Monday, December 22, 2008

Series 6 anyone?

So - due to circumstances at least partially out of my hands. I am on the path to getting my series 6. So - assuming I pass - I will be a legit investment representative. If I fail I'll be another schmo talking about finances with no credentials.

Two problems are arising though - 1) the Series 6 is appearing to be a lot more difficult than I was expecting; calls , puts and UIT's Oh my!

2) If I pass, my ability to get an extra job will be severely restricted due to the fact that every time money is made outside of your finance job you have to report it to your employer. Who then reports it to FINRA and the SEC. In other words no 2nd job OR part-time business for me.

I hope it's all worth it. I think a trainee that had been studying for the past month or so just failed when he took it last week. I know a little more than the trainee but only by so much. Hopefully by January it will be a lot more...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Robbed (burglarized) twice...[ramblings]

OK so let's hope that December is a better month than November.

Last week on Monday our apartment was robbed or technically burglarized the 2nd time in less than two weeks. This weekend we just got done moving to a new apartment but, man I am not too happy about being robbed twice - by most likely the same people.

The first time they took a lot of electronic stuff, - digital camera's, xbox, laptop and DVDs.

This past week though they came and stole my baby - my computer (tower) that has basically all of my pictures for the last 4 years, has any manuscripts or old files, was the computer I used for the Internet...(sigh)

So needless to say here I am at the library again trying to check e-mail, blog, check out news etc.

I mean I know it's a bad economy and all but, do you really have to break in and steal my things twice? I hope there is justice in Karmic law or God's law and they get at least half the rage I feel for the thieves right now. The unfortunate thing is since they were using gloves there's basically nothing the real 'law' can do unless they turn themselves in - which isn't likely.

Luckily I did get some $ for thanksgiving but, I'd much rather save it but a house than electronics... only time will tell.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quote of the Week #58

The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.

Milton Friedman
found on

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Net Worth for October: -3.03%

So I have been really slacking lately on keeping post updated.

Car issues are the primary reason for my 2-month Net worth slide. On the good side, my wife has a job now so I can't complain about that.

On the not so good side - with the economy the way it is, I may or may not be so gainfully employed in the coming months depending on a few external factors.

It might be back to the 2nd job search -once again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Quote of the Week #57

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
Barack Obama
found on

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Progress Report for week ended 10/26/08

Goals for October 2008:

1) Find a job for wife by month's end - SUCCESS - my wife found a job this week in childcare. I am much more relieved than I was over the last several weeks.

2) Finish editing of book - SUCCESS - I'm done. I've sent copies to a few friends for advice on editing. Now the plan is to sharpen up a query letter for book agents.

3) Decide on publisher - NO progress here so far

4) Blog more often - Still hoping to improve this goal before the end of the month.

So I have to say I feel a lot better now than I did at the beginning of the month. Hopefully the good news will continue.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quote of the Week #56

"A man in debt is so far a slave."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
found on

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quote of the Week #55

"I always knew I was going to be rich. I don't think I ever doubted it for a minute."
-Warren Buffett

Monday, October 13, 2008

Progress report for week ended - 10/12/08

Goals for October 2008:

1) Find a job for wife by month's end - I'm excited, tomorrow the wife has a interview at a very well known company. Now if I can only get her as excited as I am.

2) Finish editing of book - So far, I've edited chapters 1-3 again started on chapter 4 but it really needs to be re-written.

3) Decide on publisher - NO progress here.

4) Blog more often - Still working to improve upon this goal.

What can I say, I have been distracted by family matters as well as the markets going up and down and today - way up ...I have a feeling they may go back down tomorrow again.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wow - what a Month so far...DOW=8,579.19

So it's been quite an eventful month so far:

October 1st - The DOW went down -19.59 points or - 0.18%. The Senate votes 74 to 25 for the 2nd try at the infamous 700 billion dollar "bailout".

October 2nd - The DOW went down -348.22 points or -3.22%. The Bailout is sweetened to $850 Billion in order to get more members of the House to vote for the bill.

October 3rd - The DOW went down -157.47 points or -1.50%. The House Approves the now, $850 Billion dollar, bailout.

October 6th - (Monday) The DOW went down
-369.88 points or -3.58%. World markets around the world begin to fall before the US markets open. Japan's NIKKEI falls 4.25% , The London FTSE market falls 6%, Austria's Vienna stock exchange falls 8.4%, and Russia's RTS stock exchange start dropping 7% in the first 20 minutes and the Russian markets were frozen entirely after their markets dropped 10%. Needless to say the US followed suit - The DOW closes below 10,000 for the first time since 2004.

October 7th - (Tuesday) The DOW went down
-508.39 points or -5.11%. The DOW goes to it's lowest point in nearly 5 years.

October 8th - (Yesterday) The DOW went down
-189.01 points or -2.00%. "BIg BEN" Bernanke as he's called announces a 1/2 point rate cut - the DOW and the other indicators continue treading downward.

October 9th - (Today) The DOW went down
-675.97 points or -7.30%. And then, there's today...the ban on short selling -which had been enacted temporarily in light of short-selling's affects on company's like Lehman brothers and AIG - was lifted and Morgan Stanley's stock headed south -26% and many financial stocks followed suit.

Did I mention my 401k has lost a good 5-6% too? Yesterday I called up my 401k provider and politely asked them to cut my losses and invest mostly in 'safer' things. Lord knows what tomorrow will bring - good thing I'm not planning on retiring anytime soon nor do I plan to rely solely on my 401k to do it.

Quote of the Week #54

"Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them."
-W. Edwards Deming
found on

Monday, October 6, 2008

Progress Report for week ended 10/5/08

Goals for October 2008:

1) Find a job for wife by month's end - I applied to 10 jobs over the weekend on my wife's behalf. She received 2 phone calls back today and has 1 "pseudo-interview" set up.

2) Finish editing of book - The plan is to work on this a little bit tonight but, we shall see.

3) Decide on publisher - need to get the book together - i.e., step 2...before I can honestly begin talking about publishers.

4) Blog more often - I am not doing that great a job at this goal right out of the blocks but, hopefully I'll improve it this week and next.

So many things going on - so many things to be distracted with. I think I just need to find some zen-like focus and get the necessary stuff out of the way while letting the unnecessary stuff (and there is a lot of it) fall to the wayside.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Quote of the Week # 53

"Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success."

-Dale Carnegie
found on

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September 2008 Net Worth = +0.69%

Wow, I just eeked by on the positive side given the market going down took a nice chunk out of my retirement.

It's nice to know last minute Wedding money is still coming through to go into savings.

Now, I can only hope that next month will be a nice increase. With the market these days and an unprecedented, presidential election around the corner, only time will tell.

September results/October goals

So here are my goals for September:

Get computer fixed or get a new computer - SUCCESS - I got my computer back last week after 4 weeks of waiting.
Begin sharing funds for family budget - SUCCESS - is in effect no because my wife is still unemployed.
Finish final editing for book (no really I mean it this time) - FAILURE - Shoulda, coulda, woulda - I need to buckle down it's just hard to get motivated to do side projects when the main thing is my wife's lack of a job.
Work on mutual savings goal with wife - FAILURE - This is a goal is still postponed in the short term while my wife looks for a job.

I am frustrated on a few fronts right now. The stock market tanking on Monday is not really helping the situation. Hopefully the bill will get passed even though it's helping out fat cats.

