Showing Your Lunch Break Who’s Boss!

lunch breakIt still amazes me to this day how people waste their lunch breaks.   I’m sure you can relate.   Think of all the people you’ve seen play online poker, surf the web needlessly, or even stare off into the distance as they eat lunch.   Lunch breaks can be used a tool instead of a time waster.

Now, let me clarify something.   I’m not saying it’s wrong for people to waste their lunches away, it’s really their prerogative.   However, it annoys me when people complain that they don’t have enough time in their day to talk to their wife, start working out, or even read a book.   It’s nonsense!

I personally use lunch breaks for productivity boosts.   As I run this blog, I use my personal break time to reach my goals faster.   And some days I use my lunch break to catch up on work emails so I don’t have to stay late.   Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.   I like to work smarter, not harder.

Instead of wasting your lunch break away, let’s look at some ways you can use your lunch break to better yourself and use the time effectively!


Make your next lunch break EPIC

Get active.   Unless you live in remote Alaska where it’s negative 30 degrees outside, try to step out of your office and get active!   Being stuck inside of an ugly office all day is no fun.   It’s time to get outside and enjoy a little fresh air and sunshine.   Getting physical activity in at work has also shown to increase productivity in the workplace.

Catch up on current world events.   Work can get hectic, and sometimes you lose touch with what’s going on in the real world.   Use your lunch break to read the Drudge Report and catch up on what’s going on around our world.   Not only is it good to know what’s happening but you won’t sound clueless when your boss asks you about current events.

Work on a side business.   It seems like people are scared to start a business or even work on personal stuff during their lunch break.   It’s your legal right to do whatever you want on your lunch break!   Take this time to start a side business.   You could be networking or starting an online company.   The sky’s the limit.

Catch up on work emails.   If you’re in a demanding industry such as construction, sometimes there is more work than can get done in a day.   This usually means staying late.   Oftentimes I use my lunch break to catch up on work emails so I can leave work at a normal time.   And let me tell you, I hate working overtime!

Get a quick massage.   Yes, I’m a guy and I also enjoy massages!   If I was less frugal, I would do this too.   Thankfully I have a fiancée  who does it for me these days 🙂   This can be a quick escape once a week during a lunch break.   A happy back is a happy employee.

Run errands.   This is one that I do a lot.   Whether it’s taking mail to the post office, getting oil changes for my Acura, or even doing some quick grocery shopping, it’s a wonderful time to knock some errands off my to-do list and free up some time for the coming weekend!

Call a loved one you haven’t talked to in a while.   We all live very busy lives.   But when’s the last time you’ve called your parents or even a sibling.   Make an effort to use your next lunch break to reconnect with someone.   You’ll make someone’s day, trust me.

Read a book. I’m guilty of not reading more often.   Reading has been shown to increase brain power and your vocabulary.   Grab a book and make it your goal to finish it within a certain timeframe.   I’m torn between Tom Clancy and Stephen King for my next one.

Flip through your favorite magazine.   I’ve always enjoyed a fresh edition of Popular Science or even ESPN.   I love catching up on the world around me through magazines.   This would be a cool as well as a relaxing idea to spend your lunch.

Decorate your office.   Man, if you saw my office you’d think I worked in a prison!   I plan on doing some decorating but it will have to happen during my next lunch break.   You too can take some time during lunch and spruce up your office.   Who knows, you may find yourself buying a rock fountain for your office space.

Go for a Starbucks run.  Do I enjoy a Starbucks brew on a rare occasion?  Heck yes I do!  Instead of wasting your time surfing the web on your lunch break, why not grab your car keys and hit the road and find your nearest Starbucks.  It’s going to help you relax by going out and leaving work for a couple minutes.  Not only will it clear your head but it’s a fun outing to make with some of the co-workers you actually enjoy being around.

Take a power nap.  This one totally depends on your employer.  I understand that most employers would never allow this but it’s technically your right to take a nap on your lunch break!  Studies have shown that a mid-day nap can improve productivity.  Imagine that!

Save someone’s life.  Did you know that giving blood can save not one but numerous people?!  Why not hunt down your local blood drive center and give some of your precious blood away.


So, what’s your excuse?

If after reading this article you still choose to waste your lunch break away, I’ve failed to convince you then!  Hopefully you take initiative and actually do some of these activities.  I for one hate wasting time, especially if it’s my own personal time.

If you start using your lunch break wisely I can assure you that you will become addicted to it!  Soon, you’ll have all your errands and shopping done that you won’t have anything to do on the weekends!

So, did I miss anything?  If you have an additional  activity  to add to this list, please comment below!


Why a Young Conservative Supports Ron Paul

Ron PaulEver since Congressman Ron Paul has risen in the polls among the Republican presidential candidates – culminating in a third place finish in the Iowa Caucus and second place in the New Hampshire Caucus – there has been a lot written about him and his political stances.

