The Dussault team is led by Dave and Kristin Dussault

Kristin is the daughter of Triple Diamond John and Jennie Belle Crowe. The Crowes are front line diamonds to Founders Crown Ambassador Bill and Peggy Britt.
The crowes have broken away from Britt’s business support system of CD’s, meetings, and motivational weekend functions to start their own business support group, which I believe is called UR Associates or UR Association or something like that. I am not sure what DC International is. I believe the Dussaults are EDC’s, but I’m not sure. They are definitely at least Diamonds.

(I think that some other Britt diamonds have joined the Crowes in founding URA)(Not all of Crowe’s downline diamonds have come with him, but many have.)

The business they represent is Quixtar, which will soon be changing its name back to Amway.

Has anyone out there heard of the Dessault Team in Quixtar?

If so, what can you tell me about that team. What about D.C. International?

Also, what do people think if someone were to join Quixtar as an IBO, but just to have customers and not to recruit other IBO’s? I would not put any pressure on anyone, just offer them the website to look at and they could use it just like any other internet shopping site. I may be able to get them a better deal on something, but if not I would tell them to get it somewhere else. NO PRESSURE on them at all! Just mention it in passing, not in their homes. Thoughts?

What are the “right” reasons??

I got out for “my” reasons: The business tends to fall apart if you don’t work it HARD – Quixtar’s own statistics say for every 2 people you sign up – 2 will NOT renew the following year.

I was frustrated by not being able to run my “independent” Amway business in a manner that was VERY successful for another real business that I owned.

I also walked away from a 6-figure income from Amway (our downline was the largest active group in Amway/Quixtar) because I was sick of what the AMOs do to unsuspecting IBOs – there is NO WAY someone starting out can make a profit when the expenses of dubious AMO “training” outweigh what they can sell. And I experienced firsthand the lie that an IBO can “retire” on their Amway income.

And finally – I saw what few ever do: what is the value of an Amway Business?? If you truly want to retire, you’ll need to sell your business – and you’ll be shocked at how little it’s actually worth, compared to other “real” businesses.

Thanks for any help!

Is there anyone out there that has been involved in Quixtar and gotten out for all the right reasons? I would be very interested in hearing your story and possibly having my friend that’s involved hear it as well so that he may see it in a different light and get out ASAP.

The following is an illustration of why

when I took one of those career tests in the past, I was best suited for “Bank Examiner”. Not very sexy, but there it is. I was so astounded by the amounts of money involved that I thought some of you might be interested and bear with me to the end…

Once upon a time, when my friend was joining Market America, I started thinking about this very subject of paying for trainings, conferences, etc. After doing some research, I began to do the math in my head – then on a calculator. I tried to lowball things as much as possible, even to the point of being silly, and this is what I came up with:

Market America International Conference, held every year:

Approximately 20,000 attendees/distributors at $195 per ticket = $3.9 million
Approximately 20,000 attendees/distributors spending at least $20 each (this number may be very low) each on marketing materials, books, tapes, CDs, t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. = $400,000

I read a newspaper article that described how, in 2004, Market America signed a deal with the coliseum (I forget its exact name) in Greensboro, NC to keep its yearly convention there for the next three years at a rental cost of approximately $75K per year, so that’s the cost of renting the building for the event. The coliseum even threw in some free marketing.

The Distributors pay for their own travel, food and lodging. Many of the speakers are Market America founders and higher-ups; I have no idea what, if anything, they are paid for their time. I have to imagine that the celebrities that are brought in are paid somewhere in the neighborhood of tens of thousands, 100K tops?

I think it’s fair to say that the annual convention brings in at least $3.5 million annually from the Distributors. Other than the building rental cost and guest appearances, there may be other costs but I don’t know what they are and can’t hazard a guess.

Market America Leadership Training, held every year:

I’m much less firm about the number of attendees for this, but I have to guess it’s at least half of the International Convention. It’s probably much more. Tickets are again $195 per distributor, and if they all spend $20 on materials, that’s over $2 million coming in each February. Again, less the costs of celebrity appearances, guest speakers, etc.

