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Friday, December 14, 2012

Hello Out There!!! My Financial Journey Update 12/14/2012

All I can say is BOOYAH!!!!!!

No really, its been a tough, tough year y'all. I mean everything that could have happened this year DID, but we are still here trucking along trying to progress...moving FORWARD (my favorite word for this season). 

So in case you need to be reminded...you can search older posts to be sure...between the last update (March 2012) and today my hubby and I have paid off our 2010 Toyota Hylander!  Yeah!  It feels good.
As you can see from the chart, we knocked out $43,598 in ONE YEAR!


Now all we have left is the student loans...urghhh.

Honestly, those are going to have to wait (a tad)...right now I just want to enjoy Christmas, New Years, and get ready for our 1st real vacation in like 4 years!!!  We are going to Hawaii in 2013...a bit of a bucket list for me, plus I like to stay in the US for a bit...no offense.
As I mentioned earlier, 2012 was like the hardest year of my life, professionally and personally...wow, I'm so ready for New Years! 
I have loads of updates and insight to share in the coming months...more to come...

MsMoneyGuru

Having problems developing a plan to get out of debt? Want to know who we are doing our debt snowball (like how the HECK did you we pay off $270,810 in 2 1/2 years!)? You may need a coach...MsMoneyGuru is here to help, contact me at msmoneyguru@gmail.com for a consultation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sometimes We Cheat...(Article)

Just Sharing...

http://lifeinc.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/24/11291884-sometimes-we-cheat-on-our-partners-about-money-survey-shows






MsMoneyGuru

Having problems developing a plan to get out of debt? Want to know who we are doing our debt snowball? You may need a coach...MsMoneyGuru is here to help, contact me at msmoneyguru@gmail.com for a consultation.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Investment vs. Expense...Changing Your Mindset.

I watch a good amount of television. Not too much crazy reality shows (although I do have my guilty pleasures), but mostly lifestyle TV...like HGTV, and the Travel Channel, with a lot of Investigation Discovery (ID), CNBC,  and History Channel thrown in. Okay so unfortunately watching lifestyle channels, CNBC, and listening to Dave Ramsey is my only real glimpse into how wealthy people view things.

One thing I have picked up is that when wealthy people are interviewed for a particular show, whether it be buying a property or going on a vacation, then tend to describe it as either an  "investment" or an "expense".  As you would expect, they tend to "invest" more then just "expend", my assumption is because they want to stay wealthy...Maybe broke people "expend" more than "invest"... Is it that simple?

Dictionary.com defines the word invest (verb) as:"to put (money) to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value". So in other words, people who do more of this tend to put their money into things that  will reap some sort of return (monetary or otherwise).  

Dictionary.com also defines the word expend (verb) as: "to use up".  So in order words, people who do more of this tend to put their money into things that use it up. Basically "expending" your money is like driving down the highway with $1 bills in your hand throwing them out of the window, its gone, its not going to generate anymore, its been expended!

I suspect that when wealthy people decide to "expend" they first determine if they can really afford to take the "hit", given the amount of their other money is going toward investments.  

For example, you take a $3,000 vacation which (for the sake of argument) is an "expense"; can someone with your net worth and income level really afford that vacation? Even if you don't go into debt and save up for it; can you really afford to take a $3,000 "hit" to your total financial world (net worth, etc.)? In other words, can you afford to drive down the street and throw 3,000 $1 bills out the window without batting a eye?


I think if we are going to be financially successful, we need to pay attention to how much of our money are we "investing" vs. how much we are "expending".

I know that in order to survive expenses are a very necessary part of our world, however I think we should consider them under these terms.  I don't know the "magic" formula of how much of your income should be going to expenses vs. investments...but I am (personally) trying to get my living expenses down to 50% of my income, with 30% to invest, and the remaining 20% to spend and enjoy. So that would leave me 70/30 in terms of expending vs. investing. Now if (when) I become wealthy those ratios will change, just because you make $10M, doesn't mean I must now live on $5M and spend $2M on crap.  Likewise a person making $30k per year, may not be able to live on $15k, invest $9k and spend $6k a year!


I would challenge you today to make a list of things you often spend money on and categorize them as either an investment or an expense...


Let me help you...



