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Prayer and Finances - What do you think?

June 20th, 2012 at 08:05 pm

Many people believe in prayer but they forget to pray about their financial vision and goals. I personally believe that God is interested in every area of our lives including finances. I believe His plan for all of us is to live debt-free lives, so we can experience joy, peace, and happiness. Debt certainly takes away our joy, peace, and happiness.

Did you know that financial issues are one of the most talked about subjects in the Bible?

If you are interested, there is an awesome website, that offers prayer for your finances, consider visiting this site:

www.inspirational-prayers.com/financial-prayer.html

Do you believe it is important to pray about direction and guidance on how to manage money?

Money and Relationships

August 26th, 2011 at 08:16 am

Money and relationships can be very complex. In a relationship, without proper communication it can cause problems. Everyone goes into the relationship with some similar expectations and some different. It's the differences that need the most attention. It does not matter how old you are or how long you have been with your partner, it is important to talk, touch base, and continuously evaluate your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors regarding money.

One thing I know for sure, if two people that live under one roof are walking in two different directions regarding their financial vision, there will be chaos.

Unfortunately, chaos causes confusion and many other unpleasant emotions. You say, your spouse won't listen and doesn't want to talk about money. That is a very valid argument. My question to you would be: when is the last time you tried talking about money, and how did you approach the subject? Approaching the topic in a nonthreatening way is a start. You might just want to say, "Honey, where do you want to be financially in ten years?" That question may allow you to have an open dialog, and you never know where it will end.

Here are some suggestions to help you set up an opportunity to start talking about money.

• The financial results you are looking to achieve, start living them in front of your partner. If you are still thinking, behaving, and spending the same, why should they change?

• If your partner will not save, you start saving with or without them.

• If you are concerned about having enough for retirement. Come up with a plan, and present the plan to him or her. It may start an unexpected dialog.

• Start living with the end in mind. Whatever your financial goals are, live out the steps to get you there yourself. You might be surprised, in time, your partner may follow.


Yes, money and relationships can be complicated. However, like anything else in life, with a plan, time, and open communication, money and relationships can be a beautiful thing.

What has helped you and your partner when it comes to money and communication?

Do You Trust God or Money?

March 19th, 2011 at 10:29 am

In the past, my idea of security was having God and money. However, in 2001, I found out circumstances can change your ideas and beliefs.

From February 2000 to January 2001, I lost my grandmother, grandfather, and aunt. Thereafter, I discovered I longed to be near my parents in Portland, Oregon. After living in Atlanta for 15 years, May 2001, my husband and I moved to the West Coast. We sold everything we owned, packed up our car and daughter, and took a two-week leisurely road trip to Portland, Oregon. In mid-June we arrived in Oregon, and stayed with my brother and his wife until we purchased our home. In mid-July 2001, we were settled in our new home in Camas, Washington, and ready to start our new life. Our plans included my husband working in the information technology industry, and me staying home raising our daughter. I had worked since I was 13 and I wanted a break.

Well, 9/11 happened. The economy changed. Thousands became unemployed, and businesses were closing and not hiring. At that time I felt lead to start doing business again. We made the decision to have my husband become a stay-at-home dad. He would be the one behind the scenes supporting me and the business. It took time and patience for a training and coaching business to grow from scratch in a new location. Over a two-year period we made some money, but mostly sustained our lifestyle using our savings. I felt financially secure when we arrived, but after going through more than $140,000 over two-years, I was feeling insecure, depressed, worried, fearful, and spiritually I was drained.

I’m going to be honest, my peace and security were gone. For a time, everything I thought I believed in was thrown out the window. I felt God had abandoned us, didn’t like us, and maybe we had done something wrong. One day I cried out and asked Him “Why have I been called to teach people about money and you have us living on our savings and going broke?” His answer, “How can you be effective teaching and ministering to others about money if you’ve never had a money problem?” At that moment it all made sense. Also, at that moment I realized as humans we can make the best plans in the world and have the best intentions, but ultimately God is in control of what happens. When we put our trust, security, and peace in money, material things, and our own efforts -- it is a false sense of security. In 2003, we moved back to Atlanta. We couldn’t wait. We drove six-days straight. When we reached Tennessee my husband started crying. He said, “I’m going to kiss the first mosquito I see in Georgia. I’m so happy, Georgia is home.” Georgia was home. Home really is where your heart is.

