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“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.”  ~ James W. Frick

When I was a teenager, I had a piggybank to save small change so that one day I could give the entire box to my mom…. My parents often argued about money and spending (my mom had a tendency to spend more than my father was comfortable with) and I thought that my disciplined saving could help my mom to pay the bills without worrying about money….

One day, after some very tense situation at home, I broke my piggybank and gave my mom all my savings. She was shocked! She couldn’t believe that the “money tension” at home was so pronounced that it triggered my desire to offer “financial assistance” to my mother! I’ve learned that having savings can make you feel secure and you can use it to support yourself and others.

Because I grew up in a family with modest financial means, I was always aware of my spending and saving habits. I’ve experienced financial predicaments myself and have witnessed many other people going through financial hardships. These experiences made me determined to find feasible solutions to live life free of financial anxiety.

I’ve learned about energetic (metaphysical) aspects of money and have studied money management and best investment strategies with many wealth masters. And guess what? There is no shortcut to building wealth! You must position yourself for a wealthy and free life and this positioning starts with AWARENESS of your SPENDING and SAVING habits. To achieve wealth you must become a little richer every day.

Last week I shared with you the calculation of your Annual Spending Rate (ASR), which will help you to become AWARE of your current spending rate. Once you calculate your annual spending requirement, you can start focusing on your saving and investment money jars. When you are at the beginning of your career and just entering the self-sufficient life phase, you may not have a lot of money left after your spending allocation.

I invite you to make your best effort to put some money aside for your saving money jar. It will teach you to be more disciplined with your spending and help you develop healthy money habits.

Your saving money jar’s purpose is to provide you with peace of mind while you grow your wealth. When you have savings, you avoid becoming stressed out about your Must-Have—Must-Pay commitments and needs in case you lose your main source of income.

The idea is to put aside a portion of your current earnings to cover your needs in case of financial adversity like sudden unemployment or illness/disability and short-term, up-coming situations such as loan pay-downs or pay-offs, car or home repairs. Thus, your savings money must be safe and liquid—meaning easy to access.

I suggest that you start putting aside funds to save for the following:

  1. Emergency fundup to 12 months’ worth of your Must-Have—Must-Pay spending money amount.
  2. Short Term funddiscretionary amount of money for something that you expect to pay for within two to five years, such as a new car, a down payment on a house, a college tuition or vacation.

 

Your emergency fund must be absolutely safe—your objective with this money is to preserve capital, not to grow it. This money is to be kept as super-safe to maintain value and very liquid. Given today’s economy, your savings could be apportioned among the following asset types:

  • Cash (savings account with a small interest rate)
  • Physical gold and silver bullion or coins
  • Treasury notes—two, three, five or ten years U.S. debt obligations that are sold by the U.S Treasury Department and secured by the U.S. government

 

The way in which you choose to save your money is important. Allocating your super-safe funds across different kinds of assets (e.g. cash, bullion, notes) is called diversification.

Diversifying your money decreases the risk of losing the value of your money at once. The old saying “don’t put all your eggs in the same basket” is wise and reminds you about risk management.

Having emergency fund money is extremely important. Imagine for a brief moment that you’ve lost your job and need to liquidate your stock portfolio to cover your Must-Have—Must-Pay expenses. Then you realize that your investment portfolio has lost its value because of poor stock market performance…or worse, a market crash.

Unfortunately, a scenario like that is very real and has ‘burned’ many people. Your safe emergency fund money will allow you to cover your expenses until you find another job or find a new stream of income.

Your short term fund—discretionary money—can be held in safe, fairly conservative investment vehicles like these:

  • High-investment grade corporate bonds
  • High-interest, FDIC-insured bank CDs
  • Market-safe FDIC-insured CDs, which fluctuate with the market but guarantee your principal investment
  • Common stock of well-established international companies that have healthy balance sheets (low debt obligation and a lot of cash saved) and a long history of dividend payments to their shareholders
  • Tax-free safe municipal bonds (not all municipalities’ bonds are safe—do your research)

 

When your timeline for using these funds gets close to two years away (say you have a debt obligation to fulfill)—reallocate this short term fund’s capital into safer investments, like those in emergency fund.

