Client #1 eliminated all credit card debt – AGAIN – and finally feels free!

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  “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach that man to fish and feed him for life…” – Chinese Proverb   Well, Lana (my first financial counseling client) was given a proverbial fish a few years ago, and although the financial hunger of credit card debt had subsided temporarily, guess what…? It came back in a big way. And before Lana had realized, she was in over her head in unnecessary credit card debt that equated to about 20% of her annual salary. What was the interest rate on that debt, you ask? 21%. Yeah. Lana was in for a world of hurt unless some changes were made. NOW. Here’s how it went down:   (Photo by MKulp Photography)   It wasn’t a lack of interest or desire, rather just a lack of some concrete plan. Something to believe in that Lana could latch onto […]

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Better with friends – Benefits of working out with others (guest blogger – Kaylee)

Hi, Team! This post comes to you from Kaylee who teamed up with Woodside to create this awesome infographic centered on a healthier you! I think they have some great tips and ideas, so naturally, I couldn’t wait to share the infographic with you. Take it away, Kaylee – Enjoy!     Everyone wants to be as healthy and strong as they can be—from day to day and year to year. But finding the time and energy, as well as the motivation, to do that can be a struggle. But there’s a widely available and immensely enjoyable method to combat that struggle: group workouts. The thing about getting healthy is, it’s easier to do with other people. That includes eating well and getting to the gym. When you workout with others, their fitness level can inspire you to improve yours, too. And when you take a class that’s led by […]

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Shout-out: 1,000 True Fans (Kevin Kelly)

Hello all! Our Saturday morning shout-outs highlight a post/article/book/other that I’ve come across lately that deserves exactly that: a ‘shout-out.’ The goal here is to hopefully introduce my readers to other authors or bloggers that have had an impact on me, my writing, and my life. This week’s shout-out is: 1,000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly. Kevin Kelly has many noted accolades in his bio that a simple Google search will surely reveal to you, but for our purposes, I’ll just say that he’s the founding editor of Wired magazine and that Tim Ferriss has referred to him as possibly the most interesting man in the world. And when I first heard of all his accomplishments and praise in combination with a discussion of this article (1,000 True Fans), I did the search and expected to find a multi-page, novel-like dictation of his thesis. I mean, everyone and their brother has […]

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Is it ever ‘OK’ to lease a car?

(Photo courtesy of MKulp Photography)   “Alright, class. Hands up if you’ve ever leased a car…” As the instructor deliberately surveys the group, her eyes can’t help but land on the guy in the back row with his hand up. He’s wearing a bro-tank with his hand about 3 inches above his head at just the precise level where he could either be admitting that he’s leased a car or that he’s going for a quick swipe of the forehead… It’s just too difficult to know for sure. As the instructor studies further, she sees the text on his bro-tank…  It reads the title of some obscure personal finance blog she’s heard of. The instructor points… “You, there. You have leased a car???”   The embarrassed but proud gentleman raises his arm above the threshold and nods his head. “Two actually…”   “WHAT!?!?!?”     Although my nightmare above had […]

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Shout-out: The small, big wins (Tortoise Happy)

Hello all! Our Saturday morning shout-outs highlight a post/article/book/other that I’ve come across lately that deserves exactly that: a ‘shout-out.’ The goal here is to hopefully introduce my readers to other authors or bloggers that have had an impact on me, my writing, and my life. (Photo courtesy of MKulp Photography) This week’s shout-out is: The small, big wins published at Tortise Happy. This post struck me as soon as I started reading it. So often, many of us are completely focused on the long-term horizon that we lose sight of the here and now. “How I am going to pay off 6-figures of debt!” or “I can’t wait for Financial Independence!!” or “I’ll have a 6-pack this time next year!” You’ve seen the similar headlines and I’m guilty of writing at least a few of them, but this post did a phenomenal job of resetting my mental focus.   The […]

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Mike’s top 5 podcasts of 2017 (and how it compares with 2016)

I wrote the 2016 version of this list at this time last year and it’s interesting to see the changes and similarities from one year to the next. First of all, I’m still bigly into podcasts. There’s no limit to what you can learn and enjoy in podcast form these days, which is one of the reasons why so many people are subscribing, listening, and utilizing. We’ve got murder mysteries, fictional stories, audiobooks, sports, comedy, … I mean, the better question may be, “What can’t you find in a podcast?”   Personally, although I have continued enjoying podcasts, some of my top 5 have changed and some have remained the same. Let’s start with some of the Top 5 from 2016 that didn’t make the cut this year (and my reasoning):   Last year #5 – The NPR Politics Podcast   2 major factors were at work here that drove […]

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Shout-out: Your plan is wrong. Plan anyway (Retirement Manifesto)

Hello all! Our Saturday morning shout-outs highlight a post/article/book/other that I’ve come across lately that deserves exactly that: a ‘shout-out.’ The goal here is to hopefully introduce my readers to other authors or bloggers that have had an impact on me, my writing, and my life. (Photo courtesy of MKulp Photography) This week’s shout-out is: Your plan is wrong. Plan anyway courtesy of Fritz at the Retirement Manifesto. Fritz is nearing the end of his ‘working career’ and preparing for transition into full-time blogging/retirement life – complete with a home downsize and move to his actual cabin in the woods. It’s a great journey to watch from afar and it is obvious that Fritz has gained a wealth of experience and information up to this point in his life. The beneficiaries are us readers, as he details many of these lessons in life and retirement prep in his regular posts. […]

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How would I spend a $100 cash gift – today?

I got the idea for this post by reading one of the many blogs I subscribe to. I enjoy reading other’s work for educational purposes, to get inspired by their experiences, and to sometimes get a post idea. This one comes from J. Money at Budgets Are Sexy, where he asks: “What would you do with a $100 gift?” As of this writing, there are over 600 comments on the article (a lot of people are looking for that C-note…) and they range from inspirational to head-scratching. Feel free to check them out but here’s my honest response:     $100 feels a little different these days compared with what it meant in years past and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Since buying our business (MFD), spinning the tires, and finally gaining some traction I have challenged myself to remember the days where Monica and […]

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Shout-out: Jocko and Leif. (Extreme Ownership- How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win)

Hello all! Our Saturday morning shout-outs highlight a post/article/book/other that I’ve come across lately that deserves exactly that: a ‘shout-out.’ The goal here is to hopefully introduce my readers to other authors or bloggers that have had an impact on me, my writing, and my life.   This week’s shout-out is the best thing I’ve read in the last 5 years, if not ever: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (New Edition) by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin (both retired SEALs).   For some perspective on my feelings regarding this book: I have given it as a gift to friends, relatives, and employees alike. In fact, it is the literature we use at our business to read, describe, and discuss the culture we have implemented and aspire to in the future. All of our team members have been provided with a copy and I’ve read through and discussed […]

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#ParentingIsHard – Adventures from gymnastics

I love a good story, especially when I see one play out in front of my very own eyes. This is one such story…   We started Clara in gymnastics about 2 months ago and my 2.75 year-old daughter absolutely loves this stuff. Mom and I are on board as well because not only is it fun for the family, but Clara can also build strength, confidence, and relationships. And the cherry on top: there are about a dozen other families also present that have toddlers; each of whom can go rogue at a moments notice.   Clara’s age group has a ‘parent participation’ class where either mom or I will stretch alongside our little amig(a)s and walk with them as the navigate the week’s obstacle course. The week in question, Monica was assisting while I took the opportunity to watch and knock out some business matters. Win-win.   There […]

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