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3 Ways I am saving over $100 a month

October 2nd, 2012 at 09:21 am

Recently my wife and I switched from our regular cable tv provider and switched over to direct tv. With cable we were paying almost $100 a month for their service. Since switching we are saving almost $50 a month now.

I remember back when i was in high school and there was literally only a handful of channels on tv. Now there are so many different channels that it will make your head spin. We could of honestly just dropped our tv service completely but we decided to not do it.

Another thing we recently did was changed our car insurance which is saving us almost $500 a year. With so many different choices out there it pays to look around a bit. There are so many options that you should always be on the lookout for something cheaper or better.

Another thing that I recently did was I took the data plan off of my cell phone plan. For my phone and my wifes phone we were paying $25 a month. When we got new phones about 6 months ago we added data onto both phones. We have hardly used it at all. I figured that it was a waste of money if we are not even using it so I dropped that.

I am sure there are a few things anyone could drop off their cell or tv plans to save them some money. Look at your bill and see what you don’t need and drop it.

5 Weeks without Walmart

September 26th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I will talk about this more in an upcoming podcast in a few weeks. But I wanted to also talk about in my blog.

5 weeks ago my wife and I had realized that we went to walmart way too much. We had taken a look at our past months bank statement and realized that we had gotten off of our budget big time. During the prior month we had gone to Walmart 15 times. How in the world it happened is beyond me.

I also think that there is some sort of law that you cant go to Walmart without buying a bunch of crap that you don’t need. That seems to be what happened to us. We spend a few hundred dollars over our budget. So as of August 19th we decided to see how things would go if we never went to Walmart for the remainder of August and all of September. So far it has actually been really easy. Even though the grocery stores that we shop at now tend to be a little higher in prices than Walmart we are still saving money because we are not tempted to buy a bunch of unneeded crap.

If you have problems with overspending when you go to Walmart or Target or any other store then I suggest that you try cutting it out for a month and see how things go. My guess is that it will go better for you.

9 months after winning $10,000

September 6th, 2012 at 10:01 am

Back at the end of December 2011 I won $10,000 from Dave Ramsey. It was a very exciting time for myself and my wife. I had never won anything before. You always hear stories of lottery winners that are broke a few years after winning millions of dollars. Now I know $10,000 is a far cry from millions but it can have the same effect if you are not careful with your money. When I found out that I won I knew exactly what I was going to do with the money. We had about $4,000 left in debt to pay off. And the very day that check showed up in the mail that is exactly what I did.

Now 9 months later we are still debt free and have emergency money in the bank.

This money could of very easily gotten away from us and gotten spent on any number of stupid things. But instead we had a plan that we stuck to.

Enabling your boomerang kids

August 15th, 2012 at 01:34 pm

Just in case you didn’t know what boomerang kids are, they are just like they sound. It is when a parent raises their kids to be productive adults but for one reason or another they come back to live at home. I have a story about this but I will not use any names to protect the guilty.

The mother who thought she had already raised her kids to be able to take care of themselves has one child who can not control their overspending and giving their kids whatever they want. The overspending has caused the child to go deeply into debt and lose their house. Now instead of letting her child learn a lesson the hard way, she decides to take her in when she knows she does not have enough room. The mother says “I just want to be able to help my child out for a while so she can save up some money to move out” But instead of helping she is actually enabling her and allowing her to live completely rent free for almost 2 years. During this time the child has not even saved up any money and has still not bothered to move out.

This is a true story of someone I know quite well. This saddens me and also really pisses me off. Enabling somebody does not help them one bit. You are hurting them by not letting them deal with their own problems. When you do everything for someone they never learn how to take care of themselves.

Don’t hoard your best ideas. Give them away!!

June 26th, 2012 at 06:35 am

Recently I put my book If Stupid was Illegal we’d be in Jail up on Amazon Kindle for free. You might think “Why would you spend all that time working on your book just to give it away”? But I am a believer in just getting my work out there so people can read and benefit from it and the money will come later.

If you have a book that you have written and the sales are not where you want them to be, just start giving it away.

You can still get my book for free on amazon for the next couple days. If Stupid was Illegal

Pick up a copy and read about all of the stupid financial mistakes my wife and I made.


