Recently, my wife and I set a goal to hike the Grand Canyon, rim to rim. Our friends think it’s a great idea while our family is convinced we are crazy. Before you get too concerned about our safety, know that we are going with a group that has done the hike dozens of times and has strict guidelines we have to follow to ensure we are “ready”.
Planning for this hike has been unlike anything we have ever done before. This one goal has completely transformed how we approach almost everything related to our health and fitness. To begin, our weekend hikes have gotten much more serious. Some of these trails we have been on before, however, in the past, after about a mile of hiking we would turn-around because we knew we had a mile to get back home. Knowing that we need to be ready to go 7.5 miles/4,714 feet down into the canyon and then turn around and do 9.9 miles/ 4,314 feet back up, we have suddenly started getting more serious about our exercise, our eating and especially how far we go on hikes. We went for a 5 mile hike and it turned into 7 miles due to taking some wrong turns on the trail. In the past this might have been a huge frustration that we went further than we planned. Now we were happy about it because we know it is preparing us for the Grand Canyon. It is amazing how quick your perspective can change based on setting a goal!
It is interesting that the only thing that has changed was now we had a challenge to overcome. This alone has triggered all kinds of actions and changes that we never would have even attempted without it. You can have the same amazing transformation to your finances simply by setting a goal. The key is it needs to be something challenging. Saving up for a vacation is a good goal and can give you something to work towards, but probably won't "transform" your financial habits. Some big goals to consider could be paying off your mortgage in half the time, buying an investment property, choosing an amount you want to give to your kids for college, saving for adoption, starting a business etc. The key to this working is it needs to be big and at the same time it needs to be something you really want to accomplish.
Once you come up with the what, you need to then determine the how and how much. This is where you need to know where your money is going and start making a plan on what you could change. You might determine that you need to find other streams of income to get where you want to go. Again, this is something you might never consider otherwise, but now that you have a challenge in front of you, you will be surprised at what you come up with.
If you don’t challenge yourself, you will most likely stay where you are at. There may be nothing wrong with staying, but if you are not satisfied with your current situation, a goal may be the motivation you need to change it.
To better understand why this works, let's take a look at the research that has been done on goal setting theory. The following are extracts from an article I found on goal setting theory from www.positivepsychology.com.
“The following findings summarize the last 90 years of goal-setting:
In summary, when you set a goal for yourself, make sure it is positive, let others know about it, write it down, set a timeframe, be ready to make some sacrifices to achieve it, have a growth mindset, view setbacks as learning opportunities and don’t be afraid to make the goal big, but achievable.
I look forward to letting you know how our hike across the Grand Canyon goes. In the meantime, get started today with your own goal and watch it transform your life.
What would you do with your life if money was not an obstacle?
After you bought your dream house, car and upgraded everything you own, what would you do with your time?
Would your go on an endless vacation? If so, where would you go? To the beach or to the mountains? Who would you take with you? Would you be on the water, in hotels, or VRBO? Which countries would you visit? How long would you stay? What restaurants would you eat at? What would you do for fun? If you stayed in one place for an extended time would you get involved with local activities? If so, what types of groups would you join? What would you do for entertainment?
If endless travel doesn't work for you, maybe you would start a new company? If so, what would it be? A technology company? A car company? A service or hospitality business? Would you want to run it day to day? Would you just want to be the owner/investor?
What would you do? Would you become lazy? Would you get in shape? Would you read? Get involved with politics? Church? Philosophy? Social media?
Would you do none of the above?
So many times we perceive that we are held back by financial resources. The reality is, if you have an interest, you can pursue it. You can find a way through the obstacles that are holding you back. If you don't know what interests you, take a look at how you answered the above questions. What you would do when there are no obstacles gives you some ideas of what to focus on in your free-time.
If you knew it was impossible to fail, what would you do? Once you have your answer, picture yourself in that role, successful and busy. Now think about your new life, what things do you do each day? What types of ideas and solutions do you need to figure out each day? Now consider what actions you need to take now to get there.
Honestly, my answers to these questions have changed over the years. In some ways I am glad that some of my thoughts never came to fruition. You can think you want something but later realize it would have been more of a curse than a blessing. There is wisdom in accepting your current situation completely and trusting it is what's best at this time. At the same time, use your interests and talents to guide where you spend your free time. You never know what may come of it.
It is encouraging to know that it is never too late! Actually, it can be better to start later in life.
