Archive for April 2006

It is important to know these facts

Mortgage Interest
If you have a mortgage for $150,000 at 6% interest and it takes you 30 years to pay off, you will pay a total of $173,757 in interest. If you instead pay off that same mortgage in 5 years, you will pay a total of $23,995 in interest. By paying off the mortgage early, you will save $149,762 in interest!!! Even if you pay it off in 15 years, you will still save $95,916 in interest! WOW!

When you purchase a house, it should be a GOOD thing. If you overextend your ability to pay off early, it could become much less than a good thing.

Home Purchasing Tips
– Pay at least 20% down to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
– Ensure that the monthly payment does not exceed 25% of your take-home pay
– Check out the costs of owning the home – property taxes, homeowners association fees, maintenance fees, average utility payments, homeowner’s insurance, etc.
– Do not buy if you do not understand the area. It is important to learn about the area in which you are purchasing before you make an offer.
– ALWAYS have a professional complete a home inspection. It will cost around $300, but it is well worth it.
– If you have to have a mortgage, make sure it is a fixed rate mortgage with a term less than 15 years (to save all that interest!).

What does being debt-free mean to me?

It means that I can help others.

It means that I do not have to worry about paying my bills.

It means no big money fights with my wife.

It means my wife can be a stay-at-home mother.

It means that a doctor bill, car repair, or high natural gas bill does not create a financial crisis.

It means that I can save money for upcoming known expenses.

It means that I can do exactly what I am made to do without having to worry about the pay.

It means that I have true peace.

What does being debt-free mean to you? What would it mean to you?

How much is enough?

When will you have enough? Is it when you finally own your home? How about when you finally get to purchase that awesome boat? What about a vacation home? What about when you own your own business? What about when you own a farm? Is it when you hit $1,000,000 in the investment account? What about $10,000,000? What about $100,000,000? What about $1,000,000,000?

It is said that John D. Rockefeller, billionaire oilman of the early 20th century, was asked how much money was enough? His response? “Just one more dollar.” WOW!

If you make money the object of your full attention, you will never be satisfied. Money at its very best enables you to help the less fortunate and accomplish great things for others. Money at is very worst leads to brutal deadly conflict.

Choose today to view your money as a resource. You have been hired as its manager? If you are the manager of your money, would you fire you? Make the choice to help others. Make the choice to wisely consider the opportunity cost of using your money. Make the choice to be a manager of resources. Do not allow your life to be driven for “just one more dollar.”

How much is enough for me? I have clothes, food, shelter, and transportation which puts me in the top 1% of the world’s population. I guess that means that $6.90 is enough for me.

Did you buy something with a credit card today?

Why?

Is it because it is a Tony Stewart credit card?
OR is it because you did not have the money?

Is it because you get airline miles?
OR is it because you did not have the money?

Is it because you get free hotel points?
OR is it because you did not have the money?

Is it because you get “free” gift certificates?
OR is it because you did not have the money?

Is it because you get “free” merchandise?
OR is it because you did not have the money?

Is it because you are worried about identity theft?
OR is it because you did not have the money?

I challenge you to NOT USE your credit card for the next 30 days. Force yourself to say the world’s most powerful wealth-building word “NO!”. Just 30 days. You have tried your way and stayed broke. Try my way for 30 days. Write out a budget tonight. Spend every dollar on paper on purpose before the month begins. Live by that budget. You will start to win.

Why do you want to be financially free?

Do you ever wonder why I write so much about becoming financially free?

I want to become financially free because I believe that I am a better person when I am not living paycheck to paycheck. I believe that I am a better husband when I am not worried about where the money is coming from to pay a past due bill. I believe that I am a better father when I am not juggling payments from week to week to prevent a check from bouncing. I believe that I am a better employee when I do not have to struggle to make it to the next paycheck. I believe that I am a better employee when I do not have to hold four jobs just to make ends meet. I believe that I am better able to accomplish God’s specific plan for my life when I am not bound by debt. I believe that I honor God when I practice good stewardship with the resources He has given me to manage. It clearly states in Proverbs 22:7 that the “borrower is servant to the lender”. When you are a servant, it changes who you are!

I believe that I am better able to give to worthy causes when I am financially fit. I believe that I am better able to focus on accomplishing my life’s work when I can focus on the task at hand without worrying about a check being able to clear. I believe that I free up more time when I can pay all of my monthly bills at one time. More time equals better opportunities to be a better spouse, father, and leader.

I truly believe that being financially free is not about money. My financial situation is an outcome based on a set of inputs. If I am financially free, it means that I am effectively managing the resources within my control. If I am not financially free, it means that I am not effectively managing the resources within my control.

I want to accomplish my life’s passion statement – “To help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible!” – To do this, I must be financially free. If I am not financially free, I will not be able to focus on helping others. Yes, it has meant sacrificing personal wants. Yes, it has meant delaying pleasure.

But it is not about me! It is about achieving what I was put on this earth to do!