*Some of these items can be considered both an expense and an investment depending on the circumstances.

MsMoneyGuru

Having problems developing a plan to get out of debt? Want to know who we are doing our debt snowball? You may need a coach...MsMoneyGuru is here to help, contact me at msmoneyguru@gmail.com for a consultation.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The way to handle your bills! (VIDEO)

Is this your idea of doing your bills?




It might be time get a financial coach...


MsMoneyGuru


Having problems developing a plan to get out of debt? Want to know who we are doing our debt snowball? You may need a coach...MsMoneyGuru is here to help, contact me at msmoneyguru@gmail.com for a consultation.

Friday, April 13, 2012

"How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year" (Article)

Check out this article!

Interesting story about "Wealth Watchers" a Money Diet (sorta like Weight Watchers).

"How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year" - Your Money - MSN Living

The author of the story is married with two boys. She and her husband do not combine their inco me (they split bills), they tried this Money Diet separately and found relative success.

The Wealth Watchers program in short requires that you make a typical monthly budget, with income at the top subtract all fixed expenses, then take the remainder and divide by 30 to give yourself a daily discretionary  budget. The author had about $90 a day to spend. Of course if you spend more one day you can spend less the next day...you tally up your net spending every week and save the excess.  Psychologically, having only $90 a day to spend made her reevaluate her needs vs. wants therefore making her a better saver (like Weight Watchers does with its daily points system). After a year, she was able to save or pay down $10,000 worth of debt.

The only thing I didn't like about the story (example) is that she and her husband don't combine to any extent their finances... In my opinion, we were not put on this earth to go alone, so if you have a good healthy relationship and you utilize teamwork in everything else (raising kids, etc.) why not include your finances?  I think she would have been much more successful if she and her husband combined some things...

In an extreme case this is how you end up with one spouse that is a saver and has $30k in the bank with $300k in retirement savings and the other spouse with $30k in debt and no retirement savings...that's counterproductive in my opinion and makes for a hard choice when the skeletons are reveled.  When they retire will the responsible spouse (at the end of the day) be willing to share their hard earned money with the irresponsible spouse? Maybe your irresponsible spouse has a hard time with money and is not a natural saver, isn't the responsible one obligated to help them improve instead of leaving them to fend for themselves?  I just think its a recipe for disaster. 

I am personally a spreadsheet, category driven type of girl and would go crazy if I didn't know how my husband was managing the other side of the household, I need to balance my checkbook every day, and I don't buy anything without first consulting my budget.  However, this daily allowance thing is a little too much...I budget two weeks at a time (aligned with my paycheck schedule).

What do you think about the Wealth Watcher program as described in the story? Is it something you can see working for your family?

MsMoneyGuru

Having problems developing a plan to get out of debt? Want to know who we are doing our debt snowball? You may need a coach...MsMoneyGuru is here to help, contact me at msmoneyguru@gmail.com for a consultation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just Paid Off Some Debt So Why Do I Feel Broke?

I use to "feel rich" even though I was really "broke", but now I "feel broke" even though I am "richer" then I've been in a long time! 

How does this happen?

For the last few months I have been saving up cash to pay off in full two debts totaling $14,000.  The way it works is, I pay my minimum payments (to stay current), meanwhile I save up money on the side to pay them off completely.

When I finally had enough to kill the two debts, I drained my savings account down to the bare minimum emergency fund to get rid of them. Its only been two weeks since my "expenditure" and with Easter and my mom's recent birthday celebration, it has been an expensive month!

The fact that I was able to pay off these debts (ahead of schedule) and still pay for a holiday and special birthday (it was her 60th, shot out to Mom), I should be happy!  But, I have to keep it real...I feel broke!  I don't have any (cash) money...I cant wait til payday! Even though I knew I was going to pay off debt with that money, it felt good to have it in the bank, now I just want to refill my coffers as soon as possible.

I get paid in two days and next month I will not owe $370 in payments, so maybe I'll feel better then.

Emotional Downside of Being in Debt and then Sacrificing to Pay off Debt:

As some of you know...I am a financial coach and in dealing with clients I find that they have an emotional experience when they consider how much they will have to sacrifice to get out of debt. I mean, no eating out (for the most part), no major vacations, no new clothes, cutting back on personal expenses (hair, nails, spa days, etc.), and having to disappoint family and friends when they can't participate in recreational activities. (And) although I know its totally worth it to honker down and sacrifice to pay off debts, I have to say I totally understand the emotional reluctance...

