Teaching you to embrace today while making yourself a millionaire!

I wish I would have understood how easy it is to become a millionaire by starting to save small amounts of money when I was younger...

I feel compelled to share the simple concepts you can apply today....


30 November 2008

How Do I Become A Millionaire?

It has been a while since I talked about the original mission of Generation Millionaire. To teach and encourage you to use the time you have to make your retirement more secure.

So what is one of the pieces of the puzzle? "Time + Regular Investing" into a diversified portfolio = Long term success

The sooner you start investing in a 401k or IRA the more $$ you have for retirement.
If you invest $60 a week starting at age 18 for 50 years with an 8% return = $1.9 Million
If you invest $60 a week starting at age 25 for 42 years with an 8% return = $1 Million
By waiting 7 years to invest a mere $60 a week - you give up almost one million dollars.

Where am I going to get $60 a week or $8.50 a day ?? It is so easy with simple changes you won"t notice in the long run.....
Pack your lunch instead of eating out -
Go to the library for movies, cds, books and games -
Plan your route to avoid extra driving -
Go to a matinee
Drink water vs ordering soda, coffee, tea etc.
Buy used books for classes
Don't use your charge card

Little changes that will not affect your quality of life TODAY will pay off big TOMORROW.
This information can change your entire generation - WILL YOU BE A MILLIONAIRE?

Save any amount you can - less is better than none. I challenge you to write down every time you spend a penny - you will be amazed at the way money trickles out of our wallets.

Always check with a financial expert prior to making any investment decisions. Play with the financial calculator under the calculator link tab at the top of the page.

Stay tuned.......

28 November 2008

Financial Friday - What Happened?

What should have been a fun filled shopping spree for some turned to disaster at 2 stores and I am sure there were many scraps at others. My questions to all of you is......Are things that important to you? If you were the first one at a store waiting to get in for a great deal and people started to push or try to get in front of you - what would you do? It is the same question as when someone takes a parking spot you were waiting for. How do you react?
Who do you want to be?

I have been up half the night thinking about the 34 year old WalMart Worker who was trampled to death by an over zealous crowd - drugged by the idea of a good deal. First off my sympathy to the family. My heart goes out to your family and I am sorry for our society and what we have become.

So who's fault is it?

The media for over hyping the deals on Friday and ignoring Thanksgiving and all the reasons for the holidays in December. As well as continuing to encourage the culture of things.

The stores for only having a few of the special priced items to lure thousands of consumers to their stores in the middle of the night and creating a sense of panic to get to the few cherished prizes on sale. Not having a system to organize the mass crowds waiting to get for the handful of bargains.

The shoppers for letting their emotions take over any sense of reason. To literally put themselves and others at risk to save a few dollars on something they could live without.

I have told my kids their entire lives it only takes a second to change your life and that of others. Stay alert or leave when a situation could easily turn out badly. I called it the Princess Diana moment. Had she just walked upstairs to a suite in the hotel she was at - she may still be alive. She seemed to have gotten caught in the energy of all the people around trying to "protect" her and ended up in a horrible situation. Stay aware of your energy - and decisions.

I just ask that all of you decide what type of society you want to live in and be the role models that we so desperately need. Constantly review your actions and ask yourself is this what I value?

Enjoy shopping for your holiday gifts, make it a family event and put thought into what others would really enjoy or need. It should be a wonderful heart felt time of the year. Please stay safe and embrace those you care about.

Stay tuned......

27 November 2008

Time for Gratitude!

I love Thanksgiving - it is probably my favorite holiday. No big hype, kinda gets lots between Halloween and all the December holidays. It is not about what football game is on or if the turkey is dry.

