Why I MISS MY DEBT! Darn that Dave Ramsey!

I have a very low threshold of tolerance for doing things that I don’t want to do.


I just never have connected with that idea that sometimes, ‘ya just gotta do, what ya gotta do, whether you like it or not.’ Sorry, I guess that makes me a bad person, or a spoiled kid, or might make you mad… Okay ūüôā I always kind of had this idea that if we really didn’t want to do something, there would be a way around it. It may take some different thinking, or different type of lifestyle, but there could always be a way to be free, to do what we DO want to do.

(psssst, it is true you know)

I’ve found out over the last few years, that being free (including Debt Free) isn’t always the easiest thing to be. Freedom and absolute wide¬†openness,¬†having little to no restrictions on your life or finances, doesn’t always produce the most action and most results. Especially, from me.

Here are some truths for you.

  • My income over the last 3 years has been laughably low. Tiny. Not Mucho. Small.
  • I probably have a household income in a different bracket, than anyone else you associate with. A fraction of what it was, in 2010.
  • It was over 3 years ago that I paid off my last debt owed, my home, and I have since never stepped foot into a bank to ask, or swiped a single card, based on borrowing or using a single dollar belonging to someone else.
  • I have, with my beautiful wife, worked to delete the last of a student loan, that we now have together. (it’s almost gone ūüôā )
  • In our house we tithe.
  • In our house we have an emergency fund.
  • In our house we save money each month.

BUT!! there is something truly helpful that I MISS about My DEBT!

It made me do things that I didn’t want to do!¬†

And that was a good thing! See my life now is blue open sky. All the freedom in the world. I can sit here and just ponder all day if I wish. But Debt, wow, in the days of debt, I had a wonderful structure and machine of accountability to MAKE me get up and make me produce and make me bring home the bacon each week!

I am into the world of Coaching, right? One benefit of a Coach is they can create a game that makes you step into new action and gets you out of your comfort zone, so you can grow and become something more than you were before…¬†Debt can do that too! Oh yeah!

Debt is the life coach that most of America hires to make them stay in action!

When Bills show up all through the month, that I have to pay, there is this awesomeness about that scenario. The companies that we borrow from, have this wonderful setup of accountability and disciplinary steps. They use them to make us feel like rotten little bad children if we make a late payment. Oh no! They call us on our phones! They ask us when we can pay the bill, and why we didn’t get it paid on time! This experience can be so painful and emotional that we learn to never pay late again!

We hate letting people down. We want to be the teacher’s pet. We are sad when someone is¬†disappointed¬†in us. So we believe this whole made up story of ‘CREDIT’ and how we need it to survive, like air to breathe. We would be bad people, if we had ‘BAD CREDIT’, OMG!! We can learn the best ways to get our CREDIT score up, and keep it there. We need to borrow the right amounts, and pay back at the right times, and keep on, keeping on, into oblivion, to keep my CREDIT score up.

This is a GREAT system. I am proof. With debt in my life, I made more money. Without it, I haven’t.

Confused yet?

Debt was a big, bad, furrowed-brow-parent in my life. It made me show up to work every day in a job that I didn’t love. It shook it’s finger at me, and made me feel like I was supposed to do this, and supposed to do that. It was a structure that I could follow, and see my progress on. It was full of ‘shoulds’ and a mysterious perfect life, that I could figure out how to acquire, if I just borrowed to buy all the right things.

That was one way, that I did produce more money in my life, than without it. That’s true.

Others may tell you that they have an internal discipline system that they use to create their schedule, and get things done, and always move forward into the work they love.

Good for them. That’s not me. I am more like the kid, who can totally kick ass and produce wonderful results… If I have to. And if I don’t, well I probably won’t. So then what? Is this life of mine, with complete freedom, a big waste of time. Should I lock myself back into the old ways, so I make myself and my family more money? Should I suck it up, and find something that is just a j-o-b, so other people can approve of me more? I would like to avoid those weird conversations about, ‘where do you work?’ and ‘what do you do?’. They are pretty awkward for me ūüôā

Hmm… My mentor Steve Chandler talks about willpower and discipline, just in the same context as arm power. It can be built. It is always created through exercise. It is not just a natural trait, that you either have, or don’t have. Anyone can improve their willpower and discipline and create a new picture of the life they want, at any time, starting right now.