January 5th, 2012 at 05:26 am

Last Wednesday was one of the most exciting days in a very long time. It was the day that I made the final payment on our very last debt. It still has not really sunk in yet that it is actually paid off but I am sure it will soon.

If you are not yet debt free I suggest trying it. Not having a single payment to anyone is awesome and it allows you to succeed financially.

I just want to scream IM DEBT FREE

Best Week Ever!!

December 18th, 2011 at 08:18 pm

Next week is going to be one of the best weeks of my life. Next week will be the week that my wife and I pay off our final debt. Its been a long time coming. We have been fighting to pay off our debt for about 5 years. Now finally the last $4400 will be paid off.

On December 14, 2011 I got a phone called that completely changed our financial plan. During the Christmas season Dave Ramsey was doing a different giveaway each day, from tv's to books and cash. I heard early on that he would be giving away $10,000 one day. I told my wife that would be awesome if we won that because then we would be debt free and have some extra money in the bank.

Well on Dec 13th I saw in the morning that the giveaway was $10,000 that day and it would be given away the next day. I was excited and started entering for the giveaway. There was no limit to how many times you could enter so I ended up entering just shy of 600 times. I really thought there was no way I was going to win until.....

On Wednesday I got a call from an area code that I didn't know. The guy told me that he was from Dave Ramseys office and that I was a top 5 finalist to win $10,000. I totally freaked out and was super excited. I was told that they would call me back at 2:30 that day. Knowing how Dave works I had a sneaking suspicion that there were no other finalists and that I was the winner but I didn't want to get my hopes up. So when 2:30 came around and my phone rang I was ready to hear what the verdict was. I was put on hold and told that Dave would talk to me in about 5 minutes. That was the most agonizing 5 minutes of my life. But when Dave came on and screamed that I won $10,000 I totally freaked out and screamed. (probably screamed like a girl, but thats ok) Dave told me that over 1 million people entered to win the money. I am still in shock that I won.

When I receive the check this week I am going to really enjoy paying off our last debt. Its been a long time coming and I am super thankful that it will now be over.

Glasses, Tomatoes and the Emergency Fund

September 22nd, 2011 at 09:44 am

Last night I get a call from my mother telling me that while my son was out at her house he lost his glasses while picking tomatoes. My initial thought was “Oh crap now I am going to have to spend a $150″

We were out looking for his glasses for a couple of hours total in the dark with flashlights but we didn’t have any luck at all. I came home last night smelling like tomatoes from digging through the garden so much. This morning I decided that I would go out and look for them one more time to see if I would have any luck. Thankfully I wasn’t looking for 5 minutes and I found them. I was so excited.

This got me thinking about our emergency fund and how much of a life saver it would of been had we needed to buy new glasses. You never know the importance of your emergency fund until you actually need it for something. But then again I am also glad that I didn’t have to use it. My guess is that if we never had money saved then I probably would of never found the glasses and we would of been completely screwed.

Your bank account meets gravity

September 20th, 2011 at 10:45 am

You try and try to keep money in your bank account but it always seems that by the end of the month your bank account has met gravity once again and plummeted down to zero. Or maybe you were lucky and had $4 leftover for a meal at Mcdonalds.

Either way there needs to be a way to keep more of your money at the end of the month. And that is where your trust budget comes into play.

For years my wife and I never wanted to do a budget. It seemed like something that was too much work. Turns out that doing a written budget each month can save you tons of money each month. It might even feel like you got a raise. Your first budget can literally be done in 30 minutes. You will probably need to tweek it every week for a while because things will come up that you forgot about.

