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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Name for a New Year

As promised, we are changing the name of this space to reflect the broader nature of the blog going forward. We will still include money saving tips and ideas for reducing debt, but we'll have a lot more about budgeting, growing vegetables, preparing for the future, etc. I think it will be a lot more fun. Updates will normally be weekly, with some extras thrown in. I hope to include more photos this year. I fully expect 2009 to be a fantastic year for everyone involved in the Revolution.

Happy New Year one and All.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shopping Spree

One of my favorite things about being debt free is being able to save up and go shopping while on vacation.

We are in Florida visiting family and are having a most relaxing time. We've also done some serious shopping. And because it's not charged but IS planned, it's totally guilt free.

Last night I hit an outlet mall and bought Brittan a nice piece of Le Crucet cookware and some Royal Riviera pears (from Harry and David). This morning we're taking our second trip to the Earth Box Center to buy some more gardening supplies for our 2009 vegetable gardening. I love that place. It's like a farmers market, botanical garden and garden center all in one. We have a fun time and can buy our supplies direct from the center and save shipping costs. That's a WIN!

Later, we're going to meet up with my sisters and have dinner together. I'm looking forward to it. That means in the last month we will have visited with our children, grandchildren, Brittan's Parents, grandparents, her brother and my siblings and their families. Not a bad run if you ask me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I'm sitting in the my in-laws living room, listening to the clocks ticking and waiting for the coffee to be ready. After some life giving caffeine hits my blood stream I will be able to properly celebrate Jesus' Birthday. He is still, and always will be, the Reason for the Season.

We are on vacation in Florida for a few days. I'm finally starting to feel a little better so I hope to get this little space moving properly again next week.

Many blessings to you this wonderful Christmas Day. I bring you 'good tidings of great joy, which shall be for all the people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ, the Lord."

Emmanuel.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

One of the reasons I love Georgia

This morning, I looked at the weather forecast on weather.com as I do each day as a part of my morning ritual. The only difference is that on weekends I'm about an hour later than on weekdays. At 7 a.m. today, it was 47 degrees. In Limestone, Maine from where we moved in January, it was -23 and with windchill it was -42. Ok, some say, yes, but the temps will be falling all day in North Ga and it will be very cold overnight and will only be in the mid 30s on Monday. To which I say, my former home is in a blizzard warning beginning 6 p.m. this evening. Besides, by Wednesday, it will be in the 60s again here. Yep, I love Georgia in the winter. Now.... if I could only build up some immunities so that I'm not allergic to everything living in this State.................

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lost Sense of Smell and Taste....

... and it's kind of scary.

Background: I've had allergy issues since B and I moved to Georgia last January. And for the last three weeks I've been fighting a cold and sinus infection. I went to the doctor and ran through a course of antibiotics. I've been chugging cold medicine like crazy.

So.... last night about 7 p.m. I had a couple big sneezes. I didn't think too much about it because I've been doing that a lot lately. About a half hour later, Brittan brought me a big glass of Egg Nog. Egg Nog is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I took a big drink and.....nothing. No taste at all. I asked her if she'd added milk to it. She said, "No", so I sniffed at it and couldn't smell anything. I had a glass of iced tea and a glass of cranberry/blueberry juice. They tasted the same except the juice was sweeter. It's been 24 hours and still no sense of smell or taste. I've had bland food, spicy food, creamy food. No smell or taste. Brittan baked cookies today. I couldn't smell a thing.

I hope this goes away soon. I will see a doctor if it doesn't clear up soon. It's creepy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Genius or Folly?

I recently solved a puzzle with an idea that just might be brilliant. It might also be moronic. Time will tell.

Brittan and I are dog lovers. We have had as many as 15 back in our dog mushing days. Now, we have a mere three. One of them is an ancient collie. She is content to sleep the day away in my recliner. The other two are younger and more energetic. Especially troublesome is our Belgian Sheepdog, Guinness. He is a beautiful dog, who is incredibly loving and eager to please. He is, however, highly energetic and needs more exercise than he gets. Walking doesn't help. I'm old, fat and out of shape. I get exhausted and come home after 20 minutes or half and hour and G is not even warmed up yet. But what can I do to get him more exercise. I considered taking him out to run along while I ride my bike. But our neighborhood is very hilly and I'm too out of shape to ride very far. Sad, but true. I thought about an electric scooter, but they don't have a very long range. I considered an ATV. But they are too expensive. After weeks of pondering my conundrum, I had an epiphany:




It is an electric tricycle. It has a range of 35 miles. It is a hybrid, using either pedal or electric power. It is about the same price as a good electric scooter and allows me to get some exercise myself but turn to the electric motor to take a breather. It has a top speed of 20 mph so it's faster than I need. Also, I could use it to run to the store for small items.

Yep, it looks pretty stupid. But it's practical and efficient. Guinness should get all the exercise he needs now. And I might even get fit myself. Ok, maybe that's a stretch, but miracles happen.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sick Again

I've neglected the heck out of this blog. I'm such a goof. It's just that work has been crazy lately. Now I'm sick again. My cold and sinus infection started to get better then yesterday has morphed into some kind of upper respiratory thing. My chest is full, I have a drainage sore throat, body aches and zero energy. Eventually I will get better. Until then, blogging neglect is likely to continue.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Swamped

Between work load and getting ready for the Holidays, I'm tonsil deep, with no time to blog. What a loser!

I am thinking about changing the name of the blog to "Recession Proof Living" and relaunching in January. Just thought I'd share.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Still Sick and Unmotivated

I just don't have the energy to write. I missed some work and finally went to the Dr but not much relief. In fact, she made me stop taking cold medicine and decongestants because it was making my blood pressure spike. BP was 178/115. Pretty impressive, really.

As a result of not being able to mask the symptoms, I actually feel worse.

I've had very little sleep the past two nights and I suspect that will continue tonight. But this too shall pass. It always does.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Back from Vacation, Sick as a Dog

What does that mean, BTW, sick as a dog? Just thinking out loud.

B and I got in about 9 p.m. only about 4 hours behind schedule. That's pretty good considering all the snowed in airports around the country. Kansas City airport wasn't bad, there were only a couple inches of snow and none to speak of on the roads or runways. Milwaukee was a different story. They shut the airport down every half hour all day in order to plow the runways. Not a good sign. But not only were they having issues, but so were a variety of other airports that were providing the planes we were to fly on. But in the end, we touched down in chilly, but dry Atlanta.

We had an excellent time visiting with our kids and grand kids. It's always sad to leave them. I wish we lived closer to each other. But considering the winters in Nebraska, I wish the closer was them living in Georgia!

Brittan and I picked up some virus or other bug out there and we have been 'knocked for six', to use a cricket expression.

Impacted sinuses, fever, raw, sore throats, ear ache. Not good. Not good at all. And we probably spread it to hundreds of people we contacted in Nebraska, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Atlanta. We are bad citizens.

But we're home now. It's time to take cold medicine and go to bed and sleep it off. Nothing like rest to beat a thing like this. I'll probably stay home from work tomorrow and work from here to avoid spreading this to my team. While I have a lot to do, I really can't risk infecting my whole sales force. That would be a bad thing indeed.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

On Vacation, Feeling Awful

Brittan and I are on vacation in Nebraska this week. It's been fun seeing our children and grandchildren. We haven't seen any of them for about 15 months, so it has been delightful to catch up with our son, daughter and son in law, not to mention the special moments with our three grand daughters and our new grandson. We are cramming all the spoiling we can into an all too brief window of time.

On the down side, B and I have both gotten ill. We have terrible colds, complete with fever, aches, sore throats and everything that goes along with it. Yuck.

Speaking of cold, it's downright chilly here in NE. It was snowing yesterday morning. I only brought a light jacket, thinking that's all I'd need. Boy Howdy, was I wrong!

Finally, I noticed on the news that "Black Friday" beat the odds and spending was up over last year. I'm glad to hear that. There is no question that we are in some economically challenging times, but they are made worse by a news media that thrives on doom and gloom. Bah Humbug to the media. Yay, Christmas! to the rest of us.

Monday, November 24, 2008

All Gloom All The Time

I have been rifling through the biz pages of a variety of websites looking for tidbits for this blog, and all I can find is bad news. People are really discouraged right now. Bummer. This too shall pass. If we continue to work hard, manage our money well and trust God, we'll be fine. I know, I read the last chapter.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Beyond the Emergency Fund - Stocking Up

I am developing a section for "Recession Proof Living" that I want to introduce here. In essence it is taking the 3 to 6 months emergency fund to the next level. I am suggesting that every family stock an extra 3 to 6 months (or more) of staple items as well. Just imagine how much pressure would be off, if in addition to 6 months of basic living expenses, we had laid aside six months of food stuffs and emergency items. If we had supplies of flour, sugar, potatoes, vegetable oil, cereal, toilet paper, tooth paste,etc. we could face tough times with very little stress.

Brittan and I are in the beginning phase of doing this very thing. We want to be prepared for any eventuality.

