Kirstie Alley in a bikini

We were watching the news coverage of [tag]Vote 2006[/tag] this morning and in between races coverage a story about [tag]Kirstie Alley[/tag] aired. Alley had made a deal with Oprah she would come on her show wearing a [tag]bikini[/tag]. So what’s the big deal? Well a year ago Alley weighed in over 220 pounds. She had let her weight spiral out of control.

A year ago she was eating over 8,000 calories a day! That’s more than 4 times the recommended daily intake for a woman of her size. She did not exercise. She smoked. She ballooned past 220 pounds. Forget the vanity aspect of gaining that much weight, it’s just plain unhealthy to eat like that. You are putting yourself at a great health risk.

Once Alley realized she had let her weight get completely out of control, she decided to do something about it. It was time for a change. A very big change. She set a goal of getting into a bikini in a years time and doing it on the [tag]Oprah show[/tag]. This means she would have to shed over 70 pounds in less than a year’s time.

To do this she needed a game plan. So she drastically cut her caloric intake and made smart food decisions. She hired a personal trainer to help her stay motivated and teach her the right way to work out.

Let’s fast forward to this week. She is now 145 pounds, stopped smoking and feeling great. I forgot to mention she is 55 years old!

So what does this have to do with getting rid of debt? Everything! Being deep in debt is much like being 220 pounds over weight. To gain that much weight you had to have some very bad habits. To be deep in debt you also have to have bad habits or unfortunate circumstances.

Loosing 75 pounds in a year takes a couple things. Look how Alley did it:
First you have to realize there is a problem.
Next you have to make the decision you will get rid of the weight.
You make a game plan and get educated on how to loose the weight.
You take daily action to reach your goal.
You stay motivated. In her case she hired a personal trainer.
You celebrate the small victories as over time they will add up to one big win.

This is exactly what you need to do to get out of [tag]debt[/tag].
Realize there is a problem
Make a decision to change your financial situation
Educate yourself on how to reduce your debt
Take action
Stay motivated.

In time you can achieve your [tag]debt free[/tag] goal.

When I talk to people about debt reduction the two hardest obstacles to over come are finding accurate information about [tag]debt reduction[/tag] methods and staying motivated.

Please use this free blog to get accurate information and Motivation. Check out other sites I link to for motivation as well. I once was in a debt hole so deep I thought I would never get our but using the simple steps noted above. However overtime I have been able to crawl out of my terrible situation. It takes a plan, action, motivation and time.

I applaud Kirstie Alley for her courage and dedication! I truly take this as a source of motivation and inspiration in my life. See the video Here.

P.S. To day is [tag]Election Day[/tag] in the U.S.A so please go out and vote. Exercise your right as an American to vote. Today is a day we get to stand up and voice our opinion. When I was 18 my dad said to me; “if you don’t vote than you have no right to complain if the government does something you don’t like.”

Voting is patriotic. So get out and cast your ballot.


Life Takes Visa

I was watching TV this weekend and I saw numerous “[tag]Life takes Visa[/tag]” Commercials. I also see these billboards all over the city. If you haven’t seen the commercial the basic gist is as follows, life is too expensive and there are so many things we “want” to do and buy so we need a little help from your friends at Visa to accomplish these goals.

Using your Visa to pay for things you really can’t afford is one way to live your life or you could save money and [tag]pay cash[/tag]. It’s a free country so you make the choice.

But keep this in mind.

You will end up paying much more for the item than if you had just paid in cash. The amount of money you use to pay your Credit card minimums subtracts from the money you could put into a savings account or other investment accounts, which stops you from building true wealth and a secure future. If you amass too much debt the stress involved is enormous. This can take a hefty toll on your relationships with those you love. For this reason alone Visa should change there slogan to “Visa takes Life.”

Yes, life is expensive but just because you want it doesn’t mean you should have it right on the spot. I was once one of the legions of Americans who bought into the “Life takes Visa” way of life, but after creating a [tag]debt hole[/tag] so deep I thought I would never get out, my attitude changed real quick.

I changed my situation around by doing the following:
Realize there is a problem with your spending habits
Stop spending on [tag]credit[/tag]
Put together a budget
Put together a [tag]debt reduction[/tag] plan
Take action
Stay focused

You will be [tag]debt free[/tag].

 If you are in the same place as I was years ago you can get out but you must get focused and change your attitude about spending, and you must do it now!

Bravo Oprah

Bravo Oprah!

[tag]Oprah[/tag] is famous for giving away great studio prizes. Some have included new cars, [tag]paying off debt[/tag] and the list goes on.

But this gift give away was a little different. 300 audience members where given a $1,000 [tag]gift debt card[/tag] which was sponsored by Bank of America. Here’s how it works. You can give the money to an individual or split it up amongst several different charities. Family members are not eligible to receive the money.