Even among those whom I speak to about it, I’ve noticed a consistent pattern of bemusement over the reason for Ron Paul’s popularity, specifically with young conservatives.

I don’t expect to convert many peoples’ political beliefs, but I would like to attempt to explain why young conservatives like myself support Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in the hopes that there might be better understanding of our perspective.

I am twenty four years old. For the record, I don’t believe in conspiracies involving the Illuminati or the Free Masons, nor do I believe Zionists caused the September 11 attacks. I don’t have a Confederate flag hanging on my wall, nor do I listen to Alex Jones’ radio show. As a staunch pro-life advocate and Christian, I also do not believe in Ayn Rand’s atheistic, pro-choice philosophy, Objectivism.

I say without any exaggeration that our current government has strayed so far from the Constitutional republic as originally conceived by the Founding Fathers that drastic changes must be made if we are to restore it. I am tired of milquetoast, counterfeit conservatives running for public office under the pretense of fighting for limited government, lower taxes, and individual liberty, only to go to Washington and support deficit spending, increase the size of government bureaucracies such as the Department of Education, and pass legislation which erode our civil liberties under the guise of national security.â

More than ever, we need politicians who practice what they preach, whose lives reflect the integrity they claim to promote.

After election after election of hearing candidates talk about solving these problems yet providing no results, we need leaders whose actions speak far more eloquently than any words they may try to use to placate us.

As a young person who has worked hard to be fiscally responsible and debt-free, I am disgusted with how Republicans and Democrats have both contributed to a $15 trillion national debt in addition to trillions in unfunded entitlements, which people like myself will have to suffer the consequences for when those congressmen are dead and buried.

It infuriates me how those who have made poor choices in life think they can pass the bill for it onto taxpayers.

I am enraged every time I hear someone tell me how my liberties found within the Bill of Rights only exist if a lawyer or a group of nine people in black robes say they do.

I don’t believe our country is being torn apart because of hate and intolerance. I believe our country is being torn apart because we have accepted a mentality where every single issue pertaining to our lives, from the food we put on our table to how we seek medical treatment, must be decided by a small group of elitists to whom the rules do not apply. It is only natural, then, that it becomes of a struggle over who is going to oppress who.

If there is a division in our nation, it is between two peoples; those who rely on the government and those whom the government relies on, the consumers and the producers.

While I believe the Iranian government is tyrannical and depraved, my greatest fear does not involve them possessing a nuclear weapon. My passion for history has taught me that before a country can be destroyed externally, it first must destroy itself internally. My greatest fear is one day having children whom I will have no freedom to raise according to my beliefs, traditions, or religion.

I am convinced that, with the current trend, the government will have total oversight and control over everything we do before my generation has passed.

I believe now, more than ever, we need elected officials who will stand for the rule of law, who acknowledge that they do not have the authority to do whatever they want, and who will not compromise their values or beliefs in the Washington cesspool of corruption. We need forthright people who will speak honestly, even if it means they endure severe criticism and derision for it.

We need people who will stand by their convictions rather than, as the Psalmist put it, “sit in the seat of mockers.”

Lastly, we need candidates who, if elected, will fight unceasingly for the ideals which got them elected in the first place.

I sincerely believe Ron Paul is such a person, which is why I am supporting him for president.

His record matches his words; his thirty year career in politics is one of consistency and fidelity to the Constitution. When he is asked about his views, he is plain-spoken and direct. He does not try to beguile both sides of the fence in order to win votes. And when he says he will do something, like cut $1 trillion in Federal spending, I take him at his word.

I do not, however, worship him as I saw many literally do of Barack Obama in 2008. I am guided by my principles, not people. Should Ron Paul one day forsake them, I will no longer support him. I don’t agree with him on everything, including some of his foreign policy. But I know that under his presidency, my freedoms would be protected, and I would rather be free than safe from harm.

Ultimately, this is why young conservatives like myself support him.

This article was originally published Jan. 10, 2012 on the American Thinker and can be found here.

The Legend of the Three Magic Spells for an Inexpensive Date

inexpensive date Once upon a time, in a land far, far away from here, there was a young man who lived an ordinary life. Although this young man worked long and hard hours and was noted for his unusual degree of productivity, his wages were considerably low, and every single payday he was forced to watch with great melancholy as all of his earnings were diverted to cover his meager living expenses, leaving him with not even so much as a single shilling that he might enjoy the decency of a night’s festivities at the local pub.

Yet this did not trouble the young man as it might have in other circumstances, for he was a thrifty, prudent man of good temperament, who handled his pursestrings with restraint every day as he passed by alluring new cars, enticing gun shops, and the siren call of state-of-the-art home-theater systems. Having survived the treacherous journey through his dark university days, he had acquired the resolution necessary to protect himself from the murky bog of credit card debt. As befit his virtuosity, his reputation within the financial institutions of the kindgom was impeccable.