Market America Regional Conventions, held at regular intervals throughout the year:

Tickets = approximately $65.
I don’t know how many people attend each one in each region, but the number of 5000 is sticking in my head. Suppose it were lowballed into only 1000 distributors per Regional. That’s $65,000 for tickets. Maybe each person spends only $10 on accessory material. $75,000 per weekend coming in from Distributors throughout the year, less costs of renting a local conference center and paying guest speakers, if any. Again, all food, travel and lodging is paid for by Distributors.

Monthly income from Distributors:

Market America claims over 150,000 Distributors worldwide on its web site. Assuming around 125,000 of those people are in the U.S. and taking only them into account, and using Market America’s “Costs of Owning an Unfranchise” at the Coordinator level as a guide, guaranteed monthly income from required Distributor product buying alone exceeds $20 million per month. Some distributors pay more per month for product purchase than Coordinators, and some pay less – I’m assuming the middle ground. Market America doesn’t manufacture anything itself, so their costs would be whatever they’ve negotiated with the actual manufacturers of the vitamins, makeup, etc. that they sell under the Market America umbrella. The non-product payments made by Distributors break down as follows:

$3.75 million per month for email, voicemail, etc.
$3.125 million per month for web portals (recommended) (there was also a one-time $150 set up fee per Distributor; if they all paid it, over time it would be >$16 million)

If even half of the Distributors attended the recommended number of monthly meetings, it amounts to $2.8 million per month.

This is a page copied from a Market America web site detailing the costs of being a Market America Distributor (I didn’t include the web site link because I didn’t want it to be promotional).

Technically the guest speakers do make the money, but it’s a circle

I speak for you, you speak at Fred’s function, Fred speaks at Tom’s function, Tom speaks at Jerry’s function, Jerry speaks at Gilligan’s function, Gilligan speaks at Ellie May’s function, and Ellie May and her Uncle Jed speak at my function. The guest speakers make the money, but since they’re all speaking for each other in a mutual admiration society, they all get wealthy on those that can’t afford to spend the money.

A point here: my ex-gf is, technically, a genius. I asked her about the money and her eyes got wide in worshipful adoration and said, “Oh, but those places are expensive. They’re not making any money on them!”

He should get one that says

“I’m a AW IBO and work my butt off and all I get is this lousy t-shirt — and they made ME pay for it!”

I did the math on conventions before. On a smaller one my ex-gf went to the tickets were $100 each and they had 5,000 – 8,000 IBOs going. If you figure 6,000, then take $25,000 to rent the coliseum (based on actual figures — I checked) and $5,000 (based on someone else here who checked) for insurance, figure that most of the grunt work was done by IBOs who were given positions of honor as a reward and that the advertising was done through their network and voicemail (which the IBOs pay for each month), then there would basically be few other expenses or costs. That means they take in $600,000 from IBOs or, as I prefer, IBDrones, and pay less than $50,000 in costs and still have a profit of over half a million.

Not bad for something they don’t make money on.

I was once in that same situation as is your son

I was 20 yrs old and gullable when I was shown the plan. What got me out was my sponsor who I respected saw something screwed up about our upline emerald(now diamond). He thankfully broke the cardinal rule and passed negative downline to me. I am indeed thankfull that he was a “negative loeser”. My parents throughout this whole thing remained supportive and non-judgemental,even though I’m sure that they were happy when I got out.
As far as what you can do. Let him know that you love him and you support him no matter what he chooses to do. The way the AMO systems work is in that it makes them think that outside resistance is a sign to press harder and those who oppose what you do, no matter who they are, are to be avoided and/or ignored. He must see the obvious for himself nobody can point it out to him.
I hope this helps

Just wondering

if Markuz went to the conference this weekend in Louieville, KY? My son did. I asked him a few questions about how much it costs for the weekend. Between renting a van, gas, hotel, and the admission ticket it’s about 230.00$. He will have to pay for meals and he’ll probably buy an IBO t-shirt. He will miss a days pay from his full-time job and 2 nights from his part-time job. Sounds like a lot of money to spend for a weekend to just hear more of the same-old, same-old (which to me adds up to more brainwashing). I wish I could think of a way to get him to miss some of these weekends.

