Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Frightening and Important Lesson

I had an identify theft scare this week that really put me on my toes. As it turns out, it was just a scare, with a little card # theft for dessert.

As has been my lot of late, I was in Georgia on business for the week. On Wednesday morning, when I went online to balance my account (if you've read my book you know I do that every day), I noticed an unusual charge. It was for $29.95. The amount was innocuous enough, but I didn't recognize it nor the company name associated with it. The name sounded like a Sports Bar or an online betting name, so I decided to google it. Turns out, it was a porn company. Needless to say, I immediately contacted the bank and got the charge removed. I canceled my debit card and ordered a new one.

A few things about the incident really jumped out at me that I want to pass on. First, my experience shows that things like this can happen to anyone. That's why it's important to check your accounts regularly and to check your credit report annually. It's free, so there's no excuse. Secondly, I was surprised at the stereotypical nature of the fraudulent charge. The person used my card number to order PORN. How very unimaginative!

The third item of note, was how unsurprised the customer service agent was when I told her my story. I was, like, out of my mind with panic and outrage. I was afraid charges were going to start popping up like dandelions in the Spring. But the dear lady said, "Don't worry, it happens all the time." All the time? Holy Smokes!

Debit cards are convenient and useful. But they have their risks. Cards can be lost or stolen. Numbers can be retrieved from trash cans and computers. It is critical that we pay attention to where and how we use our cards and how we dispose of receipts. Remember to do computer virus and spyware scans regularly, as well.

In the end, I only had the one charge come through and I caught it within a few hours of the charge, while it was still a pending transaction so no real harm was done, other than to my adrenal system. Be warned. Be vigilant. Be prepared.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Just Some Musings

I saw an article on Yahoo Money earlier this week that said if your household income if $40k you are in the top 50% of the country. That's a pretty impressive number on many fronts. First, it demonstrates why things like high gas and oil prices affect things like the retail sector so badly. When half the country has to choose between heating their homes, getting to and from work/school and buying things like movies, music or toys, there is going to be a loser.

We have to break our dependence on foreign oil. It won't be cheaper at first, but we'll be better off in the long run. Besides, the nations we buy oil from, hate us. They want us to die. What is the upside in that business relationship?

I am a firm believer in bio fuels. I have read the pros, I have read the cons and the pros outweigh the cons in my book. 1. We have a renewable resource. 2. Bio fuels are fairly easy to produce. 3. Farming becomes viable again. Especially in places like the tobacco belt where farmers who can no longer subsist on tobacco can switch to things like soy beans, corn and hemp.

Brazil in an excellent example of a country who understands the issue. They have bio fuel plants everywhere and I believe there are bio fuel pumps at gas stations all over the country. They haven't eliminated the need for petroleum and fossil fuels, but they are reducing the need. That's where we start.

Now, I'm really going to get controversial. If we want to actually reduce heating and energy costs in the long run, we need to look at nuclear energy. This is the 21st century. Nuclear energy is not new, it's not science fiction and it's not going to turn us all into mutants. It's clean, it's safe, it's effective and it's cheap in the long run. France gets most of it's energy from nuclear powered sources.

I know I sound conflicted by promoting both Bio and Nuclear fuels. But I'm not conflicted. I'm a pragmatist. I'm all about making the best choices for the present and for the future.

And don't even get me started about medical costs..............

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Great Starter Kit Give Away

As a way of saying thank you to readers for offering testimonials about IOU NO MORE, we will be giving away 3 Starter Kits at the end of November. The Kits include the notebook, mechanical pencil, one paper set of IOU NO MORE forms, one IOU NO MORE FORMS LIBRARY cd with all our forms in both customizable and .pdf formats and one envelope/receipt folder.

