Monday, August 31, 2009

In the September issue of Good Housekeeping there is an article A Year Without Shopping where a family quit all spending for an year except for necessities.

They found out ways to reuse items and substitute items for things they needed. And also found things in their house they already had but had forgotten about. So they were able to use them instead of running out and buying them again. It also made them think about purchases more. If they really needed something or if they were just buying it because they wanted it.

You don't have to cut out all purchases but if you take the chance to think about if you really want the item you are thinking about buying.

One of the main concepts of getting ahead with your money is living within or preferably below your means.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Book Review of Knockout Entrepreneur

Book Review of Knockout Entrepreneur
George Forman and Ken Abraham ISBN 978-0-7852-2208-8
“Knockout Entrepreneur” is written by George Forman with ken Abraham. The two-time Heavyweight Champion of the World combines his boxing experience with his business experiences to show what it took for him to become a Knockout Entrepreneur. One of the main principles of the book is to find a passion and taking a leap to begin.

Finding a need and filling it is a key principle for a Knockout Entrepreneur. Your chances of being successful increase exponentially if you not only find a need and fill it, but also can do it better than anyone else.

I knew George Forman as the athlete and the spokesman for George Forman grills but was surprised by his other business accomplishments. He stressed that it isn’t always about doing something just for the money. Although, some of his later fights were for the money, but the money was to keep his Youth Center in Houston open.

I recommend this book as a refreshing look at tips to be an entrepreneur. He mixes what he learned as an athlete and used those things in the business world also.

The book is a total of 220 pages and an easy read so it didn’t take long to read it. Each chapter ends with Knockout Ideas to Stimulate Your Success which recaps each chapter.

This is a book review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger.

This book is also a Nelsonfree book, along with the hard copy, you also get an ebook and an audio version.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Budget Doesn't have to be a Four-letter word

Budget doesn’t have to be a 4-Letter Word

Many people dread the word budget. Money is active, you have to tell it where to go. The basic principle of making a budget is recording how much money you have coming in for the month. From that you subtract expenses for the month. First subtract necessary expenses (rent, mortgage, car payments, insurance, food, etc). Once you subtract the necessary expenses, the remaining amount can be used for savings and other expenses. When figuring your monthly expenses, when you are considering the payments that you may make once or twice a year (car insurance, car tags,
One line item should be savings. To get ahead you should start paying yourself first. Some suggestions are 15% of your income, but if you can’t afford that start with what you can afford and increase it over time. Some people think they can’t afford to pay themselves first. But why work all the time and have nothing to show for it. If you think you don’t have any extra money for this, take a look at what you have been spending your money on and see what expenses can be cut.
Another key action is to live within or below your means. If you constantly spend more than you make each month, you will continue getting in deeper debt.

One way to get your expenses under control, is to track your expenses. For one week if you write down each day everything you spend money on that day. At the end of the week, you can see where your money is going and see if there is a possibility to cut some of the expense.

You must limit your style of living, because you can always spend more than you can make. If someone makes $200,000 and spends $200,000 and another person makes $20,000 and spends $20,000 they are both broke. So it doesn’t matter what you earn, the important thing is how much you save. Also, if your income increases you can increase your expenses some, but try not to spend all the extra you earn.

The act of saving needs to be a discipline and a habit. You need to have the discipline to wait until you have the money saved to purchase something you want. Part of the problems with the current economy is many people give into the instant gratification of purchasing items that they want that they cannot afford. I know it is difficult with all the advertising we see for items and when you see other people with them. But you don’t know what kind of situation they are in. Some people that seem like they are well off because they buy these things may be unhappy and up nights worrying about how to pay for those debts.

I know in some instances people get behind because of medical expenses and job layoffs, etc. That is why it is important to have an emergency fund and to leave below or within your means.

Once you get in the habit of making a monthly budget and living by it, it will get easier and not feel as restrictive as you may think.

