529 Plans

529 Plans

May and June is the time of year where kids are graduating from high school and college.  If you are like me, this gets you thinking about saving for college education.

There are a lot of ways to fund college, but I want to talk about 529 plans. The plans are not for everyone, but they are a great solution for a lot of people. I am a fan of them when they are used in the right circumstances. These plans are a great way to save for education. It does impact financial aid later on, though, so be aware of the differences between a grandparent setting a plan up for the child and a parent.  Depending on the person setting up the plan, there can be an impact in future financial aid. Overall, however, 529 plans are a great option.

What happens if your child/grandchild goes out of state to college?

These plans can be found in every state, but you do not need to live in that state in order to have that plan. If you live in Colorado, for example, you can have a Utah plan.   You can set up any plan no matter where you live and no matter where your child chooses to go to college.  I happen to live in Utah, and the Utah plan, which is called my529, is consistently ranked as one of the top plans in the country.  Anyone in the country can set up for Utah’s plan so, do your research and see which state plan will fit your beneficiary (child receiving the funds) best. Again, they the child does not need to go to college in the state where you set up the plan.

What is the basis of the 529 plan?

The basis of a 529 is basically that the beneficiary is one owner.  This does not mean that the owner is the only one that can contribute. Anybody can contribute to the plan, which makes this a great gifting option.  For example, if you set up a 529 plan for your child, you can take the opportunity at birthdays, Christmas, and other holidays to remind family members that they can contribute.   Most plans, especially the Utah plan, make it really easy to send grandparents a link to go online and be able to contribute funds.

What if my child/grandchild chooses not to go to a traditional college?

If your child chooses not to go to a traditional four-year college, they have other options. The funds can be used for a community college, technical school, or a vocational program.   They can also be used for graduate school later down the road. Starting in 2018, private funds up to $10,000 per year in K-12 were approved. This means that 529 money can be used for private education in grades K-12 (up to $10,000 per year). This is actually a really big opportunity, especially if there are funds in 529 plans that are not being used.

What if my child decides to opt out of education altogether after high school?

There is an option to move the money to another beneficiary, which is a qualified family member of the beneficiary. The list of qualified family members is huge – it could include siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, or parents. If the child is older, the funds could also be moved to their spouse or children.

There is an option to pull out the funds.  If the funds are withdrawn, however, there would be a ten percent penalty plus the income taxes would be taken from the total amount.

Questions? Reach out!

Check out www.my529.org to see more details about Utah’s 529 plans. Also, feel free to reach out to me and I would be happy to help.  Sometimes, just exploring options with a financial advisor is the best way to plan for children’s future.

The Best Ways to Manage Your Money so You Make and Keep More of It

The Best Ways to Manage Your Money so You Make and Keep More of It

Have you ever wished you had more money in your pocket? We all have. We all want to make more money and then keep more of it in our pockets. That’s why I want to share with you the best ways to help you manage your money – so that you can earn more and keep more of it.

 

Now, I’ve got more than 50 financial tips – but let’s start with the most basic one. Because this one will save you noticeable time, money, and credit problems. And, if you want the rest of my tips, make sure you read to the end of this article. I’ll give them all to you – completely free of charge.

 

manage your money

 The Simple, 5-Minute Tip to Manage Your Money Like a Pro

 

The best and easiest way to manage your money like a pro only takes five, quick and easy minutes each day. And here’s the trick: you need to acknowledge your money.

 

What that means is taking five minutes each day to simply log into your financial accounts. Whether you use a bank, a credit union, or an online institution – log in. You can log in from your phone or your computer. Either way is great!

 

But make sure you’re logging in. Look at your balances. See what your pending and posted transactions are.

 

For most institutions, pending charges are in italics – and it hasn’t quite come out of your account yet. You want to keep an eye on that because that’s where you’ll see the most fraud. And that way, you can stop it.

 

All you have to do is call your bank or credit union right when you see those fraudulent pending charges. That way, the money won’t ever leave your account. Even better, you won’t have to go through the whole hassle of fighting with creditors and all of that.

