Leilani Lynn Alvarez-Establish a Relationship With Your MoneyBusiness and Lifestyle — By Buddy Sampson on December 16, 2014 at 11:02 pm
In today’s recessionary times, financial consultants are of paramount importance. More and more, consumers are living paycheck to paycheck, with that lifestyle becoming a way of life for many. Leilani Lynn Alvarez is hoping, with her seminars and financial advice, to change that paradigm. “If more people were just a little more knowledgeable and led more of a conscious life around what they make and what they spend, then they would make better decisions about their financial life and be happier,” said Leilani Lynn Alvarez. “As a whole, we don’t establish a communication, a pattern of communication with our finances. If we don’t, things will never improve. For example if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it’s a great opportunity to establish a relationship with your finances. You’re hyper aware of where your money’s going. You’re just not directing it in the right way. And the way you do that is by getting organized.”
Leilani has worked in Finance for over 15 years. Although her degree is in English, she learned about the Finance industry by first working as a receptionist for an investment bank. “By osmosis, I got a wonderful education in finance,” she said. Her company realized that they had a budding talent and she moved up the ranks, garnering a position as an Executive Assistant and later moving up to be a Marketing Coordinator. “Essentially I was marketing financial information to my clients,” she reflected. “I’ve always worked under the head honcho for every firm and it gave me exposure and helped me to learn finance.” Currently Leilani is the Operations Manager for an Asset Management firm. “Finance has always been a part of my life,” she said.
Leilani emphasizes that you must maintain communication with your finances every day. “It’s like the theory behind an inspiration board,” said Leilani. “When you’re seeing your finances every day or gaging them every day, you’re establishing a better communication (with your finances) and you’re taking better care of them. Once you get into that rhythm, then you can start managing your money better.” One of the keys of having a successful relationship with your money is a time-tested principle-saving. “When you start saving, you inherently feel better,” she explained. “When you have $200-$300 in the bank, versus living check to check, you feel great. When you have $2,000 to $3,000 in the bank, versus nothing in the bank, you feel awesome, you feel safe and you make better decisions about your spending habits.”
But how can you save living paycheck to paycheck? Leilani suggest these keys.
1) Evaluate your income. Identify what you make. “You should know exactly what’s coming in on a monthly basis,” she said.
2) Evaluate your living and operating expenses (Budget). Go through every line item detail, including rent or mortgage, utilities, gasoline expense, groceries and all other necessities. “Don’t guess,” she said. ”It may take a little bit of work.” Assign percentages, for example Rent 30%, Car 20%, Entertainment 10%. etc.
3) Organize. “Get real about your finances,” she said. “Get real specific, when are the bills due? Most people that live paycheck to paycheck are not organized as to when their bills are due and the timing. If you get paid on the 15thand the 31st, you need to structure your bills and their cycles around those pay days, so you’re not constantly going into overdraft.”
4) If you have debt, once you figure out your discretionary income (the amount left after expenses) you can chip away at it.
5) Use part of your discretionary income for saving and future goals like vacations, etc.
“You pay yourself first,” she said. “What does it take to feed the machine? Once the machine is fed, then you start line iteming all of the other items that you want to accomplish financially. Take the opportunity now, while you’re hyper-aware of what you’re making and get organized. I mean like OCD organized, down to the penny. Once you feel in charge of your finances, then you can make decisions accordingly. ”
Leilani is doing a series of seminars, “Ted Talks,” that she hopes consumers will attend for financial planning, useful in these challenging times. Ted Talks actually started in the technology form,” said Leilani. “And they grew into kind of a whole different animal. And they cover any subject matter, from relationships to technology, to getting over your fear of commitment, there’s so many different topics that’s there’s thousands of Ted Talks now.”
Leilani started listening to Ted Talks 3 years ago. “It’s positive thinking, reinforcement, gaining empowerment and covers a wide range of topics,” she said. “So when I was approached to do a seminar, I wanted to do it in the same spirit.” Leilani is doing a Ted Talk, absolutely free, “Establish A Relationship With Your Money,” this Thursday, December 18th in Santa Monica at Knoll, Inc., 214 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404 from 6PM to 8PM. At press time, there are 14 spots left. Register now at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/establish-a-relationship-with-your-money-tickets-14482175577?aff=efbnen.
Additionally, she gives private financial life consulting. Visit her website at www.lostangelesgirl.com for more information or call her at (424) 274-1132. Visit her LinkedIn page as well, http:/www.linkedin.com/pub/leilani-alvarez/7a/515/832/.
The best advice she can give to consumers? “Most people who live check to check do not feel in charge of their finances, and that’s the first part of a relationship, you have to feel like it’s a mutual and reciprocal relationship,” she explained. “Your money supports you, but you also have to support your money. It starts with self-discipline and a very detailed budgeting system.”