Debt-Free Millionaire

Zack, with the Debt Free Millionaire Brand

With two books about to be published and a new video game for youth, and adults, this podcast should take off quickly. We will be bringing on CPAs and real estate investors to talk through the process of becoming a Debt-Free Millionaire, or to go the other way and be okay with debt and become a millionaire. We let you make the ultimate decision but we will give you what you need to get there. Talk to you soon. Thanks to Xogos Gaming for sponsoring this podcast and for creating our game. We are excited to share this with you. read less
BusinessBusiness

Episodes

How do I Save More Money? How do I Grow My Money? (W6:D4) Debt Free Millionaire Podcast
Jun 27 2024
How do I Save More Money? How do I Grow My Money? (W6:D4) Debt Free Millionaire Podcast
So why can’t we hold on to our money? Our culture recently is to spend what we want and not worry about the future. This is the mindset that gets us deep into debt and not able to pay the necessities. When you find yourself in this mindset, you again become a slave unto your debtor.    The Best Ways to Save Money or Increase Your Savings: A Comprehensive Guide Saving money is essential for achieving financial stability and reaching your financial goals. Here are some of the best strategies and tips to help you save more effectively. This comprehensive guide covers various aspects of saving money, from daily habits to long-term planning. 1. Create a Budget Creating a budget is the foundation of effective money management. It helps you track your income and expenses, identify spending patterns, and allocate funds towards savings and essential expenses. Track Your Spending: Use a spreadsheet, app, or a simple notebook to record all your expenses.Set Spending Limits: Establish limits for discretionary spending categories like dining out, entertainment, and shopping.Adjust as Needed: Regularly review and adjust your budget to reflect changes in income or expenses. 2. Automate Your Savings Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account. Automating savings ensures you consistently save a portion of your income without having to think about it. Direct Deposit: Have a portion of your paycheck directly deposited into your savings account.Scheduled Transfers: Schedule automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account on payday. 3. Reduce Debt Paying off high-interest debt quickly can save you money on interest payments and free up more funds for savings. Snowball Method: Pay off your smallest debts first to gain momentum.Avalanche Method: Focus on paying off debts with the highest interest rates first to save more on interest. 4. Cut Unnecessary Subscriptions Review your subscriptions and memberships to identify services you no longer use or need. Canceling these can save you a significant amount each month. Streaming Services: Limit the number of streaming services you subscribe to.Gym Memberships: Cancel unused gym memberships and consider home workouts instead.Magazines and Apps: Cancel magazine subscriptions and app services you rarely use. 5. Cook at Home Eating out frequently can drain your budget. Cooking at home is typically much cheaper and allows you to control ingredients and portion sizes. Meal Planning: Plan your meals for the week to avoid last-minute takeout.Batch Cooking: Cook in bulk and freeze meals for convenient, cost-effective dining.Grocery Lists: Make a list before shopping to avoid impulse purchases. 6. Use Coupons and Discounts Take advantage of coupons, discount codes, and cashback offers to save money on purchases. Digital Coupons: Use apps and websites to find digital coupons and promo codes.Loyalty Programs: Join store loyalty programs for exclusive discounts and rewards.Cashback Apps: Use cashback apps to earn money back on everyday purchases. 7. Buy Generic Brands Generic or store-brand products are often just as good as name-brand items but cost significantly less. Groceries: Opt for generic brands for pantry staples like pasta, rice, and canned goods.Medications: Choose generic medications to save on healthcare costs.Household Items: Buy generic cleaning supplies, paper products, and toiletries. 8. Energy Efficiency Reducing energy consumption not only helps the environment but also lowers your utility bills. LED Bulbs: Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs.Thermostat Settings: Adjust your thermostat settings to reduce heating and cooling costs.Unplug Devices: Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use to avoid phantom energy consumption. 9. Limit Impulse Purchases Impulse purchases can quickly add up and derail your savings goals. Implement strategies to reduce impulsive spending. Wait Period: Implement a 24-hour wait period before making non-essential purchases.Shopping List: Stick to a shopping list and avoid browsing other items.Cash Only: Use cash for discretionary spending to limit how much you can spend. 10. DIY Projects Doing things yourself can save you money on various services and products. Home Repairs: Learn to do basic home repairs and maintenance tasks.Gifts and Decorations: Make your own gifts and home decorations instead of buying them.Clothing and Accessories: Sew, knit, or craft your own clothing and accessories. 11. Review Insurance Policies Periodically review your insurance policies to ensure you’re getting the best rates and coverage. Comparison Shop: Compare rates from different insurers to find better deals.Bundle Policies: Bundle multiple policies (home, auto, etc.) with the same provider for discounts.Increase Deductibles: Consider increasing your deductibles to lower your premiums. 12. Plan Ahead for Big Purchases Planning and saving for big purchases can prevent the need to use credit and incur debt. Set Goals: Identify upcoming big purchases and set savings goals.Research: Take time to research the best prices and wait for sales or discounts.Save Incrementally: Allocate a portion of your income towards these purchases each month. 13. Take Advantage of Tax Benefits Understanding and utilizing tax benefits can save you money on your annual tax bill. Tax-Advantaged Accounts: Contribute to retirement accounts (401(k), IRA) and health savings accounts (HSA).Deductions and Credits: Take advantage of available tax deductions and credits.Professional Help: Consider consulting a tax professional to maximize your tax savings.  14. Downsize and Declutter Reducing the size of your living space and decluttering can save money on rent or mortgage payments and maintenance costs. Sell Unused Items: Sell items you no longer need for extra cash.Smaller Space: Consider moving to a smaller, less expensive home or apartment.Minimalism: Adopt a minimalist lifestyle to reduce unnecessary purchases and expenses. 15. Use Public Transportation Using public transportation instead of owning a car can save you money on gas, insurance, maintenance, and parking. Monthly Passes: Purchase monthly passes for additional savings.Carpool: Carpool with coworkers or friends to share transportation costs.Bike or Walk: Use a bike or walk for short trips to save on transportation costs.   16. Get Rid of Addictions Addictions, whether to cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, or other costly habits, can drain your finances significantly. Eliminating these addictions can save you a considerable amount of money. Quit Smoking: The cost of cigarettes adds up quickly. Seek support to quit smoking and save the money you would have spent.Limit Alcohol Consumption: Reduce or eliminate alcohol purchases. Opt for social activities that don't involve drinking.Seek Help for Gambling: Gambling can lead to severe financial losses. Seek professional help to overcome gambling addiction.Even something simple such as streaming and coffee: Do you need to drink so much coffee or drinks that cost money when water is so abundant and free? Do you need to pay for an addiction to streaming when there are free resources?   17. Get a Second Job or Side Gig Increasing your income through additional work can accelerate your savings goals. Part-Time Jobs: Find a part-time job that fits your schedule. Even a few extra hours a week can make a difference.Freelancing: Use your skills to freelance. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr offer platforms for various freelance opportunities.Seasonal Work: Take advantage of seasonal jobs during holidays or busy seasons in retail, hospitality, or other industries. 18. Earn Passive Income Creating sources of passive income can provide financial benefits without requiring ongoing active work. Rent Out a Room: Turn part of your home into an Airbnb or rent out a spare room to a roommate. This can help cover mortgage or rent payments.Invest in Stocks and Bonds: Invest in dividend-paying stocks or bonds. Reinvest dividends to grow your investment over time.Create Digital Products: Write an eBook, create an online course, or develop digital products that can be sold repeatedly. Saving money involves a combination of smart spending, strategic planning, and disciplined budgeting. By implementing these strategies, you can build your savings, reduce financial stress, and achieve your financial goals. Remember, even small changes can add up to significant savings over time, so start with a few strategies and gradually incorporate more as you become comfortable.
