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Archive for April, 2011

Do You REALLY Need Life Insurance?

April 22nd, 2011 at 08:22 am

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

“Preston Newby, 24, was a youth pastor who “lived to serve other people,” says his wife, Tara. So it was no surprise when he pulled off the Interstate late one night to help passengers in a car that had just collided with an elk. While calling for help, Preston was struck from behind by a driver who swerved to avoid the accident scene. He died moments later in Tara’s arms.

The tragic situation would have been much worse if it hadn’t been for the Newbys’ decision a few years earlier to buy life insurance. “We discussed how, if one of us passed away, the other would want to stay home with the children,” says Tara. Sadly, that hypothetical discussion became reality all too soon for Tara, who was 10 weeks pregnant with her second child when Preston’s life was tragically cut short.

But thanks to the life insurance, she is able to be a full-time mother to Jacob, 2, and Micah, 3 months. She also paid off her student loans and other debts. More importantly, it gave her time to grieve and to focus on her children. “With so much to stress about while raising two children, it’s a blessing not to have to worry about finances,” says Tara. “I feel like it was Preston’s last gift to us.”” (from LifeHappens.org)

What would happen to your family if you were to die suddenly? Would they be able to afford to pay for your funeral and burial? Would they be able to maintain their lifestyle? Would they be able to keep their home? Would they have to rush back to work in the middle of their grief?

If you die without life insurance your family may find themselves in a financial disaster at a time when they are already overwhelmed with grief. Most people are adamant about taking care of their families….family vacations, fancy anniversaries and elaborate birthday parties, new gadgets, and even saving for college. But get this…

-Only 44% of households carry personal life insurance policies.

-And approximately half a million adults ages 30-55 die prematurely every year.

If you have a spouse and/or children under the age of 18, and you don’t have life insurance, you need to get up from the computer and find someone to give you a good kick in the butt. Then when you recover, pick up the phone and call a good insurance agent. Many people are never taught how important life insurance is. But now that you know, you can do something about it.

There Is No Excuse. Life insurance is a non-negotiable if you love your family. In the event of your death, your term life insurance policy will make sure your loved ones are taken care of. You should carry a 15-20 year Term Life Insurance policy with a value of 8-10 times your annual income. This amount will cover your funeral expenses, most or all of your outstanding debt including your mortgage, most or all of your children’s’ college, and leave your family enough to replace your income for several years. They could also invest this money with a 10-12% return and completely replace your income.

And the cost of this type of policy? For a 35 year old man in reasonable health…about $25 a month!!

So what are you waiting for? Please do not neglect this aspect of your financial plan and debt free life. Plan for the future and make sure your loved ones are taken care of, even when you pass from this life. It’s one of the very best decisions you can make, and one of the most profound declarations of your love.

Yours In Freedom,


9 Things I Will Teach My Kids About Money (and you should too)

April 19th, 2011 at 11:36 am

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

Katy and I don’t have kids yet, but we hope to start a family in the near future. And it’s important to us to pass on healthy attitudes about money and possessions to our kids, and to equip them to be in control of their money and stay debt free.

A wise man once told me that you shouldn’t give parenting advice unless you have kids. However, I do know personal finance. But I want to be careful in writing this to not overstep my bounds. So, I write this post to my future self. And hopefully these will help you as you guide your own children.

9 Things I Will Teach My Kids About Money!

1. Money Doesn’t Grow On…
It’s cliché, but many kids are shocked when they graduate only to realize that money really doesn’t grow on trees. Most parents feel that kids should do certain chores simply because they are part of the family, such as doing dishes, cleaning their bedroom, etc…and I agree. But you can also assign extra projects and pay them “commission.” If they don’t do the work, they don’t get paid…just like real life. This teaches them that money has to be earned, and it gives them an income that you can now teach them to manage.

2. You Can’t Buy Happy
In our American-dream mentality, we often believe that more money and more stuff will make us more happy. But this really isn’t true. The happiest people in the world have learned to be content with what they have. Often times, having more money just makes life more complicated. Money can be used for a lot of good things, but it is not a prerequisite to a happy life. Teach your kids to value things that will allow them to be truly happy – contentment, generosity, relationships, and fulfilling their life-purpose.

