You Lost $24 Billion In 16 Days Mr. Government?

According to the USA Today (10/18/2013), the 16 day Government shutdown cost the economy jobs, delayed mortgages, and lost retail sales.  The numbers aren’t fully in yet, but it is purported to be at least 12 billion dollars and possibly as much as 24 billion dollars for the stalemate that took place in Washington, D.C. over the past several weeks. As a 22 year veteran financial advisor, you don’t advise someone to take out a Target store card right after they have maxed out their Sears and Nordstrom store cards.   We all know that piling up lots and lots of credit card debt is simply an unsustainable way to manage a financial budget.  What we all don’t know today is when the balloon will burst. It’s not a smart money move to lose 12 billion, let alone 24 billion, but I’ve come up with my list of things that we could have done with 24 billion. We could have handed ...

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5 Ways To Enjoy Atlanta In The Fall On The Cheap

Fall is my favorite season of the year.   I’ve lived in many different cities, but fall in Atlanta is something magical.   Give me a day like this past Sunday where its 75 degrees, with a slight breeze, and blue skies, and the rest of the problems in the world just melt away for an afternoon.   The big question to ask yourself on days like this is, “What is the best way to spend my lazy Sunday?”   Well, if your wallet is tight like most, here are five ideas on how to enjoy the fall in the Atlanta without racking up a huge bill. Hit one of Georgia’s state parks–   Amicalola Falls State Park is a wonderful way to spend a day when the skies are clear blue.  At 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast.  If you have the time and energy, there is even an 8.5 mile trail to Springer Mountain.  If you head ...

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Here’s Why Your Friends Are Going Broke

Most of the time when we talk about personal finance, topics including credit card debt, savings, investments, insurance, and coupons creep into the discussion.   Since nobody wears their net worth pinned to their chest, we truly have no inkling what our neighbors real personal financial situation is at any given point and time.   What I promise you to be true is that what appears to be an ocean of success around you is merely nothing more than a mirage of many people living on an obligatory basis to pay their bills.   Your friends will never tell you they are drowning in quicksand, but people around you are going broke every day and here are the reasons why. EGO– Your ego is something that can make you stronger or become an insurmountable obstacle to achieving success.  Remember, your ego is the part of your mind that contains memory.  It is ultimately what shapes your planning and your reality.   When it comes ...

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OTP: ‘Sip Wine’ In Milton Offers Four Money Saving Deals

Eat Well. Save Money. Come Back Hungry.  As we bring you more and more money saving deals in our financial bites column, we’ll be looking several times per month to give you deals at restaurants inside and outside the perimeter so you can make the most of your hard earned money.   Sip Wine, which is currently located in downtown Crabapple in Milton, GA, offers a huge selection of wine, tapas, and even has a full spread of the nitrous oxide machines to test out (with a pre-paid wine card) to taste a sip, half glass, or full glass of over 20 different wines. When I ate here last week, I discovered that Sip (we hear that they may open new locations in Cumming and in Toco Hills as well) offers four daily deals that you may want to take advantage of if you live in the North Atlanta suburbs: Sunday– 12 and under Kids Eat Free – they even have ...

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Five Celebrities That Know How To Save Money

Most of the media generated stories about celebrities consist of shock and awe showing situations resembling the Titanic sinking into the ocean.   When it comes to personal finances, we read about those who didn’t pay their income taxes, stars that spent themselves into bankruptcy, and estate plans that went decidedly south after their death.    However, there are celebrities who understand a thing or two about money and here are five famous people who know how to improve their bottom line. Teri Hatcher Understands Used Cars– Teri Hatcher became famous through the Superman shows she did with Dean Cain and then hit a home run with the Desperate Housewives television show.   She’s reported to have a net worth of over $50 million dollars.  “I don’t spend my money on sports cars or new million-dollar houses. I drive my cars for 10 years until they have 100,000 miles on them.” (source www.msn.com)    Used car buying is a smart money move that can ...

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Entrepreneur Series – Lesson 9 – Execution

I remember growing my career in management with a large Fortune 500 company when my Executive Vice President told me something one day.   He said, “Ted, execution is the one thing that separates the good from the great.  Let me put it to you this way.   If you don’t execute, you’ll be executed.”   I guess it’s hard to forget that, but it still rings true in my mind today.   Some of the best leaders and managers in business don’t achieve peak results because they simply don’t execute the plan. If you like to read, I highly recommend that you pick up a book written by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan called Execution.  There is a wealth of knowledge in this book about execution, and how to be very successful at getting things done.    Here are three mistakes new entrepreneurs make when it comes to execution. Changing the plan too often– One of the sayings I love is that focus beats ...

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Entrepreneur Series – Lesson 8 – The Marketing Plan

Marketing your products and services is the lifeblood of a new business.   While you can ultimately have all kinds of long term business strategies, without having a steady stream of new revenue your new business venture can close up in a short period of time.   In my opinion, if you look at the three big areas of business: marketing, the actual product or service you are offering, and client service, marketing is the one driver that can help sustain a business even if the other two areas are slightly subpar.    There are really two parts to the marketing plan.   One section involves dealing with implementing strategies that will specifically drive new client acquisition.   The other arena is building the brand of your new company. Many new entrepreneurs substantially underestimate the time and money it will take do marketing in the first year of their business.    From a time perspective, your networking functions, community involvement, and meeting face to face with ...

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Entrepreneur Series – Lesson 5 – You Must Hire Professional Consultants

Since many new entrepreneurial ventures are often started on a shoestring budget, where you spend your financial resources can be a prickly situation. Far too often, I see new business owners who in some sense are really penny wise but pound foolish as the old adage goes. When is the right time to get yourself legal help? Do you really need an outside person to do your books or can you do it yourself? Does it merit having a financial person talk to about entity planning and business structure? Can’t you just figure this stuff out yourself? Even with many years of corporate experience, I faced these same questions when I opened my business. The costs for some of these professional feels like a waste of money when you need those precious resources for things like marketing, staffing, and technology. However, I will tell you that a big mistake in any of the areas below can be a brutal blow ...

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