Monday, October 11, 2021
Sunday, August 22, 2021
This was shared on Facebook. Names are removed to protect the privacy of the writer.
Another Family is debt free
As of April 16th, my family and I are debt free!!! It was just in time to welcome our third child and change our family tree forever! We sold 2 vehicles, our dream home and many, many other items. I picked up a part time job for 6 months (until Covid hit), and we stayed gazelle intense the entire 19 months and 10 days of Baby Step 2. God provided for us the entire way (and still is)! Being on the other side of our mountain of debt feels amazing! If you’re currently on Baby Step 2, stay on course and don’t give up! Being debt free is well worth the sacrifices to get here.
Saturday, August 21, 2021
The only thing a credit score does is to rate how well you handle debt. Those items that are commonly reported to the credit bureaus are mortgage payments, credit cards and loans. Some utility companies have begun to report monthly payments.
The only thing a credit score does is to measure how well you handle debt. It is used by banks, credit card companies and companies that have their own credit cards to determine your risk level for extending credit.
A poor credit score can affect your ability to obtain some jobs. For instance if you have a low score you may have problems in obtaining jobs in the financial world and organizations that require a security clearance. Many companies today run a credit report when you are being hired. The item they are looking for is late payments.
You do not need a credit score to get a mortgage. A mortgage company can do a manual underwriting where you produce your financial records for them to see historically how you handle your income and spending.
If you are having financial problems we can help you get on the right track by providing you with a plan to have financial peace.
Monday, August 16, 2021
Names are not shown to protect the privacy of the writer. This was a post on Facebook.
My tired self just drove 40 miles to the bank (I live in the sticks) to deposit the last bit of cash tips to finish baby step 3.
Sunday, August 15, 2021
A post from Facebook
Getting out of debt is hard work. Here is a message in social media that I read on how one gentleman worked toward getting out of debt. In advertising the phrase "try it you'll like it!"
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Did you know that the majority of the population would be able to save much more money every month than they think? When you think about all the non-essential things you buy, it’s pretty easy to believe! According to the long-proven 50/30/20 rule, you should set aside:
- 50% of your budget for essential expenses such as housing and food;
- 30%—maximum!—for non-essential spending;
- At least 20% of your income should be put into savings.
When you think about it, it’s a pretty logical way to manage your finances. Unfortunately, too few people take the time to make a detailed budget and think about it.
Here are some facts from 2018 about how Americans’ money relates to the LivingFacts website:
- 12% of Americans said they could not cover a potential $400 expense. 61% said they could afford the $400 in cash or equivalent, while 27% of Americans said they would have to borrow the $400, or sell assets, if the opportunity arose;
- 36% of Americans say their retirement savings are on track. 44% say they are having problems, and the remaining 20% are unsure about the state of their savings;
- 64% of Americans owned a home, while 27% rented one, and 9% had other arrangements;
- The average annual salary of an American can be divided into three different types of expenses: 33% for housing, 16% for transportation, and 13% for food;
- Only 47% of Americans with a credit card say they have been able to pay their bill in full every month for the past year. 26% say they have had a balance on their card a few times, while 27% have a balance most of the time;
- 82% of married people say they are doing well financially, compared to 66% of single people. 78% of married people with children under 18 are doing well, compared with 52% of single people with children.
Business Insider even goes so far as to say that many Americans plan to work until they die and not retire because their finances are so precarious. More precisely, 37% of Americans think they will have to work until they die, while 34% of them plan to be able to retire around the age of 80.
It is therefore quite clear that the financial health of American society in general is more precarious than one might think, especially considering that even people who manage to save do not in fact save enough.
With our best saving tips article, though, you will be able to get to your goal quickly and, who knows, maybe you’ll have a little more leeway for your non-essential spending in addition to planning your retirement properly!
Sunday, January 31, 2021
My family often goes shopping for different products including clothing, food and small appliances.
