Saturday, March 31, 2007

Wasted $20

Today, I wasted $20. I took a vacation day today and promptly wasted $20 tonight. Well, OK so it wasn't all wasted. I spent $4.45 for some sale items at the store (TV dinners - limit 6 - 69 cents each) getting $20 back. Then went to Aldi's and picked some sausage biscuits and eggs spending $3.35 of that 20. I then went across the street to a store with milk on sale for $1.99 to pick up a gallon of 2%, spending another $2.14 of that $20.
Then it was time to go see the movie (Peaceful Warrior) with the free tickets I had printed off at the public library (as mine here at the house is out of ink). Along the way, I stopped and bought a Chicken sandwich at my favorite fast food joint, Chick-fil-a. There goes anther $3. Then I couldn't (or rather didn't) keep spending in check at the theater, buying a $4 (small) popcorn and a $4 (large) Coke. After the movie wasn't any better as I dropped the remaining $3 into an arcade game.
Not very smart of me I know, but that is why John Cummuta says not to ask for cash back at the register for any reason. You tend to forget where that extra $20 was actually spent.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Ready For A Romantic Holiday in Spain?


Have you ever dreamed of visiting Spain? Well Cheaper Than Hotels has deals for that romantic getaway in Europe's premier Latin country. Spain Hotels can be found as low as 18 Euros for a 1 star hotel and 69 Euros for a 5 star. Imagine yourself and your loved lounging in a romantic Latin paradise.

You can visit the Mallorca Islands and the Mallorca Hotels. Perhaps visit the beach while you are there. That is if you love birds can tear yourself away from your room.

Other possibilities include Lanzorote Hotels on Lanzarote Island or Menorca Hotels on th Island of Menorca.

Forgotten Stupid Tax Now in Collection

The other day I received a letter from a collection attorney. A bill I fully admit I owe, but thought had been taken care of. Apparently not though.
Here is what happened, before I started listening to Dav Ramsey, I got caught up with the Payday loan places and one of the checks bounced. I thought it had been re-submitted as I never heard anything more from them.
At any rate, when I received the notice (again a year later) I called the collection attorney and made payment arrangements. They agreed to $50/month (though I had figured $60) to pay the $172.64 and any interest that accrues, between now and then.


Not exactly sure where the money is all going to come from, but it will get worked out. God always seems to provide. Though, I admit I haven't seen it nearly as much, as when I was younger and I felt God impress on me to take in a homeless man. I used the excuse that i didn't have a bed for him. I felt the Lord impress on me to go to the Ditimore's (a neighbor). I went over to their house and they said they had a double bed, but no mattress. After I got it into my house, I picked up a copy of the paper to look for mattresses. I felt to Lord impress on me to call the ad for a twin mattress. I shunned the thought and started calling about double mattresses. They were all already sold or couldn't deliver (I didn't have a car). Finally, I called the one I felt the Lord impress on me, figuring the friend wouldn't need a mattress covering the entire bed. I made the call, told him my story. The guy was a minister, had already sold the twin, but had an unadvertised double that he needed to get rid of as well. Long story short, he brought it over to the house, glad to see it used for such a great use and my homeless friend moved in. That was the summer, that a poor kid barely able to eat, took in three homeless people for the summer. Eventually they all went their ways and I moved to the commune in Chicago, best known for their Christian Rock Band Resurrection (Rez) Band and the annual Cornerstone Music festival in Bushnell, IL. As one of the guys said, God was preparing me for the next step. I believe he was right. That was a great summer, and the nearly 2 years at Jesus People, following that was very wonderful.

Vote Democrat?

You Can't be a good Catholic
if you vote Democrat

Matthew 5:22

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement.

What Do You Get

Q: What do u get when u put 32 rednecks in one room?
A: A full set of teeth.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

TURN UP YOUR RADIO

IF THE SCREAMS FROM MY TRUNK
BOTHER YOU
TURN UP YOUR RADIO

Slight verses Substantial

Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?

Free Peaceful Warrior Movie Tickets

I posted this last week, but I thought I would re-post it for those who didn't see it or who may have forgotten. Remember, the tickets must be used this weekend. I have printed my one (1) ticket and will be at my local Hollywood Theaters sometime on vacation day that I am taking this weekend.

Best Buy and Universal are running a promotion giving away free movie tickets to Peaceful Warrior the weekend of March 30, 31 and April 1, 2007.

You just select your zip code, the number of tickets you want, the movie theater, and enter your email and then you can print them out.

70% Attitude, 30% Hard Work

"If you think you can, or if you think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford


Some people are often heard making the claim that they can't get out of debt. Some even claim they can't buy a car or house (or whatever) without using credit. Perhaps they have not heard the Henry Ford Quote above.
Fact is if Henry Ford thought that way, we would not have the cars that we do today and most definitely would be without Kingsford charcoal and perhaps any other kind of charcoal briquette.
But, that is beside the point. The point is, our attitudes play a big part in our financial lives. If we think that we can't live without credit and/or be debt-free, then our attitude will be our reality. Likewise, if our attitude is one of I can be debt-free. Then we will be debt be debt-free.
No, it won't happen over night, as if by magic, but thinking positive will motivate us to trudge forward towards our goal. It will motivate us to work hard and to ignore the naysayers (whether family, friends or acquaintances) and get those debts paid off, so that as Dave Ramsey says we can live like no one else. Namely Debt-free!

My goals for this year are:
  • Get my Credit Card completely paid off
  • Get my Home Improvement Loan completely paid off
  • Get my attic insulated (more on this later)
  • Get a big chunk of my car paid off
  • Have my $1,000 emegency fund and start working on my 6 month savings

    Redneck Vasectomy

    After having their 11th child, an Alabama couple decided that was enough(they could not afford a larger double wide). So, the husband went to his doctor (who also treated mules) and told him that he and his wife/cousin didn't want to have any more children.

    The doctor told him that there was a procedure called a vasectomy that could fix the problem. The doctor instructed him to go home, get a cherry bomb (fireworks are legal in Alabama), light it, put it in a beer can, then hold the can up to his ear and count to 10.

    The Alabamian said to the doctor, "I may not be the smartest man, but I don't see how putting a cherry bomb in a beer can next to my ear is going to help me."

    So, the couple drove to Georgia to get a second opinion. The Georgia physician was just about to tell them about the procedure for a vasectomy when he noticed that they were from Alabama. This doctor instead told the man to go home and get a cherry bomb, light it, place it in a beer can, hold it to his ear and count to 10.

    Figuring that both learned physicians couldn't be wrong, the man went home, lit a cherry bomb and put it in a beer can. He held the can up to his ear and began to count.

    "1, 2, 3, 4, 5 . . . . ", at which point he paused, placed the beer can between his legs and resumed counting on his other hand.

    Reminder - Giveaway #2 Ends Sunday night

    If you haven't entered in the second giveaway by commenting the post here, do so now. Entries won't be accepted after 4 pm Sunday, and the winner will be announced Monday Morning. Monday morning will also mark the bigining of the 3rd and final giveaway for the book, "Good Debt, Bad Debt," by Jon Hanson.
    Remember, only comments made the post here, will be entered into the drawing.

    Jib Jab: What we Call The News

    After seeing this on the Tonight Show last night, I know I had to post it. Hope you have a good laugh watching it. I will also post it on my Joke of the Day website.

    Jib Jab: What we Call The News

    After seeing this on the Tonight Show last night, I know I had to post it. Hope you have a good laugh watching it. This is the first video or even cartoon posted on Joke of the Day.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    YOU MIGHT BE A REDNECK IF...

