Monday Money Tip: Online Bank Savings Accounts

Welcome to another addition of Monday Money Tip! I’ve used online bank accounts since 2007. They have been incredible for me, and I think they can be a very helpful way for you to maximize your savings as well! You can check out the online banks I recommend HERE.

Want to automatically receive a helpful and practical money tip every Monday? Just sign up HERE (It’s FREE)!

 

Sneak Peek: Credit Scores – Part 2

Well we have officially entered graduation season! Students are graduating from both high schools and colleges all over the country. This is an extremely exciting time in ones life, but it can also come with lots of questions. I’ve written a book that’s specifically for high school students, college students and twenty-somethings – What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World. So many of us have experienced a time where we have learned a financial principle or tool and said, “I wish I had learned that before I entered the real world”. One of these questions is in regards to credit scores.

I wanted to share with you an excerpt from my book that addresses the subject of credit scores.

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Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World:

What number is a good credit score?
According to Fair Isaac, a credit score can range from 300 to 850. The higher the score, the lower the risk. This means you want a higher number.

Companies establish their own criteria as to which credit score is a good credit score. As a general rule, any FICO score greater than 750 is an excellent credit score. Anything more than 800 is considered outstanding. As credit scores drift into the 600 range, credit might still be available, but it will come at a higher cost. Credit scores in the 500 range might prevent you from obtaining reasonable lending rates and terms.

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Learn more about the book and order your copy HERE.

Sneak Peek: Credit Scores – Part 1

Well we have officially entered graduation season! Students are graduating from both high schools and colleges all over the country. This is an extremely exciting time in ones life, but it can also come with lots of questions. I’ve written a book that’s specifically for high school students, college students and twenty-somethings – What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World. So many of us have experienced a time where we have learned a financial principle or tool and said, “I wish I had learned that before I entered the real world”. One of these questions is in regards to credit scores.

I wanted to share with you an excerpt from my book that addresses the subject of credit scores.

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Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World:

Your credit score will have an impact on your life.
Credit scores are a measure of one’s ability to manage debt. The dominant credit scoring system which is used by most lenders was created by Fair Isaac. This system provides a measure of an individual’s credit worthiness and is commonly known as a FICO Score.

A credit score impacts many things. It determines whether or not you can obtain a loan. If you qualify for a loan, the credit score dictates the interest rate charged.

Credit scores also impact insurability. When you obtain auto, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, the credit score directly impacts the insurance cost. The lower your credit score, the higher the insurance premium will cost. I have seen insurance premiums doubled because of poor credit.

Credit scores also impact the ability to obtain a cell phone contract or an apartment lease. It can affect utility connections. Utility providers usually require much larger deposits from people who have low credit scores. If you have an excellent credit score, a deposit might be waived entirely.   Credit scores can even impact your ability to obtain a job.

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More about the subject of credit scores, in my next post! Stay tuned!

Learn more about the book and order your copy HERE.

What Everyone Should Know About Getting A Degree

I could never have attended Purdue University had it not been for student loans. I began dating Sallie Mae right away, and it took years for me to break up with her.

As we continue our discussion surrounding graduation, here are some points about getting a degree and student loans from my book – What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World. This is a great resource for those currently graduating high school or college.

  1. Go to school for 4 years for a 4 year degree (or for 2 years for a 2 year degree). Not six years for a four year degree. This can have substantial financial consequences. For example, if you attend college for two years more than required for the degree, you will have to pay for two extra years of school PLUS you will forfeit the salary you could have earned during that two year period. For many people this is a $100,000 financial swing!
  2. Obtain a degree that will help you repay the loan. There are many people who go to prestigious private colleges to obtain a degree that is the equivalent to underwater basket-weaving. While I think that underwater basket-weaving would be amazingly cool, it probably won’t help repay the loans. My mechanical engineering degree from Purdue University and MBA from Clemson University certainly helped me repay my student loans.
  3. Tech or Community College for the first two years can really lower costs. Most states have established programs that allow all credits earned during the first two years of community college to transfer directly to the state schools. I have seen the costs for community college. They are much lower than state or private universities. The local community college where I live is literally one-third the cost of the state school.
  4. Obtain subsidized loans, if possible. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while the student maintains at least half-time student status. They also do not accrue interest while the loans are in grace periods or deferment.
  5. The name of the college does not matter nearly as much as the effort you put into your studies. Many students fall in love with a particular college and feel that they just must attend only that institution. I have discovered that no one really cares about the fact that I went to Purdue and Clemson – all they want to know is if I can help them accomplish their stated objective.

