Categories
Budget

Everything you need to know about an Emergency Fund

Today we want to chat about your emergency fund! First thing’s first, an emergency fund is a separate savings account for emergencies. We advise clients when they are first beginning on their journey to start with $1,000 in the Emergency Fund. It’s not your savings for your vacation, it’s not your investments, it’s set aside specifically to plan for the things you can’t plan for: emergencies!

One of the reasons emergency funds are so important is because when an emergency happens, you are already stressed. We do not want you adding to that stress by having to come up with money for a plane ticket or ER visit.

In fact, when one of my children had to go to the ER FOUR times in 2020, you better believe not having to worry about how to afford them was SO very appreciated.

Likewise, when you’re planning to go to a funeral there’s enough emotion going on there. You don’t want to have to add money stress, anxiety or shame to the mix.

Emergency funds are particularly important when you’re trying to get your finances in order because emergencies and the unexpected can derail your progress quickly. It’s called Murphy’s Law, right? If it can go wrong, it will? So, we are planning for that so we can then put all of our money and energy to getting out of debt and building wealth.

Sometimes people have more saved up and they might be uncomfortable dropping all but $1,000 on debt. We get that, but this process is supposed to be uncomfortable. We say to trust the process millions of people have done. You’ll be okay! Plus, if what you were already doing, your method, was working, you wouldn’t be reading this right now, right? Tough love, but just trust the process. 😉

Here are the basic bullet points on how to set up your Emergency Fund:

  • Use a seperate account from every other account you have.
  • You might even consider using a different bank for this account based on your current relationship with money and money habits. How much do you trust yourself?
  • Nickname your account something awesome. Maybe, “My Name Is NO!” like one of our clients did. It’s something that will help you remember what’s it’s really for.
  • You can also hide the account if you so desire. Most banks have this feature and it helps your money to be out of sight, out of mind. This means less temptation!

Now, how do you know when to use your Emergency Fund? Well, first of all, let’s understand it’s not for borrowing, it’s not an ATM. Nope, there are three questions Dave RAmsey teaches you want to answer before you allow yourself to pull money out of your Emergency Fund:

  • Is it urgent?
  • Is it unexpected?
  • Is it necessary?

Let’s take a look at one example we’ve had come through for the Emergency Fund to full explain this concept. One time while my husband was deployed my dishwasher went kaput! I had three kids which meant a lot of dishes. So, should I have used my Emergency Fund to replace it?

  • Is it urgent? YES! I have three kids. I have a lot of dishes. They’re piling up!
  • Is it unexpected? Um, yes! I had no idea it was on the fritz or even that dishwashers could break. 😉
  • Is it necessary? Oh, here’s the really rude part. Technically it’s not necessary. Technically me & the kids can do dishes by hand. Technically, YES, it could wait until the next budget period and we could pay for it in cash!

So, there you have it. That’s everything you need to know about the Emergency Fund!

Hey, if you need help with this, you’re in luck. We have a super fun coloring page that you can print out and use to help you as you make progress saving up your starter emergency fund! It’s not fancy, it’s not complicated but it is FUN and it will keep you motivated. Download it now!

Categories
Budget

Why & How You Should Be Using Cash

Cash is one of the top tools that you can use to get your finances in order and win with money. We have 7 reasons to back that up! Then we’re going to give you 3 simple steps to use so you can give using cash a try!

1. It’s a great accountability partner.

Cash is a great accountability partner. Say you’ve got $50 to last the week. As the week goes by you spend $5, then $10, $7 etc. Every time you reach in your wallet or envelope you have a real, honest accountability partner letting you know exactly where you stand on your budget.

2. It gives you more control.

You will feel more control with cash because it’s physically in your hand. You have your money, not the bank or creditors. Your personal spending won’t affect your bank, bills and other stuff as much. Banks made $11 billion in 2019 in overdraft fees. The less you’re in your account making debits, the less you’ll be paying those!

3. You will spend less.

Studies have proven that your brain doesn’t process the pain of losing money as much with a card as it does with cash. Because of this, you automatically spend less with cash. Likewise, when you only have a $20 bill to get the eggs, bananas and bread in the grocery store you know you do the math and make it work. Same situation but with a card will have you less math-concerned and you’re more likely to go over.

