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Archive for May, 2011

If I Only Had More Money, Then I Would…

May 26th, 2011 at 02:46 pm

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

I’ve thought it. You’ve thought it. Most every member of lower to middle-class America has thought it.

If I only had more money…

…then I’d be happy.
…then I would be more generous.
…then I could pay off my debt.
…then I could follow my dreams.
…then I could pay for my kids to go to college.
…then I could retire well.

I once spoke to a gentleman when I was working in the mortgage industry. He wanted to refinance his home because he was drowning in his mortgage payment.

When we spoke, he had

- $600 in checking
- $1,200 in savings
- $120,000 in retirement savings
- And over $246,000 in debt…NOT including his home.

His credit score was a 585. He had 98 separate late payments on his credit report and he had $20,300 worth of debt that was in collections.

And the kicker? The man I was speaking to…WAS A DOCTOR! This 12 year physician had an annual income in excess of $200,000. He was earning nearly 5 times the national average. Yet he couldn’t pay his bills and he was drowning in debt and payments.

Earning more income and having more money WILL NOT cause you to win financially. No matter what your income is, this truth remains: You have to live on less than you make! If you spend more than you make, you will be BROKE!

The Bible has a good tidbit of wisdom on this subject:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” –Luke 16:10

That’s not religious or spiritual mumbo-jumbo. That’s just common-sense. If you blew $500 of my money, why in the world would I trust you with $5,000. If you don’t budget a small income, why would you think you could budget a larger one? If you aren’t able to manage a small amount of money, why do you think you could manage more?

Whether you make $20,000 per year or $200,000 per year, you have to make the conscience decision to budget and plan and manage it. No matter how much money you have, you have to be intentional in the way you use it.

You can reach your financial goals and you can have the life you want. But it’s up to you to make the choices and take the steps to get there! Now get about the business of making it happen.

Yours In Freedom,


**If you want some guidance and direction on how to meet your financial goals,contact us today for a Free 30 Minute Consultation.

16 Things To Avoid Buying Used

May 25th, 2011 at 10:32 am

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

Last week I wrote about finding great bargains by buying certain items “used.” You can find some fantastic deals at garage sales or on Craigslist and eBay. However, there are certain items where buying “pre-owned” can lead to great disappointment instead of great savings. I want you to save some money. But I also want you to be smart about how you make your purchases.

So to help you make wise purchases, I present:

16 Things To Avoid Buying Used

1. Laptops – When we were young and broke, we received a “refurbished” laptop as a gift. It died completely within 4 months. My sister-in-law experienced the same refurb-disappointment. Because they are so portable, laptop computers are exposed to a lot of abuse…bangs, drops, spills and overheated car trunks. And you may never know how badly one has been mistreated or when the essential parts may give out completely. Computers in general are pretty delicate and it is best to buy new.

2. Recreational Safety Gear – Most recreational safety gear is made to withstand only 1 accident. For instance, bike helmets are built to protect your noggin from crashing into the pavement 1 time. The problem is that a crash usually only crushes the foam inside the helmet. So you may never know that it’s already taken a good beating.

3. Tires – In our broke, pre-debt-free days, we had purchased used tires without realizing the risk. The problem is that you will never know if the tires have experienced a serious crash. Tires that have been involved in an auto accident are potentially unstable and very dangerous. For the sake of safety, stick with new tires that have been properly installed.

4. Software – The majority of all software programs are given a serial number that the owner is required to register with the software company. Once it’s been registered, it can’t be used again. The exception to this rule is computer games. Often times you can purchase used games with no problem.

5. HDTV’s – Whether you are in the market for LCD, Plasma or LED, plan to buy new. The cost for fixing or replacing the parts on these HDTV’s can sometimes cost more than the TV cost brand new. Defect rates are relatively low. However, problems with this technology are still quite common and the TV’s themselves do not stand up well to being moved around much.

6. DVD Players – Buying used DVD’s is a great idea. But the lasers in DVD players do wear out eventually. And with the he cost to repair a DVD player maybe more than it cost to buy one brand new.