YEAH, that sounds better!

Instead of needing the whole world of ‘stuff I can’t afford’, meaning, ‘stuff I borrowed money to have’, creating the reason for my action and work. Maybe, I could design a roadmap for myself that I would really love to travel upon. Maybe, I could just choose, and decide something that I would like to have happen in my near future (or far future), then ask myself, ‘what would be the best, fastest, most fun way to make that happen?’ That would not be spending my day today, working to create money, to pay for something I bought years ago. I could spend my day in earnest anticipation of serving and helping someone create an awesome new life for themselves, and in the process, I will receive their investment, as a proof of their commitment, and faith in their own.

I could then track and play along this gameboard of life, that I made up for myself. I’d choose to roll my dice and move ahead sometimes, or I can take a break, to redesign it as I go. That is a discipline and willpower exercise that sounds FUN to Me!

But how can I replicate that awesome power of Debt, to make me stay on track, at all times. Man, that was really helpful for a snotty brat like me. I needed that kick in the pants…¬†I’ve been quite immature, for my whole life. I cry when I don’t get my way. I do things, because I want to, not because you tell me to… hmm…

Maybe I don’t. Maybe I flip the whole thing upside down. How about I grow up. How about I use maturity, from my insides, instead of an outside force, to make me do things. Dang! Saying that we ‘have to do, what we have to do’ isn’t grown up anymore, it’s a cop-out. We have a whole world of¬†possibility¬†at our fingertips, and if we’re not tapping into that, it’s our own fault. We can be or do or become anything we COMMIT to.

Alright, let’s try this from a new level. I do things that I am so deeply passionate about, that I don’t need to be motivated to do them. I’m dying to do them. I want them so badly for myself, for others, that I am literally thinking about this work and this play at all times. My life is delicious to me, because I have spent the time to ask myself some powerful questions. I have faced myself in truth. I know that if I am not using all of my resources and energy, action and devotion, building and creating something awesome, than it’s not aligned with my purpose. It’s not what I am here on this planet to do.

If it’s not a Hell Yeah! Than it’s okay to drop it off my list. If I’m not 110% excited about it, than I am going to always come up short, on my commitment to it. If I am looking forward to the weekend, or the escape of alcohol, or even taking a sick day, to do what I really want to do, than I am out of alignment and not inspired with my work, or my life.

One of the reasons that I hired life-coach Megan Sillito, is this: On our first conversation together, she told me that she had recently been to Hawaii, to skydive with a client of hers. WOW!! This woman found a profession, that allowed her to facilitate someone’s tropical dreams coming true, and they brought her along with them, to make it happen. WOW!!

I want that too! How freakin’ cool is that! Would she, or I, or you, need willpower and discipline to show up for that kind of work? No Way!!

Ahh, these posts ¬†really give me the chance to see and type through my thoughts on my life. I am glad you’re here to ride along. Now is the time to go into questioning myself. Now is the time to practice getting clear, on what I really, really, really, absolutely, really want. What is it that I want so bad, that I don’t need the structure of monthly bills to make me show up for it? What is it that I want so bad, that no one can stop me from accomplishing, because I will do anything to achieve it? What is my Heaven Yeah!

That is a question worth finding the answer to, my friends! And Thank You Dave Ramsey, for giving me the opportunity to fail in the face of my financial freedom, it’s given me lots of space to find myself. I needed that too ūüôā


Aaron Nichols

Got Guts enough to join me on a discussion, about How I Miss My Debt! (Not Really?)

You‚Äôre invited to join the next weirdforgood hangout, and engage in our online workshop ‚Äď you‚Äôll need a free Google+ account, 45minutes to work with us, at 5:30 CST. You need a device with a camera & headset/microphone. If you can Skype, you can do this, (it‚Äôs actually really easy¬†¬†) Then email me at¬†aaron@truenorthffc.com¬†‚Äď before Tuesday ‚Äď I‚Äôll send you the hangout invite through Google+ when we start.