One thing I know for sure, life is about learning life-lessons. Either you learn the lessons or you keep repeating them. The lessons I learned during that season was to trust God for everything. He will give us everything we need when we need it, and He will open and close doors as He sees fit.

Today, I have learned to listen to His quiet voice, ask for understanding, pray, and prepare through the season of waiting. Additionally, I’m learning to be obedient even when it doesn’t make sense, and walk through open doors. Most of all, I've learned to be “thankful” for the closed doors, and to be encouraged knowing everything learned good and bad prepares us for a higher purpose.

So I ask you again, have you learned to trust God or Money? What have your learned?

Rent movies for $1...Oh Yeah!

February 21st, 2010 at 03:57 pm

Yesterday my daughter and I went to Wal-Mart. There was a long line in front of a red box. The red box looked like a vending machine. I'm thinking, what is going on here? Come to find out, you can rent movies at Wal-Mart for only $1.

The process is so easy. Its movies in a vending machine! They have a large selection on the screen of the latest movies. You choose the movie(s), pay with your credit card, and the movie comes out of the machine. Just like soda pop. It's too cool. You have until the next day at 9pm to return the movie. You can keep it longer for $1 a day, I believe.

The total charge with fees: $1.06. I never have to purchase a movie again. We returned the movie after church today. It is easy as pie to return the movie. On the screen push the "return DVD" button, put the movie in the slot and it disappears. We rented another movie today.

The name of the movie company is www.redbox.com. You can return the movie anywhere RedBox DVD's operate. I loved Wal-Mart before, but now I really love Wal-Mart. Life sure can't get better then $1 movie rentals.


Are You Preparing for Retirement?

December 12th, 2009 at 10:50 am

Do you sometimes wonder where the years have gone? My thirty's is like a blur. Oh yeah, I remember I had my daughter when I was 35 years old, but what happened before and after that in my thirties? By the time you get use to writing the latest year down, we are already heading into the next one. Time moves swiftly and quickly. And when you look around, you are older, hopefully wiser, and wondering how much time do I have left to reach my goals. .

I meet people daily who dream of retiring one day, but many have never actually implemented a plan of action to make it happen. Retirement doesn't just happen with a hope and prayer, it takes time, preparation, and planning. Regardless of how old you are, one day you will want to stop working or at least work part-time. Do you have a plan to make it happen? Do you or your spouse have a pension? Have you set aside money in your 401K or IRA's? Do you still have 20 or 30 years left on your mortgage?

In this economy or any other, you cannot put the responsibility of your retirement on a company, spouse, or government. Nothing is promised forever, therefore, regardless of your situation or circumstance, it is your responsibility to look out for you. Whether you are married or single, you have to take the responsibility to make sure your future is secure financially. It may mean putting money in a different account for your retirement.

My sister who has two sets of twins, and had always been a stay at home mom decided she wanted to save since her husband is not a saver. What did she do? She got a part-time job in the evenings, stocking shelves, and saved $50,000 in just three years to go towards their retirement. They are only in their early forties, still relatively young.

What about you, what are your financial goals for retirement? Are you working towards meeting them? If not, what do you plan to do?

Do You Loan Money to Friends and Family?

December 6th, 2009 at 11:16 am

It is usually not a good idea to loan money to family. So many things can go wrong. In this economy many family and friends may need help, and of course we want to help ease their stress and pain. Even though lending a financial hand seems like the right thing to do, it can actually backfire and cause drama and distress.

Have you ever used your hard-earned money to help someone that is broke keep their house, car, utilities, or put food on their table? Then to see them a few days later with a new manicure, pedicure, or hair cut. Have you loaned money with a promise to repay and after they ditched and dodged you for months and even years, you realized you would never see your money again? So what should you do when you are approached by family or friends to borrow money? First, find out why your friend or family member is having a difficult time. If they have a history of being irresponsible or reckless with money, why should that be your problem? If they are consistently bad with money, giving them money would do more harm than good. In fact, if you give someone money that is not interested in changing their spending habits, loaning money can ruin them and your relationship.

Below are some suggestions on loaning money to family:

Do not lend money you do not have. You have your own bills to pay. If you are in a jam who will be there to help you? If you cannot afford to lose the money, do not do it.

Do not co-sign for a loan. You want to ruin your credit and get in debt? Co-sign and take on someone else's financial obligations. If you want tension, stress, possible resentment, and a stained relationship, go right ahead co-sign. Not a smart move.

Teach them how to budget. Giving a loan or money is not always the solution to someone that is having financial troubles. Show them how to manage their money, prepare for the unexpected, and take preventative financial measures to be sustainable.