3. You Have to Live on a Budget
Money is not a limitless resource. Like adults, kids have to plan how they will use their money. Otherwise they’ll just spend mindlessly and end up broke. If your child earns $30 per month, help them to plan out on paper how they will spend that money…save $5, buy dad’s birthday gift for $15, and so on…Help them develop this habit now so they can start off their life being in control of their finances.

4. Follow the 80-10-10 Rule
Along with budgeting, I want my kids to learn this simple formula…80-10-10. The first 10% of any money they receive should be given, either to our church, another ministry, or a charity they care about. The next 10% should be saved for the future. The other 80% is theirs to spend as they please, but it must be budgeted. This will help them develop these giving, saving, and spending habits for the rest of their lives.

5. Avoid The Debt-Trap
I want my kids to understand the dangers of debt. When they’re old enough, discuss credit cards, loans, and car payments with your kids. Help them understand that buying things on credit ends up costing more than if they had paid in cash. Growing up, I was taught by example that credit and debt were the way to buy things. It only follows that as an adult I racked up over $50,000 of consumer debt. I want to make sure my kids understand why and how to avoid this debt-trap.

6. Companies Want Your Money
The average American sees 1,500 ads per day. Corporations want our money and our kids’ money. Watch the commercials on your kids’ favorite shows. These companies work hard to turn our kids into consumers. That’s why it’s important to teach them not to believe everything they see on commercials and TV. As they get older, help them understand that these ads are designed to get them to spend money on stuff they don’t really need.

7. Money is Not the Goal
I remember a teacher asking what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, “I want to be rich!” I want my kids to know that accumulating a bunch of money and stuff is not a worthwhile goal. Money is not an end itself…it is only a means to an end. What good is a million dollars if just sits at the end of a balance sheet? I want my children to know that it’s not the number that counts; it’s what you do with it.

8. Make Goals For Your Money
Money itself shouldn’t be a goal, but mindless spending is no way to handle finances. It’s imperative to teach our kids how to set reasonable and achievable goals for their money. This includes short term goals, like saving for a video game, and long term goals, like saving for their first car. Setting goals helps us to stay motivated and focused, and this is a skill kids need to start learning early.

9. Dare to Not Compare
As a child, one of my friend’s parents got a brand new car, and I was jealous. In her wisdom, my mom told me, “We could have a new car. But you don’t know what they may have had to give up in order to have that car.” There will always be people who have nicer, newer, better and more. But as I said above, having more money and more stuff doesn’t make you more happy. We need to teach our children to be thankful and content with what they have, to handle their money wisely, and to not let other people determine their happiness.

If you are a parent, you know better than anyone that children learn from our example. If you don’t have control over your finances…budget, debt, savings…your kids will likely follow suit. However, if you can get control of your money now, your kids will have a much better chance of winning with money when they are on their own.

Let us know if we can help!

Yours In Freedom,


Join the conversation…What financial wisdom are you/will you pass on to your children?

You Are Not Alone

April 14th, 2011 at 12:44 pm

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

I got a call for help a few days ago from a very emotional Joann. She said that her debt has gotten completely out of control and she is totally overwhelmed (can anyone relate?).

She was understandably emotional, but it wasn’t only sadness and stress I heard in her voice. What I heard was…fear. She told me how embarrassed she was about her debt and that she was actually afraid for me to see how much she owed. I think the truth is that she is afraid to face the amount of debt she actually has.

It was staggering when Katy and I sat down and calculated the amount of debt we had. We had done some really dumb things with our money, and we paid the price. We were over $50,000 in debt in our 20’s. Almost all of us have been irresponsible with our money. We’ve overspent, under-saved and signed up for ridiculous amounts of debt.

It’s overwhelming and it can be scary…but you are not alone.

Consider this - according to US News and USA Today:

• The total outstanding consumer debt in the U.S. was $11.7 TRILLION as of June 2010.
• The average American household with at least 1 credit card has $10,700 in credit card debt.
• 30% of Americans have credit card debt.
• 59% if baby-boomers have credit card debt.
• 56% of baby-boomers have car payments
• 40% of people who are in debt have monthly debt payments that are more than half of their monthly income.
• 60% of people over 50 years old are in debt.
• 10% of people have either filed or seriously considered filing for bankruptcy.

If you’re in debt, you’ve made some big money mistakes and are over-extended, consider yourself normal. This is the way we were taught to live. Credit cards, car payments, student loans, 2nd mortgages…the list goes on. No one ever taught us how to balance a budget, set up a savings plan or live debt free.

