Thursday, November 15, 2012


Football and basketball season are in full gear!  A local football team Winston Salem State Rams just won the CIAA Championship and their basketball team as well as Wake Forests’ are hitting the hardwood running!  These players may be playing for college fans now, but some may be playing for fans in the professional arena in the near future.  Recently ESPN broadcasted its’ documentary “30 For 30 Broke” and it was about professional athletes who signed contracts for tens of millions of dollars and still ended up bankrupt and BROKE!  As I watched the documentary anger rose up in me, not because these athletes were wasting their money on toys, but because majority of the athletes had the money stolen from them by people they trusted.  I have known for years about millionaire athletes going broke such as Mike Tyson, Allen Iverson, Warren Sapp, Sheryl Swoops, etc but it wasn't until this documentary that it started to hit home.  The reason that it bothered me so much is that I know kids who could be in the same situation in a few years.  My husband has been coaching AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) boys’ basketball for six years now and the kids are seniors in high school.  Every one of these kids have signed to Division I schools for basketball and some of them have a real chance at making it to the NBA in a few years earning the same millions that these other athletes on this documentary lost.

Once the program was over I started to think that every other person watching probably was wondering to themselves “how could anyone lose millions of dollars?”  These athletes are just like everyone else who finds themselves in debt they just have more money to be in debt with.  People with hundreds or thousands of dollars are no different than these millionaire athletes when it comes to money management it is just to a different scale.  These athletes may have spent money buying new Bentleys, but the average middle class person is spending their money on a new BMW.  The millionaire athlete may have bought the mansion with the six extra bedrooms they didn't need, but the middle class homeowner is in the average household debt of $47,000 (credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc) and as a result they are falling behind on their mortgage, light bill, water bill, you name it and it is a late payment.  These athletes trusted the wrong accountants and financial advisors and all their money was misused or stolen, but the average middle class adult has purchased whole life insurance and their money is being misused just the same.

The problem is not the amount of money you make it is your behavior with that money (Financial Literacy) that gets you out of debt and creates generational wealth.  When we all learn that we don’t have to spend money we don’t have, buying stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t like only then will wealth start to accumulate.  Majority of these athletes come from humble backgrounds so when they get these million dollar contracts they just sit back and let someone else handle their finances and it ends up costing them dearly.  Just like these athletes you have a salary that is much more than you had growing up and you have to be diligent on how you handle it or you could end up broke or worse just getting by for the rest of your life.  No one is going to care more about your finances than you will, so pay attention to what you spend and save whatever you can because only YOU can control your financial future!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Eating Healthy On A Budget

With all the recent talk about Medicare not being around in the future it is becoming imperative that those age 50 and under start taking better care of themselves.  This can be a challenge on many fronts, but two that come to mind are exercise and diet.  Exercising becomes difficult for most because of the lack of will power and determination.  It has been many times I have attempted to get up in the morning to exercise only to roll back over and go back to sleep.  Another enemy of exercising is time.  With the busy world we live in it is becoming more impossible to go to the gym or run around a track.

Now food is a different story all together because majority of people can control what they put in their mouths.  Instead of me eating that piece of pork bacon I could choose turkey bacon or instead of that 200 calorie frappucino that I love I could have a nice glass of calorie free water.  People who try to eat healthy often do find themselves fighting an uphill battle thanks to the inexpensive food and quick service at fast food restaurants.  I can get a cheeseburger and 32oz Sweet Tea for $2 in less than a minute!  Unfortunately sticking to this kind of diet will have me at a hospital in the future fighting for my life.  On the other hand it is a perception out there that eating healthy can be expensive.  So how do you eat healthy on a budget?   James Davis, a reader of the blog recently shared with me a link to a blog about eating healthy on a budget and it gave different foods to eat that are nutritious and not expensive. The article pointed out that the best buys were bananas, watermelons, broccoli, romaine lettuce, turkey and tuna.  It also pointed to eggs, but I would leave those out since eggs lead to high cholesterol.

There are other tips that will help you to eat healthier food.  One option is to buy local at farmer markets where the food is fresh and always cheaper than the store.  Buying local helps you give back to your community as well.  Another option is to buy produce in season because this is when the food is at its lowest cost.  You find yourself paying higher prices when you crave strawberries, etc out of season.  Think about growing some of your own food in your yard if you have one.  A garden is a great stress reliever or even a fun project for the kids to help with.  Last, but not least have a meal plan when you go to the grocery store because if you are able to save on other items you have the option to buy even more nutritious items for your home!  Let me know how you save on the food that keeps you healthy.  Now I must get back to my spaghetti made with whole grain noodles, ground turkey, and turkey sausage!  

Friday, August 3, 2012


My life’s purpose is to help people get out of debt and build generational wealth and I really love sharing the information I know with the working poor and the middle class because it will help them move up to the next level of the income bracket.  Lately I have been reading about how the income gap in America has widened and how the poor and middle class are suffering.  As I read these sometime heart breaking stories I say to myself “it will get better, it has to get better.”  Then I start to wonder what could be done to end this poverty problem and I am not talking about the homeless person you pass on the street, but that co-worker that has not eaten today because they want their kids to eat first.  How do we help those who are working as hard as they can and even with government assistance (which most don’t want) are still struggling to make ends meet?

I decided to take a look in the mirror and say what are you going to do with your gift to help those who are helping themselves, but still falling short?  The blog is a start, but not everyone is your friend on Facebook or Twitter and even more importantly most don’t have computers.  I do financial literacy presentations and workshops, but some of the people who need my help the most may not know about those events and may not have a car to get them there.  So what is the solution?  I think the solution is “it takes a village” and what I mean by that is those who attend my workshops to point out to them that I am only one person and I need them to take this information to family members, friends, co-workers, etc who they see working to make ends meet.  Even take the information to those middle class individuals who may not be struggling right now, but you see them making foolish decisions with their money that might land them in poverty with a job loss.  Sharing my information on financial literacy is a big step toward prosperity, but it is not nearly enough.  Here is where your gift comes into play and helps build up the village.

