Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I'm back with a refreshed motivation to share on how to save BIG dollars!

Hello all,
   There is only so many times a guy can apologize (ladies you know this, lol!). It has been like what K-Ci & JoJo sang about a "C-R-A-Z-Y" year! It started last spring when my father in law having a seizure out of no where...long story short he ended up getting a brain infection (which is why he had a seizure), this infection turned into two massive strokes which has left him incapable to take care of himself. So, last October he came to live with my wife and I as his insurance would not continue to pay for him to stay at a rehab facility and he had nowhere to go. Well, the only way this was gonna work without one of us quitting our jobs to be at home with him 24/7 was is somebody moved in with us to help take care of mother, volunteered, so...this means that my wife's father and now MY mother have moved into our home. She is a saint for taking a 1year medical leave of absence from her job with the airlines in Houston, TX to help us take care of Benny. Needless to say it has been a C-R-A-Z-Y nine months. Now that things seem to be calming down and we are getting used to this arrangement I have decided to pick up where I left off on this blog. Thanks for hanging with me!

OH YEAH...almost forgot, check out my new website!

MORE tips for Buying & Selling your home!

With interest rates still at an all time low, take advantage! All you renters out there need to hear this and pay close attention. Home prices are on the rebound and interest rates are soon to follow. So, with that being said, start looking for a home.

Step 1) Get a pre-qualified, go to your mortgage broker and have them run the numbers for you to see what you can afford. If you do not have a mortgage broker that you know or who you deal with either go to and see who has some of the most competitive interest rates in your area, or, go to the bank that you regularly bank at (if you like them) and ask to speak to one of their mortgage brokers. It is pointless to waste your time along with the time of the poor Realtor who is showing you house after house and you don't even know what you can afford. If you have already made contact with a Realtor or you know a Realtor but you don't know a Mortgage broker ask them for a recommendation.

Step 2) Make contact with a Realtor who can  REPRESENT YOU, don't go driving around looking at signs in yards and just calling the agents on the see they are obligated by law to look out for their sellers first and foremost, or they can remain neutral with both the buyers and sellers and they cannot, by law, share certain information with you that they otherwise could've if they were only representing just you in the transaction. They work for YOU, you can "interview" a bunch of different Realtor's before selecting one to represent you. Don't be "wow'd" by flashy big time Realtor's, make sure who you get will work hard for you.

Step 3) Once you have made contact with a Realtor that you feel comfortable with, ask them about certain rebate programs when buying and selling that are out there:

  • Homes for Heroes who will give you a 25% discount on their listing fees if you qualify (to see what it takes to qualify visit the link above and check it out), or you can get back 25% of the commission made by your Realtor back in a closing cost rebate (on a $200k home you would be looking at $1,500 back to you to pay for your closing costs!!). 
  • Ask your Realtor about other programs such as the "Good Neighbor Next Door" program that allows for Fireman, Police, EMTs, and Teachers to buy a foreclosure home and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will pay for HALF (50%) of the house for you if you buy the house they have for sale, the only thing you have to do is live in it for 5 years, if you do not then the only thing that will happen is they won't pay for their half. To break this down, if you find a $200k house on a HUD foreclosure list that qualifies for this program and you get it for $150k-foreclosure price, and they pay for half of it....this means that you will only pay $75K for a $200K house!!!, talk about getting your set for retirement! 
  • There is also the "Dollar Home" program that allows you to purchase an FHA foreclosure home if you are moderate to low income family for a $1!!! (not sure what exactly this requires, but sounds like a great program!)
  • If you can find a foreclosure house that you like and can do some work yourself you will still be getting a great deal and making a wise financial move even if you don't qualify for either of the programs listed above. Check out these foreclosure links HUD Foreclosures & Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Foreclosures
  • There are grants that certain city's will offer home buyers who qualify and they will pay for either closing costs or your down payment, you will just have to check with your local city to find out what is offered. 

