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Using Your Tax Refund Wisely

Using Your Tax Refund Wisely:  Bankruptcy Can Reduce your Monthly Debt Burdens

Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

At this time of year, many families receive a tax refund.   Many times, these refunds are used to catch up on credit bills.  Other times people use their tax refund to take care of desperately needed household expenses.   However, using your tax refund to file for bankruptcy can go much, much further.

Monthly Debt Payments Can Be Erased by Your Tax Refund

If you spend $300 per month or more servicing your debts, your budget is already feeling the pain of a high debt load.  At $300 per month, you are paying $3600 per year just to service your debts.  The worst thing is that many times the total balance of your debts do not decrease.  You essentially pay every month and receive little or nothing in return.

If you spend $500 per month, then you are paying $6,000 per year just to service your debts.   Essentially, in the two above situations, you would likely lose the equivalent or more of your tax refund throughout the year.   Of course, unless you use your tax refund proceeds to file for bankruptcy.

Housing and Automobile Monthly Debt Burdens Can also be Erased

In the past, we have seen many of our clients use their tax refund to file for bankruptcy and reduce their housing or automobile expenses all at the same time.  Bankruptcy usually only costs $975 or less on the attorney portion at our office.   The remaining $2000-$3000 of many of our client’s tax refunds have been used to purchase a paid-in-full automobile.   Other times, the remaining portion has been used to move into much more affordable housing.   Tax refund time is the perfect time of the year to make major changes to your life that will reduce your monthly debt load.

Make This Year’s Tax Refund Go Farther Than Any Other

If you have an impossibly high debt load, do not just keep running in an impossible race.  Make this year’s tax refund go farther than any other refund.  Use it to restructure your finances and declare for bankruptcy.   It will reduce your monthly debt load.  It will also reduce your stress to allow life to be enjoyable again.

 

 

 

Financial Action Plan, Game Time!

FINANCIAL COURSE #7

Financial Action Plan

The final step to a complete financial overhaul is the Action Plan.   The action plan is where the “rubber meets the road.”  If you have followed the previous lessons in the series, you have grown in knowledge.   You have also grown in determination to live your financial life in totally new ways.  It’s game time!  Now you need to make a reasonable action plan that you can carry out in the next year.  This section is critically important for a true financial overhaul after bankruptcy!

Make a Simple Plan You Can Commit to Follow

In order for your action plan to be successful, make sure it is simple and easy to follow.  Set your goals out 3-6 months.  Set goals out for one year.   Never exceed these amounts – at least at the beginning.

Do not set complex goals where you do not understand certain steps in how they will be completed.  Keep it simple!   Plan to learn about a topic before you set goals within it.

For instance, do not make a plan where you will be a successful marketer or web designer making $150,000 by the end of the year.  Instead, plan to attend every web and marketing conference within the Midwest area, learning what it takes to be a successful marketer.   Then, plan on engaging 5 clients within the year with excellent results.  This goal is an example of a goal that is achievable.  With a goal like this, you are not leaving out several steps.   Then, set your $150,000 goal for the next year or the year following.

As another example, do not plan on increasing your passive income by $3,000 by the end of the year.   Instead, plan on decreasing your expenses to the absolute lowest amount possible.   Then, set a plan to pursue any form of passive income within the near future – no matter how small.  If you have drastically decreased your expenses and obtained any form of passive income, this is still a major accomplishment within a one-year time frame.

Set High Goals

Although your goals need to be simple, you can set them high goals when the time is right.  Acquire knowledge and experience within a particular area.  Then, the sky is the limit!   Make sure to set high goals.  These goals may not follow what other people are doing around you.  Still, if your goals are well-thought out, you may be able to excel in areas where other people only settle for much less.

Make Sure Your Action Plan is Also Possible and Reasonable

While you set high goals, always keep your action plan possible and reasonable.  If you cannot reasonably think out a set of circumstances where your goal will come true, then you are possibly thinking too much “in the clouds.”   Keep your goals down-to-earth and base them on observable facts.   For instance, if your local market cannot sustain your goal, your goal may simply be ill-thought or impossible.  Adapt to the financial knowledge that you obtain and then act on it with well-thought-out plan.