    Your sleepin' with the cows and you smell like one!!!!!!
    A sign on the street says no crackin' and that reminds you to pull up your pants!!
    Your kids call your sister mom
    The Halloween pumpkin on your front porch has more teeth than your spouse.
    You let your twelve~year~old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.
    Last year you hid Easter eggs under cow pies.
    You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws:
    You think a woman who is "out of your league" bowls on a different night.
    Jack Daniels makes your list of "Most Admired People."
    You think Genitalia is an Italian airline.
    You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean.
    Anyone in your family ever die right after saying "Hey, ya'll watch this!"
    You've got more than one brother named 'Darryl.
    You think that Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.
    Your wife's hairdo was once mined by a ceiling fan.
    You go to your family reunion looking for a date.
    Your Junior/Senior Prom had a Day care.
    You think the last words to The Star Spangled Banner are, "Gentlemen, start your engines."
    You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.
    You take a six-pack cooler to church.
    You had to remove a toothpick for your wedding pictures.
    The blue book value of your truck goes up and down, depending on how much gas it has in it.
    You have to go outside to get something out of the 'fridge.
    One of your kids was born on a pool table.
    Your dad calls you "Chip" and walks you to school because you are both in the same grade.
    You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.
    You have flowers planted in a bathroom fixture in your front yard.
    Ya can't get married to yer sweetheart 'cause there's a law against it.
    You dated one of your parents' current spouses in high school.
    You think loading the dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.
    Your school fight song is "Dueling Banjos."
    Your toilet paper has page numbers on it
    If you can smash a beer can on your imaginary friend's forehead, and it works.
    If you think the nutcracker is some thing you did off the high dive!
    If you leave beer & pickled eggs for Santa.
    If you have ever spelled some thing wrong you wrote out in Christmas lights.
    If you go up a water tower with a can of paint to protect your sister.
    If you carry a shotgun in the back seat of your truck!

    Money Talks

    Money Talks
    Mine always says Goodbye








    Money Talks

    Money Talks


    10x3 inches (width x height) Vinyl Sticker MONEY TALKS Mine Always Says "Goodbye" Copyright: Bad Habits , 1998 Words On Product: MONEY TALKS Mine Always Says "Goodbye"























    Money Talks

    Money Talks


    3x2 inches (width x height) Refrigerator Magnet Copyright: Bad Habits, 2003 Words On Product: Money talks, mine always says 'goodbye'.












    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    Got ...?

    Got Global Warming?







    got global warming?

    got global warming?


    4.75x1.25 inches (width x height) Vinyl Sticker Copyright: Truth Now, 2004 Words On Product: got global warming?












    Ventriloquist

    A young ventriloquist is touring the South and stops to entertain at a bar in Texas.

    He's going through his usual stupid Redneck jokes, when a big burly guy in the audience stands up and says "I've heard just about enough of your smart ass hillbilly jokes; we ain't all stupid here in the South."

    Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to apologize, when the big guy pipes up, "You stay out of this Mister, I'm talking to the smart ass little fella on your knee!"

    Welcome Debt-Free, LLC

    As of March 1st, DebtFree4ever received it's 1st direct sponsor/partner. That sponsor is DebtFree, LLC. After looking over this website, I think that it will be a beautiful relationship. Like Dave Ramsey teaches, they do not do loan consolidations.


    We are not a credit consolidation company or a debt settlement firm that negatively affects your credit; we are a sophisticated consulting firm that turns the tricks of the credit card companies against them and shows you a clear path to a debt free life. Our mission is to help Americans reduce debt, build wealth, and become finanically independent.


    They make their money by selling a customized roadmap to get out of debt for $29.95. They even guarantee to save you at least $2,000 in intrest over the life of your loans or they will refund your $29.95.

    If you do not have a plan that is working or if you are just starting and do not know where to begin I urge you to Contact DebtFree, LLC. Don't let your hard-earned money go to your creditors in interest and fees! Start today and begin saving money immediately!

    Proverbs 21:19

    Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.

    Sponsored Post: ETF Guide


    Today, I was asked to review a website called ETFguide.com. The site seeks to educate the reader about ETF's and even why they believe ETF's are better then Mutual funds.

    Before going on, I probably should explain what an ETF is? To put it simply,
    Exchange traded funds are an emerging class of low cost index funds that trade like stocks. They can be bought and sold throughout the market day and they offer portfolio exposure to the world's leading indexes.


    ETFguide.com claims to be the information leader on exchange-traded funds because of its vendor neutral approach and its progressive reporting style. Its unique features include bookstore (ETF related)and a monthly e-mail newsletter. In addition you can get subscription based ETF portfolios.

    ETFguide.com began publishing in 2003 and is independently owned. The site reaches mostly an affluent audience of individual investors, financial advisers, and financial institutions that invest and work with ETFs. I for one, being working class, cannot at this time afford to invest in ETF's, except maybe any that are in my employers 401(k) plan.

    Overall, ETFguide.com is very interesting website, that I enjoyed perusing.

    Partner With Us Through Sponsorship

    There are several ways to partner with this blog or blog network through advertising/sponsorship.
    The first way is by advertising through Google on the DebtFree4ever network, by clicking here.


    The other ways is by partnering directly with DebtFree4ever.net by sponsoring one or more blogs.

    $50/year to get a text ad on
    1. DebtFree4ever.net
    2. Your text ad will appear on the blog, plus a thank you with link, will be published.
























    Banner Ads now available at top or bottom of PrinceOfThrift.com or the blog at DebtFree4ever.net --- Only $25/mth to advertise on one of these sites. Banner sizes available are 468x60 pixels, 392x72 pixels or 234x60 pixels. Please provide the banner.









    Other text options are possible as well. Including sponsoring a post. If a post has not already been sponsored, it is possible to sponsor it for a one time fee of $50. Your link will be a permanently affixed to that post.

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Final Four Denied

    Like the Kansas Jayhawks, another Kansas team was denied the final Four birth, as they competed in the elite 8. However, this team wasn't playing basketball, rather they were competing in the Blog Madness at Money Blog Site that team being yours truly, here at Debt-Free 4ever.
    Though the loss of the elite-8 came on the day of this blogs anniversary, I am not bitter. I congratulate those that made it to the final 4 and would like to wish each of them best of luck.
    Of the three #16 seeds that made it to the elite 8, I was the only one to not progress further. The blogs to make it to the final 4 are:


    (4)Money Smart Life
    vs.
    (16)Fire Finance



    (3)Five Cent Nickel
    vs.
    (16)Don’t Mess With Taxes

    The Toothbrush

    Research had been going on for many years as to the invention of the toothbrush. Researchers knew the purpose of the device, but wanted to know and acknowledge the originating location. After a very long and exasperating study the researchers came to their conclusion as to the origin of the toothbrush. It was decided that the brush was invented by a redneck. Intrigued with the discovery, the researchers were asked by the media how they came to the conclusion. They all agree it was a simple deduction, "If it was invented by anyone else, it would have been called a teethbrush."

    Book Giveaway #2 - Good Debt, Bad Debt

    It is time to announce winner #1 and start giveaway #2. The winner for week #1 was comment #4 - Lauri. She needs to email me her real name and mailing address so that I can get her book into the mail. For the rest of you there is still 2 more chances
    to win a copy of "Good Debt, Bad Debt". The next winner will be announced next Monday, chosen from those who comment on this post.

    Here's how the giveaways will work:

  • I'll post on Monday the giveaway for that week.

  • To be eligible to win this item, just leave a comment, any comment, below the post anytime before Sunday at 4 pm Central of the next week.

  • The next Monday, I'll announce the winner (selected at random, using Randomizer.org) from the past week as well as the next giveaway. Once notified via the blog, the winner will email me his/her address, so I can mail their book to them.

    A few rules for these giveaways:

    1. You can not win more than once. Once you win one copy, you're out for the rest of them.
    2. One entry per person, per week
    3. The drawing will be final and I will be the complete and final judge.
    4. U.S. mailing addresses only. (I'm on a budget here, after all.)
    5. Anonymous posts will be disqualified. If you do not subscribe to the blogger service, you can choose "other," and type in a name that will identify you.

    You can read the previous review of this book, here.
    Today, we'll begin the giveaway with the first copy of this book.

    Good luck! Post a comment below for a chance to win this giveaway!
  • Problems Fixed/Guest Writers Sought

    I would like to thank the reader, who let me know that there was a problem with my Charles Givens post. I have located the problem and fixed it. Sorry for the inconvenience.
    In addition, since yesterday was my blogoversary, I would like to announce that I am seeking up to 5 guest writers to make occasional posts.

    Hot Dogs/buns

    katey writes -

    When you buy a package of 10 hot dogs and then can't find a package of hot dog buns with any more than 8 buns in it.



    OK now, I want to hear what your pet peeves are? What is your pet Peeve?

    Well-Behaved Women

    A LONG WEEK

    IT'S BEEN A LONG WEEK ALREADY
    AND IT'S ONLY MONDAY

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Thank You!!!!!

    Get your own free Blogoversary button!
    Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and for all of the comments and emails. Words cannot express how truly thankful I am for all of you. I don’t believe I could have paid off as much debt as I have if it wasn’t for the support I have received.

    Since today is my blogaversary, I thought I would revisit one of my 1st 2 posts (the only posts made last March). I chose the one below titled 1st post.