For me, it is a time to remember and be thankful. We take for granted all our rights, freedoms, and choices. We forget not everyone in the world has access to good medical care, food, water, and the basic necessities. I volunteer for a group called Cardiostart - they go around the world and teach very basic open heart surgery to third world countries. I have a connection to this group for 2 reasons -

1. If i didn't live in this country I would have died 35 years ago.
2. I am trained as a ECG/Monitor Tech from when I was much younger

When I realized kids and adults were dying from a medical procedure we have been doing for 50 years - I was disheartened, outraged and sad. And decided to use my time and energy to assist them. My point in telling you all this - is we very fortunate to live in the United States. When you have everything at your finger tips it is easy to realize not everyone has the same options.
I love Thanksgiving - for me it is a day to reflect and think about what I will do in the upcoming year to help others that are less fortunate.

We wish you and your family a very healthy, safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Stay tuned.........

26 November 2008

Beware of Black Friday!!

Wow, I thought after the election the onslaught of targeted commercials would come to end. I was mistaken. The marketers are in an all out battle for your business. It will be survival of the most creative marketers. My thoughts to you.........

There will be amazing deals this year. Yahoo has what they feel are the 10 ten best deals. However, most people believe that the deals will get better closer to Christmas. Friday stores will have door busters to try and get you into the store in hopes you will buy other things.
Make a list of who you are buying for and how much you are going to spend. (hopefully, in cash). When you buy for that person - stop and move on to the next. No adding another gift because it is a great deal.

Spend more on one gift than another person gets a less expensive gift. Stay on your budget.

No impulse buys - that is the marketers whole goal in life.

I received one of those emails that friends and family fill in things about themselves. One of the questions was - Favorite Christmas or Holiday gift. Ready - most people do not remember!! Next question what do you want for the holidays this year? 100% said - family to be healthy or spend more time with friends and family. It has nothing to do with things.

Depending on the person's financial situation - you may want to get practical gifts - money is tight everywhere. Items they may need through the winter, stamps to pay bills, gift card for groceries may relieve some stress.

If getting gift cards check to be sure the store isn't closing. There are 100's of stores closing - you do not want your gift to be useless. So buyer beware.
Lastly, if you go battle the crowds in search of amazing deals - have fun.
Picture from Etsy.
Stay tuned............

24 November 2008

Some more credit facts

I have been thinking alot about when I was in college and how life worked in the 80's. I went to school about 4 hours from my childhood home. There were no cell phones, email, instant messaging, or other forms of instant communication. My mom would write me a letter and tell me when she was going to call so I would be home to answer the phone. Long distance was expensive and we always made the calls quick and not during peak hours.

I had a checking account - no debit or credit cards. I ate in the school cafeteria no other options existed on a meal plan. I would grab extra fruit or bagels to have food in my room. I waited for boxes to arrive from home or family members for home cooked treats and hopefully a few dollars.

Every time I spent money it was literally a very conscience decision. From splitting a pizza with my roommate, going to a dance club, what personal items I purchased, to how I bought my books for my classes. I can still remember what it felt like to ponder these purchases - because to have 1 item meant I didn't have another. It was not a bad feeling it was one of being responsibly and respecting my limits. It also help me really prioritize what was important to me. I still make my financial decisions with the same awareness. I live under my financial means and really enjoy everything I choose to spend my money on.

Here are some financial tips for high school and college students... from the Credit Abuse Resistance Education Program.

1. Create a realistic budget.

2. Open a savings account.

3. Look for ways to save money. We have discussed this time and time again.

4. Use cash, debit card or checking out instead of credit.

5. Avoid credit card debt.

6. Pay your bills on time.

7. Pay debt off as quickly as possible.

8. Minimize student loan debt.

9. Avoid - impulse shopping, expensive behaviors like gambling and drugs, opening multiple charge accounts, pawn shops, car loans longer than three years, rent to own and payday establishments. Do not open credit cards to get free stuff. Those cards HURT your credit.

10. Remember the consequences of abusing credit cards and other consumer debt. Don't lose out on a job, student loans, admission to graduate school, apartment or car loans because of too much credit card or other consumer debt. Today everyone is pulling credit reports and suing them to make decisions about your future.