Should I pay off my mortgage or keep it? Is this a path to becoming a Millionaire? (W6:D1) Debt-Free
Jun 26 2024
Should I pay off my mortgage or keep it? Is this a path to becoming a Millionaire? (W6:D1) Debt-Free
HOW DO I PAY OFF MY TRANSPORTATION? Strategies for Paying Off Your Car Efficiently Owning a car is often essential for daily life, but it also comes with significant financial responsibilities. Paying off your car loan quickly can save you money on interest and provide financial freedom. Here are some of the best strategies to achieve this goal, starting from before you even purchase your car to considering major decisions if things get tough. 1. Save and Pay Cash for a Used CarThe journey to paying off your car efficiently begins even before you buy it. One of the best strategies is to save enough money to pay cash for a used car. Here’s why this step is crucial: Avoiding Interest Payments: By paying cash, you avoid the interest charges associated with car loans, which can add up significantly over time.Lower Purchase Price: Used cars are generally less expensive than new cars, meaning you need to save less money and can purchase the car outright sooner.Depreciation: New cars depreciate quickly, often losing a significant portion of their value in the first few years. A used car has already undergone this steep depreciation, making it a more financially sound purchase. To save enough money, consider using public transportation to get to work, the grocery store, or anywhere else you need to go. This can help you save money on transportation costs, which can then be put towards your car fund. 2. Make Extra PaymentsIf you already have a car loan, making extra payments towards your principal can dramatically shorten the life of your loan. There are several ways to incorporate extra payments into your budget: Bi-weekly Payments: Instead of making one monthly payment, split it in half and pay every two weeks. This results in 26 half-payments or 13 full payments per year, effectively making one extra payment annually.Round Up Payments: Round up your car payment to the nearest hundred dollars. For example, if your payment is $275, pay $300 instead. The extra amount goes directly towards your principal.Lump Sum Payments: Apply bonuses, tax refunds, or any unexpected windfalls directly to your principal. Refinance Your Car LoanRefinancing your car loan to a lower interest rate can save you a significant amount of money on interest. If rates have dropped since you took out your loan or your credit score has improved, refinancing might be a good option. Be sure to consider the new loan terms and ensure the savings outweigh any fees associated with refinancing. Reduce Expenses and Increase IncomeFinding ways to reduce your monthly expenses and increasing your income can provide extra funds to put towards your car loan. Some strategies include: Cutting Unnecessary Expenses: Review your budget for non-essential expenses you can eliminate or reduce.Side Hustles: Take on a part-time job or freelance work to earn extra income.Sell Unused Items: Declutter your home and sell items you no longer need. Automate Your PaymentsSetting up automatic payments can help you stay on track and avoid late fees. Many lenders offer a discount on your interest rate if you enroll in auto-pay, providing additional savings over the life of the loan. Apply Windfalls to Your LoanWhenever you receive unexpected money, such as a tax refund, work bonus, or inheritance, apply it directly to your car loan. This can make a significant dent in your principal and reduce the amount of interest you pay over time. Consider Downsizing if NecessaryIf you find yourself struggling with high monthly payments, it might be time to consider a more drastic measure. Selling your current car and downsizing to a more affordable vehicle can help you regain financial stability. Here’s why this can be a smart move: Lower Monthly Payments: A smaller, less expensive car will have lower loan payments, insurance costs, and maintenance expenses.Reduced Financial Stress: Downsizing can free up cash flow for other financial goals, such as saving for emergencies or paying off other debts.Opportunity to Rebuild Savings: Moving to a less expensive car can help you rebuild your savings and create a more sustainable financial situation. Paying off your car efficiently requires careful planning, disciplined budgeting, and sometimes tough decisions. Starting with saving enough to pay cash for a used car, making extra payments, refinancing for better terms, reducing expenses, increasing income, and even downsizing if necessary are all strategies that can help you achieve the goal of being debt-free. Remember, it’s important to be proactive and not afraid to make difficult choices to secure your financial future. Images came from: https://www.pexel.com Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66
Is College Worth it? Strategies for Paying Off Your Student Loan - (W6:D2) Debt-Free Millionaire
Jun 25 2024
Is College Worth it? Strategies for Paying Off Your Student Loan - (W6:D2) Debt-Free Millionaire
Paying off student loans can be a significant financial burden, but with strategic planning and disciplined budgeting, you can reduce your debt faster and save money on interest. Here are some of the best strategies to achieve this goal, along with important considerations about the nature of student loans. Understand Your Loan TermsBefore you can effectively pay off your student loans, it’s essential to understand the terms of your loan. This includes knowing your interest rate, the length of your repayment term, and whether your interest is fixed or variable. This knowledge allows you to make informed decisions about your repayment strategy. Make Extra PaymentsMaking extra payments towards your principal can dramatically shorten the life of your loan. There are several ways to incorporate extra payments into your budget: Bi-weekly Payments: Instead of making one monthly payment, split it in half and pay every two weeks. This results in 26 half-payments or 13 full payments per year, effectively making one extra payment annually.Round Up Payments: Round up your student loan payment to the nearest hundred dollars. For example, if your payment is $265, pay $300 instead. The extra amount goes directly towards your principal.Lump Sum Payments: Apply bonuses, tax refunds, or any unexpected windfalls directly to your principal. Refinance Your Student LoansRefinancing your student loans to a lower interest rate can save you a significant amount of money on interest. If rates have dropped since you took out your loan or your credit score has improved, refinancing might be a good option. Be sure to consider the new loan terms and ensure the savings outweigh any fees associated with refinancing. Reduce Expenses and Increase IncomeFinding ways to reduce your monthly expenses and increasing your income can provide extra funds to put towards your student loans. Some strategies include: Cutting Unnecessary Expenses: Review your budget for non-essential expenses you can eliminate or reduce.Side Hustles: Take on a part-time job or freelance work to earn extra income.Sell Unused Items: Declutter your home and sell items you no longer need. Consider the Degree’s Return on Investment (ROI)Before taking out a student loan, it’s crucial to consider whether the degree you are pursuing will provide a sufficient return on investment (ROI). Ask yourself if the potential income from your chosen career will be enough to cover the loan payments and support your financial goals. This consideration can help you avoid excessive debt for a degree that may not lead to a high-paying job. Be Aware of Bankruptcy LimitationsIt’s important to know that student loan debt is notoriously difficult to discharge in bankruptcy. Unlike other types of debt, student loans typically cannot be wiped out through bankruptcy proceedings. This means you remain responsible for the debt regardless of your financial situation, which underscores the importance of managing and repaying these loans diligently. Understand the Risks of Co-SigningIf you are considering co-signing a student loan for someone else, be aware of the risks involved. If the primary borrower fails to make payments, you will be responsible for the debt. This can negatively impact your credit score and financial standing. It’s crucial to consider whether you can afford to take on this responsibility and to communicate clearly with the borrower about repayment expectations. Paying off your student loans efficiently requires careful planning, disciplined budgeting, and sometimes tough decisions. Making extra payments, refinancing for better terms, reducing expenses, increasing income, and considering the ROI of your degree are all strategies that can help you achieve the goal of becoming debt-free. Additionally, understanding the limitations of bankruptcy concerning student loans and the risks of co-signing are essential aspects of managing this debt responsibly. By being proactive and making informed choices, you can navigate your student loan repayment journey more effectively.   Images came from: https://www.pexel.com Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66
Should I pay off my mortgage or keep it? Is this a path to becoming a Millionaire? (W6:D1) Debt-Free Millionaire
Jun 24 2024
Should I pay off my mortgage or keep it? Is this a path to becoming a Millionaire? (W6:D1) Debt-Free Millionaire
Strategies for Paying Off Your House Efficiently Owning a home is a significant financial milestone, and while it brings a sense of accomplishment and stability, it also comes with substantial financial responsibility. Paying off your mortgage early can save you thousands in interest and provide financial freedom. Here are some of the best strategies to achieve this goal, starting from before you even purchase your home to considering major decisions if things get tough. 1. Save for a 20% Down Payment The journey to paying off your house efficiently begins even before you buy it. One of the most prudent strategies is to save at least 20% of the home's purchase price for a down payment. Here’s why this step is crucial: Avoiding Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): By putting down 20%, you eliminate the need for PMI, which is an additional monthly cost that protects the lender, not you. This can save you hundreds of dollars each month. Lower Monthly Payments: A larger down payment reduces the principal amount you need to borrow, resulting in lower monthly mortgage payments. Better Loan Terms: Lenders often offer better interest rates and terms to buyers who can make a substantial down payment, further reducing your long-term costs. 2. Opt for a Shorter Loan Term When selecting your mortgage, consider choosing a shorter loan term, such as 15 years instead of the traditional 30 years. While this will increase your monthly payments, it significantly reduces the total interest paid over the life of the loan. The higher monthly payment forces you to budget more rigorously, but the payoff is worth it. 3. Make Extra Payments Making extra payments towards your principal can dramatically shorten the life of your loan. There are several ways to incorporate extra payments into your budget: Bi-weekly Payments: Instead of making one monthly payment, split it in half and pay every two weeks. This results in 26 half-payments or 13 full payments per year, effectively making one extra payment annually. Round Up Payments: Round up your mortgage payment to the nearest hundred dollars. For example, if your payment is $965, pay $1,000 instead. The extra amount goes directly towards your principal. Lump Sum Payments: Apply bonuses, tax refunds, or any unexpected windfalls directly to your principal. 4. Double Up Payments on a 30-Year Mortgage If you have a 30-year mortgage, consider doubling up your payments by paying the same amount with each paycheck. Here’s how this works and why it’s beneficial: Less Interest Accrual: By making payments earlier in the month, you reduce the principal sooner, resulting in less interest accruing daily. Over time, this can lead to significant interest savings. Pay Off Faster: Doubling up your payments means you effectively make 24 payments per year instead of 12, significantly shortening the loan term and reducing the total interest paid. 5. Refinance Your Mortgage Refinancing your mortgage to a lower interest rate can save you a significant amount of money on interest. If rates have dropped since you took out your mortgage or your credit score has improved, refinancing might be a good option. Be sure to consider the closing costs and ensure the savings outweigh the refinancing expenses. 6. Reduce Expenses and Increase Income Finding ways to reduce your monthly expenses and increasing your income can provide extra funds to put towards your mortgage. Some strategies include: Cutting Unnecessary Expenses: Review your budget for non-essential expenses you can eliminate or reduce. Side Hustles: Take on a part-time job or freelance work to earn extra income. Sell Unused Items: Declutter your home and sell items you no longer need. 7. Consider Downsizing if Necessary If you find yourself house poor, meaning your housing expenses are consuming too much of your income, it might be time to consider a more drastic measure. Selling your home and downsizing to a more affordable property can help you regain financial stability. Here’s why this can be a smart move: Lower Monthly Payments: A smaller, less expensive home will have lower mortgage payments, property taxes, and maintenance costs. Reduced Financial Stress: Downsizing can free up cash flow for other financial goals, such as saving for retirement or paying off other debts. Opportunity to Rebuild Savings: Moving to a less expensive home can help you rebuild your savings and create a more sustainable financial situation. Paying off your house efficiently requires careful planning, disciplined budgeting, and sometimes tough decisions. Starting with a substantial down payment to avoid PMI, making extra payments, refinancing for better terms, and even downsizing if necessary are all strategies that can help you achieve the goal of homeownership without being overwhelmed by debt. Remember, it’s important to be proactive and not afraid to make difficult choices to secure your financial future.