But my wife and I finally reached a point where we said, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” We were tired of living paycheck to paycheck, just barely scraping by, and living with constant financial stress. We reached out for the help and support we needed to make a plan, sort out our bills, build a budget and fight for our freedom from debt. And the guidance, teaching and support we received have made all the difference in our lives.

The journey to debt-freedom can be overwhelming, and the process can be daunting. But don’t let fear hold you back! You are not alone. Reach out and get the help and support you need to fight this battle and finally win with money.

If you are ready to make a change and to take back control of your money and life, we would love to help. We always offer a free 30 minute consultation, where we will help you start to make a plan to break free.

Yours In Freedom,


Join the conversation…What, if anything, is keeping you from taking the leap and working to become debt free?

The Best Way To Use Your Tax Refund

April 12th, 2011 at 02:47 pm

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

We’re about to wrap up another tax season and for most of us that means “refund.” In my pre-debt-free days, I would have “spent” our tax refund before the check was in the mail. A new TV, a vacation, furniture…it would have been used up in an instant without a second thought.

Most people seem to view their tax refund as “extra” money. But the government isn’t sending you a bonus check. This money is part of your annual income. It was withheld from your paychecks to pay your taxes. If too much was withheld, you get a refund. And just like the rest of your income, you need to make a plan for how to use it.

According to the IRS, the average tax refund in 2010 was $3,003. Don’t blow this chance to make a dramatic impact on your financial future!

There are only 4 worthwhile ways to use this large sum of money.

Save It! Pay Off Debt! Spend It (wisely)! Give It!

Save It!

USA Today reports that 55% of Americans couldn’t live for even 3 months without a paycheck. 17% couldn’t make it 1 week! The majority of people in our country have virtually no buffer between them and life. If the unexpected occurs, they are literally in a financial crisis.

If you don’t have an Emergency Fund, this is the perfect opportunity to start one. If you are in debt, you should save up $1,000 as a starter emergency fund. Once you have paid off all your debt, other than your mortgage, you need to save up enough to cover 3-6 months of your household expenses. This emergency fund gives you some cushion for the inevitable whammies that life will throw at you.

Pay off Debt!

The lending industry’s motto is “there’s a sucker born every minute.” If you are in debt, you need to accept the reality that you are getting ripped off. Beyond the financial rip-off, debt literally sucks the fun out of life. USA Today says that 63% of Americans spend 1-3 hours per day worrying about debt. That’s up to 1,095 hours per year spent in fret over debt! There is no excuse for accepting debt and money worries as a way of life.

Your refund check can be one of the best ways to pay off debt. You may be able to completely knock out several of your smallest debts in one swoop, and accelerate your debt-freedom by months or years! Stop making excuses! Unless you really love struggling financially, or giving your hard-earned money to the bank, you owe it to yourself to make a change!

Spend It (wisely)!

There are circumstances where it might make sense to spend your refund. If you are truly in need of a vehicle, your refund might allow you to make a 100% cash purchase of a reliable car. There may be some necessary home improvements you could make, such as replacing an A/C unit, mold removal, or a repairing a leaky roof.

The key to spending wisely is to be very honest with yourself about the purchase. Is it a NEED or a WANT? Think about your long-term financial goals, and make sure the purchase truly is more important than saving for an emergency fund or paying off your debt.

Give It!

Just like the rest of your income, you should plan to give at least 10% to your local church, another ministry or a charity that is close to your heart. Giving to others in need is one of the best ways to increase your ability to be content and thankful for the good things in your life.

Whatever you do…Don’t waste it!

This is your chance to get a jump-start toward true financial freedom in 2011. Use this chance to make a decision about your priorities. What is more important to you…a new TV, a vacation, some new toy? Or is it more important to literally change your family tree by finally taking control of your money and your life? Make a change for good! I know you can do it!

Yours In Freedom,


Join the conversation…How do you plan to use your tax refund? Will you pay off debt, save, spend, or give??? Leave a comment and let us know!

How To Work The Debt Snowball And Get Free

April 12th, 2011 at 02:37 pm

There are many varying opinions on the best and most efficient way to get out of debt. My humble, yet strong, opinion is that the absolute best way to pay off your debt is the Debt Snowball method. Why this method? Because we used the Debt Snowball to help us pay off over $50,000 of debt in only 16 months.

