The Weekly (Sort Of) Fav 5: Five Great Financial Posts You Should Check Out

Howdy, Money Buddies!

Once again, I’m running a bit tardy on getting out this Weekly Fav 5.  I need to get back on track with this as there is great stuff out there that needs to be shared.

But as I like to say, “Life Happens.”

Without any further mumbo jumbo, here’s 5 more great posts to check out.

 

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The 401K Sunday (Apathy Ends via Rockstar Finance) – During my years as a Texas Educator I didn’t have the opportunity to have a 401K, although my wife did during her time in retail. We took advantage of it, but never gave thought to it the way that’s described in this post.

It’s a very interesting outlook on this investment vehicle. Pretty imaginative, too.

 

One of the best ways to improve your finances is to increase your income. And why not work to increase your income for a job you are already doing? Here are 10 things you can do to increase your salary at work.10 Things You Can Do To Increase Your Salary (Rachel at Young Adult Money via Twitter) – I’ve always said, if you don’t make enough money, figure out a way to make more. Rachel provides 10 solid ideas for increasing making more money at your job.

Sometimes there’s more payoff in doing so, vs a Side Hustle, so check this one out to get some great ideas.

 

 

How One Stock Can Make Your Kids Investing Experts (Liz at Chief Mom Officer via Twitter) – Here’s a great idea from Liz that will help youngsters get an idea about investing in stocks.

As a former teacher, I can see how her choice of individual stocks will be easier to grasp than index funds.

Check it out and see how you can teach your kids about investing in the stock market.

debt snowballHow The Debt Snowball Really Works with Free Tool Included For YOUR Debt Snowball! (Derek at Life and My Finances) – If you’ve followed Dave Ramsey, you’ve heard of the debt snowball. For some it’s the way to get out of debt, for others it’s not.

Want to see if it will work for you? Check out Derek’s post and get his free Debt Snowball Calculator.

Your going to find great info hear, and who doesn’t like free?

 

Fun money activities your kids will love now, that will also help set them up financially for lifeFun Money Activities Your Kids Will Love Now, That Will Also Help Set Them Up Financially For Life (My Family On a Budget) – My folks didn’t teach my sister and I much about finances and I didn’t know enough to teach mine, so I’m all over ways to help youngsters learn how to handle money in a positive way.

Steven, over at My Family on a Budget, featured this guest post by Kirsty Lamont and there are some good ideas here. I really like the part about compounding interest being a double edged sword. Wish I had known this a LONG time ago.

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Five more great posts, full of financial tidbits. What do you think? Do you have a favorite?

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Yes Virginia, Cash Flow Is More Important Than Net Worth

Just yesterday, Amanda Page, Tweeted, “Anyone in the personal finance community actively NOT track their net worth? I’d love to know why/why not. At or DM me.”

I replied, “I don’t actively track Net Worth as I see Positive Cash Flow as something to look at more closely. Postitive or negative networth doesn’t mean much if there isn’t positive cash flow. Positive cash flow makes EVERYTHING better.”

Here’s my thinking.

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Cash Flow

According to Investopedia:

“Cash flow is the net amount of cash and cash-equivalents moving into and out of a business.”

Okay, how’s this business description apply to personal finance? Well, how about this?

According to Schindler:

“Cash flow is money moving in and out of one’s collective accounts.”

It all comes down to income and spending. I’ll talk more about Cash Flow later.

Net Worth

Again according to Investopedia:

“Net worth is the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. Net worth is a concept applicable to individuals and businesses as a key measure of how much an entity is worth.”

I don’t completely agree with this definition as it speaks of assets exceeding liabilities. The word Positive is not included at the beginning of the sentence, as assets exceeding liabilities is indicative of Positive Net Worth.

According to Schindler and others:

“Net worth is the amount by which assets are offset by liabilities.”

Basically, if you have $250,000 in assets such as cash and a home, but owe $200,000 on the home, then you have a Net Worth of $50,000. A positive Net Worth, which is what everyone should shoot for.

On the other hand, if you happen to have a house worth $120,oo0 and still owe $110,000 and you owe $30,000 on a new car, plus $10,000 in credit card debt, then you have a Net Worth of -$30,000. In this situation, you “Are In The Hole,” as your Net Worth is negative.

Cash Flow is More Important Than Net Worth

I’m making a bold statement here, as I’ve never seen any official determination that Cash Flow is more important then Net Worth, but I firmly believe that it is.

“Negative Cash Flow can Destroy Positive Net Worth”

Looking at the two examples above, if you have a Positive Net Worth of $50,000, but don’t have enough money coming in each month to cover the bills, then you have to pull from that $50,000 to cover them.

