It seems that saying you are starting a business, going off on your own or being an entrepreneurial is really trendy right now. It seems like some see entrepreneurial employment as the entry into adulthood. Somehow you have made it, or you are better than your friends because you are not a slave to your employer and your desk job. I am not sure how entrepreneurial-ship has become such a prideful term, but I unfortunately do not feel it needs to have that stigma. My personal story with entrepreneurial employment is all I know. My Dad has owned his Commercial Landscaping business for 30 years in Central MN and before him, my Grandpa started a local Glass Company in the same town. Yes, I have highly influential family members in the traditional work sphere, but for some reason I personally was more attracted to my Dad and Grandpas work style than others.
In 2011, Spencer started his Real Estate Company. He left his University Recruiting/Golf Coaching position for the unknown career of Real Estate. The leap into Real Estate was so unknown to both of us. Spencer was highly confident in his abilities, but I was highly incompetent in my abilities. I promoted myself to CFO quickly and decided I wanted to make sure all the income Spencer would generate would be managed with excellence. I knew that his income was our only source of 'steady' income. I was pregnant and working a part-time bookkeeping job. I took the job to be taught by someone and make money as the same time. I wanted the job to be a launching pad for our business. It was exactly that. I am forever grateful for my first bookkeeping job. I learned SO MUCH! In the first year of our business these were the steps that were most critical to our success:
Good luck :).
My sister came to me a few days ago and said, "Amber, have you seen the website - https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/your-money/find-missing-money/". My response was something along the lines of, "No Danielle, that has got to be a joke!" She responded by saying, "No Amber, I searched your name. You have missing money...just make sure you go to the .gov website." I thought, well I should look into what she is talking about. So I went to the website and there it was, My name, my previous address and a line item stating I had missing money outstanding from PayPal inc. I thought, there is no way. I do not lose things and I do not have a PayPal account. However, I was really intrigued because it was the MN.gov website so it was legit and they already have all my information, so I knew I wouldn't be giving them anything they did not already have. I refreshed my browser and clicked on claim my property. The website did not communicate the amount the money would be other than it was for a value under $500. Three days later, a check was in my mailbox for $171 from St. Paul Commerce. Honestly, I have no idea what I over paid, but I am thankful that the money was returned to me. I deposited the check and it is officially back into my account.
I would highly recommend you jump onto this website and browse for your own name, or close family members. I know it is only a little bit of money in come cases, but it helps those companies close out their financial books when checks like these are cleared from their systems. It also, helps you and I because we get our money back!
When was the last time you examined your bank account to know all the miscellaneous memberships you are paying every month? I would highly encourage you to review your accounts once every 6th months to be sure you are not throwing money away on subscriptions you are no longer using.
COUPONS, COUPONS AND MORE COUPONS
When I am thinking about buying something via the internet, I will use a google extension called Honey. This extension will browse the internet for any coupons that could be used for your purchase. If the extension comes up empty, I will open a new browser and look to see if the website has a promo for 20% off if I sign up for their website. I honestly, hate having promos being sent to my personal email, so I have an email account that I have only for these promo's so I can receive the discount coupon. If that does not work, I will ultimately pay full price, but at least I tried to save before I paid full price. When I am at Target, I use my Target Red Card which is linked to my Checking Account. I do not open Credit Cards with any retailer, but I will if it is linked to my checking account. Receiving a discount to spend my own money! Sign me up! I also scan my cartwheel just before I pull into the register to be sure I have benefited from any coupons on only the items I know I am buying. I do not select my cartwheel before I fill my cart because I notice I buy items I do not need simply because they are on sale if I do that.
I do not consider myself frugal, as my husband tends to say, "you are not high maintenance, you just like nice things!" This is 100% true. I do like nice things, and I believe you pay for what you get. This is why we own two BMW's free and clear. They are incredible cars! You get what you pay for. The cars are worth the money we invested into them. However, to make these purchases we were not flippant. We diligently looked for a car that fit our criteria, but had the lowest cost: greatest gain option.
The belief that you either have a poverty mentality with no money, live paycheck to paycheck and steal from the system, or you have way too much money, you inherited it all and you do not understand what it looks like to live paycheck to paycheck has to die. These beliefs are not accurate to the general population of society. Yes there are cases on both ends of the spectrum, but it is not the normal. If you are looking for a book that challenges this belief, I recommend Chris Hogan's book titled, Everyday Millionaire (https://www.chrishogan360.com/store/product/everyday-millionaires-book-by-chris-hogan) . Highly, highly recommend this book!
