This Blog's Purpose

The purpose of this blog is help people improve their Mind, Body, Soul (relationships) and their Money.

Monday, June 30, 2014

MMV: "Imposing your will" - by ET the Hip hop preacher

Make your own videos!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday's Summary 4

So much has happened in the past week that it's hard to figure out where to begin.

I was out of state recently to attended an interview in a very sunny place. I got a job and then 2.5 other job offers.

Great news overall but, I now need to decide  what's best for me and the family.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Debt free interview #8 - Kacie from Sense to Save

This week's interview is with Kacie the author of the PF blog Sense to Save. She shares some quick notes on her debt-free journey.

1.       How did you get into debt?
 "In the past, we had a car loan and credit card debt. The car loan was something we could have avoided, or perhaps a smaller balance if we went for a different vehicle. The credit card debt was largely just being dumb and not knowing any better!"

2.       How deeply in debt were you at the worst point? What did it feel like?
The car loan was $11,500 and the credit card debt was somewhere around $8-10k at worst.

3.       When did you decide to get out of debt and why?
It was around 2008 when we got serious about our finances and buckled down to pay off everything.

4.       How long did it take you to get completely debt free?
Took a few months to take care of the credit cards and a little bit longer to get rid of the car loan.


5.       What advice would you give to someone trying to become debt free?

Advice would be to make a plan. Add it all up from all sources and know what you're working with. If it's huge, don't be overwhelmed -- break it into chunks. Like a student loan could be viewed as total divided by 8 semesters. Or the number of classes you took, even. Just focus on each segment rather than thinking about the whole balance if it's stressful.

And do it as fast as possible -- move on to better things than paying debts! :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Saturday's (Sunday's) Summary 3

I got up at about 4:00 AM EST to board a flight I almost missed. Right now its about 8:10 EST and more importantly, 5:10 Phoenix time.

At this moment I'm in a bed in Tempe attempting to prepare for an appointment tomorrow.

This week has been hectic as my mother just had heart surgery and is recovering and I'm working on moving across the country.

Who knows what the future holds.

One sign I saw today was just as unsettling as it was funny to me. It read:

"Guns saves lives" then added in smaller print "Educate your children" ...signs like that don't show up in Ohio too often.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Debt free interview #7: Eric from Narrow Bridge

This week's Debt-free Interview is with Eric of Narrow Bridge

1.      How did you get into debt?
My first debt was a car loan that I took on when my college hand-me-down broke down after graduation. The payments were relatively small, and I was paying double payments to make sure the debt was paid off quickly. But my biggest debt came with my MBA program. With an estimated total cost of $90,000 to attend, of which tuition was nearly $70,000, I took on a total of $40,000 in student debt during my time in the program.

2.      How deeply in debt were you at the worst point? What did it feel like?
I worked hard to pay off my loans and pay as much as possible while in school, and kept a full time job while going to school full time. This kept me from taking on unnecessary debt. At the peak, I had just under $40,000 in debt to be paid.

3.      When did you decide to get out of debt and why?
I decided to get out of debt before I started. When I was accepted to my MBA program, I went in with a financial plan to continue with my job and pay for my living costs and as much tuition as I could from my income and college savings.

4.      How long did it take you to get completely debt free?
I paid off the last dollar of my student loans 736 days after graduation, just a few days over two years. I pre-paid as much as I could and continued to live on a college student budget until I was debt free. I did buy a home in that two years, and still have a mortgage on the property, but with my big down payment and low interest rate, my monthly cost is lower than renting.
5.      What advice would you give to someone trying to become debt free?

Maintain super focus and live like a college student. Lifestyle inflation is tempting, but keeping costs low and under control will help you pay off your debt so much faster. I also suggest splitting the payments into twice a month, on each payday, rather than once a month. That will lead to a full extra payment each year in addition to whatever you are able to pre-pay.
Thanks Eric for your help!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Corey Poirer - musc video

Corey Poirer is a motivational speaker and has been a great contributor to this blog. He also happens to be a musician and  he has a new music video out "Your Jacob" and I thought I'd share it here:

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday's Summary 2

So this week has been interesting.

I've been connecting with plenty of great bloggers from around the country and world.

On the homefront, my mother has just gone into the hospital for heart surgery that she will have on Monday.