Your objective with the savings money jar is absolute, positive risk aversion. You can compensate low Return On Investment (ROI) in this fund by riskier but higher ROI investments in your investment money jar.

Read more about mastering wealth creation and management in the upcoming weeks.

*Some of the text was taken from my bestselling book “A Shift Toward Abundance.”

To Your Health, Wealth and Freedom!

With Love and Gratitude,

millen-sig3

 

Millen Livis

To learn more about Millen and her mission of Financial Freedom, click here

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14 responses to “How I Offered My First Financial Assistance and What I’ve Learned”

  1. Kimba says:

    This is a great post – I am sharing with my college-age son who is just starting to have money to manage. He’s doing well, but this is a great overview of the importance of “There is no shortcut to building wealth.”

    • Millen Millen says:

      Thank you, Kim, for sharing this information with your son. Wouldn’t it be great if kids learned about money management early on (e.g. at school)?

  2. Teresa Salhi says:

    The more we are knowledgeable about money the less we have fear around it. Great post.

    • Millen Millen says:

      Yes, Teresa, knowledge is important. However, it’s not enough. There are other factors that are as important – awareness of one’s own relationship with money, a deep desire to achieve financial wellness and willingness to take an inspired action. Thank you for your contribution!

  3. Excellent advice Millen! Saving is one of those non-sexy things I really believe we need to view as a habit because it’s so easy to spend money on the things yelling at us instead of investing in the important things in life. Thanks for the great reminder.

    • Millen Millen says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Marquita! I agree, it is about developing a conscious spending habit, regardless whether you have a lot of money or a little. We ALWAYS have things “yelling at us” to buy them…. Approaching every purchase as an investment (e.g. bagel is not a good investment for me if I want to lose wait, but a green juice is) helps develop awareness about spending habits.

  4. This is such wonderful information you are sharing Millen and so many women do not seem to learn it at a younger age, because often their spouses are looking after everything for them. I’ve heard this so many times from women I know. I always had a fascination with money and was a very astute saver and chronicled every penny I spent. I have lost my fair share of money from, “too good to be true”, investments and have learned my lesson. I have an amazing investment consultant and we are doing all of the things you mention, based on my own intentions for myself both short and long term. It sounds like you and I had very similar early life “money experiences” and sometimes I believe I arrived on the planet this time to work through my money issues, which I know are here as my double, to teach me about my “8” energy. The 8 energy is about abundance in all areas of life and I can see how that theme has been part of my life journey.

    • Millen Millen says:

      Thank you for your wonderful sharing, Beverley! I agree – money is such an important topic and a trigger for so many people, especially women. Some don’t feel that they capable to create and manage money, others have deep fears or envy about money…. I am glad you have found a trusted investment consultant now because it’s not easy to find people who you can trust with investing your money… that’s why I learned how to do it myself so I know what to expect. Yes, my “family money story” compelled me to learn about history of money, energetic aspects of money and wealth creation and management. Fascinating! For years, I’ve studied with many wealth masters. And it is interesting that your brought up number 8 because it is my favorite number! LOL

  5. Thank you for this excellent post on managing finances, Milen. You highlighted some areas that are often overlook when setting a financial Plan. Great reminders.

    • Millen Millen says:

      Thank you for your comment, Yvonne! Yes, we all need reminders in our busy lives, don’t we? Thank you for stopping by!

  6. Mui says:

    Great tips! I started having an emergency fund last year and it’s made such a difference.

  7. Joyce Hansen says:

    Like that you included the recommendation for diversifying your money to reduce the risk of losing value. This is one a lot of folks forget to take advantage of. Markets go up and down, and long run investing tends to smooth out these cycles. However, diversifying helps during the short term. Money management is a big issue for women and your wisdom and sharing helps to make us all more aware. Thank you.

    • Millen Millen says:

      Thank you for your comment, Joyce! Yes, diversification is a very important aspect of risk management… I’ve learned it the hard way but now I am diversified across various assets’ classes and not only on the stock market. I am very passionate about sharing my experience and knowledge because I see a real need for financial know-how, especially among women. Thank you again for your contribution.

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