Had the young man been a lonely friar, traveling through the wilderness of life without a companion, this situation might have been sufficient for him.

But one day everything changed when this young man came across a girl of exceptional amiability. Enraptured by her beauty, he was overcome with the inescapable passion of romantic infatuation. With great persistence, he attempted to woo this beautiful girl, and was euphoric when she declared an interest in him, however small it may have been. After a second conversation and meeting, the young man was engrossed by her undeniable qualities and idiosyncrasies, and within a fortnight his romantic infatuation had grown and blossomed into a genuine affection for the girl, and his determination to court her exclusively increased tenfold.

Driven by the incurable madness eternally inherent in romance, he secretly planned a wondrous time to spend with her which would win her heart.

But then, the young man remembered that he was poor and had little money to spend on such pleasantries. Although the girl was by no means of high social status, tradition dictated that he demonstrate his fondness for her in a manner which in some fashion involved the spending of money in a substantial amount. The societal rules had relaxed since the days of his forefathers, in which it was strictly forbidden to allow the girl to lay down so much as a halfpence during a courtship. Still, as a gentleman, chivalrous to a fault, he was unwilling to consider an solution which involved her having to surrender any of her earnings, even if it was small. Additionally, the ostinate pride, which can only be found within the heart of a man, required him to maintain a pretense of being in a respectable financial condition.

Left with no other options, the young man sought out the advice of his trustworthy friends. Eager to see him settle down and happy, they directed him to the house of an old hermit, who for scores of years had been tied to the bond of matrimony until the untimely death of his beloved. It was rumored throughout the kingdom he knew the ancient incantations and spells guaranteed to win a fair maiden’s heart.

Despite this, they warned him, ever so severely, that this old hermit also had a reputation as a cantankerous imp who led a many young men to their dooms by offering poorly contrived remedies to their tribulations out of a twisted sense of amusement.

Having exhausted all other resources, the young man sought out the old hermit. Wary of what lay behind the door to the house, he knocked timidly, whereupon he was greeted by a sanguine, yet rather quaint man whose demeanor refuted all the unfound hearsay said about him. Welcoming him into the home with much celebration, the old hermit listened intently as the young man spoke of the beautiful girl who had captured his heart, explaining his dilemma in no uncertain terms.

After sitting there silently, meditating for a long time, the hermit took the young man into his confidence and revealed that he took had suffered the same predicament in his youth when courting his future wife. He, too, had had few coins to spare. Yet, he had managed to overcome this obstacle by learning three secret spells which, if used at their proper time, would magically cause a girl to overlook any deficiencies in the matter of finances.

The three magic spells and their recitations as recounted were:

  • The Spell of Creativity: Do that which refreshes the soul
  • The Spell of Spontaneity: Do that which is unexpected at an unexpected time
  • The Spell of Authenticity: Do that which reveals one’s true heart

The old hermit warned him, however, that the spells could only be used out of necessity, for their magical properties would fail to charm if the intent behind their usage was outside of their original design.

Thrilled, the young man profusely thanked the old hermit into the long hours of the night and then returned back to his home in a mood of elation. There, he planned the special time as he had originally intended. Following the old hermit’s counsel, he used the magic spells at their proper time and not before. He did not have to wait long to see if the spells actually worked, for the moment the girl met with him she was instantly bewitched by the power of the spells and seemed to make no observation of the lack of coins used to provide such a lively interaction.

Careful not to fall into arrogance, the young man listened to the old hermit’s sagely words and worked hard to save up enough earnings to take the girl to out every so often and did not always rely on the spells as a permanent substitute. As long as he heeded this wisdom, the girl was as pleased as is capable by a man.

Acknowledging his success, the young man’s friends inquired as to the magic spells, so that they too might utilize them in their relationships. Rather than hold it back from them in order to flout his position, the young man, out of the kindness of his heart, not only informed them of the three magic spells, but he also dictated the story to this lowly scribe, so that the knowledge might be circulated to all men, unwed or married, who would then use these spells in time of need.

The End

photo by soundlessfall

3 Financial Lessons I’ve Learned From Angry Birds

angry birdsI’m sure you’ve heard of the smartphone game Angry Birds.❠  If you haven’t, you’ve been living under a rock.   Not only is it one of the most fun cell phone games to play but it’s extremely addicting.  I’ll be honest; I’ve wasted possibly hundreds of hours playing this game.   Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit.   Thankfully I recently beat the game and now I don’t play it anymore!   In case you’re wondering, no you shouldn’t get this game.   It’s dangerously addicting and will suck your time away like you would not believe.