I will be fleshing the idea out in my next book, but wanted to plant a seed now to get people thinking.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Little Good News in Tough Times

Besides gasoline prices, there are a number of consumer goods actually going DOWN in price these days. Long term, that's kind of bad. We wouldn't want to go into a time of DEFLATION. That would say bad things about the economy. But for the moment, after a summer of crazy prices, it's a pleasant relief right at Christmas time. I think we could all use a bit of relief, don't you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Enjoy Cheap Gas While It Lasts

I am a hopeful person. I am pretty darned optimistic most of the time. Oh, I guess rainy days and Mondays always get me down, but apart from that I'm an upbeat kind of guy. But I'm not upbeat long term for gas prices. I suspect that 6 months from now prices will be well back on the upswing. I am concerned that early next year when congress reinstates the offshore drilling bans they lifted earlier this year, that oil futures will begin climbing again. When that is coupled with a production cut from OPEC, we could see very rapid reversals of recent declines.

I am still on the "Drill Here, Drill Now" bus. We need energy independence.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the heck out of sub $2 a gallon gasoline. But I'm not going to adjust my budget. I'm going to keep the excess in my "gas and oil" envelope and that way I'll be a bit more prepared when the prices start to go back up. That way the pain will be less intense. For now, though, it sure is nice.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Recession Proof Living Part 1

I thought I would use this space to process a few of the ideas that will be going into my new book, "Recession Proof Living". This will give me a vehicle to toss around some concepts and either refine or discard them as I write the book.

As my loyal reader would tell you, I'm big on written budgets. I call it 'fantasy spending'. That means spending each paycheck on paper before spending it in real life. Doing so, gives each dollar a job, a home, a sense of purpose. If we don't focus our money, it has a tendency to go rogue and run away from home.

I'm also big on promoting a financial revolution. I want people to take back their lives and have financial peace of mind. I long for families to live debt free and not have to panic when the economy nose dives. I wish for us to do more than survive, I believe we can thrive in tough times and in good ones.

The first thing we must do is establish a perimeter. That has a good revolutionary ring to it. My original idea was to talk about circling the wagons. But in the end I decided that connoted too defensive a posture. I want people to think more like an invasion force. Establishing a perimeter sounds much more like creating a base of operations with aggressive intent, while circling the wagons sounds a lot like fending off and an attack from hostile desperados.

Sometimes we have to play defense, that's a given. But we don't want to live defensively. We will establish a perimeter and protect everything within that safety zone (ie. our families)at all costs. Once the perimeter is solid, we will use it as a base of operations to move forward and capture new territory. We will not give up until we have liberated a nation. After that, the world.

Our perimeter covers all four points of the compass. These are the first four categories for which we budget. And we address them in a specific order. If we are in dire financial circumstances they may be the only categories in our budget. But eventually, we will be able to advance and conquer more area.

The North Perimeter is God. Our giving to God should always come first. A strong Spiritual foundation is critical to a balanced, full, prosperous life. Let me make a comparison to our physical bodies. We can diet, exercise, lift weights, do pilates, run miles a day, but if inside we have a cancer, or anemia or some other disease, we can never reach our full potential. In fact, if we get sick enough, our outer bodies deteriorate no matter what we do. If, however, our insides are good, then we can sculpt our outer bodies pretty much any way we like.

In the same way, we can work like crazy to get our financial house in order, but if we're unhealthy spiritually, we will never reach our full potential and we may even be doing ourselves more harm than good. On the other hand, if we put God first, we increase our chances of winning many hundred fold.

I love the third chapter of Malachi in the Old Testament, where God tells the people to stop robbing Him and bring the whole tithe into the store house. He says, "test me and see if I don't pour out all the blessings of Heaven on you." Go back and read it. I think you will find it most challenging.

Tithing is a good place to start. That's the traditional 10%. By the time we get through with our plan, we will be giving away 20% of our income. Yep. And we'll be thriving beyond our wildest imaginations. But we're a long way from that. So we'll start with 10%. Some won't even have the courage to start there. I didn't. I started with about 6%. I was a coward. I was afraid that my debt was too great to give God the full 10%. I'm ashamed of that now, but I need to be honest.

Fortunately, God took my feeble act of Faith and blessed it. After a couple of years, I finally got up the courage to give Him the Full 10%. I've never regretted it. Our tithe check is the first check Brittan and I write on payday. God gets the first of the best and the best of the first.

The Bible says, "If God is for us, who can stand against us." In other words, if our Spiritual perimeter is strong, we become both the immovable object and the irresistible force.

Coming soon.... Part 2, the South Perimeter, Food.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Shaping of Expectations

I bought gas this morning. I was ecstatic to only pay $1.96 per gallon. I felt like I'd hit the lottery. Sad, isn't it? Only a few short years ago, we were all ready to march on Washington because gas was at that price. But after looking down the barrel at nearly $5 a gallon, under 2 bucks feels great. We adapt so quickly. Sometimes I feel like the frog swimming around in the pot while the water slowly heats. Other times, I want to jump out and run for the hills. How are we so easily conditioned? I don't have the answer, I'm just thinking out loud?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yahoo Finance Does It Again!

Found this today. More great saving ideas. Read HERE.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Money Saving Tips

Saw this tidbit on Yahoo Finance this a.m. Thought I'd share it. Some good advice. Read HERE.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Quiet Weekend

This has been a peaceful weekend around the IOU NO MORE compound. My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday. We did a little shopping, ate out and watched an old movie last night. We found a bin of ancient movies and tv shows at "everything's a dollar". These were selling 2 for $1. So we bought $2 worth of old stuff. Last night we settled in and watched "The Over the Hill Gang". It was a cute made for TV movie from 1969. I remember watching it as a kid.

I made a little progress on "Recession Proof Living", the working title of my next book. I'm really quite happy with the direction of the book, just not the pace at which it's being completed. I'm probably going to have to sequester myself somewhere for a couple days and get the darned thing finished. But I don't see any breaks in my calendar until late January to make that happen.

Today has been very quiet. Church this a.m. followed by a light lunch and a wonderful nap. Now that's what I call a good day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Just in Time for Christmas

Looks like retailers have gotten creative with alternative payment methods to "help" you in these tough economic times. Personally, I think cash rules! Read HERE.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Can't Resist One Final Reflection on the Election...

Please indulge me this one last look back on the election and some of the implications.

I changed schools back in the 4th grade. In September of 1965, I was being enrolled in Clays Mill Elementary School, Lexington, KY. I remember looking down on the parking lot from the Principal's Office while my parents got me enrolled. I watched a black family pull up and get out to enroll their children. They were met by a posse of whites, some armed, who refused to allow them into the school. That family was forced to get back into their car and leave. The incident was burned into my memory. The police were not called. The school officials did not get involved. A gaggle of stupid vigilantes controlled the whole encounter. We've come a long way! And that's a good thing. I have never been able to grasp race as an issue. My Christian World View is so much a part of my DNA that I can't even begin to understand race playing a role in any decision. Never have. Never will. So on one hand, electing a black man as President is no big deal to me. On the other hand, it's one of the biggest event in my lifetime, even bigger than Neal Armstrong's walk on the moon.

Finally, I lived under Socialism for 13 years in Scotland. I don't like it. I don't think Socialism is the way forward. It discourages achievement, especially over achievement. In many ways it encourages laziness and sloth. But it's also not the end of the world. America will get a good close look at Socialism over the next few years. We will then be able to make more informed decisions for or against it in the future.

And just as I predicted, Jesus is still Lord and the sun did indeed rise in the east. I watched it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

America Has Spoken

Well, it's a little after 10 p.m. Eastern and it pretty much looks like Mr. Barack Obama will be our new President come January. Congratulations to him. I voted for the other guy, but it appears that more people felt differently. It must be a little bitter sweet in that his grandmother, who pretty much raised him, passed away yesterday. One day away from history.

I genuinely wish McCain had won. But I will pray just as fervently for President Obama as I would have if McCain had won.

The election outcome has no impact on the Revolution. We continue the fight to help Americans become and live debt free, one family budget at a time. I am optimistic that the coming years will see tens of thousands join the ranks of those who have escaped debt row.

It's past my bedtime now. Must sleep. Still have to go to work in the morning. Sleep well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Voting Day Tomorrow

Nov. 4. Whew! We thought it might never arrive. Now it's upon us. If you didn't take advantage of 'early voting' I truly do encourage you to participate in the process. If you are a registered voter, please express yourself by casting your vote. Your candidates may win. They may not. But when we all take part, we help make the process work. Feel free to tell the world who you voted for, or keep it to yourself. Its up to you.

Since Brittan and I voted on Friday, we will just go about our business as usual. The only difference for me will be a little extra time praying for voters and candidates (all the major ones, anyway). I will be praying for voter and victor wisdom.

I will not be staying up watching the results. It's not like I can control the outcome. I will go to bed and wake up to a surprise on Wednesday. Regardless of the identity of our next President, I make you this guarantee; the sun will rise in the east.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bible Shocker! Jesus Taught Redistribution........

