No, that mountain isn’t your enemy…you are.

“It is not the mountain (of debt) we conquer, but ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hilary, with additions by me.

Sir Edmund Hilary, yeah, the guy who was the first man (along with a pretty hard working Sherpa) credited with summiting the tallest mountain on Earth, Mt. Everest. I don’t know why this quote caught my eye. It may have been because of who it came from. Mr. Hilary knows mountains, so any quote of his with the word ‘mountain’ in it, gets my attention. If Henry Ford is talking cars, you’re gonna listen. Yes, Steve Jobs, I want to listen to what you have to say about computers. These are experts in their industry; their words hold weight. I may have also noticed the quote because when I saw it, it had been tweeted by one of my heroes, Dave Ramsey.

Now Dave did not add the two small words in the quotation marks. However, it is possible that because Dave is the guru of debt reduction, the idea of a mountain of debt popped into my head. It also could be the fact that, depending on the day, our mountain of debt feels incredibly debilitating. It takes my breath away. It is terrifying. I look at the summit and I see nothing but impossible. In this case though, the mountain isn’t my enemy. I am.

I know that we are making progress each month. Each month we don’t add debt, we win. Every month we pay a little more on our loans, we win. Each step up the mountain, is a win. The loans do not tell me that I won’t make it. I do. The loans don’t tell me that it is going to take forever. I do. The loans don’t tell me quit. I do.

In the matters of our budget, the budget is not the naysayer. It is just paper with numbers on it. Do not let your circumstances get you down. Progress can be marred by misappropriation of blame. When I realize that my thoughts are our biggest enemy, winning each thought becomes my battle. I can conquer those battles. I can win and will win.

When times get tough, remember what Mr. Hilary said, ourselves (and our thoughts) are what we need to conquer.

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The Best Kind of Car

Not long ago I was sitting in a drive thru waiting for my order to be filled. The guy that was helping me couldn’t help but notice the car that I was driving. “That’s a mighty car you got there. Crown Vic?” (referring to a Ford Crown Victoria). My reply was, “Actually, its a Mercury Grand Marquis. You should see the looks I get when I get out of this baby at the cardiologist office.”

It’s true. I drive a car that most grandmothers or grandfathers would be proud of. In fact, my nephew asked me the other day if my car was from the olden days. I tried to get him to specify what he meant by asking, “Do you mean, is my car usually one driven by an older person?” Instead of being embarrassed by my car, I have embraced it for one rather huge reason…ITS PAID FOR! I don’t have any car payments. In fact, we own both of our cars outright. No monthly payments.

This hasn’t always been the case. We bought our first car as a married couple with a car loan. At the time, we felt like we were making a smart purchase. We were able to buy the car well below market value. However, it did tie us to a monthly payment for five years. On this side of things, I can easily imagine all of the things I could have done with that monthly payment and the money that we spent on interest.

As our cars age, it is our goal to begin paying ourselves a car payment each month. Instead of paying interest to a bank, we plan to pay cash for our next car. There is so much more bargaining power when you walk in with cash. Also, you are not adding any monthly stress to your budget.

Next time you take your paid for car into the shop, two months in a row, for repairs, thank God that you don’t have to make that payment every month. If it begins to become a regular occurrence, have a plan, save, and pray that the Lord brings you the best car for you and your family.

TLB

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New Year Essentials Review: Writing a Will

1 game left. The season comes down to this! Wives, after this coming Sunday, your husbands will have no excuses for wasting a whole Sunday on the couch. After the Big Game, you will finally have a, somewhat, willing participant in the ‘Honey Do’ list you have been compiling for the last 20 weeks or so. We are still in the first month of a new year, so you can take the opportunity of a few wide open Sunday afternoons and review the financial framework of your household. The New Year is a great time to reevaluate and assess your estate plan and finance goals for the year. New calendar = New opportunities!

In this series, we will touch on estate planning, budgeting and more. You will notice some articles will be re-posts from previous dates on my blog, but I will be adding a few, new little tid bits along the way.

This week’s New Year Essentials emphasis is about creating/maintaining a will. A will can be a solemn thing to think about, it isn’t exciting and not many people like to talk about them, but, boy, are they essential! Click below and read about why I feel having a will is one of the best ways to tell your family that you loved them, even after you are gone.

Check out my advice and suggestions for having a will here!