    ---------
    Today, my weekly post is going to address the first step to become debt free. It is important to point out, that while I am typing this, I am also learning. The big thing of course, is changing our spending habits. Changing those habits, can be the hardest thing, because we must stop using credit, but if you are like me (and most of you are), you are over extended and using credit cards to make it by. Obviously that is a losing battle, not to mention we are paying more for everything we put on credit, then we would if we would just pay cash. How do I figure? Well you are paying interest on top of what the retail cost is. For example you might as well add about $5,000 to the cost of your car, if you use credit to pay for it. With credit cards, if you pay the minimum payment on your credit cards, then you are likely paying for each item three times. Can you see how, it is better to pay cash? In the long run if we wait and pay cash, we will come out ahead of that person that has the "give it to me now," mentality and thus uses credit to get the items, just so they can impress their friends and family. Anyway more on that, in a latter post.

    The first step is making the commitment to do it. First cut up all your credit cards, except one. Take this one credit card and put it in a metal can full of water and put it in the freezer. Why a metal can? Because metal can't be microwaved. In this way, you are forced to wait for it to thaw out, before using it. This is a period of cooling off for you. Often times, by the time the ice thaws, you will have changed your mind about using your credit card.

    So let me ask, do you really want to get out of debt? Are you sure? Are you willing to discipline yourself in whatever ways might be necessary to achieve that goal? If you can answer yes to these questions, then let's get started. Check back weekly, for my weekly posts on becoming debt free and hopefully encouragement to stay debt free forever.


    -----
    Until, I started preparing for my Blog-aversary recently, I had forgotten that I originally intended to only post once a week. I guess I didn't want it to consume all of my time, but as the year progressed it became a thing of not posting less then 2 or 3 times a week.
    Upon reflection, I realized that posting more often was essential to being honest with my readers about my finances and more importantly my debt retirement. I made mistakes, but by being honest with you my readers, I was more aware of those mistakes. Thanks again to each and everyone of you.

    Saturday, March 24, 2007

    One Year

    No matter what happens in the elite 8 of personal finance (http://moneyblogsite.com/index.php/elite-8) when it ends tomorrow (Sunday, March 25) at 8 pm, it has been an incredible honer to have made it this far. I was surprised when I made it past the #1 seed, Wise bread in the first round. So to make it this far is truly a great honer. While an honer, I would hate to lose this round. Not just because I want to get into the "final 4" or to win it all, but because March 25, is my one year anniversary, and who wants to lose on their anniversary. Right now though, I am losing the votes to "five Cent nickel."
    In order to win, I would have to get another 16-18 votes. That is, if he doesn't get anymore votes whatsoever, between now and the end of voting.

    I would like to take this time, to thank all those who voted for me through out the competition. It has been fun, and no matter what happens, I really enjoyed "Money Blog Sites," blog Madness. I would also like to say that I really do appreciate each and everyone of my readers and fans.

    If you haven't already voted in this round, please head over to http://moneyblogsite.com/index.php/elite-8 and vote for "B & S Debt Free," thanks again to all of you for your past votes and future votes. Thanks also for reading my posts. I hope this next year will be even better as I hope to be able to offer even more giveaways throughout the year.
    Which reminds me, if you haven't entered giveaway #1, there is still time. Just click here and make a comment. The winner will be announced Monday morning, with the start of giveaway #2.

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    Don't Forget

    If you haven't entered the first ever giveaway, here on DebtFree4ever.net. To enter, just make a comment by clicking here.

    Proverbs 19:11

    A man's wisdom gives him patientce; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.

    Tasteless Redneck Joke

    A girl from the South and a girl from the North were seated side by side on a plane. The girl from the South, being friendly and all, said, "So, where ya'll from?" The Northern girl said, "From a place where they know better than to use a preposition at the end of a sentence."

    The girl from the South sat quietly for a few moments and then replied, "So, where ya'll from, bitch?"

    Bet Jesus Didn't...

    Bet Jesus Didn't Talk on His Cellphone While He Drove

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Weekly Update

    Fri (3/16) - Fried Bologna and potatoes/candy bar at work
    Sat (3/17) - Fried Bologna and potatoes/candy bar at work
    Sun (3/18) - Fried Bologna and potatoes/no lunch at work
    Mon (3/19) - Fried Bologna and potatoes
    Tue (3/20) - Sauerkraut and boiled Potatoes with hotdogs/took same to work for lunch
    Wed (3/21) - Ate at Chick-fil-a/Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
    Thu (3/22) - Sauerkraut and boiled Potatoes with hotdogs/taking same to work for lunch

    Global Warming

    Global Warming is so Uncool








    Global Warming

    Global Warming


    11.5x3 inches (width x height) Vinyl Sticker Copyright: NSM, 2005 Words On Product: Global warming is so uncool.












    Bubba

    Emily Sue passed away and Bubba called 911. The 911 operator told Bubba that she would send someone out right away. "Where do you live?" asked the operator.

    Bubba replied, "At the end of Eucalyptus Drive."

    The operator asked, "Can you spell that for me?

    "There was a long pause and finally Bubba said, "How 'bout if I drag her over to Oak Street and you pick her up there?"

    Ephesians 4:26

    "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.

    Anyone Remember This Guy (Lunatic)???

    The other day, I was remembering a financial advisor that was all over late night TV when I was kid in the 80's. A guy who suggested one way to get rich was to cut out the costs of insurance. Basically, becoming self insured. However, I couldn't remember his name. Then a couple days ago, Dave Ramsey was answering a callers question, and happened to mention Charles Givens. Finally, I had a name, and the research into this guy began.
    The first thing I found was that he died in 1998 (July 12th).

    During his rein he wrote 3 best-selling books:
    1. Wealth Without Risk (1988)
    2. Financial Self-Defense (1990)
    3. More Wealth Without Risk (1991)

    Charles J. Givens was a self-styled financial planner, investment educator, and investment guru who once appeared in infomercials on late-night television to tell the world about the fortunes he had made and lost, free seminars run by his associates, and the Charles J. Givens Organization. He died in 1998, but one of his organizations, International Administrative Services Inc. (IAS), lives on.
    - http://invest-faq.com/articles/warn-givens.html

    The article continued,

    Givens offers quite a bit of helpful advice but contrary to the titles of his books, his ideas can be extremely risky. For example, some of his suggestions about insurance, especially dropping uninsured motorist coverage from one's automobile insurance, may leave people under insured and vulnerable in case of an accident unless they are very careful about reading their policies and asking hard questions. On the other hand, some people are arguably over-insured, which is why Givens makes these recommendations. These people could certainly benefit from reading their policies carefully and asking the insurance agent some hard questions, but wholesale advice to drop coverage is risky.


    A look at International Administrative Services Inc's Website boasts about their founder:

    It began with a dream. Charles J. Givens, Jr. was 18 years old and bagging groceries for $0.85 an hour when he wrote down a dreams list identifying 188 dreams he was determined to accomplish. Among his many remarkable achievements, over 180 of those original 188 dreams have been reached.

    Charles Jr. was born on February 5, 1941, and grew up in Decatur, Illinois, graduating from MacArthur High School in 1959. On his 16th birthday, his aunt sent him an old guitar and unknowingly launched his musical career. He became a Central Illinois celebrity with his band "Chuck Givens and the Quintones" during the Rock & Roll era of the '50s and '60s.

    He attended Milliken University in Decatur and the University of Tennessee before moving to Nashville. A fire destroyed his music studio, equipment and master tapes, and with no insurance to cover the loss, he learned what it meant to lose everything. He realized that in order to control your future effectively, you must first let go of your past. "Where I is, is where I is -- but where I'm going is up to me" became his motto.

    They even boast about all of his appearance's:

    Charles J. Givens appeared as a featured guest on almost every major national television talk show, including, Oprah, Larry King, Phil Donahue, Joan Rivers, Geraldo Rivera, CNN, the Home Show, the 700 Club and the Today Show.

    The Charles J. Givens' Money Strategies newspaper column has been carried in 500 newspapers in 48 states and his radio broadcasts and interviews have been heard throughout the country.

    However, they don't tell you about the lawsuits or questionable activities.

    He would arrive at lectures in a chauffeur-driven, white limousine trimmed with gold. His mantra was: ``Be all you can be.'' He charged people $400 to $900 to learn his secrets of becoming wealthy.

    In the 1990s, his companies were the targets of dozens of lawsuits and investigations, many of them focusing on his alleged misrepresentations and the stringent refund policy covering his instructional materials.