"In fact, the average age of business founders hovers around 40, according to research conducted by MIT professor Pierre Azoulay, who analyzed 2.7 million people who founded companies between 2007 and 2014. Azoulay found a founder at age 50 is approximately twice as likely to experience a "successful exit," meaning they get acquired or go public, compared to a founder at age 30, the research found.
Sam Walton had a fairly successful retail-management career in his 20s and 30s, but his path to astronomical success began at age 44, when he founded the first Wal-Mart in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962.
Henry Ford was 45 when he created the revolutionary Model T car in 1908.
Jack Weil was 45 when he founded what became the most popular cowboy-wear brand, Rockmount Ranch Wear. He remained its CEO until he died at the ripe old age of 107 in 2008.
Rodney Dangerfield is remembered as a legendary comedian, but he didn't catch a break until he made a hit appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" at age 46.
Momofuku Ando cemented his spot in junk-food history when he invented instant ramen at age 48 in 1958.
Julia Child worked in advertising and media before writing her first cookbook when she was 50, launching her career as a celebrity chef in 1961.
Jack Cover worked as a scientist for institutions including NASA and IBM before he became a successful entrepreneur at 50 for inventing the Taser stun gun in 1970.
Betty White is one of the most award-winning comedic actresses in history, but she didn't become an icon until she joined the cast of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1973 at age 51.
Tim and Nina Zagat were both 51-year-old lawyers when they published their first collection of restaurant reviews under the Zagat name in 1979. It eventually became a mark of culinary authority.
Taikichiro Mori was an academic who became a real-estate investor at age 51 when he founded Mori Building Company. His brilliant investments made him the richest man in the world in 1992, when he had a net worth of $13 billion.
Ray Kroc spent his career as a milkshake-device salesman before buying McDonald's at age 52 in 1954. He grew it into the world's biggest fast-food franchise.
Wally Blume had a long career in the dairy business before starting his own ice cream company, Denali Flavors, at age 57 in 1995. The company reported revenue of $80 million in 2009.
Laura Ingalls Wilder spent her later years writing semi-autobiographical stories using her educated daughter, Rose, as an editor. She published the first in the "Little House" books at age 65 in 1932. They soon became children's literary classics and the basis for the TV show "Little House on the Prairie."
Harland Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, was 62 when he franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952. He sold the franchise business for $2 million 12 years later.
Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, began her prolific painting career at 78. In 2006, one of her paintings sold for $1.2 million.
Harry Bernstein spent a long life writing in obscurity but finally achieved fame at age 96 for his 2007 memoir, "The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers." https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/24-people-who-became-highly-successful-after-age-40-2015-6%3famp
At the end of the day, this is your life. You are writing your story. Don't let fear, money, other people or yourself keep you from pursuing your dreams. You never know what you might accomplish, go for it!
As an entrepreneur you know every decision has a risk-reward analysis. Some of these decisions are simple and can be made within seconds while others are very complex and require much more analysis. As the owner, you have the weight of each of these decisions on your shoulders. You make a decision and there are limitless potential outcomes, some good and some bad. When it comes to making good money decisions for your business there are some guardrails you can structure around your business that can keep you on the right path. Guardrails are not guaranteed to keep you on track, but they definitely increase your chances.
The first guardrail is good record-keeping! You don’t know what you don’t know. It is going to be impossible to make good business decisions if you don’t know what is happening financially. Think of Accounting as a reflection of reality. You may feel like you are being successful, but the numbers should prove that out. When you are starting out it is easy to allow your personal and business records to overlap. Keep them separate and stay on top of reconciling your bank accounts to ensure accuracy. Depending on the complexity of your business, you should consider hiring an Accounting firm to assist you with your bookkeeping functions. As part of your record-keeping you should establish your goals for the year in the form of a budget. Each month you should be comparing your results to the budget and if you have more than one year of business you should also be comparing results to the prior year.
The second guardrail is cash flow. You can be making money and still have negative cash flow. The timing of payroll, debt payments, receivables and payables can create a cash crunch that can threaten your business survivability. Cash is king! You must invest the time necessary to evaluate your future cash flows. In addition to the timing of your monthly bills, you will need to consider your business' sales cycles including seasonality. There may be times of the year where sales are high but cash is tight and other times where it is the opposite. When you talk to your bank about your cash needs, the conversation will go a lot better if you have this work done. Your bank can provide you a line of credit to help navigate these fluctuations. Depending on your business the bank will have its own set of metrics that they will expect you to meet to ensure you aren’t getting over-extended. Your banker can be a valuable resource as they are in a unique position to see what works and what doesn’t across many industries and many businesses. They are vested in your success because they have skin in the game.
