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Cowboy Money Lessons PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Tosetti   
Sunday, 15 June 2014 07:06
By Melissa Tosetti
I still love telling people that my dad is a cowboy.  It’s up there with astronaut!
Growing up, I learned fantastic life lessons from him through our love of horses and the cowboy life. Many of those lessons transcend to savvy living including:
  • Put your tack away when you’re done or it will get ruined = Take care of my possessions so I don’t have to spend money on replacing them.
  • From my grandmother and my dad I learned to feed the animals first because they can’t feed themselves = I equate that to pay yourself first because money won’t save itself (unless you set it up to do automatically).
The greatest lesson I learned from my dad is perseverance. Perseverance often comes up when I’m talking to clients who, in the past, have become frustrated with their finances because they’ve tried saving, but ended up getting thrown off for one reason or another. So, they get into a mindset that they’re not good with money and give up trying to save at all.   
When I was 12 years old, my dad and I were at a rodeo together and while team roping, his thumb was cut off. It was a pretty traumatic ordeal, but my dad has a great sense of humor and so the jokes began to fly about only being able to hitch hike one-way, etc.  
Despite being in the hospital for almost a month due to health complications, he went right back to team roping when he was cleared by the doctors.
About 6 years later, he lost his other thumb while roping. With great doctors in place and being in much better health, they were able to save it and very soon, he was right back up on the horse.
When I was around 21, I got a call that he was in the emergency room. While roping, he had lost the thumb they replaced six years ago.
My father is in a very small category of individuals who can say that they lost three thumbs. 
After what most people would have been devastated by, he took it in stride, and with a few more jokes went right back to roping. He went back to roping because it’s a sport he loves so much. In fact, it wasn’t until about six months ago that he finally decided it was time to sell his horses.   
The moral of the story is, if he gave up after that first thumb, he would have lost 33 years of doing something he loves. If he gave up after the second thumb, he would have lost 27 years and the third thumb, 24 years! 
In terms of managing your money - it takes practice. The more you do it, the better you get. Don’t get frustrated and think you’re not a good saver. Keep trying and play with different strategies. Instead of jumping in and trying to save 10% of your income, start by trying to save just 1%. When you’ve successfully done that for a few months, bump up your savings by another 1% and so on until you’ve reached your savings goals. 
I’ve learned that good money habits come by building on small successes. Give it a try! At least there’s no appendages at risk! 
Me and my dad on a cattle drive in 2012.
Living Savvy in Canada PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Tosetti   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 06:15

By Melissa Tosetti

Back in October I worked with Jenny H. from Canada to create a Tailored Spending Plan.  I remember her very well and she was an absolute pleasure to work with.  Out of the blue, I received this email from her:

Hi Melissa,
My name is Jenny and you worked with me in October to get my financial life in order. 
I just wanted to quickly tell you how much you've changed my life.  To begin with, I'm still paying down my debt with the payments we came up with and everything is going along nicely with that.  
I just paid off the government for back taxes... Woo!  Also, I religiously sock money away into my various 'accounts' every 2 weeks.
Since we spoke in October, I've had a couple of things happen. My dog required emergency surgery, which was $2,000. Thanks to the program, I had some of that money in my 'vet' account, and the rest from my 'emergency' account. I also just had some work that needed to be done on my car... a bit more than I was anticipating. BUT, the money was already put away in my 'car' account, so I didn't have to dip into my regular chequing account!
In the past, all of these expenses would have gone on my credit card setting me WAY back. This time, I had cash for them all. No credit required. Not only that, but I just bought a plane ticket for a vacation I'm taking this summer, thanks to my 'vacation' account that's been slowing adding up!
I never would have believed that I could pay off debt, be equipped for life's little emergencies, and still live a very comfortably. Never in a million years.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
Every morning, I can't wait to get to my computer to start working.  I love what I do.  But, as you can imagine, receiving letters like this is blissfully rewarding!
Like Jenny, you can create a strong financial while enjoying the journey.
Thank You PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Tosetti   
Monday, 26 May 2014 10:45
To all the veterans who have served our country
and to those who are still serving, thank you!
A Savvy Habit of The Wealthy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Tosetti   
Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:12
By Melissa Tosetti
Last night I spoke at an event hosted by Merrill Lynch for their private wealth clients. 
I talked about generational wealth and how the habits that were ingrained in the people in the room, may not be ingrained in their children and grandchildren.  I then offered ideas for how to get their children and grandchildren to understand that they can build a financial foundation and enjoy the journey. 
During the presentation I introduced the six habits for living a savvy life which are:
1. Pay yourself first.
2. Track your spending.
3. Pay your bills on payday.
4. Set financial goals.
5. Know when to invest and when to bargain shop.
6. Spend purposefully.
After I finished speaking, several of the attendees raised their hands and offered their thoughts on habits to add to the list. All the advice was excellent, but one really resonated and that is…
7. Use your credit card as if it were a debit card.
Many of the clients I work with had a habit of using their credit card to make all of their purchases throughout the month so they could earn points. Their intention was to pay off the balance at the end of each month. However, what often ends up happening with credit cards is that we don’t think twice about making a purchase where as if the money was coming directly out of our checking accounts, we  definitely would!
The clients then end up spending more with their credit cards, are unable to pay off the full amount and begin carrying a balance which grows month over month.
It’s OK to use your credit card to make monthly purchases and earn points.  You just have to think of it as if that money is coming directly out of your checking account… because at the end of the month, it will be!
The Best Mother's Day Gift PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Tosetti   
Sunday, 11 May 2014 06:46

By Melissa Tosetti
This morning I went in to wake my 7 year old son Dante.  He immediately jumped out of bed, ran to his backpack and handed me a card that he made at school.  It reads:
Dear Mom,
Something that I love you about. You make cookies. Something else that I love about you is you are sweet. There’s something else that I love about you that you are the best Mom. 
The card included a drawing of me bringing him, and our dog Spur, a tray of cookies.
I don’t think Dante will ever be able to top this gift! The fact that as soon as he woke up, he sprang out of bed to give me his beautiful homemade card was something I’ll never forget! 
His enthusiasm reminded me that it's not the price of the gift, or even the gift itself that counts.  The real gift is the sentiment. 
I want to wish all of you moms out there a wonderful day!  - Melissa

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