Month End: May Snapshot

At the end of May, I’m closer to paying off the WF Line of Credit. This month I was able to get away and travel to Florida. My wife had a continuing education opportunity related to work. We stayed at a nice hotel located in Gulf Breeze that connected directly to the beach. It was during this time that we were able to eat at the local restaurants, and my wife enjoyed the saltwater. It’s moments like these that we need to take time away from work and our debt repayment plans to relax and enjoy life. Personally, it’s hard for me to decompress from work and I must force myself to relax. Despite how hard it is for me, your body needs to relax, and I encourage you to find moments, and schedule time to relax for your health. You can have all the wealth in the world, but if you don’t have your health then you can’t truly enjoy life.

Next month, I should be able to pay off the line of credit in full, and I’ve adjusted my budget to forecast what my income should be by the end of the year. It’s important to stay dedicated to your plan and diligently work it one step at a time.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income while reducing debt, or if you need a financial check-up, contact me.

If you want to learn more about the self-lending principle by contacting me

This month’s video is WHY MOTIVATION ISN’T WORKING FOR YOU *watch to the end* 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

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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.

Month End: February Snapshot


At the end of February, all my credit cards have been paid to zero. After discussion with my wife, and explaining the benefits of the installment loan, I got a $9,000 installment loan, and used $1,840 which is a combination of my normal debt reduction payments plus an extra amount to pay all my credit cards to zero. This moment is the 1st since my early 20’s that I’ve been able to pay my credit card debt to zero. I thank God for this moment, and even shared the zero balances with my wife in celebration.

In previous blog posts, I’ve talked about the benefits of using an installment loan to consolidate debt. My wife understandably had her reservations with me getting into more debt, so let me clarify the specific conditions in which using an installment loan for debt consolidation is ideal in my opinion.

  1. Your interest rate is going to be lower than the rate you are paying on your credit cards
  2. You can have control of the term of the loan (36 months, 48 months, or 60 months)
    1. This control is important, because the longer the term the lower your payment will be.
  3. There is no origination fee, or it is financed into the loan.
    1. If there is an origination fee, it will affect your monthly payment amount
  4. Make sure your payment amount will be the same or lower than what you’re currently paying and when it will be to fit in your budget

In my situation there was no origination fee, the payment would be less than what I normally pay on my debt around the 15th of month, and I had enough credit card debt paid down that this would fit with my debt free plan and even accelerate it. I would recommend that you not take out multiple installment consolidate credit card debt if you don’t have the discipline to not use your credit cards and know how the installment loan payment will affect your monthly cash flow. Remember that with installment loans the payments are fixed, however installment loans may improve your credit score, because they have a different weight on to the credit bureaus vs. (credit card) open/revolving credit. Based on this re-structure, I should be able to pay off the lines of credit by the end of this year, and hopefully pay off the installment loan by next year.

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 contacting me

This month’s video is The Greatest Motivational Video for Success & Gym – VALOR – 35 Minute Motivation 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
‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

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

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

February 23, 2019

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://matadornetwork.com/read/habits-bartenders-pick

WE ALL DEVELOP certain behaviors thanks to the influence of our work — nurses tend to wash their hands more often than is necessary and firefighters check the stove buttons a little too often. Bartenders are no exception. Over time, we carry the things we repeatedly do at work into real life. From knowing exactly how you like your Negroni to refusing to split a check, here are seven habits you pick up bartending. The seven habits are having extreme selective hearing, always prepared for any situation, the ability to order clearly, knowing how we like our drinks, having respect for expiration dates, being a radio dictator, and never splitting checks. Bartenders can listen for certain sounds such as a door opening, and even the sound of ticket printing. The other side, bartenders are also good tuning out conversations such as the conversations of the bar guests. The ability to prepared for any situation is critical especially if the night suddenly turns into a busy one. Bartenders by repetition and instinct learn intangible skills that can’t be easily translated onto a resume, nevertheless these skills can be useful in many different environments. What’s important in life is being able to acquire skills and use them across various industries and that’s how you can become an asset. Personally, I worked as a bartender at restaurant, and my first job was as a janitor at a major theme park. The customer service skills I learned in these two different industries, I use for success in my current career.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90303904/3-tips-to-slowing-down-cognitive-decline

You might think that the impact of aging on the brain is something you can’t do much about. After all, isn’t it an inevitability?

To an extent, as we may not be able to rewind the clock and change our levels of higher education or intelligence (both factors that delay the onset of symptoms of aging). But adopting specific lifestyle behaviors–whether you’re in your thirties or late forties–can have a tangible effect on how well you age. Even in your fifties and beyond, activities like learning a new language or musical instrument, taking part in aerobic exercise, and developing meaningful social relationships can do wonders for your brain. There’s no question that when we compromise on looking after ourselves, our aging minds pick up the tab. Over time your body will build up toxins such as tau proteins and beta-amyloid plaques that can affect the aging process and cognitive decline. There are other factors that can aggravate the aging process such as lack of sleep, alcohol, and stress. The key to resilient aging is improving neurogenesis, the birth of new neurons. The author of the article came up with three methods to encourage resilient aging in the brain: get your heart-rate up, change your eating patterns, and prioritizing sleep. Aerobic exercise such as running or brisk walking has a potentially massive impact on neurogenesis. A 2016 rat study found that endurance exercise was most effective in increasing neurogenesis. It wins out over HIIT sessions and resistance training, although doing a variety of exercise also has its benefits. Even if you don’t like to exercise alone, try doing some form of team sport or something with a form of social element which can increase neurogenesis. Evidence has shown that intermittent fasting, calorie restriction, and time-restricted eating can also assist with neurogenesis.

Try any of the following, after checking with your doctor:

  • 24-hour water-only fast once a month
  •  Reducing your calorie intake by 50%-60% on two non-consecutive days of the week for two to three months or on an ongoing basis
  • Reducing calories by 20% every day for two weeks. You can do this three to four times a year
  • Eating only between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. as a general rule

Prioritizing sleep and ensuring you have at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep is important. An easy way to know if you’re getting enough sleep is when you’re waking up at the same time every day of the week vs. needing to lie-in or taking longer naps. Try practicing mindfulness or yoga nidra before bed at night, a guided breath-based meditation that has been shown in studies to improve sleep quality. There are plenty of recordings online if you want to experience it. It’s important to work on each of these until they become a habit, but of these three I find that the Principle of Rest is very important. Your body needs at least one day of rest. It may be some form of leisurely activity or extra sleep, but make sure you rest.

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

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

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