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Blunder Tips for Life

Tips for your journey through life, things to check out, pay attention to and all around opinion.

Last Build Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2014 04:04:41 +0000


Money Merge Account Client Speaks Out.

Wed, 21 May 2008 22:04:00 +0000

Article used with permission from Author. The following is an email of a client who has become a powerful advocate for the Money Merge Account™ program. Not just an ordinary homeowner, but someone with substantial professional experience in the financial arena. The Jubilee Project has been given permission to share this information with you, for those seeking answers to this system of paying off debt. In fact, Nick has stated that he would be more than happy to talk with those doubting or having questions about the Money Merge Account. That is a unique offer indeed. Here is the email in it’s entirety: ‘Jaime, As per our conversation, here is the information I personally believe homeowners should understand and see for themselves about this phenomenal program. I have taken off the personal information (my account #, etc.) from my own statement, and give I you full permission to post this as an example on you site. Please let readers know it’s essential they read the complete example in conjunction with viewing the attached file (the HELOC statement). Here’s exactly what I would say to someone looking into purchasing this program for themselves: “We invested in the Money Merge Account May of 2007 without completely understanding how our 30 year fixed mortgage and other debts were going to be paid in full in less than 7 years. This concept of interest cancellation applied and managed by the Money Merge Account had been presented to us by one of my college friends. He clearly explained to us that our results would be achieved without refinancing, changing our mortgage payment or significantly adjusting our household budget. Our guaranteed results coupled with the trust and respect we had for our good friend was enough for us to proceed. One of the best ways that I discovered to illustrate part of how interest cancellation occurs was by looking at our Home Equity Line of Credit(HELOC) statement for June 2007 which reflected our first months activity using the Money Merge Account system. (see attached June HELOC Statement) June 2, 2007A. Our June 2nd statement had a New Principle Balance of $ 7,851.64B. Our Average Daily Balance was $ 1,266.39Our Minimum Payment for June was $ 7.79ALL HELOC’s will charge interest on the Average Daily Balance ONLYA - B = $ 6,585.25 (0% interest charge) We began the month of June with a zero balance on our HELOC. Following the cues of our Money Merge Account we chose to withdraw $ 28,538.81 of the banks money from our HELOC and send it to our 1st mortgage as a principle reduction. We then deposited $ 20,687.17 that had been sitting for 15+ years in a low interest bearing savings account. You will see that our ending balance was $ 7,851.64 at an interest expense of $ 7.79. That interest expense of $ 7.79 was calculated off of our Average Daily Balance of $ 1,266.39. For the month of June we had the use of $ 6,585.25 of the banks money interest free! We found that “A - B = free money” formula to be both counterintuitive and bazaar! Essentially, we leveraged the banks money through the HELOC resulting in what could be called a To-Good-To-Be-True interest savings for us on BOTH our 1st and 2nd mortgages. This simple math edified for us how we will be mortgage/debt free in less than 7 years! 1. HELOC: $ 6,585.25 (leverage & float the banks money with no interest charged)2. 1st Mortgage: $ 74,073.23 (canceled interest = 10 years of canceled mortgage payments)3. Total Interest Saved: $ 6,585.25 + $ 74,073.23 = $ 80,658.48 Everything about the thought of sending such a large amount of money to our 1st mortgage felt so wrong until we realized that we had more than twice that amount of money available to us 24/7 through our HELOC. These changes in our household, now subtle, represented an absolute paradigm shift as we measured our concerns about how to get to the finish line with college tuitions and retirement. Our results for just this month of June continues to excite us. No longer stagnant, the velocity of our money directed by the Money Merge Account el[...]