What do you do well?  I am not just talking about your 9-5, but what other talents do you have?  Are you someone who looks for a job and finds one in a month when the average is six?  Then show other job seekers your obvious superior methods for finding a career.  Are you someone who can cook anything put in front of you, make it delicious, and have leftovers for the rest of the week?  Your mission is to find those who are struggling to make the grocery budget stretch to the end of the month and show them how to cook low cost meals for their families that end up saving them money that could be used to pay a bill or better yet save for a rainy day!  Are you someone who is excellent in a subject such as math, english, etc?  Find those kids in your neighborhood (village) and help them out with their homework because it has been proven that the average college graduate will make $650,000 more in a lifetime than a high school graduate!  I think $650,000 would definitely move you up to a great tax bracket. As you can see we all can do our part to help others make it to that next level and you know what the best result out of all of this is that person you help will reach their hand down and help the next person and over time there will be no more working poor and the middle class will be thriving again.  IT WILL GET BETTER!  The real question that remains is what are you going to do to help your fellow man or woman?  They’re waiting! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The housing bubble that burst in 2008 has taken four years to recover.  Prices of homes that are selling are finally starting to rise again in most states.  Although that financial disaster has taken a turn for the better there is another storm that is moving in from the distance and that is student loan debt.  Student loan debt is sitting at $1 TRILLION dollars currently and with defaults at an all time high it is the next bubble that is ready to burst!  Just like the housing bubble not many people are paying attention to the warning signs and many don’t understand how dangerous the economy will get if this bubble burst.  Everyone will be affected if this bubble pops in fact no one will escape the aftermath.

First the borrowers who are not able to pay the current loans they have don’t have the luxury of filing bankruptcy like the homeowners did during the housing crisis.  These borrowers are going to get sued and their wages are going to be garnished making real life even more challenging.  Student loans never go away in fact they will take social security checks and tax refunds to pay off these loans.  Next the banks that lend the money to students are in the same predicament they were in with the housing bubble because a non paying student is the same as a non paying homeowner.  The banks are in the position again to be over leveraging themselves and putting their customers (account holders) in possible financial danger if these defaults continue to rise.  The $1 Trillion student loan debt is more than car loans and credit card debt combined so it presents a problem for these lending institutions.

Lastly, the universities are going to be hurt by this bubble and the sad part about it is that the universities think that if the bubble bursts they won’t be impacted.  The students who are borrowing money are getting federal loans which come from the government so what happens when those loans start to default?  The government takes a hit and stops putting out as many loans and grants for students to take advantage of for attending college.  As a result of this action on the part of the government universities have to find ways to make up the lost of those funds and also risk losing out on a potential Einstein because that Einstein can’t afford the high tuition.  As you can see a storm is upon us and we can hear the thunder, but are we going to let it reach us and we have no umbrella like the housing bubble or are we going to get inside and protect ourselves by doing our part to eliminate this debt.  You have been warned.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I am sure all women at some point in time remember a boy saying to them “you’re just a girl!”  Whether it was the time everyone in the neighborhood was picking teams for tag football or even a little later in life when it was time to close that big business deal.  Not one time in any of those circumstances did we as little girls or women backed down from the challenge, in fact it made us even more determined to be the best!  Women have always been determined to even the playing field with men in every aspect of life making equality a top priority.  Unfortunately there is one area that is being neglected and that is finances.

This has been an ongoing problem for decades where women were not taking care of business when it came to their financial lives.  The problem looked solved in 2009 when women married and single started taking a more hands on approach to their personal finances as a result of the 2008 economic catastrophe.  Women were investing more, looking for ways to save money, and spending wisely from 2009-2011.  Obviously amnesia started to set in and the feeling of fear from 2008 had eroded because in 2012 women are beginning to return to their old ways and letting other people control their financial future.  This is dangerous in so many ways because times have changed drastically here in the U.S. and around the world. 

First and foremost women are outliving men at an average of five years!  I am sure if you look at your own life you can see the number is even larger than that.  Personally my grandmother outlived my grandfather by twenty years and my own father has been dead for fourteen years.  I promise you my mother who is coming up on sixty three if she is anything like her mother by the time it is all over she would have been without my father for thirty four plus years!  That is a long time to fend for yourself financially so you can see how it is imperative that women take control of their retirement savings, long term care insurance, etc.  Women who are married should know where all important papers are from insurance to bank account statements so that if they need them they can find it with no problem.  Something else that has changed is that women are getting married in their thirties and not their teens and twenties like their grandmothers did so they have to take control of their money. It is no way that a woman can go from eighteen to thirty years old without saving any money for the future and if they do they are setting themselves up for financial failure.  It is time for all women to stand up and take control of their financial futures!  You are NOT “Just a Girl!”

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The second is that you really need a home equity line of credit if you don’t already have one. As with the case of the aforementioned unsinkable ship, sometimes the unforeseen happens and you need a financial safety net to fall back on. A home equity line is ideal for this purpose because it’s a pre-approved line of credit that doesn’t cost you a thing until you tap into it. Plus, you can borrow and pay it back again and again, as needed.”-Credit Union
This paragraph came from a credit union that I actually belong to and when I read it I thought I was hallucinating.  The same hallucination came the other day when I passed a home for sale and on the sign it said “zero down payment”.  Obviously I must be back in 2006 because lenders are offering the same financial options for mortgages that sent our economy off a cliff in 2008.  First with the zero down payment option, if a potential home buyer comes in to a lender to get a mortgage and does not have any money to put down this person more than likely does not have the available funds to pay a mortgage if the economy takes a turn for the worse again.  Let’s look at it a different way what if the borrower does have some money to put down, but decides to keep it in their savings because the lender said zero down.  What happens to this borrower is now they are placed in an 80/20 mortgage where 80% of the mortgage is a fixed rate and the 20% is usually interest only and unless the borrower pays extra each month the 20% portion of the mortgage never goes down.  That sounds like a raw deal if you ask me.  It is better to save 20% of the total mortgage before going to a lender and put it as a down payment.

Now to deal with the credit union promoting that everyone should have an equity line of credit.  Guess what people were doing before 2008 with their home equity line of credit they were taking money out to buy cars, go on vacations, send kids to college, buy second homes, put additions on their home, etc and then 2008 hit and their home values collapsed into a black hole.  Now these same borrowers because they took money out of their homes through an equity line of credit now had a house that was worth less than they owed.  Because of irresponsibility a lot of American homeowners could not refinance and to add insult to injury the economy was so bad that millions were laid off from their jobs and now could not afford their monthly house payments.  It was a domino effect that all started with lenders saying take out an equity line of credit just in case you need it.  I had an 80/20 mortgage in 2008 where the 20% represented the equity line of credit and you want to know what the lender did when the economy collapsed they took away the opportunity to take money out of that equity line.  I never missed a payment and yet they closed the line off.  I didn’t need the money, but it is interesting that now the credit union and I am sure banks are saying this equity line of credit can be used in an emergency when times get bad.

