Friday, April 20, 2012

29) The Burden of Wealth

t's so tough to manage money.  Forget that you have to earn it, now what do you do?  It's easy to spend it, but you worked so hard to earn it, are you sure you just want to piddle it away?  So many people resent the way they have to earn their money; it's a shame to have to also resent managing it.

            Managing your money means having to count it.

Did you collect the correct amount (paychecks, invoicing, reimbursements, refunds, rebates)?  Where do you keep your records?  Do you reconcile?  Do you save 5-20% of it?  Do you budget & plan what you spend?  Do you manage the timing of when money comes in and goes out (cash flow)?   Do you manage your taxes, investing, and credit, and appropriately insure against loss?
            People hate preparing their taxes, they dislike having to pay bills, they resent the bank paying so little interest, they don't understand the stock market, they have disdain for life insurance, and they’re scared of credit balances.  Not to mention the challenges related to bankruptcy, disability, divorce, entrepreneurship, estate planning, and unemployment.

            Even when you think it's going to be fun (e.g. buying new things, raises, bonuses, Inheritances, lottery winnings), it can become so difficult that people avoid dealing with it.  Then you find bonuses are cut in half due to taxes, you're laid off right after you moved and bought a big home, or you spend your lottery winnings down to where you were within five years of winning it.

If another is involved, it can cause fights, ends of friendships, and divorce.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

            Managing money may not be easy, but anything worth having is worth working for (e.g. a home you can call your own, nice clothes, nice things, vacations, college, retirement).  People can learn other languages, and other alphabets including shorthand, music, computer, math and science; they can learn how to operate technology, but they are often blocked when it comes to money.  Often, the stage is set during childhood.  But you're a grown-up now, and it's time to take responsibility for your own finances.

            Learning makes it easier, if not palatable and, even fun and rewarding.  Learning is the first step.  There are many resources out there.  And Simons Financial Network is producing short videos for our website (

            After you learn a little about how money works, and acquire some skills (like driving a car), it’s almost time to start driving - but you should know where you’re going (i.e. goal setting).  And it helps to have a plan (i.e. map).  And it’s prudent and smart to make sure the tank is filled, the engine is working well, and the tires are inflated.  Then it’s time to actually drive.

You can delegate managing your money - pay someone to help you or to do parts of it for you.  That's why there are financial planners, accountants, attorneys, stockbroker, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents out there.  Financial Planners tend to cover the broad spectrum of these fields.

            However, delegate, don't abdicate the responsibility; it's your money.  And it's foolish to not stay involved.

            Jesus Saves, Moses invests; what do you do?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

28) Iditarod

oal-Setting.  Bruce Mitchell is a family man.  Bruce Mitchell is an athlete.  Bruce Mitchell has Diabetes.

He runs the Iditarod, “The Last Great Race on Earth®”.  The Alaskan, two week, 975-mile dog sled race starts in Anchorage, and ends at the Bering Sea in Nome (where the Welcome sign reads, “There's No Place like Nome”).

            In 2008, he ran it in under 12 days.  That was his goal, and it put him in the top half (46 out of 96) of the diverse group of male and female Mushers.  Day and night, snow, and steady 8-9° F temperatures.  He had to care for his own health and that of his 12+ dogs.
            As of 2008, in the 15 years that he's had Diabetes, he has run 14 marathons, 3 Iron Man Triathlons, and 2 Iditarods.

            He does it to demonstrate his belief that a disease does not have to confine you from pursuing a goal so long as you have the ability to dream.

            Bruce Mitchell isn't asking kids to run an Iditarod, just to set goals and dream.

            What are your goals and dreams?