I don't know when this changed but when I was in college my parents weren't concerned that I worked third shift in a hospital on weekends and part time at the Medical bookstore while going to school and having a social life. I was able to manage all that and keep my student loans to a manageable amount. I am not suggesting everyone should work 2 jobs but I am asking why is not possible to work at least 1 part time job to cover your extra expenses or keep your loans to a minimum. This parent attitude (in my thinking) does not help you learn to manage your time, finances and choices. My kids are very active in college activities, work part time, take student loans, and perform well in their classes. They are accountable for their life and choices. As parents we assist with expenses (our choice) and support their choices. Isn't that what college is all about - learning to make responsible decisions and learn to live on your own?

Stay tuned............

23 November 2008

RSS Feed

I know have a RSS feed on the blog. If you go to the bottom of the blog under Subscribe To:
Click on Posts - you can then receive notification when I add to the blog. I use igoogle and when I pull up my home page it lists the most recent posts.

It is an easy way to stay current on what we are doing at Generation Millionaire. We have more and more presentations and ideas for you in 2009. We will also have some guest writers soon. As always, look forward to your comments and emails. Continue to invite your friends to view the blog and sign up for the RSS feed.

Thanks and have a safe and fun weekend.

Stay tuned.......

21 November 2008

Financial Friday - Ramblings

Today I am going to hit numerous and varied topics - so go with my ramblings so I can clear my mind and get back to the post on credit! Regarding the current economic situation I am going to link to some articles - from Marketplace and CNN Money.

First, the financial picture this week is more of the same. Volatility, uncertainty, low consumer confidence, layoffs, more store closings, pension concerns are a few of the issues facing us.

The basic principles still apply - start saving now (especially with the market so low), Time is on your side. Make wise decisions with your money - give up the impulse buys and don't be drawn in by the marketing, the best things in life are free - stop think what is your favorite childhood memory? I will wager it isn't something you received but something you did with someone. Remember that when you start to pull out your wallet.

Next, I found a comment on the blog that I want to respond do. Here is the question:
Josh said...
My girlfriend is in pharmacy school and is receiving student loans. Her loan covers her tuition and gives her about $1,200.00 every quarter. What could she do with her money that would benefit her after pharmacy school?

Josh, thanks for the question. There are a few factors to consider. Is there any chance she will need any of the money sooner? If so, put that portion in a savings account hopefully returning some interest - so she can get to it in an emergency. Next, depending on how many years she has until she graduates - I would think about keeping it safe - she could put it in a CD that may secure a higher interest rate than the savings account - but not take on any additional risk. If she is not going to need the money for 5 years or longer she could look into a conservative mutual fund - something that has a mix of stocks and bonds. Many firms offer asset allocation funds that go from lower risk to higher risk. The more stock in the fund the more risk you assume. So she could look at a fund that has 20 -40% stock and the rest in bonds - if she wants to assume more risk and have the opportunity for a higher return. As always, check with a financial professional prior to making any decisions. Smart about Money is a good unbiased educational resource.

Lastly, I can not encourage you enough to really look at your values and where you place your time and money. Our family had a tragic loss 5 months ago - my cousin Joe was 34 years old and killed in an automobile/motorcycle accident. He had his helmet on, had the right of way and the person turned right in front of him. The driver was charged with vehicular manslaughter yesterday. This whole situation is tragic. You don't know what is going to happen from one second to the next - so spend time with the people you love, be kind, give back, laugh, learn, have fun, embrace the world around you and realize that money and things can never replace the time and energy you give to others. Have a safe and awe inspiring day!

Stay tuned........

20 November 2008

Are You Kidding Me - Make A Wish Come True......

I saw a commercial from Sears right before I went to bed last night that really bothered me. Apparently, it haunted me because I am back up and writing a post on it at 3:40 am.

The ad basically states "Make a wish come true" for the holidays. Purchase a gift you can not afford to make someone else "really happy" now. Credit terms 12 months same as cash.

Here is what you need to understand - if you can not afford it now - Don't buy it.

The way 12 months same as cash works is - if you pay the entire amount back prior to the 12 month window - you pay no interest, however if you can not pay it ALL back - all the interest over the past 12 months is added to your amount due. It is normally at a very high interest rate. The wish becomes your nightmare.