That’s one thing I also noticed:

When QS members were talking about how well they were doing, they never mentioned income, they mentioned points. It’s just another form of obfuscation.

I’m not sure where the disconnect is, but I do think those whom I have seen doing well with their own businesses would not last 6 weeks in most MLMs because they’d be bursting at the seams to do things their own way or to do things they could see would produce income that the MLM prevents.

On the other hand, there are a lot of creative people here who have been in MLMs, so it’s also possible that someone without business experience might willingly concede to someone who represents themselves to be an expert. As a parallel, when I started learning ballroom dancing, I basically repressed my desire to do it all my way and learned what was taught because I was keenly aware I knew nothing of the field and needed to learn from those who did.

I think that summarizes the reasons a lot of people get into MLMs. Someone comes up to them and says, “Hey, by joining and signing a few forms, you can say you own your own business and are all these other important things.” And, while they’re a member, they do meet the criteria (in their own minds) for a bunch of important sounding positions. I don’t think he can successfully write off MLM expenses on his taxes.

It reminds me of a time, way back (so long ago I was sappily married at the time) when we went to visit her brother in Texas who had recently divorced and was dating a woman much younger than he was and suddenly he was into a party scene. Not a wild party thing, but the “up and coming” group, almost a 20-something cocktail crowd in a way. This one guy was going to be an architect and had a lot of good ideas. This woman was going to be… Yep, all “going to be.”

Many people say they learned a lot about motivation and self worth, but there are better ways to learn those things. I also question what gain there is when one builds one’s self up, then learns they’re part of a fraud. That undermines the gains in ways most people don’t see.

That is true about some businesses but not about others

When starting mine, I was told by many “experts” to not count on having an income for myself for at least 1-2 years. It depends on the business, but it can take time before there is an income. In my case, I had to have the software working before I got any income. In the case of a store, it can take time to get the merchandise, get a storefront, prep the building, and so on. A grand opening sale will delay profits but, still a store should see an income soon after the doors are opened.

Other businesses can take a significant time before seeing a profit, but it’s also important to note the difference between profit and income and, unfortunately, MLM businesses do show income early, just no profit since the money is spent on tools.

I bring this up because there are some key points MLMs play on, such as, “It takes money to make money,” and other truisms that aren’t always true, as well as expectations of different business models.

When I was dating my ex-gf, one issue that made it hard to bring up the problems with the QS business model was that my business was based on work up front with replication and more returns with less work down the road.

I can definitely appreciate other’s view points, even in opposition

My main point was that it is possible to conduct business and make money by the end of the first month. For a 20 year old, it would be a good place to start. And this is not in a service industry, which requires moderate to large amounts of specialized skill (neither of which I have).

The 30% is just a general rule that I personally use when selling capital assets. And it is a minimum ROI. The more the merrier. My favorite and best ROI number was approximately 33,000%. I had $100 in a deal (which actually I borrowed, so I don’t know if that really counts) to get online payday loans for bad credit and walked away with over $33,000 in profit (after all expenses, except capital gains tax).

I never had that kind of result in any MLM. I remember some of the products that you got “points” or whatever stupid term was used. The profit margin was like 3-5%. And that was for the products that were terrible. The decent products had profit margins of about .5%.

I do get your point about entrepreneuriship as well. I never lasted that long in any MLM, so maybe your point about the aversion to groups is more accurate. Perhaps, he just wants a business card to hand out. The only plus I can say, is that hopefully this kid is taking advantage of any tax write-offs allowed to him (assuming his income is high enough for tax write-offs to be of assistance).

I always hated the team meetings. A bunch of people sitting around getting all hyped up about this money they were “going” to make. And none of it ever panned out. I can say that I had a friendship dissolve over the Nexgen thing. My up-line was a friend of mine.
After they collapsed, I never associated with him again. And I didn’t really cause the dissolution of friendship. He just kind of disappeared. He was really gung-ho with the whole thing, and I think he was ashamed when he finally realized it was a scam.

The only thing I believe I gained with the MLM is fairly tough skin. You get pretty used to rejection, lol.