To be eligible, simply submit a testimonial (review) of the book on and email a copy of the testimonial to Use the word, 'Testimonial' in the heading. Please include your name in the email. You don't need to include a mailing address. We respect your privacy. On Nov 30, we will draw three names randomly from the entries. At that time, we'll announce the names of the winners and we will ask only those individuals drawn to send us addresses where we can mail the Kits. If you haven't read the book yet, this would be a great month to join the revolution!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Mixed Results

Needless to say, as the author of IOU NO MORE, I follow the results of book sales pretty closely. Some weeks I am very encouraged by the results, other weeks are disappointing. Of course, since we don't have national marketing or anything those kinds of ups and downs are too be expected. On the up side, those who buy the book have had good things to say. I've received many positive comments. I am pleased that people are being helped.

The website continues to generated large volumes of hits and I get many requests for the free spending plan. I love hearing from folks so please keep the notes and questions coming.

If your Church, civic group, workplace, school or other organization is looking for a workshop or seminar on handling debt or money management, please consider an IOU NO MORE Live Event. Spread the word.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Momentum is building

From the moment IOU NO MORE was published and this web log was launched, we have said that our intent is to start a revolution. A "Live Free" revolution. And I'm happy to say that momentum is beginning to build. Every day I hear from men and women who have had enough and want to take back control of their finances and their futures.

On one hand, it's sad that so many people are straining under the yoke of debt and financial mismanagement. But, that's the past. We've all made mistakes. No one knows that more than I do. I am encouraged by the number of people who are ready to break the chains and live free.

With that in mind, we at IOU NO MORE are working to put together a discussion board where fellow revolutionaries can meet together to support one another, ask questions, share tips, confess and just talk. So stay tuned, it's coming very soon.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Maxed Out

Last night, Brittan and I watched the docu-movie, "Maxed Out". I am told that the DVD has been one of NexFlix hottest rentals of late. I'm glad to hear that. Everyone should see it.

There were times, when the films left leaning bias frustrated me. For example, the only references in the program to personal responsibility as it relates to getting into debt, come from the smarmy managers of the Debt Collection agency. I find that unfortunate and believe it makes the whole documentary unbalanced.

On the other hand, the film makers do an excellent job of demonstrating the underbelly of the Credit Card industry and the devastating effects on the lives and families who find themselves buried in unsecured debt of various kinds.

Especially poignant are the stories of grieving families whose loved ones concluded that suicide was the only viable escape from their debt crises. These were interlaced with tragic tales of individuals and families who fell prey to unscrupulous sub prime lenders.

Pretty much all the major banks were portrayed as greedy, power broking evil doers who pretty much own Washington and get whatever they want. I doubt that Colombian drug lords could be painted in a more sinister light.

In the end, despite it's biases skewed viewpoints, one clear message comes through; credit card debt is BAD! Perhaps an upside of characterizing Bankers as purveyors of addiction, will be that we will learn to respond to the myriad offers of cards and loans the same way we teach our children to respond to the offers of drugs they hear and "Just say NO!"

See the movie. Watch it with your "baloney detector" turned on. And hopefully, when you're done, some plastic will be executed. I have some scissors if you need them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Holy Cow, Where does the time go?

I can't believe how much time has passed since I last made an entry for this blog. Any readers probably think I've died. Or emigrated to Australia....

I've been very busy with work, our Church and a few other projects and didn't even notice how badly this spot has been neglected.

When you think about it, our finances get away from us in almost the exact same way. We get busy, don't pay attention and before you know it, the check book is a mess, bills are late and credit cards are at the max.

We have to stay on top of our money all the time, or it will run amok like an escaped zoo animal. It is a restless beast, ready to break free and devour us if given half a chance. But with vigilance and commitment, our finances can be tamed and even trained to do our bidding and give us pleasure.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

First Live Event is History

Our first IOU NO MORE LIVE event is now in the books. While the crowd was fairly small, we had a great time together. We laughed a lot and busted more than a few myths about the inevitability of debt. I can't wait for the next event.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Website Issues

One of my favorite parts of the website, Tip of the Week, is malfunctioning. Actually, it has disappeared. Perhaps it's been kidnapped by a Credit Card Collection Company. At any rate, we are working on the problem and hope to have things working properly, soon.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thank You to the Limestone Rotary Club

A big thank you to the Limestone Rotarians for hosting me yesterday morning. We had a great time enjoying breakfast and talking money.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm Not an Idiot,

I just play one on T.V.