Step 4) Along with the savings offered with buying and selling your home, those who qualify for Homes for Heroes will also be eligible for a free appraisal and discounts on homeowners insurance. If you are not eligible for the Homes for Heroes program you may be eligible for other offers, however YOU HAVE TO ASK when getting quotes for insurance or when you first speak to your mortgage broker.

Step 5) Getting a home inspection is important! If you are buying a foreclosure home and need to get the inspection BEFORE you put in the offer (which you may need to do), ask a local home inspection guy if he can do a home inspection WITHOUT the report for under $100. A lot of times they will do this (beats paying $250-$350 upfront without even having an accepted contract).

This is all I have for now...check back as I am working on another segment already.

Thanks again for reading, if you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to email me or post a comment on this post, thanks!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Crazy Summer, it's "Back to School" with savings

Hello All,
    It's been a while since I've made time to write a post, for those who have sent words of encouragement for me to write, THANK YOU! It's always nice to receive a word of encouragement. So, I pondered on what I should write about next and I figured since it was back to school, I should share a few steps that help to save you the parents, student, consumer money, and will support your school system and community.

My daughter came home with a school fund raiser packet a few weeks ago, and it's for those "Smart Savings Cards", I usually buy those every year regardless if my kid is selling them or not, just because I love, love, love the saving they bring. I have bought three of them this year, one from different children in my neighborhood and one from my own daughter, of course they are different cards....usually won't buy multiples of the same card. Just on the card that I bought from my daughter it will usually pay for itself by the money saved within the first month of owning it....just remember to look at your card to see where to shop before you get into the car to purchase or dine. For instance, I usually make it to the local Lowe's once a month for this or that, and I usually spend an average of $35-$40 per trip, this smart savings card had a savings where if I go to Ace Hardware instead of Lowe's I can save $5 off of a $25 that gets used right away. I will usually go to Best Buy for a larger purchase at least once per year, and I will receive an gift card with a certain value depending on how much I spend...minimum gift card amount being $10 with $50 purchase.The next one I will usually use within the first month is $5 off a $25 purchase at Advance if you add those up, I have saved myself a minimum of $20 just on 3 local stores. not to mention the 15-20 restaurants who offer decent savings that Ashley and I can use either on date night or when we take the family out. If nothing else consider this, even if you don't think you will use it that much, you are not only supporting the community/schools/children when you buy those cards, but you are supporting the local businesses when you buy them as well. When someone has a savings card, they are more apt to go and eat at the restaurant who has supported the local school buy putting the savings deal on the card you bought. When you spend money at the local restaurants/businesses you are supporting your local economy.

These are events that most schools will do to try and provide a "fun" environment for kids that attend their school to spend with their parents...usually large turn outs in my experience. If you've never been to one you are thinking..."how is this going to save me money?"...keep reading, it gets exciting even for those who do not have kids in the local elementary schools you can still save a boat load of money just by going and supporting your local elementary schools. Here's how, find out if they are having a silent or regular auction...or even sometimes BOTH!!! If they are having a silent auction, they are going to have "baskets" that have all sorts of goodies.. For instance, I went to my wife's school's Fall Festival they were having and I found this basket that was labeled "Girls night our" it was full of little girls pajamas, toys, a gift card, and popcorn. I noticed that it wasn't getting many bids, so I bid on it, knowing that I can make some money on this basket regardless if I want it or the stuff in it or not. I won the basket, and got made fun of quite a wife even poked a little fun at me...all the while I knew I had just put money in my pocket. Here is how, you can pick out the stuff in these baskets that you like...such as popcorn and the gift card in my case with this basket. The rest of the stuff I stuffed in a plastic bag and went to Wal-Mart and asked if I could return the stuff I did not want that I had just bought from this silent auction basket....this is important DO NOT LIE when you are going to return this stuff, your integrity is NOT worth the $$$ that you will get on a Wal-Mart or Kohls gift card. Wal-Mart/Kohls does not care where you got it, so DO NOT lie. The stuff that Wal-Mart does not sell or carry they will give back to you and you can take it to one more place that allows you to return stuff even if you didn't get it there...Kohls. For those of you who may be getting up on a pedestal to judge, stop now, these two stores advertise that they want you to bring stuff to them to return even if you didn't buy it there. You may be thinking, "why in the world would they do that?", here is why and how I know this....I used to work in retail management for many years before I went to work at the Fire Department, here is why they would do this, studies have found that when a person gets a gift card or merchandise card at a certain store, they are more likely to spend another 50% more than face value of that gift/merchandise card at their store just because they are using this gift card, we were pushed really hard to sell gift cards for this reason. So, when Wal-Mart/Kohls returns this merchandise not only will they put this said merchandise back on the shelf for sale and sell it, but on average, they will also get you the consumer to spend another half of what ever they just gave you on that card. So, not only are you getting a GREAT deal, and making your money back plus some on this basket that nobody wanted, but you are supporting your school and local economy!!! Now to the real auctions at the fall festivals at your school, be smart and don't get caught up in the hype of bidding, or you could loose money. They will auction off baskets here too, but you can get stuff you need at a great deal at the schools auction...even if you don't end up winning the item getting auctioned you are helping the school just by bidding because you are getting them more money by driving up the bids. Be smart, if you can take time to take a look at the items before they get put up for bid, google/amazon them on your smart phone, see what they retail for, don't pay above retail unless you just want to. Just think, if you buy this item that you may need from the schools auction, not only are you getting what you were going to get at some point anyway, but you are supporting your local school as well.

