January 1, 2019

My last blog post was June 2, 2018. Throughout the year, I tried to commit to my schedule of a blog every two weeks on a Saturday. Honestly, I couldn’t commit to it. 2018 was a Year of Restoration. When you restore something, there are times when you must cut it, break it, bend it, and even burn it to bring it back to what it is meant to be. A restoration can also can be considered a resurrection. Something brand new rising from glorious ruins. Today starts a brand-new year. A Year of Great Joy. I had two blogs and I consolidated both domain addresses into one domain address. It was like having two sides of the same coin. Throughout 2018, I had to focus on what’s most important, and I’m thankful for 2018.

I wanted to go back and catch up on the blogs I hadn’t posted. I’m letting the blogs I didn’t write go and focusing on today and starting from day one. The format will stay the same, but I’ll be using articles that aren’t just finance and business focused.  The articles are for leaving a legacy, and hopefully they’ll help you. I’ll blog at least once a month. In the end, we’re better together. Let 2019 be filled with joy.

If you need a financial check-up or prayer be sure to contact me.

This week, I’ve included FOCUS , LISTEN, LIFT – Best Gym Training Motivation 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

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Month End: December Snapshot


2018 is ending, and I’m glad this year is over with. This year has been a Year of Restoration. There’s been restoration in my finances and even more importantly restoration in my marriage. Restoration isn’t an easy process. When you think about a car being restored, there’s a lot of sweat, hard work, and physical reconstruction that can happen. Our Jack Russell Terrier, Sasha, had surgery to have two tumors removed and now she’s cancer free! There were quite a few challenges especially toward the end of the year, which increased the level of stress in our lives, but in those moments our faith increased too. When you find yourself in stressful and difficult moments, make sure to surround yourself with people who genuinely want to lift you up even if it’s emotionally. Throughout the year, and at the start of the blog, I haven’t fully disclosed all my consumer/credit card debt. I didn’t give full disclosure because I didn’t want to share how large the number was, and at the same time I didn’t want to discourage anyone from taking the steps to become debt free. Going forward I will disclose all my credit card and lines of credit debt for the purpose of being honest. I do have $25,067.91 in student loan debt, but my path to becoming debt free involves becoming debt free of credit card and lines of credit debt. My student loan is on a set income driven repayment plan and will be paid off by 2034 at a fixed rate of 3.125%. 2019 will be a year of great joy and you’ll see the remaining debt I have left to pay as I step closer to being debt free.

To encourage you, I started this year at $43,824.60 in credit card, revolving line of credit, and term debt combined. As of now, I’ve paid it down by $19,624.60 to $24,200.00. I was able to reduce my debt by this much by selling what I didn’t need to pay down portions of debt, consolidating multiple cash accounts, and using portions of my tax refund and bonus toward debt. I also completely focused on reducing a balance. Since the first blog post you’ll notice I don’t share the interest rate on the debt. The reason is because I want you to explore the two different debt reduction methods: the debt avalanche method and the debt snowball method. Personally, both methods work, and I’ve focused on debt based on how it makes me feel. I’ll also add that in addition to how I feel, I discuss with my wife my reason for switching to pay one debt with a lower interest versus a debt with a higher interest rate. In those scenarios, it’s because the balance is low enough that I can eliminate the debt within a shorter time frame. The second reason I don’t share the interest rate is because your debt reduction strategy is YOUR debt reduction strategy. You personally own it, must be responsible for it and most importantly be committed to following it day after day and month after month. My debt reduced when I finally committed to reducing it.

Your journey is different than mine, but we can take one step at a time together.

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 When You Are About To Give Up WATCH THIS! – Motivational Video Speeches 2019 from the Mulligan Brothers 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.”
‭‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Deuteronomy
28:12 NLT‬‬
‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

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

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

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.”
‭‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Deuteronomy28:12 NLT‬‬
‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

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

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me


Month End: October Snapshot


At the end of this month, I was able to pay off another one of my credit cards. Slowly and consistently throughout this year my debt has reduced at a faster rate than the last time I was getting out of debt, and even faster than when I began blogging about Debt Free Me in 2015. Why is there such a difference this year versus previous years and attempts? Honestly, I can attribute it to two factors: My wife’s willingness to let me focus on paying my debt and removing distractions from paying my debt. The extra $350 a month that I’m committing toward my debt vs using it toward our budget is a key factor. Also, I’ve cut back on letting my time and energy be pulled in different directions. I’ve said no to situations, and don’t focus on income opportunities. No is a complete sentence. Am I sacrificing opportunities by not building my asset class? Yes, and I’m completely content saying no. This year has been a year of restoration for me. I’m thankful to my wife for her love and support, finally achieving the salary I’ve wanted, and the consistency of continuing to pay down my debt.