It’s important to be aware of the difference between this and actual entrepreneurial work

Remember, a setup like AW/QS plays to people’s desires to be the big cheese without giving them the responsibilities someone in charge has. They tell you that you own your own business, but they own it in reality. They say you’re independent, but your upline tells you what to do, how to speak, how to act, what to wear, and so on. They use the term IBO, but it’s not a real business (does not pay taxes, have it’s on existence on paper as a separate entity), it’s not independent and the person “running” it doesn’t own a damn thing. (There have been many examples of the upline taking a business from the downline if it’s working well.)

I can make my point best with an example. A long time ago I used to subscribe to Writer’s Digest and after a few issues, I realized that most of what it said was stuff I had figured out or knew and the reason I kept up my subscription was because of one column by a screenwriter I deeply respected. I dropped my subscription when he stopped writing for them.

Later I was reading a story somewhere on targeting your market. The author had asked a group, “What is the market for Writer’s Digest?” A would-be editor said, “Writers!” and the response was, “No, it’s for people that think they’re writers or who want to be writers. People who are writers don’t need it.” (Other than for getting Writer’s Market when it comes out, that is.)

It’s a subtle but important point. It’s for people that think they’re writers and like the “lifestyle.” They like having nice pens or a special pen to write with and being able to cultivate habits associated with a writer, but it’s not for actual writers who are at their keyboards pounding out work and dealing with editors to get their work published so they can make a living at it.

Can you see where this is leading? An MLM like AW/QS is not always for true entrepreneurs (boy do I hate typing and trying to spell that word!). It is for people who want to be entrepreneurs, people who want to say, “I own my own business,” or people who want to feel important by handing out their own business cards and such. I admit, when I started, it was a thrill to do that, but now I tend to downplay it — especially on dating occasions since I’ve noticed the words “my own business” can trigger responses in gold diggers that make them seem interested in parts of my life that mean a lot to me that they don’t care for.

It may be that this young man has a true entrepreneurial spirit, but I’m not so sure. Such people want to be independent. They are often the ones that don’t do well in groups that demand conformity. I know if I, or my friends that run their own businesses, tried QS, we’d be trying to debate and argue from the beginning about if other ways might work — not out of stubbornness, but out of a need or drive to explore and see what works.

You are

Thank you for posting. Please do not take my disagreement with some of your points personally and influence you to not post in the future. This is a forum and it helps us to discuss and debate these things so we see it from all angles. Going back and forth on different topics is an important way to pick out what’s good about your view and mine so we can take the best of each part.

Interesting. I never heard that rule, but then again, my actual financial investment in my company has been quite low. I just had to put together a few computers and start programming. Then, about 3-4 years later, buy parts to make 2-3 new computers and besides some technical references, that’s about it. The rest is my paycheck.

Not true. Many times a business can take a year or more before it starts making a profit. On the other hand, a “real” business includes a business plan. You can map out what your expenses will be and actually plan it out over several years so you know you’ll need certain equipment and have to pay certain expenses and you can look at what is coming in and compare it to your plan and see if you’re making too little to make it work.

An important point here: QUITTERS WIN!

Okay, not all quitters, but I am running my own business now because I knew when to quit what wasn’t working and refocus on what was. The MLMers will say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. They use that to refer to going to a 9-5 job, but it applies to MLMs as well.

I soon realized that Amway was not the path for me

And soon enough your son will also. While undergrad work is, at times, boring and unfruitful, I would think that one question will help him see the light.

Ask him if he is making a 30% return on his money. It’s a simple question and the one that most successful business owners know by heart. If you’re not making 30%, then you are not in a successful business venture.

I was once part of Nexgen. They went out of business because, from what I hear, their sole monetary income was from new recruits. Ask him how he makes money. And tell him that a true business venture makes money immediately. Otherwise your expenses far exceed your profit, and you lose in the end.

Don’t, however, stifle his entrepreneurship. It is a gift. Just let him know that he needs to focus his energies on profit. If he spends 600 bucks, he might as well buy a jet ski (or something else) that he can sell for 900 bucks within the week. That’s a business.

Let him mature to a true businessman. It could reap rewards in the long run. For now, show him how much he has lost, and then show him a better way.