A friend of mine from Church called me this morning to tell me that the Chamber of Commerce was going to send out an email promoting the IOU NO MORE live event. He also said that the date they were advertising was wrong. They were promoting July 27, rather than June 27.

At first I was perturbed, because I had hand delivered a poster with the dates and wondered how such a mistake could be made. Then I relaxed and put it down to a simple typo. Which it was...... MINE!

On a whim, I decided to look at the poster I gave them and there, big as you please, in plain English, was the date, July 27. Boy howdy, did I feel like a goof. So I sent them an email correcting the date and promising an updated poster.

I'm a pretty good money manager, but proof reading is not my greatest strength.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Now More Than Ever

This week, we started running spots advertising the website and book on google "adwords". Adwords are the little classified adds you seen on the right hand side of the page when you do a google search. Many people never click on those ads, but they are great exposure. We've had several people look at the website who otherwise may never have heard of us.

The set up is easy, and the price is very reasonable. First you write your ad, then attach it to a variety of key words. When one of those key words is typed in, your ad will appear along with the search results. Not every time, mind you, the ad is spaced throughout the day proportionate to the amount of money you are able to spend.

In my case, that amount is quite low. Even so, on first day alone, the ad appeared over 3500 times via the keyword "budget". Even if my ad appeared in a full 10% of the searches, which I think would be high, it demonstrates how many people are looking for help. Keep in mind, those numbers represent only one key word. Words and phrases like, debt, budget plan and others were also very highly productive.

Multitudes of people are looking for financial peace of mind. And that's why the book was written. Unsolicited comments and reviews of the book have been coming in. They have been overwhelmingly positive. People like it. I've been humbled and flattered at the same time.

IOU NO MORE is the right book at the right time to benefit huge numbers of people. Please spread the word. Feed the revolution!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Website Active, Mostly

We're excited to announce that the IOU NO MORE website is up and active. As you can see, it is currently pretty basic. In some ways, it always will be. We want to keep things simple and effective. At the moment you can order our new book, "IOU No More", read the tip of the week, follow the IOU No More blog and take advantage of our savings, debt and mortgage calculators. In the very near future we'll be adding a shopping cart so you can order a complete set of IOU NO MORE forms for tracking your financial progress. We will also have "Starter Kits" that will have a copy of the book, a forms cd, a three ring binder, a set of paper forms and an IOU NO MORE mechanical pencil.

Besides, the shopping cart, we are developing a FAQ page and a section for Testimonies and Success Stories. Please feel free to email us your own thoughts and questions. We love to hear from other revolutionaries.

Later on down the road, we intend to add a podcast that is updated weekly. But that feature will have to wait for a while.

We have also started a campaign on the internet to drive people to our site and hopefully to buy the book or at least get them thinking about becoming debt free. Viva la Revolucion!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Places to get tickets for the Live Event

Tickets for our Live event on Wed, June 27 are available by emailing or by calling (207) 551-2084. They can also be picked up from Dead River/Food Trend on High Street in Caribou or from the Caribou Chamber of Commerce and Industry. A big thank you to both places for helping us out.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Big News, IOU NO MORE LIVE Event booked

Our first IOU NO MORE LIVE event is now formally booked for Wednesday, June 27, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center, Caribou, Maine. Admission is free. Coffee will be provided. I will sign books before and after the event. A limited number of books will be available at the event as will cds with reproducible forms. This is very exciting and it will be a lot of fun for everyone who attends. In fact, it could be the most fun you'll ever have talking about money.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Website Changes

In the very near future we will be launching a really cool website at In the meantime, I have uploaded a rudimentary one that will allow you to purchase the book, email us with questions and testimonials and to link to this stimulating weblog. Please spread the word. And please do email us with those aforementioned testimonials and questions. We'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Back from Vacation

Sorry for the gap in posts, but I've been selfishly indulging in an Arizona vacation with my bride. We had a excellent time. We're safely back home and I plan an iou no more update soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Car Fever

Women are not immune, but men are most vulnerable. Maybe it's the shiny metal. Perhaps it's the new car smell. It might even be simple boredom. But there is something about the thought of a new (different) car or truck that makes ordinary, well educated, sensible men(and sometimes women) lose all rational senses.