Thanks for reading, as always, feel free to comment or send me a message if you want a certain subject blogged about, if I am unfamiliar with it, I will become familiar with it and post on it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Here is a great tax write off, that provides clean drinking water to those who are in need!

Hello All,
    Coming up this June, I and two other men from church are running a "Tough Mudder" Race in Attica, IN in efforts to raise money to help fund a mission trip to Bangladesh. Our mission is to install water filtration systems to the local villages who's government has neglected them. While we are installing these systems we will be ministering to the locals and sharing God's love for them.

Please consider donating to this worthy cause. We are not asking our church for ANY assistance with this, we will be paying for this mission, including supplies for the filtration systems, from of our own pockets and through the generous donations from those who would like to assist.

Please note, this mission is being hosted by a Non-profit ministry organization called Agape Service Foundation Ministries and your donation is a GREAT tax write off as well as gift.

Thank you for your time, and help!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Selling/Buying your home & saving a BOAT load of Dollars!

Hello All,

   first off, I would like to say "thank you" to all the loyal "Small Steps 2 Saving Big Dollars" blog followers that have not given up on me since it has been a while since my last post. Thank you!

It's spring, and this time of year brings around flowering trees, baby animals, allergies, spring cleaning, and believe it or not, the increased activity of buying and selling homes. Since it's that time of year I figured I'd share a little insight on how to save Big dollars when you are buying OR selling your home.

Some may ask, "what makes you an expert on the buying or selling of home" my answer would be that "I am a licenced REALTOR" as well as fireman (I do real estate on the side when I am not at the fire department). Other Realtors reading this may want to hunt me down and beat me for telling everyone some of the insights, truths and tips for saving big money that I am about to share, but it's extremely hard times right now and with home prices and values being A LOT lower than they have been in the past, most people cannot afford to pay their Realtors like they did when they actually made a profit selling their home.


The first thing I would tell you to do is to get your realtor's license, this is an expense of around $2,000 to get you started. Don't stop reading just yet....remember I am trying to help you SAVE money, not spend it. Here is why, lets say you are selling a home that is valued at $150,000 and lets say that you have hired a realtor to list your house at a rate of 6% commission (3% listing & 3% selling)...this means that you will be paying out $9,000 in commission! More than likely even if you have your realtor's license you will still pay out 3% to another realtor for bringing buyers to you (this is considered the "selling side" of the commission). Now the total you will pay out for having your own realtor's license will only cost you $4,500 in commission and if you add the $2,000 it cost you to get your real estate license you still have a savings of $2,500!  Not only does you having your own realtor's license save you $2,500 on the sale of your home, but when you go and buy your new (well, new to you) house YOU will get paid by the listing agent the 3% that they offer to other agents for selling their clients just so happens that the buyers are YOU! So, let's say you sold your home, and after you factor the cost of getting your real estate license you saved $2,500, and now you are buying a new home that costs you $180,000 you will now make 3% or $5,400 in commission (before your split with the office) for buying your own house...this is a $7,900 savings!!! All this just for getting your real estate license and representing yourself just for these two transactions!!! Not to mention that if you wanted to represent friends, family or others you would get paid for helping them buy and sell houses as well...and you don't even have to quite your full time job, just do real estate as you have time! As a realtor you work when you want to, and you don't have to turn it into a full time job unless you want to. These figures were base on a 6% (3% listing + 3% Selling) commission rate that I applied to these numbers.

