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The Dave Ramsey Tribe: Stop Being Bullies!!!

Sometimes the Dave Ramsey tribe are bullies who need a wake up call!

If you have visited a blog on finance lately, you will easily see that Dave Ramsey has a ton of fans!  Many bloggers follow Dave’s financial principles and love them.  I am a Dave Ramsey fan. I think Dave has some solid advice for everyone and generally gives people the momentum to start a change in their lives…

BUT…

Dave Ramsey’s followers, also known as the “tribe” can be a whole different story.  Of course many of the followers are open, honest, loving people who are genuinely non-judgemental and love to offer his tips as advice.  Like any group, Dave’s followers includes various personalities, and there are certainly a few who use the internet to bully, harass and intimidate.  Here are a few thoughts on the bad tribe.

1.  Credit Cards are Evil

Reality check.  Not everyone thinks this is a true statement.  There are plenty of people in the world who can responsibly use credit.  Owning a credit card does not make you evil, stupid, or irresponsible.  How you chose to use it can make you unwise or irresponsible.  Make sure you know the difference.

2. Dave Ramsey is NOT the only popular financial advisor on the planet.

I have heard the words out of Dave’s own mouth that Suze Orman was more popular than he was when Dave first interviewed with Oprah.  Suze and Dave have completely different financial styles and teaching methods.  Does it mean one or the other is wrong?  NO!  It means that different people live different ways!  It also means that neither Dave or Suze are perfect for everyone!

3.  People are not “Stupid” or “Dumb” for chosing to have debt.

Using myself as an example, I was taught absolute financial basics before being turned loose in the world.  No one explained compound interest, credit card interest rates, credit scores, or anything other than to put money in savings when I could and how to balance a checkbook.  How many other people in the world do you think have been turned loose without the skills I have only acquired through trial, error, and my own quest for knowledge?  Someone may make a decision that you feel is unwise, and it might actually be an unwise decision, but it’s not up to the tribe to degrade someone who might actually be in the midst of a life change and learning to figure it all out.  Use your hands to lift up, not push down.

4.  If someone is asking for advice, they are not always asking for Dave’s advice.

If there is one thing I would say Dave Ramsey is notorious for doing on his show it’s this:  He’s given two options A & B for what the caller thinks are the best resolutions to their problem, and Dave always manages to come up with a C that doesn’t involve debt.  Well, people are calling into his show and asking HIS advice, so I think it’s safe to say the odds are, Dave is ALWAYS going to say to not accept debt.  If you’re on a Dave Ramsey forum, that’s one thing, but people who are not on Dave specific forums should not be chastised for not following Dave.  I’ve seen it over and over!

“Hey, My husband and I talked and our options are A) Finance a new car or B) Finance a used car.  Which would you do?”  It NEVER fails that someone comes along and says C) Save up and pay cash.   I’m certainly not saying it’s bad advice to go with C.  I am saying that the poster didn’t think C was an option so they didn’t offer it for a reason.  Again, not everyone follows Dave.

5.  Last, and most important- If you MUST give Dave’s advice and feel like it’s your only advice, say it once and LET IT GO.

To me, there is nothing more annoying and more of a turn off than someone who cannot accept no for an answer.  Using the example in #4, if I were to see your answer of “C”, I would say thank you, however A and B are our only options, so please help me with those.  If you continued to say C at me and all the different ways I am going to make C work by doing exactly what you say, and then you have the nerve to get snarky when I again say A OR B are our options, let’s just say the odds are, I wouldn’t be nice, you wouldn’t win any respect from me, and your attempts to bully me to live YOUR way would likely end up  getting you blocked.  You need to love on people, be a teacher or stay quiet.

Are you afraid to ask for help online because of financial bullies?  Tell me about your experience with a bully!

 

 

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When Should You Take “Full Coverage” Off of Your Car?

