jogging for exercise
Years ago, I had an elderly patient I loved to visit. She had a huge personality, a quick mind (and tongue), and a sense of humor that would leave you gasping for air. She was just one of those people that others loved to spend time with. She also had the worst case of diabetes I’d ever encountered. She was taking huge doses of four types of insulin and needed to check her blood sugar six times a day. During one visit, I made a call to her doctor to discuss her steadily rising blood sugars. “I can’t put her on anything else,“ he said. “She’s going to have to exercise to help bring it down.” Well, for most folks, a little exercise isn’t such a big deal. But for this gal, even getting to the bathroom was a chore. She was blind, severely obese, and had difficulty breathing to boot.

I broke the news to her and told her we’d do it together. We started small, mostly because we had to. We started by taking three steps every time I came to see her. We ventured outside on nice days to pull weeds out of her flowerbeds for 10 minutes. She did the pots; I did the beds. It wasn’t much, but we keep at it every day.
[ continue reading… ]

Becoming a homeowner is the American dream right? Unfortunately, too many people rush into this dream – only to find themselves in financial despair and facing foreclosure. This could’ve easily happened to me.

After getting divorced a year ago, I thought about purchasing a home of my own. I was working two jobs and sharing a bedroom at my dad’s house with my two daughters. I was desperate to be out on my own again.

To keep a long story short, I did make a few offers on houses. Unfortunately, all of the offers fell through for one reason or another. After this disappointment, I smartened up and decided to wait until I was financially stable to buy my own home. Instead of thinking about houses, I focused on keeping my expenses low and my savings high. I took out a small loan and bought a trailer to live in.

I’ve now realized how important it is to have your ducks in a row before even thinking about homeownership.

Here are three ways to financially prepare for future home ownership:
[ continue reading… ]

Depending on which personal finance gurus you follow particularly closely, you may have seen advice that you should sell some of your skills on the side to bring in more income. This can be good advice whether you’re trying to put more into savings each month or you’re trying to reduce debt, but just telling you that you should turn your skills into a side business probably isn’t going to help you accomplish the actual deed.

Especially if you’ve never started any sort of side business before, you’re going to want to read up on the mechanics of the process a little bit. Here’s what you need to get started.
[ continue reading… ]

Without my freelance income, I make what would be considered a “living wage” at my day job. This amount seems very low to me though. Some weeks, the income from my day job doesn’t cover my already bare-bones budget.

I’ll admit it: there’s even been a time or two when I’ve thrown a pity party for myself. (Not proud.)

Since I have such a hard time getting by on my income, which pays more than minimum wage, it makes me wonder how people who are actually earning minimum wage can survive. Let’s take a look.
[ continue reading… ]

We talk a lot about risk when it comes to finances, and much of the time, risk tolerance is associated with investing. However, the amount of risk you can handle also plays a role in other financial decisions and aspects of your life. Before you make decisions about what’s next, think about how much risk you can handle in your life.

Do You Have an Emergency Fund?

An emergency fund can help you handle a higher degree of financial risk. If you have a rainy day fund stored up, whether it’s in a savings account or you keep it in a taxable investment account (like I do), an emergency fund can help you bridge the gap when you end up with unexpected costs.

Another great reason to have an emergency fund is the fact that it offers you the chance to take other risks in your life. An emergency fund can help if you are hoping to quit your day job to freelance, rely on your side business, or if you want to start and build a business. You can have something to live on while you work on your dreams, but you might not be able to handle the risk and uncertainty of quitting your traditional job without that emergency fund.
[ continue reading… ]

Do you lay in bed at night thinking about money? Do you get stressed on Sunday evening knowing you have to go back to work Monday morning?

Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. It really doesn’t matter if you’re a financial rock star or on the financial rocks – we all want the same thing: financial freedom.

But what’s stopping you?

I was reviewing my finances today and thinking about how much harder I’m going to need to work to hit that financial freedom mark. Right now, I’m not even close. So I started mapping out a plan to accelerate my journey.

Here’s what I need to do:
[ continue reading… ]