Strategies for Building Wealth

Many people don’t realize that strategies for building wealth actually requires you to build up your life mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. The words “health” and “wealth” actually come from the same root, which means “wholeness” in the sense of being complete. When we do things to make our lives wealthier, we should also be doing things to make our lives healthier.

Surely, to attract wealth we have to be in business in some way, shape, or form. If we aren’t doing some kind of work, we aren’t attracting wealth.

Attract Wealth by Working

It’s necessary to do some sort of work in order to attract wealth. This is even true of those who are financially independent. Granted, financially wealthy people don’t need to work on anybody else’s clock, but don’t be fooled, they’re still overseeing to ensure that work gets done.

Also remember that people don’t get wealthy overnight. Yes, there are your lucky lottery winners who wake up rich after buying a single ticket, but more often than not, wealth is earned by hard work. Patience is just as important as charting your progress toward wealth. If your current job isn’t meeting your needs to reaching financial freedom, then take action and look for a job that will pay you more.

Attract Wealth Spiritually

Wealth is energy, and energy by its nature must flow. The independently wealthy people who keep money working for them are creating, maintaining, and growing an energy flow, and that is a spiritual endeavor. Another spiritual principle for wealth creation that is widely recognized amongst those who are financially successful is tithing, which isn’t necessarily tied to any religion.

Tithing is a principle that instructs a person to give away at least 10% of his money whether it’s weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually to noble causes that have nothing to do with seeking profit. These causes are supposed to be things such as charities and philanthropic projects.

Those who are financially successful say that what you give away returns to you in greater measure. So when they do noble things with their money, they not only benefit others, but they benefit themselves, because that spiritual energy returns to them and brings them even more wealth than they give out. It’s an endless and beneficial cycle.

Take a look around your neighborhood for non-profit causes to support. Local schools, libraries, places of worship, park and recreation departments, or children’s organizations are all deserving of your support.

Attract Wealth with Positive Thinking

Mentally, we attract wealth by creating a positive mental state where we fully understand and believe that we deserve to be wealthy. Once we have created this positive image in our minds, we must have a clear vision of what our lives will be like when we are wealthy. What will we be doing with our time? Where will we live? What things will we do? What will we give to others?

Emotionally, we create within ourselves an attitude of gratitude. Having an attitude of gratitude (even for wealth that we don’t actually have yet) charges up our wealth attraction magnet and helps to bring about that which we know is coming to us.

Top 10 Differences Between Successful and Unsuccessful People

Have you ever wondered what makes your most successful friend so successful? What about your least successful friend? What’s their problem? What’s the difference between those that thrive and those that struggle?

There are several differences, and they’re quite obvious if one takes the time to look.

If you understand the differences, you can examine your own situation and gain insight into why you might not be as successful as you’d like to be.

See how successful people do things differently than unsuccessful people:

  1. Their lives are defined by their goals. Unsuccessful people’s lives are defined by their fears. Most people live their life in a way that avoids their fears. Successful people make decisions based on accomplishing their goals, not avoiding their fears.

  2. They apply their time toward long-term objectives. Unsuccessful people are motivated by day-to-day concerns. The average person is only concerned with making it through the next week. Successful people take action each day that will provide benefits months, years, or decades in the future.

  3. They seek success. Unsuccessful people seek comfort and base their decisions accordingly. A successful person moves toward success, whether the route is comfortable or not.

  4. They take responsibility. Unsuccessful people have an endless list of excuses for their mediocrity. Successful people assume responsibility for everything that goes wrong in their lives. When you take responsibility, you have the power to change your situation. Blaming others is a form of powerlessness.

  5. They continuously improve their results. A successful person wants to be better than they were yesterday. Average people maintain average results and are satisfied with this level of performance.

  6. They read books. Unsuccessful people gravitate toward TV and other non-value-added forms of entertainment. Reading the right books is one of the most effective ways of boosting your knowledge. Would you rather learn something new or waste your time?

  7. They are comfortable with failure. Successful people might not like failure, but they can deal with it. Average people avoid failure at all costs. This is similar to the previous point on fear. An inability to deal with the fear of failure is one of the things that makes unsuccessful people unsuccessful.