Please be careful over the holidays. Do not go into debt for a gift or an impulse purchase for yourself. We just had a contest on creative low cost gifts. Go back through the posts get some ideas. Things will not bring you happiness no matter how much the marketers what you to believe that.

Stay tuned...........

19 November 2008

Ways to Ruin Your Credit......

What is all the talk about credit? It seems to be all the buzz. So what can you do to protect yourself from making some common mistakes that could take you years to undo.

Top 10 Mistakes

1. Accept all the preapproved credit card offers you receive and open in store credit cards to save 10% on a purchase.

2. Buy everything you want on credit- spend more than you make or can pay each month.

3. Pay your bills late or miss a payment if money is tight.

4. Let your accounts go to collection. Ignore creditors.

5. Close credit cards account soon after opening them.

6. Max out your credit cards - use every bit of credit given to you.

7. Co-sign for other people to get credit or let others use your cards.

8. Mismanaging student loan money.

9. Not having a budget.

10. Not getting and reviewing your free credit report every year.

In the next few posts I will discuss what a credit score is , what is credit and ways to establish and maintain good credit. By being responsible with your credit - it can lower interest rates on loans, give you opportunity for home or car ownership, obtain employment, and on a personal note it makes you a more desirable partner, less stressed out when the phone rings or the mail arrives, and a feeling of self respect.

Stay tuned......

18 November 2008

University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University Presentations

Exciting news.... I will be presenting at the University of Cincinnati on January 27, 2009 for the Business School and at The Ohio State University on February 9th, 2009.

Generation Millionaire is spreading. We have young adults all over the country and quite a few countries around the world reading and responding to the blog. Please continue to share the blog with your friends. Knowledge is power and creates financial and mental freedom - which ultimately creates options!
I want to thank both schools for offering this opportunity to their students. The information can change their lives by understanding the basic principles of time over money, paying oneself first, debt is a trap, living under ones financial means instead of above, asset allocation, compounding and the rule of 72, and the biggest investment mistakes.
I have quite a few pending presentations I will continue to share the schools and organizations as they become definite.
I have not forgotten we will discuss credit mistakes.........
Stay tuned....................

17 November 2008

The Winners Are....................

First Place: Zac_Attack for his creative idea on saving money while creating a lasting memory. Taking the time to hand make holiday cards for his girlfriend. He said the cost is from 0 -$5 if you are elaborate. But taking the time and personalizing the card makes it very meaningful. $15 Chipotle gift card

Second Place: Noelle for her memory gift box. She sat and reflected on the many good times she had with her grandparents throughout her life. She hand wrote all the memories on separate strips of paper, then decorated a gift box and put them all inside, wrote a note telling them how much they meant to her. She said her grandparents loved the gift and throughout the year they can pull a memory out and realize how little gestures can make a big difference in a person's life. $10 Chipotle card

I want to thank everyone who submitted thoughts via the blog and email. All the ideas were creative and had a personal touch to them. It goes back to what we have been talking about the past 6 months. Time, not money, is what people remember when they reflect on their lives.

It is the memories of driving around in a car all day getting free ice cream, the box of memories, the card you can look back at down the years and remember the love it was made with, the pressed flower picked while on a picnic, making a special coupon to be redeem at a later date and the low cost idea of buying a chocolate bar and attaching a lottery ticket - (if you win big you will never forget that day).

Zac and Noelle if you can email your information I will put the cards in the mail.

We will have more contests next year - so keep thinking about ways to be efficient with your money. Next blog will be on Credit.

Stay tuned..............

14 November 2008

Financial Friday

I thought a little humor would be good today. Given the markets have been insanely volatile, the economic report for many stores is grim - except for Walmart - who had a profit in Q3.

CNN had an article from Steve Almond on not spending money for seven days. It is very humorous but gives a good perspective on not being cheap -- but realizing how much money we spend a week unconsciously.

As the holiday season fast approaches us - it would be a good time to set a specific amount of money you will spend. Then break it down by person. Write down each purchase and if you go over on one person than another person gets less. This is no time to create debt.