Tips for Father's

Fri, 12 Oct 2007 21:47:00 +0000

Tip #1. Spend Time With Your Children Every DaySpend time with your children each and every day. Even when you are out of town on a business trip you need to pick up the phone and talk to them. When you talk to your children try not to ask them questions that are answered with "Yes" and "No". Instead, try asking them questions that require detailed answers.For example: What did you learn in school today? What games did you play at recess? What is your favorite television show? Why? When you think about college what subjects really interest you? I pray with my children every night before they go to sleep at night. In my prayers I verbally encourage them as I pray by letting them know how much I love them and what characteristics I treasure in each of them.Tip #2. Learn To Value What Is Important To Your ChildYour child is unique. If you have more than one child you understand how different each one of them is from the other. As they grow older they begin to develop different interest in the world around them. As fathers we sometimes get so distracted by our own world that we overlook the detailed world of our children.Nothing says I care and love you more than when you participate in the seemingly trivial world of your children. We fathers have forgotten what being a child was like and consequently we forgotten what's important to our children. I challenge you right now to make a list of 3 things you can do with your child(ren) that they enjoy doing.Tip #3. Communicate With CareSometimes we fathers get too caught up in our own busy lives. We don't pay enough attention to our kids when we talk to them. Doesn't it bother you when you are talking to your kids and they are staring at the television or playing with their video game? Wouldn't it make you feel like you mattered if they gave you their full attention? Next time you engage your children in a conversation try looking directly at your children when they respond back to you.Let them know that what they have to say is important. This is a very tough practice to achieve because we men, generally speaking, get very focused on what we are doing. If possible try doing this every day for a week.Tip #4. Tell Your Kids Your StoryTell your story. Your history, and that of your parents and your own family, can be interesting to your child. A young child often feels the world began at his/her birth. By reflecting on your past, you provide your child with the intriguing sense of history and of past generations.You need not tell all the details of your history, but only those which leave your child with the feeling that you too were once a child and you grew up and became an involved father. All of your life experiences are only useful if your kids know that you are being open and honest with them.Tip #5. Educate Your Kids Through InvolvementRemember that you are your children's role model. Your kids are looking to you to learn how a responsible and mature adult acts. Do chores around the house with your children, make them feel good about helping you and teach them that men also share household duties.Encourage your children to think for themselves. Guide and help them with their decision making process and then stand back and watch them do it themselves. Do all of this while they are young and you can still make an impression on their minds. Don't wait until they get older.Tip #6. Put Parenting First And Use Your Time WiselyAs a father you must put your responsibility to your kids first. That means nothing else is more important than being daddy. Not your job. Not your hobbies. Not watching sports on television. Your kids are first and foremost.This is hard to do in a world with so many competing demands and attractions. To be a great father you must consciously plan and devote time to being with your children making it your top priority.Tip #7. Reduce Anger By Understanding Your Own Trigger PointsAnger. It's very real. It's very normal. Everyone experiences it. But what causes you to feel angry? As a father if you are able to identify those things th[...]

Mortgage Refinancing Tips

Sat, 22 Sep 2007 17:35:00 +0000

Mortgage Refinancing

  • Consider refinancing your mortgage if you can get a rate that is at least one percentage point lower than your existing mortgage rate and plan to keep the new mortgage for several years or more. Ask an accountant to calculate precisely how much your new mortgage (including up-front fees) will cost and whether, in the long run, it will cost less than your current mortgage.
  • Consider utilizing a 'Money Merge Account' if you do not desire to refinance. In most cases, refinancing is not required to use this program, and your mortgage payoff will be as little as 1/3 the conventional payoff time. The 'Money Merge Account' focuses on "term" rather than "rate" which saves you not only future interest on a mortgage, but considerable time.
  • Eliminate Unnecessary Insurance. If the down payment on your house was less than 20% of its appraised value, you are most likely paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). For example, suppose you bought an $80,000 home a few years ago and put $10,000 down, leaving $70,000 on a mortgage. If the house today would be apprised at $95,000 and you have paid the $70,000 mortgage down to $68,000, refinancing (assuming the interest rate and refinancing changes are favorable) can save the need for PMI since the difference between the mortgage ($68K) and the value ($98K) is now more than 20%.