Give a small gift. I never loan money. But, what I will do is give towards a person's need if I feel lead to do so. Many times I do not feel lead to do so, but when I do I let them know it is not a loan and they do not have to repay me.

Get a loan in writing. If you do decide to loan money, make sure you put all the terms and conditions in writing. The agreement should include a date for repayment, monthly or lump sum amount, signatures of both parties, and copies should be made. The original should go to the lender and a copy to the borrower.

There is no shame in saying no.

If your answer is no, that is okay. You do not have to give a long explanation or reason, keep it short-n-sweet. Let them know you cannot loan them money, but you can offer a small gift (if you can). Bottom line, it is up to you to look at all the options and make the best decision for you, your family, and your situation.

Have you ever loaned money to family or friends?

Found any bargains lately?

November 12th, 2009 at 02:28 pm

The economy sucks, no doubt. But there are certainly many positives and blessings amongst all the misery. If you are still gainfully employed or not, there are tons of bargains and specials everywhere. Now is the time to get your finances in order, but also to take advantage of all those dog-gone bargains out there.

Restaurants
If you love eating out but money has been short lately, food at restaurants have been almost dirt cheap. There are coupons galore. Coupons for buy one get one free, lunches for $4.99, fine dining dinner entrees for less than $10.00, and kids eating free on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Vacation
My brother and his wife just purchased a 4-day cruise on Carnival for $165 each. Resorts are having specials where you can get a room for two-nights for $159. The rooms were regularly $265 a night.

Cars
Car dealers are really trying hard to bring people in. Who ever heard of purchasing a car with interest rates as low as 2%? Or if you lose your job the dealer will make your payments for 6-months. Unbelievable car prices and unbelievable deals!

Homes
If you ever wanted to own a home, now is the time. Interest rates are at an all time low. Home prices have dropped nationally around 20%. Homes that would have cost $300,000 just two years ago now can be purchased in some areas for $199,000 or lower. Plus, if you are a first time home owner (haven't owned a home in the last 3-years based on Government standards), you can get an $8,000 refund credit on your taxes.

There are bargains everywhere. What bargains have you found in this economy?

Our house didn't sell

June 8th, 2009 at 05:00 am

I've been away for a really long time. I wanted to give you an update since my last blog. Well, on April 1st we put our rental property on the market to sale. I've sold three of our homes before, but this is a different economy and market. After two months showing the house three times, and getting around eight phone calls, we put it on the market to rent.

I put the ad on Craigslist, and got my first call within two minutes, literally. After that I showed the house almost daily. It was rented in three weeks. I'm not mad!

I know the ecomomy will change, and our home will be worth even more. Which means we'll have a bigger paycheck from the sale. You can't get discouraged, frustated, or defeated with the economic climate. Just go with the flow and be patient.

Are you trying to sell or rent? How's it going for you?

Get taxes done for FREE

January 31st, 2009 at 10:01 am

Yes - for free. Is your adjusted gross income (AGI) less than $56,000? If so, you can prepare your taxes for free. Go to www.irs.gov.com to prepare your federal taxes for free.

To get your state taxes prepared for free go to your state income tax website. There you should be able to prepare and e-file your taxes for free, if they offer it. Most states offer the free service. If you prepare your state taxes on the "free" federal website they will charge you for preparing the state taxes. If you are expecting a refund, you can e-file for free, and get your refund deposited into your bank account within 10 days.

Truth -- this world's system is set up to separate you from your hard-earned money, so keep as much as you can.

Do you pay to get your taxes done or do them yourself?

I'm excited about 2009

December 28th, 2008 at 02:55 pm

I know it may sound crazy, but I really am excited about 2009. I'm healthy, will be starting a new job, I'm still coaching clients, and I feel like I have a balanced life.

I am refusing to participate in the gloom and doom the media loves to program into us. I see many possibilities for great financial gains and accomplishments in 2009. When the average person is allowing anxiety, worry, and fear to consume their daily thoughts and actions, I choose faith and hope.

Of course faith, hope, and preparation is a major key to weathering this economic storm. I believe since we've been so frugal and have stored away in our time of harvest, we are prepared during this time of famine.

All in all, I'm excited about 2009 and I am looking forward to what the future holds.

What about you, are you excited about 2009 or not?