Marketplace has a story about buyer's remorse and the insurgence of people returning recent purchases. It is a backwards way to the same result of Generation Millionaire. They make an impulse purchase get home and realize they don't really need it and return it. Do that a couple times and your habits start to change!

There have been some wonderful low cost ideas on the comments from the contest. Go back and read through those and get creative. I think the lesson from the contest is the best memories are free - they require time and attention to detail.

Have a safe weekend.

Stay tuned......

13 November 2008

Another Piece of the Puzzle - Credit

A brief summary of previous blogs - go to the archives to review.
We have discussed responsible choices in your purchases - do you NEED it or WANT it for instant gratification.... Values - what are yours ... do you have a list of goals, did you do a top 20 list (things you would like to do before you die, who you will do it with, cost, time frame). This exercise really helps you live a more conscience life, as well as, more meaningful.

Then we went into budget - living within your means and actually under them. Take some money and save for an emergency and for retirement. Give up a few of the fast food meals, video games or as simply as getting water instead of pop while eating out will save you money. These small changes will NOT affect the quality of your life today but will definitely change it LATER.

Student Loans - this is a big concern for most of you. How much to take and repayment. As I always state I am not a fan of debt however if you are getting student loans and maximizing your opportunity at school - you will never make a better investment than in yourself. If you use the above steps - you can limit how much you will need to borrow.

The next very important piece to consider is your CREDIT. You can go to and get a free credit report every year. There are three credible firms you can get your report from: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Do not use other free credit sites such as Free credit report - they ultimately aren't free and may not be secure.

Having bad credit will create you many many problems. You do not want to go there. You will have problems trying to rent an apartment or buy a home, purchsing a car, getting into graduate school or obtaining a job, you may have to pay higher interest rates if someone is willing to give you credit (which just continues the problem) and on a personal note may affect your relationships... Do you want to be with someone who isn't responsible and already has a ton of problems?

A great site for information is Credit Abuse Resistance Education to learn additional ways to avoid the pitfalls of bad credit and actionable steps you can utilize everyday to create good financial habits. It takes a second to create bad credit and years to undo.
The next post will discuss what creates bad credit..... You may not even realize you are setting yourself up for a problem.

Stay tuned......

11 November 2008

Contest Deadline on the Horizon - Nov 16th, 2008

I want to thank everyone for all the submissions thus far on the blog and via email. I will announce on Monday Nov 17th the 2 winners and request your info so I can mail them to you.

With all the thinking about saving money, meaningful gifts and the holidays. It brought back one of my most memorable experiences. It was with my younger sister who is 13 years than me - we lived in the same town and spent alot of time together. She really didn't need anything so on her birthday. I used one of my vacation days (which is a huge deal in my world) and surprised her and we drove to all the Graeter's Ice Cream shops in our area for a free ice cream cone. We spent the entire day driving around the city trying different flavors.

It is a little pricey so we never try any new flavors because we love it and always have a taste for the Black Raspberry Chip. But by having a day of free ice cream we went crazy trying different flavors all over the city. It was so much fun and all it cost me was time and gasoline.

Another great memory on the same lines was with my son Bradley - it was when McDonald's had the tiny beanie babies. There was one he still needed - we spent an entire day driving from McDonald's to McDonald's until we achieved our goal of finding the missing animal. That was 15 years ago and it is still one of our favorite memories. Again, it cost $3.00 for the happy meal, time and gas. The time with my sister and son are priceless.

I wish you all such experiences in your life...... Money can not buy those type of memories.

Please continue to submit your comments until Nov 16th. I know you all have meaningful stories and ideas. We would love to hear them.

Stay tuned..........

10 November 2008

Real Life Decisions -

So we talked about budgeting and making good choices to not over spend. But what about when you have a big purchase to make. Like buying a car. That is not only exciting it is very intimidating. It is one of the most exhausting and tiring experiences you can have.

What can you do to make it a more enjoyable experience as well as not feel like you are being taken advantage of in the process.