  8. They have a plan for the day. It’s not possible to get the most from each day unless you have a plan for it. Average people wake up and let the day decide for them what might happen. If you don’t plan your day, you’re avoiding success.

  9. They surround themselves with the right people. Successful people spend time with others that help them to become better. This could be a mentor, someone they could potentially do business deals with, or simply someone they believe has the right connections.

  10. They have positive, effective habits. Good brushing and flossing habits lead to healthy teeth. Good exercise and diet habits lead to health and fitness. Good success habits lead to high levels of success. What do your habits lead you towards?

As you can see, there are clear-cut differences between successful and unsuccessful people. How many of these items can you identify with? What changes would you like to make?

Which one you decide to be is up to you. Are you committed to progress or comfort? Do you have a plan for your time that maximizes your effectiveness, or do you like to fly by the seat of your pants?

The choice between success and mediocrity is up to you.

The 7 Most Important Things for Achieving Goals

Everyone has heard of goals and the power of goals to shape your future. But most people don’t have a good understanding of how to achieve goals. Consequently, most never even set goals.

Understanding what it takes to achieve a goal will greatly enhance your odds of success.

Consider these ideas:

  1. A proper goal. Most people don’t have goals to begin with. Those that do have goals often have goals that are ineffective. You can’t achieve a goal without having a goal.
    • Meaningful. Avoid setting goals that don’t excite you. What’s the point? It’s easier to achieve a goal that you find motivating.
    • A clear conclusion. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? Be specific and have a way of measuring your progress.
    • A deadline. Goals never seem to be accomplished without a deadline attached. You can keep waiting for “tomorrow” to get started if you don’t have a deadline to meet. Then, that “tomorrow” never comes.

  2. Visualization. Goals are more likely to be achieved if you regularly visualize yourself being successful. Imagine what it will be like when you meet your goal. The inability to picture the achievement of your goal suggests that you don’t believe you can do it.

  3. Affirmations. Affirm that you’re the type of person that can achieve your goal. Think of the attributes you need to have to be successful. Write several affirmations that support those attributes and use them daily. Recite them to yourself at least three times each day, preferably aloud.

  4. The right information. Imagine you have a goal of playing a difficult piece of music on the piano, but you believe the best way to do that is to do 1,000 push-ups each day. You might have a great goal and be super motivated, but you don’t have a clue how to achieve your goal. You need the right knowledge.

  5. Action. There’s a great appeal to the idea of making your wishes known to the universe and then just relaxing until some mystical force delivers what you want. However, action is also necessary to bring about a real change. Figure out what you need to do and do it.

  6. The ability to deal with discomfort. Pursuing any significant goal will create discomfort. There’s no way around it. It’s necessary to learn how to minimize that discomfort as much as possible and be able to deal with whatever remains.
    • Discomfort can come in many forms. It might be the fear of failure. It might be some actual failure. It could be the discomfort of making cold calls and dealing with rejection. It might be the discomfort of learning something you’ve never done before.
    • Perhaps giving up your favorite distractions so you have time to work on your goal creates discomfort.
    • Whatever your reason for discomfort in pursuing your goal, it’s important to discover ways you can overcome it.

  7. Perseverance. Goals can take time. Big goals take more time. Add in a little failure and a little discomfort, and suddenly quitting can be appealing. You can’t achieve a goal if you quit before it’s accomplished. Perseverance is one of the most important traits anyone can possess.

There are many things you can do to make achieving your goals more likely. All of the items in this list are useful characteristics and tactics for a wide variety of life situations. Whether you’re trying to follow a diet or make a million dollars, these items are helpful.

Include these seven things and your results will be greatly enhanced and come more quickly.

How to Set and Achieve Fulfilling Personal Financial Goals

One of the most important keys to living a fulfilling life is to know where you’re going. Having goals that motivate you, excite you, and push you forward can help you get the most out of yourself and experience a life that’s worth living.

This is especially true for your finances. If your financial life is in order and you’re headed toward accomplishing financial goals that support your greatest values and dreams, you’ll be happier and more self-confident as a result.

