Play To Your Strengths

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If there’s one thing that drives me nuts, it’s when people look at me funny when I say that I would rather have my wife stay at home while I go to work. Maybe it was the old-school style of my dad that passed down to me, but even as a student I would rather work four jobs and be in school so that my wife can stay home with our two children. When I say that, people look at my as if I’m a sexist.

To start with, I am not at all against women in the workplace. Some of the hardest workers that I have worked with and for were women, so I’ll just set that straight. However, my wife and I have come to the realization that we both aren’t playing to our strengths, but to our weaknesses. Since I started school, my wife’s been the breadwinner, which is fine, but I am terrible when it comes to cooking and cleaning, and schoolwork on top of that. As a man, I feel much more fulfilled while I am working than changing diapers. That’s just me. The happiest over the past couples years I’ve been was when I had two jobs and was working 60 hours a week. Not that I love being away from my family, but as man I get fulfillment and pleasure out of work.

So make sure that you play to your strengths in your situation, because that’s how you’re going to win. Admittedly, not everyone has a job that they LOVE, but if you’re in a job you HATE, something has to change. Playing to your strengths fill be more fulfilling, and will make any situation a little better just based on your happiness.

Goals vs Resolutions

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

2014 is upon us, and many of us tend to gravitate towards two areas of our lives this time of year: our waste line and our bank accounts. Two of the more common resolutions made at New Year are to lose weight and pay off debt, but too often we set an impossible resolution and don’t set up an action plan. This is counterproductive to the best way to properly do a resolution. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have a resolution, but it’s more productive to call it a goal. 

Step One: Write It Down

I know that this is old fashioned, and most people (myself included) tend to keep their to-do list in their iPhone. It’s fine to do it this way, but make sure you give your goal a name. Every goal needs two criteria: a goal needs to be specific, and it needs a timeline. Don’t write down “I want to have the same weight that I did when I got married”. How many pounds and when do you want to lose it by? One of my goals this year was to get back down to my pre-marriage and child weight. So I need to lose 52 pounds, that’s one pound a week for 52 weeks. This follows my criteria: specificity (52 pounds) and a timeline (52 weeks). 

Step Two: Write a Plan of Action

When I made my goal of reaching my pre-marriage weight, I didn’t just put that number in my mind and then grab a bag of Doritos on my way to the bedroom to watch Hockey Night in Canada. I set up an appointment with a personal trainer and my family has a YMCA membership. Also, my college has a gym that I have access to with my student card included in my tuition. As Christians, too often we pray for something and then just go about our business waiting for something to happen. Saint Augustine said “Pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on you”. It’s great to have the intention of doing something great, but we need to take action and to be intentional about our goals. 

Eat The Leftovers

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One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite financial personalities is “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else”. Dave Ramsey is an entertaining and yet truthful radio host in the United States, and I had the honour of meeting him and getting his autograph in Atlanta Georgia in the year 2009. The reason that I love this quote so much is because I believe if someone would take it to heart, it can change the trajectory of anyone’s financial future. 

I personally have a weakness for pizza; and not just any pizza!! The Big Munch combo from Pizza Pizza is my poison of choice. Large pepperoni and bacon crumble pizza with 10 honey garlic wings with extra sauce, pop and dipping sauce …. I could eat one every day. However, because I am full-time student, father, and husband, I am limited to two options: Order pizza and eat like a king for a meal and not feed my kids every other day, or eat the leftovers. Naturally, because I have brain cells I chose the latter. 

To be honest, it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Almost no one gets excited over eating leftovers, least of all me, but my wife and I have a financial plan that we are sticking to for the future of our family, and that requires a lot of leftovers. I believe that by eating the leftovers now, ten years down the road I will be taking my family to the Keg and looking through the whole menu, front to back. We are planning to pay for our kids’ education, half of their first car, and eventually their honeymoon, and this all starts with eating the leftovers. A little bit of sacrifice now will lead to a whole lot more fun later.

The Heart Behind “Greater Than 90”

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Finances are a very controversial issue in today’s world. No one likes to be told what to do with their money, and everyone is their own financial expert. Everyone has a broke brother-in-law with an opinion on how someone should manage their personal finances.

I want to get one thing straight, with this being my first blog post. To start with, I am electing not to share my identity with the readers of this blog, and there are a couple of reasons for this. First, I’m not a celebrity or a household name, so honestly you wouldn’t care and I don’t want to waste your valuable time. Secondly, I’m really not very smart. A lot of what you will be reading on this blog is sharing information that I have learned from either my own mistakes or people who are a lot smarter than me.

I read a lot of other blogs, books, and magazines in the financial sector. I am a young man with a lot to learn, but I have lived long enough to be able to share some certain things that I have been through that I wouldn’t want others to go through like I did. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result, so I would like to help to stop the insanity in the world of personal finance.

There is a reason that I chose the name “Greater Than 90”, although the phrasing may change over time. I am a follower of Christ, or a “Christian” as you may call it. There are honestly a lot of Christians that make normal people like me look bad, but I do associate myself with God as an evangelical Christian, and to be honest God had a lot to say about money, and it’s not what most people think.

As a Christian, I believe that what the Bible says is the infallible word of God. I believe the stories in the Bible happened, and the more I read the Bible the more I began to realize that God wants what is best for us. There are Christians who say that Jesus was broke (completely wrong, another post for another time) and that we should live that way, and there are others who say that if you pray for a Mercedes, God will give you one. I am not into the “prosperity gospel”, but the Bible does indicate that God wants what is best for His children. I am a dad with two kids under the age of three, and I love my kids. If you tried to hurt my kids, I would knock you on your rear end. So if I am God’s son, then doesn’t he want what’s good for me?

The biggest part of the Bible that gets misread by Christians is the act of the tithe. The phrase “tithe” means to give a tenth of your possessions, and the word “tithe” is mentioned in the Old Testament 26 times, and is used as an act of worship towards God. Right at the end of the Old Testament, in Malachi 3:10, God says “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

Prosperity gospel? Nope. I call it The Bible. The reason that God wants us to give is so that He can bless us with more than we can imagine, just as any parent wants to do for their own children. God wants to do more with the 90% of our income than we could every possibly do with 100%, and that’s where I got the title “Greater Than 90”. God wants our 90% to become greater than we can imagine, and I would love to help you along the journey of improving in the area of your finances, whether you are Christian or not.

You can email any questions, you can follow the blog or follow the official twitter feed. This is a new blog, and if no one interacts, that’s perfectly fine. Have a great one 🙂