Time to begin your journey! Credit

Time to begin your journey! Credit stevendepolo

Seriously what are you waiting for? The time for excuses and procrastination has ended.

Did you make New Years resolutions that fizzled out before Valentines Day?

The time to act is now!

Small Steps Matter

No matter whether your goal is to be debt free, loose 30 pounds, or do a muscle up (mine)–take a small step today towards that goal.

Small steps really matter. Think you can beat $100,000 of debt in one day? No way! It will take years, but if you don’t start today, then your journey will never begin.

My friends, it’s time to begin or restart that journey. You know what it is. You know the goal you’ve been neglecting.

Take a step today. One pushup. One dollar saved. One less TV program watched. One more pull up. One dollar budgeted.

Take a step. What are you waiting for?

Start Your Journey Today

Below are few good resources for starting a solid financial journey today!

Financial: 

What step do you need to take today? Ready. Set. Go! 

Have you said this today?

Thanksgiving is an attitude, not a holiday. Thanksgiving is something we exude; it is something we offer to others and to God.

Giving thanks starts in our souls and is expressed in words and deeds. In Scripture, thanksgiving is expressed in words, worship, prayer, sacrifices, and giving to others. A quick search in the Bible for “thanks” showed up 133 times; including words such as thankful, thankfulness, and thanksgiving. A phrase I found over and over was:

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.”

Being grateful and giving thanks is something that God wants to develop in our lives. I’m not opposed to having a day to celebrate and be thankful for all that has happened over the past year (both good and bad), but I want to have a lifestyle of thanksgiving.

I am a bit cynical at times and I was going to write a post about what I am NOT thankful for. But then I remembered Job’s life and attitude. He had much and much was taken away, yet he still had an attitude of thanksgiving.

And he said, ”Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”-Job 1:21 (ESV)

While counseling and coaching others these past few years, I’ve seen a lot of tough financial situations. I know there are some who found this blog because you are searching for help and hope.

I encourage you in your difficult situation to continue to be grateful for what you do have and not on what you do not have. I have seen that my clients who let bitterness creep in, often continue to struggle.

But those who are grateful, often will gain hope. The hopeful see something better in the horizon and strive towards that end.

If you want to improve your situation (either financial or life), start with your heart and I think you’ll find your actions will begin to reflect what dwells in your heart. When your heart and actions change, your life will change. Be grateful and have hope.

Challenge: Let’s take this Thanksgiving Day to begin a year of thanksgiving to God and others. What are you thankful for and how can you express thanks? Share in the comments below!

(Photo by Vistamommy)

PrintThe following is a guest post by Jil Dasher from Rave Ministries. They have a cool movement called No Makeup November that is motivating women to realize where their true beauty lies. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter

“All beautiful you are, my darling, there is no flaw in you” Song of Solomon 4:7

True Beauty

At Rave Ministries we truly believe that this scripture speaks volumes into the depths of what exactly this campaign is meant to stand for. It is a “call to arms,” so to speak, to remember THE ONE who gave us life, THE ONE who gave us worth, and it is because of Him and through Him that we are able to see ourselves through the eyes of Christ.

Our hearts desire is that this campaign will speak to the hearts of women and men in every walk of life all over the world.That for one month kids, teens, mothers, and grandmothers will relish every opportunity possible to see the true beauty that God has breathed in them.

This beauty has no age barrier. This beauty is not limited by skin type. This beauty is not measured by ones ability to cover a “blemish” or the quality of makeup that their pocketbooks allow them to buy. It is our hope that women everywhere can see themselves as a true masterpiece intricately and purposefully woven together by the Creator of the universe.

No Makeup November

This campaign in no way is an anti-makeup campaign, because let it be known that it is not the makeup that we are battling. Instead, it is a culture that we are trying to fight. A culture that tells our young girls, mothers, and yes, even grandmothers that they are not close to being good enough. That in order to be of worth you must be physically beautiful, that unless you are a specific size you should be cast out, that the true amount of your worth is based upon one simple yet important factor, ones physical appearance.

So for the next 30 days we will go to war. Every morning when we awake and are tempted to head straight for our makeup bags that we have hidden away in our closets we will think of our Creator. We will hear Him telling us that we are made in His image. The whispers of His Spirit will remind us of our worth and once again we will press on.

When someone asks us if we are feeling okay, due to our possible lack of luster, we will think of Him once again and reply with certainty Absolutely. Day by day as we go through this journey we pray that our focus becomes less based on the fact that we aren’t wearing any makeup and instead focused intently on the lessons that we are learning from the greatest makeup artist of all times, God.

Money and Makeup

So if this doesn’t make you want to dive head first into committing to this campaign then lets talk MONEY. What does money have to do with it? Well, apparently a lot of $. I am talking worldwide somewhere between a $45 to $66 billion dollar industry.

