Sunday, September 30, 2007

Couch Surfing...the new super-cheap, great way to travel?

So I was watching the news tonight and learned about a relatively new idea of couch-surfing.

check out the website:

This is just a wonderful idea (in my opinion) that only the Internet can offer up.

You offer your couch as a potential resting space for a complete stranger - usually in another part of the country if not another country entirely.

Then, when you want to visit their country they save their couch for you to stay at and show you around town as well.

Plus the only thing you 'pay' to stay on the stranger's couch is an IOU for them to do the same when they visit your city or town.

I would sign up in an instant if my apt weren't so cramped.

Progress Report - week ended 9/30/07

Here's the final, day-before-end-of-month update on my financial goals.

  1. Cut balance on medical collection by 1/2 or from $1619 to $809.50 - or less. - What a difference a week makes. This goal went from being a sure thing to becoming a nail-biter. I had an increase in a couple bills this month and I went to a concert one of my favorite groups had. Thus I will be racing to the bank tomorrow to see if I can send in a payment for my collection. Keeping the fingers crossed.
  2. Send in rebate so I can get my $50 back for my cell phone - SUCCESS I sent in the rebate and the other week I received it back and deposited it.
  3. Raise net worth above $8,000 - This is another nail-biter, I would assume I've crossed the $8K threshold but, I won't know for sure until I go through all my accounts tomorrow night. If I fall short, I expect it will only be by a couple hundred dollars or less.
Tomorrow I will update my net worth and make some goals for next month. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Blog of the Week: Single Ma

This week's blog of the week goes to Single Ma for her post on Groceries/Food

I can definitely relate to the fact that Groceries and Eating Out always hit my wallet at the most inopportune times.

I am starting to get a little better but, once those last few days till the next pay period come around I tend to run a couple dollars in the red as far as the food budget goes anyway.

I guess it all comes back to keeping an eye out for discounts and trying to stay a little below your food budget rather than above it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

And the Winner & still champion is: Zack Attack

that is unless a formidable challenger posts to challenge Zack's comment in the Two Words contest:

Get Money
my dude
Pay rent
Buy food

Rat race
All day
Gotta hustle
Get Paid

Take Bus
Drive Car
Choose One
Get Far

Choose Bad
Be Sad
Choose Right
Be Tight

Make sales
And commission
Never lost

Friends leave
Don't Care
Make Friends

Make Money
Right Now
Reggie B
Ready now

Gotta wait
Gotta study
Finish school
Get Money

Get Married
Have Kids
Just Like
Daddy did

Or May-be
No Ba-bies
On-ly Me

Want Love
All Alone
Empty Home
Gotta Show
Haters Wrong
Seeing as there are 22 minutes to go till the deadline and I have places to be and people to see and he will hold the crown until morning. By the way Zack - I'm still waiting on those new posts.... let me know if you changed blogging spots

Thanks for reading - Reggie

Bow down to your Canadian overlords....

well not quite but, maybe in the not-so-distant future.

It appears that the Canadian Dollar is no longer as worthless as yesterday's newspaper.

I was listening to this article on NPR today and it appears that the Canadian Dollar is about equal to the American Dollar and quickly approaching a value slightly above the American Dollar.

A quick lookup on an Exchange rate site shows that every Canadian Dollar is worth 99.82 cents of every American dollar as of today. So basically a dead-heat as far as the exchange rate goes.

Here's another article about the recent change in fortune -

While this may be pretty depressing to us Americans and delightful news to bordering Canadians, the U.S. still remains ahead of Zimbabwe in currency. In fact it's with mixed feelings that I can say I'm easily a Multi-millionaire Zimbabwean Dollars.

The mixed feeling being the fact that the American in my African-American background is very proud of this fact.

The African in my African-American background is somewhat despaired and melancholy about this fact.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Farewell Blogrush, it was a short uneventful run...

So I decided to delete BlogRush from my Blog.

After checking out a couple of the sites listed today via the BlogRush widget they appear to be all bot-like Blog sites or just really boring, impersonal blogs.

Plus, there's the fact that it appears my traffic appears to have gone DOWN rather than UP since adding the 'widget' to my blog.

So it's back to the drawing board and of hard, work and interesting blog posts...It's a good thing I like to blog!

Quote of the week #8

"Financial education needs to become a part of our national curriculum and scoring systems so that it’s not just the rich kids that learn about money.. it’s all of us."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

By the by - Carnival of Debt reduction

I apologize for my lack of Posts the last couple of days, I was on vacation, spending some quality time with my girlfriend and a little bit with friends as well.

I completely forgot to mention that I had my blog featured in the 106th Carnival of Debt Reduction.

Please make sure to check out My Two Dollars blog...

As the cash flow changes to the positive...

I wonder to myself how to keep it up.

Over the past week or so, my passive income has increased a great deal. I just got my first check ever from paypal for this blog actually and it feels pretty good. Yesterday, I picked up my rebate for my cell phone so there is another $50 or so. At some point next week, I should be getting a check for the recent sale of several of my childhood G.I.Joe's

All told, I will be bringing in about $140 or so without having to work all that hard for it, about $90-100 of it being completely passive income. I know '$90-100, big whoop!' but, everyone has to start somewhere.

One of my goals is to boost that amount of passive income up to $1200 a month in the next 3 years or by the beginning of 2011. That will work to pay for all of my monthly expenses and my 1st job salary would end up being simply 'icing upon the cake'.

The only problem is - I know it will take work and some serious effort. Some of the extra income for this month was simply luck. I am learning a lot though from listening to a newer podcast - Internet business Mastery I would definitely suggest subscribing to this podcast if you own an Ipod and you're interested in Internet Business. Although the podcast are infrequent, if you're interested in learning about how to make money on the Internet, of just off your blog, they are pretty good role models.

Monday, September 24, 2007

WebVideo of the Week: Debt dumpers

Video of the week - debt dumpers

This is OK, British humour... spoofing debt relief. technically I'm still on vacay....will update more in a little bit.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Introducing Dobson!


I'm Dobson, a new poster on Reggie's blog. I am actually Reggie's brother and I enjoy talking about finance and economics as well.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Contest: One week to go ...& taking the weekend off


thank you for reading. I'd just like to take a moment to point out the fact that there is still a 'two words' contest going on. It appears that there is one, current favorite for the contest but that does not necessarily mean they will be the favorite. If you haven't checked it out yet - go ahead and click here - or on the big "Two words" link on the right side panel. Put something up if you'd like...