4. It helps out small businesses & service workers.

Small businesses pay a fee when you use debit cards or credit cards. Worse yet, sometimes they pass that fee on to you. Bummer either way. Likewise, servers are more likely to get their tips that night if you pay in cash rather than with a card. How nice of you!

5. You’ll improve your relationship with money.

When you pay for things with cash, you have a greater attachment, emotionally, to them. It’s true! A study in the Journal of Consumer research proved it. Moreover, by learning to use cash, you’ll develop a good relationship with money and perhaps start losing some of the baggage and stress you’ve built up over the years. Having cash, though it may not be much, definitely feels different. It feels like you’re not broke, the green proof is in front of you. Remember how you were as a kid when you earned cold, hard cash? Same, just in adultland. Having cash around is the way to start feeling more abundance about money rather than scarcity.

6. You will buy things you can afford and therefore stop running up debt.

Listen, if you’re paying for things with cash you know whether you can afford it. And it turns out cash is 100% debt free. So, using cash will help you if that is a goal you have.

7. You don’t have to ask permission.

So often we look at our bank account before making a debit purchase to make sure we have enough in the account. And when we try to use credit, we have to have our credit run. It’s almost like asking permission to buy something. And it’s not a great feeling, and it can feel a little disheartening or even embarrassing.

So, how do you use cash?

1. Start simple.

Try just one budget category like spending money or restaurants. You don’t have to do all the things in cash at once. Get used to it by keeping it simple. Then move to using cash in more categories when you’re successful!

2. Make it a habit.

Every paycheck, do the same thing. Get out the same amount of cash, put it right in your envelope. This way, you’ll be more likely to succeed.

3. Give it enough time to work.

We want you to do it at least for two weeks, though we prefer one month. This is when you’ll notice you FEEL like you have more money. You’ll also notice you’re SPENDING less. If you don’t give it enough time, however, you won’t get those positive results.

TAKE THE TWO WEEK CHALLENGE!

Enter your information below and we’ll sign you up for our two week cash challenge that will deliver encouragement, tips and jokes right to your phone to keep you motivated to use cash for two entire weeks!

Categories
Budget Money

3 Simple Steps to Reset Your Finances This Year

Well well well. It’s 2021 and it’s time to get serious about your finances. We’re for that here at Ideal Balance.

Here’s the thing though: don’t allow your brain to overcomplicate it. You just need a nice, simple plan to reset your finances. 

  1. Have a budget meeting. Talk with your spouse or your friend about your goals, your hopes, your dreams, your struggles and your paychecks at this meeting. Sometimes we just need to make it a point to sit down and talk it all out. To really cast a vision for our finances. That’s what a budget meeting is all about. It forces you to be intentional and thoughtful. That’s really what will fuel any of the hard decisions you make-understanding what you’re doing and why.
  2. Get on a budget. Even if your budget has $1000 for eating out, you need to get on a budget. If you decide to start downsizing some of the line items, that’s fine. But start by making a plan for EVERY SINGLE dollar you earn. That’s all a budget really is. Projecting how you’ll spend your money. So, make one and just plan to get a little better each month.
  3. Try using cash for one or more budget line item. Using cash is one of the biggest habit changes our clients go through and it’s also one that creates the most profound results. Our clients typically give us at least a little bit of pushback about using cash. We get it. But once they do use cash they begin to develop an entirely different relationship with their money. First, cash is a REALLY good accountability partner. It’s not like a swipe card that flakes on you- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. No, cash is either there or it isn’t. Cash also helps you stick to your budget by not messing with your accounts as bills come and go. Cash helps you get used to having money because, we tell you what, if you stick to the plan you will feel like you have more money and you will build wealth. Finally, cash helps you make smarter purchases because studies show you don’t spend as much when it’s cash versus when it’s a card.

If you’re interested in working with us to stop stressing, stop living paycheck to paycheck fill out the contact form here and we’ll be in touch.


Ideal Balance is The Life Coaching Facility in Navarre focused on Fitness, Family & Finance. We know people are stressed about money, they’re unorganized, they’re unhappy with their bodies, they’re distracted and they’re not thriving. But we believe humans are built to be strong & energetic and that good things come to those who work hard and are disciplined. So we coach people to get healthy, to get organized, & to get debt free. The vision is people having a happy & healthy life they’re proud of. We don’t take excuses but we do get results!