Goals for October 2008:

1) Find a job for wife by month's end

2) Finish editing of book

3) Decide on publisher

4) Blog more often

I could go into more detail but right now I'm not exactly in the greatest of moods - that being said I'll update a bit later.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quote of the Week #52

“Young men are fitter to invent than to judge, fitter for execution than for counsel, and fitter for new projects than for settled business.”

-Francis Bacon
found on

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Progress report for week ended - 9/21/08

So here are my goals for September:
  1. Get computer fixed or get a new computer - SUCCESS - I just got back my computer today finally from the dork squad. It turns out that my apartment management doesn't contact you when they have packages unless you have not picked up the item in over a week. They received my DELL disks last Friday. I obviously made the mistaken assumption that they would call or drop a note by if they had something that had been sent overnight, I thought wrong.
  2. Begin sharing funds for family budget - SUCCESS - has started but it's basically me creating a budget for myself because I'm doing the majority of the spending as my wife still remains unemployed.
  3. Finish final editing for book (no really I mean it this time) - So now that I have the computer back I plan to devote a large chunk of my time to get this book editing done and over with. I think I had possibly a chapter or less left when the computer went down last time. I might run it by a couple good friends first and then off to the publishers I shall go.
  4. Work on mutual savings goal with wife - This is a goal that will be post-poned in the short term while my wife looks for a job.
Although My wife returning to the world of the 'employed' is a priority, I have to say that getting this book out of the way just to say it is done is a major priority that I have in my sights right now. I'm saying my silent prayers but I also have faith that this can open up other doors and opportunities for me in the long run.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Quote of the Week #51

What this country needs is more unemployed politicians.
-Angela Davis

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Progress Report for week ended - 9/14/08

So here are my goals for September:
  1. Get computer fixed or get a new computer - I still have my computer over at the 'dork-team' or something like that at a big box electronics store. Since then I was instructed to call DELL to get a special disk. And after staying on hold for a good half hour - last week - they said they were sending it in 2-3 business days. Of course as you might have heard, Hurricane Ike went through Texas and some of it ended up here in Ohio complicating the 2-3 business days for the disk. I am really resisting the urge to just buy a new computer mainly because my wife is no longer employed at her 3 week employer.
  2. Begin sharing funds for family budget - SUCCESS - has already started with last week's groceries and bill paying. Unfortunately with her looking for a job again it looks like it's more or less my wallet OUR budget - oh well.
  3. Finish final editing for book (no really I mean it this time) - The computer problem is keeping this goal from being achieved for the time being. To put it more bluntly the most recently edited version of the book is saved on my non-working computer. I spent a good 20 hours of free time on that version and I am really procrastinating trying to that all over again on a library computer so i continue to wait for the "dork squad'.
  4. Work on mutual savings goal with wife - this is kind of the very back burner, collecting dust until my wife finds a new job. We may be able to squeak by with my salary but more likely, I'll probably have to either dip into savings or find a part-time job (again ...sigh) until she can find a job herself.

I have to say, this past week has been an interesting if not frustrating one:

  • My wife is no longer gainfully employed and is in search of a new job.
  • My computer has officially been in the shop for 3 weeks as of today.
  • A hurricane is most likely causing technical difficulties as far as getting my computer up and running again.
  • Power around the majority of my city has been knocked out due to the after-effects of Ike. Thankfully, me and my wife weren't affected.
  • The stock market plunges 400+ points (again)

I have to say it could be worse. My heart goes out to those in Houston and Galveston who lost there homes or worse. I also feel for those at Lehman Brother's who lost there jobs as well as those at AIG who will likely lose (at least some of) their jobs. "Things are tough all over..." might be a bit of an understatement.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quote of the Week # 50

If you want love and abundance in your life, give it away.
found on

Monday, September 8, 2008

Progress report - for week ended 9/7/08

So here are my goals for September:

  1. Get computer fixed or get a new computer - So currently I have my computer over at the 'dork-team' or something like that at a big box electronics store. I dropped it off there Wednesday and I called today for a check up. The 'dork' I talked to said that they are still having issues with it which might mean I need to clear out the hard drive and start from the ground up. I plan to decide tonight.
  2. Begin sharing funds for family budget - SUCCESS - has already started with this week's groceries and bill paying.
  3. Finish final editing for book (no really I mean it this time) - The computer problem is keeping this goal from being achieved for the time being.
  4. Work on mutual savings goal with wife - working on this. My wife let me know today that she has every intention of getting a new job because she hates her boss at her new well-paying one. It looks like I might have to find a stable working environment for the wife before pursuing this will any major focus.
Slowly starting to get the hang of this being married thing but by no means am I (or do I see myself becoming) an expert. I might have to blow a bunch of money for a new CPU if the dork squad's nuclear option doesn't work. I hope that's not the case.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quote of the Week #49

If you can't drink a lobbyist's whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women and still vote against him in the morning, you don't belong in politics
found on
*there was no name attached to this quote but, I like it nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

August 2008 Results*/September 2008 Goals

*August 2008 -

1) make a family budget - SUCCESS- We did make a rough draft of a budget but we need to go over it again- I had that small issue of getting married and going on a honeymoon that took up an enormous amount of my time.

September goals -

1) Get computer fixed or get a new computer
2) Begin sharing funds for family budget
3) Finish final editing for book (no really I mean it this time)
4) Work on mutual savings goal with wife.

OK The first goal is obviously going to become the most important one in the short term because as I type this I am in a public library with several children playing computer games, teenagers listening to their music or talking too loud and adults answering there cell phones ... Lord knows I miss my personal at home Internet.

August Net Worth: -9.74%

So it looks like after all the wedding expenses , a little post-wedding Honeymoon spending & household spending, my Net Worth has decreased by a little less than 10%.

As of right now, I think of that as a mixed blessing. The wedding expenses began to pop up out of nowhere during the last week of the engagement. At the same time it could have been much more expensive than it was. I think our aggressive bargain-shopping helped us out.

My wife and I just went to a wedding this weekend that had at least 300 people in total (ours had about 180 guests) and it boggled my mind how much everything must have cost. My wife initially told me that the couple was paying for the wedding themselves. Afterwards though she informed me that the groom's parents had picked up the tab for the fairly lavish reception. My guess is the reception alone was in the low 5-digits and that's with no alcohol and no DJ.

In other news my wife just got a decent-paying job however, after the first week, she came to the determination that she hates the work environment with a passion. I almost passed out this weekend when she said she was planning on quitting [Today]. Luckily I talked her out of it and she is back on the job hunt, while still gainfully employed (whew).

Now, if only I can get my computer running again along with a reliable schedule - I'll be set.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quote of the Week #48

“I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.”
-Thomas Carlyle
found on

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Trying to regain my financial rhythm...

Over the past several weeks I have been thrown out of my normal routine and I doubt the 'normal' routine will return. The main reason being is that in the past several weeks I got married and now as the saying goes "until death do us part.." I am bound to find 'our' routine not just mine.

It is definitely taking taking some getting used to.

Wife With No Job.
The past week or so I was having a mini-panic attack because my wife was unemployed and did not seem too terribly bothered or upset as I was about that fact. Luckily she* just got a job this week so a lot of my financial worries have been silenced - or at least put on "mute".