In other news I am going to spend some quality time with the girlfriend this weekend, right after I finish up with some loose ends at work and balancing my checkbook. So I most likely won't be blogging again until Tuesday (have Monday & Tuesday off) - my apologies in advance.

In still other news I am tempted to link the E-bay Webpage for my priceless Childhood G.I. Joe's that are on sale right now through an e-bay store but, that would be just kind of a very, very shameless plug, and wrong(?) I guess I won't do it.

Blog of the Week: Money, Matter, & More musings

This week's blog of the week goes to Money, Matter, & More musings .

The blog about High Yield Savings Accounts keeps everyone in the know about the high interest savings accounts and what they are at now due to the recent Fed rate cut.

Check it out...

Friday, September 21, 2007

being a work-a-holic & working towards your childhood dreams

I went to an internal job fair for my company today. I asked my boss a couple weeks ahead of time and he agreed to let me go.

This month is 'career-month' at my company and the internal job fair is one of the biggest events.

Anyways I went I saw dropped off a bunch of resumes and networked a tad.

So when I told my girlfriend I'd like to cut my long weekend short (I took Monday and Tuesday off to go to a concert on Monday) to learn more about how some higher-ups got where they are now in a small 'career path discussion panel' I got invited to /volunteered for....My girlfriend got really upset and went on and one about how I never want to come see her and she always wants to see me...etc, etc.

So now, I plan to cancel a picture-perfect opportunity to network with people who are where I want to be in a few years to spend more quality time with my girlfriend.

I can begin to see my father's work-a-holic, work ethic beginning to show in me a little more than I'd like to admit. I look at my father today and see someone that I don't necessarily want to be when I retire. Don't get me wrong, I love my Dad, he's a great role model for about 80% of black males his age (or any age for that matter) when it comes to being a responsible individual.

****Hmm is this Karma/God/Some Higher power Speaking? ****

right in the middle of typing this blog post I happened upon ABC News' person of the week for this week:

Professor Randy Pausch is a dying, 46 yr-old computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He has about 6 mos -1 year to live.

When he was a kid though, he wrote down his goals - everything from Being in the NFL and being Captain Kirk to 'Working for Disney's Imagineering program' and 'floating in outer-space'.

Well he didn't become an NFL star but, he did float in outer space and worked for Disney's Imagineering program. He also achieved quite a few of his other goals.

The entire video is very inspiring.

You can also copy and paste this link:

Dr. Pausch has achieved almost all of his goals though through a little luck, sweet talk and a lot of hard work he has achieved what he set out to do before he ever had to pay taxes or worry about a mortgage.

I guess that's what life's all about though - not money but, what you do with your precious time here.

When I was a child my only true wish was to be the best artist I knew. I was getting ever-closer to that goal when In the 8th grade my Dad told me I needed to focus on something more constructive than art like, business - so here I lay today somewhat unsatisfied with my life choices.

I have a goal now though, to become a millionaire by 40 so once there I can refocus on my dream of being an artist. several have surpassed me in skill over the years but, I think with a little help from a living legend/mentor like Gabe Leonard I'll be OK.

I have a feeling though, that life can only get better from here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

So Dave Ramsey's on TV ...This Blogrush thingy

SO I just listened to Dave Ramsey's Podcast today and apparently, he is going into the TV business. He is getting a show on Fox's new business news channel.

I love listening to Dave and his rants on people who are in debt.

I also love how he will call a caller 'stupid' without any remorse whatsoever.

What I don't like is Fox News and ultra-conservative opinions but, what can you do? Dave's conservative without apologies - he once commented something 'I have relatives that voted for Democrats...we still say say 'hi' to them at Christmastime"

Oh well - until there is a liberal radio ( or podcast) host that's as entertaining as Dave, what's a tree-hugger to do? (Oh wait, there's Suze Orman but she doesn't do podcasting - yet dang it!)

In Other News, there is a new site/service called Blogrush that is supposed to help promote blogs by running a feed of recently posted blogs. According to an e-mail I just got from the service scammers/spammers have already infected the network.

"Unfortunately, the bozos have come out of the woodwork and are trying
to cheat the Blog-Rush system. We have quite a few users that are abusing
the system � from running scripts to auto-load the widget, to other
fraudulent methods to earn syndication credits for their account that
they do not deserve.

These �cheaters� are hurting the overall network and dramatically
lowering the click-through rates for our good users. It�s obvious
since their �impressions� are not even seen by humans and therefore are
not sending any traffic to other users."

As you can see - as of yesterday, I added the 'blogoshere' widget to my side panel. Unfortunately so far anyway most of the blogs listed look like they are boring generic blogs not a whole of creatively named blogs or blogposts so I am almost questioning thee legitimacy.

I'll keep the widget up for a week or so but, if I don't see a whole lot of change I may be taking it down.

Quote of the Week#7

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

-Thomas Edison (found on

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What little I know about: Auto Insurance

So today I'd like to take a little time to talk about Auto Insurance.

To be honest Auto Insurance, or any type of insurance is a very, very boring topic in general. That is, boring up until the point someone knocks out your window at 3 in the morning and steals your stereo! In that case, you're a member of one of two groups 1) fairly perturbed and angry because you weren't expecting this but, luckily you have insurance that will cover this - or- 2) extremely perturbed and angry because not only were you not expecting this but, you'll also be paying a bunch of money because you didn't have the right type of insurance at the time.
Q: Let's say you are driving home from work on the highway (in Ohio where you live), talking on your cell phone, you drop your cell on the floor bend down to pick it up then rear-end the car in front of you at about 50 mph , which in turn rear-ends the oil tanker in front of it and causes the oil tanker to explode and take out several cars surrounding the oil tanker. One car in particular veers off the road and into a building knocking out the majority of a wall.

You have $7500 PD limits. $12,500/25,000 BI limits. COLL with $1000 deductible. You have no LOU or MP coverage. The estimated property damage is in the range of $380,000. One person was killed, 3 were burned on over 50% of there bodies and 7 other people went to the hospital. The medical bills - so far for everyone , are around $500,000 Are you covered? we'll get to that later...

For now, I'll inform on some things you may or may not have heard of. Why? because I'm in the insurance industry now and know a little* about the subject.