PLEASE NOTE: getting paid to buy your own house when you are a realtor is completely legal and is not in anyway considered to be "cheating the system", it's like a lawyer representing themselves in court...they are not charging themselves yet they are still reaping the benefits of being their own lawyer.

Tips when Selling:

Usually the first thing someone will or should do when they are ready to buy a house is to sell the one they are living in currently FIRST (unless of course you are a first time home owner, or are going from renting to owning). The LAST thing most people should do is try and buy a house before selling the one they are currently obligated other word doing a "bridge loan" or some sort of creative financing in order to be able to buy the house that they want. This is just my opinion, but in most cases in is NEVER a good idea to be liable for two mortgages if you can't afford to continue to pay both mortgages for an extended period of time (example: 2 years). A lot of people think they will just sell their house...its not that easy anymore. The average days on market in the area where I live is 155 days, and that's with a realtor representing them! This is a lot shorter than most places in the U.S.
Go to a local sign shop and get yourself a nice sign NOT use one of those wal-mart signs! Make sure your home is de-cluttered and the curb appeal is excellent! Do those things you've been meaning to do for a long time....just get it done! I'm telling you, it make a HUGE difference if you don't fix the little stuff, buyers are VERY picky and ofter won't look past the little stuff! If you are tech savvy create a website for your house, it'll cost you very little for the period of time you will be using it....for example if your address is 1234 pleasant way then have your web address be and have it be on the sign that you have made. Make some nice fliers, go to Kinkos and have some nice color fliers printed off that you designed and put them in a flyer box on your new sign in the yard!

So you want to sell your house, "what do I do first?", this is the question I get a lot from friends. I tell them that if you are not in a hurry to sell, try "FOR SALE BY OWNER" first. Then they ask, "what should I list if for?"....if you are not sure what to list your house for, or if you've had your house "for sale by owner" for a while and you are unsure if you have it over priced, call a Realtor and ask them to discuss selling your house with you and make sure they bring a this presentation they will/should have an average days on market sheet, along with "SOLD" comparables for houses in your area with similar features of the house you are wanting to sell...if they don't bring this stuff, then you know for sure that if you ever do want to list it that you better think twice....if they aren't going to show up to a presentation prepared, then you've got an idea of what kind of job they will do for you. Not always the case...but it's like a job interview and YOU are the boss! So now you know what price you should be asking for your house and you've got someone interested in buying your house, you are going to need an "purchase contract" which you can get from most mortgage brokers, so call your bank and get a purchase contract. Just know, it is lengthy and can be very confusing, if you are unsure on how to fill out this contract I would ask your mortgage broker. If they are unsure then call your local real estate attorney and have them help you fill it out and pay the one hour to them instead of paying a percentage of your house price to a Realtor...the attorney will be a lot less expensive.

