How to Negotiate in Finance

Monthly expenses and recurrent debts – mortgage, car loan, student loans, credit cards, medical bills, among others – can get so out of control that you live paycheck to paycheck without any extra money at the end of the month. In fact, your service provider may be ‘kind’ enough to keep your services turned on even if you are unable to pay. You know the effect? Accumulated debts!

Your debt may be as a result of a job loss, unexpected expenses, dwindling business income, or even overspending. Debt, when not properly managed, can affect not only your financial life but also your overall health. Think of being in debt as navigating a mud-filled field with rain boots on. Can you relate?

Have you ever thought of the possibility of being relieved of your debt burden? In case you don’t know, you can negotiate reduced payments with your creditors. This blog intends to expose you to tips on lowering your monthly expenses and eliminating debts by negotiating interest rates, financial obligations, consolidation loans, among others. 

How easy is it to negotiate a debt settlement? 

Negotiating a debt settlement is not an easy task, especially when you have to consider the best strategy to adopt. Since you are not financially buoyant to settle your bills, it might also be counterintuitive to attempt hiring a debt settlement company. By negotiating directly with your creditors, you not only save time but also money

You need to prove to your creditors that you cannot afford the current payments. They will seek to see your household budget, which should show your monthly income and essential running costs. Through this, they would be able to know how much of your monthly income you can afford to use in settling your debt.

Mistakes Some Individuals Make

Some individuals, probably out of shame or fear, avoid calls and late notices from their debt collectors. This is a great mistake and clearly suggests gross financial irresponsibility. Rather than avoid your collectors, it is important that you reach out to them early, intimating them on the reasons why you are finding it difficult to keep up with your payments. It will surprise you to know how some collectors are lenient and understanding. Remember, they are also humans and have feelings. 

Phases of Negotiation 

Negotiation is a dialogue process between a minimum of two parties, often with the intention of resolving a conflict, in this case, a financial one. The process involves four phases, namely discussion, clarification, negotiating an outcome, and agreement. Prior to the process, you should be able to clarify what you intend to see out of it. 

The first phase, discussion, involves communicating what you seek in the dialogue. At this stage, it is important that you maintain active listening and ask questions where necessary. However, avoid divulging too much information. 

At the clarification phase, you and the other party establish a common ground on which to start the negotiation process. 

The negotiation process is where you seek a win-win outcome. At this stage, alternatives should be provided and considered by both parties. There is the possibility of having to compromise, especially when the process is getting longer than usual. 

It is expected that both parties would have arrived at a mutual ground. The agreement and its terms should, therefore, be devoid of ambiguity. 

What You Need, to Negotiate Your Debts

Negotiating your debts requires that you exhibit certain traits. They include strong communication skills, flexibility, creativity, honesty, self-awareness and awareness of others.

Of all the communication styles, assertive style should be adopted. This is because being assertive makes you appear both confident and thoughtful, thereby decreasing your chances of giving in to demands easily as well as increasing your chances of having a successful outcome.

Forms of Negotiation

In negotiating with your creditors, you can adopt the debt settlement strategy, which involves asking your creditors to accept a one-time or lump-sum payment that is lower than the full balance to fulfill your debt obligations in full. The only downside is the negative impact it may have on your credit score in the future. 

Alternatively, you can speak to your creditor, requesting for a lower interest rate. When you take loans with excessively high interest rates, you are kept in debt for an extended period. This is because, rather than paying the actual balance alone, you’re also paying monthly interest charges. 

The good news is that there is the possibility of negotiating interest rates, especially when you have good payment histories. You can, for instance, talk your credit card issuers into lowering your interest rate. They are more likely to have a negotiating process with you, which may result in reduced rates. 

There is also the place of seeking out promotions. It has been revealed that using a balance transfer to get a lower rate requires that you clear off your debt before the expiration of the promotional period to avoid your balance being subjected to higher interest rates.