First, some basic insurance terms**:
  • Liability(3rd party): this is a type of insurance that covers your liability to other parties up to a certain pre-determined limit. This is the most basic and usually most minimal form of coverage.
  • Bodily Injury(BI): this is one of the two main sub-types of liability coverage. As the name implies, this handles injuries to parties (usually) outside of your vehicle who were injured by you or someone using your vehicle in an accident.
  • Property damage(PD): this is the other sub-type of liability coverage. This covers, of course, other cars that your car may hit talking on your cell phone, but it also covers fences, buildings, guardrails (yes the government wants their money back for their guardrail even though you're a taxpayer), and other random things that might just 'come out of nowhere' and enter your path - while driving, talking on your cell phone (you know who you are!) It will be covered only up to the limit listed in your policy.
  • 1st party coverage: This is a broad term [used usually only by insurance people] that describes any coverage that helps you - the customer out in case of an emergency/claim.
  • Comprehensive(COMP): this is a type of optional coverage, [whereas liability coverages are usually NOT optional] that you can place on your car that will cover your car in case a deer (or sometimes another animal) jumps in front of you while driving and you hit it. Also covers you if your car magically catches on fire. Also covers you if some twerp brakes into your car and decides to steal your stereo as well as your dashboard and driver's side window in the process. Also covers you if that same twerp is so fascinated with your decade old vehicle that he(or she) decides to take it the local chop shop and sell your car for parts. This coverage includes a deductible.
  • Collision(COLL): This is another optional coverage. It's also one of the most expensive types of coverage and thus most sought after types of coverage because (with a few obvious exceptions) if you wreck your car - your insurance company will pay for it. All they'll ask in return is your deductible. Unless, you own a brand new 1.4 Million're insurance company most likely has a a clause that says something in really tiny print about the fact that they will replace the value of the car or say $250,000 whichever is less - but honestly, if you have money to spend 1.4 million on a car - what do you care, you have money to burn! That, and/or your really stupid.
  • Deductible: this is what you have to pay out of pocket for using your Comprehensive or Collision coverages to repair your car. If you damaged, or God forbid, injured someone else, your insurance company won't ask you to pay anything until they reach your policy limit - then it's all you.
  • Policy Limit: is a pre-set amount that your insurance company will pay for specific liability coverages. Assuming you have PD limits of $100,000 - that is the most your insurance company would pay in an accident. Anything above that limit you would be responsible for. BI limits would work the same way.
  • Rental(LOU): This is another optional coverage that gives you a rental car while your car is in the shop (usually) because of your Loss Of Use of your own car. This coverage generally only applies when you already have Comprehensive or Collision coverage. A further option generally given is how much coverage per day you can have.
  • Medical Payment(MP): This is another optional coverage in Ohio. medical coverage for anyone injured in your car regardless of fault. An amount that you decide on can be paid to your Doctor, hospital, etc if it's related to an accident. Other states have PIP coverage - which to be honest I know nothing about so I won't even go there.
SO back to the question:

Q: Let's say you are driving home from work on the highway (in Ohio where you live), talking on your cell phone, you drop your cell on the floor bend down to pick it up then rear-end the car in front of you at about 50 mph , which in turn rear-ends the oil tanker in front of it and causes the oil tanker to explode and take out several cars surrounding the oil tanker. One car in particular veers off the road and into a building knocking out the majority of a wall. There are several witnesses that saw you yakking away on your cell phone.

You have $7500 PD limits. $12,500/25,000 BI limits. COLL with $1000 deductible. You have no LOU or MP coverage. The estimated property damage is in the range of $380,000. One person was killed, 3 were burned on over 50% of there bodies and 7 other people went to the hospital. The medical bills - so far for everyone , are around $500,000 Are you covered?

A1: Yes you are covered.

A2: Yes you are covered but, not by much. Your liability coverage, would cover the damage done to all those vehicles and the building up to previously specified limit of $7500. In Ohio - they would all most likely split the $7500 amongst themselves. You would be responsible for the $372,500 left. So the oil company, the building owner and a couple other angry people would most likely start calling you about the remaining balance.

Also assuming you had say the state minimum limits for Ohio - $12,500/$25,000 for Bodily injury. Your insurance company would pay for up to 12,500 for injuries to any one person and 25,000 for all parties involved. Seeing as unfortunately, someone ultimately lost their life due to this accident - that person's family would most likely get $12,500 for their pain and suffering. The remaining $12,500 would be split up amongst the the 10 other injured parties. Those burned severely, would most likely get first priority. You would be responsible for the $475,000 (or more) in medical bills. You would most likely also become fairly familiar, maybe even on a first-name basis, with several attorneys in your area.

As far as your car - yeah you're covered. But first you have to pay your $1000 deductible that you thought didn't seem that much at the time you signed up. You also have to hitch a ride to work while they fix your car - because you have no LOU coverage. Oh and that neck injury and broken nose you got? I hope you have health insurance cause your auto insurance ain't paying squat. You told yourself you didn't need no silly Medical Payment coverage. You're an excellent driver. You only got that Collision coverage cause your lease company said you had to...You now have $847,600 of debt all cause you dropped your cell phone. But hey, you were 'covered'
Hopefully, that gives everyone a slightly better understanding on auto insurance. To be honest, back in the day (before I got into the insurance biz) I used to think insurance was the biggest scam. All these big faceless insurance companies charging hundreds of dollars for accidents that never really happen.

Now, after being in the biz for a bit - you hear some horror stories. Of course the above example is a little extreme but similar accidents happen everyday. If nothing else, stop using your cell phone when you drive (you know who you are) or at least buy a Bluetooth phone or use your speaker phone.... jeez!

*by 'little' I mean extremely close to 'none' on the aforementioned subject
**these definitions are in all likelihood very far off from the equivalent definition on your own policy. Honestly, you should call your personal insurance agent and ask him or her what's on your policy and what isn't.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Article/News Bit of the Week

This week the economy is the focus.

Although the Fed cut interest rates today to cheers and applause on Wall St, another statistic came out today that seems to reinforce the idea that the real estate market is not looking that pretty now.

This article: U.S. home foreclosures soared in August - talks about the terrible month of August - for the Real Estate industry anyway.

243,947 homes went on the chopping block in one month! That's a 115% increase in the number of foreclosures from last year.

The sad thing is that August isn't even supposed be the worst month of the subprime debacle. October, is when the majority of those nasty adjustable rate mortgages are set to reset.

To be honest, it doesn't feel too bad to be a 'renter' right now....

Monday, September 17, 2007

How to Overcome Rampant Disorganization....

...When the key culprit [and victim] resides in your mirror.

So, for the 2nd time in a little less than a week, I find myself waking up on my couch. Like before it is a few hours past bedtime yet several hours from dawn. Also like before several papers, plates and cups lay sprawled everywhere.