Friday, August 28, 2009

$9.99 Sale at Dave Ramsey

$9.99 Dave Ramsey Sale

Many of Dave Ramsey's books, CDs and DVDs are on sale for $9.99 (regular $15 to $25)

Free shipping on orders over $65

Its called the Labor Day sale, so it will probably run until next week.

Dave Ramsey's books are very informative when you are getting your financial state under control and to keep it in control.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Save You Cash Makeovers

On Oprah today they had How To Save You Cash makeovers Then Peter Walsh gave organizing tips and ideas of what to do with things you decide to get rid of.

You can get information from the show at

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I found a website Daily Lit which has several books you can get in segments each day. Each book has a different number of segments depending on how long the book is. Each segment can be read in less than 5 minutes. Each segment is emailed to you, you can set when you want to receive the emails.

Many of the books are offered for free. One that I have started reading is "The Art of Money Getting" by P.T. Barnum

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Importance of Teaching Children Financial Literacy

I feel it is very important to teach children about financial matters. One reason that parents do not teach their children about money, is because they are not sure they know how to handle money either. It is one of the things that is not always taught in school. We earn degrees in order to earn a living but are not always taught how to handle the money we earn.

It is important to start teaching children about money when they are young. You can use the world as your financial classroom. Real life triggers lessons you want to teach your child, and since you are probably handling money regularly in front of your child, stop and take two minutes to explain what you are doing.

In the book “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees” by Neale S. Godfrey there is a story about a father and his son. He had taken his children on a trip across the country to see their grandparents. Everytime they stopped to eat, one of the sons was always straggling behind. Finally, when they were almost home, the father asked him why he always late. He said he was picking up the money his dad kept forgetting on the tables. The father realized to his son his leaving money on the table looked like he had forgotten his money.

Another big issue, is teaching the difference between wants and needs. I know when you are a child it is hard to know the difference, but if we don’t teach them when they are younger, it is harder when they are older. That is part of the problem how people spend money now. They grow up not knowing the difference between real wants and needs. Then get into trouble with debt because they feel like they deserve anything they want.

Many people put their financial lives into jeopardy because they want the instant gratification of buying things they want instead of saving until they can afford them. Previous generations started with small houses and cars and worked and saved and gradually improved their way of life. Many people today, start first jobs and expect to have a big house and expensive cars right away. They figure if you can afford payments you can afford it. But that isn’t always the case. And living that way, you have no money for savings. It is important also to have an Emergency fund. Especially in today’s economy with the way the job market is. People get into trouble when they get used to living paycheck to paycheck on two incomes and then if one (or both) of them lose their jobs then they will be in trouble.

Another source for information on teaching children about finances is Dave Ramsey has books directed to kids and a Financial Peace Jr. kit with a book about saving your money and charts and envelopes to manage their money. One of his principles is to Save, Give and Spend. His program has envelopes labeled Save, Give and Spend.

In the book “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees” some of the chapters cover How to teach your children the basics of money management, When to start your child on an allowance, How to use the World as your Financial Classroom. It also has games for different age groups on teaching children about money.

Another book I recommend is “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. The subtitle is “What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!”
I also feel if you teach children the importance of saving money and the power of compound interest. Even if you can only save a small amount it is better than nothing. If you gradually increase the percentage it will eventually add up to a lot.

In closing, I feel the most important issues are to teach children to pay themselves first and save some of what they earn, difference between wants and needs and the power of compound interest.

It’s not How much you earn that matters, its how much you Spend!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

KMART financial literacy program

Kmart is promoting financial literacy for our kids. They're working on a Money Smart curriculum that helps parents and teachers educate students about spending wisely and staying out of debt. You can check it out at

Monday, August 17, 2009

How to Bounce Back from Bankruptcy

Following is a story from the Parade magazine that was in Sunday's newspaper

How To Bounce Back From Bankruptcy
by George Anders
published: 08/16/2009
Related Features
1. Don't Get Clobbered By Credit Cards!
2. Clobbered By Credit Cards!
3. You Can Get Out Of Debt More than one million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy last year—an increase of more than 30% over 2007. Unexpected medical bills are a top cause of personal bankruptcy. Other reasons include losing a job, struggling through divorce, getting stuck with an unmanageable mortgage, or simply going on a $30,000 credit-card spree. While a bankruptcy will remain on your credit record for up to 10 years, you can still bounce back and reestablish a good credit rating. So if bad circumstances—or tough decisions—have led you to file, don’t despair. In a best-case scenario, after having your debts discharged by a court, you could qualify for a car loan with good rates in a year and a mortgage in two to four years.