The third guardrail to consider is profitability. Sometimes I encounter business owners who have an unprofitable business model. They have a good product or service but they are not making money. They may have positive cash flow which allows them to keep operating but it is just a matter of time until it will catch up with them. Sometimes these owners are so busy running the business that they don't take the time to figure out how to turn a profit. They keep hustling for more sales but adding more business to a flawed business model just produces more of the same result. As stated by James C. Collins book "Good to Great" you must "confront the brutal facts". It is amazing the lengths we will go to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. The mantra I try to embrace is "fear no conversation". The truth of a situation will come to light if you stop avoiding it. No one wants to work for a failing business, but at the same time, there are a lot of people who are energized and motivated to turn a business around. The reality is you won’t ever turn around if you don’t know you’re lost. Take the time to honestly evaluate your business. What level of profitability are you satisfied with and what will it take to get there?
The fourth guardrail is leverage. How much debt are you carrying in comparison to your assets and income? If you carry too much debt, you greatly restrict your options. Do not take on too much debt until you have a proven revenue stream. This is difficult because so many times a business concept takes a lot of money to get off the ground. This is why you often see businesses who are successful venture into other areas because they have the security of their core business that enables them to attempt to do something new.
The fifth and final guardrail is to establish integrity as a core value. I have been fortunate in my career to not only work for businesses that had a strong business model but more importantly had the right values. You need to establish early on what kind of business you want to operate. Will it be one of integrity that your employees can be proud of or will it be one of poor rapport? Establish your core values, hang them on the wall and teach your employees to embrace them. It has amazed me the number of times decisions that were made because we were “honest” came back to benefit us in the long run. Your reputation and trustworthiness make other businesses and customers want to work with you. This doesn’t always have an immediate impact on your numbers but it definitely benefits you in the long run. Play the long game and choose long-term strength and sustainability over short-term gain. The reality is that those short-term gains that come out of compromised moral values really are losses that just haven’t been recognized yet. In Accounting we call that an accrued liability.
Whether you started, acquired or inherited your business you know the stresses of ownership. Sometimes this stress can lead to poor decision making. Follow these money guardrails to improve your chances of success. The risk-reward analysis will come out in your favor more often than not. Start with good record-keeping, manage your cash flow, analyze your profitability, minimize your leverage and run your business with integrity and you will be well on your way to running a successful business you can be proud of.
Some things in life are a complete mystery. For example, if you are trying to plan a vacation 3 months from now, you do not know if it will be good weather or bad...it's a complete mystery. At the same time, if someone asked you what the weather was like yesterday, you probably could answer the question fairly easily. But who cares about yesterday’s weather. Now here is the interesting thing, do you know that if you predict tomorrow’s weather (rain or no rain) by saying it is going to be the same as today’s, you will be correct more often than not, with somewhere around 75% accuracy. So knowing the past can help predict the future. Now it doesn’t necessarily help you predict 3 months from now, but it can at least help you with the near future.
Your money is much the same way. No one can know their distant financial future. They can hope and they can make educated guesses, but no one knows for sure. Your job may change for the better or for the worse. Your investments could grow exponentially or decrease suddenly. The good news is, you can have some idea about your near future by looking at how you earn and spend your money now. This knowledge can help you know what direction you are headed and what changes you need to make.
The problem is that even though this sounds like a simple concept, it isn’t. It is difficult to know exactly what is happening with your money, right now. So much of the money going out the door is based on decisions you made weeks, months or even years ago. Your past decisions on housing and the vehicle you drive are two major factors shaping the way your finances look like today. Your past decisions put the pressure, or lack of pressure, on yourself for today. This is why the journey to financial peace begins with knowing how you got here. At the same time, it is surprising how little thought is given to the future. When I first built the financial forecasting spreadsheet, I was surprised by the outcome. I was also surprised by the impact of decisions overlapping and creating 'tough' years. For example, I put an amount I planned on contributing to each of my kids, for each year that they would be in college. I also inputted 'big vacations' I was hoping we could do as a family. I then put in when I think our vehicles would need to be replaced (not to mention the extra vehicles needed when kids started driving) and suddenly I had a very interesting picture. The fact that college is spread over 4 or more years helped more than I realized and the timing of that big vacation became critical. How much we should spend on replacement vehicles became more obvious and which years I might need to tap into our Home Equity and possibly how much to cover expenses was clearer.