So, where am I going with hits?   Well, after playing Angry Birds I’ve actually learned a couple financial lessons that I’d love to share with you!   You don’t need to play the game to understand these lessons, so please enjoy!


1-Learn from past mistakes and move on

Learning from your investment mistakes is painful but a necessary event in one’s life.   I learned this lesson firsthand playing Angry Birds.   The game is setup in a way that you have an obstacle in the way of you killing little monsters.   In your arsenal you have angry birds❠that you slingshot into the obstacles.   The lesson I learned was that if a certain strategy didn’t work, I shouldn’t waste my time trying to do the same thing again.

In the realm of personal finance, this is especially true.   I’ve made many mistakes with my finances and learning from them has been monumental in my long term success.   I learn from these mistakes such as busting my monthly budget and then I move on with life.   These lessons are building blocks❠for your total personal financial portfolio.


2- Persistence is the key to success

If failing scares you, then Angry Birds is not the game for you!   You’re guaranteed to fail a level but the key to winning the game is to keep trying.   I remember getting so incredibly frustrated and wanted to quit.   I vowed to beat the game so I kept on plugging away.

The same goes for your finances.   How many times do you get discouraged because of bad spending habits or even not making your vacation savings goal.   It’s OK to fail, just keep going!     If you do, you will succeed with persistence.   Shoot, I mean look at Thomas Edison.   He failed hundreds of times trying to create the first light bulb.   After much blood and sweat, he finally persevered.   Take the same approach with your finances.


3- Guide your investments or failure is near

With Angry Birds, guiding the birds to the obstacles was the key to my success.   You could choose which direction the slingshot went and if you made the wrong choice or got lazy, the birds would fly directly over their target and totally miss!   Unless I guided the birds, I was bound to fail the level I was playing.

Same goes with your personal finances.  You’re doomed to fail without guidance.  This can be applied to your budgets, spending patterns, and your savings goals.  You need to come up with a plan that is achievable and conquer it by making the right decisions.  Just like the birds, you need to guide your investments and finances to achieve financial freedom.


How will you guide your birds?

Isn’t this true with the way we view our investments and money?   Why do we take unnecessary risks or lazily invest⦠  Why not take a more planned approach and go in directly.   Unless you guide your investments, your portfolio is going to dwindle.   This relates to everything from reducing your investment fees and rebalancing once a year.   I hate the word failure.❠  Guide your investments like you guide a couple angry birds and prosper in the long run!

8 Tips on How to Get Along With Your Boss

get along with your bossFor all too many of us, our faith walk can stop in the pursuit of earning a living. We can be faithful and reverent on Sunday, but come Monday, our secular selves are magically released into the world as if Sunday never happened. If we’re committed Christians, we can’t allow this. The world is looking at our behavior far more than it’s listening to our words, and it is that behavior that truly determines who we are.

But let’s admit to one thingâ”if we do have a tendency to go secular❠at work, there are some good reasons. Work is about production, procedures, satisfying customers and clients and getting along with disagreeable co-workers, isn’t it?

We may not think of it in this way, but among our co-workers is one very important one, our boss. He or she is almost certainly the most important relationship we have on the job, and it isn’t a stretch to say that how that relationship works will flow to all other relationships at workâ”it may even determine our success or failure on the job. For these reasons, it’s well worth the effort to get along with your boss.

How do you do that if your boss is, shall we say, disagreeable? With greater effort! Here are some ways to make it happen.


Build rapport

What ever tension may exist between you and your boss, never forget that he or she is a human being. While there is a certain amount of professional distance that must exist between a supervisor and subordinates, the more common ground you can establish between yourself and your boss, the less chance there will be for conflicts related to misunderstandings, which themselves are often due to unrecognized personal factors.

What that means in practical terms, is get to know your boss and make an attempt to let him get to know you. The more you know about each others personalities, preferences, weaknesses and even personal struggles, the stronger the bonds become and the less chance there is for conflict.


Avoid confrontational behavior

You don’t have to agree with everything that your boss tells you to do, but you must always respect her position (see 1 Peter chapter 2 ). A hierarchy is established in every organization, and that means that everyone in the chain of commandâ”including your bossâ”has to answer to someone in higher authority. Anything less can lead to chaos and that’s never a better state of affairs.

That will mean doing what the boss says even if you don’t see the logic of the order. Bosses are usually aware of situations and conditions that they cannot discuss with their subordinates, and very often they are the very cause of directives that don’t seem to make sense to those who need to carry them out. Accept that you don’t know all that’s going on and cooperate with your boss to the best of your ability.


Always do more than the minimum

The business world is awash in employees who put in the minimum time and effort in exchange for a paycheckâ”resolve that you won’t be one of them. Be someone who not only your boss-, but also your coworkers-, can turn to when the workload gets heavy or when new products, services or procedures are being rolled out. The more your boss can rely on you, the more you’ll be able to rely on your boss.

