This and That

Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category

So I am starting off this morning with a rant.

Recently I saw a Chase credit card commercial with a cash back program. The Chase Freedom credit card gives you 5% cash back when you purchase $1500 worth of stuff.

First off I think the name of this card is very interesting. Chase Freedom card. Coming from advertising/ marketing background, the name Freedom screams to me thousands of dollars spent in market research to find the perfect word that speaks to feelings of control, individuality, and independence. My question to Chase would be: how does this card give a person freedom? and freedom from what? Many times marketing or advertising companies develop a name for a product that has little to nothing to do with the item itself. The name’s only purpose is to conjure up positive images to the consumer which will hopefully be associated with the product. I am no expert but I am pretty sure that a credit card does NOT give you freedom from anything. In fact it does just the opposite. Using a credit card only chains you to the credit card company and their insanely high interest rate.

The second interesting fact about the Chase Freedom card is the 5% cash back. The commercial is so hilarious to me. It yells at the consumer “Look at all the free money we are going to give you.” But it’s not free, because I have to spend $1500 to earn the 5%. That is a whole lot of money to spend to just get $75 back. I am shocked and appalled that anyone would fall for this gimmick. How can someone think spending $1500 to get $75 is a good deal?

Chase isn’t alone in this scam. Tons of other credit card companies do this too, so I guess this must be working on some people. So disappointing. So you are reading this here is my plea to you…”Please don’t fall for this trap! It’s a scam to get your hard worked money. $75 free cash does not equal $1500 of your income spent. Don’t do it, please!”

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Last Monday I wrote about making financial goals and how important they are in helping to increasing your savings and paying off debts. But this Monday I have a confession to make: I am having a VERY hard time keeping my goals and staying focused.

My financial goals are to pay off the car by the end of the year and then to save for a house down payment in one year. These financial accomplishments are very important to me but…

  • The mountains just got sixteen inches of snow and taking the boys to a cabin for a snowy weekend sounds so fun.
  •  I have really been craving Temecula wine as well as the amazing baked brie sourdough bread. Yummy!
  • Our Apple computer died and hubby would really like to get a new one.
  • Our good friends in Oregon just had a baby and I think it would be so fun to take a vacation there next summer.

My plans sounds so fun, don’t they?

Unfortunately all these fun things costs money. Money that should be going to the car and then the house down payment.

Ugh!

Sacrifice is hard.

Delaying all these fun things is hard.

Very hard.

I do not like my son being in preschool. Well, it’s not that I don’t like HIM being in preschool I don’t like ME being a preschool mom. I feel as if this role has been thrown on me without warning and without a clear understand of the rules. My baby is growing up and I am not prepared to be a parent of a school age kid.

I was sitting in my first preschool parent meeting the other day having hot flashes. Sweat was rolling down my face as the director and the teachers spoke about our responsibilities, our commitment, and most of all our fundraising abilities. Did you know that you had to do fundraisers in preschool? I sure didn’t! I received a two pages worth of activities to participate in; the first of course was going door to door to get donations for the Trek-a-Thon in three weeks. Seriously! This couldn’t have been pushed back a few months until I got my feet wet?

I almost raised my hand to excuse myself from the meeting. I must be in the wrong room. I am not responsible enough for this. This is somewhere my mom should be, not me. I am too young to have a kid in preschool. Someone ten years old should be here, didn’t I just turn twenty five? Oh wait….I’m thirty one. Oh crap! How did that happen?!?!

This all just feels so wrong. So very, very wrong!

Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated to help me avoid a nervous breakdown.

I know this woman...

She is very wealthy,

She lives in a big house that is filled with lots of stuff,

She has all the latest technological gadgets: iPhone, iPad, Apple computer, PC computer, flat screen TV in every room,

She has beautiful, expensive jewelry: diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.

I know this woman…

She is very wealthy, but she doesn’t think she is. She always complains she never has enough money.

She lives in a big house that is filled with lots of stuff, but she is very lonely and none of the stuff makes her happy.

She has all the latest technological gadgets: iPhone, iPad, Apple computer, PC computer, flat screen TV in every room, but she is bored and restless every day.

She has beautiful, expensive jewelry: diamonds, rubs, and emeralds, but those rings, necklaces are just empty things and don’t give her true joy or love her in return.

So…

Is this woman you?Is part of is woman you?
What are you relying on to make you happy? Is it working?

Do you want to save more?

Do you want to have more money in your pocket?

Then you NEED to pay off your debt. Think of how much more money you would have if you paid off all your monthly payments.

For example:

$75 on the credit card,

$225 on the car,

$150 on the student loans, and

$50 on the Nordstrom card.

A total of $500 on monthly debt payment.

$500 extra you could be adding into your savings account each month.

$500 extra you could have in your pocket each month.

To get control of your money and to start being financially successful you need to get out of debt. Now!

Paying minimum payments each month is not enough and won’t get you closer to being without debt. You have to really get motivated and committed to getting these debts paid off.

How do you get out of debt? What plan can you implement to get you on track? Here are two ways from the two financial gurus I listen to. Personally I think either way is fine, which ever gets you the most excited.