When is something a good value and when is it a poor value. My wife often likes to purchase things she thinks she will need in the future. Many times we use the item but as time goes on some of the things that are purchased are never used. End result, the items she has purchased that are never used are a poor value. Just because something is on sale it is not a bargain if you do not use it. It becomes a waste of hard earned money. Before you purchase something that is on sale be sure that you really need it. I can look in my garage and a spare room that we have in our home. There are many things that we have collected over the years that we do not need and the items were used very few times. My suggestion is when you are thinking about purchasing something make a list of the reasons why you need the item. Then make a list of reasons not to purchase the item. The reasons you put on either list is anything that comes to mind. Go hog wild with your reasons. When you get done count the number of reasons on each list. I give everything on the list to purchase 1 point. Every reason on the list to not purchase an item gets 2 points. If the list not to purchase has more points then we do not purchase the item. Another method is to wait for a day and see if you still need the item. If you still think you need the item, wait 2 more days. On the 3rd day if you still need the item the wait 3 more days. If you can say you still need the item then go ahead and purchase it. One caveat, be sure that you do not use credit to purchase the item. Only use cash. This way you do not incur debt. Our plan to control our money is to avoid debt
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
I started life out 74 years ago in 1946 and I was debt free. As a child my Dad and Mom taught me different things that I would need in life regarding how to take care of my self and face the world in the future.
As a youth I learned a lot of things about money. I learned that I could spend it, save it and give it to others. I have not been able to figure out what else I can do with it. During my teen years I learned to work for money and I did not get all that much per hour since the minimum wage in the 1960's was just $1.00 per hour. I worked at mowing lawns, milking and feeding goats, and delivering newspapers. I was able to save enough money and purchase my own car when I was 16. It was a great car, a 1955 Oldsmobile Hardtop with a Rocket 88 engine. Wow! Had great fun with it. I even had a Chevron Oil credit card for gas. I worked most weekends to earn money to pay for gas and repairs. Did not really understand the implication of having a credit card. Since I was earning money during high school my Dad introduced me to the stock market. He taught me how to invest in stocks.
At the age of 17 I was unable to find jobs out in the world since most places wanted someone who was 18. As a result I join the U.S. Navy and became a corpsman. I spent a short time being stationed in San Diego and at Lemoore Naval Air Station before proceeding to San Francisco to be on a Hospital Ship bound for South Viet Nam. From their I was on troop carriers ferrying troops from the U.S. and South Korea to South Viet Nam.
During my time in the navy I found I was not in the need of much money. As a result I put most of it in a mutual fund that grew nicely for my 3 years, 2 months and 23 days of active duty.
Upon getting out of the Navy I started working for Pacific Telephone and Telegraph, first in a central office and then as a telephone installer/repairman. During that time I was able to share an apartment with two friends where we split the rent and food three ways. I needed transportation other than the bus so I was able to purchase a motor scooter for cash with my savings from the money I saved while I was in the navy. Later I moved in with two other friends renting a three bedroom home. Also during this time I was able to get a credit card with a local clothing store and started wearing a lot of spiffy clothes. Now I had to pay on a credit card each month and because I did not pay it off I had to pay interest on the outstanding balance. I was giving away money because of interest. I was also eating out a lot so there was little to no money left from my paycheck each week. I was living paycheck to paycheck.
After a period of about 5 years it was now 1972 and I had a few small pay raises and since my room mates had married I was now on my own renting different apartments. Room mates were no longer working out and I was still eating out much of the time. Now I was paying full rent, and also now had a car payment along with the payments for my gas and clothing which was getting larger each month. I had no money left over. Since I was single I was also trying to support dating which was usually centered around church activities, concerts and plays along with a few movies here and there.
About 1967 or so I was talked into purchasing a home. I bought a 3 bedroom home in Fremont, California where I was paying $333 a month for house payments on a home that I purchased using a VA loan with nothing down. This was about 30% of my income. I had stared saving about $100 a month in a 401k. Since I was still spending money on the high life with a new car (cost $3001) in 1971I was making a car payment of $83 a month. My life from about 1970 until 2005 was spent every month making car payments. I hate to think of how much I spend on interest. During that time I purchased 4 used cars and 4 new cars. I was still living paycheck to paycheck and often I was borrowing money from different companies at high interest. I even took money out of my 401k to make ends meet.