    A California jury in 1996 said Givens defrauded 29,000 customers in that state. He was ordered to refund them $14.1 million and was ordered to stop misrepresenting the success of his moneymaking strategies.

    ``Givens lied about his past,'' said John W. Jeffrey, an attorney for the plaintiffs. ``The way he made his money was not by using the strategies he sold but rather by selling the strategies themselves.''

    A month after the verdict in California, Givens' company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He lost control of the business in 1997.

    A judge approved a plan to repay creditors 25 cents on the dollar. To protect himself from creditors, Givens transferred most of his assets to limited partnerships, frustrating lawyers who tried to collect for their clients.
    - http://www.newbusinessnews.com/story/07149801.html

    Oh and don't forget:

    Later that year, he settled a fraud and deceptive trade practices lawsuit filed by Florida's attorney general by agreeing to refund $175,000 to 135 disgruntled customers and paying the state's investigative costs.


    So, as with so many of the get rich quick schemers, his money really came from selling the idea rather then putting the ideas in practice. His ideas are some great ideas, but not if you are not ready for them.
    For example, his website talks about the insurance, which so many of us remember from the 80's.

    Almost any risk can be covered by insurance, but only a few coverages are good values. Always weigh the potential financial risk with the cost of the premium to insure that risk.
    For example, if raising a deductible on an automobile collision policy from $500 to $1000 cut the premium by $200 annually, you would save $200 every year by accepting $300 more net risk ($500 minus the $200 yearly premium) -- not a bad risk to take. If you go two years without a collision claim, you are ahead of the game. In this example, paying $200 annually in order to insure $300 (net), is not a cost-effective use of your premium dollar after the second year.

    As you can see it is a great idea. However, it isn't if you don't have the savings built up to cover the deductible if you should ever need it. Right now my insurances tend to have a $500 deductible. It will stay there, until I can build my emergency fund to a point where I can raise it to $1000. Which would mean $2000 in reality ($1000 for home and $1000 for auto).

    Are you as close...

    Are you as close to Jesus as you are to my bumper?

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Horses at the Race

    A champion jockey is about to enter an important race on a new horse. The horse's trainer meets him before the race and says, ''All you have to remember with this horse is that every time you approach a jump, you have to shout, 'ALLLLEEE OOOP!' really loudly in the horse's ear. Providing you do that, you'll be fine.''

    The jockey thinks the trainer is mad but promises to shout the command. The race begins and they approach the first hurdle. The jockey ignores the trainer's ridiculous advice and the horse crashes straight through the center of the jump.

    They carry on and approach the second hurdle. The jockey, somewhat embarrassed, whispers 'Aleeee ooop' in the horse's ear. The same thing happens--the horse crashes straight through the center of the jump.

    At the third hurdle, the jockey thinks, ''It's no good, I'll have to do it,'' and yells, ''ALLLEEE OOOP!'' really loudly. Sure enough, the horse sails over the jump with no problems. This continues for the rest of the race, but due to the earlier problems the horse only finishes third.

    The trainer is fuming and asks the jockey what went wrong. The jockey replies, ''Nothing is wrong with me--it's this bloody horse. What is he--deaf or something?''

    The trainer replies, ''Deaf?? DEAF?? He's not deaf--he's BLIND!''

    What's The Best Wine

    Do you like an occasional glass of wine? Have you been confused what wine goes with what? What is the best wine?

    Well, I found a website that allows you to compare. It will even tell you what wine best complements chicken or whatever you may be having. The best part is the site is easy to navigate. All you do is input what you want to know about and it will only give you those results. Say for example, you want to find information on a sweet merlot that goes with something sweet. Hit the find button, and boom you get the results of the wine that they suggest. While I think many of the suggested wines are a bit pricey for me ($20 wine is expensive to me), you can set the minimum and maximum price that you are willing to pay.

    Check it for yourself, it looks like a fun tool.

    Colossians 3:21

    Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

    the Elite 8 of PF Blogs



    After a narrow victory (16) Becoming & Staying Debt Free made it to the elite 8 to face off against (3) Five Cent Nickel. As with the sweet 16, there are still 3 of the #16 seeds, who had beaten out the #1 seeds in round 1.
    I am really going to need all my readers (especially Dave Ramsey fans) to vote for B & S Debt Free at the following link:
    http://moneyblogsite.com/index.php/elite-8/

    If I can win the over-all competition, I will get a link from the top of the Money Blog Site.

    Friends Don't Let...

    Friends don't let friends vote Democrat

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Free Movie Tickets

    Best Buy and Universal are running a promotion giving away free movie tickets to Peaceful Warrior the weekend of March 30, 31 and April 1, 2007.

    You just select your zip code, the number of tickets you want, the movie theater, and enter your email and then you can print them out. Makes for a cheap date!

    Are You Really Sure?

    A blind guy on a bar stool shouts to the bartender, "Wanna hear a blonde joke?"

    In a hushed voice, the guy next to him says, "Before you tell that joke, you should know something."

    Our bartender IS blonde, the bouncer is blonde. I'm a 6' tall, 200 lb black belt. The guy sitting next to me is 6'2", weighs 225, and he's a rugby player. The fella to your right is 6'5" pushing 300 and he's a wrestler. Each one of US is blonde. Think about it, Mister. Do you still wanna tell that joke?"

    The blind guy says, "Nah, not if I'm gonna have to explain it five times."

    P&G Awarded $19.25 Mln Against Amway Distributors

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co. (PG.N: Quote, Profile) said on Monday a jury awarded it $19.25 million after finding that four Amway distributors had spread false rumors about the company to advance their own business.

    The verdict was handed down on Friday in U.S. district court in Salt Lake City, Utah, according to Procter & Gamble.

    Procter & Gamble said it took related legal action last year against several companies for infringement of trade dress and trademarks, as well as false advertising, relating to some of its brands.

    Where Can I find This DVD?



    The documentary, titled Maxed Out is now in theaters, but none anywhere close to me. In addition, I can not find any DVD information, so that I can buy this DVD with Dave Ramsey in it. I did find the correlating book at the Barnes and Noble website, but nothing about the DVD.
    Does anyone, know anything more about this film?

    If this car were...

    If this car were a horse, I'd have to shoot it

    Proverbs 15:1

    A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    Bagging Groceries

    My pet peeve this week is:

    Baggers who don't know how to sack properly.


    Explanation:
    • Cold items bagged separate from other items.
    • Meat especially bloody meat bagged separate from lunch meat and other items (besides this is health department regulations---IE: the bagger is breaking the law when they don't separate raw meat).
    • Chemicals and Soaps bagged separate from foods and any non-food items that you would put in your mouth (like mouthwash, toothpaste, and tooth brushes). These particular non-food items should be bagged with groceries or other "safe products."
    • Eggs and bread generally bagged by themselves.



    OK now, I want to hear what your pet peeves are? What is your pet Peeve?

    Clinton is in Heaven

    President Clinton died and knocked at the Pearly Gates. "Who goes there?" inquired St. Peter.

    "It's me, Bill Clinton".

    "What bad things did you do on earth?"

    Clinton thought a bit and answered, "Well, I smoked marijuana, but you shouldn't hold that against me because I didn't inhale. And I lied, but I didn't commit perjury."

    After several moments of deliberation St. Peter replied, "OK, here's the deal. We'll send you someplace where it is very hot, but we won't call it 'Hell.' You'll be there for an indefinite period of time, but we won't call it 'eternity.' And don't 'abandon all hope' upon entering, just don't hold your breath waiting for it to freeze over."

    War

    War is not hell, just a preview

    Book Giveaway #1 - Good Debt, Bad Debt

    Over the next three (3) weeks I'll be giving away three copies of "Good Debt, Bad Debt" -- one per day each Monday.

    Here's how the giveaways will work:

  • I'll post on Monday the giveaway for that week.

  • To be eligible to win this item, just leave a comment, any comment, below the post anytime before Sunday at 4 pm Central of the next week.

  • The next Monday, I'll announce the winner (selected at random, using Randomizer.org) from the past week as well as the next giveaway. Once notified via the blog, the winner will email me his/her address, so I can mail their book to them.

    A few rules for these giveaways:

    1. You can not win more than once. Once you win one copy, you're out for the rest of them.
    2. One entry per person, per week
    3. The drawing will be final and I will be the complete and final judge.
    4. U.S. mailing addresses only. (I'm on a budget here, after all.)
    5. Anonymous posts will be disqualified. If you do not subscribe to the blogger service, you can choose "other," and type in a name that will identify you.