Suze Orman at www.suzeorman.com

If you listen to Suze Orman, as many people around the world do, she would say to write a list your debts in order from highest interest rate to lowest and pay them off in that order. Her theory is paying off the highest interest rate payment first will save you the most money in the long run. The downside to this is that the debt with the highest interest rate may also have the highest amount due, so it could take you a a while to pay this all off, depending on how much extra money you can put towards it every month.

Dave Ramsey at www.daveramsey.com

Dave Ramsey would tell you to list your debts in order from smallest total amount to largest and pay it off in that order, don’t worry about the interest rates. The reason is paying the smallest debt first will make you feel empowered and that you can be in control of your money. Of course this means that for a while your biggest debt keeps getting bigger while you pay the other debts off, but the hope is the habit of paying off debt will motivate you to keep the ball rolling until the end.

Both gurus will tell you to rollover the monthly payment of paid off debt towards the next debt. This will increase the amount you pay on each consecutive debt and increasing the speed you are paying them off.

Hubby and I followed Dave’s method, paying our smaller debts off first and now we only have one left, the car. My goal is to have it paid off by the end of this year and then we will do a happy, happy, happy dance to ring in the new year!

So join us. Pay off your debt and see your income sky rocket!

As a child I had a hard time apologizing. I was too proud and I didn’t want to admit I was wrong. This  inevitable created a worse situation for myself. There was tension, loss of trust, and more likely than not a punishment.

When I started in the workforce I finally learned the value of saying I’m sorry. At work mistakes happen, and for me they usually happened everyday. But I realized the quicker I apologized the faster the situation would  be defused, the sooner I would be forgiven, and everyone could move on from the mistake and start focusing on the solution. I learned it’s really hard to stay mad at someone when they admit their faults and apologize.

In fact, I learned this so well I would apologize for things that weren’t my fault. If the client was upset by something totally out of my control or about something that had nothing to do with me, I would just apologize and miraculously they would feel better. The client knew it wasn’t my fault but having someone apologize just makes people feel better.

I try and teach this lesson to my boys. Just say you’re sorry. If my older son pushes his little brother down, say you’re sorry. If my younger son hits his older brother with a train track (yes a train track!), say you’re sorry. There is usually a hug involved with the sorry and a punishment most likely follows, but by apologizing the boys are mending their relationship and healing hurt feelings.

Admit your faults and be humble. God loves a humble heart.

Check out the video below of my boys practicing this lesson and acting SUPER adorable!!

Today is Tuesday (in case you forgot) and today’s theme is:

Touching Tuesdays -Tuesdays will be focused on the heart.  My heart, your heart, and God’s heart. Touching stories from every topic that touches my heart and I hope touches yours.

Touching Tuesday: Three Moments in One Minute

I had to go to the bathroom really bad.  I had been holding it since the worship part of church service started, so for the last twenty minutes.  I was going to explode.  But I knew I had to get him first.  My baby doesn’t do well in the nursery and about ten minutes before service ends he starts to melt down.  It’s good for him to be in the nursery, I tell myself every Sunday. He needs to become more confident being away from me and learning to trust other adults.  The childcare workers are so wonderful, so loving.  I know he is perfectly safe and being well taken care of.  It’s good for him.  And yet I hold my pee just a few minutes longer so he doesn’t have to wait any longer.

I give the childcare work his claim card and sign him out.  She glances at the card and my name and carefully turns the corner to find my baby.  Of course oblivious to my currently uncomfortable situation.  She stopped to talk to another worker about refilling the diapers when I take my opportunity to peak around the corner and into the nursery.

He is sitting on the other side of the room on the grayish blue carpet inspecting  a Tickle Me Elmo doll.  The standing bright red Elmo doll is almost taller than him. He is mesmerized with Elmo’s slightly opened mouth and is repeating shoving his hand inside it.  As I watch him repeatedly shove his hand into Elmo’s slightly opened moth, I pass the childcare worker and step over the three foot baby gate.   I just place my alternate foot on the carpet when he sees me.  That is the first moment.

Not just his eyes but his whole face lights up.  His face instantly starts glowing as his mouth turn into the sweetest, biggest, brightest toothy smile.  He places his hands on the floor in front of him and begins to push himself up from a tripod position.  Rising booty first, his head crashes into Elmo and knocks Elmo flat on his back.  He pushes all the way up and is fairly balanced on two feet. And then with the same shinning eyes and the same sweetest, biggest, brightest toothy smile he put one little baby foot in front of the other towards me.  He is not walking, he is running.  He is running in a waddling, tipsy way that seems like at any moment he will tumble.  His left arm is flapping like a bird’s wing trying to take off in flight, while is right arm stays in a perfect ninety degree angle to help keep his balance.

He is only thirty one inches tall but I open my arms the whole five feet nine inches.  As he reaches me, he opens his arms his whole thirty one inches and reaches up.  I bend down and scoop him up in one fluid motion and feel the misting start to well up in my eyes.  That is the second moment.

He instantly embraces me, arms around my neck, and I am once again amazed how strong a grip my little baby has.  I lean back looking him face to face and he lunges forward, lips puckered, and plants a huge baby kiss on me. That is the third moment.

Three moments in one minute that break my heart, take my breath away, and are forever engraved on my soul.  Three moments in one minute tell the story of the love between a child and mother. Three moments in one minute makes everything else fade away and make life worth living and worth living to the fullest.