Sacrificing to pay off debts sucks! I mean its like being on a really strict diet, really!  You are suffering NOW for the cheeseburger and onion rings you had 10 days ago...REALLY!

Although my net worth has increased (debts going down) and I still have an emergency fund...I have to say it sucks to see all that money go to something I already enjoyed... Honestly, I don't even know what it was that I bought with the debt. The first debt was a credit card that I haven't use in over 20 months and it was a little of this and a little of that.  The second was a (consolidation) loan I took out to pay off two other credit cards so I REALLY don't know what the heck I got for all of that! 

I mean...$14,000 just GONE...I beg you all...DON'T GO INTO DEBT...you are sacrificing your future for a moment of pleasure, really not worth it.  If I was debt free, what could I have done with FOURTEEN GRAND???  Oh to think of it makes me depressed...

That's why God says, "the debtor is slave to the lender", so what did I have to do with the money that I earned? Hand it over to my master! 


Something to think about...


MsMoneyGuru




Having problems developing a plan to get out of debt? Want to know who we are doing our debt snowball? You may need a coach...MsMoneyGuru is here to help, contact me at msmoneyguru@gmail.com for a consultation.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dave Ramsey Comments On My Post About His New House, His Debt Philosophy And Giving, Part II

Continued...Posted By Peter Anderson On June 21, 2011 (9:26 am) In christianity, money

Good Stewardship

In his comments Dave mentions that the money is all God’s in the first place, and that they ask God for guidance on what to do with HIS resources before they do anything.   He mentions that like the rest of us he doesn’t always get a clear answer as to how to proceed, but seeking God’s will is important.
So what does good stewardship mean?  It means using what God has given us in accordance with his will, and using it wisely.  It also means working hard so that we can feed ourselves and our families, while having enough left over to help others as well.
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.  1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)

 

Wealth And Things As Tools Used For His Kingdom

Dave mentions that they consider their house, and their wealth in general as a tool to be used for His kingdom.  I think that’s a great way to look at how we should view the material things of this world – as merely tools given to us by God to be used to further his kingdom. When they become ends in themselves, they can become more important and we can start to lose our way.

 

Importance Of Prayer And Seeking God’s Will

Far too often we negate the power of prayer, and don’t even think to seek God’s will for our lives, and in our decisions.  When that happens our own sinful motives far too often crop up.  Ramsey touches on the importance of prayer, and seeking God’s will for your life and the resources he has entrusted you with.
We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes,  but the LORD examines their motives. Commit your actions to the LORD,  and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:1-3

 

God Can Use The Wealthy (And The Poor)

I was reading in my Bible study this week about several very wealthy men in the bible – and how they were men after God’s own heart.  There was King David, King Solomon, and then later on I read about some New Testament Christians who had wealth and used it to help others in need.  God can use those who are obedient to his will.
For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means "Son of Encouragement"). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles Acts 4:36-37
Those who have much are called to give much.
We all also remember the story of the widow who gave sacrificially out of faith as well, and how Jesus contrasted that with the showy giving of the pharisees. While God hasn’t entrusted us all with the same financial resources, we can all use our resources to give glory to him.    We should try to avoid giving in order to gain approval from the world or other men, but instead give with godly motives.

 

Humility And Our Need For Prayer

Despite the fact that I believe it’s OK for a Christian to be wealthy, I believe, and I believe Dave understands, the need for humility and a constant seeking out of God’s will. If we aren’t constantly seeking his will, the things of this world can quickly become an idol in our lives, and the money and wealth can become more important than our relationship with Christ.
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.  He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God's sight.  Luke 16 :13-15
As the verse says, God knows our hearts.  When we try to justify ourselves in the eyes of others, and use money and position as a justification of our worth, and not our relationship with Christ, that’s when we start to focus more on ourselves and our own self-importance, and not God. It’s something we all need to guard against.