...... but interestingly, not the kind of redistribution we've been hearing promoted by one of the major political parties. First, read this:

Mat 25:14 "At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there was a man who was about to leave home on a trip; he called his servants and put them in charge of his property.
Mat 25:15 He gave to each one according to his ability: to one he gave five thousand gold coins, to another he gave two thousand, and to another he gave one thousand. Then he left on his trip.
Mat 25:16 The servant who had received five thousand coins went at once and invested his money and earned another five thousand.
Mat 25:17 In the same way the servant who had received two thousand coins earned another two thousand.
Mat 25:18 But the servant who had received one thousand coins went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master's money.
Mat 25:19 "After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
Mat 25:20 The servant who had received five thousand coins came in and handed over the other five thousand. 'You gave me five thousand coins, sir,' he said. 'Look! Here are another five thousand that I have earned.'
Mat 25:21 'Well done, you good and faithful servant!' said his master. 'You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!'
Mat 25:22 Then the servant who had been given two thousand coins came in and said, 'You gave me two thousand coins, sir. Look! Here are another two thousand that I have earned.'
Mat 25:23 'Well done, you good and faithful servant!' said his master. 'You have been faithful in managing small amounts, so I will put you in charge of large amounts. Come on in and share my happiness!'
Mat 25:24 Then the servant who had received one thousand coins came in and said, 'Sir, I know you are a hard man; you reap harvests where you did not plant, and you gather crops where you did not scatter seed.
Mat 25:25 I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground. Look! Here is what belongs to you.'
Mat 25:26 'You bad and lazy servant!' his master said. 'You knew, did you, that I reap harvests where I did not plant, and gather crops where I did not scatter seed?
Mat 25:27 Well, then, you should have deposited my money in the bank, and I would have received it all back with interest when I returned.
Mat 25:28 Now, take the money away from him and give it to the one who has ten thousand coins.
Mat 25:29 For to every person who has something, even more will be given, and he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing, even the little that he has will be taken away from him. (Good News Bible)

Interesting, isn't it? This text suggests the lazy man should get nothing and even what he has should be given to the one with the most. How contrary that is to Socialism. In Jesus' scenario, the achiever is rewarded with more. The lazy man was punished.

Let me be clear; Jesus teaches social responsibility. The very next section in Matthew 25 is all about serving those in unfortunate circumstances. That's a biblical principle, too.

But socialism isn't about social responsibility. Socialism is a world view. Part of that world view is an economic system that takes from the achiever and gives not only to the unfortunate, but to the lazy and slothful. Jesus says that we should invest (not just money, but time and abilities as well) and earn interest. We will be rewarded for doing so. Then WE VOLUNTARILY give to the hungry, thirsty, persecuted and sick. The government has no right to determine our priorities. In fact, that's what started the American Revolution. The colonists were suffering high taxation and tariffs and they had no representation in London to argue on their behalf. King George and Parliament just took it. The Constitution of the United States was written to LIMIT the power of Government. This nation was founded on a belief in individual responsibility and individual potential. Those principles still stand and they still work.

Consider this; the Politically and Economically conservative, give more to charity per capita than do the Politically and Economically Liberal. The Income Tax Returns of the current Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates is illustrative. Liberals want to take other peoples money and give it away as they see fit. Conservative give out of personal concern and from the heart.

The Bible is very clear. Christians should look after 'widows and orphans'. But we have no responsibility to look after the lazy. The one who works hard and earns will be rewarded. The wastrel will suffer the consequences. As far as I'm concerned that's the end of the story.

I feel bad for men and women who can't work or take care of themselves. I will do my part to lift them up. But I resent those who are able and milk the system. And the Bible tells me that's ok.

Debit Cards - New Opportunities, New Dangers

Based on a recent article in Business Week, that I read on msnbc.com, Debit Card use is on the rise and credit card use may be on the decline. On the surface, that may sound great, but there is an undertow that is fraught with new dangers.

First, people still spend more with debit cards than with cash. Plastic numbs the pain of spending. It's kind of financial Novocaine. Banks and businesses are starting to discover the connection and are introducing 'perks' and 'incentives' for using debit cards. Alert! Danger Ahead! Caution! Cuidado! Open Manhole!

Secondly, debit cards create a fee bonanza for the banks. Because most Americans still don't budget and are poor record keepers, it's easy for Mr. Plastic to send the checking account into the red. No problem, your friendly bank honors the overdraft and hits your account almost immediately with an overdraft fee. So that $14 pizza ends up costing $43 after the service charge is added. I sure hope it was cheesy enough for you!

Mind you, I don't blame the banks for charging overdraft fees. They deserve to make money on loaning us money. Whether or not the rates are excessive, however, may be up for debtate.

Don't think that having 'overdraft protection' by linking your checking to a savings account will save you, because there are usually fees, either transactional or monthly connected with that service as well.

The correct answer is to BUDGET your finances and STICK TO THE BUDGET!

In the end, Debit Cards can be a blessing or a curse. I love mine. It makes things so easy at the gas station. It's great for shopping online, or paying bills that I can't do with other online bill pay. But for groceries, dining out and etc. Nothing works like cash!

Read the article HERE.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Hopeful Observation While Waiting in Line

B and I voted today. We stood in line for over 4 hours for a 2 minute voting experience. Even Disney gives you THREE minutes!

In case there is any suspense, I voted Palin/McCain. It doesn't show that order on the ballot, but that's what I voted in my heart. B voted the same way. We genuinely believe that team is the best choice for America's future.

The thing that stood out to me was the camaraderie among everyone standing in line. There were plenty of people there who were Obama people and plenty more McCain voters. There were probably 4 people voting for Bob Barr as well. But the noticeable thing was how well everyone was getting along. Even in long lines on a frosty morning, nerves were not frayed, tempers did not flare. We laughed, chatted and endured together. That's just the way this country is. Regardless of what happens next week, most of us will keep working and walking side by side to support our families and our country. Political seasons don't always bring out the best in us, but that might be more of a media creation. There are some nut case out there, no doubt. But the overwhelming majority will take the result in stride and move on. This really is a great country.

Please remember to turn your clocks back tomorrow night. And please remember to vote on Tuesday if you haven't already. I hope you vote for McCain. But even if you vote for the other guy, please vote. Be a part of the process. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

That Fighting Spirit

I read a nice article this morning about the Actor Patrick "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" Swayze and his battle with pancreatic cancer. I thought his attitude was inspirational regardless of what we're fighting for, health, finances, family, freedom. So I thought I'd share it. Click HERE. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hearts and Treasures Part II

Earlier this month, I celebrated the thirtieth (30) anniversary of my ordination into the ministry. Man, that's a long time ago.

In May, I celebrated the 42nd year of my Conversion to Christ. Wow, I need to stop with the dates. I just keep getting older.

In August, I celebrated the 8th year of being a tither. Technically, the tithing didn't start until about 6 years ago. It took me two years to phase it in.

The math doesn't work, does it? How could I have been a Christian so long and even be a Pastor so long and not be a giver? Disobedience. That's how.

It seems that like many people, my wallet was the last thing I surrendered to Jesus. I'm not proud of it. But it's true.

In IOU NO MORE, I tell about the day I finally broke down and surrendered my finances to God. I gave him my debt, my failures and my weaknesses. I repented, meaning I changed my behavior.

I began making money behave almost immediately. And I was fortunate that my wife agreed to get on board the debt free train. But because our debt was so big and our income was so small, I was afraid to actually tithe. Instead of jumping in by faith, I waded in. I began by giving 5% of my income. I was afraid. God still honored my 'mustard seed' of faith and we were on our way to reducing our mountain of debt. We had a plan and we were following it.

About two years into what would become the IOU NO MORE program, I was reading Malachi and Matthew in my daily devotions. On the very same day I read in Matthew, "Where a man's treasure is, there is where his heart is also" and I read in Malachi, "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me.... in tithes and offerings."

I was devastated. Yes, I was under grace not law, but I couldn't escape the idea that as a Christian, the Old Testament principle of tithing was still a Biblical concept. How could a Christian want to give LESS than the old rule, when God had given the BEST in His Son?

Armed with a fresh conviction and still fairly deep in debt, we began giving 10 percent of our income. It was at that same time that we began writing our tithe check as the first thing we did on pay day. The check wouldn't go into the offering plate until Sunday and we got paid on Friday, but we wanted God to know that He really is first in every part of our lives.

We've never regretted it. When you begin tithing, you won't regret it either. I'm just sayin'.

If you aren't a Christian and this whole 'tithing' thing seems weird, I encourage you to investigate Jesus. Heck, I dare you. I double dog dare you! Check out the Bible. Read the Gospel of Luke. It will tell you who Jesus is. Then read the Acts of the Apostles. It will explain how you should respond to Him.

Please drop us a line with any questions that come out of your reading. For that matter let us know any money matter questions you have. We're here to help. Write to us at info@iounomore.com.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hearts and Treasures

Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart is also". I find it fascinating that He didn't say it the other way around. But regardless of the order, Jesus is saying that our money and our hearts are closely linked.

With that in mind, what does your money say about where your heart is? What is the first check you write on payday? Where does the bulk of your cash go? What are you trying to accomplish with your money? Do you even have a plan? Where does God fit into your budget?

Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love sleddogs. I miss running dogs like I'd miss my left hand (I'm left handed, BTW). But, there was a time in my life when I spent more on dog food than in giving to God. Considerably more. I spent more time with my dogs than I did with my family. My priorities were truly out of order. I didn't mean it to be that way, I slid into it. Like the song, "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns says, "It's a slow fade when you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day. It's a slow fade". The song appears to be about moral failure, but its true for priorities as well.

These days, I have a much better grip on my priorities, and it shows in my budget and in my time. But I must always be diligent.

