Don’t Lend Money to Friends

I have a friend who I have personally lent $12,000 to in the last 5 years. He is my best friend as you can tell… Of the $12,000 dollars I have lent him, he has paid back about $5000. Not bad but not great. Before you guys jump all over me I stopped lending him [tag]money[/tag] about two years ago and have him on a monthly repayment plan. So far so good.

I really didn’t want to share this with every one but the fact is friends will ask for money and it can in many cases lead to the end of a friendship. I would highly recommend people learn from my mistakes.

Because my friend is on a monthly re-payment plan we are able to stay friends. If he just “shined” me there is no way we would still be friends today. Bottom line, think twice, three times and then thing again before lending substantial amounts of moneys to a friend. More likely than not [tag]lending money[/tag] to a friend who is not capable of paying back the loan will be the end of the friendship.

More Money Play Video Games

xbox 360

The world economies have definitely changed. How about making $450,000 in two years [tag]playing video games[/tag]? [tag]Tom Taylor[/tag] did it and he is a teenager. He is listed in Stuff Magazine and is part of an upcoming 11 week reality show on the [tag]USA network[/tag]. This weekend he is competing in an online gaming torment in [tag]Los Vegas[/tag] where the grand prize is $100,000!

Why does this teenager make so much money playing games? He found something he loves and has passion for and went out and made money at it. I guess this story was important to me because a lot of people are experts in a number of different “things” and could make extra income sharing their expertise. We have to realize our special knowledge and find ways to monetize them. With the internet this becomes easier and easier to do.

Many of the [tag]debt reduction experts[/tag] suggest raising income by cutting cost, selling stuff or getting a second or third job.

Let’s say you were a very knowledge able about dogs and [tag]yellow labs[/tag] in particular. You could open a blog for free and start sharing your knowledge. There are a variety of things you could do to turn the blog into a revenue generating venture.

Find our passion and start small with little to know cost and take daily action to grow your revenue. The world has definitely changed but in terms of earning extra income with little to no down side, I think it has changed for the better.

Free Debt Tools

[tag]Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2007[/tag] is a [tag]free accounting tool[/tag]! I was amazed to see no charge for this product. I personally bought [tag]Money 2004[/tag] and still use it today. I have said this many times but having a budget is really the only way you will [tag]get out of debt[/tag].

Budget let’s you see the numbers and numbers don’t lie. A [tag]budget[/tag] also allows you to make an accurate game plan for debt pay off. A budget allows you to measure your progress and gives you motivation as you work your way out of debt.

If you are not a fan of [tag]Microsoft[/tag] you can use budgetmaster. It’s a [tag]free open source personal budgeting program[/tag]. I also did a search on [tag]Google[/tag] for free budgeting tools and the result are here. So pick your tool and take action. Start your journey out of debt. Make the plan and mange to your goals.

You will be crushing your debt in no time!

I Helped Buy a Bank in China Today

How may you ask? Today [tag]Citigroup[/tag] has lead a consortium of investors in purchasing one of China’s largest regional banks. So I am glad to see the late fees and interest I have paid to Citigroup over the years have allowed them to purchase a bank.

Seriously I am not bitter at all. I made the choice in the past that allowed my self to get into [tag]debt[/tag]and owe money to the Citigroup. But it’s a perfect example of how interest works in your favor when you are on the other side of the [tag]debt equation[/tag]. We should all make sure we are debt free so we too can make our money work for us. Not that we will be able to purchase a bank any time soon but we as Americans should set the goal of securing a financial secure [tag]nest egg[/tag] for retirement.

Oh and if you want to know how much a [tag]bank in China[/tag] cost? $3.06 [tag]Billion dollars[/tag].

Credit Cards are Not The Problem

I heard [tag]Dave Ramsey[/tag] say this on his radio show today. He then followed the comment with “credit cards are the symptom of someone not being able to say no…” This remark was in regards to a caller, so don’t take this as blanket statement about credit card usage.

What he is saying is some people believe they deserve what they want when they want it even if they can not afford it. With these types of people credit cards enable them to get things they want and pay later. The cost over time is a [tag]huge debt[/tag].

My generation has grown up in an incredible time of convenience, prosperity and wealth. This environment has helped to bread our “want it now” at what ever cost attitude. I think about my grandfather who passed away 15 years ago and if he saw how my generation treats money he would roll over in his grave. He would be ashamed of some of the financial choice I have made in my past.

It’s about responsibility and self control. So before anyone jumps on me as someone who is preaching a [tag]frugal life style[/tag], this is not the case! If you want a new truck/car save for it or at least a big down payment. Do you want a tropical beach vacation every year? Well give up your daily Starbucks coffee and save the money for your vacation.

It’s about choice and I choice to live [tag]debt free[/tag].