Is it the drugs? you ask - NO? Was it the 5th of Vodka? you ask - NO! Was it the day-old pasta's ability to knock Reggie out? You ask - well maybe... Ultimately, though it becomes my lack of discipline and organizational skills are the culprit here.

"But Reggie...What do Organizational skills have to do with Personal Finance?" You ask.

I need look no further than down at my computer desk to find a bill with the due date of 'SEP 18,2007' and then quickly realize that today is September 18th 2007.

I count myself lucky because I can quickly write a check and my bill provider has a local nearby office where i can drop off a payment but here are some not-so scientific tips - mainly for my own benefit, on How to Get Organized and stop leaking out money in the short term.

  1. Make a list: - making a list of your goals for the day, week or month definitely helps start the organizational process. Monthly is easy, weekly becomes more difficult and daily can be a feat for even the best of us but, getting into the habit of goal writing is important for even the most modest of financial goals. If you can get to the point (where I am almost at) of making goals for each specific hour of the are someone I envy immensely and are definitely on the right track.
  2. Set a routine 'clean' time: - This will help enormously in conquering the evil towers of 'stuff' that align against you and the forces of Organization & good. This might be a weekly or even daily occurrence. You need to set aside a specific time when your only focus is putting things back where they belong and purging things that are simply not needed. Less clutter and junk means more time to focus on either a) accomplishing more work or b) saving more personal time. When you don't have to worry about 'looking' for something because you already know it's location you save yourself stress as well
  3. Keep a calendar: Sometimes, you don't need to do or simply can't everything on your
    'to do' list at the same time. This is why a monthly calendar comes in well. I personally have 1 calendar for work and another for my personal life but, for some it may be easier to keep those two calendars combined to keep from over-booking your schedule. I have my own system that seems to work well keeping those two apart.
  4. Organize as you go: My girlfriend does this most of the time and it keeps her house very nice and clean. If you can get into the habit of immediately putting things back when you're done; washings dishes as you finish eating; and dusting more than twice monthly - you are on the right track.
  5. Have specific files: At one point, I used to have very non-specific file categories such as 'bills' or 'savings'. However, the longer I'm around the more I realize it's important to be specific about what you want and also about what you file away. 'Bills' could mean a multitude of things but when you devote specific files to cable, Internet, credit card(shame on you for having one) helps you find records much, much more easily.
  6. Purge: At some point, the receipt for the Mickey-D's quarter-pounder w/ cheese combo that you bought in 1993, when you lived 5 states away, does you less and less good. (I think you're chances for refund are kind of shot). So getting rid of old unnecessary files is a good way to free up space and let go of things you may not even need. I've heard that after 7 years, most tax files become semi-irrelevant. Taxes being the most important file that you would want to hold onto.
  7. Buy organizational systems that work for you: I personally have a few different file boxes that I work with. However, my favorite piece of organizational merchandise I own happens to be my automatic coin roller . When I come home at night, pockets full of change, I no longer throw random change onto my dresser. I instead drop it into my automatic coin roller which whirs and spins separating my pennies from my nickles, my nickles from my dimes, and my dimes from my quarters. I love that little machine.
So hopefully, I'll begin to follow these tips to myself. So I won't be up blogging at 1:30 AM when I could be sleeping ...Unfortunately, I need to go pay some bills now before I can do just that.

Web Video of the week: Destro & Baroness

So I was looking around for something light-hearted and not too deep video-wise.

I think I found a winner. Warning: explicit lyrics -from the Baroness especially, I always knew she was evil...

...My childhood and teenage years brought together with surprisingly entertaining results.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Greenspan speaks

So I just finished watching Alan Greenspan's recent interview on 60 Minutes.

In the interview Greenspan explains that he is NOT at fault for the current sub-prime mortgage fiasco - like the Bush administration and other critics have attempted to state.

The interview also confirms the rumor that he has a tendency to read in the bathtub.

In other news,

As you may have noticed, I've decided to reintroduce a bunch more ads. Only time will tell if they become a regular occurrence. Hopefully some of them are at least helpful.

Progress Report - week ended 9/16/07

Here's a brief update on my September 2007 financial goals:

  1. Cut balance on medical collection by 1/2 or from $1619 to $809.50 - or less. - at this point, I'm on track to pay the balance off completely by Month's end. I didn't do so this weekend because of multiple expenses (Mom's B-day, dinner w/ GF, upcoming Concert) . However, a payment at the end of the month will do much less damage to the emergency fund and thus is still good to go.
  2. Send in rebate so I can get my $50 back for my cell phone - Has been already sent. I just checked on my rebate by phone and online and it appears that they are still processing it or haven't received it yet.
  3. Raise net worth above $8,000 - Still 'iffy' at this point. May be close by the end of the month.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Blog of the Week: World of Wealth

This week's Blog of the week goes to MEG over at the World of Wealth

What can I say, MEG is an excellent writer, a banker and while simultaneously fitting into the 20-25 demographic has a net worth more than 30 times my own.

While this would make your average Blogger envious (and to be honest, I was at first) I have to give her props for [almost any of her posts would do ] her most recent post Being Grateful Now.

I have a lot to be grateful today - but since I am very short on time today - honestly, just check out MEG's blog, it's great.

Friday, September 14, 2007

When $315 Million isn't enough...

I just got done reading a very sad, bewildering article about a Powerball winner who's life was turned upside down (and not in a good way) after winning the lottery in 2002.

The article, Winner reflects on nightmare lottery can be found on

The most suprising thing about the article is that Jack Whittaker - the winner, was already a self-made millionaire prior to winning the power-ball lottery. He had businesses worth a total of $17 million before he struck the $315 million dollar jackpot.

Just a few of the bad things that happened after his brush with 'good luck' are as follows:

  • "I don't have any friends," he said in a lengthy interview with The Associated Press.
  • His home and car were repeatedly burglarized.
  • At a strip club, thieves broke into his Lincoln Navigator and stole a briefcase stuffed with $245,000 in $100 bills and three $100,000 cashiers checks.
  • Whittaker was charged twice with driving while under the influence
  • Sued repeatedly, once by three female casino employees who accused him of assault.
  • In all, Whittaker says, he's been involved in 460 legal actions since winning.
  • Jack fell in love with Jewell when he was in eighth grade and she was in seventh. The couple filed divorce papers three years ago but have yet to sign them.
    "I don't know any normal person who could have a marriage with everything that's been written about me that's not true," Whittaker said.