Plan to Make a New Action Plan Every Six Months

Even if you have year-long and multi-year goals, it is important to review your situation and adjust your plan every six months.  This six-months principle will allow you to adjust and stay focused, but also give you sufficient time to make headway in your goals.   Goals must change and circumstances change and your financial knowledge increases.  Make sure to use this six-month principle to make your goals adapt accordingly.

Conclusion: The Sky is The Limit!

If you have truly applied the principles taught in this financial overhaul series, then the sky is the limit!   Instead of money always working against you, the future will have money working for you.  Make plans every year for your net worth and your passive income to increase.   They will.   Make plans to increase in useful financial and business knowledge each year.  It will increase.   Being responsible and productive with financial matters will take you to new heights that you never thought were possible before.  Go all in – it will be worth it!

 

Financial Overhaul: Course 6

Do The Opposite of Everyone Else

Another step to your successful financial overhaul is also very simple: almost always do the opposite of everyone else.   Although this is a very simple concept, it is still very difficult for most people to carry out.  Many people are fearful and skeptical of doing almost exactly the opposite of what everyone else is doing.  This fear comes from the “leaving the herd” mentality.  It seems like it’s always safer to follow the heard.  However, doing the opposite of the majority is absolutely critical for your financial growth.  It’s also, ironically, a much “safer” approach to finances.

Financial Overhaul - Do the Opposite of Everyone Else

The “Herd” Will Lead You Off the Cliff

Have you ever heard of the American-Indian buffalo hunting story where the Indians herd the buffalo over the cliff?   When you are in the “herd” mentality, you have little or no control of where your financial life is headed.  When financial struggles hit, you will have no where to go except for off the cliff with everyone else.

A good example of this was the mortgage crisis that exploded at the end of 2008.  The trend of the 2000’s was to acquire 100% financing with adjustable-rate mortgages when buying a house.  It appeared to be a completely acceptable financial decision: everyone was doing it.

Then, the market crashed. The adjustable rate, 100% mortgage backfired with a vengeance.  Real estate values decreased.  Because nobody put money down, the properties where immediately “underwater” with negative equity.   Foreclosure and bankruptcy became increasing popular.  The financial “herd” literal fell over the cliff by the thousands nationally.

The road to financial success is more rarely traveled: there will be few people on the road with you.  Just because 99 out of 100 people are not with you stay confident.  You are exactly on the right road to a better financial future.   This road will not lead you headlong over the cliff of financial failure: it will lead you to a better financial life.

Examples of the “Opposite”

What is the opposite of what almost everyone else is doing?   It’s simple: save all of your money for investment.  This will allow you to make more money from your new investments.   The cycle never ends: live under your means and invest.   With the investments, you have even more money to invest.    The second part is also very simple: invest in your financial knowledge and understanding to make even more money in the future for investments.

The “herd” mentality is to progressively spend all money that you make on living expenses.  Houses, cars, and toys come in all sizes and price tags.  Most people immediately spend any new income on a “better” version of these things instead of investing.   The “herd” mentality is too progressive increase the household expenses budget.

What is the “opposite” goal?   How about living on 10% of your income and using 90% of your income for investments and financial education?  How soon would you be financially successful if you were willing to make such a commitment?  How do you know if such a goal is impossible before you try to achieve it?  Is the goal impossible or are you simply unwilling to do it?   This may be an extreme example, but it is exactly the way that many financially successful people live their lives.  Soon the financial pie grows until your “10%” becomes much larger than other people “100%” of their income.

As a specific example, what if you decided that you would live with family or purchase a multi-unit apartment building to eliminate most of your living expenses?  What if you negotiated a work-housing deal?    Then, what if you used your money do acquire businesses and real estate assets that pay you passive income each month?   What if you used the time also to save money for a paid-in-full house?   Your net worth and financial knowledge would grow quickly.