Building a solid foundation

September 14th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Building a solid foundation is an important step in the construction of any building. If the foundation is not solid the building will collapse. The same goes with your finances. If you do not know the basics then its going to be an uphill stuggle
I specifically want to talk about building a foundation for your kids to learn about money. My feeling is that the earlier you teach them the basic principles the much better off they will be in the long run. (And they won't live in your basement when they are 40)
My son is 6 years old and like many young kids, they always want something new each week. A couple months ago we decided that it was time to start teaching him about money and how it works. We ordered Dave Ramseys Financial Peace Junior kit and a bunch of other products for kids. He really enjoyed listening to the stories and he really loves his giving, saving and spending banks.
Now each week he has a small lists or chores that he does to earn his money. And he has been really good about doing his work. A few weeks back he actually saved up enough to buy a small $7 toy for himself. We took all of his change and went to the bank to get dollars for it and off to the store we went. I let him pay for it himself also and I think it was a great learning experience.
Its simple things like this that build a strong foundation for other things in life. My goal is to save him from at least some of the stupid mistakes the my wife and I made with our finances early on in our marriage.

Yep I Screwed up

September 6th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

We have all done it before, we messed something up. Whether its money, relationships or anything else. Its something we can not avoid in our lives. Some people call it a failure but I like to think of it as a learning experience. Its only a failure if you do the same thing again and again.

I am the first to admit that I have messed up so many times its not even funny anymore. Money mistakes being my favorite thing to screw up. But I will tell you something. I learned a lesson from each one of those mistakes and vowed to never do them again.

I talk about the first 10 years of my marriage all the the money mistakes I made in my book http://www.ifstupidwasillegal.com/purchase-the-book.

The bottom line is that if you make a mistake, don't be embarrassed about it, just learn from it and move on. I have found that mistakes usually tend me make great stories later on it life.

I think they have it all backwards

August 29th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Earlier today I seen a commercial for a “Debt Relief” Company that was advertising to help you lower your monthly minimum payment. I think this company has their thinking completely backwards. They said if you owed $20,000 and were paying more than $200 a month then you are paying way too much each month.

Now I’m confused here. Isn’t the point to pay off your debt as soon as possible? Even if you were not paying any interest each month it would still take you a little over 8 years to pay off $20,000 at $200 a month. I think you need get that debt paid off asap and be done with it forever.

Don’t sit around making tiny payments each month and barely eat away at your debt. Get yourself focused and hit that debt with all you have.

Create a wall of fame

August 24th, 2011 at 06:58 pm

When paying off your debts I think its helpful to create a wall of fame (or maybe a wall of shame. Shameful for ever having the debts in the first place). What I mean by that is as you pay off each debt write Paid Off and put it up on your wall as a reminder of the progress that you are making. Making something visual can really help your progress. Its like setting goals as you see something paid off you know its working and it keeps you going.

The Claw machine took my wedding money

August 22nd, 2011 at 02:22 pm

Well now that I have your attention from my completely ridiculous title for my post. Hopefully I can explain it while not making myself look completely stupid. (probably not). Back in 2001 after I was married we went up to South Dakota for our honeymoon. Being the really fun an exciting people that my wife and I are. We spent most of our time playing pool and foosball in the hotel game room.

Also in the game room they had one of those claw machines that have all sorts of stupid stuffed animals in them. Well my wife saw one that she thought was cute and we decided to try it. What I’m going to tell you next may be shocking, but we didn’t win immediately. (Shocker huh?) So we tried again and again and again. Finally we were able to get that one out of the machine. Did we stop there? Not a chance. A few more tries and we got another one out and then another. I’m not sure if you know this but after you get a couple out the animals are much easier to free from the machine.

Well after an undisclosed amount of time and money was spent. And a collection of stuffed animals large enough to open a stuffed pet store, we decided that we had enough fun. We most likely could of bought those animals somewhere else for much cheaper. Its stupid things like the claw machine that keep people broke. You might think that its just 50 cents in a machine. But it could easily be anything like lottery tickets. You dont realize how much you are spending until its all said and done and your broke.

Don’t let the “claw machine” in your life get you.

Did you set resolutions or goals?

January 4th, 2011 at 06:58 am

With 2011 just starting. I am sure a lot of people are starting new years resolutions. Like losing weight, quitting smoking, ect. But I personally do not think resolutions work. I think its better to set yourself goals.

Here are 7 ways to help your goals work for you.

1)Your goals must be achievable
Meaning that your goals should be something that your reasonably confident you can reach. Goals can be broken down into 3 types.
Long range-usually cover several years.
Intermediate Goals- Breaking down your long range goals into annual or semi annual steps.
Short term goals- Breaking down your intermediate goals into monthly or weekly steps.

