Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Would you be able to sip champagne, while lying in a hammock slung between two palm trees on a white, sandy beach, with your romantically linked partner beside you, without spilling your drink? Well then, you may just have what it takes for the Ultimate Job in Ireland (and probably the world!).
‘Due to massive international demand, closing date for applications has been extended to 7th April 2010 (midnight GMT).’
To celebrate the launch of Ireland’s most exciting destination wedding and honeymoon website, The Irish Times have teamed up with Runaway Bride and Groom to find the right candidate to do 6 months of research… researching the most romantic and ultimate wedding and honeymoon venues around the world - with their partner.
We are looking for the right person (and their partner) to research and test out the most romantic and ultimate wedding and honeymoon destinations all over the world and then report back with their verdict (on the place, not the partner!) to their boss, 4,000 miles away.
You will need to:
* Have good communication skills
* Be passionate about travelling
* Appreciate good service, fine dining and luxurious surroundings
* Have a friendly personality
* Be able to work on own initiative
* Know how to enjoy life
* Have good organisational skills
* Have a romantically-linked other-half, who also has the above qualifications and who is willing to accompany you on your trip (in a voluntary capacity).
* Involves 6 months of travel
* Remuneration: €20,000.
* Travel and accommodation for you and your significant other to accompany you on this ‘horrendous’ assignment.
How to apply:
The successful applicant will be required to research some of the world’s best wedding and honeymoon locations. Ireland is one the world’s best places to have a wedding and we want to tell the world about it! To apply you will need to make an 80 second webcast telling us why Ireland is a great destination wedding location and why you, as a couple, are perfect for the job.
CLOSING DATE 7th April 2010 (midnight GMT)
CLICK HERE TO APPLY!!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
It all started 3 weeks ago when I heard a ticking noise in my car. I had intended to get it checked out but the sound went away. So I did what lazy people do FORGET ABOUT IT. Fast forward today I find out I blew my engine!!!! I usually am good about taking care of my car but I have been so engulfed in the rest of life that maintenance on my car was so far from my mind.
Prayerfully the car will be fixed because I refuse to by a beater im clueless about and I have fallen in love with my busted engine car. I figure im almost debt free and I will have to come out of pocket either buy getting another beater or fixing the one I have. I figure if I can fix the one I have I would feel better about it. Its been interesting though to hear peoples opinions about what I should do. I have heard everything from junk my current car, to get a loan for a new one.
My conclusion is that life is so much easier when you have the money to take care of life's little opposes. I remember when Dave ramsey talked about how when you are broke everything seems to go into drama mode and crisis overload. With my emergency fund in place I have been able to sit and think rationally about the solution and seek counsel about my choices. My friends have all been very supportive in this time so when I get back rolling I am going to do something for all of them that have made sure I don't get overwhelmed with my car troubles.
I learn more everyday that God is so amazing and he really loves me sometimes more than my little brain can fathom. Im so happy and grateful for lessons, even the hard ones that you think after 2 years of playing the money game you would get! But hey im human and I make mistakes too!!
So with all this said I can not stress the importance of having an emergency fund. It can keep you from really going insane literally !
Monday, March 29, 2010
The two weeks amazingly allowed me to get proper rest, and just take time to reflect on what has been taking place in my life. I kept a journal of prayers over the two weeks which I will share sometime this week. Probably not the whole thing because its lengthy but I can take a few out that I think I should share.
I feel like since I was able to complete the 12 days the next time I do this again, I should be able to go all the way. There were some days that ended up being more challenging than others but for the most part each day! I can't say that while I fasted for those 12 days did I have one bad day! I felt good and the days at work went good. I have learned there is power in prayer if are consistent.
As for my debt snowball, I am still hanging in there! My car went fritzy on me over the weekend and today I am going to have it looked at. I pray it doesn't cost much to fix because right now I need all my funds for my DEBT!!! Anyways I am glad to really be back and share with you guys again, thanks for being patient and I look forward to new beginnings!!
Friday, March 26, 2010
In spite of all this I am going to not only get up but be on time for work because I am determined to go on vacation this fall for my birthday or the beginning of 2011 celebrating debt freedom. I looked at my annual hours accumulation and I have 9.5! haven't seen that number in a good while (sad huh). I am going to be working super hard these next 8 months and I am hoping you are all gonna be there with me in the end. I am grateful for a new perspective and second chances in all area's of my life.
What are you grateful for today?
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I do know however when I do get the opportunity there will be much blogging on my end!! So please oh please stay tuned!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Debt free by 10/14/2010 is the goal
$5,178 401k loan balance
$10,800 student loan balance
Im still in the game!!!
