Most Don’t Have a Money Problem, They Have a Mind Problem

DannyI recall a conversation I had with a friend of mine a few years ago.  He was upset because he was struggling financially.  He had a decent job, but life's circumstances had turned against him it seemed.  He had gone through a divorce that drained his savings.  He had had a series of car problems that drained every extra cent he had from his last paycheck. He didn't have enough money remaining to eat and still had 10 days until his next paycheck.  Needless to say this friend was down on his luck and was asking to borrow money; which I gave him. The interesting thing is that I had known this guy for a few years and I knew his problem wasn't the divorce or car problems.  His problem was that he lived with a broken mind.

This guy's thinking was flawed so here's what I suggested to him–"you need money and you have money sitting right in your house.  Let's go through your house and collect up all the things you don't touch and have a yard sale.  I'll bet you have close to $500 sitting around."  This was on a Tuesday and on Wednesday he ran a free ad on Craigslist advertising his Saturday yard sale.  The end result?  He made $400.

I started a vintage furniture company with almost zero cash.  I went to an estate sale and bought $30 worth of old furniture which I flipped for $175 in one day.  I then took and reinvested that $175 and turned it into $400 and I was off and running.

Here's my point: you don't need money!  You need a revolution of your mind.  Do you remember my question about giving your all?  This is what I was talking about.  What are you willing to do to change your current circumstances?   My friend had never considered having a yard sale, yet he made $400 in 4 days from things he had lying around his house.  I created $400 in profit in 2 weeks from a simple $100 investment.

If you have a mind dead set on changing, then you will find a way to change.  If you have a mind set on lamenting your circumstances, then you will continue to complain and nothing will change.  I can already see the comments, "I see what you are trying to say, but everyone's circumstances are different.  Some people don't have anything."  And this is true, there are going to be uber-extreme situations where someone in this world doesn't have anything.  But I'm not talking about them, I'm speaking directly to YOU!

Here is a simple formula to make more money right now…

  1. Call your pay television company and cancel your service.  (save $100+)
  2. Collect everything in your house that you don't use and have a yard sale on your day off. (revenue $250)
  3. Go to garage/yard sales and find things of value and flip on Ebay.  (profit $25 per week)
  4. Go to nightly estate/merchandise auctions and buy items of value and flip on Ebay (profit $60 per week)

Monthly Result?

$100 – cable

$250 yard sale

$340 Ebay

=$690 extra money

And I know this works because I did it.  I spent 2 nights per week at auctions buying things that had value and then selling them on Ebay or Craigslist.  I took everything in our home that we never touched and held yard sales.  I attended weekend estate sales and found items I could flip for cash.  Basically I hustled my tail off to make $20 bucks here and there and turned that into a few thousand dollars per month.  It was a lot of work.  It resulted in me working nights and weekends.  It took time.  But I did it and I created an income flow.  The difference was that I had a mind set on finding any way to generate extra money so I did everything I could to scrape together extra dollars to get ahead.

Imagine if you exhausted every avenue to make a few extra dollars and combined that with eliminating wasted expenses!!  Everyone wastes a couple hundred dollars per month on cable, cigarettes, eating out, gym memberships, car payments, Starbucks, driving too much, etc.

The question is-which mind do you have?  One set on getting ahead and finding a way or one set on accepting getting dirt kicked in your face by life and sitting around complaining?  The simple truth is you have extra time and if you have extra time you can use that extra time to make extra money.

(*******even those who have nothing can find a way.  Read this story about a man who traded a paperclip for a house!!)

Why Living Debt-Free Creates a More Joyous Life

I know so many people who portray themselves as happy on Facebook, that I can see are not very happy at all.  People are keeping up with the Joneses, piling up credit card debt, feeling the pressure of impending college tuition, wondering how in the world did I get in this much debt and how am I going to get out of this? They work jobs they abhor and live lives that are severely disorganized.

101My challenge has always been to push people to challenge themselves, to break the cycle of a life that is designing them vs them designing their life. And as I type this I realize some might read and say most people’s lives aren’t that bad; and my response is you have not been paying attention.  It might be the case that not all families encapsulate my description above, but many families deal with a few.  I believe we have been conditioned to accept debt as a reality, when in fact it is a defeatist mentality.

We must realize that our life is our responsibility and it is possible for us to make positive changes.

I have talked often in the past about debt and I have wondered myself why so many of my thoughts regarding living out dreams come back to debt.  And I guess the answer is that in conversations with people I have heard the money excuse used all too often. And when I hear the money excuse used I immediately wonder how much cash they waste each month or how they use their money.