Print this out and have a conversation about it with your student or future student. My bride and I have been talking about this with our daughter since she was six or seven. I know it might seem like boring conversation, but I promise you that it has had a positive impact on our daughter and the plans she has made for education.

I have written an entire chapter on this topic in my book for high school and college students – What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World – I promise you it will help financially prepare your student for the real world. You can purchase that book HERE or for your e-reader HERE.

Monday Money Tip: How to Pay Off Student Loan Debt Faster

Happy Monday! In today’s tip, I wanted to share how you could eliminate your student loans faster! While you may believe you will still be paying on your loans in your 50s – or even later, it doesn’t have to be the case. I was able to eliminate all of my student loan debt in my 20s by using these techniques!

Want to automatically receive a helpful and practical money tip every Monday? Register FREE at MondayMoneyTip.com.

Financial Tool Spotlight ==> Early Pay-Off Calculator

Well it’s that time of year again…graduation time! I feel like the school year just started, yet my family is already participating in end of school celebrations for each of my kids!

Graduation season is such an exciting time but it can often be weighed down by the enormity of student loans and other debts. So I wanted to spotlight one of our free tools that can provide significant guidance when tackling these debts – the Early Pay-Off Calculator. This tools is a HOPE-GENERATOR! This tool will get you fired up!! You’ll be able to see how a little extra money towards your debt can make a huge difference.

I have found that the Early Pay-Off Calculator is most impactful when used to calculate how much quicker a student loan, car payment, mortgage, etc., could be paid if one were to begin paying extra principal each month.

As an example, consider a $30,000 student loan financed for 10 years at 6.5% annual interest. The principal and interest payment would be $341/month.

  • Pay $441/month ($100 extra), the early pay-off calculator shows that the loan would be eliminated in 7 years (34 months sooner) and save you over $3,300 in interest!
  • Pay $500/month ($159 extra), the pay-off would occur in a little over 6 years and save you over $4,400 in interest.
  • What if one were able to make two payments per month ($682/month)? Pay-off would occur in a little over 4 years and save you $6,500 in interest!
    Don’t think it’s possible to make two payments per month? Think again! Most people could make two, three or even four payments per month if they eliminated all of their other debts! I challenge you to pull up the Early Pay-Off Calculator, punch in your numbers and discover why this tool will be one of your favorites too!

TOOL: EARLY PAY-OFF CALCULATOR

RESOURCE: I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. – This is a great resource to help you attack debt and make it leave your life!

5 Essentials to Paying Off Debt – Step 5

In this series, I want to equip you to become debt free!! Jenn and I became debt free in just 14 months by following this process. I can tell you this – there is NOTING like living life without the weight of debt!

STEP 1 – Understand the WHY before the HOW

STEP 2 – Calculate your Debt Freedom Date

STEP 3 – Accelerate your debt elimination

STEP 4 – Use the Debt Snowball Technique 

STEP 5 – Establish Accountability
The strongest among us can still fall to temptation! You could be making fantastic progress toward debt freedom and then a new truck pulling a new boat passes you on the road. If you’re not careful, you’ll also be pulling a new truck and boat down the road!

There are two key ways to ensure you are held accountable to your goal of debt freedom!

