Phases to FREEDOM!

Check out our “Phases to FREEDOM!”.  This webinar goes over our “5 Phases to Financial Freedom” which are (1) Always watch your nets, (2) Starters, (3) Debt destroyer, (4) Self first, then kids and (5) Put your money to work.

Are you on the path to financial freedom?  If so, please comment on what phase you are in.

Expect the unexpected

911 by Stuart Miles from

911 by Stuart Miles from

Establish and maintain an emergency fund of at least six months of expenses.  This is extremely important and should only be used in emergencies.  It should be easily accessible so that you can withdraw the funds quickly.  It should only be used for unexpected costs, it should not fund vacations, new expensive clothing, dining out or other luxuries.  Be sure to keep the emergency fund in a separate account so it is not mixed with other funds for other purposes.  Stay away from temptation!  A good way to make it grow consider is to set up automatic monthly transfers to ensure it gets fully funded.  The emergency fund is for unexpected expenses like appliances that stop working, getting laid off from a job, long illness or an accident.  Be sure to keep this fund for the unexpected and you will be prepared!

Please click “Like” if you have an established emergency fund.

Taxes; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Just in case you missed it…A fantastic webinar, Taxes; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly with Kim Landry, CPA from Landry and Associates.  Kim gave us some great tax strategies and planning techniques to be able to keep more of what you make.

What is a tax strategy that has saved you from paying more taxes than necessary?  Please share.

Please use tools only as directed.

Image courtesy of vectorolie from

Image courtesy of vectorolie from

Credit cards cause a lot of pleasure that could ultimately cost you a lot of money and pain if used incorrectly.  Our theory is to use credit cards as a tool only to make your life easier, BUT NEVER CARRY A BALANCE, EVER!  If you can’t pay for the item you are purchasing by the time the bill is due, don’t buy it.  This concept is very, very important.  Many other finance specialists will tell you to never use credit cards, but I would like to believe there are some disciplined adults out there who can benefit from their use.  Be sure to use them only if the total monthly payoff rule is ALWAYS, ALWAYS followed!

What type of cash back or rebate program does your credit card provide?  Please comment.


Capital gains, hopefully not losses…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles from

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles from

Capital gains (or losses) are recognized when you sell a capital asset.  A capital asset is almost everything you own and use for personal, pleasure or investment purposes.

 Capital gains are categorized either as short term, held less than one year or long term, held for one year or more.  Long term gains have beneficial treatment in the US tax structure since they are taxed currently at 15% where short term gains are taxed at the individual’s tax rate which can be much higher.  One exception to the rule is the treatment of stock options under section 1256 where gains or losses open at the end of the year or terminated during the year are treated as 60% long term and 40% short term regardless of how long the contracts were held.

We all know taxes are very tricky so there are exceptions to most rules and we encourage always seeking the guidance of a professional.  Check out our webinar on Thursday, January 22, 2015 with Kim Landry, CPA to discuss “Taxes; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and she will help clarify some of the tax laws for us.

 What tax strategies are you planning on using in 2015?


Find a diamond in the rough

Image courtesy of Boykung from

Image courtesy of Boykung from

Do you like to turn the old and ugly into the new and improved?  Then rehabbing homes may be for you.  Here, you are looking at houses and get to figure out how to make them better .  You can make a house into someone’s dream home.  It’s a lot of fun!  However with this strategy, you must make sure you have someone you trust go through the home to see what it needs to bring it up to full retail condition.  Then you have to carefully estimate your rehab costs, making sure that you have considered your error factor (at minimum 10% of total rehab costs), holding costs (interest, electric, heat, water, taxes etc. while rehabbing) and your minimum profit (of course) to see if the deal is doable.  It may or may not be.  Don’t be so anxious to make a deal you get emotional and buy it anyway thinking it will all work out.  Carefully run the numbers and do your due diligence.  You are looking for a blue diamond in the rough and it can take a long time to find one.  Be patient, my friends.  Good things come to those who wait.

Do you have a favorite “Diamond in the rough” story?  If so, please share.

Games are fun, right?

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic from

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic from

We recently came across this quote from Coco Chanel: “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”.  It is so true, but of course in a positive way.

If you blend in with everyone else, you will get what everyone else gets.  Focus on what your job is. Work on how to do it faster and better than everyone else.  Make it like a game.  Play against yourself and your previous performance.  If you finished a certain task within 5 days, next time maybe you can improve your performance and finish in 4 days.

Always meet your deadlines. If there is a reason why you cannot, be sure to explain why prior to the deadline.   This will show that you are a professional and can be counted on.  Be irreplaceable!

What have you done to make yourself irreplaceable?

Find a way to make the bleeding stop!

Image courtesy of hywards from

Image courtesy of hywards from

If you are paying PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) stop it as quickly as possible!  PMI is insurance a lender charges if your down payment on a home is less than 20 percent of the appraised value or sale price.  The following article by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ways to remove PMI from your life.  Take action on this!  If your balance is too high, make extra principal payments to pay the mortgage down as quickly as possible.  You can do this!  Even after the balance is low enough to remove the PMI you could continue to pay down your principal with those extra payments.

Of course in a perfect world you wouldn’t have a mortgage at all.  Just imagine…it can happen!

Are you mortgage free or plan to be?  If so, please comment on what it means to you!


No, I won’t be quiet! The library is a great source of FREE entertainment!

Shhh Stock Photo by photostock from freedigitalphotos.netYour local library can be a remarkable resource for all kinds of savings for your family.  The obvious is all the books they have, but did you know that if you can’t find what you need at the library you can get an “interlibrary loan” so you don’t have to go out and buy the book.  There are also on-line books and audios that you can borrow right from home without going into the library.  The library also has movies to borrow which can eliminate any DVD or Blue Ray rental fees.  Do you like to go to museums?  Many libraries have free passes to borrow, which can be a big saver!  Enjoy some FREE time with your family this weekend, visit your local library!

Photo credit: Shhh Stock Photo by photostock from

Financial Freedom Classroom: A New Year!

In case you missed it, take a look at the replay of our first webinar for!  It will give you a brief introduction and some things to do NOW to make 2015 a GREAT YEAR!  

Please share because you care!

What is your top financial goal for 2015?  Please leave a comment…