You know what else can be used in an emergency? An emergency fund and it does not have an interest rate attached to it!  Houses are not to be used as piggy banks so equity lines of credit are not needed in any circumstance.  Mortgages are to be paid off as quickly as possible so in retirement you don’t have to worry about losing your home because your monthly salary has been cut in half.  When any lender starts talking about zero down or equity line of credit politely look them in the eye and say no thank you because you are not a fan of DEJA VU!

If you are in an undesirable mortgage are you going to take advantage of the low rates and refinance?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Will That Be Debit Or Credit?

Recently I returned from speaking at a conference that was solely filled with college women.  I spoke at 4:45PM which meant that I had time in the morning to go to a workshop.  I chose to go to another financial literacy workshop just to see what would be covered.  The speaker was doing great, she was talking about saving money, and doing a budget, but then the workshop took a turn for the worse.  She started talking about credit cards and not just talking about them, but actually being their biggest advocate.  I was squirming in my seat fuming over the advice she was giving these young ladies.  She started off by saying how she has own a credit card since she was eighteen so she has been using credit cards for twenty years.  From there she told them they need a credit card to book a hotel room, rent a car, and to build credit so later they can get a mortgage.  By this time I had launched into the orbit of anger because as financial speakers we were here to show these ladies how to start their lives on a financial strong foot and here this advice was about to put them in a debt trap!  Most of these college students are already in student loan debt so why tell them to borrow more money by using credit cards? 

To address the above lie about everyone needs a credit card I will start out by saying any transaction that a person uses a credit card for a debit card can be used.  With the hotel room and rental car booking you can give your debit card and the only difference is that the hotel or rental company will put a hold on the card or go ahead and take the amount from your bank account.  Some say to me I can’t afford to have them put a hold on my card!  My reply to that is “you should not be staying in a hotel or renting a car if the money is not readily available.”  How about the statement that you need to use a credit card to build credit so you can get a mortgage?  Also a lie because if you actually go to a company that underwrites mortgages they will look at more than a credit score and you will get approved.  They look at how long you have been at your current place of employment, do you pay other bills on time, do you have a 20% down payment, etc.  They look at the whole person instead of at a number and let’s talk about that number.  Your FICO score is a ridiculous score to care about if you are trying to win financially.  Look it up online and see what it represents.  35% represents how long you have been paying on DEBT, 30% is based on the DEBT you owe, 15% is the length of DEBT history, 10% is based on new DEBT, and 10% is based on types of DEBT used.  Why should anybody care about a score that keeps you from being wealthy because you are always paying YOUR money to someone else? 

Now some people think they can stump me by saying that they have a credit card that has no annual fee and that they pay their bill off each month so they never are penalized with the interest rate or late fee.  What they don’t realize is that it has been proven that people with credit cards spend 40% more than if they would have used their own cash.  So they are still losing with that credit card.  Here is an example in my own life.  I use to work for a company that gave every employee a credit card for company expenses and so I thought I would be smart and pay the annual fee and rack up points off their money.  I wanted to use my points for a free flight and so this is how the credit card company gets over.  I had to spend $25,000 to get the 25,000 points needed for the free flight not to mention the $80 annual fee that paid at the beginning of the year.  $25,000 for a flight, I don’t think that is a fair trade.  Neither you nor I can outsmart the credit card companies and that is why they are a billion dollar industry.  Be smart with your money and next time say debit please!

Does this post change your outlook on credit cards?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


There are so many choices in life especially when it comes to finances.  These choices can lead to wealth or they can lead to a continuous cycle of just enough to get by.  One of those choices that everyone will make in their life at least if they don’t live in a major metro city like New York where transit rules is when to buy a car.  Not only when to buy a car, but how to pay for that car.  If you only look at car commercials you would think the only option a person had was to finance the car they wanted.  Why do these commercials only show how you can get a car payment or a lease?  Because that is where the car dealership or the bank can soak all the extra money out of you in the form of interest.  The car companies are clever with their commercials because they make the person watching the commercials feel that they NEED that car and that the car will raise their status in the world.  Unfortunately it actually does the opposite.

After looking at a few of these car commercials, I have seen monthly payments of $399, $569, even one that was $749.  Who would pay $749 a month for a piece of scrap metal?  That is the rate of a two bedroom apartment in the south and you can actually live in an apartment!  I use to be part of the car loan crowd in 2007 when my husband and I signed our names to a $20,000 car loan for a Chrysler 300.  The car company appealed to our desire to impress others.  As a result of this vanity my husband and I landed on the wrong side of “this or that”.  We chose this (car loan) and missed out on that (paying off a college loan fast).  See we also had a $25,000 college loan as part of our debt and if we were smart instead throwing our money away each month in the form of a car payment ($400) we could have been paying that student loan off.  It got to a point when I looked in the driveway at that car all I could see was a missed opportunity to be debt free!  Just like us whenever you choose a car payment you are missing out on a brighter future financially because you are spending money that could be used for something more valuable like investing.  For example take our $400 car payment that we paid on for two years.  If we would have invested that same amount over the same period in a mutual fund that has a 10% return on investment then our family would have over $10,000.  If we would have stayed on the loan company’s five year schedule and invested that same amount we would have saved over $30,000!  When I seen these numbers I decided to pay off the Chrysler and to only pay cash for used cars in the future.  I also found out that millionaires only drive used cars and let others take the depreciation hit by buying new.  

We now only drive paid for cars and as a result money that used to go to car payments is now going to saving for the future.  If you have a car payment you have to ask yourself “this or that” and realize what you are missing out on.  Do you have a car payment and there’s no extra money to save for retirement, for college education, or insurance then it is time to say do I want “This” a car payment on something that goes down in value everyday or “That” a financial future where there is no struggle and your family has generational wealth?