Prayer really does work

December 6th, 2008 at 11:53 am

We have electrical car problems. The inside light stopped working about 3-weeks ago, and this morning we found out the tail lights weren't working. We were so scared the cost would be a thousand or so. I mean come on it's electical work, right?

Well my husband took the car in this morning, and before he left we prayed for an honest person, and that the total bill would be no more than $200.

We got the call a couple of hours ago. The total bill is only $133, and the rental car we will need until Tuesday is only $66.70. Did you know if you put your rental car on your visa, insurance may be covered. Our Marriott Visa covers comprehension, theft, and liability.

Total bill $199.70 (repair and rental). Prayer really does work, and we are so thankful!

Lower gas prices, Um...Election trick?

November 3rd, 2008 at 03:51 am

Yesterday after having a fun day out and about, we stopped to get gas. Surprisingly enough, the prices were quite low compared to just 3-weeks ago. Yes, $2.34 a gallon mid-range.

I told my husband 6-months ago that just before Election Day the prices would start dropping. And, yes they have! I've always felt the whole gas thing was rigged and crooked.

How low are your gas prices where you live? Do you feel the whole gas thing is rigged and crooked?

I'm watching the budget, but cuban food is calling

October 17th, 2008 at 11:26 am

With the economy as it is, we are watching every penny. We're very frugal, but sometimes I just want what I want when I want it. You know what I mean?

Okay, so we just discovered this wonderful cuban restaurant five-minutes away. Hadn't tried cuban food before that, but basically it's just caribbean or island food. I LOVE it! I actually dream about it, and they have a great dinner special for $6.99 before 4:30pm.

So one thing we have decided to do to save money is to get food to go (no tip), and we are ordering a regular entree and two kids meals. Come on, I'm a kid at heart, right? Anyway, kid's meal portions can be bigger than adult meals at times.

I'm too excited!

What is it that you want when you want it, and sometimes you just got to have it?

You can get paid well to work at the voter booth

September 24th, 2008 at 11:38 am

Within the last 3-4 years, I've worked at the voter registration booth on election day. Actually, I've done it a total of three times. I did not work through the state office, but through a temporary service.

The first time I did it, they paid me $340 for the day. The last two times I worked, I got paid $400 for the day. I just called and left a message to see about doing it again this coming election. I just got signed up, and they will let me know the pay once it is approved.

Yes, that $400 was the easiest $400 I've ever made. The day is long. It starts at 6am and ends around 8pm. I got two breaks and a one-hour lunch away from the booth. The state workers can't leave the premises. I brought plenty of books, magazines, and newspapers to read.

My job? If a machine doesn't work; I unplug it from the outlet. If it still doesn't work, then I called technical support to come fix the machine. In the interim, I put a sign "out of order" on the machine. I was praying for machines to break I was so bored.

I hope they are paying $400 or more this election. $400 to sit and read, and make sure the state workers are doing their job, only in America.

Would you rather have cable or a roof over your head?

August 25th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

I use to have cable, but I got rid of it because I didn't have the self-control to get up off the couch and do my work or just go to bed. However, when I did have cable, it was basic. Not standard but basic. A lot of people get confused between the two. Basic is around $20.00 with all the fees and standard is around $40.00 or so. The cost difference is around $240.00 a year.

Okay, so in mentoring people, one of the biggest money wasters is what they pay for cable. I've had clients paying $240 a month for cable on the verge of foreclosure. Unfortunately, they had determined that premium cable was a necessity, and having a roof over their head wasn't that important.

When looking at ways to cutback and save, there should be no "sacred cows." Meaning, you cannot get attached or joined at the hip with anything. My customer was paying $2,880 a year to watch the "boob tube." So when I suggested they get basic cable to save money, they weren’t hearing it. “What about standard cable,” I asked? Not happening! Their solution was to get a plan that cost $110.00 a month.

Again, basic cable with about 30 channels is around $20.00 including fees. If you were behind on your mortgage, your car was in fear of being repossessed, or your lights were going to be turned off, would cable still be your priority?

Another airline ripoff report

July 30th, 2008 at 11:23 am

Wow...Everyone seems to try and "separate" us from our hard-earned money these days. Today while reading the online newspaper, I read that Delta airlines decided to raise the price of a second carry on bag. They had already put a price tag of $25 for the second carry on bag a few months ago, but now they have raised it to $50 per second bag each way on the trip.

That's $100 for a round trip ticket; just to carry an extra bag. Flying prices have already gone through the roof, but now you have to get a loan to carry an additional bag...Geez!