  1. If married, work together with your spouse. If unmarried, have someone you trust (someone who has won with their money) hold you accountable!
    There is incredible power when you work together with your spouse towards debt freedom! It is a common goal that will unify your marriage and cement your commitment to managing your resources together.I have also found that when I have a bad case of the “I wants” and “I gotta-have”, Jenn does not. She shuts me down! Then, when Jenn gets a bad case of “I really want this”, I do not. I shut her down! Why? Because we are not doing debt! We are THROUGH with it!!
  2. Plan your spending every single month!  
    Planned money goes farther than unplanned money! Every single month, Jenn and I still down TOGETHER and spend every single dollar on paper before we are paid. Don’t miss this!! Every. Dollar. On. Paper. BEFORE. We. Are. Paid.I can tell you this. I HATED the idea of budgeting and now all I do is yell from the mountaintops about how important it is and how EZ it is to budget! There are FREE budget tools that are available HERE. Use one of them to start your journey to debt freedom! Your budget will hold you accountable. I wouldn’t be surprised if it helped you free up $200-$500 per month to attack your debt even harder.

Also, make sure to add some FUN into your liberation from debt! I know that money can make you so frustrated that you want to pull all your hair out, but add some fun into it! You could make your debt pay off visual. Check it out HERE.

To learn more about becoming debt free, check out my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

 

5 Essentials to Paying Off Debt – Step 4

In this series, I want to equip you to become debt free!! Jenn and I became debt free in just 14 months by following this process. I can tell you this – there is NOTING like living life without the weight of debt!

STEP 1 – Understand the WHY before the HOW

STEP 2 – Calculate your Debt Freedom Date

STEP 3 – Accelerate your debt elimination

STEP 4 – Use the Debt Snowball Technique 
We can all agree that debt is a drag. It hangs on like a bad relationship or a fixer-upper money pit house. Anyone, when given the choice, would choose to be debt free over paying debt payments every month.

The average family possess credit card debt, student loan debt, furniture debt, vehicle debt, and a personal loan or two. Then a house payment enters into the picture. Every single month, 40% or more of the family’s income is “dead on arrival” because it must immediately be sent out to lenders. Let’s work on changing that!

With Steps 1-3 complete, we can now focus on actually paying off the debt using the Debt Snowball Technique!

Let me explain the process for using the Debt Snowball Technique.

  1. List ALL debts from the smallest balanced owed to the largest.
  2. Pay the minimum payment on all debts except the smallest one.
  3. Pay as much as you can on the smallest debt.
  4. When the smallest debt is eliminated, take the monthly payment you were paying for that debt and add it to the monthly payment you’re making on the second smallest debt.
  5. Continue this process with a vengeance until you are debt free!!

I highly recommend this technique because you will see individual debt payments disappear more swiftly from your monthly budget. For more information on the Debt Snowball Technique, grab a copy of my latest book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

5 Essentials to Paying Off Debt – Step 3

In this series, I want to equip you to become debt free!! Jenn and I became debt free in just 14 months by following this process. I can tell you this – there is NOTING like living life without the weight of debt!

STEP 1 – Understand the WHY before the HOW

STEP 2 – Calculate your Debt Freedom Date

STEP 3 – Accelerate your debt elimination
DEBT – This four letter word often consumes so much of our lives, thoughts and actions. But, it doesn’t have to!

When it comes to debt, I understand how stressful and frustrating it can be. I understand the weight and fiction it can bring to a family. However, I also know the freedom that comes when one become debt free and I want you to experience this freedom!

When you are ready to start attacking your debt, here are a few ways to accelerate debt elimination. (But before you begin, make sure you’re not making the #1 Debt Mistake – HERE.)

3 Ways to Accelerate Debt Elimination:

  1. Reduce Interest – Many people with substantial consumer debt do not realize that 50% – 75% of their payments are merely going to the lender as interest. This greatly reduces your ability to lower your debt. So, here are a few ways to lower your interest:
    1. Transfer to a 0% Interest Credit Card (Learn more HERE)
    2. Call & ask for a lower rate
    3. Pay on-time
    4. Establish automatic payments
  2. Increase Income – Since we’re all friends here, if we’re being completely honest, we all vote for this option, right? But a lot of people don’t realize that there are numerous ways to increase income that are within your hands. Here are a few:
    1. Pay Raise (see salary.com)
    2. Tax Refund
    3. Bonus
    4. Work Overtime
    5. Extra Job
    6. Sell Some Possessions
  3. Decrease Outgo – This is an option that is always available to us, but it’s probably not fun. If you can decrease the outgo to other things, you can increase the outgo to liberating your life from debt!
    1. Create and follow a budget!
    2. Sell some possessions

You can learn more about each of these steps in my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

5 Essentials to Paying Off Debt – Step 2

In this series, I want to equip you to become debt free!! Jenn and I became debt free in just 14 months by following this process. I can tell you this – there is NOTING like living life without the weight of debt!