 

And if you create the habit now of checking your accounts each morning, you’ll get even faster and better at catching potential issues or fraud. And because you’re on top of things, it’ll save you time, headaches, and all that money that would otherwise have been siphoned from your pockets.

 

Do you want more money management tips? Get my free eBook, 52 Financial Tips to Help You Succeed and other free resources to help you attract more money into your life today.

How Your Money Mindset is Killing Your Business

How Your Money Mindset is Killing Your Business

 

How Your Money Mindset is Killing Your Business

 

 

Have you ever thought that it’s hard to make money?

What about feeling guilty for charging higher prices for your work?

Or have you ever thought that if you did raise your prices, you’d never find more clients?

Unfortunately, we’ve all thought something along those lines at one point or another.

But the good news is this – that negative money mindset is a false one. And we can change it.

So, let’s show you just how to do that – so that you can enjoy your business, you can make money, and you can see the positive, lasting impact you can leave on the world.

 

 

 

Start by Recognizing That Harmful Money Mindset

The first thing we need to do is recognize a harmful money mindset when it happens. Here are some of the most common ones I’ve encountered (and I’ve encountered them a lot, because they’re so common):

  • It’s hard to make money.
  • People don’t want to pay for my services.
  • People are just looking for the cheapest deal they can find.
  • I feel guilty charging higher prices.
  • If I raise my prices, I will never find any clients.
  • It’s not really about the money.

These aren’t just negative money mindsets. They’re money blocks. They’re thoughts that are actively killing your business. So, let’s make sure that your business doesn’t devolve into an expensive hobby – by adjusting your mindset just a bit.

 

Stop the Negative, Untrue Statements with Facts

While each of those negative thoughts hits each one of us, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate them. In other words, let’s look at the data.

  • Is it actually hard for you to make money? Or is it just a rough day?
  • Are clients paying you for your services?
  • Do you really believe people are only looking for the cheapest deal? Or are they looking for customer service and that personal touch, too?
  • What do your clients have to say about the value you bring to them?
  • Really? Be cautious with the word “never.”
  • It’s okay to make money – because then you can help more people!

Do you see the slight adjustment we’re making here? Instead of falling victim to those awful yet common negative thoughts, we’re fighting them with facts and data! That way, you’re seeing the true, intrinsic worth that your business has to offer people.

And, in fact, I’ve got one more exercise for you to really help this sink in so that your money mindset shifts completely.

 

Ditch the Guilt, Change Your Money Mindset, and See What You’re Actually Doing

One of the most valuable exercises you can do is to become a story collector. Ask your current (or past) clients this important question:

”I really want to find more clients just like you. I love what’s happened since we’ve worked together.

Can you share your story, and what brought you the most value?”

This is more than just collecting testimonials – although you’re doing that, too! It’s helping you to see the value you’re bringing to your clients.

Because that way you’ve got the hard facts and data you need to keep yourself motivated, enthused, and seeing how your unique insights are helping the world. It’s how you’re going to be able to do bigger and better things in the world.

 

Do you want more help shifting your mentality so that your business thrives? Let me be your second opinion. Come join my free Facebook group, the Make More Money Insiders Club.

 

Let's get to your mindset about money!

Posted by Lori Hildebrand on Tuesday, October 2, 2018

How to Be a Financially Savvy Gift Giver this Holiday Season

How to Be a Financially Savvy Gift Giver this Holiday Season

Don’t you just love the cooler, crisper air of fall? I sure do! And, with how the retail world handles holidays, it’s getting to be time to talk about holiday and Christmas gifts already. So this holiday season, let’s get you prepped and ready to be a financially savvy gift giver. That way, you can give some amazing gifts to those who matter most to you – all while keeping your finances under control.

 

financially savvy gift giver

 

In Order to Be a Financially Savvy Gift Giver, Follow These 4 Guidelines

As we get ready for the holidays and the gift-giving season, let’s start by making sure that you’re keeping your financial stability in mind. One of the easiest ways to do that is by sticking to your 15% fun money – or by saving it up over several months. Once we’ve made sure our financial foundation is set, let’s move on to these tips to make everything easier.