Huge Debt Gone Fast

Pay off $49,000 in [tag]credit card debt [/tag]in 5 years.

Have you seen commercials and internet advertisements offering to eliminate your debt in just a couple short years? No matter how much debt you have? Does it seem to good to be true? So what is the deal? Well there are two methods that can achieve this type of radical debt pay off.

The First method is debt settlement:

[tag]DEBT SETTLEMENT[/tag] or [tag]DEBT NEGOTIATION[/tag]:
“You make an offer to your lender to pay off 30% to 50% the current balance you owe. This is pre-collection agency. This process can take 6 months or more and it’s not for the weak of heart.”

This method can work to get you out of debt but it will trash your credit. It’s a trade off and some see it as an alternate to Bankruptcy.

The Second Method:

[tag]DEBT SNOWBALL[/tag] or [tag]DEBT ROLL-UP[/tag]:
“The overview for this program is you pay more a month than your monthly minimum on one debt while you stay current on all your other debts. You start applying the extra money every month to the smallest balance, and once that balance is paid off you apply all the money from that debt to the next largest balance. This will create a snowball effect in paying off your debt.”

This method is championed by the likes of [tag]Dave Ramsey[/tag] and [tag]John Cummata[/tag].

If you would like to read a real life story about people who got really motivated and paid off large amounts of debt in a short period? Check out this article and get a bit of motivation.

Drowning in Debt

Are you [tag]Drowning in Debt[/tag]?

What do you do if you find your self drowning in debt? Swim like hell! I mean it! You must do everything in your capacity to swim your hardest to get your head above water. I know the weight of debt can feel so heavy, like a concrete block attached to your feet. You fear the weight will pull you to the bottom of the ocean

It does not have to be that way. I know. I have been there. With a little education, a game plan and a lot of [tag]motivation[/tag] you can get your head above water. It takes consistent action and time.

Many before you have been in the same situation and have found a way to over come their financial troubles. So, if [tag]debt[/tag]is crushing you take a deep breath and start to fight back. Little by little you will start to crush your debt.

Read as much as you can on debt and [tag]debt reduction[/tag]. Make a plan and get really motivated to set yourself free. Take daily actions to make your freedom happen.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Good News About Credit Cards

In 2006 for the first time [tag]debt card[/tag] usage outpaced [tag]credit card[/tag]. People used their debt cards to purchase

26.6 billion dollars while at the same time they spent 24.4 billion dollars on credit cards.

Is this a new trend to pay now and avoid paying for it later? Let’s hope so. It means more people are [tag]paying[/tag] cash

for things rather than put them on credit. Still 24.4 billion is way too much in credit but if this trend holds the American

consumer are getting themselves in a better position.

One troubling trend is more people used [tag]home equity lines[/tag] to pay off [tag]high rate interest cards[/tag]. Many

people will use this method to successfully pay off their debt but it does come with its own very serious risks.

When you use home equity to pay off [tag]unsecured credit card debt[/tag] you have basically tied the debt to your house. What happens if you are unable to make your payments? A loss of the job, etc… Now your house is at risk.

I personally get great satisfaction in pushing the debt card button and not the credit button when I buy things. It sounds like

Americans are also is felling the same satisfaction in using [tag]CASH[/tag]!

Virginia Senate Race

[tag]Virginia Senate Race[/tag] [tag]Election 2006[/tag]

If the Senate race goes for the [tag]democrats[/tag] will this mean America will face higher taxes? This was the Republican battle cry during the 2006 campaign. Let’s take a look.

There is no real clear answer and only time will tell. But here are couple things to think about. I believe the Democrats will not renew any new tax cuts for the upper class. Upper class defined as anyone making over $200,000 a year. Some would see this as a tax hike, your call?

[tag]Nancy Pelosi[/tag] did say they are looking at [tag]tax cuts[/tag] for the middle class? Ok, but what about an increase. Not likely, thanks to checks and balances we have in our government. [tag]Bush[/tag] would never sign off on any new taxes. He needs to recover his party as much as possible in the next two years.

One thing is for sure congress will tighten up its belt on spending and start to find a way to work down the enormous national debt we have created in the last 6 years. The combination on [tag]9/11[/tag] and the wars abroad have taken its toll on the [tag]national debt[/tag].

So what does that mean for you and me? Probably not much, but just like congress, the [tag]American family[/tag] needs to pay more attention to its spending and find ways to quickly eliminate debt. If we want a strong country we need to have a strong financial health of the American family.  In the end we are all Americans and we all want the best for our families.

So let’s put the elections behind us and get back to Crushing Debt!

Video of Kirstie Alley on Oprah

Here is the video everyone is looking for: [tag]Kirstie Alley on Oprah[/tag]

What does this have to do with [tag]debt reduction[/tag]? Read this post.