Wealth Building

Where is Debt in Your Life?

I know that may sound like a silly question, but it is one worth asking yourself and answering. Beginning the journey to true financial freedom often requires one to take a long hard look in the mirror. Until one accepts the fact that their current habits are not helping them financially, it is impossible to move ahead with a debt elimination strategy.
The following questions help provide a stark reality check. They are not meant to be judgmental, but are simply intended to help you objectively assess how involved debt is in your life. When you answer these questions and take an honest stock of your current situation, you take the first steps toward true financial freedom.

1.  Do you know the total money you owe? 

2.  Do you use credit cards to get the mileage or other bonuses? 

3.  Do you ever use credit cards for household expenses (groceries, etc)? 

4.  Have you paid bills late or skipped payments? 

5.  Have you taken cash advances on credit cards to pay other bills? 

6.  Do you have any credit cards that are at their limit? 

7.  Do you argue often about money with your spouse? 

8.  Do you ever make minimum payments only? 

9.  Have you refinanced your mortgage in the last 3 years? 

10. Have you ever gotten a debt consolidation loan?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then debt is a major part of your life. One last question, what do you plan to do about your debt? If you don’t have that answer right now that is fine. I have a suggestion, stop thinking about your debt and start thinking about wealth. I know you think I am crazy, but hear me out.

When you think about debt, you’re inviting thoughts of despair, poverty, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. This forces you to think about putting in long hours and makes you believe that you’ll be paying your bills endlessly, which is a painful and miserable experience.

On the opposite side of the continuum of debt, you have wealth. Of course, earning money is a better experience than paying people whom you owe. When you focus on earning money, your debts will take care of themselves. Focusing on wealth leads you to have pleasurable, prospering, and powerful thoughts.

If debt is a major part of your life, let’s chat about it. Let’s get you on a fast track debt-elimination plan. Book a consultation with me and I’ll help you kiss debt goodbye!

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Investing: What It Is Why It Matters And Why You Should Be Doing It

Have you ever thought about investing? I'm sure you have, but maybe you just didn't understand it. This year on the blog I plan to teach a lot about investing. In this first post of the new year, I tell you what it is why it matters and why you should be doing it.

Happy New year!! For the past couple of years, I have talked a lot about budgeting and becoming debt free. This year, I want to focus on growing your money through investing. So with that being said, this first post of the year I will give you an overview of investing. I’m sure some of my readers already know or at least have heard about investing. My question is, are you doing it? If not, you should be.

What is investing?

 A good example of investing would be a college education. You spend your time (a resource) in hopes of earning a degree and a good job after graduating (the future benefit). Although a college education is a type of investment, that is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about stocks, bonds, property and other things that have the potential to increase in value.  

In a financial sense, investing is when you commit money to a financial asset, such as stated above, stocks, bonds, financial securities, in hopes of receiving more money later.

Why investing matters

When people ask me why investing matters, I tell them it matters because of compounding. When I think about investing, I think of compounding and time. That makes it easier for people to understand why one would risk their money for a potential return. You may remember learning about compounding and interest in math class. The principle is easy, the returns you earn on money can be compounded and then start to earn returns too. When you give your money plenty of time to compound, the growth can become exponential.

Why you should invest

Who wants to work until they die? Okay, I know that was a little bit drastic, but we are living longer and our money should last longer if we don’t want to work until we die. Social security won’t be enough for us to live a comfortable life after retirement. Our money should last at least as long as we do or longer.

The bottom line is, you only make money two way’s by working for it and making it work for you. If you keep your money in the bank in just a regular old non-interest bearing account instead of investing it, your money is not working for you and you will never have more money that you save. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for saving money so having a savings account is not a bad thing, but why not take some of that money and invest?

By investing your money, you are getting your money to make even more money. Doesn’t that sound amazing?! It really does not matter how you invest, whether it be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, options, precious metals, real estate or even your own small business, the goal is to make investments that will generate more cash for you in the future.

If you are still on the fence about investing or just want to learn more about investing, I invite you to take my FREE five-day course #Slayinvesting. In this Free course, you will go in depth about different types of stocks, bonds, investments and learn strategies to begin investing.

If this has been helpful to you, please click the share buttons at the bottom of this post.




Disease Called Debt

Month 2 Set Long Term Goals

Want to make sure your money is working for you? Make sure to set long term goals to stay on your financial trackIf you don’t figure out your long-term financial goals, you will almost always fail to reach them, because short-term needs are always so demanding.

