Thursday, July 31, 2008

The End of an Ugly Era.......I Hope

Chrysler announced this week that they are going to stop leasing new cars and trucks. With rising costs of fuel and rapid depreciation of pickups and SUVs, auto makers are losing their shirts on bad leases. Look for Ford and GM to follow suit. All I can say is, Yaaahhhhoooo! Leases are terrible ideas for consumers. They take advantage of "payment" shoppers with over priced, high financed, low value deals that usually have a big bite up front or a wicked sting in the tail at the end. I'm not sad they're gone. You can read what had to say about it HERE.

In a related note, this decision shows how the free market will govern itself. It was market conditions rather than Government intervention that ended this rip off practice. We should allow the marketplace to eventually end the Pay Day Loan industry, too. I hate those places, but Govt. should stay out of it. They should also stay out of the restaurant business. I read this week that some parts of L.A. are considering banning new fast food restaurants, because people are too fat. They may only grant permits for restaurants offering "healthier fare". Folks, that's what happens when you want the Government to take care of you. They take over. And that's bad for all of us. Left alone, market forces will take care of themselves.

Good Insights

I've spent a great deal of blog space recently linking to other sites and articles. I hope it's been helpful. There are a lot of great ideas and insights out there on the WWW and part of the purpose of this weblog and IOU NO MORE is to connect people with those great ideas and insights. Can you imagine how boring and slow the world would be if we had to wait for me to have an original thought?

Anyway, I found an interesting piece related to the characteristics common to people who have found financial peace of mind. See if you are there yet. If it sounds like a place you'd like to be, rest assured you can get there. And we'd love to help. Click HERE.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sign of the Apocalypse

Forget $4.00 a gallon gasoline or $4.50 a gallon milk, the real signal that the end of civilization as we know it is upon us is that Starbucks has posted it's first ever quarterly loss. Read about it Here. Perhaps teh board of directors at Folgers is sleeping easier tonight.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Extreme" Disaster

It looks like the biggest ever "Extreme Makeover" project is a bust. The family assisted by the makeover put their home up as collateral for a $450k loan for a business that failed. Now the house is on the auction block. Beazer Homes and 1800 people invested time and money to make a family's dreams come true. They were given a great gift, but did not have the wisdom to receive it well. I don't know whether I'm miffed or saddened. You can read the whole sad tale HERE.

It really shouldn't surprise anyone. It happens all the time. Scandal sheets often carry stories of lottery winners, athletes and entertainers who gain and lose fortunes overnight. The simple principle is, if we can't handle a little, we won't be able to handle a lot.

Of course, it's never too late to change. Anyone can learn to master their money and their lives. It won't be easy, but it is certainly possible. I'm living proof.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Think You're the Only One Worried about Money?

Think again. It's everywhere. Read about it HERE.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Somebody Read My Book..........

........or at least my mind. Yahoo had a great article today from Consumer Reports about ways to cut our monthly bills. It could have been taken right out of IOU NO MORE. But then again, IOU NO MORE is just common sense. Read the article HERE.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Price of Greed

I stumbled on THIS and thought it was sad. Greed and Games, what a cocktail.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Credit Card Companies Are Not Your Friend

I've been counseling people for a while not to cut up their cards and to stop borrowing. Those cute, witty TV commercials about how great CCs are have lured millions into a web of debt that is incredibly difficult to escape. Even the Main Stream Media is getting the picture of just how evil these companies can be. Read about hidden rate hikes HERE.

Also, if you haven't seen the documentary "Maxed Out", you really should. While it's politically a bit further left of center than I am, the information is spot on. I checked it out from my local video store about a year or year and a half ago. It's a must see.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Small Changes, Big Savings

We're always looking for little ways to save money. And sometimes small changes equal big $$. Instead of just trying to figure out how to cut out BIG things, why not try some of THESE.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good News, sort of.

We've had a great deal of interest lately in our website and requests for forms and books. Obviously, we want to sell as many books and forms cds as possible, but based on the depressed sounding emails, I realize that more and more people are struggling.

