Monday, November 15, 2010

Do you need a fnancial fix-up

With the way the economy is, most of are looking at our money more closely. If it is time for a financial tuneup or complete overhaul, consider applying to be part of the Forum’s Financial Fix-up.
They are looking for local individuals or families to take part in the new series. Those selected will receive an individualized financial action plan, created by financial counselors from the Village Family Service Center. As a reward for following through on their advice, State Bank & Trust is offering $500 to each participating family to help achieve their financial goals.
Participants must be open and honest about their financial lives. After all, those chosen will have their names, occupations and photos printed in the paper. They must also be willing to reflect and change. Participants will be asked to blog about their financial fix-up at area voices.
People in all sorts of financial situations are encouraged to apply, whether they’re in debt, newlyweds about to combine finances, nearing retirement and unsure if there’s enough, or saving for a long-term goal like a house, car or college.
To apply, fill out the application here. The deadline for applications is Nov. 28. Those chosen will be contacted in early December. For more information, contact Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556 or

Friday, November 12, 2010

Owning a car is more than monthly payments

Even though the best way to buy a car is by cash, most people buy with monthly payments. When deciding how much you can afford, there are a few things to consider. Most advertisements say a certain amount down and monthly payments, but if they are extended over 4-6 years you can end up spending much more on interest. Some experts say if you cannot pay off the car in 3 years or less, you cannot afford the car.
Along with monthly payments, other costs to keep in mind are insurance costs, gas mileage and licensing costs. In most cases, it will cost more for insurance and licensing costs for a newer vehicle. Sometimes, a newer car will get better gas mileage, unless you buy a larger vehicle or pickup.
Also, think about what your needs are. It may not be necessary to buy a larger vehicle with lower gas mileage if you don’t need a larger vehicle very often.
Another thing is some people go shopping for a car when they still owe on their current one. The salesmen are handy and roll the current payment into the new one. With this and other circumstances, sometimes people end up owing more on their car than it is currently worth.
So while having a vehicle is usually a necessity, with a little time and research it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

YWCA Unique Boutique

Another way to help out those in need this holiday season is to donate to the YWCA Unique Boutique. The YWCA Emergency Shelter hosts Unique Boutique every December. Brand-new items are donated from the community so that past and present YWCA clients can choose gifts for their loved ones at no charge. Along with the Unique Boutique, the Client Party features treats, activities and gifts for the clients’ children.
Donations can be dropped off at the YWCA Shelter or contact Lauryn at or 232-3449 or for more information to volunteer.

Dining with Joy Book Review

Dining with Joy is the first of Rachel Hauck’s books that I have read, but am looking forward to reading more. It is a delightful and easygoing story. The story is very clear and is hard to put the book down. When Joy Ballard’s father passed away unexpectedly, she stepped in to host his TV cooking show. One problem, is that Joy cannot cook. She takes steps over the years to keep up her charade. Then Luke Redmond, a chef that lost his own restaurant joins the show. Through a series of circumstances their relationship takes a number of turns.
When things start to unravel, Joy has to make a decision to choose herself instead of taking care of her mother and her nieces who were deserted by their parents.
The story was intriguing and kept you guessing what was going to happen.
I recommend this book for anyone looking for a good heart whelming story.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dave Ramsey books $10

I have mentioned Dave Ramsey in previous posts. I just received an email that some of his books and cds are on sale now for $10 at The regular price of these are between $20 and $30. They are a great resource for beginning to save or just refresher information.