Do this long enough and you’ll end up depleating the $50,000. Once it’s gone and you still have negative cash flow, you’re going to have to borrow money, or sell things, to make ends meet.

Doing so will put you in the hole, going from Positive Net Worth to Negative Net Worth.

“Positive Cash Flow can destroy Negative Net Worth.”

On the flip side, let’s look at the example of Negative Net Worth of -$30,000. If you have more money coming in each month than you need to pay bills and don’t spend all of the left over, you have money to start throwing at your debt.

Each time payment is applied to the principal, the liability amount goes down. As long as you don’t keep adding debt, your Net Worth starts moving towards the positive side.

As soon as your liabilities are equal to your assets you’ve hit Zero Net Worth, or “Ground Zero” as I refer to it, and you’ve just destroyed your Negative Net Worth.

From there, as long as you don’t add more debt, or increase your assets above your liabilites, you’ll Positive Net Worth

Kick Positive Cash Flow Into Overdrive and Really Grow Your Net Worth

Okay, I mentioned earlier that I strongly believe that Cash Flow is more important than Net Worth, so why am I now talking about really growing your Net Worth? Well, Net Worth gives you and idea of your “Financial Health” at the time that it is calculated.

Positive Net worth is what EVERYONE should strive to achieve. Outside of marrying into, winning, inheriting, or receiving a bunch of money as a gift, the only way to grow Positive Wealth is through Positive Cash flow.

Want to kick your Positive Cash Flow into “Overdrive”? Here’s a “Team of Two” that will help you do it.

Control Spending – The less money that goes out, the more that can be put towards building Positive Net Worth.

Increase Income – Here’s the biggie. Make more money, plain and simple. Get a better paying job. Start a Side Hustle. Invest in avenues that allow your money to make money.

Although Dave Ramsey says, “Cash is King,” my thoughts are “Positive Cash Flow is King.” You can have cash and spend all of it and then you have no more cash.

You have Positive Cash Flow you’ll have more and more money, as long as your liabilites are less than your assets.

I learned a LONG time ago that they only way I was going to dig out of the “Hole” of Negative Net Worth was by having Positive Cash Flow. We went from the negatives to Zero, which I refer to as Ground Zero, and have steadily increased our Positive Net Worth.

You can read more about our story in my guest post at Life and My Finances,
Proof that Anyone Can Retire Early…Even a Middle School Teacher.”

I’d love to share where we are at right now, but I promised that I’d keep many things within our house, and our Net Worth is one of those things.

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So, that’s my take on Cash Flow vs Net Worth. It’s not the only view, so here’s a few more for you to take a look at.

Why Cash Flow is More Important than Net Worth (Investor Junkie) – “When it comes to personal finances, a small business, or a large company, cash flow is generally more important than net worth. If you doubt this, try applying for a loan at a bank. Unless it is an entirely asset-based loan, the bank will only be mildly interested in your net worth, but virtually obsessed with your cash flow.

The reason for this is simple — when you have a loan, repayment comes out of your cash flow, not your net worth.”

Cash Flow – How It Works to Keep Your Business Afloat (The Balance) – “Cash flow is the money that is moving (flowing) in and out of your business in a month. Although it does seem sometimes that cash flow only goes one way – out of the business – it does flow both ways. “

Cash Flow and Net Worth – From Debt to Wealth (Better Business Bureau) – “Keeping track of your budget and credit are important steps in building a strong financial foundation. However, in order to stay out of debt and build wealth, learn to control your cash flow and divert money into assets that build your net worth. “

Net Worth vs. Cash Flow (Bigger Pockets) – ” If you could focus on growing your passive cash flow or your net worth, which would you choose? How you answer this question could greatly influence your future.”

Net Worth vs Cash Flow (One Million and Beyond) – “Unfortunately I believe that I’m like a great many people out there where I don’t pay as close attention to the money going in and out of my account as I should and the net result is I know I’m spending more than I should be and than I have so I float along kind of treading water.”

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There you have it, my view and a handful of others.

So, which do you think is more important, Cash Flow or Net Worth?

Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time, Peace! Shin

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The Weekly (Well, Sort Of) Fav 5: Five Great Financial Posts You Should Check Out

Hey, Money Buddies!!!!

Yeah, I know.

I’m not on track with the Weekly Fav 5.

Thing is, life gets in the way of continuity. Between FinCon, The Harvest Classic Motorcycle Rally, projects at our place, The SnK Wildlife Reserve, and other stuff (Like going to my Heart Doctor), I just haven’t focused on MinT.

Shame, right?

Well, at least Money is not Taboo is not in the Rockstar Finance directory of inactive blogs.