So you've tried the FOR SALE BY OWNER thing, and it just hasn't worked for you, or you don't even want to bother with it, or you are in a hurry to sell. If you don't know someone or have a family member that is a realtor, do a little research on your local Realtors by asking your friends, co-workers, or neighbors about their experience with their realtor and/or if they recommend anybody. If you have a friend or family member who is a realtor, hire them (if you are going to pay someone to help you sell your house you might as well bless a friend or family member than hiring someone you don't know). THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!....the commission is ALWAYS negotiable!!!! It is against the law for a realtor to tell you otherwise! When you are discussing the commission rate with your prospective realtor ask them "is that is the best you can do?", and if they say yes then tell them "sorry, but that is NOT good enough"....and if they still refuse to negotiate the commission rate with you then tell them the interview is over and you will be in contact with how fast they will lower their's amazing!" When your prospective realtor is going over the "listing contract" with you know, pay attention to all parts of the contract and have him/her explain everything! the term of the contract is also negotiable, now the office policy may set a minimum length, but know there is not set standard on minimum contract length. Ask your realtor if they would consider dropping the "selling side" of the commission if YOU, the home owner, brings in the buying clients. Most Realtors will do this for you....since it saves them a lot of work. Also, ask your prospective realtor how much he/she is going to charge if there is only ONE agent involved (in other words, if he/she brings the buyers)....the reason you should ask this question is because most agents will still charge you the full 6% (or whatever the commission rate agreed upon is), which all goes into their pocket if they bring the buyers, usually that is percentage is split between the two Realtors involved. Ask him/her to reduce that figure to, lets say 4% or 4.5% if they are the only agent involved, most Realtors will/should do this for you. The reason you should get a discount if they are the only realtor involved is because they are no longer representing just you, now, they are also representing the buyers....this means he/she cannot look out just for your interests alone!!! Doesn't mean they will not do a good job representing you, it just means that they are legally bound to look out for they buyers interests as well....think about it.....your SHOULD get a discount if that is the case, right?!

So you just can't sell your home...and you absolutely need to do something about it...RENT IT OUT! the rental market is really booming right now. Take your time to screen your applicants or hire a property management company to do all this for you.

Tips when Buying:

Try and buy a home that is "for sale by owner" if you cannot find one you like that is for sale by owner or if there is a house you really like that is listed with an agent get your own agent, don't just call the one on the sign, call your friend or family member that is a realtor and ask them to represent you.....YOU NEED SOMEONE LOOKING OUT FOR YOUR INTERESTS ALONE, not one that is also looking out for the sellers interests! Generally it doesn't cost buyers anything to have their own realtor, the listing agent of the home that you buy pays them...not you! Ask your realtor if they pay or give closing gifts (if may not be allowed where you live, check the local laws on "closing gifts") when you buy a house with them.

ALWAYS GET A HOME INSPECTION!!! I cannot stress this enough!! If your realtor says you don't need one, I would fire him/her on the spot! At that point it's obvious he/she is not looking out for you and are looking out for themselves, they would rather you buy a problem than to have to wait or risk the sale not going through. Even new construction homes should get a home inspection, I cannot tell you how many times I've seen new construction home come back with a long list of stuff to be fixed because the contractors cut corners to save money! GET A HOME INSPECTION!!!

Like always, thank you for reading, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or suggestions! I hope you found this info to be helpful!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A few "Tid Bits" on saving some Big Dollars!

Hello All,

I hope everyone has survived this string of tornados and severe weather that came thru the mid west & south, I know things were crazy here in Bowling Green, KY last week. Please say a prayer for those whom have been affected by this severe weather.

 I have had a few tips for saving money that I would like to share with you. These tips came from the blog readers! So I have to give all the credit for today’s "tid bits" of tips to them...thank you!

 Take control of your cell bill don't let those cell companies give you a two year sentence anymore!

Straight talk from Verizon is a pre-paid cell phone plan that will allow you to go month to month without being stuck in a contract. I, personally previously thought the only way to get affordable cell phone plans were by signing a contract...and I used to work for AT&T part time on the side! Geez, I was fooled! One of you that follow the blog informed me of this prepaid plan that is way more affordable than what I am currently stuck paying! $45/month will get you unlimited talk/text/and web browsing, and for $30/month you can get 1000 minutes talk, 1000 texts, and a limited amount of web browsing! This is awesome! If I wasn't under a contract at this point I would be switching and trying out this plan....AND SAVING BIG DOLLARS!!!! The other cool thing is, you are not obligated to them, no contract and you still get to use the Verizon network! I'm pretty sure there are more pre-paid services out there that would compare...just check them out! Straight Talk can be purchased at Wal-Mart.

