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(69)DON'T LET FINANCES RULE OVER YOUR SELF-ESTEEM

         
I know a barber who had the opportunity of buying one of the oldest and best barbershops in his city. He had worked there for a few years, and knew it was a good investment. So, he made arrangements with the owner, and took the plunge.
However, it wasn’t long before he realized he was in serious financial difficulty. Actually, he was in trouble before the purchase of the shop, and the added debt put him in way over his head.
Prior to obtaining the barbershop, this fellow had several bad business ventures. They were all legitimate. Just bad choices! Generally, they all involved selling, in which he was not exactly a shining star. Oh, he did manage to sell a few things such as his house and his car. It was not quite that bad, but almost.
About the same time as the business failures and the purchase of the barbershop, his wife and two daughters were in college. So the debts really began to pile up, as the pressure became intolerable. Also, fatigue set in because of the three jobs he was working so that he could continue to tread water.
The barber/entrepreneur did a couple of things he thought might relieve some immediate pressure. He borrowed on credit cards and from the Internal Revenue Service (by not paying estimated taxes). Eventually everything started to come apart, as the IRS threatened a tax lien.
For lunch one Saturday the barber’s family came to his shop after hours, as they often did. He was so overcome with worry and stress that he verbally threw them out. Then he went home, closed his bedroom door and considered how he might end his life without destroying his family or disappointing his God. As it turned out, only thoughts of God and family keep him from doing the unthinkable.
As you might guess, I know the fellow’s story so well because I’m the fellow. Today, I’m pleased to say that, because I obtained the help I needed emotionally and financially, I’m well on the way to being completely debt free in few years (except for a home mortgage). And, I lead a happier, fuller life than ever. However, I’ve been left with some lessons I’ll never forget.
The first lesson is: “Debt robs a man of his self-respect, and makes him almost despise himself.” (P.T. Barnum). Thus, there’s a need to use credit wisely. Self-esteem is at stake. And, while you might buy things on credit that you can’t afford, because it temporarily lifts your spirits or gives you something to show to others, it’s not worth the shame and loathing when debt becomes overwhelming. Learn to live within your means even if it involves doing without!
The second lesson is how a loss of respect due to financial woes affects one’s attitude toward others. Sherry can always tell when I’m not happy with myself. That’s when I’m unkind to her. I’m the same way with customers. In fact, there’s no telling how much business I ran off while I was drowning financially and emotionally. I could easily have lost both my family and my business.
The third lesson I will pass along is that “…there is more satisfaction in rational saving, than in irrational spending.” (P.T. Barnum). As per the financial advice I received for turning our circumstances around, Sherry and I began a consistent, well-planned investment, retirement program. That, combined with the fact that the barbershop is now paid for, is very satisfying. It’s much more satisfying than new, showy things that we don’t need or can’t afford. I’m no longer interested in a big hat. I want the cattle!
Lesson number four is to learn from others. Experience (the school of hard knocks) is a great teacher, but not the best. That’s because much of its value is lost in the time it takes to learn the lessons. Time-tested principles are the best teachers, and they can be discovered in writings, seminars, counseling and advice from those who have been there.
Yet, it still takes time to learn these things. And, as John Wayne said, “We’re burnin’ daylight.”

BARBER-OSOPHY: Control your money or it will control you.
Copyright 2009, Sumerlin Enterprises.
Permission is granted for you to copy this article for distribution as long as the above copyright and contact information is included. Please reference or include a link to www.barber-osophy.com.

About the Author
Terry L. Sumerlin, known as the Barber-osopher, is the author of "Barber-osophy," is a columnist for the San Antonio Business Journal and speaks nationally as a humorist/motivational speaker.
Written by: Terry L. Sumerlin


(70)Educate Yourself To Amazing Car Finance


When it comes to making a car purchase, paying for it is a big part of the battle. Even mid level new cars run into the $20,000 range. Because of these prices, few people pay cash for cars anymore and statistically about 7 out of every 10 people use car finance to pay for their new vehicle. In order to get the best car finance possible, you need to understand how the whole process work.

First, you want to figure out where you are going to get your car finance. There are a number of institutions that can get you financing. Banks, credit unions, the dealership, or even auto manufacturers can provide financing for your new or used vehicle.

Second, with a car finance, you need to realize that whether you buy a new or used vehicle will affect your financing. As a general rule, interest rates will be lower on new cars than on used ones. Also, new cars can often qualify for financing over a longer period of time than can used cars.

Next, when it comes to our car finance, don't believe everything you see or read. Commercials for special financing for those who are first time buyer or have bad credit abound in papers and on the television. These are usually a little too good to come true and come attached with requirements such as extra high down payments and extremely high interest rates. In some cases, both apply to the loan.

Before you go to get your loan, make sure you know about your own credit history. Get a copy of your credit report and go over it with a fine toothed comb. Look at the score as well as the payment histories on it. If anything at all looks incorrect, make sure you get it cleared up. When a lender looks at how much money to give you, they will check out your debt ratios, how long you have been at your job, your history with similar loans, and your credit report as a whole.

Once you are armed and ready to consider your car finance, shop around. It is usually a good idea to look for the financing before you buy the car. You will better know what you qualify for that way. Also, you can use your information to bargain further with the dealer. In order for them to finance your car, you should ask them to beat the rate you have from wherever else you have looked.
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Remember that everything is negotiable. Just because the car finance rate you got is pretty good, it doesn't mean that you have to pay what they ask. Negotiate the rate of your loan, the price of the car, or anything else you can talk to them about. It can't hurt and you could save yourself a lot of money that way. As the process goes on, don't get caught up in the numbers. The dealers will try to give you monthly payment numbers only so that you don't notice any added charges. However, sit down with a calculator and just figure out the payments yourself and you will have nothing to worry about.