Check out all of my video workshop Hangouts here, to get a feel for it. Join us if you dare!

And if you like Podcasts РI have converted all my workshops to audio, for your listening pleasure, here. 

Fear-Be-Gone! Get Financially Ripped one Baby Step at a Time!

Clank… clank… clank… clank…¬†¬†thud, whirr, clank, whirrr, whirrr, thud, CLANK.¬†A hushed but audible¬†radio plays in the background. Several sweaty bodies are scattered around the place, in various contortions of abstract motion.

I find myself¬†very uncomfortably standing at the¬†front desk of the Ottawa Nautilus¬†Fitness Center circa 2001…¬†¬†Hang on for this story, you’re gonna laugh!
Looking across the vast gym, I am completely out of my comfort zone and feeling absolutely insecure.
To go back to that place and time I should provide more about my lifestyle at age 22. I’ll make this part fast… #1 Goal? Have FUN!¬† Then work hard and Play Harder! Every night is a new adventure, Never worry about tomorrow! Needless to say, the fitness level of my body and my wallet was completely Out of Shape!
I don’t remember exactly what brought me to the Gym. It may have been the latest great idea of the group of guys I ran around with. We were going to be in great shape and have fun doing it!
Honestly though, standing at the front of this gym in downtown Ottawa, all that energy and excitement had drained out¬†and fear was taking over…
My mind observed a whole new and alien world to me. I didn’t know what was what. I felt no bearing on where to start. I felt silly for being worried so much about something that seemed so simple to all the other folks in the gym.
I feared looking stupid, doing the wrong things & having my weakness of body and strength on display for all the gym to see.
I had years of guilt washing over me. I never was interested in physical fitness until now. What had I been thinking! Was it too late? Did I deserve a fit body when I had neglected mine so long? I saw myself on square #1.
In my head, everyone here had worked out for 4 hours a day, every-day for their whole lives. They were all triathletes and here I am, the weird new kid who probably will drop the bench-press bar on my face or something! I had beaten myself mentally, before I ever tried.
Anyway, I did sign up to be a member.
I began on the treadmill. I jogged a little and¬†let my new surroundings sink in. I¬†tentatively played with the machines trying not to break them or me. I met “the guys” for some light lifting and low reps. It didn’t kill me ūüôā
Over the next few weeks, I began to feel more comfortable with my own capabilites. I did, little by little, learn to enjoy this new facet to my lifestyle. Step by step on the treadmill, my confidence grew and I came closer to being comfortable in my body and¬†in this once terrifying place…
That experience began an understanding for me that I always want physical fitness to be part of my life. A gym-rat I am not. I did later become a big fan of bicyling and had¬†about 3 years¬†of¬†very¬†rewarding miles out on the trail. Although the focus comes and goes, I’ve never forgotten how good it feels to be in shape and confident in my physical abilities…
Sooo, this world of financial fitness? How does it make you feel?

Are these blog topics, and word Budget or Dave Ramsey, bringing anxiety, just to think about? Is the thought of using cash as your spending tool just as scary as a squat-bar loaded with giant weights? Do you feel guilt for years of couch-potato-like financial habits? Does it feel like it may be too late to start getting in shape?