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New Year Essentials Review: Life Insurance

Here we are, two weeks in to the new year, the holiday season is over.  Christmas trees have been taken down, the last of the Christmas goodies have been eaten and Jingle Bells is no longer stuck in your head (well…now it’s back, sorry!). Now that the stress and pressure of the season is over, lets review some essential components every household needs in its financial plan. The New Year is a great time to reevaluate and assess your estate plan and finance goals for the year. New calendar = New opportunities!

In this series, we will touch on estate planning, budgeting and more. You will notice some articles will be re-posts from previous dates on my blog, but I will be adding a few, new little tid bits along the way.

Today’s New Year Essentials emphasis is on life insurance. I have been approached by multiple people since the calendar turned to 2015 who want to apply for life insurance. They realize the importance in adding this essential component to their financial plan. I have had the opportunity to sell to stay at home mom’s (yes, they need life insurance too!), pastors, businessmen and many of my own family members. Every walk of life NEEDS life insurance. Follow the link to see what I believe is the best type of insurance, why it’s the only kind I sell and how much you need!

Check out my thoughts on life insurance right here.

Stay tuned for more in the New Year Essentials series…COMING SOON!

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Saving money while dining out = Restaurant Possible

Tasha and I have a few tricks that we use when we go out to eat. We know that this can be a huge budget buster for many budgets. However, we love to go out to eat. Our schedule, at times, dictates eating out as well. So for those times we do go out to eat, we have a few practices we follow. Check them out!

Have you ever seen the kids menu at just about any sit down restaurant? $4-7 for a kids meal? Ridiculous. For older kids, I can understand that. However, when you have a fairly picky 5 year old, dropping $6 bucks on a hamburger only to have her pick at it can be aggravating. $4 for a bowl of Mac & Cheese? Uh….no. To combat this, we have gotten in to the habit of feeding our KPster at home before we head to the restaurant. Bowls of mac and cheese or a PB&J is much cheaper at home, rather than paying for the exact same thing at a restaurant. When we get there, she is really only interested in the crayons and games on the menu to begin with, plus no dealing with a starving child as you wait for your food! When you factor in the tip on your bill (we are 20% people) you can save a quick $10 right there. WIN-WIN!

I love Diet Pepsi. My fridge has almost always got a few cans in it and many more in the garage. Now, Tasha does most of (okay, all) the grocery shopping. When she goes, I often request DP as long as it is on sale. I don’t like to pay more than $2.50 for a case of 12. If it is anymore than that, it is too expensive in my mind. Amazing though, when I am at a restaurant? I usually have no problem paying around $2 for a drink. What’s up with that? If both Tasha and I get a drink, there is another $4-6 added to our bill, add tip, you are looking at $5-7. I am sure that doesn’t sound like much, but it can sure add up! Tasha has encouraged me to order water now at restaurants. I do, begrudgingly, but I know when I get home, I have a delicious Diet Pepsi waiting in the fridge. At roughly .25 cents a piece? I can enjoy a couple and feel no guilt at all!

With this final tip, we have a opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Tasha and I try to get away once in a while for lunch during the work week. While she may not agree, I think of these as little dates. No kids, just us together, spending some time alone. Bonus dates! What makes these little dates great for the budget though is the cheaper lunch menu’s restaurants offer. Often times, you can get the exact same meal at lunch that you would at dinner, but save $3-5 bucks an entree or $4-7 after tip. The portions may be a tad bit smaller, but it is hardly noticeable. Believe me, that is saying a lot when you are 6’4, 250 pounds and enjoy all the food!

Are any of these tips gonna save you hundreds of dollars? Not on the first trip, but, let’s do some math and show you the difference. If we went out to eat once a week and tried all these tips at once, Tasha and I could save about $28 a week. If we did that 52 times a year? We are looking at a savings of $1,456 (!!!!) in one year! Talk about making some progress on debt.

Small modifications in how you eat out can make a huge difference. You are the one that benefits. You get the same luxury of not having to cook, but you also save money and make progress on your debt snowball at the same time. That is how you win with money!

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HELLO???? Is this thing on??

Elephant in the room: It has been 3 months since I have written something. I am a terrible person and I apologize.

Oh my goodness! What have I done with the last 3 months??? That is a little scary to think about. A quarter of a year gone…and I don’t know where it went! Ok, I am calming down now and thinking about what is on my heart and what the new year will bring at Cents of Survival and my life in general. I am excited and here’s to 2015!

