Friday, October 27, 2006

Advantage Processors Deserves A Look See For Your Business

If you have a business, you are probably interested in finding an affordable Merchant Account, to accept those debit card payments. Advantage Processors is one such payment processor.
Advantage Processors, Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account services is a leading provider for low-cost online internet credit card processing merchant accounts for both Low Risk and High Risk merchants. Our solutions provides merchants with their own merchant account, online processing of credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), shopping cart links, virtual terminal, and site enablement.

Of course, as my regular readers know, I hate credit cards, so I recomend using Dave Ramsey's model and only use debit cards with the credit card logos.

Advantage Processors claims to be the place for best Internet Merchant Accounts that handels both High & Low Risk accounts such as Retail Establishments, Online Credit Card Processing, Merchant Account Program, Offshore Credit Card Accounts, Home Business Merchant Account and Retail Credit Card Transactions.

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From Poor to Family to Comedy; Week in Review Part 1

Over the past week, week and a half, or so there has been several articles that I wanted to take the time and blog about. However, with working at night, sleeping during the day not to mention my heavy involvement in community activities, it seems that I can never find the time. Besides there are so many other things I want to write about. Well today, I am going to take time and get these comments made. So lets start:
Single Ma asked On Oct 17, Do you know what it's like to be poor. In her article she says,

Some people never really know what it's like to be poor. I don't care how many poor people you know or went to school with. Unless you have LIVED it, there's no way you can ever really understand.

She then pulls a few items from a list posted by John at Whatever, that lets you measure whether or not you really know:

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they're what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there's not an $800 car in America that's worth a damn.

Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.

Being poor is not enough space for everyone who lives with you.

Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.

Being poor is an overnight shift under florescent lights.

Being poor is people thinking they know something about you by the way you talk.

Being poor is six dollars short on the utility bill and no way to close the gap.

Being poor is crying when you drop the mac and cheese on the floor.

Being poor is checking the coin return slot of every soda machine you go by.

Ok so John's list is much bigger then this, but it gives you an idea. I can remeber checking the coin slots numerous times, being short by a few dollars on the utility bills, driving a cheap car that I bought for $500. Heck, I can rember countless times dropping the last box of mac and cheese, just after I had coked it, and getting upset about it.

I even can remember several times over the last couple of years, having a toothache, and hoping it would go away. Including the one I had in the last couple of months, that eventually did go away, meaning I have not had to shell out 2-days income to visit the dentist.

On October 18, I read about An American Dream Denied, that appeard in the Boston Globe. It seems, John Walsh thought he was living the American dream. Until, that is, he ran head-on into a distiant cousin (one of whom I have never met or know in any way) of mine by the name of Jonathan Winthrop (his great-great grandfather's sister married my great-great grandfather or something like that).

Apparentley in MA, when you buy a condo, a board from the Condo Association, gets to decide if they will allow the sale. In another words, if you don't fit into their haughty mold, then you can forget buying the condo.

Walsh says Winthrop, chairman of the co-op board, was cold and haughty from the beginning. In an initial 30-minute ``preliminary interview," Walsh says, Winthrop's questions focused on the couples' parents' backgrounds, their own educations, and that of their children. Winthrop also wanted to know how they got such a good price on the unit, Walsh says. ``By the way," Walsh quoted Winthrop as saying at the end, ``your references are weak."

Walsh says his wife got the message loud and clear: They don't want us here, she said.

A very interested read. Makes one wonder, if Winthrop would act the same way towards a new found cousin who had grew up poor. Especially if Genoligical records proved the connection. By the way John Kerry is a cousin in this same family.

Finally, I will end this post with some comedy bits from the Dave Ramsey show.

Ihave barely scratched the surfice of the articles I wanted to talk about, but I don't want to make this article to big, so be looking for part 2 soon.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

How Does A Creditor Decide: Credit Worthy or Unworthy

I was trolling around the internet as i so often do, in my barely available free time, and I found a site that in some ways says many of the same things that I have touted in this blog. However, at the same time the site, does seem to worship at the alter of the FICO score.

Alot of people have bad credit and find any information useful when it comes to fixing their credit and why bad credit loans can be bad for them.

Bad Credit Loan is a wonderful site with information on how to avoid the "Bad credit loans" that prey on those with bad credit by charging really high interest rates.

The site even warns; as has many other people, including myself, to avoid "Credit Repair" Services.

Beware of so called"credit repair" services that offer to "fix bad credit." So that you don't need a bad credit loan. The only real way to fix bad credit is to change the way you behave with your credit. If your credit blemish is due to an error fix it yourself. Don't use a credit repair services to fix a mistake. There is nothing that a credit repair service can do for you that you can't do on your own for little or no cost at all...

So how does a creditor decide if you are credit worthy?

Nobody wants to have Bad Credit, or have to seek Bad credit loans. By knowing how creditors will evaluate you, not only is the mystery removed from the process, but more importantly you can take positive steps toward improving your "credit report" and increasing your chances of getting your credit approved.

There is a wealth of information on this 2-page website, that is worth a read.

Let me leave you with one more quote from the site:

The following is a list of most of the negative items that can appear on your credit report. They are listed in order of what many creditors would consider as best to worst.

1. Bankruptcy
2. Repossession
3. Late payments
4. Past due and unpaid payments
5. Court judgments
6. Credit Rejections
7. Loan defaults
8. Collections
9. Foreclosure
10. Credit inquiries

To Skip or Not To Skip

My Credit Union is running a promotion, that almost every financial institution runs at this time of year. I am trying to decide, if I should take them up on the offer.

The Credit Union is offering its membership the opportunity to help a good cause and to have some extra cash for the holiday season. ECU is providing the opportunity to skip your November, December or January loan payment with a $10 donation to support TARC.
TARC is a local nonprofit organization formed to help Topeka area residents with developmental disabilities. In order to qualify for Educational Credit Union’s Skip-A-Payment program, your loan must be in good standing. Interest will accrue on your account and will extend the term of your loan. You may only skip the payment on one of your ECU loans.

To skip your November, December or January loan payment, simply fill out the form below, and mail or drop it off at any ECU location. Mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and VISA credit card payments are NOT eligible. TARC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide service, support, advocacy and community involvement for children and adults with developmental and related disabilities in Shawnee County.

Your donation is greatly appreciated and helps provide local residents with vital services. Visit TARC’s Winter Wonderland this holiday season. To volunteer with TARC or for more information log on to

I see 2 issues here, one is pro and one is con:
1. If I do skip a months payment, it will set me back by $115-$120 in interest charges that will continue to accrue, during the month.

2. If I skip a month, I could apply that payment(about $400) towards my credit card, and get my credit card debt cut in about half. Which would make it easier, to attempt to reach my goal of having the card paid off by Dec. 31.