Use these tips to begin setting fulfilling personal financial goals today:

  1. Brainstorm without editing. Grab a pen and paper, and sit in a room where you won’t be disturbed for about 20 to 30 minutes. As fast as you can, write down as many financial dreams and goals as you can. Allow your thoughts to flow freely onto the paper without editing or judging them. The time for that will come later.
    • As you brainstorm the possibilities, think about the financial difficulties that frustrate you and the financial dreams that you’ve been afraid to pursue. Think about what you’d do or dream if it were impossible for you to fail.
    • As you brainstorm ideas, think about every area of your life. Would you like to be free? Own your own home? Become financially independent? Help out a loved one that has a big financial need? Supply money for college for your children? The possibilities are endless.

  2. Prioritize your list. After about 30 minutes, you should have a page or two full of possibilities for your list of financial goals. Once you do, begin to think about which of these goals is most important to you. Which ones bring you peace inside? Which ones excite you the most? Those are the ones to put at the top of your list.

  3. Write down all the challenges that stand in your way. After you’ve chosen about 3 to 5 financial goals that excite you, create a new page for each one. Write the goal at the top of the page. Then, list all the reasons you think you can’t achieve this goal. Write down all the challenges that stand in your way.
    • Your list of obstacles will provide you with concrete next steps that will quickly banish your fear of failure. Come back to this list later and ask yourself how you can overcome each of these challenges. Who can help you? What resources do you need? What information do you lack? What next steps need to be taken?
    • Instead of denying that there are challenges on the road to any worthwhile goal, meet those challenges head on by thinking through them in advance. When you do, nothing will stop you from reaching the financial goals you set.

  4. Create an emergency fund first. One of the simplest ways to dramatically increase your sense of excitement, peace, and joy in life is to be prepared for when things go wrong financially. An emergency fund of one month’s income frees you from much of the financial stress you’re currently feeling.
    • Once you save enough money for your emergency fund, commit to only using this money in the case of real emergencies. This fund ensures the train to your financial dreams stays on track. You’ll be surprised how much of your day is spent worrying about finances. This is banished with your emergency fund.

  5. Focus on action steps. The end result of your exciting financial goals should drive you to keep putting one foot forward. But it can also hinder you from progress by making you feel overwhelmed. Instead, focus on one step at a time until you reach the financial destiny you were born to live.

Finances are a source of stress for many people. However, if you put these tips into practice, your financial situation will be different. Instead of chasing your tail and feeling like you’ll never get ahead, you’ll be excited about the future and about the peace of mind that comes with a healthy financial life.

Rent or Own? In This Economy, Which Housing Option is Best for My Family?

There are both advantages and disadvantages to owning a home when you consider the economy. The best way to determine whether you should rent or buy is to consider the pros and cons of both positions, then see how they relate to your current home situation.

Although it may seem preferable to buy a home because of the security that it offers, there are costs associated with home ownership that may not be ideal for you at this time. You must consider all aspects of both renting and buying before you arrive at a decision, and know that these pros and cons may change over time as well.

Here are some considerations to make when deciding to buy or rent:

  1. Owning a home isn’t always a good investment. Avoid buying a home as an investment vehicle to turn a quick profit. While some real estate investors make a lot of money, many do not, particularly in a down economy. It’s generally better to buy a home if you want to stay in it for a while.
    • Buy a home as part of your family’s plans for settling into a place of your own.

  2. Homeownership requires a down payment. A substantial down payment is typically required for most borrowers looking to secure a mortgage loan. If squirreling this much money away is difficult, you may be better off keeping an emergency fund or investing the money, rather than buying a home.

  3. Mortgages include interest payments. Although mortgage interest is deductible in some situations, this is not always the case. If your interest payments, along with your other deductions, aren’t higher than the standard deduction on your tax return, there’s no tax benefit to paying mortgage interest.

  4. Homeowners are responsible for repairs. As a homeowner, you must make repairs yourself or turn to a professional serviceman. There’s no landlord to contact for repairs. You’ll also be responsible for the day-to-day upkeep and maintenance costs as well.

  5. Homeowners have additional insurance requirements. While you’re making payments on your mortgage, you must pay for homeowner’s insurance. Even if you’ve already paid for your home, you should still obtain this valuable insurance to protect your most important asset.
    • Renter’s insurance is less expensive than homeowner’s insurance.
  6. Renting doesn’t earn equity. By paying rent monthly, you’re not building up any worth in the property, but the owner of the property is. Renting has no investment value at all, unless you’re saving money by renting that you can invest in other investment vehicles like IRAs and mutual funds.