What if every other weekend you attend an internet marketing seminar?   What if you attended real estate workshops?   What if you went to national conferences for the business in which you are interested?  How soon would you be a successful leader in your industry?

You would be doing the exact opposite of everybody else, and, consequently, you would be on the road to being financial successful.  Your financial overhaul would be very real and complete.  After you gained such knowledge, you would likely never return to your old ways.

Conclusion: Doing the Opposite of Everyone Else Can Be An Exciting New Change

Most people dread the loss of perceived “comfort.”  Most people are afraid to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.  These feelings are usually very inaccurate and misleading.  In reality, doing the financial opposite of what everyone else is doing can be an exciting new life change.   It will bring great rewards and new excitement that the “herd” mentality can never deliver.

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE!  TAKE THE QUIZ!

Quiz 6 – Do the Opposite of Everyone Else

The Final Course

Action Plan – It’s Game Time!  Course 7

 

Never Take the “Easy” Way – Course #5

Why does everyone take the easy way in life?  It’s simple – it’s easy!   It is much easier to do things the fast “easy” way instead of doing things correctly and thoughtfully.   The easy way has an immediate reward.   The correct and thoughtful may reward you many-fold over a life time.  One of the most important lessons to learn for financial success is to never take the “easy way.”

Taking the “Easy” Way Destroys your Chances for a Financial Future

Taking the “east way” destroys most people’s chances at a successful financial future.  By taking the easy way, you are essentially trading your future financial success for the “now.”  If you want a car “now” by financing it, then you are destroying your chances at saving for investments in the future.  If you buy a mortgaged house, then you are destroying your chance to learn how to acquire a house (or many house) paid-in-full by careful financial planning.

Almost every time you take out a loan, you are trading your financial future for the immediate.   Credit Cards and loans are an easy way to pay for life expenses, but they doom you to financial failure almost every time.   In fact, if you are taking out loans for living expenses, you are likely already to financial planning and are “taking the easy way out.”

Taking the “Easy” Way Destroys your Motivation for Learning About Financial Things

If mortgage loans were outlawed next week, do you think that would end most people’s desire to own a home?  Absolutely not!   Most people would immediately seek knowledge or understanding on how to buy a home paid-in-full over some short period of time.   Perhaps, they would create other creative ways for purchasing a home that would not involve mortgages.  In any case, the public would quickly be forced to gain considerable financial knowledge and discipline in order to achieve the now “harder” goal of purchasing a house.

Financial Education Course 5 - Never take the easy wayMortgages or other financial practices do not need to be outlawed: you can chose to gain considerable financial knowledge and discipline to take the “harder” way even if “easier” options are still available.  The real twist to the “easy” versus the “hard” debate  is the very words in which they are described.  In reality, the “hard” way of doing things is actually much easier over time if it is applied.   The “hard” way is actually not hard at all: it is just the correct and moral way of living your financial life.

We all have heard of the concept of being a good steward with our lives.   We all have the moral responsibility to manage our lives in the most productive and orderly way possible.   This is the very fabric on which our society is built.  When you do things the hard or correct way, then you get to very much take advantage of the peaceful financial systems that our present in our world.  You essentially are able to allow “money to work for you” – instead of just “working for money” your whole life.

For example, a person that diligently studies and saves to buy a paid-in-full home will be much benefited by not having to pay mortgage payments.  If he was able to acquire the paid-in-full home over two to three years, then what is stopping him in the future?   The same person can acquire one, two, or maybe thirty more paid-in-full properties over a lifetime.  He can receive rental income from these properties.  From this income, the decreased demand for “job” income can even give the person more time to build their financial knowledge.  Later in life, this same person could have a multitude of real estate or business-based assets generating income.

Or, the same person could have gotten a mortgage.  His financial “mind” would have stopped there.  He would probably still be paying on the same mortgage twenty years later.  He would only partially own one mortgaged house.

Conclusion: The “Easy” Way is Dangerous

Do you understand now the danger of doing things the “easy” way with finances?   The “easy” way is actually a deception: it is much, much harder over a lifetime.   If your financial past is dominated by the “easy” way, you may need to completely start over in life.   Your commitment to following the “harder,” correct way of approaching finances may require you to make some drastic changes.  These changes may be incompatible with your previous, “easy” way of going about your financial life.