The Debt Snowball has been around for decades and has helped thousands of people pay off millions in debt. Below, I have outlined the basic strategy for working the Debt Snowball. It’s simple…but it works!

Now the question on your mind is probably, “Why is this method the best?”The answer is simple…momentum! Think of a small snowball rolling down a hill. As the snowball rolls it picks up speed, and the speeding snowball grows and grows as it picks up more snow. Before long you have an unstoppable globe of compacted ice barreling forward, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom style.

The Debt Snowball allows you to see some quick-wins as you pay off your smaller debts. These quick wins create momentum and solidify a belief that you can win this battle. This belief and momentum will help you keep your intensity and tenacity throughout the process so that you can finally beat debt and be free for good!

So I present you with a step-by-step guide to working the Debt Snowball!

Step 1: List all of your debts from smallest balance to largest!

This list will need to include every debt that you and your spouse have. It’s usually not much fun to see all of your debt listed out this way. But to get where you want to be, you have to know where you are starting.

Auto loans, credit cards, past-due medical bills, personal loans, student loans, business loans, loans from retirement accounts, loans from family & friends, and any other loans you may have need to be included in your debt list.

Gather all of your account statements and list out the name of the creditor, account balance, interest rate, and minimum monthly payments due. To make sure you didn’t leave any debts off, it will help to pull a free copy of your credit report. You can get free copies of your reports at annualcreditreport.com.

Step 2: Wage war against the smallest debt.

Commit to making the minimum monthly payment on all of your debts. Then with every bit of extra money you can earn or squeeze out of your budget, you will attack the debt with the smallest balance. In our example debt list, you would pay the monthly balance on all debts and you would focus all extra money to pay off the Medical Bill.

Notice that this is not the debt with the highest monthly payment or the highest interest rate. Again, the reason we are going in this order is so that you can see some quick results and build momentum.

Step 3: Move on to the next smallest debt.

Once you have completely paid off the smallest debt, move on to the next smallest. Continue to make the minimum payments on all other debts, but you will now apply all extra money to pay off the next debt on the list.

In our above example, the Medical Bill had a minimum monthly payment of $50. You will now apply this $50 per month toward Credit Card 2. You will also use any bit of extra money to attack this debt.

You see, now the snowball is rolling over and picking up more momentum and more snow. There’s now an extra $50 each month to go toward the 2nd debt.

Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 and 3 Until You Are Debt Free!
(I didn’t intentionally make this rhyme…I promise)

Note that your home mortgage is not included in the Debt Snowball. You will pay off your mortgage later on in your journey toward Financial Freedom.

By the time you get to your largest debts, you may be able to throw thousands of dollars toward the balance every month. That’s a huge snowball rolling downhill, destroying every debt in its path. Most people are able to complete the entire Debt Snowball process in 24 months or less.

The keys here are focus, intensity, and commitment to the goal….Being Debt Free!!!

You can do this! Trust me…if we could do this, anyone can!

Yours In Freedom,


Join the conversation…what debt will you be paying off first?

10 Ways To Save $1,000 In 1 Month!

April 5th, 2011 at 01:45 pm

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

Most everyone would love to be debt free and pile up some savings, right? Well, the first step on your journey to debt freedom is to STOP GOING INTO MORE DEBT! I’m not yelling at you, just making a point of how important it is to flip that “Debt Switch” in your mind to the OFF position.

But…the transmission goes out, there’s an illness, your dishwasher floods, or you’re A/C dies. Sometimes life just happens that way. If you don’t have some money set aside just for emergencies, your only option when the unexpected happens is to whip out your credit card and take on more debt.

By saving $1,000 for a starter emergency fund, you will be able to deal with most of the emergency expenses that come up. This will ensure that you never again need to turn to credit cards and debt when life doesn’t go as planned.

To help you meet this goal:

10 Ways To Save $1,000 In 1 Month!

1. Pick Up Some OT

This one is pretty simple. If your work situation allows, try to pick up some overtime, an extra shift, or a special project. It may feel like you are putting in a lot of work, but keep in mind that this is only a temporary blitz to jumpstart your debt-free plan.