If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.ââ”Matthew 5:41


Find out what your boss’s biggest concerns are

Every organization, and every department within it, have problems. That doesn’t mean that the organization is a failure or doomed to become one. Your boss is probably more aware of those problems than you are, and that’s at least part of what guides his management style.

If you really want to improve your working relationship with your boss, find out what HIS biggest problems in the organization are and do your best to help solve them. You’ll win more favor if you become your bosses ally than by standing off in the background as a critic.


Offer to help when you can

We all want to be able to go to our bosses when we’re snowed in and in need of help. But sometimes your boss is stuck on a major project and some of her regular responsibilities are going undone. Is there a way you can help her to do her job? Such an effort will be appreciated, particularly if she is experiencing personal problems that are affecting her ability to do her jobâ”we all have them, so be sympathetic and be ready to help. As believers, we should always be ready to step up and serveâ”even if it’s for people who have authority over us.


Avoid going over your boss’s head

Unless you’re pretty certain your boss is doing something illegal or seriously disruptive to the organization, never go over your boss’s head. And if you ever do have the need to do so, make sure you’re going with a lot more than loose accusations. If you go to upper management with anything less, you will almost certainly have destroyed any chance of a positive relationship with your boss going forward.


Criticize situations, not people, and never the boss

All departments have dysfunctions, and if possible, they need to be addressed and fixed. But when doing so, always target the dysfunction and avoid naming names. It’s easier to do this when your criticism is well thought out, meaning you take the time to observe and chronicle the problems. When you do, you’re in a position to make helpful suggestions for improvement. In fact make it a personal policy to never complain or criticize unless you first have an idea for a workable solution!

If you aren’t methodical about this, you will fall into the human tendency to complain, and that usually includes criticizing others. That’s the easiest thing in the worldâ”most of us don’t even have to work at it! If one of the people you’re criticizing happens to be your boss, you’ll do little more than destroy that relationship going forward. In fact, you might even be targeted as The Problem.


Offer praise when deserved

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirableâ”if anything is excellent or praiseworthyâ”think about such things.ââ”Philippians 4:8

And while you’re thinking about them, you might want to share them with your boss! Is your boss doing anything right? Then let her know! Are there any functions in the company or department that are flowing smoothly? Again, let your boss know, and give her proper credit.

Most of us are all too quick to complain when something isn’t right, but are we equally quick to praise when things are going well? We should beâ”all the more if we’re Christians. Part of our individual ministry is to build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and that includes those in authority.

Every one of us needs to hear praise from our coworkers, at least occasionally. Your boss is no different. A word of heart felt praise every now and again will go a long way toward building a better relationship with your boss, and might even give you the right to offer some constructive criticism every now and again.

If you get into the all too common habit of seeing your boss as an enemyâ”or at least as an adversaryâ”you will display that through your behavior and attitude. But see your boss as a friend in authority, and you might forge the kind of alliance that will advance your boss’s career and yours at the same time.

In an employment environment in which layoffs have become all too common, it could be the difference keeping your job and a long stint in the unemployment line.

Merry Christmas!

JesusTo all my fans, Merry Christmas!  Today is truly a day to rejoice, for we have a savior!

I love Christmas for multiple reasons, but above the rest it’s that Jesus was born on this day.  I encourage you to reflect on the fact that the birth of Jesus Christ changed the world and gave all human beings hope of reaching Heaven and worshiping God for all eternity.  We really do worship a loving God and it’s awesome having a relationship with Him!

So that’s my short Christmas note.  To celebrate, I found this very cool video that tells the Christmas story through the use of Facebook.  Enjoy and have a fantastic Christmas with your family.  God Bless everyone!

Click Here to check out the Facebook video 🙂

Ditch Your Bank and Join a Credit Union

join a credit unionBanks are ripping us off. They give us loans designed to cause us to default. They send our economy into a deep recession, make us lose our jobs, and then ask us for a bailout. A month ago, they even tried to charge us a $5 monthly fee just to use a debit card.

It’s no wonder that people are mad at banks! Some patriots are even mailing credit card offers back to banks, or even mailing back wood in business reply mails, so that banks have to pay the business reply mailing fee. Hard-hit cities and universities are considering divesting their money from banks and moving it to credit unions.

Anger at banks and desire to save money online has lead Americans across the country to ditch their banks and put their money into credit unions, which are non-profit organizations that store money like banks and offer lower interest rates and better credit cards. They also invest in local economies instead of gambling in derivative swaps, so in some ways they’re more like actual banks than modern banks.

However, you need to prepare for the switch before you join a credit union and do your homework just like if you were switching to a bank. That is why I am sharing three things you need to do before you switch.

