Friday, October 28, 2011

The Wealthy State of Mind

untitledOne of my most important roles as an advisor is to be a teacher. Teaching has really become a passion of mine over the last few years and we now facilitate workshops or teach classes for the public on a regular basis. I honestly believe that teaching is one of the most difficult professions that anyone can pursue. Not only do you have to know the subject material but you also have to understand why and be able to explain it in approachable terms. In other words, you have to know why you know!

When I teach personal finance classes, I am often reminded about simple things that I learned through experiences which changed the lenses that I look through life with. Whenever possible I try to share those experiences with my students. One of my latest lessons is about understanding what it means to be wealthy.

Dr. Thomas Stanley is the author of many popular books such as The Millionaire Next Door, The Millionaire Mind, and Stop Acting Rich. Dr. Stanley has studied wealthy families for many years and greatly impacted my thinking of how I define wealth.

It is important to note the true wealth is not just about monetary assets or income. There are many factors that play into living a rich lifestyle such as relationships, career satisfaction, faith, and physical health. However, for this article I am simply addressing monetary wealth.

Dr. Stanley refers to two types of wealthy people: the income statement affluent, and the balance sheet affluent. The income statement affluent refers to those with large incomes but not many assets to show for it. We all know the type, that friend who has the big salary but also has the big spending habit. By any income definition he is rich but he does not retain much of his wealth.

The balance sheet affluent person may have a modest income or may have a large income. Either way, they are marked by being excellent accumulators of assets. Those assets could be retirement accounts, real estate, business ownership, or marketable securities. We all probably also know someone that fits this profile as well. We might describe them as “being good with money” or as someone who has “made good financial choices”.

These are fundamentally different people; their attitude toward money could not be more opposite. The balance sheet affluent person tends to see money as a tool that they use to achieve goals that align with their values. The income statement affluent person tends to see money as a reward and as such uses it to sustain a lifestyle that reflects winning. Income statements affluent tend to keep score with purchases and balance statement affluent tend to keep score with accumulation.

Clearly the balance sheet affluent are creators of wealth. I think the question that needs to be answered is how do we go about becoming a balance sheet-type person? I think it all beings with establishing values.

If you were to complete the simple task of examining and categorizing your last bank statement I think you would uncover some interesting information. I would challenge you to ask yourself a few questions.

1. If a random stranger were to look at your bank statement, what would they assume about your values based on your spending habits?

2. Does your bank statement reflect what you feel like you value?

3. Where should you make changes in your spending habits to more accurately reflect your values?

For more on this values idea, feel free to read the article on page one.

So what is the bottom line? Well in my opinion, if you want to become balance sheet affluent and a creator of wealth, you must value saving. Your attitude regarding the purpose of money has to shift toward viewing it as a tool. That tool is used to create rather than consume. So in turn you must also learn to keep score through accumulation rather than purchases!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How can Gallup FCU be Convenient Outside of the Omaha Metro?

We realize that many of our members do not live in the Omaha Metro area. Well a while back we decided to band together with other credit unions to better serve our members. By using our network of “Shared Branches” around the country you can now access your account in your local community.

So you are probably asking, “How do I access these convenient locations!?” You simply have to go to our locator!!


Once you find a location near you, all you have to do is go to the credit union, walk up (or drive up) to the teller line, present your photo identification and your account number!

It’s really that simple and there are more than 4,400 locations around the country.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Change Your Family Tree, from

This is a great post from Dave Ramsey’s blog today, I thought I would share it with you!

Have you stopped lately to think about the legacy you’re passing on to future family generations—your family tree?

“Changing your family tree” can mean different things to each family, but the core goal remains constant: make things better for those who come after you.

Here are some of the ways that Dave fans are changing their family tree by taking baby steps each day.

Jill Walles is establishing a new “normal” in her home. “I know our children will make financial mistakes, but they will have been raised in a way that rejects the cultural ‘norm.’ They already earn money, save for things they want, and give at church—some seriously important lessons already learned!”

I'm changing the fact that just because my children were raised in a single parent household, they were not raised in poverty,” Robyn Fishers said. “My teenagers are being taught that when things get tough, you get to work and do not rely on debt. I have made them a part of this fight out of debt so they will realize it is not a fun trip. We have all learned so much in the past eight months since I went thru Financial Peace University. This is a 180-degree change from what I was raised with!”

Dave says that when broke people start acting like what you’re doing is weird, you’re probably on the right track! That’s what’s happening for Susan Haines’ family.

“We don't always have everything we want, but we have stopped using credit cards all together. Our parents use them for anything, at any time, and are always stressed out about having no money,” she said.

Lessons Worth Living

Charlotte Little says she is raising her kids to know that everything doesn’t come with a payment. “You can get what you want but you have to save up and buy in cash,” she wrote. “Debt takes too much away from families, so I want to teach my boys that being debt free is the way to be.”

“I’m changing my family tree by teaching my kids how to work for their money and not wait for it to be handed to them. I’m giving them responsibilities instead of doing it for them, and rewarding them according to their work,” said Cyndi Fifield.

“My children have sworn they will never get credit cards so they won't be burdened with massive debt,” said Tammy Dorrycott. “My older daughter spent hours every night applying for scholarships before she went to college last fall so that her college is paid for.”

A Legacy of Freedom

There is nothing better you can do for your kids than owning your situation and getting in control so that you don’t become a burden to them someday!

“The biggest thing is taking responsibility for myself,” said Sill Reico. “By changing my family tree, I'm praying my kids won't have to be responsible for me when I get older (as I am with my parents). I love them to pieces and would do anything for them, but sometimes it's difficult to carry my life and theirs. They did the best they could. They didn't know any better. But thanks to FPU, I do.”

“I used to think that to change my family's financial future meant to have a little money to leave them. At this late stage in life, we don't have that much yet,” said Karen Newton. “But what we do have are lives transformed debt freedom. Our family tree has been changed forever, and our marriage is set on a firm footing. That is a legacy far more lasting.

Remember, if you don’t like where things are heading, you hold the power to change it! You can set the example. You can make decisions and create habits that will forever change your family’s future! Get started now with Dave's life-changing class, Financial Peace University.