The credit for this "tid bit" of tips was given to me by an anonymous reader...thank you!

 More is terms of dollars with insurance!

Auto insurance is a funny thing; I was told by one of my readers that she had been taking some of my advice on this saving money stuff and called her insurance company to inform them she was getting more quotes from other companies. She did, and the rates she was paying at her current company were comparable to what she got elsewhere...because she had only been with her current insurance company for a short time. Here is the where it gets good, they took it upon themselves to see if there was anyway she could save money, so they started to ask her questions, she was asked if she owned or rented...which she was renting. They added renters insurance and combined that with her auto insurance to "bundle" and her monthly premiums WENT DOWN by $6/month!!! All because she added renter's we are not mistaken her total premium for both auto and renters insurance was cheaper than what she was paying just for auto!!! This is amazing, and something that everyone should at lease ask about if they don't already bundle their types of insurance, or if there are renters out there who do not have renter's insurance because they are afraid of paying more money for it per could save you money!

The credit for this "tid bit" of tips goes to Elaine Smith....thank you!

Like always, please feel to email me, leave a comment or feed back, it's always welcome and could possible help someone. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting help in your time of need....

This weeks post will be over benefits that rarely get used though they can be soooo beneficial! EAP or Employee Assistance Program is something that most employers provide though they hardly ever get used. It is completely FREE for the employee. The reason I am discussing this topic this week is because I recently decided to see what it was all about.

A while back I was talking with a co-worker buddy about his marriage and how he was getting counselling because his (our) pastor referred him to this professional christian counsellor. I asked him about it, and if he though it helped...he said "oh yes!, in a big way", and that he was skeptical at first about going to counselling. Side note....isn't if funny how we, as humans, seem to reject the thought of seeking counsel, though the bible states over and over again how seeking counsel is wise, and that it is something that the wise will do. Ok, back to the topic at, I asked my buddy, "do you think you will continue counselling after you've resolved the issues at hand?" he said "yes, most definitely...I see this as something that we will continue throughout our marriage". This got me to thinking, why do we, as a people, seek counsel only after we are find ourselves in need of rescuing?, and would be beneficial for both Ashley & I to seek counseling now, even though we are not in any marital trouble or even having any issues? This questions weighed on my mind for a while, then I saw a poster at work regarding EAP and how it is a benefit, available to us at anytime and included self help, addiction, marital, depression, financial, and more types of professional help for us as employees at no cost...AND it is completely anonymous and confidential, all you need to do to access this benefit is to call the toll free number that is on your human resource website, or you can get the number by contacting your HR rep, and they cannot ask you why you need the fact you don't even have to give your HR rep your name. Once you get the number you call and talk to an individual with EAP who will get all your information like your name, where you work, and more. They will look you up in their system to verify you are in fact an employee for the organization or company who provides the benefits. Once verified you tell them what type of help or counselling you need and they will give you a list of different professionals in your area who are "in-network" and you choose who you want to see. They will give you all the contact info for that professional and then tell you to call them to set up the appointment. Go to your appointment and you don't have any co-pays and they don't need  your insurance card. This is all completely confidential and they cannot tell your employer that you are seeking help. They just bill the employer for the session directly without any indication of who is seeking help. Usually employers will limit the amount of help you can receive in a 1 year period, for instance, I will be able to receive 6 marital counselling sessions at no charge to me. Ashley has this EAP as well, and can get 6 sessions per year, so between the two of us we can go to a marriage counseling session once per month for as long as we want at no charge to either of us. Some people may think that their employer would frown upon them if they knew they were seeking treatment or help....this is a LIE, and a bad one at that. Your employer has the benefit for a reason....they want healthy, happy employees! If you are both happy and healthy, the cost of doing business goes down because turn over will go down, and so will the health insurance costs. If your employer didn't want their people taking advantage of this benefit they wouldn't provide it. I'm not saying you need to go and tell everyone your personal business, but you shouldn't be scared of using this benefit either....that is why they set it up to be completely confidential and people wouldn't be scared to use it.