Everyone has an opinion, and I love hearing from you, while I may or may not disagree with you I find your thoughts interesting. I read every comment, however, I do delete the ones that I consider comment spam.
Am I stupid, for considering this option? Or is taking the skip a great idea?

Fun or Major Breakdown

So recently payperpost created the Postie Patrol. They even posted a video here. It looks like a lot of fun, but it is easy for them to go to someplace like San Francisco, but what about Topeka, the only airline that comes here only flys between here and Las Vegas, although, there is the posibility Orlando will be added next year. Or what about a "postie" that lives in my childhood home town of La Cygne, KS, a town of 1200 people and no airport. Not even a bus or train terminal. But I digress.
It looked like fun, and I congratulate Victor for his ingenuity, in finding some of the items in the scavenger hunt.
What? You say you don't know what PayPerPost or a "Postie" is? Well a "Postie" is not a flake from a box of post tosties. PayPerPost is a site, whose members get paid to blog and those members are called Posties. The site tries to have fun with both it's members and advertisers, forming kind of a community, but it's not all fun and games as you can see in this video blog post.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

That Helps the ol' Budget

Well, I took a look at my bank account online tonight, and seen a nice surprise. A deposit of $113.10 had been deposited in my account by Google Adsense. While I knew I would be getting the cash, I wasn't expecting it until next week between Tues the 31st and Sun. the 5th. Even a look at the Adsense website says that the payment is still pocessing.
I am just happy as a lark here, now if I could just get about 10 more of those. Unfortunately October appears that I will be lucky to earn $30 for the month. With those kind of results, I will have to wait 3-4 months before seeing my next adsense check. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful, I just need $1000 by Dec 31.
While I am using payperpost and Blogsvertise as part of my income generation efforts, I feel uncomfortable accepting some of the offers, so out of conviction, I skip a lot of them. Still though getting the bills paid down can be difficult. I do have some thoughts to finally get rid of the credit card payments by the end of the year, as has been my goal, but that's another post.

Sponser: Site Is The Best Triva Blog I Have Seen!

Something most everyone that reads this blog, knows about me is that I love to talk about personal finance. However, something most of my readers don't realize is that I also love trivia. Yep, that's right, I said, I love trivia. One place, I get my fix for my trivia is this trivia blog.
Everytime, I read this particular blog, I learn something new. For example, did you know?:

1. The Eiffel Tower stands 986 feet high! Add the antenna for a whopping total of 1052 feet.

2. Only one worker was killed during the construction.

3. The Eiffel Tower weighs seven thousand tons.

4. The Eiffel Tower is painted once every seven years and it takes 50 tons of paint to complete the job.

5. On a clear day visitors can see more than 40 miles from the tower’s top.

6. The base of the Eiffel Tower covers two and a half acres of land.

7. There are 1,665 steps from the bottom to the top of the tower.

8. The first televised transmission from the Eiffel Tower took place in 1957.

9. The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated on March 31st, 1889.

10. The tower was named after Gustave Eiffel, the contractor.

or how about?:

Did you know that the famous author Ernest Hemingway was a cat lover? Hemingway had more than thirty cats at his home in Havana.

I highly recomend this site for all my readers, who love trivia as much as I do. And that's no bull either, I really do like this site and recomend it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Carnival Time

While my ebay sales ended for the 2nd week in a row with no bids, I was mentioned in three carnivals. Carnival of Debt Reduction, Carnival of Captilists and Carnival of Future Millionaires. If there were other Carnivals I will post links to them, as soon as I become aware of them.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My Sharebuilder Update

The current "sale" that sharebuilder is offering has been good news for me. For some time I knew I should divest myself of some of the smaller holdings that I have been carrying in my sharebuilder portfolio. However, paying 12.95 for shares that only had $6-$12 was not worth it. So I held onto them. That is, until this past Friday. With a temporary offer of $4.95 sale price for partial shares partial share = any stock that you own less then one share of, and does not mean you can sell a partial if you own more then one share in a particular stock), I was able to sale my meager investments in BP (oil), Simon Property Group (malls), and Capital Federal Finance (bank) and still get some money back.

10/20/2006 SELL ORDER POSTING -0.1853 BP $7.61
10/20/2006 SELL ORDER POSTING -0.0796 SPG $2.68
10/20/2006 SELL ORDER POSTING -0.3019 CFFN $6.21

With these stocks sold, I am left with a trimmer portfolio of stocks that are in industries or products that, due to my background, I am more familiar with.

BRK B BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC CL B $3,328.00 0.0087 $28.95
KO COCA COLA CO $46.75 1.9051 $89.06
KR KROGER CO $22.28 5.0802 $113.19
PIR PIER 1 IMPORTS INC $7.08 0.2645 $1.87
WR WESTAR ENERGY INC $24.89 0.7258 $18.07

For example, I work retail, so owning a competitor like Kroger, is a natural. As is owning retailer Pier 1. As an avid Coke drinker as well as a collector, owning their stock makes since. Owning Westar, while the stock price plummeted a couple years ago, it's a utility and thus viewed as safe, and as such it returns consistent dividends, which are re-invested. Finally, Berkshire, I love reading Mr. Buffetts advice, and with my current finances, I could never own his class A shares (besides Sharebuilder won't trade them) at $27,000/share, I can occasionally put small amounts in the class B, like a mutual fund until I get a full B share at $3,000/share. Of course my investing is on the back burner for now until I get my debts paid off. There are of course, other retailers I would like to buy in time, but these are my focus group. One thing, I do look for Kroger (the largest grocery in the U.S.A.) to eventually be bought up by someone else and I would like to own every publicly traded grocery, so as the industry consolidates, I benefit financially from it.

Anyway, I am getting side tracked, after the sale I was able to add another $16.50 to my cash balance up to $20.96. So now my question is do I spend $4 of that to increase my holdings in one of my remaining stocks, or do I cash it out, and apply it towards on of my debts. I am thinking of buying more Pier 1 or Coca-cola, maybe Berkshire, to increase my stakes in one of those companies.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Great Mural Wall of Topeka Minutes: 10/19/06

David asked that we look at the work that he has done on the mural drawing. He planned to explain the concept after we had all looked at it and would take any suggestions or thoughts that we had.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Is Providian Unique??

Last time I had a credit card, they applied my payments to the oldest balance first. My current credit card (that I am trying to eleminate), Providian (now Washington Mutual) applies the payments to the balance with the lowest interest rate. This means that my original balance transfer, is setting there unpaid, while newer charges that were charged at the regular (non-cash advance rate) credit card interest rate gets paid on, despie my efforts to pay this balance down. How many other Credit Cards have started this practice. Is this common, or is Providian unique in this summy tatic to rip off the consumer?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

News Item: Lemon Award Nominations for Bad Banking

Don't believe Credit Cards are out to get you? Read this press release, listing's nominees for the Lemon Award.