Always know that car financing may seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Educate yourself, shop around, and make sure you know what is going on and you should have no problem. Better yet, you will find yourself with a great new or pre-owned automobile.

About the author:

If you are interested in additional a utomotive articles of mine, please feel free to visit my financing website. Thank you for your time!

Written by: Christopehr M Luck


(71)Email Scams – Ten Simple Steps To Protecting Your Online Finances


According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) email scams also known as phishing attacks claim more than 2,000 victims each day from more than 75 million phishing emails that are sent each day. The APWG also claims that these email scams steal close to $1 billion a year from its victims.

Phishing (pronounced fishing), is online identity theft that uses spoof emails, fraudulent websites and crimeware to trick unsuspecting internet users into providing financial data, credit card numbers, social security numbers, account logins and passwords, etc.

These email scams (spoof email) mimic legitimate companies such as banks, credit card companies, investing companies, paypal, ebay, etc. These fraudulent emails look like they are from the "real" company; many even include the real company's logo. Generally these emails try to convey a sense of urgency; if you don't correct this problem your account will be suspended.

The spoof email may state that there is a problem with your account and if you do not log in and update your information your account may be suspended, restricted, terminated, or something similar. They may also request user name, passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.

Protecting yourself against phishing and email scams.

1. Do not give out personal or financial information through an email request.

2. Always log on to your sensitive accounts by opening a new browser and typing the actual URL directly into the address bar. For example, if you receive a suspected phishing email from ebay, open a new browser and type "www.ebay.com" in the browser bar.

3. Do not click on any link in a suspected phishing email.

4. Do not open any attachments in a suspected email scam.

5. Only use a secure website to submit sensitive data. A secure sites' address will begin with https:// instead of http://

6. Check the activity of your online accounts regularly and check for fraudulent activity.

7. Make sure your browser is up to date and all security patches are installed.

8. Report phishing and spoof email to: reportphishing@antiphishing.com , spam@uce.gov, and forward the email to the company that is being spoofed.

9. Keep your PC protected with updated anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, and a firewall.

10. You may want to install an anti-phishing toolbar such as Earthlink ScamBlocker which alerts you before you visit a known fraudulent website. It's free and can be downloaded at http://www.earthlink.net/earthlinktoolbar

As email scams are on the rise and with the consequences being identity theft, it is important that you increase your awareness and learn to protect yourself from these fraudulent attacks. With more than 75 million phishing emails being sent every day it's only a matter of time before you receive one. By following the above tips you will protect yourself from many email scams and the possible financial consequences.





About the Author
Lisa Smith makes it easy to increase your online privacy in her newest book, "Internet Safety Tips & Resource Guide. How To Increase Your Online Privacy and Security." To download a free copy and have free internet safety & security articles e-mailed to you every month visit: http://www.1stspywareremoval.com/Email_Scams.html

Written by: Lisa Smith


(72)Escaping Finance



Personal finance is a scary subject for some people because it conjures up all sorts of personal fears about budgeting, managing investments and buying Vs renting a home. Fear and anxiety are common responses to the topic of personal finance regardless of an individuals level of education or experience in other areas, particularly business. As a result, many people avoid dealing with their personal finance issues until they are almost at crisis point and in serious credit or debt trouble.
But before you can make any decision about your personal finance or take any action regarding your finances, you should obtain a firm understanding of your current financial position. Surprisingly, many people have only a vague idea how much income they actually bring in each month and then how much they actually spend each month and whether there is a positive difference between these amounts that are in you favor.
So the first thing to do is assess you financial situation. Gather together all of the information and documents that will give you a picture of your financial position. Tally your net worth, including real estate, superannuation, monthly income and all other assets. You may be pleasantly surprised by the total. Then, set yourself up a budget by listing all of your expenses. Be completely honest and dont leave anything out. If you cheat on this you will only be cheating yourself. List everything including luxury items such as take out, cosmetics, magazines and movie tickets.
While a budget is absolutely the first step to taking charge of your personal finance, this is by no means the only step you will need to take. You can investigate other services in the marketplace, such as electronic bill pay, investment counseling and seeking out hints and tips for financial health. Electronic bill pay or BPay as it is more commonly known, is particularly useful for people who tend to be disorganized or who procrastinate on keeping their bill paying in order. You can even arrange for your bills to arrive by e-mail rather than through snail mail. You then pay them electronically, by direct withdrawal from your bank account and the transaction gets processed straight away.
Once you have assessed your budget and established a regular and efficient bill paying mechanism, you might feel that you are then brave enough to investigate other areas of personal finance such as investments and stocks and shares. Once again, the Internet can be an invaluable resource, allowing you to thoroughly explore all of the different options and strategies available. You can find all sorts of useful references about investments such as term deposits, managed funds, purchasing stocks and shares and participating in share clubs. You might like to start simple though and merely open a short term savings deposit account so that you can deposit from your pay check each week or month. This way, in no time at all you will begin saving for your next goal whether it be for a car, holiday or some minor surgery.

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About The Author

Parone Dinanz is the owner of Finance Vue which is a premier resource for finance information. for more information, go to http://www.financevue.com.

Written by: Parone Dinanz


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