2)Your goals must be worthwhile
This should be something that has value to you and makes you enthusiastic. The more you desire something the more easier it will be to obtain.

3)Your goals should be clear-cut
Your goal needs to be specific so you can have a better chance of reaching it. Make sure you set definitive goals and make it happen.

4) Your goals need a timetable
When you set your goals, give them a deadline. Have an end in sight or you probably wont be serious about achieving it.

5) You must be true to your goals
Goals will only work when we consider them to be promises to ourselves, and keep them with the same tenacity as if we were keeping a promise to a loved one or friend.

6)Goals should cover all different aspects of life
Goals need to cover more than one area of your life like health or business. Its good to cover all areas like career, family, social, mental-physical well-being, and financial.

7) Your goals should be stepping stones to higher goals
If you are able to reach your goals it should cause you to want to keep building on them and making them better. Even if you dont hit a goal completely you will have deep inner satisfaction of knowing you gave it your best shot. You will be more likely to double your efforts and keep going.

What will you do when your debt free?

January 2nd, 2011 at 02:02 pm

So you have worked your butt off to pay your debt off. Now what? You have now freed up your greatest wealth building tool which is your income. What kind of good can you do for someone else?

What is that thing that you have always wanted to do but didn't feel you were able to because of all the debt that way hanging over your head? Take a step back to look deep within yourself and find that true passion that has been lying dormant for years and let it out.

$1000 Snake Killing Machine

December 29th, 2010 at 07:42 pm

I am sure the title of this blog is making you wonder. What is he going to talk about? Well for those of you who don't know me I am deathly terrified of snakes.

So now lets go back to the year 2005. My family is living in a house that for some reason in the summer there were snakes all over the yard. You couldn't mow the yard and not see 10 snakes. We even had one downstairs in our laundry room. It was only about 3 inches long but for me it might as well of been 3 feet long. I wanted to avoid those snakes by any means necessary.

So I went out and purchased on a credit card a $1000 snake killing machine (aka riding lawnmower). I wanted to keep my feet away from those snakes anyway possible. The good part was that it was fantastic at killing snakes and it cut grass pretty good too. The bad part was that it was put on a credit card at 18% interest. And the other bad part was (yes there is more than one bad part to my story) I only owned the lawnmower for one summer season. We ended up moving to a new place where I did not have to mow the lawn and I had nowhere to store it. So just a few months after I purchased the mower I sold it for only $800. Not to mention all the interest I paid on the credit card which probably took me 2 years to pay off.

I guess the moral to my story is. Do not use the fear of something to rationalize you to buy something that you deep down know is stupid.

Comfortable Misery

December 28th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

What is it that makes us humans not want to change our habits and behaviors? Are we scared or have we just gotten used to living in comfortable misery?

Speaking in terms of your personal finances do you like where you are at? If your answer is "no" then I think its time to change a few things.

We complain about having so many credit card bills, but we keep on charging on them. And if we ignore the problem it will go away. If you dont like where you are at then change your situation. Sitting around and hoping your debt will go away on its own is crazy.

I challenge you for three months to get yourself on a plan to start paying down your debt. If you don't like getting out of debt, then by all means go back to the way you were and have fun. But I am sure you will enjoy living on a plan and with a purpose much more.

Try something different and challenge yourself to get out of your comfortable misery.

I am more than willing to help anyone get themselves back on track.

My true Christmas Emergency

December 25th, 2010 at 07:45 pm

So I wake up at 8am and myself, Dawn and Hunter all head downstairs to see what is under the tree. While opening one of my sons presents, I managed to slice my finger open and it was bleeding all over.

After getting over the initial sick feeling of seeing all the blood. My wife drove me to the ER where I received 3 stitches in my finger. All in all it was an action filled morning.

I guess the moral of the story is... You never know when an emergency will happen, but its great to always be prepared for anything that may come your way.

Financial Stupidity (My personal story)

December 19th, 2010 at 07:07 pm

I suppose my story of financial stupidity would start back in 1999 when I got out of high school and started at the community college. I took out a $2500 school loan (this loan will stick around way longer than I planned for more about it later). I never had to make any payments on that loan until I was finished with school or until I quit. Which I never finished my degree. So about 2001 I was starting to make payments of $50 a month.