(PRWEB) October 18, 2006 -- Annual Award for tricksters in banking get tarred and feathered with the Lemon Award. Halloween Week is when nominees are awarded the annual prize. In contention for Lemon Award are...

(1) First time offense gets LIFE at Providian.
Each time you default... we may increase the APRs on your account up to a maximum of the Default APR (31.99%). Providian has a couple of class action lawsuits (on that topped 400 million). If big tobacco started a credit card company, they'd call it Providian. If there's a poster child for Lemon Award nomination, it'd be Providian, the first bank ever to charge you for a credit card credit line.

(2) 0 to 29.99 in 2 hours
"Late is late", said the Bank of America customer service rep, based in Colorado Springs CO, referring to the fact that the payment posted the day it was due but was hours late. Each time your minimum payment is late (i.e., not received by 2 p.m., ET, on its Payment Due Date), or the account balance is over-the-credit-limit, we may increase each of your account's Variable APRs up to the Default APR of 29.99. Bank of America was penalized in a class action suit for "rolling back" payment due dates according to court filings in Delaware. They could squeeze more late fees by rolling back the due date time to 10am and they were caught and penalized by the FTC. Bank of America, this is your first Lemon Award nomination.

(3) Best Buy Credit Card
Buying the extended warrantee with a Best Buy credit card is, at best, an opportunity to argue for months whether Best Buy will honor the initial promise of warrantee. Do yourself a favor and avoid the countless complaints by using an Amex for the purchase saying no to the extended warrantee. Note: if you do buy it and have a hard time (surprise, they don't like paying warrantee claims), post your experience at so that others can see, share and learn from your negative experience

(4) Reverse Mortgages
There's the saying, "A fool and his money are quickly separated". Well there's a theme that the AARP is harking is that, a fool and his house are quickly separated too. Reverse mortgages are also called Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and they are wrought with traps.

(5) College Credit Cards at the Low Rate of 23.15%
There's a product being hawked on college campuses. A Visa with an APR of 28.15. The brand they call themselves right now is Clout Visa and "College Credit Card Corporation" gives out t-shirts to get people to fill out applications. Clout Visa, for charging a rate that's five times higher than the prime rate, you get a Lemon Award nomination.

(6) Annual Credit Report dot com
Annual Credit tricks consumers into buying credit score. The original spirit of the site is to comply with FTC mandate that consumers be allowed to view their credit report once a year. What has happened is that Annual Credit has turned into a nice tidy profit center when adds are blasted and traffic is redirected to sell consumers their credit score. Way to go Big Bureaus!, it shows that the millions of dollars spent on lobbying DOES work. turns a legal requirement into a lead generating site and that deserves a Lemon Award nomination.

(7) Discover Credit Card on campus
According to a October 2, 2006 article in USA Today, student were presented a credit card application without a disclosure box. US credit states in clear terms that consumers must be presented a "Schumer" box that outlines cost, terms and penalties. Discover for breaking the law, you get a Lemon Award nomination. is still collecting Lemon Award Nominations for Bad Banking. Award recipients will be publicized October 31, 2006.

About is a site that helps people to drill down on credit issues by archiving answers to every problem submitted. Common problems can be searched and credit pitfalls can be sidestepped. Asking will always be free. problems at

Look for the best credit cards as reviewed at

Term Life Insurance

After I let my term life insurance lapse, I thought I would take a look at what other companies charged. Even though, I really can't afford it, nor as a single person, do I really need it. I have no family members dependent on my income. Still out of curiousity, I went to Term Life Insurance Rate Company and had a look around the site.
According to Term Life Insurance Rate Company, rates for $100,000 20-year garuanteed would run me anywhere from $149.00/year to $366.00/yr. Of all the companies they gave me quotes from Prudential, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha and PrimeAmerica, however, I received none from State Farm, Alstae or any of the traditional names you would shop on the average street corner of any city. This concerns me, since some of the names aren't as well known as others, collecting on the benifits after the insureds death could be a problem. That is one problem I see of buying online.
Advantages of buying online (from this or another company) would include buying it on your time and eliminating pushy insurance salesmen. Also, you always have customer service for questions, which is what most people use after signing up with an agent anyway. The disadvantages are that usually there is no discount for buying online VS using an agent plus you loose that "personal touch" of service.

Website Updates

I made the updates to the website last night. While, I still have some minor tweaks to make to the webite, is improved over what I had up previously. I have all officers listed on the officers page. The elected officials page is mostly completed. The news and history pages now have officially been started and are expected to receive more attention over the next few months.
If you have any areas of the site that concerns you, please let me know. It is my hope you enjoy the site and find it easy to navigate.
I now return this blog to exclusive mural updates.
Remember the mural team meets tonight (Thurs. 10/19) at 6:30 pm. We will meet at the studio.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Important Website Updates

I will be pulling the website offline on Wednesday night/Thursday Morning October 18/19 between Midnight and 5 am. The total down time of the website will only take about 30 minutes, but I can't give an exact time other then I will be doing it overnight that night.
I am working fevereshly offline, to make the updates to the website, to make the down time as minimal as possible.
Kevin S. (Chesney Park webmaster)

Pictures From 10/14 Priming

Here a 4 pictures from the priming to the wall, we did on Saturday Oct 14, 2006. We are waiting, for a special one to arrive from Chicago, with a special painter that flew in from Chi town to volunteer, helping us prime the wall.

the Millionaire Next Door

I recently heard a quote from the book The Millionaire Next Door. from page 69:

Living in less costly areas can enable you to spend less and to invest more of your income. You will pay less for your home and correspondingly less for your property taxes. Your neighbor will be less likely to drive expensive motor vehicles. You will find it easier to keep up, even ahead, of the Joneses and still accumulate wealth.


If you're not yet wealthy but want to be someday, never purchase a house that requires a mortgage that is more than twice your household's total annual realized income.

So even though I am still working on the book Die Broke, I went to the library and put a request in for the aaudio CD's of the Millionaire Next Door.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dream Home Improvement Project

I recently received an email in which I was asked,

Please talk about your dream home improvement project. If someone else were footing the bill, what would you have done?

It got me to thinking, because there are several areas of my house that are still a work in progress. Over the last 7 years since I bought this bungelow, I have spent in excess of $30,000 to fix it up (and I only paid $10,000 to buy it). So far I have put a new roof on both the shed and the house, updated the electricity and plumbing to meet current codes. Not to mention paint the exterior of both buidings, new vinyl in the kitchen, painting the kitchen, living, dinning and both bedrooms. I didn't even mention the remodel of the shed after an arsonist set it on fire earlier this year.