Paid off about 4,000 this year!! woot woot!!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Over the last 2 years I have come across many skeptics and "unbelievers" as I would call them. From time to time I would wonder why they just don't get it but, I had to remember I use to be a nonbeliever myself. However now I share with people all the ups and downs of getting out of debt and all the logistics of how it works, but I have never really been able to explain the other parts of this that are guaranteed more important than becoming debt free. While Debt freedom is the biggest deal from the material perspective, there is much more to it. Let me explain:
I came to Christ - Now you must understand that I was baptized when I was 12 and received Christ at a relatively young age. But up until about a year ago my lifestyle in no shape form or fashion did not reflect being a child of God. I was reading an old blog of mine and it reminded me of my former ways and I had to give thanks to the Lord that I didn't have the same mindset. Now please understand being in financial peace itself didn't bring me to my new salvation, but a serious of events that occurred over the course of a year that lead me that direction. I honestly believe that had I not been in the program, I would not have learned what I did in that time.
It builds Character - Now I understand most of us aren't just down right heathens, but I know in my life there have been area's where I certainly could have done better. For example: I did not really respect authority as much as I do now. Every thing was an argument and I was going to win! During this process I have also learned about what it means to delay pleasure in all areas of life, and not just my finances. It has taught me that I can be committed to something and not give up just because it gets hard.
My family grew closer - The other day I was on the phone with my family. I recall my mom asking my little brother to pray and he did pray, a powerful prayer I might add. Never in a million years would I have imagined us praying together as a family unit. I now have the ability to speak good into my families life and teach them about budgeting and how to get on the same path to building wealth. We had always spent holidays together but this Christmas is going to be like no other!
I am a more mature person - I started on this program when I was 25 and this October I will be 28 years old. Usually one might attribute my change in attitude to being older, but I beg to differ. A lot of the Dave Ramsey teachings have a lot to do with your outlook on life, where you want to go in life and how you plan to get there. I believe it takes a special kind of person to not only become debt free but change other peoples lives in the process. Those who at one point were selfish, are probably givers now. Those who started out not loving their spouse, probably now love them more than ever. I know I have come a very long way and I know I wouldn't be the same person I am today had this process not taken over 2 years.
I am thankful for everything Financial Peace has taught me. My hope is to one day be able to share this information with millions of people, because its not just about getting out of debt, its about becoming the best person God would have you to be.
What are some lessons that you have gotten from the "Best" teachers in life.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I happen to be a babe in Christ, just rededicated my life last summer. I don't claim to know half of anything but I am learning everyday. Today I was on facebook however and someone said something that I wanted to respond to because previous times I had been "wondering" myself. Of course it all had to do with dating and finding a husband.....
For a while I had been obsessed with the idea until recently when I had my come to Jesus moment. Now granted every bodies moments come at different times, but I sincerely wanted it to come sooner for this person so they could experience the same happiness I had. But after my so kind, yet cliche words but TRUE, that person tore the comment down and sealed it with an "i feel you though" Now I USED to be that coat it with sugar type and leave it be, but more and more the sugar is getting bitter and I have more of a desire to keep it all the way real and not let someone words be the end all be all. Now don't get me wrong I haven't been mean or anything, but I had to let them know I meant EXACTLY what I said totally from the heart.
I believe God will one day send me a husband, but I also realize I HAVE to work on me. For all I know my husband may not even have debt, he could be a millionaire who knows. I have learned over the last few weeks that im not as "dateable" as I had liked to believe. A hard lesson but true one. I don't believe I need to be perfect but better YES.
How all this relates to finance..... it doesn't but im just saying
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
My Dear friend, this is a common problem for a lot of America. Its called living on the idealistic budget. You've programmed everything based on income, but you're not controlling your spending. You have to let the budget control what you are spending or else is WON'T WORK!!
For example, lets say you are using the envelope system of budgeting. You have an entertainment monthly budget of $200, and you get paid twice a month. That means in each pay period you would put $100 into your entertainment envelope. When you go out for entertainment you take your envelope with you and you pay for whatever you do (eating out, movies, ect) out of the envelope and put the change back in. This way you know exactly what you have left. But when you look in the envelope and its empty, than you must STOP spending in that category until you get paid again. The principle works with every category of budgeting. Its not complicated; its what's called self-discipline.
Your budget always needs to be realistic, meaning you can't put $20 dollars in the gas envelope driving a F150 and expect it to last until next pay day unless you never drive the thing. Also a good idea would be to have another pair of eyes to look at your budget. A lot of times we miss things and it takes to people to see where something can be cut or where you could use a little more.
Another good rule of thumb is try not to be to detailed (At first). Sometimes all a budget requires is a note pad and a piece of paper, you don't need quicken, or msn money to do your budget. Just write what your income is at the top of the page, and list all expenses until you get to $0. This is called a zero based budget when you spend all the money BEFORE the money comes in (we do that anyways right?) But in this case you are looking toward the future and can budget the money before its spend and not end up with negative dollars each month.