7. Digital Cameras, Video Cameras and Camera Lenses – Much like laptops, digital cameras and video cameras can suffer a lot of abuse. Even if there appears to be no defect, there is potential for problems that can be very expensive to repair. If you do your homework, you can get some great bargains on new digital and video cameras.

The lens is the most important and most expensive piece of an SLR camera. They are very sensitive and even minor damage can affect the quality of your photos. When it comes to camera lenses, stick with new.

8. Underwear, Socks and Swimsuits – Do I really even need to mention this. Let me make it simple…DON’T BUY USED UNDERWEAR! Hopefully this one is self-explanatory.

9. Speakers – Whether you are buying speakers for your home or your car, keep in mind that these are very sensitive pieces of equipment. They do not stand up well to being blasted or mishandled and their performance can head downhill in a hurry.

10. Vacuum Cleaners – Vacuum cleaners are one of the most heavily used appliances in most households and they typically have a rough life. Many can cost more to repair than it would cost to buy one new.

11. Mattresses – This is another item that should be obvious, so let me state it plainly…DON’T BUY YSED MATTRESSES! Do you really want to sleep with somebody else’s mold, bacteria, dust mites and bodily fluids? Even the very best mattresses are supposed to be thrown out after 8-10 years. And you may never know how long a used mattress has been around.

12. Bedding/Towels – See above about mattresses and underwear. Please think this through!

13. Shoes – If someone else’s foot sweat and athlete’s foot isn’t enough to keep you from buying used shoes, keep in mind that shoes mold to the feet that wear them. Buying shoes that are molded to someone else’s feet can be very uncomfortable and can actually cause health problems. Shop for bargains and buy last year’s styles. But don’t buy pre-used footwear.

14. Hats – Most hats are never cleaned. So in buying a used hat, you never know if you are also buying old sweat, hair products, lice and even skin disease. Anything that is going to be that close to your skin, stick with new.

15. Makeup – Speaking of skin…makeup is a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and contagious diseases. Think pink eye and cold sores. Buy your makeup new and sealed.

16. Pet Supplies – Most dogs and cats aren’t known for their overwhelming cleanliness. Old odors, stains and even diseases may be present in used pet beds and other supplies. Protect little Rover or Mittens, and the smell of your house, and stick with buying new when it comes to pet supplies.

When you are in the middle of working your Debt Snowball or trying to reach a financial goal, it is always a great idea to look for big bargains and big savings. But be wise, do your homework, and make smart purchases that you won’t regret. Don’t end up wasting a bunch of money for the sake of saving a few dollars.

Keep up the good work!

Yours In Freedom,


Join in the conversation… what items have you bought “used” that ended up being a mistake?

20 Things To Avoid Buying New

May 20th, 2011 at 02:26 pm

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

You can call them “used”, “second-hand”, “pre-loved”, or “broken-in.” But in a time where money is tight or when you are intent on paying off debt or reaching a financial goal, it will do your wallet good for you to consider buying certain items “pre-owned.” It may take a little extra time and searching, but you can find high quality items that are in excellent condition. So let someone else pay the over-inflated retail price. You get about the business of saving some money.

To help in your quest for frugality, I present:

20 Things To Avoid Buying New

1. DVDs and CDs – If taken care of, CD’s and DVD’s will play just as good as when they were brand new. Even if you sacrifice the original case, you can get your entertainment for a lot less.

2. Books – If there’s a book you want to read, you might first try to borrow it from your local library. If they don’t have it, or you need to own the book, you can get significant discounts online or at used book stores.

3. Video Games – Most kids play a video game, beat it, and then move on to the next conquest. Don’t spend $60 for a new game when you can wait a few months and get it at a huge discount. Check sites like eBay and Amazon, or even your local Blockbuster.

4. Special Occasion and Holiday Clothing – There are times that you need formal clothes for a special occasion, or special outfits for the holidays. Rather than pay retail for these one-time wears, shop thrift stores, yard sales or buy from online re-sellers. You can find some huge bargains.

5. Cars – You already know this – new cars lose up to 70% of their value in the first 4 years. Let someone else pay the premium price for the new car smell. Buy a reliable used car that has been inspected by an independent mechanic. And, you will generally pay the least when buying direct from the owner.

