Achieving Financial Success

 

Make Money Work for You

Dollars can be loyal servants that help make you more comfortable, keep your valued possessions repaired, get you the things you want, and open exciting new opportunities. Money provides security, furnishes health care, gives you more free time, and aids you in reaching your goals. It can do this for you, members of your family, and anyone else you wish.

 

Planning and Thinking Time

Your WINNER Personal Success Organizer gives you the tools to reach any goals you desire. Although you may take some specific time to work on your financial success, it is important to use your regular Planning and Thinking Time to keep it going. In a way, your financial success will largely depend on those fifteen minutes each day.

 

Stop Money From Biting Holes Out of Your Life

If you are not financially successful, money can turn against you and become your master. It can harshly grab away the hard earned dollars you obtained from your own labor, and cause you great worry and distress. It can prevent you from reaching your goals, and can stop you from enjoying much of what you want out of life.

 

Get Motivated for Success 

Your first step to financial success is desire. A good place to start is by reading George S. Clason's The Richest Man in Babylon. This little, easy-to-read book is one of the greatest inspirational books on the subject of thrift, successful financial planning, and building personal wealth. The whole family will enjoy the stories of ancient Babylonia that teach the timeless principles upon which all financial success is based. It will certainly increase each person's motivation to be successful in this important area of life. 

 

Your Career/Financial Values & Goals

You need to decide what financial success means to you, and have a clear understanding of your short and long term financial goals. Complete the Career/Financial Values and Goals pages in your WINNER Personal Success Organizer, then use the Goal Planner Sheets to organize your efforts toward those goals. This should include long-term career objectives.  The Program Section of your WINNER can be used to help you learn the information, concepts, and skills you need. Explore and develop your talents by using the Talents/Hobbies/Interests Section. The Education Section can be used to get the most out of school or any classes you might be taking.

 

Industry and Frugality

Increasing your income and getting more from the money you spend are two important roads to financial success. Place two To-Do Lists in the Finance Section of your WINNER. Title the first one: Increasing Income. Use it to list actions that would increase your income. This could include taking courses to advance your career, increasing your work efficiency, working more hours or getting a raise, getting more return on your investments, etc. Write in target dates for those actions you decide to take. The second To-Do List should be titled: Decreasing Expenses. Some examples include: preventive maintenance to have things last longer, using coupons to save on groceries, not wasting food, buying things on sale or in quantity, saving on gasoline by combining trips, doing some repairs yourself, implementing conservation measures to save on utility bills, saving on taxes, etc.

 

The way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both .... He that gets all he can honestly, and saves all he gets (necessary expenses excepted) will certainly become rich.  (Benjamin Franklin)

 

Habit Planners

Any habits that lead to financial success can be made part of your life by using the Habit Planner Sheets found in your WINNER. You probably know one or more habits that would make you more financially successful. You will learn others on your road to financial success. A few examples are: avoiding expensive impulse items when shopping, turning down the thermostat at night, turning off the television when not being watched, running the dishwasher only when full, monitoring your spending, and keeping your checkbook balanced. 

 

Project Planners

Use your WINNER Project Planner Sheets to help get projects completed that make a financial difference. Organize your refrigerator and cupboards, set up a place on your desk to do your bookkeeping, prepare an automobile maintenance schedule, evaluate investments to see if they offer the best returns, explore new job opportunities, update your resume. 

 

Set Up Special Financial Accounts

 

 

Account Descriptions and Purposes:

1. Income Management Account

(high interest checking)

 

Deposit in this account all income received. From this account, you will disburse money to the accounts described below.

2. Golden Goose Account

(high interest savings/investment)

 

Always transfer 10% of all money that goes into your Income Management Account into your Golden Goose Account. Money from this high interest savings account may also be directed into other high yield investments. This is part of the Richest Man in Babylon's secret for financial success: 10% of everything I earn is mine to keep. This money will be put to work to earn still more money.    Do this every month without fail, regardless of the amount you earn.  Consider income to be composed of two parts: (1) you at work, and (2) your money at work.  Your total income will vastly increase if you can accumulate dollars to work for you. Dollars multiply rapidly using the power of compound interest.

 

At 11% interest $1,000 becomes $2,000 in seven years, $4,000 in fourteen years, $8,000 in twenty-one years. If you put $4,000 a year into your Golden Goose Account at 12% interest, it would grow to almost 2.5 million dollars in 37 years.  At that point, your money could earn $296,481.36 every year by itself.

 

Your chance of becoming a millionaire by winning the Lottery is less than one out of a million. Your chance of becoming a millionaire by putting your dollars to work is almost guaranteed.