    You can read the previous review of this book, here.
    Today, we'll begin the giveaway with the first copy of this book.

    Good luck! Post a comment below for a chance to win this giveaway!
  • Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Reminder - Giveaway Starts Tomorrow

    This is a reminder that the first ever giveaway, here at Debt-Free 4ever will star tomorrow. I will post it sometime between 7 and 8 am central time tomorrow (Monday) morning. Please check back then for the complete details and to enter. I want to see at least 20 entries each week of the giveaway. There will be a total of three chances to win the book "Good Debt, Bad Debt," by Jon Hanson.

    One entry person...or all entries of that persons entries will be disqualified. No anonymous entries will be accepted. There are ways to enter with a name without signing up for blogger. The accepted way will be in the rules and details in the morning.

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    Is Getting A Tax Deduction On Donations A Sin?

    As we continue our count down to our 1 year blogaversary, we take a look at another article published in the past year. This article was originally published on July 21, 2006. This article was both controversial and thought provoking by some. Without further ado, here is "Is Getting A Tax Deduction On Donations A Sin?"

    I know, not all my readers are Christians. I also know that not all Christians will agree with me here. However, ever since my days of serving in full time ministry, I have read the scriptures and wondered why so many pastors go with the way of the world here. Let me try to explain as plainly and concisely as possible.

    Do I believe getting a tax deduction for a donation is a sin? Well maybe that's a little harsh, but it got your attention and peeked your interest in this article, and that is what I wanted.
    Should we deduct our donations on our taxes? Well that is where, I don't believe we should. Why? Because of what scripture says.


    "So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. "But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. - Matthew 6:2-4 (NAS)



    You see when I read that and then look at the tax forms, are we not in some way, by placing it on the piece of paper, bragging to the government? In affect saying, "Hey look at how good I am. I gave away all this money. Now reward me." To which the government does, giving you part of that amount as a tax break. Thus as God said in his word you were honored by men (or in this case the Government) and thus not entitled to your reward in Heaven.

    Ok, as I said, I know it's controversial and I have heard many people try to argue why we should be able to, but none of them could base their argument from the Bible. Legally, yes the U. S. Government has set this up as acceptable, but is it acceptable from the the perspective of the Bible?

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    My Frugal Haircut

    I cut my own hair for the first time ever. All I can say is it is definitely a frugal hair cut. I have had crew cuts before, but never has a haircut been this close.
    One thing for sure, I get to see what I would look like bald. (LOL)

    Am I always frying????

    Last night, I fried up some potatoes and scrambled eggs before going to work. Once at work, I spent 93 cents to buy 1 banana and one tangelo for my lunch.
    Before leaving work I spent another $5 to buy 1.5 pounds of grapes, 2 packages of Bologna, 1 package of hot dogs and a can of sauerkraut.

    In the near future, I plan to fix some sauerkraut and hot dogs, but for tonight, I will eat something less gassy.
    Tonight's dinner, will be fried bologna and fried potatoes. It seems like, I am always frying foods, doesn't it?

    In Case of...

    In case of rapture, this car will be unmanned

    PF Blog Tournament Narrowed To Sweet 16

    As the 64 top personal Finance blogs battle their way to victory, they have reached round 3. All 4 number 1 seeds were defeated in round 1 and 3 of the number 16 seeds, including yours truly, have survived both of the first 2 rounds. Now the remaining 16 blogs battle it out, to try to reach the Final 4 (round 5). Becoming and Staying Debt Free needs your votes, please click here, to vote for Becoming and Staying Debt Free. I really need to win this one. It will be a real boost to my self esteem. Thank you in advance. Oh and here is the link to the bracket.



    Oh and don't forget the giveaway that will begin Monday.

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Soup Nights - A tasty Change

    Have you ever tried to fix a meal from scratch while short on time? That was me Tuesday night. I came home from a meeting and had an hour to fix my evening meal and get to work so I would not be late. I was able (though just barely) to fix a big batch of potato soup and eat a bowl and throw some more in a container to take to work with me.
    Before I left work, Wednesday morning, I spent 42 cents for a can of whole kernel corn, which I dumped into the soup and last night I ate potato and corn soup (or my version of Corn & Potato soup). It was a delicious change from my standard potato soup. If I had the money I would have bought some ham to dice up some into this soup. Now that sounds really tasty.

    Not Fast Enough

    HOW FAST WAS I GOING, OFFICER?
    NOT FAST ENOUGH, I GUESS...

    Zechariah 4:6

    He said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty."

    Blonde Car Accident

    One day, while a blonde was out driving her car, she ran into a truck.

    The truck's driver made her pull over into a parking lot and get out of the car.

    He took a piece of chalk and drew a circle on the pavement. He told her to stand in the middle and not leave the circle.

    Furious, he went over to her car and slashed the tires.

    The blonde started laughing.

    This made the man angrier so he smashed her windshield.

    This time the blonde laughed even harder.

    Livid, the man broke all her windows and keyed her car.

    The blonde is now laughing hysterically, so the truck driver asks her what's so funny.

    The blonde giggles and replies, "When you weren't looking, I stepped out of the circle three times!"

    Book Review: Good Debt, Bad Debt

    Good Debt, Bad Debt by Jon Hanson

    As I sat down to read and review this book titled Good Debt, Bad Debt by Jon Hanson, one thought was nagging at me. I am a loyal Dave Ramsey fan, who says that there is no such thing as "good debt." Still though, I have heard Dave say that if you do get a mortgage it is to be for 15-years or less. So with that in my mind I wanted to find out what Mr. Hanson called "good debt." As he sees it, "good debt" is debt that eventually increases your net worth.
    In this book, he even lists what he calls good debt as:
    • Earns its keep
    • Increases your net worth or cash flow
    • Secures a discount that can be converted to cash or net worth
    • Creates leveraged position ($300 out, $400 in monthly)
    • Examples: debt for real estate at a safely leveraged level, debt for education that can be applied for a return of capital, and debt for a business you are competent to operate.


    The list then continues and list what he calls bad debt:
    • Is typically for consumption
    • Decreases your net worth or cash flow
    • Examples: Car loans that rob your retirement fund, continuing credit card debt, living on student loans, furniture loans, loans for rapidly depreciating items, and loans for parties, weddings or vacations.


    Like John Cummuta he compares credit cards to cocaine.

    Credit card companies, perhaps taking their cue from drug dealers, send college students sample cards with credit lines of $500-$2,000 to hook new users.... They come to you without prompting-in fact, often with a premium just for signing up. T-shirts and cookies are common premiums on a college campus. Credit cards are the crack cocaine of the credit industry.


    He even has what he calls "para-debt," or "almost debt." According to Hanson, this is the commutative effect of all the nonessential monthly spending. Even though these bills are not actually debt, it has a similar effect. Unlike normal utilities, these unneeded bills, like cable TV do not involve long-term contracts. In addition they are voluntary monthly obligations they can be cancelled at any time.

    A bad debt is money owed on high-interest credit cards for trinkets and non-essential items. Bad debt gives temporary pleasure, such as driving a shiny new Jaguar off the dealer lot. "Dump the pride issues," he writes.

    One thing was clear in reading "Good Debt, Bad Debt, Hanson despises Cars. He calls borrowing to buy a new car akin to driving your retirement into the ground. A car loan is a loan on something that decreases in value.

    The average new car loses value at a rate of $250 per month or more in the first few years of service, he writes. "Cars are the easiest area to save money in," he says. Like Ramsey he strongly suggests buying less and driving it longer (IE: buy a beater). Save the difference, buy your next car with cash that you saved, preferably in a good mutual fund.

    Hanson wants you to think before you spend and to deal with your financial problems head-on as they arise. "It is about gaining perspective and right-sized spending and saving," he writes.

    He encourages readers to "avoid the consumer entitlement mentality that can only lead to debt, regret and broken dreams — not to mention a garage and basement full of junk." The goal: Get control of emotional spending.

    Like Cummuta, he says that, "No matter the amount of your income, wealth can be obtained, or maintained, only through the amount you don't spend." The caveat is that it won't happen over-night like so many get rich quick schemers would like you to believe. It will take a number of years of spending less then you make. This is the key issue that Ramsey, Cummuta and Hanson all agree on. Yes, I believe, since debt is based on income, you can be debt-free with-in 7 years, if you start living with the just mentioned philosophy and focus on getting your debt paid off as Ramsey would say with gazelle intensity.

    Today's actions will affect what you can do in the future. "Your spending will determine your ending," Hanson philosophizes.