  • The couple's daughter, Ginger McMahan, has battled cancer for years. The disease is in remission, though she remains in poor health.
  • Before Powerball, Whittaker and his wife went to church together. These days, he seldom does."It's just aggravating, you know. People come up and ask you for money all the time, tell you some kind of a sob story."
Of his prized granddaughter Brandi Bragg, Whittaker says:

"She was going to inherit everything," Whittaker said. "Everything that we have was built in a way that it went to her on her 21st birthday."

She never saw that day, dying at 17 after struggling with drug addiction.

Bottom line, the phrase "be careful what you wish for" is not just a random juxtaposing of words.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Qoute of the week #6

"Fear melts when you take action towards a goal you really want."
-Robert G Allen

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Financial Videos for the week

Over the past 24-48 hours I've been watching a couple videos related to finances/economics. I thought I'd share my opinion of them. Here it goes:

  1. The first Movie is a fairly hard movie to come by and is more about economics and race than anything: White man's Burden -this movie is a very unique movie which reverses the socio-economic of whites & blacks in America. A black factory owner played by Harry Belafonte ends up firing one of his lesser-educated white subordinates played by John Travolta. Like everything in the universe the firing of John Travolta's character leads to a series of events that puts the black factory owners life in danger. It eventually becomes a somewhat drawn out kidnapping flick. However, one unique thing about this movie is how it completely changes your perspective on economics. For example; all the management jobs at the factory are filled by blacks. All the line working jobs are filled by whites. All the whites live in the 'bad-side' of town and the 'good side' of town, with the large brick houses, is almost completely populated by blacks. The factory owner even has a white older maid who talks very meekly to her boss. The classic scene of the movie is at a charity fashion show where all the attendees are well dressed blacks. In fact all of the models are attractive black women. Then at the end of the fashion show the designer comes out and is surrounded by several, poor, underprivileged, white children and I think one token underprivileged black child for whom the charity fashion show was thrown. An excellent movie for changing a mindset.
  2. The second movie/DVD I watched was the Frontline PBS series: Can you Afford to retire?
    -This mini-documentary talks almost exclusively about the downfall of pensions. The rise of 401K plans and how corporate America may not be doing their best to insure that baby-boomer's retirement year's are spent golfing & RV's rather than working at McDonald's or Wal-Mart. It appears that the organization that insures the nations dwindling pension plans would most likely go belly-up itself if every corporation began to file for bankruptcy in order to avoid paying their pension obligations to their employees - leaving the employees with nothing. It also touched on the fact that unless you are very well-paid and/or very financially savvy(or have a PF blog maybe... ) - Americans for the most part have no idea what they're doing when it comes to investing their money in a 401k plan. The movie interests me only because I worry about both my parents - who as of last month are both retired (divorced too) and I'm not sure if I'll have to eventually end up taking care of them financially.
  3. The third and final movie is actually the first in the series from Morgan Spurlock called 30 days: I make minimum wage - This was great to watch and made me appreciate my current living situation. Even more interesting - this show was filmed entirely in my home town! Morgan Spurlock & his girlfriend decided to live in 'the bottoms' of my town. I won't go into all of the details as I'm getting tired from a long day but, basically he and his girlfriend both find jobs paying about $7 a day. They live in an apartment that costs $325 a month and has roaches and ants to boot. The landlord says as a selling point something to the effect of "well the the tenant below you go busted for selling least it wasn't something violent...and there's a hospital right down the street". This somewhat gives you a perspective on their experience. At first they have no furniture, and no car. Although Morgan takes the bus, his more cost-conscious girlfriend walks (mind you in not the best neighborhood -but with a cameraman) everyday to work. They do eventually get furniture and some other amenities but eventually his girlfriend gets a urinary tract infection (with no health insurance) and Morgan sprains his arm (also with no insurance) which puts them in a hole it would take them months to get out of. This mini documentary teaches you quite a bit on how inhospitable it is or would be to be forced to survive on a minimum wage salary. it is eye-opening.
Ok that's all for now - nighty night.

4th day of the Secret - it appears to work

So on the 4th day of thinking positive thoughts I got in contact with a person from a different department who at first it appeared was in a position below me. We were in the same training class and during the training class I joked around "out loud" that Although I enjoy the position I am currently looking for alternative employment within the company.

To make a long story short this gentleman is in a position quite above me and invited me to call him sometime this week to set up a shadow-interview for a position that would pay me $10,000-$15,000 more than I make now. I'll tell you more later but, I am in the middle of catching up with a good friend over the phone I'll update later.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Article/News bit of the week

The Article/News clip of the week this week goes to this article : Oil prices hit all time-high

I don't think that this article is particularly great other than the fact that it brings up the fact that we are a little too dependent on one slowly shrinking resource for our well-being.

The two portions of the article that bother me the most are the 1st and 3rd paragraphs:

1)"NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices rose to a new record settlement price Tuesday as traders turned their attention to Wednesday's government inventory report expected to show tight supplies and shrugged off OPEC's decision to boost output."


3)"Even factoring in OPEC's decision to increase oil production by 500,000 barrels per day starting Nov. 1, "supplies are tight," said Addison Armstrong, an analyst at TFS Energy Futures LLC."

Even as I struggle to optimistic but, it's disheartening when OPEC - (an organization that controls 2/3rds of the world's oil and 40% of the world's oil production) - tells the world that they plan to increase production - an act that generally causes gas prices to decrease.

And those running the show 'so-to-speak' over here in the U.S. decide we need to increase the price anyway!

here's another great quote about the increased 1.4 million barrels per day overall:

"This is a big number," Evans said, adding that it would take futures traders a while to digest its significance. "This is not something that the market's going to adjust to in a few minutes."
In other words, "Just because prices are going down for us big oil refining companies/oil investors doesn't mean we can figure out how the price should go down for the end user" - i.e., 'you' & 'me'. "We have to studies and run tests and (sigh) wait for the price to go back up again. so we can charge the end user more"

OK Reggie, Think positive thoughts - 'gas will soon be free' , 'oil companies will begin to care about their customers and the environment', 'they will finally free the scientist who claimed he could run a city for a day off one glass of water, from the cell they hid him in the early 90's"....ah much better.

Monday, September 10, 2007

What is 'Wealth' to you?

I sit here and think about what 'Wealth' or 'Success' means in my culture compared to other cultures. Namely my girlfriend's.

In America Material Wealth equates to success.

