Your money

What do I mean when I say you need to know your numbers?  Let me explain.

You pull out your favourite pair of jeans that you haven’t worn for a while and you can’t quite get the zip up.  No, they haven’t shrunk, you have expanded (put on weight…).  So you decide to do something about it.

Off you go to the gym (or Weight Watchers) and what is the one of first thing that happens?  You get weighed, then the measured and body fat pinchers come out.  At the end of that first session, you know your numbers!

You may not like them, but at least you have established a starting point to improve upon.  You were probably also asked what you would like to achieve so the appropriate plan can be put in place.  You will have picked some more numbers so you know where you want to get to.

It is exactly the same with your money.  You need to know your numbers.  You need to know what comes in, what goes out.  What you own and what you owe (your personal balance sheet).

I am amazed at the number of business owners who don’t know their numbers.  I was talking to a contractor, who told me he was a contractor so he “didn’t have to worry about that sort of thing.”  No wonder he wasn’t where he wanted to be in business or in life.

If you are an employee, it is easier to know your numbers.  You have certainty about what is coming in, you just need to work on the going out bit.  There are plenty of apps and programmes that can help you do that and then put a money plan in place accordingly.

Do you know what you are worth?

Regardless of where your income comes from, this is the difference between what you own and what you owe.  This is a very important number as it is a measure of your wealth.

When you first start out, it is quite possible this number will be negative.  Particularly if you have student loans, credit card debt and not very much on the other side, like a house, car, or retirement savings.  The goal is to get that number into the positive as soon as possible and keep growing it as you add more to what you own and less to what you owe.

For a business owner the calculation is a little more difficult, as you have to do the calculations twice.  Once for your business.  You should have your monthly business profit and loss and cash flow statement at your fingertips, this shows what is coming in and going out.  If you don’t know this, you need to talk to your accountant and start finding out.  Your business will also have a balance sheet of what you own and what you owe and how much of it is yours.

your money

The second time for your personal situation.  How much are you taking out of the business, and where is it going, and what does your personal balance sheet look like?

I have had some very interesting conversations with business owners that go like this:

“My accountant told me my business made $60,000 last year.”

“Great,” I say, “how much do you spend personally?”

Frequently there is a blank look on their faces, they just don’t know.  So we have a look at the numbers and it comes as a shock to them when I tell them they are spending $100,000 on their lifestyle and personal debt.

“How can this be?” they ask.

Then we look at what they own and what they owe and find the savings have gone down and the credit card debt has gone up.  Their wealth has gone backwards to support their lifestyle.

Options

Now they know their numbers, they have a couple of options.

  1.  Reduce their personal spending, or,
  1.  Increase the profit of the business

Which would you choose?

If you don’t know your numbers, you are flying blind (in a financial sense), you can’t move forward unless you know where you are now, and how you are going to get to where you want to be.

If you want to know more about how to work out your own numbers, or need some help interpreting them, feel free to drop us a line.

If you want to know more about your personal numbers, have a look at our Men, Women & Money Programme.  It is designed for couples who want to move ahead financially so that they can build a successful and happy life together.

In this programme, we also look at money in relationships – it is one of the major causes of stress.

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Financial Abuse

financial abuse

When we think of financial abuse the picture that pops into your mind is probably the same as mine; the elderly person with over aggressive family members (or carers) forcing them to hand over their savings and leaving them with nothing.

This does happen, unfortunately it features in the media all too often.  But there is also another, maybe even darker type of financial abuse happening and that’s to intelligent women (~70% of financial abuse cases are women).   They are left with nothing because their partners have financially abused them and left. Continue reading

Gender Roles are Alive and Well When it Comes to Money!

gender roles

It’s your first date, you have had a lovely meal and the bill arrives. What happens next?

According to a survey by Nerdwallet in 2014 (1,000 respondents in the USA who are in a relationship) 77.4% believe that the man should pick up the tab.  It looks as though traditional gender roles when it comes to money are alive.

Both men and women think this, but men are a little more likely to think this way. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Money Honey

talk about money

I want to talk about and plan our money, but my partner doesn’t!

Are you feeling nagged or hounded by your partner about money?  It can be very frustrating for you both when one of you wants to talk about money and the other one doesn’t.

Here are a few reasons that this can happen and what you can do about it. Continue reading

Are You Living Your Relationship or Your Parents?

living your relationship

This may seem an odd question, but it is one I ask all the couples we work with and invariably they look at each other and say, “probably our parents.”  

Then I see their eyes light up as they realise how exciting it will be when they are living their own lives and making their own choices.  

By now you are probably imaging a couple who live at one of their parent’s home and are still supported by Mum and Dad.  Surely that must be what I mean when I ask are you living your relationship. But no, that isn’t what I mean.  Let me explain. Continue reading

Where are You on Kids and Pocket Money?

As I discovered when chatting to a group of parents about kids and  pocket money (allowance) the topic can get quite emotive! There are some quite disparate views about how much, when to start and whether or not it should be for doing family/household chores.

Everyone in the group gave their children pocket but the amount was the tricky part.  It seemed to be linked more to peer pressure about what other children were getting, rather than what the parents thought was appropriate.

This story from one Mum really highlighted the children’s understanding of the value of money.  “It was Christmas and each of the three kids got an envelope with $20 in it from their Aunt.  The 11 year old got mildly excited about $20.  The 7 year old thought it was a lot of money and the three year old wondered why his Aunt had given him a pretty picture…” Continue reading

What’s Holding You Back from Financial Freedom?

money mentalist

What’s holding you back from achieving your financial dreams – your Financial Freedom?  Do you even know?  Well, it is time to find out and to do something about it.

What I would like you to do is to write down (has to be on paper, not computer) a list of 20 things that are holding you back from achieving financial freedom.

Once you have done that, take a break, have a coffee/juice/water and walk around the block, or whatever it is you do to clear your head.  Then come back and have another look at the list. Continue reading