Test Your Knowledge!  Take The Quiz!

Quiz 5 – Never Take “Easy” Way

Future Courses Will Be Released Soon!

Do the Opposite of Everyone Else – Course #6
Action Plan – It’s Game Time!  – Course #7

FINANCIAL EDUCATION: Get Dynamic! Get Serious!

Sometimes you have to get dynamic to achieve anything worthwhile in life. You have to be serious about achieving your financial goals. This can mean taking drastic steps to radically transform your financial life.

Choosing To Do Things Differently

Time for Change We have all heard the common phrase about being “crazy.”  The phrase goes like this: it is crazy to keep doing the same things and expect different results.  In order to truly apply your “financial overhaul,” you must fully commit to radical changes in your financial life.   If fear or other negative emotions prevent you from making these radical changes, then you will see little or no results.  

A New Dynamic Life Based on Financial Truth 

In order to be successful financially, your new life must be based on financial truth. In order to put financial truths into practice, you must commit to the dynamic of “learning and applying.” This may require drastic changes to occur in your life as you apply new financial truths.   This is the part that will require you to be dynamic.  You must walk on new ground as you make these dynamic life changes.

Being Serious Requires Parting Ways With What Is Holding you Back

Being serious requires parting with the old ways of doing things.  This can be much more difficult to many people than what you may think.  It may be the single most difficult action required to having a successful financial overhaul.

Parting Ways With “Bad-Deal” Material Possessions 

The hard part for most people is parting ways with whatever is holding you back financially. For some people this may be a financed house or car. You may need to sell these items or even allow the creditor to take them back. You will need to do whatever you can to break your previous cycle of bad financial habits. 

You may need to start over from the beginning, decreasing your expenses to as low as possible. Then you can focus on your financial education and growth.  Believe me, do not dread it or be afraid! It can be fun!  Your stress will likely reduce.  You will see yourself slowly become both financially successful and responsible.  It will be worth the sacrifice.  

Parting with Bad Financial Habits

Financial obligations are not the only problem:  you must also part ways with bad financial habits.  Bad financial habits are deeply ingrained in most of us. Using loans and credit for personal uses are some of the worst financial habits.  Most people think nothing about getting a mortgage or car loan, yet these are very practices that cripple people financially.   Most people want the quick, easy route to achieving their financial goals.   This “quick and easy” mentality is the root of most bad financial habits.  This root mentality of the “quick and easy” must be forever rejected in your lives.

If you take the “quick and easy” path with finances, you will never acquire financial knowledge or apply it.   If you are patient and disciplined, you will be rewarded with ten-fold more financial blessings than if you always take the “quick and easy” way of getting what you want.  

Some Habits Die Hard 

Some habits such as addictions or “morality” issues die much harder than the more basic bad financial patterns.  If you are plagued with an addiction or other life-destroying vice in life, you need to seek help from your minister, a counselor, or faithful friends.   These people can help you make a plan of action and keep you accountable.  These people can help you deal with the deeper heart and truth issues that can prevent you from achieving financial success in life.  If these people you seek out cannot help you, they will likely help you find someone who can.  Be honest and accountable.   Seek help humbly and you will likely find it!  After getting help, you will have a better foundation to start building your new financial life.  

Conclusion: A New Life Requires Major Life Changes

A complete financial “overhaul” will not happen without serious commitment to dynamic change.   If you truly want a new, better financial life, then you must cast off your old ways of thinking.   The old financial ways in your life must become repulsive to you . . . they are actually working against you!   Putting into practice financial truth will radically transform your life.  It is a radical life decision that you will never regret.  

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE!  TAKE THE QUIZ!

QUIZ 4 – Get Dynamic! Get Serious!

Future Courses Will Be Released Soon!

Never Take the “Easy” Way – Course #5
Do the Opposite of Everyone Else – Course #6
Action Plan – It’s Game Time!  – Course #7