  • Tips on Utilities

    Sat, 22 Sep 2007 17:34:00 +0000

    Energy Efficiency Programs for Replacement Furnaces, Water Heaters and Air Conditioners Check with your local utility company for grants or low interest loans that are rolled into your utility bill when you purchase energy efficient units. Energy savings could largely pay for the cost of the item.Installing an insulating jacket around your water heater can result in savings, as can turning the temperature of your water heater down to 110-120 degrees (no need to run it hotter). ElectricityTo save as much as hundreds of dollars a year on electricity, make certain that any new appliances you purchase, especially air conditioners and furnaces, are energy-efficient. Information on the energy efficiency of major appliances is found on Energy Guide Labels required by federal law. Enrolling in load management programs and off-hour rate programs offered by your electric utility may save you up to $100 a year in electricity costs. Call your electric utility for information about these cost-saving programs. Water A lot of the water used in your home is used in the bathroom. A toilet uses four to five gallons for each flush and a shower uses five to ten gallons per minute. Do not use the toilet for a trash disposal and flush only when necessary. Fix faucet leaks and leaks in the toilet tank or bowl that can waste thousands of gallons of water a day. Check to see if your water department is offering rebates on replacement of 4-5 gallons per flush toilets with 1.6 gallons per flush toilets. Long, hot showers are nice, but run up your utility bills. Shorten your showers. Turn off the water while soaping or shampooing and install flow restrictors and water-saving showerheads. Don't let the sink faucet run while shaving, washing, or brushing your teeth.The kitchen is also a large user of water. Reduce the time you let water stream from the faucet. Use a stopper for the drain or use a pan of water when washing vegetables. The water can later be poured onto houseplants. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Load the dishwasher to capacity. A partially filled washer wastes water and energy. Use the shortest cycle necessary to get your dishes clean and use the air-dry cycle. Water can also be saved outdoors. Washing sidewalks and driveways with a hose is costly - use a broom. Water your lawn sparingly and only during cool morning or evening hours. Don't waste water by letting it run on sidewalks, the driveway and into the street.Home Heating A home energy audit can identify ways to save up to hundreds of dollars a year on home heating (and air conditioning). Ask your electric or gas utility if they can do this audit for free or for a reasonable charge. If they cannot, ask them to refer you to a qualified professional.Conserve fuel by keeping your house cooler than normal. Temporarily "close off" heat to rooms you use rarely. Windows and doors are places where large amounts of heat escape. Stuff cracks around windows and doors with towels or other such materials.Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans wisely; in just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed or cooled air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done the job.Home Air Conditioning Don't set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.Plant trees or shrubs to shade air-conditioning units but not to block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun. Local Telephone Service Check with your phone company to see whether a flat rate or measured service plan will save you the most money. You will usually save money by buying your phones instead of leasing them. [...]

    Tips on First Mortgage Loans

    Sat, 22 Sep 2007 17:28:00 +0000

    First Mortgage Loans (The Federal Reserve Board publishes a Home Mortgage Guide with valuable information on the subject.)
  • Although your monthly payment may be higher, you can save tens of thousands of dollars in interest charges by shopping for the shortest-term mortgage you can afford. On a $100,000 fixed-rate loan at 8% annual percentage rate (APR), for example, you will pay $90,000 less in interest on a l 5-year mortgage than on a 30-year mortgage.
  • You can save thousands of dollars in interest charges by shopping for the lowest-rate mortgage with the fewest points. On a 15-year, $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, just lowering the APR from 8.5% to 8.0% can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges. On this mortgage, paying two points instead of three would save you an additional $1,000.
  • If your local newspaper does not periodically run mortgage rate surveys, call at least six lenders for information about their rates (APRs), points, and fees. Then ask an accountant to compute precisely how much each mortgage option will cost and its tax implications.
  • Be aware that the interest rate on most adjustable rate mortgage loans (ARMs) can vary a great deal over the lifetime of the mortgage. An increase of several percentage points might raise payments by hundreds of dollars per month.
  • To maximize the use of every penny to your mortgage, and in virtually every case pay off years earlier, look into a 'Money Merge Account', which uses special software and support to give homeowners the greatest savings available. This unique system gives you increased financial security with flexibility.

