Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Have Health Insurance Again! (for now)

My partner's company allows domestic partners to added to the insurance.  I now have some benefits!  The problem is we won't have them for long because she is also going to go out on her own.  She has some lingering debt so she is not quite ready yet.  I'll make some doctor's appointments so we can stay healthy in the mean-time!

I have been working more than one small business.  I invested in a teeth whitening business.  I am also selling insurance.  I have been licensed in my state for over a year, but I've only sold one policy in the past year.  I am pushing myself to make 40 phone calls every day and that should get me 4 quotes: I only started this new policy last week.  It's amazing how distracted I can get!

I blog all about my pursuit to find out what I was going to do when I grow up here.  I'm writing a lot more now, and I even got paid for some of the articles I've written!  That means I'm now a professional writer too!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It happened to me

Suze, if you are reading were right! Here I was a school teacher. School teachers always know that they will have a job at least until the end of the school year...right? Wrong!

Ok, I'll back up. I was deeep in debt and thought I was managing things just fine. I had a couple of credit cards at a couple of thousand dollars each, student loans, and a $15,000 line of credit. I was making more than the minimum payment on each card. One day I got a whammy in the mail; visa said they were not renewing my card.

It turned out to be a nation-wide trend of credit card companies closing lines of credit. If you
read my prior posts you know that I struggled with not having that credit. I got serious about getting out of debt and started watching Suze Orman, Gail, and Clark Howard on a routine basis...(I still do.)

Suze screams 8 month emergency fund, then get out of debt. I got myself a solid month of emergency funds and then I started halving what I sliced out of my monthly budget. One half went to the emergency fund and the other to paying off my debt.

I managed to completely eliminate my credit cards and my line of credit. I also built my emergency fund to 3 months. My goal was to get to Suze's 8 month emergency fund even though I didn't think I really needed it. I was a teacher and I was under contract for the next 7 months.

Then it happened...I got sick. I ended up with a medical disability. I don't think I will ever be able to teach again.

At first I felt like climbing under a rock and dying but then I realized how lucky I was that it happened when I had no credit card debt and an actually savings account! I could have been far worse off. Now I had to look at this as an opportunity and somehow benefit from it.

I am well on my way to becoming a profitable independent business owner and I don't have to fear a certain demise all because I had the help of Suze and the gang.

Check out my new teeth whitening business on thumbtack.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Life Is Not Short

Suzie was p.o'd today because her tweet followers said that "life is short." Suze says that life is not short and she goes on to explain that her mother is 96 years old and life is not short. We need to spend the money we have now, not the money we won't have in later years.

My honest first reaction was "What has happened to Suze to make her so fearful of living past her money?" Then I thought of my 99 year old grandmother. Yiyi lives with my aunt who graciously took her aging mother in and cares for her.

Parents in the US and in other countries instinctively wish the best for their children. Many hope that their children will do better financially than they did for themselves. In order to help them beat the odds, parents take money from their own retirement funds to pay for their children's college.

According to Suze, and Clark Howard for that matter. Taking money from your retirement is huge no-no. They can tell you all of the financial reasons, but lets consider the social reasons a parent might do this. If a parent is relying on their children to care for them as they age, it might make sense to that parent to help their children get through college and gain the ability to earn a higher wage.

Suze isn't telling anyone to care any less for their children; she's saying don't count on anyone but yourself to fund your future. What better gift to our children, then to be able to fund our own care in our aging years.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Suzie's "Can I Afford It" segment is said to be the most popular part of her show. Today she said that many of us are falling back into bad habits and spending more than we can afford.

I laughed out loud when she denied a 26 year old an $800 kayak purchase because she didn't give Suzie all the information. The girl had received a $30,000 inheritance and forgot to list it on the producer's paperwork. I'd like to see more people throw Suzie for a loop with additional information; only because it makes for good television.

Today's show ended with "Last Call." A mom called in asking if she should bail out her daughter and her new family by paying off their credit cards for them. She did this for her once before, but now that she has a newborn, she has over 12K in consumer debt again.

Suzie gave a pretty ugly growl and told the mom to let her daughter "suffer." Her advice was that the best lesson for people was poverty.

Poverty really is a life lesson.

Having little or no money forms habits that can be life changing. Basic life habits like avoiding movie theaters, restaurants and mlm parties become a part of you. I have four children and families with only one child and two incomes do not always understand why I pass on invitations to dinner after work. (dinner for 6 costs quite a bit.)

The good news is that many people in our wonderful country live at or below the poverty level. If you look closely, these families are often the tightest, happiest families you can find. They spend time as a family doing things that don't cost a lot.

This mom's daughter has a long way to go before she really understands poverty. Having a load of debt is not the same as having no income....but as Suzie explains, without an emergency fund, poverty really can be right around the corner.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Find someone to keep you honest

One of my favorite things about Suze is that she is on every weekend. Watching her show week after week keeps my goals upfront and top of mind. It also means that I have a date every weekend; not with Suze, but with my sister.

Although she lives over 900 miles away from me, her family and mine watch The Suze Orman Show together. We text comments to each other about the "can I afford it" section and say things like "I told you!"
Even our 9 and 11 year old children text each other during and about the show. ...we also got very excited when each of received a "tweet" from Suze...hers said "thank you."

What;s best about my sister and I watching Suze's show each week is that we have someone to talk openly with about money. Suze says to grab your special someone and have a money talk, but she might not understand the effect she's had on my sister and me.

Somehow we grew up thinking that we shouldn't talk about money out loud with people. We kept quiet as we buried ourselves in debt, often because we feared not showing enough affection toward others if we didn't buy them gifts with money we didn't earn yet.

Now that we watch the show together, my sister and I talk honestly about our goals, we confess our sins of occasional overspending, and share the excitement of all the ways we've saved money. We openly discuss what we earn, how we spend it, and where we put it.

We hold each other accountable by saying "I'm telling Suze on you" or celebrate each other's triumps of repaid debt and money saved. If you don't have a sister like this, you should get one.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How I saved $268.50 a month

I saved over $250 a month on every day bills.  I did this by changing options on my company sponsored health insurance, changing my car insurance, finding discounts for my cell phone, and refinancing my home and auto.  You can get more specific details on hubpages.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More free dates

Here's another way to woo your date without emptying your wallet. Pick up your frisbee and head to the nearest frisbee golf course. There are a variety of courses all over the United States and the majority of them allow you to play for free.

The idea behind the game is that you throw your frisbee around different hazards like trees and ponds and try to land them in the specially designed hole in as few tries as possible. During the game you and your honey can enjoy the natural surroundings which may include a thick forest, rolling hills, or lively streams.

With the variety of courses available throughout the states this zero dollar activity may become a tradition for years to come and if things go well you can bring your growing family with you. Suze would approve of this hobby as it doesn't cut into the retirement or college savings accounts.

Try the following link to find a course near you: search for frisbee golf courses