6. Jewelry – Jewelry suffers drastic depreciation as soon as it is worn. Diamonds in particular have an unbelievably low re-sell value. But if you are in the market for a nice jewelry purchase, you can take advantage of the markdown and get a great value. Check reputable pawn shops and jewelry resale shops. Just make sure you get an independent appraisal when buying diamonds.

7. Furniture – Furnishing a home or office can be incredibly expensive. Take advantage of the reduced price of high-quality, gently used furniture. Even if something needed to be re-upholstered or painted, you can find great bargains. Check Craigslist and yard sales. You can also negotiate a deal on the floor model at retail stores.

8. Games and Toys – How many board games and toys have you bought that ended up sitting in a closet or box? Don’t pay a premium for new games and toys thatmay only capture your kids’ attention for a few weeks. You can find used toys and games in great condition on craigslist or at yard sales. Or have a “Toy Swap” with another family.

9. Maternity Clothes – Maternity clothes don’t suffer the same wear and tear that every day clothes might. Used maternity clothes may have only been worn for a few months. And it doesn’t make sense for you to pay high retail prices for items you will only wear a few times.

10. Baby Clothes –Borrow baby clothes from friends and family, or shop at yard sales and thrift stores. Your little bundle of joy will look just as cute, and will never know the difference. The money you save can be used to start funding your child’s college fund.

11. Baby Items – Strollers, car seats, and high chairs can cost hundreds of dollars. But you can buy perfectly good used baby items at a huge discount. Just be sure that everything works properly and check that there have been no safety recalls at www.cpsc.gov and www.recalls.gov.

12. Musical Instruments – For a beginning musician, there is rarely any reason to buy new. People, especially kids, are fickle. Playing guitar may sound fun at first, but little Johnny may be bored with it after the first week. Go to a local music store or pawn shop and save a bunch.

13. Auto Parts – With a vehicle that is a little older, you can find reliable, used replacement parts online or at a salvage yard. This will save you a small fortune over buying new from a parts store or repair shop.

14. Pets – Buying a cute little puppy from a breeder or pet store can cost you several hundred or thousands of dollars. Consider adopting your new pet from a local animal shelter or rescue. Both of the dogs we have adopted two dogs and they have both been wonderful companions.

15. Home Accents – As with furniture, home accent pieces can be bought deeply discounted at thrift stores, yard sales and online.

16. Hand Tools – Hammers, wrenches, screw drivers, garden tools…well-made tools will last decades. Skip the big-box store and shop neighborhood yard sales.

17. Sports Equipment – Most people don’t use their high-priced equipment nearly as much as they anticipated. And when it’s time to be re-sold it is still in excellent condition at a fraction of the price. Check Craigslist, eBay and some sporting good stores.

18. Recreational Items – Big ticket items like campers, jet-skis, boats and ATV’s can be found very inexpensively. And often, they have barely even been used.

19. Kids’ clothes and shoes – As soon as you get home from the mall, little Susie has outgrown the new dress you just bought. Rather than buy brand new, use hand-me-downs from friends and family, and shop at consignment shops and thrift stores.

20. Exercise Equipment – We all have a friend whose New-Year’s-Resolution-Impulse-Buy-Treadmill is serving as a coat rack. Let their unfulfilled resolution become your new home gym. And free weights and other equipment can be bought at yard sales for pennies on the dollar.

With just a little extra time and effort, you can save yourself a bundle buying gently used items. You can often buy higher quality items that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. Plus, any extra money you save can go toward paying off debt, building up your Emergency Fund, or saving for larger purchases. Now, go save some money!

Yours In Freedom,


Join the conversation…what great bargain purchases have you made on pre-owned goods?

Do you REALLY Want To Be Debt Free?

May 18th, 2011 at 11:57 am

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

Do you want to be debt free? Of course you do. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. You want to be debt free….your friends, your neighbor, your pastor, your parents and millions of other Americans want to be debt free.

But why? I’m not asking why other people want it, or why you should want it? Why do you want it?