 

Conclusion

Whether or not you agree with Ramsey’s decision to build such a large house, I think there are things to be learned from this situation, such as our need for Christ, the importance of prayer and God’s guidance in our lives, and our need to be justified only in Christ, and not in the eyes of others through our money and possessions.  We need to focus on Christ.

MsMoneyGuru

Dave Ramsey Comments On My Post About His New House, His Debt Philosophy And Giving

Hello Peeps!

MsMoneyGuru has recommended this article to you.

Dave Ramsey Comments On My Post About His New House, His Debt Philosophy And Giving


Posted By Peter Anderson On June 21, 2011 (9:26 am) In christianity, money

A few months ago I published a post about how financial guru Dave Ramsey had built a beautiful new multi-million dollar home in an upscale neighborhood in Tennessee.  When I wrote the post I intended to focus more on the fact that Dave Ramsey had built the house without any debt of any kind, and wanted to hold it up as an example of living a financially responsible life.  I thought it was pretty cool that Ramsey was practicing what he preaches, and was living a cash only lifestyle.

Soon after I wrote the post the comments section quickly took a turn, and the comments turned from a discussion of paying cash for a home, or living a cash only lifestyle, to a discussion of the ethics and morality of buying such a big home when you don’t need it, and whether you can be a witness for Christ when you have such wealth.

There were some comments that I believe made salient points about how we need to guard against allowing our wealth and possessions to become an idol in our lives, and about how we as Christians always need to be looking to Christ for guidance in our lives to make sure we’re being good stewards.

Dave Ramsey's House
Photo  copyright coolsprings.com

There were other comments that I think were extremely judgmental, that were assuming the worst about Ramsey and essentially saying that he was making money off the misery of others and that he wasn’t a good witness for Christ.

I was thinking about closing the comments on the discussion because it was starting to devolve a bit, when Dave Ramsey himself decided to stop by and comment on the discussion to shed some light on the situation.

Dave Ramsey Comments On His House, His Debt Philosophy, Giving

It was obvious from Dave’s comment that he had read much of the discussion, and I’m sure some of it was pretty frustrating to read.  Here is what he said.
I just found this discussion from a twitter link. Wow. Thanks for all of your concern about my soul, my reputation and my witness. Please continue to pray for me because wisdom is sometimes elusive. The teacher in me has to reach out and help with proper biblical and life view points for some of you.

First, None of this is any of your business nor is it your problem, however in an effort to teach I have always been overly transparent. So I will try to help.

1) We tithe 10% of our before tax income to our local church
2) We have a family foundation that God allows us to give many times what our personal home or other items cost, so we give much more of God's money to his kingdom that we live on percentage wise.
3) No Gary, we don't have any debt any where of any kind. No corporate debt, no credit cards, no mortgage debt, no blind trusts, and no kind of debt no where no how. Didn't you hear? I don't believe in debt.
4) Before making a large purchase of any kind we ask God if that is what he wants us to do with HIS money. Like you I sometimes hear clearly and other times I am not sure. In the case of our home I was very sure.
5) Our home is a very small percentage of our net worth.
6) In the two years we have lived here we have had many many functions to fund raise for ministries, charities, and community causes. Millions of dollars have flowed through those events. We view our home, like everything in our life, as a tool to be used for the kingdom.
7) Yes, it blows my mind how much it costs to maintain a lot of things God has called me to manage. We have a 64,000 square foot office building (paid for) that we spend a lot of natural resources and money to keep operating and from where I came from it is sometimes hard to emotionally grasp the zeros. However, I man up, and step up to do what God gave me to do. It is weird some days though.
8) I used to say ignorant things like "what does anyone need with a ______ like that” when I was immature. Now I have been blessed to see how God uses people who are obedient when they are broke and when they aren't. I was with a really Godly guy a few weeks ago worth 2.2 BILLION. He gives 300-500 million a year. Some of you sent him hate mail worried about his soul because he bought a $110,000 car. That does not make him wrong, that makes that person silly, foolish, and spiritually immature. Note: God gave HIM 2.2 Billion to manage, God did NOT assign you to help.

Thanks again for your concern and please continue to pray for me as I am perfectly capable of messing this whole deal up. So far though, I am not inconsistent between my message and my life. So far I have managed to keep God First, Sharon Second, my kids third, and serving all of you fourth. I am having a blast and I thank all you who do understand.