Categories
Budget

There’s no such thing as an extra paycheck

Do you ever get excited at the prospect of a 3 paycheck month? Or do you think your bonus is “extra” money?

Well, tough love friend, but we’re here to tell you why that’s not true
Check out our latest mini-coaching video on our YouTube channel where we explain how when you’re focused on your goals & your best future, there’s no no such thing as an extra paycheck!

If you can’t watch the video, here are the key points:

There is no such thing as an extra paycheck

  • Very often we think that third paycheck at the end of a month is awesome and extra. In fact, it’s typically going to have the job of paying your bills that are due in the first two weeks of the next month. For example, January the 29th 2021 may be an “extra” paycheck for some. The problem is the next paycheck doesn’t come until February 12th. Most of us have bills with due dates in the first 11 days of the month, right? Right. So, your January 29th paycheck is actually kind of like your Feb. 1st paycheck.
  • Let’s say you didn’t have any bills or you paid all the bills with the first two paychecks. You’ll still find that a good portion of that paycheck needs to fund your food, gas and spending money for the two weeks. You see, time doesn’t stand still just because there is an “extra” paycheck. Nope, you still require food and other things even then!
  • The real problem here is your thinking. You’re thinking paycheck to paycheck. You’re thinking small (as in not big goal minded). You’re thinking reactionary instead of proactively.
  • What you need to do is budget EVERY DOLLAR you earn, EVERY single month. Purposefully.
  • Your budgets need to reflect your highest priorities. For many that’s saving money, paying off debt, investing or funding things like travel & charity. Every “extra” dollar goes to those goals every single time. That means there isn’t really any “extra” dollars. Nope, every dollar has a regular ol’ j-o-b.

If you’re interested in working with us to stop stressing, stop living paycheck to paycheck fill out the contact form here and we’ll be in touch.


Ideal Balance is The Life Coaching Facility in Navarre focused on Fitness, Family & Finance. We know people are stressed about money, they’re unorganized, they’re unhappy with their bodies, they’re distracted and they’re not thriving. But we believe humans are built to be strong & energetic and that good things come to those who work hard and are disciplined. So we coach people to get healthy, to get organized, & to get debt free. The vision is people having a happy & healthy life they’re proud of. We don’t take excuses but we do get results!

Categories
Budget Money

$40K in 10 Weeks!

We wrapped up our ten week Financial Peace University class this Tuesday! It was sure great. =D We had three couples and three single ladies and we just LOVED all of them!!!!

Between the 9 of them, they paid off $40049 in TEN weeks. They cut up !!!21!!! credit cards y’all!!! We have one couple who moved to Baby Step 3 during the class, we have another couple who will be on to Baby Step 3 in December and another by April!!!! We love what we do! =D

As a reminder, here are the Baby Steps:

  • BABY STEP 1
    Save $1,000 for your starter emergency fund.
  • BABY STEP 2
    Pay off all debt (except the house) using the debt snowball.
  • BABY STEP 3
    Save 3–6 months of expenses in a fully funded emergency fund.
  • BABY STEP 4
    Invest 15% of your household income in retirement.
  • BABY STEP 5
    Save for your children’s college fund.
  • BABY STEP 6
    Pay off your home early.
  • BABY STEP 7
    Build wealth and give generously.

We are Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coaches and we LOVE teaching Financial Peace University, though we only do it once a year during the fall. There are other ways to get our help if it’s something that’s been on your heart.

Financial Coaching / 2 meetings per month / $150 Learn More

Budget Like A Rockstar Workshop June 12 @ 8am. Tickets



Ideal Balance is The Life Coaching Facility in Navarre, Florida that focuses on Fitness, Family & Finance. We help our clients create the discipline & habits they need to strip off what’s holding them back from living the life God created them to live. We work with clients in 1-on-1 sessions in person and virtually as well as in Small Groups in Personal Training sessions, workshops and other events. We’re on a mission to inject hope and empower our community one client at a time. Contact us if you’d like to find out more.

Categories
Budget Generosity

Christmas Budget Planner

Do you know some of us act like we are surprised that Christmas comes on December 25th every single year? No it’s true! All of the sudden we panic both budget & time wise to get everything in by the deadline! You know, the deadline that comes on the same day every year?

