Obama’s ‘Save Ourselves Plan’

President Obama signed into law his new stimulus package and revealed his mortgage plan to match this week; both are suppose to provide some stability and curtail this slippery slide into a global recession. Not everyone was too happy about these plans. If you haven’t seen it, check out Rick Santelli from CNBC who called for a Chicago Tea Party (cucumber sandwiches anyone?).

I won’t go too much into detail now (yes, that means there will be a later) but in listening to Santelli’s outburst, I got to hear the other side of the story from people who don’t know of another way to fix things but are sure that this way, Obama’s way,  can’t be right. There’s talks of ‘handouts’ and the ‘undeserving’ benefiting from this plan: “Why don’t we all stop paying our mortgage? The government will bail us out!”. A bailout plan for individuals???

Obama’s plan reminded me of another fierce creature that walks amongst us, my fav, Miss Suze Orman, who launched her “Save Yourself Plan” over a year ago. I revisited her podcast on Oprah’s Best Life Week and really listened. When did we stop taking care of ourselves people? If you’re struggling financially now, think of how things could possibly have been if you saved more than you spent. Suze Orman, in response to an irate restaurant owner, mentioned that she has gone out to eat every night since the original broadcast of her appearance on Oprah, where she told people to stop eating out for a month.

I won’t speak in absolutes but I will speak to you, a wannabe finanshionista, when I say “Honey! Get your money right!” We need to take care of self, Save Yourself. There is nothing more liberating than knowing that you can take care of yourself when things are bad worldwide. Understand, that this crisis is affecting most. The top elite had their own scandal in Bernie Madoff (who btw stole $50B and still is living quite large-tsk.tsk.) and quite a few people fell from the top to broke overnight.

If you are like me, relatively recession proof (I was broke before the market tanked!), now is definitely the time to take advantage of the deals that may be present: interest rates, Suze Orman’s Save Yourself Plan, etc). And if you are not, and are being heavily affected by this crisis, stay strong and take positive steps towards recovery.

Next Week: “Beware of the knockoff: Fictitious Funds

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Highlight of last nights Oscars (I Love musicals!):


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Love Lockdown

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Happy Valentines Day Everyone. Though it was yesterday, I feel compelled to continue to wish everyone both love and joy as they continue to pay for the activities that they were are a part of. Valentines Day is one of the biggest “unnecessary spending” holidays out there. Guys trying to impress gals. Gals trying to impress Guys. All accomplished on rented money. Did you use your credit card yesterday? If so, I hope you continue to love your significant other longer and harder than you are going to hate those interest payments.

 

I signed with a financial planner and her firm this week. A decision I am still questioning as whether or not it was the right thing for me do believe that building wealth will take a team of qualified persons with knowledge and expertise beyond my means. In the movie Baby Momma, Tina Feys boss (Steve Martin) complements her )and himself ) for a job well done and an idea well thought of and says: “That’s why I’m a genius…for hiring people like you!”. Rich Dad Robert Kiyosaki remembers his lesson on the importance of building a team and promotes them today in any avenue that he can. He partnered with his accountant Sharon Lechter to co-author his mega selling series Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

The company I went with has a long history and what seemed to be a dedicated field of international employees all hungry for success. My problem is that I have been my own money coach for such a long time that I am admittedly fearful of relinquishing control, of relinquishing my money into someone else’s hands. And for a fee nonetheless. But the benefits of a Team can be extraordinary.

For me, I had to realize that I no longer found the time to make those financial decisions that would bring me in the most bang for my buck. While I continued to save and invest, I didn’t have time to research stocks and companies. I lost track of the holdings in my Roth IRA and blindly committed my money.

At Miss New Money we (I) believe  that money travels in an Olympic row boat with an Olympian Team to crew. I’m just the sponsor. It constantly needs to be moving, rowing, working, earning me more money.  New Money. Investing without understanding was as if I pushed the boat out into the water and hoped the currents would be kind; that my boat wouldn’t crash.

I’m still nervous. But only time will tell.

Thirty Day Full Price Cleanse

Day 17: actually went retail shopping this week and I used coupons for the items that I purchased. I saved $75. I also walked away from quite a few items. Just because things are on sale or you have a coupon, doesn’t mean you have to buy. Putting two and two together, I actually saved much more by the stores selling ugly things! Thanks!

Total Savings to-date: $151.67

Confessions of a Finanshionista: Action Plan

Well it has been over a month since my last post (a thousand apologies). And while I was away I was being bad. Very bad.

A few weeks ago I received a very substantial refund from my University/Loan originator. Usually I take out more than what would cover basic tuition. Ya know, for books and such. Well lets just say I didn’t have thaaaaaaaaaaat many books to buy so I was left with a surplus.

I started to rationalize my purchases (purchases that I would not have been making otherwise) as necessary objects.: a new winter coat, winter boots, professional pants and shirts, and of course accessories to match. I also rationalized home purchases: a new theme for the bathroom with matching yellow towels (man towels are expensive!), new sheets and list goes on. Even a new mattress!

To make a long story short, I lost my freakin’ mind! Budget? Ha! Spending in moderation? Ha! Everything that I knew was wrong felt oh so right. I was able to buy anything and not worry about it. “Yes, I would like a bottle of champagne with diner!” Ok I didn’t take it that far but I did eat out at last twice a day. It wasn’t until I looked at my bank statement of transactions and realized that there were about 20 debits for every 1 credit.

Basic math can predict that with a spending record such as that, the funds were sure to eventually dry up. And what happens then? A huge onset of B.R.O.K.E! Buyers Remorse Over K-rappy Expenses!!! (that one was a bit of a stretch) I needed to take a step back and really evaluate why it was that I was being so bad.

At my age, zero spending is unrealistic. Miss New Money is all about making practical choices now to both further your quest towards a fabulous (and fun!) lifestyle but by incorporating realistic spending habits that will ultimately set you free financially. As I realized the errors of my ways, I took the appropriate steps towards correction:  Saving, Investing and Re-organizing (Yes, SIR!) I moved some of my money into my accounts that were ultimately going to afford me the freedoms to spend in the fashion I want to, also known as my money making accounts: my savings accounts, my Roth IRA (retirement), my TD Ameritrade Brokerage Account and my newly funded Money Market Account. In addition, I eliminated the accounts that where costing me money, my money taking accounts: my nasty Credit Cards.

I still needed to do more.  This relapse into commercial and retail spending made me realize that I still had work to do in terms of discipline. So I am going where no finanshionista has gone before. Introducing the “Thirty Day Full Price Cleanse” *insert dramatic music here*

For thirty days starting last week I will only purchase items that are either A) on sale, B) have a coupon associated with it (coupons are cool–just breathe), all while C) not using my credit cards. Now C shouldn’t be too hard, seeing as how I am now 100% CC DEBT FREE!!! Each week I will tabulate my savings and invest that into a money making account.

I challenge you all to do the same and see if you have what it takes to make smarter choices right now to recognize the benefits both now and for your future.

Keep reading…

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