I personally have two resources that I guard as sacred: my time and my money.  The money situation is very sensitive for lots of individuals because they feel a sense of embarrassment when light is shined on their inability to manage their personal life. If you speak to someone who works in the financial business they will tell you how defensive people get when their debt is criticized (and by criticize I mean it in the truest definition of the word, not pointing out flaws or making fun of).

I believe it is important for you to understand one fact: your debt could be getting in the way of you living a fulfilled life!  We live in a society that tells us we must live in a certain type of house, drive a certain type of car,  send our kids to a top school, we must work a certain type of job, we must associate with a certain type of people. And if you do not you are not successful. And you must obtain these things at any cost. So get yourself some credit cards, acquire a line of credit and go buy things so that people think you are successful and these things will make you happy and fulfilled.

And in the end what you have attained is a life that is fake, that you don’t own because you owe others for it, and a mountain of debt that you carry around like a 300 pound gorilla each and every day. Your debt restricts your ability to move out of a job that makes you unhappy, it restricts your ability to move out of a city or town that you do not like, it restricts your ability to see the world around you and it sets an image of the type of life your children expect to have for themselves.

For your information, Warren Buffett still lives in a house in Nebraska that he bought 50 years ago and drives an old Buick,  both of which he paid off many years ago.

121908-600x349Do not wait for tomorrow, do it today!  And contrary to what some might say Starbucks is not necessary. Car payments are not necessary. Shopping at the most expensive grocery stores is not necessary. Eating out is not necessary. Gym memberships are not necessary.  Boats & motorcycles are not necessary. Cable television is not necessary. And these are just a few of the things I see people spending money on that they can neither afford nor sustain.

Your attitude towards buying things should always be: if you do not have the cash to buy, do not buy it.  I will guarantee you if you eliminate all unnecessary spending each month you will have approximately $500 to pay on debt. My advice would be to pay down the smallest credit card first and gain some positive forward momentum. Then choose the second debt item and take the $500 plus whatever you were paying on the first credit card and pay that on the second credit card.  You duplicate this formula as many times as it takes to get you out of debt and if you commit three to five years to this you will be 100% debt free.  There are many methods or plans that one can use so be sure to educate yourself as to the best method for your situation.

Don’t forget to take a few moments and visit my Partners’ pages located in the sidebar and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr!

Many of the happiest people I know have extremely low debt. And by extremely low debt I mean they have an affordable mortgage, no car payment, and zero credit card debt.

Successful people do not stumble upon being successful. Their lives are purposely designed to give themselves the best opportunity possible to find success. And it is time for you to take control of your life and design it to give yourself the best opportunity possible to be successful.  The first step is acknowledging that your life is your responsibility.

 

25% done with baby step #2!

This is a great system and works masterfully! 4 short years of sacrifice for a lifetime of freedom is so worth it!!

Debt Free in Sunny CA

I’ve hit a major milestone in my debt free journey! After doing the math and drawing in how much I’ve paid off, I realized that I’m at the 25% mark. At this rate, not counting any raises or extra money that I come across, I’ll be debt free by December 2018! Which will be four years total to get out of $82,000 worth of debt. When you step back and think about it, that’s not a long time at all. Four years of sacrifice to be able to do the things that I want to do and have my future set. I’ll be 32 years old with NO DEBT!

What keeps me motivated? Lots of things.

  1. Listening to The Dave Ramsey show – on repeat
  2. Watching and listening to the Financial Peace University DVDs and CDs
  3. Paying bills and seeing my balances go down
  4. Crunching numbers to see where I’ll…

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The Entitled: Why You Can’t Help Everyone

This is a very typical attitude that leads to financial disaster! It never ceases to amaze me how people refuse to make changes in the face of financial ruin!!

Debt Be Gone

If you have mounting debt, it is time for you to address the problem, make cuts and relieve yourself of this spirit-killing burden!!!

The Budgetology

When you’re getting out of debt, no matter how long it takes, it’s hell. Straight up. You just will not be able to live the life you were once accustomed to…you know…the life that, oh, I don’t know…got you into debt in the first place? Hmmm? Moving on…

When getting out of debt your first question should be: what am I spending my hard earned cash on that I shouldn’t be spending it on? You will find there are probably a lot of things in the month that suck up your money.

There are a few things besides your expensive morning coffee you should consider getting rid of immediately like:

  1. Your gym membership — anywhere from $30-$60 a month and you really don’t need it. Bust out that dusty elliptical, go for walks and runs or swim in your pool. Heck, even look up free YouTube tutorials on how to…

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Every Dollar Budget Review – Week 1

In Between Moderation offers up a review of Every Dollar, an online budgeting program. Very informative!

