Mary King's Blog
Taking a Break
Mary King's eNews
It's time for me to take a break from presenting Rich is Better - Wealth for Women workshops, I have decided to give myself the space to travel and holiday overseas. So far this year I am planning to visit China in April and France in June.
I am thrilled and excited to be giving myself this wonderful gift of time and travel.
As a result this will be my last email newsletter for the time being. I am also taking a break from writing.
While I am in Australia I will be available for consultations - on the phone or in person. If you want to have a chat about your current situation - financial or otherwise - you may email me or phone me to arrange an appointment.
Previous newsletters containing tips and ideas are accessible for you to read online. You will find them, from October 2006 to June 2008, archived on my website or, from June 2008 to March 2009, on my blog.
Thank you so much for receiving my monthly newsletter. Whenever I have something of interest or value to let you know about I would like to contact you again. In the meantime, I wish you physical and financial health and wellbeing.
03 9882 1886
Let's Count Our Blessings
What a week in our history these past few days will prove to be. In Victoria many people have lost lives, homes and possessions - more than all previous devastation caused by fire. I think this is an opportunity for all of us to acknowledge the many good things we have in our lives. When everything is ripped away from us we have the chance to realise how much we had.
The state of Victoria is in mourning for lives lost in the fires that ripped through the countryside. Most of us will have a connection to somebody who has suffered loss. A couple of weeks ago I drove through and walked in the areas that are now blackened. As I looked at the pictures of the fire ravaged areas and the people involved I couldn't help but shed tears.
How precious is the life we have and so much to be grateful for. Develop an attitude of gratitude for what you have and you will get more good things. Focusing on lack and loss encourages more of the same.
Your Goals and Dreams for 2009
We are at the start of another year - this could be a great opportunity to re-evaluate your dreams. What do you want to achieve in 2009? Have you set some goals for your finances and your life?
Remember when you set a goal - be specific, include the details, decide a date by when you will have it, it must be achievable, you need to believe you can have it and it must be written. Read it often and allow yourself to be emotional. Feel the joy you will have from achieving your goal.
Keep your hopes high!
Australia's Wealth Coach to Women
Paying for your past
Paying for Your Past
Last month I was invited to be a guest panelist for a survey, conducted by Schick in conjunction with Galaxy Research, of 1252 women aged between 18 to 39 years from all over Australia. 74% of the women surveyed said they felt financially independent. My thoughts about that are that they may feel independent because they are earning a wage. If they stop working in the job and the wage ceases they would no longer feel financially independent. In my opinion there is a vast difference between feeling financially independent and being financially free. Financial freedom comes when our investments - (money working for us - rather than us working for money) exceeds our expenses.
80% of those surveyed said they had some form of debt and 48% of that debt is credit card debt. I was asked if I was surprised at the level of credit card debt. My feeling was not of being surprised necessarily, it was more that I felt concerned. Of those surveyed, the average credit card debt, carried over each month, is $2,500. Credit card debt is consumer debt and is a costly way to spend your money. if only the minimum payment is made to the lender each month it could take 15 to 20 years to pay off the balance. That is excessive money to expend for a short-lived pleasure. I believe when we have consumer debt that we continue to pay for on our credit card, that we are paying for our 'past'. Would it not be a better idea to save some money for our 'future' and when we have saved the money give ourselves a 'reward'? It certainly costs less to save the money first.
Maybe we feel a sense of power when we can buy something now and pay for it later. This feeling of power is not real power and can not be sustained.
I truly encourage each of us to eliminate our continuous credit card debt. While paying the minimum may not seem like a lot of money to pay out each month the banks are receiving very good interest for the money they lent you. I suggest you make a concerted effort to pay at least an extra 10% of the minimum payment due each month until the card is paid off. If you have several cards add up the minimums, add 10%, and pay that amount off the card with the lowest balance, while still paying the minimum on each card. Once you have paid off the card with the smallest balance, write to the bank and close the account. Make sure you cut up the card so you are not tempted to use it. Next, roll over the money you used to pay off the first card to the card with the next lowest balance, and repeat the cycle until all cards are paid off. Once you're back in control, by saving the interest you used to be paying, you can now start to think about saving your money for investing and thus gro! wing your wealth.
How can you live more simply? Simplification is a very important aspect to increasing your net-worth. When we live within our means we are coming from a position of power. When we live beyond our means we are giving our power away and draining our energy. Ask yourself how you can simplify your desires? At first it may feel like a sacrifice to think of alternatives to something you would like to have right now. As you start to think of less expensive options I feel sure you will begin to see benefits. Why not give it a go and find out for yourself?
You Are Safe and All Is Well
The planet is going through upheaval during this time of great change - depletion in the amount of natural resources compared with the last century, the melting of the ice caps and the number of species that are dying out. We are always evolving. The movements of the planet and also the events of this world are cyclical and elliptical. One season follows another. 'Bad' times follow 'good' times. Everything is in a constant state of motion and flux. Change is constant.