I still have to finish redoing the bathroom, the wood floors in the dinning room and yes I would like new cabinets and counter tops in the kitchen, not to mention electricity out in the shed, so that I can use that as a workshop. Oh and the room I want to put in the basement.

So with all these projects, how do I pick one? I went to a home improvement site and looked around. After which, I decided to answer this readers question, with what is probably the most pressing home improvement project that I have on the burners. That is my bathroom. A few years back, the wall in the shower rotted out and I was forced to replace the shower. However, I have not had the funds to finish the bathroom. Although, with the help of some guys from church, I finally did get the broken sink fixed, as well as the lighting issues. The bathroom still needs to be tiled, ceiling painted, new toliet, and new vinyl floors. I already have most of the wall tiles thanks to, but lack the know how to put them up as well as the funds to hire someone. If I could find someone willing to help me as well as teach me that would be awesome. I also need to get the broken exhaust fan replaced as it has rusted away over the years. My dream toliet would be the new gerber ultra flush, which supposedly won't clog ever. Finally, it would be time to put down the brand new vinyl flooring and my bathroom would finally be done, so I can move on to the next project. Which probably be building the secure room in the unfinished basement.

Gas Prices To Go Down

According to media reports, the news for home energy prices this winter are mixed. If you heat with natural gas or propane then the news is good. However, if you heat with electricity or heating oil the news isn't so good. The sad thing is, whether we heat with electricity or not, we all use electricity. So while we may be celebrating the good news in heating, we have to face the stark reality that our electric bill will going up.

The cost will go up from what it is now but will not get as high as it was a year ago, for a couple reasons. There haven't been any natural disasters this year that impacted oil production and because of the mild temperatures last year there is a surplus of natural gas.

The U.S. Department of Energy projects heating costs based on how people heat their homes. If natural gas is the primary source of heat, expect to pay 13 percent less this year than last year. If propane is used primarily, expect to pay 1 percent less. However, heating oil users should expect to pay 6 percent more. If electricity is used primarily, expect to pay 7 percent more than year ago.

Free The Drones: A Week In Review

One of the personal finance blogs I read is Free The Drones. Unfortunately, there are so many of them, I can't keep up with them daily, but I do try to read each of the ones linked on my right side bar at least once a week. This week Free The Drones had several very interesting articles that I thought, I would take a couple of minutes to discuss here.

The first article that I found interesting was about the California housing market. We all know that the cost of a home in California is expensive, with homes costing several times more then they would in other parts of the country, especially here in Kansas. His post though, was about a specific home. How much do you think a home next to a prison would cost. In most parts of the country that location would drive down the asking price, and while it still may be true in this American of the sun worshiper, he discloses the unbelievable price in, $600,000 For A House - Next To A Prison. I would have to agree that with him that it would be another arguement to move to a lower cost of living state. Although personally, I would love to escape the cold, and move to the warmer climate.

The other article I would like to write about was his post on Generation Y Isn't Doing So Well With Retirement Saving. This obviously a topic that I keep harping on. While, most American's aren't doing to well, he focuses on our young people, who are currently in college or has just graduated in the past few years.

It's no small feat getting young people - worried more about student loans, credit-card debt and Saturday night - to save for retirement. Only about a third of those in the 21-to-30-year-old group contribute to their 401(k) plans, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank. Now, through quirky marketing campaigns featuring pizza parties, iPod promotions and even fake letters from parents, the industry is trying to get Generation Y to think about tomorrow.

This generation, like most of America, buy into the advertising and slick gimicks of Hollywood, that says everyone buys a brand new car every couple of years and charge everything on their credit cards. When infact, a wise money spender will save for their car, and then keep it for 10 years or longer.

However, the problem doesn't stop there, the article is more focused on how they are ignoring all the advertising to invest into their futures, even with the simplest of things as their companies 401k. Like him, I would say it is a fair assumption, that if they aren't saving in their companies retirement plan, then they probably aren't saving anything. Which brings me back to their spending habits, they are spending way more then they earn and if they don't curb their spending they will end up spending retirement eating crackers and Alpo.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bush Signs Security Bill, Gives Personal Finance Advocates A Victory

How many people heard about the new law signed by President Bush yesterday? I am a news and political junkie and did not hear about this one until I opened my email this morning to read my on-line copy of the Washington Post. The new law is great news for Personal Finance advocates and well as those opposed to gambling.

Placing bets over the Internet was effectively criminalized by the federal government yesterday, as lawmakers work to eliminate an activity enjoyed by as many as 23 million Americans who wagered an estimated $6 billion last year.

Attached to a port-security bill signed by President Bush yesterday was the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which prohibits online gamblers from using credit cards, checks and electronic fund transfers to place and settle bets. The law puts enforcement on the shoulders of banks and other U.S. financial institutions, some of which fought the legislation.

I know many states have laws prohibiting consumers from putting an gambling charges (including lottery) on their credit cards. Now we have a federal law that is seeking to regulate the use of Credit Cards, EFT's and even checks over the internet to pay for gambling.

This is great news from a personal finance standpoint, when you consider how many Americans spend more money then they make using their credit cards. It is great news, when many Americans gamble to the point of spending all their money, leaving their family nothing to live on. Of course they think they are going to win big, and have all kinds of money. The truth is that gambling favors the casino or state running the games of chance. If it didn't, they could not stay in business. Something I have heard many times is that,
You have a better chance to be struck by lightening, then winning the lottery (at gambling).

Now, I don't mean to make this post into an anti-gambling post, however many of the same issues do touch on very sound personal finance advice, that I through this blog promote.

Found A New Freebie Site

Most of you, who have been reading my blog for a while, knows that I love free stuff. So when I found out about a new free stuff site, I had to check it out. Freebie Fanatic is the free stuff site that I found this week. The site is very well set up. It is pleasing to the eye. The offers are great ones, like $250 in free groceries, in addition they have free baby, beauty, auto, book and clothing items. Just to name a few.
In addition to all the free items they also have contests and sweepstakes that the user can enter.

There is one downside, the samples aren't just free. This is one of those sites that you have to agree to receiving information from 3rd parties who pay the site to promote them. If you don't mind the unsolicited emails, then this looks like a great way to get some awesome free stuff. I have a yahoo email address that I use for sites like this. Still, I find it a hassle to go through endless pages of offers that I am not really interested in. To me, I think the best way they could do this, is using regular banner ads and just offer the free items and samples. Sure that may mean they can't give away $250 in free groceries, but I would find it more consumer friendly.

If you like freebies, this site does have tons of them, and as such feel free to have a look at the site.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Consumer Cocaine

American's are addicted. No, they aren't addicted to drugs, but they might as well be. They are addicted to what some refer to as "consumer cocaine."

