Month End: November Snapshot


I have so much to be thankful for this year. Out of all the things I’m thankful for, I’m thankful for my wife, our home, and both sides of our family. Looking back on how this year started, I didn’t know I’d be at this place. Thank God for my loving family and my close friend Joe. This month I applied more toward the Capital One card, and next month I decided to take a rest from aggressive debt reduction. I may or may not take a break next year. This year I want to be able to have money to use towards Christmas and have a little extra money in my checking account to remind me of the time before I was in debt. It’s important to be able to rest, reflect, and appreciate how far you’ve come.

Last month one of my Barclay’s credit cards was bought by Mercury, and so my balance was transferred to a Mercury Credit Card. I had to create a new username and password and re-adjust the information in my budget. With that transfer, and my excellent payment history, my credit limit was increased. A credit card company will increase your limit in order to tempt you to start using the card. A credit card company must send you a notice if any type of information is being changed. When information is changing, I look for two things: an annual fee, and my new interest rate. Even with my credit limit increase, I’m continuing to pay this balance, and not adding anymore new debt. One of the mistakes I made while reducing my debt again was looking for balance transfer offers, and loans to consolidate credit card debt. I think you should use a balance transfer or consolidation loan only if you have the self-discipline to not add balances back on the cards you pay to zero. Even if that means you must cut up the cards, store them away, or give them to someone you trust, stay focused on becoming debt free. I made the mistake of doing a balance transfer and not committing to bringing the balance to zero before the promotional rate ended. I had consolidation loans but would also re-use the cards. Having a consolidation loan and using the cards again reduced my cash flow (cash I had to live on after expenses are paid) and increased my debt to income (a ratio that for creditors can play a factor in granting increases in credit or new credit). Only use a balance transfer option if you have ability to pay the balance off before the promotional rate ends, and if you can commit to your debt reduction strategy.

This year is different. Often people will say it’ll be different this time, and then end up doing the opposite. Why is this year different? For me it’s because of small consistent steps, and emotional support that’s really helping me succeed. For me it’s about faith, a mission and a vision. Your journey to a debt free me is different than mine, but if I’m getting closer to being there, then take one more step with me. You can do it.

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 a financial check-up, contact me.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through Mustard Seed in the mustard seed section.

This month’s video is The BEST ADVICE you’ll Ever Hear! Will Smith 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.”
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Deuteronomy28:12 NLT‬‬
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http://bible.com/116/deu.28.12.nlt‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me


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October 7, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/disposable_income.asp

Although it is not the only factor in deciding how wealthy an individual is, disposable income does have a significant influence. If you have little or no money after taxes and expenses, then it is hard to save and invest for the future. In this article, we’ll look at four ways you can increase your disposable income. The four ways are get a raise- or a second job, start a business, investing income, and spend less. Getting a raise is one of the easiest ways to increase your disposable income this can be achieved by continuing your education, taking a pay cut in exchange for performance bonuses, and there are other guides that can help you in getting a raise. Another way is to get a second job, however the draw back to this approach as an employee as your income increases you will be pushed into a higher tax bracket. Starting a business is another way of increasing your disposable income. The difference between having a small business vs a job is that with a business you can lower your tax liability. Some of your business write-offs can even be claimed against other income sources, but you have to follow the rules carefully. (See also: Capital Gains Tax Cuts For Middle Income Investors.) The major drawback of starting a business is that there is no guarantee of success or income like there is with a raise or a second job. Starting a business takes a certain type of person, one with the motivation and the ability to handle the details involved in implementing an idea. The time, effort and nerves that it takes to run a business (that has no certainty of success) means that very few people will take this route.

Investing income is considered a form of passive income. This is a misnomer because it does take active effort to create income from investing – you have to research investments, build and maintain your portfolio, etc. – but it is generally considered to take less effort than, let’s say, shoveling concrete day in and day out. Investing income can come from stocks, bonds, real estate, or many other forms. The common theme is that they ideally produce a return on the money you put into them. (See also: A Guide To Portfolio Construction.) Creating income through investing is a process of accumulation. Even if you consistently get a return on investments (ROI) of 20%, if you only have $1,000 in the investment, you will add a little less than $200 to your yearly income after any fees and taxes have been paid (and there is no guarantee of consistent returns of even 10%). Searching for stocks with a history of dividends, sometimes called income stocks, can help create some income now, but it will still not be as rapid in results as a second job. As you put more money in, however, more money comes out in the form of returns. Investing is a great way to increase your disposable income in the long run, but it won’t do wonders for your immediate situation unless you have a huge chunk of capital just sitting around. Investing takes patience, time and discipline (it is also subject to taxation). That said, it is one of the surest ways to gradually add to your disposable income without exerting yourself too much. Finally, spending less will increase your disposable income.  Having a budget and knowing how much exactly comes in and how much exactly goes out and when it goes out is key to setting aside more money for investing. Each of these four steps should be a part of your life strategy. It’s your money and the choices are yours. What is your vision and what is your legacy?