This year we want to help you out. The amount you spend on Christmas can really get out of hand, especially when you consider party, decorations, teacher gifts and all the things we don’t always think about at first! We’re sharing this free Christmas Budget Planner to make this less panic-y!

So, let’s make a plan. Let’s be intentional. Let’s plan everything out and stay on track. When you have the funds to fund your plan, you’re able to give and celebrate in a generous spirit (rather than a stressed, Scroogey spirit). That’s the most fun way to celebrate!

Using this tracker will help you this year. But where the magic REALLY starts to work is when you sit down and plot everything out for next year. You go through everything you want to see & do & buy & have for the Christmas season, being sure to keep true to what’s most important about the season to you. After you determine that, add up all the categories of spending and come to your total sum. You’ll then take that number and divide it by 12. That dollar amount is now the amount you can set aside in a sinking fund each month in order to be ready to go by next Christmas! A sinking fund is a fancy accounting word that really just means a savings account with a purpose. So, unlike your long-term emergency fund which is also a savings account, the sinking fund is something you know almost exactly how much and when you’ll need to spend it.

So, take the planner to use for this season. Then print another copy and get serious about being ready to be generous and full of joy next season when you aren’t stressed about the Christmas plan or the funding of the Christmas plan!


Ideal Balance is The Life Coaching Facility in Navarre, Florida that focuses on Fitness, Family & Finance. We help our clients create the discipline & habits they need to strip off what’s holding them back from living the life God created them to live. We work with clients in 1-on-1 sessions in person and virtually as well as in Small Groups in Personal Training sessions, workshops and other events. We’re on a mission to inject hope and empower our community one client at a time. Contact us if you’d like to find out more.

Categories
Budget Money

The Car Payoff Dance!

What do you do when you pay off your vehicle?

~A HAPPY DANCE~ of course!

Listen as Jess explains why she paid off her 2015 Kia Sedona, how she paid off her van and how she felt when she did it!

As you can see with this video, we work with clients 1-on-1, virtually or in-person, to help them reach their financial goals!

What could you do with your car payment money?

Categories
Budget

September Debt Payoff

Ideal Balance was born on April 1, 2020. Kind of like an April Fool’s joke, but not really. The joke was on 2020 because even though it tried, it can’t keep us from doing what we’re called to do!

A big part of what we are called to do is help people get out of debt! We’ve been helping one client, one family at a time to get out of debt. In fact, our clients have met 2020 head on just like we have and they’ve CRUSHED debt! Check out the numbers below:

April $25,288

May $26,143

June $40,162

July $73,034

August $65,899

September $70,053

Those numbers represent credit cards being paid off and cut up. They also represent cars being paid off. They even represent mortgages being paid in full. They represent hundreds and thousands of dollars not being paid OUT each month for each family we help. That means more money in their pocket, less stress and more breathing room.

Since April, we’ve four separate families get debt-free. All in all, so far, our clients have paid off $300,579 since April! And we’re just getting started.

As a company, our goal is to hit $1,000,000 by our 1 year anniversary next April.

If you want to be a part of that, we encourage you to sign up for a free 15-minute coaching call to see if we can help!

Categories
Budget

9 Reasons to Use Cash

Cash is one of the top tools that you can use to get your finances in order and win with money. We have 9 reasons to back that up, but we also know there are some myths about using cash that folks believe. We will debunk those in another post soon!

1. It’s a great accountability partner.

Cash is a great accountability partner. Say you’ve got $50 to last the week. As the week goes by you spend $5, then $10, $7 etc. Every time you reach in your wallet or envelope you have a real, honest accountability partner letting you know exactly where you stand on your budget.

2. It gives you more control.

You will feel more control with cash because it’s physically in your hand. You have your money, not the bank or creditors. Your personal spending won’t affect your bank, bills and other stuff as much. Banks made $11 billion in 2019 in overdraft fees. The less you’re in your account making debits, the less you’ll be paying those!

3. You will spend less.

Studies have proven that your brain doesn’t process the pain of losing money as much with a card as it does with cash. Because of this, you automatically spend less with cash. Likewise, when you only have a $20 bill to get the eggs, bananas and bread in the grocery store you know you do the math and make it work. Same situation but with a card will have you less math-concerned and you’re more likely to go over.

