You are never too rich to take advantage of a discount. Don't forget to look for and take advantage of discounts once you're beyond a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. You are never too rich to make good financial decisions.
Avoiding D.E.B.T. Tip of the Day:
Don't blow all your bill money on a few hours of fun this weekend. A good time is not worth starving and stressing out for an entire week. Have fun at your level because living like someone else will leave you broke.
Avoiding D.E.B.T. Tip of the Day
Fellas, be yourself at all times. If you are going through some hard times, let your woman know. Lying about your issues will only make it worse and cost you more in the long run. Keeping up lies about your finances is expensive. It's much cheaper to simply be honest. If she doesn't stick around because of your short-term problems, she isn't worth keeping anyway.
I know we like to view ourselves as being supportive and an asset to our love partners, but is this perception a reflection of reality or just an aspiration? During my sessions, I typically find the later to be more accurate. Most people seem to believe they are doing a good job of being an asset to their mate, but come up short when their actions are put under the microscope. Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself to determine how much of an asset you are.
1. Do you really understand your partners' lifestyle desires? Sure, he or she may talk to you about career goals, but what about lifestyle goals? Are you sure your wife wants to have more than one child, if any? Are you certain your husband doesn't mind taking any job which enables him to provide for the family? Write down what you believe your partners' lifestyle desires are and then go and ask them what they are? How accurate is your list when compared to the answers your partner provided? If more than thirty percent of your answers are wrong, you really need to look into what that means. Everything begins with knowing those desires. How can you be assisting your partner with reaching their lifestyle desires if you don't really know what they are?
2. Is the pursuit of your lifestyle desires causing your partner to lose out on his or her dreams? This is a tough question to answer, but it must be addressed. Far too often, the desires of one person inhibits their partners'. This behavior creates resentment, and it bears its ugly face years after vows of everlasting love were exchanged. It can be a relationship killer, and this seems to be occurring more frequently than ever before. The most successful relationships allow each person to realistically pursue and achieve the majority of his or her lifestyle desires. If you aren't spending at least one quarter of your time and money on the pursuit of achieving your partners' goals, a significant change needs to happen.
3. Do you believe your lifestyle dreams are more important than your partners'? This way of thinking is more common in relationships than many would expect. We live in a society that breeds selfishness, and it shows up in our relationships. People who think this way because they want to suppress the dreams of others. They've become convinced that fulfilling their lifestyle ambitions will satisfy the desires of others. We often assume everyone wants to be wealthy and have a beautiful family, but that can be far from the truth. Wealth can never fully quench a thirst for personal and social relevance. People like to be respected for their skills and money doesn't meet that desire. Your professional accolades cannot completely fulfill the lifestyle desires of your mate. If you truly believe your dreams are more important than your partners, it is time for a change in thinking. Successful relationships require high consideration for both partners' dreams.
How a lack of debt and our faith helped us to survive a failed engine, unexpected parking tickets, and other surprising expenses over the last 2 weeks.
Two weeks ago, I felt great about my finances. My wife and I had little debt, a decent savings and we both were working. Compared to a few years ago, we were doing great and then it happened. We were paid a visit by some unwelcome guest; better known as unexpected expenses. Our first visitor came bearing the gift of a broken engine. Yes, my wife's car decided to stop working while I was driving to my parent's house. Obviously, we were surprised and had some very important decisions to make. Last year we paid off both of our vehicles and now we had to make a decision. We had to decide between using our savings as a down payment on a newer car, purchasing a used car, or getting another engine. After thinking about it for one day, we decided to go with fixing the engine. We were accustom to not paying a car note and didn't want to buy another vehicle that we really didn't desire. I immediately started making calls to get some estimates for engine replacement and the initial figures I received were discouraging. Several auto repair shops were quoting me prices that were $2,000 to $3,000 more than what I was expecting to pay. Finally, after contacting one of my brothers in Christ, I found a more reasonable price quote. He gave me some numbers of a few parts dealers where I could find a good but reasonably priced engine and told me he would replace the engine once it arrived. After searching for this engine for two days, I found a replacement engine and scheduled it to be delivered to my friend from church. At this point I had a pretty good grasp of how much money I would need to replace my old engine and began to take money out of my savings to cover the cost. As I went to retrieve this money, I decided to take a few more thousand out of the account; just in case the cost of this repair increased and to get ahead of some other bills. While waiting for the car to be fixed, I paid off a small balance credit card and paid my auto