If you are in command of your financial situation, you have a written plan, with goals broken down into objectives and timelines, and you communicate your plan to your loved ones. Continue Reading…
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You have the same amount of hours in a day as Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt. It’s all in how you manage your resources (money or career or skills or time or fill-in-the-blank) that shows the difference between reacting and being proactive. If we plan how to best use our resources, Continue Reading…
Take a look at what a few dollars now does to your retirement projections
Most people fall pretty clearly into a pattern of saying “wow!” or “how?”. For young people, summer camp is a definite WOW! For most parents, summer camp is a “how are we going to do this?”
Young people are allowed extended time spent with their friends. They get to invest their time and energy on a common interest, on learning about a new field or going deeper in their skills. Parents, ministry leaders and chaperones afford them opportunity of practicing “being an adult” by going out to summer camp to harvest new information, cultivate new friendships and explore life experiences in a controlled on-their-own environment. Stretching their own independent wings as they prepare for the day they are legal and emotional adults soaring to new heights of responsibility and opportunity. Continue Reading…
Strong friendships are formed while kids are away at camp enjoying activities and intellectual pursuits. College scholarships and important networking can happen among kids, parents and experts who are involved with summer camps. When you think back upon your childhood, what memories do you have? Continue Reading…
Both budgeting (cash flow planning) and sex are hard to talk about. What if you waded into the difficult conversation and found that a simple misunderstanding, based on bad assumptions, is the only thing limiting you and your spouse from a whole lot of fun together and over-the-moon results?
I feel grateful to live in a country that allows me the economic and social freedoms that I enjoy here in the United States of America. Any person who contributes to the strength of my country has my gratitude.
Freedom influences my behavior by immersing my decisions, minute by minute. It is only from talking with my friends living overseas that I get some perspective on how different life can be here in the States.
To keep this blog entry short, I will state directly, my most treasured freedom is the liberty to live my life according to my values. This liberty has been bought and paid for on my behalf and yours. The autonomy we enjoy here in the US is not free. It comes at great sacrifice, in the past, through the present and into the future.
Today, on September 11th, I have friends who serve in police departments, fire departments, military (current, former and future) as well as other first responder positions. I have the privilege of knowing them and getting glimpses into what the specific sacrifices are, and have been, for them and for the people they serve with. Some sacrifices are apparent in the grief we experience when we lose someone. Some sacrifices are external, and just as often, the sacrifices are internal and managed.
My friends, and I have to assume yours as well, have given up much so that we have an opportunity to live according to our own choices, which includes being free of the chains of debt. It was a hard realization for me almost 5 years ago how much debt had stolen, and was continuing to steal from me. I remember the painful awareness when I saw how carrying debt did not align with my valuation of freedom.
The strain of living strapped down to debt payments finally became enough for me to fight my way free in January of 2007.
It took me time (longer than I wanted!) to move from this heart realization all the way to being free of consumer debt. It will still take me time to pay off my home mortgage but in my mind, the battle is already won. Now it’s just a matter of applying strategy and perseverance.
The point is, I’m committed to doing living debt free. The point is I may want faster progress paying off my mortgage, but I have made huge progress with the help of my friends. The point is I can honor and respect the sacrifices of my friends, and the friends I haven’t met yet, by maintaining my financial freedom. They continue to do their part by committing to fight for our country’s freedom.
To do less than our best work, each of us, is to disrespect the gifts we’ve been given. What motivates you to work towards your debt freedom or to maintain that status? Will you focus and say “no matter what, I will get and stay debt free”? How much could you give to an organization like The Wounded Warrior Project if you weren’t wrapped up in the vice-grip of debt payments?
I hope you will take the time to stop and consider what freedoms you most enjoy. I hope you will find many, many reasons to feel ridiculously grateful.
May you also find that you live your life, day to day, in a way that reflects the high esteem in which you hold those freedoms.
As you create a household budget (or cash flow plan), you are crafting a behavior plan for your money. Your internal beliefs about money will reveal themselves on the paper. Sometimes the clarity that comes from writing things down Continue Reading…
Recently I received an email offer from a favorite coffee shop of mine. They were offering me a coffee press for free! My initial reaction was “YEAH!” – a gift.
But was it really a “yeah” moment? Feelings are all very nice. They are just not reliable for making good decisions. Continue Reading…