Where is your heart? Even if I don't know you, I bet I can tell you exactly what your priorities are. All I need is 10 minutes with your bank statement. That Jesus guy, He sure knows a thing or two.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Car Fever - I'm immune

I will never understand 'car fever'. I have a natural immunity. The condition is very real, and I've seen it drop otherwise sensible men and women in their tracks. Just recently, I had a conversation with someone who was considering buying a car. This individual was considering a car payment that would have created a genuine lifestyle dent. After a lengthy conversation, I discovered that the fever started with a trip to the dealership for some relatively minor repairs on an aging car. While there, the sights and smells of newer vehicles became overwhelming, even mesmerizing. The next thing you know, this person was driving home in a car that was not needed. Fortunately the paperwork had not been completed, so we were able to talk some sense into said person. But a couple days later, I saw the same individual test driving yet another vehicle. How sad!

Car payments are not necessary. There are great ways to plan ahead and save up in advance. There are always bargains to be had by using a bit of research and patience. Sure, older cars aren't always 'cool' like new ones. But then again, people who drive paid for cars have something that those with car payments don't have....MONEY! And that's way more cool than new car smell.

I've said it before in this space, I don't think I've had car fever in 25 years. But show me a sleddog, a horse, most varieties of livestock or hunting rifles and I'm putty!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Self Pity Part 1

I'm feeling sorry for myself. I have a cold. Stuffy nose, sore throat, achy. Drippy sinuses. Typical head cold. I was so looking forward to allergy season being over and what do I do? Catch a cold the first day of no pollen activity!

The thing about colds is, I don't get sick enough to miss work, but I shouldn't go because I'm just spreading the virus around. But since it feels wrong to stay home, I go in anyway. Then I feel bad enough that I can't focus on the task at hand. Silly,isn't it?

Fortunately its the weekend and I can load up on cold medicine, have a hot bath and sleep in tomorrow. Now that's what I call a plan!

Tomorrow is budget day. B and I will be doing the budget for November. Actually, I will do the budget then we'll talk about it and make adjustments as necessary. We've been doing this long enough that rarely are there any changes to be made. Every once in a while, I learn there is some purchase or 3 we need to make that I wasn't aware of and I have to go back to the drawing board. There won't be many changes the rest of this year. Thanksgiving and Christmas are planned and budgeted for. Before then is our anniversary. We decided that this year our Birthday's and anniversary were going to be dumbed down so we could save the money. We're replenishing our 3 to 6 month emergency fund that got depleted by our move to Georgia.

Ok, time for that hot bath.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coming Attractions: Podcasting

The Revolution is about to venture into the wonderful world of podcasting. I've toyed with the idea for a couple of years now, and I'm finally in a position to do so. I'm working on some scripts now. I will probably begin with short programs of 5 to 15 minutes. We'll see how it goes from there.

At the moment, I'm thinking that I will post the casts both here and on the home page of iounomore.com.

I'm even giving thought to blog radio. Time is the big factor for that one. Posting occasional podcasts is one thing, a weekly radio show is quite another. I had a weekly radio show years ago when I lived in Scotland. Actually I had two shows. One was a live show on Wednesday afternoons. The other was a recorded program that played on Sunday mornings. I did the shows for a couple of years. It was fun, but there is certainly prep time involved. Still, it's worth considering as a way to spread the Debt Free Revolution!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Simplify and Save

Brittan and I are beginning our second month of a dramatic simplification of our lifestyle and spending. So far, it has been very successful. In fact, as mentioned earlier, we are expanding the plan so that we can save money to purchase a piece of land for a hobby farm.

While nearly every area of our budget has been downsized (without us even feeling it), it is seen most clearly in our food budget. We have returned to staples like potatoes and pasta, eggs and beans. We are eating hearty meals at about half what we had been spending the last couple years. We have cut way back on eating out. We don't miss it. And boy howdy are we saving?

Other areas are being simplified as well, clothing budget, utilities and transportation for example. So far, we're staying focused and making progress. I am becoming increasingly convinced that one of the best ways to save is to simplify. Try it. You might like it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jeepers

I just noticed that it had been a week since my last update. Where did the time go? Who stole my week? I want it back and I want it back NOW!

Excuses

I never cease to be amazed at the excuses people come up with for not getting out of debt or for not creating and living on a budget. I have yet to hear one that makes any real sense, but folk keep trying. Besides, it's your life. My mission is to tell the world how Brittan and I escaped the debt trap and to offer ways others can do it, too. No one is forced to sign up. Being debt free is so liberating, I wish we had started years earlier.

I would love it if everyone wanted to live free, but most of us have grown accustomed to the barnyard. I'll just keep looking for the birds who are ready to fly the coop.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Found Money

I've been laid up with gout for the last couple days, with little to do but feel sorry for myself. I'm pretty good at that.

Yesterday, as a diversion, Brittan and I went through our budget with a fine tooth comb looking for places to cut and save. Lo and behold, we found quite a bit. Getting to it means some lifestyle changes, but it's all with a plan in mind.

We really want land. As in, we want a small hobby farm. While it's great growing vegetables here in town, it's not the same has being able to raise chickens and our own beef. We're not looking to become commercial farmers, I would never want to work that hard! But we want to expand the level of self sufficiency we've been discovering. We want to simplify our lifestyle and increase frugality.

To make that dream come true, we need to save as much as possible over the next 3 years. At that time, we plan to sell our house and go rural.

We are doing things like, changing where the thermostat setting is, altering our dining out habits and clothing purchases. We are going to cut out Brittan's cell phone since she no longer works outside the home. We were going to turn off our cable service, but that would oddly have increased our cost of phone and internet and end up costing us the same as WITH cable. We're dropping some of our marketing projects for IOU NO MORE. And we're going more frugal on our groceries. We even made big alterations to our vacation budget. We are serious.

This is something we want to do. It's about delayed gratification. Dave Ramsey would say we're going to "Live like no one else so that later on we can live like no one else."

We'll update you from time to time regarding our progress. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dow Soars, Pass the Dramamine

If you suffer from motion sickness, avoid Wall Street like the plague. The Dow had a record 936 point gain today. That is truly a dizzying number. It was sparked by World Govts. nationalizing banks, and other continued bail out efforts.

Most people I know, talk all day long about how they hate Government interference in their lives. Then they cheer like crazy when the Government starts taking over businesses. I can't help shaking my head in wonder. So far, every decision made by Government in this current economic meltdown has been bad. But today, the stock markets are happy and its buy, buy, buy. Tomorrow it may be bye, bye, bye.

Be prepared for a time of wild fluctuation. If you watch the Dow like a hawk, then you are in for one heck of a ride. My advice; close your eyes. Relax. Have a coke and a smile. Take a long view. If you insist on watching, then "please notice the pilot has turned on the fasten seat belt sign as we are experiencing severe turbulence. Please return to your seats and fasten your seat belts until the Captain turns off the sign." Good luck. I hope you have a strong stomach. Too much craziness for me, I'll stick to "It's a Small World".

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Focus, Man, Focus!

I have three books that are begging to be written. They are outlined, and sitting on the launch pad. One is finance related, "Recession Proof Living", one of the others has a financial component, "Fresh Start for the Suddenly Single". The third is my long awaited, "Life Lessons From a Lead Dog: amusing anecdotes and heart warming tales from 30 years with sleddogs."

But they just sit there. I always manage to come up with something to distract me from work. I think it's called, procrastination. Perhaps it could even be labeled, laziness. Either way, I really must organize my schedule so that I can get these projects moving.

But as Scarlett O'hara would say (hey, I live in the South, remember?), "I'll think about it tomorrow. Tomorrow's another day."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Something to get you thinking

I know some of you don't like it when I link to articles rather than write original thought, but sometimes I find a jewel that just needs to be passed along. Like this one HERE

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Saving Money on Meat........

........at least I hope.

I'm leaving tomorrow right after lunch for an overnight hunting trip. Will do the same thing next Friday as well. I need to get away from the stress of work and spending time in the woods searching for meat for the freezer is a great way to multi task.

I would dearly love to fill our freezer with wild pork and venison for the winter. I expect this weekend to be mostly scouting, but you never know.

The experience will be relaxing, anyway. Just me, some firearms, a tent and 1000 acres of North Georgia wilderness. Oh, and a cooler full of snacks.

See ya when I return.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Quick Tip

Today's my birthday, so I'd rather sit and pout about getting old than try and think of something creative to write.

So let me just offer this tidbit. Take advice from people who have accomplished what you're trying to achieve. Take all other advice with a grain of salt.

That sentiment applies to finance, marriage, career, hobby, education, faith, pretty much everything.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Money Saving Rediscovery

I took the day off today. I can't even describe how nice it's been having a Monday away from duty. I'll have to do it again sometime.

First thing this morning I did some yard work, then washed my truck and Brittan's car. After that I swept out the garage and I've also watered and fertilized the vegetable garden. I even had time to arrange my hunting gear for a hunting trip this weekend. All in all a productive day.

But the best part was a whimsical idea Brittan came up with after lunch. We had gone out for some Mexican food and on the way back she said, "hey let's go to the library. We haven't been since we moved here and it's right around the corner from the house."