http://www.businessinsider.com/shopify-citron-andrew-left-business-dirtier-than-herbalife-2017-10

Andrew Left is back at it again. The Citron Research founder tweeted on Wednesday that the Canadian e-commerce company Shopify was a “business dirtier than Herbalife.” He also posted a seven-minute YouTube video outlining his bear case, titled “Citron Exposes the Dark Side of Shopify — The FTC Will Take Notice,” and posted a report to his firm’s website. In the video, Left lays out the big question he has around the company: Outside the roughly 50,000 verifiable merchants working with Shopify, who are the other 450,000 the company says it has? According to Left, many of them are, among other things, influencers paid to promote the company. “Shopify, a company that has mastered the good ol’ get-rich-quick scheme,” Left says in the video. “What’s never discussed by Wall Street is the real business behind Shopify.”  Left set a target price of $60 on the stock which was 49% below the closing price on Tuesday and on Wednesday the stock dropped by 14%. Whether or not his claims are true, when he speaks the market listens and responds in kind. But Left is perhaps best known for his damning October 2015 report that accused Valeant Pharmaceuticals of being a “pharmaceutical Enron,” and he helped bring up questions regarding the firm’s accounting and relationship with the specialty pharmacy Philidor.  I’ve included the link to Citron Research here: http://www.citronresearch.com/ If you’re going to increase your knowledge in any asset class, you need to learn from people wiser than you, and trust in your God given gifts. Living in the Information Age, you have full access to as much information as you could possibly want. Carve out a half an hour to a few hours of your day to increase your knowledge and look for scenarios to apply it. Keep it simple, how can I make money, how can I money make money, and how do I repeat steps 1 and 2 to infinity?

If you are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

This week, I’ve included YOU CAN ALSO BE GREAT” – Elon Musk Motivation – Motivational Video from the Mulligan Brothers 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

Month End: September Snapshot


I’m thankful that this month is coming to an end. To be honest, I hit a place toward the end of the month, where I became genuinely depressed. You’ll run into these moments where you will want to give up. In those moments, I hope you understand that there are options. When it comes to debt, you do have options. You can either contact your creditors to negotiate your debt, or file bankruptcy.  Just remember that your life is precious, and your impact lasts beyond your lifetime. It requires knowing your financial situation and your budget.  Knowing your final bottom line number, will help determine if a debt repayment plan will help you or if bankruptcy is your best option. If you go down the road of bankruptcy, then I suggest having a plan for life after bankruptcy. It’s a clean slate whether you choose a chapter 7 or a chapter 13. In the end I suggest having a way to increase your personal savings and your disposable income. If you do, consider bankruptcy then I suggest doing your research and getting all the facts from a bankruptcy attorney.

Thankfully, because of my wife’s income, and my income, we’re both able to combine our income to accelerate our debt repayment plans and at the same time save income. Next year, I’ll start focusing on the lower balance of the Barclay’s card since it has the highest interest rate, but the smallest balance. My wife’s spare time business continues to do well, and as we slowly pay down our debt, we’re looking for ways to increase passive income. The one thing we can’t get back is time. If you can build a passive income generating asset, then do it today and let it work for you. As frustrated as I am, she reminded me that it took time to build up my level of debt and so it’s going to take time to pay it off too. No matter how frustrated you may become, stay the course and I believe in your journey.

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 a financial check-up, contact me.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through Mustard Seed in the mustard seed section.

“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.”

Deuteronomy 28:12 NLT

http://bible.com/116/deu.28.12.nlt

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Here’s this month’s video: YOU CAN ALSO BE GREAT” – Elon Musk Motivation – Motivational Video from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.