4. You can get a discount.

Very often if you present cash as your means of purchase you’ll be able to get a discount. It can also give you leverage to negotiate price!

5. It’s accepted everywhere.

Cash is the most universally accepted form of payment. Not ture with certain cards, right?

6. It helps out small businesses & service workers.

Small businesses pay a fee when you use debit cards or credit cards. Worse yet, sometimes they pass that fee on to you. Bummer either way. Likewise, servers are more likely to get their tips that night if you pay in cash rather than with a card. How nice of you!

7. You’ll improve your relationship with money.

When you pay for things with cash, you have a greater attachment, emotionally, to them. It’s true! A study in the Journal of Consumer research proved it. Moreover, by learning to use cash, you’ll develop a good relationship with money and perhaps start losing some of the baggage and stress you’ve built up over the years. Having cash, though it may not be much, definitely feels different. It feels like you’re not broke, the green proof is in front of you. Remember how you were as a kid when you earned cold, hard cash? Same, just in adultland. Having cash around is the way to start feeling more abundance about money rather than scarcity.

8. You will buy things you can afford and therefore stop running up debt.

Listen, if you’re paying for things with cash you know whether you can afford it. And it turns out cash is 100% debt free. So, using cash will help you if that is a goal you have.

9. You don’t have to ask permission.

So often we look at our bank account before making a debit purchase to make sure we have enough in the account. And when we try to use credit, we have to have our credit run. It’s almost like asking permission to buy something. And it’s not a great feeling, and it can feel a little disheartening or even embarrassing.

Ideal Balance is The Life Coaching Facility in Navarre, Florida focused on Fitness, Family and Finance. They offer 1-on-1 coaching sessions in person and virtually as well as group coaching, small group personal training and workshops each month. We exist to inject hope and empower people to live the life God created them to live. If you’d like to find out more about working with us, please fill out the contact form below!

Categories
Budget Money

Should you be funding a vacation right now?

Should you be funding a vacation right now? Good question.

We say yes. We say yes, specifically, because we know you work hard. In fact, a vacation is one of our favorite ways to spend our hard earned money intentionally. This is of course with the disclaimer that you can fund it out of your monthly budget! With that in mind, let’s dive into the how.

One of the best pieces of financial advice we give is to:

Fund your future instead of paying for your past.

This is an important concept that applies to every job your money does, but especially to your vacations! 
Sometimes folks go on vacations and they are stressed about each purchase, each meal, each bill. In their mind, the dollars are ringing up and they don’t really know how they are going to afford it when they get home. This person isn’t much fun during the vacation because they’re stressed. The family with this vacationer may not have as much fun either as they’re worried about whether the super-sized meal they order will set our money-stressed person off. The family then returns home with a bill racked up that they’ll be paying off for another year.
Contrast that with the family that goes on a vacation knowing that all they have to do is enjoy themselves. They’ve made a plan, they’ve funded the plan and all they’ve got to do is show up and enjoy the vacation they’ve worked so hard for. When they get back from vacation, they start dreaming about and setting aside money for the next one!
In this way, we can see how it’s possible to fund the future or pay for the past. 
When advising clients on funding a vacation, we tell them to create a plan for the cost and then set up a sinking fund. A sinking fund is kind of like a savings account, but with a specific purchase. A sinking fund pays for the big expenses in life we know are coming but we don’t want to go into debt to afford such as vacations, Christmas, new HVAC systems or even a new car. The way that sinking fund works is you take your expense and divide it by 12, the number of months in the year, and then you set exactly that amount aside in a special savings account. 
We also sometimes advise clients to “cash-flow” a vacation. For example, you might set aside enough money in your budget in one month to pay for airfare. The next month you might cash flow lodging. Next up you might purchase your venue/entertainment reservations. The month after that, you might purchase your food package. Finally, you’ll set aside how much cash you imagine you’ll need to comfortably get through the vacation.
With either method, you’ll be able to go and enjoy your vacation and bring back only memories rather than debt and stress. 

This is a little preview of what we do. We help clients create a budget & payoff debt. Want to set up a free, no-obligation 15 minute consultation?