With this exercise of laying out a future plan, year-by-year, some of the decisions we would make, sometimes on a whim, became more significant in my mind. By at least having a picture of how the years would play out, I could better guide my family to maximize our experience. So many times we think that doing a financial analysis will mean we just have to spend less, but sometimes you will find, that you can actually spend more on the things you want to spend more on, if you are disciplined with some of the other major spending decisions. When you lay out a financial future, and see that it actually works out, you have more peace than if you just carry anxiety that you are spending too much, or there just isn't enough. This exercise can help break the bondage of illogical beliefs about money, and can actually increase your confidence about your future.
Consider the scenario where you actually do have enough money, but instead of enjoying it, you worry about money every day and refuse to spend or give any of it away? What kind of person are you becoming? At the same time, what if you are overspending and giving too much away? This isn’t responsible either. If you haven’t put together a future plan, you really don’t know what category you fall under. If someone said to you that you should take a vacation with your family because you only live once and those memories are priceless, you might brush them aside and say that is irresponsible. However, if you put a plan together and see that it is 'ok', that you will have enough money, then not taking that vacation might actually be the money mismanagement. Tracking your spending and planning your future are not just to restrict your spending, they are tools for you to maximize your money to your benefit.
The point of money is to direct it with intention and to maximize every cent that comes your way. If you over spend or over save, either option isn't desirable. The ideal is to spend and save the right amount. The amount that is appropriate to your particular situation, that accomplishes your dreams and helps you bless those in and around your life. You are less likely to give to others if you are living in a state of 'never enough' and fear for tomorrow. You don't have to live in fear, but in order to overcome that fear, you may need more knowledge. More knowledge on where your money is going and what your future will look like based on the decisions you have made and will make in the future.
Money, in many ways, is a mystery, but so is life. With money and in life, you can improve your situation by having self-awareness and living with intention. Money often reflects our approach to life... if you want to find peace with money, you need to increase your awareness with tracking and a budget and build out your plan (your intention) with a future forecast. Once you have done these activities, you will be in a much better position to enjoy your money (and life) with a little less mystery.
When you are young, just beginning your career, often, your income is slim. During this stage of life, you have to stick to your budget and start making choices that will lead to financial stability and success in the future. Even though there isn’t much to work with, you need to minimize your debt load and avoid accumulating credit card debt. The best thing you can do is start directing your money, no matter how small an amount, to the areas you know are best. Make sure you have basic insurance coverages, start contributing to your 401(k), and set aside money from each paycheck toward an emergency fund.
As your career gets going, you may start earning some extra money, but the crazy thing you will find is that there never seems to be enough. This is because you keep increasing the spend. You improve your living conditions, you get a more reliable car, you realize you want to be more generous and give to charity, you may get married and now have pressures to start a family, the list is literally, endless. You are probably most vulnerable to the credit card pitfall at this point because you have a million things you are trying to accomplish and you start to believe you should be able to afford it. The reality is, you can afford it, over time, just not all at once.
Later on in your career, you may start hitting some of your goals and start feeling better about your financial position. However, if you have kids, you will realize there still doesn’t feel like enough as you worry about helping them through college, paying for weddings and in general helping them get a better start to life than you had. It becomes more important as you have more money to know where it is going and make good decisions about how you spend, save and invest that money. This can be overwhelming and sometimes people make some very poor decisions with their money because they don’t have a plan. It is too easy to just spend money as it becomes available on home improvements, cars and other ‘wants’, when the reality is you may have needed to save some of that money for the future.
All of these stages demand more money from you then you will probably have. How do you deal with this? The best thing you can do, is make sure you are maximizing the money you do have. The problem is, if you aren’t tracking your finances and comparing it to a meaningful budget, you really don’t know what you have. Every month is a surprise. Some months you may feel really good and suddenly you have a car breakdown, or your property taxes come due, or you overspend while on vacation. A good financial tool will not only track what you are spending, it will help you build a budget and compare your spending to that budget. This is your scorecard. The main barrier to truly tracking your finances, is the time it takes. But if you can develop a weekly habit of downloading your financial accounts (Bank and Credit Card Transactions), you will save yourself stress and worry and will have a better chance of getting yourself on the right track. If you want to save yourself a lot of time each week, the www.xlyourfinances.com budget spreadsheet is designed to not only make this weekly process quick, it also makes it easy. The spreadsheet is automated to auto-label your transactions, remove duplicates and validate your downloads. The transactions are summarized and compared to previous months and years and most importantly, compared against your budget.