insurance premium. I also paid off a few parking tickets my wife had gotten over the past few months. All seemed well until I got a call from my mechanic. The car was ready but needed to go back to the dealership so that the computer could be re-flashed (reprogrammed). This re-flash was only supposed to cost me roughly $100 but the service team at the dealership said they needed to do another $1,700 worth or work on the car before it would be drivable. In the past, this type of news would have sent me into an uncontrolled rage, but my faith in God kept me calm. I called my mechanic back and had him talk to the service people at the dealership and suddenly I only needed $400 worth of work done to fix the car. It turns out that the dealership was about to replace something that didn't need to be replaced. Sounds like a familiar story, doesn't it? A week or so had past and my vehicle was ready to be picked up. After sharing one car with my wife for one week, I was happy to hear her car was ready. It was too late in the day to pick up the car that same day; so I planned to get it the following day. But, there was another problem waiting for me that night. My wife called me to inform me that we owed almost $1,000 to the city for parking tickets. I couldn't believe what she was telling me. We paid off so many red light camera and parking tickets last year that I couldn't believe there were more left over. It turned out that when we paid off all these fines to renew our vehicle registration; some of the tickets were not brought to our attention and the balances grew over time. I was in shock and definitely didn't plan for these expenses. These type of things were not supposed to happen to me because I plan our finances so meticulously, but that's just life. My wife and I just looked at each other and we shared a few laughs about these crazy couple of weeks. We knew these matters had to be taken care of and decided not to let it stress us out. Our faith and past experiences helped us to cope with these temporary hardships. I used some of the money we had left in savings to pay all the fines and began to reflect on what had just occurred. I began to realize how blessed we were to be able to take care of all these unexpected expenses. Just a few years ago this situation would have destroyed us, but our dedication to reducing debt helped us to take on this challenge. Had we not paid off both car loans, reduced our credit card debt to nearly nothing, and paid off other expenses; we would've been in serious trouble. These type of things happen and sticking to our plan really paid off.
When you get tired of being fiscally responsible and feel the need to stop following your budgeting plans; remember this story. Unexpected events will always occur and one day your good financial habits will save you and your family from disaster. God bless!
Lately, I've noticed a troublesome trend while speaking with people about their ideas of wealth and poverty. There seems to be a serious increase in opinions about the lifestyles and personal matters of celebrities. I'm constantly hearing stories about the financial statuses of Jay-z, Beyonce, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Warren Buffet, P.Diddy, 50 Cent, Real Housewives, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Tiger Woods, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Justin Beber, Kobe Bryant, Mark Zuckerburg and many more. It seems that the efforts of the news media, reality television show producers, and other members of the media that feed off of celebrity reporting have finally paid off. They have convinced too many people to pay more attention to the financial matters of others than their own. Hours are spent watching celebrity reality shows in hope of gaining the smallest amount of insight about celebrity lifestyle habits. Countless minutes are spent reading magazine articles about the everyday life of the newest pop stars and movie stars. If you think I'm lying, check out the top internet searches of 2012 and I'm sure celebrity names will dominant the rankings. While so much time is being spent paying attention to others, most people I've spoken to do not even spend 1-2 hours per week managing their finances. I know what you're probably thinking. Why would anyone do such a thing? Well I challenge you to count the minutes you spend per week paying attention to the lifestyles of others. If you're honest, the results will probably be more than you expected. When you add up the time spent paying attention others on your cellphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, and television, the hours can accumulate quickly. But don't get too down on yourself; this is normal behavior in our society. We've all fallen into this trap from time to time, but now is the time to break out of this cycle. Make a commitment to yourself to look over your finances at least 2-3 hours per week. I'm not talking about simply checking your checking account balances or peaking at your 401k. You need to do a full review of your finances. How much debt are you carrying? What are your total credit card balances? Are your debts growing faster than your income? How much money do you have in savings? What bills are you close to paying off? These and similar questions should be answered during these reviews. Doing this will not only increase your likelihood of achieving financial freedom, it will help you to live your own dreams instead of watching the dreams of others.
Avoiding D.E.B.T. Tip of the Day
Think about your dreams before you sign the dotted line. Debt robs people of their time, money, and dreams. Don't allow it to steal your dreams by underestimating the impact it can have on your life. While we need to acquire some debt to keep up with the cost of living; we don't have to allow it to ruin our lives. Limit the amount of debt you agree to and enjoy living out your dreams.