Category Archives for Voices

Successful Military Veterans We All Can Admire: John Lee Dumas, William H. McRaven, and Marcus Luttrell

  • May 26, 2017

Who here likes a good story?  I know I do.  I enjoy reading about successful business people and entrepreneurs.  It just pumps me up for whatever reason.  That's why I thought it would be fun to dive into the lives of a few successful military veterans who have garnered my attention over the years.

successful military veteransThese three individuals represent the military's attitude rather well.  Leadership by example.  Courage in the face of obstacles.  Taking initiative and answering the call.  That's what these guys were counted to do while they served.  And it's paying dividends in post-military life.

Before we get into who these gentlemen are and why I admire them (and you should too), grab a pen and paper.  Or open a note taking app in your smartphone.  You're going to want to write some of these lessons down from these successful military veterans.  I guarantee it.

Let's get to it.

John Lee Dumas.  Of all the successful military veterans, he truly is on FIRE.

If I could describe John Lee Dumas in one word, it would be action-taker.  No, I don't know him personally.  Although, by listening to his podcast, you feel like you do.

JLD (as he likes to refer to himself) takes initiative, which is clearly the type of trait you want to have in the military.  He served in the Army and did a 13-month tour in Iraq.

But, this post is about what these guys did after they finished serving.  He left law school after one semester, worked at a start-up and tried his hand at commercial real estate, but nothing stuck.Read more

How Two Navy Pilots Saved $500,000

I’ll continue to sing the praises of Twitter for as long as I live. It’s allowed me to connect with so many like-minded people and learn about some truly interesting stories.  The latest one comes from Dan and Don of FlyByMoney.com.  These two Navy pilots saved $500,000 combined on government salaries.  I asked them to guest post to share their story with us.  I appreciate them being willing to do so.  Without further ado, here’s Dan and Don.

********

navy pilots saved 500000Hey everyone! We’re Dan and Don, the owners of FlyByMoney.com. We were so happy to be asked by Dave to write a guest post for his blog!

Some background on these two Navy guys.

Formally, Dan is educated in Economics and Don in Civil Engineering. We both hold Bachelors of Science degrees from nationally recognized schools.

Neither of us drives a fancy car. Dan drives a reliable 2009 Hyundai Elantra he bought using the methods he’s written about here, while Don drives a 2007 Ford Focus he bought used.

Outside of our mortgages, Dan is the only one with debt, with about $1,300 left on paying his wife’s car off within 6 months of purchasing it. Both of us have invested and saved roughly $250,000 each, both within 6 years of graduating college.Read more

How to Be Mindful with Money — Even When You’re Broke

Hey Run The Money fans, I have an awesome guest post coming at you today on being broke (but still being mindful about your money) from my friends at Chime Bank. This post was written by Kara Perez. She's the founder of Bravely, a company that connects women and money. Kara freelances in the areas of personal finance and travel. Follow her on Twitter.

**************

being brokeBeing broke is literally the worst. It takes a toll on your mental, physical, and financial health. Living paycheck to paycheck is a hard way to live; every financial decision seems to carry consequences. If you decide to pay rent, when will you be able to pay the utilities? Maybe you have to make the last $100 stretch a full week until that next paycheck comes in.

When money feels like a burden rather than a tool, it might seem impossible to be smart and mindful decisions with your paycheck. I know I’ve been there- in 2014 I lived off of $15,000 for the whole year. I was totally broke, I carried student loan debt, and making money decisions that weren’t based on fear felt totally beyond my reach. Spending any money made me feel anxious because I didn’t know when I could replace it.

The good news is being broke doesn’t have to last forever. You can dig your way out. It takes time and work, but it’s 100% possible. Almost three years out from my brokest point, I’m debt-free with a healthy savings account and retirement funds. I’m no Bill Gates, but I don’t sob over my finances anymore either.Read more

Personal Debt Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing … Except When it Is

As the US and the rest of the world continue to recover from the recession, Americans are becoming increasingly comfortable with debt. But many of us may be getting a little too comfortable, and that’s not good.

Consumer confidence – or looming debt crisis?

personal debtAccording to the Federal Reserve, consumer credit, which is a measure of non-mortgage debt including student loans, credit card debt, and car loans, rose by a seasonally adjusted $18.56 billion in May 2016 from the prior month. This represented 6.18% seasonally adjusted annual growth rate, almost 50% higher than the reported April rate. And after the particularly slow real estate market of the last seven years, mortgage debt has begun increasing, as well. Although debt relative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has declined since the recession officially ended, it is still greater than almost all years since World War II, and U.S. households now hold trillions in total debt.

