07 Oct

Book Review: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously by Mundis Jerrold J

How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously

How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously

Millions of us have become trapped in a spiral of debt over the past decade, me included which is the reason I created this site, but there is hope. If you really want to free yourself from the shackles of debt which is becoming increasingly important in this current economic climate, then this book is definitely for you.

How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously can help you “get out of debt, stay out of debt and live prosperously” just as the title suggests. The author Jerrold Mundis writes in a friendly, engaging style, urging readers to stop the endless cycle of spending. Mundis knows what he’s talking about, he too, was once thousands of (US) dollars in debt and didn’t know where to turn. Anecdotes from members of Debtors Anonymous, plus multiple examples from the writer’s own life and ledgers, make How to Get Out of Debt a very encouraging read, not a condescending one. Once you start your program, you may want to periodically reread some chapters for futher inspiration to keep you on the road to recovery.

Click Here To Get Your Copy Of
How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously Now

06 Oct

Don’t Consolidate… Snowball To Get Your Debts Paid Off Quicker!

Do you have so many credit cards that you paper a wall with them? Don’t know how to get rid of them? Then try this solution out for size. With this handy snowballing spreadsheet tool you can generate a custom strategy for becoming debt-free without the need for consolidation loans!

All you need to do is just enter your credit cards, their balance, and interest rate. Then enter your required minimum monthly payments and then put in the maximum possible amount you could put towards it, based on your current budget. Next, pick the style of repayment you want to go for, such as snowball or highest interest first. The program then generates an effective payoff strategy tailored to your needs. It calculates how much interest there will be and the total you’ll end up paying, and how long it will take to escape the shackles of debt you have built up.

If you’re carrying balances on several cards, this is a great tool for getting started on, or optimizing, your personal debt payment plan and setting you on the path to becoming debt free.

Download The Snowballing Spreadsheet Here

06 Oct

Book Review: Top 10 Habits Of Millionaires – A Simple Path to Wealth and Fulfillment: Transform Your Thinking – and Get Rich by Keith Cameron Smith

Top 10 Habits Of Millionaires by Keith Cameron Smith

Top 10 Habits Of Millionaires by Keith Cameron Smith

I recently picked up a copy of this book and to be honest, didn’t think it would be that good… But then, you should never judge a book by its cover. Top 10 Habits of Millionaires by Keith Cameron Smith is a quick and to the point read, with its 10 points expressed concisely and very effectively. Normally it takes me weeks to read books as I only manange to grab a few minutes each day to read just a few pages at a time, but this one I couldn’t put down, and read it in just a few hours. The content is excellent and really helps you focus on the task ahead… Thinking like a millionaire… not spending like a millionaire… and ultimately achieving financial freedom.

Synopsis:

What does it take to become a millionaire – hard work, determination, a bit of luck? All of those help, but as entrepreneur and motivational speaker Keith Cameron Smith makes clear in this life-changing book, millionaire is first and foremost a state of mind. In The Top Ten Habits of Millionaires, Smith elborates ten key principles that animate the millionaire mindset – habits that can be learned and mastered by anyone who wants to improve their financial position, including:

  • Millionaires think long term – Create a clear vision of the life you desire and focus on it
  • Millionaires talk about ideas, not things and people
  • Ask positive ‘what if’ questions every day and bounce ideas off successful people who will be honest with you
  • Millionaires embrace change – Be patient while change is unfolding and find the hidden benefit
  • What you believe about money has everything to do with how much money you will make.

All of this is sound and sensible advice… Yes, I’ve read similar things in other books, but reading them all in such a concise and focused manner helps them sink in even further and prepare and program your mind for wealth in abundance.

Top 10 Habits of Millionaires by Keith Cameron Smith is published by Piatkus Books and is available from all good book shops, or online via the link below:

Click Here To Buy Top 10 Habits of Millionaires Online Now!

06 Oct

Work out how much you owe.

Step one on my journey to financial freedom was working out exactly how much we owed, and the best tools for doing this are either Microsoft Money or a spreadsheet. Dig out your credit card statements, your loan statements and start gathering all the figures together.

The moment you see just how much you actually owe, you’ll start to feel better… even though at present you might feel like you’re drowning in it all and can’t cope, just getting it on paper or into a spreadsheet is one of the best and quickest ways to focus your mind.

List everything, make a column for the outstanding amounts, interest rates, monthly minimum payments and anything else you have. Pull no punches… It’ll help get yourself organized.

