Dave Ramsey – 7 Baby Steps to Financial Peace – Never seen any better method!
Robert Kiyosaki – Cash Flow Quadrant – ESIB – The letters are so cool!
John Eldredge – Wild At Heart – Psychological analysis of men
God – He is absolutely in control!
Perry Noble – My pastor is the greatest pastor in the world!
Mike Yoder – Acts 2:42 will never be read again without thinking of Mike
Paul Marshall – Hero of mine
David Chilton – Compound interest became my friend at age 12
David Jolley – Wow – Huge help in a crunch!
It is amazing to me how much I have screwed up in the management of money!
Jenn and I lived for three years with a double income and no children and somehow managed to not only spend everything we made, but to also spend MORE than we made!
What an embarassing situation it was when Jenn and I stopped and looked at how we were managing money! I mean, we had both made a ton of money as professionals straight out of college, and we had very little to show for it. It was sad. It was humiliating. It was not fun.
When we turned 180 degrees and determined that we were going to manage our money God's and Grandma's way, we started winning financially!
One of the key reasons we changed our behavior was the fact that we had a daughter. I did not want to have to explain to my daughter that we could never go on vacation because we had acquired a load of debt. I did not want to be bound to a job "because it pays the bills".
As a result of our life-changing experience in the way we manage our money, we have had plenty of opportunities to teach our daughter how to manage her money.
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview my daughter as part of the Financial Freedom Class that I teach. You can listen to the interview HERE. The actual interview starts a couple of minutes into this segment.
If you can't tell, I am proud of what my daughter has learned! I keep telling her that she has more in the bank than 70% of the American population (who are currently living paycheck-to-paycheck despite the fact that they have earned more than $500,000 in the last 10 years!!!!!!).
Your child can start learning about money TODAY – even if she is only four years old!
If you have been paying attention at all to the finance world, you know that it is important to have a diversified portfolio.
You do not want to have all of your eggs in one basket – such as having a majority of your money invested into a single stock.
Well, I believe that I have a well-diversified portfolio through a variety of mutual funds. The issue is that all of these investments are impacted by global/world/regional events that may or may not have anything to do with the mutual funds I own.
This is why I own a house. It is an investment that helps my financial portfolio become more diversified.
I have owned quite a few homes, but the home I now own is the first older home I have purchased. This house was in some dire need of structural improvements AND decorative updates.
However, I bought this house at a discount because of all of the issues with it. It was NOT move-in ready.
Here is a list of problems that it has/had:
- Dog pee all over the carpets
- Dog damage from climbing on window sills, digging up the yard
- Rotten floor
- Leaking roof – several spots
- Sagging roof
- Old appliances
- Wood paneling with horrible wallpaper all over it
- Leak damage on the walls/ceilings
Now, I am the son of a home builder. I know a little bit about working on houses. I will tell you that this is my first attempt at updating a house myself. As a result of this project, I have developed a short tip list for you should you consider doing this.
- If you have no clue about updating houses – do NOT do it unless you have a pile of green portraits of Ben Franklin that you want to donate to others.
- Have a contigency fund for the problems you will discover as you fix other known problems
- Get help when you get in over your head
- Don't move in to the house until you have fixed the structural issues. It is so much easier to complete a major project when you are not living there!
- Develop a budget for the projects and HOLD TO IT! Be realistic on estimated costs!
- Cry when you need to. It lets some of the frustration and anger out.
In the end, you will have a nice house for a good price and have some good ole sweat equity built up!
On-Line Savings Accounts
On-line savings accounts are paying 4.50% or more on ordinary savings accounts!
Capital One – 5.00%
HSBC – 6.00% on new money until April 30th. NOTE: They only allow you to deposit $2,000,000.
ING Direct – 4.50%
Invest In Funds That Require Smaller Amounts to Open
American Funds – $250 to open; $25 automatic monthly deposits required (I love automatic!)
GE Funds – $500 to open; $100 automatic monthly deposits
Find more funds at Morningstar.com – Use their FUND SCREENER
Purchase Property That Produces Income
Rental homes; Rental equipment; Commercial Building Capital Leases;
Anything that pays out cash as residual income is great. Anything that increases in value over time is grand. Anything that pays out cash PLUS increases in value over time is great AND grand!
I was listening to my I-POD today and an old song (one of 1,000s on it) popped up that I have not listened to in a long time.
In an instant, I was transported back to the alma-mater, Purdue University. I was an incoming freshman, and I was being trained as a cafeteria worker in the tunnels of the residence hall.
What a great time it was! I met people from around the world! My roommate, Bob, was from Pittsburgh, PA. He lived on a small street in town and imagine my surprise when 14 years later my twin brother moved into a house right down from Bob's parents! I met Noah. I met Chan Yop and You Hyun from South Korea.
I have GREAT memories from my four-year vacation from reality, I mean COLLEGE.
I remember that a $20 bill made me feel RICH! I remember that pretty much everyone else was in the same boat as well. We rambled from room to room in the residence halls. One room would have the TV with surround sound set up, another would have the Playstation, another would have the musical instruments, another would have the couches and sitting areas.
It was great, and money was not necessary to have fun!
Money is still not necessary to have fun! Consider these ideas for generating great memories with little or no money:
- Camping trips to state parks
- Canoe trips down a local river
- Fishing trips to the local lake or river
- Flag football game with the neighbors
- Fly a $2 kite
- Use some junk lumber to build a cat fort
- Set up a treasure hunt with the neighbors or your family – making the map and hiding the treasures is a blast, but not near as fun as watching the kids work together to "discover" treasure
- Camp out in the back yard
- Have a backyard party – invite a bunch of people you hardly know
There are really a lot of great ways to have a blast without spending money. As you can see, mine are slanted toward the great outdoors. Time to go make some more memories!