Securing your financial future with the Lifetime Money Plan

save money

One of the interesting reads I’ve had this week was an article about the 50/30/20 rule outlined in the book “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan“, written by Elizabeth Warren and her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi.

In their book, they describe how people can take matters into their own hands when it comes to securing their financial future. It is no secret that being able to properly manage your budget and creating a solid financial cushion for the future is a big challenge for most of us. In a world where we are constantly surrounded and even seduced by all kind of fancy things to buy, keeping track on your expenditures seems even more difficult.

But still, if we don’t want to end up with an empty bucket at the end of our working life, we need to take action as early in our life as possible.

If you ask me, the 50/30/20 rule is in fact a very simple way to cut your budget in 3 pieces to decide what you are going to spend your money on.

What this rule of thumb proposes is that you should spend your money in such a way that not more than 50% of your net-income is spent on the Essential expenses. These includes the money you spend on groceries, utilities, rent, insurance etc.; the basis needs to maintain the fundamentals of life.

dilbert on retiring

source: http://www.dilbert.com

The next step of the 50/30/20 rule is that no more than 30% of the net-income should be spent on your Lifestyles choices. These are the “wants” in your life such as going to restaurants, clubbing, (expensive) hobbies, pets, personal care etc.
Sometimes it might be a little hard to distinguish the difference between a “need” and a “want”. What you could do is ask yourself if the thing you are considering to buy is really necessary or just great (or fun) to have.

The “20” in the 50/30/20 rule refers to the amount of money you should set apart for Financial priorities. These includes paying off debts and saving for the future. Like I mentioned earlier, you wouldn’t want to end up with an empty bank account once you retire.

So how does this Lifetime money plan works? This Huffington Post article has two nice examples of how this could work in the US. In a few weeks I will be posting some examples of how it could work in my country as well.

Marciano Lie A Young is a trainer and consultant who has conducted training programs on Leadership, Work-life balance, Entrepreneurship and Public speaking in over 20 countries in 4 continents.
He is the director of the Leaders Management Group Foundation, an organization that offers training and consultancy services to Small and Medium businesses. You can follow him on twitter on @marcianolie or visit his blog www.marcianolieayoung.com.

Developing a strong team

Whether you are leading a team at work or at your voluntary organization, you already know that the success of that team depends on having a strong team morale. As different people have different point of views, different talents and different backgrounds, it is up to the team leader to create an atmosphere where differences are not only accepted but also embraced. So how do we create this atmosphere?

Having a common vision
The first step in developing a stronger team is having a strong, inspiring common vision. This can be the organizations missions statement, or a mission specially developed by your team. If you choose to develop a team vision, make sure you include each team member in the process, as this will create ownership.

The common vision will be a strong fundament for team members on which they can excel as a team in achieving the goals.

Knowing the roles
A few years ago the Harris polling group did a research on what makes team effective. One of their findings was that of those surveyed, only 19% stated that they know exactly what their role was in the success of the organization. And even when team members know what their tasks are, they will feel less passionate if they don’t realize the importance of their role or the added value that they bring into the team.

As a team leader; clearly establishing the roles, communicating them and getting your team members to buy into them, is one of your major tasks to ensure team success.

Embracing differences
Once you have established clear ideas and expectations of the each team member’s role, and every team member has bought into it, next thing to work on is to create the atmosphere where differences are appreciated and respected. As not all men are alike, might it be in ethnical or sociological background, education or just in the talents they possess, team members must realize that it are the differences that create the competitive advantage for the team.

In fact, nowadays there are so many examples to show that teams with more diversity often achieve better results than others.

Clear communication
Communication is the key to success. Stronger yet, the lack of it can be the reason for teams to fail. As a team, set clear expectations and rules for how you communicate. Communication guidelines should ensure that there is clear and concise communication, both verbal and written. Team members must feel confident and safe enough to address any issue as quickly and honestly as possible. If necessary, get a professional communication trainer or coach to help develop better communication skills and a better team communication.

Lead by example
The days where the leader stood aside screaming out orders are long gone. For a leader to be effective and to ensure you get everyone teamed up to achieve goals, you need to set a clear example. Team members need to see that you are one of them and that your contribution to the team’s success is as much as theirs.