Friday, May 18, 2012


Dreams are what fuel us day to day.  Dreams are there to give us hope for a better tomorrow. But what happens when those dreams are deferred? Our parents and grandparents dealt with many life situations that may have put their dreams on hold.  These life situations were unavoidable and had to be dealt with accordingly.  With our grandparents and great grandparents they were part of surviving the Great Depression so they had to do what was needed to make sure their family didn’t starve.  They may have had dreams, but priorities came first and so the dreams were deferred.  Our parents went through the civil rights era whether it was the right to be seen as an equal no matter the race or to be taken seriously in the workplace as a woman; because of these limitations dreams were sometimes forcibly deferred.  Racism kept individuals from becoming doctors, lawyers, professors, etc.  Little girls were taught that they could only go into certain professions such as teachers, secretaries, etc and that the higher paying careers should be left to men. That they should just be focused on being a great wife, mother, and glorified house cleaner.  For our parents it was prejudice that deferred the dreams of so many.

What are the reasons that dreams have been deferred for our generation?  Even though we just went through the Great Recession it definitely could not hold a torch to the Great Depression.  Although there is still racism and sexism out in the world it is nowhere near what was going on through the sixties and seventies.  Today more than ever anyone can be anything that they want to be.  There is nothing holding them back, but themselves.  Education is free and if you want to work hard no one is going to keep you from doing that.  There are so many stories about individuals who come from the most desperate situations and they go on to be highly successful people who end up helping others reach their own potential.  So what could be holding our dreams back?  The answer is complex while simple at the same time.  It is this generation’s debt vs. income ratio as well as our behavior toward money in general. 

There is so much complaining every day on social media and out in public about how everyone hates their job.  Continuously people say “Thank God it’s Friday” and “Oh no it’s Monday” and so it is apparent that millions of people are not living their dream at least when it comes to their job.  So why don’t they just quit the job they hate so much, go after their dream, and live happily ever after?  It’s simple, they need the paycheck.  Why do they need the paycheck because they have debt that is not going to magically disappear.  There is too much debt compared to the amount of income coming in so walking away from a paying job could lead to a financial catastrophe.  Even though this is a huge problem for the individual it can be handled and this individual could still go and live out their dreams, but here is the difficult part: Behavior.  Although people want to live out their dreams, those dreams are not powerful enough to convince them to stop spending money and adding on to the debt in their life and so as a result dreams are deferred.  People go through life doing what they don’t want to just for a needed paycheck and when retirement comes they look back on their life with sadness because they spent eight hours a day, five days a week, for forty years doing something they hated. 

Dreams don’t have to be deferred anymore!  We all can make a decision today to say an interesting word to ourselves and that word is NO! NO to spending money that should be going to paying down debt.  NO to friends and family members who want us to spend money we don’t have on stuff we don’t need.  NO to working a job that is not our calling just because we need a paycheck.  It is time to take the steps needed to get out of debt so that you can live out that dream.  Do you want to help others in need, do you want to start your own charity, how about travel the world and take pictures that could change the way others look at the world?  Those dreams whatever they may be are still alive in you, but your behavior towards money has to change in order for those dreams to come to reality.  Sacrifice for that dream has to start today and although people may pressure you and even laugh at you while you are getting out of debt once you are living your dream and they are still in a job that they hate the laughter surely will stop.

My first career I use to love, but eventually it went south and I was no longer happy, but I could not quit because our family was $45,000 in debt.  I was stuck going through the motions each day just so our family debt could be paid.  I became fed up one day and decided that I had a dream and that job wasn’t it so I worked on getting out of debt and as a result life became unlimited.  When you have NO DEBT you can start to do what you want to do because you are not depending on anyone else for your livelihood.  Dreams start to come true and make room for new dreams that change the world for the better.  When retirement comes you look back on your life and can honestly say you lived a life fulfilled!  Only you can make your dreams come true!

Do you see debt as a hindrance to your dreams?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Read the Fine Print
It is that time of year again where impatient seniors are waiting to cross that stage and grab their diploma!  These young people see their graduation as the end of childhood while actually it is the beginning of real life, real adult life, because decisions are being made that are going to affect them for years or even decades to come.  One crucial decision that is being made on their behalf is financial aid.  Parents all around the country have applied for financial aid for their child’s college of choice and by now have received a response.  Each college or university have their own form to fill out as well as their own award letter that they send back to each family and because every school is different some families end up being confused about the amount of “free” money that is actually being given.

When parents receive the financial aid letter a lot of times they see the final number which might say for a $32,000 a year tuition they were awarded $22,000, but if they read the FINE PRINT the parents actually still have to borrow $15,000 in loans.  The $22K they tend to see as the award usually has the amount of loans needed on behalf of the student in order for them to attend that university.  When parents figure this out sometimes it is too late to make an adjustment and the parents end up borrowing tens of thousands of dollars in the student’s name.  This is why the national student loan debt is topping $1 trillion dollars.  There is not enough financial aid available like in the past so more students are going into debt to go to their dream school.

Parents do have a few options if they are stuck with sticker shock when the award letter arrives.  First they can appeal the university for more financial aid, because most schools keep an appeal fund on the side for just that purpose.  They are more likely to accept the parent’s appeal if there is a comparable college offering the student more money.  Also make sure that when filling out the financial aid that you provide as much information as possible so that your child receives the best possible offer from the university.  The other option that is probably the best option and that is have your child choose a college that you the parent can afford without too much financial aid and if the child receives financial aid it is just icing on the cake.  One side note when I say a college you can afford I mean that the money has already been saved and you don’t have to tap credit cards, home equity, or any retirement funds.  Remember always read the fine print, it could save your child a future with debt!

Have you ran into sticker shock when dealing with financial aid?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Don’t Leave Home Without It!

This blog post was going to be on a completely different subject until my daughter decided to enter this world three weeks ahead of schedule.  All the events that led up to her coming early got me to thinking about personal health insurance and how important it is to have for every individual no matter what age.  The reason that I recommend health insurance for everyone is that one of the most common reasons for bankruptcy is overwhelming medical bills.  Overwhelming can span from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars and when people don’t have health insurance they are on the hook legally for every cent.  This second pregnancy with my daughter was filled with extra doctor visits, multiple sonograms, and a maternity emergency room visit two days before she was born. 

Today I received the benefit statements from all of the extra visits excluding the ER visits and they totaled close to $600 and these were all office visits in the last month!  Thank goodness for health insurance because I did not have to pay a dime.  I have yet to receive the bill for the ER visit and her birth, but I know because of the insurance that I don’t have to pay the entire bill, but maybe a tenth of it.  If I didn’t have health insurance her birth alone would cost me at least $10,000!  That type of money you can’t come up with overnight and the hospital expects to be paid as soon as possible for any service and when people don’t pay up the hospital ends up suing and winning.  Eventually the person will end up filing for bankruptcy because they can’t pay.  As far as health insurance goes the age group that goes without it the most are the younger generations ages 18-35 mainly because young people think they have a long time before chronic illnesses hit their body.  They would rather save the monthly insurance premium and use the money elsewhere.  That is a big mistake!  If you can’t afford health insurance currently as a young person it is time to re-evaluate your priorities.  If you have a cell phone, or home internet, cable, etc you may want to cut one of those services off or all of them off and pick out some health insurance because it is to dangerous financially not to have insurance on board. 

