Archives For February 2012

I’ve always been intrigued by the 30th U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. Perhaps it was his humor & practical jokes, frugalness, and quotable utterances that draw me in.

Maybe it was his strong beliefs in Federalism and state’s rights, pro-businesses stance, reduction of income taxes, and other polices that make him appealing.

While I don’t agree with everything Calvin Coolidge did, he was an ethical & model president in a time of rapidly advancing technology and globalization (sound like today?). Perhaps “Silent Cal” has some lessons we can use.

Lessons from Calvin Coolidge

  • Embrace diversity fight against hatred- He appointed 0 members of the then powerful KKK, pushed for anti-lynching laws, and elected Africans Americans and women to several positions.
  • Embrace Technology- He used the new radio system and the media to spread his messages more than any other president before him.
  • Shrink the role of the federal government- As a son of a Vermont farmer, he believed strongly in hard work and self sufficiency. Calvin Coolidge didn’t believe it was the federal’s government role to provide a multitude of services for the population (rather the state’s should take on this role). He reduced both taxes and the national debt during his terms.
  • Don’t let  power consume you- He left Washington, when he legally and likely (speculation) could have won another term.

Interesting Calvin Coolidge Facts:

  • The only U.S. President to be sworn in twice. Once by his father and once by the Chief Justice.
  • Was the first Presidential inaugural speech to be heard over the radio to a national audience.
  • He used to press the buttons on his Presidential desk  just to see his aids all run in at once. Read more humorous stories about Cal’s dry humor.
  • Only President to be born on the 4th of July.
  •  The national debt was reduced by 1/4 during his Presidency, while also reducing taxes.
  • Appointed the first womanGenevieve R. Cline, to the Federal courts.
  • He rarely smiled in public (photo gallery)
  • He gave 529 press conferences, much more than any other president before him.

Silent Cal’s Famous Quotes:

“After all, the chief business of the American people is business.”…Of course the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence.” (link)

“I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can’t be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.”

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

“I feel I no longer fit in with these times.” - Shortly before his death in 1933

“Industry, thrift and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character.”

Calvin Coolidge has a great number of memorable quotes if you want to read them here.

Enjoy your President’s Day! What do you think of Calvin Coolidge? 

Photo credits: Dougtone

Did you know you can freeze your credit?

Each year I check my credit reports a few times a year to make sure everything looks o.k. You do know you can check your credit report for free right? You’ll have to pay to check your credit score and we’ll discuss that at a different time.

What is a credit report? It is a record of your credit history. Anything you’ve borrowed: student loans, credit cards, store cards, bank loans, mortgages, etc.

If you want to check your free credit reports from the three major companies: TransUnion, Experian, Equifax, click here You can only check each company once per year, so make sure you’re ready when you sit at the computer.

Tips For Checking Your Free Credit Report

  • Gather up your account information, old addresses, old phone numbers, etc. If you’ve moved a lot this can be a lot of  I had to call my mom to find out the phone number on my old school loan (I’m over 30) and I failed the questions for another certain company.
  • Be careful what you click or you could be signing up for credit monitoring or another service. You only want the FREE credit report. Don’t give any credit card info.
  • Have your printer and or screen capture tool ready. Once you close the page, you’ll have to pay to get access again. I use the free Webpage screenshot to capture and save my reports.
  • If you want to check your credit report throughout the year, use a different company (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax) every 3-4 months.

How to Check Your Credit Report

So what are you looking for once you have your credit report in hand?

  • Check for correct basic information: address, name, phone numbers, spellings, etc.
  • Make sure all credit (debt) is yours. Is there an account on there that you’ve never seen?  You’ll be able to dispute online, phone, or in writing depending on the company. This article by MoneyCrashers can help with fixing errors on your credit report
  • Make sure all payments and amounts are recorded correctly. Perhaps it shows you paid late, when in fact you were on time. This is something to dispute.
  • Check the status of all accounts (open, closed) Is there an open account from 10 years ago? Perhaps time to consider closing or at least find your old passwords for that account.
  • Check out the Inquiries section at the bottom. Who is looking at your credit? Promotional or is someone trying to obtain credit (Hard Inquiry).

Freeze Your Credit

I’ve also been thinking about putting a freeze on our credit reports to prevent anyone opening accounts in our name.

Ryan at The Military Wallet wrote an article about credit freezes that made me seriously think about doing this.

Cost: $10 for each of the 3 major reporting agencies. Drawback: You’ll have to pay to thaw them out again.

Am I sitting up late a night wondering if someone is stealing my identify? No, but I don’t want anything nefarious, as my brother-in-law might say, happen to our credit or financial identity.

Have you checked your Free Credit Report recently? How was your experience? 

Photo Credit: JanneM (Creative Commons)

 

The main reason for coworking.

I experienced my first day of co-working today at NextSpace’s Los Angeles location and I totally enjoyed my experience. This is a place I wouldn’t mind frequenting on a regualar basis as I could walk here in 20 minutes. It’s located in downtown Culver City with tons of great places to eat nearby.