  7. Homeownership does offer benefits. Home ownership provides your family with a sense of community, pride, and family security. You can design, decorate, and improve upon your home however you like without worrying about landlords, lease agreements and the potential for lease termination.

  8. Renters can save money. As a renter, you don’t have to pay homeowner’s association fees, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance fees, and maintenance charges. Renters can save significant money in comparison to buying, which can be put toward other investments and purposes like keeping an emergency fund.

There are definitely benefits and drawbacks to both of these positions, renting or buying. It’s important to weigh all of these pros and cons before making a decision. Your best housing solution depends on your individual family and financial situation.

Choosing wisely based on your own needs will enable you to live more comfortably, secure in the knowledge that you’re doing what’s best for you and your family.

7 Things Necessary for Success That Aren’t Taught in School

Schools are great for some things, but not so great for others. You can learn algebra, chemistry, and how to swing from a rope, but how often do you use those skills in your daily life as an adult?

The things that matter the most for success as an adult are never directly taught in school.

Unfortunately, you’re on your own. You’ll have to take control of your own success education.

Practice these skills for success to learn what school never taught you:

  1. Persistence. One of the hallmark attributes of successful people is persistence. Whenever you attempt to do something difficult, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be successful right out of the gate. Persistence is a necessary trait to possess if you’re going to be a highly successful person.

  2. Consistency. Do you maintain the same goals until they’re achieved, or do you keep changing your mind? Can you perform the same boring, but effective, tasks day after day? Can you maintain a positive attitude? How consistent are you with your behavior, beliefs, and goals?

  3. Daily work. Are you doing something every single day to become more successful? You can be amazingly successful with a relatively small amount of work performed each and every day. This can be more effective than doing massive amounts of work irregularly.
    • In school, it’s too easy to wait until the last minute to study or write a paper. Intelligent people can get away with this in school. However, this strategy won’t work in the long term out in the real world no matter how intelligent you might be.

  4. How to deal with discomfort. Your ability to deal with discomfort is one of the best predictors of the level of success you will achieve in the future. Acting in spite of discomfort is what allows you to go to the gym when you don’t feel like it. It allows you to take action when you’d rather do nothing.

  5. How to deal with failure. Life is full of failure. Successful people have an effective strategy for dealing with failure. They learn from failure, improve their approach, and try again. Overcoming failure requires persistence, consistency, and dealing with discomfort.

  6. How to make good decisions. Few of us consistently make great choices. Most of us make choices based on emotion rather than reality. We rarely make the best choice. We simply make a choice that is psychologically comfortable. This goes back to being able to deal with discomfort effectively.

  7. How to think long-term. A long-term perspective is necessary for long-term success. Most of us are too focused on living day-to-day to have a long-term plan. If you spend your time putting out fires each day, you’re never working toward anything over the long haul.

You might have had some failure in school, but no one sat down and told you how to overcome it. You either figured it out yourself or you didn’t. You may have felt uncomfortable in school, but that doesn’t mean you learned how to deal with it effectively.

Surviving isn’t the same as thriving. Take on the responsibility of learning the things that matter in the pursuit of success. No one else is going to do it for you.

Top Job Related Expenses You Can Cut Today

Are job-related expenses draining your paycheck? You can find the sources of the money leaks plug those holes with a few changes to your spending routines.

Try these techniques to save money on your work expenses:

  1. Analyze your commuting costs. How much do you spend each day to get to work? It’s important to consider every step of the way and every penny:
    • If you drive, keep track of the cost of gas and car maintenance. In addition, you may have to pay for tolls along the roads you use. You may also have other fees related to the car such as insurance.
    • If you use public transportation, add up the cost of the tickets.
    • If you walk or ride a bike, think about the cost of shoes and bike maintenance.
    • Examine your commute and search for ways to cut costs. Can you pick roads without tolls? Can you share rides with coworkers and split the cost of gas? Can you find a cheaper public transportation route or buy tickets ahead of time to save money?