P.S. I will not be visiting back to see your comments because I already know what they are: Some get it, Some don't.

Yours In Christ,Dave Ramsey

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Finance Journey...Update 3/31/2012

Thought I would do a quarterly update to our Financial Freedom progress...

In the last few months we were able to put to bed two more accounts. We are completely out of credit card debt and only owe on our car loan!

See our progress below:

 
 *I want to note that I don't count a debt as paid off until it is completely paid off. Therefore, while the starting number is accurate, the debt still owed is actually less due to ongoing monthly payments.

See our current debt category's below:


As you can see we have a beast of student loans to tackle!  My husband and I both have undergraduate and masters degrees, so this category is a substantial portion of our debt load.

We also sold our rental property last year, which help to eradicate $185k of the $430k we originally owed.

For those that think its not worth the sacrifice to pay off debts, take a look at the monthly savings alone.  We have more than $2,800 in extra income that is not going to bills!  That's money that is now going to pay for retirement, emergency fund, taxes, fun, giving, and of course to pay off more debt!  LOL

More to come...we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

MsMoneyGuru



Friday, March 30, 2012

Has This Ever Happened To You?

You know those letters you get regarding class action suits? They tell you to fill out your name and return it if you want to be apart of it? Well, I did...

I just got a real $12 check in the mail from a law firm, my portion of the settlement.

According to the web, X bank had to pay between $6 million and $7.8 million and everyone got $12 each...

Cool Beans...

MsMoneyGuru

How is Your FICO Score Determined?


Interesting...A little education for all of you out there on how your FICO score is determined.

Read an excerpt from Get Rich Slowly, a blog that I follow:


Quick overview of credit scores and home mortgages
Let’s review the anatomy of a credit score. There are a few categories that determine your final number. All you Gwynns out there, lend a quick ear…



A FICO score serves as a quick reference guide for lenders to determine the risk level for them to give money. It’s a number between 300-850, the higher the better.
Lenders take your credit score and a few other pieces of information into consideration, such as age and salary, and make a decision about how your loan will play out. In short, a high score will be less risk, therefore a lower APR and less overall cost to the borrower.

Here’s a chart comparing APRs and total cost for a 30-year fixed mortgage on a $500,000 house:

Credit Score APR Including interest, your house will cost…
760-850 (best) 4.014% $860,760
700-759 4.236% $884,160
680-699 4.413% $902,880
660-679 4.627% $925,560
640-659 5.057% $974,880
620-639 (worst) 5.603% $1,003,560
Source: myfico.com

--Taken from www.getrichslowly.org 
(Tim Sullivan)
 

Bottom line: the only way to build a good FICO is to borrow money (regularly) and pay it back. At the top of my game, I had a 769 FICO score and around $50,000 in open lines of credit, which (by the way) I was sooo proud of.

However my score was not an accurate measure of how financial sound I was. It was just my "I love debt" score...nowadays I count my financial security in actual cash and real assets.  That is, I let my FICO score take care of itself...the only reason I pull my credit report today is to make sure its accurate.

You think rich people give a flip about their credit score? We want to be RICH don't we?

One day I hope to be more like Gwynn in this story, she rocks! 

Check It Out! 
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2012/03/29/bulking-up-your-credit-score-are-credit-cards-your-best-option/



MsMoneyGuru

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another Way to Stay Broke...Rent A Wheel!

Since my post last week about Rent A Center I've been getting a lot of feedback.

Someone close to me turned me on to another way to stay broke!  Dont just rent TV's and couches you cant afford (at Rent a Center), rent your wheels too! 

Check out Kevin Hart, he has the solution for your played out vehicle!

Rent-A-Wheel Radio Commercial, 'Official Voice', featuring Kevin Hart

Did he just say that if you can pay rent, you can go to rent a wheel...there is so much wrong with that statement, don't even get me started!

MsMoneyGuru

New BMW 3 Series!

Hello! I am a wife and mother, hoping to have more kids, I drive a Toyota Highlander...last thing I need is a BMW 3 Series. But someone out there thinks I need one!  How exciting...for me (or them?).

I did some fishing around and the new 2012 BMW 3 Series (328i) starts at $34,900. Okay...a little rich for my blood, given I cant easily get a stroller in the truck...but I digress.