What's a Credit Score and Why Should I Work to Increase the Number? (W5:D4) Debt Free Millionaire
Jun 19 2024
What's a Credit Score and Why Should I Work to Increase the Number? (W5:D4) Debt Free Millionaire
Understanding Credit Scores: Essential Knowledge for Students and Adults Credit scores are a crucial part of personal finance, impacting everything from loan approvals to interest rates and even job applications. Understanding how credit scores work and the role of debt repayment in maintaining a healthy score is vital for both students and adults. This article delves into what everyone needs to know about credit scores and how managing debt effectively can positively influence your financial health. What is a Credit Score? A credit score is a number that reports your creditworthiness, ranging typically from 300 to 850. It is used by lenders to determine the risk of lending money to you. The higher your score, the more creditworthy you are considered. Key Components of a Credit Score: Payment History (35%): Your track record of making payments on time.Amounts Owed (30%): The total amount of debt you owe compared to your available credit (credit utilization ratio).Length of Credit History (15%): How long you’ve had credit accounts.Credit Mix (10%): The variety of credit accounts, including credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans.New Credit (10%): The number of recently opened credit accounts and inquiries.How Does Paying Off Debt Affect Your Credit Score? Paying off debt can have a significant positive impact on your credit score, influencing several key components: Improved Payment History:Consistently making debt payments on time builds a strong payment history, which is the most significant factor in your credit score.Missed or late payments can severely damage your score, so timely payments are crucial. Reduced Credit Utilization:Paying down credit card balances lowers your credit utilization ratio, which is the second most critical factor in your score.Aim to keep your credit utilization below 30% of your total available credit to boost your score. Length of Credit History:While paying off and closing old accounts might seem beneficial, it can actually shorten your credit history and reduce your score.It’s often better to keep old accounts open, especially if they don’t have an annual fee. Credit Mix and New Credit:Successfully managing different types of credit (e.g., credit cards, installment loans) can positively affect your score.Be cautious with new credit applications, as multiple inquiries can lower your score temporarily. What Can You Do with a Good Credit Score? A good credit score opens many doors and offers numerous financial advantages: Loan Approvals:Higher credit scores increase your chances of getting approved for loans and credit cards.You’ll have access to larger loan amounts and better terms. Lower Interest Rates:A high credit score qualifies you for lower interest rates on loans and credit cards, saving you money over time.Lower interest rates mean lower monthly payments and less paid in interest over the life of the loan. Better Credit Card Offers:With a good credit score, you can access credit cards with better rewards, higher limits, and lower fees. Housing Opportunities:Landlords often check credit scores as part of the rental application process. A good score can make it easier to rent a home or apartment.It can also help you qualify for a mortgage with favorable terms. Employment Prospects:Some employers check credit scores during the hiring process, particularly for positions that involve financial responsibility.A good credit score can enhance your job prospects in these fields. Insurance Premiums:Insurers may use your credit score to determine your premiums for auto and home insurance. A higher score can lead to lower premiums. Utility Services:Utility companies may require a deposit if you have a low credit score. A good score can help you avoid these extra costs. Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Credit Score Pay Bills on Time:Set up reminders or automatic payments to ensure you never miss a due date. Monitor Your Credit Utilization:Keep your credit card balances low relative to your credit limit. Check Your Credit Report Regularly:Obtain a free credit report annually from each of the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to check for errors and fraudulent activity. Limit New Credit Applications:Only apply for new credit when necessary to avoid multiple hard inquiries on your report. Maintain a Mix of Credit Types:Responsibly managing various types of credit can enhance your credit profile. Conclusion Understanding and managing your credit score is essential for financial stability and growth. Paying off debt is a critical step in maintaining a healthy credit score, which in turn provides numerous financial benefits. By staying informed and proactive about your credit, you can unlock opportunities and achieve greater financial freedom.   Images came from: https://www.pexel.com Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66
How to Get Out of Debt in 6 Easy Ways - Debt Snowball vs Avalanche (W5:D3) Debt Free Millionaire
Jun 18 2024
How to Get Out of Debt in 6 Easy Ways - Debt Snowball vs Avalanche (W5:D3) Debt Free Millionaire
Best Strategies to Pay Off Your Debt: A Comprehensive Guide Debt can be a significant burden on both your financial and mental well-being. However, with the right strategies, you can take control of your finances and reduce or eliminate your debt. This article outlines some of the most effective ways to pay off debt, supported by relevant statistics and expert advice. 1. Create a Budget and Stick to It Strategy: The first step in any debt repayment plan is creating a detailed budget. Track your income and expenses to understand where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut back. Statistics: According to a 2022 survey by U.S. Bank, only 41% of Americans use a budget, yet those who do are more likely to manage their debt effectively. Budgeting helps you allocate more funds toward debt repayment and reduces unnecessary spending. Implementation Tips: List all sources of income.Track every expense for at least one month.Categorize expenses into fixed (e.g., rent, utilities) and variable (e.g., dining out, entertainment).Adjust your spending to ensure more money goes toward paying off debt. 2. Debt Snowball Method Strategy: Focus on paying off your smallest debts first while making minimum payments on larger debts. Once a small debt is paid off, move to the next smallest, applying the amount previously used to pay off the first debt. Statistics: A study by the Harvard Business Review found that the debt snowball method is highly effective because the psychological victories of paying off smaller debts first motivate continued progress. Implementation Tips: List your debts from smallest to largest.Focus all extra funds on the smallest debt.Once the smallest debt is paid, roll over the payment to the next smallest debt. 3. Debt Avalanche Method Strategy: Prioritize paying off debts with the highest interest rates first while making minimum payments on others. This method saves money on interest over time. Statistics: The Federal Reserve reports that the average credit card interest rate in 2023 was around 16.30%. By targeting high-interest debts, you can reduce the total amount paid in interest. Implementation Tips: List your debts by interest rate, from highest to lowest.Focus all extra funds on the debt with the highest interest rate.Once the highest interest debt is paid off, move to the next highest. 4. Balance Transfers and Consolidation Loans Strategy: Consider transferring high-interest debt to a credit card with a lower interest rate or consolidating multiple debts into a single loan with a lower rate. Statistics: According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, balance transfer offers often provide a 0% introductory rate for 12 to 18 months. This can significantly reduce interest payments if used wisely. Implementation Tips: Compare balance transfer offers and consolidation loan rates.Be mindful of transfer fees and the duration of the introductory rate.Avoid accumulating new debt on the paid-off accounts. 5. Increase Your Income Strategy: Boost your income through side hustles, freelancing, or seeking higher-paying job opportunities to allocate more funds toward debt repayment. Statistics: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of 2023, approximately 16.4 million Americans have a side hustle, contributing an average of $686 per month to their income. Implementation Tips: Identify skills or hobbies that can generate income.Use freelance platforms or local opportunities to find side gigs.Allocate all additional income specifically for debt repayment. 6. Negotiate with Creditors Strategy: Contact your creditors to negotiate lower interest rates, reduced payment plans, or settlements for a lump sum payment. Statistics: A study by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 70% of consumers who asked for a lower interest rate on their credit card succeeded. Implementation Tips: Prepare a script and be clear about your financial situation.Be polite but persistent in negotiations.Keep a record of all communications and agreements. 7. Seek Professional Help Strategy: If your debt is overwhelming, consider working with a credit counseling agency or financial advisor to develop a personalized debt management plan. Statistics: The American Fair Credit Council reports that clients who work with credit counseling agencies can reduce their debts by up to 50% over time. Implementation Tips: Research and select a reputable credit counseling agency.Be prepared to share your financial information.Follow the debt management plan and make regular progress assessments. Paying off debt requires a combination of strategic planning, disciplined budgeting, and sometimes professional assistance. By adopting the right approach, you can not only reduce your debt but also improve your overall financial health. Remember, the journey to becoming debt-free is a marathon, not a sprint, and every step forward brings you closer to financial freedom.   Images came from: https://www.pexel.com Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66
Why am I Paying Thousands Every Month, That's Not My Bills? (W5:D2) Debt Free Millionaire Podcast
Jun 17 2024
Why am I Paying Thousands Every Month, That's Not My Bills? (W5:D2) Debt Free Millionaire Podcast
(W5:D2) WHAT IS INTEREST? WHY DO WE PAY SO MUCH? Interest is the amount of money you pay based on a percentage of what you borrowed. This is typically expressed by Annual Percentage Rate (APR) or the annual amount of the loan you pay as an added fee to what you borrowed. Let me explain this differently. You borrow $1,000, you have to pay back a $1,000 (principle) plus an added fee, a percentage of the $1,000 (interest). Say you rack up $1,000 on a credit card, the interest rate for your card is 20%, that means that annually, you pay an extra $200 extra to paying back your loan. That is $200 that could have gone somewhere else, or been money in your pocket, but you wanted something or things very badly to borrow for them and you have to pay them back (principle) plus a continuous fee (interest). Principle is the other part of the repayment and basically means an amount you pay back of the actual loan each time you make a payment. Why is interest so bad to your financial survival? Think of it this way. The average American owes $6,993 in credit card debt. The average credit card interest rate of repayment is 20% (now 24.8%). Annually, that is an extra $1,238 that goes to that credit card. That’s over $100 a month you could be spending on food, housing, or other necessities. That could also go to so many other things, if you could hold on to it. But it’s even worse. That is just your credit card fees.What about all your student loans? The average American also has $$37,850 worth of student loan debt at an average of 6.87%. That is an extra $3,273 you could be spending or almost $300 a month you could be spending on other things that you really want.Now how about any additional personal loans you took for purchases (excluding mortgages). The average American has $1,370 in home equity loans, $4,760 in car loans, and $1,520 in other loans. In total that is $11,989 (was $7,650 in 2022), and these interest rates hover around 71%. Annually, you are paying an extra $765 a month that could be going to other things.(21)Now, what about the mortgage on your house? The average American, with a mortgage, owes $244,498 (was $172,561 in 2022) and pays about 7% interest more on that debt annually. That’s $6,902.44 in interest, not counting the principle amount you have to pay back.In total, the average American has $104,215 (was $92,727 in 2020 – 11% increase) then you pay between $7,295.05-$20,843 annually or translated per month, that’s $607.92-$1,736.92 every month you pay for nothing. Now, that is for the average American. For those who have a mortgage, their average total debt is $241,815, translating to about $$24,181.50 annually or $2,015.13. That is an additional fee you pay just because you wanted to buy things on debt.If you didn’t have a mortgage, it’s not much better. The total, average American without a mortgage is $23,000 in debt at 24.8%. So they pay and pays $5,704 towards interest annually. Per month that comes to $475.33 of extra money you may be paying for money you borrowed to buy something before you had the money to buy it. That is a lot of money when you think of how long it will take you to pay be the principle amount and pay off the entire debt. The truth is that you can spend the money now on debt and pay it back with interest for a very long time, you can work hard beforehand and make that money for the things you want, or you can be patient and wait until you gather the money, working with normal effort, to pay for these purchases instead of putting them on a credit card or making a loan. In an adult lifetime, before retirement, of 30 years, the average American will pay nearly $300,000 to the credit card companies and banks before retirement on the debt that they have. Now tell me that isn’t bondage. You can buy a very nice house in most parts of the United States for that amount of money, free and clear, without any debt. Images came from: https://www.pexel.com Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66
Is there such a thing as Good Debt in your Personal Life? Thoughts? (W5:D1) Debt Free Millionaire
Jun 13 2024
Is there such a thing as Good Debt in your Personal Life? Thoughts? (W5:D1) Debt Free Millionaire
(W5:D1) WHAT IS DEBT AND WHY IS IT SO BAD? Do you like spending money? ___________________ Do you like paying bills after you already received the gain? __________________ Now, do you like paying for something years after you enjoyed it, meaning you no longer are enjoying it but you are still paying it off. That is debt. When you are paying back an amount of money that was lent to you years before. While somethings you are still enjoying like a new car or a house, some debt sticks with you long after you have had your fun, like a credit card. Debt is an amount of money you borrow from one party to another. Loans are debts, but also, any financial promise you make with another entity where you pay over a longer period of time, instead of right away. There are three types of acceptable debt in society. These are investments in your growth and include: Housing: You need a place to stay and sometimes, it is cheaper to buy a house on a loan than to rent an apartment. You have to live somewhere paying monthly towards your agreed upon amount. When you pay rent, part of that money you give your landlord goes towards paying off their property so after a long period of time, they have paid off their property while you are still paying rent. Instead, if you were able to buy a house, each mortgage payment you would be paying off your property (mortgage) and in the end, you have a paid for house.. Education is the surest investment into your future. While most investments, stocks, commodities, and futures, all depend on someone else’s action; education is an investment that mostly depends on you and how serious you take it and how hard you work. Without a high school diploma your income could be $515 per week, with a diploma is increases to $718 per week, and with a bachelor’s degree it increases again to $1,189. So, education is an investment towards better pay and higher quality of life.  Transportation is necessary these days to survive. We don’t live in small villages or towns anymore. Most of us live in the urban (in the city) or suburban (areas around the city) areas. Some even live far out in the rural (farmland further away from cities). Wherever you live, it is most likely not next door to the grocery store, your work, and most likely not next to family so that you can walk over to their house for a meal. We are  more spread out recently and so transportation is a necessity, which is why most people borrow to buy a car. But the question is, do you need a new car? Do you need a fancy car? Do you need all the accessories? These are not necessities and only hinder you getting out of debt. Now, even though the world uses debt to purchase these products/services, you do not. This is why you are reading this book. We will show you ways of thinking outside the box and pay off all your debt and begin stockpiling money for a higher quality of your life. Americans especially, they always want the easy way out. Did you know that most millionaires today had to go without necessities for a while as they amassed their wealth? They lived without AC during the heat of the summer to pay for their business. They lived on rice and beans so they could afford something to pay off their debt. They even worked 80-100 hours per week so they could build their business to get out from under the suffocating pillow of debt that we see most Americans suffering month to month under. Let me explain: Debt is like a pillow. When you buy something, the debt seems okay and maybe even comfortable. Then it grows, and instead of laying your head on it you end up laying it above your head because its to fluffy and makes your neck sore in the morning. It continues to grow until it end up on top of your face, very heavy and very big until it ends up smothering you. What you thought was a pillow was instead a bag of chains, smothering and weighing you down from things you wanted to do in life and you are stuck trying to pay it off.
