Four Ways to Get Ahead in the New Year

2017-goals-photoLet’s look at how you can get ahead in 2017 by focusing on short, bite-sized goals that are easy to meet. Here are four things you can knock out today to set yourself up for financial success this year:

  1. Sit down and add up all the expenses you expect to have in the next 30 days. Take into account any spending money you may need and try to limit your discretionary spending for the next 30 days. Cut back on anything that is not necessary for the next month.
  2. Make a list of all your debt balance, minimum monthly payment amounts, and interest rates.
  3. Compare the income you expect to receive over the next 30 days to your expenses. Determine whether you expect to have any money left over once all expenses are paid. If so, plan to use the extra money toward your debt, focusing on the account with the lowest balance first. If you don’t have any money left over, see whether you can raise some money by selling something you no longer need, doing an odd job for someone, or taking on a second temporary job.
  4. Mark your calendar for 30 days from today to repeat this exercise. In the meantime, only worry about what you can do to take control of your finances for this month. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to look too far into your future. Seize the day!

As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

Women CPAs Work Their Assets Off

Let’s face it, accounting work is not for just everyone, especially when you’re balancing mom duties. Not only do you work impossible hours, travel like the globetrotters, bite your upper lip every time a box of receipts shows up on your desk, manage a mountain of e-mails daily, and listen to countless stories from your clients about that one TV or radio commercial that assured him his expense was deductible – you also are the CEO of your family! No wonder you feel like a legitimate superwoman!assetsoff.jpg

So what are other female accountants doing to balance their lives?

  1. Improve your habits, not your goals – You don’t need to set better goals because you already know who you want to be. Instead, you need to focus on the one or two things you can do that will make the biggest difference in your life.   What is that for you?? Maybe it’s changing a routine? Perhaps it’s narrowing your focus? What about having an accountability partner? Do you need more fun in your life? Could it be just simply taking action on what you already know you need to do? After all, imperfect action is better than no action. Take a look at the one simple thing that could modify your life and just focus on it for the next few months.
  2. Throw out the junk – You know you do things daily that aren’t on your life’s priority list. They don’t make one iota of difference in your life or in the lives of those around you. But you do them anyway. So why not picking one of those things and eliminating it altogether. It may just liberate you all the way to less stress.
  3. Just say “no”! – You can’t possibly be everything to everyone. For me, I recently learned to say no by saying “I’m sorry but I can’t commit to this right now but you can certainly count on my prayers.” And not only have I started saying it, I mean it! This gives me the confidence to gracefully focus on my priorities but also the feeling that I can make a difference by lifting up that person or their cause in prayer. After all, sometimes that’s the best way to make a difference!

For more tips on how you can live on the north side of average, subscribe or connect with me today!

 

“Yes, You Can Quit Your Job!”

“Yes, You Can Quit Your Job!”

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There is no greater feeling on this planet than to be able to have a conversation with one of my dear clients to reassure them that they’re in a position to chase their dreams.

The other day, a client called me and explained that she was frustrated with her job and felt like she was missing out on time with her young children. Not only that, but she also had a dream of pursuing a business and knew she’d be successful if she could only be free of the ties that bound her in her current job. I could sense the uncertainty over taking the leap of faith and she wanted to be sure she would not be jeopardizing the financial security of her family.

But here’s the thing…this lady was prepared to take the risk, she just didn’t know it. She had made sound financial decisions her entire life. She had saved enough cash to support her during the transition, she carried little debt and wasn’t a slave to crazy monthly payments, she had thought about the decision to quit her job from multiple angles and even had a fallback plan, and most importantly, she had faith that God would always take care of her.

I crunched some numbers and was able to tell her with reasonable confidence that she could make it work – and she will likely do just that!   You see, there’s a right way and a wrong way to start a new business and, thankfully, I’m excited to join her on the ride to pursuing her new endeavors.

If you need help chasing your dreams or starting a new business, let me know! I’d love to help. And thanks for sharing with anyone you know who may be on this path…

~Val

 

Actual results will vary. The above case does not constitute a recommendation as to the suitability of any investment for any person or persons having circumstances similar to those portrayed, and a financial advisor should be consulted

4 Tips on Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life

4 Tips on Finding Your Path and Purpose in Lifepath

I remember an adult once telling me when I was young that I needed to try different things in order to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember thinking, “How could I possibly just fall into something I love by chance? Into something I’m meant to become? Is it perhaps a bit more predestined than that?”

I’m certain it’s normal to search for meaning and purpose. It is, after all, our nature as human beings. I was reminded this morning of an uber-successful millennial who struck it rich with a tech startup and become an instant billionaire, only to reach age 30 and realize no one cared about him and he was doing something that left him empty. The point is that everyone wants perfection.   Everyone wants financial stability. Everyone wants productivity and some degree of a routine. Everyone wants certainty. Everyone wants to give love and to be loved. The reality is that these things just don’t exist because the perfect version of yourself is constantly changing as you learn and grow! As you expand, your goals expand with you.

Isn’t the search, perhaps, less about attaining the perfect life and more about finding the perfect path?

The Perfection Competition
As you browse through Facebook and Instagram you will see updates and posts of what other people are doing and accomplishing. For me, this has led at times to feelings of jealousy or thoughts that perhaps I’m not accomplishing enough or getting enough out of life. I’ve realized that, when I set concrete goals for myself that are followed-up by smaller goals that help me achieve the big ones, I become more confident. I feel more productive. I feel like I’m on the right path for me. All of a sudden, I can’t identify as much with someone else’s’ perfect life and I feel more fulfilled with my own. So, I’ll ask you, what are your goals for yourself?

Learn the Signs of Misdirection
Feeling uncertain about your life, your goals, or your purpose is all normal. But what’s not normal is to feel uncertain every minute of every day. If that’s going on, I can say with complete certainty you’re not on the right path. Red flags and alarm bells should be going off all over the place for you right now! Instead, try to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings so you can be prepared to take action. Begin briefly journaling those feelings along with your ideas for what may be causing them. What is the root of it all?

Ask for Help
I know for a fact that I am my own worst enemy. But I have to stop and remind myself that, many times, I’m doing better than I think I am. Thankfully, in my case, I have two trusted people who remind me of that. I can be open and honest with them and they will give me a candid opinion of what I should consider changing. Everyone needs someone in their life that won’t just tell them what they want to hear. Do you have someone like this?

Purpose is Divine
I am a Christian and it’s taken me 33 years to realize that, when I focus on anything other than my faith and God’s will for my life, I grow unhappy, worried and frustrated. We all have talents. We all have a reason for being here. So instead of trying to figure it out for yourself, try praying about it. Now that I finally feel like I know what path I’m on, I pray daily that God will give me eyes to see Him, ears to hear Him, a hunger to do His will in my life, and that He will help me with each step along my path. For me, He has been faithful and helped me realize that I can’t do this alone. He has called me to be greater and, because of this, he has blessed me with purpose and passion! So are you praying regularly for purpose?