2001 was also the year I was married to my wife Dawn. I came into the marriage with no other debt besides my student loan. My wife on the other hand had a few credit cards and a couple small personal loans and a car payment.

Just like many marriages we barely had any money to pay the bills let alone get debt paid off. Around 2002 or so my mom introduced me to Dave Ramsey. I had never heard of him before and I listened to a few of his tapes(yep cassette tapes). I thought this guy was an idiot. I mean he lost millions of dollars why on earth would I listen to someone like that?

Now being at the ripe old age of 22 of course I knew everything so I wasn't about to listen to anyones advice. I mean my knowledge was solid and I didn't need help from anyone.

We purchased a car in 2002. It was a 2001 Chevy Lumina. Unfortunately in late 2003 the car was wrecked. We did not even get enough money from the insurance company to pay it off. So we kept paying on it for another 6 months. I also bought another car from my mother. I paid to put a transmission into the car. So that put me another $1500 into debt. Im proud to say though that I am still driving that car today. Its a 1994 Chrysler Lebaron.

Sometime around 2003 I thought it might be a good idea to apply for my own credit cards. We couldn't pay for the credit cards we already had, why not add a few more onto the pile right? I ended up being approved for 3 different cards. Two of them had limits of $500 and the other one had a limit of $2000 I believe.

The two smaller cards I used primarily for buying gas, food, and crap. The larger $2000 limit card I used about $1000 of it to buy some stupid course I saw on TV. I honestly do not remember exactly what it was. But obviously it turned out to make me $0. Lesson learned with that dumb idea.

In April of 2004 we ended up purchasing another car for $14,000 to replace the car that was totaled. It was a 2003 Mitsubishi Galant. We didnt have enough money to pay the taxes and plating of the car. So we went and got a personal loan of about $1500 to cover those costs.

At the end of 2004 I thought it would be a good idea to go through a debt consolidation company. We had a total of 6 credit cards at the time that we put into the program. We paid them around $250 a month and that payment was split up between the 6 payments. It did absolutely no good using that company. As with lots of those companies they dont pay your debt to your creditor on time and it just creates more of mess.

In March of 2005 my mom had caught wind of my credit card debt and thought it would be a good idea if we borrowed $16,000 from her and my step dad to pay off our creditors. They meant well and it seemed like a good idea but looking back on it, it was the worst thing we could have ever done. During the time we were paying them they never mentioned anything about the money. But you felt like they were hanging that debt over our heads and it was very stressful.

Also in 2005 I decided that I NEEDED a new computer. So I opted for the Dell credit card and spent about $1000 on a new computer. Luckily today I am still using that computer and typing this very story on it now.

Towards the end of 2005 I was getting really stressed out with the debt and decided to take it one step further. Like I didn't have enough debt already. I thought it would be a good idea to go and apply for a bunch of credit cards. (I know it just keeps getting worse right?)

After all was said and done I had gotten myself a total of 11 more credit cards. I had a Dell, 2 HSBC, 2 Chase, 2 Capital one, 1 Juniper Bank card, 1 Paypal, 1 Citi, and a Music 123 credit card. These cards totaled a combined credit limit of over $11,000.

By the end of 2006 I had probably maxed out all of those credit cards. Put those cards on top of the debt we already had with a car loan, personal family loan and another personal loan.

We had personal loan through Beneficial. (They are not very beneficial if you were wondering). This loan was around $3000. About a year after we got that loan they sent us a check in the mail for $5000. And of course by cashing this check it would create a new loan for us. Good idea right? Well you probably guessed it. Yeah we cashed it. So now we have a loan with Beneficial for $8000.

So by now we have around $40,000+ in debt. I know there is other loans we got throughout the years that I honestly can't remember.

We were able to keep up with minimum payments for a while. But we knew it wouldn't last that long. The payments were slowly sucking the life out of us. As a desperate plea I started looking for someone to help us. Like an idiot I thought that a debt settlement company would help us. Yeah Right!! So I signed up with them anyway. The company I signed up with was called Credit Solutions. They are a total scam. We ended up paying them around $1000 and they only settled 2 cards.

