Monthly Archives: July 2011

Car Repairs – Sometimes You Just Need to Try Again

This is going to be a different kind of blog for me. Normally, I don’t talk about specific products or brands but with the experience I had this weekend, I’m going to talk about a product that not only worked, but it saved me over two-hundred dollars.

I’m sure many of you have seen cars with a headlight lens or two that are yellowing or foggy. My Buick LeSabre is one of those vehicles and both headlamps were to the point that the visibility was hampered. Eight months ago I bought a name brand ($15.00) “repair kit” in which I cleaned and polished the headlamps. The improvement was minimal with only a slight improvement in night vision. I took the next step and replaced the bulbs ($16.00) with brighter bulbs, again, only a slight improvement.

As I investigated replacing the headlamp assemblies, I thought I’d take one more look at the repair kits at my local Meijer’s. On the shelf they had a Turtle Wax product called Headlight Lens Restorer so I bought it. I was willing to spend $10 or so in an attempt to save $200.

I was amazed with the amount of product that came in the kit. There were enough materials to easily do 3-4 cars. If you do repair more than one car, you will need to purchase additional protective coating.

The product was easy to use and both headlamps turned out great. I’m sure glad I decided to try it one more time.

Restored Buick LeSabre headlamp


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When you live on the financial edge, you

When you live on the financial edge, you may be one unexpected expense away from a financial disaster. -Bryan Cooper

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Are you having a groundhog day? I’m sure you remember the movie.  Every day was a repeat of the day before.  Maybe you’re late every day, or you procrastinate on the same tasks day after day, such as instead of making your own coffee every morning, you purchase it.  Maybe you vow to be healthier, but you skip your workout every time. You want to change, but you feel trapped by your habits and shortcomings.

It is time for a new day. You can beat this cycle of failure! Your first step is to identify the behavior you want to change. Discover the problem and write it down.  Determine what steps you must take to correct it and reach your goals. Once you have written down what you need to do, share your goal with a friend who will hold you accountable. Never try to make these changes alone. Enlisting the help of someone else can significantly increase your chances of success. Next, evaluate your performance every evening, taking action as necessary. If you notice a problem in your original plan, alter it so that you can meet your goal. Set up rewards for accomplishments and penalties for lack of progress. You don’t have to remain trapped by your shortcomings. Make today a new day!

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper

Financial Life Coach

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Keywords: Budget, Budgeting, Change, Balance, Debt, Education, Finances, Goals, Goal Setting, Home, Life, Life Balance, Money, Miscellaneous, Parenting, Personal, Personal Finance, Priorities, Procrastination, Relationships, Saving, Saving Money, Thoughts, Time, Time Management, Uncategorized


Filed under Balance, Budget, Change, Debt Elimination, Education, Finance, Goals, Home, Life Balance, Money, Parenting, Personal Finance, Procrastination, Relationships, Saving Money, Thoughts, Time, Time Management, Uncategorized


If you are like me, you initially set out to look up something specific on the internet. Thirty minutes later, you realize that you have wandered down half a dozen rabbit trails, and you still haven’t completed your original search.

To help keep yourself focused, I suggest using targeted searches. To do this, you must first be as descriptive as you can. This will make the search more targeted to what you are looking for. Second, search for exact phrases. To do this, you need to add quotation marks around searches containing multiple words. This tells the search engine that you only want web pages with the exact phrase you are searching for. Third, search by price range when you are looking to purchase a product.  If I’m searching for a set of headphones priced between $100 and $200, I should type in the words “headphone$100 . . . $200”.  Now my search will only show headphones priced between $100 and $200.

The ability to search on the internet is a wonderful tool, but if you don’t manage its use, it can start managing you.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper

Financial Life Coach

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Keywords: Change, Balance, Education, Home, Life, Life Balance, Miscellaneous, Personal, Time, Time Management, Work, Uncategorized

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Filed under Balance, Change, Education, Home, Life Balance, Time, Time Management, Uncategorized, Work

Let your goals (vision) dictate your bud

Let your goals (vision) dictate your budget, not your budget dictate your goals. -Bryan Cooper

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Guest Blogger Friday – Brianna Cooper – Don’t Be a Victim

We have all met them, the people who are not to blame for anything in their own lives. They didn’t see the red light because little Jonny was crying. They were fired because of a jealous coworker. It’s always someone else’s fault. They are not responsible for anything.

Flee from this attitude. It is crippling, especially in regard to reaching financial goals. Understand that you, not your parents, friends, boss, or dog, are likely responsible for your current financial situation. While other people affect your actions, you are the one who ultimately makes those decisions. You are the only one who is responsible for your finances. The successes and failures are yours.

Once you realize this fact, you are ready to improve your financial situation. Since you are responsible for it, you are also in charge of it. You can change it. No one else has this opportunity. You have the power and the opportunity to better your situation. Don’t waste it through blaming others. Take control of your life, make the necessary changes, and reach your financial goals!

Brianna Cooper

Frugal College Student

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Keywords: Budget, Budgeting, Change, Credit, Debt, Finances, Financial, Goals, Goal Setting, Life, Miscellaneous, Personal Finance, Priorities, Relationships, Saving, Saving Money, Thoughts, Uncategorized

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Process Improvement

I recommend that people keep a time log at least once a month of how much time they spend on tasks. As you look at your tasks, you need to ask yourself if there are any repeatable processes to be used or any available templates and patterns so you don’t have to create new ones each time. Also, can any of the tasks be grouped together? Instead of creating new processes every time you work on something, try utilizing repeatable options. By following patterns, you can save tremendous amounts of time and simplify your life. Here are a few examples of how you can improve your time management:

Tasks that can be combined

1. Group errands together, such as shopping. This can also save you money on gas.

2. Batch process your email and phone calls.

3. Buy food in bulk (it is often cheaper this way) and process it at one time. Vegetables can be cleaned all at once and stored. Cook larger quantities of food to divide into meal-sized portions, and store it accordingly.

Process improvement

1. Use automatic payments for your bills so you don’t have to spend time each month writing out and mailing checks. This also decreases the risk of you forgetting to make a payment.

2. If you find yourself using a similar letter on a regular basis at work, consider creating a template or a software automation to save time.

3. Keep a list of which items you have stocked in your pantry and what things you need to purchase more of. This will prevent you from having to run out and buy one item for a recipe. It can also stop you from overstocking so that you don’t throw away extra items that expired before you could use them.

4. Learn how to use your equipment. What email features are you not using? What about cell phone features? Can you use your DVR to skip the commercials and save time?

5. Identify tasks that can be delegated to others, and train them to do them. This concept can be applied at both work and home. Delegate tasks to your coworkers and employees and give your children chores.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper

Financial Life Coach

My Financial Life Coach

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Keywords: Change, Balance, Economics, Economy, Education, Family, Goals, Goal Setting, Home, Life, Life Balance, Miscellaneous, Parenting, Personal, Procrastination, Stress, Thoughts, Time, Time Management, Work, Uncategorized

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