I learned a nice lesson in sales from a Verizon Wireless saleswoman who found every way to upsale my wife on the most up to date Iphone. She began every upsell with - "well, I'm just looking out for your best interest. This other person had the same problem and they found that..." The good ole "feel, felt, found" method.

Now my focus of course needs to turn to finding a realistic path to Phoenix while working to make sure my mother is OK in her hometown.

I get that this post is likely not helpful to anyone and I apologize for this.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Debt Free Interview #6 - Derek from Life and My Finances

This week's Debt-free interview comes from Derek at Life and My Finances

1.        How did you get into debt?
Mainly, I got into debt with student loans. When I graduated from college,
I had over $18,000 in student loan debt.

2.        How deeply in debt were you at the worst point? What did it feel
Luckily, I owned my car free and clear and did not take on any other debt
after graduating from college, so the most I was ever in debt was $18,000.

3.        When did you decide to get out of debt and why?
I decided to get out of debt when my first student loan payment came due
and I realized that I did not have the money to pay for it (and it was
only $75!). From that point on I created a budget and put every extra
penny toward the debt.

4.        How long did it take you to get completely debt free?
Over the course of 14 months (and there was a car in the story there that
I had to scrap...which obviously didn't help), I was able to pay off the
entire $18,000. It wasn't easy, and it didn't seem to quick at the time,
but man it was nice to get rid of those payments! :)

5.        What advice would you give to someone trying to become debt free?
First, build up a decent emergency fund (of $1,000 or $2,000) so that you
aren't tempted to use your credit card when your car breaks down or when
your kids need a whole new set of clothes.

Second, reduce the temptation of taking on more debt by paying with cash
and cutting up your credit cards. Sure, you won't earn reward points, but
you will most likely make up the difference by all the deals you could get
by paying with cash!

Third, make a budget and do your best to stick to it. Sure, it's not all
that fun, but you will never really know where your money is going until
you make a budget and start tracking it. When I made my first budget, I
realized that I was paying too much for my cell phone, my car insurance,
and my home owners insurance! Just by putting a budget together, I saved
myself nearly $1,000 a year!

Finally, do your best to stay consistent with your payments and to reward
yourself with small things along the way (ie. Did you just pay off a small
$1,500 student loan? Take your spouse out for a $50 dinner.).

Don't give up!

Derek Sall

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday's Summary #1 - a little about me and where I'm going.

So for a long time, I've been living a half-ass life, phoning it in at work, on this blog, towards my goals and dreams. It's my new goal to stop that direction of decay starting today.

I want to use this blog for what it was originally meant for - to Motivate 1st - myself and 2nd - those around me. 

I've been re-reading probably my favorite non-fiction book recently - the Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden and through that and ironically various youtube videos focused on becoming more social that the key to happiness is something I already knew on a certain level: You'll become happy when you start to realize the only one responsible for your happiness is you - not a spouse, not a co-worker or boss, not your best friend, not your children. 
The moment you realize that you must do what you personally were put on this earth to do and not what those around you want you to do. 

So this week - I've attempted to my best to see if I have remained cognizant (since Sunday, June 1st 2014) of what my goals are and if I'm taking steps to achieve said goals or running in circles of busyness like I have for the last several years. 

Thursday, I slacked a little and watched the Greatest Movie Ever Sold - but learned a decent amount about dealing with high level advertising executives in the process. 

Wednesday I went full out and worked till 1:00 AM or so. 

 My main goal currently is to publish, sell and promote and book about becoming (consumer) debt free by 9/1/14. I've been approaching people who have been through that experience and I have been through that experience myself (twice) although my income level threatens to dip us into debt a 3rd time which leads me to my secondary goal...

I plan to move my family from Columbus, Ohio to Phoenix, AZ. My full-time job just informed me earlier this week that because of a SNAFU that should have been addressed a year ago, I will be receiving a 10% paycut. For a long time I've been wanting to move west. Me, my wife and son plan to make the move by 9/1/14. 

Third- in order to achieve the financial goals I've been desiring - since the first year of college I need to learn to sell more effectively. That includes both selling myself in interviews and selling products (such as a debt-free book) in the future. 

I invite you the reader to come along and keep me in check as I focus each day on Doing Everything in My Personal Power to Achieve My Goals Without Abandoning My Responsibilities. 