If you don't want be one of the barely surviving, collecting shopping carts at Wal-Mart in your retirement years, you need to change your financial behavior now. You must intentionally leave the 96 percent crowd that's headed for financial dependency and actively move toward the 4 percent who achieve financial independence. Obviously, the first step is to stop making new debt.

The best way to stop yourself from making new debt is to eliminate the credit cards. They are killing you financially. You have to do it. There is no way around it. It is perhaps the most emotional but crucial component to getting debt free.

I know, I can hear it now, "I don't need to cut them up! I just won't use them anymore."

Well would you:
  • Go on a diet but keep chocolate cake in your refrigerator?
  • Quit drinking but host a party and serve alcohol?
  • Kick a drug habit but leave a marijuana joint on your nightstand?
  • Stop smoking but carry a pack of cigarettes in your pocket?

    In fact, I agree with John Cummuta when he calls credit cards Consumer Cocaine.

    They're pushed like drugs, and people use them like drugs. If you're anywhere in
    the vicinity of credit worthy, your mailbox is regularly populated with credit
    card offers, and these offers seduce you with low-interest or even no-interest
    introductory periods. They are designed to give you the impression they're
    offering FREE Money! But these offers are no different from the schoolyard
    pushers who offer kids free samples to get them hooked. Credit cards are pushed
    like drugs.

    And credit cards are frequently used like drugs. You've had a tough week at work,
    and you deserve a treat, so you stop at the mall (a crack house for credit
    junkies). You slap down the plastic and give yourself a quick feel-good. But then
    when the bill comes in, you feel bad so you go back to the mall for another
    feel-good. Of course that makes the next bill go up even more, so it will take a
    bigger feel-good to overcome the hangover from the last one, and on the cycle
    goes…just like a drug addict. It's scary.

    But the analogy doesn't end there. Just like with the schoolyard drug pusher,
    once the introductory period is over, up pops the interest rate and you're
    forking over more and more of your hard earned dollars to the coalition.

    If you have a strong stomach and a good magnifying glass, read the fine print on the next credit card offer you receive. Look at what happens to the interest rate after the introductory period. Then look at the interest rate for cash advances. Then look at what happens to the interest rate if you're late with just one payment. Then look at some of the fees they'll charge you for using the ATM or if you make a late payment, bounce a check, or make any other possible mistake.

    Yes, credit cards are consumer cocaine. They're pushed like drugs, frequently
    used like drugs, and they have long-term punishing effects like drugs. A drug
    habit cannot be “managed” and neither can a credit habit. Credit usage diminishes
    your financial health, so – like illegal drugs – it should be avoided not managed.

    You need to learn how to eliminate credit from your life. Once you're debt-free, you'll never need credit again. If you want to buy a newer car, you'll just trade the one you own and pay the difference with cash. If you want to move up to a better house, you'll just sell the one you own free and clear — maybe take a
    little additional money out of your swelling investment account — and buy your
    new house with cash.

    Once you've paid off your debts, you'll be able to save up in a few months an
    amount equal to what any credit card would likely offer you as a credit line. And
    it will be your money. Money you can use without any interest costs. And while
    it's in your accounts, it will be earning you interest. Compound interest will be
    working for you rather than against you.

    That's how it works when you eliminate debt. When you just manage debt, you stay
    in the 96 percent group along with all the other financial failures.

    "You can likely be debt-free in just 5 to 7 years", says Cummuta. However, you must change your spending habits today. You cannot keep inuring more debt, and get debt-free.
  • Important Email From Tom

    Thursday Oct. 12 Mural Team meeting has been canceled.

    Thanks to all who helped with the power washing!!! We had great news coverage and the wall is ready for paint.

    Next meeting will be 4-6pm Saturday, October 14.

    - Tom Benaka

    The Truth about Debit Cards

    I recently got an email, from a somewhat misinformed reader, who writes as "Anonymous" rather then using a name. Apparently, he is afraid to let people know who he is. At anyrate, his email demanded that I post his letter.
    Misinformation just drives me crazy, so just publish this: the Visa logo on a debit card does not provide additional liability protections. What you're saying is a myth. Please publish this, even if you disagree, so your readers have some doubt.

    Can you believe that? Demanding that someone else publish his comments. He claims, he hates misinformation, yet a very causual search of the internet shows that it is him that is misinformed, at least in part.

    Let me start with an artical from the USA Today, Still, debit cards don't carry the same legal protections as credit cards. The federal Truth in Lending Act limits your liability for fraudulent credit card charges to $50. Most credit card lenders won't even make you pay that.

    Debit cards fall under a different law, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. Your liability is limited to $50 if you notify your financial institution within two business days after discovering your debit card has been lost or stolen. If you wait more than two business days, but notify your bank within 60 days of the date your statement is mailed, you could lose up to $500. Wait longer than that, and you could lose all the money in your account.

    Many debit card issuers provide protection beyond that required by federal law. Visa and MasterCard have zero-liability policies for debit cards processed through their networks.

    Very interesting, according to this fear monger, debit cards are treated differently, and under the federal law, he is correct. However, what he refuses to accept is that Visa and Mastercard, has a zero-liability policy and all cards ran as a visa or mastercard are afforded the same protections. With a very few exceptions, most banks treat them as such. If your bank doesn't provide protection beyond federal law in accordance with Mastercard and Visa's zero-liability policy, then you need to change banks TODAY. Any financial institution, that does not accept this zero-liability policy, does not care about their customers.
    Another look at the search engine brings up this artcle at, that has this to say on the subject,
    Debit cards are also as safe as credit cards, as long as you don't give out your PIN. "You are only liable for $50 incharges if you lose your credit card and report the loss within two business days. It's the same with debit cards. Ofcourse it can take some time for things to get settled, and for money that was improperly taken out of your account be replaced."

    The bank goes back to the merchant that accepted the forged signature and it becomes their problem for not checking the signature against the one on the back of the card and asking to see photo ID. Of course if someone has your card and your PIN they can keep taking money out of your account until you cancel your PIN.

    It is clear that there are many misconceptions out there like the ones "Anonymous," is so eager to push with out checking out the facts for himself and the case of this guy totally ignore my own personal experience with the issue.
    It is important though, to remember to chose credit rather then debit, when using your "debit card," "check card," or whatever you wish to call it.

    Misinformaion is prevelant out there, but with a little research, the facts can be known. It is true federal law says one thing, but Visa and Mastercard issuers have a different policy, that in a majority of the cases is in the best interest of you, their customer.

