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Friday, March 26, 2010

Livin on the Edge...of bankruptcy

According to the Wall Street Journal 70% of Americans consider themselves living "paycheck to paycheck." So what happens when you come home to tell your spouse that the income is gone? Is that leased car looking so cool? Is the "no-money-down-mortgage" you felt was a dream-come-true seem like such a blessing? Is the "no interest for 5 years" furniture looking as beautiful? Are you beginning to feel the weight of the gold and platinum plastic that you've been carrying around?
This is not the American Dream. This is the American nightmare. Sadly, far too many Americans have bought into it hook, line and sinker. Using Other People's Money for purchases isn't liberating, it's enslaving. It shackles you to a life of payments.
Debt is not a way to win. It's a way of guaranteeing a life of losing. As Proverbs 22:7 states, "the borrower is SLAVE to the lender."

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Expense of Stupidity

Ever paid stupid tax? Financial author Dave Ramsey defines stupid tax as "doing anything stupid that costs you money." I think everyone has paid stupid tax. The new cell phone you "needed." The "no-money-down" house. Waiting a little too long to have that squeaking noise coming from your wheels looked at. Blowing several hundred dollars you don't really have beacause you "deserve" a plasma TV. We've all done something stupid with our money.
The issue is not if something stupid has been done. The question is, will it end? Are you willing to delay pleasure? Are you willing to tell the tantrum-throwing, three-year-old kid inside you to shut up? Are you mad enough at your financial situation to actaully change your behavior?
It's time. It's time to stop spending money you really don't have to buy stuff you really don't need to impress people you really don't like. It's time to think before making a purchase, instead of dreading it after you made it. It's time to be done with the stupidity, and paying for it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just Do It!

What is the key to effective money management? Are there secrets those who are winning with money have that no one else knows? Hardly. I'm not a mega-millionaire. I'm still learning what winning with money means. But this much I have learned. I have learned to win with money, the key is to modify behavior. If you want to win with money, stop doing what you are currently doing. If you are using credit cards to make most of your purchases, stop it! Imagine for a moment if you took all the money being paid to your credit card companies each month, and instead put it in a savings or money market account to catch all of life's emergencies. How much would be there in a year?
The key to being smart with money is not to fill your head with more information. Most Americans know they are overextended on credit, need to save for emergencies, and should live on a budget. The key to winning with money is to DO IT! Take what is in your head, and let it influence your actions. Money management is not theoretical. Money management is highly practical