All that wedding Money went straight to the kitchen
The other thing that was bothering me was that we got a decent amount (low 4-figures) of wedding financial gifts but, my wife wanted to spend them all for things for her kitchen & bedroom. I of course, wanted to put them all straight into a high-yield money-market. We compromised and I let her have about $500 worth of gift cards & cash while I used the rest to go to savings and outstanding wedding bills owed to my adopted in-laws.

In-Laws come to visit
My real in laws dropped in for a visit last weekend and we fed them and drove them around to see the sights. They are from a country a good 3,000-4,000 miles away from us it was good to finally sit down with them and get to know them. That is "good" up until they asked us to play a DVD for a Multi-level Marketing scheme they had "introduced" my wife to and hoped to "introduce" me to as well. To be honest I would've probably signed up just to appease the in-laws until I learned the least expensive thing you could sign up for was $520 "US". I had to politely decline but, I think they may be a little bit sore about it. They also left us paintings made by one of my wife's cousins. This may be a little bit more promising though. We visited a few local art galleries and a few were very receptive - we just need to work on the presentation a little more is the main thing.

Trying to get Budgeted
Right after my in-laws left, my wife and I went over our estimated finances with her new job. Again we're in the process of compromising on a few things. She would like to have "walking around money" while I would like to have "walking to the bank money".

Overall I think the married life will work out for the best we just both need to learn to compromise. We also may need a new computer (I'm at the library again) I think the viruses have won the battle against our CPU, another added expense.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back from the honeymoon...

So I've returned from the honeymoon. Now I'm a married man.

I think it might take some adjusting, getting used to the married life and what not. Hopefully we'll be able to learn to compromise although we're both a tad on the stubborn side.

I guess I also need to touch up on my English 101 - recent and not-so-recent typo's and mistakes are being noted. Needless to say I was not an English major but, I like to write. Is that wrong? I hope not.

The finances will be OK for at least a little while due to some thoughtful (cash) wedding gifts. Now it's just a matter of refocusing on goals again - a vacation on an island tends to make one 9me) forget.

Monday, August 4, 2008

July Results/August Goals

Here are my goals for July 2008:

1. Break even or Increase Net Worth -SUCCESS

2. Set up website for business - SUCCESS*

3.Set up checking account for business - FAILURE

4. Get business cards for business - FAILURE

I will update the details a bit later but right now I've got to work on some more pressing concerns.

August goals:

I might just postpone these until after the big day but, I'd say at least one would be:

1) Setting up a family budget.

July Net Worth: +16.81%

So it looks like - my Net Worth took a nice turn for the better this past month. However, looks can be deceiving and a large portion of this increase will eventually go to wedding expenses. Next month we will be the interesting month. Once one financial picture is joined to the other.

Do I just keep track of my checking when it's really our checking?

Will we come home from the wedding with many unexpected expenses or many thoughtful presents?

Will I be able to mold a seemingly spendthrift* fiance, into a frugal wife?

Will my fiance be able to get a decent job once relocating?

All these questions and more will hopefully be answered next month.

*I have no real proof that my fiance is a 'spendthrift' per say - it just seems that more and more expenses are being tacked on to replace those that have been reduced. And my fiance does not seem to want to haggle or question any face-value price. She also won't let me get involved with negotiating at all or tell me who she's negotiating with. Which is frustrating when I am two hours away and can do little to stop her from paying...full price(sigh).

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Quote of the Week # 47

A good wedding planner will invariably save the bride money. Everything is negotiable in this business.

-Richard Markel
found on

Monday, July 28, 2008

Progress Report - for week ended 7/27/08

Here are my goals for July 2008:

  1. Break even or Increase Net Worth - Not sure on this one now. I might be able to pull it out due to an extra paycheck for the month.
  2. Set up website for business - Met with my new webmaster, bought the website now I just need to switch it from an ad for to a decent site explaining what I'm doing. I plan to meet again with the webmaster tomorrow.
  3. Set up checking account for business - With wedding issues coming up I haven't had much time to devote to this. If I get any free time in the next week or so. I'll be on the phone to the State to find out my Businesses' tax ID code.
  4. Get business cards for business - I still haven't put together a decent thought on what my business cards should say. If there's any downtime this week - I may pursue this further.
So it is now T-minus less than 2 weeks before I get a ring put on my finger and I am no longer a single guy. Everything is pretty much paid for and accounted for but it is the minor stuff that keeps on jumping out of nowhere and scaring me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Quote of the Week #46

Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning.
-Bill Gates

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Progress Report - for week ended 7/20/08

Here are my goals for July 2008:

  1. Break even or Increase Net Worth - This is looking like more and more of an unlikelihood. Wedding expenses are coming fast & furious and income is not increasing.
  2. Set up website for business - Met with my new webmaster, bought the website now I just need to switch it from an ad for to a decent site explaining what I'm doing.
  3. Set up checking account for business - I need to call the state on this one. I did receive an LLC certificate but it did not include any tax ID#.
  4. Get business cards for business - I have a temporary logo set up talked to the nice people at FedEx Kinko's today and I really just need to verify what I want to say on my business cards.
The last couple of days, I've tried to drop a lot of the things that are going through my mind and focus on one thing at a time. Right now I'd like to get the business about 90% off the ground before heading on my honeymoon.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Quote of the Week #45

“Focus on your potential instead of your limitations”
-Alan Loy McGinnis

Monday, July 14, 2008

Progress Report - for week ended 7/13/08

Here are my goals for July 2008:

  1. Break even or Increase Net Worth - it will be a nail-biter till the end to see if this goal can be accomplished. After spending $300+ last week on my car this week I have no real pressing expenses other than the expense of setting up my website for my business which appears to be up and running now per the Ohio Secretary's website.
  2. Set up website for business - Just need to contact my webmaster and start the ball rolling. I plan to start with a minimum investment but I'd like to hold off until payday this week just in case anything comes up while I'm low on funds.
  3. Set up checking account for business - At this point, mainly waiting on my next payday before I set this one up. Also need the paperwork back from the state for my TAX ID number.
  4. Get business cards for business - really just need to nail down the logo design - hopefully this week - and I should be able to wrap this goal up.
My focus has been all over the place lately; 1) on the impending wedding, 2)on my impending business, 3) on a charity project I'm supposed to do for the church of my relative. I always tend to do this - start a bunch of different projects simultaneously and then end up having mediocre results on all - I really need to cut this habit out if I am to have any success in the future. Time to start living by that Zen focus - give all your energy & your time to one thing that is happening(or can happen) right now...everything else is meaningless in comparison.

For those of you reading - wish me luck! Thanks in advance.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Quote of the Week #44

Carl Lewis won the gold medal for the long jump in the 1996 Olympic games, he was asked to what he attributed his longevity, having competed for almost 20 years. He said, "Remembering that you have both wins and losses along the way. I don't take either one too seriously."

found on

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Progress Report- for week ended 7/6/08

The last few days I've been having car trouble so my apologies for not updating earlier. That being said, here are my goals for July 2008:

  1. Break even or Increase Net Worth - a few days ago I thought this goal was definitely within reach. Then over the weekend, I had some car trouble which made that goal all the more difficult to achieve - to be specific, in excess of $300 more difficult. It could be worst though.
  2. Set up website for business - still have not done this. I am waiting for paperwork back from the state.
  3. Set up checking account for business - still have not done this . I am waiting for paperwork from the state.
  4. Get business cards for business - and to sound even more like a broken record 'still have not done this. waiting on bureaucratic state forms to be approved.
So not much progress I'll admit but it was a holiday weekend and I did have car trouble. This week I should have more time to focus.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Quote of the week #43

Business has been so drab, all grey suits and cufflinks. But there's a whole new generation of entrepreneurs starting to make it fun.

