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Category Archives: Finances

Are you working from a goal-centric plan?

goal-centric planYesterday, I learned someone was going to lose their apartment this week. I chatted more to try to help come up with solutions. In their case, they had been struggling financially for awhile but the husband had only been out of work for one month.

Many people in the last five or six years have faced the same challenges. Whether it is an rent on an apartment or the mortgage on your house, if losing one month of income could put you in trouble, you need to start working from a goal-centric plan.

New start = goal-setting time

Believe me, I am not being critical here. I know how hard it is to get ahead. I just talked about my personal challenges here. Now that I am entering a new year of my life, I find every new start an opportunity to set more goals. Some people only set goals on New Years. I set them all the time. Sometimes those goals mean that there will be a change to normal traditions to get the ball rolling and reach those goals.

My Facebook birthday party was incredible. The number of people who took time to say happy birthday surprised me and made my day. Rob Poindexter, from Career Trend, asked if I got lots of cool stuff and I had to tell him no. But Rob understands goal-setting. He was also featured in my You’ve got to Start to Finish post awhile back.

Focus on the budget

We aren’t really a big gift-giving family. At Christmas, there are presents but otherwise, we mostly focus on the budget and any money gifts are supposed to keep us on track. Budget, savings… what’s that? Budget means that you give up some things to reach your goals.

Though this blog focuses on helping job seekers and career changers reach their goals, I believe that sound financial management is key to success in life in general. The upheaval we have suffered and the current financial stress on most Americans is due to the lack of balance between earnings, savings, and letting debt be the plan for financing our goals.

If you are running your life without a budget, you need to stop. You need to take time to track every penny you spend and put it in a spreadsheet, QuickBooks, or perhaps an online application. We are half-way through the year right now. Do you have a budget?

What are my goals?

  1. We’ve been on a debt-pay down plan forever but we have really taken it to heart in the past three years. If we stay on track all credit cards, medical debt, and family loans will be goal in April 2016 leaving only the mortgage. And if we continue to stay on track, the mortgage will be gone in October 2021, roughly 18 years ahead of the bank’s plan.
  2. At the same time, we hope to build a solid base of emergency savings starting with the baby step of $1000 which has already been tapped more than we would like. Then we would like to expand that to an emergency fund with 6 months of income minimal since as a self-employed person, there is no regular paycheck. Therefore, we need to budget in serious savings.
  3. My big goal that I still hope to pull off soon is a remodel of the kitchen that needed remodeling when we moved in on March 2, 1992. A kitchen is always the biggest expense. We can internalize the labor but still need to save and plan for the material budget.
  4. But before that, the little goals of new technology have to come. I had huge problems with the laptop I run Design Resumes on last summer but thanks to Jon at Integratech, we managed to reformat and keep the system running for another year but I think that as hard as I drive a computer, we need to plan and budget for new technology yet this year.
  5. Down the road, I need to get a car again. Living on top of a hill, as much as I like walking for exercise, it doesn’t work most of the year when ice and snow make walking perilous or in the summer when days like today with heat indexes of 106 F. I need to be able to have something to get me from point A to point B. But that too needs both savings and a budget plan.

You see how it works, you set a goal and you get a plan. You don’t jump ahead of yourself. Fund the basics first and set up at least that $1000 of reserves in savings. Most of the reason the United States itself is in trouble is that we forgot Benjamin Franklin’s advice, a penny saved is a penny earned. You can start by making budgeting and savings part of your new goal-centric plan.

Julie Walraven can help you achieve results through using a personalized job search and resume writing  strategy to take the mystery out of the process. To find out how, simply click here!

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Forging Ahead & Merry Christmas!

I’ve been in a very reflective mood lately. As I have said in other posts, 2010 has been an amazing year for me. It has been filled with so many things, it is hard to focus sometimes. Job seeker success stories Lately, I have been hearing the same things from my clients, both the very… Continue Reading

Client Testimonials

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Global Marketing Director

Fortune 500 Company, Pennsylvania

“Hey Julie, Just a short note to say thanks for your help with my resume. It was a great help for me in landing a couple of opportunities that led to offers.”

Senior Vice President

Banking, Maryland

“It has been a whirlwind since you completed my resume, a lot of changes to the organization in light of the merger, a busy market, and as well a lot of folks making decisions to leave versus stay.

For me, an offer was made that I will be accepting. I can tell you my resume has been met with rave reviews so I trust you implicitly, have recommended you, and will be a customer for life as I may need to re-engage you.”

Office Manager

New York, NY

I wanted to find someone who will work with me live, so I can explain all my responsibilities and accomplishments to a literate professional, who will then be able to put it into right words and create a “WOW” resume for me.

Next day I woke up and for some reason my gut told me to work with Julie, so I called her, and boy was my gut right. I am so happy with my new resume and cover letter, I have a second breath for job search. We worked live on Skype all the time, I could see exactly what she was doing, and I couldn’t ask for a more personalized experience for my money.

Executive Vice President, Marketing

Boston, MA

I wanted to reach out and let you know I landed my next exciting opportunity! On March 28, I'll be joining ABC Company as their EVP Marketing. The fit couldn't feel more perfect! I'm so excited and can hardly wait to get started. Thanks so much for everything you've done to help make me look good! :) It worked. (again!)

Career Change

Transportation Industry, New York, NY

"My first walk-in transportation company (ABC Freight) and my first job opportunity! I can't thank you enough!"
His goal - the transportation industry. He was ready to leave a successful career selling Manhattan real estate to follow his passion!

Instructional Designer

University, Wisconsin

“I highly recommend Julie as a professional career management consultant. Her ability to assess her clients needs and desires, and then creatively collaborate with them to create an overall digital profile that truly represents “who they are” is amazing.

It was time to give my professional profile some pizzaz, and create a professional online presence, and the first person that I thought of was Julie. After working with Julie as a professional, I can say that the service Julie provides is nothing short of the way to (as her web site states) “find your perfect career marketing strategy”. Give her personal face-to-face strategy a try!”