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Get Started, One Step At A Time

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When we finally decide to manage our financial situation  and get out of debt we often feel lost, or how to get started. There are so many things to consider. Most of us cannot tackle them all simultaneously. Many end up putting it off and never actually get started.  Just like walking, one foot in front of the other.

You can accomplish your goals by attacking one task at a time.  

Erasing credit card debt, paying off your car early, taking on a 15 year mortgage instead of paying it off in 30 are not easy tasks and may even seem unachievable, but paying off one credit card or adding an extra $50 into your savings account this month are achievable goals.

Create a budget. This is your starting point whether your goal is to achieve financial freedom, saving for the down-payment on a house, funding your retirement or simply becoming debt free.

This is accomplished by listing all your income. Take into account every dollar that comes in. Then list all your expenses. Do not forget to include t…

Stop Throwing Your Money in the Trash

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There are many ways we needlessly throw away our hard earned money. Whether it is because you only live once or I will never get to do this again mentality it is not a good idea. We may not know better.  

Sometimes we don't even realize it. We can avoid this from happening. These steps may not seem like much, and are fairly simple, over time you will see how the savings add up.  

This is not about depriving oneself of anything, only modifying spending habits and changing the mindset. Completing just some may be good enough.
Forget the corner coffee shop with the “fancy” coffee you drink every morning, drop it. That one cup of coffee can set you back $4. If you buy one every weekday, you spend more than $1,000 a year. Some don’t just buy coffee; the muffin or scone is a must. This is real and it is worse than you may think. Read on and see for yourself. Brew your coffee at home instead and add flavored creamer if you must.
Replace the single-serve plastic water bottles with a reusable…

3 Cautionary Tales, The Sad Money Stories

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These are all real. The names have not been changed to protect the not so financially savvy. We all know someone who is in this situation, maybe in it ourselves. Quite easy to fall into the trap.  Not so easy to get out.

Carlos and the Mini Mansion
About 15 years ago my friend Carlos received a promotion  and a very nice raise came along with it, so he bought a bigger house. He did what many of us do: run to the bank with the pay stub and ask "how much can I get?"  He bought as much house as the bank said he could! A beautiful four bedroom, three bathroom house with a huge backyard. He lives in a gated complex within a larger gated community where he pays two separate maintenance/security fees.
His only son is away at college and will soon get married. Carlos and his wife are now empty nesters and have no wish or opportunity to have more children.  They have that huge house all to themselves.
The complex has tennis courts, a large swimming pool and many other amenities that e…

We Should All Have A Credit Card

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Whenever we turn the TV on, open up a magazine or visit the internet we get bombarded, or so it seems, by credit card offers. They are everywhere and they are relentless in the pursuit of new clients.  
My mother took out a small loan early last year, and she started to receive one or two credit card offers every week. Same with my son soon after he applied to college.
Credit card usage is today seen as a negative by many. Some belive in only having one in case of emergencies and others do not believe in having any at all. To recommend using one has become almost irresponsible almost evil advice.
Using a credit card to buy things you can't afford or even need is certainly not smart and somewhat irresponsible. The interest charges can pile up over time. Why do you think minimum payments exist? Finance charges and the compounding interest add up.
There are also pluses to using credit cards and zero, yes no drawbacks when used correctly.  I believe in smartly using credit cards. Oth…

23 Steps to Find Happiness and Change Your Life

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Once we step into adulthood we sometimes become so consumed with life that we forget to live. The mortgage, the student loans; they all get in the way. Our dreams are put aside and what we hoped to accomplish is never to be finished. They say that when we grow old our biggest regret is not about our failures, but what we never attempted.  So do what makes you happy.

Forgive your parents for mistakes they may have made during your childhood. Nobody is perfect. Hopefully you learned from them. Forgive someone for a past transgression. Let it go, if just for you. Eliminate toxic people from your life; regardless of how hard it may be.  You do not need all the negativity in your life. Take a vacation by yourself. Go where you want, when you want.  You get to see, do and eat what you want.  Every choice will be yours and yours alone. See your favorite band play live. Watch your favorite movies one more time.  I can watch some of mine on mute and recite every line. Walk on wet grass in your…