According to the brochure, the "Offers to get your (my) pulse racing" is a choice between $1,000 credit on select BMWs OR 2.9% APR financing!

Check it out!



Since I'm broke (still in debt), I'll most likely take the 2.9% financing please. After all the BMW company must know that I can afford it, or they wouldn't have sent me the offer, right?

Being a broke person, I will only consider the payments when determining if I can afford this car. Even though I am NOT maxing out my retirement, I have a negative net worth, and my kids DO NOT have a college fund. I'm going to take the plunge, you only live once and I'm sure I can pay it off quickly and get back to my goals in no time!

Lets see...
ASSUMING I qualify for a 2.9% APR:
A) If I pay the car off in 3 years, I will have $1,102 monthly payments and pay $1,721 in interest.
B) If I pay the car off in 5 years, I will have $680 monthly payments and pay  $2,864 in interest.
C) If I pay the car off in 7 years, I will have $499 monthly payments and pay $4,028 in interest.

Given that I'm broke and want the lowest payment possible...I most likely will take Option C!

Oops don't forget the opportunity cost of the BMW...it doesn't stop at just $4,028 in interest.  Let calculate how much money I would have saved if I had not bought a car and just paid myself...$499/month invested in a mutual fund (for college savings, investments, or retirement) would have yielded me $60,449 over 7 years. If at the end of 7 years, I leave that $60,449 alone and don't touch it for 20 more years, I will have $442,976...

Oh Darn! They don't mention that in the brochure!

MsMoneyGuru





Another One Bites the Dust!

Our Journey keeps getting better...

Paid off our last credit card this month!

Should have another item wiped off by the end of April...

We are KILLING it!

MsMoneyGuru

Credit Card Offers, They Keep Trying!

So, my husband and I have been on our Debt Free Journey since August 2010, that's about 19 months.  Meaning that was the last time we used a credit card or loan or anything related to debt. When we started all of our credit cards were close to maxed.  Capital One was one of the first credit cards that we paid off, it had a low limit/balance.

As you may know, as you pay debt off, you start to look more desirable to banks, and they start sending you offers again. About 6 months ago, the offers started pouring in...

Here is an example of one:



In case the print is too small:  They are trying to convince my husband that he needs a little cash....

They say "Get 0% APR for 12 months with these checks!"  The checks are attached...

"There are times when you need a little extra cash. With your Capital One account ending in xxxx, you can get the cash you need at a low 0% APR for 12 months."

The offer goes on to mention that although the offer is for 0% APR, they will charge us a 3% transaction charge...TRANSLATION: Instead of charging you interest throughout the next year, we will just charge you up front (how convenient).

They also tell us that these checks are for necessary expenses.  I love how they draw a picture of how simple it is to get this FREE money! In case I can't read...LOL

Thank God, we started getting smart with our money! This use to be so tempting to me! I mean...0% for 12 months! Even 3% is cheap money--the old me might have borrowed it Just In Case (because you never know when an offer like this may come your way again). BUT because we changed the way we look at money, we have saved over the past 19 months an emergency fund.

So for the amount of money that is available for us to borrow with these checks at 3%, I have more then that amount sitting in my savings account ready for me to borrow at a true 0% interest rate, oh and I can take my time paying myself back...genius.

What's in your wallet?????

CASH

MsMoneyGuru


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More Ways to Stay Broke!

Let Montel tell you how to manage an emergency...



Dumb, Dumb, Dumb...

If I don't have $1,000 NOW, what makes you think I am going to have it when its time to pay it back? Don't forget to add the 900% interest they will charge!

Its called an emergency fund!

MsMoneyGuru

Rent A Center is the New "Pay Day Loan"!

Wonder what's keeping you broke?

Is this you?




$39.99 a week  for a TV!!!!
 
For all you math nerds...using Rent a Center is like charging your TV on 100% APR Credit Card.

See the "deal" below:
96 week rental
Cash Price - $1704.00
Cost of Rental - $2,135.04
Total of Payments "Rent to Own" - $3,839.04
 


If you want to be poor, do what poor people do, if you want to be rich, do what rich people do...its simple!

Stop buying stuff you cant afford!  