06 Oct

Living Beyond Your Means

For much of the past 10 years, I’ve been pretty much a textbook example of a person living beyond their means. Ok I don’t live like a king and over the past year I’ve been cutting back, trying to control this mess I’m in, but there are areas, particularly where the business is concerned that I’ve operated beyond my means. I’ve made some foolish choices of there past 5 years that haven’t helped matters and I’ve taken some risky gambles. I’ve never put money on horses or gone to a casino, but sometimes I think that might have paid off better.

Personally, we’ve not held back really. I’ve always wanted my family to have the better things in life, so “Putting It On The Credit Card” became a bit of a way of life to be honest. “Don’t Worry, I’ll Pay It Off” could often be heard coming from my direction on many occasions. Looking back I can see just how childish I’ve been. Instead of just coming clean with my family and telling them just how much I owed I kept it quiet and just bumbled on… The debts growing slowly but surely.

My father-in-law to be recently asked me, “does the amount I owe worry you?”

The honest answer is no! It doesn’t worry me. It annoys me that I let it get to that level, and it spurs me on now to do something about it…

06 Oct

Where Am I?

My Fiance and I recently sat down and looked at our financial posision. It’s the first time I’d really come clean about how much debt we were in and how much money we have…

Our current balance sheet looks something like this:

Debts

  • House: £36,000 Mortgage. House Value: £110,000
  • Personal Debt: £5,000 (Mix of credit card and personal loan for the car, plus an overdraft)
  • Business Debt: £31,000 (Mix of credit card and loans)

Yeah… quite a bit of debt then…

Assets

  • Membership sites that earn about £3000 per month
06 Oct

Starting to put it all right…

So yes, finally after nearly 10 years of being what I thought was a business owner, but was really just a Self Employed monkey I’ve finally woken up and I’ve just got a whiff of that freshly brewed coffee. My accounts are now finally 100% up to date… I think I have one receipt and two invoice to enter at present, and I’m about to start out on the long journey of paying my debts off and investing in my future.

I’m 36… not old I know, but I’m no spring chicken either. I’m no fool, I’ve been to University, got a good degree and all that, but my Financial education has been pretty non-existent. Now that I’ve had 10 years experience of working for myself, it’s time to turn this ship around and really do something worthwhile with my life…

Since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to work for myself, but blimey, I didn’t think it would be quite this hard. So lets see if I can do things right over the next 10 years? What do you reckon?

06 Oct

Building An Income

Since the day I’d become Self Employed, I’d always just flown by the seat of my pants. It’s taken me nearly 10 years… 10 long hard years to realize the importance of organization and planning. More often than not, I’ve been my own worst enemy… Nearly every years accounts have been submitted to the Inland Revenue late since I started. I just paid the fines and got them in eventually. Looking back, all I think is, what a fool I’ve been. Not a Fool as in the wise Motley Fool sence, but Fool as in total idiot.

Planning is key when it comes to building a solid income base. In this day and age, Job Security is non-existant, despite what they teach you at school and what your parents say. Security just ain’t there, unless you build that secure base for yourself. If you’re staring your own business, it’s all down to you and you alone to start and put the building blocks of the business, the system that will give you your income for years to come.

That’s not to say you need to do all the work yourself, that’s not what I mean… but it’s down to YOU the owner of the business to make sure the system works and to iron out any creases that can completely turn your business upside down. Looking back at the mistakes I’ve made over the past 10 years, I’ve made some corkers… but do I wish I’d not made them? No!

I’m still in debt, by a substantial amount, but I now know where I went wrong and I’m trying my hardest to put things right now. I know where I went wrong, I know what I did wrong and now understand what I should have done to avoid the massive pile of debt I’ve ended up in.

Building an income takes time, it takes patience, and dedication. It also takes a lot of discipline and determination. Discipline in getting up early in the morning to get stuck in. Discipline to not strip your business of all its profits just so you can have all the things you “think” you need as a business owner, like the nice watch, the nice car, the fancy clothes… Looking back, yeah it’s important to feel good, but for god sake don’t do it at the expense of building solid foundations for your business and ultimately building a long-term income for yourself and your family.

Things I’ve learned, and feel free to laugh cos they’re all so obvious now, looking back…

  • Live within your means
  • Don’t pay yourself more than your business can afford
  • Know your figures… know what your business expenses are at every step of the way and do everything you can to keep them low.
  • Get organized.

Building a business, building an income takes some serious determination, so if you want to make a go of it… be prepared for some hard times. I’ve never had a problem with getting up early, getting the work done, but I’ve never been any good at the organizational side of things… Accounts? What are they? Planning? What? … no idea what you’re talking about.

