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3 Ways I am saving over $100 a month

October 2nd, 2012 at 04:21 pm

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 07:06 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 05:01 pm

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 08:34 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 01:35 pm

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.

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January 5th, 2012 at 01:26 pm

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 19th, 2011 at 04:18 am

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 04:44 pm

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 05:45 pm

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 07:34 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 07:47 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

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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 07:47 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.