How Americas Thriftiest Families Save Money and Still Have Fun

According to attorneys and consumer advocates, the path back usually involves careful steps to reestablish creditworthiness. Here’s what to do.

1. Start with one credit card. Get a card with the lowest possible fees and accept a spending limit as low as $250. Consider a “secured” card, which allows the bank to make deductions from a savings account if you don’t pay what you owe. Some lenders hawk cards with 29% rates and $49 application fees, so use sites like to hunt for better terms. Make sure that the card issuer will report your new payment history to the three main credit-rating agencies so you can establish a record of paying back debts reliably.

Even after you file for bankruptcy, card issuers will be jockeying for your business. “You’re a good credit risk,” says Alan Pressman, a bankruptcy attorney in Islandia, N.Y. “You have no debt, and they know you can’t file again for bankruptcy protection for as much as eight years.”

2. Make prompt payments 100% of the time. “A single late payment can set you back by six months to a year,” says Evan Hendricks, author of Credit Scores & Credit Reports. “It can undo all your hard work and drop your credit rating by 40 to 90 points.” In contrast, paying off debt quickly not only rebuilds your creditworthiness, it also helps you avoid steep interest charges.

How to Earn Extra Cash in a Tough Economy

3. Ask for lower rates, especially as your credit improves. “ You have to be patient,” says attorney Nicholas Gebelt of Whittier, Calif. “It’s going to take about a year of good payment history, but gradually the rates will come down.” Some lenders make these adjustments automatically. Even so, it never hurts to treat credit terms as negotiable and to shop around when necessary.

4. Avoid “credit-repair” schemes. Some services assert that they can fix bad credit in two weeks or less, for a fee. These outfits bombard credit-scoring agencies with claims that various defaults and late payments didn’t happen. That can cause your delinquencies to be delisted temporarily, but they can ultimately be added back to your credit report.

5. View a car loan as the next big step. While car dealers typically want to see at least a year of good payment history before financing a post-bankruptcy buyer, some dealers aren’t picky these days. Initial rates can be as high as 22%, but reliable payers can refinance at better terms later on. Opting for a used car can keep costs down.

Smart Money Moves

6. Keep balances under control. Post-bankruptcy borrowers who seem to be handling new debt well will find that their credit limits increase rapidly. That’s gratifying but dangerous, says Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates in Washington, D.C. “Keep low limits on your cards and live within your means,” he advises.

7. Plan for a mortgage. Some of the biggest home-loan programs won’t consider borrowers who have filed for bankruptcy in the previous four years. Loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration often provide the fastest path back to home ownership, usually with a two-year wait after bankruptcy. Banks trying to sell foreclosed propertiesmay also be more flexible.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Haircut leads to a Handy Acronym

Following is from a blog i found online, about how to think about purchases before you make them. If it is a need or want and what it will end up costing you in the end.

How a Haircut Led to a Handy Acronym
Wednesday, 12th August 2009 (by J.D.)
This article is about Hints and Tips, Money Hacks
This is a guest post from Lynn, a long-time reader of personal-finance blogs. Lynn is a potential Staff Writer for Get Rich Slowly. In her first post, she explained where to find free activities and events in your area. Lynn is the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of her family, and is working hard to increase her financial health after years of many poor financial choices.

From my toddler years on, I’ve had long hair. There were a few years when I would get it cut shoulder length, but I never ventured into short hair territory. That is, until about a month ago.