Since all your transactions are in the spreadsheet, the budget inside the xlyourfinances spreadsheet shows you by category what you have spent over the past few years and makes it easy to create that meaningful budget. The budget tab becomes your scorecard as it compares your actual spending to your budget through any date range you would like to look at. You can compare by month, year to date, or even look at a previous year.
The xlyourfinances spreadsheet not only saves you the time of building your own spreadsheet, it is automated to make the weekly process quick and easy. Your balances will match your online accounts because it won’t allow you to post duplicates and you can easily see the last transaction you posted. All your financial history is stored in one place, year over year, which makes doing taxes and anything that requires knowing your past history (verifying when you made a purchase for a warranty claim etc) simple and quick.
Xlyourfinances budget spreadsheet also has a cash forecast. This is an invaluable tool to ensure that you never overdraw your bank account. You may have multiple accounts you are juggling and you need a tool that can handle them all!
Throughout all these stages of life, you have the added stress of planning for your future retirement. How much should you be investing and what kind of investments should you be making? You will want to work with a certified financial planner to make sure you are doing the right things. When you sit down to talk to your advisor, they will have a lot of questions about how you spend your money, what your goals are, and what is your net worth. If you have the xlyourfinances budget spreadsheet up and running, you will be able to confidently answer all of their questions, because you have already took the time to figure these things out.
No matter what your current financial position is, knowing where your money is going and directing it to where you want it to go, will lead you to financial peace and stability. You can make sure you are saving appropriately, building your financial net worth, and see those improvements, year over year. Don’t go another day in the dark, invest in the budget spreadsheet designed for every stage of life at www.xlyourfinances.com.
"Expert Interview with Brad Hoffer of XLYourFinances on Expert Excel Tricks"
XLYF's Brad Hoffer took a moment to tell us about the spreadsheet, some possible applications, and ways to save time and money with some black belt Excel kung fu.
Can you tell us a little bit about XLYourFinances? When did you get started? What prompted you to start your own company?
XLYourFinances is a Microsoft Excel personal finance spreadsheet. I have used Excel virtually every day for the past 15 years in the various jobs I have had as an accountant. This has allowed me to learn some of the advanced programming capabilities that exist in Excel in order to build user-friendly spreadsheets to solve complex problems and processes.
As I would learn tricks at work, I would incorporate them into my personal finance spreadsheet. In 2009, I decided to tackle making my spreadsheet "unbreakable" so that others could use it as well. This process took a lot longer than expected; and by the time I put together instructional videos and created a website, it was towards the end of 2010.
I have always wanted to have my own company, but had never found something that I had enough passion about to pursue. Personal finance is definitely something I have passion about, so it made sense to create the spreadsheet and the website, and start helping people with their finances.
...(follow this link to see entire article)...
In that same post, you also talk about a bunch of really useful time-saving tricks on Excel. Can you share a couple of these tricks with us?
The ultimate source for learning tricks in Excel is www.mrexcel.com. I recently supported Bill Jelen's (founder of mrexcel) campaign on Indiegogo. He raised $25,183 to publish his 40th book titled, 'MrExcel XL Book - 40 Greatest Excel Tricks'. I am excited for the opportunity to contribute tips and tricks for this book. With that said, if I had to give one piece of advice to someone wanting to get to the next level in Excel, I would say to learn the 'SUMIF' function. Once you master how this function works, you can start doing some really cool things in Excel.
Any other advice or encouragement for people looking for financial freedom this year?
There is an ancient saying by Ahikar that goes, "I have hauled sand, I have carried salt, but nothing is heavier than debt." Being in debt is kind of just a way of life for a lot of us. I think making a commitment to get out of debt is one of the best things you can do. I'm not as worried about our mortgage, which is for a house that typically retains its value. I am concerned about our credit card debt, where we are buying things we cannot afford and then paying them off over time. When you use your credit card, make sure that you can pay it off in full each month, and make sure that you are spending less than you are making.
In summary, it is difficult to make positive changes which is why I love this quote from Robin Sharma ... "All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end."