-Simon Woodroffe
found on

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

June results/July Goals

This is basically just a recap for June:

  1. Publish Debt Freedom book (online or otherwise) - FAILURE - Got a little input from a family member that the book needs a lot of work. So it looks like publication won't be happening this month. I did send in my forms for the LLC but because a minor omission (forgot to add LLC at the end of the Co. name) the powers that be in the great state of Ohio sent the form back to me - along with my check. You'd think the fact that I was filling out an 'LLC application form' would make the LLC part inherent but, what do I know - especially about state bureaucracy.
  2. Join (or start) an entrepreneur's group - SUCCESS - I just went to great group last week and I plan to check out another one this coming week and a 3rd at the beginning of next month. I'm pumped. Hopefully the next two are as great as the one I went to on Thursday!
  3. Post at least 25 blogs this month - FAILURE - As I look at my blogs for June it looks like I've published 21 so far including this one. Close yet no cigar I guess. handling last minute wedding issues hasn't exactly helped the matter either.
  4. **Subscribe to Inc Magazine - SUCCESS -Done - yup I finished this simple goal way early. Maybe as a confidence booster for my other goals.
This month is going to be tricky - it's just slightly over a month before wedding nuptials so I think most of the goals might center around that. Did I mention that my 401k went down from last month? That's with me contributing + my company contributing 50% too - it still went down - almost makes a brother want to give up the long-haul investing mentality but I digress.

Goals for July - here we go:

  1. Break even or Increase Net Worth - this will be a task indeed with all the wedding spending that's likely to occur in the next 30-40 days.
  2. Set up website for business
  3. Set up checking account for business
  4. Get business cards for business
OK that last goal - the business cards is kind of just a 'gimme' goal - the rest though will be a challenge to say the least, especially since goal #1 is in direct or at least indirect competition with goals # 2, #4 and probably #3 as well. Oh well, if I can just remain focused and centered I think I have a chance of making it through.

June Net Worth: -2.17%

Man, oh man - word to the wise - DO NOT try and start a business the same time you are trying to pay for a wedding.

I've decided to take down the actual Net Worth graphic as I am working on Networking and may make this site a little less 'anonymous' in the process. Thus, I don't want everybody I meet to know my 'bidness' shortly after handing out a business card.

That being said, this past month has been rough 1) with gas prices rising every day 2) new, unexpected wedding costs coming out of nowhere and 3) trying to start a business/LLC to market my upcoming book - things have not been all peachy keen as I would like.

Unfortunately, I think it will get worse before it gets better. I expect this coming month will be nothing but wedding expenses, possible business expenses & increased gas prices with a hint of inflation thrown in for good measure.

If only I can find a way to start making money from the book before it's published. Right now with all the craziness going on in my life I don't expect to publish until say September 2008 at earliest right now.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Progress Report - for week ended 6/29/08

So, here on the last day of the month - are my goals for June 2008:

  1. Publish Debt Freedom book (online or otherwise) - FAILURE - Got a little input from a family member that the book needs a lot of work. So it looks like publication won't be happening this month. I did send in my forms for the LLC but because a minor omission (forgot to add LLC at the end of the Co. name) the powers that be in the great state of Ohio sent the form back to me - along with my check. You'd think the fact that I was filling out an 'LLC application form' would make the LLC part inherent but, what do I know - especially about state bureaucracy.
  2. Join (or start) an entrepreneur's group - SUCCESS - I just went to great group last week and I plan to check out another one this coming week and a 3rd at the beginning of next month. I'm pumped. Hopefully the next two are as great as the one I went to on Thursday!
  3. Post at least 25 blogs this month - FAILURE - As I look at my blogs for June it looks like I've published 21 so far including this one. Close yet no cigar I guess. handling last minute wedding issues hasn't exactly helped the matter either.
  4. **Subscribe to Inc Magazine - SUCCESS -Done - yup I finished this simple goal way early. Maybe as a confidence booster for my other goals.
Well it looks like I'm hitting .500 - which as far as my goals go is not exactly great. Haven't figured my goals out for the coming month yet but, I'll get to those as soon as I can - a lot of wedding planning is finally coming to a head.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quote of the Week#42

It is not rejection itself that people fear, it is the possible consequences of rejection. Preparing to accept those consequences and viewing rejection as a learning experience that will bring you closer to success, will not only help you to conquer the fear of rejection, but help you to appreciate rejection itself.

-Bo Bennett

found on

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

10 Million Millionaires

It appears that there are now 10 Million Millionaires in The World.

According to this article on there are now 10,000,000.00 Millionaires in the world.

None of which are me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Getting rid of 'Net Worth'

As I'm trying to promote myself more by getting involved with entrepreneurial groups It seems more and more likely that my ability to remain anonymous is less and less of a likelihood. That being said I have decided to take down my Net worth widget so as not to expose myself completely. I do however, plan to continue to note by what percentage my Net Worth decreases or (more hopefully) increases.

Speaking of Net Worth, I just finished filling out the paperwork for an LLC and I think that was my main obstacle. Now if I can just remain focused long enough to put a stamp on it and send it in. I have this weird feeling of trepidation & excitement all mixed together - kind of like I felt when I was a little kid the night before I had a big game or track meet to compete in.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June Book of the Month: Whoever makes the most mistakes Wins

So I just finished reading this great book Whoever makes the Most Mistakes Wins By Richard Farson & Ralph Keyes and it goes into depth on why many great businesses successes in the U.S. would not be possible if they hadn't failed at least initially.

In the book they bring up the fact that things like post-it notes & Scotchgard were born out of failed attempts to create other products. They also present several case studies where big successful companies - like IBM - that did NOT accept failure in their corporate culture were unable to change when needed and thus began to fail anyway because they were so focused on maintaining their prior success - while competitors were looking for new more innovative areas to succeed in.

Towards the end of the book they begin to make some sports analogies. One in particular is a story about Michael Jordan and how he was cut from his varsity High school basketball team because his coach thought "he wasn't that good" - Jordan went home depressed yet determined to do better the next year, and I think we all know how that one turned out.

I have to say I really like this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone considering whether or not to do something slightly risky - it may change your whole attitude.

Progress Report - for week ended 6/22/08

So, here a week before month end - are my goals for June 2008:

  1. Publish Debt Freedom book (online or otherwise) - I'm done typing, I have some family members checking on legal and factual issues. This week I hope to get an LLC set up - which I think I'll need before I can publish the book without worrying too much about legal issues. I also might have some tweaking to do if I can fit it in. It's going to be close one for actually getting the book published by month end but, I think I'm definitely on the right path.
  2. Join (or start) an entrepreneur's group - SUCCESS - I just went to great group last week and I plan to check out another one this coming week and a 3rd at the beginning of next month. I'm pumped. Hopefully the next two are as great as the one I went to on Thursday!
  3. Post at least 25 blogs this month - As I look at my blogs for June it looks like I've published 15 so far and this will make for 'number sixteen' so obviously I need to 'kick it up a notch' for the final full week of June.
  4. **Subscribe to Inc Magazine - SUCCESS -Done - yup I finished this simple goal way early. Maybe as a confidence booster for my other goals.
So this week I'll need to keep busy in order to accomplish goals #1 & #3. I think I'll make a list of the things I need to do this week here shortly just a double-check for myself.

