A Diva’s Budget

  • NEW Everyday Diva Logo PNGPutting together a budget is an extremely helpful tool for someone trying to get their financial house in order. During the process, they can find out what expenses are necessary, what expenses aren’t and what expenses they should start to incur.

Prepare the Budget with an Advisor

I recently sat down with an opera singer who is a friend of mine to go over her budget. For some time she’s had the feeling that she was making a pretty penny but didn’t have anything to show for it.

During the review we were able to determine that certain bills had to be paid. They included rent, car, power, medical insurance, student loans, retirement savings and a number of other necessary bills.

Know the Goals and Outcome of a Budget Review

Now part of the reason that she wanted to go through the exercise was to determine how she could set aside money for simple savings for a rainy day but also carve out a portion of her income for continuing her opera lessons.

With this review we also came across expenses that where secretly and subtly draining her pocket book. Namely food. This included not only the food that she bought for the home but also what she spent every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was adding up.

On top of those expenses she noticed that going out with her friends was hurting her finances. She realized that she was spending too much going to dinners, movies, and generally hanging out with her friends.

Do What the Budget Plan Recommends

Now to be fair, the review was not designed to say that she should stop doing what she was doing all together. It was however designed to let her know where the challenges where and how to fix them. Namely watching what she buys outside the home for lifestyle.

This part of the review is critical. Once we identified what needed to be done she needed to do it. This is not to say that she won’t spend a little extra here and there but she needed to follow the plan to make it work. That way she can achieve a healthy financial balance in her life.

Putting together a budget with a financial advisor can go a long way in getting ones financial house in order. They provide independent, expert eyes that can look at the finances of their clients and determine what the best use of money is and where they can make improvements.

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Starting a Business

408611g3ehbfo67Are you dreaming about starting a business? Many people do. Starting a new business is exciting and demanding. Anyone that chooses to take on the hurdles of doing it have to be willing to juggle any number of opportunities and challenges at the same time. If it’s done right however, it can be very rewarding and gratifying.

Surround the Business with a Positive Environment

For starters, aspiring entrepreneurs want to make sure they keep themselves in a positive and encouraging environment. That environment doesn’t simply include the space they work out of, however. It includes family, friends, business partners and employees, just to name a few. They need to support them and the business.

It also includes healthy, positive living. Diet, exercise and personal time are part of that. This is important because when difficulties do come up, that environment needs to support the efforts of the business owner. Without it, it’s just more headaches for them to deal with.

Be Passionate About the Business

That environment goes hand in hand with the owners’ passion for what they’re doing. If owners are not passionate, then they may simply give up on everything at the first sign of problems.

For those aspiring entrepreneurs that are unsure about what they’re passionate about, figuring it out can be simple. I’ve found that if they simply ask themselves honestly, “What would I do every day if I had $10 million?” They would know what they’re passionate about. And again, that passion will carry them through the tough times.

Dealing With the Tough Times

Those tough times for many owners come very early on in the process. What or who is, the right financing, the right marketing plan, the best employees, the ideal clients. Have I saved enough money to make this work long term? These are just some of the challenges involved with starting a business. As the experience evolves, the triumphs and setbacks present new challenges that have to be handled.

So if you’re considering starting a business make sure you create the best environment for the business to flourish. That includes being in a positive and passionate space. It involves knowing your business backwards and forwards and it means being prepared to change along with the circumstances in order to keep the business going. Making all of this work harmoniously will lead to long-term success for the owner and the business.

 

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Do a Quarterly Financial Review

470480e1gdwufwtHave you met with a professional and done a financial review lately? Every quarter I like to meet with my clients and go over any changes that have occurred in their lives. In many cases, the meetings give me the opportunity to find out what adjustments need to be made in their financial lives.

Life Happens

If there’s been a promotion, we may be able to increase the amount that is set aside for a rainy day or retirement. If there’s been a marriage or new birth, we need to make sure that family members have the right protection. If clients are no longer happy with their job, we need to map out a plan to find a new job or start a new business. Whatever the changes are, there’s a very good chance that my client’s financial life has been affected. I need to know that so we can tweak our prior plan.

Benefits of a Review

One of the major benefits that results from this quarterly review is that it helps my client feel comfortable letting me know what new things are going on in their lives. How? Some people may feel that they’re interrupting advisors. Scheduling a quarterly review sends a clear message that the changing circumstances are important. It also keeps the lines of communication open for events that happen between meetings.

One of the other benefits resulting from the meetings is referrals. Meaning, I get referrals for my business and my clients help those close to them. How? My clients have family, friends, associates and co-workers that need financial advice. Keeping the lines of communication open lets them know that they have a go to person in their financial life. Why not help others have that same peace of mind?

So if you’re working with an advisor, try to meet with them on a quarterly basis to go over what changes have occurred in your life and see how that can impact your financial life. Remember, the meeting may last a few minutes or hours but the impact can last a lifetime.

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