With nothing pressing on my agenda, I agreed. So off we went. Now, it's been at least 6 years since I even had a library card. In this day of the internet and amazon.com, it's way too easy to surf for information and/or buy books from the comfort of your own easy chair. But I rediscovered the wonder of the Public Library. What a great place to save money. Here are just a few ways I saw immediately. 1. For the person or persons struggling to get out of debt, there were at least 10 computers with high speed internet access. One could very easily cancel high speed at home for a while to pay off debts, use a dial up service and go to the library when high speed internet is a must. I would do that in a heartbeat if necessary. 2. Books. That's the obvious one. Books are luxury items at the best of times and the library has thousands of them to borrow for FREE. 3. DVDs and VCR tapes. We don't even have a vcr anymore so that wouldn't help, but there was a decent selection of DVDs to check out. Sure they aren't 'first run' but free is for me. B and I like old movies and this is a whole lot better than paying blockbuster. 4. Music. Mostly we listen to online stations, but I do like cd's as well, but I hate paying the money they cost at the store. The library is a very good option. Do they have everything? No, but I don't need everything. 5. Audio Books. This is a big one for me because I love to listen to audio books during my daily commute. But buying audio books can get expensive fast. Our local library had a great collection.

Thanks to my Bride's epiphany on the way home from lunch, I see some real savings in our future.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Here's One More Reason I'm Angry........

.....at the Bail Out Bill that passed yesterday. Read. I'm not trying to turn this blog into political commentary. This will probably be my last post regarding the Bail out, because it's done now and there's not much we can do. The President had his pen in hand the minute the vote was passed. Everything about this bill stinks like roadkill. Please read the linked article from cnet very carefully. Think about what it's going to cost and think about who benefits. And remember who voted for it and who voted against it when you enter the voting booth yourself next month. This is YOUR money. Read here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Coping or Conquering?

A majority of Americans are frustrated today with the Senate's overwhelming backing of a pork and ear mark laden Bail Out bill last night. It was difficult to watch and in the cold light of day it feels even worse. Many are asking, How will we cope? Should we pull out of the stock market? Should we take our money out of the bank and put it in a sock?

Despite concerns, and expecting a rough ride for a while, I still believe we'll win. We don't have to cope, we can conquer. I'm going to live my life as normal. I'm going to leave my 401k alone. I'm going to live on a budget. I don't borrow money anyway, so I don't have to worry about getting car loans or Home Equity Loans. I don't carry credit card balances. So, apart from my 401k tanking, I won't really feel it. That's the power of debt free living. As for the retirement account, it will bounce back and I'm looking at it like I'm buying stock on sale. When my funds start going back up, I'll make even more.

I hate this Bail Out, but I'm not going to panic. I'm going to LIVE.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Website to Play On

Through a strange series of events I was introduced to www.thriftyfun.com today. It really is fun. There are money saving tips everywhere. I will be going back often. I hope you'll try it out, too.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Bail Out I Can Get Behind

All this recent talk about Bail Outs (or is it Bails Out?), has reminded me of one Rescue I am totally grateful for. I, like every other human before and after me, have made multiple irresponsible, foolish, rebellious decisions. Where I come from, we call it SIN. The consequences of my actions were dire. There was no way to balance the ledger. No way to cook the books. No way to buy or sell my way out of a complete meltdown. I was quite literally doomed. I had a debt I could not pay. And out of the blue, this guy, Jesus bailed me out. He was debt free. He owed nothing. But He paid my debt if full. The record of the event says it this way: "God loved the world so much, that He sent His only Begotten Son, and whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life."

I accepted the Bail out, in case you're wondering. And just to make things clear, by doing so, I have certain responsibilities that I am delighted to uphold. I couldn't get myself out of the mess and I didn't deserve to be liberated, but I'm so grateful that Jesus did that for me that I'm pretty much completely sold out to Him. He is my Savior and my Hero.

I encourage you to take His bail out offer, too. He will wipe out your debt and replace it with an abundant life. I'm talkin' rags to riches. Dude, you can't afford to pass it up. Do it now!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different

I've tried in vain to figure a way to make this link money related. It just can't be done without stretching reason just a little too far. But it's too much fun NOT to post. Imagine yourself a 71 year old Grandfather with stomach pain. You go to the hospital, have some tests and learn......... THIS.

I don't care who you are, that's funny! Who says we need health care reform?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Some People are Losing Their Minds........

....... in the midst of the current challenges facing Wall Street and the Banking Industry. I hear about people pulling all their money out of the market and dumping it into Gold, or plastic bags in the freezer. That's nuts. For one thing, it only makes things worse. Panic is a remarkable thing.

Today I read a couple of articles on liberal news sites that made blood spew out of my eyes. One suggested that the Government should force lenders to refinance their defaulted loans. That sounds noble, but many, maybe most, of the homes in foreclosure will just end up there again. Home ownership is not a right. Irresponsible borrowing (and lending) should be frowned upon and discouraged. There was a trickle up effect that has hurt several income brackets. Many poor people, excited about the opportunity brought about by 'creative financing', bought homes they couldn't really afford. The former owners of those houses, bought bigger homes and the ones who had owned those houses, built even bigger ones. At least three socio economic levels were suckered or suckered themselves into borrowing more than they could afford. Heck, thousands of people borrowed 125% of the house value. What's the good in that deal. No one should be bailed out. We should all learn to manage money and live within our means. The Government should stay out of our business.

The second article was suggesting that we should reconsider the 401k and should look again and Government backed retirement plans. The writer even laughed at Bush's "plan to privatize Social Security". Anytime I hear that I know the author is smokin' something. The President never attempted to do any such thing. He proposed that individuals could opt to put a small portion of their SS contributions into private plans. Nothing more. But the media rarely lets facts get in the way of a good rant.

The market goes through cycles. It's in a down cycle. It will come back, for heaven's sake. And why in the world would I want Government to control any more of my money. They can't manage what they have. It was Govt interference that cause this mess in the first place. Back in the early to mid 90s, the Govt. threatened lenders with lawsuits if they refused to lend money to lower income individuals with poor credit ratings. They were accused of being racist. Most lenders caved and the subprime industry was born. The entire housing market boomed for almost 15 years. But it was smoke and mirrors. When the dollar fell and oil prices rose at the same time a large percentage of ARMs were adjusting up, the dominoes began to fall. Houses were defaulted, credit card debt rose, the housing market crashed, subprime notes became worthless and so on.

The Government needs to get out of the way of business and let the market right itself. They need to stay out of the CEO compensation packages (will they try and control baseball salaries next?). They need to repeal Sarbanes Oxley. They need to lower tax rates for individuals and small business. They need to lift the restrictions on oil exploration. Government should look to their own house and stop ear marks and cut, cut, cut. Govt. should be dramatically reduced immediately. Let them manage their own budget, let business manage theirs and let me manage mine.

Ok, I'm done ranting for a few hours. It's just that I so badly want to help Americans beat debt and live free, but our elected officials and their cronies keep getting in the way.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Feeling Grateful

Things have been pretty stressful at work lately. We have a lot of irons in the fire and it's hard to keep up. Sometimes I get pretty grumpy. But today I had a grateful moment.

Around lunchtime I got an email from my bride. Nothing unusual there, she often sends me little notes. I look forward to them. But this note was to tell me that some people who live near us are being evicted from their home. It was kind of a shock. I don't know them well, but enough to say hello and chat about the superficial things, neighbors chat about. They are nice people, who live in a nice house and drive nice cars. This is not a neighborhood where evictions happen often. But it was a stark reminder that we never know who is in the middle of a crisis. Heartache is all around us. Sometimes it's financial, sometimes relational, sometimes spiritual, sometimes physical.

Anyway, I took the time on my drive home, to count my blessings and appreciate my life.

Of course, I still hate my allergies! Die, ragweed, die!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It Feels Like Forever......

.......since I updated this spot. But it's only been a couple of days. Looks like not much has changed, though. Markets are still down and the Govt. is still debating a bail out. While I've been locked away in meetings at work, our leaders have been locked away in indecision. In a way, that's good. Enough people have written to their Congressmen/women, that they didn't dare rush in and do something stupid........yet.

There are alternatives to a Bail Out. One is a temporary lifting of the Mark to Market portions of Sarbanes Oxley and one would be to extend FHA insurance to the subprime loans. Each would cost a fraction of what the Bail Out will cost. It should be a no brainer, but since Washington is filled with big spenders and socialists, the no brainer answer is not the most attractive to many of them. Both less expensive solutions would result in less control than Washington wants.

In the meantime, it's important for ordinary Americans not to panic. Go to work, leave your 401k alone, pay your bills, trust God.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm Not Bailing Out!

I'm not cashing out my 401k, nor am I moving all my money (such as it is) into bonds, or gold or oil. I'm sticking with mutual funds. My thought process (keep in mind, I'm a blethering idiot), is that if you pick funds with a long track record of success (10 or more years of above average performance), there is a great chance they will come out of this current storm intact. And since the market is a bit down, I'm getting more shares for my money. So when the market rebounds, I have more. It's the whole, buy low strategy. The market is not Vegas. It's not about day trading and trying to beat the system. It's about making good choices and building a slow burn. There will be down cycles and there will be up cycles. I'm not ready to bail. Though I do wish the Government would stay out of it. I personally believe the Great Depression would have been "The mildly crappy depression" if FDR had stayed out of it and let the market take it's short, sharp, ugly hit. I fear we're about to make a similar mistake. But since no one in Washington is asking for my opinion.......... Of course, that might actually say something about the value of my opinion!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Playing From Behind

In sports, most teams (or individuals) prefer to score first, score quickly and score often. They don't like to fall behind. Playing catch up puts more pressure on everyone, and it becomes easier for mistakes to creep in.