I read a slogan recently that hits the nail square on the head, "People don't change when they see the light, but when they feel the heat." That was certainly the case for Brittan and me. We didn't make changes in our spending and borrowing until the pressure from debts was almost overwhelming. And the economy wasn't even stressed back then. For millions of people now, debt plus gasoline prices plus rising food costs = danger.

I am so grateful that we were able to take control and win. And I'm equally grateful to help others win as well.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mixed Emotions About Credit Card Company Woes

It seems that American Express has withdrawn its earning forecast due to lower profits and higher than expected defaults. I have mixed emotions about that news. Read about it HERE.

On the one had, I have little sympathy for the CC industry. It wouldn't bother me if they all had to shut down. It won't happen, of course.

On the other hand, the rise in defaults means more and more people are hurting. We are now seeing the dark side of an economy build on credit. We have been seduced by greed and now it's time to reap the harvest of the seed we've sown. But I don't feel good about it. I think of all the couples who are fighting or weeping or scared or all of the above. I think of the children whose are losing their homes. It's heart breaking.

But there is hope. Men and women all across the country are joining the IOU NO MORE Revolution. Why not join us and live free?

Tough Economic Times Even Tougher on Marriages

One of things I say to couples contemplating ending their marriages is, "Divorce isn't all it's cracked up to be." In my "Fresh Start for the Suddenly Single" workshops I add that "Divorce usually takes one struggling household and turns it into two very poor ones.

Our current mortgage and credit crunch is turning into a bonanza for divorce attorneys. I find that very sad. It's long been known that money problems are a leading cause of marital breakdown, and it's only magnified when the going gets really tough. I discuss the subject pretty openly and directly in "IOU NO MORE". There are some excellent tips in there, if I do say so myself. And it's a whole lot cheaper than an attorney. I'm not saying that a $10 book will save your marriage, but it might get you talking again, and not just screaming. If talking leads you to a Pastor or good marriage counselor instead of divorce court, then I consider that a big win.

Click here for a good but sad look at a recent article on the subject.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Spirit Of Revolution Spreads

The desire for freedom that feeds the IOU NO MORE revolution is spreading. As I have long hoped and prayed, it is Churches that are often leading the way. This morning, has a very good article as the lead on it's home page. On the whole, it's a pretty good article. It still quotes the usual liberal sources and takes a few backhanded slaps at a leading Evangelical Pastor (who happens to be my favorite TV preacher), but the point that Churches are finally learning to teach Biblical principles about money is well made.

Sadly, I believe that falling offering totals led many congregations to do the right thing. But sometimes it takes a personal pain point to get us to pay attention. And, there are also a great many Churches who have been teaching God's principles all along. It's only when the current crisis hit that members started listening.

Whatever the motivator, thousands are joining the revolution. And once an individual, family or congregation gets a taste of financial freedom, debt never tastes good again. IOU NO MORE is not just a book title. It's not just a slogan. It's Liberty's shout of victory!

Read the MSNBC article here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Bad Guys Never Get Tired

With the increase in Debit card use has come an increase in ATM fraud. Yep, the bad guys have found a way to tamper with ATMs and grab your personal information. It happens mostly around those stand alone machines you find in malls, gas stations and the like. Check out this article for more information. It's spooky.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Good Information on Credit Score Busters

Yahoo has been running some excellent personal finance articles lately. Here is a good article about some things you might not think of that can have a negative effect on your score. Click here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Is my bank at risk?

The recent problems with mortgage lenders, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, along with those of the bank IndyMac, have many consumers worried about their own financial institutions. I read a good article on Yahoo earlier and thought I should share it. You can read it HERE.

Friday, July 11, 2008

More Concerns in the Mortgage Industry

Troubles for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae may mean bigger problems for the whole economy. But those same problems illustrate how important it is for those seeking to purchase homes do their research and buy within their means. If you plan to live in a place for three years or more then you should look for fixed rate mortgages. And your mortgage payment should be no more that 25% of your family take home pay. Read about the Freddie and Fannie problems here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Trying New Backgrounds

Please be patient. We're trying some new looks for the blog. You'll probably see a few changes over the next several days. It could be fun. It could be annoying. Time will tell. But even while we're playing with ideas, we'll keep you informed on financial matters and give input on Recession Proof Living.