I have similar issues with family and friends

and I’ve been searching for ways to “reach them” for awhile now. So I understand the position you’re in. I agree with Eldred that at least she’s asking for suggestions/advice. And I’ll second the suggestion to have her start by reading the book. But I’d take a step back from the details of ‘do this/do that”, and ask her/them one hard question – are they really truly ready/willing/able to take control of their finances, or not? Tell them that if they want control over their finances such that they can create a better financial future, then that will require a number of changes in the here and now. Some big, some small. Some easy, some not-so-much. If she says yes she’s motivated and ready and she’ll do what it takes, then she’s finally at that point which we all reached prior to seeking out DR. If her answer is lukewarm and/or she doesn’t seem serious, the only thing I’d say at that point is “let me know when you’re serious about improving your situation.” That might sound like hard ball, but I’ve done the “helpful little suggestions” for awhile now and they add up to exactly zilch if the underlying consumption mindset is still in force. For every step forward, they find a way to carry out the “spend now” mentality in some other new way, resulting in zero overall improvements. But if they’re really truly ready, then they’ll be more receptive to that mindset change.

Good luck!

Looking for some guidance for friends

Remember the friends of mine sold their house here in southern California, moved to the middle of nowhere Utah and bought a mcMansion (which they paid cash for), with the leftover house-to-house money, chose to buy all new furniture for the mcMansion instead of paying off all the rest of their debt.

So it’s not really a surprise (to me anyway) that a year later, they are in as bad a shape as they were when they were living in California.

Good news: He’s old enough that he is drawing about $2100 in Social Security benefits. Bad news: she’s (50) ill enough on a regular basis that she can’t work (not that there is work to be had in middle of nowhere, Utah.)

She just emailed me asking about DR, and what to do (etc). Her DH wants to take out a HELOC on the paid-for house, “combine” all the debt, which allegedly will reduce their monthly outgo, and everything will be peachy, what do I think?

I asked her to send me her income/expenses (below), total debt (which actually, is not that much.) The problem as I see it is actually not their debt (although the car is a big one) it’s their living expenses, which at best, are not going to get worse.

When she is/was able to work, she ran a screen printing business out of her home.

So far I have advised or asked the following:

1. Work on getting certified as disabled. The reality is that she IS disabled, and getting certified as such will (a) bring $700 income in to the house (b) more importantly, qualify her for medicaid which (c) will cover her medications. Doctor visits and medications are running about $300 a month.

2. I asked what she was willing to sell. (not could sell, WILLING to.) A year ago, (so I don’t know if it’s still true) they had 2 or 3 dirt bikes, a big hauling trailer, the truck (paid for) to haul it all, I think they might have had an ATV too. I can’t remember.

THEN of course, they didn’t want to part with them because their non-contributory kids DESERVED to have fun. Now that the well has run dry, those same kids have all moved on, so there’s no reason to keep the dirt bikes (and ATV) for SURE.

I went over all this with them when they moved and could have paid everything off (they have $17k in car debt, $5k in CC debt). Gave them TMMO (which they have not read.)

DR says money problems are 80% behavior and 20% financial. It’s true.

Anything else I should mention to them? I pretty know they’re going to just take out a HELOC because that’s going to solve all their problems (so they say.)

I have used since it first came out Family Treemaker

in fact we just did the latest upgrade. I like it for it’s simplicity in how you can add your source codes in, put in as little or as much as you want on the notes pages, how it warns you if you are putting in a possible error (like same last name, Mom too young/old etc) and many other things.

I know that it can seem daunting at first to newbies, but it really is a simple program to run (or I couldn’t do it for certain) and the various charts, maps and such you can create with it are great for sharing photos. I send geds to family members often and even large ones take very little time to send (except to one niece who is on a system that the old Juno accounts ran faster than).

The are also various forums you can talk on about the ins and outs.

Not to mention it works in conjunction with ancestry by suggesting files (as shown on the commercials) that might be your family member.

I also like that if I find, say a census of that family member on ancestry (which I’ve never paid for, I take advantage of their free days or go to my library where it’s always free) I can tell it to place it in my file and it will add that census record in my sources with a “photo” of the record.