 

Remember that Money is of a prolific generating Nature.  Money can beget Money, and its Offspring can beget more, and so on.  He that kills a breeding Sow, destroys all her offspring to the thousandth Generation.  He that murders a Crown (money), destroys all it might have produced ....(Benjamin Franklin)

 

Think of each dollar as a Golden Goose. Would you kill the goose to get the golden egg?  If you do, it will no longer be around to produce more golden eggs.  The secret of accumulating wealth is 10% of all I earn is mine to keep.

 

On the other hand, what happens when you habitually spend more than you earn?  Debt makes the power of compound interest work against you. You have to pay for the use of other people's money. Other people accumulate wealth at your expense. Credit card interest can be from 18 to 21%. With that interest rate, you can lose an amount equivalent to all you owe about every four years. For example, if you owe $20,000, and don't pay it off, in four years the interest expense could total another $20,000. You would then owe $40,000. Four years after that it would grow to $80,000. This is your money going down the drain. 

 

That's a difference of over two and a half million dollars without changing your job or salary! What would that much money buy? If you bought everything listed below, you would still have one million dollars left:

            

Large 4,000 sq.ft. mansion w/ view and swimming pool ($750,000)

Vacation home in the mountains ($100,000)

Deluxe motor home ($60,000)

Four-year college education at a top university ($60,000)

New fire engine red Mercedes automobile ($50,000)

New Cadillac automobile ($30,000)

Jewelry ($10,000)

Wardrobe ($2,500)

Jet Ski Boat & water skis ($25,000)

Ten travel trips to different parts of world ($35,000)

One thousand $50 dinners at desirable restaurants ($50,000)

Full time maid/cook for 20 years at $400 a week ($416,000)

 

Keep this thought in mind, your money could earn more for you than you might earn from your own labor. A few minutes a day with your Winner Personal Success Organizer can make the difference.

3. Monthly Spending Account

(low or no cost checking)

 

Develop a monthly budget using your Monthly Spending Planner. Include only items that come up each month. You will use your Periodic Spending Account for items that only come up at certain times of the year. Each month you will transfer from your Income Management Account to your Monthly Spending Account the amount needed to cover your monthly budget. Use the Financial Record Sheets as your check register. Write Monthly at the top. It would be well to use Financial Record Sheets even for cash spending. For example, you might take out $200 cash.  This acts like a petty cash account. Deduct it from your Monthly Spending Account, but take another Financial Record Sheet and title it Cash. Write $200 as the starting balance, and for each transaction write in the amount and the budget category. All expenditures should be categorized according to your Monthly Spending Planner. At the end of the month, add the checks for each category. Compare totals with your intended budget. You now have control over your spending. It is your plan, so it should reflect your values and how you want to spend your money. The plan is self-adjusting. Next month you could increase certain categories and reduce others as you see fit.

4. Periodic  Spending Account

(interest bearing checking)

 

Use your Periodic Spending Planner to determine the amount you need to save each month to cover expenses and purchases that arise during the year. Write any periodic expenses (ones that do not come up monthly), such as insurance, property taxes, etc. on your Periodic Spending Planner. This includes estimated expenses, such as car repairs, vacations, Christmas and birthday presents, and desired large item purchases (e.g., furniture, paint for the house,...). Try to be as complete as possible, adding as things come up. Your program is self-adjusting, and with time becomes increasingly accurate. At each step, you are financially in control. If property taxes of $2,400 will become due in December, write Property Taxes on a new line under Expenses, then go over to the December column and write $2,400 in the shaded top half of that space, leaving the bottom half to record the amount you will need to put in each month to accumulate it.  If it is due in six months, you will need to place $400 into this account each month. Write $400 in each monthly space from July through December.

The total amount needed for all other periodic spending is determined in this same way. Some expenses or purchases will need to be estimated. Make your best judgments and adjust your plans as needed.  It is easy to determine how much money to put into your periodic account each month. Total the amounts in each month's column, making sure not to include amounts in the shaded portions. Each month, transfer the appropriate amount from your Income Management Account to your Periodic Spending Account. When items become due, and planned times for purchases arrive, you will have the money in your Periodic Spending Account to pay for them. You are in control.

5. Dream or Specific Goal Account

(high interest savings/investment)

 

Although you will schedule most purchases on your Periodic Spending Planner, you may decide to establish a Dream or Specific Goals Account for larger purchases that may take more than a year to save for. Make contributions to it each month from your Income Management Account. Use a Goal Planner Sheet to identify what you want to achieve, and the steps to get it.

 

Priority Matrix

Spending decisions should be based on your values. Each time you spend money on one thing, you are making a decision not to spend it on something else. You need, then, to look at your spending as a whole. Use the Priority Matrix Sheets included in your packet to list what you would like to spend money on during the coming year. This is the same matrix used in your Day Pages Section to set priorities on use of time. Desires are limitless, and need boundaries.  Having your desires listed and sorted according to priorities enables you to make good financial decisions.