What is your motivation for paying off your debt? You need to know, because it will take hard work, sacrifice and intense teeth-clenching determination to climb this hill. We’re talking about Rocky Balboa training to fight the big Russian…the Little Engine That Could climbing the steep hill…this is an uphill battle!! Broke people all around will make fun of you. Your family will think you’ve lost your mind. Your friends may think you’ve joined a cult. Becoming debt free is not easy! And if you don’t know why you want this, you’ll never be able to achieve it.

So close your eyes for a moment and think about what your motivation is. What will you be able to do in life if you pay off your debt? How will life be different? How will life be better?

For some people, their motivation is their children. You want to pay for your kids’ college or wedding. You want to leave your children an inheritance when you pass from this life. You want to help your children buy their first home.

Others are motivated by the desire to pursue their life’s passion and their true calling. Too many people are stuck in jobs they hate because they have to make huge monthly payments on their debt. Maybe your dream is to open a business. Maybe you have been called to ministry, to be a missionary or to work for a charity organization.

Some people are motivated by the desire to adopt children… to travel…to retire comfortably…to care for aging parents…to be a stay-at-home mom/dad.

Everyone’s motivation is different. But YOU have to know why YOU want to be debt free!

Will it be easy? – NO!
Is it hard work? - YES!
Will you have to make sacrifices? – YES!
Is it worth it? It was for us. But you have to decide for yourself.

For you…for your family…for your goals…for your dreams…for your future…is it worth it?

If it is…what are you waiting for?

Yours In Freedom,


**If we can help you meet your goal of becoming debt free, contact us today to schedule a Free 30-minute consultation.

Tired of Keeping Up With The Joneses

May 13th, 2011 at 11:11 am

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

You know them. They’re the family driving the shiny new cars, wearing the fancy new clothes, going on lavish vacations and sending their 2.3 children to private school. They have no financial worries, no need to budget, no money fights, and no concerns about retirement.

Hey everybody…It’s the Joneses! Everything in their world is easy. They have it all! Or do they?

“It’s not fair…” you may say. “Some people just seem to have it so easy. How do they live so well while I struggle just to pay the bills?”

It’s a good question. How can these young couples in their 20’s and 30’s buy the big house, drive new cars and go out to nice dinners every night? When Katy and I were newlyweds, we lived in a 600 sq. ft. apartment, drove 15 year old cars and regularly had to say no to going to dinner with friends.

Journalist and Author Shira Boss observes, “How we fit in and how we measure up are such an integral part of our financial well-being. We construct a fantasy world around those who have more money, and glorify their lives.”

Everyone in our culture seems obsessed with Keeping Up With The Joneses. But here’s the big secret….the Joneses…are broke

When you begin to ask the “Joneses” in your world, it turns out that they don’t own anything. Their big fancy house has a big hairy mortgage. Their cars, boats and stereo systems are all financed. And their big income is completely spent on payments before their paycheck even hits the mail. They have walked right into the trap of looking good but living broke! With credit cards, home equity loans, and “easy monthly payments,” it’s easy to look like you have more than you really do. But it’s a house of cards, and it won’t stand. Just ask the 2 million people that filed bankruptcy in 2010.

Vacations aren’t nearly as relaxing when you are still paying for them 3 years later. And the shiny new car isn’t as fun to drive when you are scrambling to come up with the $500 payment. The big house is no longer a blessing when the foreclosure notices start to come. This shiny, happy existence looks great from the outside. However, inside you will often find heartache, stress, money fights and fear that the bills may not get paid. This is no way to live….and all of a sudden, keeping up with the Joneses isn’t quite so appealing.

In his book “The Millionaire Next Door,” Thomas Stanley points out that the majority of actual wealthy people got that way by living on less than they make, staying out of debt, and saving their money. But no one looks at the person driving a used car and living in a modest home and thinks, “Wow, they must really be saving and building toward a great future…I bet they’ll be able to pay for their kids’ college…they will sure be able to retire comfortably.” Everybody envies the look of wealth. But very few are willing to do the things that wealthy people do, in order to become wealthy people themselves.

How can the Joneses afford to live that way? The truth is…they can’t.

So the moral of the story is…

Stop comparing yourself to the Joneses…or anyone else for that matter. You don’t need to impress them or anyone else. It’s not worth it!