MsMoneyGuru

Dave Ramsey Student Loan Rant...Love It!

Dave Ramsey goes off on the craziness of student loan debt!

This is classic! If you want to hear the audio, click the link below and scroll to the end of the page and select "play".  If you want to skip through, start at minute 5:05.

http://www.daveramsey.com/index.cfm?event=askdave/&intContentItemId=122967


Her is a piece of it; but its worth hearing (click the link)...

"I’ve got to tell you that I’m about to blow a gasket. I’m about to go into orbit. I’ve taken so many calls like this. Where are the parents here? If your kids are that stupid, jack them up! Seriously—$130,000 to get a degree from Columbia in divinity to get a $40,000 job as a minister. Spending $130,000 to get an undergraduate degree in psychology—that’s crazy!! So when you have babies, you go home to be a stay-at-home mom.

I love stay-at-home moms. But you know the number one reason I’m finding out now that people can’t stay home with their kids? It’s their freaking student loan stupidity! I’m not mad at this particular lady that just called. This concept is driving me bananas!

If you have a 20-year-old or an 18-year-old walking around, grab them by the ear and tell them they should not get a useless degree from a private university that you cannot making a living with and then choose to go home and be a stay-at-home mom with $100,000 in student loan debt.

This is how life happens. You say you’re going to be a professional at something and then you change your mind—YOU LOST THAT OPTION! You lose these options when you go this far in debt. You are forced into a situation where you are choosing between your children and student loan debt to get a useless degree!

You know what a psychology degree without a master’s degree is worth? NOTHING! Nothing! Absolutely nothing! You can’t get a degree in a factory with that degree! You know what a theology degree from Columbia is worth? NOTHING! It has no marketplace value! Think, people!

This is what’s going on! You’ve lost your ever-loving minds, America. You are stupid about education—how paradoxical is that? You wander in, spend any amount to get a degree and act like the student loan tooth fairy is going to come in and pick up your stuff. There is no student loan tooth fairy! You have to think.

Your stupid degree in a stupid field does not have a marketplace value and it doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to get a job! As a matter of fact, it’s an indicator that you’re too stupid to hire! Do not allow your 18-year-old to go $200,000 in debt so they can get a good Christian education in underwater basket weaving. That’s stupid! Stop it!

It’s out of control, people. Somebody’s going to have to stand up and say enough already! It’s not the institution’s fault, it’s the parents’ fault! Parents, tell your children to not be stupid and don’t assist them in this stuff. Don’t assist them to go hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to get a degree that has no marketplace value. This is ridiculous! THINK, people!
Stupidity with education choices is about as paradoxical as anything I can think of. It’s got to stop. It’s destroying the American family. It’s destroying the economy. It’s ridiculous!"

--Dave Ramsey (March 13, 2012)


MsMoneyGuru

Sunday, March 18, 2012

More Women are Prospering as Sugar Mamas (article)

Interesting Read!  More women are prospering as sugar mamas

The majority of US households in the US are dual-income.

How many of you prefer a traditional (one income) household as opposed to the dual income household? 

For all the men out there...Does it bother you to be married or to date a woman who makes significantly more money then you?

MsMoneyGuru

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3 Money Tips for Every Income

Check this out!
3 money tips for every income

I like this article, it gives general guidelines for every income level.

Incomes from Low Income (Below $20k) to Upper Income (Above $100k).

Word to the wise, if you find yourself in the lower end of this spectrum...make a promise to yourself not to stay there for long...

MsMoneyGuru

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Can Taco Bell Take Down Chipotle?... I Think NOT!

Check this out!  Can Taco Bell take down Chipotle?

I for one am on "Team Chipotle".  A colleague once told me that when you pick stocks go with what makes sense.  Taco Bell may be good on a day when you are starving and only have $1.25 in your pocket, but come on...Chipotle says, "class", "I'm special" and "you better have at least $10 on you when you walk in here"...

They will charge you the same amount for a "salad" then they do for a burrito (burrito toppings on lettuce), they will charge you extra for chips and guacamole, and they will make you wait in line for 10 minutes...Why? Because they are that good! 

Therefore, if I were a bettin' woman (and I'm not), I would put my money on Chipotle every time!

Taco shells made out of Doritos? Come on!