  • Housing Tips

    Sat, 22 Sep 2007 17:27:00 +0000

  • Real estate agents often work for the seller, not the buyer. You can often negotiate a lower sale price by employing a buyer broker who works for you not the seller. If the buyer broker or the broker's firm also lists properties, there may be a conflict of interest, so ask them to tell you if they are showing you a property that they have listed.
  • Real estate agents often have a variety of letters after their name to indicate the special training and certifications they have. All other things being equal, you might want to have the best qualified agent. Here is a list of the common credentials.
  • Do not purchase any house until it has been examined by a home inspector that you selected.
  • Renting a Place to Live

  • Do not limit your rental housing search to classified ads or referrals from friends and acquaintances. Select buildings where you would like to live and contact their building manager or owner to see if anything is available.
  • Remember that signing a lease probably obligates you to make all monthly payments for the term of the agreement.
  • Home Improvement

  • Home repairs often cost thousands of dollars and are the subject of frequent complaints. Select from among several well established, licensed contractors who have submitted written, fixed-price bids for the work.
  • Do not sign any contract that requires full payment before satisfactory completion of the work.
  • Major Appliances

  • Consult Consumer Reports, available in most public libraries, for information about specific brands and how to evaluate them, including energy use. There are often great price and quality differences among brands.
  • Once you've selected a brand, check the phone book to learn what stores carry this brand, then call at least four of these stores for the prices of specific models. After each store has given you a quote, ask if that's the lowest price they can offer you. This comparison shopping can save you as much as $100 or more.

  • Tips for your financial future

    Sat, 22 Sep 2007 17:24:00 +0000

    1. Get Paid What You're Worth and Spend Less Than You Earn It sounds simplistic, but many people struggle with this first basic rule. Make sure you know what your job is worth in the marketplace, by conducting an evaluation of your skills, productivity, job tasks, contribution to the company, and the going rate, both inside and outside the company, for what you do. Being underpaid even a thousand dollars a year can have a significant cumulative effect over the course of your working life. No matter how much or how little you're paid, you'll never get ahead if you spend more than you earn. Often it's easier to spend less than it is to earn more, and a little cost-cutting effort in a number of areas can result in big savings. It doesn't always have to involve making big sacrifices. 2. Stick to a Budget One of my favorite subjects: budgeting. It's not a four-letter word. How can you know where your money is going if you don't budget? How can you set spending and saving goals if you don't know where your money is going? You need a budget whether you make thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. 3. Pay Off Credit Card Debt Credit card debt is the number one obstacle to getting ahead financially. Those little pieces of plastic are so easy to use, and it's so easy to forget that it's real money we're dealing with when we whip them out to pay for a purchase, large or small. Despite our good resolves to pay the balance off quickly, the reality is that we often don't, and end up paying far more for things than we would have paid if we had used cash. 4. Contribute to a Retirement Plan If your employer has a 401(k) plan and you don't contribute to it, you're walking away from one of the best deals out there. Ask your employer if they have a 401(k) plan (or similar plan), and sign up today. If you're already contributing, try to increase your contribution. If your employer doesn't offer a retirement plan, consider an IRA. 5. Have a Savings Plan You've heard it before: Pay yourself first! If you wait until you've met all your other financial obligations before seeing what's left over for saving, chances are you'll never have a healthy savings account or investments. Resolve to set aside a minimum of 5% to 10% of your salary for savings BEFORE you start paying your bills. Better yet, have money automatically deducted from your paycheck and deposited into a separate account. 6. Invest! If you're contributing to a retirement plan and a savings account and you can still manage to put some money into other investments, all the better. 7. Maximize Your Employment Benefits Employment benefits like a 401(k) plan, flexible spending accounts, medical and dental insurance, etc., are worth big bucks. Make sure you're maximizing yours and taking advantage of the ones that can save you money by reducing taxes or out-of-pocket expenses. 8. Review Your Insurance Coverages Too many people are talked into paying too much for life and disability insurance, whether it's by adding these coverages to car loans, buying whole-life insurance policies when term-life makes more sense, or buying life insurance when you have no dependents. On the other hand, it's important that you have enough insurance to protect your dependents and your income in the case of death or disability.9. Update Your Will 70% of Americans don't have a will. If you have dependents, no matter how little or how much you own, you need a will. If your situation isn't too complicated you can even do your own with software like WillMaker from Nolo Press. Protect your loved ones. Write a will. 10. Keep Good Records If you don't keep good records, you're probably not claiming all your allowable income tax deductions and credits. Set up a system now and use it all year. It's much easier than scrambling to find everything at tax time, only to miss items that might have saved you money. Reality Check How are you doing [...]