Potential Household Savings: $200-$1000

2. Do Odd Jobs

If your day job doesn’t allow for OT, do some odd jobs around your neighborhood. Do yard work, tree-trimming, wash cars, clean houses, walk dogs, baby-sit, or open an old fashioned lemonade stand…anything you can do to get some extra income. Every dollar gets you closer to your goals.

Potential Household Savings: $100-$400

3. Sell Some Stuff

You can’t fit those jeans, you haven’t played tennis in years, and that prized collection of Beanie Babies isn’t doing you any good. If you’re serious about building your savings and paying off debt, you need to get about the business of selling some stuff. Think Craigslist, Ebay, Amazon, consignment sales and garage sales. If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s time to sell it. Just think of all the extra money and closet space you’ll have!
Potential Household Savings: $100-$500

4. Sell Your Blood

I’m not talking about calling your neighborhood vampire to make a street deal here. Most people can donate their plasma (the liquid part of your blood) twice per week at an average of $30-$35 per donation. So, you can legitimately make up to $70/week selling your blood plasma. To find a plasma collection center near you, visit http://bitly.com/e69qFz .
Potential Household Savings: $280-$560

5. Cut Out Dining Out.

Restaurants offer convenience, good food and a relaxing atmosphere. But as you know, you are paying for every bit of it. If you want to get intense and kick-start your debt-free journey, take a 1 month restaurant hiatus. The average American family spends $220 per month on eating out. You may spend more or less, but this savings adds up fast.

Potential Household Savings: $200-$300

6. Lose the Latte.

Let’s be honest, we all love “the bucks.” A Grande, Triple Shot, Fat Free, Soy Milk Caramel Macchiato with no foam is a tasty pick-me-up. But when you spend $3.50 on coffee 4-7 times per week, you are drinking away your savings. Swear off the fancy coffee drinks for 1 month, brew a cup at home, and watch your savings grow like a Brazilian Coffee Tree.

Potential Household Savings: $50-$140

7. Lay Off of the Luxury Services

Nobody really enjoys cleaning the house, mowing the grass, walking the dog or washing the car. So, in an attempt to save our time and energy, we outsource these services to a maid, lawn care company, dog-walker or auto-detailer. Cutting out these services for 1 month can go a long way toward meeting your $1,000 goal.
Potential Household Savings: $300-$400

8. Tighten Your Grocery Budget

When Katy and I got serious controlling our spending, we were shocked by how much we were spending on groceries. For a household of 2, we were spending $700 per month on groceries. By carefully planning our meals, not wasting food, and limiting the “convenience foods” we bought we were able to cut our grocery bill down to only $400 per month. Take a look at your current grocery spending and see where you can make some cuts.

Potential Household Savings: $200-$400

9. Skip the Convenience Store

At times in my life I would stop at a convenience store every single day to pick up a little something. This mindless nickel and dime spending adds up. A daily stop at a convenience store costs an average of $3. That adds up to $90 per month. If your spouse does the same, that’s $180. Throw in some spending on your kids, and you can easily blow upwards of $200 per month. For 1 month, plan ahead for your snacks away from home and put all that saved money toward your starter emergency fund.
Potential Household Savings: $150-$200

10. Entertain Yourself

Movies, bowling, video games, sports events, golf, hunting…these are all fun, but they all cost money. Instead of spending money on your fun, learn to enjoy free forms of leisure. Go to the park, read a book, play a board game, and watch movies you already own. Remember that what you are doing isn’t as important as simply enjoying being with your friends and family.
Potential Household Savings: $50-$100

It takes some hard work, focus, and sacrifice to get out of debt and build savings. Choose and implement some of these changes and take the first step toward being debt free by building your $1,000 starter emergency fund. You can do this!

This is your money and your life…take control!

Yours In Freedom,


Join the conversation…what else can you do to either increase your income or reduce your spending, in order to save $1,000 in 1 month?

The Top 8 Lame Excuses That Keep You Broke – part two

April 5th, 2011 at 01:38 pm

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

In my last post, we looked at the first 4 Lame Excuses people make that are keeping them from getting ahead with their money.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the Top 8 Lame Excuses That Keep You Broke!

5. "I’m Just Not Good With Numbers, So I Can’t Manage My Money.”