In my Girlfriend's Culture 'Relationship Wealth" equates to success.

In our culture someone who is a Doctor or Lawyer quickly gets respect.

In her culture someone who is a tribe elder earns respect slowly.

In our culture money is king

In her culture those with the most friends and family are king-like.

I'm not sure which culture is better in the long run. But it truly felt great staying with some of her 'tribe' while out west.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Progress report - week ended 9/10/07

Here is a weekly progress report for my September 2007 goals:

  1. Cut balance on medical collection by 1/2 or from $1619 to $809.50 - or less -Almost there, sent in a check for $400 earlier this week which should bring my balance down to $1219. Depending on if my 401K contribution has been reduced or not, I will possibly just pay it off in full by the end of the month & take a hit to my Emergency fund.
  2. Send in rebate so I can get my $50 back for my cell phone - Although it was a little leg work to get everything together, the rebate has been sent in and is on it's way.
  3. Raise net worth above $8,000 - I won't be sure on the status of this until month end but one would hope it's at least near $7,900 given my recent debt payment.
Hope everyone has a great week!

A tweak here, a change there... updates all around

I have made the decision to switch up my blog a little.

TITLE: Although - currently I see the title still as Reggie, the black kid with good credit.

I've decided to change that title to Reggie, another kid with good credit.

There are multiple reasons for this change but, some of the most obvious would be

  1. The obvious wall that is put up when someone reads that: "the black kid", although it may be embraced by some of African descent, it immediately, inadvertently instructs the non-African/African-American reader that their eyes are not wanted here - which is far from the case. I'd be kind of put off if there were a blog called - Julie, the white girl who knows her finances.
  2. For those who read my blog with any slight regularity, you can learn that I am a black male simply by looking at the 'about me' section.
  3. Again, by stating "the black kid with good credit" I appear to reinforce the stereotype that most black people have bad credit and I am somehow an exception to the rule which is not something I really want to reinforce at all.
GOAL UPDATES: As far as updates, I think I'm going to scale down the weekly updates on my financial goals and instead keep the goal setting, at least on my blog, as a monthly occurrence. I may try and give progress reports for my monthly goals but, I think I'll hold off on making weekly goals that may/or may not correlate with the monthly goal.

WEEKLY BLOG POSTS: For those of you who are new to reading my blog. First, Thanks for reading! Second, I have attempted to keep up some regular weekly Blog Posts for certain specific days of the week:

Monday - (nothing specific currently)
Tuesdays - Article/Newsbit of the week
Wednesday - What little I know about.../Informative post
Thursday - Quote of the Week
Friday - (nothing specific currently)
Saturday - Blog of the Week
Sunday - Possible monthly progress report/week review.

Anyway, thank you for reading I appreciate the support!


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Making the switch from Pessimist to Optimist & "The Secret"

Warning this post is a tad long

Recently I've decided to do a little informal research into this 'The Secret' phenomenon that's been slowly sweeping the self-help market for the past year or so.

I imagine it's a reincarnation of the The 7 Habit's of Highly Effective people by Stephen Covey that was all the rage almost a decade ago.

Or if you go a lot farther back than that - How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie which was one of the original books in the now booming 'self-help' genre.

The innovative difference about The Secret is that the authors/collaborators of this program recognized that a growing number of Americans simply don't read books anymore (I'm happy to say I'm not in that number) and instead marketed it as a DVD. And they also added dramatic music and cut-scenes to keep it interesting.

Here is a clip of the first 20 minutes:

And here's a clip of a SNL parody of the Secret & Oprah:

SNL parody about The Secret show on Oprah

As you can see, the idea behind 'The Secret' is that you can have whatever you want in life as long as you think about it long enough. It apparently also states that what comes into or goes out of your life is based on the Law of Attraction: what problems or benefits you have in your life - you have attracted into your life.

So of course you're asking - What does this have to do with personal finance Reggie?

In my case, it is becoming more and more evident to me that my tendency toward a negative attitude might be indirectly affecting my balance sheet.

I have been a pretty cynical and pessimistic individual until recently. To be honest I was down right depressed when I left Chicago. I think there is a possibility that all of the negative energy I've been throwing off (I hate my job, I hate my car, I hate where I live, I hate my new-found debt etc...) might be bringing negativity back to me full circle.

Two examples of how the karma is coming back to get me would be:

  • My failure to tithe when I originally paid off my credit card debt (I decided to save it for my trip out west) - and a few weeks later I pulled my credit and found a $1600 collection that I knew nothing about.
  • My failure to tithe (again) after tithing for 1 week (I decided I wanted to focus on paying off said collection) - and a few days later I find my car broken into and my stereo stolen. I'm charged a $250 deductible and my insurance rates may possibly increase for the long term.
I've also noticed that I wasn't really that upset about my car getting broke into because a) I was lucky enough to have insurance, b) the thieves didn't find where I place my CDs, c) The thieves didn't find where I hide my spare house keys in my car. That is until I started telling co-workers and friends about it.

People were saying things like that "That really sucks" & "That would burn me up" and "I know you're angry" and I went from feeling 'OK' about the situation to getting angry and deciding I needed to get upset at someone & blow off some steam.

Last night I spent my grocery money on wine and then some more on drinks at a nearby club. I also switched to my credit card mid-way through and added an extra $20 to the $250 on there from my deductible I paid earlier.

And today, I went over to my apartment complex office right when they were about to close and told them "I want safety lights put back in our building because they're out right now and my car got broke into the other night!"

The young lady told me she would have it handled and commented that she lived in the same building and realizes how dark it is outside.

I mumbled "thanks" and walked out with a scowl on my face. As I was walking out though I realized that I could have handled that in a much nicer fashion and not put that negative energy out again.

This brings me back to The Secret - I really think it might be beneficial to start thinking positive for at least a little while AND beginning to tithe regularly - whether it's donating to charity or my worship service or paying my parents back for old personal 'gifts' that they gave me over the last few years. The 'Law of Attraction' appears to be listed in the Bible:

Galatians 6:7-8 (King James Version)

"7-Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

8-For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

It's also stated in the very first verse of the Dhammapada:

1. Choices

"We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you"

Bottom line, I believe I'll try and think on the positive side for a bit here, tithe and work towards my goals without being so cynical. The cynic in me wants to sit back and make fun of the Secret but the more negative I get, the worse results I tend to get. Also, I noticed in the trailer a physicist who is also featured in What the Bleep do we know- a great documentary about ...reality. It's time to be positive and do a little something positive for those around me too while I'm at it.

