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Category Archives: discpline

You Know, I’m All About the Budget

Some people make it a habit to read a chapter of Proverbs at the start of every day.

In “the Message” Bible, it states that the purpose of Proverbs is “to teach people the ropes,” so that we may attain wisdom and discipline and to understand what life means and how to do what is right, just and fair.Epiphany Financial

Proverbs 1:7 is a key verse that encapsulates the book’s overall purpose: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

I personally like the even more direct approach of Proverbs 12:1, which states: “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”

Because I am an educator, Proverbs speaks a language that I value and wish more would embrace. Unfortunately, far too many detest discipline and, thus, shun the wisdom that could lead to their freedom.

When you consider what I do for a living – I help people make the “right” decisions about their money. And, the first “right” decision is to have a budget, yet the vast majority do not take the time and exercise the discipline to do so.

I work with 22 year olds to 72 year olds. I work with people who can save $100 a month to folks who save over $1,000,000 a year, and of the hundreds of clients and families with whom I work, there are less than 10% who came to me with a clearly defined budget of inflows and outflows, and even fewer who updated this document monthly.

Folks, YOU CANNOT EXPECT WHAT YOU DO NOT INSPECT.

And yet everyone wants financial freedom. Everyone articulates a desire to have “more.” Everyone talks about a desire for financial security. But, again, how can you EXPECT to have any of these realities if you do not INSPECT what is real?

Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty. (Proverbs 28:19)

Which leads me to some truths about how money really works in the lives of hard working US citizens: the vast majority do not know how to “think” about a budget, how to actually map it out and keep it current. Furthermore, money is THE hardest topic to discuss which is why it is the #1 stressor. As such, when you combine the challenge of knowing “how” to create and manage a budget with the emotions that surround money, it makes sense that so many people do not have a budget. And even for those folks who tell me they don’t need a budget because they don’t spend more than they make, my experience has been that because they do not truly know what is coming in and going out, they are throwing away money, literally.  

Whatever your situation, working with a professional who is focused on the behaviors and strategies that lead to wealth and security can be the difference between surviving and thriving! Look for someone who understands process over products first! (And, if you want a head start, you can access some budget worksheets on my website by clicking here.)

If you are a person of discipline when it comes to your personal economy; if you seek knowledge and wisdom when it comes to the macro-economic impact of micro-economic movements within your family economic system, contact us so we can help ensure you have the optimum return on EVERY dollar in your system.

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  469.682.8280  www.financialepiphany.com

 

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How Do You Eat An Elephant?

She was pissed!

After almost a year of working with me the amount of money she thought she should have had was not there and she blamed me.

The reason the conversation was especially difficult was that the reason for the lack of funds was not a variable of the guaranteed growth contract she now owned, but because she chose not to transfer monthly savings into the contract like she had planned when we started working together a year earlier. Point being, even with my consistent reminders that she was not tracking to her plan, she did not want to admit that she did not do her part to guarantee her Epiphany Financialfinancial success and she chose to blame me.

However, as a personal trainer, she understood that in order to have the body, the health one wants, s/he must be willing to put in the daily work of exercise and eating right and sticking to the plan the health trainer has laid out. Therefore, eventually she did admit that she actively chose not to listen to her wealth trainer, me, and did not follow the plan we had outlined, but that she would start.

And so it is with establishing goals – sometimes you have to re-start in order to get ahead but you CAN restart.

As such, how are you tracking on the goals you established for yourself this year?....Or should I ask, did you actually write down any goals? If you wrote out your goals, did you share them with someone?

Or, again, do we need to re-start and actually write down some goals?

It’s early March. There are about nine months left in the year. Restart if you need to.

After all, how do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

If you had planned to get started on establishing a budget or you had meant to roll over that old 401K or you are eager to set up your child’s education fund but you have yet to make any progress towards the financial goals you have in mind, write them down now and then contact me so we can discuss the best way to actually achieve the specifics in a reasonable time frame that will guarantee you the results you want.

Epiphany Financial is a wealth education company established to ensure individuals, families and businesses get the most efficient use of their money so that you can focus on that which really matters: faith, family and community.

As Much As I Can Get

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“Middle class falls short on retirement funds” was the title of an article in Reuters recently. Because I work with “average” families every day in my business, mostly small business owners, I know that the advice people get is not advice at all but opinions and a hope and a prayer.

I was a client of these advisors for about 15 years until I couldn’t stand my own ignorance anymore and I started educating myself.  As such, I never ask the question which all advisors, regardless of firm, asked me, “How much do you think you will need in the future?”

How am I supposed to know how much I will need?! Isn’t that why I am coming to you Mr. Advisor?!

Unfortunately, as the article points out, what the average American thinks she will need is far too little.

Thus, the only correct answer that should come from your mouth when you are asked, “How much do you think you will need in the future?” is “As much as I can get!”

If that sounds greedy or selfish then I submit that to speak differently is true selfishness because if God chooses to bless you with the ability to earn an income, then you have the responsibility to use His talents to earn more. (Read Matthew 25)

The article goes on to explain that most people will not have enough in retirement because they “have their heads in the sand in the face of obvious savings deficits.” How is it that we judge others for their ignorance, their lack of education, when we do not seek knowledge for ourselves? If you will not take the time to educate yourself about your money, who will? 

The writer points out that while individuals recognize the need to get educated, they are not willing to pay for advice. Does that mean people won’t take the time to buy books and read? Or does that mean people are not willing to give money to someone they barely know so that person can tell them information they barely understand?

I agree. Why would you pay someone for advice that you are not even sure is going to work? What sort of guarantees can the advisor offer? Any?! 

Don’t pay someone to advise you. If the advisor is worth his or her salt, she will offer you a strategy that you can understand and you will implement. It is from the products within the strategy from which she will get paid. We all make a commission. Some of us charge you for our time because it gives the illusion that we are important but the truth is, if I am teaching you to operate in a capitalist society, then I should behave like a capitalist and capitalists do not get paid until we add value.

Oh, wait a minute…. we are still operating in a capitalist society, aren’t we?

The article points out the majority of people expect someone else to help them. They expect the government to help via social security benefits and other tax payer funded welfare programs and they expect their current employers to educate them about how to manage their money.

What’s wrong with us?! Have we strayed so far down the socialist path that we have forgotten that NO one is guaranteed anything? NO one is entitled to anything. What’s wrong with working hard for your money and saving it?

People, wake up. You HAVE to invest TIME into your own education. You have to READ! Turn the TV off and start reading. If you don’t know what books to start with, click on my resources tab and choose from a great list.

Finally, please know that the millionaires of this country are NOT the most “intelligent.” Having true wealth is not that complicated but, alas, those of us in the financial services industry have worked so hard to impress you with our credentials and all the “big” clients we serve, that we have left you feeling like maybe wealth is for someone else. But I say, why not you?

Families of sustainable wealth start because someone at some time decided to do things differently. Why not you?

To your success,

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Does your financial plan maximize what you have today without undermining your tomorrow? Are you willing to learn about processes and systems rather than products and quick fixes? I am here to help guide and instruct you, no matter what level you’re at.