12 May 2014

Declare War Against your Debt!

Posted in Debt

6 fail-proof battle tactics

The amount of credit extended to individuals within the US continues to increase at an annual rate of 4.34% according to the Federal Reserve Consumer Credit-G.19 release for November 2013.* Credit card or revolving unsecured credit extended to individuals increased by .5% while secured and fixed loans for automobiles, education and personal loans increased by a 6.5% annual rate.*

06 May 2014

Should you give to the building of God's kingdom or save money? #FinLit

Posted in Giving

The answer is Yes! Do both - Give and Save!

And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.

Acts 20:35 KJV

There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

Proverbs 21:20 KJV

You are reading this correctly. Giving and saving is a single best step that we should take in preparation for expanding our financial territory. This is not an oxymoron - as the biblical scriptures show, we are expected to give and save.


Money Falling

The principle to be gleaned here is that we should purposely take resources that we could use to sustain ourselves and make a conscious effort to give to the building of God’s kingdom, give to the poor and give to take care of family while also setting aside a portion in our house for later. This is stewardship sacrifice.

Here's Christian biblical scripture that reference these financial practices.

Bible

Giving to the building of God's kingdom...

"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it."
Malachi 3:10 NKJV

Giving to the poor...

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
Isaiah 58:7-9 NKJV

Taking care of your family...

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8 NKJV

There is wisdom in saving...
MDA Sticker

There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

Proverbs 21:20 KJV

We’re pleasing to the Lord when we put His financial principles into action. How do you do this? Here’s three practical starting points:

Bank
  • Tithe (giving 10% of your increase) and give offerings to building of God’s Kingdom
  • Give to the poor through an avenue that touches your heart. This can be though a charity or by helping someone on the street. God knows your heart and counts every act of giving even if the IRS does not.
  • Save a portion of your increase each month. Save for those unplanned expenses that we know will surface. There’s no such thing as saving too little unless you’re not saving at all! Include this in your spending plan so that you can track it and hold yourself accountable.

Principles for managing financial resources in the Christian Holy Bible are designed for our best interests today, tomorrow and in eternity. I'm asking you, are you giving and saving?

I am!!

Carolyn

Carolyn

21 April 2014

Actively manage the financial resources that you have today!

Posted in Spending Plan

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

Luke 16:10-12 NKJV

Make it a point to actively use a spending plan for directing and tracking your expenditures each month.


Shell

A spending plan is a pre-spending written account of all household expenditures for the month. Creating this plan before the funds are spent introduces self-directed accountability of how, when and where every dollar is that is entrusted to you is spent. Tracking your actual spending against the plan is a crucial step. Lessons that you learn from your spending reality will be used in creating future monthly spending plans.

Don't have a spending plan? In the spirit of Financial Literacy, there are several options available to help you to rectify this and begin managing to a spending plan with very little effort. One of these resources is from the site Money Management International. Take a look at it here

Everything belongs to God and we are stewards of His resources. We must consistently pass the test of being a good steward of what we have today before we will be entrusted with more. As the scripture implies, what you’re doing with the money that you have today will be what you would do if you had more. Be a faithful steward and manage every penny that you have today and get ready because more is on the way!

Carolyn

Carolyn

11 April 2014

Get your financial documents organized!

Posted in Challenges / Call to Action

In order to get our finances together we've got to get the related "stuff" together. This is so important but often overlooked. In our quest to improve our financial lives, take a close look at your everyday operational practices. Simple adjustments can make big improvements!

Get control of the paperwork!


There are statements, receipts, and other artifacts that are a part of a healthy personal financial system. These include bank statements, paycheck stubs, W2‘s, purchase receipts, service invoices, bills, discount coupons and insurance declarations and riders. Without taking the time to properly manage these items they can easily end up in various hiding places that can make it challenging to be timely in getting bills paid and completing IRS income tax filings. It never fails that at the end of every year when the holiday decorations go up and family starts to arrive, I go off my routine of dealing with mail and placing these documents in their designated places. If you currently have a system to store and manage these documents, recommit to operate in this system and take this time to get things back in order. Create new files as needed for additional items that you’ve found should be tracked separately. A test that I use is if I can’t tell someone where to locate a document in less than 3 minutes it needs to have a better and more identifiable home.