I keep an excel spread sheet budget and if you would like a copy please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am happy to share!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
With that said, I will blog more and more about each day verse trying to find something new and fresh, I mean my life really isn't THAT boring lol.
So yesterday my computer crashed for the 100th time since God knows when. I brought this dell inspirion back in 2003 I do believe ( actually let me go check my credit report "pause") found it "date opened 2004". Wow that was 6 years ago! seems like longer but 6 is enough years to be having the same computer even better the same LAPTOP because they just don't hold that much info. At any rate me and this laptop have gone through it. I feel like I did when I got my first cabbage patch doll (her name was Wendy). I took her everywhere and I traveled a lot when I was a kid to visit my dads side of the family in Arizona. There was this one time Wendys arm ripped, and I almost lost it. I remember yelling to my auntie "What are we gonna do!" I couldn't be without my doll for a moment because she was my best friend. My aunt as talented as she was sewed the arm back on and it was like she was a brand new doll again. Bad analogy I know. Yesterday when it crashed however I was fed up, I had just gotten the rent check from my tenant and I was ready to head to walmart and spend a minimum of $300 on a new computer and I really didn't care what it was. All I knew was I WAS SICK of the thing breaking down on me randomly.
So while im trying to see if the thing is really crashed (real blue screen or fluke) I realized it was almost time for my fpu class. Walmart will have to wait. So I head to class and by the time it was over I had realized there was no need to buy a new computer. The lesson Tuesday night wasn't even about spending, it was about creditors and totally unrelated to my dilemma, however the 2 hours gave me time to think about a few things.
1. I had a recovery cd, plus the driver cd to reinstall everything without a hitch at work I just need to wait to get it.
2. The same computer repair people I have been going to have been fixing my problems for FREE and I have been there at least 3 or 4 times not only getting free help but additional help above and beyond what I came there for that could easily amount to $500 bucks or more.
3. Had I rushed to walmart I probably would have gotten something I wasn't completely happy with and would have been mad I wasted money and didn't get what I wanted because of my lack of patience.
4. I realized there wasn't REALLY anything of major importance I needed to do on the computer other than blog and play on facebook which I can do with my iphone turned itouch.
Lastly I remembered debt freedom is only 8 months away and when this is all done I can take time to get something I really want after all whats another 8 months if its already been this long right. I have learned over the last two years that the things we tend to dramatize most of the time really isn't that dramatic as they appear to be. Even more so we feed into drama by sharing our "Crisis" with others so they can feed into OUR dramatics even more making it seem once again more valid than it really is. The more I work the program the more I have learned to think first before acting which hey if you don't it can cost you more than you anticipate. Its kinda like my co-worker who said she needed a new car the other day because her windshield wiper motor when out..... um that can be fix lol
Today my computer is back up and running with no cost to me other than about 10 minutes of my time. What do you think about being impulsive ?
Monday, March 8, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
If you have a dream you should follow it but also be responsible. Hard work always pays off in the end and let no one tell you otherwise.
So is anybody grateful today?
Thursday, March 4, 2010
This list was not created by me and the original poster says they are all legit which can't be confirmed unless you check yourself. I am going to spend some time checking them out myself, if anyone wants to help me LET ME KNOW Because this is a BIGGGGGGG LIST!!!!
Time to make some money!!
Tiny Details, www.tinydetails.com
Disciple's Cross, www.myaffiliateprogram.com/u/cross/t.asp?id=5070
Cottage Industries, www.cotind.com
Magical Gift Co., http://www.magicalgift.com/ - Great BBB Report
The Ideal Craft Company Inc., http://www.idealcraft.com/
Artisan Corporation of America, www.artisancorp.com - Known Scam
Elk Creek Case Company, www.besthomejobs.com
American Home Crafts - http://www.amerhomecraft.qpg.com/
Angel Pin Creations - http://angelpin.net - Very bad BBB Report
Valerie's Hattery Inc. - www.valerieshattery.tripod.com/index.html
Consolidated Exchange Inc - www.ace.allcustomexotics.com
UExpress - http://www.uexpress.com
A/R Recovery www.arrecovery.com ( Kansas City & surrounding areas)
NorthStar Technologies, Inc. www.Northstargt.com
Virtual Agent Marketing www.Virtualagentmarketing.com
1-800-flowers.com - http://ww4.1800flowers.com/tem...template8&page=9000#18
Accolade Support, www.accoladesupport.com/openings.html
ACD Direct, www.ACDdirect.com
Admission Consultants, www.admissionsconsultants.com
Alpine Access, www.AlpineAccess.com (Arizona, Colorado, Texas & Utah)
American Airlines, www.aa.com
Aquaricon - www.aquaricon.com
Arise - www.arise.com
ASI - http://www.employmentfromhome.net/
Baby to Bee, www.Babytobee.com (send resume to email@example.com) *Babytobee does not list thier employment opportunities on their website, but regularly recruits via classifed advertising* Just send them an email if you are interested.