You can also add such items and other media files from other sources to it. What can I say I’m a big source freak! I want everything documented—Just got a GREAT email on a dead end line that had DNA resorts that took that line from 1850 back to 1625! Those records verified the line I thought it was.

Like I said I just upgraded my FTM and have not worked a lot with it, except to enter that DNA info, but the new functions I have used are wonderful. I believe you can download a free trial of it as well, it’s put out by Broderbund.

Thank you for the reference Mark

I downloaded the free version, and it does look simpler to use than Ancestral Quest, even with all the colors and shading. One of the reasons I liked the Ohana products so much besides their seamless integration was that they kept the “visuals” minimal (colors, shading etc.) I have a hard time reading through a lot of color…Roots Magic has improved quite a bit since I saw it last (ok, it’s been a decade).

Fingers crossed that it will get the job done!! 🙂

We usually don’t get extended warranties

either but we did on our Kenmore microwave. It is one of those that goes over the stove and has a vent. The veneer on the handle has peeled and crackled 2 times in the last 3 years. The parts and labor to replace this was well over $200 last week when they came out. Fortunately for us, it was covered on our MA. The repairman who came out said “Keep your MA.” Apparently the gas stove, which is a Kenmore and is installed under a Kenmore microwave/vent, gets so hot it will flake, crackle, and peel the veneer off the handle. I am not getting rid of my 3 year old stove top nor of my gas. So we will keep the MA since it pays for itself many times over.

DR is anti extended warranties and where I agree with him on vehicles

we always purchase them on appliances and electronics. So glad we did. Remember that new dishwasher we purchased last month. Guess what died yesterday. I’m up early so I can get a call in on the extended warranty as early as possible.

Jhon is not through with us, even though this last week was a big win for us with the death of our final credit card. I have been doing a lot of “creating” with my Cricut Expression, a die cutting machine, and was in the middle of a big creation (mortgage countdown calendar and Fall decorations) and it too died.

Off to you tube I went, no real luck, on to various forums, tried everything we could find on it and still no luck so I started pricing around for one. $249 plus shipping (except zero shipping on amazon) for new ones and all the used ones made us nervous for one reason or another. I was NOT amused. I am about half way through the cut out process and I wanted my project completed. I’m stupid that way.

On one of the forums someone mentioned their local Menards had them on sale for $99. Of course those are all in the north central US and I’m too far south for them. Then a dim little light bulb came on in my feeble mind. Did they have it available to ship? Sure enough. I told dh the cost (which was $129 + shipping ($13) – a $30 mail in rebate. He’d already priced the local ones himself and said order it While I didn’t want to spend any extra money right now I do have a long list of things that we, as a family, want made that involve the cricut. So now I’m waiting on the unit and the rebate form to arrive. Someone told me the rebate is an in store rebate only, but since they have online stuff and Christmas is coming I think I can handle that too.

Dh and I did a mini staycation on Saturday and went to the Tulsa State Fair all day. Generally we just go for a couple of hours, but we decided to visit it in a different manner this year and take in a lot of the free shows, how to demos etc. The blue grass competition was a little disappointing, but the Sugar Arts judging was fantastic. You would not believe some of those cakes!

Of course the fair food was high so we ate before we went and after we left with only a small treat in the middle of the day. That combined with using the free parking and shuttle and our advanced purchased tickets made our day cost under $50 and we had a great time.

We still have another days worth of advance tickets and will go this coming Saturday to catch more free shows and such. This time I’ll pack my water bottle for certain.

Oh and another bit of good news. Out of the blue we got a small royalty check from one of my mineral rights that we hadn’t been pumping on for nearly five years. Looks like I may start getting a small one from them (no guarantees) about every 3 months. I like that for certain. LOL!

That made me smile

Thank you. As it turns out, you’re one of the ones who really inspired me to “go all in”, knowing that you run your business as a cash operation. That’s been my main reluctance, was dealing with the various vendors who are accustomed to getting either automatic payments or electronic transfers or whatever. I’ll have some big purchases to make in October, just as normal part of operations, and that’ll feel VERY weird. But if other folks have found ways to do it, so can I.