In Between Moderation

everydollar

This week I will explore EveryDollar, Dave Ramsey’s free online budgeting program. Having used his pay budgeting service it will be interesting to see how it compares and what features it offers. I have to add that I really did like his paid service but found it a bit difficult for me to stay consistent with. It offered a little to much and required more time then I had to maintain so I have not used it for months. (I’m still subscribed to it however.)

Upon entering the site I am required to submit my email and create a password. After entering my email it recognized that I had been a subscriber to Dave Ramsey’s budgeting program and prompted me to submit that password. Not sure how this connection will matter. One thing I did not care for was having to verify my email before getting started. I just…

View original post 334 more words

Living Within Your Means

The second item on the list of Habits of Successful People is: they live within their financial means.  Statistically they allot 25% of their income to housing, rent or mortgage.  15% to food.  10% to entertainment.  And 5% of their net annual to holidays/vacations.  I can tell you from my wife’s previous occupation of financial consulting, that the vast majority of people do not live within their means.

A Huffington Post poll revealed that only 10% of Americans are living below their means or spending less than they make.  Why is this so and why is it important?

Successful people guard two things with serious conviction: time and money.  They understand the importance of financial responsibility and freedom.  When I first started writing the Dream Big blog I was not sure where I wanted to go with my writing, but that was clarified for me when I compiled the list we are working through now.

In the U.S. people make one fatal financial mistake: they fall for the lie that everyone has to have credit cards.  We are led to believe that it is normal and okay to accrue credit card debt, which leads most down a destructive road.  I have written about this topic a lot and learned that the average credit card debt per household in the U.S. is just under $15,000.

c92470c3e7607e72fa3a9405066e4a5dSo why is living in your means important?  When you spend less than you make and do not rack up debt, you allow yourself freedom and mobility.  What I mean is you have the freedom to switch jobs or occupations if your current situation makes you unhappy or unfulfilled!  So many people I speak with about starting their own business or changing jobs simply cannot take a job making less money because they owe so much money; they have massive debt.

So what do you do if you have stacked up huge debt?  You must begin immediately assessing the damage and take action to pay the debt off.  I recommend making serious sacrifices for a couple of years in order to pay down credit card debt.

My list of recommended cuts are as such:

  • Pay television, cable, satellite,  internet based.  The average pay television bill in the U.S. is $123!!  And most shows can be streamed for free!  Plus there are better things to do with your time.  Just sayin.   Estimated savings per month (ESPM)… $123
  • Shopping at premier stores.  Swallow your pride and start bargain hunting!   Marshall’s, TJ Max and even thrift stores are great ways to get what you need at a fraction of the cost.  ESPM…$100
  • Stop smoking and drinking.  Not only is this good for your budget your lungs and liver will both thank you!   ESPM…$150
  • Eliminate eating out.  Look at eating out as a luxury, one that you can no longer afford!  For special occasions find a nice, inexpensive spot to dine.  My wife and I found a great Chinese restaurant that we can both eat for under $20.  ESPM…$100
  • Elaborate entertainment.  If you have credit card debt I can safely surmise that a large percentage of the balance is due to entertainment you could not afford in the first place.  Get creative when planning family entertainment: go to the park, rent a DVD from Red Box and have family movie night, attend a free music fest.  Entertainment does not have to be a $100+ night at the theater.   ESPM… $200
  • Starbucks or coffee-house.  This is a personal peeve of mine as I know lots of folk that have a $70+ coffee habit each month.  Buy a good $9 bag of coffee and brew at home.  ESPM… $50
  • Memberships.  Gyms are the worst investment known to every financial counselor.  Every one of them had this at the top of their lists.  Buy your own weights, run outside and stop wasting $75 each month.  ESPM… $75
  • Magazine subscriptions.  No explanation needed.  ESPM… $20
  • Car payments.  If you have more than 1 car payment, you are handling your money foolishly.  Automobiles depreciate.  One financial advisor said to me, “finance assets that appreciate, but never finance assets that depreciate.”   Rework your current auto situation and eliminate 1 or more car payments!
    ESPM… $350
  • Name brand groceries.  I shop at Aldi and love it.  My wife is amazed at what we get for the money.  ESPM… $200
  • Misc. waste.  Most people have a couple hundred dollars each month that simply vanishes.  Well, find it!  Keep all your receipts for a month and identify any holes in your ship.  ESPM… $150

Once you have eliminated unnecessary spending take the surplus and combine it with your minimum payment on your lowest credit card debt.  Imagine how quickly you could pay off $5,000 if you were paying $600 to $1000 per month!  Once you have paid off the first card, apply your total payment from card 1 plus the minimum from card 2 and hammer that debt down.  You proceed in this fashion until you have paid your credit card debt off.

I have talked via email with a few people who decided to pay themselves out of debt.  They all said the sacrifice was so worth the freedom and relief they felt once the debt was paid off.  I strongly encourage you to take a look at your finances.  Do not tell me you cannot find extra money because I know most people can.