In the past two years I have known four people under the age of 32 who have had either a stroke, heart attack, or cancer and I don’t know what their insurance coverage was at the time, but if they didn’t have it they could easily be in the bankruptcy stage by now.  For example the cost of treating a heart attack is $40,000 and that does not include the treatment that it will take such as more doctor visits and extra medication that will follow for the rest of that person’s life.  The cost of treating cancer is even more so there is no reason to take the chance of not having health insurance.  Remember DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!

If you don’t have insurance what are you risking financially by not having it?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


When attempting to get out of debt you have to take actions you have never taken before and go places you have never been.  Sacrifice is the key word in becoming DEBT FREE and for many that is a brand new concept because before sacrificing to win financially sounded like punishment and abuse.  On the journey to getting out of debt I hit the problem of debt from all possible angles.  Of course our family found new ways to bring in additional income, but the most beneficial changes came from cutting back on certain items and services.  One area that I cut back on was clothing for not only me, but for the entire family.  I use to be the person who wore only name brand clothes and shoes and the same was true for my husband as well.  We had been dressing this way ever since we were in college.  That all changed once I was on unemployment and $48K in debt.

At that point shopping at Goodwill and consignment shops became a new hobby.  I could no longer justify spending $20+ on a pair of jeans or $40 on a pair of shoes because we didn’t have the funds to cover it.  For those of you who don’t know what Goodwill is it is a store that sells used clothes donated by others and the proceeds go to career training for individuals in need as well as other services.  Before I started shopping there I use to look down my nose at Goodwill and you wouldn’t catch me dead in there.  That all changed one day when I went to one of the local stores and seen multiple BMW’s and other luxury cars in the parking lot.  Before going in I said to myself the drivers in these cars must be here to donate clothing, but once I was inside I seen a couple of the ladies actually buying for themselves!  At that moment I realized that these women are just continuing the spending habits they had before they owned the luxury cars and there was no shame to them to be shopping at Goodwill.  This store was allowing them to save money in their clothing budget so they could spend in more important areas like college funds, retirement, and vacations.  Right then and there I said to myself “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”  “These wealthy individuals don’t think they are so much better that they can’t shop in Goodwill why do you think you are?”  From that point on I have been finding great deals at Goodwill and consignment sales and tell you the truth it is those clothes that I get the most repeat compliments on. 

I attend consignment sales mostly for my son’s clothing and shoes because if you have kids you know that they don’t care if they drag their shoe until it is a hole at the toe.  They don’t care about crawling in the dirt until the jeans they are wearing are no longer recognizable.  That is exactly why their clothing shouldn’t cost you a lot of money.  I hate to see parents spend $100 on a pair of sneakers when they could just spend $8 or less at a consignment sale and put the rest in a 529 college fund.  Kids are not hard to impress in fact every time I bring home clothes or shoes from a consignment sale my son always says “mommy you got me some new shoes, thank you mommy!” They don’t care where the shoes come from as long as they light up and they can play outside in them.  We as adults are trying to impress other adults when we buy our kids expensive clothing and all we are doing is depleting our own bank accounts for the future.  When I was employed in my first pregnancy five years ago I bought all of my son’s items brand new. Brand new changing table, crib, stroller, car seat all of it was coming out of my bank account at full price.  I know I spent thousands of dollars before he was even born.  I am now eight months pregnant again, but this time I bought the stroller, car seats, changing table, diaper bag, bath tub, etc, from church consignment sales and saved thousands!  The point of all this rambling is that you don’t have to care what people say if they see you shopping at Goodwill or consignment sales because they may be laughing, but if they saw your bank account the laughing would surely stop!  I actually brag about the deals that I get now because I want people to know that there are more important things in life than clothes.  So the next time you find yourself sticking up your nose at Goodwill and consignment sales while at the same time in debt do what I did and say to yourself “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”

Have you ever saved money by buying used clothes?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let’s Celebrate!

April is more than a month where we get to play practical jokes on unsuspected victims, it is also designated as Financial Literacy Month!  During Financial Literacy Month there are events taking place daily that attempt to educate the public about money management.  The goal is to help both young and old realize that Financial Literacy is nothing to be afraid of, but instead embraced and conquered.  I know that your own financial life can be overwhelming at times, but hopefully I can give you a few starting points that you can implement during the last thirteen days of April.  April is just the beginning, the idea is to keep going until you master your own financial life!


1.    List your short (3-6 months), intermediate (3-5 yrs), and long term (10-15 yrs) goals for your life on a sheet of paper and put it on your refrigerator.

2.    Open a savings account and start saving a certain amount each paycheck. Even if it is $10 just save something!

3.    Write down all your debts both small and large. (Face the fear of knowing the total)

4.    Determine how much money you have coming in (paycheck) versus how much money is going out (bills). Write it all down on a piece of paper.

5.    From that piece of paper (budget) determine which are needs and which are wants.  Determine what can be cut back or cut out.

6.    Once you figure out in your budget where you can save money start adding that extra money to your smallest debt and pay it off fast! Then repeat with the next smallest debt until all debts are eliminated.

7.    Find an accountability partner.  Someone who will encourage you to keep going when times get tough and remind you of those goals you have on your refrigerator.

I know that personal money management can be overwhelming.  It can feel like you are trying to eat an entire elephant all at once. Just remember to take one piece at a time and eventually that elephant will be completely gone.  That is why I put seven steps instead of thirteen for these last thirteen days so you can take your time and get it done by or before April 30th.  The steps are simple all you have to do is say to yourself “I am ready to make a change for the better in my financial life” and the rest will take care of itself.  Don’t give up; complete the journey because in the end all of the financial strife that use to be a part of your life will just look like a bad dream and all that will be left is financial success!

Will you take the first step TODAY?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Can’t Do That!