What do you think? Is the secret a bunch of hooey? Or Have you heard from people who have tried and benefited from it? let me know.

Blog of the Week: My Financial Odyssey

Blog of the week for this week goes to TMAC at My Financial Odyssey for his post on the new FICO scoring rules. FICO will officially no longer allow an "authorized user's" credit to be positively affected by the good credit of the card holder.

As a article pointed out a couple months ago - some people with really bad credit are (or at least were) piggy-backing onto the credit cards of people with really good credit as 'authorized users' in order to boost the former's credit score. In some of the more extreme cases - complete strangers have been selling their 'authorized user' spots to other strangers so that people that would otherwise be turned down for loans but, for the sake of the 'authorized user' boost to the credit score, are approved. For some reason, the sub-prime mortgage crisis comes to mind...

Honorable mentions also go to Mapgirl for her article on Mr. Earl

And I'm sad to say it looks like it may be THE END (at least blog-wise) for Basil & Bianco Bizarro at the Bizarro World Debt Elimination Freak Show hopefully they're just kidding though. If they're not, they'll definitely be missed.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Dang it! - happy to have insurance though...

So I finally found that Insurance-writing inspiration I was looking for:

Around 5:15 this morning I realized that I no longer have a driver's side window to my car! I also realized my stereo had been stolen. To add insult to injury my dashboard is completely smashed.

I called the police, an officer came out around 6:00AM and took a report but found no finger prints. The officer did point out the fact that my apartment's 'safety light' as well as several neighboring apartments' 'safety lights' are out currently and this may have helped the bastards use the 'cover of darkness to get the job done. I think I'll be talking to my apartment complex about that very soon.

Then I called my Insurance company and filed a claim. around 6:15 - I was there after hours
service and the real office doesn't open until 7:00 AM.

I called the real office at 7:15 and they instructed me on what to do. I have to pay a $250 deductible for the damage.

I was soooo close to having 2 accidents fall off my record too. Most likely this shouldn't count against me though as it wasn't my fault.

This brings to mind the importance of insurance:

I used to think that insurance was just a scam ran by the state and government but now, after working in the insurance industry for a while I realize how important insurance can be.

Although I have to pay the $250 deductible, I will not have to pay the possible full $1,000 or more in total damage done to my vehicle.

I will also not have to worry (as much) about dealing with a glass shop(for the window) , dealing with a body shop (for the dashboard damage), & dealing with a stereo shop for the same.

My insurance company, will hopefully help facilitate this.

I don't think the full amount of anger has really hit me yet. But I can feel it growing.

I now want a new car - like my old car - with an alarm in it.

There are several different types of insurance coverages that come into play for different types of accidents. In this case, I will be using my Comprehensive coverage for this accident.

Comprehensive coverage - depending on your insurance company and policy - covers things that are not directly related to an accident. In this case it covers theft of my stereo and incidental vandalism as a result of my stereo being stolen.

Comprehensive coverage also covers - again depending on the policy - fire damage, deer hits, minor glass damage & falling objects aka 'random stuff landing on your vehicle'.

OK I think the anger is increasing now. And just the other day, I thought to myself "Wow, I actually live in a pretty nice neighborhood" ... time to think again.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Too many goals, & too little free time make Reggie, go...


So I have been trying to work on a new system of doing things the past week. I have decided to try and start waking up a little bit earlier than normal - 5AM-early - and I have been scheduling my day hour by hour and making lists of the things I need to do as well.

I have to say I have been accomplishing a lot more than I usually do. I am keeping up at work. I am getting my gym workout in I even have time set aside to talk to my girlfriend but, I don't think I've had a minute yet to just sit back and think or read or e-mail back friends - call family.

Tomorrow I plan to:
Wake up at 5 - immediately go to the gym & work on Precor then a running bike for about 20 minutes to wake up.

At about 5:30 I'll come back home, shower, eat breakfast, make goals for the day, get dressed head to work.

At 6:30Am I plan to get into the car drive for about a half-hour to work.

7:00 - I'll get to work and I'll make a list of things to get done for the day both at work and personally.

8-1 - work on several different things

1-1:45 eat lunch

1:45-4:30 work on several different things

4:30 -5:30 fight traffic back home

5:30-7:00 have a snack, listen to Dave Ramsey podcast as I work on blog

7-8:30 go to gym and do leg workout

8:30 - 9:30 call GF

9:30 & after - who knows it's Friday!
I swear - Time is the new Money!

Hopefully, the coming weekend will give me time to get the minor things done that have been gobbling up all of my free time. 1 day to go.

Quote of the week #5

"You can lose a lot of money chasing women but, you will never lose women chasing money"

-Mr. Landis (Edward Herrmann) in the movie: I Think I love My Wife

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Do Americans work too hard?

So I was looking through different articles the other day and found this one:

U.S. workers: World's most productive

In the article it states -

"The average U.S. worker produces $63,885 of wealth per year, more than their counterparts in all other countries, the International Labor Organization said in its report. Ireland comes in second at $55,986, followed by Luxembourg at $55,641, Belgium at $55,235 and France at $54,609."
A little bit further on in the article it points out the fact that -

The U.S. employee put in an average 1,804 hours of work in 2006, the report said. That compared with 1,407.1 hours for the Norwegian worker and 1,564.4 for the French.
Not only do we create the most wealth we work almost 300 hours more on average than other country. I don't know about you, But I think I deserve a longer lunch break...

Writer's block for today

I was going to write a nice long article about why insurance is important but, I have some really bad writer's block all of the sudden.

I guess I also have quite a few things on my mind that I need to take care of today.

Maybe a trip to the laundromat and a subsequent trip to the gym will solve this problem? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Carnival of Debt Reduction: I made it in!

Just wanted to mention I made it into the 103rd Carnival of Debt Reduction.

My post "Why I didn't use Credit Counseling" earned a spot. Just thought I'd put that out there...

Article/News bit of the week: I lost my $41K & pants

This week's the article of the week goes to a Wisconsin man who lost his pants and in the process, a cashier's check for $41,000!

Mark Stahnke apparently went out drinking last week and when he woke up he was in his neighbor's yard sans pants. He was also missing a $41,000 check that he intended to give to his son at the bar - what a great family...

Even the local police were a little puzzled:

“We’re used to hearing weird stories, but with his intoxication we figured this one would be different, that the amount of money wouldn’t be exact,” Police Lt. William Graham said. “How do you get so intoxicated that you lose your pants?”