 

 

Make a Christmas Ideas List and Add Meaningful Gifts Via Voice

The first tip is one that I use and love – use your Amazon Echo (or Google Home if that’s more your style) to create a Christmas List. That way, when I’m when I am going around my house, or when I’m in the kitchen and I think of an amazing gift idea for someone, it’s easy. I just say, “Alexa, add this to my Christmas list for so-and-so.” Here is the main reason why I recommend using something voice-activated: it lets you capture that thought and that moment. Because the ideas we get for the meaningful gifts seem to be so fleeting – but this way, you’ve got them written down. Your Echo took care of it for you! And speaking of meaningful gifts, let’s talk about what kinds of gifts those are.

 

Give Moments and Memories, Not Forgettable Stuff

According to the American Research Group, on average American people spend almost $1000 on Christmas gifts. And most of that being returned to the stores because people don’t care about it. They don’t care because it isn’t meaningful to them. So I’m just asking you to pay attention to people. Listen to what they want. Some of my favorite things to give are travel. I love giving gifts of travel as a family! And while a major vacation is amazing, it could also be a budget conscious road trip. The other really meaningful thing I like to give are bucket list things. But those are harder to find, which means you’re going to really have to pay attention and get to know people better.

Oh, and one quick plug.

Shop local! Shopping local doesn’t just mean local to your community, but local to your network as well. Why not support other women and businesses? For example, if you have friends who run a brick and mortar store, or who run a network marketing business. Or perhaps your friends have their own boutique line, or who do services, who are doing anything like that. Tap into their goods, services, or whatever! That way you can contribute to their bottom line and provide gifts for your family. It can make a huge difference for both them and your family members. So, shop local and support your friends and neighbors and community.

Now, let’s show you how to save some serious money this holiday season.

Leave Items in the Shopping Cart for a Few Days – to Get Extra Discounts

When you are shopping online on a regular, non-giant sales day, one thing that I’ve learned over and over is this… don’t be afraid to close the web page and leave items in your cart. Actually, I recommend you do it! Put things in your shopping cart and leave them. In fact, leave them for a couple of days. The reason way is this: most retailers have cookies and different ways to track carts that don’t end in a sale – and they’ll send you promo codes or discounts or free shipping to make that sale. So leave your things in your shopping cart online for a couple of days and see what happens. And you will most likely get some sort of an extra discount.

Use These Websites to Save Yourself Money Without Skimping

Now, if you’d like to snag a few extra discounts via promo codes, you can do that. You could do a Google search and look for them through the search results. Or, you could do this one simple trick instead. There is a website called joinhoney.com. It’s a desktop add-on that will automatically scroll through a bunch of promo codes and discounts to make sure that you are applying every possible discount to your purchase. Pretty neat, right? Another idea is going to giftcards.com. They give great discounts on a regularly-revolving variety of stores. You can save something like 15% on a gift card, which then you could use as a gift. Or, you could use that gift card yourself! Either way, it’ll save you money over buying it directly from the store. So there you have it. This holiday season, enjoy the season. Give great gifts. And be a financially savvy gift giver.

 

Do you need some help shifting your mentality so that your business thrives? Let me be your second opinion. If you’re ready to go from entrepreneur to shining like a diamond with a fabulous six-figure salary, then let’s chat.

How to Use a Mind Map to Energize Your Day

How to Use a Mind Map to Energize Your Day

It’s very common for entrepreneurs to be pulled in multiple, conflicting directions. After all, most of you still have a day job (and obligations to your employer) in addition to building your own business. It’s a lot! So it’s easy to get overwhelmed, being pulled in so many directions. That’s why I love and use and recommend a mind map with all of my clients.

A Mind Map lets you get organized

There are so many details to keep track of – both at work, at home, and in your side hustle, that they get jumbled. So fight back! Use a mind map to plot out your mission. Then, add in all of the major details. Then you can pencil in all of the more minor details.