Every day, otherwise reasonably intelligent individuals sign over years of hard earned income so they can drive off in a depreciating hunk of metal and rubber. I just don't get it.

What if I told you there are ways to trade vehicles regularly and never ever have a payment again? Well it's true. It requires a plan and it requires a commitment to "delayed gratification". That means it takes patience. But it will pay off in the end. And..... you will be paying yourself interest rather than to a bank or other lending institution. And who wouldn't rather drive a new vehicle and pay themselves rather than someone else?

Want to know more? Then check out my new book. Go to and search for IOU No More. It really could save you a hundred thousand dollars or more in car payments alone over the rest of our life!

Live Free!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks....Really!

Back in the late 90s, Brittan and I lived in Council Bluffs, Iowa. During those years, we were members of the local Kennel Club. We met many wonderful people through the club and have fond memories of that time. One of the stand out memories for me was of a couple with a champion obedience dog who was 7 years old when they got him and began training him. In dog show terms, 7 is considered fairly mature. Most dogs are retiring by that time. But this dog was just beginning his obedience career. He learned well, performed well and became one of the top obedience dogs in the country.

Most average people would have figured he had no chance at success. He was too old, had too little training and wasn't even located near any of the hot "doggie spots" in the country. Yet he and his owners weren't interested in averages. They worked hard, paid the price and enjoyed the success.

I know many people who think they've hit an age or a stage in life where it's too late to change course. They come up with one excuse after another why they can't or won't ever be able to manage money or be successful. But I say, that's just fear talking, or the law of averages.

But you and I don't have to be average. There is no law that says, after 40 or 50 or whatever, you're stuck where you are. Humbug. History's pages are filled with the success stories of men and women who dared to beat the averages.

Don't worry about your age, your geographical location or the current state of your bank account. Dare to dream. Decide to act. Determine to win.

I was 43 before I learned to manage money. Even then it took several years of trial and error before I was consistent. But I'm living proof that old dogs CAN sometimes learn new tricks. You were born to be a champion. Come on then, make the decision today to win. Claim your destiny.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Book is now Available

I am more excited than I can say. IOU No More is available for purchase through It will be out via some other channels soon, but amazon is already active. Just type IOU No More into the search engine on the amazon home page and you'll be taken right to the book. Feel free to buy a few dozen copies. They make excellent gifts! :-)

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Welcome to the first installment of IOU NO MORE. It's hard to say how often I'll be updating this spot in these early days of life, but I'm very excited to be getting started. My book, of the same name, will be hitting the market within weeks as will the associated website, Please keep an eye out for them.

My goal for this blog is simple. I am interested in launching a financial revolution. I want to see millions of people in America and around the world become debt free and life debt free forever.

Home foreclosures are at an all time high. More people than ever are struggling to make even the minimum payments on credit cards (especially now that by law those minimums have doubled). Student Loans have become a way of life. Most families have virtually no savings and little hope of beginning to save. And a high percentage are terrified that Social Security won't be around for them when it comes time to retire. And speaking of retirement, more and more men and women are working into their 70s and even 80s, not because they want to but because they have to!

Enough is enough! It's time to fight back. It's time to take back our lives from the purveyors of credit who have enslaved us for far too long. My wife and I are living examples of ordinary people who broke the chains and escaped to freedom.

I'm not talking about a "get rich quick" scheme. I am talking about learning how to manage your greatest wealth building I'm talking about a plan to help you take back control of your life. And it's simple. It isn't easy, but it IS simple.

So, if you're sick and tired of debt, if you're really ready to be free, if you're ready to do whatever it takes to win, then I invite you to join the revolution. People think we're crazy. I like that.