Organize

A simple system that I use for my active paper documents is to store them in semi-opaque plastic food storage containers with lids. I place a visible label inside these containers to note it’s contents and stack these neatly in my home office closet. The containers are inexpensively sold in multipacks in the kitchen storage section at your favorite department store. I have active boxes for several categories including unpaid bills, paid bills, bank statements, insurance docs, flex spending receipts, dependent care, tax documents, investment statements and coupons/gift certificates. At the end of the year I store the full container of docs in gallon size zip-top bags which I label appropriately. Getting your paper records organized does not have to cost a lot of money!

Don't forget the digital assets!

Review the financial online archive policies and your personal record retention needs.

With each of our financial partners, we have the option to “go green” and eliminate paper. Many of the statements and receipts that you get today can be delivered to you digitally or available online. If you take advantage of paperless for any financial documents that you are required to keep you will need to ensure that you have a method to reproduce these docs at will. This involves knowing how long you should retain the document and compare this to the online and archive retention policy of your financial partner. If you will need to maintain your health care receipts for 7 years for tax audit reasons but but you can only see your pharmacy receipts for 24 months you will need to develop a plan to mitigate this difference. If you store your digital receipts on your computer how will you recover this data if your computer hard-drive dies or your computer is stolen? Make a list of the length of time you are required to maintain key receipts and statements and include on that list how you’re going to make sure that you’re covered. Fill in the gaps of things that are not stored online for long periods of time by downloading them to your computer and ensuring that you’re backing this data up for safe keeping. I find that this is a must for my post-tax monthly online brokerage statements

Let this be a call to action. Successful individuals tend to be organized and deliberate in their actions. That's you and me. Let's GO!! (Get Organized)

Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings...

Proverbs 22:29 NKJV



Carolyn

09 April 2014

Financial Literacy: Protecting your personal information #finlit

Posted in Financial Literacy

Protecting your personal information can help reduce your risk of identity theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this is best done by employing operational practices that include the following four tactics:

  • Be selective and informed about those that you choose to share your personal information.
  • Store and dispose of your personal information securely especially your Social Security number
  • Ask questions before deciding to share your personal information
  • Maintain appropriate security on your computers and other electronic devices.

Before we get into a few more details, let's bring more info about the Federal Trade Commission to light.


FTC Banner

Federal Trade Commission

The FTC is a bipartisan federal agency with a unique dual mission to protect consumers and promote competition. The FTC protects consumers by stopping unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. They conduct investigations, sue companies and people that violate the law, develop rules to ensure a vibrant marketplace, and educate consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities

It benefits consumers by keeping prices low and the quality and choice of goods and services high. By enforcing antitrust laws, the FTC helps ensure that our markets are open and free. The FTC will challenge anticompetitive mergers and business practices that could harm consumers by resulting in higher prices, lower quality, fewer choices, or reduced rates of innovation.

Protecting your personal information

Store and dispose of your personal information securely, especially your Social Security number.

Before you dispose of a computer, get rid of all the personal information it stores. Use a wipe utility program to overwrite the entire hard drive.

Before you dispose of a mobile device, check your owner’s manual, the service provider’s website, or the device manufacturer’s website for information on how to delete information permanently, and how to save or transfer information to a new device. Remove the memory or subscriber identity module (SIM) card from a mobile device. Remove the phone book, lists of calls made and received, voicemails, messages sent and received, organizer folders, web search history, and photos.

Shred receipts, credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks, bank statements, expired charge cards, and similar documents when you don’t need them any longer.

Destroy the labels on prescription bottles before you throw them out.

Ask questions before deciding to share your personal information.

Before you share information at your workplace, a business, your child's school, or a doctor's office, ask why they need it, how they will safeguard it, and the consequences of not sharing.