I know those feelings.
I’ve¬†lived those feelings too.
I was also the poster-child for out-of-financial-shape-ness!
I had all those same feelings when I began my journey to financial freedom. I thought it was too late. I thought I had too much debt. I thought I had no control on the cost of living my life.
I had that same gym-like anxiety sitting in the waiting room at a hospital reading Dave’s book the Total Money Makeover. I was afraid people in public¬†would see that I was out of shape and weak with my money…
Truth is, just by being IN the gym. Just by having that book IN my hand, I had Victory.
I had taken the first baby step. I was TRYING!
Every little step of progress helped me to feel more confident than the last. The fears of “what if I can’t”, “what if it’s too hard” & “what if I fail” start to melt when you get moving in the right direction. The act of trying is what shrinks the fear.
If I can become financially fit, believe me, So Can You!
I see things from the other side now. I have mastered the equipment and techniques of building a solid financial body. I still enjoy the adrenaline of working those money muscles. And Yes, I fall off track every once in a while, just as all humans do ūüôā
If you want a personal trainer who understands. One who has transitioned from taking bill-collector’s calls to being completely debt-free, then my coaching services are for you. We’ll use the Baby Step approach to gaining confidence and climbing toward debt-freedom.
My money-gym membership info is available at http://www.truenorthffc.com/ check out “What is Coaching”¬†for details.
You have the ability in you. I can show you how to put it into action. And, YES you will be more attractive, inside and out, when you know that you have a buff & chiseled
financial physique!




Aaron Nichols
True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all?¬†Dilapidated Debt that you’re sick of living with?¬† You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

We’re droppin the Green Flag!

Financial Fitness. It’s coming on like¬†a nitrous-powered dragster. Can you feel the ground rumbling?
Surely you are¬†noticing this new wave of thinking. It’s actually old school that is now becoming cool again ūüôā
  • Interest in having savings.
  • Pride in conservative¬†spending.
  • People starting to go on a¬†Stuff Diet.
  • Less impulse to get a loan for a purchase.
  • Overall more emphasis on wise money habits.
This is absolutely the¬†best thing to come out of the change in our economy in the last couple years. The growth of our relationship with debt and it’s impacts on our lives is tremendous.
We all had a wonderful chance to learn how important it is to not be spread too thin with our money. I see GREAT things in the future for those who’ve learned from the mistakes of our culture in recent years.
Wise people from Ottawa and the surrounding areas about to embark on a financial learning journey. They have chosen to attend¬†Financial Peace University. These classes are being held all over the nation. I am volunteering to host one at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ottawa. It starts on Monday night… I AM EXCITED!!!!!
“More than one million families have attended Financial Peace University with amazing results. On average, these families paid off $5,300 in debt and saved $2,700 in just the first 90 days!” (from DR’s website)
All 18 people in my class had a pivotal moment when they made the decision to do this. With one little three letter word of “yes”, they’ve transformed thier financial future forever. VICTORY with a word.
It won’t be easy, but Everyone who attends all 13 weeks and implements the changes, will be¬†driving a fast moving¬†dragster toward Financial Peace!
Proud and honored are just a couple of the things I feel about being the host for this event.
I have personally lived the experience of the ride to debt-freedom. It will be inspiring to watch this class develop toward the same goal. In this group setting they¬†will see that they are not alone. Together they’ll support and encourage each other. It will be a wonderful gathering of energy focused on the acceptance of debt-reality and real action toward improvement!

My individual coaching services are best for the kickstart needed to get your financial engine rebuilt and idling correctly. We can even work together toward a sweet tune-up and solid reliable ride.

Financial Peace University is always a recommended follow-up to that package. For the long term health of your money-motor, FPU provides instruction for You to become your own certified mechanic, customizer and driver of a Real Financial Hot Rod! Are you ready?
Visit the first night of an FPU Class near you. It is free with no obligation. I warn you, it is tough to see the fun and not want to join up. In this race, Everybody gets to win!

Aaron Nichols
True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all?¬†Dilapidated Debt that you’re sick of living with?¬† You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

2010 Wrap Up

Wow, What a YEAR!!

I find myself wanting to wrap up 12 eventful months here and you may enjoy or understand more about me and my services by reading it!

January 2010 – Started off with terrible news that Uncle Steve in Florida was sick with Cancer. Another family tragedy was on the horizon. A couple days later, I paid off the last $4,000 of my Home Loan. It was a bittersweet time in life.

