Author: Lana Williams

5 steps to managing an irregular income

 

Do you have an irregular income?

If so, a savings account is your new best friend.  It can be exhausting living to the fullest for a few weeks or months and then agonize while waiting for more money to come in.  The cure is to have money available for those low earning times. Then you can relax and go on as normal.  With irregular income, you start with your expenses and work in timeframes, say monthly.
  1. Determine what bills and expenses you must pay and put them on a calendar by the due date. The total amount is what you have to earn each month.
  2. Look back at your lowest earning month last year.  Would it cover Step 1?  If not, how much are you off? That difference is your 1st savings goal.  After you save that amount, your 2nd savings goal is the amount of Step 1. Now, you’re covered if you have a bad month.
  3. From here, decide on a salary or allowance you would like.
  4. Anything you earn over that each month, throw it in your savings account. You want to be able to cover 3-6 months. You’ll then have cash reserves.  By the way, banks, lenders, and investors love to see reserves.  Put this money aside say in a High Yield Savings Account or CD.
  5. From here, make some plans. There’s unexpected and yearly expenses, taxes, paying off debt, investing, retirement, vacation, gifts, holidays, education, etc.

For regular money tips, follow me on Instagram @lwilliamfinance

 

 

5 financial tips

 

There are less than 4 months remaining in the year.  Here are some year-end tips.

  1. Set a 1-month goal. It doesn’t have to be financial.  Just set a goal.  Accomplishing it gets you in the mental space of success.
  2. Think about what you want to see out your bedroom window. Our imagination is very powerful.
  3. Detox your finances. This isn’t a plug. Well, actually it is, isn’t it?  Follow me anyway.  It is proven that decluttering and organizing have huge benefits to our mental and physical well-being.  Detoxing sheds toxins and unhealthy habits.  It’s a fresh start.  It also highlights areas that you need to give attention to and where you are doing well.  Grab your copy of the 21-Day Financial Detox here
  4. The saying goes, if you can’t manage $100 why do you think you can manage $1 million? If you have trouble saving, put some money in a drawer and leave it there for the rest of the month.  That’s just 3 weeks.   Train yourself to get used to success with money.
  5. Debt – pick a debt and start paying more than the required payment. Don’t make it complicated.

2020 signifies clear vision. Hopefully, this year has highlighted some of the simpler things in life that don’t require a lot of money. Think about what you want your money to do for you, and put your attention on those things, not the money. What we give our attention to grows.

 

 

 

Let’s talk Real Estate

China coughed and the world caught a cold.   I got that term from a fellow financier and it is the perfect description of recent events with the Coronavirus.

China is the second-largest economy in the world, exporting about 540 products.  So, when China couldn’t make and ship out their products, companies and governments suffered.  Think about not being able to get your laptops, smartphones, furniture, clothing, plastics, and chicken.

America is the largest economy in the world.  It is even more imperative that we are firing on all cylinders. Unlike China, almost 70% of our economy depends on personal consumption; that is, you and me spending money.   That is what we do as Americans; we spend money and lots of it.  In fact, 64% of Americans own homes yet 69% have less than $1,000 saved.  As a finance person, this means opportunity so, let’s talk Real Estate.

Recent decisions to open states have posed the threat of not only an increase in health challenges but increased financial hardship.   The real estate market lags behind the stock market.   It makes sense, it takes time to view homes, apply for mortgages, get approved, etc.

If you want to invest in real estate, although it is still a sellers’ market, it’s a good time to get your ducks in a row. A recent forecast suggests a 50-60% decline in sales.  That would make it a buyer’s market which will force lower home prices.

In April, 1 in 3 tenants did not pay their rent.  This can lead to lots of evictions in 6-8 months.  If that happens and the economy is still slow, it is going to be hard for landlords to find new tenants to replace the old ones.  Landlords who are highly dependent on their investment income will take a hit and be motivated to cash out by selling their properties.   Also, if the economy is slow to recover, there will be an increase in home foreclosures.  This will lead to more conservative loan underwriting.  Banks are already tightening up mortgage qualifications requiring higher credit scores and larger down payments.  As a side note, interest rates are currently at a record low.

Of course, it is “wait and see” from here, but if you want to buy a home or investment property, the opportunity seems to be on the horizon.

Food for thought!

Lana

Want some direction on how to move forward with your finances, schedule your free Q&A with me, and let’s see if working together is the right move for you.   Go to calendly.com/lwilliamfinance

 

No student loan payments until September 30, 2020

 

 

If you haven’t heard, Federal Student Loan payments have been suspended for 6 months. This includes the accrued interest, which is an important piece. This means you will not be charged interest during this time. The suspension does not include Private student loans, so check to see which of your payments qualify. If you are not sure, you can go to https://nslds.ed.gov/npas/index.htm

Here are some ideas on what you can do with the money.

1 – Use the funds towards living expenses, if needed
2 – Save it!
3 – Continue to make payments. This will help you pay the loans off earlier.  To get an approximate,  go to https://studentloanhero.com/calculators/student-loan-prepayment-calculator/
4 – Pay off/down some high-interest rate debt; especially those above 10%.
5 – Invest it. If you are a beginner, some apps you can try are Stash, Acorn and Robinhood.

As you adjust during this time, it is more important than ever that you incorporate good financial habits. Hopefully, you are spending less money.  If you need ideas on what you can be doing, refer to the Coronavirus and your Finances blog below.

This is a shift. A pause. There are many lessons before us. Regarding your finances, this is a really good time to re-start or start your financial coaching.  To schedule your complimentary 20-minute consultation, go to https://calendly.com/lwilliamfinance

Wishing you and yours good health and tons of love and light.