Keep a close hold on your Social Security number and ask questions before deciding to share it. Ask if you can use a different kind of identification. If someone asks you to share your SSN or your child’s, ask

  • Why they need it
  • How it will be used
  • How they will protect it
  • What happens if you don’t share the number

The decision to share is yours. A business may not provide you with a service or benefit if you don’t provide your number. Sometimes you will have to share your number. Your employer and financial institutions need your SSN for wage and tax reporting purposes. A business may ask for your SSN so they can check your credit when you apply for a loan, rent an apartment, or sign up for utility service.

Maintain appropriate security on your computers and other electronic devices.

Use security software.

Don’t open files, click on links, or download programs sent by strangers. Opening a file from someone you don’t know could expose your system to a computer virus or spyware that captures your passwords or other information you type.

Keep financial information on your laptop only when necessary. Don’t use an automatic login feature that saves your user name and password, and always log off when you’re finished.

Read the privacy policies. Yes, they can be long and complex, but they tell you how the site maintains accuracy, access, security, and control of the personal information it collects. If you don't see privacy policies posted, consider doing business elsewhere.

This is a summary of helpful information available to consumers for our awareness and protection. Take a look around at www.ftc.gov.

To read the full FTC article on protecting your personal information, get there from here.

Carolyn

Carolyn

04 April 2014

Join me at The 4 "T's" Relationship Summit! #hthevents

Posted in Events / Engagements

I'm honored to serve as a guest speaker at The 4 T's Relationship Summit that is sponsored by Healing Thine Hearts Ministry. The Summit will be held Saturday May 3rd, 2014 at theHilton Garden Inn in Richardson Texas.

As the name implies, the focus of the summit is relationships. Whether you are dating, married, dealing with your children or your boss - every successful relationship is built on 4 specific pillars. These 4 pillars are Time, Talk, Truth and Trust. By attending this conference and hearing from the 5 guest speakers you will learn the preventative measures of avoiding continuous failed relationships by taking the step-by-step approach to relationship success.



As is customary, I will bring the topic of finances to the discussions. Think about your key relationships right now… how many of them have finances as a significant component? If you're honest you will note all of them! If the relationships are with your children, spouse, best friend or relative, the concept of money or lack of money plays a role at some point in time in all of our significant relationships. Understanding the money / relationship elements and getting tools to assist you in maintaining successful connections in good and not so good financial times will prove to be beneficial today and in years to come!

Get more information on the 4 T's Relationship Summit and complete your registration on the Healing Thine Hearts Ministry site. They have a number of enrichment events for you to consider.

Thanks for your support. See you there!


Carolyn

27 March 2014

April is National Financial Literacy Month!

Posted in Financial Literacy

"It is not good for the soul to be without knowledge…"

Poster

In response to multiple US senators taking a stand to assist in raising public aware ness about the serious consequences associated with a lack of understanding about personal finances, Senate Resolution 316 was passed in March 2004. From that point forward goals and actions geared toward educating individuals on the many areas of personal finances were taken. At that time, key focus areas were to help us as Americans improve our understanding of financial issues such as credit management, savings and home ownership.


We now have a Congressionally chartered Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission. this commission is made up of more than 20 Federal entities that are coordinating and collaborating to strengthen financial capability and increase access to financial services for all Americans.

I'm energized about the number of resources available to anyone that has a desire to increase their financial understanding. If you're starting at square one and getting committed to managing your personal spending and saving there are resources that can help to instruct, motivate and encourage. Need to get info on retirement planning? There's a wealth of info available to you. If credit management is your focus there is no shortage of info in this area either!

Money

Throughout the month I will share with you information across the multiple areas of financial management. In addition to sharing the tactical advice, I will share the applicable biblical principles along with links to informational sites that are sponsored by the Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission.

What is your task during National Financial Literacy Month?

Each of us should plan to get refresh or extend our knowledge in an area of finances each week. This could equate to spending 30 minutes a week reading your Money reVerse blog posts (I'm committing to posting weekly - there I said it!!) and accessing additional information that I will be providing.

Each of us should plan to get refresh or extend our knowledge in an area of finances each week. This could equate to spending 30 minutes a week reading your Money reVerse blog posts (I'm committing to posting weekly - there I said it!!) and accessing additional information that I will be providing.

