Buyer Beware Hidden Charges May Be Affecting Your Bottom Line

You are one of those people that diligently budgets for every expense, cuts costs wherever possible–a sheer genius when it comes to personal finance. So why does it seem you just can’t get ahead as a middleclass American citizen doing all the right things when it comes to sticking to your budget? The economy has taken its toll on just about everyone, both consumers and business. In fact either you or someone close to you has likely fallen victim to a foreclosure, layoff, or downsizing. When you fill up at the pump you wonder when a gallon of gas and […] Read more »

P90X Your Finances this Year

Unless you have been living under a rock, chances are you have heard of the P90X workout system and its charismatic fitness guru, Tony Horton. On January 1, 2012 I started the P90X system and have embraced both the diet and exercise requirements, hoping to take my health and fitness to the next level. I don’t know about all of you but I need a regimented diet and exercise plan to have any chance of staying on track. In fact last year I completely fell off the wagon and gained 30 pounds!  I made 2 resolutions for 2012:  Get healthy […] Read more »

Changing My Money Mind in 2012

It’s that time of year when we all vow to change our ways and resolve to go on a diet, quit smoking, or get out of debt. How many of us actually have a plan in place to make our resolutions a reality? Unfortunately most of us don’t and this is why we are doomed to fail before we even start. Yes, money is necessary to support our lifestyle, but do we let it determine how we live our lives? The fact is many of us do. We allow ourselves to live up to or above our means which often […] Read more »

Just Say No to Inflatable Santa’s

“Mommy please can we get one of those inflatable Santa’s?” This is the plea I have heard from my eight year old son since we began to decorate (with our already purchased) holiday decorations the day after Thanksgiving. My answer remains constant, “Not right now buddy, we don’t need an inflatable Santa.”  Unfortunately millions of Americans apparently do feel they need inflatable Santa’s, two Christmas trees, and thousands of twinkle lights to adorn their homes so they can feel the magic of the holidays.  According to a Bloomberg report, “This year U.S. consumers will spend $6 billion on decorations, the […] Read more »

To Be or Not To Be…That is the Question

Thankful that is…today is Thanksgiving a time to spend with loved ones and reflect on what you are thankful for. It has been a tough year for my family and some days I didn’t feel so thankful, but today I have a renewed attitude of thankfulness and realize just how lucky I am to have my health, my family, and the support of communities like this one. Unexpected Gifts of Thanks Sometimes we are dealt a bad hand and just need to make the best of less than perfect situations. Divorce.  On April 5th of this year my divorce was […] Read more »

I Hear the Secrets that you Keep…

I do, I hear them; the denial, self talk, and the inevitable, “What am I going to do?” They are secrets you keep from everyone; your family, your friends, and even your significant other. You’re in debt. It doesn’t matter how it happened, what matters now is that you do something about it.  That’s where I come in. I am a certified credit counselor for CareOne Debt Relief Services and everyday I talk to people about their debt. Sometimes I am the first person they have admitted this to and they are scared, apprehensive, and skeptical. I would be too; […] Read more »

Is Blood Thicker than Inheritance Money?

According to study by the AARP roughly 2/3 of baby boomers are expecting some sort of an inheritance and are spending it before they even have it. They dig deep holes of debt with inheritance money in the back of their mind; failing to understand using inheritance money to pay off debt is not a sound financial plan. In fact inheritances often don’t turn out the way those expecting them think they should. A Family Torn I have a friend who recently had a grandmother pass away. Her frugal lifestyle and previously deceased husband’s good business sense left her with […] Read more »

Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

This past March I loaned money to a fellow single mom friend who was in financial crisis: She and her son were about to be evicted from their apartment. Anyone that knows me relatively well knows that I would do whatever I could for someone in need; a Good Samaritan. I learned this behavior from my father; when I was little he would help stranded roadside motorists and offer his services (he was a mechanic) for “free” or “in trade” for those who couldn’t afford it. While this type of behavior certainly didn’t make him rich financially, I truly believe […] Read more »

Take a Step Back…Put your Financial Behavior in Check

Debt is sometimes inevitable, unavoidable, and well a fact of life for many. No matter what your stage of life you may be faced with financial issues. Life can take its toll on your finances; unemployment, an unexpected illness, divorce or a death in the family can send you into a financial tailspin. But sometimes financial issues stem from a cause deeper than the unexpected; the way you think about money. To snap out of bad financial habits it may require some lifestyle and behavioral changes. 10 Financial Principles Dr. Bernard Poduska, author of For Love or Money writes about […] Read more »

Do Our Parents Money Decisions Define Us?

From a young age I was given the ability to choose how I would spend my money. I was raised in a “typical” family unit with two hard working parents and a younger sibling. We weren’t rich, we weren’t poor we were considered middle class, I suppose. My dad worked long hours as a small business owner (he was a mechanic) and my mom worked part-time so she could take care of us. The family business was passed onto him by my grandfather who came to the states with nothing except the clothes on his back. Read more »