Beyond Marketing Online, www.Beyondmarketingonline.com
BRG Research Services, www.brgathome.com/applyhome1.php
CCI - www.ccicompany.us/career1.aspx
Cloud 10, www.cloud10.com
Convergys - http://www.convergysagentanywh...Agent.nsf/FAQ?OpenForm
Connect Plus, LLC, www.Connect-dataplus.com
Customer Loyalty Concepts, www.customloyal.com
eCallogy, www.ecallogy.com (Utah Only!)
ESM www.education-sales.net (Colorado Only)
Fonemed - www.fonemed.com - Registered Nurses only
GE - www.gecallcentercareers.com
Greene TeleServices (WA, DC only) www.gteleservices.com
Home Shopping Network - www.hsn.com/corp/jobs/default.aspx?pid=job&jn=006624
JetBlue Airways, www.jetblue.com (Utah )
MicahTek, Inc - www.MicahTek.com/jobs.html
National Telecommuting Institute, Inc. - www.nticentral.org - Must have a disability
Niteo Services, Inc., www.niteoservices.com
O'Currance Teleservices, www.ocurrance.com (Utah)
onpoint@home - www.onpointathome.com
Secure Call Management, www.sciathome.com
Service 800, www.service800.com
Sterling Testing Systems, www.Sterlingtesting.com
Support Freaks, www.supportfreaks.com
Teletech - https://teletech.com
Time Communications, www.timecommunication.com (St Paul, MN)
Unlimited Conferencing, www.unlimitedconferencing.com
Ver-A-Fast Corporation, www.Verafast.com
West at Home, www.Workathomeagents.com
Working Solutions, www.Workingsol.com
XAct Telesolutions, www.Xactservices.com
Amazon, - www.mturk.com
Axion Data Services, www.Axiondata.com
Continental promotional Group Inc., www.cpginc.com, - Scottsdale, AZ only
Continental Promotion Group Inc, www.cpginc.com, - Welland, Ontario Area only
DionData Services, www.Angelfire.com/ia3/diondataservices/joblistings.html
Giving Answers LLC, www.givinganswers.com
Keyers Online - www.keyersonline.com
OnSite E-Discovery, www.Onss.com
Palm Coast Data, http://home.palmcoastd.com/pcd..._careers_jobs_home.htm - Palm Coast Area
Elance - www.elance.com
Just Answer - www.justanswer.com/expert.aspx
Kasamba Expert Advice www.Kasamba.com
Remote Work Management: http://www.remote-work.com/fx....rk/scheme/default.aspx
SaveFinder - www.savefinder.com
Face The World- http://www.facetheworld.org/jobop.html
From Nature with Love - http://www.fromnaturewithlove....mmunitycoordinator.asp
Crossroad Financial Services LLC, www.crossroadfinancial.com
Nationwide Loan Processing, www.loanprocessor.org
NLC National Lending Corporation, www.mynlc.com
Tri-Bay Financial Group, www.tri-bay.com
A&W Medical Transcription Service, www.awmedtranscription.com/contact_us
Amphion Medical - www.amphionmedical.com
Arkees Incorporated, www.askmthouse.com/join.htm
Ascend Healthcare Sysems, www.ascendhealthcare.com/employment.htm
Avaz MD, www.avazgroupllc.com/s2/careers01.html
Bestscribe Transcription, www.bestscribe.net
Brown & Meyers, www.brownmeyers.com/contact.shtml
Crain's Diversified Services, www.crainsservice.com
CRS Transcription, www.freewebs.com/crstranscription.com
Datakey MT, www.datakeymt.com
Davies Transcription Service, www.davmarpad.com
The Doctor's Note, www.thedoctorsnote.net
Eagle's Landing Transcription Service, www.elts.net
Express Document, www.expressdocument.net
Global Med Data, www.globalmeddata.net/new/default.asap
LamCo Medical Transcription, www.angelfire.com/mn3/lamco/index.html
Management Support Services Inc, www.mssitrans.com
Medical Scribe Consultants LLC, www.medicalscribeconsultants.com
Medical Transcription, www.medicaltranscription.org
Medical Transcription Company, www.themedicaltranscriptioncompany.com
Medico Trans, www.medicotrans.com
MedRec Resources LLC, www.medrecresources.com
Medword mecical Transcription, www.medword.com
MxSecure Inc, www.mxsecure.com
NTS Transcriptions, www.medical-typing.com.au
Oracle Transcription Inc, www.oracleti.com
Perfect Transcription LLC, www.perfecttranscription.com
Perfect Word Processing Inc., www.pwp-mt.com
Preferred Physician's Transcription Inc, www.preferredtranscription.com
Professional Medical Services, www.professionalmedicalservices.org