Nope, we’re not in that “esteemed” group.

Uh, oh! Just relialized that I hit the publish not save button! More to come this afternoon!

Okay. Now, back to work on the real live post.

Been seeing a bunch of good stuff, but have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off and have now found time to sit down and put some good stuff together.

Without further Ah-Dew (How ever you spell it), here’s the better late than never Weekly Fav 5.

Maybe I need to start calling them the Sporadic Fav 5. 🙂

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The Only Thing You Need To Invest In To Become Rich – (Money After Graduation via Twitter)

Wow! I wish I had thought of this topic. It’s is awesome.

I’m not going to share anything that might spill the beans on the topic.

NOPE! You’ll have to read it to see why I think it’s such a great post. I’m sure that you’ll see why when you read it. You HAVE to read this one, for shore.

 

Look Mortality in the Eye Without Flinching: Simple Estate Planning (Mrs. BITA of  Bayalis is the Answer via www.physicianonfire.com)

The title hit home with me, as I’m 57, and have lost both my parents, as has my wife. We’ve dealt with and are dealing with estates. We have a pretty complicated net worth and have started working on our plans to tidy up things for our kids.

This is going to be good info for us to pour through, and we thought it would be for you guys. I say we, as my wife, Selena, had a strong say so in this.

Even if you’re younger than us, there’s no reason not to get a head start on things. JS!

 

cookingWhy Cooking is An Essential Skill for Saving Money – (Matt Spillar of Spills Spot via Debt Discipline)

OMG! I saw the feature image and HAD to open the post. Yeah, the title caught my eye to, but the pan of dee-lish-us looking stuff is my kind of porn. My wife and I call it “Food Porn.” It’s what were into.

Okay, back on track. We both LOVE to cook and I’m blessed that my wife doesn’t confine me to the grill and smoker. I love that cooking is looked at as a Skill in this post.

Any way, we learned the concept of saving money by prepping our own foods.

Here’s a great post that backs up our views.

 

Three Sentences that Lead to Wealth – (ESI Money via Rockstar Finance)

I like the word wealth and have, without initially knowing it, work to build it.

I think that my Dad did too, but he never talked to me about money, much less wealth. See why Money is not Taboo came to be?

Any-who, I jumped into this one, as I like lists and it looked interesting.

It is. But it’s more than interesting, it’s educational, providing info that anybody can use to put money away for the future. Definitely one you should check out.

 

PictureHow to Say No When Your Money Says Yes – (Del Shawn Hayes of Hayes Financial Coaching LLC)

Does your money talk to you? Have you ever heard words coming from you wallet or purse?

I have, and I understand what Del Shawn is writing about. I’ve learned to turn a “Deaf Ear” to my wallet.

Now days, I’d rather see cash in my wallet and numbers in my accounts, that see new stuff. Of course, I’m still guilty of buying stuff, but NOT like I used to be.

Del Shawn’s got some great info here. OH!  I had the pleasure of meeting her at FinCon. She’s a LOVELY lady.

 

What Do Monkeys and Money Have in Common – Part 1?What Do Monkeys and Money Have in Common – Part 1? (Shanah Bell of Adaptive Nourishment)

Monkeys. Monkeys are awesome, especially if they are kids, such as Shannah’s two that she writes about and their lessons in learning. 🙂

I wish my folks had done as Shanah and have done with their kids. I wish I had done the same with our kids. Oh well. At least you can learn from her ideas and not follow in my footsteps.

Read on to see what “The Monkey” learned.

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There you have them! Five great posts, just Ooooozing with great info to help you build improve your financial health.

Follow them and your Net Worth will grow and your kids will learn about money.

Winner Winner, Chicken Money in the Bank!

I know, you thought I was going to through that Guy Ferrarri thing out there, didn’t you?

Until next time, hold your loved ones close, including your investments. Well, as close as you can with them in accounts some where.

All the best from Texas! Shin

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My First FinCon, Total Groupie Mode

Wow! Where do I begin.

I’m a little tardy in recapping, but I’ve finally come down from my FinCon high. Yeah, it was that good.

Best thing? My people. I got to hang with like-minded folks who have a passion for sharing financial insight and having fun.

The fun began when I reached out to Steven Goodwin, of My Family on a Budget, as he mentioned that he was going to FinCon. Having Tweeted with him and followed his website, I figured he’d be an okay dude to room with.

My Roomie, Steven with a “Thing” on his head. He did send me a shot we took, but I can’t upload it. Besides, his daughter is cuter than me.

I was SO right. After one phone call we decided that neither was a serial killer and made plans to room together, and it worked out.