Yahoo just had an article on the 5 dumbest things you can do while buying a car.

A few other tips from my own experience.

1. Figure out exactly what you want to spend prior shopping. Do not extend the payments longer to afford a nicer car - that is their biggest trick - "how much do you want to spend a month" the question should be "what is the total amount you want to spend". The reason it is bad to add months to your loan - the amount of interest you will pay continues to add up, as soon as you drive the car off the lot - it losses about 20% of it's value and the longer the loan the less freedom you have. A car is to get you from point A to point B safely. Not for a status symbol.

2. Ask the sales person the bottom line price on the car. Tell them you are not spending your day in the dealership. If they can't give you a price that is reasonable go down the street. They all want to sell you a car. The one who keeps you in the dealership the longest waiting while they run back and forth pretending to talk to their manager wins. They will wear you down!!!
Keep control of the situation. You can always go back another day - trust me the cars will still be there. Do not buy under pressure.

3. If buying from a private owner - remember to negotiate. They may come down alittle on the price. Also, make sure you take the car to a mechanic to look it over prior to buying. I personally usually buy used cars because they are a better value. Remember, you lose 20% immediately when buying a new car.

4. Check out Consumer Reports to see if the model you are looking at has any known issues that will potentially cause you problems down the road.

5. Once you make a decision - enjoy the car, have fun and be safe.

Stay tuned.........

09 November 2008

GenM You Can Avoid Bankrupcy - Part 2

Okay quick reminder - we are reviewing Hon John C Ninfo II tips on creating a budget in college. His organization Credit Abuse Resistance Education - CARE Program is working hard to teach financial responsibility.

This is geared toward someone who is just leaving for college - HOWEVER, these tips can be applied to people already at school. It will give you some basic concepts on getting control of your money so you can start to save TODAY - for your future.

For the first 5 tips read the post from Nov 8, 08.

6. Make sure you have researched the direct expense at your particular college and the costs of things in the surrounding area. Check out all the activity fees at the school and what the cost of living is in the area. (Washington D. C. vs. Harrisburg PA) so you know what things like gas prices are.

7. Know exactly what your parents will contribute. Remember, although your parents may agree to pay for things at school like clothing, it may be because they think you will only be buying a few things a month. If you go to the mall every weekend and come back with an armful of clothes, your parents may change their mind and not pay for them at all.

8. Do a first draft of your budget with realistic expenses. Does it balance? Are you in the BLACK because you have some extra funds or in the RED because your expenses are higher than your available funds?

9. Start making adjustments (I will work more hours at my school job) or reducing expenses (I need to get a coffee maker for my room) if you are in the RED. If in the BLACK - increase your savings in your emergency fund.

10. When you get to school, try to stick to your budget faithfully in the first month so that you can see how it is working. Then, if the budget needs adjustments because you over looked or miscalculated something, discuss it with your parents and decide what you can do to make it balance. Be flexible. Creating a budget and then sticking to it is a life long process.

Remember Generation Millionaire - the goal is Freedom - Financial and Mental.

WISDOM BEYOND YOUR YEARS. You will reverse the current trend of overspending and thoughtless financial decisions.

Stay tuned..........

08 November 2008

Chipotle Gift Card - Contest Deadline Nov 16th, 2008

Remember to post your comments to possible win a free food card! Looking for cost effective xmas gifts - creative ideas.

and what changes have you made since starting to think about being a part of Generation Millionaire!

Stay tuned.......

GenM you can avoid Bankruptcy!

All we seem to hear about is the financial crisis. Globally, National, Corporate, Small Business, Charities, and Personal. It doesn't seem like anyone is a good role model for fiscal responsibility. I believe your generation with education and action can change the headlines all over the world. It will be a slow and gradual shift. No one will really notice until the credit card companies start to panic while you are traveling and enjoying your freedom - debt free.

Let me paint a picture of what you can avoid. I went to a presentation last week from a wonderful organization. Credit Abuse Resistance Education. - The CARE Program.