Do’s and Don’ts of Negotiation

  • State your position and what you seek clearly
  • Understand the other party’s position too
  • Be calm and professional in your approach 
  • Be reasonable with the position of the other party. There may be a need to compromise. It is not always a sign of weakness. 
  • Whatever your position is, be confident and consistent. Don’t shift position; it shows you are not coordinated. 
  • Seek ways through which you can leverage over the other party 
  • When both parties have reached a compromise, get the terms of the settlement in writing. It is a way of holding both parties accountable. 
  • Avoid being confrontational throughout the negotiation process. Remember it is not a heated debate. 
  • Avoid being emotional. Of course, the other party also wants an outcome that will favor them. 
  • Avoid prolonging the negotiation process. Know when to keep making your position known or compromise your position and walk away.
  • Don’t accept an offer of paying over 50% of your outstanding account balance. If this happens, consider settling with a different creditor. 

Other Helpful Tips

  • In the negotiation process, always maintain silence after asking for a lower rate, as advised by experts. Based on their experience, waiting for the representative to speak next tends to get the seeking party a better offer.
  • Never accept the first offer. Rather, ask for more – incentives and deals that can lower your bill. 
  • Create the impression that you run multiple credit cards and are willing to settle one of your accounts before you divert the money for other purposes. This tends to get you a competitive offer. 

Key Takeaway

To avoid a vicious debt cycle, avoid taking new loans and build an emergency fund to rescue you from emergency situations that can lead you into taking loans while also helping you in clearing your debt. Remember, building a solid financial foundation is critical to attaining your debt payoff goal.

Seek ways to increase your monthly income. Through the process, you get extra money for debt settlement. For instance, think of items of value you own but do not use. You can earn extra money by selling them off. If you are unable to get a side job, ask for a pay raise or negotiate extra working hours for more cash. 

Free Gift

Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

How to Be Smart When Starting a Business

The world of business is characterized by a varying degree of highs and lows. Even if you have gathered enough pieces of advice from successful entrepreneurs, carried out in-depth research about your market or industry, or even visited some websites for a checklist of what you require to start a business, your chances of success aren’t guaranteed.

Though it is important that you arm yourself with adequate knowledge before hitting the ground running, it is more important that you get acquainted with tips that can help your business succeed. Remember that you will be investing your energy, time, and money. I have gathered the following tips to help you succeed in your business-starting goal, irrespective of the business type.

Do Your Research Well

It is important that you carry out adequate research before deciding to start a business. One of the most important aspects is market research. It involves identifying your target customer base, that is, those that will be buying your product or service as well as understanding their needs, preferences, and behaviors. In fact, you should already have a brand as well as followers that are ready to patronize you when you eventually start your business.

The research also extends to conducting a competitive analysis. With this, you are able to understand opportunities and limitations that exist within your industry and market while also differentiating your products or services from the competition.

After the market research, you can then consider naming your business. You should also know all relevant rules and regulations to ascertain your responsibilities, which may include getting your business registered, joining related industry or professional associations to get new information within the market, procedures in getting VAT or Professional Indemnity Insurance, if necessary, among others.

8 tips for how to work from home, from NPR’s Life Kit.

Start Your Business While You Are Still Working

One of the most essential resources you need before starting a business is startup capital. Do you plan to borrow some money or do you have other means of getting the required funds? It is common for people to resign from their current nine-to-five job to enable them to focus on their business. This isn’t a good idea. Usually, businesses struggle to make tons of money, especially at the early stage of operation.

This is because the starting stage often gulps a huge amount of money. For example, the cost of setting up a physical shop (or building an online store), getting your business registered, acquisition of necessary legal documents, hiring an accountant or financial advisor, to name a few startup fees. Besides, there could be a time when you will have to invest more money in your business and if you already resigned your job, you may not have the required financial backup for your business while also keeping up with your monthly expenses. You may also not qualify for a loan if you choose to go in that direction.

The best approach to this is to build your business gradually. Once you have built a decent number of clients that are consistent in paying you enough money for your survival and that of your business, you can transition from being an employee to a self-employed individual.