Oh, we already have a room lined up for 2018.

I enjoyed making jokes about Steven and I sleeping together. Yep, got some chuckles on that one. Not sure if Steven really appreciated my humor, but he didn’t seem to hold it against me.

Neat thing about Steven, other than him being neat, he’s a coffee lover like I am. I hauled my little coffee maker and some Tree Frog coffees up for him to try out. I think he liked them as he was raving about them and Tweeted a pic of the labled bag I sent home with him.

Tree Frog Coffee at Steven’s house. Yep. I think he likes it.

Anyway, we had a LOT of fun together. Ask him about the Pizza the first evening. Was awesome!!!!

Speaking of the first day. When I first walked into the FinCon hall, coming down the non-functioning escalater, I was treated to the Blazing Colors (Not to be confused with  Blazing Saddles) of Kylie Travers in a flowerdy (yeah, actually a word) high heals, a bright yellow skirt, and a green volunteer shirt. (Shame I didn’t think to snap a picture on my new cell phone.)

Kylie Travers. What a success story in overcoming struggles and motivating others to do the same.

Standing out on the mundane, boring hotel carpet, she shined out like a “Lighthouse” directing us to our destintion. Shame, I didn’t think to pull my newly purchased “Smart Phone” and shoot us a picture. Shame on me.

Anyway, I got the courage up to swing around and compliment her on her outfit. Yep, that got things started. Each day I searched here down to see what she was wearing. You should have seen here in her blue dress and in her Flapper costume. So classy.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There is SO much more to this lovely lady than her attire. She has quite the story, similar to Cara Brookins, in that she escaped an abusive relationship. Kylie did’t build her own house, like Cara, but she did go from homeless mum, to successful business women, as did Cara.

Two wonderfual ladies. I met Kylie at FinCon. I hope to meet Cara some day. Oh, her book Rise: How a House Built a Family is AWESOME! Pretty cool keeping up with her and her family on Twitter and Facebook.

Not long after I met Kylie, I was roaming around and just headed back up the escalator when I spotted a striking brunnette. Our eyes met and and we both paused. I asked, “Are you Paula Pant?”

Such a down to earth Lady. If you didn’t know her back story, you’d never imagine her as the “Financial Rockstar” that she is.

“Why yes, I am,” was her reply. WOW! I got to hug Paula Pant from Afford Anything! I’m such a Groupie. I was carrying on about listening to her and J. Money in their podcasting days. As for J.$, that’s another story.

Anyway, Paula was such a sweet heart to let me go on and on. Through out FinCon I kept bumping into her, so I’m pretty sure that she believed that I was stalking her. 🙂

Paula also was a main speaker and her presentation was awesome. She really has a way of delivering a message.

Definitely looking forward to seeing her in Orlando next year.

 

What an honor to get to meet and hang with J. Money!! Yep, was getting my Groupie Groove on.

Speaking of Financial Rockstars, I got to hang with J. Money of Budgets are Sexy and Rockstar Finance.

What an experience! After having listened to him when he was Podcasting with Paula Pant, and following his sites, as well as tossing Tweets and comments back and forth, it was awesome to share a bear hug and fun with him.

Every time I turned around I saw J. Money and folks that swarmed to visit with him. He seemed to never tire of his status and the attention paid him.

Great guy! FinCon is about learning stuff and networking. The learning stuff was pretty cool, but it is the networking that stands out in my mind.

I can get information off of the InterWeb. Can do some networking there too, but not like walking through the event and striking up conversations with folks.

So many neat people.

Got to meet Courtney and Steve of Think Save Retire dot Com. If you know of them, you know that they travel the countryside pulling an Airstream Trailer. Yep, they don’t have jobs, just financial freedom, in their 30’s.

I knew that I’d like them when Steve posted a pick of his targets shooting out in the desert.

Yep, we hit it off, although I don’t think that they were ready for my “Verbal Regurgitations.” Yep, Schindler Spews. Didn’t scare them off, though, as we hung around off and on and they didn’t dodge me at the costume party.

Two more fantastic folks that I’ve met because of Money is not Taboo.

The list goes on.

Such as Claudia and Garrett of Two Cup House. I didn’t think to pull my phone out, but they dressed up in bull and bear costumes and went as . . Yeah, you’re right, Bull and Bear Markets. Voted best couples’ costumes, rightfully so.

Man, I wish I’d gotten started in my ’30’s like Courtney, Steve, Claudia, and Garrett.

I’d have had SO many more years not working, to pester my wife. 🙂

Better late than never.

Yeah, I was in a small percentage of attendees. Part of the Fantastic in the ’50’s group.