Where is all your money going? Every month it seems like I make less? (W4:D3) Debt Free Millionaire
Jun 11 2024
Where is all your money going? Every month it seems like I make less? (W4:D3) Debt Free Millionaire
Is your money running out faster than you get paid or at least faster than you want? Where is all that money going? Have you checked your credit card statement? How many of these reoccurring expenses are you paying each month. Monthly or annually expenses are the greatest way for any company to get a lot of money from you. Because they are only drawing a small amount every month, you feel that they are inexpensive. When a piece of software like Microsoft word was $99.99 for an entire suite of software people thought it was too expensive. Now you pay $6.99 a month for it. One year later, you’ve already paid $83.88 and you are still paying on it every month. At least with the $99.99 program, you could keep it for 3-4 years before needing a new version and upgrades came for free.   Something that also happens with the mind is that when they are smaller amounts asked for, you mind begins to rationalize it. You see a small amount and you feel you can write it off as a small expense, if you get ten $9.99 memberships, that is $100 a month that is disappearing, whether you use it or not. Gym memberships have run off this model for decades. They sign you up and charge you ever month, you feel because you have a membership you are gaining muscle or losing weight yet are you actually going to the gym? Are you getting your money’s worth? If not, why don’t you quit and save the money, because it is easier to rationalize paying such a small amount instead of taking the time to find out how to cancel that membership. If you have those ten memberships sitting around and you aren’t using them, is it really worth stopping payments? Streaming services are the worse with this. You sign up for Netflix, Prime, Disney, and Hulu and any other streaming service and you are paying for them as you go, but do you really need all those programs? Since the content is always there, do you really need to keep them all around or should you technically watch everything on Disney one month and then when you have seen everything you need to see, can you quit that plan and start up the next? Do you really need to waste the money on all those services and not really use them? Remember that like income small streams make raging rivers, just like in expenses, small streams of streaming services make raging rivers or, in other words, small payments each month make for large amounts of money leaving your savings every month.   Images came from: https://www.pexel.com Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66 Also read these articles: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/consumers-paying-more-ever-streaming-181821039.html https://www.statsignificant.com/p/the-broken-economics-of-streaming
Why Do I Want to Make More, Save More, Spend Less (W4:D1) Debt Free Millionaire Podcast
Jun 10 2024
Why Do I Want to Make More, Save More, Spend Less (W4:D1) Debt Free Millionaire Podcast
(W4:D1) WHO AM I AND WHAT DO I WANT? The only way to lower your expenses is to become intentional and do it with intention and purpose. You must first start with your why and follow it up with how you will keep the momentum. Reducing you spending won’t happen on its own. Let me ask you a few questions first, so you can build your foundation. What is your why? Why do you want to lower your expenses? _____________________________________   What will you do if you can lower your expense? _______________________________________________   What would you be able to do with that money saved? __________________________________________   What are you willing to do to save this money? ________________________________________________   When would you like to start and would you like an end date? ____________________________________   Why an end date and do you feel you need one? _______________________________________________   What will motivate you to keep your promises/goals? ___________________________________________   What should be the consequences if you don’t keep your promises? ________________________________   Who is going to keep you accountable? _______________________________________________________   What will it mean to you if you hit your goals/keep promises? _____________________________________   How much money do you make monthly? _____________________________________________________   How much would you like to save? __________________________________________________________   Where will you start to cut your expenses? ____________________________________________________ Remember: Some rewards of being intentional: less stress, more freedom, money in your account, etc… Images came from: https://www.pexel.com Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66
How do you Get a Job??? PRACTICE - Try this Activity (W3:D4) Debt Free Millionaire Podcast
Jun 7 2024
How do you Get a Job??? PRACTICE - Try this Activity (W3:D4) Debt Free Millionaire Podcast
ACTIVITY: JOB SEARCH SIMULATION Objective: Students will gain hands-on experience with the job search process, including finding job postings, creating a resume, preparing for interviews, and evaluating job offers. Materials Needed: Computers with internet accessSample job descriptionsResume templatesMock interview questionsEvaluation criteria for job offersAccess to word processing software (e.g., Google Docs, Microsoft Word) Duration: 2-3 hours (can be spread over multiple class periods) Steps: Part 1: Job Search Introduction (15 minutes): (If for students, brief students on the importance...)Why Job Searching Skills Matter: Foundation for Career Success:First Steps: Job searching is the initial step in building a successful career. Understanding how to effectively search for jobs can open doors to numerous opportunities.Right Fit: Finding a job that aligns with your skills, interests, and values is crucial for long-term job satisfaction and growth.Competitive Advantage:Standing Out: In a competitive job market, knowing how to search for jobs efficiently can help you stand out among other candidates.Networking: Effective job searching often involves networking, which can lead to discovering job opportunities that aren’t advertised publicly.Skill Development:Research Skills: Job searching hones your ability to research and gather information about different companies and industries.Self-Assessment: It encourages self-assessment, helping you understand your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.Practical Experience:Real-World Preparation: Practicing job searching techniques gives you real-world experience that can be applied throughout your career.Adaptability: It teaches you to adapt to different job markets and industries, making you more versatile in your career path.Confidence Building:Self-Efficacy: Successfully navigating the job search process can boost your confidence and self-efficacy, making you more prepared for future job transitions.Interview Preparation: Learning how to search for jobs includes preparing for interviews, which can help reduce anxiety and improve performance during actual job interviews.Informed Decision-Making:Better Choices: Understanding the job market and available prospects enables you to make informed decisions about your future.Career Planning: It helps in setting realistic career goals and creating a plan to achieve them.Platforms and Methods to Search for Jobs: Online Job Boards:What They Are: Online job boards are websites where employers post job openings and job seekers can apply directly.Popular Sites:Indeed (indeed.com): One of the largest job search engines, aggregating listings from various sources.LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com): A professional networking site that also features job listings and allows users to connect with industry professionals.Monster (www.monster.com): A global employment website offering job listings, resume services, and career advice.Glassdoor (www.glassdoor.com): Offers job listings along with company reviews and salary information.Company Websites:What They Are: Many companies list job openings directly on their own websites.How to Use:Career Pages: Visit the “Careers” or “Jobs” section on company websites to find open positions.Application Portals: Apply through the company's online application system.Example Sites:Google Careers (careers.google.com)Amazon Jobs (www.amazon.jobs)Apple Careers (www.apple.com/jobs)Networking:What It Is: Networking involves building relationships with professionals in your field to discover job opportunities.Methods:In-Person Networking: Attend industry conferences, job fairs, and meetups.Online Networking: Use platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals, join groups, and participate in discussions.Tips:Informational Interviews: Reach out to professionals for advice and insights about their careers and companies.Referrals: Ask connections for referrals to open positions.Recruitment Agencies:What They Are: Agencies that help match job seekers with employers.How to Use:Register with Agencies: Submit your resume to recruitment agencies specializing in your field.Job Matching: Agencies will contact you with suitable job opportunities.Example Agencies:Robert Half (www.roberthalf.com)Adecco (www.adeccousa.com)Manpower (www.manpower.com)Social Media:What It Is: Platforms where job seekers can find job postings and connect with potential employers.How to Use:LinkedIn: Follow companies, join professional groups, and stay active on your profile.Twitter: Follow companies and job boards, use hashtags like #JobSearch, #Hiring, and #Jobs.Facebook: Join job search groups and follow company pages.Example Sites:LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com)Twitter (www.twitter.com)Facebook (www.facebook.com)University and College Career Centers:What They Are: Resources offered by educational institutions to help students and alumni find jobs.Services:Job Listings: Access to exclusive job postings for students and graduates.Career Counseling: One-on-one guidance and resume assistance.Career Fairs: Events hosted by the institution to connect students with potential employers.Example Institutions:Harvard Career Services (ocs.fas.harvard.edu)Stanford Career Education (beam.stanford.edu)University of Michigan Career Center (careercenter.umich.edu) Job Search Activity (30 minutes): Using a computer, search for entry-level job postings in a field of their interest.Select 2-3 job postings that they find appealing.Take note of the job requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities. Part 2: Resume Writing Resume Workshop (30 minutes):See the Chapter on Making a Resume Resume Creation (30 minutes): Create a resume tailored to one of the job postings you selected.Highlight their skills, education, and any relevant experience (including volunteer work, internships, or part-time jobs). Part 3: Interview Preparation Interview Basics (15 minutes):Interviews are where you meet with a company representative and, through an interview, they will have a good understanding of if you are a good fit to work there.Interviews are not for you, but for the company you are trying to join. Allow it to work naturally because if you are not a good fit, this is the best time to find out.Common Interview Questions: Tell Me About Yourself:Purpose: To understand your background, experiences, and how they relate to the job.How to Answer: Provide a brief summary of your education, work experience, and relevant skills, focusing on how they align with the job you're applying for.Why Do You Want to Work Here?Purpose: To gauge your interest in the company and the role.How to Answer: Research the company beforehand and highlight what excites you about the company’s mission, culture, and the specific role.What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?Purpose: To assess your self-awareness and honesty.How to Answer: Choose strengths that are relevant to the job and provide examples. For weaknesses, mention an area you’re working to improve and how you're addressing it.Describe a Challenging Situation and How You Handled It:Purpose: To evaluate your problem-solving skills and resilience.How to Answer: Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your response, focusing on what you did and what you learned.Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?Purpose: To understand your career goals and see if they align with the company’s direction.How to Answer: Discuss your professional aspirations and how the role can help you achieve them, showing your commitment to growth.Why Should We Hire You?Purpose: To determine what sets you apart from other candidates.How to Answer: Highlight your unique skills, experiences, and achievements that make you a perfect fit for the job.Do You Have Any Questions for Us?Purpose: To see if you’re genuinely interested in the role and the company.How to Answer: Prepare thoughtful questions about the company’s culture, team dynamics, or growth opportunities.Importance of Preparing for an Interview: Demonstrates Professionalism: First Impressions: Being well-prepared shows that you take the opportunity seriously and respect the interviewer’s time.Confidence: Preparation helps you answer questions confidently and professionally.Reduces Anxiety:Familiarity: Knowing common questions and having practiced answers can reduce interview anxiety.Control: Preparation gives you a sense of control over the interview process.Showcases Your Skills and Experience:Highlight Strengths: Preparation allows you to frame your experiences in a way that highlights your strengths and relevance to the job.Relevant Examples: Being ready with specific examples ensures you can effectively demonstrate your qualifications.Enables Better Responses:Thoughtful Answers: Preparing helps you provide well-thought-out answers rather than stumbling through responses.STAR Method: Practicing the STAR method for behavioral questions ensures your answers are structured and clear.Improves Interaction Quality:Engagement: Being prepared allows you to engage more effectively with the interviewer, fostering a better connection.Informed Questions: Researching the company beforehand helps you ask insightful questions, showing your genuine interest.Increases Chances of Success:Competitive Edge: Prepared candidates often stand out in the hiring process.Positive Impression: Leaving a positive impression increases the likelihood of being selected for the role.Tips for Interview Preparation: Research the Company: Understand the company’s mission, values, products, and recent news.Review the Job Description: Know the key responsibilities and required skills.Practice Common Questions: Use a friend or family member to conduct mock interviews.Prepare Your Own Questions: Have a list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer.Plan Your Attire: Choose professional attire appropriate for the company’s culture.Arrive Early: Plan your route and aim to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early. Mock Interviews (30 minutes):Pair up with another student and have them take turns being the interviewer and the interviewee. Try also using a teacher or a parent.Ask your interviewer(s) for constructive feedback.