True contentment comes from within. It’s easy to think that if I just had enough money, or more stuff or this new thing, then I’d be happy. But true contentment and joy come from things that money can’t buy. What are your fondest memories? What are the moments in life that have warmed your heart and made you smile the most? Would you trade any of those for a bigger bank account, larger house or newer car?

Yours In Freedom,


Don't forget to pick up your copy of the free E-book, "Wake-Up Call: The Eye-Opening Truth About Debt, by visiting http://www.DavisCoachingSolutions.com

27 Small Sacrifices To Help You Win With Money

May 10th, 2011 at 03:17 pm

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

-Have you ever asked an Olympic athlete what it takes to win the gold?

-Have you ever asked an entrepreneur what it takes to grow a wildly successful business?

-Have you ever asked a sweet old couple that has been married for 50 years what it takes to stay together through all the ups and downs?

If you haven’t asked…you should. These are examples of people who have overcome the odds and accomplished something great. And when you ask how they did it, near the top of their list of answers will be the word “sacrifice.”

“I think that the good and the great are only separated by
the willingness to sacrifice.”
~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

So what are your great financial goals?
To save money for an emergency fund…to become debt free…to save for kids’ college…to start a business…to pursue your passions…to plan for retirement?

Whatever your goal, this truth remains…if you want to win with money it’s going to require you to make some sacrifices. Nobody wants to make sacrifices. Nobody wants to delay pleasure and gratification. But if your goal is truly important to you, the sacrifice is worth it! And keep in mind, these are short-term sacrifices that enable you to meet your long-term goals. This is doing the hard work now so that you can reap the benefits later. When you get to the finish line (meeting your goal), you can look back and know it was all worth it.

This list doesn’t cover everything, and these may not all apply to your situation. But in order to help you begin to consider specific sacrifices you could make, I present to you:

27 Small Sacrifices To Help You Win With Money

1. Cable/Satellite TV - I know…I know. It’s hard to think about. But maybe you could at least switch to a less expensive package.

2. Your Land Line Home Phone – More and more people are living without a land line.

3. Gym Membership – If you have a membership and aren’t going…cancel it. Even if you are using it, consider working out at home.

4. TV In Multiple Rooms – Do you really need satellite or cable TV in the bedroom? In the kids’ rooms? In the guest room?

5. Your Cell Phone Plan – Maybe you could cut down the number of phones in your household or drop to less expensive plan with lower minutes and text messages.

6. Your Car – Do you have a big car payment on a newer car? It may be time to sell and buy a less expensive, used vehicle. If your family has two cars, consider selling one of them.

7. Your Super High Speed Internet – Do you really need cable internet running at 20-60 Mbps? Chances are if you dropped to 3 Mbps DSL internet you wouldn’t even notice a difference. If you don’t know what Mbps is…you should definitely drop to a cheaper internet provider.

8. Restaurants – You already know that dining out at a restaurant is the most expensive way to eat a meal. Consider boycotting restaurants for a time…or at least limiting how often you dine out.

9. Lawn Service – How much would you be able to save each month if you cut your own grass?

10. Your ?????? Collection – How much money could you make by selling your collection of Beanie Babies, old records, tea pots or antique knitting needles?

11. Your Newspaper Subscription – Anything you can read in the paper is easily accessible online for free.

12. Hiring A Babysitter – Rather than hiring a babysitter when you go out, you could save that money by making an arrangement with another couple you know to swap babysitting. One week, they watch your kids. The next week, you watch theirs.

13. Climate Comfort – Can you cut down your electric/gas bill by setting the temperature in your home a few degrees higher or lower than your ideal?

14. Family Vacation – You may need to forego this year’s trip to the beach or grandma’s in order to accomplish your financial goals. Instead, plan a family “Stay-cation.”

15. Convenience Foods – Of course it’s easier to buy pre-packaged and pre-cooked foods. But you pay extra for that convenience.

16. Kids’ Extra-Curricular Activities – I know this one would be very tough. But kids’ sports and other activities can be very expensive. Your family’s goals may be worth having little Johnny sit this season out.