Get a credit report

Getting a credit report before you join a credit union is not as important as it is before you sign up for a bank. This is because banks will try to give people with bad credit subprime mortgages, credit cards with bad interest rates, and other schemes to ensnare people into long-term debt.


Save money by joining a credit union

On the other hand, credit unions have no interest in getting people to owe them money in perpetuity since that would be akin to scamming themselves (notice how I use the word join❠for a credit union, and sign up❠for a bank). Furthermore, they are not getting bailed out by government money, so they have to be more careful who they lend money to, and thus they do credit checks at least as thoroughly as banks. However, they also know that since they make loans with lower interest rates and don’t jack up rates after five years that people who normally couldn’t pay off a bank loan are able to pay off their loans. Getting a credit report can help you know what to expect when you walk into the office to join.


Research multiple credit unions

Most credit unions are restricted to local areas. Some are further restricted to people in a certain profession in that area, such as firefighters, carpenters, and police officers. This means that there might not be many people in the union, so it might not have many branches open.


Withdrawing cash

That could mean that you have to pay a buck or two each time you withdraw cash for an ATM since your credit union might not have very many of its own. To solve this, some unions offer to pay withdraw fees for you. However, you will still probably save money joining a credit union even with these fees taken into account since they give you better returns on savings accounts and lower interest rates on loans than banks.


Set up the new account before transferring your money

This should be pretty obvious, but you don’t have to walk into a credit union with a wad of cash when you create an account. Some of them even let you create an account for as little as $25 so that you can slowly transfer the money at your own leisure. Many now let you create an account online so that you can almost immediately transfer your money electronically from your old bank account to your new credit union account before you close your bank account.


Safety first

Whichever process you choose is up to you, but it’s important to remember why you are putting your money into a bank or a credit union in the first place: You want to keep it safe. The interest on savings is a nice bonus, but the main reason is so that you do not have to keep your money in a trunk underneath your bed. The same concept applies when transferring money: If possible, do not use cash that you carry on your person to create the new account. Transfer the money online using an electronic check, give yourself a wire transfer, or write a paper check from your old account to your new account.

This is a guest post by Murray Newlands. Murray and his company, Influence People, do blogger relations and online marketing consulting for a variety of clients.

When Financial Secrecy May Not be a Good Idea

financial secrecyOne of the areas of life we tend to be most secretive about is our finances. That’s a broad category of course, encompassing our income, expenses, assets, debt levels and credit standing. Now for obvious reasons we want to be secretive when it comes to giving out financial information as a matter of protecting our identityâ”that goes without saying. But the secrecy I’m talking about here deals with people, as in those closest to us.

It’s easy enough to see why we don’t want other people to know too much about our financial affairsâ”too much income and assets and other people might resent us; too much debt and poor credit and they might judge us. Who wouldn’t want to avoid that?

While we can argue the pros and cons as to how much of our financial lives we reveal to family and friends, there may be times when doing so is in our best interest.


As much as we might not like the idea of driving on a road that’s monitored by traffic cameras, it’s equally true that we tend to behave better when we do. So it is anytime others have sight of what it is we do. It’s called accountability, and it’s a way of keeping us on the straight and narrow.

At a minimum, we need to keep our spouses in the loop as to what we’re doing with our money. While this might be self-evident, in my experience in the mortgage business, I’d come across people who didn’t want their spouses to know a about a certain savings or investment account, or about a debt or even a collection of credit cards. There may be all sorts of logical sounding reasons for this practice, but it’s doubtful that it leads to a happy place.

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.ââ”Proverbs 28:13

But beyond our spouses, there’s also an argument for having a close friend or family member (parent, sibling or adult child) aware of at least some aspects of our finances. By having someone else in the loop at least regarding the general state of our finances, we’re more likely to do the right thingsâ”or at least to stick to what it is we’ve declared to others we plan to do. It’s like have a second pair of eyes❠keeping watch over us.

When you have money problems

It’s ironic that the one time we most rebel against financial transparency is probably the time we most need to be open about it. Maybe we shouldn’t broadcast it to the world, but it’s generally better when a small number of people very close to us know what’s happening.

You should never go through a financial crisis alone; at a minimum you need trusted people to bounce ideas and strategies off of. In addition, when we’re going through troubles we’re not always thinking clearly, and that’s when an outside opinion becomes absolutely necessary.

Achieving savings, investment or debt payoff goals

If no one knows what our financial goals are it will be a lot easier for us to give up on them when the going gets tough. This is especially true if your goal is to pay off debt. Sometimes the pain of the effort can be offset by the greater pain that comes with disappointing people whose opinions really matter to us.

In general, financial goals are not always best accomplished in private. If you make a plan to begin saving money or to pay off debt, letting one or two others know what you’re doing is a way of making the plan official with an announcement. Think of it as an unwritten contract. Once that’s done, you’ll have greater incentive to follow through with the plan, if for no other reason than to show people you trust that you can be counted on.