February 2010 РWe drove to Ohio to pick up Cousin Tera!! She Moved to Princeton, YAY! This was a family milestone and with the tragedy of losing her sister, we all wanted to be near her and show her a bunch of Kansas family Love! We also planned a visit to Florida. I was starting to live life completely debt-free. Had my first month with NO house payment.
March 2010 – Signed up for Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training using my Tax Return money and extra dollars¬†that were piling up everywhere from not having any payments. My¬†Sisters and Brother-In-Law and I¬†visited Uncle Steve and enjoyed our time with him and Nancy at his home in Florida. That was my first drive to the East Coast and our Road-Trip itself was pretty fun! 2800 miles on the Trooper!

April 2010 – We lost Stephen R. Nichols. The¬†Memorial¬†Service and family togetherness started feelings brewing inside of me. Steve was a great adventurer who’d accomplished so much. I started to question my own drive to succeed…¬†Then I attended Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training Program in Nashville. I had a blast and was Inspired¬†to¬†help others with my newly gained knowledge!

May 2010 – I had emotions boiling inside me. The combination of being debt-free, wanting to help others and feeling that I was spinning my wheels had me at a cross-roads. I began to wonder if a career change and complete fresh start was in order… I was also¬†working with several families and individuals to tighten up leaky finances and solidify their foundation for a fantastic financial future, those moments felt GREAT!
June 2010 – An epiphany came. One day I remembered that long ago I had dreamed of a cross-country road trip… Now was the time and place to make that dream happen! I consulted with lots of wise people I trusted.¬†With the support and well wishes of my boss of 10 years, I felt confident moving forward into the unknown! I quit my job as a Head of the Art Dept at Hasty Awards. I started preparing for two things. The Road Trip of¬†a lifetime and starting my own small business! Also found out that my sister Jessica¬†is expecting!!
July 2010 РI embarked from Princeton Kansas on a journey West with my Dog Roxy in my Isuzu Trooper. I had only a couple concrete points I wanted to hit. You can read all the posts I made on my 3-week 6000 mile trip here at http://www.ashellandastone.blogspot.com/ It was a fantastically blessed epic journey. I shared great moments with friends and family and saw wonderful sights of the American West, the Pacific Coast and everywhere in between!
August 2010 – I began putting together True North Financial Fitness Coaching http://www.truenorthffc.com/ and starting learning that business does not just take off all by itself. We also fit in another trip to Aspen, Co for Uncle Steve. This was the time of finding a new groove of self-employment and the beginning of a serious education in entrepreneurship!
September 2010 – On Labor Day weekend,while camping at the lake, we found out that sis Amanda is also going to have a baby – YAY Hooray, I’ll be a double-uncle in a few months!! With True North FFC I was still looking for clients to work with and I started to transform. The old days of thinking that planning a great strategy and implementing steps to gain success were all over… The truth is this. Get Started! Make something happen. Learn from the mistakes of Doing. Do it again, but Better this Time. Keep repeating this process with DETERMINATION!
October 2010 – Staying¬†Focused, I use my days to gain knowledge from others in the business. I start to learn that there is a whole community out there who is just like me. People running their own businesses, helping others and doing much of their marketing and idea sharing online. A redesign of my website¬†happened in¬†here and¬†The Ready for Better Blog http://www.readyforbetter.blogspot.com/ now has¬†an important new purpose ūüôā
November 2010 – I felt the momentum starting to slow down and had wondered if I was making the right choices. I had become a regular at Westminster Presbyterian Church and we finalized plans to host a Financial Peace University Class in January. I feel great that I am growing spiritually throughout this process. Also I begin to work with local clients on thier Website, Branding, Social Media and Promotional Marketing. Using my graphics skills is a nice addition to my small business offerings.
December 2010 – This month I really ramped up my dedication to learning, I began reading again and studying lots of material on building small business. I feel that the focus on personal finances will happen again in January. For this Holiday Season I enjoyed the extra time that being self-employed offers. We had several fun family and friend events!
This is a quick wrap up and I’m sure I’ve left out several big things ūüôā I hope your 2010 was a good one. Now on to 2011!! Let’s look to make this a FANTASTIC year of growth, change and inspiration for a wonderful future!

Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching
Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all?¬†Delapidated Debt that you’re sick of living with?¬† You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

Rat-In-A-Wheel or R-A-D-I-C-A-L!!!