Friday, June 20, 2008

So I went to a entrepreneur* meeting....

Man was it cool!

I have to admit, I felt nervous at first and almost got discouraged and turned around at first but, luckily somoene asked If I was there for the meeting, handed me a name badge and my fate was sealed from that point forward.

One thing I definitely should've brought were business cards but, I don't have any yet to promote my yet un-published book. I also didn't know what exactly to say when people asked 'what do you do' which was the first question out of everyone's mouth.

After the 'meet & greet' session, they did have a speaker who talked about the 'elevator speech' - which is basically what everyone else was announcing when I asked the question 'what do you do' back.

Basically an elevator speech is a quick, conversational pitch - these entrepreneurs give on a regular basis about their product or services. I even met a couple of contacts who may be able to help me get my book off the ground!

I'm very excited only regret is that I didn't just get out there and do something like his much earlier - even if it's in a part of town I don't usually hang out at.

*I previously tagged this as a 'network marketing meeting' and it was nothing of the sort. Just wanted to clarify that for myself. I will not be selling Avon - or trying to gain an 'up-line' anytime soon.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quote of the Week #42

"The Gods have two ways of dealing harshly with us - the first is to deny us our dreams and the second is to grant them."

-Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Article of the Week: 10 families no credit card debt

I found a very interesting photo gallery-article on today. It features 10 families without any debt.

Most impressive to me was the last family:

"The Moment: Two years ago, the Lees were $270,000 in debt. Then one day at a flea market they saw a sign that read, "Live Simply." They bought it, hung it inside above the front door of their house and decided to drastically change their lives.

They sold just about everything they owned - including their house - paid off all their debt and now have a net worth over $100,000. "We look at [the sign] as a reminder every time we leave the house," says Chris. "

It was also very cool to see fellow blogger - Leo Babauta (the Author of Zen Habits ) - be featured as well.

If you need some inspiration on getting out of debt, definitely check out this article.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

So I think I found some meetings.

As I've mentioned earlier one of my goals for this month is to either join or start an entrepreneurship group. It appears that there are already quite a few groups in my area and I sent a 'request to attend' more or less to at least 3 of them.

The only thing, I'm slightly nervous about is the 'open networking' time as I can either be extremely gregarious with people I've never met before or a complete and total Wallflower.

Two of the entrepreneurship groups had a 'screening process' where the group leader will contact me back in 'a couple days' with a 'yes, you can attend' or 'no, you cannot' . One of those groups meets this coming Thursday so I hope they get back to me soon.

In the meantime I'll keep my finger's crossed.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Progress Report - for week ended 6/15/08

So here are my goals for June 2008:

  1. Publish Debt Freedom book (online or otherwise) - I'm completely done with the typing of the book. Now I just need to make some last minute adjustments before I let some friends & family take a first look at it and give me some pointers. I talked to two family members yesterday about that and they seem willing to review it so we shall see. I think this week will be about adding additional info and having people review it. Might also need to get an LLC started while I'm at it.
  2. Join (or start) an entrepreneur's group - Still haven't seen a bunch of groups posted or anything, I might have to make my own. The one at the end of June may not coincide with my schedule.
  3. post at least 25 blogs this month - As I look at my blogs for June it looks like I've published 10 so far and this will make for 'number twelve' so at this pace I still have a good chance of reaching the goal - I just slacked a little last week because I was trying to finish up the book.
  4. **Subscribe to Inc Magazine - SUCCESS -Done - yup I finished this simple goal way early. Maybe as a confidence booster for my other goals.

As I mentioned in goal #1 I think something I need to do in the next couple of weeks is get an LLC or 'Limited Liability Corporation' started before I venture off and start making money. That along with looking for entrepreneurship groups will be my mini-focus for this week.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quote of the Week #41

“It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done.”

Samuel Smiles
found on

Monday, June 9, 2008

Video of the week: So much for that gas problem ...

So why hasn't the government told us about the affordable water-based engine yet? I guess a possible water shortage could be one reason but who knows. My paranoid guess is that the gas companies have had the technology for years and years they just would rather charge people money up the yin yang until they say enough then they'll introduce another technology - that they can overcharge us for.

The $1.4 billion crash - 'sorry about that'

So I hear that a $1.4 Billion (yes that's a 'B') dollar plane crashed off the coast of Hawaii a few months back.

It was a B-2 bomber that apparently had water that distorted sensor's - check out the video before the Airforce takes it down:

It's good to know my tax dollars are going to stuff like this rather than saving the economy.

Man I would feel pretty close to crap if I were one of the two pilots - especially if there is one who is more responsible:

Even if the pilots make a Million dollar's a year - it would take 140 years to (deduct that from their paycheck) . Glad I don't have anything worth nearly that much at work that I can possibly break.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Progress Report - For week ended 6/8/08

So here are my goals for June 2008:

  1. Publish Debt Freedom book (online or otherwise) - I am doing the editing (Typing ) process right now. Just gone done with Chapter 3 and i plan to finish chapter 4 tonight as well - God willing. If I can get focused I can get all the typing done this week. Then I'd like to add a few extra sections and possibly some quotes but first I need to finish up typing - again hopefully by the end of next week.
  2. Join (or start) an entrepreneur's group - I looked for one online last week but there first meeting isn't until the end of June - maybe if I look harder I'll find one for this week?
  3. post at least 25 blogs this month - As I look at my blogs for June it looks like I've published 6 so far and this will make for 'number seven' so at this pace I will achieve this goal on time but, It wouldn't hurt to achieve it way early either.
  4. **Subscribe to Inc Magazine - SUCCESS -Ha ha! I beat up the procrastinator-side-of-me and locked him in a closet shortly after writing this goal so I could send in a handy dandy check for Inc . & Fast Company for the super-low price of $15. Now If I can just find a way to get that procrastinator-side-of-me from the closet over to a walk in industrial freezer somewhere - I think I might have a very productive rest of the year.
So the first week is going pretty good. It doesn't hurt that the sun is out and I become more enthusiastic when it's sunny and warm outside. If i can keep hype the whole summer I might accomplish something great. Or at least meet my New year's resolution...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Is Oil going up - or are the speculators doing it?

In case you didn't hear about it, crude oil just went up to $10 a barrel on Friday.

I personally think that's kind of ridiculous and I'm seriously beginning to wonder where this comes from. Apparently the speculators can simply 'guess' or speculate on how much gas should be and shortly after that, we end up with higher gas prices.

The funny things is people are driving less so demand is down. The speculation puzzles me.

Happy Anniversary to me.

A funny thing happened a couple weeks back and I completely omitted mentioning it:

I've been writing this blog for just over a year now!

It's an interesting milestone for me - not because I've never blogged for a year straight before ( because I have). But this blog seems to have relevance in the world and by blogging about my finances not only have I learned a tremendous amount about personal finance, I'm also learning a bit about running a part-time business.

Not only that, I think I've met and at least become familiar with other bloggers who are also goal oriented and I think that's a positive influence on my life when every thing's said and done.

Unless, I get bored learning & talking more about finance - I will continue to do this blog for at least another year.

