Monday, June 28, 2010

How can you change your thinking?

Hey Buck here.

One of the biggest challenges we each face is changing our thinking. This is something that only you can teach yourself. You have to find a reason, something that will compel you to be better than you currently are so that you can succeed.

Susan and I have gone over a few steps and suggestions on what you can do to better your financial situation. These steps may seem small and even simple but if you are one of those that are scoffing at we are saying then you will always be struggling.

You first have to train yourself to do the things that millionaire do. You get ready to purchase an item, do you consider whether or not you can get it cheaper down the street. Do you purchase name brand or buy generic? How many of you realize that most generics are packaged in the same facilities, they are just given a different label.

If we just take a few extra minutes, when we determine our purchases, we can save thousands of dollars each year or more.

Please think about these things and send us some of the things that save inspired you to do better with your finances.

 - Buck out

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wants vs Needs

Something that is very important when setting up a budget is understanding the difference between wants and needs.  We all have needs that must be taken care of to live. We have to eat, have a place to live, and have clothes.  In order to keep our home up, we need gas, water, and electricity.  Depending on circumstances, we may need a car to get to and from work or a uniform for a specific job.  Needs must be met before wants.

Wants are things we do for fun.  It is okay to have and get wants as long as our needs are met and we have the ability to purchase the wants without over extending ourselves.  We have to be careful when assessing what is a want and what is a need.  For example, we NEED to eat, but we may WANT to eat out once a week.  We NEED to have clothes, but we may WANT to wear the most expensive name brands.

Also,  we must be careful about being wasteful.  Do you have a light on in your house that doesn't need to be on?  Have you ever watered the lawn in the rain?  We still need to have water and electricity, we just don't need them in certain circumstances.

Before we spend our money, we should ask ourselves if we can maintain our current standard of living without it.  If we can, then it is probably a want.  Are all of your needs taken care of?  Are you able to afford it?  How bad do you want it?  All these things should be addressed before purchasing a want.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finding Deals

There is this great website that I found to help find all kinds of great deals.  It is  I love this site.  The lady that does it posts a ton of deals and freebies just about everyday.  Some of them are local to her (Utah).  But a lot of them are on line, so you can get  them where ever you live.  She is also looking to branch out so she can get local deals for people nation wide.  Check her out.  This is a great way to save yourself some money.

Some of the deals she lets us know about are awesome grocery deals so we can stock our shelves.  She finds ton of free samples we can request.  I just got a sample of pantene shampoo and conditioner in the mail.  I was expecting those little envelope type things.  I actually got a travel size bottle of both the shampoo and conditioner.  I also get tons of coupons in the mail, because she showed me where to sign up for them.

We are planning on doing a couponing post eventually so you can get some awesome deals on stuff you already buy.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Money Magnets

Something we learned from T Harv Eker was to be "money magnets."  Basically, if we see an opportunity to increase our money or save us money, do we take it?  How often do you pick up a penny you may see on the ground?  If you pick up the penny, you are showing the universe that you are willing to accept the gift it is offering you.  A penny may not seem like much, but as you start accepting these gift, you will see more gifts. 

Buck and I have seen this first hand.  We started picking up whatever money we would find on the ground.  The first couple of times, it was just a few pennies here or there.  Then one day we got a check in the mail.  It was a refund of part of our escrow account on our home.  We called the mortgage company to make sure it wasn't an error and the money was truly ours. We were able to use the money to get some things we needed and wanted.  We needed to get some new clothes, and we wanted to get a movie we were saving for.  We went to the clothing store first.  When we got to the cashier, we saw about 15 cents on the ground with no one around to claim it.  We picked it up, made our purchase, and walked out the door and saw a dollar bill on the ground.  Now we try to make an effort to give money to the rightful owner if we can.  We looked around to see if anyone may have dropped it, but again there wasn't anyone around.

Next we went to get our movie.  We got to the store and found they were doing a promotion on some of their movies.  They were buy one, get a $5 gift card.  The movie we wanted, was part of that promotion.

An important part of being a money magnet is to express thanks for the gift.  Always remember to thank the universe.  Also, remember that money magnet not only attract money, but ways to save money.  I was going to get some medicine for Buck.  I had already found a coupon for the medicine that was for getting $4 off.  Next to the medicine was another coupon for $6 off.  I was happy to take the coupon and save $2 more than I originally thought.

Please remember that if you find a good deal on something, it doesn't mean you have to get it.  We wouldn't have bought the movie just because of the $5 gift card.  We were going to get it anyway.  The medicine was a necessity, we would have had to get it even if I didn't have a coupon.

We see examples of being money magnets often.  We have set up a section on the sidebar to keep track of our gifts.  This way you can see how to recognize when you are given gifts.  You can also see that if you accept them and give thanks for them, you will see more and more.