Hello Thursday!! Just a little insight, Thursdays have always been my favorite day of the week ūüôā Almost into the weekend and still time to get things done!

Okay, so the title of this post was meant to get your attention. Did it work?? I am throwing a radical idea out today.

Right smack dab in the middle of the consumer culture of christmas, I want to speak a minute about where we’re getting to with our financial goals. Do you ever feel that you work hard all day and when that paycheck comes in you sit down to send it all back¬†out? A rat in a wheel spins that baby all day long and is tired from the exercise but really didn’t go anywhere.¬†I’ve been there, done that.¬†I’ve felt the stress of juggling due dates of bills vs. when the paycheck comes in. I’ve longed for the purchase of some item I just had to have, and it seems the only way to buy it is on a monthly payment. Where was I getting to with this lifestyle?
Enter the world of the radical for a minute. This is when it’s time to get control of your money instead of it controlling you. How about the first¬†moment of clipping your credit cards and never again using their Capital to Chase your future into the American Distress?¬†How¬†would you like open and honest communication¬†and assistance from your spouse on¬†handling the finances as a team?¬†What about the power of walking into the store buying exactly what you want and not having to do any mental math on how it affects your checking account?¬†What if your¬†mailbox seems to be emptier every time you check it from paying off those little nagging medical or store credit debts?
Go in your mind to the drivers seat of your paid for car. I guarantee it will drive better. Then remember that you’ve freed up another $300 or $400 dollars per month. Where did that go? Now it’s time to see a balance of savings piling up in your emergency fund. How about the moment that your car’s tranny goes out and you get to decide to put in a new one with cash or just pay cash for a whole car instead? What about the understanding that your retirement will be well funded because you made strides today that your 65 year old self will love you for?
Finally, (and I love this one ūüôā What about pulling into the drive of your paid-for home, having been living debt-free for several years, and this is the night that you decide to write a 5-figure¬†check to anonymously help a family in¬†need. You can relate to the stress this family is under. This money is extra, above and beyond what you need for yourself.¬†Then you have the power to drop a money-bomb on them and¬†change their futures forever…¬†Radical? Yes. Possible? Absolutely!
In the world of the radical there are some sacrifices and things to be cut back on. You will and should feel¬†weird about some¬†of the changes you’ll make.¬†There are huge gains to be enjoyed¬†from stepping off of the revolving hamster wheel and starting to use your energy to propel yourself truly forward. I hope this little journey has been fun. The real thing REALLY is fun. I can attest to that.
I hope your holidays are going great. I am offering discounts and lots of free material on my website for you to utilize, please take advantage of them as you step toward a Radical new lifestyle!
“True Nobility is not about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Free 30 Minute Financial Analysis – No Obligation – Completely Confidential

Thanks & Giving

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!

Today I’ll take a break from the debt-free drive and just give thanks.

When it really comes down to it, Family is what is most important. I am a Blessed Man in this area.

Thanks to all my friends and family who support me and remind me why this journey of life is so full. I am surrounded in abundant human blessings. I am thankful for the favor and second chances and too many good times to count. Thank You all. I love and appreciate you every day.

Thanks to You for reading these words, I wish you a Wonderful Turkey Day!
Also thanks to God¬†who makes all things possible ūüôā

Until next Thursday… Thank You and Make It a Great Week!


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitnesss Coaching
Free 30 min Financial Analysis – No Obligation – Completely Confidential

Windshield or Rearview??

Happy Thursday as the sun shines and cool weather has set in.

Today’s question seems simple enough… “When driving to work this morning did you happen to look out of windshield of your car or did you only use the rearview mirror?”

Silly question right? It would be terrible if everyone decided to use their rearview mirror to drive all over town. I think my friend Kevin would have a lot more work in his industry as an auto insurance adjuster!

Financially how are you driving? Do you know how much you’ve spent every month, feel comfortable about that and use the past month’s expenses to know exactly the amount it took to make it to the end? This would technically be the same as driving using your rearview mirror. Some people even write out their “budget” and have expenses marked down on a nice spreadsheet and track¬†them very clearly. This is a step in the right direction, although we are still focusing on where we’ve been and not where we’re going.