For more info and updates from XLYourFinances, follow them on Twitter, and connect with them on LinkedIn.
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Christie heard about XLYourFinances (xlyf) from a mutual friend. She has been using the spreadsheet for approximately 18 months. I followed up with Christie to see if she would be willing to do a personal finance interview and she agreed.
Tell me about your personal finance journey and where you think you are on that journey?
How did you handle your personal finances before you started using xlyourfinances?
What do you like about the spreadsheet. Any favorite features?
How has your view of your finances changed since you started using xlyourfinances?
Were there any surprises or 'a-ha' moments once you started using xlyourfinances?
What advice would you give for someone who is struggling with their finances?
Any other thoughts or ideas you would like to share?
Thank you Christie for taking the time to share your experiences with us!
by Brad Hoffer
Extreme couponing and buying in bulk are crazes that have been around for quite some time. There are these ridiculous stories of people spending hours upon hours over coupons to get stuff for free and/or routinely shopping at bulk grocery stores which results in having a year or two of products in the pantry, closet or basement. All of this is done in the name of 'saving money'. The problem is, are you really saving money? It becomes very hard to measure at times. For instance, if you save $.50 a tube on a year's worth of toothpaste, let's say you go through 12 tubes a year, you have saved $6. However, if you make one errant purchase, such as a huge tub of pickles that you don't eat, or a pack of 12 kitchen brushes for $30 that you end up losing, you are at risk of throwing away your savings. The same thing happens with coupons. If you purchase something you don't need, the savings from your coupons are quickly eliminated. I have no doubt, there are super-disciplined people, who never make a wrong purchase and only purchase the necessities, and to you, I say, 'good job', 'keep up the good work'. However, for the rest of us, I think a careful look at how we are arriving at our savings and the 'extras' we end up buying needs evaluated. If your efforts to save money is failing, why are you doing it? Isn't it far worse to have the illusion that you are saving money, but in reality you are actually spending more?
Keep in mind, the goal of the companies issuing coupons and operating bulk stores, is to get individuals to buy more. If you are buying more than you need, you are losing the game. Call a time-out and re-evaluate your buying habits, your needs and your wants, and then shop smartly for only those things you need. This is at the core of saving money, buying only what you need. Even when you go to your local grocery store, everything is centered around getting you to buy more than you need. Every aisle has random stuff hanging from the shelves, trying to get you to make that impulse buy, that is, buying something you don't truly need. Think about it, one $3 'excess' item per trip, based on consumers' average 1.5 trips per week*, equals $234 a year. Think of the grocery store's motivation, every customer spending an extra $234 a year times an average of ~11,500* customers equals $2,691,000 in additional annual sales! As with any game, everyone likes to win, don't let the grocery store win! Develop a strategy and stick to it. For my household, we like to shop around the outside perimeter of the store and avoid going down the inside aisles. This approach will typically get you fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, the deli counter, milk, OJ, yogurt, eggs, cheese and bread. There is always something we need down the middle aisles, but we walk those aisles with trepidation!
In every game, big and small, there is a winner and a loser, well, except for some kids' sports where every participant gets a medal. The problem with not keeping score is you don't know how good or bad you really are. Also, if you don't keep track of past scores, you don't know if you are improving. The xlyf excel budgeting spreadsheet will help you keep score better than ever before, keep your history so you know if you are improving, and help you set appropriate goals.
Download the xlyourfinances "Excel Budget Spreadsheet" today and start winning the game against impulse purchases from coupons, bulk stores and grocery stores.
Eric is a young business professional who purchased the program around the time he got married. I followed up with Eric to see if he would be willing to do a personal finance interview and he agreed.
Tell me about your personal finance journey and where you think you are on that journey?
How did you handle your personal finances before you started using xlyourfinances?
What do you like about the spreadsheet, any favorite features?
How has your view of finances changed since you started using xlyourfinances?
Were there any surprises or 'aha' moments once you started using xlyourfinances?
What advice would you give for someone who is struggling with their finances?
What level would you recommend someone be at before using xlyourfinances?
In the book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg shares about a research project where particpants had to track their spending. “As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives — in the gym, or a money management program — that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything.”
I have been an Auditor, Analyst, Accounting Manager, Business Systems Manager, Controller, School Board Vice President, Director of Finance, CFO and COO over the past 2 decades of work experience. In my free time I developed the XLYourFinances spreadsheet and website I enjoy golf and spending time with my family. We attend church at LCBC.