Be Passionate About the Business

It might be difficult to sustain one’s interest on a long term basis, especially if one engages in an activity that one doesn’t love or enjoy doing. The same thing applies to business. If you don’t love the business you are doing, how can you be motivated to continuously commit your entire money, time, and energy into it? Always ask yourself if you feel excited anytime you think of the business. Is it worth every sacrifice you make? If your answer is “no,” then it isn’t the right business for you.

If you identify a need or gap and your product or service successfully fills it, it is expected that it will produce good results, serving as good motivation. Of course, you don’t have to love every aspect of your business as you can always get some of it done by someone else. The goal is to get every necessary work done and keep the business moving. While passion keeps you focused, financial knowledge and good decisions keep your business on track.

Keep Your Idea Simple

Successful entrepreneurs often keep their business idea simple to avoid ending up with an elaborate end-product that prospective consumers may not be able to afford. As a new business starter, narrow your focus by creating a simple good or service without compromising its quality.

What are your customers’ needs and expectations? How can you fulfill the needs and exceed their expectations? If you are able to offer a product or service that does justice to the questions, your business tends to succeed. Get rid of features that cost you money and can make your product or service expensive. You are a small business and not yet a large corporation. You have a better chance to grow as long as your offerings appeal to the masses.

Adopt a Support System

It is almost impossible for businesses to succeed without a support system. You may want to run a business solo to prevent your idea from being stolen. Some may not even try to consider the idea of seeking help at all. When starting a business, you will need the support of a friend or family member, for instance, to help fine-tune your business idea. Their pieces of advice may go a long way in helping you attain speedy growth.

Another support system to consider is an experienced mentor within your industry. Such an individual is usually experienced and has a wealth of wisdom to share. They would know about possible challenges you may face and how to overcome them. They can also provide you with more effective marketing strategies as well as open your eyes to growth opportunities.

Also, professional help from lawyers, financial planners, and accountants could help your business attain long-term success. For instance, you may need to write up a contract and you are not a lawyer. You may also lack the expertise to perform accounting or bookkeeping tasks. If you try to do things and you lack the required expertise, you may end up wasting more time and even money in the long term. By employing their services, you save on time, thus enabling you to concentrate on other significant aspects of your business.

Key Takeaway

According to various research results, including those from the US Bureau of Statistics, an average of 20% of new businesses fail within the first two years of operation. While 25% fail within the first 10 years, only 25% make it to a period of 15 years and above. To fall within the range of those that make it far in business, it is important that you prepare your mind with the helpful tips provided here.

It should be noted that there is no rule of thumb about the right way to start a business; however, there are some tips that can put you on the track to success. These include, among others, conducting adequate (market) research, starting your business while you are still employed, being passionate about your business, keeping your business idea as simple as possible, and adopting a support system.

Free Gift

Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

Wealthy Habits

Becoming wealthy is very easy, especially with motivational speakers sharing their sugar-laced experiences. But have you ever wondered why only about one percent of the world’s population remains wealthy despite the number of books on financial success and wealth creation? You might have even taken some finance classes and still wander in the darkroom of confusion.

It is common to think that certain people became wealthy by providence or sheer luck. This is not completely true, though a little luck helps sometimes. Apart from those who inherited family wealth, wealth is made with a great deal of commitment, hard work, and consistency. Beyond these qualities, there are certain sets of habits that are specific to wealthy people, especially those that built their wealth from scratch. These habits work like a magic wand in generating wealth. 

Early Risers

You may be wondering how waking up early can contribute to success. Well, you may have to examine the lives of Larry Schultz, Tim Cook, and Richard Branson, for instance. There is a difference between waking up early to rush out for work and waking up at least three hours before work to have enough time for reflection. 

Wealthy people wake up early to meditate or write in a journal, read educational content, or get a head start on an important project. Some get good exercise or have a healthy breakfast. The goal is the same: to be proactive in setting the tone for the day. Note that wealthy people do not make email checking their top priority in the morning. They rather leave it for later in the day.

Specific Goals

Wealthy people are goal-driven. Rather than make a wish, wealthy people only set goals for themselves. In fact, poor people set the goal to become wealthy but the major challenge – unknown to them – is the “how.” Wealthy people set specific goals and know what they need to do to achieve them. 

