Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: March Snapshot

At the end of March, I’ve come one step closer to being consumer debt free. More importantly, I had a discussion with someone I care about. This person had been a pillar in my life growing up, and a life event changed how I saw him. Unfortunately, even after intervening with him, I found that he hadn’t changed, and I’m wrestling with what do next. It’s in moments like these that I put my trust in God, my wife, my parents, and my close friends. I’m very thankful for what this year has brought despite the challenges.

If you notice, the current balance on my WF line of credit increased by $20 from $4,650 to $4,670 from the remaining balance of last month versus the current balance of March. This increase is due to the annual fee. Most of your personal lines of credit that you may have with a bank or credit union will charge you an annual fee. Honestly, it’s the price you pay for having a line of credit that charges less interest than your credit cards.

This month, I saw my credit score with Transunion increase. This increase is due to the installment loan, the increasing availability of my revolving line of credit debt, my on-time payment history, and the age of my credit. There are three different type of debt that are recorded by the three credit bureaus, and those are revolving, installment, and mortgage. There are different factors that can affect your credit score. An installment and mortgage loan can increase your credit score, especially if the loans are paid with principal and interest payments. If you have a mortgage loan, then make sure you pay it, because having 30+ late payment can adversely affect your credit score. I’m very thankful to what I’ve been able to build up in my personal savings. I believe you should aim to have three months’ worth of income saved up.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income while reducing debt, or if you want to have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, or if you need me to check your financial pulse then, contact me.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through contacting me

This month’s video is Secrets From a LIFEHACKER | This Is What They Don’t Want Us To Learn (very illuminating!) from the Video Advice YouTube channel.

“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.”

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Posted in Articles

Articles: 3.31.2019

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

March 23, 2019

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

The Asian country where women hold 37 percent of leadership roles, compared with an average of 24 percent globally, may come as a surprise. In this same nation, women make up 40 percent of chief executives and 34 percent of chief financial officers. Further, it ranks first in the world for enrollment of women in higher education with 1.41 women attending a university for every man. Done guessing? It’s Thailand, where women score well in nearly all measures of leadership in the corporate sphere, far surpassing most other Asian countries and gaining good marks globally. Yet even as women are making significant progress in Thailand’s business world, there’s a stark contrast in politics, where they are being left behind. Thailand ranks near the bottom — 181 of 193 countries — in the Women in Parliament list for 2017 by UN Women. Currently, only 13 women are part of the junta’s 240-seat parliament. There’s not a single woman cabinet minister. In the elections this month. there are only 8 women aspirants of the 68 aspirants for the position of prime minister. Thailand’s success in empowering women in corporations is a culture of working women through family businesses; in other words, women have always worked outside the home. Women leaders have more opportunities to run corporate Thailand because the culture allows them to work alongside men in such fields as finance and insurance, while women in politics typically need the support of political parties to break into that male-dominated sphere. For instance, females make up only about 5 percent of the military-appointed legislature — a place where women need backing to get ahead. Some of the notable women in this article are Kamonwan Wipulakorn, Supapan Pichaironarongsongkram, Chadatip Chutrakul, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, and Juree Vichit-Vadakan. Thai women are the driving force behind many industries in Thailand and make up a third of senior management positions. Another key factor is that Thai women often stay in the workforce even after having children due to the Thai family structure having the grandparents living in the same household allowing the Thai women to remain a part of the workforce. However, in politics it is not the same because these positions have been historically male dominant. Similar to Kobkarn, Juree was once in government, as a member of the national legislative assembly. “Parliament is a very lonely place for women,” said Juree, who was also was part of the constitutional drafting committee. “It’s easier for men to form a coalition,” she said. As time progresses, and the newer generations come up, I can see politics changing within Thailand.

Disney has closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business, putting “Cinderella,” ”The Simpsons,” ”Star Wars,” and “Spider-Man” under one corporate roof. The deal is likely to shake up the media landscape. Among other things, it paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year. By buying the studios behind “The Simpsons” and X-Men, Disney aims to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers’ attention — and dollars. Years ago, I had the opportunity to work at Walt Disney World as my first job. During my high school years, I met and worked alongside people from other countries and cultures. It radically changed how I viewed life in my hometown. Even back then Disney was beginning to successfully acquire companies such as ABC which housed ESPN etc. Now with the acquisition of Fox Entertainment, Disney is positioning itself to compete with cable and telecom companies. The acquisition aids Disney control TV shows and movies from start to finish — from creating the programs to distributing them though television channels, movie theaters, streaming services, and other ways people watch entertainment. Disney would get valuable data on customers and their entertainment-viewing habits, which it can then use to sell advertising. Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an earnings call in February that Disney Plus and other direct-to-consumer businesses were Disney’s “No. 1 priority.” With the acquisition Disney also has a controlling stake in Hulu, which will continue to have its general programming format. No pricing has been disclosed for Disney Plus. The streaming service will feature five categories of material: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, “Star Wars,” and National Geographic. Disney charges $5 a month for ESPN Plus, a service that offers programming distinct from the ESPN cable channel. Meanwhile, Fox Corp. — the parts of 21st Century Fox that are not part of the deal, including Fox News, Fox Sports, and Fox Broadcasting — started trading on the Nasdaq under the FOX and FOXA tickers on Tuesday. Personally, I do own a few shares of Disney stock and I’m going to start watching its price a little closer.