You would be amazed at how many people say that sentence when it comes to getting out of debt.  They say “I CAN’T” save an emergency fund, “I CAN’T” pay off my student loan, “I CAN’T” pay off my car loan, “I CAN’T” stop eating out or going on vacations. I CAN’T, I CAN’T, I CAN’T!  Every time I hear someone say those two words I think back to my childhood tennis coach David Lash who use to always respond when I said “I can’t” with the question “are you American?”  Confusingly I would say “yes” and then he would continue with “you need to understand as an American you are an Amer-I-CAN!”  It was simple, but it made sense.  He always instilled in me that I can do anything if I put my mind and energy into it. 

I recently learned of a single mother who had an annual salary of $21K and she paid off $17K in eighteen months!  This woman obviously erased “I Can’t” from her mindset and instead buckled down, cut back, and put all her extra money towards the debt.  She got to the point that she said to herself “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” and she made a life altering change to her finances and as a result she is DEBT FREE!  People who don’t want to change their financial situation usually come up with all kind of excuses.  Excuses such as I don’t make enough money, I deserve a vacation because I work so hard, I don’t have time to cook so I need to go out to dinner, so on and so on.  What is really happening here is that the person has not reach the point of ENOUGH and they continue to pile on debt and when ENOUGH does come, the reality will set in of the opportunity lost because they continually said “I can’t”. 

I use to be one of those closet “I can’t” people when it came to my finances, but then I was slapped in the face with a lay off from my career.  Right then and there I had to grow up and realize that when I use to say “I can’t” I really was saying “I don’t want to” because in my mind it was an inconvenience to the life I was use to living.  I would have to stop eating out, buying new clothes, new shoes, going on vacations, etc if I wanted to truly get out of debt and live a prosperous life.  Everyone has a choice to make when it comes to their own finances and the first decision has to be to stop saying “I can’t” and replace it with “I CAN!”

If you are still in debt, after reading this will you move from “I can't” to “I can” and change your financial future?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

When Will We Ever Learn?

I am sure you have heard the definition of insanity, but in case you have not the gist of it is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome”.  Between the years of 2000 and 2008 America was flying high above the rest of the world and everyone was prospering, at least it appeared that way.  The prosperity that majority of Americans were displaying was actually an illusion.  The reason is simple and complex at the same time.  During this time there was a housing boom and everyone who could breathe or spell their name was able to qualify for a mortgage.  Credit was flowing freely from banks and individuals as well as companies could borrow to the max.  If people had equity in their home they would cash it out to buy cars, go on trips, pay for college, start businesses, etc.  All majority of Americans did for these eight years was spend money they didn’t have and live the illusion of the “good life”.  Want to know what Americans didn’t do in those eight years?  SAVE!!!  During the same period there were times when the savings rate was in the negative meaning that people were spending more money than they were bringing home in income.  Everyone thought this illusion of prosperity would continue, that their home values would continue to rise, and that banks would continue to lend, but then 2008 arrived and the magician revealed that the past few years was all a trick and the unfortunate treat was upon us.

In 2008 the economy collapsed and a snowball of catastrophes hit America from all sides.  The “why” behind the collapse is complex, but a broad overview would be this: Banks were like the Americans giving out more money than they had on hand and dealing in risky business practices.  Banks gave mortgages to people who eventually would not be able to afford them.  Homeowners mortgage rates started to rise and as an added insult companies were laying off people left and right and so there was no income to go to paying for the mortgages that these banks were so carelessly handing out earlier in the decade.  The banks being so heavily invested in these mortgages started dropping like flies, the most famous one being Lehman Brothers.  I still remember the night I was looking at CNBC watching the employees coming to empty out their offices, such a sad sight.  Americans were losing their jobs, homes, cars, retirement savings, and families.  As a result of all this loss behavior started to change.  People went from spending all they had to saving everything they could. In fact the savings rate was at an all time high of 4.2% (of disposable income) in December 2009 and it appeared that Americans had learned their lesson and had turned away from habits of the past.  You can say that the insanity had disappeared, but not so fast as of February 2012 the savings rate is back in decline (3.7%) and Americans are heading right back to the habit of spending more than they bring home in income.
I am sure you are asking the question why would people go back into this insanity?  Why would people go back to car loans, buying expensive shoes, going on trips, taking out home equity loans, etc?  The only answer that I can come up with is that people are starting to feel safe again, because the economy is improving and jobs are coming back, but that does not mean that you should run right back to the edge of the cliff with your finances.  We all have to learn our lesson from how we felt in 2008.  That uncertainty made us change our habits and we have to resist the urge to go back.  When the economy went off a cliff in 2008 a month later I was laid off by Pfizer and my family was in $48,000 worth of DEBT.  We had to change our behavior towards our finances or become a casualty of the economy and another statistic.  That is exactly what we did, we stopped borrowing money and paid off everything.  We also built up an eight month emergency fund of expenses because we are determined to never let the American economy affect our personal economy again.  If the economy ever decides to take a nose dive again we will be ready this time.  Insanity is NO LONGER welcomed at our home!

Have your finances become a victim of insanity?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So What Do I Do?

Last Wednesday I discussed in depth the types of insurances that should be avoided.  Two of which are life insurance on a child and whole life or cash value insurance.  What I did not discuss in that post is what insurance you should get as an individual.  Term Life Insurance is the best option for individuals because it is has a low monthly cost with high amounts in case of death ($500k, $1million).  Depending on your needs you can get 10, 20, 30 year Term Life Insurance and depending on what you choose that is the time the insurance will be in place.  For example you can sign up for a 30 year $1million Term Life Insurance policy.  Most people ask me what if I live past 30 years what am I going to do then?  The point of the policy is to give you the cushion of insurance while you get out of debt and save up enough inheritance that when you do die which might be in 50+years your family will have enough money to bury you and still have money left over to distribute as you see fit in your Will.

Another concern that older individuals come to me with is that they think Term Life is only for younger people and that they would not be able to afford it.  I went on a popular insurance website quoted a 50yr old woman for a $500K 20yr policy in very good health for $85 in good health $93.  Also I looked up a 70yr old woman $100K 10yr policy in good health and it is $104 so it is doable.  All that you need to do is the homework and get the best possible Term Life Policy premium you can find.  Another question that I get asked on this type of insurance is how much should I insure myself for?  I always tell them at least 10X your annual income because this will allow your widow if you have one to invest the amount as well as live off of it.  Take me for example I have a $500k 20 year term policy because that is enough money to pay off our home, send both kids to college,  bury me, and still have more than enough to replace my annual income.  Everyone will have different needs so only you can make the decision on the policy needed.  If you are married each person needs to have a separate policy and a Will in place to execute your wishes.