“My problem is that I’m just no good when it comes to math.” Many of us feel intimidated and overwhelmed when we begin looking at all the numbers. The numbers overwhelm us, the numbers scare us, the numbers intimidate us. I’ve been in banking, finance, and now financial coaching and I can still feel overwhelmed looking at too many numbers. This is a very common experience, but it is not an excuse for allowing your finances to go unchecked.

Why It’s Lame:

The reason you feel inadequate with the math and numbers is simply that you are unfamiliar with the process. The math required to balance your budget is really nothing more than adding and subtracting. You don’t have to learn a lot of complicated formulas. You simply need a calculator and a system for tracking your income and spending. If you go to our site, you can download an easy to use budgeting form that will help you get started. There are much more sophisticated software programs available, but a simple sheet of paper or basic spreadsheet can easily do the job. And your numbers don’t have to be perfect. You just have to get started. Trust me…if I can do this, you can do this!

6. "I Don't Have Time to Deal with My Money"

“With my schedule and all the competing priorities, I just don’t have time to deal with all this financial stuff.” We live in a world where everything seems so urgent. We rush around day after day with schedules that seem so full we can hardly fathom taking on something as daunting as managing our finances properly.

Why It’s Lame:

The last time I checked, we all have the same 24 hours that we’ve always had. Time management is something that most of us truly struggle with. There are two reasons this is a lame excuse.

First, taking control of your finances doesn’t really take that much time. When you first start organizing and setting everything up, it will take you a good bit of time. You will need to sit down with your spouse and evaluate your current financial situation, come up with your budget and overall financial plan. But once you get familiar with the process and are working your plan, it may only take you 2-3 hours per month.

Second, the argument that we don’t have time to deal with our finances is a little hard to believe when you consider that the average American watches almost 1,500 hours of TV per month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If we will take an honest look at how we use our time we should be able to carve out a few hours each month to make sure that we are on track with our money.

7. “I Get Discouraged When I think About My Finances.”

“It’s just too much to handle. I don’t want to think about it.” Some people go into a panic thinking about making a budget. Others freeze up when the idea of a Will or Life Insurance comes up. It just all seems so negative and scary. And no one will disagree that these are serious subjects that aren’t necessarily fun.

Why It’s Lame:

Many people would say, “Making a budget is just too overwhelming,” or, “Creating a will and getting life insurance are just too morbid for me to think about.” But that’s a lot like saying, “I know this lump might be cancer, but I’d rather not deal with it.” You don’t have to actively manage your finances. But you must acknowledge that if you don’t, you are likely headed for financial ruin. You don’t have to institute a will and buy life insurance. But you must acknowledge that by not doing so, you are not protecting your loved ones from the inevitable.

Research states that 70% of us will experience a major negative life event in the next 10 years. Get your will and estate in order. Purchase life insurance, disability insurance, health insurance, and insurance for your home, car, and other belongings. Put together an emergency fund to see you through a job loss or other problems. This is all part of being a responsible adult and making sure that you and your loved ones are secure.

8. “I’ll Get To It Some Day.”
“There are just so many things going on in life right now. I know I should take control of my finances, but I’ll make that a priority later.” Career, marriage, kids, hobbies, family….there are just so many priorities we are all juggling. It is very easy to procrastinate and put off developing and working a financial plan.

Why It’s Lame:

It’s so easy to put things off until later. But it seems like that “later” either comes too late or never comes at all. As I’ve said before, personal finance is much like health or weight loss. The longer you put off improving your health, the harder it is to come back. The longer you ignore your weight problem, the worse the problem gets and it’s even harder to lose the weight. The longer you put off getting serious about your finances, setting up your budget, paying off debt, and saving for retirement, the more it will cost you and the harder it will be to get your financial life under control. With your money, sooner really is better than later.

As I said in part one, I have often been guilty of making excuses and most (or all) of them were pretty lame. Excuses are simply a way to avoid taking responsibility for your finances. Financial Freedom will require sacrifice, some hard work and doing some things you would prefer to ignore. But you work too hard to be broke. Don’t let lame excuses keep you from taking control of your finances and living the life you have always dreamed of.

Whatever your financial situation, I believe that you can make great changes and experience the financial freedom that most people only dream of. Believe in yourself, and know that you can start winning with money!

Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help!

Yours In Freedom,
Clint Davis

The Top 8 Lame Excuses That Keep You Broke – part one

April 5th, 2011 at 01:29 pm

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

There’s little doubt that nobody wants to be broke, and that most people would love to start winning with money! So why are so many people avoiding making the necessary changes to finally get ahead?

