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.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Progress report - for week ended 4/13/08

Here again is the goal for April:

  1. Add $3000 into Wedding Savings account.
Well so far I personally have made $221 of progress in this area. Hopefully, the fiance will start contributing some too. I read a great book by Dan Kennedy the NO B.S. 'guy' and it turns out I actually know someone he quotes in the book. Small world.

I've been trying to sell some of dust-collecting junk but, at the same time I'm trying to move as well. This is not an excuse I'm just saying. OK maybe it is an excuse i need to cut that out I guess.

Friday, April 11, 2008

VIdeo of the week: keeping it real, 'dollar bill'

I got this from a friend - wow this is a deep-A$$ poem. Pun intended.

By the way, I'm making a little progress on my goal, just super busy due to work, new place (with the fiance) and trying to maintain. I'll start posting more once I get settled in the new place next month and get my focus back.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quote of the Week #32

"I have enjoyed life a lot more by saying yes than by saying no."
-- Richard Branson

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quote of the Week #31

Even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality - an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order

-Friedrich August Hayek
found on

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

March Results/April Goals

So I made a bit of progress in the past month.

Goals by the end of March 2008 -

  1. Decide on a part-time business to focus on for at least 2 months. - FAILURE - to be quite honest I have not had enough time to focus on a business - or maybe it is I just have not devoted enough time to that focus. Either way I have not yet found the million-dollar get rich quick on night's and weekends scheme that I've been dreaming of.
  2. Save $2750 or more into Wedding savings account. - SUCCESS - I met this goal and then some. If I had a little more help from the misses we could have doubled this goal but, you'll hear no complaints from me.
  3. Do local and regional taxes - SUCCESS - I did them - mailing them is another thing altogether.
Now here come the goal(s) for April:

  1. Add $3000 into Wedding Savings account.
I'm going to try something a little bit different this month. Instead of focusing on a lot of little goals to get muddled I will focus on one slightly impossible goal. We'll see how that works out.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

March 2008 - Net worth

So I had a pretty decent month this month despite a decrease in pay:

It appears Good ole' uncle Sam along with my part-time job came to the rescue and gave me a lot to be thankful for. Now it's up to me to try and become focused and find a way to shell more money into the Wedding account without bothering my bride-to-be about expenses - a difficult task but I will do my best to achieve it.

I will report on goals tomorrow if not sooner.