    Hanson wraps up this personal finance book with a chapter entitled. "You Married Who? The Ultimate Good Debt, Maybe." Unbridled emotions in any financial dealings can be dangerous, he preaches. Marriage, the ultimate financial partnership, must be entered with clarity.

    To help, Hanson offers his checklist to help you and your fiance align your money and life philosophies before you say, "I do." But you will have to get the book to see the list.

    -------
    I will be giving away three copies of this book. The first contest will begin on Monday March 19. Entries will be submitted to that post on Monday. With the winner announced the following Monday. Anonymous posts will be disqualified. If you do not subscribe to the blogger service, you can choose "other," and type in a name that will identify you. Check back Monday, for the contest.


    links to the giveaeays and winners:

    Book Giveaway # 1 - Lauri
    Book Giveaway # 2 -
    Book Giveaway # 3 -

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Ten Commandments of Debt

    The following Ten Commandments of Debt were written by Jon Hanson. A debt management speaker and author. I am in the process of reading his book right now and will be posting a review of it shortly. I will then be having a series of contests to give away three copies of Jon's book graciously supplied by Mr. Hanson. Without further ado, here is
    "The 10 Commandments of Debt," by Jon Hanson.


    The Ten Commandments of Debt Management


    1. Thou shall stretch your financial life time perspective.
    If you are forty, planning for forty more years is not excessive. Don't outlive your money.

    2. Thou shall not be beguiled by mass media, advertisers, or the merchants of debt.
    Work your plan, not others plan for your life. "Remember the past is the past, unless you still owe for it." How many are buying things they don't need, to impress people they don't know, with money they don't have?

    3. Thou shall make income run ahead of expenses.
    Revenue before spending (RBS). Spend less than you make. Understand the four Debt Effects.

    4. Cars are commodities.
    Work to position yourself so cars are cash purchases. Buy less car, drive it longer, and set up a sinking fund for the next one. Until they do not affect your long term planning, cars are a very poor investment.

    5. Thou shall not allow your Burn Rate to exceed 90 percent.
    Your spending determines your ending. Burn Rate determines fate. Live on 90 percent or less of your income. After you dump the debt save at least 10 percent, if you can't, start at 1, 2 or 5 percent, just start. If you cannot save, the seeds of greatness are not within you.

    6. Financial Freedom is found in submission to proven fundamentals.
    Forget the fads and secrets to wealth. There are no secrets. The universe is already unlocked. Financial success is found in simple math and accumulation. Embrace and remember these three D's: Discipline, Deferral, and Discernment.

    7. Thou shall not borrow for consumption.
    Wealth is gained through accumulation which is the opposite of consumption. When you borrow for consumption you have nothing left and you still owe for it.

    8. The way to financial freedom is delayed gratification.
    Truly we should see delayed gratification as a blessing and not a curse. If you will live for ten years like most people are not willing to do, you can eventually live most any way you wish.

    9. Most of your happiness will come from relationships with people, not money.
    Major relationships with your children, spouse, and close friends will be large factors in your success or failure financially.

    10. In general, use Good Debt for: real estate, education, and business.
    Not all debt in these three areas is good debt. To be classified as good debt, the real estate, education, or business must return the capital, pay the interest and still have a profit.

    Amateurs vs Professionals

    Amateurs Built the Ark Professionals Built the Titanic

    Johnny Strikes Again

    During one of her daily classes a teacher trying to teach good
    manners, asked her students the following question:

    “Michael, if you were on a date having dinner with a nice young
    lady, how would you tell her that you have to go to the bathroom?”

    Michael said, “Just a minute I have to go pee.”

    The teacher responded by saying, “That would be rude and impolite.
    What about you, Peter, how would you say it?”

    Peter said, “I am sorry, but I really need to go to the bathroom.
    I’ll be right back.”

    “That’s better, but it’s still not very nice to say the word
    bathroom at the dinner table.”

    “And you, little Johnny, can you use your brain for once and show Us
    your good manners?”

    I would say: “Darling, may I please be excused for a moment? I have
    to shake hands with a very dear friend of mine, whom I hope you’ll get
    to meet after dinner.”

    The teacher fainted.

    Colossians 1:17

    He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Short Life

    LIFE IS SHORT
    BREAK SOME RULES

    The Tournament Continues

    The tournament hosted by Money Blog Site continues. To see the bracket, click here. I again ask that you please go to the link below and vote for Becoming and Staying Debt Free. Thank you in advance for each and every vote.
    http://moneyblogsite.com/index.php/round-2-2nd-region/

    Suze Orman Endorses John Cummuta's TDIW

    With my blogiversary only 12 days away. I thought I would revisit some of my most popular posts in the past year. In some cases most controversial posts as I count down to the big day. Today, I am revisiting one of those controversial posts from June of last year.


    Using John Cummuta's Transforming Debt Into Wealth Course, you'll discover (as I did) "saved money" while you are in debt is really an illusion perpetuated by the very institutions you owe money to. Here's a clue: Who does it profit more to keep your money in a bank at less than 1%? You? Or your bank?

    Rapid Debt Payoff is catching on in some enlightened financial circles:

    sources:
    http://journals.aol.com/brujonte/TheFredBlog/entries/357

    and on CNN & fortune Magazine:
    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2003/06/16/344218/


    "Everyone should be aggressively paying off MORTGAGE debt as fast as possible."
    - Suze Orman, financial planning self-help guru and author of six best-selling financial self-help books

    Suze has always advocated paying off credit cards. Now she includes your mortgage, highlighting the devastating impact of debt on ordinary families.

    Pay off all of your debt in 5-7 years using the money you already make. Find out why financial guru and best-selling author, Suze Orman, is advising her millions of followers to "Pay Everything Off as Fast As Possible!"
    Free Lesson - Debt Freedom Course

    As those who have been following my blog since I began a couple months ago (March 25, 2006), know that I started off hard touting John Cummuta. Since then I have brought in Dave Ramsey, and have tried to merge the teachings of two of the greatest financial teachers I have ever heard. Cummuta makes since when he talks about eleminating debt before building your savings. However, Ramsey also makes since in having that $1000 emergency fund in place first, so that you don't use the credit card at all anymore.


    "Today we live in a world with more unknowns than I have ever seen in my life," she says, sitting in the lobby of the CNBC building in Fort Lee, N.J. Orman tends to infuse even one-on-one conversations with oratorical intensity. "Having talked to literally tens of thousands of people, I can say that what is good for America--and not just what is good theoretically, or for some financial wizards, but what is good literally--is not having credit card debt, not leasing a car, and not having mortgage debt. This is not good for a human being. It's just not. All these financial shows spending all their time telling people what to do with their money ..." She waves her arms toward the rest of the CNBC studio. "Well, get out there and talk to people like I do. The truth is, they haven't got any money. Who has money to invest anymore? Invest what?" - Suze Orman

    I am glad to see Suze come on board and recomend paying off all your debts including the mortgage. I think it's time that I look up her program again on CNBC and give it a watch to see what she has to say. It's been to long since I have watched her.


    "It may be fabulous for you to get a tax write-off. But if something happens to you, ladies and gentlemen...I promise you one thing: Uncle Sam is not going to let you move in with him." - Suze Orman

    How to Enjoy Baseball Games Cheaply (Frugally)

    Baseball season will be here in less then a month, and I recently found (again) an article Penny Nickel wrote on her Money and Values Blog last year. I thought it would be a great article to include snippets of here.


    Save money on parking

  • Take public transit if you can. Getting in and out of the ballpark area by car is not only pricey but a big hassle.
  • ark farther away from the stadium. If you're willing to walk a little (you'll get a better experience of the neighborhood and its atmosphere-- a plus at Wrigley, not-so-much in Detroit

    Save money on tickets

  • Consider the cheap seats. Especially if you're going to a game that won't be well-attended, you may have ample opportunity to relocate to better seats once you're inside the park
  • Look for days when tickets are cheaper. Nowadays most ballparks have some sort of tiered pricing system; games during the summer, on weekend days, and/or against popular opponents will cost you extra, while if you try spring or fall, weekdays, and/or a non-rival, your cost drops right off the bat.
  • Don't pay Ticketmaster fees if you don't have to.
  • Look into standing-room-only tickets. If standing will ruin your enjoyment then don't bother. But one alternative to buying pricey tickets to a popular game ahead of time is to get standing-room tickets the day of. They're cheap, and you may be able to grab someones empty seats mid-game.