Rapid Transcript, www.rapidtranscript.com
Serviss Transcription, www.servisstranscription.com
Taurus Data Links Pvt. Ltd., www.taurusdatalinks.com
Transcend Services, www.transcendservices.com
Transcription Tree, www.transcriptiontree.com
UK Typing, www.uktyping.com
Viva Medical Transcription Services, www.vivacorporation.com
WHIN On Time Transcription, www.whin.net.educational/transcription.html
Worldtech Medical Technology Services, www.worldtechusa.com
Online Verdict.com, www.onlineverdict.com
Trial Practices Inc., www.trialpractice.com
PAID TO DRIVE
Ad- Wraps, www.ad-wraps.co.uk
Ads On Cars, www.adsoncars.com
Ads To Go, www.adstogo.ca
Ads2go LLC, www.ads2go.com
Auto Car Wraps, www.autocarwraps.com
Car Wraps, www.advercarzing.com
Free Car, http://drivers.freecarmedia.com
Get Paid to Drive.com, www.getpaidtodrive.com
Vista Motion, www.vistamotion.com
PAID TO POST
Site Buildup, www.sitebuildup.com
Forum Eleves, www.forumelves.com
Paid Posts, www.paidposts.com
Forum Launch, www.forumlaunch.com
Entice Cash, http://www.enticecash.com/sign...=eval1061&trainer=1164
Adult Staffing Ink., www.adultstaffing.com
Papillon Agency, www.Papillonagency.com
Phone Jobs, www.wecanhireyou.com
Absolutely Psychic, www.absolutelypsychic.com
The Psychic Connection, www.thepsychicconnection.com
Enid Chesterfield & Company, www.enidchesterfield.com
ESG Consulting, www.ESGConsulting.com
Nanny Brokers, www.Nannybrokers.com, To apply: email resume to Admin@Nannybrokers.com with "Nanny Recruiter" in subject line.
Really Care LLC., www.reallycare.com
Judge Mathis, http://judgemathistv.warnerbros.com
Nation Search, www.nationsearch.com
Record Search America Inc, www.researchforyou.com
Sunlark Research, www.sunlarkrsearch.com
A&A Merchandising Ltd. - www.aamerch.com/
A Closer Look, Inc.- www.a-closer-look.com/
A & M Business Services - www.ambussvcs.com
A Step Above Service Evaluations - www.serviceevaluations.com/
A Top Shop - www.atopshop.com/
AboutFace - www.aboutfacecorp.com
Acra, Inc.- www.secretshopacra.com/ ----A Lot of California shops
Ann Michaels & Associates, Ltd.- www.ishopforyou.com/
Associate Consumer Evaluations - www.acemysteryshopping.com/
Amusement Advantage - www.amusementadvantage.com/
Anonymous Insights - www.a-insights.com/
Anonymous Shoppers & Assessments of Pittsburgh - www.asapittsburgh.com/
Apartment Shoppe - www.apartmentmysteryshopper.com/
Ardent Services - www.ardentservices.com/
Assure Quality Systems - www.aqsshopper.com/
At Your Service Marketing - www.aysm.com/
Bare Associates International - www.baiservices.com/
Barry Leeds & Associates - www.barryleedsassoc.com/
Best Mark - www.bestmark.com/
Beyond Hello - www.beyondhello.com/
Beyond Marketing Group - www.beyondmarketinggroup.com/
Business Evaluation Services - www.mysteryshopperservices.com/
BMA Mystery Shopping Services - www.mystery-shopping.com/
Business Insights Group - www.businessinsights.com/
Byers Choice Inc - www.byerschoiceinc.com/
California Marketing Specialists - www.sassieshop.com/2californiamarketing/index.norm.php
Campus Consulting - www.shopaudits.com/
Capstone Research - www.capstoneresearch.com/
Certified Reports, Inc.- www.certifiedreports.com/
Check-Up Marketing - www.checkupmarketing.com/
Cirrus Marketing Consultanat - www.cirrusmktg.com/
CKA Group, Inc.- www.ckagroup.com/
Confero The Service Resources Group - www.conferoinc.com/
Consumer Critique, Inc - www.consumercritique.com/
Consumer Impressions - www.consumerimpressions.com/
Consumer Research Group - www.crg2000.com/
Corporate Research International - www.mysteryshops.com/
Count on Us - www.ucountonus.com/
Coyle Hospitality Group - www.qualityaudit.com/
creative image --http://www.creativeimage.net/
Cross Financial Group - www.crossfinancial.com/
Customer 1st - www.consumer-1st.com/
Customer Perspectives - www.customerperspectives.com/
Customer Service Experts, Inc.- www.customerserviceexperts.com/
Customer Service Perceptions - www.csperceptions.com/