    Another Writer That Is Unaware of Anyone That Makes Less Then The Average American Income

    Yesterday, as I was reading Yahoo news I seen an article title that caught my eye. The article written by Tamara Holmes for, was titled, "6 (worthless) excuses for not saving money."
    In the article Ms. Holmes discusses several excuses people give for not saving. The excuses she cites are:
    1. I don't make enough money.
    2. Ill get around to it later.
    3. I deserve a little luxury in my life.
    4. Someone else will take care of it.
    5. I'm saving through my 401(k).
    6. This item or service will pay for itself.

    Her response to the "I don't make enough money," seems indicative to that thoughts of most personal finance authors. In that they have no idea, how the real world lives. They address there answers to those who live at and above the average American income. In their minds (or so it appears) no one in America makes less then the average income.

    "We think we don't have enough money because we're always the last ones in line," says Julie Stav, author of "The Money In You!: Discover Your Financial Personality and Live the Millionaire's Life." What's the first thing you pay when you get your paycheck? If the answer is your mortgage, your car note or your credit card bills, you're probably buying into this excuse.

    One reason many people don't think they have enough to save is because they don't know where their money is going or how much money they're spending on items they don't need. "People say, 'Money just goes through my fingers,' or, 'I don't know what happened to it,'" says Stav. If that's the case, "pay attention and bring it from the unconscious to the conscious." Once you find out what you're spending money on that you don't need, you'll realize it's all money you can be saving.

    In order to make sure you save that amount, have it automatically taken out of your account before you pay anything else for the month. "The first check you write every month should be to you," says Stav. "That should go to your savings. Start with 5 percent; hopefully you can get to 10 percent. When you get a raise, put half of your raise in savings."

    While she has a point, about not knowing where your money goes, if you make 30k and u, it is quite another issue when you make less then 20k. The fact there are many of us that are in real need of finding a good second source of income. I have no question that I would be able to live on my 19-20k, if I didn't have my car loan taking so much of that income. A year ago it was my mortgage that was weighing so heaving on me. It is clear that this author, does not know all that she is talking about when she tries to paint all American non-savers with such a broad brush. She has some great points, that all of us can learn from, but she needs to take a look at lower income Americans as well, and help them learn to not be stupid like me and borrow for a car that they can't afford. Instead they should save say $100/month and then in 20 months buy a $2000 with cash. Then they can begin saving again, to save up for the nicer car on down the road. This is what Dave Ramsey teaches, and if I could sell my car and get out from under this loan, I would. However, I have to dig myself out of this "stupid tax."

    I want to thank all of you who helped make this a popular post on
    I did want to clearify a pont of misunderstanding, while I refer to my own stipid tax of the car I bought in January, before I learned what Dave Ramsey taught, the car loan replaced my mortgage. As soon as my mortgage was paid off I bought the car, and the loan was about $10 less then my former mortgage payment.
    The point of the article was that most PF writers, write their articles as if everyone make 30k plus. As an advocate for the poor, I realize that many people make less then this median income, while utilities and rent/mortgage take up most, if not all their income. The reason, is utilities can not as easily be cut like other expenses. Even Dave teaches these expenses should only be like 25% of your income. That is almost imposible if you make less the 30k.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Mural Team activities Week of October 8, 2006

    Wed. 10/11 10am Meet at mural wall, 20th & Western, to power wash wall

    Thurs 10/12 6:30-8:30pm Meet at our studio, to review sketches

    Sat. 10/14 4-6pm Meet at our studio, to begin color charts

    We are in need of scaffolding or flat bed trailers that painters can work from. Please call Tom 234-0053 if you have a contact that would allow us to use theirs for 3 weeks while we complete our mural.

    My Latest Ebay Efforts

    I currently have 2 auctions up, that don't have any bids yet. These are more latest items to be listed, in my effort to follow Dave Ramsey's teachings, ("Sell so much stuff, that the kids think they are next"), to become debt free.
    These 2 actions include movies and computer parts.
    I still have a number of books to list, as well.

    (Note: Clicking on the image icon will take you to my current listings.)

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Who is this Bullion Vault?

    I am on vacation this week and so am surfing the internet more then I usually do. In the process, I found an interesting website. One that seems to go along with the late night commercials that try to encourage people to buy gold. While, I personally don't believe buying gold is a wise idea, since it tends to be harder to aquire and/or liquidate. (Note: It's another area where I agree with Dave Ramsey. Buy mutual funds, besides there are funds out there that invest in gold.) Still though, I have always had a fantasy of owning a bar of gold bullion and having it sit in my safe deposit box.
    According to the website,

    You can buy gold here. You will own proven, pure gold grams of market-approved bullion bars.

    Well that's nice, but who are these people? How do I know I can trust them?
    There website continues,

    The gold you buy is stored in the Brinks vault of your choice: in New York, London or Zurich.

    Well that's nice, I know I can trust Brinks, but I still don't know who is. As such, I still would rather hold on to the bullion myself, in my own safty deposit box.
    They continue by saying,

    Buying gold, or selling it, on our public, online gold exchange gets you a better gold price.
    Buy gold bullion with rock-solid safety, no hassle, and at the best gold prices in the world.

    Well, geez, if they have their very own public gold exchange, they must be ok. Yeah, like that would really set me at ease. If their safty is rock-solid, how come I have never heard of them? I am intriqued, but besides needing to have the funds for such an investment, I need to know more about this That's the way I see it, and now for your thoughts.

    Monday, October 9, 2006

    Dave Ramsey Believes In The Honor System: Do You Have The Integrity?

    As I was surfing the world of PF blogs today, I came accross a post made by MoneyDummy. In which she discusses her use of a credit card on Dave Ramsey's website despite Dave well known desdaine for those cards. She claims she didn't know, yet she admits in her subsequent comments, that the only 2 payment methods offered in the drop down menu were "debit card" and "bank draft."
    Yes. At the checkout window, he only has debit card options. Theres a hyperlink to a note which says that he prefers not to accept credit cards. I dont know whether its a CYA move or not. *Grin*

    The other option that he DOES offer is a bank-draft: as in, the customer gives Lampo his or her bank account number so that they can draw money directly from it. While my impulse in response to that idea is *snort/choke/laugh*, I will try to be more respectful and simply state mildly that I personally am not comfortable with that form of purchasing.

    However, I am getting ahead of myself. I haven't even told you what she intially said. In her intial comments, she had this to say,

    I just heard Dave Ramsey discussing the fact that his website doesnt take credit cards. I wonder if he really believes this, or if its like those doors that say, Emergency exit. Alarm will sound, when in fact you can slip silently through that door without causing anyone to blink.

