The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I hope you’ve had a great week!

I really love reading the responses to my e-mails. I’ve had some strong responses to the last few I sent out.

I was surprised at the number of people who said they would rather pay off their smallest debts first even if it cost them extra and I was surprised this last time by the number of people who told me I’d given them the answer to limiting their spending by telling them the story about the chocolates and the peanuts (you can read these at my blog as well if you missed them).

In fact I have to say I love my work – period! Every week I have great pleasure in helping ordinary everyday people from all walks of life change their day to day finances for the better. As far as I am concerned you can’t get a much better feeling than the one you get when you help someone sort out their finances.

If you haven’t been one of the people I’ve helped up until now then it must be your turn very soon, or at least I hope so! I do understand that could be just a simple decision away but it might be a hard decision to make.

I know money is a very sensitive subject and it can be hard to make a decision to step out and get help in this area. We all need to have our guard up so as not to get ripped off by shonky operators; and there are plenty of them out there.

Chris Freeman from ‘Balanced Wealth Creation’ refers to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly when it comes to getting assistance or advice. He says that in every profession there are really good operators who know their profession inside out and who put the interest of their clients before their own. They are successful and sought after people.

Then there are the operators who have great intentions, have a heart for helping people, but really aren’t that skilled and we would probably all be better off if they just left town.

Finally there are the shysters who know how to look like they are great in every way, but in reality they are smooth talkers who deliver little or no value and put themselves first in everything. They get a bad name for everyone in that profession and they are the reason we need to have our guard up all the time!

You need to be looking for the Good, avoiding the Bad and running like crazy from the Ugly!

To help you with that; here are some questions you should ask when choosing a professional to work with.

  • How many happy customers does this person have?
  • How many ex-customers would never go back to them?
  • How long has this person been doing what they do?
  • What reputation do they have around town?
  • Do you know anyone who has dealt with them already and if so, what was their experience?
  • How reliable are they at returning phone calls?
  • How long would they take to get to your work if you engaged them?
  • etc

Now I’m not sure that there are many people working in my chosen profession that I can compare myself with but I try hard to deliver at the higher end of the scale. There seems to be a professional avoidance of budgeting and no real industry focusing on it, yet it is the foundation that all your financial achievements will sit on!

Mismanage your day to day finances and nothing else you do will last long or amount to much. Even if you earn truck loads of money sooner or later you will have nothing to show for it!

Here is a perfect example of how getting it right makes all the difference:-

‘Mary’ signed up for Simply Budgets ‘Platinum’ where I lead people ‘step by step’ through setting up their personal budget. Once it is set up we go over the budget together (via phone and internet) to make sure we are both happy with it. Then we move into a monitoring phase where I check in from time to time to see that it is working as planned and give assistance if or when it is needed.

I sent Mary a txt message to check up on progress and here is what transpired.

Mary:

David,

I really appreciate you chasing us up re the budgeting. It’s going really well. One really good piece of news: our credit cards will be paid off long before the estimated (payout) date. 🙂 I will send you the budget details in next couple if days.

Me:

Well that sounds like great news; especially coming up to Christmas! I just wanted to make sure you are heading in the right direction and my promise of helping you get on top of your finances is being realised. Should lower the stress levels!

Mary;

Oh definitely! Plus it’s really great to have a clear view on what I should have in the account, what’s due and so on. So much better!

So, I’m really happy with that outcome for Mary! If she didn’t get the budget right what chance would she have had of going to the next level? And now the Credit cards are disappearing fast imagine what will be possible if the money that previously went to Credit Card repayments is used to grow an investment portfolio of some kind instead!

What about you?

If you want to make the decision to change direction in 2014 I reckon now is the right time to be taking action.

January the 1st will come and go and you will probably be too shell-shocked from the whole end of year celebrations to be in the right head-space to take positive action. Before you know it the year will be under way and you will be on the back foot!

So I strongly recommend you view the various menu options under the Home Budgeting ‘drop-down’ list at www.simplybudgets.com.au

If you want to change direction in 2014 then your personal/home budget is the foundation everything else you do will sit on. You need to get this right first!

That’s all for now.