It's Friday and your paycheck has been deposited into your bank account. The feeling you get from this bi-weekly, twice per month, or weekly event can be described as euphoric. You can now pay your bills, give your offering, take care of your family and attempt to pay any other responsibilities that need attention. But, what were you able to do for yourself?
The answer to the previous question can be a great indicator of your financial well-being. If you are not able to spend any of your paycheck on something outside of bills; then you have a serious problem that needs immediate attention. Working just to pay bills for a long period of time leads to depression and desperation. This lifestyle is unhealthy for you and your friends and family. It cultivates envy, greed, jealousy, hate, pessimism and just an overall nasty disposition. If this is happening to you, then please hear me out. Today, you need to begin to change everything and it begins with your thoughts.
The first step you must take to get back to having the ability to pay yourself is to accept the need for a new way of thinking. I'm not talking about accepting slogans like; "Save for a rainy day" or "A penny saved is a penny earned", you need to give up your concept of personal finance. You must let go of the bad financial habits you learned from your childhood. The bad example your parent's presented can no longer be a clutch for your financial failures. Family members that filled your head with foolish financial principles must be forgiven. Most of all, you have to accept that you are bad with money, but that doesn't mean you can't get better.
The second step is to accept one concept about personal finance that will always be true; other people will always want some or all of your money and it is your job to protect it. Your government, employer, business associates, local and national retailers, family members and friends want some of your income and it's not their job to look out for your financial stability. They will come with smiles on their face and some will have good intent, but the goal remains the same; to get some of your money. Heck, even I want some of your money, but not too much (insert smiley face). While I am in no way advocating financial isolation, I do believe we all must fight to protect our financial well-being. This means sitting down and determining what percentage of your income can be given away without the loss of financial stability. If you don't know your number/percentage, then how can anyone else respect it?
The next step is figuring out your number/percentage. I'm sure many of you are wondering how to come up with this figure. Is it based on the recommendation of some website or financial expert? Is there some formula out there that can best determine your number? While those people and things are useful, it all begins with you. You must determine what percentage of your money should be retained. This number belongs to you and it will hold more value if it's a figure you come up with. The best part about this number is that it can never be wrong if it stays above 0. As long as you are paying yourself something, you are doing better than you were before.
If you need help with figuring out your number, visit our budget-calculators page and use one of our many personal finance calculators . You can also pick up a copy of my new book, "Did Everything But Think" (eBook and paperback), to find more help. If you need additional assistance, leave a message for me along with your email address on my contact page.
For the second time in 12 months the mega-million jackpot has reached an all-time high and lottery fever is in the air. Though the odds may be long, (roughly 1 in 125,000,000), many people flock to their local lottery ticket vendors to gain a chance of winning. So, let's say you happen to win the jackpot; what would be your next move?
Here are a few options to consider:
Option 1: Immediately get out of town
For some people, getting away from the general public and family would be their first move after winning so much money. These people fear the possibility of others attempting to take advantage of their generosity or close family and friends showing up with consistent pleas for help. Before calling a financial advisor or contacting a lawyer; these individuals want to ensure their physical and mental safety.
Option 2: Quit the day job
The opportunity to walk away from the typical 8-5 day job is too tempting for some to pass up. Before leaving town, calling a financial advisor or lawyer, or reaching out to family; these individuals will begin their new life by quitting their job. They have been waiting for an excuse to leave their job and winning the jackpot presents a unique opportunity. Minutes after hearing their numbers called; these people will find a way to contact their employer and quit.
Option 3: Nothing
Winning the jackpot is such a life changing event that some people will opt to do nothing for a short time, due to being overwhelmed. These individuals wouldn't run away or call an attorney, they would continue to live as they did before winning the jackpot. The reasons for doing so would vary, but overall they would not change anything until they were comfortable with moving forward.
Click the survey below to vote on which of the three options you are more likely to choose. Also, add your own options in the comment box.
Disclosure: The best way to handle any financial issues is to create a plan that best pays off your debt. They lottery should never be a debt pay down plan, and if it is, contact me when you lose. I will make sure to provide you with a realistic method of paying off your debt.
Avoiding D.E.B.T. Tip of the Day: Don't purchase stuff to prepare for the end of the world. If it's the end of the world; what's the point!
P.S. Don't stock up on food for a home that you're about to get evicted from! SMH
Avoiding D.E.B.T. Tip of the Day: Take a break from the influence of greed. Turn off the television, desktop, laptop, tablet, and smart phone at least one non-sleeping hour per day.