    Point is, I didnt notice that the check-out cart said debit cards only, so I generated a Citi virtual account number, popped that sucker in, and checked out without a hitch. Two weeks later the books showed up at my door, the charge showed up in Quicken, I paid it off, and it was a done deal.

    hmm, she was ordering from Dave Ramsey's website, and was not aware that Dave preached against the use of credit? Then, when she didn't see credit, offered as an option for payment, he had purpously check it out and see if she could use a credit card any way.
    When I pointed out that Dave Ramsey says plainly on his website that he does not take cedit cards, why and even gave her the url:

    We understand what is running through your mind right now.

    I cant believe Dave Ramsey is accepting credit cards! This cant be true! Hes sold out on his principles! But before you shave your head and run outside on your front lawn screaming, The world is coming to an end, save yourself! let’s clear up a few things:

    Number 1 - We are NOT accepting credit cards! Never have and never will. I mean, come on, do you listen to the radio show at all? Have you ever heard of a plasectomy? Please understand that accepting credit cards is something that will NEVER happen as long as Dave is still alive (and even forever after that!)

    Number 2 - We are accepting DEBIT cards. We know that some people will go nuts when they hear that, but one factor is being overlooked. Debit cards do not work unless there is CASH available.

    Number 3 - It was time for us to align our company policy with the advice we give our listeners. Dave recommends the use of debit cards for several items such as, car rentals, hotel reservations, and internet purchases. Dave personally carries and uses debit cards for online and phone transactions. One day we realized, Hey, we are telling people that its okay to use debit cards for purchases, but were not allowing people to do that with us.

    So dont worry! The Titanic is not rising, the sky is not falling and Ed McMahon is still not coming to your front door. We understand that some people will get upset over this decision. We also understand that some people will say we are selling out. However, all we are doing is simply aligning ourselves with the advice we give America.

    DEBIT means CASH. CREDIT means CREDIT - and honey, we dont do that around here!

  • The Lampo Group, Inc. and Dave Ramsey recognize that the Visa and MasterCard virtual monopoly on the debit card industries prohibits merchants from only taking debit cards. As such, it is impossible for us to ensure that every order has complied with our debit card policy. We trust that all of our customers hold EXCEEDINGLY high levels of INTEGRITY and maintain EXTRAORDINARILY high standards of TRUTH and HONESTY. Basically, anyone ordering from us who does not follow this policy is a shady and dishonest character. Dont put yourself in this group. Youre better than that. Stick to our policy, NO CREDIT CARDS, and make us all happy.

  • she had this to say in reply,


    Thank you for bringing my attention to Ramseys vehement statement on using credit cards on his website. Ive never seen it before. Ive never bumped into it before. Never, in all the time Ive spent on DR s website have I seen this hyperlinked anywhere. I have to admit that I wonder why he doesnt make it more prominent. Instead, he hyperlinks to a much more mild statement which says that they PREFER that their customers not use credit cards.

    I find this hard to believe, because I seen it the first time I was ever on the website, and then had to go hunt it up when this discussion came up. The link is on the front page, under the heading "Policies & Info" with the link title of "Debit Card policy." On the page(s) for the online store, the same link title is located under thge heading "StoreFAQ".

    Anyone that listens to Dave Ramsey for 5 minutes (or reads about him), knows that he does not do credit cards. While, I wonder where Ramsey gets the idea that there is no way possible to insure 100% compliance to the debit card only policy (Aldi takes debit and refuses to accept credit), it should have been clear to MoneyDummy, that credit cards were not accepted even though it is just the honor system.

    Saturday, October 7, 2006

    Learning To Live Without

    Seems like the topic to discuss is something I have known about, but like Jim over at Blueprint For Financial Prosperity, I haven't discussed much about it. I guess, I just figured that the idea was so simple everyone would already know. However, it is the simplist ideas that we tend to overlook.
    The idea is to look very closely at your monthly expenses, and see if you can find areas you can eleminate or at the very least cut back. For example, do you really need the fastest internet service?
    I recently seen in my local paper that was raising rates on their Kansas customers. I called cox up and lowered my internet service to the cheapest (value) service (I had been using and paying for the highest speed of sevice). I already have the cheapest TV service they offer (and that was the only service that didn’t increase). When I told them it was because of their outlandish rate increase, they told me that they hadn’t raised rates in 2 years. At this point I became irritated, and told them I hadn’t had a pay raise in 3 years. That pretty much shut them up, and they said, “OK, I will put this through.”
    I swear, these big corporations making millions of dollars try to act like they are so poor, and it’s the consumers they are ripping off, who are really the poor ones.
    At anyrate, this simple act will be saving me about $20/month.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. When you’ve cut everything you think that can be cut, there will almost always be something else. Take out your proverbial magnifying glass and examine your expenses very closely.

    Do both you and your wife drive seperately to work? Do you have to? Can you carpool, and drop one off on the way to work and then pick the other up on the way home?

    Do you really need to have that higher priced bread for your sandwiches?

    Do you have to buy brand names? Whether clothing, groceries or tolietries, buying off brands can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

    Do you rent your home? Would it be possible to find cheaper rent?

    As they say, every little bit counts!

    Though Fewer In Number Critics Get Louder, Show Hypocritical Side

    Tonight, as I was surfing around the internet, I came upon, where Jason lambastes blog advertising. He is uses an interview, that Mike Arrington had with some of the folks from The problem, I see as I read the post, is that his entire right hand column is filled with advertisements and not one note that says they are advertisements or sponsors. Yet, he his complaining about other bloggers writing paid posts. In my comments on his post I called him hypocritical

    You have to many ads on the side of the blog, get rid of them you hypocrites. No where do you call them advertisers or sponsors.

    I then continued with my own opinion of his post:

    I recently shared my opinion with readers of this blog, and asked for theirs. Out of the 35+ readers that accessed my blog that day and the 100+ since, only 1 even shared their comments. Not even one anonymous responder. One person, who was pretty neutral. Positive at best. Three months ago there were a lot of negative comments all over, now the tide of opinion has changed to at least neutral.
    The temptation is there to blog about every advertiser, but if a blogger is giving an honest review, I don't see all the negative responses any more.

    What makes this guy even more hypocritical is this is the same guy who tried to pay top members of digg. Don't you just hate hypocrites like this guy? I sure do.

    Thursday, October 5, 2006

    Great Mural Wall of Topeka Seeks Photos

    I am the VP of the Chesney Park NIA (and webmaster) and have been asked to contact the media in an effort to find pictures of the Chesney Park area, for use as part of the mural project. Photos can be of recent events or historical. We are especially interested in pictures of the old state free fair grounds, Cheseny Park itself, and anything in the neighborhood. Chesney Park is 17th to 21st and Topeka Blvd to Washburn Ave. Since I work overnights we ask that calls be directed to our President, Tom Beneka at 234-0053 or through our brand new (just launched) wbsite via the blog linked there. Photos needed by October 14. Mural Painting is scheduled to begin around the middle of October to be completed in November. We are still in need of raising about $5,000 for this first phase of the multi-year project.