Just dug out the little brown wallet with all the little envelopes still inside from class, and it’s sitting on my desk at the moment awaiting my attentions later today. I’ll go through and ensure I have an envelope for each section of my weekly budget. Feel in some ways like I’m starting over, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Been ridiculously busy around here

for a variety of reasons I won’t get into (most of which are quite boring). But one pretty big deal – I’ve decided that October will be my first earnest experiment with going cash-only. Yes, you read that right. After years of telling myself I didn’t need to and didn’t want to and wouldn’t benefit from it and it wouldn’t work anyway, I’m going to give it a try. We have been working really hard to nail down our budget the last few months, and making major headway on doing so. But I’m still experiencing weeks (more often than not) where I run out of money before I run out of week. That’s a planning failure; there’s no two ways about it. And it’s just too easy to whip out that debit card and hit the ATM and transfer the cash I need from one of our other sinking funds. It’s a habit I simply MUST break if I’m ever going to really truly accomplish the financial progress that we first learned three years ago. Yes, it’s been three years. Making these kinds of mistakes as we’re just starting FPU is understandable. Making them now is proof that I still have work to be done before I’m really the master of my spending. Hence, going cash-only.

So as of this Friday, when our financial October really begins, think of me filling my little envelopes (which I still have from class), and thinking “ok, this has to last me a week……….” Each Friday for October, I’ll be repeating that cycle. I’d be a liar if I claimed I wasn’t a bit intimidated by making this shift. But hey, it’s often good to shake things up and try something new now and then. So, wish me luck.

Which actually does have some relevance to getting out of debt

storing up food, provisions and an emergency fund. In short: do it while the sun shines.

I read an article by the Wall Street Journal the other day about the 5 things you should know about the Occupy Central (Hong Kong) situation. It was laughable how wrong it was. Although they did quote a 70 year old woman who wished the students had taken a few more history lessons. That was salient.

Housing is small in Hong Kong (the country). I think the average apartment is about 800 square feet: some larger, but way more are far far less. It is a culture which lives literally, for the moment: food is bought daily, water (for the day) is boiled daily, and housing and life there doesn’t really lend itself to stockpiling food, water, or provisions to ride out a calamity. A great many people do have money in the bank, but they won’t be able to access it if Beijing shuts it down, nor will they have a way off the island itself, and since they built the “new” airport (located WAY off island on a different island), getting to an airport will be constrained too.

I feel bad because at the end of the day the vast majority of people on Hong Kong island are going to find out quickly that are stuck, with few options. The ones who listened to counsel and prepared (and those will be very very few in number, even among those whose churches teach preparedness), will be slightly better off, but I’d be surprised if they could ride out more than 72 hours.

I’ve never met CJ before

I keep hoping her travels will bring her through Michigan so I can meet her and Gary. From what I remember, CJ didn’t have any disposable income to buy the book, and the waiting list at her library was months long. I had a few extra copies of TMMO (I used to give them to friends/acquaintances), and offered to send her one if she wanted. She accepted, so I sent it. 🙂
I wish there was a more exciting story than that, but that’s about it…

I am SOOOO excited for you…..

We have been working it and doing this right along with you….

I remember in 2008 when I left my teaching job (and the income it provided)— the temptation was just to file bankruptcy like all the many I people I knew who had done it multiple times.

But, somehow to me—it just didn’t seem right…….

So—here it is 2015 and we too are just about done with debt besides the mortgage.

(We went mortgage free 2012 when we switched homes—big house on 10 acres to the fixer upper in next town over for those that are newer to the board)….

Yes, is taking awhile to be totally debt free…but the satisfaction and knowledge that I have gained through the journey has been awesome…. I am sure it has been the same for you.

With the push of a button

Today I called dh while on his lunch break and told him the following:
“5.5 years ago today we started down the Total Money Makeover path together owing roughly $102,000 in credit card and medical debt. Along the way we have had interest added to that, a little extra medical and 18 months of unemployment. I am about to pay off the last of that debt and thought you would want to be part of it.”
Then I included him in all the steps of logging in to Chase bank and making that final payment. With the single push of a button we are now credit card debt free. I am so excited I’m weepy!
Look out Wells Fargo here we come to end the $67,000+ of mortgages we owe you.
The max it should take is 538 days now because today’s payment of an early payoff on Chase took 50 days off our expected mortgage payoff date. We are shooting for 365 days or less, wish us luck!

