study,and patience, you can keep your personal finances intact and ensure that sustainability of your business at the same time.