Happy Financial Literacy Month! More to come!!

"It is not good for the soul to be without knowledge…"

Proverbs 19:2 NKJV

Carolyn

Carolyn

20 January 2014

Celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Posted in Events / Engagements

We recognize and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pastor, Activist, Humanitarian, Civil Rights leader

Dr Martin Luther King

85 years after his birth on January 15, 1929.

46 years after he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

He lead a campaign for civil rights change in America in his 39 years of life.

What are you doing to change the world in these days that you are given?

01 October 2013

The 2013 Partial Government Shutdown - Got Questions? Here's some answers!

Posted in Market News & Events

Dollar Close Up

According to historical records, the 2013 partial government shutdown is not a first. We've been here before. Our current situation - because the spending approvals are not in place, it is a federal crime to spend government funds as of October 1, 2013, the first day of the US federal government fiscal year.

08 July 2013

Money reVerse winner of Motorola XOOM tablet announced!

Posted in Contests

We have a winner!!

Congratulations to Kimberly Stewart of Lewisville Texas. She is the winner of the Money reVerse Motorola XOOM Sweepstakes!



Kimberly was selected via a random drawing of all Money reVerse blog and twitter followers. As the winner she's receiving a Motorola XOOM Android tablet. It boasts a dual core processor, 2 cameras, HD display and the Android Operating System. Portable as it has a 10.1 inch screen and weighs 1.6 pounds.

All of this because she's a Money reVerse follower. Congratulations to Kim!

Keep on following everyone! More sweepstakes are on the way!

Carolyn

08 July 2013

Win a Motorola XOOM Android Wi-Fi Tablet from Money reVerse!!

Posted in Contests

Ok, Money reVerse followers! Here is another opportunity to win great gifts!


Win this Motorola XOOM Android tablet. It boasts a dual core processor, 2 cameras, HD display and the Android Operating System. Portable as it has a 10.1 inch screen and weighs 1.6 pounds. Just what you need to keep high end technology with you at all times!!


Winner will be selected on Friday July 5, 2013 via a random drawing from the collection of all Money reVerse followers. Follow by email or via twitter and you're entered. Follow in both places and you're entered twice!

Thanks again for supporting Money reVerse. Blessed to be a blessing!!

Carolyn


Official Rules: Eligible entrants must be US residents age 18 or older on 7/5/2013. No purchase necessary to enter. Winner will be selected by random drawing of eligible participants. Eligible participants are individuals that meet the above listed criteria and subscribe to email electronic updates (follow by email) to Money reVerse website at www.moneyreverse.netor by following twitter updates from @moneyreverse twitter account. Electronic subscription confirmation must be completed for each entrant. Each eligible participant may have a single entry for each email address that follows the Money reVerse website and a single entry for each twitter account that follows @moneyreverse. Odds of winning determined by the number of entries. Winner will receive a Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi 10.1 inch Android tablet after being selected in a random drawing on 7/5/2013. Winner will be notified by the communications method used to enter the sweepstakes and will have 14 days to acknowledge notification of prize winning. Failure to respond to winner notification in 14 days will result in the forfeiting of the prize and an alternate winner being selected. Prize estimated retail value is $301.78. Winner will be required to sign a release and affidavit of eligibility that allows the use of the winner's name and location and/or likeness in a notification/marking campaign sponsored by Money reVerse. This sweepstakes is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Motorola or Twitter, Inc. Money reVerse Carrollton, TX

08 July 2013

Part 2 - Stock Market Primer questions answered

Posted in Investing


Click here to listen to this podcast

Welcome to the Stock Market Primer follow-up --part 2.   Here I will again  answer questions about investing in the stock market.  The questions are ones that time did not permit me to answer during a recent meeting in which I was invited to be a guest speaker.   The small group ministry or life team hosting the meeting was the Strategic Business Relationships and Career Transition group which is lead by Carlyn Davis from Covenant Church in Carrollton Texas.

08 July 2013

Join me at the Becoming a Woman of Excellence Conference!

Posted in Events / Engagements

Country Road, take me home...  Not original but it seems so appropriate.