In 1993 I met my wife and we got married. By selling my home and her condo we had a lavish wedding and put a nice amount of money down on a new home for about $250.000. We were still living paycheck to paycheck and the only item being saved was my 401k. My wife was a spender and I was still one too. We were taking great vacations to local areas in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Hawaii, Utah, Missouri, England, Scotland, Switzerland, Spain and Wales all with the help of credit cards and more credit cards. During this time we upgraded to a nicer home for about $500,000. With the sale of our first home in 1997 we were about to put down 20%. We were also able to pay off all of our debts with nothing left over. About 2 years after upgrading to a nicer home that was about 50% Our income we both lost our good paying jobs. Now we were depending on the money in our 401k's. We were able to find some temporary jobs here and there which allowed us to maintain a lavish lifestyle. We were slowly accumulating more and more debt. (This met we were giving away a lot of our money to interest. Interest is money that we would never be able to spend on the things we needed or wanted.) Our payments were about $1500 a month.
September 11, 2001 happened and our investments that were paying our house payment and paying for part of our lifestyle suddenly disappeared. We were drawing from our nest egg now faster than it was growing and it was quickly dwindling to nothing. We had to do something quickly. In 2003 we sold our very nice 4 bedroom home with spacious closets and 3 car garage and moved into another not so nice new home in Tracy, Ca. We were able to put down 20% and pay off our debt. We were debt free except for the monthly payment on the mortgage.
Did we learn our lesson? No!!! We were still using the credit cards and financing vacations. Suddenly we found that we were $60,000 in debt. What do we do? We trotted down to the local bank and signed up for a variable interest loan to pay off our debt. Again we were debt free. Guess what? We still were using the credit cards and went into debt again of about $60,000. We could not see the surface. We filed bankruptcy. We stopped using credit cards since all of our accounts were closed by the bankruptcy court. We were now operating on a cash basis. We were managing but just barely.
In 2010 I had a stroke. I recovered quickly and was cleared to work by my doctor and a Neurologist. Problem was since I was working as a truck driver the Department of Transportation said I could not work for a year as a driver. I was not successful in finding other work and we had no money to live on and no income. I was able to start drawing social security of about $3200 a month since I had a dependent child and my wife declared she was a stay at home Mom. Since our income was not enough my wife during this time took out student loans for us to live on to the tune of $60,000. In addition I was able to find a temporary job a year later as a truck driver that brought in about $15,000 a year. During the last year my son turned 18 (no more ssi). My wife applied for SSI and is getting about $2,400 a month along with my 2,000 a month. In addition I work as a truck driver earning $5,000 a month or a bit more. For the last 2 years we have been at $100,000 a year. Our debt at this time is $60,000 in student loans, $60,000 second mortgage, $40,000 interest free car loan and an $8,000 lien on our home from a lawsuit that we had to try and recover our retirement investments because of poor management on the part of our investment advisor who provided us with investments that did not meet our needs.
In September of 2019 I discovered Dave Ramsey and his plan to get out of debt and become wealthy. My wife has not been willing to get on board. As a result we are not following the plan laid out by Dave Ramsey. Instead because of my age and the need to build a nest egg we are investing in a ROTH and building a emergency fund. (I do not recommend this to my clients). This makes the road to being debt free very much longer. I decided that I wanted to help others to avoid my financial mistakes and decided to become a financial coach. My wife and I now have a spending plan and discuss all of our spending. Although I have tried to get her to follow a spending plan I have been unsuccessful. I have started writing down everything we spend and show it to her so we can develop a full budget. I can say this, no one is ever too old to start. One never knows how long they will live. In my family many folks live into their 90's. At 74 I could still live another 20+ years.