Full disclosure here, in the past (and still sometimes in the present) I have been very good at making excuses when it came to managing my money, following a budget and denying myself my wants. There are a million reasons you can give yourself for making a financial plan that works. But this is your money and your life and it’s time to make a change.

So let’s take a look at the Top 8 Lame Excuses That Keep You Broke!

1. “I Don’t Know Where To Begin!”
Of all the excuses I hear, this is by far the most frequent. “I want to get a grip on my money, but I don’t even know where to start.” Millions of Americans feel completely clueless when it comes to managing their money. No one teaches us this stuff growing up…but as adults it’s our responsibility to reach out for help and get the necessary knowledge so that we can start to make a change.

Why It’s Lame:

Some people make up their minds that money and finances are just concepts that are over their heads. Either they have tried and failed, or they have never even given it a shot. So they say, “I can’t,” and this gets them off the hook for even trying. But the truth is that you can manage your money, it will just require you to put forth a little effort, gain some new knowledge, and find some accountability to make it happen. Ask for help, get a coach, read a book, take a course. Get in there and start working with your money, and don’t let “I Can’t” be an excuse.

2. “I’m So Broke, I Don’t Have Any Money To Manage!

“I am just barely scraping by. I can’t possibly save money or pay off debt right now.” Many people believe that they are just stuck financially, and there’s no way to get ahead. You get to the end of the month and wonder where all the money goes.

Why It’s Lame:

The reality is that most people are living paycheck to paycheck because they aren’t managing their money correctly. Either people are spending too much on wants or sinking in debt and monthly payments that are eating up their income. If you were to track all of your spending for even 2 weeks, chances are that you would see quite a few areas where cuts could be made. The areas where Katy and I were able to make the most cuts were restaurants, groceries and entertainment. Don’t let pizzas, movie rentals and Playstation games be your excuse for not getting ahead financially.

3. “Sure I Overspend, But I Need and Deserve the Things I Buy!”

Every day, we are exposed to thousands of advertisements that tell us this very thing. “You work hard…you deserve the best…you need this…” You work hard, and you should do things to reward yourself. But needing and deserving things is a poor excuse for allowing your finances to be in chaos.

Why It’s Lame:

The truth is that you need food, shelter, clothing and transportation. Everything else is a want. And the sooner you are able to distinguish between needs and wants, the sooner you will be able to make the decision to take control of your money and your spending instead of letting it control you. I am not denying that you deserve to enjoy some of your hard-earned money. But, all of us need to develop a balanced approach to spending and saving. If we can learn to delay some gratification now, we will be able to enjoy financial security and peace throughout the rest of our lives.

4. “I’m Too Old to Start Now!” Or “ I’m Too Young to Start Now!”

This is another excuse I hear a lot. Maybe you’re over 40 with plenty of debt and little or no savings. Maybe you’re in your early 20’s and think that you will start managing your money down the road. You’re definitely not alone in this way of thinking.

Why It’s Lame:
Age isn’t an excuse. This is like saying, “I’m too old to lose weight to make sure I don’t die of a heart attack,” or, “I’m too young to get in shape in order to ensure that I can walk when I’m 60.” There is no time too late or too soon to start taking back control of your money and your life.

If you feel like it’s too late, you need to know that you can catch up and you can win. It will just take extra work and determination, and a willingness to sacrifice today so that you can enjoy tomorrow. To meet your goals, you need to get help from a coach or advisor who can help you develop a game plan. It is never too late to start.

Think you’re too young to start worrying about all this financial stuff? Think on this…depending on which studies you read, at least 43%, and up to 70%, of baby boomers (current 50-60 year olds) are not financially prepared to retire comfortably. Do you think they wish that they had started managing their money earlier in life? You better believe it! Of course you’re going to spend some money and have some fun. But keep in mind that your future will be here faster than you realize. You and your future family will be so thankful that you had the foresight to start winning with money early on.

Whatever excuses you have been making for yourself, I want you to know that I believe in your ability to overcome your fears, your self-limiting beliefs, and your current habits. Most importantly, I hope you will start to believe in yourself and know that you can start winning!

Stay tuned for part 2 of The Top 8 Lame Excuses That Keep You Broke!

Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help!

Yours In Freedom,