I am looking forward to the weekend of June 8th in which I along with two of my anointed friends will travel to the Wolfe Project community in Tillar, Arkansas to greet the ladies and gentlemen of St. Andrew MB Church.  

The women's department of St. Andrew MB Church is hosting "Becoming a Woman of Excellence" conference and I will be one of the guest speakers.  I am honored to serve during this conference and especially humbled as I will be returning home to the church that I attended as a child!


Those of you that know me can confirm that I have only one very important message - We should be eager to move into our proper place as we manage our personal finances following the principles detailed in the Christian Holy bible.  This message will be packaged in a frame that will be a custom fit for those that will be in the congregation as I'm guided by the Holy Spirit.  You don't want to miss it!

The conference chairpersons are Ms. Hilda Alexander and First lady Patricia Allen.  This church is under the leadership of Pastor Eddie Allen, Sr.

Get more information on this conference here and make plans to join us.  No charge for the conference.  Guaranteed to be life-changing!  Will be great to see you there!

Flyer Side 1 Flyer Side 2

02 May 2013

Stock Market Primer Session - Your questions answered online!

Posted in Investing


Click here to listen to this podcast

Talk about a fun morning!  I was recently invited to be a guest speaker at a Saturday morning Christian Ministry small group meeting.  The focus of the meeting was to introduce the attendees to the US stock market and investing concepts.  After getting the invite, I was so honored and responded that I would love to play a part in this opportunity to encourage others to expand their financial knowledge.

16 April 2013

North Central Texas College - Flower Mound, Texas: It was great being a part of your semester!

Posted in Events / Engagements

Wow!  When that’s all you know to say, you know that it was a great day!

I was invited to North Central Texas College in Flower Mound, Texas as a guest speaker for the Learning Frameworks class today.   I must say that I had such a fun time!  Thanks again for instructor Harold Jackson (coach) for inviting me to stand in his stead.  The students in this class were engaging and encouraged to move forward with becoming more fiscally empowered!  


As I mentioned to the class, April is National Financial Literacy Month!  Everyone is encouraged to devote time and commitment to improving their personal knowledge, strategies and involvement in their personal and business finances.  The key objective here is to better enable us to build a secure future for ourselves and our families through the financial decisions that we make on a daily basis.

Ok class members... Here’s the summary of the class take-aways!

  1. Begin using a spending plan!  Be purposeful in how you handle every penny that is entrusted to you.  A key way to do that is to prepare a plan and measure against the plan with the actuals for your income and spending.  If you’d like to use the spreadsheets that I used in the examples, request them from me.  They are free!
  2. If you haven’t reviewed your credit report and credit score in the last 12 months, take an action to do that now!  Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get your entitled credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion).  You are entitled to one free report from each bureau each year.  I’d advise you to get your credit score when requesting this credit report.  This score can included with your order for less an $10.
  3. Know what is used to calculate your FICO credit score and adjust your actions as needed to improve your score.  Your FICO score is within the range of 300 to 850 and is made up of the following sources: 

Your FICO Score Explained

35% of your FICO score is based on your payment history.  On-time payments improve   your score.  Late payments means a lower score

30% of your FICO score is based on the amount of credit that you owe.  To improve your score, don’t charge your accounts to the limit.  Try to keep each credit account at no more than 30% charged.

15% of your FICO score is based on the length of time that you’ve had credit.  Don’t cancel the credit cards that you’ve had a long time.  Pay them off and hold them!  The older “account opened” dates improve your FICO score

10% of your FICO score is based on the types of credit that you have.  Try and maintain  a mortgage, revolving and installment account without blemishes and watch your score improve!

10% of your FICO score is based on credit inquiries.  Lenders requesting information on your credit history tend to lower your score as it creates questions of you potentially becoming overextended.  Plan when you will give companies permission to pull your credit information and try to do your “price shopping” activities within a 14 day time span to limit the number of inquiries on your report.

Again, thanks to Coach Jackson and the students of NCTC Learning Frameworks class for welcoming me.  Here’s to a more abundant financial life for each of us as a result of our paths crossing!

Carolyn

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