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quote of the Week #40

There's no way that I could do a 9 to 5 job. There's no way. I was not cut out for that. You come in and you work for three months on the one job. They say, 'Great,' you know, and you're on to the next one - and you never even got fired. It's wonderful.

-Dennis Quaid quotes
found on

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I'd like my inexpensive electic car now please....

Unless you live in New York, Boston, my former home of Chicago or somewhere else where a large percentage of residents use mass transit - you may realize that gas is getting pretty darn expensive. Right now cheap (HA!) around where I live is at about $3.83 a gallon.

My gasoline bill has gone up from about $20 a week to about $40. I would really like to get a cool electric car like the Fisker Karma:

Or an even cooler electric car like the Tesla Roadster:

But, unfortunately the $80,000 & $95,000 respective price tags are a smidgen ( or maybe 10 smidgen's) out f my current price range. For now my high-MPG Honda will have to do. But once I have the money - Tesla Roadster - here I come!

Monday, June 2, 2008

May results/June Goals - 2008

My goals for May were as follows:

    1. Write a book about Debt - SUCCESS - I finished all 10 chapters on Thursday, a day early.
    2. Increase budget on Wedding account to $7500 - FAILURE * - * I've kind of backed off of contributing to the wedding account for some reasons of my own. There is also the fact that our budget will most likely be a little (or a lot) less than originally thought.
    3. Put at least 3 items on E-bay to sell - FAILURE - nope didn't really even try. I was mostly focused with writing the book.
Even though I only accomplished one goal, I think I will stick with the 3-goal approach. Although this spreads out my energy a little if I accomplish all three then I feel pretty darn accomplished. If I accomplish one I've got that one.

    1. Publish Debt Freedom book (online or otherwise)
    2. Join (or start) an entrepreneur's group
    3. post at least 25 blogs this month
    4. **Subscribe to Inc Magazine
So there you have it. I am optimistic that all the above goals are highly attainable. Just need to focus and forget about watching the Simpson's.

**By the way, the last goal is so easy, in theory I should owe someone money if I DON'T do it. ..and I hate owing anybody money.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

May 2008 Net Worth

So here is my Net Worth as of May 2008:

Obviously, that stimulus/rebate/IOU check from Uncy' Sam worked a little bit to help me increase the Net Worth again. It would be even nicer if I didn't have to worry about paying it back next year at Tax time but, I'll try and keep my mouth shut and be grateful.

Wedding planning is chugging right along. I think we may have enough to handle everything right now, BUT I have this funny feeling there are a lot of 'little things' that will take little bites out of the budget until it is no more. So we shall see.

In other news - Got My Internet back! I've felt slightly disabled these past couple weeks without it. If anyone lives in Ohio & has some computer issues let me know - I found a great guy on Craig's list who fixed my computer for a really decent price.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Not rich but, ...Happy.

So my fortune cookie today said:

"Stop searching forever, Happiness is just next to you"

And for at least once in my life, I can agree with my fortune cookie. Not to toot my own horn but, life is going pretty good right now.

  • I have a decent amount of friends around
  • I have family nearby as well
  • I have a wonderful fiance who loves me irregardless
  • I am in good health
  • I have a car
  • I have a well paying, not-so-stressful job
  • I have no debt
  • I have money in the bank
  • I'm an American citizen
  • I just finished writing a finance book & with a little tweaking I should be able to publish it online shortly.
  • I have many more blessings but, unfortunately I can't list them all here.
I guess the saying 'money can't buy you happiness' is very true but, the contrast is deep debt can make your life miserable. I'm so blessed the misery is over. God willing, it will stay that way.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quote of the Week # 39

Do not fear risk. All exploration, all growth is calculated. Without challenge people cannot reach their higher selves. Only if we are willing to walk over the edge can we become winners.-Unknown?
found on

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Progress Report - for week ended 5/26/08

Still no home computer. I relaxed a little bit too much over the holiday weekend - nevertheless, here are my Goals for May:
  1. Write a book about Debt - I've written just about 8 chapters thus far. two more to go. It should be done by the end of the month.
  2. Increase budget on Wedding account to $7500 - Still holding off on contributing to the wedding fund. I don't think the fiancee has contributed anything so far this month anyway.
  3. Put at least 3 items on E-bay to sell - still slacking - what can I say? having no Internet access at your house kind of defeats the 'sell it on E-bay' goal before you get started .

I'll try and keep this updated as much as I can while I try and figure out my plans for Internet. Having to rush through Internet sessions at the library does not help in the typo section I'm slowly learning so I need to fix this issue soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quote of the Week #38

Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. One is a matter of quality; the other, a matter of time.
found on

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Progress Report for week ended 5/18/08

I'm having multiple technical difficulties with my computer recently so I am writing from the ole' library and I must be brief. here are my goals for May:

  1. Write a book about Debt - I've written the 1st -5th chapters I plan to work on the 6th chapter tonight.
  2. Increase budget on Wedding account to $7500 - I recently learned i will be financially responsible for making sure some of my guests are taken care of. Because of this, I am holding off on contributions to the wedding account and allowing my fiance to handle these.
  3. Put at least 3 items on E-bay to sell - still slacking - maybe if my computer comes back off of life support I will dabble in this this weekend. Then again maybe not.

I did get that 'economic stimulus' check and I spent half about a quarter of celebrating - yours truly's birthday. I am also no longer a 20 something but, a 30-something now. Kind of funny - I thought I'd be richer, taller or better looking by now. Oh well...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quote of the Week #37

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.
Peter F. Drucker
found on

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Protect financial choice – keep payday loans"

OK - anyone who knows me or has read my blog even a little bit - knows these words will never EVER come out of my mouth.

That's why I was so thrown off when I saw that uttered out of a respectable looking actors mouth the other day while watching late night TV.

The actor then directed me to the website:

Which is nothing but unbiased propaganda from the payday loan industry in Ohio begging the ignorant to keep payday loans here in Ohio.

Recently legislators in my home state of Ohio have enacted legislation to get this - reduce the APR on payday loans from an average of right around 399% a year, to about 30% maximum. I was so delighted when I first heard this.

Of course the greedy payday loan industry advocates - some of which are run by the big banks have just started a wonderful ad campaign aimed at tricking Ohioans into thinking a year-long loan for $1000 which would end up costing the borrower about $4000 a year - could ever be a good idea.

Here's an excerpt from their informative site:

"Payday loan customers are smarter than most people give them credit for. For many people, payday loans are the right option for borrowing money. Consider the alternatives. Fees for bouncing a $100 check can cost more than 4 times a payday loan. The cost of getting a $100 cash advance on a credit card can be more than 2 times the cost of a payday loan.

  • $100 bounced check with $54 NSF/merchant fees = 1,409% APR
  • $100 credit card balance with a $37 late fee = 965% APR
  • $100 utility bill with $46 late/reconnect fees = 1,203% APR"
What they fail to mention is cost of a more likely payday loan of $600 - $800:

    • $800 bounced check - still has a $54 NSF if bounced once (not the $432 implied)
    • $800 credit card balance - still has a $37 late fee, if late once (not the $296 implied)
    • $800 utility bill - well no one gets $800 utility bills unless you own a mansion or a business and in either case if you have a late/reconnect bill you might want to rethink some life choices.
    • They also compare these likely, monthly bills, to a bi-weekly merry-go-round where no one is laughing but the payday loan shark.
    • Just for comparison's sake - an $800 loan for one month (renewed twice) will cost the borrower about $240 in charges - take that calculation over a year, without adding additional charges and fees, and it comes to $2,880 in charges alone!