Friday, June 4, 2010

More to our Story

When we first got married, we were both making pretty good money, so we decided to get a truck.  We wanted to get something that we could taking camping and that would have enough space for a family we wanted to have.  Buck had gone over our income and expenses and figured out about how much we could afford.  We went with a brand new Dodge Dakota 4 door.  We loved it.

What I didn't love however was my job.  I dreaded going to work every morning.  I made good money, but I couldn't imagine making a career out of it.  I started looking for something else.  I have always been interested in photography, so I found a job in the photography field.  I took about a $4/hr pay cut.  Not only that, but I ended up not getting the hours I was hoping for.  Things started to get tight, so I also picked up a Christmas job to get through the season.

After Christmas, we decided to look into Buck going back to school to get a Master's Degree.  We decided to move in with his parents who lived a few hours away.  We found new jobs, and Buck applied for school.  He didn't get in.  He was working about 20 hours a week and I was working full time at a retail camera store.  A few months later I got pregnant.  The day after we found out I was expecting, we totalled the truck.  We received some money from the insurance, but not enough to pay off the truck. We were suppose to be living with his parents for a couple months, but with everything that happened, we stayed for over a year.

While we were staying with them, we decided to find a way to increase our income.  We read Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  We learned about being an employee, self-employed, a business owner, and an investor.  We decided to start a vending machine business.  We took out a loan and bought 32 quarter vending machines.  We placed the machines in small business around town.  Small business in small towns do not seem to get a lot of customers.  We were barely making enough from the machines to pay the loan each month. 

By this time, our little boy was born, and we needed a space of our own.  We bought a condo.  The mortgage said that we couldn't lease out the condo for a year, we had to live in it.  We also couldn't sell if for two years.  We were okay with that since we were planning on being there for a while.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Here comes the Fun!

Buck is back and our subject today is one of my favorite. Fun account.

The first thing about this account is that you must have your Main account and Tithing account established and working right before the Fun account can be created.

This is the account designed specifically for our immediate wants. Decide how much each paycheck you can put aside for fun. Try to put at least something (even if it is only a dollar) in the account. We split our fun account between Susan and me and the kids. We use the kids funds to buy their birthday and Christmas presents. As they get older, we will use it to give them their allowances.

The amount that Susan and I get, we can spend on whatever we want. The other person is not allowed to question or get angry with what we buy with our Fun account. I usually like to spend my Fun cash as soon as payday comes. Susan will save hers to make big purchases for herself. We, also, found this allows us to actually buy gifts for each other. Before we started this account, all gifts, dinner, and things like this came from our joint account. We would have to know what the other spent so we wouldn't go over. Now we have our own money to spend on each other or treat each other. It makes it more personal that way.

We found it best to split our play account so that we each get the same amount no matter who makes the money. Decide what you think is the best method to split up the Fun account for your marriage/partnership. Don't forget to give some to the children if you have any.

This principle is talked about in both "Richest Man in Babylon" and "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind."

One last thing, I want you to know. When you are ready to set up this account, have FUN!

 - Buck

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tithing and Charitable Donations

How many times have you said, "I would donate to that, if I had the money?" the tithing account allows you to have the money for donations. It is not an optional account. If we wait until we have "extra money" to donate it never happens. We have found (as many others have) that when we give at least 10% of your income as a donation to your church, community, or organization, God or the universe, whatever your belief system, will provide what you need. Don't think you can afford 10%. In reality you can't afford not to.

Tithing should come out of your account first. If we don't take it out right away, we can forget it, or think we need it in other areas. Then it is spent before we can give a little of our increase back. If we look at many of the wealthy people and businesses, they all give a portion to charity. One person, most of us have heard of, Bill Gates established a charitable foundation to help give back. Another person that I, personally, would like to emulate at some point is Dave Anderson (founder of Famous Dave's). He has chosen to keep 10% and give 90%. He does this because he has seen the blessings received.

- Person experience - Even during a job loss, we continued to pay tithing. It was difficult because we weren't sure we could pay for all the other things we needed. Some how we managed to cover all our bills. Eventually we found a job to help us not only take care of our needs, but wants as well. We know this is because we paid tithing and the universe/God (whatever your belief system) helped us.

 - Susan and Buck

Saturday, May 22, 2010

First Things First

Hey all,

Susan and old Buck here, what are some ways to handle your money? In a previous post, Buck mentioned a couple of books to pick up and read. If you haven't done this yet, we would encourage you to at least check them out from your nearest library.

One of the first lessons that we are taught from "The Richest Man in Babylon," is no matter how little you think you earn always give the first 10% (tithing) as a donation. Then the rest is for purchasing your necessities. We will talk more about tithing in our next post.

The necessity or main account handles the majority of all your expenses. You will pay for food, utilities, rent, fuel, car payment, what ever expenses that you have will come out of this account.