At this time we were not paying anything on any of these credit cards and they were getting higher and higher balances each day. Some of these companies were offering me settlements as much as 70% off the balance, but I just did not have the money to settle with them at the time.

Then something happened that really scared the crap out of me. I came home one day and had a orange note stuck on my door from the sheriff. 2 of my credit cards had started the proceedings to sue me. I immediately called the lawyers handling the case and set up a payment plan with them. Why I ever let it get that far is beyond me. And let me tell you one thing. The lawyers that handle the credit card cases are way easier to work with than the credit card companies.

This is now beginning of 2007 and I am finally starting to see that all of my stupid ideas are not working. So I start listening to Dave Ramsey a lot more. I was already listening but I guess I wasn't hearing what he was saying before. In May of 2007 Dave was going to be doing a live event in Kansas City which was about 5 hours from where I live in Nebraska. About a week before the event my wife and I ordered 2 tickets and we were off to see Dave. Let me tell you seeing Dave Ramsey live was very life changing for us.

A month or so after we saw Dave we had a yard sale to raise some money for our emergency fund and I got a new job in the summer of 2007 which was paying me quite a bit more than I was making before. We were really able to start pounding away on the debt.

We really started getting all those smaller debts out of the way and start making some real progress.

Now we are towards the end of 2008. My wife received a sum of money and we were able to pay off our car and loan to my mom. Remember that school loan I talked about in the beginning that started it all? Well it was at this time still sitting in deferment. June of 2009 I was able to pay that off completely. Just 2 months shy of 10 years to pay off a stupid $2500 debt.

At the end of 2009 I quit my job because it was driving me insane. My wife and I agreed that I would stay home for the time being. We are almost debt free. We still have about $4,000 left. But have made a ton of progress. I am currently working on some different ideas for starting my own business.

My goal is to try and help people avoid my situation at all costs. It is not fun to go though and I will try my hardest to keep people out of where I have been.

Hopefully my story doesn't sound too familiar to anyone. If it does remember you can work your way of most problems you get yourself into.

Its possible to not have car payments.

December 16th, 2010 at 05:29 pm

For the year 2010 the average car payment was $492 over a period of 63 months. To me that just seems crazy. I can think of a lot better things to do with $492 a month beside put it into something that drops in value like a rock.

Lets say you were to take that $492 a month and save it up for a year. You would have almost $6000. Don't you think you could buy a pretty good used for car $6K? I believe you could.

A brand new car will lose 60% of its value in the first 4 years. That doesn't seem like a very wise purchase to me. If you buy a car that is at least 2 years old its already taken a majority of the price hit. And you can get a much better deal.

For example a car that costs $30,000 will be worth only about $12,000 in 4 years and you will still owe around $6,000 on it.

Try taking $500 a month and saving it for a year and purchasing yourself a good used car for cash. Your going to get a much better deal.

Stop hiding purchases from your spouse

December 13th, 2010 at 10:44 am

Recently I came across an article that did a survey on husbands and wives about hiding purchases from each other. It said that 80% of all married couples hid some sort of purchase from either spouse.

To me that seems to show signs of immaturity. Why is it that so many couples are hiding purchases from each other? Are they ashamed of what it is they are purchasing or doing something they are not supposed to do?

The #1 cause of divorce in America is money problems. Now do you suppose that would have something to do with spending without the spouses vote in the matter? I think so.

Now I think its time that people wake up and start acting like grownups and not being a little boy or little girl that just has to have something so bad that they are willing to hide it from their spouse.

Spending on credit for

July 21st, 2010 at 08:38 pm

We all know how credit cards try to lure you with points or rewards. The kind that you can redeem for merchandise or whatever. Why are people so drawn into quote "free" stuff? I don't think they are seeing how much they are spending to get this "free" stuff.

I have an example of someone I know personally who spent literally tens of thousands of dollars to earn enough points to trade in for a kitchaid mixer. Now I personally own a kitchaid mixer and they are quite pricey. This particular model im talking about is around $500. But to put thousands and thousands of dollars on your credit card to get this "free" item just seems ridiculous to me.

