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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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 […]

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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: Mr. Money Mustache (Why bitcoin is stupid)

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: Mr. Money Mustache’s Why bitcoin is stupid …(and this one is action-packed, let me tell you) Oh, my… If you’ve found yourself hearing about ‘bitcoin,’ ‘blockchain,’ or ‘cryptocurrency,’ but you still don’t understand exactly what this relatively new form of currency is all about… Or if you’re thinking about investing in this new ‘investment’… then this is the article to get you started.   You can probably tell by the title what Mr. Money Mustache’s stance is on the subject but you may or may not know much about the author himself. In my rudimentary opinion, Mr. Money Mustache is […]

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Shout-out: Mustard Seed Money (My 2018 Goals: Stretching Myself)

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: Mustard Seed Money’s My 2018 Goals: Stretching Myself   Like last week’s Shout-out recipient (Mad Money Monster), Mustard Seed Money (MSM) is a blogger I’ve subscribed to for a while now and as I’ve been ramping up to re-launch in 2018, MSM is a blog I’ve been diving into quite a bit. For one, his financial philosophy lines up well with mine, and on top of that – I’ve gotten some great inspiration from his posts. This one, in particular, prompted me to take my own goals out of my private notebook to share on my blog. MSM wasn’t afraid […]

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Shout-out: Mad Money Monster (F.I.O.R. – Financial Independence Optional Retirement)

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: Mad Money Monster’s F.I.O.R. – Financial Independence Optional Retirement   Mad Money Monster (MMM) is a financial blogger that I’ve subscribed to and read for a few months now, and as I progress through her older posts, I’m continually impressed with the quality of both writing and content that MMM shares. This article, specifically, is the one post I wished I had written most last year – but if I can put my jealousy aside for a minute, head over to her page and check this one out.   If you are not aware yet, there is an ever growing […]

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Happy holidays! Regular posts to return in the New Year!

Team, It’s been a minute… I apologize for the extended absence over the last two months but no worries, I come back bearing good news. More about that in a minute. First, I hope this holiday season has been tremendous thus far, and that you are able to spend great quality time with family and good friends. We’ve been working hard on getting our business up and running (definitely more about that to come), traveling to see family, and preparing for the Christmas season we so enjoy. It has been a busy few months and my first post will detail a little more about why I haven’t published anything lately, but let’s just say starting a business while being a respectable husband, father, and full-time employee of a different business can be challenging if your priorities aren’t straight. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself here so […]

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What should I do with my credit cards? (Mailbag)

Hello Team,   This week we have another ‘Mailbag’ edition. For those not familiar: the questions I receive that either can’t be answered in a short tweet, with a quick text or if the question may be helpful to more than just the (question) poser – I’ll share my answer as a post. I hope you find this one enjoyable and helpful.   Best,   -Mike     Good Afternoon,   Mike, first off, love the blog.  My question came after reading your recent article about credit cards and rewards. I wanted to know what you thought is a good or reasonable amount of credit cards to have? Also, what do you think about adding new cards and canceling other cards? Or just having cards that you don’t use a lot? I’ll give you an example I have had a (1)capital one credit card: for about 2 years. that I don’t use often […]

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Burning, shredding, and other ways we throw away credit card rewards points

As of this writing, credit card rewards are a tax-free kick back from various credit card companies for using their services. The various credit card companies offer rewards incentives in an effort to bring you under their umbrella, put their card in your hands, and thus have you spend cash using their services.   They have the ability to make money a few different ways:   Annual fees, Interest they charge you if your balance is not paid in full at the end of each month, and Merchant fees (we’ve seen this one as business owners).   If you’re not familiar with merchant fees –   every time you swipe your card, the store owner is charged a negotiated percentage by both the credit card company the customer is using and the credit card machine company the store owner is using. This is sometimes why certain stores only take certain types […]

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