17. Your Magazine Subscriptions – If you aren’t reading them, cancel the subscriptions. Even if you do read them, would it be worth it to save the money and read free E-zines and blogs instead?

18. Movie Rentals – Instead of paying for your movie rentals, re-watch family favorites that you own or borrow movies for free from your local library.

19. Manicures/Pedicures – I want to tread lightly here and just say that it’s something to think about.

20. Adult Clothes Shopping – Being honest, most of us adults have plenty of clothes and could go without buying more for quite some time.

21. Auto Detailing – Instead of dropping off your car to be washed and detailed, do this work yourself at home.

22. Retirement Saving – This one may seem backward. But if your goal is to become debt free or save your emergency fund, it is in your best interest to hit “pause” on your retirement contributions so that all your income can go toward these more urgent goals.

23. Fancy Salon Hair Cuts – Just like with the mani/pedi’s I’ll be careful here. But both women and men can spend a lot of money at a fancy salon.

24. Kids’ Clothes Shopping – While kids undoubtedly need new clothes more often, you can save a bunch by shopping at thrift stores, consignment sales and discount stores.

25. Clip Coupons – I’m not saying you have to take up “Extreme Couponing.” But it may be worth the sacrifice of time to implement a couponing system for your household purchases.

26. Switch to Generics – Everything from medicine to groceries to laundry detergent comes in a generic version. Often you get the same quality with less fancy packaging.

27. Work Extra Hours or Get a 2nd Job – Is it fun? No. Will you be tired? Yes. But it may be worth the sacrifice to achieve financial greatness!

Yours In Freedom,


Join The Conversation…what are you willing to sacrifice in order to win with money?

Are You Eating Away Your Future?

May 5th, 2011 at 08:03 am

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

Several years ago when we finally decided to take control of our money, we took a close look at our spending. We were absolutely blown away when we realized how much we were spending on dining out. On average, we were spending well over $300/month…for just the 2 of us.

You may spend more or less. But let’s work with this figure for now. Let’s say that from age 25-65 we spent $300 per month on dining out. This is really a conservative figure because we are assuming that those costs would never rise and that we would never be spending money on kids’ meals out.

Spending $300 per month for 40 years equals $144,000 spent on dining out! That number blew me away, and I hope it blows you away too.

Now let’s imagine that we invested that same amount. $300 per month invested for 40 years with an average annual return of 12% would equal $3,092,912.61. Are you kidding me?? Let’s say I’m overestimating the rate of return on the investments. What if we only averaged 8% annual return, which is much lower than the stock market’s 50 year average. That would still be $1,007,211.74!

But let’s be honest here, I love dining out. Who doesn’t? So I’m not suggesting that you never dine out. I am, however, challenging you to consider how you are spending your money.

We have cut our restaurant budget down to $140/month. That’s $160 per month less than we used to spend. Let’s say that we invest just the extra $160 per month for the next 40 years. At an average 12% annual return, that will give us an extra $1,649,553.39.

Well over a 1.5 million dollars earned for retirement simply by investing our saved restaurant money!

And what did we sacrifice for it? Not much…we still go out for dinner at least once per week.

Small choices and sacrifices can add up to huge results. Instead of spending mindlessly, you must be conscious of your choices if you want to win with money. Take the time to sit down and evaluate the amount your family is spending on restaurants. You could literally be eating away your future.

Yours In Freedom,


Join The Conversation…by how much will you commit to reducing your restaurant budget?

25 Things You don't Know About Me

May 3rd, 2011 at 01:44 pm

The original post can be found here: Debt Free

You know, I’m a real person with a real life and a real story…just like you. You can learn a little about me (and Katy) by reading Our Financial Success Story at http://daviscoachingsolutions.com . But that is only a quick overview of a small part of who we are. As a blogger or author, it’s actually kind of difficult to find your authentic voice and not “put on a show.” But I don’t want to come across as a watered-down version of myself, and I want you to have a good feel for who I really am.

So to help you get to know me a bit better, here are:

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me!

1. I have a large blended family…1 birth-brother, 4 step-brothers, 1 step-sister, 1 adopted sister, and 1 “unofficially adopted” sister. It’s great to have so many people to love. But it adds up to a lot of birthday parties, Christmas presents, and family events. By the way…Katy has 3 birth-sisters and 1 adopted sister.