The Hon. John C. Ninfo II started this program and has created chapters in all 50 states by recruiting volunteer bankruptcy lawyers to run the educational program. They go to schools, organizations and anywhere people will listen to teach them to avoid bad financial choices.

If they are successful they will put themselves out of business. Noble cause to say the least.

They discuss creating a realistic budget for college students, top 20 mistakes made by people who file bankruptcy, top 10 financial tips for high school and college students, using credit cards and predatory lending traps.

I am going to start with "Creating a realistic budget that you can stick to" by Hon. John C. Ninfo II. He lists 10 steps. I will list 5 today and 5 tomorrow. This will give you an opportunity to figure out how you are going to track your spending and implement the steps into your life.

Budget - a comparison of all your expenses to the funds you have available to pay for these expenses. If your expenses exceed your available and you want to stay out of debt, your only choice is to balance your budget by either increasing your available funds or decreasing your expenses.

How to create a balanced budget...........

1. Start now to carefully observe and record your spending. Keep a journal and write down EVERYTHING you are actually spending your money on. You may be surprised. I was recently in a clothing store and overheard a conversation between a mother and her high school daughter who didn't have enough money left to buy some things she had seen in the store the week before. They were trying to figure out where all the girl's money had gone. Finally, the daughter acknowledged she had been buying specialty coffees two or three times a day.

2. Take a realistic look at your habits, interests, lifestyles, and activities. Determine whether while at college will you be continuing, discontinuing or adding some things that you regularly do. That way you can plan and budget for them. Do you have an expensive hobby like skiing that you may want to participate in on a regular basis if you go to school in Vermont, but will only do if you go to school in Florida? If you are an avid golfer at a club where your family has a membership, how many times will you be able to afford the greens fees to play golf at school? Do you have enough cloths so that you won't have to do laundry that often? Are you likely to be involved in extra curricular activities at college that can be more costly, or will you spend most of your time studying and hanging out with friends? Are you going from an area that does not have professional sports to a school in a city where there are professional sports teams that you will want to see? Do you have some health issues that may make your expenses for prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines higher?

3. Ask yourself, what are you doing now that you don't have to spend money on because your family is paying for it, but that you or your family will have to pay for separately for when you are at school. For example, now when you have a headache you just go to the medicine cabinet and take an aspirin, your favorite snacks are always in the kitchen and laundry soap is always in the utility room and you don't need quarters to use the washer and dryer.

4. Be honest with yourself so you can determine whether some of your actual or projected expenses are wants or needs, and if you have to, how you might be able to reduce some of the expenses that are not truly needs. Almost every one of the expenses on the budget template can vary. For example, you can buy a brand new lamp for your dorm room or a really cool one at a garage sale; you can buy designer clothing or find interesting things at a discount stores, second hand shops, or retro clothing stores; you can buy your friends and family expensive gifts, or make them relatively inexpensive gifts or take them for an inexpensive breakfast or lunch instead of buying a gift; you can buy store brand over-the-counter medicine that is just as effective as the name brand medicines; you can fly home with a discount fare if you purchase your tickets in advance or pay full price if you wait to long; or you can buy your school supplies at the campus bookstore or at one of the discount office supply stores.

5. In addition to keeping any particular expense down by looking for the best buy, you can and should set a limit on how much per week you will spend on certain items like eating out or ordering in, buying beverages, going on road trips to see your friends, attending concerts or sporting events and shopping at the mall.
I will have the last five steps in tomorrows post.
Your next steps - review your attitudes, actions and decisions starting today. You have the power to do it differently. Have financial and mental freedom which creates options everyday of your life.
Stay tuned.........

06 November 2008

The World is Watching......

The election is over and the American people have overwhelming voted for CHANGE. Let's hope the politicians here our voices and start to work together and fix some of the issues we are all facing. With change comes - discipline, open mindedness, and cooperation.

The challenge to our politicians is the same one Generation Millionaire asks of you. To really make a change - it starts with putting your ego aside and making a conscious choice everyday.