STEP 1 – Understand the WHY before the HOW

STEP 2 – Calculate your Debt Freedom Date
When I meet with people, it’s a guarantee that I will calculate their debt freedom date. When I do this, it’s clear that people do not like debt! It’s also apparent that people have not been paying attention to their finances and do not have a well-defined plan for their life. Otherwise, they would not have incurred most of the debt. However, there is always HOPE and a way out! 

In these meetings, I often use the example of a dragon. Follow me here! How can you effectively defeat a dragon if you don’t know how many heads it has or how large the dragon is? So, before we calculate your debt freedom date,  let’s establish three things: 

  1. Who do you owe
  2. How much do you owe
  3. What are the payments that you are ACTUALLY making

You can list these on the Debt Freedom Date Calculator. Now we can calculate your debt freedom date! This date is simply the date that you will be debt free (including and excluding the house).

Let’s look at a sample. In this sample, the couple listed all of their non-house, non-business debts, as well as their house debt. After all of the debts are inputted, the debt freedom date is calculated. This couple will be debt free, excluding the house, in just 3.3 years and completely debt free, including the house, in 7.7 years!! Get fired up!

Debt Freedom Date Calculator

Are you ready to take your next step? You can calculate your debt freedom date HERE!

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you take this next step to become debt free, you must eliminate the potential for new debt! If you keep swiping the credit cards and running up the balance, you’re just eliminating your potential of becoming debt free.

Have you calculated your date? How many months until you’re debt free?

 

5 Essentials to Paying Off Debt – Step 1

I have found that a large group of those who attend one of my events, are living paycheck-to-paycheck AND carrying debt. In fact, statistics from a recent survey I conducted show that 57% of people are living paycheck-to-paycheck and 73% of people are in debt (excluding the mortgage). When asked how people are doing with managing their money, 45% said that they were barely keeping their head above water or drowning! Only 9% of people feel like they are winning with their money!

No matter where I go, I see the footprint of debt on people’s lives – marriages failing, stress and depression taking over, and hopelessness closing in. And all of this is happening in the wealthiest country on the planet! This is entirely unacceptable!

I WANT YOU TO BECOME DEBT-FREE!! It changes your life! It enables you to accomplish far more than you ever thought possible with your personal finances! It allows you to do exactly what you were put on earth to do – regardless of the income! In this series, I’m going to share the process that I followed to become debt free. Are you ready?

STEP 1 – Understand the WHY before the HOW
I believe this is the most important step in becoming debt free! In the hundreds of financial coaching sessions that our team has led, it’s amazing how many people do not have a plan for their lives. We ask them the “why” and they stare at us like we’re speaking a different language.

Unfortunately, this is the first time that many of these people have ever seriously thought about what they want to accomplish with their lives. As a result, they are bumbling through life just trying to make it through the day. What a miserable way to live!

I cannot overstate this fact – YOUR LEVEL OF EXPECTATION DETERMINES YOUR LEVEL OF PREPARATION!

When Jenn and I wrote down our plans, hopes & dreams on paper, we realized that our lack of money management proved we had no real expectations of accomplishing these plans, hopes & dreams. We wanted to move back to South Carolina to take a job that paid way less than what we were making, but every single dinner at Outback was robbing us of that opportunity. Every single debt payment went off to make the bank wealthy while at the same time robbing us of our God-given dreams!

That made me MAD! It made me FURIOUS! It made me realize how incredibly stupid I was to be managing our money so crazily! I had a significant amount of our income going to pay car debt, credit card debt, and student loan debt. Add in the stupid house payment, and I had thousands of dollars per month running off to make the bank wealthy!

By writing out our plans, hopes, & dreams on paper, Jenn and I were motivated to manage our money differently. It caused us to view debt differently.