How Do I Make More Money, At My Current Job or on the Side - (W3:D3) Debt Free Millionaire Podcast
Jun 6 2024
How Do I Make More Money, At My Current Job or on the Side - (W3:D3) Debt Free Millionaire Podcast
HOW DO I INCREASE MY PAY? Do you want to be paid more, faster? You have two ways of doing so: 1) ask for a raise, 2) get a second job, 3) start a business 4) invest and take the risk, or 5) stop spending money (not increasing your pay but keeping more money. But wait, you probably were just asking about #1. How do I get a raise from work? This is simple as well. Ask for a raise. When you are asking for an increase in pay, you need to be educated with information that is available: What is the median pay for someone in your position? Median wage is what half of people holding that position are paid this amount or you could say the wage in the middle. Look up the median pays for your position here at debt-free-millionaire.com/medianpay.Know how much the median pay is for someone with your education. You can’t compare yourself to anyone when they spent time and money to get additional education that you don’t have. The median weekly pay for a full-time employee, 25 years and older is $909. $515 without a high school diploma, $718 for high school graduates and no college, $836 with an associate’s degree, $1,189 for those with a bachelor’s degree, $1,404 with a master’s degree, and $1,743 with a doctoral degree. It’s worth to get that degree. The median pay if you went to a vocational school is $9,80 - $1,568. Find out more at debt-free-millionaire.com/degreespayWhat your history is and highlights you can share since you came to work? You want to show how valuable you are, what you have done to increase productivity and/or revenues. Are you worth the money you want to ask for?You should never snoop but if you overhear your employee mentioning how much they are paid, you should know that as well, but don’t use it as a weapon instead use it for knowledge.Put out your feelers of other positions that are open and hiring. If there is another company that is paying more then set up an interview and see how much they are willing to pay you. You want to show how valuable you are, find out how much your companies own competitor is paying. Again, this is not a weapon but use this as knowledge to present to your manager. If you get a job offer, bring it but don’t use that as a weapon, us it as a bargaining tool, any businessman should appreciate the effort of opposition research.When you go in to see your manager, make sure they are having a good day. You may want to work your way into it. Here are a few things you may want to do to butter them up or prepare them for your ask: This is the most important, work hard before going to see them. Let them see how valuable you are at work a few days before you ask.Set up a meeting with your manager. Do not jump in at what seems like the right moment. Let them expect you are coming. This gives them time to anticipate why you want to meet and to start looking at you. Remember, days before you have that meeting you should be more productive than you have ever been. You want them to see this.When you meet, be early sitting outside their office only 5-10 minutes beforehand, but don’t come emptyhanded. Come with your current work and continue your work while you wait and bring the information that proves you should be paid more.Go into the meeting very upbeat. Present the information you have found as if stating that you love the position and company and that you are very loyal but these are the facts of why you deserve better pay and then here is the clencher.Ask your manager, that in the next 2-4 months how can you prove that you deserve a raise? You are not asking for it right away but you want to know how to get it and then how much that would be paid. This is a lot more digestible for your manager to accept. If you are in a union, you can’t do this because your pay is set at your position and not how hard you work, so ask for step 6, ask for a promotion. Whether you just want a raise or a promotion, you should be ready to take one of them. A promotion comes with more responsibilities, but also a higher position.The best way to get a raise is to ask for more responsibilities in a promotion. Do not accept more responsibilities without a higher pay. If you do, you are basically accepting lower pay or same pay for more work. You deserve a pay increase with a responsibility increase. Again, if you work under a union, you can’t get a raise unless you take a higher position and if there is no higher position, you will not receive a higher pay.Again, the company does not owe you higher pay unless you are valuable or if you are offering to work harder or take on more responsibilities.Make sure you follow it up with an email, thanking them for the meeting and then double checking that you remember that if you do X then you will be paid Y.One of the greatest examples of not being paid what you are worth if you are a hard worker is government work. Most governments are unionized, and you are paid what they have negotiated for the median worker (middle effort worker). You are paid from what the person in the middle does. Many government workers have a stereotype of just doing what they are asked, or the minimal amount of work, which is why it takes the government so much time. Those that work harder than the rest cannot be compensated for their effort because you are paid off the collective. Your pay does not increase by how hard you work but instead buy the position you take. Most of the time, if you want a pay raise, you must go through interviews so meeting with your manager for a pay raise is unnecessary. Instead, you should be looking for a new position that may open up in your government field. If you work for a small business, most owners of these company are just scraping by and a pay raise may be harder for them, unless you start making the company more money. If their revenues increase from your effort, they have two answers to this request, pay you more or lose you entirely. You just made yourself invaluable to the company and they do not want to take the gamble that the next hire will be as good as you. They will pay you well in order to keep you. At the same time, if you don’t show how valuable you are, they have ever right to fire you and find someone else. Images came from: https://www.pexel.com Music I Use: www.Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos  License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66
Are you Worth the Money you are Being Paid - Have the Skills to Advance? (W3:D2) - Debt Free Million
Jun 5 2024
Are you Worth the Money you are Being Paid - Have the Skills to Advance? (W3:D2) - Debt Free Million
Minimum wage was never created to live off. This too is another diving board to propel you forward. You start at this earning level as a youth and then work your way up to making a very decent living. If you work fast food for minimum wage, see how fast you can work to become a manager. Talk to your manager and see how you can progress. If there is no path in your current company, do not quit your day job right away, but find another job that pays more and allows for upward momentum. When you find that job, jump at it. You have no loyalty to a company unless they have means for you to succeed and feel part of the company. Now the issue with workers today is that they believe they need to take what is given to them. This is a fallacy set up to keep them in the jobs they have and not to strive and seek more. If you believe you are worth it, then find the path forward and then make your move. Now these moves may take years and that is okay. You just need to make sure there is a path forward for you, that you understand how to get there, and your manager is open to helping you achieve that level. What qualities do you have to propel you forward? Before you can ask for a management position, you need to look at yourself, your skills, knowledge, and experience. This all calculates into if you are ready to progress further in a company. No one will hire you if they think you will do a poor job and there is no possibility you will make the company more profitable, so make yourself just that, potential to increase profits. If you can show this, your employers will throw money to entire you to take a higher position. Do you want to move to another career? This may set you back in this sense. Remember that you need experience to gain a higher position. If you jump to a different career, you may not have the experience that can translate to the next position. Write down in the left column the skills you have towards advancement and in the right column write what you need to advance. Ask your employer or a professional in that field. Now let’s discuss how you are to obtain those qualities you need. There are many avenues to find experience, skills, and knowledge. They include service work, part-time work, schooling, trade schools, and even picking up a book. All these things will give you wisdom toward advancing in a career. Remember that you are not entitled to anything, entitlement is slavery for you by the person providing for you. You need to go out and grab these qualities for yourself. In the space below, make yourself a goal of when you will obtain these goals and some sort of penalty you will do if you don’t reach them. For example: penalty for not reaching your goal could be paying $100 to a local charity, giving away something you cherish, or doing something that makes you uncomfortable. It doesn’t stop there, now you must find an accountability partner. This can be a family member, teacher, principal, church leader, but it may not be a friend. You do not want to tell you that it’s okay and you can have the item back. You need to give them the item to hold onto until the goal is met. That way you are motivated to get this done. Images came from: https://www.pexel.com Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66 Also read these articles: https://www.hiringlab.org/2024/02/27/educational-requirements-job-postings/ https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm https://www.visualcapitalist.com/major-worst-finding-a-job/ https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2024/05/06/a-closer-look-at-full-time-and-part-time-employment
Don't Allow Your Expenses and Credit Cards Become Your Task Masters (W2:D4) Debt Free Millionaire
Jun 3 2024
Don't Allow Your Expenses and Credit Cards Become Your Task Masters (W2:D4) Debt Free Millionaire
The best way to become intentional with your money is to budget. This is basically a roadmap of how you want to spend your money, a spreadsheet of all your expenses and how you want to You have a certain amount of money that comes into your hands or account every month. You have a certain number of necessities due every month. Where do you spend this money? Every dollar you have should have a chore or purpose. You do this so you can keep track of every dollar but also so that you don’t spend money in one area when you it would take from another area. Example: If you have three different glasses and you want to fill them all to specific amount, if you pour too much into one glass, there is less water to go into the other glasses, so they will not hit their intended levels. It you have a budget, you are less likely to overspend and less likely to steel from other opportunities you would have had if you would have keep on your budget. Do you want to go on a trip? What happens if you spend too much money somewhere it wasn’t needed.    Images came from: https://www.pexel.com Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66 Also read these articles: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-household-debt-largely-unchanged-q2-credit-card-balances-jump-ny-fed-says-2023-08-08/ https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2023/08/why-im-not-worried-about-1-trillion-in-credit-card-debt/
Did you Know Generosity Can Help Lower Anxiety, Depression, & Stress (W11:D3) Debt Free Millionaire
May 29 2024
Did you Know Generosity Can Help Lower Anxiety, Depression, & Stress (W11:D3) Debt Free Millionaire
