From the monthly archives:

August 2008

Clean Up, Aisle Nine: Broke Customers

by Derek Sisterhen on August 23, 2008

A recent survey by analytics firm Precima showed that 82% of U.S. consumers intend to keep cooking at home instead of eating out even after the economy improves and they have more disposable income. On top of that, 84% of consumers plan to keep hunting for specials in grocery store fliers, and 78% are making fewer trips to the store to save on gas.

There’s no doubt that gas and consumer goods price inflation has been running wild during the past year. Americans are rapidly changing their behaviors to make ends meet and keep food on the table. Is inflation causing financial strain, or revealing deeper problems? (Is this a “chicken and egg” question?)

70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck according to the Wall Street Journal; our national savings rate hovers around 0%. Perhaps rising consumer prices are enough to topple the financial house of cards so much of the country lives in. Rising prices expose the overextended. A written monthly budget allows you to take control of your money and reinforce your financial foundation.

Here are a few ideas for your next grocery store trip: 1) don’t shop hungry, you’ll buy things you don’t need; 2) stick to a list; 3) only use coupons for items you use (no sense stocking up on 4-for-1 canned garbanzo beans if you don’t eat them); 4) use CASH! Studies show we spend 12%-18% more when paying with plastic. Establish a monthly grocery budget using a cash envelope to monitor your spending. It’s easy: when the cash is gone, the only places to “shop” are your pantry and freezer.

Confronting your financial situation honestly is the first step on the path toward financial freedom. Don’t miss your opportunity to take control of your life and money today!


Why Credit Cards are a Bad Idea

by Justin Lukasavige on August 22, 2008

As parents, we need to teach their children about money before they go away to college, and ideally, starting much younger than that.

redit card companies pay universities millions of dollars each year to hand out free pizzas, clothing and credit card applications. If you do not teach your children about how to handle money, Visa and MasterCard will.

My wife and I are choosing to take this responsibility head-on because we know our children will not learn it anywhere else. Could you do the same?


When College Becomes Too Expensive

by Justin Lukasavige on August 20, 2008

It is true that student loans are getting harder to obtain. There is a disparity between the rising cost of inflation (just over 4%) and the rising cost of college (just over 7%).

There must be a point at which parents and students discover the cost of college to be too high relative to the income produced as a result of that degree. Ten years after graduating from college, a full 80% of workers have moved on to an occupation unrelated to their college degree.

The question that has not been answered yet is where to draw that line and simply enter the work force as an apprentice or as a new business owner.


Solitaire Specialist Wanted

by Justin Lukasavige on August 18, 2008

As summer draws to a close many people are vacationing. Those who are at work however, are probably not accomplishing much.

As I walk out of my office, one of the workers in the building normally has a game of solitaire in progress. I happen to enjoy a game of solitaire every now and then, but after about 2 or games, I like to move on. I have to believe there is more to life and vocation than hour after hour spent in front of a computer game.

Rick Warren calls this a purpose driven life and is the meaning that many of us are trying to find. I don’t think that purpose is found in front of an electronic card game, but behind the covers of a book or a walk in the woods with your thoughts.


Man Your Post if You Want to Hear From God

by Justin Lukasavige on August 16, 2008

So many of our lives have become disintegrated and compartmentalized, it’s no wonder we have no idea how to get out of our current situation and make our future match what we see in our dreams.

Habbakuk 2:1 says that we need to man our ‘post’. Verse 2 states that we need to write our vision down.

If you aren’t hearing from God it is because you have left your post. He’s trying to get in touch with you, but you’re not there listening. Get back on your post and download our free goals worksheet ( Write your vision down on paper. Without clearly defined goals you will likely be in the same place you are now five years down the road. Don’t you want more in life?

Shawn called into the radio show today in regards to the book Halftime that he’s reading. Shawns asks, what if there is no significance in your life in the first half to be able to give back in the second half. What a great question as Shawn is not alone.

If you feel like you have very little significance in your life, regardless of which half you are in, God wants you to find it. He wants you to find your passion. Picture a grandfather who buys a toy for his grandson. After two weeks of playing with it the boy is tired. Just as the grandfather has the desire on his heart for the boy to enjoy his toys, so God wants us to find our passions and learn about our significance in life. A Career & Personality Profile is a great place to start.


Michael Phelps has Goals, Do You?

by Justin Lukasavige on August 15, 2008

Michael Phelps is that 22 year old swimmer that breaks a record just about every time he gets in a swimming pool.

Leading up to this summer’s Olympics, Matt Lauer interviewed Michael and asked him about the power of goals. Apparently Michael has been setting goals for years, but the only other person in the world that has ever seen his goals sheet is his personal coach.

In Michael’s words, the two most powerful things in his life that have propelled him to greatness are his never ceasing goal-setting habit and his personal coach.

There is no way I would be so successful if I didn’t write my goals on paper each year. The second reason I am so successful… personal coaching. Yes, even the coach needs to be coached.

Are you successful in your finances, career or business? Could you be? Then why aren’t you doing anything about it?

Watch this short interview to find out why Michael is so successful.


From Good Idea to Great Reality

August 15, 2008

“Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”
This question was the premise of a 1979 study of Harvard MBA students. Only 3% participants had written goals. 13% had goals (though not in writing), while 84% of the students had no specific goals at all. Ten years [...]

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It’s Getting Harder to Lease a Car

August 14, 2008

Leasing a Car is the Most Expensive Way to Operate a Vehicle.
A Marketwatch article addressed many issues that families are facing in a changing economy. Many families have felt the pinch of rising gasoline and food costs.
Most people do not realize that leasing is the most expensive way to operate a vehicle. Both [...]

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Avoid Getting Clobbered by Credit Cards

August 11, 2008 points out some best practices to watch out for with your credit cards:

Your rates are raised without warningYou may have been paying your bill in a timely fashion, but if you fall behind in payments to another creditor or if your credit score drops for any reason, it can trigger a jump in the [...]

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The Financial Reality Our Kids Face

August 9, 2008

We covered some great topics during today’s show about Kids & Money. In order to equip you with more information about the financial world your kids live in, check out these statistics:
> In 1983, companies spent $100 million marketing to kids; in 2007 they spent $17 billion.
> Kids age 8-12 spend $30 billion of [...]

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