Such goals might include accumulating a certain monetary worth within a certain number of years, partnering with a particular company, or even selling their company for a specified amount. Whatever goal they set helps to guide their actions, prioritize their activities, as well as streamline their decisions. A clear vision of one’s goal is enough motivator that can drive one to success.

Daily To-Do List

It becomes almost impossible to become wealthy if you do not know what needs to be done and be committed to doing them. According to Thomas Corley, a goal is a broader term and needs to be broken down into a list of tasks that can be completed daily. This is a common habit among wealthy people. 

Research indicates that a significant percentage of wealthy people write a detailed to-do list as well as follow it through. Irrespective of the cost involved, they don’t procrastinate. In fact, they continue to mutter “Do it now!” in their minds, especially when the thought of putting off sets in. They don’t stop until the task gets done or completed. Notwithstanding, they may be unable to complete all their to-do lists every day. Nevertheless, they complete a minimum of 70% of their daily tasks.

Daily Exercise

The most common excuse by the common people is that they have no time to work out. This is not the same with wealthy people. Despite the fact that they have the least amount of free time, they understand the importance of staying healthy and fit. Even with a whole lot of wealth, they are aware that their health has no price tag. To them, daily exercise is a regular habit. With that, they get the vitality to handle whatever challenges life throws at them. According to a study report by Author Thomas Corley, 76% of wealthy folks do aerobic exercise on a minimum of four days every week.

Healthy Diet

Feeding your moneymaking brain with fad diets and Twinkies will only leave it in low gear. It is common knowledge that a large portion of less-affluent people are less concerned about their diet and overall health. This may be a result of income and geography. Notwithstanding, the cost of having a healthy diet is not as expensive as portrayed. 

Wealthy people treat food like the fuel it is – they consume the right foods, avoid junk food and snacks as much as possible, and spend more on healthy foods. Their meals are structured so that they take a count of their calorie intake. They eat a healthy diet to live longer, thus giving them more opportunities to earn more.

Read Daily for Self-Improvement

A popular quote by Joseph Addison states thus: “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Just like exercise, poor people do not take book reading seriously. The great number of books in the world today leaves a wealth of knowledge untapped, if unread. Wealthy people understand this and are willing to nourish their minds with enough information that can help them improve their skills and knowledge. Even if on transit and cannot read, they do not hesitate to listen to audiobooks.

Value Time

Generally, wealthy people regard time as money and time misspent as money lost. In other words, wealthy people see time as highly valuable and wouldn’t waste a bit of it, especially on unproductive activities, such as reading celebrities’ posts on social media or watching TV. Yeah, you saw that – watching TV! Wealthy people do not get relief in shutting off their brains in front of the TV. 

Elon Musk, for instance, spends a whopping 80-100 hours every week on productive activities such as exercising, reading, or learning something new. Rather than waste their time on nonproductive activities, they rather engage in things about which they are passionate, such as hobbies. Asking yourself how much money you would lose by engaging in activities that don’t produce money will help redirect your focus on productive tasks.

Build Relationships

Wealthy people understand the value of building relationships, especially the ones that revolve around their businesses. That is one of the reasons wealthy people will always be friends with one another. They build relationships with those who share similar minds or ideas with them. It is commonsensical that the relationship they build will impact their success-achievement goal. This kind of relationship can be built in many ways – at a conference, online webinar, or just over coffee. They may not necessarily be wealthy; however, they should possess the potential and drive to become wealthy. 

One other reason why wealthy people build relationships is to help them overcome the fear of speaking in public – a common fear among humans, irrespective of their social or financial status. They thus meet and engage someone new every day to build the confidence they need to address larger groups.

They Have Mentors

Many wealthy people have attributed their success to their mentors. It is not the case that their mentors have a direct impact on their wealth accumulation story. Rather, mentors keep them accountable and help them accelerate their speed of success achievement. Usually, mentors are people that have accumulated enough insights and experiences that can help their mentees cut learning time in half.