Strategy: Set up a new worksheet with these four headings: Annual Pretax Income, Annual Expenses, Goals and Estimated Cost of those goals in current dollars. Below, I have listed a few goals that some may want to include on their worksheet.

College for your children

The cost of college per child now is roughly * $20,000 + per year academic year at the high end and $12, 000 per academic year on the low end. Multiply the annual cost by the number of years in college, for a range of $80-$36k, and by the number of children. Like everything else, college costs increase with time. The annual increase is about 6-8%.

Worry-free Retirement

Multiply your current annual expenses by 0/8% (if you make $50,000 a year, that’s $40,000). This is about what you will need annually to retire comfortably. Ideally, your investments should be able to provide you with this annual retirement allowance while continuing to grow with inflation.


With a down payment of 20%, the most expensive house you can purchase is about 2.5 times your gross annual income.


If you become disabled or die and you have a spouse and children, your family will need 70% of your current income, or 50% if you have just a spouse and no children. If you don’t have insurance, start researching policies now.

Setting long-term goals for your finances helps keep you on the right track. If these goals stay first and foremost on your mind, you are less likely to spend frivolously or live beyond your means. What are some of your long-term financial goals? I’d love to hear from you. Be sure to comment below.

*All price data are reprinted from the U.S. Department of Education’s 2016-2017 IPEDS Survey and reflect reported costs for the 2016-2017 academic year


Month 1 Get On The Financial Scales

If money were pounds, how would you fare? Ok if you are in England money is pounds. No Matter where you are or what you call money, get on the financial scales and see your money weight.

I know some of us may need more than 7 days to get our finances in order. Some of us may want to take a more calculated approach. If you want something more calculated then this series, Six Months to Financial Fitness is for you. Over the next six day’s, you can see how in the next six months you can be on the road to financial freedom. The first month, you need to get on the financial scales. I know if you are like me, the scales are not your friend. Good thing we are not tracking pounds because that scale is not for me.

It’s no wonder that we’re all so worried about money, We’re living longer, retiring earlier and expecting more out of our retirement. At our high rate of spending and low rate of saving, 75% of us will retire with less than half of what we need. The key is to do something about it now.

Month 1 Get on The Financial Scales

Create an overview of where you stand financially by creating net worth and cash flow statements

Net Worth

Set up separate folders for your bank, investment accounts, credit cards and any real estate and cars that you own. Make up a worksheet. On the left side, list the fair market value of your assets.

Example: Estimate conservatively what you could sell your how for today (not what you would like to get for it). Add up the numbers. The result is your total assets. On the right side, list your liabilities, including mortgages, credit card balances, car loans and other debts. The result is your total liabilities.

Your net worth: Subtract your total liabilities from your total assets. This is your net worth

Cash Flow

Once you have calculated your net worth, determine how you are spending your money on a regular basis.

How To: Set up another worksheet. On the left side, write the 12 months on separate lines, starting with the current month and going in reverse chronological order.

Make two headings at the top of the page: Total Monthly Deposits (credits) on the left side and Total Monthly Withdrawals (debits) on the right side

Step 1: Gather your bank statements for the last 12 months. Under each column on the worksheet, fill in the deposits and withdrawals month by month. Add the columns to get your yearly credits and debits.

Step 2: Subtract from both columns, the annual amount withheld for Social Security and any income taxes paid by check in the last 12 months, This process provides you with a more accurate indication of your spendable income and those expenses over which you control. Add to both columns all other nontax expenses withheld from your paycheck, such as company insurance premiums.

Step 3: On the credit side, add savings and retirement-plan contributions withheld. On the debit side, either add or subtract the increase or decrease in the amount of your consumer debt during the past 12 months.

Step 4: Examine the results: your after-tax annual income and total annual expenses. Income must exceed expenses, or you are heading for financial trouble.

Here is a strategy for you, track your weekly expenses in detail for the next five months to find out where your money goes. I know five months in a long time, but I promise you will be better off financially for doing it. Write down every cent you spend in a small notebook. Don’t try to do anything about the pattern at first.  For those following the six-month plan, it’s best to take at least two months to begin to change your spending habits



8 Ineffective Ways To Eliminate Debt

Many of my clients have come to me after trying some if not all of these 8 ineffective way's to eliminate their debt. Don't fall into the trap of these way's. Eliminate your debt the right way from the start


Do you ever feel like you’re being misled every time you try to reduce or eliminate your debt?  Many of my clients come to me for help after trying a few of these 8 ineffective way’s to eliminate debt, that actually cause more problems than solutions. So take heed or you could end up throwing additional time and money at the problem.