Lana

The Coronavirus and your finances. 8 key steps you can take.

By now, I am certain you are taking the precautionary healthy steps to protect you and your family from the Coronavirus. It is my experience that panic can ensue regarding financial matters during times like this. Usually, it is AFTER an event such as a hurricane, tornado, or sudden death of a loved one. This puts you in a reactionary mode. We are at an advantage with this virus, in that, we can put together a plan in advance. To help with this, I’ve put together 8 key financial moves to make during this time of unrest. They are:

1) Do things that help you relax. Emotions and finances are a bad mix.
2) Get some cash
3) Pull money from your savings account with the lowest interest rate 1st.
4) Use your credit card with the lowest interest rate 1st.
5) Leave your existing investments alone.
6) There’s a stock clearance sale right now. This is the time to buy.
7) Pay ahead or more on key bills and keep your receipts. Mortgage, rent, electric, gas, water, etc.
8) Don’t get down if your financial plan gets interrupted. This is why you have a plan.

On another note, the FED decreased interest rates last week. This is usually done to stimulate the economy. How does it impact you? Low-interest rates mean it costs you less to borrow and invest. So, if you are thinking about:

1) Getting a loan – start paying attention to loan interest rates. They should drop soon.
2) Paying off your credit cards – if they have a variable rate, which they probably do, pay more. You can pay it off faster when the rate is lower.
3) Saving money – lock into a higher rate CD before rates drop.

If you find these tips helpful, financial coaching is probably a good fit for you. Click here https://calendly.com/lwilliamfinance to schedule your complimentary 20-minute Q&A. Let’s talk about what’s going on with your money and how I may be able to help.

Financially yours,

Lana

 

 

 

Realization about my qualifications as a Financial Coach

During a Financial Coaching session, I heard someone ask my client – “What makes her qualified to help you?”

Without hesitation, she glared at me and said, “My husband wants to know your qualifications”. I started rolling off my résumé. Well, I said, I’ve worked in finance my entire career, including working for H&R Block and Citigroup while in college. Professionally, I’ve… I stopped mid-sentence. This is when it hit me. I realized he may have wanted my qualifications, but this couple recently paid thousands of dollars to a Financial Planner and received a mere canned presentation containing confusing graphs, charts and industry jargon. He didn’t want my résumé, he wanted to know what my résumé could do for them. I started over.

You see, I said, I can look at a person’s bank and credit card statements and tell you a lot about them. What I have found in all my years is the story I read was not the one most wanted to tell. They want a story that says they are smart with their money. They live a very fulfilling life with no financial stress. They have little to no debt. They save and invest. They have a great credit score and are on track for a very nice retirement. I’ve worked with individuals and businesses of all net worth’s, income levels and revenue size. I’ve consulted CEO’s and CFO’s of banks and credit unions on how to generate deposits. Wait! Did I just go back to rolling off my résumé? Urgh! Let me try it again. Here goes.

Ok, this is what I know. Personal Finance is not just about the numbers. As you earn, spend, save and give money, your values are reflected. It becomes a gauge for who you are, what you stand for and where you are headed. When you are consciously clear about yourself, you feel good, expand and grow. When you are not clear and not conscious of your money exchanges, you end up doing things, often repeatedly, that do not make logical sense.

I’ve worked with thousands of people and their money. Did you hear that part? I said “people and their money”. I didn’t say market findings, statistics, analysis, and portfolios. This distinction is very important in a coaching relationship.

I’m qualified because as a former banker, I see finances from a banker’s perspective. This means my insight provides a big-picture road map for you, your family and your business. I’m qualified because I have experience with the tricks of the trade; those that are designed to charge you hundreds of dollars in fees and penalties for making a simple mistake. I’m qualified because I created sales pitches, strategies, and techniques used to get you to borrow more money so that you pay a lot of interest for years. I’m qualified because I’ve seen first-hand when you invest your money, often it’s more about which investment will yield the highest commission for the advisor vs. what is the right fit for you. I’m qualified, because I know debit cards were not invented as a security measure or convenience for you, but because every time you swipe, lots of companies are getting paid; bad for you because studies show the average person spends 20% more when they pay with cards. I’m qualified because I know the color green is associated with growth, vitality, and renewal and playing the right music, not putting dollar signs on your menu and having specialty drinks at certain times of the year entices people to spend $6 every day for a drink that cost pennies to make. I’m qualified because I know the 5c’s (research it) and teach personal finance from that perspective; contributing to longer-term success for my clients. I’m qualified because I practice what I preach.

Let me ask, is caring a qualification? If so, I’m qualified. I left corporate because I never found the right space to truly help people with their finances. So, I decided to build that space myself. Thus, I’m qualified because I built the space. I believe financial freedom is possible for everyone. That belief is the point where my coaching begins.

If you’ve made it through my laundry list of newly realized qualifications, you’ve probably identified with something. Take the step and email or call me to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.

New 2020 coaching packages coming your way.

Happy Holidays,

Lana

How you pay your mortgage determines how much you save in interest.

If you’re planning to buy a house, determine how you want to pay ahead of time. Lenders are going to push the highest amount and the longest term or the latest and greatest “new” loan. We’re here for financial freedom not to be life long debtors.

Let’s look at your Credit Card’s fine print

Introductory credit card offers are a great way to get cash back and point bonuses but don’t forget to look at the fine print. Understanding the interest rate and fees when applying for a credit card can save you lots of money. Check out the course Everything Credit Cards. – https://lwilliamfinance.com/courses/

Considering buying a home

Buying your first home can be both exciting and scary. Partnering to share the knowledge.

lana@lwilliamfinance.com
404.490.1872

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