  2. Consider your childcare expenses. Do you pay for childcare while you work? How much of your paycheck goes to childcare expenses? Do you pay for a babysitter, school, or daycare center?
    • Shop around for less expensive childcare deals.
    • Consider using a co-op to save money. A co-op allows parents to take care of other people’s children on a set schedule.
    • You may also be able to rearrange your schedule with your spouse, so one of you can take care of the kids after school.

  3. Evaluate your work clothes budget. How much do you spend on your work clothes?
    • You may have to follow strict clothing rules at work, but you can still save money. Shop at discount stores or thrift stores. Search for deals at online clothing stores.
    • You may be able to swap clothes with another professional and you’ll both save money.

  4. Save on lunch expenses. Do you go out to eat every day for lunch? Bringing your own lunch is an easy way to save money, but it’s not always an option.
    • Track your lunch spending and look for ways to cut the costs. Try to select filling meals that cost less than your usual fare.
    • Can you bring your own water bottle to work to save on drinks?

  5. Remember office supply expenses. Does your company make you supply your own phone or other office items? Do you have to provide your own pens or paper?
    • By buying in bulk, you can save money on office supplies. Shop online or at club stores for bigger savings.
    • Search for deals on school supplies prior to the beginning of the new school year. You can also find clearance items at retailers after the big school rush in the fall.
    • You don’t need the fanciest stapler or most elaborate folders. Simpler supplies cost less.
    • Also, you may want to discuss the office supply situation with your employer. Many companies cover these expenses for their office employees or provide the items themselves.

Job-related expenses may be unavoidable, but you can reduce them. By paying attention to your habits at work, you can make changes that result in big savings.

Budding Financial Tycoon: Teaching Your Young Child About Money

Because very few high schools offer courses in personal finance, the challenge of financial education for your children rests squarely on your shoulders. The earlier you start teaching your kids about money, the easier it will be for them to grasp sound financial habits that can serve them well for the rest of their life.

Children lack two things adults have in abundance: experience and perspective.

Teaching your children about money doesn’t require you to have a perfect track record. Your mistakes can actually serve as an example of why a certain habit or strategy doesn’t work.

Consider these ideas to start educating your children on money matters:

  1. What is money? Children quickly learn mom and dad use money to buy stuff, but they usually lack the understanding of where that money comes from.
    • It can be helpful to give them an example of bartering. Explain that long ago, a person might have traded a horse for a cow. But having money allows someone to buy a cow, even if that person doesn’t want a horse in exchange.
    • Discuss with your children about how people have jobs and work so they can earn money to pay for a house, car, clothing, entertainment, and other expenses.
    • Make the point that money is a medium of exchange. You have likely exchanged a certain number of hours of your time to earn $100. You then spend that $100 on goods or services worth $100.
    • Show them all the different types of money, including coins, and explain the values.
  2. Let them earn money. This is the best way to show them how money works. Let’s dispel the misconception that money magically appears from the ATM. Give your children small jobs to do in exchange for money. Explain to them how your family earns money.

  3. Goods and services are exchanged for money. Explain to your child that money is exchanged for value, and that value is either a good or a service.
    • Give some examples of goods. Furniture, toys, games, and food are some examples of goods. Ask them to name a few more.
    • Also give examples of services. Your state pays teachers for providing a service. Paying someone to paint your house is another type of service. A doctor also provides a service to his patients.
    • Explain that money isn’t normally just given to an adult. Money must be earned by providing a service through some type of job.
  4. Needs vs. wants. It can be helpful to explain to your child the difference between needs and wants. Give them a list of each. Make a game out of it. See whether they can guess whether an item is a need or a want.
    • Some examples of some needs include food, water, clothes, home, and heat.
    • Wants would be toys, eating out at a restaurant, magazines, and owning a television. These are items a child can relate to.
    • Explain that needs always come first and sometimes there isn’t enough money to buy everything you might want. Sometimes you have to choose.

  5. Open a savings account in your child’s name. Most banks have special savings accounts for children with minimal fees or none at all.
    • Discuss with your child why people keep their money in banks.
    • Explain how interest works. Encourage your child to continue building their savings account so they can earn more interest.
    • Go over the monthly statements with your child so they have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the process.