The Great Auto Insurance debate!  Let me start it by addressing one of my pet peeves as an agent.  There is no such thing as “FULL COVERAGE”.  Generally when people use the term full coverage, they are asking for either A) Comprehensive coverage and Collision coverage or B) Everything the company offers for auto insurance.  However, let’s use this example:

You have these limits, as they are GENERALLY the highest an auto company offers:

$500,000 bodily injury per person

$1,000,000 per accident

$500,000 Property Damage

Then you and I have an accident and it’s your fault.  Let’s just say you killed a family member in my vehicle.  I decide to sue you for $1,000,000.  Do you have “full coverage”?  NO!  You only have $500,000 per person!  So, I am going to sue you personally for the other $500,000.  The difference can be covered by an Umbrella, but that’s another post!

Ok, pet peeve cleared up!  On to the real question.

Having trouble deciding whether or not to take off "full coverage"?  If so, this post is a MUST READ!  Tips from an agent!

As an insurance agent, I frequently hear the question “Should I take full coverage off of my car?” There are a lot of factors that go in to this decision and a lot of basic questions can make this decision much easier.  I want to quickly explain the common coverage that people refer to when asking this question.

Comprehensive or Other Than Collision

This covers almost anything that happens to your vehicle that is not YOUR fault.  A tree falls on it, broken glass, THEFT, and hail damage are all part of comprehensive coverage.  It even covers damage from pets and animals- like squirrels chewing up the wiring on the underside of a truck.

Collision

Covers repairs to YOUR vehicle when you have an accident that is YOUR FAULT.

If you were my client this is what I would ask you if you wanted help deciding whether or not to remove those coverages:

1.  Do you still have car payments and if so, does the lender require you to have the coverage?

If this is the case, then NO, you don’t want to remove the coverage!

2.  Do you know the value of your car?

Kelly Blue Book will easily let you check the value of your car.  This is important:  If the value of your car is MORE than the cost of your premium and deductibles then keep the coverage!  Insurance is supposed to return you to the state you were in before your property was damaged.  If you remove those coverages and have an at fault accident, you’re going to lose money.

3.  Do you have the money to replace your vehicle?

Some people don’t mind financing new vehicles, and that’s fine and your business.  However, other people like to pay cash for replacement vehicles.  If you pay cash, and you don’t have the cash on hand to replace your vehicle, then keep the coverage!

After reading this you might be thinking “Ok fine, but now how do I save money on insurance?”  I wrote about this very topic months ago, but I do have another few tricks up my sleeve.

If your car is paid off, and you have a good track record of NOT being the cause of an accident, you can remove Collision coverage and keep Comprehensive with most companies.  You would still be at a loss if you caused an accident, but aside from that your vehicle is covered for theft, squirrels, fires, flood, etc.  Collision is the majority of the cost for your auto insurance.  Using myself as an example, I have not caused a traffic accident since I was 18 years old.  18 years later, I would say I am a pretty darn good candidate to remove Collision coverage from my vehicle.


As always, check with your own agent regarding your laws in your state before making any changes, but I hope this helps you make a wise decision!

Did you ever regret removing comprehensive or collision coverage from your insurance policy?  Tell me about it!

 


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31 Day No Spending Challenge Week 4

31 Days Final Thoughts

Please visit Ruth, at Living Well Spending Less to read all the details of this challenge.

It’s Thursday evening as I am writing this, and although the month technically doesn’t end until Saturday, I think it’s fair to say the lessons I have learned will not change in the next 48 hours.  Let me recap week 4 so far and then I’ll tell you how I felt about this challenge and where we’re going from here.

Week 4- Spending went a bit crazy.  Any other month of the year, I probably would not have felt guilty in the slightest about the spending, but because I challenged both my husband and myself to not spend, there is some guilt.  I rarely spend money on myself other than (ick) smoking and eating out.  I have had more and more trouble over time finding clothing and shoes that fit properly.  I hate shopping for clothes and even more for shoes.  Shoes used to be my addiction!  In fact, a prior boss never really knew how short I am, 5’4, until I stepped out of my shoes in front of her one day!  Ha!

