Mind Over Money

How To Make A New Years Resolution That Works

Every year people make new resolutions that they hope to accomplish for the next year. Most probably won’t keep it. There are many reasons why but it’s usually for lack of actually wanted to complete it. Here are 3 steps to make a resolution and how to keep it.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”

~William Hutchinson Murray

Stay in reality

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”  ~Philip K. Dick

If the goal is to make a million dollars by the end of next year, it’s probably not going to happen unless you win the lottery. If you want that goal then by all means try it but make sure you complete the next step before you make it your final resolution.

It is good to push yourself so that you change but make it somewhat achievable. For instance you could say I want to make 20% more that I did this year or save 20% more. You could even say I want to make a budget and stick to it every month.

Make plans to succeed

“He who fails to plan, plans to fail”

~Proverb

How are you going to achieve your resolution? Saying what you want to accomplish is one thing, but planning how you’re going to do it is what will make or break your resolution. Break down your final goal into small monthly goals. That will help bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

For instance, If you want to make 20% more than you did last year, that could be $10,000. That equals $833 each month you would have to make extra. Then you brainstorm different things you could do for that amount. Perhaps a second job, or selling some items. Just come up with as many things, even unfeasible things, and then go through them and find what will work. That’s your plan and that will help you succeed.

Become accountable

“Accountability breeds response-ability.”

~Stephen R. Covey

You can do all that, but tell no one, so that way if you fail then no one will know. Yea that’s the easy way but that’s not going to change your life, tell someone what you’re going to do. Maybe they’ll even want to join you. But the point is to bring someone on that can hold you accountable for what you want for your life. A loved one or friend is preferable but if you don’t want to as them, then give me a try and sign up for my free monthly accountability emails, where’ I’ll keep you going month after month and we can motivate each other  to complete our resolutions.

The point of a resolution is to change something in your life because you’re not happy with what you’re currently doing in that area. Keep this resolution and you will have a new life you are happy with. It’s time to finally take a leap. JUMP!!

Are you going to take the leap this year?

Business

Customer communication protocols

People running businesses sometimes fail to understand how inter-personal skills and business etiquette can help or hinder the acquisition and retention of customers.

Why?

Dealing with some types of business problem is relatively easy. 

Obtaining capital injections can typically be achieved through people such as www.wongaforbusiness.com and it’s always possible to take business development advice from centres such as your local chamber of commerce or even the government’s own websites.

Yet business protocols are less frequently discussed – sometimes with potentially disastrous results. 

So, here are a few basic business courtesy tips that it might be advisable to adopt:

  1. stay polite but formal with customers unless you have worked with them for a long time.  That means avoiding immediately starting to use forenames. In fact, you should normally ask the customer if they mind you calling them by their forename before doing so; 
  2. be cautious with humour.  Unless you know the other party well, it is easy to offend or be entirely misunderstood; 
  3. switch your mobile phone off when you are dealing with a customer.  Nothing infuriates people more than when you keep checking your mobile and pushing buttons while they are trying to talk to you about business matters; 
  4. dress smartly.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is old-fashioned. Looking as if you have just come straight off of a demolition site when dealing with customers is hardly likely to fill them with confidence – even if you are trying to sell them demolition services; 
  5. respond promptly to email and phone messages. People typically understand you may not always be able to respond immediately but they will expect at least an acknowledgement of their communication within a sensible time period; 
  6. don’t horse around. You may think your antics are amusing but you may be perceived as being either juvenile or flippant – neither normally considered to be desirable characteristics by customers; 
  7. under no circumstances should you lie to your customers. Leaving aside the ethics of telling lies, human beings can frequently detect when someone is lying to them by their body language, voice patterns or logical inconsistencies / implausibility in the story being told. If something has gone wrong, tell the truth, apologise and put it right quickly – but don’t lie! 

Even in our typically modern and informal world, the above practices will normally be very well received.

Investing

Investment Tips for Twentysomethings

You’re on your own two feet

At this time of your life, you’ve graduated and are working your way up the first few rungs of your career ladder. You’ve got that all-important salary, and the first thing you should do, investment-wise, is start an emergency fund. You should aim to have at least three months’ worth of rent, utilities and grocery money tucked away in an interest-earning account to deal with unforeseen circumstances. You don’t want to be relying on a loan provider (eg. Wonga.com) to be bailing you out of trouble, as these can quickly spiral out of control into a debt black hole – young people with no savings are particularly susceptible to this.

Once you’ve saved up at least £5,000, reduce the monthly amount you put into this fund and start thinking further ahead.

Think about retirement – yes, really!

You’re four decades away from retirement, but it’s because it’s such a long time away that it’s such a good idea to start saving now. Try to put 10 per cent of your salary towards a retirement fund. If you can’t manage 10 per cent, make it five per cent, but just keep doing it, month after month, because you’re going to be making use of good old compound interest to bump these savings up. By the time you retire, you should be very comfortable indeed. If you leave it until your forties to start saving, you’ll need to give up a third or more of your monthly salary – at a time when you’ll probably have a young family. Not good!