The other insurance that you need to consider if you are 60 years old and up is Long Term Care Insurance.  What this insurance guarantees is that you won’t go broke after a couple years in a nursing home.  There are nursing homes that cost $40K+ a year and that price can definitely eat up a nest egg quickly.  Where couples run into problems is that the husband goes into the nursing home first uses up all the retirement savings and when it is time for the wife to go in usually after the husband has passed away there is no money left and she ends up in a Medicaid/Medicare nursing home.  If you have ever visited anyone in this type of facility you know it is somewhere you don’t want to spend your last years.  With Long Term Care Insurance you also have the opportunity to stay at your home for a short amount of time and someone can come in for minor tasks such as taking vitals for your physician, help with feeding, clothing, and bathing.  Once your health deteriorates to a certain point you will have to go to a nursing facility.  Long Term Care Insurance is vital for anyone over the age of 60 and should be purchased immediately.

After reading both posts on types of insurance what will you be doing differently so that your family is taken care of once you are gone?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

There are a lot of items out there on the market that are blatant rip offs and people would never dream of spending their hard earned money on them, but there are other products that are not so clear and people end up wasting valuable income for decades.  One product in particular is life insurance.  Of course not all types of life insurance are rip offs, but there are a couple that stand out and they need to be avoided at all cost.  The first insurance is any policy that covers a child in the event of their death.  First and foremost any life insurance that is taken out should be for the sole purpose of replacing that person’s income in the event of their death.  God forbid that a child should pass away, but there is no income that needs to be replaced because children don’t contribute financially to the household.  Different companies push life insurance to parents by pointing out that not only will they receive a death benefit if the child passes away, but they also have the opportunity save money within the policy for college.  This policy sounds fantastic on the surface, but when you look closer it is a total RIP OFF!  I looked into one popular company and entered my son’s age which is four years old to see what kind of savings I would come away with when he turned eighteen and it was time for him to go to college.  The policy quoted if I put $51 in monthly for fourteen years I would come away with $10K in savings not including the death benefit.  $51 a month for fourteen years ends up being $8,666 by itself which means the savings only grew by $1,334.  How about a different option for that $51 a month?  Instead of putting it in this life insurance I will invest it in a mutual fund that averages 12% return on investment for the same fourteen years and instead of having $10K at the end I will have $22K!  I think that is a great return for my son’s college fund.  As you can see there truly is no need to take out life insurance on a child.

The next type of life insurance to avoid is Whole Life or Cash Value.  This is another life insurance which tries to convince people to save money within it, but also has a terrible return on investment.  Recently when I was upping my Term Life insurance the agent for the hundredth time tried to sell me Whole Life insurance on my four year old son.  Whole life is not needed for anyone no matter the age, but especially not a four year old.  I politely took the quote because I wanted to see exactly how much a rip off it really was.  The policy would cost me $306 a year for a $50K death benefit.  After forty years the policy would only have accumulated $12,240.  After FORTY years he only has $12K that is RIDICULOUS!  $306 a year comes out to be about $25 a month, so if I invested that same amount in a mutual fund with a 12% average rate of return for the same forty years at the age of 44 he would have over $294K!  So which do you think is the better offer?  On top of the terrible return on investment if you pass away before taking the cash value out, the insurance company gets to keep your money and they only pay your family the death benefit you signed up for.  Now that is a RIP OFF!

If you are in either one of these policies do you plan to get out?

Till next Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Most individuals do not know what to do if an emergency came into their life.  They tend to break the glass and use whatever is inside?  Usually what is inside is a credit card or a bank loan because the individual is not ready when life happens.  The problem with this tactic is that it leads to an endless cycle of debt that keeps the person from achieving generational wealth.  The main reason that someone would have to turn to debt to cover an emergency is because they were not prepared in the first place.  An emergency fund is essential in building wealth because it turns potential catastrophe into an inconvenience and it erases stress from the situation. 

I always advise clients to have at least an emergency fund of $1000 if they are trying to get out of debt and four to six months emergency fund if they are out of debt.  Once I make this request I usually get the following request, “How am I going to find $1000 to put into an emergency fund?”  Once I have this push back I have to point out to the individual that it is not going to be simple and they will have to sacrifice to get this emergency fund fully funded.  If they are serious about getting out of debt they soon realize that life as they know it has to change temporarily in order to get ahead.  I must admit that it is a fair question that they put before me about the “HOW” and so I make sure I give them various money finding options to get them started.

Journey to $1000:

   1. Sell everything and anything: I am actually about to list a living room set on Craigslist for $1500 and if it sells I would have my emergency fund with one sell if I was in debt.  Also most households have more televisions than people living there.  SELL THEM! You get the picture sell, sell, sell.

   2.Cut off some services: house phones are ancient so if you have a cell phone cut the house phone off and add the savings to your quest for $1000.  Cable TV is also not a necessity when you are getting out of debt so cancel that service and save over $100 a month.  Haven’t been to the gym in the month? Get rid of the membership!

   3.Don’t eat out at all.  I am talking about all restaurants big and small.  No McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc.

   4.The shopping mall and retail store are not your friends if you are in debt.  Wear the clothes and shoes you already have in your closet and don’t buy new items!

    5.Have multiple yard sales.  It is unusually warm right now so why not get an early start on selling some items out of your home.  If this weekend is too soon start getting out the items that you would like to sell and put them all together so that they are ready to sell in the summer months.

These five suggestions are just scratching the surface of what an individual can do to get the emergency fund fully funded over the next couple of months, but in order for this to be possible the person has to be sick and tired of being sick and tired and is ready for a change.  It won’t be easy, but I promise it will be worth it!

How would you come up with a quick $1000?

Till next Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


It has finally arrived. Not the latest gadget that you bought from Amazon, but your student loan bill.  When that loan statement arrives it is usually the first time that a recent graduate sees exactly how much was borrowed in their name for that college degree. Depending on what university they attended that overall number could be overwhelming.  Even though the number may be overwhelming a lot of these adults just shrug their shoulders and say “I will pay it over the term” which could be a decade or two and then they go out and buy a new car.  I want to change that way of thinking and say why not pay that student loan off as fast as you can.  When my husband and I found out he had a $25,000 loan it was indeed overwhelming because it was as if someone had hit me in the face with a brick!  I thought he went to college on a four year basketball scholarship, but come to find out one year was not paid for and it cost him $25,000! Did I mention that was only for ONE year!  We had to come together with a plan to pay the loan off as soon as possible, because it was no way that we were waiting until 2030 for this weight to be from around our neck!  So what are some of the steps that we took that you can take to pay off student loan debt for good!