I found a cute hairstyle from the virtual salon at (you can upload your picture and try on different styles — it’s free!). I printed my new style and ventured out to the hair salon. I showed the hairdresser the picture and sat in the chair. I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach as the cape was placed around my neck.

I should have listened to my gut — it was trying to tell me something. Before I knew it I heard the scissors and she held up a long clump of my hair: “There’s no going back now.” I managed a nervous smile. No…there wasn’t.

The hairdresser was great. It took about 20 minutes for the cut and then the fancy hair product came out. She explained everything she was using so I could learn what I needed to do. First up was the root boost to give my hair some volume. Then my hair had to be dried with a hair dryer in a specific way to make the ends flip out. To give the style even more “sassiness” as the hairdresser put it, she used a curling iron to curl the ends up. Sculpting wax and hairspray locked the style in.

What did I get myself into? For the past ten years all I had to do was wash, brush and let my hair air dry. It was perfect for my busy schedule. I feel a bit embarrassed about the whole situation because I didn’t do one thing…

I didn’t really think through my purchase before I made it.

One of the best tips I have picked up from reading personal finance blogs is that I should ask myself whether something I want to purchase is a want or need. That single question has saved me from many frivolous purchases. The decision to get my hair cut passed the want or need test through some creative justification on my part (more about that in a bit).

With my haircut experience as my guide, I came up with a set of questions that I felt would help me really think through purchases - beyond the want or need aspect. My memory can be rusty at times so I needed something to help me remember them. It took a while to situate the questions and the wording, but finally I came up with an easy to remember acronym…WEALTH.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Want or need? Even though I was looking for more questions to ask myself, this question is still important and at the top of my list. My haircut was a want, yet I ended up justifying the purchase. I convinced myself that I needed a change since I’ve had the same hairstyle for over a decade. My mind has a sneaky way of justifying things sometimes.

Ego? Was I getting a haircut to boost my ego or keep up with the Joneses? I became fixated on the picture I printed. I thought I would look more attractive with the shorter cut. In hindsight, I didn’t appreciate what I did have with my long hair.

Add-ons? The haircut itself was one expense, but I didn’t take into account the added cost of hair product. The product ended up costing as much as the cut - doubling the amount I originally planned to spend.

Lifestyle? I thought short hair would be easier to handle than long hair. Oops! I should have done more research and asked the hairdresser what was needed to maintain my style even before I sat in the chair. I’m a wash-n-go type of gal, and my new haircut is far from that.

Time? Is the purchase a one time thing or will there be multiple purchases in the future for upkeep? To maintain my haircut, the hairdresser recommended coming back to the salon every six weeks. A $25 haircut was going to be over a $200/year expense (my previous expense was once every few years since I trimmed my own hair). That’s not even counting the cost of replenishing hair product after it runs out.

Happiness? My haircut is cute, but the happiness started to fade the first time I tried to recreate the style on my own. My little pic used for the audition here at Get Rich Slowly was taken right after I got home from the salon - my hair never looked the same again. It didn’t take long for frustration to set in and I found myself spending way too much time getting ready in the mornings. I would rather do other things during that time.
The WEALTH acronym has already come in handy. A relative was selling a canoe in excellent condition that would fit our entire family. It has been a want of ours for some time, but the price was such a great deal ($150) that the want versus need question was teetering. After going through the other questions, there were add-ons to consider (canoe carrier for our vehicle, extra oars, etc.) and I wondered how much a canoe would affect our happiness. After all, we had a problem spending money in the past on things we thought we would use for family fun but rarely did.

In the end, we didn’t make the purchase and the WEALTH acronym had its first success story. Hopefully there will be many more to come - including when it is applied to my next hairstyle — I’m letting this one grow out

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

FREE $25 Nabisco/Kraft deal

There is a deal on now until Aug 23, at participating grocery stores, including Hornbachers in our area. If you buy $25 worth of participating Nabisco/Kraft items, you can end up getting them for free. You will receive a coupon for $5 off your next order when you check out. And also, a rebate form for $20 rebate will print out. Also, most of the items included are on sale, so you save even more.

