You know you have financial freedom when …
- You forget when payday is.
- The car engine blows up, and you just go pay cash for another one.
- You are not afraid to tell your manager that he/she is wrong and that there is a better way. (I have seen many people who are afraid to tell their manager this for fear of retribution or loss of their job. That's too bad … I believe that most managers would love to have their employees tell them when they are wrong!)
- You lose your income and your savings allows you to live for months without incurring any debt.
- You lose the fear of negotiating a better deal. (Seriously, if it costs more than $100, it is worth negotiating – including with services like doctors, dentists, chiropractors, massage therapists, house cleaning, cable, etc.
- Bill paying time takes a total of 30 minutes a month.
- You can go take the job you were put on earth to do … regardless of the income potential!
- You have enough.
What are some others?
Finish the sentence … "You know you have financial freedom when …"
I remember the days when Jenn and I had $4.13 in our emergency buffer fund. Wow! Talk about living life on the edge!
When you have $4.13 in the bank account and life throws a curveball your way, you have no room for it!
From experience, I know that $4.13 in the bank does not quite cover
- replacing a broken dryer
- fixing a broken car – power steering, brakes, tires, air-fuel mix thingy
- an emergency room trip for the child
In the Financial Freedom Class that I teach, we cover the need for an emergency buffer fund in great detail.
An example I use to prove the need for an emergency fund is the fact that police officers wear bulletproof vests.
I ask the redundant question, "Why do police officers wear a bulletproof vest?"
The class will dutifully respond, "Because in their line of work, it is possible that they might get shot at!"
To which I respond, "Then why don't they just wear the bulletproof vest on the day they are going to get shot? I mean, that vest is uncomfortable and so hot on a southern summer day!"
The class stares at me like I am completely ignorant and most deserving of the "Stupid Person of the Year" award. "Because they never know when they will be shot at!", they say.
Hummmmm. They never know when they will be shot at … SO they wear it EVERY SINGLE DAY – JUST IN CASE!
That, my friends, is the EXACT same reason you need to have an emergency buffer fund of cash! You never know when life is going to happen and require that money, but the fact is that you will need it someday. If you do not have an emergency fund when life happens, you will be highly tempted to fall into the debt trap. That, my friends, is no fun.
By the way, a church member who is a police officer was shot today. He had on his bulletproof vest. The following is a line from the news story …
… an officer was shot at least four times … Officer Fikes is being treated for two gunshot wounds to his arm … two other gunshots were stopped by the officer’s vest … (Office Fikes) was alert, oriented and in good spirits …
JUST IN CASE. Are you ready?
I recently read that student loan debt is rising in America. No big surprise since I am seeing the same thing in all of my financial counseling appointments!
There are two facts I want you to know about student loan debt.
- It WILL come due some day
- You can not bankrupt on student loan debt
Yes, student loans will come due one day. I financed my undergraduate degree. I was able to pay some of it as I went along, but I still left Purdue University with nearly $20,000 in debt. It took me 8.5 years to pay it back. Do you want to pay payments on your education for 8.5 years or more?
You can not bankrupt on student loan debt. There are two things that are non-bankruptable – taxes and student loans. So if your plan was to go get a degree and then declare bankruptcy, you have a VERY BAD PLAN!
The median student loan debt of graduating bachelor degree recipients in 2004 was $19,300 according to the College Board.
Are your children going to have to finance their education as well? If so, it will likely set back your child 5-10 years in achieving debt freedom.
I resolve to provide my daughter a paid-for college education and set her up to start out life with ZERO debt. Life is just so much more fun when you are debt-free!
With over 70% of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, this situation happens more often than you might imagine!
You see, when you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, bills go past due THE INSTANT that you miss ONE paycheck.
So what should you do if you encounter this situation? I have prepared a list of things that I would do IMMEDIATELY if I were living paycheck-to-paycheck and lost my job.
- PRAY!!! It really does work!
- Call every single creditor you owe and inform them of your situation. Humbly ask them to help you. Ask them if they would please lower the interest rate to 0%, charge no fees, and give you three months of no payments. Most of them will work with you!!! Communication person-to-person works so well!!!
- File for unemployment.
- Immediately cut out all non-essential expenses. Get rid of the cable, internet, home telephone (keep the cell phone), gym membership, etc.
- Go get a job that earns something to help bridge the gap between full-time positions.
- Apply for new jobs on monster.com, hotjobs.com, and the newspapers.
- Spend all of your money on paper BEFORE you actually receive the money. In other words, start PLANNING your spending! Free tools are available by clicking on "Tools" at the top of the page!
By the way, if you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, but still have a job – consider yourself warned!!! TODAY it might happen to you. What would your family have to do if you lost your job today? Why not make today THE DAY that you change your family's entire financial future?
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98,589 – It is a very important number to me.
It is the number of people who need to hear this in the remaining 4 years and 3 months. 100,000 was the God-inspired number given me. 1,411 have already been taught. 98,589 remain.
These are people who need to hear that it is EZ to manage their money. They need to SEE with their own eyes the power of compound interest. They need a clear plan for their lives. They need to understand just how much cash will be needed to fund their dreams like college for the kids, weddings, dream vacations, and retirement. They need to HEAR THIS!!! They need to SEE THIS!!! They need to DO THIS!!!
But more than any of this, these 98,589 people need HOPE! They need to know they still have a chance! They need this restore unity to their marriage! They need this BECAUSE IT WORKS!!!
I may seem like I am SHOUTING this. I AM!!! I am proclaiming it from the rooftops!
Why? Because my life was changed! Because my marriage was taken to a whole new level of unity! Because I can do EXACTLY what I have been put on earth to do because I learned this stuff! Because I know that there are MILLIONS who need to hear this!
Time is ticking away … TICK TOCK
Another two down, now the number is 98,587.