First Steps




Student Loans


First Steps

Where do I start?

When confusion impedes your forward progress in life, I recommend taking time to view your current reality. Answering the following five questions will significantly help you to add clarity, remove barriers, and set direction in your life.

  • What about my current circumstance that makes me feel unfulfilled?
  • What is my view of money?
  • Where do I want to be 3 to 5 years from now?
  • What must I do to get there?
  • Will my current spending pattern support my journey?

Why do I need to write down my vision and goal?
I have the ideas, and I keep them in my head.

Committing your vision and goal to paper is the first important step to clarify and focus your actions and assure success. Your written vision and goal are a constant visual reminder of what must be done to have a successful outcome. Keeping things just in your head allow activities such as procrastination, fear, confusion and other negative energies to threaten your success.

Why must I think in terms of spending?

Consumer spending is reported to account for approximately 70% of the US economic activity. This amount of spending can be a major factor in having a down or up economy. All transactions or exchanges that involve money are acts of spending, and spending is good for our economy. It is wise to think in terms of how you can best spend your money to reach your stated goal. This approach challenges you to have goals and ask the question. Am I getting the “best bang for my buck”?

Is there a system to use for controlling spending?

Yes, I recommend the 4-bucket cash management system which requires goal-setting and allocation of revenue before disbursement or spending.

Can budgeting of my money be easier?

Having a budget is essential to good management of personal income. On the other hand, budgeting can be counterproductive, especially when the process is time consuming, too restrictive and inflexible. The 4-bucket cash management system is an approach for easier and more effective budgeting.

What’s the difference between saving and reserving my money?

These two words are of similar meaning and action. I separate the two words accordingly: Saving is setting aside a sum of money with the intent of using the money to purchase goods and services at a future date. Reserving is also setting aside a sum of money with the intent of using the money to purchase specific goods and services usually at a specific date. In other words, when I reserve money, I have a specific purpose, amount, and time in mind. For saving, I am more general and open with my desires.

What are some tips to control my spending?

I recommend determining your spending pattern, set goals, and adopt a cash spending system.


What’s the difference between saving and investing?

Saving is setting aside a sum of money with the intent of using the money to purchase goods and services at a future date. At the time of purchase, the expectation is not to preserve and grow the money for a return on the amount spent. Investing is using capital to purchase a product or service with the intent of not losing the value of the purchased amount and expecting the capital to grow yielding a good return on the amount used for the purchase (called return on investment, ROI).

Why should I prepare to invest?

Investing is transformative. Investing allows a person to move from a life of generating income by trading personal time and energy for dollars to generating income by setting aside money as capital and using the capital to work for you. Successful investing can be accomplished by many, but requires responsible behavior, diligent study, discipline, and patience.
Successful investing is a risk management process conducted over both short and long-term periods. Each person should invest starting now because each day you’re at risk of losing money/opportunity that cannot be recovered. If this is perceived incredulous, one needs to arrange to start as soon as possible. I recommend that each person (s) overseeing or bearing the responsibility of the investments recite an affirmation as written in “Spend Don’t Save, page 159, before starting to invest

Do I pay off debt before investing?

There is more than one camp on this subject. My approach is to take care of the debt(s) and also, start or continue setting aside money to increase your investment capital base and maintain the discipline of investing. Each day you delay focusing on building your investment capital base you lose the benefit of compound interest for the amount of accumulated capital, and the practice of setting aside an affordable amount of money to build an investment capital base. I suggest executing a debt reduction and a capital accumulation plan simultaneously.

When should investing begin?

Investing should begin now. At all times, you should set-aside money to increase your investment capital, and this habit must not depend upon the amount but upon affordability. It is wise for parents to start an investment program for their children at birth in order to take advantage of compound interest and longevity. If you missed out on having an investment program started for you at birth, you must start your own investment program now.

I want to give and invest my money, so how can it happen when I am short paying regular bills?

You are where many people are today. You can start correcting your situation by adopting a cash management system. I used the 4-Bucket cash management system which allows me to set goals, prevent overspending, and control my cash flow.

Is real estate investing a good way to create new wealth?

Many people have become quite wealthy from buying and selling real estate. Before tackling this huge market, it is prudent to seek out training opportunities, or coaching to maximize your experience and reduce risk.


How do you feel about campaigns that offer “buy now and pay later” deals?

I firmly believe that if you cannot purchase the item now, speaks to affordability which may still be the issue later. Why encumber your future with unnecessary risk and debt? These deals are most likely not good for your financial plan.

How do I handle my creditors?

I suggest minimizing their presence in your financial household, and I suggest having a strategy that always keeps a downward pressure on daily expenses.


Should my spouse and I have separate bank accounts?

Married couples who have agreed upon a goal for their life including finances may have separate accounts if the action does not interfere with the established finance plan. Lack of trust, respect, and effective communication often produce a wedge between many couples resulting in losing the benefits of the unified approach.

What are some tips for getting my spouse to budget with me?

I suggest spending time having a conversation about each person’s vision, goal (s), and view of money. After this conversation, the development of a common pathway increases the likely hood of both working on a common budget.

My spouse and I argue about money.
What are some tips to reach agreement that’s best for both of us?

I suggest planning time to have a conversation about the following: Trust, Honesty, Fairness, Respect, Vision, Goal, Each person’s view of money.

Student Loans

How can I avoid student loans?

Each student’s situation varies and dictates the necessity for a student loan. If a student loan appears to be the only viable alternative, use caution and only borrow for necessary school’s cost. Other tips are lengthening your school year, working, scholarships and grants, employer sponsored school program. You may need to work and decrease school time, or suspend your attendance until your reserve capital increases. Any plan that you choose requires your commitment to stay focused on the primary goal of completing your education.