There is information on it in the Hornbacher's flier that came out today and is good until next Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review of Everyday Greatness

The book, Everyday Greatness is a collection of inspirational stories which were originally published in Readers Digest. Each story is followed by insights and ocmmentary from Stephen Covey.

Each of the seven chapters is finished by a series of quotes relating to that area. The seven sections include Searching for Meaning, Taking Charge, Starting Within, Creating the Dream, Teaming with Others, Overcoming Adversity and Blending the Pieces.

It may be intimidating once you see the size of the book of over 400 pages but once you start reading each section, it is difficult to put it down.

I highly recommend reading Everyday Greatness. Since the book consists of a series of short stories it is a great book to read whenevery you have a few minutes to spare. Each story is separate so you don't have to read it in a short amount of time so you remember what's going on like in most books where the whole book is one story.

The stories included have been written by a number of different people from various professions and walks of life. Some of the authors are Walt Disney, Ed McMahon and Maya Angelou.

Following is a link for more information on Everyday Greatness Greatness&authors=Stephen-R.-Covey-David-K.-Hatch

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It's Not What you Earn, It's What You Spend!

If you track all the money you spend each day for a week, or even for a month to see what you really spend your money on. When you look at the results, you can decide which expenses you may be able to eliminate.

It is surprising how "small" expenses to add up.

If someone makes a lot of money but spends most of it, they are no better off than someone that makes a lot less.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Deal at Hornbachers this week

In this week's Hornbachers flier there is a deal that if you buy $30 or mor of participating General Mills and Unilever products you will get a coupon for $15 off your next shopping trip.

The sale is until next wed 8/12.

Most of the items included in the offer are also on sale. Some items included are General Mills cereals, Betty Crocker muffin mixes and cookie mixes, Knorr side dishes, Progresso soup, Suave hairspray, mousse, gel and body wash.

There are almost 30 different items to choose from.

If they are items you would be buying anyways, with getting $15 back plus items being on sale, you save over 1/2 price what you would have paid other wise.

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Business

I am starting a Money Coaching business. For several years it has been a passion of mine to learn about saving and managing money. Now I want to have the opportunity to share what I have learned with others. I feel it is also important to teach children about managing financial matters.

my website is In the Black

It is not about how much you EARN but how much you SPEND!! It is also important to take a chance to track your expenses so you know where your money is going and possibly what expenses you don't need to make in the future.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Secret to Saving Money

Following is an article by Dave Ramsey about the Secret to Saving Money. It has to be an emotional decision. No matter how much money you make it will not make a difference until you make a decision to save money

Saving money is not a matter of math.

You will not save money when you get that next raise. You will not save money when that car is paid off. You will not save money when the kids are grown. You will only save money when it becomes an emotional priority.

We all know we need to save, but most people don't save like they know they need to save. Why? Because they have competing goals. The goal to save isn't a high enough priority to delay that purchase of the pizza, DVD player, new computer or china cabinet. So we purchase, buy, consume all our dollars away or, worse yet, go into debt to buy these things. That debt means monthly payments that control our paychecks and make us say things like, "We just don't make enough to save any money!" Wrong, wrong, wrong! We do make enough to save money; we just aren't willing to quit spoiling ourselves with our little projects or pleasures to have enough left to save. I don't care what you make—you can save money. It just has to become a big enough priority to you.

If a doctor told you that your child was dying and could only be saved with a $15,000 operation that your insurance would not cover and could only be performed nine months from today, could you save $15,000? Yes! Of course you could! You would sell things, you would stop any spending that wasn't required to survive, and you would take two extra jobs. For that short nine months, you would become a saving madman (or madwoman). You would give up virtually anything to accomplish that $15,000 goal. Saving would become a priority.

The secret to saving? Focused emotion. The secret to saving money is to make it a priority, and that is done only when you get some healthy anger or fear and then focus that emotion on your personal decisions. Harnessing that emotion will make you move yourself to the top of your creditor list. Ask yourself, "Which bill is the most important?