By contrast, most individuals find themselves, by virtue of debt, playing from behind, financially speaking. And we've done it on purpose. We take out huge mortgages, followed by not one, but two car loans, student loans, credit card debt and very possibly a Home Equity Line of credit. Is it any wonder why we feel insecure. We are constantly working to catch up to our spending. Millions of people are one accident, one illness, one lay off or even one flat tire away from financially crashing and burning. Talk about stress!

There is a better way. Stop borrowing. Eliminate your debt. Live debt free. Play from the front and WIN! Sound crazy? We did it. So have many others. It takes guts. But it sure is fun when you're done.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Found Some Common Sense

Found this bit of common sense in dealing with Household Budgeting and finance. I think you'll like it too. Common sense is becoming a rare creature. You can also click HERE.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We Interrupt This Broadcast...............

..............to bring you this breaking message: Brittan and I have a new grandson. His name is Glenn Douglas Burton Docherty. Yes, that's a lot of names, but at 9 lbs, 12 oz, he's a lot of boy.

We're so proud, as are his sisters, Kaya, Lana and Zoe as well as our daughter, Denise and son in law, Rene. Well done!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm Repeating Myself Again

They say that happens when you get to a certain age. Well, here I am. I've hit a 'certain age' and I'm about to repeat myself. At least I'm going to repeat myself about the current Banking Problems.

The Democrats are blaming the Republicans (and capitalism in general) and the Republicans are blaming the Democrats. Hmm...you'd think it was an election year or something.

But the fact is, the root of the current Banking crisis is Greed, and our love of credit. The banks never should have gotten involved in subprime lending and investment banks never should have started buying the notes. The present situation shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. I've predicted it for years. And I'm an idiot! If a simpleton like me could see the danger, why couldn't others? My guess is, they could see it just fine, but greed kept them counting their monopoly money.

We reap what we sow. These institutions have sown seeds of bad loans and they've reaped a harvest of debt so plentiful they've buried themselves in the fruit of their labors.

And I say the Government should not bail them out, we should let the markets correct themselves. Government bailouts will only delay and sustain the problem.

For what it's worth, the current banking problems have resulted in only a fraction of the bank closures as the 88-92 banking crisis. But this is the age of the internet, the blogger and the day trader. Bad news is magnified and hyped like never before. Add in a dose of election year fever and a storm is brewing.

There are other contributing factors, like the oil price bonanza, but they were only the triggers or catalysts to bring down the house of cards on it's foundation of sand.

For those who have lost homes and dreams, I genuinely feel pain. I know what it's like to lose everything. I remember being 37 years old hand having all my worldly possessions in a suitcase and a carry on bag. I had no home, no job, no car, no money. But there is hope for you.

1. Trust God and do good and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37)
2. Stop borrowing
3. Stop relying on the Government. Take charge of your own future.
4. Work hard.
5. Live on less than you earn
6. Start an emergency fund
7. Get out of Debt
8. Save for a downpayment of at least 20% before you buy
9. ONLY accept a fixed rate mortgage. Don't listen to any other sales pitch...ever.
10. Don't borrow more than you can afford. $25% of your take home pay MAXIMUM. Don't listen to any crap about 44% debt to income ratio.
11. Seriously consider saving up until you can pay CASH for your house.
12. Pay your mortgage off early.

Ok, that's enough advice for one post. But I assure you, I'm right. I know from my failures and I know from my successes.

Now back to the banks. I'm sorry for the people who will lose their jobs, but for the institutions and their poor decision making, my sympathy pool has run dry.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ok, I Take it Back!

If you recall, a couple of days ago I praised the Main Stream Media for publishing a pretty good article on money management. Today I am retracting my praise, because I found this little nugget on the same website and it really chaps my hide.

I have a variety of complaints,but the primary one is the nonsense that we need to keep raising a FICO score. What we need is to start a revolution that considers criteria other than FICO in making certain decisions about people. FICO is simply a record of how we've managed debt. But what if we've been successful and don't need debt? The priorities are all wrong. It's just one side effect of an economy built on credit and debt. Shame, shame, shame.

There are some other subtle errors in the article, but it is the under lying message that I resent. So.... boo, media. Boo, boo, boo.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Toll Free Number

Even in this day and age of email and text messaging, it's still important to be able to be contacted by phone. I have no idea why we didn't do this before now, but we've added a new toll free number to the ways we can be contacted here at IOU NO MORE and at "Sam Burton Presents", our Seminar and Workshop division. The number is: 1-888-367-5988.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wells Fargo Made My Blood Boil!

We have our mortgage with Wells Fargo. We've been pretty happy with that division of the bank. We got a good rate and they communicate very well and very frequently. But the retail banking side of their operation just about put me back on my blood pressure medicine.

We got our mortgage rate as a part of our relocation package with my employer. After the account was set up, the mortgage office asked if we'd be willing to discuss checking and savings accounts with the retail side. I said, "sure".

The gist of the conversation was, because we had a our mortgage acct we could also get a free checking and savings acct. I said, "what the heck. Why not." As it turns out, only the first 6 mos were free. Now there's a $25 monthly fee. Never was that discussed. Never. I asked specifically, because I won't open an account that has fees. I don't need to.

So I called them today to complain and they said there was nothing they could do except reverse the monthly fee this one time. I disagreed. I assured them that there was one other possibility. They could close my checking and savings accounts. They complied immediately. They didn't want to try and save me. Why? They can't make money off of me if I don't pay fees. And apparently the interest rate on my mortgage isn't enough for them. End result: I am done with Wells Fargo. They lied to me and I can't do business like that. Grrrr................

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Good Advice

At a time when banking institutions are folding like lawn chairs, and confidence in those institutions is low, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a really great email from ING encouraging wise money management. They even recommended getting rid of credit cards. Hmmm........ maybe they read my book! I'm including the text below.


Dear Sam,
Customer Number: XXXXXXXXXX


As we enter the final few months of 2008, I want to thank you for your continued confidence in ING DIRECT. Over 700,000 new Savers have joined us so far this year strengthening the bank and their own financial footing through our savings, home mortgage and ShareBuilder investment accounts. Despite a challenging economic climate, our Customer base is 7 million strong and growing.

The consequences of the mortgage meltdown on financial institutions and individuals continue to erode many Americans' dreams. We will continue to stress the right way to achieve home ownership – buying only as much house as you can afford and paying off your mortgage as fast as possible. In return for good credit and prioritizing home investment, ING DIRECT mortgage Customers are rewarded with exceptional rates and a transparent, direct administration process. Rather than selling your mortgage to another bank or investor the minute you get it, we keep your mortgage and service it here. Doing so gives us flexibility to find innovative solutions to help Customers keep their homes during unexpected financial downturns.

While we don’t have an Orange crystal ball, we do expect the economy to remain fragile through 2009. The best course of action for our Customers is to be disciplined: avoid splurging; identify and cut out unnecessary expenses and save for what's essential; and hedge against those tough times. We can all benefit by developing good spending habits: confront - and cut up - credit cards; use your home as a savings vehicle - not as an ATM; and establish and contribute regularly to an IRA or 401(k).

In this difficult financial environment, we work tirelessly to safeguard your deposits, mortgages and investments. Importantly, your deposits are FDIC-insured according to its limits and your investments are SIPC-protected. Our security processes are the best in the business and are in place to protect your savings from those with bad intentions. While we are constantly vigilant, we need your help. Keep passwords to yourself. Never give personal information through an email. And always install both the latest antivirus and anti-malware software on your home computer.


Thank you for your continued trust in
ING DIRECT. We will not waver in our promise to provide you with great value, service, security and convenience.

Arkadi Kuhlmann
CEO of Savings

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nice Changes to the IOU NO MORE Product Line


The simplest Money Management Plan on Earth just got better.
The IOU NO MORE Complete Forms Library has been been upgraded and updated. It is no longer merely superb. Now it is Amazing.
First, we added .ods spreadsheet versions of the spending plans for users who want the flexibility of customizable forms, but use Open Office rather than Microsoft Office. Then we added two new forms (in all formats, no less); a. the Ultimate Cash Flow Plan for those really detail oriented budgeters who want to keep their Spending Plan and Actuals in the same place, and b. the Ultimate Transaction Register for people who would like to list the budget category for a transaction at the same time they record it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Back to Cash

Brittan and I started an experiment in money management a couple of weeks ago that is already paying off nicely. We've gone back to paying cash!

We got off the credit card merry go round some time ago (in fact, I would guess the last time we we had a credit card balance was probably sometime in 2005. Oh, we've used an American Express for booking plane tickets and the like, but we use that like a cash card for budgeted purchases higher than our daily limit on our debit card. But its only for budgeted purchases and is paid off within 24-48 hours of the charge hitting the account.

We use our debit card a great deal. We use it for groceries, for eating out, for paying bills online, for purchasing clothes, buying gasoline and a whole lot more. But we noticed while working our budget a couple of weeks ago, that we've had some "spending creep" find it's way into our bank account. We've been over spending our budget on eating out and groceries and the like, leaving a shortfall in a couple of areas like, clothes and mad money. So we decided to go "old school" and revert to the "envelope system" like we used in the beginning stages of our debt management plan. This time, we only use a few envelopes: groceries, eating out, 'mad money' and clothes. Next week I'm going to add pet supplies. Everything else is done electronically. Our bills are paid online (and most of them are automatically debited), and we have a couple of money market accounts attached to our checking account so we can move money in and out for things like Christmas, vacations, emergency fund, etc. The only checks we write are to the Church for our tithe.