Key Takeaways

It is common to think that certain people became wealthy by providence or sheer luck. This is not completely true, though a little luck helps sometimes. There are many things that go into creating that ideal lifestyle and becoming wealthy. Incorporating growth tactics and throwing out the unproductive habits that currently keep you shackled to your not-so-ideal lifestyle will be a game changer for sure.

Free Gift

Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

Money Mindset Mentality

Change the way you handle your money.

Do you often feel you don’t have enough money to support all of your needs? Or do you feel inadequate in your finances so you get too scared to spend or rather spend everything conversely? Despite your resistance to spending, do you still have enough? Usually, the relationship that exists between an individual who is successful with money and another who gives up easily on their financial goals revolves around their attitude towards money. 

Personal finance books, articles, or podcasts will teach you money goals, such as spending less than you earn, saving or investing for the future, and avoiding buying things you don’t need. Well, while these may be critical to achieving financial freedom, it is often difficult to implement those rules.

It is not impossible to have a financial breakthrough from a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. The problem lies in your beliefs and attitudes about money or finances, otherwise regarded as a money mindset. There are two types of money mindset: scarcity and abundance. While the former believes there is never enough, the latter believes in always having enough even if the prevailing circumstances negate the belief.

As much as money is a veritable tool to solve problems and live comfortably, it can also serve as a source of worry, concern, and limitation. Your thoughts toward it drive your financial decision-making processes, such as spending, saving, investing, and handling of money. With a positive money mindset, you tend to make better financial decisions that can help you overcome challenges associated with money paucity.

Formation of Money Mindset

As the name implies, our attitudes toward money are formed by different factors, usually psychological. Your experiences with money surely have a role to play in how you perceive it. Someone who has always lived on the generosity of their loved ones will perceive money differently from someone who had to take up a part-time job in school to make ends meet. One enjoyed free income while the other had to work to earn.

Regarding our family background, kids who had their parents openly talk about or fight over money while they are growing up will end up having a deeper understanding of money than those kids whose parents never created an open discussion about money probably for fears of igniting certain emotions. 

It is common to have heard the phrase “money doesn’t grow on trees” from our parents. Such a saying affects our perception of money. It tends to make us spend within our limits, avoid buying unnecessary things, withdraw from giving financial aids, etc., thus limiting what we can do and achieve with money. However, this can never make us richer or wealthier.

The lessons we learn about money – from our parents, friends, and community at large – are mostly indirect. You may not be taught how checkbooks or paychecks work. However, when you watch your mom or dad switch off every light, don’t you think there is a certain lesson embedded in the action? Do they pay tax willingly? 

The reality is that you don’t need more money to live well or stay happy. In fact, there is a virtue in living with fewer things. The reality is that money is never enough. As long as people live, they will continue to chase more money than they need.

What You Gain by Understanding Your Money Mindset

There is a strong connection between what you believe and what comes out of the belief. Your relationship with money and attitude towards money determine what you will make of your money mindset. Research conducted by Thomas Corley of Rich Habits discovered that 53 percent of self-made millionaires were obsessed with becoming rich before they were rich. 

In another study conducted by Ramsey Solutions, of the over 10,000 millionaires studied, a whopping 97% of millionaires believed that they have the keys to become millionaires within their control. And that mindset was the reason behind their success.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” This is true to a large extent. By understanding your money mindset, you get a mindset shift. In other words, you are able to get on the path of a positive money mindset, which is the right attitude to succeed.

Changing Your Money Mindset 

If you still believe that only lucky people have money, then you are still trapped in the mindset of scarcity. It is time to extricate yourself from the long-standing myth that you need a big-income family to become wealthy, and it starts with your awareness of this self-limiting belief. Your belief, in turn, shapes your behavior. 

The following tips will help you change your money mindset from scarcity to abundance.

1. Make positive money affirmations

The problem with a negative money mindset starts with limiting beliefs that impact the way you perceive and handle your money. These have to be written off if you want to develop an abundance mindset. You need to create a new reality for yourself. For instance, affirm yourself as a successful money manager who has what it takes to transform the age-old family pattern of money scarcity. State that you invest your money responsibly and support others financially, no matter the situation. When you understand the “why” of your money, it gives you the motivation and commitment to set positive and healthy financial goals that will transform you completely.