Between weight gain and water retention issues finding clothes and shoes that fit have been a nightmare.  Last week the only pair of pants I had that fit finally decided the world needed a glimpse of my bare thighs, and although I protested this decision, the distinctive ripping sound and breeze proved I lost the argument.  Now, I had no pants fit for public viewing, no shorts, a pair of flip flops (that I wear at work no less, because really…who sees my feet?) and a broken ego.  I had to go shopping.  It simply could not be put off any longer.

Luckily, it was Memorial Day weekend.  I HAD to go to Catherines, a company not well-known for being inexpensive, but they carry are large variety of sizes.  When I arrived with my friend, Tammy, they were having a huge Memorial Day sale.  My intention was to try to find a pair of shorts and a pair of jeans for around $100.00.  Well, the sale was spend $200 and get $100 off.  Leaving me right at my $100 clothing budget goal.  I was able to get 2 pairs of jean style capris, a pair of khaki shorts, and pair of shoes that FIT, and a pair of earrings to hit that final $200.00 mark.  I still feel a bit guilty, but I am trying to get over it.

We also did not quit smoking.  There is no excuse and no reason, we just didn’t do it.  I AM going to spend the month of June cutting back just to see if I can wean myself down.  My husband is really good at cutting back, but I struggle with it.  I don’t like being a grumpy ogre, but I need to face that addiction and move along.  Life is about moving forward!

I’m still really annoyed with the health insurance issue.  We pay about $230.00 every 2 weeks for insurance, so our budget was off by $690.00.  We did not hit our savings goal, nor did we pay off any of the extra bills I hoped we would have gone.  Bright side, the health insurance starts on Sunday, all of our bills are paid and there is money in savings.  I need to double-check my budget for the beginning of next month, but I think we will be able to transfer over another $300 or so into savings, meaning we have about $450.00 in savings.  That is $450.00 more than we had last month, so overall, I am pleased with that progress.

On another bright note, I was playing around in a new photo editing program I found and designed the idea for my blog header.  I was able to change some things and redesign the header myself in Photoshop and I am absolutely in love with it.


What we’ve learned

1.  Sucking it up for the month has its challenges.  We were not perfect, but certainly better.

2.  We need to add a small amount to our monthly budget for clothing.  Letting it go too long is just not acceptable, especially when I need to look professional for work.

3.  We need to really work on making sure we have the correct food on hand for packing lunches.

4.  We are also going to consider upping our grocery budget a bit and adding some nicer meals to our at home budget so we’re not tempted to eat out.

5.  Even though my husband does almost all of the cooking, he would like more input from me on dinner ideas.

6.  We need to budget for date nights.  When we don’t plan them, we end up nickel and diming our entertainment or eating out.

7.  International Delight Iced coffee in the Mocha flavor is a very acceptable replacement for buying coffee elsewhere.

8.  When we work together and agree to not spend, it goes much better than the push and pull of a couple who are not on the same page.

9.  Using cash and envelopes has made budgeting so much easier!

10.  We need to start adding extra categories to our budget for things like, minor home repairs, car maintenance, and possibly even a “Oh crap it’s not an emergency, but it’s urgent” pile.

11.  I missed a few MAJOR sales over Memorial Day Weekend.  I need to consider awesome sale cycles even for no spend months in the future!


Final Thoughts

We’re glad it’s over.  We absolutely would do it again, perhaps a few times a year when we have 3 paychecks in one month.  For now, we’re glad to be able to breathe a bit and say we did it, not perfectly, but we did it.


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The Ways I Cut My Shower Time

Ok, here’s the total truth about me.  The older I get, the more I struggle with being late.  It’s a cold hard fact in my life.  Sometimes I do great, sometimes not so much.  Sometimes it’s because I goof off in the mornings, and sometimes it’s simply because there are few things I love on this earth more than a nice hot shower, especially when I am just waking up!  More often than not, standing in the shower and enjoying my wake up time cause me to be late.  I made some changes to my shower routine and it has cut it from 20-25 minutes down to about 10.  If you want to talk about saving money, a shower uses 7-10 gallons of water PER MINUTE!  This is saving over 100 gallons of water per day!!!  That’s a lot of money going down the drain!  Literally!