They've also played off the fact that 6,000 people will lose their jobs but, I say if they make their living peddling usury then so be it!

Shame on you payday loan sharks - shame on you! If anyone is in Ohio and pondering whether they should vote to keep or get rid of a 400% interest rate - you better believe my opinion is to get rid of it!

Guest Writer? want to write but don't have a blog?

Do you read my blog? Do you not blog yourself but are interested in getting started? Maybe you can be a guest blogger for Reggie, Another Kid with Good Credit . Feel free to e-mail the author at or by using the form to the right below for more details.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Entrepreneurship on the mind

Over the last several weeks, I've begun thinking a lot about branching out into part-time and possibly full-time entrepreneurial pursuits. It's been nearly a decade since I graduated from college and my starting salary then is not a whole lot different from my salary now.

Ideas have been sparking in my head and I've become drawn to several books on entrepreneurship like 'Think & Grow Rich' by Napoleon Hill. Magazines on entrepreneurship, like Entrepreneur - which I currently subscribe to and Inc. which I plan to subscribe to. And Podcasts including my favorite - Internet Business Mastery - with Sterling and Jay.

Not only have I begun thinking about it I've been talking to equally interested friends about the same thing. I think it's only a matter of time before I move forward with a business plan my only flaw or obstacle I believe is my own anxiety and procrastination.

Hopefully in the next 3 months I'll have something up and running. Only time will tell. Maybe someday I'll be a millionaire - who knows...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Progress Report - for week ended 5/11/08

I've been doing some thinking recently and I may be changing my strategy in a specific area of my life. That being said - here are my goals for May:

  1. Write a book about Debt - I've written the 1st and 2nd chapters have the 3rd half- written. I plan to finish that chapter up tonight actually time permitting.
  2. Increase budget on Wedding account to $7500 - I need to re-arrange my banking receipts and take a second look at the budget to see exactly where we're at on this one. I know that about $400 has been added to the account in the last couple of weeks but some wedding expenses have been purchased as well.
  3. Put at least 3 items on E-bay to sell - I have been slacking on this goal and have no good excuse. The main focus is the book and the wedding - due to lackluster results on craigslist and lack of knowledge (i.e., ignorance) about E-bay I have been procrastinating.
I've been talking to one of my good friends about starting an entrepreneurial interest but were just in the 'research' stage right now. I'll give more news on that as it progresses.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Quote of the Week #36

"The more you say, the less people remember. The fewer the words, the greater the profit.”

- Unknown
found on

Monday, May 5, 2008

Progress Report - for week ended 5/4/08

Again - here are my goals for May:

  1. Write a book about Debt - I wrote the first chapter.I'm actually planning on working on the 2nd chapter a little tonight. Altogether I plan to have 10 chapters and make the book a quick and easy to read guide under or around 100 pages.
  2. Increase budget on Wedding account to $7500 - Got a rebate check back for adding my fiance's phone to my cell phone plan. Will most likely add that to the wedding account and i hear a rumor that U.S. tax rebates are coming out soon - we'll probably contribute most if not all of these towards our wedding account.
  3. Put at least 3 items on E-bay to sell - I have the account just need to actually put something up. Did some research on shipping a few weeks back and i think that was the only thing really holding me back.
So in the first couple days it appears I'm off to a good start I just need to focus more time on getting things done which should hopefully be more of a possibility now that I have moved into 'our' new place.

In other news I was able to get my Internet set up which is very nice & fantastic I think. I also saw a note on Blogger's dashboard about time-delayed posts! I think that is great - can't wait to use that because I only have time to blog at the strangest possible times.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

April Results/May Goals -2008

My goal for April was:

1. Add $3000 into Wedding Savings account. - FAILURE

I think I might have set my hopes a little too big for our wedding savings. Moving into new places didn't help the matter either. I think this month I will go back to the old strategy.

That being said - here are my goals for May:

    1. Write a book about Debt
    2. Increase budget on Wedding account to $7500
    3. Put at least 3 items on E-bay to sell
Hopefully the three-pronged approach will help me achieve a little bit better. It appears it might be my potential A.D.D. that sabotaged the 'single goal' experiment/idea. I've had so many things going on that i really didn't have tome to devote to this.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

April 2008 Net Worth

So it appears my Net Worth took a bit of a hit this month. Fortunately, I know that the hit is mainly my car's value and not any additional debt. A few weeks back my tire went flat which led me to find some additional damage on my vehicle that takes it from being in "Good" condition down to "Fair". It's OK my car will be alright but the difference in Value is about $750 give or take. Plus old 'Carmen' is coming close to pushing 200K so it might be time for a new ride very soon.

On an entirely different note - I am really glad I'll be switching back to my home Internet come tomorrow once it's installed in the new place... one major disadvantage of library Internet is the possibility of sitting next to pseudo-homeless person who hasn't bathed in days. People sitting around you begin to think your the cause of the stench and it might be rude to just stand up and point to the person next to you who's causing the stench. So much for manners...

Anyway - once my Internet is up and running I'll be posting my goals for May. Until then thanks for reading.

Quote of the Week #35

[He sees himself as an entrepreneur, but he defines it his own way.] People mix up entrepreneurship with risk-taking, ... An entrepreneur is a risk-minimizer, an opportunity seeker.
Peter Farrell quotes
found on

Monday, April 28, 2008

Progress Report for week ended -4/27/08

So again my goal for this month has been a singular one:

Add $3000 into Wedding Savings account.

So far it's been kind of rough going. Although my fiancee hasn't done that much to help this month I really have no one to blame but myself for my Thus far disappointing results. So far I believe we've put together about $700 for the account - at the same time the fiance did find a good deal on a caterer so that should save us about $1000 or so.

I think next month I'll switch back to either a multi-goal format or more specific goals because I think I may be a little over-optimistic to think I can raise $2,300 in the next 48 hrs.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quote of the Week #34

The fact is that one side thinks that the profits to be won outweigh the risks to be incurred, and the other side would rather avoid danger than accept an immediate loss.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Progress Report for the Week ended 4-20-08

Here is the goal for April:

Add $3000 into Wedding Savings account.

So far it looks like we may be falling short of this goal by a bit. We've currently added about $321 to this account at this point. We've been a little bit hampered by moving as well as moving expenses.

I personally am 80% moved in at this point. But I need to do things such as switch over Internet service (I'm at my new neighborhood library currently) and redo my address before I can completely regain focus.

Luckily a few weeks ago my fiance & my fiance's mother were able to lock down catering for just under a grand so that should save us at least $300 bucks. I also already reserved and paid for the honeymoon so that's another variable we can put to rest. Once everything's moved in - we should be able to re-focus.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Quote of the Week #33

"An entrepreneur assumes the risk and is dedicated and committed to the success of whatever he or she undertakes"

-Victor Kiam
found on

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dollar down, E-bay profits up...

So I was checking out this article on's business site.

And it appears that the weak dollar is turniung into solid profits for E-bay and most likely E-bay sellers.

According to the article:

"EBay's net income rose to $459.7m (£233m) in the first three months of 2008 from
$377.1m in the same period a year earlier."