Anyway, in only two weeks, by paying cash rather than using debit cards, we've actually gone UNDER budget in the categories in which we've been over spending. It's just like back in the old "get out of debt" days, when you have to part with actual greenbacks, many things are just not as tempting.

Saturday was a classic example. We were hungry and had some shopping to do, so we discussed where we could go out and eat at a reasonable cost and stay on our Weight Watcher program. After discussing several items, I said, you know what, let's just eat before we go and save the cash. B thought it was a great idea and that's exactly what we did. Cool!

It's fun. It's nostalgic and best of all, it has left cash in my wallet. We even made logos for our shirts that celebrate the theme. They say, "Go Green.........Pay with Cash!"

What can I say, we're corny and we like to brag about it!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Couple Small Website Changes and a Revelation

This morning I made a couple of small changes to the website. One was long overdue and the other was born of a small epiphany I had this morning. Trust me on this, even small epiphanies are exhausting for simpletons like me.

First, I finally added IOU NO MORE (the Book) to our shopping cart. For a year now, it's been available via all major online bookstores, ebay and a variety of brick and mortar bookstores around the country. But we didn't offer it. The logic was simple (it has to be with me), we wanted to promote traditional channels for buying the book. It was free marketing. And it's been great. But now it's time to add a new method for getting the material, the IOU NO MORE shopping cart. We still have a link to the Amazon.com page for IOU NO MORE in order to give shoppers multiple methods of purchasing.

Actually, the best bang for the buck is the IOU NO MORE Starter Kit, and that one is ONLY available on our shopping cart. That kit is loaded for bear!

Now for the epiphany. I have been scouring the internet and other sources researching the various budget and money management plans out there. There are a bunch of them. And I mean a bunch. Some are quite elaborate. Some are really cool. Some are flashy. Some are complicated. Some are duds.

After all the comparisons, it became abundantly clear, that the simplest, easiest to use forms and plans were mine! IOU NO MORE truly has the "Simplest Money Management Plan on planet earth." And I'm ok with that!

Friday, September 5, 2008

More Bad News

Gotta link to this. Just read that Foreclosures have again reached an all time high. There is a lot of pain out there. Good can come of this. It will take work, but the future can be bright even for those going through the darkest of times. Read about the crisis HERE.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Financial Regrets, Financial Hope

I don't think about money all the time. I certainly don't love money. Heck, I don't even like it. I know it doesn't like me. Every dime I've ever had has worked it's darnedest to get out of my hand and into someone else's as quickly as possible.

I have made more mistakes with money than I can begin to number. Pretty much, I've made them all. From the time I was a small boy, I have been foolish with money. I was 43 years old before I began to learn how to control it. And it took the better part of the next seven years to clean up the mistakes. I regret those years. I regret those financial travesties. I regret hurting people I care about with my financial foolishness.

But the biggest regret of all is the time. I can't believe that a man of reasonable intelligence and education, took so very long to learn basic money management. And there are consequences. One huge one is that because of my late start, I had no money set aside for retirement. I mean zero. Oh, I guess there was a little in Social Security somewhere, but by the time I retire I doubt there will be anything there. As a result, I am playing catch up. In order to try and have a little something down the road, I have to put more aside than the average person who starts early. Even then, I won't have anywhere near what I could have if I had started in my 20s putting away even paltry sums.

Start early, if you can. Set aside 10% of your wages in pre tax savings. If you start late, like I did, you will need to make it more like 15%. Plus, once you're over 50, the current tax laws allow "make up" payments. Just do it.

Having said all that, our financial future is not bleak. We have great hope. We are on a good path. We don't do debt, so we have a chance to do some serious catch up. Brittan and I have to catch ourselves every so often so that we don't slip back into old habits. We are determined to finish strong. And we will. Anyone can. It's all about changing behavior. Simple. Not easy, but simple.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Why?

Why are we so committed to debt? I don't have the answer, I'm just asking the question. Tonight I have a ton of them, questions that is. Why do we feel we have to have everything NOW? At what point did the human race lose the concept of 'delayed gratification'? I read recently, and I think it was Dave Ramsey quoting Larry Burkett, that in 1929 only 2% of home owners had a mortgage. By 1962 only 2% DIDN'T have a mortgage.

It feels like our entire culture has become so "entitlement" minded that we want to get everything we want. We want to get it now. And if we can't afford it, too bad. If we get to the point we can no longer pay for the stuff we borrowed money to obtain, we look for ways to default on the debt or we expect the Government to bail us out. It's crazy.

But even in the midst of this madness, there are pockets of people all over the country (and the world) who are finally beginning to understand. They are the ones who give me hope. They are the ones who keep the Revolution alive.

Guess I should never blog when I have the blues.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

See, I'm Not Nuts!

I found this little nugget about saving and building wealth that I simply have to share. Read it HERE.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Disturbing Little Tidbit

I was reading an interesting article about consumer spending (read it HERE), and was feeling pretty good about the fact that consumer spending is remaining UP despite all the pressures from rising prices. Then I saw a little paragraph towards the bottom that saving in July dropped by more than a third from what it was in June. That made me sad. And it reinforces for me that Brittan and I share a similar struggle with most of the rest of America: Spending is a stronger force in our lives than saving. The concept of "delayed gratification" is good theory, but tough to implement.

Earlier this week, B and I sat and talked through our spending vs saving habits since we moved to Georgia. In many ways, it mirrors the results of the article. First, our expenses are considerably greater here than in Maine. But they are not outrageous. But when we took a spending audit, we discovered that we had cut way back on out saving and our "impulse" spending was three times what it was before we moved. All of the bright lights and shopping opportunities of the "big city" grabbed our attention and lured us in. We took the bait.

Secondly, because of our spending, our savings went down. We were more interested in shiny baubles than looking down the road. Shame, shame.

Fortunately, we've been through this before and were able to right the ship, before it started taking on water. We didn't do debt. We weren't even tempted to do debt. Not true, I really wanted an ATV, but my convictions about debt are stronger than "off road fever". We won't do debt.

What we decided to do, was go back to the "envelope system" for things like our dining out and grocery budget as well as our "mad money." If you don't know what the "envelope system" is you should read IOU NO MORE (shameless advertisement).

When I get paid, I go to the bank and withdraw the cash for the envelope categories, and once the money is gone, it's gone. It is a fantastic disciplinary teaching tool. It is much more difficult to part with cash than it is to pull out the debit card. Oh, yes, more difficult indeed.

Try it. But more importantly, saving for the future is just as important as spending for today. After all, you might just need to eat even after you retire.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Someone Sure Hasn't Heard About the Revolution

I just read the following bad advice on CNN MONEY.

Wouldn't you know it would come from a law professor? The premise of the argument is faulty. And it smells of left wing political leanings. The article says people are stupid. People won't change. Regular people can't handle or manage money. The government must step in and save the day with regulations.

I say............BALDERDASH.

People are smart, creative, industrious and created by God with great capacity for change. We see it every day. People not only can, but MUST learn to handle money. The Government represents the very worst of money management understanding. The last thing we need is Government meddling any more than they already do in our finances. Their place is to get the heck out of the way and let Free thinking, Free markets, Free people create successful futures for ourselves and our children.

The article just goes to show that having a law degree doesn't grant you good judgment. Brittan and I are classic examples of normal people who learned to manage our money. We're not rich, but we're working on it. It will take a couple of decades, but it's coming. It can for you, too.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Risk Management

I saw an article today dealing with the decisions recent college grads make on whether to pay off student loans or put their money towards a down payment for a house. Read the article HERE.

My advice would be somewhat different. First, don't do debt for college. If it's too late for that, then I would advise paying off the Student Loans first. From a common sense perspective it should be a no brainer. Just look at all the foreclosures that have resulted from people who got in over their heads. Here's how I hear the question: We have these big hairy college debts. Should we take on more debt and buy a house? Will our lives be better off if we increase our debt load?

I know its a buyers market out there. But there are always good deals to be had if you shop well. And the simple rule is, the more debt the greater the problem if something goes wrong financially.

I would not recommend buying the house until the school loans are paid off. Get radical and throw everything at the debt, get rid of it and put everything possible into saving for the Down Payment. You will sleep better at night and you'll also have money at the end of the month.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Time to Stock Up on Chocolate

Chocolate lovers of the world, BEWARE! Prices are going up. That's right, all our favorite chocolate bars are now victims of the ever rising cost of raw materials and energy. This may be yet another sign of the apocalypse. Or it may simply be another way to keep me on my diet.
Read about it HERE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two Fun Conversations Today

Today was a good day for the Revolution.

First, I went to pick up my suits from the Men's Warehouse and the salesman (with whom Brittan and I spoke about IOU NO MORE a couple of weeks ago) said, as I was leaving the store, "Mr. Burton. I haven't read you book yet. But I want you to know, I plan to. Seriously." I thanked him profusely.

Secondly, I got my eyes tested today. Turns out, I'm still near sighted. Go figure. But during the course of the conversation, debt and money management came up. My eye doctor got very excited and said, "I think that is so cool. What is that web site again? This practice will be debt free in less than two years. We are excited. We believe we can do so much more for God if we're debt free." And.........he gave me a 10% discount. It was still a gosh awful amount of money to have people poke around your eyes, but it was a great conversation.