CustomeriZe. Inc. - www.customerize.com
CV Marketing Research Inc.- www.cv-market.com/
Data Quest, Ltd.- www.dataquestonline.com/
Datatron - www.usd-datatron.com/
David Sparks & Associates - www.sparksresearch.com/
DSG Associates - www.dsgai.com/
Eyes R Us, Inc.- www.eyesrusinc.com/
Feedback Plus Inc. - www.feedbackplus.com/
Focus on Service - www.focusonservice.com/
Franchise Compliance, Inc - www.franchisecompliance.com/
Full Scope Mystery Shopping - www.fullscopemysteryshopping.com/
Global Compliance Services - www.gcsresearch.com/shops/login.asp
Goodwin and Associates Hospitality Services, LLC - www.goodwin-associates.com/hospitalityrecruitment/index.html
Grantham, Orilio & Associates - www.goashoppers.com/
Graymark Security Group - www.graymarksecurity.com/
Green & Associates - www.greenandassociates.com/
Greet America, Inc.- www.greetamerica.com/
Harris Teeter - www.sassieshop.com/2harristeeter/index.norm.php
Hilli Dunlap Enterprises - www.dunlapenterprises.com/
Howard Services Service Sleuths - www.howardservices.com/homess.html
ICC / Decision Services - www.iccds.com
Imaginus - www.imaginusinc.com/
imyst - www.imyst.com/
Infinity Assurance Group - www.infinityag.com/
Informa Research Services - www.informars.com
Infotel - www.infotelinc.com/
Instant Reply - www.mysteryshopservices.com/
IntelliShop - www.intelli-shop.com/
J M Ridgway Company - www.jmridgway.com/
Jack's Mystery Guest - www.jacksguest.com/
Jancyn Evaluation Shops - www.jancyn.com/
JC & Associates - www.jcandassociates.com/
Ken-Rich Retail Group - www.ken-rich.com/
LeBlanc & Associates - www.mleblanc.com/
Locksley Group Ltd. - www.locksleygroupltd.com/
Maritz Research - www.virtuoso.maritzresearch.com/
Marketing Endeavors, LLC - www.marketingendeavors.biz
Marketing Systems Unlimited - msultd.com/
Mar's Surveys - www.marsresearch.com/
Market Viewpoint - www.marketviewpoint.com/
Mass Connections - massconnections.com/
Melinda Brody and Company - www.melindabrody.com/
Mercantile Systems and Surveys - www.mercsurveys.com/
Merchandise Concepts - www.merchandiseconcepts.com/
Muscle Marketing - firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelson & Associates - www.michelson.com/
Mosaic InfoForce - www.mosaic-infoforce.com/
Mystery Guest, Inc - www.mysteryguestinc.com/
Mystery Shoppers - www.mystery-shoppers.com/
Mystique Shopper - www.mystiqueshopper.com/
National Shopping Service Network, LLC - www.mysteryshopper.net/
Nationwide Services Group, Inc - www.nationwidesg.com/
Northwest Loss Prevention Consultants - www.nwlpc.com/
NOP World Mystery Shopping (RoperNOP) - www.cybershoppersonline.com/
Nsite Inc - www.nsiteinc.com
Orilio & Associates - www.sassieshop.com/2goa/index.norm.php
Pacific Research Group - www.pacificresearchgroup.com/
The Pat Henry Group - www.thepathenrygroup.com/
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Ok as you all know I have been on this huge financial kick for the past 4 months. Had a large amount of set backs and finally able to get the ball back rolling. As I was enjoying my friday evening I was reading blogs one to be exact called stuff educated black people like (yall know bout it). Anyways I started to wonder about us folk and what it is that actually makes us successful people.
Most Educated folk after they get their college degrees move outta state and make there first home purchase, get their first car, and take that first trip to another country. At first I used to be close minded thinkin yea this was really how to show people you made it. After I hit rock bottom from losing just about all my stuff (and mind) I started to realize that all that stuff didn’t really make sense and the friends I thought I was keeping up with had less than I did. So now I have a new list of what it means (to start) to be financially successful along with your college education. Just because you have an education does not give you permission to be stupid about money.