2. Be grateful for what you have

Oprah once said, “Be thankful for what you have. You’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.” 

This is the reality of the world in which we live. Wealth is not distributed equally. Notwithstanding, there are lots of things to be grateful for, and spending more time to be grateful for those things rather than worrying over what we don’t have makes us feel abundant. Be grateful for having a roof over your head, good health, food to eat, access to clean water, and clothes to wear.

When you are grateful for what you have, you tend to be content and less tempted to spend on less important things, creating more room to spend or invest in more reasonable things. 

3. Expand your knowledge base

The books we read are instrumental to the changes and progresses we make. Leadership speaker Charles Jones once said, “You’ll be the same person in a year as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Learning about money management and money psychology will go a long way in setting you up for success, not considering the amount of money you spend.

It is through books that you can learn how to move out of debt so you can live your ideal life, understand the need to have an emergency fund, and design a game plan for your financial future. You can try out the following books: Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms by Amanda Steinberg, MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins, Secrets of a Millionaire Mind by Harv T Eker, among others.

Key Takeaway

A mindset shift will give you freedom from overspending, paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, and debt. It also helps you to develop a good savings attitude and set yourself up for success. All of these tips are critical to the ultimate goal of achieving complete financial freedom. When you are grateful for what you have, you tend to be content and less tempted to spend on less important things, creating more room to spend or invest in more reasonable things. Remember that.

Free Gift

Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

Vacation Vibes Everyday

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius

Comin’ at ya from Studio City, CA this week. I’m here for work (and some fun) and I wanted to let you in on some of my Financial Wellness secrets…

I LOVE traveling for sure. I also love that my job allows me to create my own schedule. If you don’t like your life, you should change it. You are in charge of your reality. I have a lot of things I do to prepare for a trip. If it’s a work trip I have to plan my schedule and adjust things if necessary. I also love that I can work from anywhere in the world. That helps when re-working client meetings and it’s so convenient. Here are a few more things I do when going out of town for a period of time…


I’m obsessed with packing cubes and packing the most efficient way possible. Granted each trip is different and I usually pack my entire house. I like to be prepared for anything plus I am a mom. I pack an outfit for each day unless there is a laundry cleaning service available. I pack workout clothes, essential oils, shoes for every occasion , bathroom stuff, and many other things depending on the circumstances. For this trip, I have a photoshoot planned so I needed to pack a little extra because more is always better just in case.

I usually pack a day or two in advance so that it gives me enough time to think of anything and everything I might need. Before I pack I make a list. Lists are my life and I can’t function without them. Making a list helps me because I have two kids and each have their own special items I need to pack. I forgot my calculator so I won’t be able to do my work that requires it. I took that as a sign to complete those tasks at another time. I need to be more present here.

P.S. I packed an hour before I left for this trip and I will NEVER do that again.


What am I going to be doing on this trip you ask?

Well, I am doing a photoshoot to get some fresh pictures for my website. Paying the photographer was an expense and I can write that off on my taxes. Yay! The drive here was about four hours and I only filled up with gas once. I can write that off on my taxes. I had to pack a ton of clothes for the photoshoot and I have no idea what other fun things we may be doing. I like plans but I also like going with the flow. This trip has a very specific purpose. I HAVE BEEN CRUSHING WORK. Plus, the photoshoot.

Make Time For Fun

It’s so important to plan something fun while on a work trip to break everything up. I have been working on separating my professional hours from my personal hours so setting a block schedule or something like it within my schedule has helped a lot. I can easily get lost in work stuff. I’m pretty sure I worked for at least 10 hours yesterday which I don’t like to do. I was definitely feeling the good vibes and good energy so I just did my thang and crushed out a bunch of stuff I was behind on. We are going to dinner at a really cool restaurant after the photoshoot so that will be a nice change of pace for sure. Loving what you do means it’s not working. That is exactly how I feel about my job.

“Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.” – Johnny Carson

Life is simply far too short to be bored or miserable (or both) for such a large portion of the time you spend awake. You deserve to have a job that fulfills you, that taps into your passions, that brings you joy–for the most part, anyway. If you’re waking up every morning dreading the day- it’s time to change something. Because putting up with a business or career you don’t love doesn’t serve you at all. It can negatively impact your physical, mental, and emotional health, and it’s not so great for your interpersonal relationships, either. Financial stress is actually one of the top reasons for divorce. Food for thought…

Free Gift

Check out the FREE video series on my 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Financial Freedom! This video series touches on Budgets, Tackling Debt, and Ways to Increase Income TODAY! I created this series for those of you who have been hit hard by COVID-19. I want you to know there is nothing you can’t accomplish and creating a plan of action is always a great starting point.

7 Budgeting Basics For Small Business Owners

  1. Keep your small business finances out of your personal finances
    • This one is huge! Co-mingling business and personal money may seem easier, but it can lead to complications down the road. Keep a record of your business expenses to take advantage of available tax benefits. It also can be risky to use personal money to fund your business as it increases your personal liability. Person and business finances are equally important for success and keeping them separate will help.
  2. List your expenses
    • Next, you’ll need to know exactly how much your business is going to cost to run daily and monthly. List out all your expenses, rent, employees, supplies, services, etc. Make short-term and long-term projections with your income.
  3. Budget for your wants
    • If you’re planning ways to improve your business, be sure to budget for them, and save until you can afford them. If they are not necessary for your business to run well, there’s no need for you to go into debt.
  4. Know what to expect from your business income
    • Relying on your business to provide for your family takes some planning and knowing exactly how much money to expect each month. If you have no idea how to much money will come in, then there’s no way to budget and allocate your money to certain things.
  5. Set a savings goal for expansion or security
    • Start a savings plan for your business. In order to expand, hire more people, and provide security for your family, its important for small business owners to set aside small amounts of money to have long-term financial health. Small business owners often face difficulty saving money, since many have very tight budgets when they start. Saving from the beginning will help ensure you have some cushion in tough months.
  6. Look for areas where you can cut costs
    • Efficiency and frugality will help your small business succeed. I recommend taking inventory of your expenses every month and considering areas where you can cut costs, not with cutting quality. I’m not advising cutting corners, but there are ways to save money and run your business efficiently without affecting quality of your product or service.
  7. Be realistic
    • Make sure you have realistic expectations for your income and your expenses. Do your research, and don’t expand too quickly. Budgeting is essential for your small business success. Its important to keep your personal finances separate from your business finances so that you know exactly where your money is going and are able to easily provide documentation for your business taxes.

Durbin Bookkeeping Website

Retirement Plans For the Self-Employed

I am self-employed and I thought other self-employed people might like this little spreadsheet I created. It breaks things down into regular lingo verses financial talk. I really like how much info it gives you and the categories each one are in.

I personally have a SEP IRA. I use Meryl Edge for my investments and I love their customer service. I am the type of person to question everything and every time I have had a question they are very prompt in returning my emails and very concise when explaining things to me. I am so happy with my choice.