Speaking of 2015, I have never been one for New Year’s Resolutions, but I love the idea of goal setting. Am I good at it? No. In fact, that could be a great goal to start with…”Be better at setting goals!” By now, you are well aware of one of the biggest goals in our life right now, getting out of debt. That goal is incredibly simple, yet horrifyingly broad. I admit, I get lost in the broad or undefined. Our debt is large and daunting. When I look at those numbers I get lost in how long it will take and I have to fight the feeling of ‘this is never going to happen’. This is a debilitating and fruitless mindset!

How does one change that mindset? The same way you eat an elephant. One bite at a time. The best way I know how to take a ‘bite’, is a budget. Once a month, every month. Give each dollar, every dollar, a name and a job. You make your money WORK. Tell it what to do, not the other way around. When you create a budget, assign every dollar AND stick to it, you are controlling your destiny. That is how you eat your elephant.

New Year’s Resolutions have a gigantic failure rate. Need proof? Step into a gym on January 3rd, then go check it out, at the same time, on February 3rd. Notice anything??? A lot more machines open and begging for a user. Why do these resolutions fail? I believe it is a lack of a clear goal. Much like my goal to get out of debt, a goal of losing weight is vague and vacant. If one set out, at the beginning of each month, to lose 3 pounds that month by scheduling their workouts and meals, do you think they would have a greater chance at success? I do! Your budget works the same way! You may not be able to lose 50 pounds in a month, nor may you be able to pay off $10,000 in debt in a month. However, you can be sure not to add debt that month. For some, that is a first step, the first victory in your path to debt freedom! Rejoice in it. There have been more than a few months in the Bossio budget that success, that month, was simply not adding debt. Rejoice in that! Rejoice, then plan harder for next month.

Start now, yes, a week into January! Plan to pay off Christmas this month if need be. Start thinking about NEXT Christmas. Let’s do this! Tackle those goals with small, attainable, planned out steps! We can do this, will you do it with me?? Let’s GO!

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HELLO???? Is this thing on??

Elephant in the room: It has been 3 months since I have written something. I am a terrible person and I apologize.

Oh my goodness! What have I done with the last 3 months??? That is a little scary to think about. A quarter of a year gone…and I don’t know where it went! Ok, I am calming down now and thinking about what is on my heart and what the new year will bring at Cents of Survival and my life in general. I am excited and here’s to 2015!

Speaking of 2015, I have never been one for New Year’s Resolutions, but I love the idea of goal setting. Am I good at it? No. In fact, that could be a great goal to start with…”Be better at setting goals!” By now, you are well aware of one of the biggest goals in our life right now, getting out of debt. That goal is incredibly simple, yet horrifyingly broad. I admit, I get lost in the broad or undefined. Our debt is large and daunting. When I look at those numbers I get lost in how long it will take and I have to fight the feeling of ‘this is never going to happen’. This is a debilitating and fruitless mindset!

How does one change that mindset? The same way you eat an elephant. One bite at a time. The best way I know how to take a ‘bite’, is a budget. Once a month, every month. Give each dollar, every dollar, a name and a job. You make your money WORK. Tell it what to do, not the other way around. When you create a budget, assign every dollar AND stick to it, you are controlling your destiny. That is how you eat your elephant.

New Year’s Resolutions have a gigantic failure rate. Need proof? Step into a gym on January 3rd, then go check it out, at the same time, on February 3rd. Notice anything??? A lot more machines open and begging for a user. Why do these resolutions fail? I believe it is a lack of a clear goal. Much like my goal to get out of debt, a goal of losing weight is vague and vacant. If one set out, at the beginning of each month, to lose 3 pounds that month by scheduling their workouts and meals, do you think they would have a greater chance at success? I do! Your budget works the same way! You may not be able to lose 50 pounds in a month, nor may you be able to pay off $10,000 in debt in a month. However, you can be sure not to add debt that month. For some, that is a first step, the first victory in your path to debt freedom! Rejoice in it. There have been more than a few months in the Bossio budget that success, that month, was simply not adding debt. Rejoice in that! Rejoice, then plan harder for next month.

Start now, yes, a week into January! Plan to pay off Christmas this month if need be. Start thinking about NEXT Christmas. Let’s do this! Tackle those goals with small, attainable, planned out steps! We can do this, will you do it with me?? Let’s GO!

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