Who Has My Margin?

I can now answer these two questions. 

Until I could answer these two questions, NOTHING CHANGED.

Prior to the insurance business, the bulk of my career was spent in leadership, Human Resources and Leadership Coaching. You can see some of this work at GregLGilbert.com. I’ve written some books on these subjects. They are available at GregGilbertAuthor.com

For years, one of the slides I’ve covered with thousands across the country had a photo and this message; “What Matters Is Measured.” 

I assume you are on this page as someone that wants to improve their financial situation. At the Margin Financial Group, we want to improve the Financial Margin of our customers AND our families. We also know there is Financial Margin NOW and LATER.

NOW is increasing Income and/or reducing Expenses. LATER is accomplished through planning such as Annuities, Tax Free Retirement and Life Insurance.

What is Financial Margin? It’s simple. It is the margin between our expenses and our income or revenue. It is Monthly Income ÷ Monthly Expenses X 100 – 100 = Your Monthly Margin. For a calculator, visit HERE. Just like nothing changes until something is written, nothing changes until there is Financial Margin. There are no donations, no discretionary income to put to work in the economy, no peace of mind and NO EXTRAS without Financial Margin.

Okay, first question. WHAT IS MY MARGIN?

Don’t give me a number. That is your personal business. Which number below best describes your Margin?

  1. I’m satisfied with my current margin. 
  2. I’m OK with my current margin but I am willing to hear more. I wouldn’t be opposed to widening my Financial Margin.
  3. My Financial Margin needs help now but I am unwilling to change anything because I have settled into my current situation. 
  4. My Financial Margin needs help now because I will NEVER be able to hit any of my goals until something changes. I want more Margin from Income.
  5. Red alert. My expenses are looking at my income in their rear view mirror.

Now, set a goal for your margin. My current goal is 50%. I want my income to be 50% higher than my expenses. Eventually, my goal is my income to be 100% more than my expenses. I will work on increasing Income AND cutting Expenses monthly to achieve these goals.

This will only occur if I am intentional. It will NOT occur accidentally. I also have other goals in life that will require $$ so I must focus on Income and Expenses. So many people increase their Income, followed by a new car or home. Their Margin shrinks even after increasing their Income.

See our Goals Page HERE. These goals cannot be accomplished by always ordering the child’s plate or by turning the thermostat up or down two degrees. I MUST look at Income AND Expenses. Wherever I am in this process, I WILL be content, but NOT complacent.

Okay, second question. WHO HAS MY MARGIN?

Before we proceed, I’d like to share a poem I wrote about Margin.

Stepping toward the middle is cutting expenses. Widening the road is increasing our income.

Let’s look at income.

As an employee, someone else determines our value and there is normally a limit. The best advice I was given and followed as an employee is to do whatever you can to be in the top 10% of your wage group. This will make a huge difference in how you live, save and invest over an entire career. Many employees have no control over this. If not, you must be content with your upside or explore other options.

I spent over three decades of my life as an employee with one regret. I shied away from anything to do with sales or marketing. Big Mistake. Sales and marketing is where you can serve more customers, solve more problems and add more value to an organization. With my experience in compensation, these are the ONLY ways to drastically increase our income. 

If you choose to remain as an employee in a non-sales position, budgeting the Income side of your balance sheet for the remainder of your life will be fairly simple. You will remain in control of your Expenses but your Income will be determined by your company. You may do what the masses do. Any increase in Income will normally be consumed by a voluntary increase in your Expenses. Margin NEVER SELDOM increases. Large fluctuations will be limited to promotions if you choose that career path.

As I said earlier, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the Employee career path. It raised the last four generations of my family. 

Who Has My Margin? (Income)

What do you think has kept you from making more money?

  1. Lack of commitment?
  2. Lack of discipline?
  3. You are content with where you live and what you are doing?
  4. Limited by your position or company.
  5. Have not found the right vehicle to get you where you WANT to be. 

The biggest question is; “Are you willing to learn a new skill set that can pay a MUCH higher rate that the normal $10-$30 hour positions?” DO NOT be afraid of learning something new. I’ve probably held 20 different positions in my life and was probably pitiful at each one when I started; until I got better, then good, then great at what I was doing.

List possible ways you can increase your income. (I’ve started with a few ideas.)

1._Talk to my company about a pay increase__

2._Get a second $10-$20 an hour part time job. 

3. Ask my manager what I can do to add more value to my company and get me closer to the top 10% of my pay scale. Close the gap between my performance and potential.

4. Start my own business on the side.


6. ______________________________________

Now let’s look at expenses.

There is an old leadership cliché I don’t hear anymore. It is;

“They run a tight ship.”

The cliché may be outdated but the concept still lives on. How do we  “run a tight ship?” Simple. Plug our leaks.

Who Has My Margin? Is it;

  1. Credit card companies?
  2. Bank(s)?
  3. Bass boat?
  4. Camper or RV?
  5. High utility bills?
  6. Addictions?
  7. Hobbies?
  8. A farm?
  9. Debt?
  10. Restaurants 10-21 meals a week?

What can we do to cut expenses? What are we willing to do? Reducing or eliminating some of these will go a long way in increasing our Financial Margin BUT reducing Expenses is a finite number. It is limited by our current expenses minus the bare minimum living expenses. PLUS, I REFUSE TO LIVE A MISERLY LIFE. Increasing Income is only limited by our desire, commitment, discipline and drive.

I hope this helps you answer two questions;

Until you answer these questions, nothing will change. If you would like help in goal setting, visit our Goal Setting Page. If we can help with your Financial Margin, visit our Contact Page.

Who Has My Margin?

Greg Gilbert

Insurance Consultant

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.