 SEP IRASolo 401(k)/Solo Roth 401 (k)SIMPLE IRAPayroll Deduction IRAProfit Sharing
Best forSelf-employed people; employers with one or more employeesSelf-employed people with no employees other than a spouseSelf-employed people; businesses with up to 100 employeesSelf-employed people; employers with one or more employeesSelf-employed people; employers with one or more employees
Funded byEmployer; individual, if self-employedSelf or qualified spouseEmployee deferrals; employer contributionsEmployee, via payroll deductionEmployers, at their discretion; might be linked with employer’s workplace retirement plan
2018/2019 EMPLOYEE contribution limitsContributions for employees made solely by employer (or sole proprietor); limit of 25% of net self-employment income, to a maximum of $56,000 Lesser of $19,000 or $25,000 for those age 50 and older and 100% of earned income$13,000; $16,000 for those age 50 or older Based on employee’s IRA eligibility; maximum of $6,000; $7,000 for those age 50 and olderBased on employee’s IRA eligibility; maximum of $6,000, or $7,000 for those age 50 or older
2018/2019 EMPLOYER contributionsThe lesser of up to 25% of compensation or $56,000 As both an employee (of yourself) and employer, up to $56,000, or $62,000 with catchup contribution Mandatory matching contribution of up to 3% of an employee’s compensation or fixed contribution of 2%N/AThe lesser of up to 25% of employee compensation or $56,000
Taxes on contributions and earningsContributions and investment income are tax deferred; earnings grow tax-deferredContributions and investment income in a traditional Solo 401(k) are tax deferred; contributions to a Solo Roth 401(k) are taxable; earnings grow tax-freeContributions and investment income are tax-deferred; earnings grow tax-deferredContributions to a traditional IRA might be deductible; contributions to a Roth are taxable; earnings grow tax-deferredNo taxes on contributions; earnings grow tax-deferred
Taxes on withdrawals after age 59 1/2Taxed at ordinary ratesTraditional Solo 401(k) withdrawals are taxed at ordinary rates; Solo Roth 401(k) withdrawals aren’t taxedTaxed at ordinary ratesTraditional withdrawals are taxed at ordinary rates; Roth withdrawals aren’t taxedTaxed at ordinary rates
ProsSimpler for employers to set up than Solo 401(k)s; employers get tax deductions on contributionsAllows small business owners to make both employee and employer contributions for themselves; has higher contribution limits than some other plansEmployees can contribute up to 100% of compensation, up to limitEasy to set up and maintain; no minimum employee coverage requirementsEmployee might be able to borrow penalty-free from vested balance before retirement age (although borrowed amounts are subject to income tax)
ConsLower contribution limits for sole proprietor than a Solo 401(k); doesn’t allow catchup contributions; employer contributions are discretionaryMore complicated to set up than a SEP IRA; only allows withdrawals before age 59 1/2 for disability or plan termination25% penalty on distributions made before age 59 1/2 and within the first two years of the plan; no loans allowedEmployees subject to Roth and traditional IRA eligibility requirementsVesting period is generally required; no diversification, tied to employer earnings
Good to knowThere is a different calculation to determine allowable SEP contributions if you’re both the employer and employee   Employer contributions might be subject to vesting termsDistribution rules penalize rollovers to another account within the first two years of plan ownership; a SEP IRA or 401(k) might be better for the self-employedThe employer chooses the providerContributions are at employer’s discretion and can vary based on salary and job level

Creative Ways to Increase Income

Know Your Worth

Times are tough right now during a global pandemic and you are not the only one trying to increase your income. Know your worth. You are worthy of money. Repeat that to yourself right now. Just because times are tough now doesn’t mean they always will be. It is up to you to get off that couch and look for new beginnings or new opportunities. There are new challenges now of course but that just means we adapt to the changes. I’m going to give you some creative ways to increase your income TODAY!

Sell Stuff Online

Everyone has a closet filled with clothes they bought a decade ago, unless you are a minimalist then you have nothing. Move along… Anyway, Like I was saying… Everyone has junk laying around that they can easily create an eBay account or poshmark account to sell these items on. There are many other sites you can utilize to sell things on for cheap.

  1. Ebay
  2. Poshmark
  3. Amazon
  4. Craigslist
  5. ThredUp
  6. Facebook Marketplace
  7. Offerup
  8. Letgo
  9. Cash4Books
  10. Decluttr

Other ways to generate more income include:

  1. Rent a room
  2. Drive people around
  3. Deliver food
  4.—- Review unsigned artists and get paid for it
  5. Negotiate salary

Popular Side Hustles:

  1. Driver
  2. Coach
  3. Sales Rep
  4. Virtual Assistant
  5. Blogger
  6. Freelancer

Everyone is capable of increasing their income. You just have to get creative and start with a plan. Planning doesn’t come naturally to some people but it might be worth it to try. If you have been laid off and can’t even fathom driving people around why not dive deeper and consider turning a hobby that you really enjoy into a new small business. If it’s crafting you enjoy why not channel your feelings and emotions into creativity and open an Etsy shop to sell these items. There is always a way, you just have to find what works for you.