2020 – It’s a New Year – Actually it’s a New Decade


Wow where has the last year gone? Actually where has the last decade gone? Anyone remember Y2K?

One year, 10 years, 20 years….wow did they go as fast for you as they did for me? And how many of us have made a New Year’s Resolution each year to make next year better than the last? Especially when it comes to finances.

According to an article in Forbes Magazine published in January 2019 just one year ago and one year later than the 2018 PEW Research article mentioned below, as well as a 2017 CareerBuilder study found that 78% of U.S. workers are living paycheck to paycheck. See a pattern? Year after year different studies and research find the same results. What do they say the definition of insanity is? Isn’t it; keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Who are these people? Are they people living below the poverty level. No, in fact many are earning by many standards a good income. CareerBuilder reported nearly one in 10 workers making $100,000+ live paycheck to paycheck.

Here are some other crazy statistics reported in Forbes;
• Nearly 3 in 4 workers say they are in debt – and more than half think they always will be
• More than half of minimum wage workers say they have to work more than one job to make ends meet
• 28% of workers making $50,000 – $99,999 usually or always live paycheck to paycheck, and 70% are in debt

Clearly the Financial Matrix is alive and well as many people have fallen victim to the fact that Financial Literacy is not being taught in our schools. I believe a certain level of financial literacy should be a requirement to graduate from Middle School and a greater level of literacy at the High School level. You may ask how and why should we expect a certain level of financial literacy even at the Middle School level? I live in Central Pennsylvania where a significant number of my friends come from an Amish and Mennonite background and many of them attend school until the 8th grade (Middle School). For many of these families this age group enters the work force and many even become entrepreneurs, if not immediately soon after. This takes an understanding of handling money, investing in their business, understanding cash flow, operating budgets, and concepts such as credits and debits. You are never too young to learn about money, something that affects our lives forever, even after we die, think inheritance and legacy.

What are some changes we can make right here and right now? Let’s see what the most financially successful investor of our time Warren Buffet says…

In two CNBC make it Articles published; May 10 2018 on Money, and Apr 30 2019 about Power Players, Warren Buffett says avoid debt at all costs. If legendary investor Warren Buffett could give one piece of advice to young people, “it would be just to don’t get in debt,”. He told this to a 14-year-old shareholder at the 2004 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting.
“It’s very tempting to spend more than you earn, it’s very understandable,” he said. “But it’s not a good idea.” And if you’re deep in the red, it may be a good idea to “never look at a credit card the rest of [your] life,” Buffett added.
Warren Buffett, who is worth nearly $89 billion according to Forbes, is famous for spending only $3 a day on breakfast. Buffett said he uses cash “98% of the time. Buffett’s tendency to use cash puts him in the minority among Americans. Using cash, however, can actually be a good way to save money. And researchers have found that physically handing over money feels painful, making you less likely to do it.
In 2018, only 18% made “all or almost all of their purchases” with cash, according to the PEW Research Center. About half (52%) of Americans made “some” of their purchases with cash and 29% made none of their purchases with cash.

That is over 80% which is very similar to the percentage of people who are 90 days from bankruptcy. In other words if they did not have a check come in for 90 days they would have to start selling items to pay their debt obligations.

So….What changes are you going to make in 2020 that you promised yourself you were going to do in 2019, and maybe also in 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015?

Now is the time! Let’s make 2020 a New Beginning.

Get Financially Fit.

A.G. Gaston’s 10 Rules

While on a trip across country, My wife and I had the opportunity to visit the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham Alabama.

It was heart wrenching to see both the discrimination and hatred of individual‘s due to the color of their skin. It was a sad and disgraceful time in our country’s history. Sorry to say that this type of discrimination has always been, and will most likely always will continue, due to the fallen nature of men & women. It doesn’t seem to matter the race or what part of the world it exists it is all wrong. But in spite of the circumstances there are those who prosper.

One  such example was A.G. Gaston. Arthur George Gaston born in 1892 in Alabama was one of those individuals.

Mr. Gaston’s father died while he was still an infant. He grew up in a log cabin with his mother and grandparents. A.G. Gaston’s formal education ended with the 10th grade. After WWl he went to work in the mines and according to Wikipedia while working in the mines, he decided there was a need to feed the workers and came up with the idea of selling lunches to his fellow miners and then branched into loaning money to them.

Overtime Mr. Gaston had become a wealthy businessman in spite of the discrimination and poverty that surrounded him. His success included a business college, insurance company, a home for senior citizens, a bank, savings and loan association, motel, funeral home, bottling company, construction company, two radio stations, and a boys and girls club. He was a tremendous success by any standard of measure.

What were some of the principles that Mr. Gaston practiced and live by that allowed him to ascend to this level of success?

A.G. Gaston had 10 rules for success which he followed;

  1. Pay yourself first and save a part of all you earn.
  2. Save at an established institution such as a bank or savings and loan and stay away from loan sharks.
  3. Take no chances with your money.
  4. Never borrow anything that if forced to it, you can’t pay back.
  5. Don’t get big headed with regular people. It you take care of their needs they will make you big.
  6. Don’t have so much pride and wear the same suit for a year or two. It doesn’t matter the kind of suit if there is no money in it.
  7. Find a need and fill it. Successful businesses are found on the needs of other people. Keep good books and hire the best people you can find.
  8. Never run around with people that you can’t compete with. Stay in your own class.
  9. Once you get money or a reputation for having money people will give you money.
  10. Once you reach a certain bracket it is very difficult not to make more money                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Mr. Gaston famously said, “I never went into anything with the idea of making money. I thought of doing something, and it would come up and make money. I never thought of trying to get rich” Mr. Gaston’s net worth was estimated to be more than $130 million dollars at the time of his death..

I have learned over the years that when it comes to finances that good principles are necessary to follow. No matter your background or environment, if you follow sound financial principles not only will you find a way to earn money, but you will more than likely be able to keep it.

How’s it Going?

Well it is January 15th, half way into the first month of the New Year.

How’s it going so far…..you know on your New Year’s resolutions?

Any better than last year?

Or the last 5 years?

Do you regret not doing what you said you were going to do?

How about living a LIFE of No Regrets?

How many people say year after year they are going to improve their marriage ……. Or relationships with their children…. Or their finances?

Why don’t we? Because it is tough to go it alone.

Let’s Change that RIGHT NOW!

Why not get plugged into a community of people, a TEAM if you will, to Have Fun, Make Money and/or Make a Difference?

Let’s live a LIFE of NO REGRETS!