Just like our cars, the best way to navigate financially is to look forward, see what’s ahead and plan to steer around the curves and stop when we come to an intersection. A Pre-Planned Zero Balance Budget is the best way to plan your month’s money.¬†We start by¬†looking forward into the upcoming month,¬†writing down our income that we expect to bring in, and then working down the list of expenses until every dollar has been spent. Also this should be done¬†at the beginning of each month because¬†expenses¬†change as the months change. We can plan¬†our lives a month at a time and make adjustments along the way knowing that we are staying on the road we’ve planned out the entire time.
Some folks have irregular income amounts and may feel it’s impossible to plan things out this way. On the contrary, it is even more important to get a written plan ahead of time to know where to put money as it comes in. With the same form that you can download in the link below, write out all your expenses for the upcoming month. Then in the left column put a priority number on each expense. #1 would be food, then utilities, then house payment, then car gas, payment & insurance… Food, Shelter, Clothing & Transportation are the 4-walls it takes for all of us to live.¬† Make sure and spend out categories up to the amount you expect to bring in and beyond. Then as the money comes in, pay yourself into each category by the numbered order on the list. Do not spend money on a credit card bill or to eat out until the house payment is paid. This will make sure your basics are taken care of and you have a plan for each dollar as it arrives.

Click Here for Aaron’s Zero Balance Budget¬†Tool¬†-on the Resources page at TrueNorthFFC.com¬†where I’ve uploaded my Zero Balance Budget¬†Tool and some other great¬†documents to help you get your financial ferrari on the autobahn!

Now we have to be honest here… Not everyone is looking out the windshield or the rearview… some are wearing a blindfold and mashing the gas! The results of this plan of driving are obvious. The car gets beatup, rides really rough and sometimes causes fender-benders with others out there on the road. By downloading my budget form and filling it out,¬†we take off the blindfold and know where we are at. Seeing on paper how much we have coming in and going out helps us to know if we should slow down some spending or plan to pull into a service station!

All of us are really driving ourselves somewhere financially every day. I hope we are headed where we want to go! I would love some feedback on the budget files I’ve posted for download. Remember that you can get yourself going in the right direction, but if you need navigational help, a tune-up or overhaul, I’ll be at your service.

Money flows from those who don’t manage it to those who do. ~Dave Ramsey


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching
Free 30 Min Financial Analysis – No Obligation – Completely Confidential

Out of Order and Backwards

Happy Thursday and welcome back to Ready for Better. Thanks for being here!

“I Owe, I Owe, So Off to Work I Go!”

Anyone relate to this quote?? I’ve put together some of my roadtrip pictures to help illustrate our Out of Order and Backwards way that most of us are using to handle our finances… I have lived this way for many years, so please know I am speaking first hand!

Ahh, Oregon, Beautiful Trees and Driving…

Oh the doowdeR’s – How majestic!

The odaroloC and hatU border, one of my favorite stops ūüôā

Facing South down the coast… Wait a min, shouldn’t the Ocean be on my right??

Okay, Okay, these photos have been mirrored and are all out of order!