You could of saved yourself all that interest that you paid and just bought the mixer for cash. With credit cards there is no free stuff. It all has a price and unfortunately it can be a very expensive price.

Your crap isn't that impressive

July 14th, 2010 at 07:00 am

What is it that you find impressive about somebody else? Clothing, home, cars, useless possessions? To me seeing somebody go into debt to buy something just so they can show off to their friends isn't all that impressive. I really don't care that you bought a new car just so you look good pulling into work. What would really impress me is if you told me you saved up for it and paid cash.

I'm sure everybody knows someone like this. They are the person that throws the cool parties every weekend but doesn't have 2 nickels to rub together.

Don't be this type of person. Be the one who sits quietly and saves his money. You will thank yourself later.

Toys before Family

July 12th, 2010 at 02:30 pm

This is a subject that really ticks me off. People who buy toys and crap they don't need before taking care of their family. I personally know somebody who does this. He lives with his "girlfriend" if thats what you want to call it. Barely will ever help pay for anything for the house. Does not take care of his responsibilities. But always has plenty of money to buy stupid movie action figures. Yeah thats what I said. Action figures.

Talk about a boy living in a mans body. How is it that people can be so irresponsible?

Remember you can always buy toys and fun stuff but only after you have taken care of your responsibilities first.

Internet Scams

July 9th, 2010 at 02:29 pm

Below is a copy of an email that I got. Its unfortunate that people still fall for these scams but it does happen and a lot. Basically what they are doing is telling you that they have millions of dollars in some account overseas. They are going to give you millions of dollars in return for having you transfer this money into an account in the US. But they won't give you anything until you give them some upfront money for "fees" etc. This is where the scam takes place. I have seen shows where people completely empty out their bank account trying to what they think was just helping someone. You can read below the actual email I got the other day.

I am Ms. Elaine Kilpatrick, the Auditor General, Eurotech Securities & Financial System. In the course of my auditing, I discovered a floating fund in an account which was opened in 1996 belonging to a dead foreigner Late Mr A.C.Johnson, a national of your country. I decided to track his last name over the internet to locate any member of his family hence I got in contact with you.I want to transfer the sum of $18.5M from Eurotech Securities & Financial System, in his account overseas. I am therefore writing to ask you that you quietly partner with me and providing an account or set up a new one that will serve the purpose of receiving this fund. Even an empty account can also serve as long as you prove to be honest to me till the end of the deal. I hope you will never let me down. After going through the deceased records and files, I discovered that:

(1) No one has operated this account since 2002;
(2) He died without a heir; hence the money has been floating.
(3) No other person knows about this account and there was no known
beneficiary. And if I do not remit this money urgently, it would be
forfeited for nothing.

This money can only be approved to you legally as you have the same LAST NAME. Hence I am
contacting you. I will require your urgent reply so that I give you the next step, this transaction is
100% safe. Please send me your Private/Direct Phone and Fax numbers so I reach you. I am ready to
give you the sum of $7,500,000 ($7.5M) for your assistance and partnership with me.

I look forward to your prompt.

Best Regards,
Ms. Elaine Kilpatrick

Statistics of the typical millionaire

July 8th, 2010 at 08:29 pm

The following is a list of the common characteristics of the typical millionaire. This information is found in the book The Millionaire Next Door

1. They live well below their means. In general, millionaires are frugal. Not only do they self-identify as frugal, they actually live the life. They take extraordinary steps to save money. They don’t live lavish lifestyles. They’re willing to pay for quality, but not for image.

2. They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth. Millionaires budget. They also plan their investments. They begin earning and investing early in life. The authors note that “there is an inverse relationship between the time spent purchasing luxury items such as cars and clothes and the time spent planning one’s financial future”. In other words, the more time someone spends buying things that look good, the less time they spend on personal finance.

3.They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status. The authors spend far too much time beating home this point: usually millionaires don’t have fancy cars. They drive mundane domestic models, and they keep them for years. (There’s an entire 31-page chapter devoted to how millionaires shop for cars. It’s tedious. It may be the worst chapter I’ve ever read in any personal finance book. And the authors go on ad nauseum about the average price per pound of various vehicles. There’s even an appendix showing the average price-per-pound for the most popular models.)