One of his books is "The Total Money Makeover". It is based on what he calls the 7 Baby Steps to becoming financially free.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

EntreLeadership Recap

Friday I attended the simulcast of Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership.  It is a combination of Dave's financial advice and leadership advice.  He provided great information for running a business, starting a business and also for employees.  One of his big things is buying stuff with cash instead of going into debt.  When starting a business he suggests starting small with what you can afford to pay for and grow as you make money.
One of the books he recommended is "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John Maxwell.  I happened to stop at the ARC store on the way home just to browse and found this book for $1. 
This simulcast was live in Orlando and broadcast to over 300 locations across the country.  There were over 20,000 people in attendance counting all of the locations.
He also presents a 3 day EntreLeadership Master course, the next is going to be in Orlando in May 2011 with a fee of $6,000, limited to 200 attendees.  Another one is being offered in January 2011 in Tennessee for $2,000 also with a limit of 200 attendees. 
It was a fun day full of great information.  I want to thank Bethel Church for hosting the event, Discovery Benefits for donating the lunch and Starbucks for donating coffee.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Down sized is a show premiering Saturday, November 6 on WE TV at 8/9c. It is about a family struggling in the current economy and with the help of the financial planner they try to work out of their current situation. WE TV is on channel 260 on DirecTV and 128 on DISH.

The Suze Orman Show is also on Saturday nights on CNBC at 8 & 11CT. CNBC is channel 355 on DirecTV, 208 on DISH and I think its channel 30 locally on Cableone. Suze just celebrated her 10th year of doing her show. In it she give financial advice about current situations, answers questions from viewers and also has a segment called Can I Afford it. About 5-6 viewers call in with something they want to buy and she looks at their income and expenses and tells them if she thinks they can afford to buy it.

Til Debt do Us Part is also on CNBC on Saturday nights after the Suze Orman Show. It is hosted by Gail Vaz-Oxlade, who helps couples in financial trouble work through their financial and relational difficulties. She looks at their income and expenses and looks for ways to cut expenses. She also has a weekly challenge for a total of 4 weeks to work on each area of their relationship. At the end if they have followed her advice and she feels like they are ready to make a change, she awards them with up to $5,000 to put towards their debt.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

FM Power Lunch

I recently became aware of FM Power Lunch. The Power Lunch is a free lunch targeting all business professionals in the Fargo Moorhead community taking place from 11:30 - 1:00 (lunch from 11:30 - 12:15) on the 2nd Thursday of each month. So the next one will be Thursday, November 11th, which is Veterans Day so some may have the day off. A free will offering opportunity is also provided. It is held at Bethel Church at 2702 30th Ave S, Fargo.

When you do attend you can leave your business card and there is a directory on the website of the business cards of all past participants. This is another way to advertise your business or organization.

In addition to lunch, there is a scripture based message that is relevant to the daily challenges and struggles faced in the business workplace. Whether you are an employee, employer, or just looking to network amongst like-minded individuals you are welcome to join us as we grow together in our faith and in our businesses.

Importance of Junior Achievement

This morning I attended the Junior Achievement Fundraising Breakfast. I started volunteering for Junior Achievement last spring.
Through Junior Achievement, business professionals volunteer their time in area classrooms to teach financial lessons to students. Each session is 5 visits to the classroom, with each visit between 30 to 45 minutes. It gives the students a different perspective to hear from someone other than their teacher and parents. It is also different to hear from people actually in certain jobs and professions.
The guest speaker this morning was NDSU President, Dean Bresciani. He opened by saying he was a disappointment to his father, since he was suppose to be a diesel mechanic or fry cook. His parents were immigrants and higher education was beyond the boundaries of his father’s aspirations for him. He told him that no matter the economy, everyone would need automobiles so the need for mechanics and everyone would need to eat.
I feel it is very important to teach children about money and finances when they are young and Junior Achievement is an important part in that.
Contact Junior Achievement if you are interested in donating either your time or financially. Locally, it costs $26 per student for Junior Achievement lessons.

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Day Giving Challenge

A group of bloggers have come together to form a website, 30 Day Giving Challenge. Although giving is important all through the year, it is especially important now during the holidays.

They will be providing ideas of ways you can give throughout the month of November and stories of how people are giving. Most of the time when we think of giving it is either of time or money. But giving can be as simple as smiling at someone you meet on the street or a simple hello.

I will be sharing ideas and links on this throughout the month as well as ways you can give locally during the next month and beyond.