Oprah is using her high profile to promote giving back to the [tag]community[/tag]. Times are tough out there for the average American Family so with this small jester Oprah has put a spot light on giving.

This year we hope to help at a homeless shelter for [tag]thanksgiving[/tag] and we always do a big round up of clothes and old toys for donation during the holidays. What can you do to help?

Debt fighting tools -Part 2

I use [tag]Microsoft Money[/tag] to track my finances. I bought the program 3 years ago and have resisted upgrades because it still does the job. [tag]MS Money[/tag]  has a great [tag]debt tracking[/tag] tool included. If you are just getting started in your journey to pay off your [tag]debt[/tag], the last thing I want to do is encourage people to go out and spend money.

There are many online tools you can use for free. I found this one on
Check out this past post with more tools.

A budget is not Evil

But living with out one can be…

Some people say [tag]budgets[/tag] are “evil” or the big bad “B” word. I don’t get it. Maybe I am just one of those people who think you should know where your money is going, at all times.

A budget is simply a term for measuring the [tag]income[/tag]and outflow of your money. Having a realistic budget and sticking to it is the only real way to get out of debt.

Everyone is looking for the “Silver Bullet” or the quick fix, but guess what? They don’t exist, unless you win the lottery. That aside there really is no quick fix to [tag]getting out of debt[/tag]. There are no letters that will make your debt disappear with out completely trashing your credit.

1. It starts with creating a budget and sticking to it!
2. Keeping current on all your debts
3. Reducing your costs. (Example Less take out food and more home cooking.)
4. Increase your income. Ebay is a great way to raise some money from your old junk.
5. Apply the new found income to one debt at a time.
6. Apply over and over until all debt is paid.

It really is that simple. Time, Dedication, Motivation and Action!

You can pay [tag]Dave Ramsey[/tag] for his books or his website but that’s what he will teach/preach you. Of course there will be a few small differences from one expert to another, for example Ramsey will says attack the smallest debt first and others say take the highest interest rate cards first.

This debate will rage on into infinity. But one fact will always remain if you do not take action you will not change your financial situation. If you are not willing to make a budget you might as well give up now. With out a plan you are 99% on your way to failure. So take out some time right now and grab a pen and paper, open an excel sheet, fire up quicken or [tag]MS money[/tag] and get to it.

It really is not that hard and it will put you on the road out of debt.

Living on One Income

When our child was born there was no question that my wife would stay home. We gave up an income but our child gained so much from having her mother with her everyday.

So how did we do it on just one income? We cut cost, big time! Yes, I gave up my fancy car, we gave up nice vacations, etc… but what we got back in terms of our child’s growth and happiness can not be judge in terms of dollars. The three of us live on one income and are very happy.

Life is about choices and in this case I choose the happiness of my child over material things. In very near future my wife will go back to work but I am so thankful my child had two great years with her mother.

Making the decision to step out of the work force to raise children can seem overwhelming. Some families consider it impossible to live on one income in today’s world of huge mortgages, large credit card balances and looming college costs. Yet some parents do manage to make the leap homeward.

How to survive as a one-income family (Page 1 of 3)

technorati tags:,

Debt Evaluation Calculator

If you need a free online tool to evaluate your debt to income ratio check out this site on money central, it give you a step by step to input debts.

Debt evaluation calculator, debt evaluator, debt ratio – MSN Money

technorati tags:,

Debt or a house

This person rights into Dr. don at Bankrate and ask should they pay off their credit card debt or save for a down payment on the house. They have 8 months rent free. He says save the money for the down and skip paying down the debt.

I am not a financial advisor but I think this is horrible advice. You should pay the credit card debt to nothing and then focus on buying a home. We as American need to learn to stop buying things we can not afford. The Credit Card debt is a symptom of poor budgeting and financial focus.

This Dr. is prescribing the wrong medicine. Get rid of the debt and then move on to the house.

Deciding between debt and down payment

Deciding between debt and down payment

technorati tags:, ,

We dont take cash

One store in D.C. no longer will accept Cash as reported at

“The [tag]Snap Café[/tag] in Washington, D.C., made the news last week when it decided to stop accepting cash. If you want one of their crepes, you’ll have to pay with plastic.”

The article goes on to explain Government entities must accept cash but private business are not obligated by law to accept [tag]cash[/tag].

So Snap Café is with in their legal rights but I think it’s crazy and is a sign that our country is absolutely addicted to credit. This addiction will have sever negative financial implication on our nations for years to come. In essence we are mortgaging away our future as a nation. [tag]Debt[/tag] will Crush our future.

Compound to wealth

Sometimes it’s hard to think about wealth when the debt load is high. Compounding is the tool almost all “rich” people use to keep growing their wealth.

“Compounding,” Albert Einstein said, “is mankind’s greatest invention because it allows for the reliable, systematic accumulation of wealth.”

Getting rich is simpler than you think – MSN Money

technorati tags:, ,