A roof over your head

Once you’ve got your long-term investments sorted, it’s time to look at more immediate goals, like a house deposit. You’ll need a big lump sum for this, so to get this deposit together, open a brokerage account and make payments into it by monthly direct debit. By paying the same amount into it every month, this account will buy lots of shares when they’re low in price, and fewer when they’re higher. If you do this consistently, over time, your average actual spend can be lower than the average actual price of shares. Keep a steady eye on your shares and sell some off at opportune times to build your deposit fund.

Because you have a longer time frame than older people, you can afford to opt for slow-growing, more reliable investments and just leave them to do their thing. Take at least five years to save this sum, as shorter time frames are more vulnerable to the upswings and downswings of the stock market.

Diversify!

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – make sure you invest in lots of different stocks, different industries and in different continents (more advice on diversifying your portfolio can be found here). This will buffer your money against the rises and falls of different sectors and different regions. Over time, you’re almost certain to make money with this approach. It’s slow but steady, and you’ll never have to resort to Wonga.com. 

The best investment you can make is in some advice. Make an appointment with a portfolio consultant and don’t be shy about asking questions, no matter how silly they might seem. This is your money, and your future.

Investing

Binary Options: Money saved through lesser liquidity requirements

Except for a job, doing any business or investment venture requires that you maintain working capital. In a job you don’t have to set up a supply chain, pressure debtors to pay full and quick, or think of delaying tactics when paying creditors. However, when you are doing any business, you need to maintain cash or bank to continuously fund running core operations until a profit is attained. Insufficient funds just halt to a grinding stop any business.

In the same manner as any business, trading derivatives also requires maintenance of “working capital”. This is particularly the case in trading regular options. Whenever a trade starts to go bad, you have to make good the margin calls to avoid closure of your position in a loss. Even so, you never know for how long or deep the loss position will go on. And until you find an amicable position, you need to keep funds at the ready. In regular options trading, you decide at the inception of any trading account the leverage you wish to use. The higher leverage you use, the greater will be your funding requirements in case of an ongoing loss.

Trading binary options would also require one to keep his funds at the ready. However, the requirement is never as intensive as it is in regular options trading. You do not have to worry about margin funding once you run a loss; when you run a loss, it’s a loss. You do not have to maintain liquidity for margin funding. In this aspect, binary options save you money inherently. For example, unlike regular options trading, if trades get deeply out of the money, traders borrow from the broker or banks at very high interest rates to remain liquid.

So what exactly do you need the working capital fund in binary trading? The answer is, to make more trades. You have to remain liquid enough to make trades whenever you see the “technicals” on your interface blinking an opportunity. If a 10 minute binary option leads you to a loss, it does not matter. If the loss is a one way slide, make another trade with the funds available and may be use a shorter trade time frame. This way you can always recover your losses quickly and save your money.

Consider a situation in regular options trading. You make a loss by big margin, that leads to a margin call. You have no other way but to close you position with a higher amount of loss then your original investment. You have to start over again to recover all those losses, “capital plus what you lost in margin call”. Now if this was a binary options trade, your position would have expired in a short period leaving you a loss of your invested capital. However, you minimize your loss and save money quicker, by making another trade considering the market slide; there is no requirement to recover “capital plus loss in margin call”.

Therefore, it is comfortably proved that operating a binary options trading portfolio, practically requires minimum liquidity maintenance, and hence save you quite a lot of money.

Mind Over Money

Guide To Not Stress Out When You Are Broke

Living paycheck to paycheck can be very stressful. You’re always wondering how you’re going to pay your next bill. I’ve been there and it sucks. After a while of living paycheck to paycheck, I realized that unless you can control the outcome, then there’s nothing to worry about. If you can control the outcome then you can either worry about it and not change your life or do something about it and stop worrying.

Stress has a lot of effects on your health and you need to change the way you live in order to live healthier. Changing your whole mindset isn’t easy to do, but it’s something that needs to be done, otherwise you’re going to be stressed out all your life. You are in control of your life, so you can’t wait for something to happen. You have to make it happen.

Plan

If you have a plan in place for when you’re low on money, you will be able to take stress out of the equation. You are stressed because you don’t know what to do, but you’ve been here before. So now that you’re here again make a change. What are you going to do this time? Once you come up with a solution, write it down and use it next time. But how do you come up with a solution?

Brainstorm

So let’s take an example. Your rent payment is coming due, but you don’t have all of it. If you’re just going to shut down, then you’re not going to be able to pay rent. What do you do? Well, what can you do? Brainstorm it. You could get payday loans, but that’s just going to delay the inevitable. So come up with something constructive like selling something, going to a temp agency, sell plasma, go to a day labor place. These are just a couple of brainstormed ideas, but you get the point. There are other ways that are more constructive than getting a payday loan, which are going to have you stressed out again in two weeks.

Action

Once you have found a solution that is going to give you the best outcome without as much negativity, then put it into place. Start doing it and write it down so you know what to do next. Hopefully there won’t be a next time because you got rid of the stress. But like I said before, it’s good to have a plan so you don’t stress over the situation. If you constantly find yourself back in this situation then work on the next step which is changing your spending/making money habits.

The point is to get rid of the stress points. It’s not the lack of money that’s stressful, it’s the lack of a proper solution. Yes, the ultimate goal is to make more money but you can’t do that if you’re stressing out all of the time. Once you get rid of your stress points and have a plan for what to do when you’re running low on money, you’ll be able to focus on increasing your income.

How do you deal with stressful situations?