If beating deadlines is important, make sure you beat yours. If you expect your team members never to withhold relevant information from you, don’t withhold information from them.

Once you’ve set the right environment for your people to work together as an effective and efficient team, success will be inevitable. Taking up the role as an exemplary, serving leader will keep the success of your team lasting for a long time.

Check out this video for some nice insights about teamwork and collaboration from the 2009 Cisco CEO, John Chambers.

Keeping talent in your company

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If you have been doing a good job hiring the right employees you definitely have some real talents in your company who provide a lot of added value to your company every day. Knowing what they’re worth, you would probably like to do everything possible to keep them in your company. To effectively do so, you will first need to know why they work for you at the first place.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons people work for a company, maybe you will find some of the reasons why your talented employees are still hanging around.

Appreciation
Everyone loves to be appreciated. At work, at home, within the community. In companies we can show our appreciation by the salaries and bonuses we pay, but most of all by the way we treat our employees.

Meaningfulness
Talented people often have a strong sense of wanting to be part of something big. Whether is that big project, your company expansion or the growth of your annual sales. They want to see that their input matters and contributes to the bigger picture.

Sharing success
Your will make proud employees if you share the companies successes with them. I once had a client who treated all the employees with ice cream whenever they landed a big contract. This is not about the ice cream but about the gesture. In this way you show your appreciation and you acknowledge their part in the success your company has achieved.

Development
No one is too old to learn something new. Or too smart. Not even your most talented employee. By providing development opportunities to your employees you help them in reaching personal goals. Also, the smarter and better trained your employees are, the better results you will achieve on the long term.

Autonomy
Talented employee enjoy one thing the most; having the autonomy to take decisions without having to run to their manager every time. As a manager you should learn to appreciate the hidden treasures that autonomy brings into play; like creative problem-solving, leadership and management skills.

Relations
How do your employees work together? Do they appreciate each other’s work, are they perfectly aligned, is your company one happy family?  How much energy to you spend in creating a warm atmosphere in your company? If you are able to create a strong sense of belonging, employees will be less inclined to leave, because it will feel like leaving behind family.

So what’s your role as manager?
If you want to keep the talent in your company, it’s your job to do what it takes to keep everyone happy and make sure they’re having fun.

Develop a strategy that focuses on appreciating your employees, meaningfulness, sharing success, employee development, delegated autonomy and creating warm relations within the company. In this way your employees will think twice before wanting to leave your company and together you will build on more success for your employee, your company and of course for yourself.

 

Marciano S. Lie A Young
http://www.marcianolieayoung.com
http://www.twitter.com/marcianolie

Keeping your employees happy

Employees are the core of any company and this is a fact that not many top level managers are willing to accept. They are among the main stakeholders of a company and a company’s success will highly depend on them.

Keeping employees happy is therefore a key element if your company is to succeed. You will not only be able to reduce turnover which potentially reduces your company’s goodwill, but you will also be able to keep your best employees who have gained expertise in a certain area of work. The above are just some but a few of the benefits of having a satisfied and happy set of employees.

The following are some tips that can be applied to make sure employees are happy.

Trusting your employees
Employees are adults and as should treated as such. They don’t like being followed and pushed around. This will make them even more negligent and dependent on the immediate authority. This means that when they are not being watched they will be lax and demotivated. Also, they will lack the ability and creativity to face a complex problem comes it comes up.

Show gratitude
When an employee is doing an excellent job, a show of gratitude will go a long way to ensure that your employees are happy. Most employees like recognition for the work they do. When these personal milestones are noticed by the managers, they become elated and motivated to do even more.

Flexibility in the workplace
When employees are given the flexibility to work as they please as long as they are maintaining the same level of quality they highly appreciate it. An employee may wish to work the weekend in exchange to working on weekday due to personal reasons. If this is allowed instead of forcing them to take sick days, they will feel important since their needs are being considered.

Monetary benefits and perks also matter in making the workplace more likeable but a sense of belonging, responsibility and feeling appreciated is more likely to make employees happy.

Marciano S. Lie A Young
http://www.marcianolieayoung.com
http://www.twitter.com/marcianolie