Simplified Explanation: Every year, you are granted the ability to transfer money to a single person, without it being taxed. The federal government, in 2021, allows its citizens to transfer $15,000 to anyone, without the possibility of being taxed for it - on either side. Real Life: Generosity produces many great benefits to our life, and when you have the ability to be generous, we hope that you will see the benefit in it. Therefore, we have designed the board to allow you generous donations towards paying off your debt. Then, later in the game, you are asked to be generous, too.  Now generosity is not only financial, but includes giving your time, helping, or showing concern for others, and doing things for others that you wouldn’t normally do. Generous people report being happier, healthier, and more satisfied with life. When we are generous, we forget about our own needs and wants, and take the time to put others first. In this life, generosity is a wonderful attribute that you can have, up to the point of where you are enabling someone to do negative things. When you can help someone with a financial burden, there are always two things to think about: 1) will this person accept this gift and be better off because I gave it to them; or 2) will this be wasted, or will it hurt them in different ways. When you give to a person on the street that you don’t know, give generously, but a small amount to help them. If you are dealing with someone you know, though, you may want to think of ways to be generous without being destructive to them. If you worry about them handling money, you can also pay a bill or debt, buy them groceries, or even buy them a financial course. You can also put strings attached such as: I want to help you with this money, but in order to receive it, I want you to read this book or take this class. That way, you are still giving to them generously, but you are making sure they have the understanding to use it wisely.  Consider making regular donations to organizations and people that can use the funding. Some people tithe, where they donate 10% of their earnings to their local church. There are local organizations in every city and state that need funding, to help others and have the ability to use that money more effectively. Consider how much the President of the organization takes for themself, and how much is paid in other perks, before donating. If they take large amounts of this money for administrative costs and salaries, consider donating to a more worthy, or less wasteful, organization, where your money goes where it was intended. Here are some other ways you, too, can become more generous to people - some that cost money and some that are free for you to give: Consider the benefits of generosity. It feels good to help others but it can also find internal benefits that would help in your daily life. When you serve others, you begin to see their struggles in life. When you see their struggles you can reduce the stress, depression, and anxiety in yours. Depression is an internal struggle about your own issues but focusing on others takes you out of your head and allows you to see that you are not alone.Hand out smiles freely to those around you. This simple act will train you to think of others.Embrace gratitude, for all that you have been given by others;Start small, giving of your time and concern, or even small donations to others;When you are paid, make sure you give first, from the money you receive; start small;Divert money you spend on something that is unnecessary, to something that is necessary;Fund a cause that is based on your passions;Find a person you believe in that could use your help;Spend time with people that are in need;Spend time with a generous person and allow their generosity to rub off on you; andLive a more minimalist life, where you see how little others have, and how you don’t need all the things you think you do.
How comfortable is it working in your PJs while working remotely? (W11:D2) Debt Free Millionaire
May 28 2024
How comfortable is it working in your PJs while working remotely? (W11:D2) Debt Free Millionaire
Simplified Explanation: Working remote means to work from home, or some other location, instead of at your office. Remote workers have always had a place to go, such as the library, Starbucks, and remote offices, but during the COVID pandemic, they all had to return home and work from there. Remote workers are also known for working as they travel the world. Imagine trying to find internet connections in third world countries so you can do your work, but people do it all the time. There is less need for an actual office anymore.  Real Life: Since the COVID pandemic, businesses have learned that they do not need to lease large buildings to house their work. Most companies had to move their employees home, for a time. Grocery stores, hospitals, and other essential businesses kept their employees working, to service those in need (most of the time), but those who were not essential, and didn’t require contact with their customers, were pushed to work from home. So, there are really three types of remote workers: Pandemic or Emergency Relocation: During COVID, we worked from home. According to scientists, these types of outbreaks will happen again, and more frequently in the future. In order to stop the spread, the U.S. Government locked down the country, economy, and made everyone who could keep their job work from home. The promise was that if we stayed locked down for 4 months, while we let the hospitals slowly increase their emergency beds, we would then be released “back to normal.” People went home to work. Two years later, some states are just still mandating masks. Businesses are now realizing that, if they could work remotely for a year, why not continue it (since they had to make new procedures that worked remotely, and now their company is as effective as ever, and saving money)?World Travelers: People have desired to travel the world for long periods of time; yet, they had to afford their ventures. For years now, workers have been able to travel to some very remote areas, and continue their work from their laptops, in their hotel rooms, or the local café. These were the remote workers before Pandemic Remote Working became a thing. They did need a few things to make this work. They had to make sure that their companies were okay with this, that they had all the equipment needed to accomplish this work, and be well versed in the laws of the countries they were traveling through. Some have strict laws, that if you are working from their country, you need to pay them taxes. Most traveling workers don’t listen to these rules, though, and most don’t even know about them. They reserve less expensive housing, plan out access to food and other essentials, and find internet connections wherever they travel, so they can always stay connected with their home office. This takes some work, but could be fun. I have never tried this, but you can learn more by searching “Remote World Traveling” on our website Topical Search. Work convenience: My current business, as I work on this book, teaches history. As I grew my team, during the Pandemic, we decided we didn’t need an office. Instead, we all worked remotely, during the pandemic, and afterwards. We have a goal to become the first Fortune 500 to work completely remotely. It is convenient for all of my employees/contractors, and for myself. For one thing, my employees all work on their own schedule; they work from the convenience of their own home, without having to commute, or even dress in business attire. They even get to eat leftovers in their fridge each day, so less food goes to waste (if they so choose). This is the life of a 9 - 5PM worker.Now that the world has seen that we can work from home, “the genie is out of the bottle.” In other words, people have experienced increased flexibility, and less stress.  New types of remote workers are developing, including stay-at-home parents, who are now becoming remote workers while watching their kids; medical needs patients are now able to be remote workers; and even disabled or those with special needs are having an easier time being hired from their homes or co-ops. The future of work has now changed forever, but there are some negatives. How to overcome the negatives: There are plenty of negatives out there, but for both the employees and employers, this normally has more positives than negatives. The struggle is to overcome the negatives, with preventative measures. Here are some of the negatives, and how to overcome them: Worker’s health may decrease – Because you don’t need to go into an office, some workers become lazier than before, and less motivated to get out and exercise. Decreased health decreases productivity, and now that they can work from home while they are sick, they are less likely to work to their full potential. When employees get less motivated to workout, they are less effective in the office. It has been proven, that those who are more motivated to workout and eat healthy are more efficient in the office. Statistics show that employees who eat healthy are 25% more likely to have higher job performance. The same survey also found that employees who exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, are 15 percent more likely to have higher job performance. So how do you combat this? Employers who create healthy living usually have more effective and efficient employees. There are programs that health insurance companies have created or 3rd parties they have teamed up with to incentivize the employees to exercise on their own to keep them healthy. Employers and insurance companies have found that they save more money the healthier their employees are. Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66
How has Food Spending Nearly Doubled, What's Gadget Depreciation? (W11:D1) Debt Free Millionaire Pod
May 27 2024
How has Food Spending Nearly Doubled, What's Gadget Depreciation? (W11:D1) Debt Free Millionaire Pod
Simplified Explanation: Frugal shopping is where you go out and buy only things that are essential; frivolous shopping is where you go out and buy things that you really want, that are not important; and intentional shopping is where you make a list of items you want to buy and only buy those specific items. Real Life: When trying to get out of debt, it is always a good idea not to put yourself back into debt. When you are in major debt, it is much easier to spend frivolously than when you are out of debt. The psychological reasoning is that you worked so hard to get out of debt, that there is a hesitancy to add any additional debt that may make you struggle to get out of it again. You worked hard and want to be more intentional in your spending.  Now, you cannot go through life not buying these items. You will pay for them in one way or another. Not to repeat this example, but take a new car, for instance. No one needs a new car. Even if you are trying to impress clients, every time a car drives off the showroom floor, it loses $5,000 to its value, because the value we give to a car that no one else has driven makes that car psychologically worth more. But you can buy a slightly used car, and drive that without much difference.  