    - D. Kevin Surbaugh, VP Chesney Park NIA

    I Just Won!!

    Yep, I just won $10 tickets to see comidian Kristin Keys concert tonight here in Topeka. Yippie! Looking forward to it.

    Wednesday, October 4, 2006

    Free Tool Makes Ebay Selling Easier

    This is a screen shot of the new service.

    I have been talking quite a bit of late about selling on ebay. Problem is when you try to sell something there (on ebay) you have to go through 5-6 pages, just to give ebay all the informaion they need to post the item you are selling. Kind of frustrating, but hey what are you going to do.
    This week though, I learned of a great new eBay listing tool. As I always do, when I hear of such new companies, I begin checking them out. My skeptisism drives me to check them out.
    According to a press releaese (dated September 22, 2006)

    eBay sellers can now use List’d Express ( to create listings with calculated shipping and more options for the amount of days a listing will run.

    List’d Express, is a new, free, one-page listing tool that simplifies the process of selling on eBay. The new features were added after a number of users expressed a need for calculated shipping and more days to list items on eBay for.

    Since, the site is free, I began thinking that I am going to have to try it out. Why, hasn't someone thought of this before? All 5 pages filled out on just one screen! What a concept. I am excited about this one.

    The company behind List’d Express is Orlando-based Saris Technologies, a five-year veteran eBay development company, which has garnered two past developer awards from eBay.

    No Credit Needed Calls Us Great

    In his coments about my September payments, NCN had this to say about this blog:
    has a great blog, and updates regularly.

    As with every month, I have posted the current chart, that he made showing my progress.
    You can visit him here.

    Tuesday, October 3, 2006

    Whats Your Opinion Of PayPerPost?

    I would like to know what your opinion is of PayPerPost way to advertise on blogs?
    PayPerPost was launched only three months ago, and I began testing the service about a month ago. this week PayPerPost, held a contest, with puzzle peices that annouced that they had secured a $3 million round of financing led by Inflexion Partners and with participation from Villiage Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Dan Rua from Inflexion and Michael Barach from Villiage Ventures will take board seats. Josh Stein from Draper Fisher Jurvetson will become a board observer.
    Techcrunch reported that Ted Maurphy
    said his business is doing quite well in spite of (or possibly due to) all of the controversy raised by paying off bloggers to write about certain products. And Josh Stein at DFJ seems excited about the potential profitability of the company while downplaying the ethical issues raised by this and other blogs - the market will sort things out, he says.

    Something the general public may not realize is that they even have a community blog at, which I encourage everyone to read and see what other PayPerPost users are saying.
    While, I personaly would rather just post articles that I am 100% interested in and believe you to be to, the reality is that this is a personal finance blog and most of my readers are personal finance bloggers. As such, I and most of the readers are striving to get debt-free within a few months to a few years. In order to do this we must bring in any additional revenues as possible. For me I need to get about $2600-$2700 paid off by December 31st. Then I have another $14,000 dollars that must be paid off within 2 years.
    With that reality, I will have occasional PayPerPost (as well as Blogsvertise) posts, however, I will be very picky. Other bloggers may not be as picky as I am. I however, want to take into account my readers interest, not to mention my strict adherance to Dave Ramsey's teachings, that make it a problem for me to accept any ads that promote taking out loans.
    Now, I would like to hear what you all think. Techcrunch's article reposrted that the first time they wrote about PayPerPost, many of it's readers were opposed to the concept, however the responses the their most recent article is more supportive. So again, I ask, what do you think?

    September 30, 2006: Meeting Minutes: Great Mural Wall of Topeka

    images in todays post comes from the safe street website.

    David presented some pictures of some of the murals that he has done as in Lawrence, Kansas. He suggested that we go to the library and get pictures of some of the things that were in the material that he presented. Items such as books, information about Topeka and other items. We need material to refer to so individuals can start considering what should be in the mural.
    He presented some slides showing how some students developed a mural in their area. The youth were about 15 to 17 years old and they were working out a design for their heroes. David then takes the material and turns it into a design. He stressed that he really needs an assistant preferably from Washburn University to help him pull things together.

    David stated that when you have the design done then you make a grid on the wall. In some cases you can use a projector to put the design on the wall but generally he uses a grid. A grid is prepared on paper then a scale is developed in order to enlarge the picture to fit on the wall. He has been using mostly High School age students for this part of the plan development. Once the mural is on paper and the grid is developed he can decide what needs to be changed to fit it on the wall. When this is complete the picture is then transferred to the wall through the grid that has been placed on the wall.
    David indicated that our wall needs to be power washed and he prefers to be present when this is done. He will check to see if the wall is smooth with no cracks or holes. The height of our wall will not be a problem. It was recommended that we might consider a hydraulic type of scaffold and possibly the scissor type. The draw back of this type of scaffolding is that it will not let us put but just a few individuals on it. It would be better to use the four-poster with wheels as it provides a greater walking platform and more painters can be on it. We will need lots of wall boards. David starts the painting process by putting down a background color first then layers the mural on top of this. He mixes the paint for the painters as needed. The Kansas City mural was painted by mostly middle school student’s ages from 11 years to 14 years old.

    Monday, October 2, 2006

    Income Generated in September

    I am happy to report that I received 2 deposits from in my PayPal account for articles I wrote a month ago. The 2 deposts totaled $13 and will now sit in my PayPal account until November earning 5% intrest, by which time I am hopeful to earn more funds from different streams to get at least one more debt eleminated.
    I also received $42 plus money for postage for a cell phone that I sold on Ebay. Later in the month I expect to get 2 deposts from, allows bloggers to say whatever they what, positive or negative, about the advertiser offered them. Both advertisers, they gave me last month were loan companies, and both were talked about negatively by this blog. For my efforts, I am set to receive $20 ($10 each) around the middle of the month.
    Finally, I finally broke the $100 barrier with Google adsense, and should receive $113 check from Google by the end of the month. I am hopeful to see these funds in my accounts, and even more hopeful to see these accounts grow as I attempt to get my debts paid by the end of the year (except the car). In addition, this is the month my car tags are due as well.

    Pay Per Post Says, "Big News," Coming Soon

    The online internet marketing company is set to annouce tomorrow, what the company calls payperpostbignews. The company which pays bloggers for posting blog ads in their blogs says that of the marketing gimick,
    This is a puzzle piece for a contest that will be announced tomorrow (Oct 3, 2006). The first person to reassemble all the pieces and post it on their blog will get paid a $1000 opportunity fee. This puzzle contains information relating to our big PayPerPost announcement next week.

    To this blogger it sound like a great opportunity to try to win $1000. Oh what I could do with $1000. Pay off a bill, ease my budget some.