Monday, January 25, 2021
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Monday, September 14, 2020
Social media is a wonderful way to stay in touch with family
and friends, but it can have its downside. Numerous
studies suggest that overdoing it on Facebook or similar sites can make us
For example, having more than 7 social media accounts triples
the risk of depression among young adults, according to researchers at The
University of Pittsburgh. Maybe it’s the multitasking or the pressure to look
cool in multiple venues with different rules. Either way, that’s one mistake
your dog wouldn’t make. He’s content with playing in the same park each
afternoon, and eating his usual for dinner each night.
If you’re going to use social media, there are a few more
things your dog could teach you. After all, he’s man’s best friend, so take a
look at these ideas he’d want to share with you.
Online spontaneity can lead to regrets if you say something
insensitive. Even dogs benefit from being socialized.
Think first. Ask yourself if what you’re typing is encouraging and constructive. Imagine
how you’d feel if you were on the receiving end.
Consider your audience. Context matters. Avoid misunderstandings by
choosing the appropriate platform for your remarks. Puppy pictures will get
more laughs on Facebook than LinkedIn.
Take the high road. You’ll probably run into some rudeness and
aggression online. Try to elevate the
conversation or leave gracefully if necessary.
The average mutt can have just as much confidence as any
Westminster Kennel Club winner. Loving yourself protects you from feeling
inferior online and off.
Be authentic. Know that you are worthy of happiness and
respect just the way you are. Celebrate your strengths, and enjoy exploring the
areas where you want to grow.
Resist comparisons. Sometimes it looks like everyone else on Facebook
is taking exotic vacations and bragging about their gifted children. Count your blessings and pursue your own
definition of success.
Think positive. Think of challenges as opportunities. Wake up
with a smile and be kind to yourself. When you talk to yourself, choose words
that comfort and inspire you.
Being sedentary takes a toll on your mental and physical
health. Maybe you need to step away from the computer.
Take a walk. Exercise each day. Walk your dog an extra mile or visit the gym.
Move around. Incorporate more physical activity
into each day. Climb the
stairs or do some extra chores around the house.
Interact offline. Cultivate relationships face-to-face. Meet up
with friends for a regular coffee or lunch date. Throw a potluck dinner with
Engage in Meaningful Activities:
Your dog can find fulfillment in chasing a stick. You may
need to aim a little higher. If you’re feeling down about squandering the last
2 hours on celebrity gossip, devote your time to finer things.
Live mindfully. Any activity can be profound if you keep your
purpose in mind. Enjoy preparing breakfast for your family or giving your dog a
Find a hobby. Fill your leisure time with projects that
expand your knowledge and skills. Play a musical instrument or study a foreign
Focus on giving. True gratification comes from
helping others and contributing to your community. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or library.
Tell a retail worker when their patience and kindness helps to make your
errands more pleasant.
If your dog can figure out how to avoid Facebook depression
and Instagram anxiety, so can you. Monitor your social media use and pay
attention to your life offline. You and your dog will both benefit!
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Monday, August 24, 2020
Can I share with you what God did? The year my wife and I got married, I spent 3 months in the hospital fighting for my life — battling AIDS, with no immune system. And due to mounting medical bills, college loan debt and credit cards, our house was foreclosed on and I had to sell my vehicle. Needless to say we were broke. Then we met Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University, followed his baby steps and were faithful in our tithes. In the months and years to follow God showed us His faithfulness. Within weeks of graduating from FPU, my wife and I prayed and we felt led to leave behind the increasing costs of renting an apartment and purchase a mobile home or RV. I was working at a children’s home (a large residential campus that included a small campground) and it was the plan to move the mobile unit onto the children’s home campground, which would eliminate our rent and utilities — giving us the ability to pay down more debt with gazelle intensity. Within a week of looking, we found an used RV for $8,000, but after looking at it, the owner said, “I need to know tonight, because I have someone else interested.” Well we knew then that this was not from God, because we all know what Dave says about large purchases... wait at least 24 hours. So we waited, and the next week, I was hosting an event for donors at the children’s home, and within a few minutes of welcoming guests this couple that I had never met before came up to me and said, “we need to talk to you.” I pulled them into a separate room, and the husband proceeded to say, “we have a brand new motorhome that we would would like to donate, so you or another staff member can live in it.” I was blown away by the greatness of our God. A few weeks later, they delivered this class A Winnebago and my wife and I moved in. This couple came to visit us in our new home on wheels in the months to follow, and said to us, “we had no intention of donating the RV until we drove onto the property that very first day, and the Holy Spirit told us someone here needed it.” We know through obedience, God will supply every one of our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. We give Him all the glory!
