Archive for the ‘responsibility’ Category

$1million by 2012: dream it, plan it, live it
October 13, 2007

So it’s time to take ownership & aim big.

I remember once being fearless in the face of challenges and dreams — going after them was the fun rush of life. Then on the financial front – I learned how much it costs to retire, to retire with decent health care protection, to raise children and their education, to run one’s own business, and more …. my momentum to achieve sobered-up.

Why is that? Maybe it’s just looking at too much at once -vs- one step at a time. Maybe it’s taking one’s self too seriously. Maybe dreams were too high with resources & energy too low. Is it even possible to have dreams too high?

…a mix of all likely but here’s the sitch: family members need our help. They’d never, ever ask for financial support. But bottom line, their situations are precarious & their means too small to evoke stability on their own. My judgment could be off but after reviewing all up, down, and sideways my husband and I agree taking action helps more than fretting.

And results just don’t fall from the sky. So can we realistically help? yes. Can we preserve our basic needs & personal savings plan too? yes. So is it time for a plan?

Yes and here it is:

$1million by 2012 (that’s $1million in overall paper value vs net).

It makes my stomach tight writing this out, tight as in nervous. But Jonny Goldstein just published his big dream. And his resolve and zeal are contagious.

So here it is:

Summary of Intent:

We are millionaires by 2012. By that year, we will have built our financial wealth to at least $1million through dedicated & united partnership to include: multiple income streams, property ownership in secondary cities, tax control, & wealth protection. Our love of life motivates this intent – and our family, whom we most dearly want to help.

It’s posted at our desks.

…along with the plan, the numbers, the benchmarks, a list of mentors (…need to contact them), & somewhere deep down is something that feels like resolve.

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beckoning budgets & cursing like a turk
September 24, 2007

Yikes it was a tough call — listening to that inner budgetary voice vs the call to wander lust.

For a few weeks, I planned on going with Sean to Istanbul and producing a few live Web shows like Jonny Goldstein does each week.

Yet the truth is, we already savored Hawaii this summer – an opportunity brought about through Sean’s work as well. My expenses for that were out of pocket too, like Istanbul would’ve been.

I’m not sure what tipped the final call not to go…except going to Istanbul felt like it would undermine this year’s financial goals. And the husband doesn’t need the wife going everywhere with ’em, eh?!

Ah but we’ve tested the Web cams for live overseas chats during his trip!

More from:
Get Rich Slowly offers an encouraging post on living debt-free (…a key reason why Istanbul was let go; wow could I sound more pathetic?!);

negotiation tactics & feeling strange: haggling down your credit card rate
September 18, 2007

I called two weeks ago to request our credit card rate be reduced; they complied with a one percentage point reduction.

I’m torn on this whole issue. Because for the sake of true blue ownership — I knew the terms of this card and used it anyway, fully aware. Yet at the same time, my husband and I have been steady customers/consumers for years. I’d like to lean on our long term customer relationship with this company and re-negotiate, again, a better rate.

I’d rather my husband and I not apply for another card since it dings one’s credit report. Our available credit-to-debt ratio is reasonably healthy as well; this single VISA is our sole credit card with a balance (and the only one we utilize in emergencies).

By golly I’m knockin’ on their door again and will relay results.

More from:
CNNMoney just celebrated their 35th year; they released sound wisdom on improving one’s credit score plus included effective tips on negotiating lower credit card rates, assessing your salary is on-par with industry, & claiming tax exemptions to avoid overpayment to the Fed.

new book … rich and thin: slim down, shrink debt, & turn calories into cash
September 6, 2007

I’ve only read excerpts from this book, plus a book review by Michelle Singletary.

Singletary cites major statistics on obesity within the book’s context: better eating means good news for your health physically & financially.

It’s a familiar theory. But Singletary describes a financial tool from the book called the Money Calorie Counter. How many calories annually to you ingest from sassy coffee drinks? And how much could you gain in savings by not buying that designer caffeine?

I’d like to read more on how Rich and Thin authors Deborah McNaughton & Melinda Weinstein address these questions.

Thanks to poet & pal Mary Fumento for the tip.

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marital money mantra #3: giving gifts is not a license to be financially irresponsible
August 30, 2007

Oh the irony of having vision with blurred discernment.

Mmmmmaybe that’s one of my top embarrassing fiscal decisions considering two things:
1) My ego thinks she’s fiscally disciplined;
2) In that same week I barked at my husband for over-spending.

Yup I’m rolling in imperfection! Dang if that mantra isn’t worth repeating and recycling over and over again in one’s marriage, partnership, whichever.

So for all our benefit, here ’tis again:

Holy Smokes(!)…giving gifts is not a license to be fiscally irresponsible.

More from:
The GiveWell Blog, an interesting blog that takes the gift-giving discussion to a community scale. They evaluate non-profits to gauge the appropriateness of their use of funding, including financial gifts from the average Joe. GiveWell also reviews the effectiveness of a non-profit’s service. That seems a prickly albeit relevant undertaking.

qotd: clint on confidence
August 10, 2007

Without sounding like a pseudointellectual dipshit, it’s my responsibility to be true to myself. If it works for me, it’s right.

–clint eastwood

new videoblog, new reality: bringing business home
August 9, 2007

After years in sales and managing teams, I hit ‘the wall’ — that black hole thick fatigue which demands a life change.

Change I say, change!

My husband happens to love his work and agreed his wife needed to change situations. So I resigned last year as sales manager for an HR firm, plunging into online video production. Why? It’s a fun part of Web 2.0 and really just fun period.

Then after some video projects, collaborations, and client work I lost focus big time. Video was still fun but I wasn’t renewing momentum. Was I bored? procrastinating? or my favorite self-esteem ripping comment — just lazy?

It turns out my interests in business planning were crying out to my deaf ear. And it took me a long time to finally listen. I stepped back and observed the life with my husband: we were emotionally awesome yet the remainder of our partnership looked imbalanced e.g. clutter at home, no living will, neither of us knew how to cook or invested the time in learning, and why did that retirement account still look empty despite us philosophically supporting savings, retirement plans, etc?

After answering these questions more directly (…wasn’t pretty learning how much we sank on eating out), I knew that more urgent than learning how to be an expert video tech was learning how to balance my (our) home situation. Our future would have little options without this direction.

With a few months under the belt of analyzing what needs to be done & taking action, it’s clear my liberal arts degree and experience in sales have awesome challenges ahead. It’s really, really a blast.

Asset Management. Communications. Stewardship. Negotiation. Networking. Cooking (yes it’s fun, necessary-duh!, and a preserver of the bottom line). Retirement savings. Retirement savings for parents.

This egotistical-feminist-video-producer has had her reality check of what a strong home life is — and is not.

That’s what this blog is about.