Do I need or just want what I am spending my money on?
Does my purchase fit into my value system or get me closer to my goals?Is this instant gratification which will not make an impact on my life? or actually may hurt my financial future?

Generation Millionaire - Wisdom beyond your years... Be the role model the world needs.

Start saving now - it is NEVER to early.

Pay yourself first always........ life on 10 -15% less than you actually gross and contribute to your employer plan, an IRA or savings account until you are eligible.

Debt is a trap - pay cash for your purchases. Once you start the credit card trap - and carry a balance it is an endless cycle of paying interest and being burdened by stress for things you probably really didn't need. A recent study showed that Americans spend $1.22 for every $1.00 they earn. This is a problem and one you want to avoid.

I went to a presentation on bankruptcy on Monday night and will do a blog on their organization. This group is made of bankruptcy attorneys and they are trying to help young adults avoid the debt trap with education. Care Program

Start with these simple changes and as your savings grow talk with a financial advisor and get it invested into a well allocated portfolio that matches your risk tolerance and time frame.

You can always send me a comment or email and I am happy to address any concerns or celebrate your success.

Remember to go to the contest post and submit your ideas! The deadline is Nov 16th You can win a free Chipotle card.

Stay tuned........

04 November 2008

Election Day - Student Loans and Debt Management

First and foremost - today is election day! Hopefully, you all went out and voted! It is a historic election and it is your future at stake. So just like everything else with Generation Millionaire - take a good look at your values and your beliefs and use your power and vote!

Plus on a funny note -You have to love this country - that we can have comics make fun of everything! I watched the Saturday Night Live Prime Time Special last night and haven't laughed that hard in years!! Freedom nothing like it - whether in free speech or personal finance!

Okay, so more on student loans. I am going to talk about repayment schedules. In previous blogs we discussed lifestyle options and ways to increase your payback methods, reduce the amount you borrow and choices on how you spend your money. So let's put some numbers out there.

The average undergraduate student loan amount is $20,000. We will assume a 7% interest rate. Private loans in the past 5 years have been as low as 4% and as high as 9%, they fluctuate with prime interest rates. The distressing issue is they are not fixed rates and just like with housing - the amount you pay in interest will vary depending on the current rates.

My opinion is 20 years to repay a loan is way to long..... Again, do you want to finish paying off your loans as your kids are starting college???? So now is the time to make decisions. I used the calculator at Finaid

5 year repayment - $396.02 a month. Interest on loan - $3761.49 = $23,761.49

10 year repayment - $232.22 a month. Interest on loan - $7865.87 = $27,865.87

15 year repayment - $179.77 a month. Interest on loan - $12,357.22 = $32,357.22

20 year repayment - $155.06 a month. Interest on loan - $17214.29 = $37,214.29

By extending the payments you are looking at paying an additional $13452.80 and will be strapped an additional 15 years!!!!

Your budge will never be simpler than as a college student. Once you graduate if you continue to live simply for a few years - you can free yourself and have additional money as you make other life changes. Buying a home, getting married, kids, travel etc. Read through some of the earlier blogs on choices that recent graduates made to get a jump on paying back their loans.

If you have other concerns please post a comment or send me an email. The next blog will be on the basic concepts of Generation Millionaire - then I will discuss credit card debt.

Stay tuned.......and enjoy your freedom and vote........

03 November 2008

Contest - Chipotle gift cards ---- Deadine for submission Nov 16th, 08

Okay, let's start with some fun. I have 2 Chipotle gift cards to give out this month. I am looking for the most creative answers to these two thoughts. With the holidays coming up and debt being such a huge issue - let's see what we can do for holiday gift giving on a shoestring budget.

1. Tell me about a free or low cost idea for gifts this holiday season.........

2. What financial or lifestyle changes have you made since learning about saving now!

I would love to hear all things you are doing - but if someone has come up with outside the box ideas -- that would be awesome. The best way to respond is on the comment link on the blog. But if you prefer you can also email me your thoughts.

Tomorrow i will have more information on student loans, repayment and options for people thinking about college options.

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