This Blog's Purpose

The purpose of this blog is help people improve their Mind, Body, Soul (relationships) and their Money.

Monday, July 28, 2014

MMV: "Difference between winning and succeeding" - John Wooden - TED

Make your own video!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Debt free interview #12 - Emma of "From Aldi to Harrod's" Blog

This week's interview comes from a Brit - Emma the blogger responsible for the blog "From Aldi to Harrods" blog. She shares her story of getting out of debt here today: 

1.       How did you get into debt?
It started when I turned 18 and I was about to head off to university. My bank gave me a student credit card with a fairly low limit of just £200 ($339.231). I bought a house whilst I was at university so I had a lot more living expenses that the usual rent, food and phone bills - I had to kit out an entire house. Then when I took a part time job with Marks and Spencer Money, I was given another credit card, this time with a £1,500($2,544.11) ( limit. It just spiraled from there. I'd love to say that I at least spent it on having an extravagant lifestyle, but that's not the case. I used credit cards for living costs whilst at university, and then I graduated in to the recession and couldn't find a job, but still had a mortgage to pay.
2.       How deeply in debt were you at the worst point? What did it feel like?
I was very much a "head in the sand" person, and I don't know the true extent of my debt at its worst. At the end of 2013 it was close to £5,000 ($8,480.17)  still outstanding. Although I managed my debt well (it was on 0% interest and I never missed a payment) it still felt like a chain around my neck. How could I be going and enjoying meals out when I still had debts to pay off? 
3.       When did you decide to get out of debt and why?
When my fiancé proposed to me in November 2013, I knew our wedding would be an added expense. I was determined to make sure that I was walking down the aisle debt free. I managed to clear my debt with a year to go until we say our vows.
4.       How long did it take you to get completely debt free?
 I've been trying since I was 18 (over 8 years), but I made a conscious effort to pay off the last £5k ($8,480.17) in 6 months.
 5.       What advice would you give to someone trying to become debt free?
Don't underestimate how much a little change can help. You might think that cancelling your paid TV subscription will only save you a small amount per month, but it does all add up.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Debt- free interview #11 - Luke from Consumerism Commentary

This week I'm thrilled to have a response from Luke Landes of Consumerism Commentary. Landes has been blogging about his debt and finances for well over a decade. Here are his responses.

1.       How did you get into debt?
Like many recently-former students, I had student loan debt. On top of
that, when I finally got my career started, I was working in a
non-profit organization and my salary wasn't covering my basic living
expenses. I was going further into debt each month, and I wasn't even
spending extravagantly. I didn't have a runaway shopping habit, but in
order to live within I means I would have had to make sacrifices I
didn't want to make -- like living in a run-down apartment in a
run-down neighborhood.

2.       How deeply in debt were you at the worst point? What did it feel like?
I was probably in about $30,000 of debt at the worst of it, maybe
more. I know that's not as much as some people's rock bottoms, but it
was enough for me to eventually realize I needed to make some changes.
It felt... well I felt nothing. I was able survive on credit cards.
With access to credit, I was able to ignore my declining situation for
a long time. And ignoring the problem was a defense mechanism that
prevented me from feeling bad about the situation. But eventually,
when I lost my job, my apartment, my car, and my girlfriend, I knew it
was time to make some changes.

3.       When did you decide to get out of debt and why?

I found myself in a situation that was far beyond what I ever expected
for myself. I had to move in with my father. That's fine for someone
just out of college, looking for their first job, but it wasn't how I
wanted to living at that time. So I made a conscious effort to make
changes to my life, my attitude, and my philosophy to get myself out
of that situation.

4.       How long did it take you to get completely debt free?

 Because I tracked this on Consumerism Commentary, and was one of the
first people to track his finances online, publicly, this information
is pretty easy for me to find. My first happy milestone was having a
positive net worth, which seems to have occurred in December 2002.
That's almost a year after starting a new job, and after a few months
of greatly reduced living expenses within that time. But I finally
paid off the last of my student loan debt in December 2008. That was
the last of my debt. I have never owned a house and have never had a

5.       What advice would you give to someone trying to become debt free?

Besides reading my story throughout the years on Consumerism
Commentary, I always start people off by advising them to start paying
attention to their finances. But if they're trying to get debt free,
they may already be paying attention. But not everyone who tries is
really, actively, trying. And that attitude is the key. It's one thing
to want to get out of debt, it's another thing to take actions to get
out of debt, but the only thing that works is to let the idea of
becoming debt free become part of the overarching philosophy of your
life. It's a priority, and you can't afford lapses. The right mindset
is so essential to getting out -- and staying out -- of debt that
without it, any positive steps you take could easily be negated in one
unfortunate circumstance. Every financial decision is a choice.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday Summary #6 - Is it time to leave?