We first need to learn how to handle our basic finances before we can expand what we do with them. What we have done is make a list of our basic expenses and try to average the costs for those ideas over a month time frame. This has helped us create a budget. We know. For most people that is like a four letter word. But if you are in financial trouble, you need to first learn where it is the money is going before you can redirect it to where it should be going. A budget will help you in doing this, it doesn't have to become the only way to handle your money but mostly to help you know what you are doing with it.

Once you have created a budget, you can then look at the different items that you purchase on a frequent basis. The author David Bach in his book, "The Automatic Millionaire," talks about, "The Latte Factor." If you have a latte each morning at your local coffee shop, they cost about $3-$5 depending on the brand. That adds up to about $15-$25 over a 5 day work week or $60-$100 a month just for one latte each morning on the way to work. If you were able to cut out that latte, see how much money you could save each month. What could you do with that savings? This is just an idea that he gives to help you get your mind working on different ways that you can cut costs in your everyday life. What different ways can you find to save money? We would love to hear about them and with permission share these ideas.

This is the first step to get your finances in order. We hope that these little ideas can help you find the money you need with the income that you currently have. Good night!

- Susan and Buck

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Out of the best books.

Hi all,
Buck is back. Today, I have decided to talk about some things Susan and I found helpful during times of our greatest financial struggles.

We bought and read a couple of books that helped us learn ways to overcome our finances. We have since taken this information and modified it to fit our personal needs and goals.

The first book is named, "The Richest Man in Babylon," by George Samuel Clason. This book has been around for years teaching people how to handle their current finances to get where they want to be.

It teaches these principles by telling several stories or parables. These stories cover a variety of financial situations such as single low income to rich with a business.

The other book is called, "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind," by T. Harv Eker. This book teaches about how to treat money. It, also, gives a method that Harv uses with his own finances.

It is the combination of these principles and methods that has helped Susan and I the most. Of course, we are not exactly where we want to be yet but we are on the road there.

Feel free to submit comments or suggestions of topics or information that you would like to learn. We would be happy to let you know what we have learned or research anything we haven't.

If you would like to purchase these books, we have included links on our side panel.

- Buck

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Buck's version of our Financial Start

Susan and I have been married for over 8 years now. Over those years, we have lived in relative bliss. We hardly ever have disagreements or fights. We have learned to overcome the little things that once annoyed us and see the person we fell in love with. Even with this growth, we did, and in some ways still do, have struggles with our finances.

When we first got married, we each had good jobs, made good money, and could afford anything that we wanted. So we made the decision to purchase a new vehicle, one that would give us room to grow as our family would grow. We had two cars and chose to trade in my car and purchase a four door pick-up. This way we had room to grow and we could haul camping equipment and/or a small trailer. This was a perfect plan. As an Accountant, I ran the numbers in my head (utilities, loans, rent, etc.) and everything worked. We could handle it without any trouble. So we got it, and it was nice.

After a couple of months, Susan became frustrated with her work and co-workers. She thought about it and made the decision to change employment to a field closer to her dream. With this decision, we started our times of struggle related to finances.

I am not saying that this was all Susan's fault. This decision was made as a couple in the end. We, also, made other choices and decisions that helped expound these effects. As Susan has mentioned before, I grew up with my mom handling the home finances so I followed suit and asked Susan to take over the home finances. I had a spreadsheet built to record expenses and compare against the bank.

I made a mistake with a couple things. I expected Susan to just start handling the finances without me being involved, too. And that, everything would be just fine because they had been in the past. We did struggle during this time but we had not learned yet what real financial struggle/hardship is really like.

We eventually decided to quit both our jobs and move up with my folks in an attempt to start graduate school.

Now to skip through time and highlight a few things. Living at my parents house Susan got pregnant. A couple weeks later, we totaled the truck that we had purchased previously. Shortly after our child was born, we purchased a condo. In the meantime, I was working part-time. Susan full-time but neither at great salaries. We had, also, started a business and took out a line-of-credit. After six months in our condo, I was offered a full-time position with my company that would require us to move and would more than allow Susan to become a stay home mom. So we purchased another home, and rented our condo. Eventually our renter stopped paying, we invested in additional programs that were to teach us how to make money outside a job. During all this, our business failed and the lines-of-credit came due. Our condo had financing with an A.R.M. and it's mortgage went up. Then I lost my job, shortly after finding out Susan was pregnant again. Thankfully, I found another job but lost that position a few months later.

Shortly after this, our second child was born. I received a call for employment back in Utah, which would require us to move with no available funds to do so. After packing and traveling out to find a place to live, we found that the job fell through and that we now needed to look for work.

As Susan and I talk with you more, we will build upon some of these events more. We really want you to know that you can build or rebuild your finances at any point. If you slack, you will falter again. We, also, want you to know that there are multiple methods for you to use to overcome your finances for life. If you use our methods or someone else's doesn't matter to me as long as your finances are sound. Our purpose is to show some of the mistakes that we have made, some of the things we have done to correct those mistakes, and what has worked for us so far.