1. Looking the other way

Unfortunately, this one is very common among people who can’t seem to keep up with their monthly payments. As the bills roll in, they either stack up unopened, or being tossed in the trash without opening. It’s as if a miracle solution is going to pop up in time to make it all go away. It may feel less stressful, but the reality is the debts grow even faster due to penalties. The whole situation becomes even worse!

2. Asking your boss for an advance

The truth is getting an advance on your paycheck is like borrowing against your future. Although it may seem like a smart move at the time, it is likely you will never be able to catch up… much like the credit card debt that got you into this situation in the first place. It gives your employer too much information about your personal financial life. Think about it… would you trust an employee to make smart decisions on your company’s behalf if they can’t manage their own money?

3. Getting a payday or benefits loan

This is one of the most expensive methods to increase your cash flow. Companies that are in this business are basically attaching liens to your future income. Most will require access to your checking account so they can withdraw the owed amount on the day of your next paycheck. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone with that much control over my checking account. Unless it is an automatic payment, that I personally set up myself.  Worse of all, even though the finance charge sounds small ($10-30 for every $100) the annual percentage rate nets out at a whopping 300-400 percent, so if the loan is not paid back in time, you are basically increasing your total debt amount.

4. Beware of pawn shop loans

If you’re thinking it’s a no-brainer to trade in a few valuables in exchange for fast cash, think about this. The truth is if you ever want to see your valuables again, you’ll have to come up with the cash in a very short period of time. Pawn shops are in the business to get their money one way another and aren’t interested in a long term relationship!

5. Credit card advances are costly

Credit card companies look as if they are giving away free money by way of sending you a set of blank checks. Some of my clients were under the impression they would receive extra bonus points for using those as cash advances. That is not the case. Be smart and understand credit card companies are marketing experts that have developed different ways to fool you into getting more in debt. That means a payback interest rate that is much higher than the standard rate – often 10 percent or more!

6. Taking out or refinancing a home equity loan

Mortgage companies make equity loans look very attractive. They offer lower interest rates and lower monthly payments, but did you know the payments are extended over a longer period of time? So guess what? You end up paying more over the life of the loan. Add to that; loan origination fees, prepayment penalties and the chance of a future foreclosure if you lose your job or come across periods of financial instability. Risky business.

7. Bankruptcy is rarely the right answer

Sure, there are times when bankruptcy is necessary. It was my only choice. If at all possible, this avenue should be reserved for exceptional situations. Did you know you will lose all of your credit cards and other unsecured avenues for credit once you file? Plus, the laws have gotten more stringent, so you may go through the whole process and ultimately be denied. If that isn’t bad enough, the bankruptcy will stay on your record for ten long years, which means you won’t get the time of day from a financial institution should you need extra money for medical expenses or emergencies.

8. Debt settlement – ouch!

Debt settlement companies are those that negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. The object of this process is to reduce the debt amount by paying a percentage of the total. Here are some of the horrors you would encounter: Not only does your credit rating wind up worse than it was when you started, but you are liable for income tax on the difference between what you would have paid and what you actually pay. The IRS counts the money you saved as income! Additionally, these companies charge as much as 25 percent of what you owe or 40 percent on what you’ve saved. On a $5,000 debt, you could be paying as much as $1,000.

I encourage you to be smart about your debt. It’s not about getting out of paying that which you have borrowed, as those methods come with fees and penalties that make the situation worse. It’s about making your repayment as painless as possible and without having to tighten your belt, move to the boondocks or eat cheese sandwiches for every meal.

The best way to obtain financial freedom is by setting up a process that pays down your debt in a systematic way that is based on the most sophisticated, but not complicated, mathematical formula. It gives you the freedom to focus on the rest of your life. If you are ready to develop that plan then join my FREE Death to Debt Masterclass.

In this class, I will give you a proven method to eliminate your debt, and show you the biggest mistake people make when they are eliminating debt. All you have to do is click the link below and you are in.