As you travel through this time of change and upheaval in the financial markets many doubts may arise. You may need to remind yourself that this is a natural process. I encourage you to believe that only good will come. In order to survive and thrive believe that you are entitled to do that. I often say an affirmation that helps me when fears start to surface, "I am safe and all is well." This quick and easy thought reminds me that all is well and there is nothing to be afraid of.
When we realise that all we have is this very moment, what happens in the world around us seems less stressful. In this present moment you are safe and all is well. Everything else is either past (a memory) or future (hasn't happened yet and indeed will pass away). In this 'now' moment you are safe and all is well - always.
The challenge is to remember to stay in the present moment. I highly recommend refraining from watching television or listening to the news (try it for a week or so to see how it feels) - so that your mind can be free of these 'negative' influences. Then stay focused on what you desire and it will surely manifest for you.
Saving Your Self
The current turmoil in the financial markets is causing concern to many. The investment clock is constantly moving and at this time with shares dropping and property stagnating, cash is king. I think the best thing to do is to reduce your debt as much as possible and save your money. Then when shares bottom and property becomes more affordable you will be in a better position to buy.
Many years ago I learned the importance of managing my income by building good habits to handle my money wisely. I started a little 'Jam Jar Bank' in my kitchen. I set up three jam jars and labeled them 'Saving', 'Investing' & 'Giving Away to Charity'. I took 30% off the top of my after-tax income. Because I had a valuable plan to follow I no longer had to 'worry' about my finances. I actioned the strategy and discovered there was always 'enough' for my needs. This saved me unnecessary stress and anxiety. (We demonstrate the Jam Jar Bank in the Rich is Better- Wealth for Women Workshop.)
I started to religiously put money into jam jars; no matter how little I had, I built the habit. I love my Jam Jar Bank and find it compelling fun to put money into my 'Freedom Fund' (Investing) Jam Jar every day. Occasionally it's a coin and usually it's a note. I happily go without a cappuccino so I can save the money. I'd rather buy another property, or travel overseas, with the money I save. When you build the habit, you too will love to put money away so that money can grow for you.
The memory that comes back to me as I write occurred a few years ago. I went to visit my daughter in another state at the Easter break. I was gone for a week. When I returned, I discovered a man had found my vacant apartment and moved in. He broke in by removing the louvre glass panes from a bathroom window. He said he was my brother. A tenant in a neighbouring apartment became suspicious and, when he saw my antique dining-room chairs being carried out, called the police. The police apprehended the suspect the next day and my chairs were returned to me. After getting over the shock of knowing a strange man had been in my bed, I went to the kitchen cupboard to check on my jam jars. They were still there and the money was intact. I took this to be a message from the universe that I was on track.
If someone wants to steal from you, I think it's important to know that you are not really losing anything. I believe everything in on loan to us anyway. We have the use of it for a while, and then it may be somebody else's turn. I think the main thing is to be grateful for what you have when you have it, and if someone takes it from you, something new and fresh can come in to occupy the space.
Instead of using Jam Jars you can use envelopes, plastic containers, moneyboxes or bank accounts. These days with Internet banking it is easy to transfer money between bank accounts. The principles remain the same. I personally feel that building the habit by using cash is a practical way to start. When you are in the habit of dividing your income in this way, you can move on to bank accounts. The important thing is to build the habit. Money will no longer be an issue that plays on your mind, causing you concern. Not only will you be saving money for your future you will also be saving yourself!
Living on the Equity in Your Real Estate
Because property values normally double every 7 to 10 years one of the reasons for building a substantial property portfolio is that you can borrow against the equity that has accumulated in the properties, by taking out a line of credit. This is money you could live on.
This is passive residual income. You put in effort to buy the properties and as the equity grows over time, you are creating a passive income. You can then live (it may be simple living) on the extra value in your properties. The income from tenants pays the interest on the money you borrow. The more properties you own the greater equity you build. Passive income frees you up to live, to work at something you want to do or to build wealth in other ways.
In an article entitled How to Develop the Mindset of a Super Successful Property Investor Michael Yardney (www.PropertyUpdate.com.au) wrote "The rich know that as the value of their properties increases they can borrow against this increasing value. When they receive these borrowed funds they can take this money, without paying tax on it, and use it for whatever purposes they desire."
This growth in equity just happens. Sometimes there are periods when the property value increase moves slower than at other times, in fact it may even go backwards for a while, and then, invariably, growth returns again.
When you own property the banks are usually willing to lend you money by taking a mortgage over the property.
If you're still waiting to buy your first property, I believe a good time to buy is approaching. Save your deposit and then get ready. Start researching and preparing yourself to buy by doing your homework now.
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