Category Archives: Credit

Credit, Borrowing, Lending, Debt, Credit Cards, Loans

Week in Review: February 13-17

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I’m trying something new. This blog entry will include everything in the week that I posted on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn; along with links to WordPress posts.

February 13

Proactive people take the initiative and responsibility to make things happen. They cause action rather than being victims of circumstance. -Chris MacAllister

By concentrating single-mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more. –Brian Tracy

Blog – Paying the Bills


Shared ArticleFear the FAFSA? Here are five mistakes to avoid when applying for college financial aid

Decide today to change your $ habits. Procrastination costs you $ and opportunity. – Bryan Cooper

February 14

Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, do something else. –Franklin D. Roosevelt

Want more time? Stop worrying about your money and start managing it. Better money management equals better time management.–Bryan Cooper

Shared Article401(k) plans: Did yours grow? Most didn’t in 2011.

A wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.-Epictetus

February 15

Don’t make your life all about money, take your money and make it all about life. – Bryan Cooper

The #1 and probably most important, key to consistently doing what’s right is actually quite simple: think before you act.-Eric Harvey

Blog – Is Saving a Lost Art?

If you only need to use an item once or twice, consider borrowing or renting the item instead of purchasing it.

February 16

Optimism is a crucial choice we make in establishing expectations for ourselves and others as we begin to move forward through adversity. -Christopher Novak

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. -Michael Altshuler

Men are like bank accounts. Without a lot of money, they don’t generate much interest. – Unknown

Don’t like the idea of changing your spending habits? Don’t; but you’ll dislike being broke the rest of your life even more. –Bryan Cooper

February 17

When someone offers you a challenge, don’t think of all the reasons why you can’t do it. Instead say, “Yes!” Then figure out how to get it done. -Katherine Hudson

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. -Lily Tomlin



Shared ArticleMore Americans say it’s OK to cheat on taxes

The number who advocated cheating ‘as much as possible’ doubled last year, to 8% of taxpayers. An additional 6% say it’s OK to cheat a little.

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11/14 – Money Management Monday

Don’t stop through drive-thru for your morning java, make it at home. Only spending $1 a day for that coffee? A buck a day equates to over $36,000 in 30 years if you save and invest. Are you buying the good stuff ($2.50 a cup)? $91,610. Take 5 minutes and make your coffee; the only thing you have to lose is $91,610.

Here is an article about Christmas shopping I read this morning that I wanted to share; but I want to make a couple of points first.

1. Be sure you stick to your Christmas budget.
2. Shop from a list to help you stick to your budget. Remember, it is YOUR household budget.
3. Don’t bring out the credit cards so you can “afford” Christmas. Do you really want to be thinking about Christmas 2011 in November 2012 as you continue making the credit card payment?
4. Evaluate what you are buying. Do they REALLY need what it is you are buying them?

New Money-Saving Holiday Strategies by KELLI B. GRANT


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Poor versus Broke.

Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico near i...

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Poor versus Broke.

After a hurricane Katrina, my daughter and I traveled to the area affected by it to assist in the rebuilding. My job was to install plumbing in the new homes that were being built in one of the poorer areas.


While there, I had the pleasure of meeting a retired gentlemen who lived across the street from where I was working. He was in his late 80’s, and he brought over some sodas for us to drink as we worked. He told us he appreciated the work we were doing in his neighborhood. He informed us that the water had been about 4 feet deep in his home and truck. He had cleaned up his place himself and was currently working on his truck so he could get it running again (his truck was worth about $200).

He said that he was living on a $600 per month income and that the storm had set him back a little financially, but he felt he had bounced back fairly quickly. He was broke, but not poor.


Beside him sat a house that still had all of the flood residue in the yard. On the porch sat three teenage boys who lived there, each listening to his MP3 player. They motioned for me to come over to where they were sitting, so I did.

When I got there, they asked if I knew when the work crew was coming to their house to clean their yard. I stood there in disbelief. Here were three able-bodied young men who had the physical ability to take care of their own situation but were waiting on volunteers- volunteers their own age who were paying to come from other states to help. It then occurred to me that these young men had been raised to believe that they were poor and that they could not do anything about it.

Which are You?

So as you look at your own finances, are you broke or poor? Broke is temporary . . . just a bump in the road. Or are you poor, thinking that you have no control over and no input into your situation? The two definitions I’m using have nothing to do with money; they have to do with people’s attitudes and perceptions of their situations.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.
Bryan Cooper
Financial Life Coach

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

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Keywords: Budget, Budgeting, Culture, Economics, Economy, Events, Finances, Home, Inspiration, Miscellaneous, Thoughts, Uncategorized


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Rewind Wednesday – Identity Theft

Identity Theft

People often talk about identity theft, the kind where someone else steals your identity. We’ve all seen commercials where an identity thief steals someone’s credit card number to gain rights and privileges that belong to another person. Identity theft is becoming a major problem in our society.

Two Kinds of Identity Theft

While people often talk about that type of identity theft, it isn’t the only kind. Today, I want to talk about the other kind- the one no one talks about. This type of identity theft occurs when either your actions or your lack of actions steals your true identity. Because of how you’re living, you are unable to follow your goals, values, and dreams. They have been stolen from you through your own actions.