    Save money on food

  • Bring food and drinks from home. Ballpark food can get really pricey, but most stadiums don't care if you bring in your own food. (Kansas City area is one place where they do care.) One thing Penny does note is that glass bottles are not allowed in any stadium.
  • Eat before you leave. Games are long, so you'll probably want a snack of some kind, but filling up before you head out makes the whole process easier.
  • Buy food and drinks outside the ballpark. If you haven't prepared in advance, don't want to lug the stuff from home, or are just craving something freshly cooked, you can stop somewhere just before you enter. (I remember when I lived in Chicago and would take "the El" aka the train to see the Cubs, as soon as I left the subway station vendors were selling the exact same bags of peanuts sold in the stadium. Only difference, was each vendor closer to the stadium was 50 cents more. First one was $1.50, but across the street from and in Wrigley they were $3.)

    Save money on souvenirs

  • Check the promotion schedule. From hats and bats to figurines and bobble-heads, you can pick up a souvenir just for walking through the gate.
  • Grab souvenir cups after the game. Most ballparks sell soda in souvenir cups, and many of the cups can be very neat. If you want to nab one (or more), you've got two options-- buy the cup with soda inside, or wait until the game's over and then grab yourself one, two, six of the cups that are inevitably left behind all around you.


  • Proverbs 22:24,25

    Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

    Flying Dog

    A woman is out looking for a pet, and so she's trying the local pet shops. She walks into a small pet shop and explains her need to the attendant. He thinks for a moment and then says, "I've got just the thing for you madam. I'll just get him."

    With that, he disappears into the back of the shop, and returns a few seconds later with a cute little puppy. "This dog is a special dog," he tells her. "It is able to fly," he explains, and with that throws the dog into the air. It immediately begins to float gracefully around the shop.

    "There is one problem with him, however. Whenever you say 'my', he'll eat whatever you've mentioned. Watch. "My apple!" The lady watches in astonishment as the dog zooms over to the shop attendant and furiously devours an apple he has produced from his pocket.

    "He's cute, and so unusual. I'll take him," she says, and a few minutes later she is on her way back home with dog to show her husband.

    "Darling, look what a clever pet I bought today!" she exclaims when she gets back home. "He can fly!"

    The husband peers at the dog, and then remarks, "Fly eh? Ha! My foot!"

    Getting Caught Up

    I am sitting here in front of the computer tonight, trying to catch up on my postings. A task I intended to do this morning, but Westar Energy had other ideas. It is the third night that I am eating ham and beans from the crock pot I fired up on the 9TH before going to work that night, and man are they delicious.

    2 New Blogs Join the Network

    I would like to welcome two new blogs to the DebtFree4ever Network. The first is an action group in my home town of Topeka called ACORN of Topeka. The other is Pet Peeves of the Week, in which the readers will be asked to submit their own pet peeves in the comment fields. Each week, a pet peeve will be selected to be that weeks featured pet peeve.

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE

    GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE
    … DRIVERS WITH CELL PHONES DO

    My Men Are Brave

    General McKenzie was in charge of the Navy, and he was visiting his colleague General Marshall, who was in charge of the Army. McKenzie arrives at the military camp and is greeted by Marshall. They both walk around the place, and McKensie asks: "So how are your men?"

    "Very well trained, Gral. McKenzie."

    "I hope so. You see, my men over at the Navy are so well trained, you could see they're the bravest men all over the country." "Well, my men are very brave, too."

    "I'd like to see that."

    So Marshall calls private Cooper and says: "Private Johnson! I want you to stop that tank coming here with your body!"

    "Are you crazy? It'd kill me, you idioy! I'm out of here!" As private Johnson ran away, Marshall turned to a bewildered McKenzie and said:

    "You see? You have to be pretty brave to talk like that to a general."

    Using the Dividers in the Checkout

    People not putting the dividers behind their orders in the supermarket check out.


    Explanation:

    As a cashier, it makes it more difficult to distinguish between the end of yours and the beginning of the next. There may not be any behind you at the moment, but could be by the time you finish checking out. It's just good manners to be prepared.

    As a customer, behind you, I may not be able to reach the divider and feel like the customer ahead of me is being rude when they don't have the divider behind their order.





    OK now, I want to hear what your pet peeves are? What is your pet Peeve?

    Psalms 37:8

    Refrain from anger and turn with wrath; do not fret - it leads only to evil.

    Sunday, March 11, 2007

    Giveaways To Start Soon

    I recently contacted the author of a financial book, who has graciously agreed to send me 3 copies of his book to give away on DebtFree4ever.net. I would like to thank Jon in advance of receiving those books for his graciousness. I will be placing a link to his website in the side bar soon.
    For my readers, be looking for the giveaway contests starting in the next week on DebtFree4ever.net. There will also be a pair of tickets in the near future that I will be giving away to one lucking winner who comments on the appropriate post at DebtFreeever.net. Be looking for that post as well.

    Again Thank you to those who have made these giveaways possible.

    Advertisers sign on

    There are some thank you's that I need to get caught up on. First and most importantly, DebtFree4ever has received 2 advertisers.
    One is Debt Free LLC, a site that looks like an excellent place to help you get out of debt. More about them later this month on debtfree4ever.net. Debt Free LLC is advertising on all 3 of my personal finance related sites.
    The other advertiser is http://www.personal-loans-consolidation.com/. This one is advertising only on the DebtFree4ever.net site.
    Both websites/companies are advertising for one year (3/1/07-3/1/08). I would like to thank both of them for placing ads with DebtFree4ever.

    Saturday, March 10, 2007

    Wasteful Spending?

    I bought two items this week. One I think was a wise investment of $10 for a dryer rack. The other, even though over a few years will save me money, might be considered wasteful at the moment. What do you think? That item was hair clippers for $25.

    *** additional note - I only pay $7 (maybe $8 this year) to my barber. Since I let me hair go as long as I can, before work says something, I only see him 3-4 times a year. ****

    Friday, March 9, 2007

    Tonight

    I didn't have any meetings tonight, so I fixed 2 baked potatoes (one was packed into my lunch for tonight). In addition, I went ahead and opened the last can of cream corn in the pantry. I still don't know how much I paid for that thing way back when, put I ate cream corn over a slice of bread beside my baked potato (drowned with margerine).
    I also drank a glass of orange juice.

    My lunch will be the same thing minus the bread and is the rest of the can of corn.

    DON'T TAILGATE ME

    DON'T TAILGATE ME …OR I'LL FLICK
    A BOOGER ON YOUR WINDSHIELD

    Proverbs 29:22

    An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot tempered one commits many sins.

    NEVER LIE TO YOUR MOTHER

    Brian invited his mother over for dinner. During the course of the meal, Brian's mother couldn't help but notice how beautiful Brian's roommate, Jennifer, was. Brian's Mom had long been suspicious of a relationship between Brian and Jennifer, and this had only made her more curious.

    Over the course of the evening, while watching the two interact, she started to wonder if there was more between Brian and Jennifer than met the eye. Reading his mom's thoughts, Brian volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you Jennifer and I are just roommates."

    About a week later, Jennifer came to Brian saying, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle. You don't suppose she took it, do you?"

    Brian said,"Well, I doubt it, but I'll send her an e-mail just to be sure.

    Dear Mom: I'm not saying that you "did" take the gravy ladle from the house, I'm not saying that you did not" take the gravy ladle. But the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here for dinner. Love, Brian

    Several days later, Brian received an email back from his mother that read: Dear Son: I'm not saying that you "do" sleep with Jennifer, I'm not saying that you "do not"sleep with Jennifer. But the fact remains that if Jennifer is sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the gravy ladle by now. Love, Mom

    LESSON OF THE DAY - NEVER LIE TO YOUR MOTHER

    Thursday, March 8, 2007

    BLT minus the T

    When the roommate came home tonight, he told me that he had bought stuff for BLT's, if I wanted any. After my meeting I had tonight, I looked in the refrigerator to find he bought a 3 lb package of bacon. So I decided to go ahead and make myself a BLT minus the tomato of course since I don't do that particular kind of fruit.
    I used dry bread (split-top wheat), lettuce (vegetable and bacon. I did throw him a dollar to cover his expense and then enjoyed myself a delicious BLT.

    Mural to honor Topekan: Grant Cushinberry known for work to aid the poor



    Published Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Topeka humanitarian Grant Cushinberry will be the focal point of the first panel of a mural wall at the intersection of S.W. 20th and Western streets.