A boat, on the other hand, is never an essential item. You may want it, but almost nowhere will it ever be an essential item. There is an old saying: “boat” stands for Bring Out Another Thousand (BOAT), meaning that boats are notoriously expensive, even after you purchase one. You may spend tens of thousands every year to maintain and store your boat. I would shy away from this purchase - unless you were debt free, with plenty of income each year, and a strong retirement portfolio. Computers are essential these days. When I was 14 years old, in 1996, I asked my dad to go to a computer fair in San Francisco, so I could purchase my first computer. My family had an obsolete computer and I had been working and saving my money. When we got there, my dad asked if the family could use it. I told him no, and that I was buying it for myself. He said, what if he paid for half? I said no, because a family computer would be bought by the parents. He said, “what if we pay half and you can have it in your own room?” I said yes. It was top of the line, in 1996, cost $2,000, and did a small fraction of what a phone can do today. My parents had that computer until about 2006, and I upgraded it multiple times for them. Today, computers cost very little, compared to what they used to cost. Even now, though, they are being replaced by tablets and smartphones, so the need for certain devices are not as essential as we may think they are. There are other devices you may think you need, such as a gaming console or appliance. You may want to buy them, but are they essential (beyond your entertainment)? Appliances are essential, if you are moving into a rental unit without laundry. You can live the inconvenience of the local laundromat, and the added expense, or you could buy the washer and dryer and have it in your home. What about other needed appliances, such as a dishwasher, oven, or fridge? Each of these are expensive and may be needed for your kitchen. Most of the time, you will want to buy these new, because of the wear and tear of the strain we put them under. You never know what issues you are buying, until you run it in your own house. Consider new but dented or scratched appliances. You can buy these for a fraction of perfectly new appliances. Not a gadget, per se, but furniture is a side purchase you will need to make, at some point. These you can buy slightly used, on the web, or at a store. Making sure these are good quality will allow them to last longer, so you won’t need to purchase a new piece of furniture to replace it soon afterwards. Much like clothes and most non-essential purchases, you can purchase good quality and use them for a long time, or buy inexpensive, and replace them on a constant basis. You get to choose what suits you best. Please know, big brand names do not indicate high quality. You can buy a pair of jeans at Wal-Mart for $14.99, and replace them every two years; or you could buy a pair of Levis for $29.99, and replace them every five years; or you could buy a pair of stylish jeans for $99.99, and either have to replace them a year later, or, if they go out of style, need to replace them each year, when the style changes. Clothing and furniture are the same - you can find quality without spending a lot of money (finding quality may just take some effort). Look up online reviews on your items before buying them. This includes brands that you have and haven’t seen, depending on how much money they put into it. Now comes the notorious device that people feel they have to spend $1,000+, because of how they look. Phones may be essential, like a car, but like a car, you don’t have to spend your life savings on them. Most likely, your friends and colleagues won’t even know you spent a ton of money on it. Now you could go to your cellular provider and spend an extra $50 on your phone contract to lease the new phone, but in the end, you will spend more than the originally priced $1,000 on that phone. Instead, you could pay cash for it, so they can’t take it back when you upgrade or change your carrier, or you could go to a discount website that markets slightly used phones, provided by other users. There is a website, called Swappa.com, where you can buy slightly used or new phones for nearly half the price. A cell phone currently selling for $1,200 can be for sale at one of these used sites for $800 (and you would own it outright), spending less money over the life of the phone. Or, you can always wait on the newest phone to be replaced, and buy an older phone at only a fraction of the price. After a cell phone cover, you wouldn’t even know which phone it was. With each new phone that comes out, there are only slight improvements, that would be considered non-essential, and you wouldn’t miss them if you didn’t have them. So, in other words, you may as well buy a slightly used phone for $300, and save nearly $1,000, rather than purchase a new phone. For less expensive used gadgets: https://swappa.com/ Also read: https://www.picodi.com/us/bargain-hunting/spendings-on-food-2023 https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/food-prices-and-spending/ https://explodingtopics.com/blog/iphone-android-users https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-to-save-money-in-2024/
BONUS: Identity Theft and a Sneak Peak into Debt Free Millionaire - (W10:D4) Debt Free Millionaire
May 25 2024
BONUS: Identity Theft and a Sneak Peak into Debt Free Millionaire - (W10:D4) Debt Free Millionaire
Simplified Explanation: Identity theft is where someone takes on your identity, by stealing your personal information and social security number, and starts making financial or security related actions, as if they were you. They take on your identity.  Real Life: Think of this, you are opening your mail and it’s a stack of bills. The first one you open is for $40,000 in credit card bills, the next one is $30,000 for a new car, and the third one is $10,000 for a personal loan. The next day you receive more. You begin to call the lenders to explain there must be a mistake, but they tell you everything is legitimate. Then, a knock comes to your door and you are arrested for check fraud. Someone has taken your identity and racked up so much debt against your name. You have no way of controlling it, and what has been done to your name. Even when you try to call the lenders and explain, they don’t believe you. Then, a big one happens, and people show up to take your house, because it was sold out from under you. Now, if something like that happened, how would you feel? According to a 2019 Identity Fraud Study, by Javelin Strategy & Research, the number of victims of identity fraud fell to 14.4 million in 2018, down from a high of 16.7 million in 2017. But, the financial burden for those in 2018 increased. 3.3 million people were made responsible for paying back part of the debt of the fraud committed against them - three times as many as in 2016, and the victims’ out-of-pocket fraud costs doubled from 2016 to 2018, to $1.7 billion. Criminals are also finding ways to overcome the authentication processes.
How People with Money Make Millions During a Recession and How to Spot One Coming - (W10:D3) Debt Free Million.
May 22 2024
How People with Money Make Millions During a Recession and How to Spot One Coming - (W10:D3) Debt Free Million.
Simplified Explanation: Recessions are a large downturn in the market, for two consecutive quarters. The year is broken up into 4 quarters (3 month increments - January to March, April to June, July to September, and October to December). If this downturn occurs, you can expect it to have a negative impact on your finances, whether it is losing your job, an increase in expenses, or losing some of your income. This could also affect you getting a loan for a home or car. A depression is similar, but it’s deeper and longer than a recession. If this were to occur, you would most likely see a decrease in pay, increase in expenses, or loss of a job. Real Life: In 2008, the United States experienced the largest housing bubble in over 50 years. One of the reasons for this is because President Bush held it off for so many years with certain economic policies. The price of houses increased the most during his administration in the last 50 years, excluding 2022. There were too many houses on the market, at such a high price, that the economy couldn’t sustain the high prices and loans that were too easy to apply for. In 2021, it is different; there are less houses for sale, and the prices keep going up. If the home builders came out and began building houses non-stop, it would still take them 2-3 years, at least, to build enough houses to put too many houses on the market.  For the past 100 years, we have had a new recession every 8 years. In 2008, we hadn’t experienced a recession in 10 years. Now, in 2021, we have been waiting for the next recession for 13 years and it as of July 29, 2022, it has been reported that we are now back in a recession. When COVID occurred, the media called it a recession, but though there were two quarters of downturn, no prices went down. The market had a small fluctuation, while everyone was under lock down orders, but it quickly came back (because of action the Trump and local administrations took to correct and open the economy). It is also possible that, even if he did nothing, since this wasn’t a true recession, the market would have still returned the same way when the lock down orders were released. Now you can see statistically what the lock down orders did, by looking at the economies of the states that locked down the longest. The economies of California and New York fell, and stayed down while the people were under lock down orders, as no one could do much in the way of commerce and business. Those states that lifted their lock down orders, such as South Dakota, Florida, Georgia, and Missouri, had economies that jumped, even though there were mask mandates in place. These people were able to get out and work, though, and according to the numbers, the rate of deaths from COVID were no different from California (though New York was significantly more than everywhere else, because people lived so close together). Even in lock down, the people couldn’t work as they normally did, and the economy in those areas suffered. Now there are multiple types of recession, spanning from a housing bubble, to the stock market falling. Here are the different types: Boom and Bust Economy: This may occur after a previous year of an economic boom, or a year the economy went up substantially and inflated itself too high. The recession would be to balance it and cut the price increases. When this happens, banks tighten their lending/spending policy and lend less; the price of most things decrease a little, or stay where they are, which allows the market to catch up; and people’s confidence goes from high, in a boom, to low confidence, during a bust. Balance Sheet recession: This occurs when banks see a decline in their balance sheet, due to falling assets or bad loans, and so they restrict lending policy. During this time, we will see a fall in asset pricing, such as the housing bubble, when the price of houses decreased. A Depression: This is caused by a long and deep recession, where the output falls by over 10%, and includes a very high rate of unemployment. Supply-side shock recession: This is caused by a very rapid rise in a commodity price, that causes a recession, due to a decline in living standards. For example, in 1973, the world’s oil prices tripled, which sent the world into a recession, and a fall in disposable income. There was also a lack of output of oil, because of supply. Another example is after Hurricane Katrina, when the oil rigs were down for months, the price of oil and gas skyrocketed, doubling or tripling for months. The price did eventually drop, but people stopped spending to go on trips or buy more “luxory” goods, because it stayed high for a while, while the prices dropped. Demand shock recession: This is when there is an unexpected event that occurs and shocks the world, which drops confidence in the system, and a short-lived recession occurs. These events include the downturn caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, or COVID lockdowns. These normally do not last long, and quickly begin to incline, but the shape or direction of the market is different.Economists around the world are all considering what will cause the next recession, and how it will look. Many economists believe it will be a mixture of things, such as low confidence in the economy, poor production growth, fall in the stock market, weak investment spending, political turmoil, and/or a war. Note: I wrote this book in 2020 and now in 2022, we are seeing that this has come true. Everything  Different shaped recessions: The artificial recession due to COVID and the lock downs were forecasted to be many different shapes, but in the end, turned into a V-shape recovery. As you can see from the chart above, the survey shows CEOs and economists were wrong on the shape of the COVID economy. In the end, it was the least forecasted - the V-shape recovery - and returned quickly (showing it was an artificial recession or Demand Shock Recession). When a recession does occur, and everyone is reacting or overreacting, stay steady and don’t let the world make you react. Instead, calmly make a decision that you will not react; this is normal, and you will overcome these issues. That is also why you will prepare for a possible recession, by creating an emergency fund and beginning a food storage, so you can live an intentional life.