If you notice the amount above is the amount that is being paid toward the principal and doesn’t include the accrued interest. If you’re going to work toward being debt free, then pay more than just the minimum payment or the accrued interest. If you’ve practiced the self-lending principle, you can see how much interest compounding daily can be for your benefit on an income side, but also how much it takes away from the expense side. A good personal goal as you’re paying down debt is to set aside income. Saving money will create a margin and give you the ability to handle unforeseen events. I recommend saving three months’ worth of income as a long-term goal, and one month’s worth of income as a short-term goal. Saving can be challenging at times, so find someone you trust to help you stay committed to achieving this step. If you’re using a credit card, then continue to pay it off monthly. Personally, I have one credit card that I use and pay off monthly. Why? Because debit cards can become compromised, and if a debit card gets compromised then your banking account is compromised. Yes, you could carry cash, but if you have the discipline, use a credit card and pay it off monthly. Find a credit card that offers some form of reward incentive either points or cash back. Personally, I like a cash back rewards, and my wife prefers to use points, so she can use it toward discounted store purchases. Next month is Thanksgiving and I have a lot to be thankful for.

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 CURE TO LAZINESS (This could change your life) from the Mulligan Brothers 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.”
‭‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Deuteronomy 28:12 NLT‬‬
‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

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

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Month End: September Snapshot


I turned 38 this year…Looking back I never expected to be so far behind in my life as compared to others. A lot of the people I went to high school with are married with children, and some are very successful in their careers. I look at my parents and remember where they were at my age, and honestly it discourages me. Comparison can do more harm than good. Even when comparing yourself against others who are attempting to achieve common goals like being debt free. All you can do is stay on your path and stick to your strategy. Everyone’s life, circumstances, and finances are different. That’s why it’s important to have a budget, or some form of knowing how much is coming in, and how much is going out. What is your bottom line number?

I’m focusing through the end of the year on paying down my other credit card debt. I’m continuing to pay just the about the minimum payment to at least reduce my principal balance on the debt above. Remember to look at your credit card statements to not just see your interest rate but also, to see how long it would take you to pay off your balance if you pay just the minimum payment. Also, your interest rate could change if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. Don’t compare yourself with others and continue step by step toward being debt free.

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 Dana White – From $0 To $7 Billion | One Of Most Compelling Speeches! from the Mulligan Brothers 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.”
‭‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Deuteronomy 28:12 NLT‬‬
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http://bible.com/116/deu.28.12.nlt‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Month End: August Snapshot


Near the end of August, I was surprised to have my previous annual review completed. It’s something that I had been hoping, praying, and struggling over throughout the year. Normally it’s completed at the end of the year, so not having a review concerned me. Even though I knew I was working as hard as I could, I felt frustrated and unimportant. I had talked about my frustrations with my wife, therapist, a close co-worker, and the Lord, but I was at my wits end. I knew I contributed greatly and was valuable in my workplace, but the lack of communication, had taken me to a place where I even considered alternate options. Surprisingly, I was called in for my review and sat down for the first time with my boss for my review. In previous years, I would complete my evaluation, and it would be submitted for approval. This year, he apologized for the delay, and asked for my thoughts on my career path. It was honestly a relief to have communication, but the greatest blessing didn’t come until the end of the month. He handed me a card showing what my new salary would be. Even now I’m so thankful to God, I had been trying to reach this number since I first entered the work force after leaving college fifteen years ago. This salary amount will allow me to pay down my debt faster, and at the same time set aside money for the future. I immediately adjusted my budget to set my current monthly income as my new estimated income and have made plans to adjust my actual income, so I can set aside a portion of this income for savings and investing.

Pray, plan, and build the future you want. I can’t say that it will happen overnight, and most of the time it will require a lot of work and sacrifice, but if you have the right attitude and work ethic you will achieve the goal you set. I’m proof that if you’re in the right environment it can happen. It’s important to keep the faith. If you receive an increase in pay, make sure you have a plan for your money. A plan can be a budget, or even a discussion with someone you trust about how to handle the change in income. Don’t waste your new income. If you’re trying to get out of debt, then stay on your path, and don’t get into more debt. I’m planning on using my debt reduction plan toward other debts I have, but I’m continuing to chip away at the credit card debt above.

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 WATCH THIS EVERY DAY| You Are More Than A Conqueror Motivational Video from the Lion of Judah 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.”
‭‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Deuteronomy 28:12 NLT‬‬
‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

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

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Month End: June Snapshot


At the end of June, I faced something I hadn’t faced in a long time. My wife and I traveled to Delaware to visit her grandfather, and the trip was meant to be relaxing for me, but instead I felt heavy, and tired. Unfortunately, there were moments in our trip that didn’t make it a vacation, but marriage is for better and for worse. Even if the worse is yourself. In the end, I was glad to be spend time with her and her grandfather, and I was glad to be able to get away from home and work. This month I focused more toward the Capital One card. After discussion with my wife, I’ve decided to focus on paying off one of my other debts. When you’re seeking to be debt free, make sure that you surround yourself with people that can give you sound and good advice.

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 UNBROKEN – Motivational Video 2018 from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.