Thank God my family is vacationing closer to home these days. Will all the new fees, charges, and sur-charges affect the way you travel? What do you think?

Cut expenses on eye wear and save

July 25th, 2008 at 09:00 am

Last year we discovered that our daughter needed to wear reading glasses. My husband and I do not wear glasses, so we had no idea how much it cost. Upon doing research I discovered that glasses are extremely expensive. It doesn't matter if you are an adult or child, you almost need a loan to purchase a pair.

Okay, so like having a baby for the first time, I wanted the best because I don't know that anything less would do. We paid $200 for our 10 year old daughter's glasses. That price was better than what our insurance offered. We brought the wipes that cost $9.00. I didn't know you could get them at the dollar store for $1.

Then I discovered there are many alternatives to paying retail prices for glasses.

1. my piano found a guy who makes eye glasses for $30 a pair out of his garage. I saw the glasses and they looked great!

2. then I found out about a place where eye glasses start at $8 a pair. Go to www.zennioptical.com.

3. finally, a friend told me there are places you can purchase eye wear for $99 and you can buy one and get one free.

Do you wear glasses? How have you been able to save on eye wear expenses?

Are "extras" choking the life out of you?

July 23rd, 2008 at 09:33 am

Everyone and anyone has regular expenses in their budget that they absolutely need. Then there are those things that are a combination of needs/wants & conveniences. Many of those things are what I call the "extras."

Extras we like, love, and want, and may be the very thing that is causing some to drown in debt.

Here are my list of things that I consider extras. They aren't "bad" or anything. Just extra!

pedicures
manicures
haircare
pet care
vacations
cable
private school

Those are just a few. What extras have "choked" the life out of you in the past? Or are you still being choked?

Save money on snacks and live

July 17th, 2008 at 10:12 am

A study came out a few years ago that microwavable popcorn causes lung cancer. Matter of fact, what brought the study on is that a high number of workers in the manufacturing plant were developing lung cancer and respitory problems from chemicals used in the popcorn.

I love popcorn, but I also love living.

My Dad came to visit my husband and I a few years ago, and showed us an awesome way to enjoy microwavable popcorn.

1. get a brown paper lunch bag
2. spread butter on the sides of bag, and about 1 teaspoon inside bag
3. put popcorn cornels in bag (test the amount)
4. fold down the top of bag to keep the popcorn in
4. pop in the microwave on the "popcorn" button or the same amount of minutes
5. when it is done put salt on it
6. Yummy!!!

Do you love snacking? What do you do to satisfy your craving, save money, and eat healthy?

Does your personality affect your spending?

July 15th, 2008 at 05:31 am

The majority of people that have problems in the areas of debt and overspending would never consider that part of their problem may be their personality style. That's right, the way they were made.

Are you the type of person that loves to have "FUN" all the time, you satisfy your "wants" first and think of the consequences later? If so, in the D-I-S-C personality profiles you would be considered an "I." "I's" are inspiring, influencers, and outgoing. They love to be liked, live a certain image, and having "FUN" is their priority.

Unfortunately, if they are not careful they can find themselves deeply in debt. You see, they want to impress others, keep up their image; have fun whether they can afford it or not.

My personality is a "D-C." I'm direct, demanding, domineering, cautious, critical, and competitive. My personality lines up with the way I spend my money.

Do you know your personality style? How has your personality affected your spending?

Living for Needs not Wants

June 30th, 2008 at 02:56 pm

In 1991 when I lived in Puerto Rico, I discovered what my REAL needs were. I need a roof over my head, water, food, and good health. I couldn't get a job because I never got a phone. So a way to communicate would be nice.

Have you discovered what your absolute needs are to survive? Or have you been programmed like the rest of the world to believe your wants are your needs?

What would you say your absolute needs are?

Choices not Sacrifices

June 30th, 2008 at 02:50 pm

People hate the word sacrifice. It leaves a bad taste in their mouth. However, in order for people to pay off debt, they do need to make some sacrifices. Nevertheless, we'll say "choices."

Are you serious about getting debt free? If so, what choices are you willing to make to change your lifestyle and spending?

Frugal Life Gets More Frugal

June 30th, 2008 at 02:47 pm

My husband and I just decided to sell our other car and go down to one car. We realized that our lifestyle allowed us to have one car. Having one car could save us around $2,500 a year in gas, insurance, tags, and maintenance. It's a small price to pay.

What about you, can you go down to one car to save money? What would you do with an extra $2,500 a year?