    The design for the Great Mural Wall of Topeka, an art project of the Chesney Park Neighborhood Improvement Association partially funded through the Weed and Seed Program, was unveiled Tuesday evening at Professional Martial Arts, 1900 S.W. Clay.

    Chesney Park residents will paint the wall under the direction of mural artist David Lowenstein. The first panel has been developed in a collaborative effort between the artist and the community and focuses on the past and future of Chesney Park.

    Tom Benaka, president of the Chesney Park NIA, and Jeff Alvarez, Weed and Seed coordinator, unveiled the design Tuesday.

    Cushinberry is known for his support for the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner and collecting food, clothing and other items and distributing them to the poor from his home on what he called "God's Little Half-Acre."

    2007's Forbes 400

    I seen on the news tonight, before rushing out the door for a meeting that I was late for that Forbes has come out with their annual list of billionaires. I took a look and found that Supermarket investor and Pittsburgh Penguins (soon to be possibly Kansas City Penguins) co-owner Ron Burkle of Los Angles was number 369 on the list with 2.5 billion dollars in assets.
    Of course Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are still number one and two respectively.

    I encourage everyone to take a look at the complete list but the top 20 are:

    1. William Gates III
    2. Warren Buffet
    3. Carlos Slim Helu
    4. Ingvar Kamprad
    5. Lakshmi Mittal
    6. Sheldon Adelson
    7. Bernard Arnault
    8. Amancio Ortega
    9. Li Ka-shing
    10. David Thomson
    11. Larry Ellison
    12. Liliane Bettencourt
    13. Prince Alwaleed
    14. Mukesh Ambani
    15. Karl Albrecht
    16. Roman Abramovich
    17. Stefan Persson
    18. Anil Ambani
    19. Paul Allen
    20. Theo Albrecht

    HAPPY MARRIAGE

    There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything.

    They kept no secrets from each other except that the old woman had a shoebox in the top of her closet that she cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

    For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box.

    When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a stack of money totalling $25,000. He asked her about the contents.

    "When we were to be married, " she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily."

    The little old man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

    "Honey," he said "that explains the doilies, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

    "Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the doilies.

    HONK IF

    HONK IF YOUR FAMILY EMBARRASSES
    THE HELL OUT OF YOU

    Blog Madness: Top 64 battle for Number 1

    OK, so Money blog Site is conducting the Personal Finance blog version of March Madness. Becoming and Staying Debt Free has made it into the top 64 and now the battle is on for number one. This site is listed in what money Blog Site calls region 2. Voting is conducted via the appropriate posts. IE: since my blog is in region 2, your votes for this site would be on the region 2 post. Please follow the link below and vote for Becoming and Staying debt Free. The post he links to is the controversial post from last year about Suze Orman endorsing John Cummuta.

    Please Click Here To Vote for Becoming & Staying Debt Free in Blog Madness

    ConAgra Says Peter Pan Recall is Ongoing

    With the recent recall of Peter Pan and the announcement that the recall will cost ConAgra Foods an estimated 50-60 million dollars, I decided to give ConAgra a call to have a couple of questions answered that were on my mind (and those at the grocery store where I also work).
    I talked with Stephanie Childs, Director of Communication for ConAgra, based in Omaha, NE. When asked when consumers could expect to see Peter Pan back on store shelves, Childs replied that no Peter Pan product was available and that ConAgra is continuing to work with the FDA and their on going investigation and what steps will be required next to correct the situation.
    Since it has been suggested that the Peter Pan recall could bankrupt them, I asked her about this. She refused to comment and referred me to the website, where it talks about the estimated costs.
    Once at the website, one quickly learns that they make much more then Peter Pan. They also make Jiffy Pop, Act II, PAM, Orville Redenbacher's, Blue Bonnet, Fleischmann's, Egg Beaters, Hunt's, Van Camp's, Reddi-wip, Wesson and many more brands to numerous to mention.
    Then going to look at the investors news section, one is presented with the following statement.

    Fiscal 2007: The company notes that its previous EPS guidance of $1.28 - $1.33 for fiscal 2007, excluding items impacting comparability, will need to be downwardly adjusted for the negative impact of the recent Peter Pan recall. The recall is the only reason for the downward revision. While the company is still quantifying the impact of the recall, its preliminary estimate is that the recall will create $50 million - $60 million, or $0.06 - $0.08 per share, of additional expense in the third quarter of the fiscal year. The company's fiscal 2007 EPS performance will likely be towards the low end of the range previously cited, taking into account the costs associated with the recall and the fact that several areas within the company are performing better than planned. The company will have more details about the financial impact of the recall with its third quarter earnings release on March 22, 2007.

    It is easy to see with the size of the company, that even though $60 million is a sizable loss, it really isn't significant enough to bankrupt the company. So, I would have to disagree with those who have suggested that this recall could bankrupt them. In the end ConAgra will remain strong, even if sells of Peter Pan peanut butter does not ever get back to the levels before the recall.

    Romans 10:9

    That if thou shat confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    What I ate Tonight

    As I head full force into the final month of this 90-day social experiment, I have come to realize that sticking to a $30 a month budget is not easy. It takes a lot of due dilegance and is easy to buy junk food and convience items if ou are not careful.

    Tonight, I did not eat any vegetables, I ate 3 eggs and some corn flakes.

    Where Are The Vegetables

    On a recent post, I had a visitor question me about where the vegetables were. The person said that except for beans, they have not seen me eat any vegetables.
    How do I respond to that? I wonder if the person has read all my posts. In fact I wonder if they have read the post completely that they posted the comment to. It is true, that I haven't prepared nearly the variety of vegetables that I did before this experiment. If they had they would have seen I have eaten lots of potatoes (a vegetable) and I have also eaten corn (also a vegetable).
    Fact is in about 30 days when this experiment is over, I am going to live off what is in my pantry in an effort to get rid of all the canned goods that I had bought previous to this experiment. Some of which are a couple of years old. Vegetables included in that list is corn, peas, beans (4 different kinds - green beans, baked beans, great northern and pork and beans). Unfortunately, I do not have my favorite vegetable in the pantry, a vegetable that is probably the most expensive in my taste buds. That being green Lima beans. I will have to look, but I might have one can of carrots as well. I do know that I have a can cranberry sauce and a can of pineapple as well. I should have enough canned fruit and vegetables for at least 30 meals.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2007

    Welcome New Readers

    ****** I am bringing this post back to the front, because a couple of blogs that link here are being interviewed on xm radio channel 156 by Jean Chatzky. The show airs at 6 AM, Noon, 6 PM ET on Wed. March 7. I want to welcome all the new readers coming here via these other sites or just happens to find this site another way. ******

    I would like to take a moment and welcome all the new readers. Yesterday, there was an unprecedented 85 readers to find their way into this blog. Today, as of this writing, there has been 143 readers. I want to say welcome. I am not sure, what is bringing all of you in, but I love it. My guess is that the NY Times article, that mentioned a hand-full of my fellow personal finance bloggers is the reason for the influx. No matter why, I again welcome all of you.

    A bit about me and this site

    1. I currently make around $20,000/year, and am always looking for ways to bring in more income.
    2. I attempt to post a minimum of 2-3 times per week, which is up from the weekly posts I started this blog with back on March 25, 2006.
    3. I am what some would call a comment whore - I love comments and I love the interaction with my readers. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me via email at kevin -AT- DebtFree4ever.net, via voice mail at (785)783-4373 or via snail mail P.O. Box 4551 Topeka, KS 66604. (I almost feel unloved when I don't get comments...so don't be shy.)
    4. Feel free to bookmark this site and visit often or you can subscribe to my feed via the links and forms in the right-hand side bar.

    Again, thanks for visiting and it is my sincere hope that you will stay for a while. God bless.

    you don't look like you're handicapped

    Hillary Clinton was out jogging one morning along the parkway when she tripped, fell over the bridge railing and landed in the creek below.

    Before the Secret Service guys could get to her, 3 kids who were fishing pulled her out of the water. She was so grateful she offered the kids whatever they wanted.

    The first kid says, "I want to go to Disneyland." Hillary says, "No problem, I'll take you there on my special Senator's airplane."

    The second kid says, "I want a new pair of Nike Air Jordan's." Hillary says, "I'll get them for you and even have Michael sign them!!"

    The third kid says, "I want a motorized wheelchair with a built in TV and stereo headset!"

    Hillary is a little perplexed by this and says, "But you don't look like you're handicapped."

    The kid says, "I will be after my dad finds out I saved you from drowning."