2. I spent 4 years in ministry work in San Diego, CA, and 2 years as a youth minister in Texas.

3. I play guitar…well, I play well enough to fake it. Katy always tries to get me to play for her. So I picked up the guitar a couple of weeks ago and realized that I have lost all my calluses, so my fingers were nearly bleeding. Also, at different times I have taken violin and piano lessons.

4. I was a professional wrestler. As a boy growing up, I had always been a huge fan, and becoming a professional wrestler had always been a dream of mine. So, for 1 ½ years I wrestled with a small, local wrestling organization.

5. I have a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach-1. It needs some work and hasn’t been driven in a few years. But it’s one of those things that us guys know is still a big deal.

6. American Idol and America’s Got Talent are my guilty pleasure shows. I think it’s my secret desire to be a rock-star or magician. I can’t miss these when they’re on.

7. I was hit by a car. When I was in 7th grade, I was run over by a car on the way to a high school football game. The car ran a red light, and just kept going. They never caught the driver, but I ended up having to have my ankle reconstructed. I’m very blessed that it wasn’t way worse.

8. Katy and I had the pleasure of swimming with dolphins on our honeymoon. I was never a huge fan of Flipper, but this was one of the cooler experiences of my life. I highly recommend it.

9. I was named after Clint Eastwood. Go ahead…make my day.

10. For several years I was involved in 3 forms of martial arts: Tae Kwon Do, Ishinryu, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

11. I’m an irritable driver. When I’m driving, I regularly talk (gripe) to the other cars. I get frustrated easily in heavy traffic. This is something I’m working on.

12. I generally don’t enjoy the outdoors. My idea of camping is at least a 4 star hotel. Ok, maybe I can rough it a little more than that, but most of my good times happen indoors.

13. I recently ate my first vegan meal. It was surprisingly tasty, but I definitely don’t plan to give up meat any time soon. I love a good steak.

14. I love Mexican Food. Katy and I usually eat some type of Mexican food 2-3 times per week…mostly homemade (I guess cheese enchiladas aren’t exactly vegan friendly either).

15. I love seeing someone pursue their best life. The part of ministry that I really have missed is having the opportunity to regularly contribute to people’s lives in a meaningful way. That’s why I love coaching.

16. I am generally uninterested in sports. It’s fun to sit around with friends and watch the Super Bowl, and we will catch a Texas Rangers game occasionally. But watching sports isn’t usually the way I like to spend my time.

17. The majority of my beverage consumption consists of Sprite Zero and coffee. I know…I know…there are many people out there preaching the evils of diet soda. And I know too much coffee can be bad as well. I am trying to cut down and drink much more water.

18. I would much rather cook than clean. This often works out since Katy doesn’t mind cleaning. So often I’ll cook while she cleans.

19. I love speaking to large groups. I feel much more comfortable speaking in front of thousands than I do speaking to 5.

20. I am not a fan of a hot or cold climate. My dream climate is 70 degrees, all day every day (for example, San Diego, CA). Unfortunately, Texas doesn’t offer this. But I still love living in Texas.

21. I have worked on a farm, in a bowling alley, at Petco, and as a School Bus driver.

22. I like to expand people’s minds on a particular subject, and thoroughly enjoy when people are able to do the same for me.

23. I have preached 2 funerals. In both cases, I did not actually know the deceased.

24. Katy and I got married only 10 months after we began dating. We knew it was love from the beginning.

25. I’m surprised at how easy it was to complete this list. I thought I would have a much harder time coming up with this many somewhat-interesting things about myself. I highly recommend you give it a try, especially if you have your own blog or journal.

26. I like to do more than is expected. Remember the title of this post?

27. I always want to create content that is genuinely helpful to our readers. I know it’s still early, but I’d love to know what you think of the content so far, so leave us your comments. Also, if you have any questions about your finances, budget, or debts, leave those in the comments and I will likely write a post about it in the very near future. I really do appreciate your feedback.

Yours In Freedom,


Join the conversation…what is something remarkable about you that most people don’t know?