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Two years ago at age 30 we finished paying off $160,000 of student loans and 2 days ago (for my 32nd birthday present) we paid off our mortgage!!
The teller at the bank said, "Wow, that is quite the accomplishment at your age"! But my husband and I can officially say we are debt free.
The journey seemed like a long one, but after only 5 years, we can look back and say we made all the right sacrifices because this feeling is the best feeling!
Had to share here, because I knew you could all relate to the journey, the struggle, and the sacrifice. I really want to shout it to EVERYONE I know at the top of my lungs, but I knew this was the only place that would truly understand.
Monday, August 3, 2020
Student Loan Borrower: Don't wait on congress for more relief.
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Are you the Master of your credit? Are you seeking a Visa for your next trip? Are you hoping that the lockdown ends so you can Diner out once again with family, friends, and business associates? What about that emergency expense? Are you thinking I can whip out that piece of plastic to solve my financial problems?
I see company after company that is seeking to expand its customer base. Maybe it is Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Macey's, Home Depot or just name your favorite place to shop that has a credit card. Wow, I can save anywhere from 10% to 20% on my first purchase. How much do you save on your next purchase with your favorite retailer when you go into making a purchase. Whoops, why am I visiting a retailer to make a purchase or why am I visiting their website to buy something? Do I really need that credit card? Oh, yes now I know why I need that card. I need to build my Fico score I am thinking. Really? Why do I need credit? Oh, yes, I remember, I need it because I want to purchase a new home or a new car.
I am out looking at new cars with loans that are zero percent interest on the loan. This is a great deal. I get a new car with a new car smell and I can drive all over town with people looking at my new car seeing how successful I am in life.
I have news for you. You do not need credit. Credit is your enemy, it is not your friend. People do not care what stuff you buy in life. They are sitting on the sidelines cheering you on to make purchases (they might get some benefit) or they want you to go on vacation with them. Oh, vacations are on hold at the moment for most of us with COVID-19.
Did you know that credit card interest rates are between 0% (limited time) and 29% each month you have an outstanding balance. Do you have credit card debt? If you have $1,000 in credit card debt you may be paying out as much as $290 a month in money that you will never see again. This $290 is like taking the money and lighting a match to it. I know you would not really do that but in essence, that is what you are doing.
I am getting off the subject. There is no best credit card or loan anywhere on this earth. All credit cards are your enemy and interest is your enemy!!!
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Here are some things we can do to make our lives a bit easier.
Apply for unemployment. For many of us this seems impossible. If you are having difficulties keep at it. Sooner or later yo will succeed on filling out the online forms or getting someone on the phone. It has been my experience that when you do get signed up that you can get paid retroactively.
Are you in need of extra cash. Filling out surveys can help to provide some extra income. It takes a bit of work. I personally have filled out surveys for several companies and have been paid. It is not a get rich quick way of earning an income but at least it can help to put food on the table, keep you from becoming homeless and maybe put a bit of gas in the car. See the top survey sites of 2020.
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Among other things, kids (and adults) shouldn’t anticipate getting hugs from Mickey or any of the princesses. Everyone who is out of diapers will have to wear a face mask, too. Here’s more of what you need to know if you’re considering a trip to Disney World anytime soon.
Monday, May 18, 2020
Friday, May 8, 2020
|Ask Chuck: Are We Taking On Too Much National Debt? |
Dear Chuck, I just don’t understand how America can implement another massive bailout/stimulus without some long-term consequences. Aren’t we already carrying too much national debt?