4.Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care. That is, most millionaires were not financially supported by their parents. The authors’ research indicates that “the more dollars adult children receive [from their parents], the fewer they accumulate, while those who are given fewer dollars accumulate more”.

5.Their adult children are economically self-sufficient. This chapter is fascinating. The authors clearly believe that giving money to adult children damages their ability to succeed.

6.They are proficient in targeting market opportunities. “Very often those who supply the affluent become wealthy themselves.” The authors discuss how one of the best ways to make money is to sell products or services to those who already have money. They list a number of occupations they feel have long-term potential in this area.

7.They chose the right occupation. “Self-employed people are four times more likely to be millionaires than those who work for others.” There is no magic list of businesses from which wealth is derived — people can be successful with any type of business. In fact, most millionaire business owners make their money in “dull-normal” industries. They build cabinets. They sell shoes. They’re dentists. They own bowling alleys. They make boxes. There’s no magic bullet.

Leasing a car doesn't make you sophisticated

July 7th, 2010 at 05:06 am

This is a list of the 7 reasons why its always a BAD idea to lease a car.

1. If you get in an accident and the vehicle is totaled, you’ll still be responsible to pay back the full lease contract amount. Even if the insurance company gives you back less than what you owe to the dealership, you’ll be responsible for the full amount. If you do go with a lease, at least be smart enough to buy “gap” insurance which covers you for that difference that you would owe to the dealership.

2. Many times, the lease agreement will be for 5 years/60,000 miles. So, if you go over that 60,000 and keep it until the 5 years is up, you’ll pay a penalty for every mile over 60,000 miles. Think about how many miles you put on a car each year. Most people use well over 12,000 per year.

3. If you lose a job or experience a heavy time of financial hardship and cannot afford the payment anymore, the dealership will recover the car, sell it an auction, and if they sell it for less than you owe for the lease agreement, you will be legally responsible to pay the difference.

4. The car is NOT yours, yet they still make you pay for the maintenance of it.

5.Again, you can’t claim the car as an asset. It is technically still an asset of the dealership that leased it to you.

6. A lease starts a trend of perpetually paying a car payment. If you never paid a car payment and the average car payment in America was $350 a month, putting that $350 a month in a mutual fund that made 10% would become $791,171 in 30 years. That is astonishing, and what astonishes me more is that there are people out there that will continue to defend leasing cars and financing cars with no money down because the “maintenance costs” are so much lower for a new car. Give me a break.

7. If you decide to take the option to buy the car at the end of the lease term, you’ll have paid much more than the cost of the car even if you had financed it.

Renting Furniture

July 6th, 2010 at 06:24 am

Why in the world would anyone want to rent furniture? Most likely because they don't have enough money saved up to buy the furniture outright. So they resort to using those ripoff Rent-to-Own Stores. Its easy right? All you have to do is make a small payment weekly for what seems like forever.

I read an article the other day about Rent-a-Center. They had an Ashley Furniture sofa and loveseat set. It was nothing special. Their price was $26.99 a week for 104 week term. Which equals out to $2806.96. The exact same set from an Ashley Furniture store cost $1,048. That equals out to an APR of 121%. On something that only cost $1,048 why would you want to pay an extra $1759 in interest charges? I would much rather go without a sofa until I had enough money to pay for it with cash.

Debt Consolidation won't change your behavior

July 5th, 2010 at 06:59 am

By thinking that consolidating your debts into a single payment is going to change your life you might want to stop and think about some things first.

Here is an example

Credit Card #1 $100/month

Credit Card #2 $70/month

Loan $250/month

So you have a total of 3 payments equaling $420 a month. With consolidation what happens is you would take out a new loan and pay each of those debts off. Leaving you with one payment of lets say $350. Sounds like a good deal right? Wrong!! You never changed your behavior and you started using those credit cards again. OOPS now you have a $350 loan payment plus 2 more credit card payments of $100 a month. Now your paying out more money each month that you were in the first place.

Now debt consolidation doesn't seem like such a good idea does it? If your not going to change your spending habits then consolidation isn't going to help you one bit.

Change your behavior. Quit using credit. And stop the cycle of debt.

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