10 Steps To Getting Out Of Debt

Being in debt can be stressful, I know, I have been there and done that. No matter what your circumstance is, if you signed for a loan, you are obligated to pay it back even if you have a life altering experience like losing a job, getting into an accident, or even if you have increased expenses due to having a child.

Sometimes debt can just be an unintended consequence of too much holiday spending — or overspending any time of year. Many people try to get out of debt, but life slaps them in the face so hard that they give up. But that doesn’t have to be the case. There are so many people who are getting out of debt every single day, and not only that, but they are getting out of debt in a short period of time.

So if you’re ready to get on a path to financial freedom, it’s important to have a plan for how you’re going to tackle that debt! Follow these 10 steps to getting out of debt, and you will be free in no time.


If your bills give you anxiety and your debts are getting in the way of other dreams, it may be time for you to follow the path of these 10 steps to getting out of debt


America Saves Week

America Saves Week
America Saves, I save, You save!


Next week begins America Saves Week, and I am excited to partner with http://americasavesweek.org/ to help my readers and my community begin or increase their savings accounts.

America Saves Week, February 22 – 27, 2016, is an annual opportunity for organizations and individuals to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. Millions of individuals learn the importance of saving.

How Can Individuals Participate?

Take the America Saves Pledge

  • Set a goal and make a plan to save. Join over 390,000 people who have pledged to save and take the America Saves Pledge today. Already taken the pledge?  America Saves encourages you to recommit to your savings goal and re-pledge today. Military? Take the Military Saves Pledge.

Assess Your Savings Progress

  • Find out if you are saving in all the right places.

Saver Checklist

  • Check off your savings accomplishments to see how you’re doing.

#imsavingfor Photo Contest

  • To celebrate the upcoming America Saves Week, America Saves is launching the #imsavingfor contest. It’s easy to enter. Just share a picture of you and what you are saving for and then enter to win $500 at AmericaSavesWeek.org/imsavingfor

I hope you will join me by taking the pledge to SAVE!



4 Simple Way’s To Build Wealth On A Low Income

4 simple way's to build wealth on a low income
Build Your Wealth

Let me ask you a simple question- is building wealth important to you? If you answered yes, it is important that you realize, it is a mindset to form a habit, no matter where you are on the financial ladder. Start today to form the habit to build wealth.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that wealth building strategies are best left for those with cash to spare. When in reality, anyone on any income level can create wealth. You have to start somewhere.

By incorporating these 4 habit’s into your life, you are guaranteed to be on track for financial success no matter where you are starting from.

1. Every little bit counts
This is true whether or not you are going through a financial feast or financial famine. While this may seem simple; it is a method of thinking that will payoff. Many of the worlds richest people make it a habit to save when and where they can. Here is an interesting fact, Price Rainer of Monaco used to buy all of his socks in the same brand and color. Seems crazy right? Wrong! The reason he did this was because he would always have a matching pair if one sock became lost or worn out; there was no need to buy a new pair for replacement. Basically he was following the old adage, take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.

2. Invest in yourself

The old adage, “pay yourself first,” is a great rule to live by, however, many of us fail to do so. I actually pay myself second, because I pay my tithe’s and offering’s first. After that, my necessary bill’s are paid, what’s remaining, I use to pay myself, in the form of saving’s and investment’s. Warren Buffet said it best when he said, ” Don’t save what’s left after spending, spend what’s left after saving.”

3.Don’t sleep on a bargain

Understand the difference between price and value. The price is what you pay but the value is what you receive. When making purchases, always buy quality item’s when they are marked down. When you learn to spot true value and invest wisely in it; this is a skill that will help you make smart financial decisions.

4. Think and plan ahead

In an perfect world, a plan for what you want to achieve in the long-term should form all of your financial decisions. That’s in a perfect world, but in reality, we know that is not always easy or necessarily the case. Forming a clear understanding of what you want to achieve in the long-term is an excellent way to start building wealth. Plans and goals provide the necessary context to focus all of your financial decisions with purpose. Taking the time to write your goals and craft a step-by-step plan to achieve them is an investment in your future. It will decrease wasted effort, increase efficiency, produce amazing results and most of all it is FREE.

Finally, even if you are starting from a low financial base, just spending one hour a week working toward your financial goals, and becoming financially literate, can help you gain the financial freedom you so desire. I would like to hear from you, what is one financial goal you would like to achieve in order to build wealth?

Your Money Make-Up Artist,