I forgot to mention I’ve started a winter “garden” in my office

No the floor isn’t so dirty I can plant taters I’ve got a sliding glass door in that room and a Baker’s rack in front f it. I use to just grow houseplants and an aloe vera for burns on it, but this winter I decided to be a little different.

When I did our monthly grocery shopping two weeks ago I picked up a cilantro and a basil plant and repotted them for my garden. I stopped by Wal-Mart again this weekend, after going to Goodwill and purchased rosemary, lavender, sweet mint, and chive plants to add to my little garden. I’m repotting those into organic soil today. Between the two shopping trips I’ve done my “recycled” green onions.

I’ve wrote about this before where you can cut the root ends off of green or regular onions and plant them and they’ll grow again. I’ve been on a green onion kick lately so I’ve been planting the roots of them in a flower pot on the Baker’s rack and already have some great shoots on them I could use in cooking.

I’ve got several herb seeds I’ll plant as time goes along as well as radishes and other small items. I’ve thought about a tomato plant, but then I’m not wild about the smell of a tomato plant in my office, so maybe after we get the sunroom ready for winter I’ll put one out there, or one on my starting station in the basement. LOL!

Went in to my bank today (Comerica) with my babysitting check

DH is travelling and has the ATM card. I am on both my daughter’s and son’s checking accounts also, and all are linked online so I can transfer money around if I need to.

I wanted to see how much of the babysitting check would be immediately available if I deposited it in branch.

Answer: Zero. Oh. And the check funds won’t be available until WEDNESDAY.

But if I deposit it through the ATM into my son’s account, $200 of it will be immediately available, I can transfer that 200 into my checking account immediately and pay off CCs, and the remaining 150 will be available on TUESDAY.

Did I mention that by 1pm they empty out the ATM and process deposits like a regular branch deposit?

So if I come in face to face, it’s 5 days before I have access to funds. If I use an ATM, I get immediate access to 200, and access to the rest in 4 days. And you still have to process it.

401K money hasn’t been taxed yet

Its taken from pretaxed paycheck dollars. But when you go to withdraw it at 59.5 years of age and following it will be taxed at that time, at your tax rate at that age. In theory your tax should be less, the older you are…

Roth IRA money is paid by you, in after tax dollars, and you don’t have to pay taxes on it when you go withdraw it at 59.5 because you’ve already paid tax on it, before contributing it.

As far as match, some companies provide a match of maybe 50% of your contribution up to 5% of your salary. Or they might match 5% of your contributions etc. They define their own percentage and terms on the match, which is free money to you. Its recommended that if your company provides a match in any amount, to take it, but do ONLY whats necessary to get the matching funds. The rest of your retirement contributions should be funneled to a Roth.

Why not it all in one basket? Thats not diversification. Also company plans generally have picked for you what you can invest in. You get greater choice with a Roth. Plus if you’re in a company plan, you’re totally at their mercy if they should decide to change companies, or if they want to put all of their investments in their own stock…

I am happy to report that I paid off another credit card

paid tithing, and am looking forward to paying off another credit card in the next day or so once the dust settles on debits to my account and deposits to my account.

Paying tithing may seem like a frivilous thing to some, but as DR and others have said: it’s a habit which shows you are in control of your money and living within your means (for those who tithe, not saying if you don’t belong to a faith which tithes that there is a problem.)

That is certainly the case with me. Unlike DR’s advice (not to mention the church), I have a very bad habit of tithing last, when or if I have any money left over, vs doing it upfront. So to be able to take care of this says to me: look, your life is back in control. You CAN tell your money where to go, and you CAN exercise faith.

So I’m very excited on all fronts.

Nerd that I am, I worked out a plan for the babysitting job, since the one I have with the nurse looks like it is going to dwindle to twice a month rather than once a week (not complaining.) We’ll still be on track to be original debt free by the end of December, or mid January at the latest.