I was inspired to try coworking from reading an article on Planting Money Seeds. I had a free day pass, so why not?

Speaking of free Nextspace LA is having a free coworking day THIS Friday 17th.

Stop by and tell them Brent from OnTarget Coaching sent you! Free 2 hour parking in any of the Culver City garages or you could try parking in neighborhoods and walking a few blocks.

What are the Benefits of Coworking

  • Community! You aren’t working home alone. You’ll be surrounded by inspiring people doing cool things.
  • Networking- Perhaps you’ll find some companies and people you can partner with. They usually have special speakers, training sessions, brown-bag, happy hours, lunch speakers, etc.
  • P.O. Box- Now have your business mail go somewhere other than your house. You’re legit now!
  • Separation- As a small business owner it’s hard to separate yourself from the work and family life. Having a place to do the majority of your work will help with boundaries.
  • It’s not a coffee shop- We are all tired of working in coffee shops, fighting for electrical outlets, paying our coffee rent, asking strangers to watch our stuff while we run to the rest room…whew it’s a hassle I could live without.

 Official Pictures:

I meet some cool people there and I could see partnering or bartering for services with all the companies that were represented. Perhaps someday I’ll be on this board:

1/2 of the main room and front desk

I even checked their download speed. Seems fast to me, much faster than any coffee house I frequent. I was on their guest server, so not sure how fast the member server is. My results achieved a C-, but I never had a problem running Pandora, Hootsuite, Google Chrome, and others.

Do they have coffee? Of course they do. All you can drink and it’s the good stuff! If you fancy your cool kid Starbucks, there are two in walking distance.

 

My work station for the day.

There is a phone booth to make calls.

Stairs to 2nd floor

 

Chess anyone?

Do you have any experience with coworking? Think it would fit your lifestyle? 

Thank you to everyone who is supporting my endeavor to be a professional personal finance blogger.  Thank you to those who have subscribed to my many social media outlets.

Guess what? It’s working! People are being helped and I’m on my way to supporting our family by blogging (who would have thought?)

It is tough to break into the blogging world and you need friends (you and future readers) to help push you to the top. That is why I am joining the Yakezie Challenge.

What’s Yakezie? It’s a group of some of the top personal finance bloggers that support each other and help others with their finances.

What is the Challenge?

Basically I have to decrease my Alexa ranking below 200,000. As of Feb 14 this site is around 753,000. Guess who is #1? Yep, Google.

This ranking is an important number for advertisers to consider sponsoring this site.

What’s in it for me the Reader?

  • Inside information to Free products and giveaways on other blogs.
  • Support to produce relevant and accurate articles for you the Reader.
  • A better looking website. I’ll be able to learn more tips and tricks to keep this site ascetically pleasing.
  • Quality guest posts from top personal finance bloggers.

Cool, Can I help you?

Thanks for asking! Of course you can.

  • Click HERE if you’d like to subscribe and stay informed via RSS, email, Twitter, etc.
  • Comment on the blog and share via social media any good information to your networks.
  • Download the Alexa toolbar  and use for surfing my site. It helps with rankings etc. Also a great tool for finding legit websites and avoiding scamy ones.

Thank you to everyone in advance for your support!

Men, share the financial stress and be a "Knight in Shining Armor" for your wife.

The wedding ceremony is almost over and the new couple turns to face each other.

The officiant officially proclaims. “I now pronounce you a joint venture, you may kiss your business partner.” Romantic right?

This sounds far fetched, but many couples treat their new spouse like a joint venture instead of ‘becoming one’ financially speaking.

Becoming One Financially

If this thing called marriage is going to work, then you’ll need to merge your financial lives. This is going to take some trust and respect as you learn to talk about money.

Here are a few steps you can take to “become one” financially:

1. Change your mind set. ‘Your’ money is now ‘our money’. ‘Her’ debt is now ‘our’ debt. If someone is brining debt into the marriage, don’t hold it over their head. BOTH of you now owe the debt and BOTH of you will need to share the responsibility and stress of paying it off.

2. Add each other to ALL financial accounts: checking, savings, stocks, bonds, etc. No hidden side accounts “just in case”. Separate accounts signal lack of trust and commitment.

3. If you haven’t already disclosed all your income sources, assets, and debt, time to disclose and the sooner the better.

4. Get to know each other financially speaking. Here are some helpful questions to review on your next coffee date to spark discussion.

5. Make a budget together. This will ensure both of you have a vote in how to spend “our” money.

6. Share the Stress. Share any dealing with any collection calls and stressful negations. Husbands, this is a way you can really be a ‘Knight in Shining Armor’ for your new bride.

I realize some of these might be difficult to do, especially if you’ve been single a long time or getting remarried. A great marriage and financial life will be well worth working through these steps and tough conversations.

You and your spouse are on the same team, time to wear matching jerseys.

What have you done financially or relationally to ensure a great marriage? 

Photo credit hans s via Creative Commons.