Shower Secrets

 

Hit the snooze

First, if you have a smart phone, you need an AMAZING song for your alarm in the morning.   I use Don’t You Mourn the Sun from the Twilight Eclipse soundtrack.  I hate getting up in the morning, so I find it funny.  It also has a fast an amazing beat, so it’s a good one to get up to!  The second my alarm goes off in the morning, I hit snooze.  I am usually taking my husband to work when it happens, so I now have a consistent 9 minute timer going off to keep me on track. I allow myself a single 9 minute cycle in the shower!

Brush your teeth in the shower

Honestly, I started this habit long ago because I got sick of cleaning toothpaste globs out of the sink.  However, I have pretty long and thick hair, so it takes a bit to saturate my hair to wash it.  I use that time to brush my teeth.  I also don’t have to clean the sink out when I am finished brushing.  Time and money saved on cleaning!

Only wash your hair every other day

This one is a hard one for me.  When I get hot I sweat like crazy and it all starts coming out of my head before anywhere else.  I struggle with dry hair though because it’s curly, so it’s better for my hair to wash every 2 days.  On the days I don’t wash, I scrub my scalp with my fingertips and condition again.  I wash my body while my conditioner is working its magic!  Cash saved on shampoo!

Organize your shower

Get the junk out of your shower.  It’s easier to clean if you’re not having to move a lot of stuff around and you can find everything you need quick!  There is no reason to have 5 kinds of shampoo 3 types of soap and a bunch of clutter in your shower.  If you have to share a shower with someone try organizing it with baskets like this.  Cash saved by not wasting beauty products!

Turn the water to cold

This closes your pores, helps seal your hair shafts and cools you down.  It’s also a big incentive to get out!  I almost always sweat when I get out of the shower, so this helps cool me off so I can dry faster!  Needless to say it will also wake you right up if you’re still sleepy! Cash saved by not using more hot water!

 

Have any other tricks?  Tell me how you get out of the shower fast!

 

 


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Pinterest Tested! Listerine on the Feet!

You will have to forgive me in advance for the not so superb quality of the photographs in this post.  I also want to warn you that A) I have water retention issues so my feet were really swollen this particular day and B) I DO NOT have pretty girly feet.  Deal with it!  I am half of my Dad too!

Vinegar and Listerine

 

I, like most bloggers spend entirely too much time on Pinterest.  Many of the tips and tricks on Pinterest are fantastic.  However, I have seen lots of tips and tricks and wondered about the true ability of those particular combinations to produce results.  Enter the Listerine and Vinegar recipe.

I was spending time with my sister in law, Kara, and we were talking about blogging, how much I enjoy it and how it relates to Pinterest etc.  When I mentioned possibly trying out a “Does it really work?” section on my blog, she needed examples.  I used Listerine and Vinegar removing dead skin from your feet as an example.  Her eyes lit up and I knew immediately I was in trouble.  Of COURSE she had the products on hand.  OF COURSE she wanted to try it right then and there to see if it worked.  So, I reluctantly agreed and we tried it out.

Little bowls and big feet!

Big feet and little bowls do not go well together.  I also had to keep fighting away doggies who were super excited to try and drink the blue treat!

Flip Flop tan lines are awesome!

We transferred the liquid and my foot to another dish.  You know you’re jealous of that awesome flip flop tan line!

Listerine and Vinegar Foot Soak

I thought we should check on the progress while were waiting and sure enough, there was a line on my foot where the liquid covered it.

Side by side comparison

After the 15 minute soak time, I did a side by side comparison.  The left foot was treated the right foot was not.  As you can see, I fight dry skin on my feet A LOT, so there was an improvement on the left foot compared to the right.

BUT

Would I recommend this to anyone else?

NO

First, the amount of skin that came off, to me, was the equivalent of soaking your feet in a hot bath and rubbing then with a towel.  I don’t really see the point in spending any extra money on a product combination that gives the same affect as hot water.

Second, water doesn’t turn your toes blue.  Seriously. My nails and cuticles were blue!

Blue Toes!