In making your final arrangements

Grief and financial management are not compatible. Even though you commit your final arrangements to paper through a will, you still need to have at least one other person from outside your immediate family who will act as a point person at the time of your death to help your family cope with your loss. That person should have intimate knowledge of your finances beforehand.

Though we might think that our spouseâ”armed with a willâ”will be up to the task, that isn’t always true. Our immediate family may be too overcome with emotion to handle our financial affairs at the time of our death, to say nothing of dealing with banks, creditors, courts and tax authorities in the months that follow. Assigning beforehand a person that YOU trust to help settle your affairs can be one of the best provisions you can make for your loved ones.

How much of your finances do you keep hidden from close family and friends? Have you ever had problems because no one knew anything at all? Have you ever had problems because you revealed too much?

Get To Know Me, I Dare You!

bloggingDon’t be shocked that this isn’t another money savings article.  I’m going to change things up this Friday morning!

You’re going to get to know me a little better. Consider this a once in a lifetime post giving my readers some insight into who I am, how I think, and the plans I have for Free Money Wisdom.

How it all started

Being from the construction industry, I’m always coming in contact with new people as well as working with the same group of key people every day.  At the start of my career in 2010, conversations about personal finance and saving for retirement were always going on due to the economic crisis.

Me, being the personal finance guru that I am, always piped in to these conversations ad shared my views on strategies for retirement and the lowest risk ways of getting the job done.

After a while, co-workers and people I didn’t know very well were pulling me aside asking me for financial advice!  I was just a college graduate who read finance blogs, why would they want my advice!

Well, as it turns out, the knowledge I knew was not widely known.  I mean most people I talked to didn’t even know what a Roth-IRA was!

These conversations got me thinking and so I decided to start a simple website to put my thoughts and advice on paper and get the word out to everyone I knew.  Well, as you can see, that “simple” website has now grown into a very popular personal finance blog.

I’m still in shock to this day that Free Money Wisdom has turned into a conglomerate website full of personal information.  I consider myself a “beginner” and there is still so much to learn.


I’m not your typical blogger

Most bloggers on the internet have a common story.  They get themselves into debt and have a “come-back” story.  You can do a simple Google search and find this out to be true.  My story is much different.

For one, I have zero financial education.  Everything I know has come from books, blogs, and advice from my Dad.  Second, I chose to live a debt free life at a very young age.  This is due in part because of my amazing parents, they really did teach me so much about finance.

Lastly, I work in the construction industry.  Yes, yes I know that the construction industry is known for guys who spend their pay checks at the bar.  But I’m here to say that not all of us are like that. Since I work in construction and blog about personal finance, I get  weird  looks and people often wonder about me.  But guess what, it really doesn’t matter what your background is!

All I’m trying to do is share with people my experience, my financial failures and achievements, and help people go about their finances in a Biblical way.  It may sound cut and dry, but that’s ground work for this blog.

If you’re looking for a blog that has a unique spin on this very boring subject, Free Money Wisdom is for you!  I enjoy writing about money and how it relates to the Bible.


What you can expect to read at Free Money Wisdom

I want Free Money Wisdom to grow into an authority within the personal finance community.   I want this blog to be an “inclusive” community.   I don’t care where you’re from or what you look like, I really believe this blog can benefit your financial life.

I’ll be covering a wide range of topics in the years to come.   At the core, Free Money Wisdom is here to help you get out of debt and reach your financial goals.   Although I write from a more personal tone sometimes, this blog is not about ME, it’s about YOU.

So, when you open the weekly newsletter or go to my homepage on a Monday morning, you’ll find topics such as saving for retirement, getting out of debt, Christian based finances, college finances, frugal tips, and many more.


What you shouldn’t expect

Look, this isn’t a “get rich quick” blog.   You will not find advice on this blog telling you that riches are around the next corner.   No, this blog is above that.

Since Free Money Wisdom has the Bible as guiding principles, you will see advice and tips that are founded in Biblical wisdom.   Thus, Free Money Wisdom.

If this turns you off a little, that’s OK!   If you are seeking quick riches, you can find other blogs for that.   Just don’t waste your time here because I won’t be writing articles about that.

You will also never find my writing to lead you down a a bad path. What do I mean by that?   Well, I promise that what I write on this blog is true to what I believe and will only recommend products and services if I use them or know of other people who have had success with them.

One example is credit cards.   There are many good credit cards out there and I recommend many on this blog.   However, I’m only going to recommend the best cards and will only tell you to open a credit card if you promise to be responsible.


I’m passionate but not perfect

I’ll be honest with you.   I’m young and still learning personal finance along the way in life.   However, I have passion driving me to help people around me.   So, while I will work my butt off to give you the best content out there, there will be mistakes made along the way.