Do you have any money tips and tricks you utilize that helps you save financially for your family?
As a Mortgage Loan Officer, Real Estate Agent/Advisors (REA) relationships are the bread and butter of my business. One of my main sources of referrals comes from REA. I am not writing this post to brown nose with them, I am writing because I want them to get the honor they deserve. Listen-these people need a standing ovation! You as a consumer have no idea the amount of work they put into their jobs. I know the stereotype is that REA's are over paid for the work they do. I hear statements like, "How hard can it be to let someone into a home and write some paperwork?" "I can't believe you will make x.x% on the purchase of this home!" "I can totally do this myself, the REA fees are ridiculous!" "All it takes to become a REA is a few classes and a test."
I am going to take a second and give you a snapshot of what it looks like to be married to a REA and walk you through the first 30 minutes of Spencer's schedule. My hope is maybe just maybe your tone will change when you realize what it is like to walk in the shoes of REA.
DO YOU GET THE POINT YET? He has not even opened his eyes before his phone is on rapid fire. I know what you are thinking, can't he wait to take care of this stuff? No he can't, why? because if he does not get to it someone else will. Our society is pretty demanding when it comes to the home buying and selling process. As a general statement, most consumers think REA do not deserve to make what they make, so it is a common thought to blow through boundaries and make their commission "worth it". It is also a common assumption that the Agent is only working with you. Let me bust your bubble, a Full-Time agent needs to keep as many balls in the air as possible to keep the momentum of their commissions constant. They are not only talking to you. They are also talking to the client that they have been showing homes to for 3 years. Their newly widowed aunt who does not like technology and wants everything in paper, or the neighbors who are calling off their listing sign because they want to know how much Jan and Bob are selling for.
I am sharing all of this not because I want you to feel bad for them, rather I want you to understand that they are worth their commissions. It takes being intentional, disciplined, organized, and a crazy amount of patience to do what they do. They do not get to put an away message on their emails, or postpone responding to a client about showings over lunch. They are honestly ALWAYS on!
If you know a REA and you know they are really good at what they do. Do me a favor and give them a hug, a shout out or a simple, thank you for all their hard work and dedication.
Let me be honest for a second, 8 years ago I had no idea what Net Worth meant, so if you do not know. It is totally okay!
I remember the moment we went into our Financial Advisors office and he said, "Spencer and Amber, I am going to calculate your Net Worth before we begin. It will help me understand your overall financial health!" I can only imagine the look on my face, straight confusion. I likely was thinking, you did not ask me to bring a document for that. I only remember you asking me for bank statements and tax returns. Net Worth statement was not on the list.
He proceeded to ask us for our Assets and for our Liabilities, which again, so confused. It was as if he was speaking a different language. I now can see how other can be confused when I start talking and I use these terms. He proceeded to tell us that our Net Worth was POSITIVE, he said this is a huge deal. You are 23 and 28 and your Net Worth is POSITIVE. Looking back now I see why this was a big deal...
Let me explain...
Net Worth is the total of all your assets/resources that can be converted into cash value: Savings Accounts, Checking Accounts, Cash, Retirement, Cash Value Life Insurance, Wedding Rings, Automobiles, ATV's, Boats, Antiques, Home Equity, etc. added together and then subtracted from your liabilities/debts. The things that you owe money on: Mortgage, Auto Loans, Student Loans, Credit Card Debts, Personal Loans with Mom and Dad etc. When the Assets (Cash equivalent values) - the Liabilities (Debts, what you owe money on) are subtracted from one another you will arrive at a positive or negative number. This value is called your Net Worth.
What does this mean and why do we care what it is? For me it is a measuring tool. It is a value in our family that we would leave a financial legacy. That we would steward our money wisely with the goal of growing our wealth. Our Net Worth is a fast way to measure growth. I often describe it to be like going to the doctor and getting a physical done. Your Net Worth is like a physical assessment of your overall financial health. If everything was called due on all your debts could you afford to pay them all in full. The answer for us at 23 and 28 was a positive yes. Our goal is always that our answer would be YES!
Now at 30 and 35 our Net Worth has increased by 876% of the amount our Advisor calculated for us 8 years ago. Knowing we would be financially secure on our own dollar if all our debts were due is a refreshing and relieving feeling. If your number is negative. Do not be discouraged see it as an opportunity to begin refocusing where you spend your money and start building towards a positive net worth today!