Teaching a young child about money is a great first step to ensuring a life with minimal financial worries in adulthood. Most financial issues can be avoided by having good habits and an appreciation for money. Teaching your child about finances is one of the best things you can do for them.

8 Things to Consider When Renting Out Your Home

Have you ever found yourself in the undesirable position of owning two homes when you only wanted one? Undoubtedly you considered the prospect of renting your home to someone else. Renting is a common practice. Most of the time, it occurs with a minimal amount of fuss, but there can be challenges and potential pitfalls.

  1. Determine what you’ll charge for rent. Call on properties similar to your own to determine the going rental rate for your home’s size, condition, and neighborhood. That way you can settle on an amount that covers your needs but doesn’t price you out of the market.

  2. Acquire rental property insurance. This is different from the insurance you carry when you’re living in the home yourself. Contact your insurance agent.

  3. Spend the time to find a good tenant. A good tenant makes every other step this process practically unnecessary. Ensure your tenant has a job, decent credit score, and good rental history.

  4. Have your tenant sign a lease. The local real estate investment club is probably the best place to find a good lease. Your local club is comprised of seasoned real estate investors, and they’ve seen it all. The next best option is to find a local real estate attorney.

  5. Get a deposit. A tenant wants to get their deposit back. It also protects you should something break, the carpet is ruined, or the rent check never arrives.

  6. Require your renters to carry renter’s insurance. Your rental property insurance policy will not cover the belongings of your tenants. If they have renters insurance, they’re much less likely to sue you if something should go wrong.

  7. Understand the eviction process in your state. Real estate laws are very state specific. Be sure you know what’s involved in getting a tenant out of your property should the need arise.

  8. Consider a property management company. If you’re out of town or can’t stand the idea of dealing with a tenant, a property management company will collect the rent and handle minor emergencies and repairs.

Taking care of these 8 items will go a long way towards making the rental process as painless as possible. Get the help and advice you need to ensure you have a successful experience.

Engarde Financial Group is positioned to educate and serve its clients with other insurance coverages.

We understand that your personal items that you possess are of significance to you. Here at EFG we look at every situation differently. When it comes to your needs there is no such thing as one size fits all. Speak to a insurance professional today so that we can design a policy to cover all the things you love.

Life Insurance: 10 Steps to Getting the Coverage You Need

  1. Do you already have coverage? If yes, go over your current policy to assess how much coverage you already have. Dropping an existing policy and replacing it with a new one can be costly.

  2. Figure out how much coverage you need. Ideally, you should purchase enough coverage to replace your income. You may want additional coverage for expenses such as your children’s education or repaying a mortgage. If you need more insurance, consider adding more coverage to an existing policy first.

  3. Go over your other assets before purchasing life insurance. In the event of your death, your family could benefit from an existing pension plan or other assets.

  4. Do you need term insurance or a policy that builds cash value? Term insurance is usually more affordable at first, valid for a pre-determined amount of time, and can usually be renewed. Cash value policies have higher premiums but you have the possibility of borrowing against your policy or taking payouts in some cases.

  5. Make a list of the factors that could have a negative impact on your premiums. This could include a pre-existing health condition or dangerous job. Think about applying for a no-exam policy if you believe you won’t qualify for affordable premiums.

  6. Do your research. Select a company that has an excellent reputation, offers affordable policies and great customer service, and has been around for years. You can check the ratings published by A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s to select a reliable insurance provider.

  7. Shop around for quotes and compare different types of coverage. You can do this online or through your insurance agent.

  8. Ensure the premiums are affordable for you. Find out what would happen if you were to miss some payments. Most insurance providers will cancel your policies if you miss a certain number of payments.

  9. Take the time to carefully read the policy you’re interested in before purchasing it. Have someone else go over the policy with you if you need clarification of any part.

  10. Review your needs on a regular basis and adjust your coverage as needed.

Engarde Financial Group is positioned to educate and serve its clients with other insurance coverages.

We understand that your personal items that you possess are of significance to you. Here at EFG we look at every situation differently. When it comes to your needs there is no such thing as one size fits all. Speak to a insurance professional today so that we can design a policy to cover all the things you love.