Nearly every day now, the subject of money management and debt comes up in conversation with people who know nothing about the Revolution. I get very excited when that happens.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Student Loans Harder to Find

Check out this article.

Here's the IOU NO MORE take on the subject. Don't borrow money for college. I know it's counter to everything you know about getting through school. But while college is supposed to be about education, it's been a cash cow for the lending industry. Including the Govt. Until recently, that is. Now the house this country built on a foundation of debt is beginning to crumble.

I won't even get started on some of the so called, "technical" institutes that have tuitions as high as some fine universities, but have no accreditation. We looked into one of those many years ago, when Brittan was first considering going back to college. I was appalled. We'll save that for another day.

Whenever possible, go to a State College. Go to a Community College if necessary. But make it affordable. Pay as you go. One semester or one year at a time. Don't borrow. Same goes if you MUST go to a private college. One example is for people preparing for ministry. Even there, look around, find one that fits your statement of Faith and pay as you go. Apply for grants and scholarships. Get a job. Do whatever it takes to avoid debt. Yes, it might take longer. Yes, you might have to go to a second or third choice University. But in the long run, you'll be better off.

Student loan debt haunts many families for decades after college. Just think of how that money could be invested and how much it could earn if you were paying yourself rather than Sallie Mae or some other life sucking creditor. And think for a minute about all the people who have dropped out of college and have the loan debt but no degree. That hurts doubly.

If you are parents of young children, or even those in Jr. High or High School and you plan to pay or assist paying for your child's college education, you need to start saving today. It's far cheaper to pay ahead (and gain interest along the way) than to pay afterwards when you have to pay interest.

When you talk about college with your child, explain that if Daddy and/or Mommy are going to be footing the bill, Jr will go to a State School. Maybe even a community college. It might not be popular. Well, Waah! Then Jr. can go pay for his own school and Mommy and Daddy aren't going to bail him out. This is serious.

College education is very important. But if we don't manage it correctly, it can be a financial bane instead of boon. On the other hand, if we come out of college with a debt free degree, the world is our oyster from the very beginning.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Why Banks Hate Me

Banks hate me. The feeling is growing more mutual by the day. The reasons they hate me are myriad, but they all come back to the fact that generally speaking, they don't make any money on me. The only debt Brittan and I have is our mortgage. Even that is far below what we could have borrowed. And we plan to pay it off early. We don't have car loans. We don't have credit card balances. We don't overdraw our accounts. We don't do anything to rack up fees. So they hate me. I can live with that.

The reason I'm starting to feel the same about them is due to the games banks play to try and get money out of me. First, we received a notice about a month ago that HSBC had cancelled Brittan's credit card due to "inactivity." It hasn't been used in years. I think she only had it in case we were stuck somewhere and we had to make a purchase that was above our daily limit on our debit card. Whatever. But they canceled it and offered to open a new one for her. All she had to do was call. We don't care about the credit card. We don't use them. What we care about is that by the bank closing the card, Brittan will take a hit on her credit. It won't be as bad as if it was because of debt, but "closed by issuer" dings your report. That stinks.

Second game, deceitful sales people. B and I had great relationships with our banks in Kentucky and in Maine. Brittan worked in a couple of them. We knew every employee, the managers and even the presidents. They didn't like not making money off of us, but they didn't try to stick us, either. Down here in the big cities of Georgia it's a different story. In one case, our mortgage came with a Home Equity Line of credit. Those are bad to begin with, but it was something my company arranged.........long story. Anyway, there were no fees to close it before 10 years. Or so I was told when the account was set up. And there were no maintenance fees. Yeah, right. So about 3 months ago, I decided to close it just so the temptation wouldn't be around. But, low and behold, there is a fee to close it early. So I said, "there are no fees for failing to use it, right?" "Absolutely not," was the reply. Wrong again. This week I got hit with a $25 maintenance fee for lack of use. Balderdash, I say. We will be getting that reversed tomorrow. The way things stand, I can avoid fees by using the line of credit. But then I have to make sure I pay it off before interest hits it. What a joke!

I found an interesting article related to overdraft fees. Hope you like it. Read it HERE.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Take Control of Your Financial Future

There is a lingering notion that somehow the government will take care of us when we retire. Millions of people are still expecting to live on their Social Security after retirement. If you are one of those, please wake up and smell the coffee.

I'm 51 years old. There is no chance that SS will be able to support me in my dotage. Read this article I found today.

It is mission critical for all of us to do everything we can to build our own retirement plan. It's hard sometimes. I mean, I got started very late. I'm doing all I can to catch up. If you are in your 20s or 30s you are in a position to build some real wealth with 401k, IRA, Mutual Funds, etc. Please get started right away. Even if you're over 40 you can make a wonderful impact on your future.

Take control of your own future. No one is more interested in you than you are. We're here to help.

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Ever SimulPost

For the first time (and maybe the last), I am posting the same information on both my blogs. IOU NO MORE and OldMusher will have the same text. My loyal reader (yes, there may only be one) may be disappointed, but I couldn't decide where to post this, so I'll put it both places.

A Church in Florida has declined a gift of $600k because it was a tithe on Lottery winnings. I applaud the congregation for living by their convictions and not being tempted by a high dollar windfall. Not many people or organizations would have resisted. Kudos.

My only other comment is................ARE YOU NUTS?!

The lottery winner genuinely wanted to tithe out of gratitude to God for his good (and sizable) fortune. That was the correct thing to do.

I know that many Churches discourage playing the lottery. I don't play it. I don't encourage it. But if someone who feels differently wins and wants to share it with me or my ministry, I'm going to take it. Maybe I have no shame. Maybe I just view "ill gotten gain" differently than some others do.

I grew up in Kentucky. During my youth, tobacco was the big cash crop in the State. I worked in the fields during the summer and I took crops to the auction in the winter. One year, I had my own crop from land we leased. I sold it at auction to pay part of my Bible College tuition. When I was a missionary, a good chunk of my support came from tobacco farmers. Some people frowned on me for that and wouldn't support our mission because of it. But one old Bible College Professor put my mind at ease. He said, "Tobacco has paid the salaries and education of a whole lot of preachers around here. Think nothing of it. Or if you have to, look at it this way....the Devil's had it long enough, let's let the Lord use that money for a while." Good words.

You can read the article HERE.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tru That

As it turns out, it is possible to live without credit card debt. Of course, I've been saying that for years now, but here it is via the mainstream media. Read it HERE.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Preparing for Winter Bills!

You've got to be kidding! Nope, it won't belong and the A/C will be replaced by ever rising heating bills. Suze Orman has some good advice regarding the matter. You can read it HERE.

Good News on the 401k Front

It looks like more businesses and more employees are turning to 401(k) for retirement planning. I'm glad to hear it. If your business offers such a plan, you should talk to your HR dept. about enrolling right away. It's good planning, it's good business and in most cases it's pre tax meaning the money you invest is not a part of your taxable income (plans vary, so please take the time to consult your HR person as previously recommended.)

Read the article HERE.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Love Spreading the Message

Yes, I believe in Life After Debt! And I love to talk about it. Brittan and I are proof that anyone can do it, so we enjoy helping others. Yesterday we went to the Men's Warehouse to buy me a new suit. Considering the last one I bought was 5 years ago, and it's the only one I own, this purchase is long overdue. As an aside, suits are a whole lot more expensive than they were 5 years ago. Jeepers, it's almost like buying a car! Suits were "on sale" for roughly $250 each. Holy Cow, that's a lot of money. But I digress.

While I was being fitted by the tailor, I overheard Brittan giving our phone number and email address to the salesman. Obviously, they want to bombard me with sales offers for all eternity. But when she gave the email address sam@iounomore.com, the guy asked about it. By the time I got over to the desk, another salesman had arrived and they were both asking me questions. It almost made spending the money worthwhile. I said, Almost!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Slogan, New Products

We're toying with the idea of launching a line of logo wear for the Revolution. It was sparked by an accidental turn of phrase from a recent entry in this blog. We're looking at T-Shirts, buttons, mugs etc. that say something like, "Get off Debt Row." "I escaped Debt Row". That kind of thing. I know it's corny, but I love that kind of stuff. I'm such a dope sometimes. But we're looking for ways for people to take pride in their financial freedom and share it with the world. The revolution continues.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Just When I Was Starting To Feel Better About Things

For a few weeks now, I've been excited because so many people appear to be joining the "IOU NO MORE" Revolution. But today's headlines are a sober reminder that far too many are on Debt Row. You can read all about it HERE.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Yep, it's that time again

Very soon, the early morning air will be filled with the sounds of happy young voices as they head back to school after another summer vacation. That means that the air is currently filled with the weeping a wailing of their parents as they try to do the "Back to School" shopping. Here's a link to some tips I found on msnbc.com. Happy shopping, everyone. Now....... let's all sing........ "School Days, School Days. Dear old golden rule days.........."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Trickle Down Economics Works in Reverse, Too

I read an article today that illustrates in a small way, what will happen if a certain presidential candidate is elected and fulfills his promise to raise taxes. Read the article HERE.
Already, the small and mid sized business owner is feeling the pinch of higher operating costs and a higher minimum wage. Once higher taxes are added to the equation we will see many businesses forced to close and many more scale back by laying off employees or not hiring in the first place. Many people don't understand that it is not the mega rich or the large businesses who hire the most employees in this country. The biggest load is carried by the small business owner.