Like the pictures above, we sometimes like the overall colors of our financial situation. It is nice and even pretty because it is ours and we created it, even in it’s backward-ness.
When we choose to buy-now and pay-later, or purchase on credit, we have flipped backwards the natural order.
Have you ever heard this? “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7 – Really think about that SLAVE word.
When we head off to work in the morning, what are we usually doing… Earning an income to pay for our basic needs of course, but those are only part of that reason. What about consumer debt in the form of credit card bills, student loans, car loans, or maybe a HELOC (Like I once used to buy a 4-wheeler!!)? These all represent moments where we were backwards in our purchasing process.
Working because we owe a lender their monthly payment for something we bought weeks, months or years ago is exhausting. There is no way to get ahead in this system.
The thunderstorm of commercials and marketing we have dumped on us every day, convince us we are smart to choose the backward system of credit. Zero percent interest, 90 days same as cash, and double airline miles are all efforts to seduce you by companies who know how to really make money. Who is getting the best deal when we choose to buy now and pay later?? They do of course, they understand the “Borrower is Slave to the Lender”…
If we first work, then save, then purchase an item, we have returned to the natural order. At that point we are slave to no one and can choose to live our days as we would most like to. Planning forward with savings and then truly owning the stuff in our life, opens up the doors to financial peace and a wealthy future.
Are you Ready for a Better life than debt has brought you so far? Does this message stir any emotion? If so, that is good, because it means that there is hope for you to find freedom and release the chains of consumer debt.
You are special. You work too hard to not be getting ahead. You are worth it! It requires sacrifice to climb out of debt, and when we sacrifice, we are blessed with fantastic results!“Debt gives you the ability to look like you’re winning, when you’re not.” – Dave Ramsey

Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching
Free 30 Minute Financial Analysis – No Obligation – Completely Confidential

Your Vision

Good Morning, I hope your week has been Fantastic!! Here is the latest Blog update and one that I will expand and build on in future posts. This subject has impacted all areas of my life, including finances. Let’s talk about Vision…

I have been a “rider” for most of my life. As a kid I had a bicycle like most. Then four-wheelers and motorcycles were a big part of my recreation as a teen and adult. I’ve also enjoyed many miles of adult bicycling as well. I’ve never been the smoothest rider, the craziest, or the most confident. I enjoyed it and thought I was okay, but actually had tons of room to improve!

A few years ago, I was reading a web article on bicycling and found a sentence that changed the way I looked at the world from that point forward.

Okay, so the sentence (that I read) that changed everything about the way I ride and live, goes something like this… “The bike goes where you look!”

Simple Right?? I immediately tested the theory and found out it is So True! The bike does go where you look. Put your eye on a spot in the road, focus there, and the bike ends up tracking exactly on top of that spot. No extra thinking or steering is required.

Let’s go further… If the Bike is us, and the Road is life, and Time is the engine pushing us forward… Do we understand that We are going where We are Looking??

Most of the time, if a curve is ahead, and we see a patch of gravel, or a huge pothole, (A Big Problem!) then our eyes stick on it, and we drive right to it!! The whole time thinking, “I hope I don’t hit that, I hope I don’t hit that!”

As it relates to our finances, are we looking to the place in the road we want to be? Or do we focus on the patches of gravel (bills piling up) and potholes (a mountain of debt). Worse yet, are we turned around and looking behind us at our previous money mistakes and opportunities we’ve past? Where do you think we’re headed in that situation?

We must begin to change our focus and where our vision is pointed. If we put our eyes on a new future, look beyond the debt, see ourselves as wisely controlling our finances, then us and our bike will begin to point that way. Can you see yourself in a Life After Debt? Can you see the money you would be able to spend, save and give if you had no credit card bills, student loans, medical bills, car payments or even a house payment? I like that vision, and live that vision. I know you can accomplish that too!

The exhilleration and feeling of flight you are able to enjoy when Debt-Free is worth the effort to get there. Use your mind and your vision to imagine that life for you and your family. You do deserve to rid yourself of the potholes that debt cause in your life. The road does not have to be as bumpy in your future financial world.

If you are Ready for a Better Road, together we can make a plan to fill those holes of consumer-debt. If you’re Ready for a Better Bike we’ll install cushy shock-absorbers called emergency funds to soften the ride. Then I’ll bring out the atlas, to show you the places you can reach, if you take the investing route to get there. You’ll have one saddle-bag stuffed full of cash for your future fun purposes and purchases. The other one will be over-flowing so you can stop along the way to help fellow travelers with your abundance.

Thanks for reading today’s post. I hope you’ll ask yourself, “What is My Vision?” and I hope it is a good one ūüôā

“One thing I do is forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead” Philippians 3:13


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching
Free 30 Minute Consultation – No Obligation – Completely Confidential

* Special Thanks to Sterling for a sweet Saturday Ride, and to sweet Liz for taking the pics!