For example, being overloaded with debt steals your identity. The stress it creates prevents you from being the real you. Because you’re using most of your resources to repay your debt, you are prevented from doing what is most important to you. You are trapped by your debt, forced to live within its confines.

Only You Can Get Your Identity Back

Since this type of identity theft is created by you, you have the power to free yourself. Regain your identity. Learn how to make changes by reading a book, taking a class, or finding someone who can help you.

Are you going to continue allowing YOUR choices to steal your TRUE identity?

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper
My Financial Life Coach LLC
Financial Life Coach
Dave Ramsey Certified
“Helping You Get Your Financial House In Order”

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Debt Consolidation

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I See it Everyday

A couple runs up thousands of dollars in credit card debt and can no longer make the payments. In an effort to solve the problem, they take that debt and roll it into their mortgage. They tell themselves that they are saving money . . . and sometimes they actually believe it. They take loans that they owed another 8 or 10 years on, rolling them into a new 30-year loan. They take the house that they owed 22, 23, or 24 years on, and now they owe on it for 30 years.Now they are paying an extra 6 or more years on their house!

Nothing Changed…Except Losing the House

The problem with this situation is that they never corrected the behavior that got them into the problem to begin with, so in a year or two they will run up thousands of dollars on credit cards again. This time they can’t roll it into their mortgage, and eventually they lose their home because they run up the debt to the point that they can no longer make their house payment.

Take Control

If this situation sounds like you, please take my advice. Stop the madness. Get out there and learn about personal finances. Read a book, take a class, or find someone with the experience who can help you.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper – Financial Life Coach

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

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Keywords: Budget, Budgeting, Change, Credit, Debt, Debt Elimination, Economics, Economy, Finances, Financial, Life, Money, Miscellaneous, Priorities, Saving, Saving Money, Spending, Stress, Uncategorized


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Guest Blogger Friday – Brianna Cooper – College Textbooks

Several weeks after registering for college classes as an incoming freshman, I received the list of textbooks I needed to purchase. The grand total from the campus bookstore amounted to $443.88. If I were to purchase all used textbooks that were available from the bookstore, my bill would have been $357.65, a savings of only $86.23.

Paying a bill of several hundred dollars after I had just written a large check to cover my first semester’s tuition was very unappealing, so I decided that I would not pay that much money for my books. Grabbing a pencil and a piece of paper, I wrote down the ISBN numbers and scrolled through listings on Amazon and eBay. After about four hours of work divided over the course of several weeks, I purchased all of my books for a grand total of $249.09. This price is $194.79 less than purchasing the books new and $108.56 less than purchasing them used from the campus bookstore. If I compare buying them online with buying them used from the bookstore, I made $27.14 an hour in savings for the time I invested in searching for the textbooks. It would have taken me over three times that long to earn the money, so I consider it time well spent.

Here’s how I purchased my textbooks:

1. I didn’t wait until the last minute. As soon as I received the list, I began my search. This allowed me time to find the best deals. I also allowed enough time for shipping.

2. I made a list of the books with their ISBN numbers. I included the bookstore prices for both new and used books.

3. I checked Amazon and eBay for textbooks listed in “new” or “like new” condition. I saved my searches and compared prices over several days so I would be able to identify good deals.

4. I asked sellers for more details about books listed in “good” or “excellent” condition. Some of these books are actually in “like new” condition. You just have to ask.

5. After determining the best prices, I bought most of my textbooks from Amazon and eBay.

6. I was unable to find several of the books used or new from private sellers. Before purchasing them at the campus bookstore, I checked the price of new textbooks on Amazon. Most of the books were around 25% cheaper if I purchased them on Amazon versus the bookstore. If you spend more than $25 (almost guaranteed when you’re buying books for college), you even get free shipping to your home.

Let me describe the quality of the books I purchased. Six of them are brand new. One has a slightly bent cover and a few bent pages. The eighth is in perfect condition but has writing and highlighting on four pages (Those four pages saved me $20.50. I can overlook the markings on a few pages for savings like that). Another is in great condition but has slightly yellowed pages. Considering this book was printed in 1984, this is due to age rather than wear. My tenth book is in great shape with minimal, barely noticeable wear on the tips of the corners. Again, this small imperfection saved me $50.18 over a new book. My final book is the only one I am somewhat dissatisfied with since the cover is worn on the edges even though the seller did not describe it this way. Nevertheless, I still saved $79 on it, so it was a great deal.

Overall, I am very satisfied with my purchases. I received a better quality than if I had purchased them used from the campus bookstore, had them shipped to my home, and saved a substantial amount of money. Since I bought my books at discounted prices, I should be able to sell most of them for the same price I paid for them. I could even make money on several books. If I am able to save this much money each semester, I will save approximately $1560 over the next four years versus purchasing them new at the campus bookstore. I will save about $870 versus purchasing them used from the bookstore, and both of these figures don’t include any money I can save by reselling some of my textbooks. Good luck searching for your textbooks!

Brianna Cooper

Frugal College Student

Editor @

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


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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

Editor at


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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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