Friday was my last day at my job.

It was interesting and nice to see all the  "well-wishers" greeting me throughout the week.

Don Peebles - the black multimillionaire and Miami real estate mogul mentions in his book The Peebles Principles - that at a certain point he knew it was time to move on from his hometown of Washington D.C. .

Although I can only hope to someday reach a fraction of his level of success, as I move my family close to 2,000 miles away to Phoenix, AZ the hope is that opportunity will be greater.

Goodbye snow - Hello Cacti.

How about you? Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you could stay where you are and stagnate or take the risk of moving on which could be a great opportunity for a potential back-step but, who you'll never know until you take the leap? If you've had that experience, please share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Debt free interview #10 - Michelle of Making Sense of Cents

This weeks interview comes from Michelle of Making Sense of Cents. Michelle overcame a salary level amount of debt she used in order to further her education. Here is her story:

1. How did you get into debt?
My debt was all from student loans. I have three degrees (two undergraduate business-related degrees, and then a Finance MBA), and I put most of my school tuition on student loans. I did receive a good amount of scholarships, but it still was not enough to cover the heft college tuition at the private university for my undergraduate degrees that I chose.

Also, even though I was working full-time, I never really put any money towards my student loans. I always just figured that I would pay it off later and that it would be no big deal. Because of this, I continued spending like crazy - I bought thousands of dollars of clothing each year, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on food, I lived on my own, and more.

2. How deeply in debt were you at the worst point? What did it feel like? 
At one point I had around $40,000 in student loans. To some that is not a lot (I know others who have over $100,000 in student loan debt), and some it is a crazy amount. Whatever the case may be, $40,000 in student loan debt is a number that gave me migraines whenever I thought about it.

3. When did you decide to get out of debt and why? 
Right after I graduated from graduate school with my Finance MBA, I decided that I HAD to get out of student loan debt. I didn't want to have it linger over my head for decades or even years to come. I knew I wanted it all gone!
I'd rather focus on other things in life than having a student loan debt payment each month. Yes, I get to use my degree to better my future, but I was paying for something that I couldn't physically touch so it was a hard thing to pay each month.

4. How long did it take you to get completely debt free? 
Luckily, I really buckled down and took on side jobs to pay off my debt as fast as I could. I believe I paid off my student loans around one year after I received my Finance MBA. It was hard work though - there was a full year where I was working over 100 hours each week so that I could put almost all of the money I made towards my student loans.

5. What advice would you give to someone trying to become debt free?
My top tip would be to find other ways to make money on the side. This way you don't really have to suffer by cutting back drastically (that does help though!) and you can still live your normal life.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saturday Summary #5 - Ebb and Flow of opportunity

So this week has been very interesting.

It's made me consider the ebb and flow  of opportunity.

For the last several years I've felt there has been no opportunity or options especially career-wise.
Within a month of actively seeking opportunities outside those I'm confortable with, opportunity appears to be showing up everywhere.

I just accepted an opportunity in Phoenix, AZ but, potential other options continue to appear.
At times like this,  I think about Zig Ziglar (may he R.I.P.) and his story about "Priming the Pump."

Friday, July 4, 2014

Debt free interview #9 - Tracie from Penny Pinchin Mom (It's Independence Day!)

Today is the anniversary of the day a small group of colonies declared their independence from a tyrannical British Empire. It is fitting then that today I have the opportunity to learn from a fantastic blogger who has declared financial independence from debt. Tracie from the Blog - Penny Pinchin Mom was kind enough to share her debt-free story. 

1.       How did you get into debt?

We had 2 vehicles and took out a home equity loan to try to consolidate our debts.  We struggled to make ends meet and would sometimes rely upon credit for the things we needed.

2.       How deeply in debt were you at the worst point? What did it feel like?

$37,000.  It was overwhelming and we felt like we'd never get ahead. 

3.       When did you decide to get out of debt and why?

We finally decided that we had to do something and talked to friends about it.  We were struggling every pay period.  They told us about Dave Ramsey and how it changed what they did and so we decided to try.  That was November 2010 and we've never looked back!

4.       How long did it take you to get completely debt free?
It took a little more than 2 years -- February 2010.
5.       What advice would you give to someone trying to become debt free?

Remember that you didn't accumulate all of your debt in a month so it will take a while to get it all paid off.  Slow and steady is the way to go.  As you get discouraged, you just need to go back to where you were when you started and see what you've accomplished and pat yourself on the back.  You CAN do this and the end result is so worth it.

If you're dealing with debt today - please take note. If you've struggled with debt yourself and would like to share - feel free to contact me.