Take your first step today by writing down your plans, hopes & dreams. If you are married, you need to do this separately and then take time to discuss it with each other. By the way, one of my plans, hopes, & dreams is for you to become debt-free!

Why do you want to be debt free? It’s not easy! After you get started, it might be easier but it’s not going to be easy. There are so many things that compete for your money. So, why do you want to break free from debt? One of the most common responses I get is, “so I can do whatever I want”. I don’t believe this is the best response. I believe a better response is, “so I can live a fully funded life doing exactly what I’ve been put on this earth to do!”

What has kept you from attacking your debt?

 

 

Monday Money Tip: Make Your Debt Pay Off Visual

It’s that time again…time for today’s Monday Money Tip! In today’s Monday Money Tip, I wanted to share one of the ways my family had FUN while attacking our debt – coloring! It made our Debt Freedom March much more visual and enabled us to see the progress we were making. It was awesome!

Want to automatically receive a helpful and practical money tip every Monday? Register FREE at MondayMoneyTip.com.

 

Liberate Your Life From DEBT

I am FIRED UP to be teaching the “Liberate Your Life From DEBT” LIVE online experience today at 12:00 PM EST!

It is my passion to help people win with their money, and I’ve discovered that succeeding with money is more of a journey rather than just a moment. Yet, many people’s money journey is being impeded by this one thing: DEBT!

I remember when I was broke with an average bank account balance of $4.13. I wanted to save money. I wanted to bless my child. I wanted to give money away. I wanted to invest.

There was just one problem: I had a ton of DEBT. I had no financial margin. Every dollar I earned was immediately redirected toward a payment. This made it very challenging to manage our finances. Even worse, I didn’t know how to fix it! However, over the course of just 14 months, I eliminated all my non-house debt. My credit cards, student loans, truck debt, car note, and furniture debt – all of these debts were gone!

My question for you: “Do you have debt?”

If you answered “YES!”, let me ask another question: “What would life be like if you didn’t have to make these debt payments each month?”

I want to help you experience a life without a pile of debt. This is why I’m inviting you to this special LIVE online event that I will be hosting today (Thursday, April 16th) at 12:00 PM EST.

In this online experience, I will be sharing how my family liberate ourselves from a pile of debt and positioned ourselves to live a fully funded life. I’ll also be sharing 8 Ways to Eliminate Debt – Fast! You don’t want to miss it!!

Liberate Your Life From DEBT Live Online Event Details

  • DATE: Thursday, 4/16/2015 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time (11:00 AM Central; 9:00 AM Pacific)
  • DURATION: 60 minutes total (45 minutes teaching – 15 minutes Q&A)
  • LOCATION: LIVE Online
  • COST: FREE! (but you MUST register to secure your spot)
  • REGISTER: HERE

I really hope you will be able to join me! It’s FREE, but you do have to REGISTER.

Where Are You On Your Money Journey?

Can we all agree that money is a journey, not a moment? This journey comes with ups and downs and curves. With that being said, I know everyone is at different places and levels of progress. Some people are winning with their money, while others are struggling to get by.

I’m so passionate about helping people accomplish far more then they ever thought possible with their personal finances. It’s what drives me! In order to serve you better on your journey, will you fill out this quick survey answering the question: “Where are you on your money journey?”

 

We’re Hiring – Financial Administrator

I’m so excited about what is happening through the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Team! We have an amazing team that is so passionate about helping people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances. We’ve seen our dream literally become a reality and EXPLODE (in a great way) before our very eyes! Over the years, our team has been given the opportunity to teach and speak to literally tens of thousands of people.

With this growth comes the need for great people to help steward this tremendous effort. That’s why we are currently hiring a Financial Administrator. This part-time position (20-25 hours per week) is located in our Anderson, South Carolina office.

Download the full job description HERE.

If you feel like this role would be an incredible fit for you:

  • Send your resume to: info@iwbnin.com
  • Tell us why you would be an incredible fit for this role and our team
  • Include as many specific skill sets and abilities that you posses that would allow you to excel in this role

 

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