Now if Only I can figure out how to start selling things on E-bay without getting burned. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

3 ways (I would use) to reduce debt

I've been out of debt (again) for months now and it definitely feels good. However, watching the news these days - or reading it as I do - makes me feel as if I might be one of a shrinking minority - those free of debt. For everyone who's out there, currently in debt. I have to say - I've been there. Here are some ideas for reducing your debt today.

1. Negotiate down your interest rates - One way to reduce debt is by taking the time to humbly call your credit card company and talk up the CSR about your interest rate. Now it should go without saying in order for this technique to work - you almost have to have an excellent payment history - If you don't, you most likely won't succeed. that being said, a good way to start out the conversation is by talking about how much a great customer you've been over the year's and how you'd hate to break up the relationship by switching to a card that will give you a better rate or even a 0% rate. If the CSR seems unwilling to budge, then immediately ask for a Manager and again start off polite. Being and @$$ over the phone line with someone who deals with jerks all day will not magically open up doors for you but, just might win you the 'jerk-of-the day' award - an award by the way that has more likelihood of increasing your interest rate than decreasing it.

2. Sell that shiny new car ..for a junker - You just graduated from College or maybe you got tired of carrying around Bondo to patch up your multiple dings and dents on your 80's model car. So you went out and headed towards the new car lot searching for something that was affordable but would be around for year's to come. The salesperson was so nice and explained everything except for the fact that you would be contributing a little too much money out of your monthly budget if you chose the cherry red sports car. But man, can it turn heads! Now, however, buyer's remorse has set in and the new car smell has long since left. You can turn the heads of the opposite sex but can't help pay for dinner or really go out for that matter. It might be time to swallow your pride sell the pretty little sports coupe and buy a 90's model dependable car until you're out of debt. It will be painful no doubt at first to switch in the automatic starter for the 'manual power windows' but, in the long run your pocket book will thank you and you'll be able to maybe just meet you date at the restaurant that's within walking distance form your house if you're that embarrassed of the new car. If you can't give up the car, just make sure your car and your pride don't lead you to bankruptcy - which will no doubt lead you to both in the process.

3. Pay the smallest balance OR the largest interest rate first - This is an ongoing debate between debt-hating people like myself. Which do you do first - pay off the bill with the highest interest OR the smallest bill? Honestly either way will probably work - it's just a matter of personal preference. If you have a pretty high credit card/debt bill in general - over $5K or $10K - then either way will get you there. I personally like the Dave Ramsey approach of paying off the smallest bills first. For example:
- If you have a 5 cards, 1 with a balance of $500 at 0%, 2- with a balance of $1500 of 15% and cards 3, 4 & 5 all with balances at or around $3,000 with 20% interest rates. It would probably be easier to pay off the $500 card first then the $1500 cards as well. You could also use that extra money from one less payment to attack the next card in line once the first is paid off. Having one less payment also builds your confidence and allows you to gain more focus as well.
- In contrast, if you have 1 card with $9000 on it at a 30% rate and 4 other cards with balances all under $1000 and interest rates under 15% it might be best to attack the big card. Even possibly look for balance transfers to the lower rated cards and then focus all your energy on the remaining balance while paying the minimum on the smaller cards. Have a small party (with cash) once the big one is paid off and then repeat said steps for the smaller cards.

Anyway, those are just a couple of ideas to get out of debt quicker. Just be aware that there WILL be hurdles along the way. Don't get discouraged and give up just realize that any worthwhile goal in your life will have roadblocks and detours. Your goal should always be to continue on despite these roadblocks.

Disclaimer: Reggie, is by no means a CPA or CFP so it would behoove readers to speak to professional financial adviser before making any major or minor financial decisions. Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 14, 2008

5 ways to make money on the side.

So instead of rambling on about my financial successes/issues once again today I think I might as well give some advice. My qualifications - I'm a debt free black male who's under 30 (at least for the next few weeks). So here are some tips to make some extra cash on the side assuming you already have a day job that pays you just enough to get to the next payday and you want some more.

  1. Get a part-time job (DUH!) - This is so blindingly obvious. Over the past year or so, I've had two part time jobs while working my full-time job. This is the easiest way to make some extra cash and also the most dependable. In your average city or town there are plenty of businesses that need qualified, dependable people to do the things that the business owner's can't (or don't want to) do themselves. People who are already employed tend to fit the 'qualified & dependable' description. The downside of course is not only are you a wage-slave at the first job you are wage-slave at two jobs which, assuming you're working close to 60 hours or more a week altogether can make you wonder if you are working to live or living to work.
  2. Sell things online - I've been experimenting with this a little myself with a few nibbles but, no bites so far. However, a former co-worker of mine has an E-bay business (on the side mind you) where he averages about $1000 a month in additional income. He's been doing it for a little over a year and says the more he learns about the better his bottom-line becomes. E-bay isn't the only place you can sell things online of course, there is also if you want to keep it local. I believe is also trying to move into E-bay territory, although not by selling things by auction. If you have written something or created some artwork or made the perfect design for a T-shirt, there are a growing number of sites that connect buyers and artistic sellers together. Getting the buyers to buy though is a different story though....
  3. Have other's sell things online for you - I personally had a bad experience with this. However, that's not to say that letting a 'brick & mortar' e-bay store do the work for you is an entirely bad idea. If you don't have the time to photograph, write marketing copy and the know-how of how to get everything shipped out, I strongly suggest it. Companies like - I Sold it on E-bay, or the Online Outpost are both physical stores that will take your stuff and do all the hard work for your ignorance. In exchange they take a chunk of the profits. Again, I had a bad experience and thus may be why I'm still sore about the subject. Ignorance will keep you poor.
  4. Make money off of something you love to do - This if course is a difficult one, to try and do. I'm currently planning to do. I have a book written which probably needs some work but, over the year's I've noticed that I don't exactly hate writing in fact in a lot of cases it allows me to relax and flesh out ideas much better. Doing something you love though does not always translate into millionaire/rock star success. As Dan Kennedy points out in his book - to paraphrase - I like watching sports and eating Pizza but there's not a whole lot of people who will pay me to do that. I guess the key here is to focus on something you love to do that can have a beneficial impact to others as well. If you love Hot-rods and know a '48 truck engine like the back of your hand. You might offer specialty mechanic services for show cars on the weekends. Or if you're a black belt in Kung Fu you can offer personalized lessons for a fee.
  5. Find something you can sell on the side - Last but, not least, you can look for customers in your part of the world to sell something that you don't necessarily like but can make some money off of. I have a friend who sells beauty products to her co-workers who then in turn tell their friends and allows her to make some walking around money on the side. I know of another friend who most recent endeavor is selling vacations or getting people interested in timeshares on the side for a fee. I also heard that being a 'weekend realtor' was a pretty good part-time profession a few year's back but, now given the current market, it might be a hard path to walk. My guess though is that those who become weekend realtor's now when the market is low and they aren't dependent on the extra income may become fairly skilled and experienced once the market rebounds a year or so from now.

If you've noticed almost all of my suggestions involve selling of some sort or another - even by settling for the part-time job you have to sell yourself to customers and/or your future boss in the interview.

After reading a book by Dan Kennedy recently I've become a little bit more than inspired to get off my duff and start doing something about my financial situation which is OK now but, with a future, soon-to-be jobless wife to look out for, it could definitely be better.