You're guess is as good as mine, Lt. Graham. I guess that's another reason NOT to drink and carry a large amount of money simultaneously.

An honorable mention for article of the week goes to Allan Sloan's article on about how the 'reduced' government budget deficit isn't quite as 'reduced' as it seems. Hell, it's still a deficit, we're not even talking about National debt.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Paying for sexual favors from a S.O. - ramblings

... actually there's a story behind that title but, since my girlfriend doesn't really know about this blog (and won't know until after I propose) I think I'll keep that story under wraps for the time being.

Let's just say that a certain instance over the past weekend brought this topic to mind.

That being said, in my opinion, it appears that sex and money (or at least what money can buy) appear to be two of the most driving forces in the world today.

Back in caveman days, it was very simple: The biggest guy who killed the most beasts got his pick of the women because he was a 'good provider'.

Today it's a little different: although men still earn more, on average than women - Women have a lot more leeway to earn today than they did in the past.

There are such things as stay-at-home-dads & Manny's. This was unthinkable just a couple of generations ago and in some culture's it still is.

As far as sex goes women still have the main say when it comes to sex but, it becomes debatable as to their motivations:

  • Some sleep with well-off, older men in order to ensure they can maintain an expensive & pampered lifestyle.
  • Others sleep with well-toned, bad-mannered Adonis' that have little to no respect for women and come back to a cycle of abuse that arouses a woman's 'challenge' & 'helper' buttons.
  • Others, do and say whatever it takes in order to get a wedding ring and feel worthy among their engaged and newly-wed peers.

I'm sure there are several other variations to women's motivation for sex but these are the ones I guess I've run into or across the most in my post-adolescent male experience.

Us men, we're very easy to motivate:
  • We're awake, alive and breathing (eyesight not necessary).
That's truly all it takes. We will pay for a nice car, a nice house, nice dinners, flowers, presents, trips, etc... in order to impress a woman enough to have permission to remove her clothing.

I guess the question becomes, if women get to a point where they out-earn men, go to sperm banks to have babies and no longer feel a huge social stigma for not getting married and raising a child without a father - will us men really be that necessary?

If nothing else, I'm good at rambling.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

September 2007 & week of 9/3/07 - financial Goals, August & last weeks results

So for August my financial goals were the following:

  1. Raise net worth to $8,200 - FAILURE - mainly due to unexpected collection. without the collection, my net worth would stand at about $8K-9K
  2. Raise passive income to 'double digits' i.e., $10 or more - FAILURE - but came close at 9.88 cents.
  3. Work with friend on children's book illustration. -SUCCESS -I did talk to my friend briefly about this but, we only resolved to talk again about it at a later date
  4. Call at least 5 book agent's about their submission process -FAILURE - Honestly, I didn't even have time to try.
  5. Pay off debt [verify it's paid off] - SUCCESS* - I was able to verify myself as debt free for about 2 weeks until I pulled my credit and found an old medical collection lingering.
For the past week, my financial goals were the following:

  1. Call rental car place and find out why a $200 credit hasn't been placed on my credit card as I reimbursed them in cash once returning their rental car at the end of my vacation. - SUCCESS - I did call the rental car company and found that the credit was still being processed. As of 8/30/07 my credit card company had received the credit.
  2. Send payment of $200 to medical bill collector - FAILURE* - I actually have a $400 check written out but, I am waiting on sending it until I confirm the account number and address with the collection company so It isn't misapplied. They've been closed this weekend.
  3. See if it's possible to get a new-new cell phone as my 2-day old cell does not have speaker phone. Send in cell phone rebate for $50 either way. (lost my cell phone on Friday) - FAILURE* - I did get a new phone w/ the speaker phone function, However, I've been procrastinating on sending in the rebate, which is exactly what the cell phone company wants me to do....
  4. Make plan for paying off medical bill in the next 3 months (2 months if possible) - SUCCESS - I have a plan and as long as I don't deviate too much the bill will be paid in 2months.
  5. Continue looking for an inexpensive-yet-dazzling engagement ring for my girlfriend (I've shopped around a little already and seriously thought about going further into debt for a literal steal on a healthy sized rock through my 2nd job that I thought someone was holding for me. Luckily, that associate apparently already sold the ring to someone else - so I don't have to worry about the irrational demon on my shoulder whispering 'charge it, charge it Reggie!") - SUCCESS - I am still shopping. Thankfuly I regained my senses and DID NOT choose to into debt for a ring right now.
For September 2007 I have a few goals:

  1. Cut balance on medical collection by 1/2 or from $1619 to $809.50 - or less
  2. Send in rebate so I can get my $50 back for my cell phone
  3. Raise net worth above $8,000

For the week of 9/3/07 my goals would be:

  1. Send in rebate
  2. Send in Check payment for collection

I was thinking of adding more goals but, seeing as I plan to start getting fit as well, I don't want to focus on too many goals at once and wind up achieving none of them.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Blog of the week: Zen Personal Finance

The article "Should we feel sorry for these people?" is a great post based on an article about one of those situations that some may be in; the old 'Robbing Peter to Pay Paul' conundrum.

The Moellerings are 39 & 40, make about $66,000 combined.

Together they have a total of:

$22,000 in Credit Card debt (-)

$93,000 in mortgage debt (-)

$68,000 in Home equity line debt (-)

$5,000 in savings (+) doesn't say what their homes current value is but assuming that it's at $100,000 (as they just got married a few years ago) they might have a Net worth around (-$78,000) ouch. The article also touches on the differences in American credit/financial health 20 years ago as opposed to today. It's not pretty.

August 2007 - Net Worth

As you can see, my net worth took a nice, -4% hit this month due to a collection I found after pulling my credit report. Hopefully, I will be able to pay that off within the next 2-3 months and be back within the realm of debt freedom. It felt pretty good while it lasted.

Otherwise, my liquid assets went up quite a bit. My credit card debt now stands at '0' , which is where I'd like it to stay but, since collections are a much worse form of debt than credit card debt I think I'll be shifting the collection over to a 0% credit card later this month.

In fact most of my newly increased liquid assets will be going towards the collection debt. Since I still feel as if I'm in debt-free mode though I won't be devoting all of my energy towards that debt. Instead I'll devote most of my energy toward it but still give myself allowances for extra food, clothes and other things I personally have been skimping on for the past two years or so.

If I really wanted to I could pay off the entire debt today but I would have $0 to my name - I still prefer that emergency cushion just in case something else pops up later this month.