1. Don’t buy a house unless its more than just you living in it and if you do pay it off in 15 years or less
Yea I know we look good and we can show off but truth is now days unless you are purchasing a home for 50 cents on the dollar its not a wise choice. Most of us if we travel and work them 75k and up jobs dont even have time to enjoy that lavish home so it just sits there looking cute and going down in value. Also paying a home in 15 years will cost you more on the front end but will save 10’s of thousands in the long run. Most folk say they don’t plan to own a home more than 5 or 10 years but truth told if you pay it off you can have this as an asset in addition to the new home you purchase, instead of dumping all the interest. Also the so called tax deduction you think you get from owning a home (per the irs) is not really helping you (ask me for more info on this)
2. Pay off your student loans
We all think its the American way to live in debt and have student loans but truth is the longer you keep them the longer you will be broke. I looked at my student loan balance it said it would be an extra 7,000 if i drag my payments on for life instead of paying off the original 11,000 I actually owe, the rest is interest. It is a wise choice to pay off all your loans regardless of what they tell u in college. also stop going to school trying to avoid paying back loans and get a job!!!!
3. Pay for cars with cash Thats just smart and its what rich folk do they don’t typically drive BMW’S
4. Actually contribute 15% of your income to retirement some kinda way
Please don’t believe ssi will be there when you turn 65.
5. Stop borrowing money
Buying everything on credit is not cute anymore even if it is a 0% interest card.
6. Have a net worth
The definition of net worth is what you own – (MINUS) what you owe = what you are worth. meaning if you had to get rid of everything what would you be left with. If all your money is tied up in house payments credit cards, car payments, bikes, boats, and time shares and when you add it all up hello?? your broke. You have to actually have something you own to be wealthy and also not have debt if you owe 500,000 on stuff and none of it is paid for unless you got 1 million in the bank your broke
7. Stop Using credit cards
Who wants to argue with me about this really?
8. Learn how to really invest in real estate
This does not mean borrowing the equity against your principal residence to go buy rental properties and fix and flip its (this is not property ladder on TLC). Those people who do that don’t have money and neither do you. If you wanna be a tv look a like, the least you can do is pay cash for your investments and us cash to fix them up. If all those rental properties you never sell go belly up or u lose your job God forbid, your house will be foreclosed on first!!! this isn’t cute when you have mouths to feed.
9. Save Money for stuff you want to buy
So I know we live in a get it now pay for it later society but honestly if we saved for it for a couple months you might not feel such stress later on when your not using it.
10. Don’t get a loan to start up a business
Most new businesses cost under 5,000 to start so you do not need the SBA to get off the ground!! Stop being lazy, if you want to advertise print some flyers and drive around town and post them, make a website, tell friends, work your butt off. You don’t need hundreds and thousands of dollars in capital to start a company and make it work.
I am learning these things now. It took me losing most of all I had to figure out I really had nothing. I don’t want to live the life of my broke friends who look like they got it going on. I want to be the one who actually has money to lend and not need it back, actually take real vacations and actually own nice cars and houses. Most importantly I want to give back to my community we can’t do that financially or spiritually if we work 100 hours a week trying to pay a house note.
I am currently working on getting out of debt, its not cute to be in it. Its not fun getting out. I have to live on nothing and work my butt off for a number of years (hopefully less that two) but it will be a great feeling when I say I truly have a net worth.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
1. Establish a big, hairy, audacious goal - In the tape the goal was running a 26k marathon. In my case its becoming debt free by October.
2. Plan out in the incremental steps that will lead you to accomplish your BHAG. To become debt free I have taken on what is called the baby steps: baby emergency fund, debt snowball. Both have worked great in the last two years and I believe working the baby steps is by far the best plan out there but it only works when you get intense!
3. Fine people who have accomplished the same or similar goals and find out how they did it - At first I didn't have a support group or anyone I knew that was on the same path now I have Brad over at enemy of debt (he is debt free and awesome) and a host of other people that are in the PF blogging world. Talk about motivation!
4. Heed the warning from the experts, but don't dwell on the negatives - Some warnings I have found about becoming debt free were: have a blow fund which I didn't listen too and still have problems with it sometimes. As far as the negatives I can think of any but in Daves case they told him to pace and sometimes he wouldn't and also that he would quit at the 2o mile mark, which he didn't!
5. Decide what you are willing to sacrifice to hit high-performance achievement - This was a big one for me, over the last few weeks I figured out getting out of debt was most important to me. Working at the salon is secondary, even dating is not so high on the list (scary right) but I made the choice to put debt first, when this is over I can move on to another BHAG!
6. Keep away from negative people and get around positive influences - Trust me this has been so detrimental to my success. The better things get the more I realize how much I need positivity in my life. Its important to have your own personal cheer team because right when you are ready to quit the cheer team is yelling YOU CAN DO IT!
7. Visualize your plan in your mind repeatedly - I see myself being debt free all the time and its so cool to feel a taste of what it will be like when I become debt free I just can't wait!