Women in America alone spend an average of $12,000 $1,200 a year on beauty products, WOW! This statistic alone pretty much sums up the battle we are facing in our culture. The way I see it, in these uncertain times taking a month off of makeup is a pretty good idea and a little easier on the wallet

Join Rave Ministries for “No Makeup November” and allow God to paint your face each day with the joy that comes from being a daughter of the King!

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

To learn more about this movement and to stay encouraged during your month without makeup follow No Makeup November on Facebook and Twitter.

In honor of Halloween, I’ve made a top ten list of the Scariest Financial Products. Mind you this is my list and using these products could be dangerous to your financial health.

Coffee Art: Skull

Are you scared yet?

  1. Viatical Settlement- Care to make some money on someone’s death? Buy a viatical and you get the leftovers from their life insurance policy. Basically you get more money if they die early. How morbid!
  2. Gold Futures- Want to loose sleep for 3 months and become a walking zombie? Investing in gold isn’t a great idea, but gold futures are one the riskiest investments around. Play this game and you could loose your sleep and your shirt!
  3. Zombie Insurance- Need protection against the undead? Look no further…ok this one is a gag, but great idea!
  4. A.R.M.- Want to loose your arm, a leg, and your house? Well, these Adjustable Rate Mortgages will scare the life out of you when the interest rate adjusts beyond your paycheck. Be sure to get a fixed rate mortgage and avoid loosing your body parts.
  5. Post Apocalyptic Insurance- Think you’ll need to eat after the apocalypse happens? There is a solution: Food insurance.  I find it funny that all the pictures on the website are of smiling people.Wipe that smile off your face! The earth is destroyed and almost everyone is dead, but smile because you bought food insurance and you’ll live to see another day.
  6. Whole Life Insurance- This product is scary indeed, especially with all the low cost of term life insurance. You might roll over in your grave when you realize your whole life insurance policy was terrible and you could have bought much better coverage for a cheaper price.
  7. Pay Day Loans- The interest rates you’ll be charged will make you think they are bleeding you to death.
  8. 401K Debit Card- You’ve been saving for retirement for years now. Great….now can I get a card that lets me spend all that money I’ve been saving and investing? What? I have to pay it back with interest? When I leave my job I have to pay it back in full ASAP or I’ll get charged huge tax fees? Yes! This little piece of plastic could make your retirement years a living hell. You’ve been warned.
  9. Any insurance company whose main mascot is a lizard or duck….these talking animals just creep me out. (Some of their products are legit and some are unnecessary)
  10. Tax rates when I “retire“- O.K. this isn’t a financial product, but who knows how high our tax rates will be in 30 years? This one is the most frightening of them all, especially since our national debt keeps growing.
(Photo by Alice Carrier )
lego robber

Your financial security question answers are on Facebook = a hackers dream Photo Credit: Smile its lego via Compfight cc

Recently we opened a new financial account and had to dream up answers to the financial security questions. You know the series of questions that are asked if and when you can’t remember your password. I’m not the only one who’ve lost their most important passwords right?

Those questions are often random, yet many of the traditional answers to those questions can be found on Facebook or social media profiles, especially for those in the younger generations whose whole life is chronicled by the Inter-webs.

Concerned? You should be!

How Hackers Can Hack Your Financial Accounts Through Facebook

This shouldn’t come as a newsflash. Hackers are trying to steal your identity and money; it’s happening every single day online–offline too through your snail mail.

One easy way to find the answers to your financial security answers are through Facebook or other social media.

Think about a few of the popular online security questions I’ve seen recently:

  • Your mother’s maiden name: Time to talk to your mum about changing her name online, or maybe you’re uber paranoid enough to defriend your mom. Who would even consider that?
  • You High School? High school colors? High school mascot?: Easy to find on your Facebook timeline or maybe even by searching your Twitter archives.
  • Best friend? First best friend? These answers could be found on Facebook or maybe even that old Xanga blog you abandoned years ago.
  • Hospital of Birth? This shouldn’t be too hard to guess.
  • Favorite song? You still have that old My Space account active?
  • Favorite book? Amazon wish list or profile on Yelp. Speaking of Yelp, that’s a treasure trove of information about where you live, shop, frequent…etc. I bet a hacker could mine that information too!
  • First Boyfriend/Girlfriend? For those in the younger generation, there are probably hundreds of online exchanges between your first significant other online.

Are you freaked out yet? I am. Maybe I should do a yearly audit on my social profiles to scrub any information that hackers could use to claim my identity. I try to keep up with the latest Facebook privacy updates, but it’s tough to keep up. Good thing I believe in identity theft protection.

What are your thoughts about identity theft and the possibility that the answers to your financial security questions are on Facebook?