MsMoneyGuru 

Monday, March 12, 2012

In Reply to the comments on Gen Y's Retirement: $2 million...Not Impossible




I want to caution you all by saying that I am not an investment expert! I would advise that you seek the counsel of a financial investment adviser when choosing your investments.
 
However, the average return I used was based on the overall stock market of 10% SEE LINK (average over the past 20+ years).  Most 401ks or IRAs are mutual funds which are based on a diversified grouping of stocks. I wouldn’t look to the stock market for short term returns.  Retirement investing is for the long term.  

Typically, a 401k (403b) should be more beneficial because usually a 401k offered through an employer has a contribution match.  Therefore to follow my example...If an individual makes $52,500 annual salary and contributes 8% of their income per month ($350), and receives a 75% company match on the first 8% of their salary contributed to the 401k; their $350 "car payment" would actually be $612.50 a month. Therefore, this can only benefit them in the long run to the tune of about $3,873,499 (40 years) or $2,325,441 (35 years).  This also doesn't include increases in income over the years which will also subsequently increase the contribution and matching amount. 

Bottom line, It’s all goodness...

As for an IRA, usually these do not include a match, and they come with their own annual contribution limitation, however one can choose to go with Traditional or Roth IRA's that provide different tax advantages. In many cases individuals can contribute to both a company 401k and an IRA.   

Hope this helps...

MsMoneyGuru

Friday, March 9, 2012

Gen Y's Retirement: $2 million...Not Impossible

Check this out!   Gen Y's retirement: $2 million

So, apparently according to this article, Generation Y-ers need around $2M in Retirement!  Seem impossible? It shouldn't, most of Generation Y (mostly those born in the 80's) are fully capable of saving at least $2M in retirement.

Perhaps my experience is limited, but almost everyone I know has financed a car, at one time or another.  If you can finance a car, you can save $2M by the time you are 65; plain and simple.

Check out the math:

Lets say the average car payment in America is $350/month, although I have read that it is higher then that!
And you invest that $350 a month in an IRA or 401k making at least 10% annual return a year (reasonable estimate), in 40 or 35 years from age 25-65 or 30-65, respectively. On your 65th year you should have $2,213,427.85 or $1,328,823.32.

The idea is to save enough, so when you are in retirement you can pull out the growth (interest) on an annual basis and live off of that. For example, if you have $2M in the bank, and you earn 10% a year (on average) you can pull $200k a year out for living expenses. 

Mind you these numbers are simple in that they don't include an employer match or inflation. My point is that it doesn't take much to re-set the trajectory of your financial plan.

Just something to think about...if you can afford a Tahoe or Camry payment you can afford retirement.


MsMoneyGuru

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Financial Journey...

Back in 2010, my husband and I started on our journey to Financial Freedom...

We had done all that we were suppose to do...gone to school, secured professional jobs, but we had barely any savings and was barely living paycheck to paycheck. It was one of those moments when we looked at our situation and realized "something had to change".  We were sick of it!  So we started on our journey inspired by Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. Now, I have shared in the past our journey through real estate hardships. But I never gave you exact figures...well, here is the closest to details you can get.

When we started our journey, my husband and I owed a total of $430,379 in debt!

Here was the breakdown:


See, prior to our revelation we never really considered auto loans, student loans, and rental property to be "bad debt", but after realizing how much per month it was costing us, we decided to conquer our mountain.

As of today, our journey continues, but we have made significant strides in the last 18 months.

Check it out!


The journey continues...

MsMoneyGuru

The real cost of living: $150 000 a year...Really?

I thought you would be interested in this: http://money.msn.com/family-money/article.aspx?post=c20e622f-9f80-4b2d-90fd-164ead94b9b1#scptid


According to this article, in a survey, people who claimed to make $150k a year are among those of us who where quoted in "saying they could buy what they need, afford some extras, and still be able to save a bit". I live in Southern California (higher cost of living) and tend to agree with that (believe me, I've worked the numbers).  However, since the article claims to be an average or a national representation...I wonder what people these days define as "what they need vs. what they want"?  

$150k a year use to be considered upper middle class, have we re-defined "needs vs, wants" or is has the American Dream really grown out of our reach?

Something to think about...

MsMoneyGuru
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