If you need a financial check-up or prayer, contact me.

This week, I’ve included RESET Your MINDSET | The Secrets Billionaires Pay For (It Takes Only 1 Day) from the Video Advice YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

Three Lawn Mowers

Growing up I hated cutting the grass. It wasn’t a labor of love…it was simply a labor. Even into my young adult years it was something I didn’t enjoy and didn’t have a heart for. I think my hatred toward manual labor was in some way influenced by the feelings I had toward my Dad. One summer when I had moved back into my parents’ house after no longer living with a roommate, I was cutting the grass and decided to take a break. I went inside and forgot to go back outside to cut the grass, and later that day I went outside to find the lawnmower had been stolen from our front yard. Understandably my parents were upset, and at the time we didn’t have the money to replace the lawnmower right off hand, so they decided to start using a lawn care service.

A few years later I started dating Jill and she noticed that my parents were using a lawn care service and knew that the service wasn’t really a necessity if they had a lawnmower. She suggested it to her Dad (Bob) and so he gave me one of his lawnmowers that he no longer used. I accepted it, and my parents weren’t as willing to receive it because they were happy with using the lawn care service. Instead of telling Bob that they didn’t want the lawn mower I simply stored it in a plastic outdoor shed. Bob would often inquire about that lawn mower and I would evade the topic by making a quick comment.

Later Bob realizing the one he gave me was a little dated, decided to buy another lawn mower. This newer lawn mower was worth far more than what he paid for it and he offered to store it until Jill, and I had our own place. Around this time, I had proposed to Jill and we would one day be married. I declined and brought it back to my parents’ house. They were upset with another lawn mower, reminded me they were happy with their lawn service, and told me they had no room to store it. Instead of going back to Bob and telling him they didn’t want it and had no room to store it, I asked a friend of mine if I could store it at his place

Derek was glad to help, and I transported the newer loan mower to his house. A few weeks later he calls me and tells me the lawn mower was missing. Derek had let the brother of a friend stay at his home, and this person ended up selling the lawn mower to purchase drugs. Derek apologized for what happened and paid me back for the value of the lawn mower. In hind sight, I could’ve asked him to call all the pawn shops to see if the lawn mower could be located. After this incident, I didn’t have the courage to tell Bob what happened to the lawn mower, and he would often ask about that lawn mower.

Late last year, Jill and I are married, and my parents are now moving out of their house. By this time, I had consciously blocked the truth of the lawn mowers from my mind to avoid disappointment. Jill’s parents helped with my parents’ move and at this time the 2nd lawn mower had been moved out of the plastic shed and placed under the carport. Seeing the lawn mower slowly began to remind me of the events. My parents had sold the plastic storage shed, and since the house was sold, asked me to take the lawn mower with me. I didn’t have the room for it in our apartment and was going to ask Bob to store it in one of his sheds. I decided to delay asking him, and so the lawn mower was moved to our next-door neighbor’s carport. He had recently passed away, and so around Christmas I decided to take the lawn mower to Bob’s house.

With my parents I rode over and unloaded the lawnmower. Upon seeing this lawnmower, Bob instantly recognized that this lawnmower wasn’t the one he had bought for me. Instead of coming clean, I backpedaled and didn’t tell the truth about that third lawnmower. Jill knowing the story about the lawnmower told her Dad. My Dad was upset because he believed that I had placed the blame on him, but I assured him I would clarify everything with Bob. On New Year’s Day, my parents had Jill’s parents over for a New Year’s Day meal. At the end of the meal I apologized to Bob about what happened with the lawn mower but didn’t explain what happened even though Jill had already told him. He wanted to hear it from me. A few days later, I went over to Bob’s house to help with installing a system, and he pointed out that I didn’t tell him what happened. At this point I finally did tell the whole truth about what happened with the third lawnmower, and the truth that my parents didn’t want the lawnmowers to begin with, and I confessed that all of this could have been avoided if I had told the truth even if it disappointed him. Recently, I found out that the 2nd lawn mower wasn’t usable because water hadn’t gotten into the tank and it was unable to be fixed and only good for parts.

The lesson of the story: Tell the truth even if it disappoints someone, because it’s better to disappoint someone now vs hides it and deal with a big mess and even greater disappointment. You can’t please everyone and that’s ok.

Posted in Articles

Articles: 3.1.2019