8. When you win, enjoy it! Celebrate - I plan too!!
Monday, March 1, 2010
I am excited to have my first reader response question here at Divine and Debt Free! This question comes from Tabitha and I am so delighted to talk about this topic!
I am wondering if you have your house buying process blogged? I am kinda buying a house ( I say kinda because even though I've gone thru underwriting, I still haven't found a home that I'm satisfied with buying--going on a yr now) and am reading everything I can from others who have already bought. From the bits and pieces I've gathered I've sensed a negative vibe from your experience.
First let me say in spite of some negative things I have said about home ownership on this blog, I still do believe its good. Its one of the best investments you can make especially in today's market. However some of my views have changed slightly as I have gained more incite on the topic which we will explore more so let get started....
We have embarked on one of the biggest housing slumps in recent years. I believe a lot of the downturn had to do with people not being able to afford what they purchased (including me). Yes The economy played a roll as well as banks but over all it was due to people wanting it now and fast.
So my first advice is to only buy what you can afford. "But Mikki how do you know how much you can afford?" Let me tell ya for one don't listen to the bank!! They can approve a mortgage up to 4 times of your gross income based on a credit score. Just because they said you are approved doesn't mean you have to take a loan for the amount they approve you for. A good rule of thumb is 25% of your take home pay. This will ensure you don't become what we call "house poor"
Also you should aim to put down 20% to avoid private mortgage insurance, be debt free with an emergency fund of 3-6 months and get a 15 year fixed mortgage (yes I said it). If you don't have this in place then my friend you are NOT ready. Take it from a person who brought a house while broke (me). Don't be mad if you don't fit the bill, its just my advice on how to have a win win situation. I CAN guarantee you if you do it this way you will keep Murphy and his cousins broke, desperate and stupid away from your door step!
So you say "Mikki I have all that im ready!" Ok good now we can move on to the fun part so here we go!!
Step 2 - Get Pre approve and shop rates: This will insure you are getting the best bang for your buck and also explain the cost of your new home, ie taxes, fee's and interest which we call a good faith estimate based on your loan amount. A few things you will need to be pre approved are : bank statements, proof of income and other investment accounts 401k ect... most recent w-2, pay stubs, taxes, and drivers license.
Step 3- Make a list of features you want: Do you want to live in the city or suburb, ranch home or two story, a garage, walk in closets, lots of storage, big back yard, and the list goes on. This will help a good realtor sift out certain homes for you and trust me it can get as detailed as you like it to be!
Step 4- Find the right realtor: Buyers agents don't cost you a penny!! so shop around! in most cases the home owner pays the commission for your agent which means you pay nothing for expert help so why not take advantage of this! Most realtors require you sign a agent agreement form to insure you aren't wasting their time, so before you sign on the dotted line be sure you are happy with your agent they are working for you!
Step 5- Get a home inspector: Just like realtors not all of them are the same so here are a few tips to help you. Interview a few and ask a lot of questions, ask for references from people they have worked with in the past, do a background check, and make sure they have broad knowledge of home systems and structures. Ask how long they have been in the business and make sure they can provide you with a complete report.
Step 6 - Consider the location: You know the saying location is everything so you want to think about how far of a commute from you job it is, do they have a good school district (good even if you don't have children) are you near shopping, churches, freeways ect.... is it a low crime area.
Step 7 - Do a walk through before you sign those papers: Don't expect every seller to own up to every physical detail that will need to be fixed.
Both you and the seller are out to maximize your investment. Conduct a thorough inspection of the home early in the process, looking for signs of damage or poor construction. Consider hiring an independent inspector to objectively view the home inside and out, and make the final contract contingent upon this inspector's report. This inspector should be able to give you a report of any item that needs to be fixed with associated, approximate cost.Step 8 - Get an inspection: An inspection should review all cosmetic features, mechanical systems and the structural integrity of the home, such as:
- Roof and gutter
- House foundation, basement and crawl space
- Heating and air conditioning systems
- Electrical systems
- Kitchen counters, cabinets, faucets, etc.
Step 10 - check check check: Again, make sure the mortgage is a 15-year, fixed rate mortgage and your down payment is 10-20% of the home's value. Also make sure that your house payment isn't more than 25% of your monthly, take-home pay. Now is not the time to throw caution to the wind just to get the house you want. Slow down and realistically think through everything before you jump head-first into making this major purchase.
I love the idea of home ownership and all that it means, but I do want this time around to be the right way and I am sure you feel the same way. Thanks again to Tabitha for the question and the Dave Ramsey website for all the tips on buying a home. If I missed something please feel free to send me a message.
Oh yes and those of you who are in a position to buy now, don't forget the first time home buyers tax credit ends In April so get to gettin!!