And just like that, you’re able to get a very visual, complete view of your mission. You’ll be able to see which details really matter – and which ones need to be put on the back burner for now.

Being organized does more than just help you keep focused, though. It also clears your mind, letting you purge that emotional space so you can be more focused.

Being focused gives you energy

As you continue to fill out and use your mind map, you’ll find that everything becomes laser-focused. It becomes clear what you need to do. And once you have a clear plan, you’ll find the motivation and energy you need to get going already.

I love how one of my clients put it:

”I just feel light. I feel energized. I feel like I can do it simply because you’re getting it out and you can visually see it.”

And you’ll finally know how to proceed

Here’s the absolute best part about a mind map: it lets you see exactly where you need to ask for help. Because you don’t have to do everything (nor can or should you!).  Because as you do a mind map, you can see what’s out there. You can see the steps you need to take. And you can see what’s in your control – and where to find help.

And that will make you feel lighter emotionally and physically. That, in turn, will energize you, help you be more productive, and map out your next steps.

One of the biggest kicks I get out of helping my clients is seeing them get this. It’s seeing them get their butts into gear – and becoming the productive, energetic, enthusiastic entrepreneurs I know they’re meant to be. So if you need some extra energy, try a mind map. It’ll transform the way you do each day, I promise!

Do you need some help shifting your mentality so that your business thrives? Let me be your second opinion. If you’re ready to go from entrepreneur to shining like a diamond with a fabulous six-figure salary, then let’s chat.

Mind Map on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map

The Secret to Distraction-Free Success and Business Finances

The Secret to Distraction-Free Success and Business Finances

Lately, one of the biggest questions on people’s minds seems to be this: “How can I keep on the right track (of treating my business like a business) and not get distracted?” At least, that’s the question on the surface. Most people, when they ask this question, are actually wondering this: “How do I structure and handle my business finances so that I can stay on target?”

So here’s the good news – if you’ve ever wondered about either of those two questions, here are the answers to keep you (and your business) on track and distraction-free.

Q: How do I treat my business as a business - and not get distracted? A: Most people who ask this actually wonder about their business finances - and here’s how you can rock both.

Set up a separate account for your business finances

The single most important step to distraction-free finances for your business is to get a separate account. That and to keep your personal and business finances separate.

Now, if you’re worried that you need to get your LLC or corporation set up first, let’s shine some truth on that common misconception. It’s simply not true. In fact, the longer you delay setting up a separate business account, the harder it gets – and the more complicated your finances and taxes get.

So do yourself a favor. Go in to your bank or credit union and open up a damned business checking account already! You can go in and open that up as a sole proprietor and use your social security number. As things grow, you can always revisit or change that by talking with your lawyer.

Next, strengthen your financial mindset

Now that you’ve got a business checking account, it’s time to change and strengthen your financial mindset. How do we do that? Simple: by ditching the unhealthy, unsustainable “paycheck-to-paycheck” (or “client to client”) mentality and graduating to a mentality where you acknowledge your value, and the money block is a thing of the past.

Okay, but how do we start making that shift? Start by switching your payments to go into your business checking account. Whether you use PayPal, Venmo, Square, cash, or check, send that money into your business finances. Totally separate your business finances from your personal finances.

That way, you’ll be able to start giving yourself a regular paycheck – and quit seeing a low balance as a “crap I need to find a new client yesterday!” moment of panic. Why the subtle shift? Because as you begin to see your business as your source of income, rather than your clients, you’re going to be more willing to invest back into that business – with time, money, and other resources that will have amazing dividends.

Finally, go out and rock your business

Now that your business is set up to succeed, it’s going to transition from hobby to a successful business. And that means that you’re ready to graduate to an accountability group – and a six figure business income.

Do you need some help shifting your mentality so that your business thrives? Let me be your second opinion. If you’re ready to go from entrepreneur to shining like a diamond with a fabulous six-figure salary, then let’s chat.

 

Start treating your business like a business

Want to make more money? How to start treating your business like a business!

Posted by Lori Hildebrand on Tuesday, April 24, 2018