Money, Marriage, Divorce, Children, Stress, Support, Love, Future - (W10:D2) Debt Free Millionaire
May 21 2024
Money, Marriage, Divorce, Children, Stress, Support, Love, Future - (W10:D2) Debt Free Millionaire
Simplified Explanation: Marriage is a culturally recognized union between two people, called spouses, that establishes rights and obligations between them, their children, and even extended family. This brings on the financial, emotional, and physical support of the other person. Some people do this differently but most times, finances stop becoming hers and mine, ownership becomes ours, and families are to work together to succeed in all areas of the family. Divorce, on the other hand is the legal recognition of the union being dissolved. This is where the financial, emotional, and physical support of the couple is split. This also means that the added stress and finances of the couple is to affect both of them.  Real Life: Marriage should be the happiest moment in a person’s life, that should - potentially - last until death, but sometimes feelings sour between the two parties. If things can be resolved they should but it takes two to find resolution. Sometimes strength is leaving (with abuse). Sometimes you don't have an option (being left for another person). One person's resolve isn't enough. Like with marriage, keeping a marriage together takes two. Marriage: When you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, it normally results in spending as much time as possible getting to know each other, over an extended period of time. This is a time to get to know each other and date, experiencing another person through many different seasons of life. You and your loved one go on dates, attend each other’s activities, and become familiar with the person’s good, and not-so good, traits. This is a time of learning and growing together, before getting married. If you get married too quickly, you may not understand all the attributes of your spouse. If you wait too long, your potential spouse may fall out of love. It is the commitment that makes you strive to work through hard times, be each other’s shoulder to cry on, and the desire for each of you to become a better person in the relationship. When you are getting married, these are the things to consider: Children – Most married couples who get married for the first time come into their marriage without children, but you should discuss whether or not you want children, how many and how soon you want them. Some couples have their children as soon as possible, so they can get them out of the house sooner; some wait a few years, while they get to know each other; and others wait until they are financially secure before having children, which normally ends up with older parents with younger kids. FYI, raising children is very tiring, how much more tiring would it be for older parents. Whenever you decide to have them, remember that they bring a great deal of expenses. Reports show that parents spend an average of $13,186 per year raising their child, though the median cost was only $6,000.Finances – Make sure that you are both on the same page with finances, before you get married. Don’t marry someone that you can agree with financially. TD Ameritrade, a financial firm, found that 41% of divorced Gen Xers and 29% of Boomers say they ended their marriage due to disagreements about money. Make sure you are on the same page before marriage, so you don’t risk disagreeing later on. Ask these questions of your future spouse: What are your goals and aspirations in life? How will you reach them?Will we use a budget each month, to not just be intentional, but to be in agreement?When you get your paycheck, do you save, as one of your first priorities or after paying your bills and yourself?Will we use debt to buy things, or will we try to pay cash and stay out of debt?(Observe this one, don’t ask it) Are you a frivolous spender and go on shopping sprees?Do you conserve utilities around the house, or do you do things like leave the lights on?Will we have children right away or when we are financially secure? Will you treat your children better than your parents treated you, spending more?How many kids would you like? When do you plan to have them?Do you plan to pay for their entire college career, partial, or make them work for it?Should the kids go to public or private school, or homeschool?How much debt do you have? How much savings do you have? Do your parents pay for any of your current bills? Would you accept money from them?How much will we spend on our parents or relatives if they get sick?Would you help your siblings or a relative if they needed to borrow money?Have you ever declared bankruptcy? Would you ever declare bankruptcy, or work to pay off your debt?What is your income right now, and what will it be in the future?Will we merge our finances together after we get married? What are our financial goals?How much can I spend before I need to consult you?How much will we spend on fertility or adoption, if we can’t have kids? Remember, these prices increase too.Do you prefer brand name goods or are you okay with generic?How often will we go on vacation? How much will we spend, on average? How do you spend your money? Do you have “fun money” or an allowance? Would we?Should we save for future vacations, reunions, and other events and only go when we have cash to pay for it?Do you have an emergency fund? Are you saving for one?Will you want to go back to school? How long are you thinking?What are your career (or entrepreneurial) goals? How long will each step take?Who will be in charge of investing for the future? Who will pick the stocks?Does your company offer a 401(k) plan, and will they match your investment? Do you max out your retirement savings each year?Will we invest in a house or spend that money on experiences?Is charitable giving important to you, and how much would we spend?If you had $1,000,000 and had to give it away, how would you spend it?Would you seek financial counseling, if needed? Would we seek a marriage counseling, if needed?And the most important one - who will be in charge of the budget and paying the bills?Location – Where are you getting married? Where are you going to live? Where are you going to raise a family? Make sure you are on the same page. This is more than financials, but this will allow you to understand your partner even more and what they see in your future together. Make sure you are on the same page with most of your decisions. You don’t have to be on the same page with all of them, but make sure that you can agree - and that it is the same future you foresee, as well. Divorce: Rarely does anyone “win” in this scenario. Instead, it causes more strife. And, though everything is split, the obligations may grow, especially if there are kids between the two parties. For example, when a couple dissolves their union, the person that makes more money may be obligated to pay for the livelihood of their ex-spouse. If there are kids, one of the parents will most likely need to pay money to the other spouse in support of the rearing of their children. Retirement, savings accounts, and all financials are split between the two people and a wealthy family becomes poorer, due to supporting two households. In addition, the emotional strife that it causes on both ex-spouses weighs on everyone, because, even though you are separated, if you share children, each parent is potentially to have 50% of the visitation rights, and coordination between the two parties may cause frustration and heartache. I know, because I was an unwilling participant in divorce (though, unlike most relationships that develop between two ex-spouses, we have a good relationship and often agree for both families to gather when it comes to the activities with the children). So, a good resolve can be the product of a divorce, but it is quite rare that cool heads result from a divorce. Normally, ex-spouses feel taken advantage of, angry and bitter, or feel the other is still controlling or trying to manipulate them. This is not my experience, but millions of others experience it. Here are a few things to consider:  Children – There are so many obligations to consider when you are considering getting divorced. If you thought your life was controlled by your ex-spouse, think of the courts now being behind them, to make sure you (or your ex-spouse) does what is best for the kids. Everything is now going to be in writing between you and your ex-spouse.Time spent with kids - When you are divorced, if everything is mutual, the best case scenario is that you see them close to 50 % of the time. The other 50% of the time you will be away from them. What days will you have your kids? What is your schedule? The worst case scenario is that you may “lose” your children, and only see them with visitation rights, and maybe even with someone you pay to watch your interaction with them. Finances - You will be paying for them more because, as a single parent who has to work, you may need daycare. You may need other financial help taking care of them, or you may need to pay your ex-spouse child support to support the kids. Kids get more expensive when you are divorced.Transportation – How will you get the children to and from your ex-spouse? Will you pick them up at school or from their home? Will they drop them off? Logistics gets crazy. Holidays – You will likely get the kids for half of the holidays. The other half will be with their other parents. You will have Christmas without your children half the time.College – Who will pay for their college? Will you pay 1/3, 1/2, or the entire thing?Health Care – Who will put the kids on their insurance? How will you pay for emergencies, and they have a large medical bill? If you don’t agree on this, the court will.Location – Normally your ex-spouse has no say in what you do with your life after divorce, unless you have kids. If you decide to get married to someone one state away, the kids are most likely not coming with you. You may have to find a local or someone who will move to you in order to stay near the kids. If you go on vacation, you will have to ask the other parent and make sure they know everywhere your child is. There is more control in your life afterwards, by your ex-spouse, than when you were married.Residential Custodian – You may be their parent, but you may not be their custodian. There needs to be one address that the schools will use to register the kids. All of their mail should go to one address, as well, so they stay organized. Who is on the record as their custodian when it comes to all their activities? This is their residential custodian. This does vary between states. Other agreements – There are many other issues that come up, but when kids are involved, it is important to get these in writing because you will need to stick with them, and make sure your ex-spouse is okay with them, as well.Finances – If you have kids, you may have to pay child support. Whether you give or get child support, the cost of raising kids increases, when they go between two households. It does not matter if you are the husband or wife, in this day and age. If your spouse was the stay-at-home spouse, can’t work, or is in a less lucrative career than you, you may have to pay alimony for their livelihood, so it is more equal, according to your established standard of living. This will be settled outside of court, by agreement of the Parties, or through mediation, or through the court, with the judge making the ultimate decision. Make sure you get a good attorney.Location – If you don’t have kids, your ex-spouse has no say on where you live. If you do have kids, though, you may be stuck in one general location - if you want to see your kids on a regular basis (which you should want to do).Relationships – If you believe you will find a better person than the one you already have, or even if you already had someone in mind, don’t be ignorant. Every new relationship has to start over at the beginning. You will need to spend a good amount of time getting to know this person, and them getting to know you, if you think you will overcome some of the issues you had in the previous marriage. The recommended amount of time is generally one year, so you can see that person in each season (think cold of winter, heat of summer, various holidays, etc.) Another good idea is to take a trip with that person, and see how well you travel together. Travel can reveal a lot about a person! If you already have someone in mind before divorce, know this, only 3-5% of these relationships end in marriage, and out of those marriages, 75% of second marriages end in divorce, as well. If you meet someone who does not live in the same town as you (or close by), you may want to move to be with that person. Without approval from your ex-spouse and the court, you won’t be able to take your kids with you. Often, divorce is not the answer, but instead, it is just a band-aid - a quick fix. If you don’t figure out the actual cause of the divorce, it will happen again and again. Out of every first marriage, 40-50% fail; out of every second marriage, 60% fail; out of third marriages, 75% fail; and the statistics get worse each time you remarry. Again, divorce is rarely the answer. Marriages are more likely to succeed when both sides spend more quality time together, listen to each other, and work to understand the other person’s perspective. Honesty is key, too! Marrying again: Hopefully, you learned some great lessons from the previous marriage. Statistically, these marriages are more likely to fail, but there are some things to do to make sure yours doesn’t. Here are a few suggestions: Start from the beginning as if you were getting married for the first time. Get to know the person more than you have ever known another person. Merge your ways of living - Make sure your two separate ways of doing things can merge. If either of you have been divorced over a long period of time, it may be hard for one or both of you to be less independent, and allow the other person into your life. Spend time together – Don’t just spend all day together, but spend quality time together. Realize that, like the dating period of the previous marriage, you shouldn’t just spend every waking moment together, but if you hold back from getting married for at least a year, you can see your future spouse in all seasons of their life, and the year. People change during the winter, in their habits and behaviors. Make sure you know how they will react in as many situations as possible, before you get married. This does not have to be years, but enough time to really get to know them - and not just what they say. Sometimes these two things are deceiving.Reality Check #1– This is one of the hardest pieces to stomach, but like your last marriage, the honeymoon stage will end at some point. There will be arguments, frustrations, and you may not want the other person around as much as you used to. Also remember that if there are kids, they will take up most of your time when they are around. You will have less time getting to know the other person than when you first got married and didn’t have kids.Reality Check #2 – You were probably the cause of, or at least contributed to, your last divorce. As hard as it is to hear, “it takes two to Tango,” which means, things that you did in your last marriage were partially to blame for your divorce, be it small or large actions. The greatest thing you can do to make the next marriage work, is find out what that was, and correct it before the next marriage, so you don’t end up repeating it and setting this marriage up for failure. If you deny you had anything to do with the last marriage ending, you will most likely do it all over again.Marriage is a wonderful thing that brings the greatest joys to life, but it is always hard, and takes a great deal of work. Do not just jump into marriage because “you think it’s a good thing;” or think you can just figure things out as they come; and please don’t get married because you need to in order to have intimate relationships with someone! Marriage is a sacred trust between you and your spouse and you should treat it that way - treating your spouse very special. So take the time to get to know as much as possible - about yourself and them - beforehand.  Intimacy before marriage: If you bring intimacy in too early, your mind will be clouded from seeing the truth about your future spouse. Intimacy comes in many different ways, and the further you go, the more likely you are to get divorced. Intimacy includes all sexual relations between two partners. When you are getting to know a person, if you hold back from physical intimacy, you are more likely to see with a more leveled mind. If you are hoping to get married to this person, knowing how they are in private situations is not as important as getting to know who they are inside, if you hope your marriage is to last until death. Here are the facts according to the American Psychological Association: Relationships that are not built on a majority of physical intimacy until they get to know the person first are more likely to succeed or fail before they get too deep, which is okay because you were able to see the person for who they are.Those who wait for physical intimacy report significantly higher relationship satisfaction (20%), better communication patterns (12%), less consideration of divorce (22%), and better (physical intimacy) quality (15%)Those that hold off on sex before marriage are the least likely to get divorced. The more “partners” you have before marriage, the more likely you are to get divorced.Those who have side partners, while married, are more likely to get divorced, lose that other person, and get divorced a second or third time. Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos License code: AN4MXGI6OALEGJ66