JD, the man behind Get Rich Slowly. You need to check out his story and his website.

So, were do I go from here? I got to meet JD Roth and congratulate him on buying back Get Rich Slowly. It was amazing to have him ask me what Money is not Taboo is all about and say that he totally digs what I’m doing.

Way cool. Yep, Groupie Mode again.

And I can keep on going on and on. I’ll save others for a follow up.

Yeah, I know you’re excited.

If you’re not a reader you should be. I picked up three, free, autographed books at FinCon. Right now I’m reading Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau, whom I had the pleasure of meeting.

My friend, Wes Mailhos shared that he’d gone to the local library and checked out the Art of Non-Conformity. Said it’s a good read, so when I saw that Chris was giving out books, I had to have one.

By the way, Wes retired at 49, but has stayed on as a consultant. Works where ever he can set up his computer.

It’s a great read so far and I’ll do a review on it in the near future, and I’ll share more about FinCon 2017 in a future post.

For now, my fingers are worn out and you’ve probably read enough.

So, until next time, PEACE!

Shin

 

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The Easiest Way to Save Money is By Simply Setting a Goal

Saving money is not an easy task. People talk about saving money constantly. When I hear people complain that they wish they could save more money it always gets me thinking, why can’t these people save more?

One of the most common reasons I’ve noticed people struggle with saving money is they have no goal. A lot of people want to save just to have a savings, but without a specific goal in mind, it is very easy to find an excuse to spend your money elsewhere.

I’m going to breakdown how to set a an attainable goal that will make it much easier to save money.

Step 1: Choose What You Are Saving For

There are various reasons to save money. While you can want to save money just to have it saved, there is generally an underlying reason you want to have money saved. For example, maybe you want to build an emergency savings account that serves as a cushion for that “just-in-case situation.”

Knowing that is the purpose for the funds you are saving helps make it easier to want to save the money. Do you have any bucket list places you want to visit? If so, you’ll want to save up a vacation fund to be able to afford that trip.

Maybe you are saving for a house because you are sick of renting. The most common goal that almost everyone is working towards is saving for retirement, though.

Whatever the case, figuring out whatever it is you want to save for is the first step to putting yourself on the right path to saving money.

Step 2: Establish How Much You Need to Save

The next part of setting your savings goal is figuring out how much you need to save to attain your goal.

To figure this out for our vacation fund, we went through all the motions of booking a trip to Hawaii down to the exact rooms we would like to stay in at the hotel and added that amount to the cost of airfare and estimated how much food, drinks and excursions would cost us. This total number is how much we need saved for our trip to Hawaii.

Apply this same concept to whatever you want to save for. For an emergency fund, figure out how much would make you feel comfortable in an emergency.

For retirement, figure out how much you need to live the type of life you want when you are retired (related post: Why Not Retire at a Dollar Amount Instead of an Age?).

If you’re saving up for a house, determine the budget you have in mind and calculate the down payment needed for you to comfortably afford the house.

Step 3: Determine the Length of Time

The next step, naturally, to determining how long before you need that money. For example, my Hawaii trip will be in the summer of 2018. From the time of this post until then, I have 9 months left to reach my savings goal for the trip (my husband and I have been saving for over a year already).

If you’re saving for a house, figure out when you’d like to have that house by. Maybe you’re saving for a Christmas gift fund, so you need to have the money saved in time to buy presents for loved ones. Maybe you want to have a certain net worth by a specific age. Whatever the case, choose your deadline.

Step 4: Calculate How Much You Needs to Save in Smaller Intervals

I personally like contributing towards my savings goals monthly (except for retirement contributions through work which are taken out of every paycheck), but you can choose any period of time you wish. See the example below:

Cost of trip to Hawaii: $10,000
Length of time money will be saved over: 2 years
Savings intervals: Monthly

$10,000 / 24 months = $416.67 to be saved each month

Step 5: Decide How to Save

My personal favorite method for saving money is to set up automatic transfers to a separate bank account. Online savings accounts have a much better rate than your average commercial checking/savings account at your bank.

I’m personally a huge fan of Ally Bank (whose rate is currently over 1.2%). Automatic transfers are great because the money is taken out of your account without any effort from you once it’s set up.

Other savings methods are linking 2 accounts and transferring the money each month on your own, saving cash and keeping the money mixed in with other savings; however, beware because these methods make it easier to spend the money on something else since it is so easily accessible.

Always remember to reevaluate your goals to make sure you are on track. You can always change how much you are contributing each month or change the frequency of your contributions. It is a good idea to check in frequently in order to make sure you are on target to reach your goal and seeing your progress is always good motivation!

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