Ashley and I set up our appointment and we attended our first of many to come sessions with a marriage counsellor who has a christian foundation. Let me tell you how refreshing it was just to sit down with someone who is focused on helping us attain any goals we had in our marriage. He even said that he wished more married couples would seek counseling even if there is nothing wrong, that way little issues can be talked through and resolved before things could get bad, and to avoid rough times and/or traumatic events in a marriage. We had no issues we wanted to discuss when we showed up, but he got us to talking about little issues we have or had in the past and we were able to find things that were never addressed that could cause problems in the future. I am serious when I say that I am soooo glad we tried it out and I am truly looking forward to our next session. We has set it up to where we will make a "date night" out of the counselling session and have dinner afterwards.

Getting counselling from your pastor is another good route. Though if you have the EAP benefit I would use that if you can find someone who has their practice foundation based on your beliefs. Here is why, a pastor is usually the first line of help for someone when they are finding themselves in trouble or having problems....this is NOT a bad thing, this is a GREAT thing! Though continually using your pastor as a counsellor can be over using that benefit...just think, they have an entire congregation they are responsible for and probably counselling the majority of them. They're job is to be your mentor and spiritual leader...not counsellor, though that is one of their many roles. If you can alleviate their load by seeking help from someone who does this as their job, such as a professional counsellor, you will be lifting some of that burden off of your pastors back. If your employer or business does not provide this EAP benefit, then by all means see your pastor as much as you need, this was directed towards those who have the benefit though may choose not to use it and just use their pastor instead.

Women reading this, I know most men are usually the ones who do not want to go to counselling especially if there is nothing wrong. Tell them you read about this firefighter who did this and had completely found it to be worth while and beneficial and is even looking forward to the time spent with his wife making their marriage even better.

Like always, THANK YOU for reading, I hope this helps you. I know I am better for doing it.

If you have any comments, suggestions, or would like to post a helpful comment as well, please do so everyone can enjoy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Possibly the BEST way for you to save your dollars!

The six letter word that nobody wants to hear is B-U-D-G-E-T, this can be daunting. Do not let it scare you I will link a web site that will change your life if you let it (in a GREAT way). As I stated on an earlier post, I had the privilege of attending a training by Joseph Sangl on how to coach individuals on their finances. Years ago, I also attended a Dave Ramsey "Financial Peace University" class that lasted for eight weeks. I feel that the stuff that Joe has to offer is more applicable to me, the tools he offers are free!, and Joe seems to make it more "doable" for me, and those whom I have the privilege to coach. Don't get me wrong, both Dave and Joe are GREAT to learn from!

Enough talking about it here it is....

When you enter this website you have the "tool bar" at the top of the page, if you click on "tools" it will take you to a page where he has all kinds of budgets, and financial planning tools, and debt freedom calculators, ect. The first place to start is on the "monthly budget" this will allow you to input your estimated monthly income and place your estimated spendings into categories and you will see the calculations automatically take place right before your eyes. In my opinion the best budgeting tool he has the weekly/bi-weekly is AWESOME!!!! I absolutely love it! Once you get your estimated income for the five weeks that he has spread out, you can go thru and put in your expenses over the month and see exactly where each and every dollar is going.

This is important....if you get all your expenses put in and you have a "yellow bar" still, then you need to put that money somewhere. The VERY best place to put extra money that you don't have a place to spend it is in the savings column. You should already be saving a certain amount per paycheck already, if you are so lucky as to have extra money once things are allocated, then add the remainder to your savings, or giving’s column.

Once you know exactly where EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR is going BEFORE you even get it, this will help you in ways that you wont even know until you experience it. The goal of doing the budget is to bring the dollar amount that is not spent to EXACTLY ZERO and Joe says. Becuase they you are have accounted for every dollar.

Try this out, if you need help, email me.

Like I always say, if you have any comments, suggestions, or would like to add some tips feel free to contact me or post a comment on this blog.

Thanks for reading!