The Best Black Friday in store T.V. and Tablet Sales
Best 30-39inch LED T.V. Sales
Apex 32” LED T.V. Radio Shack $199.99
Proscan 32” LED T.V. Kmart $229.99
(Back up sale with similar priced32” LED T.V. Wal-Mart, Sears, Target)
Samsung 39” LED TV. Walmart Friday 5am $398.00
(Also available at Best Buy)
Best 40-49 inch LED TV Sales
Samsung 40” class LED 1080p HDTV Kmart & Sears $429.99
Samsung 40” LED 1080p 3D HDTV Best Buy $497.00
Samsung 46” Smart Wifi LED HDTV Wal-Mart Thursday 10pm $598.00
Samsung 46” Smart 3D LED HDTV Best Buy $648.00
(backup Samsung 46” LED Sears $699.00)
Best 50-59 inch LED HDTV Sales
Toshiba 50” 1080p LED HDTV Best Buy $399.99
(closest backup Samsung 50” LED HDTV Target $699.99)
Samsung 55” 1080p LED 240 Hz HDTV Best Buy $799.99
(Backup Samsung 1080p LED HDTV Sears $879.99 K-Mart $899.99)
Best 60-69 inch LED HDTV Sales
Vizio E601i-A3 60-inch LEDHDTV(Thursday 10pm Wal-Mart $688
(next closest Sharp 60” 1080 HDTVFriday 5am Wal-Mart $998)
Wal-Mart is also selling a Flat Panel T.V. Wall mount Thursday 10pm $39.00
Best LCD 1080p HDTV Sales
40” LCD 1080p HDTV’s
Toshiba 40" 1080p LCD HDTV Best Buy $179.99
Emerson 40" 1080p LCD HDTV [Thursday 10pm] Wal-Mart $198.00
50” LCD 1080 HDTV’s
Proscan 50" class LCD 1080p HDTV K-Mart [Thursday 8pm] $288.00
Emerson 50" 1080p LCD HDTV Wal-Mart [Friday 5am $298.00
Toshiba 50" 1080p LED/LCD HDTV (Thursday) Sears $299.99
Best Tablet Sales
Kindle Fire 8G w Free $30 Best Buy Gift Card (Best Buy) $159.99
HD version 16G$199.99 w Free $30 Best Buy Gift Card
Apple iPad2 Best Buy (16GB) $399.99
Apple iPad2 w $75.00 Wal-Mart Gift Card Thursday 10pm (16GB) $399.99
Black Friday Shopping Tip:
Shop at Targets, Sears, and Best Buy's located near or next to Wal-Mart locations. If Wal-Mart is your preferred Black Friday store, find isolated locations. Here’s a good one!
112 Carroll Island Rd, Middle River, MD 21220
Black Friday is less than 2 weeks away and the promotional campaign is in full effect. Wal-Mart, BestBuy, Sears and all the other major retailers have put out their ads. The major new networks have begun to report on holiday shopping trends and this year's best Black Friday deals. Everything seems to be in place for retailers to have another successful Black Friday sales weekend, but are you ready?
The year 2012 has been a tough for most consumers and the ability to splurge during the holiday season without serious financial consequences seems to be growing weaker. Most consumers have not fully recovered from the recent recession and will need to depend on credit or neglect past-due bills to take advantage of most Black Friday sales. Replacing an old flat-tube or plasma television for prices in the low $200 and $400 range is way too tempting for many people to avoid. They have been struggling for more than a year and could use a reward for their hard work. But, is it worth the long term and short term cost? While some may believe the answer is always no, I don't believe that to be true.
I am sure some of you are wondering why someone that advocates destroying debt would encourage people to spend money that could be used to pay off their debt. Wouldn't it make more sense for most people to pay down their debt before spending money on luxuries? While, I do find that to be true for most people, there are situations where I believe people should go ahead and buy a few things during this holiday shopping season. Here are a few for you to think about.
The Depression Scenario: Most people have a difficult time dealing with debt problems and financial struggles over a long period of time. Living with these issues can trigger a major depression and even cause some to harm themselves. One way to combat these issues is to occasionally participate in events like Black Friday. This should only be done in moderation to be effective.
The Relationship Saver: Couples that have not been able to give much too each other because of financial strains should occasionally treat each other to a nice gift. Events like Black Friday are a good opportunity to fulfill that task. This small break from fiscal responsibility could be the difference between staying married and heading towards divorce. While I would not recommend anyone to go overboard and risk losing possessions to purchase gifts for their significant other; it is something that could be effective in moderation.
Neglected Children: No child deserves to consistently miss out on gifts because of the financial problems that their parents created. If temporarily falling behind on 1 or 2 bills can lead to a child being temporarily relieved from the financial stress within their household, it is worth it.
Agree or Disagree?
Avoiding D.E.B.T. Tip of the Day: Don't marry someone that requires a lifestyle greater than your financial capabilities. If they are too expensive; leave them on the shelf for the someone else.
After a long and overbearing presidential race, President Barack Obama has been re-elected. We no longer have to wonder who will lead our nation for the next 4 years and all major political campaigning can be put aside for a few years. The president and the DNC ran a great campaign and both should enjoy their victory, but the battle to improve the economy has just begun.
Will President Obama be able to lead our nation into economic prosperity? Will congress come together to help improve this nation, instead of playing politics? I believe the answers to these questions are not as important as many people may think. Why? The answer is simple; government does not dictate the direction of the economy. That charge remains firmly in the grasp of all American citizens.
We must make the important decisions that will dictate the direction of the U.S. economy. We will have to decide if we will continue to support companies that ship jobs American jobs overseas. We must be motivated to create new ways to address our constant need for energy and convenience. Most importantly, we must hold all politicians responsible for fulfilling their promises.
President Obama and all other winners from last night's election have made a lot of promises, but we can't accept another 40 - 60 percent fulfillment rate. We must hold them all responsible for their failures. How can we do this? While voting is a powerful tool for us to express our feelings, more is needed to hold politicians accountable for their commitments. We can't simply wait another two years to kick some people out of their government offices. We have to address their failures by cutting off the money supply. If political season promises are not kept, don't contribute a dime towards the next campaign. We should stop supporting all companies and organizations that openly support these promises breakers. Money talks in D.C. and it is time for our voices to be heard. This is where the opportunity to improve our government resides and we must use it to our advantage.
Avoiding D.E.B.T. Tip of the Day: Don't count on a president to improve your quality of life. Neither Governor Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama are capable of fixing your financial issues.They could give you millions and you still would go broke if you have terrible money management skills.