First you have to find the extra money to pay off the loan faster, but this is usually where people get stuck and eventually get frustrated because they feel they are living paycheck to paycheck already.  If you have a new career you now have much more money coming in than you did while in college, but where most people fail is that they start spending that new money on an expensive apartment, a new car, dinners out, etc and all of a sudden there is a struggle to pay their student loans.  Here’s an idea, how about living on the same amount of money you did in college? You don’t have to get the best apartment in town, you can drive a paid for used car with no car payments, and the ramen noodles you ate in your dorm room still taste the same so cut back on eating out.  Want to find even more extra money?  Cut off the cable and watch your favorite shows on Hulu.  Reduce the minutes on your cell phone plan and cut off your home phone because neither is needed if you are tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt!  Next look around your home and see what you can sell.  We sold everything we could from clothes to electronics.  We had multiple yard sales and visited the local pawn shop frequently.  We stopped buying new clothes in fact we didn’t see the inside of a shopping mall for the two years we were getting out of debt.  We saved on clothes by wearing the ones we had longer and shopping consignment and thrift stores.  Last, but not least the fastest way to pay off student loans is to get a part time job because let’s face it you just graduated which means you are still in your twenties and have the energy of a bull! The extra income will lighten the burden and bring you closer to being DEBT FREE!

There are so many other ways to find extra money for paying off student loan debt, but this post would go on forever.  Just remember that all of these sacrifices are temporary and if you are committed to paying the student loan debt off it will take no time to become student loan DEBT FREE!  These ideas will free up hundreds of dollars a month and that extra money should be thrown at the student loan and nothing else.  Trust me it works my husband and I paid off that $25,000 student loan and a $20,000 car loan in 2 ½ years! You can do it too!

What are some of the things you did to pay down student loan debt?

Till next Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How Much?!
How much?  If you listen carefully you can hear that being said all over the United States by unsuspecting college graduates who had no idea the true cost of the college degree they just obtained and guess what now the loan has come due.  Why would these adults know the amount of loans that were taken out on their behalf, because more than likely their parents had them sign up for the debt when they were eighteen.  What eighteen year old has the life experience to even understand what debt even is, but four years later all of sudden they are in a crash course with reality.  Imagine coming out of school with a student loan debt of 40, 50, or even $100,000!  Go one step further and imagine having that amount of debt with an entry level salary or even worse no career at all!  This is a dilemma that graduates find themselves in today.  The sad part is that it did not have to be this way and all it took to change this outcome was preparation on the part of the parents and the kids themselves.

Parents have eighteen years to prepare for their children to go to college for free.  The opportunities are endless for a free education.  Starting with investing into an Educational Savings Account or a 529 Plan and letting the money compound for eighteen years will definitely have your child going to college debt free.  Next start applying for college scholarships immediately.  Don’t believe the lie that only athletes and insanely smart kids get scholarships.  Also don’t wait until junior or senior year in high school to start searching because there are scholarships for kids as young as thirteen or even younger as seen on this website: .  Last, but not least every able teenager can work for their collegiate dreams.  They can wash cars, mow grass, have yard sales, get a job, deliver newspapers, etc.  They can work in high school and college to insure that they come out a debt free graduate.  Both parents and kids should realize that the college they choose should match the money they have saved.  A child doesn’t have to go to an Ivy League institution to have a great career.  For example I went to South Carolina State University and although I was on a tennis scholarship I knew that it cost $7,000 a year for tuition and boarding.  During the same time Wake Forest which is a private university had a tuition and boarding of over $25,000 a year!  There is no way that a diploma from Wake Forest is worth FOUR TIMES more than a diploma from South Carolina State University.  I promise the opportunities are out there if you make the right choices and as a result of those choices a DEBT FREE education will be waiting for you!

Have you ever had a “how much” moment with student loan debt?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What Are You Waiting For?

The first session of my Adult Money Management Class was completed last night.  It was filled with individuals who were ready to make a change when it came to their finances.  They each came ready to digest the material and start to apply it to their lives.  Over the years I’ve come to realize when it comes to managing your finances individuals tend to go at it alone because they fear what people will think of them.  They don’t want to be embarrassed in front of others because the financial mistakes that they have made up until now will be out for everyone to see.  The ones that finally say “I’ve had enough” come to realize that they are not in the minority when it comes to financial issues, but where they are in the minority is when it comes to those that will seek help. It takes courage to say I am going to make a change in my financial life and having that type of courage will overtake any type of fear and it will definitely get you through the journey to become DEBT FREE!  

It does not matter what your age is when you decide to get your financial house in order as long as you do it! In the class last night the ages ranged from twenty six to eighty years old and each person said that they came away with some information that will help their household financially.  I was once where they are today and even though there was a time when I did not want anyone to know the amount of my debt I am now able to stand before others and tell my story without shame as I did last night at the beginning of class.  I know it helps when you are not alone in this journey to be DEBT FREE!  


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Don't Get Fired!

I recently read an article on titled "Can Financial Worries Get You Fired?"  It pointed out that in a Human Resource survey that employees were not able to concentrate on their daily job activities because they were constantly worrying about monthly bills.  They mentioned mortgages and credit card debt, but the most revealing was that there are many Americans wondering how they are going to keep the lights on or even put food on the table.  When you get to the point where you have to figure out how to feed yourself or your family it is understandable that you can't concentrate on the task at hand which is working.

I have been in the position of worrying about debt while at work and I can testify first hand not much work gets done.  In the article there are some tips to overcome this dilemma.  My advice to those facing financial worry is to seek out books that talk about getting out of debt the old fashion way (spending less than you make).  Steer clear of the books that hint that getting out of debt will be fast and easy because it won't.  In fact it will take time and it will take a lot of will power, but it will be well worth it in the end.  Also search for FREE classes or workshops that teach financial literacy.  I am actually starting a free class on the 21st that will go over the steps to becoming debt free, so trust me the classes are out there.  Whatever it is just do something and tell your financial situation I will no longer be a victim, but a victor!

Does financial worrying effect you in the workplace?