Make a short-term sacrifice for a long-term gain.  You will thank yourself!

Big Dreamer

Spend Less Than You Make

Here are some great tips for living within one’s means or spending less than you make!  It can make you or break you!

http://credit.about.com/od/avoidingdebt/tp/live-within-your-means.htm

Getty images

Getty images

Big Dreamer

Why Living Debt-free Creates a More Joyous Life

The reason that I write is to try to motivate people to seek fulfillment, happiness.  Because I know so many people who portray themselves as happy on Facebook, that I can see are not very happy at all.  People are keeping up with the Joneses, piling up credit card debt, feeling the pressure of impending college tuitions, wondering how in the world did I get here and how am I going to get out of this? They work jobs they abhor and live lives that are severely disorganized.

101My challenge has always been to push people to challenge themselves, to break the cycle of a life that is designing them vs them designing their life. And as I type this I realize some might read and say most people’s lives aren’t that bad; and my response is you have not been paying attention. Maybe my description encapsulates many details that don’t all exist in one person or family, but many families have serious issues that are keeping them from being happy and fulfilled and most of these elements are controllable and changeable.

We must realize that our life is our responsibility and it is possible for us to make positive changes.

I have talked often in the past about debt and I have wondered myself why so many of my thoughts regarding living out dreams come back to debt.  And I guess the answer is that in conversations with people I have heard the money excuse used all too often. And when I hear the money excuse used I immediately wonder how much cash they waste each month or how they use their money.

I had a challenge several weeks ago to keep all receipts for spending for a 30 day period and at the end of that 30 days take the spending that was necessary and separate from spending that is unnecessary. What I find most interesting about the challenge is what people deem necessary vs unnecessary.  I also find it interesting that people are amazed at what they spend their money on.

I personally have two resources that I guard as sacred: my time and my money.  The money situation is very sensitive for lots of individuals because they feel a sense of embarrassment when light is shined upon their inability to run their fiscal life. If you speak to someone who works in the financial business they will tell you how defensive people get when their debt is criticized (and by criticize I mean it in the truest definition of the word, not pointing out flaws or making fun of).

I am saying this out loud to you: your debt is getting in the way of you living a fulfilled, happy life!  We live in a society that tells us we must live in a certain type of house, drive a certain type of car,  send our kids to a top school, we must work a certain type of job, we must associate with a certain type of people. And if you do not you are not successful. And you must obtain these things at any cost. So get yourself some credit cards, get yourself a line of credit and go buy things so that people think you are successful and these things will make you happy and fulfilled.

And in the end what you have attained is a life that is fake, that you don’t own because you owe others for it, and a mountain of debt that you carry around like a 300 pound gorilla each and every day. Your debt restricts your ability to move out of a job that makes you unhappy, it restricts your ability to move out of a city or town that you do not like, it restricts your ability to see the world around you and it sets an image of the type of life your children expect to have for themselves.

Fyi, Warren Buffett still lives in a house in Nebraska that he bought 50 years ago and drives an old Buick,  both of which he paid off many years ago.

It is time for you to take action, evaluate your finances, eliminate all unnecessary spending and allocate that extra money to paying off debt.

121908-600x349Do not wait for tomorrow do it today!  And contrary to what some might say Starbucks is not necessary. Car payments are not necessary. Shopping at the most expensive grocery stores is not necessary. Eating out is not necessary. Gym memberships are not necessary.  Boats & motorcycles are not necessary. Cable television is not necessary. And these are just a few of the things I see people spending money on that they can neither afford nor sustain.

Your attitude towards buying things should always be: if you do not have the cash to buy, do not buy it.  I will guarantee you if you eliminate all unnecessary spending each month you will have approximately $500 to pay on debt. My advice would be to pay down the smallest credit card first and gain some positive forward momentum. Then choose the second debt item and take the $500 plus whatever you were paying on the first credit card and pay that on the second credit card.  You duplicate this formula as many times as it takes to get you out of debt and if you commit three to five years to this you will be 100% debt free (excluding mortgages, which is an entirely different topic).

Many of the happiest people who I know have extremely low debt. And by extremely low debt I mean they have an affordable mortgage, no car payment, and zero credit card debt.

You are fully responsible for the life that you live.

Successful people do not stumble upon being successful. Their lives are purposely designed to give themselves the best opportunity possible to find success. And it is time for you to take control of your life and design it to give yourself the best opportunity possible to be successful.  The first step is acknowledging that your life is your responsibility and it is no one else’s fault that you are where you are and no one else gets the credit for where you are in life right now.

If you take action today and maintain that action through the steps we’ve discussed you will begin to take steps toward living your dreams!