|"Finding" Money for a New Car|
Yesterday I had a call with a new coaching client. Prior to the meeting I asked him to list all of his monthly expenses so we could review the money that is going out vs. the money he has coming in. He made a comment that preparing for the call was the first time he ever put down on a paper a list of all his expenses. He was in the habit of just paying for things as they came in.
Later in the call he was further surprised to realize that after expenses and paying for gas and groceries, he had an extra $900 a month. Because he lived paycheck to paycheck, he thought he had more bills than income. He didn’t realize that almost $1,000 a month was slipping through his fingers being spent on items that he had little memory of purchasing or enjoying.
By the end of the call we put a plan in place for him to save $150 per month to build an emergency account. We also made a plan for him to set money aside to use as a down payment for a new/used car he wants to buy. When the end of year clearance sales begin, he will have $1,250 set aside to use for the down payment.
My absolute favorite part of working with coaching clients is helping them find ways to streamline their spending so they can create a strong financial foundation and focus their spending on what is most important to them – like a new/used car!
|Cheap Fun & Libations: Brewery and Wine Tours|
By Jane Osterlind
It's no secret that I love beer and wine. The darker the beer and the redder the wine the better! Based on my last blog entry, Francis Ford Coppola Winery & Savvy Snacks, you know that I also enjoy visiting wineries. Each winery is unique in architecture, landscape and atmosphere. My visits there are about so much more than just spending $5 to taste 5 different wines. For me, visiting wineries is the equivalent of taking a mini vacation.
Over the years, Paul and I have expanded beyond just exploring wineries and have taken part in some very fun tours. Our absolute favorite was at the Highland Park Distillery in Orkney. I'm not even a big fan of scotch, but the distillery and grounds were so... so... Scottish and the tour itself was so interesting. It became one of the highlights or our trip to Scotland and Orkney.
Another tour we got a big kick out of was the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, California. After driving past it for 16 years each time we travelled to Sacramento or Lake Tahoe, we finally made a point to stop in for a visit. The tour lasted about 45 minutes and was a lot of fun. The only downside is that now, whenever we drive past the factory, a certain four year old in the bag seat begs us to stop for a Jelly Belly break.
For ideas on finding and enjoying wine and brewery tours in your area, check out: http://bit.ly/qM3phr
Highland Park Distillery, Orkney Islands
|Francis Ford Coppola Winery & Savvy Snacks|
In my last blog entry, I talked about packing my own snacks for the two day speaking seminar that I was about to attend in San Diego. The seminar was fantastic - intensive - but fantastic. That intensity proved that my choice to pack my own snacks was a wise one. The days were long and it was nice to be able to grab a small packet of nuts and dried cranberries out of my purse rather than snacking on a cookie or other sugary item that was provided for attendees. I was able to stay focused the entire time and got much more out of the event for being able to maintain that focus. I also appreciated being able to munch on something healthy while waiting for my plane and not having to shell out for ridiculously marked up snacks at the airport.
Over this last weekend, I was reminded once again why I choose to keep sugary treats like cookies and donuts for after meals. Paul and I took Dante to Healdsburg, CA to stay with Paul's dad at the family's cabin on the Russian River. On Saturday morning we had donuts for breakfast. They were delicious, but within an hour I was craving more sugar and by the afternoon, I was feeling wonky and off. It was a powerful reminder for me to make sure that when I have sweets, to enjoy them after a meal rather than on their own.
While in Healdsburg we had a wonderful time. It was one of the first times this summer that it actually felt like summer. I took Dante fishing on the Russian River and enjoyed it much more than I expected. We went exploring and spent hours chatting and playing with Dante in the family's garden.
One of the highlights of the weekend was a visit to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville. If you happen to be in the area, it is a must visit spot. The grounds are beautiful and include a public swimming pool, bocce ball court and museum of movie memorabillia. What surprised me most about the visit was the affordability of the wines and restaurant.