01 Oct

Let there be light…

Now all I can hear in my head is the mighty vocal tones of Bon Scott belowing out Let There Be Rock… Hmm…

Lightbulb Moment #1

So the lightbulb moment, where it all began… Back in 1999 I worked for an Industrial Controls company in Nottingham. I drove me nuts and I hated every single minute of it, not least the commuting in to Nottingham every day which ate up nearly 2 hours of every single day. Then through a contact of my Fiance I got offered a job, working freelance for an internet entrepreneur, doing graphic design… Yeah, at last, a chance to work for myself… do work sub-contract, but be able to do my own thing when I was free. Plus I had the chance in sharing some of the profits from the sites and graphics I created… Dream come true this.

Making the jump was easy to be honest. Took me all of about 5 mins to make up my mind… Freedom from the drudgery of travelling to Nottingam every single day… Whoot Whoot.

So working for myself was great… While my better half was out at work, I could get stuck in to making my own money… the harder I worked, the more graphics I pumped out, the better it got… Then hmm… It maybe wasn’t all it seemed… yeah the harder I worked the more I made, but there was often corrections to be done… not cos what I produced was crap, as it definitely wasn’t, but just because the goal posts kept changing.

So I took the decision in about August 2000 to really fly solo… which really brought me down to earth with a bump… No income… well hardly… Tear, tantrums, arguments… oh god, we had it all… from me too! haha.

Then then work began to come in, working on design projects for a variety of large(ish) clients and I started to make a bit of a living at last. The I suddenly had a brain wave… the first lightbulb moment… lets get back into the industry I was doing the graphics for before, but on my own terms.

Things really took off… incredibly well to be honest and within a year I was reknowned as one of the top designers in the business… fame and fortune at last haha. But as with many people, who suddenly get a step change in income… it goes to your head. I don’t drink to excess, don’t smoke, but I do like nice things, and nice things we had. Nice watches, nice cars, trips to Las Vegas, trips to Miami, it all followed and I saved nothing, let me repeat NOTHING! Ok we had no debts really, but we spent everything we earned… what fools.

Looking back I regret that so much… but we’ll get to that later.

Lightbulb Moment #2

Then after 2 or 3 years of being a Top designer, I got bored and kinda distanced myself from the business. Working so hard for those few years, I got a little burnt out I suppose, wanted a bit of a change. Christmas 2003 my other half bought me a Scalextric set, just like I had when I was a kid… they were becoming popular again and I had lightbulb moment Number 2! There’s got to be money in them there toy cars.

So shortly after Christmas, I got on the phone and started calling suppliers. I could buy the cars from a local distributer and get about 30% mark up. We did some basic calcualtions and thought, yeah, lets go for it…

On went the rose tinted glasses… we could make a fortune selling these things. There were even some budget cars we could buy and the sell on via Ebay and double our money… We bought a bunch of the cars and things started to go ok… so I started to invest in more stock… it grew nicely…

The Rot Set In

Then unfortunately, things started to go a little off the rails, but at the time I didn’t see it. God only knows why. I decided to branch out into Model Railways too, but rather walk before I could run, I thought, nah… lets RUN! I started buying in stock, built a nice flashy website. It was all there, ready to make a fortune. Sales grew from £100 the first month to £150,000 turnover in the first year. I started to borrow money to finance buying in more stock, instead of just re-investing the profits. I carried on paying myself at the rate I paid myself when I was doing design work, which added fuel to the fire.

Shipping parcels, dealing with customer issues etc got worse as sales grew, I was getting bogged down and working on my own, trying to do everything, except some of the packing which my parents and finace did, really got ontop of me. I wasn’t keeping control of things. The debts began to spiral…

Down to earth with a bigger bang…

January 2007… I’d had enough… yes, yet again… I was fed up… Although I was fed up with the Money situation that I’d got myself into… My fiance didn’t really know how much of a pickle I was in… she thought we were fine. Why the hell hand’t I said something? I don’t know. I really don’t know. Didn’t want to admit failure I suppose.

Now what do I do?

In a bid to start to dig myself out of this massive hole, I started to look for design work again, and a few good sized projects did come my way. I Also began to look for new projects I could work on, but this time, just promoting other peoples products, not actually stocking anything at all, so there would be no shipping, packing or lost parcels to deal with…

And then…

It’s now nearly 2 years on from when I called it a day as far as Model Railway & Scalextric stuff is concerned, and this is where the real journey begins…