I plan to keep track Daily, reporting on my results on a Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly and Annual basis. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Debt Free interview #5: Jeff of Debt Free Squad

 This week's debt free interview is from Jeff of the Debt-free squad blog and vlog. He and is wife paid off more than six-figures worth of debt in a relatively short period of time.

1.      How did you get into debt Robin and I were spending $1.22 for every dollar we made and slowly but surely we added an average of $5,000 of debt a year over a 30 year period.  I was a school teacher and my wife worked part-time and we always seemed to run out of month at the end of the money.  We had two kids and we wanted to keep up with the Joneses. (Later we found out they were broke too)  We had a smorgasbord of debt. (car payments, credit cards, Heloc, loan from our retirement account, appliances 90 days same as cash, etc.)  We never really had an emergency fund because we felt that was what credit cards and home equity lines of credit were for. When an emergency came up like tires for the car, Christmas or Vacations we used credit. (None of those are emergencies)  We were brainwashed with the commercial telling us to relax we have MasterCard.  I had an addiction for car lots and the smell of leather as in our 1st 25 years of marriage we had 37 cars.  At one point we had 4 car payments and were paying insurance on all cars.  We wanted our kids to have the best.  I liken this to my weight – I only put on ONE lb. per year since high school but I had been out of high school 40 years..  It sometimes sneaks up on you.
2.     How deeply in debt were you at the worst point?  What did it feel like?  At the age of 55 I realized we were over $150,000 in consumer debt and this was not including our mortgage.  For many years we paid our bills each month and put food on the table.  We were all flash and no cash.  As we were approaching retirement and realized we may be working forever if we did not get our act together it was a pretty embarrassing situation that a couple who was making over $100,000 a year could ever let this happen. 

3.      When did you decide to get out of debt and why?   We finally realized we could not continue to get credit after we had refinanced our home for the 4th time.  When we moved from California to Colorado in 1999 I had a new Toyota Camry.  Robin had a little Toyota Paseo.  In 2004 we purchased a New Ford Explorer and realized that every time we purchased a new vehicle even though the payments were the same we were increasing the amount of debt we had.  We decided then that we would drive these two cars until they died.  We are still driving these two cars today.  The Camry is now 15 years old and still running and the Ford Explorer is 10 years old.  Both cars have over 145,000 miles on them.  I read the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey in one day and then asked Robin to read it.  It gave us both hope and we immediately started the 7 baby steps.  Step one was to get $1000 emergency fund in place.  We did that rather quickly.  We cut up our credit cards and stopped charging.  We then started Baby Step 2 which was the Debt Snowball.  We started with our smallest debt which was a credit card.  We paid minimum on everything else and put everything we could on that 1st debt.  Once that was paid off we started on the next card until all of our credit cards were paid off.  We then attacked the smorgasbord of debt from smallest to largest.  We  attended Financial Peace University and we then started to teach the class.  Our debt destruction plan was in full motion.

4.      How long did it take you to get completely debt freeI would say we seriously started to get out of debt when I was age 55 and Robin was 54.  We were completely out of debt, including our mortgage December of 2012 which put me at 60 years old.  So a total of 5 years to be completely debt free.  During the last 3 years Robin lost her job and I had a $40,000 pay cut.  If this had happened when I was 55 we would have had to file for bankruptcy.  But because we were at a point with our finances that we were living on 50% of what we brought home and giving, investing and saving the other 50% we were able to handle the tremendous loss of income.

5.     What advice would you give to someone trying to become debt free?  I would have them visit the Debt Free Squad Website and start our Free 40-Week Video Series on Becoming Debt Free, God’s way.  We also do one on one coaching and have a 60-Day Budget Boot Camp.  They will actually feel like they gave themselves a raise.  Our 1st step is to work on attitude and especially if they are married.  They need to be on the same page with their finances.  Our 2nd step is to get organized and to start with the home office so they can actually find the bills.  Our 3rd step is to get that Emergency Fund in place and cut up the credit cards.  Maybe they can put one on ice.  We also have a 30-day Budget challenge which will help them set up a REAL Budget.  A real budget actually gives you permission to spend money.  Setting up what we call a Spend Every Penny Budget is our 4th step.   I would also highly recommend they purchase Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and read it.  

Thank you Jeff (and Robin by default) for sharing your debt free journey.