The beauty of this blog is that you get to learn from my mistakes!   This is why I recommend all my readers to do their own independent research and make their own decisions.   Since my “advice” is not really professional advice, you should seek financial advisors if you are hesitant about making a big decision.

At the end of the day, you should be applying common sense to anything you read on the internet.   Not everything is true out there, so be diligent and always second guess the information you read.


Where can you start?

If this article wasn’t enough, feel free to read more about my life and the mission of this blog on my about page.

To make things simple, I have created some cool resource pages packed full of my most epic content:

Free Money Wisdom “Must Reads”

Bible and Money Articles

Credits Cards That I Support

Banks That Aren’t Out to Nickel and Dime You

Top Discount Brokers Where You Can Invest With Little Cost to You


Wanna get plugged in?

I’m a huge believer in being everywhere for my brand.  So, it just makes sense to be on every social network that you might be on.  You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or even Linkedin.  Don’t hesitate to contact me on any of those networks and always feel free to contact me.

You’d be missing out if I didn’t offer you a chance to sign up for my exclusive email list.  Once you sign up, you’ll get instant access to my free 7-day e-course on retiring a millionaire.  Also, whenever I have special giveaways or recommend new products you’ll be the first to find out!


My promises to you

You’ll see me write articles on various products and services.  I’ll often write reviews.  I’m here to say that I promise to never sell out and promote something I don’t believe in.  Everything I recommend on this blog has my “stamp of approval.”  I feel strongly about certain products and services.  Some of these have transformed my own finances so it’s natural for me to want to spread the word.

When you do click through links, many of the links will be affiliate links.  This basically means that I get a kick back from the companies I promote.  This money makes it possible to keep this blog running and provides me with some extra money.  I just wanted to make sure you knew that!

I also promise to do my due diligence with research for articles.  It would be terrible of me to write on a subject that I know very little about.  If it takes me an extra hour to master a subject, I will do that.  I want to provide you with the best article possible.  I want my content to be top notch.  I’m leaving a legacy behind.

I’ll also never tell you to do something unethical like steal towels from hotels to save an extra few dollars.  I believe in the rule of law, and also believe that Christians are called to follow the government’s rules and regulations.


A big thanks!

This blog would never be where it is today without all my readers.  You guys and girls are what makes this blog what it is.  With your comments and emails, you are an  intricate  part of fostering a community here at Free Money Wisdom.

I’m excited for what the future holds and what God calls me to next.  Many more exciting articles are coming your way.  If you haven’t already, subscribe to my exclusive email newsletter right below 🙂

If you are new here, please comment below so I can say hello!

Bus Driver Killed Man after Mistaking Accelerator for Brake

A female bus driver who killed a 65-year-old Ministry of Defence employee is said to have mistaken the accelerator pedal for the brake, the Daily Mail has revealed.

Newell Lewis, who was born in Jamaica and spent 31 years working for the Royal Mail before joining the Ministry of Defence 11 years ago, was pinned to railings when bus driver Doris Osei mounted the pavement at speed and crashed into a lamp-post after losing control on a corner.

44-year-old Ms Osei, who is said to have received only 30 minutes of training, continued for 165 feet along Albany Road, Camberwell, after hitting Mr Lewis on the 30th January.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard how a trainee doctor aboard the single-decker bus provided first aid to Mr Lewis, who underwent emergency surgery at Kings College Hospital. Sadly, the civil servant died the next day.

No win no fee claims involving road traffic accidents are common in the UK, where a certain standard of skill is expected of drivers. In the present case, the accident was made all the worse for being caused by a professional driver who ought to have known her accelerator from her brake pedal. Whiplash claims are one of the most popular forms of car claims.

Defending Ms Osei at Blackfriars Crown Court, Fayza Benlamkadem said: “She travelled too fast around that corner, in a bus she wasn’t used to driving and unfortunately took the life of another person. She has very little recollection of the events. That is probably due to the post-traumatic stress she has been suffering with. She states she can never forgive herself. She was not experienced on that bend and all the experts say it is a very sharp turn”.

Sharp turn or not, Ms Osei ought to have been able to navigate the corner safely. Mr Lewis’ daughter, Zena, said: “I feel the bus company, alongside Ms Osei, are liable for my father’s death. The bus company have a duty to vet and train all employees.

“On 28th January she was deemed competent after practical training. On 30th January, approximately three to five minutes into her first shift, she managed to cause my father’s death”.

Ms Osei was handed a 12-month suspended jail sentence, 2-year driving ban and community service of 150 hours. Reaching the verdict, judge Aidan Marron QC told Ms Osei: “I accept without hesitation that you weren’t familiar with that vehicle and I accept you weren’t familiar with the route. There was a factor of speed in this untimely death and it is my conclusion that it was your lack of familiarity that is at the bottom of the acceleration”.