April is almost gone and with this month, there were many things to consider and participate in, aside from the great weather in a lot of places! More importantly (pay attention here) April is Financial Literacy Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Lawn and Garden Month and Month of the Military Child… I think you get the idea. For a more thorough list feel free to visit this site: https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/april-monthly-observations/
With so many government driven interests in the month of April it’s easy to get distracted. I wanted to touch on two topics, which are important to me.
April is Financial Literacy Month
As a Financial Coach, you would probably doubt me if I didn’t bring you something related to my passion. The truth is, I wanted to bring you something outstanding. I am not a blogger yet, but I am working on it. I think there is so much relevant content out there; it’s hard to decide if I should write another great article about it or should I just share what others have already put the energy into creating for me?
Sorry for the tangent. Here it is… This month’s financial freebie if you will.
How do I know if I should rent or buy?
There are a couple things I teach people about money. Number one is definitely the need to get on a written cash flow plan and start telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.
Many of my clients come to me when there is a financial crisis or they want to learn to save money. A budget (Cash Flow Plan) is the best way to address either situation to get started.
The next thing I teach is to eliminate debt! Yes, this includes car loans, student loans and, are you ready for it, Credit Cards! Completely eliminate all debt. The truth behind it is that your income is your number one wealth-building asset. Until you free up your income you may find that you are spinning your wheels, at the very least you are not maximizing your income for retirement accounts, investments and yes, the home purchase. If you want to learn how to eliminate debt or any of the strategies mentioned above, please submit an inquiry with me today!
Coach Dan, why have you told me all of this, I want to know if I should rent or buy?
Simply put, if you have not completed the steps above, you are not ready to buy a home. Yes, I know you believe renting is much more expensive than buying (especially in your area). The truth again? Well, when you rent, you are not responsible for costly repairs. If something in the home breaks, you contact the landlord. In a lot of locations you are not responsible for maintaining the lot. Maybe you are in a house and you have to cut the grass. Still not more expensive than owning, sorry. As a homeowner, you are responsible for any repairs that are needed. You are responsible for the Taxes on the property as well.
If you are asking me about owning a home, I am going to teach you that I want you to eliminate debt, save for an emergency fund (3 to 6 months of living expenses) and then save for a 10% or more down payment if a home purchase is your goal. Though I actually want you to be investing in your retirement, considering options to fund your children’s college and then save for your home. All of these are accomplished at the same time.
In short, if you do not have an emergency fund in place, investing in your retirement and have at least 10% down payment, you should consider continuing to rent. There are many other factors to consider such as what type of loan you should be looking for and whether you are going to be moving in the next few years. These are all factors I would be happy to help you explore if this is something you are considering now. Simply leave a comment on this post or schedule a free initial consultation here: Book Online
I think I should clarify something from my opening statement. I am passionate about a couple things. I am passionate about my family and my work. My passion is really about teaching others, helping others and providing hope. My choice to deliver my passion is through Financial Coaching, but I am also a Victim Advocate working with survivors of Sexual Assault as well as teaching others about Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Not a financial topic, but as I mentioned a topic that is close to me. I am a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate and work with Soldiers, Civilians and Family members who are survivors of sexual trauma.
As April comes to an end, since it is Sexual Assault awareness month and as you can see from the list I provided, many things seem to be overshadowed, I wanted to leave anyone who reads this with a few of my own thoughts and hopefully keep focus on things that are important to me.
When I am talking to others or providing training on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment prevention, one of the things I like to point out is that “we” have become distinctly unaware of how we sound sometimes. I encourage you to simply be genuine in our interest in another person, or our disinterest if that is what you are feeling.
Be Respectful (To yourself first)
Women and Men are human beings, they are not objects. They should be treated as such. Hey baby, I’d like to hit “That”, MMM Let me get “That” are not terms of endearment, and whether you are a man or a woman, there is nothing respectful or cool or sexy about it. The fact here is the term “That” is an attempt to objectify a person thereby taking any intimacy out of the equation. When you attempt to associate a man or a woman with an object, you depersonalize it and make the act of having sex with someone just that, an act. What if you were honest, genuine and respectful about your approach? Hi there, I know you don’t know me, but I wanted to tell you I think you are very attractive and if you would like to talk, maybe I could buy you lunch?
Personally, I have two teenage daughters. I have a mother, a grandmother and several female cousins. I have two brothers a grandfather and there are many men and women whom I respect. If we don’t take time to say something, do something and simply let rude comments and objectification happen, we continue to ignore it when a man slaps a woman on the ass to look cool in front of his friends, if we continue to turn our heads, the next time it could be one of your loved ones.
When are you going to take action? If it was a loved one, you say you would take action don’t you. Then why let it happen to those you don’t know or condone it when your friends act that way at the bar? The truth is for some of you, it does bother you, but you don’t want to be that guy. Well, when you are not there, the next time it may be someone you care about.
Don’t be a bystander.
Just because you hear it or see it on your radio, your TV or in public does not mean it’s okay! One of my pet peeves is when people imitate what they see and hear in our social influences, like radio and TV and think by doing so, they are actually going to find a meaningful relationship and that they are going to get everything that the Artists have. Be true to yourself first, and you can achieve all of this and more.
If you are in Northern, VA I would encourage you to check out WGTS 91.9. You will not find any music that portrays disrespecting tones or lyrics here. You will find a variety of good sounds, good music that encompasses a large variety of tastes. If you are not in Northern, VA see if there is a K-Love channel in your area!
If you or someone you know is struggling from Sexual Assault or Sexual Harassment, please reach out for help: https://www.rainn.org/national-resources-sexual-assault-survivors-and-their-loved-ones