It would appear that Americans have begun to restore their exuberant confidence in the economy, but it is also a cautionary note, as we’ve seen where such exuberance has led us in the past. Already, analysts are expressing concern in their forecasts of higher credit card losses over the next year, based upon a rise in overdue accounts.

Household debt isn’t necessarily bad, and the overall rise in debt can be considered to be a mark of increased consumer confidence, which is a good thing. But debt is emphatically not a good thing when it spirals out of control.Read more

Fitness Journey: How Jay Lost 50 Lbs. Running 10Ks

Do you get as excited as I do reading about a person's fitness journey?  I enjoy watching the complete transformation of people on shows like The Biggest Loser.  I can appreciate the intense emotion and difficulty these individuals went through to achieve such a momentous personal feat.

fitness journeyHaving run a marathon, five half marathons, and several 10Ks and 5Ks, I understand the training and mindset it takes to power through when you want to give up.  So, I support anyone trying to craft their own fitness journey and change their lives for good.

Enter Jay Cunningham.  I had the pleasure of meeting Jay not too long ago on Twitter.  Social media really can be used for great things and connecting with awesome people like Jay is the best.

Jay is a guy who was overweight for a large part of his life.  However, one day, he decided enough was enough and committed to his own personal fitness journey.  He even started a blog about his experience called Jogger's Journey, so be sure to check that out.

I asked Jay to share his story because I know it will hit home with so many people.  We are a country that is obsessed with looks and appearance.  Being overweight is a huge epidemic in America.

So, if I can help anybody by sharing the story of a great weight loss and fitness journey like Jay's, then I am doing my job as a blogger.  Thank you, Jay, for being an inspiration to all of us.Read more

Mom Taught Me: Lessons from my Mother, Wife, & Mother-in-Law

Certain people are placed into our daily lives for a variety of reasons.  They shape our beliefs about finances, health, relationships, and even deeper truths involving spirituality and living a better life.  With it being Mother's Day, I wanted to share with you some lessons my mom taught me.  However, I also wanted to explore amazing things I learned from other mothers in my life: my wife and mother-in-law.

mom taught meAs a guy, Mother's Day is a little uncomfortable for me.  I know, I know, it sounds weird to say that in this day and age.  It's not politically correct or whatever.  I don't know.  But, it involves expressing your feelings for the mothers in your life and that's not something I always want to do.

That said, before you bite my head off, consider the feelings I'm expressing here in this post.  In essence, this is the Mother's Day card to transcend all Mother's Day cards and it's to the three most important mothers in my life.

I know you will be able to relate to the sentiments I share.  No personal finance, health, or mindset lessons here.  Just a nice read on a beautiful spring holiday.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links.

My Mom taught me to protect the family

Let me start by saying that my mother was the only woman in a house with 4 men.  My father, of course, plus her three boys of which I am the oldest.  To say we would give my mom a hard time is the understatement of the year.

In fact, as we grew up, we would often poke fun at her or torment her as boys can do.  In our defense, it was often in retaliation for what we perceived to be overreactions about trivial matters in life.  However, each of us had a difficult relationship at times with her growing up.  Whether that was her fault or our fault is still a fun family topic during the holidays!

Nevertheless, no matter what was going in life, my mother was always there for us.  She was the "mama bear" protector of the family.  When things were going down, you called in Pat (her name is Patricia).Read more

10 Healthy Financial Habits You Need to Start Today

Hey Run The Money fans, I have a great guest post on healthy financial habits coming at you today from my friends at Chime Bank.  They just happen to be an awesome online bank that helps you save some dough.  Oh, and this post was written by freelance writer Kayla Sloan, who covers business and personal finance for places like HuffPo, Time, Entrepreneur, and the like.  Check out Kayla at KaylaSloan.com and on Twitter.

**************

healthy financial habitsDid you set New Year’s resolutions this year? No? I didn’t either!

After years of feeling fed up and frustrated with myself about not keeping my New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and save more money, I decided to try something different – not setting any resolutions at all.

I know that may sound lazy or like I’m lacking ambition, but hear me out. I decided to replace my resolutions with practicing healthy financial habits. This has been a game-changer for me as these healthy habits helped me make big life changes, like completing a savings challenge by socking away little bits of money each week.

If you’re ready to get your finances in order and make your money work for you, try adopting these healthy financial habits starting TODAY!

1. Pay Yourself First

Don’t stop at just automating your savings, start paying yourself first instead of last. You might be surprised at how much more money you’ll be able to save if you transfer a set amount into your savings account every time you get paid. Even if you have the best intentions to save whatever is left over after spending each month, life happens and you might end up spending that money instead. You can avoid this by paying yourself first and then spending what’s left after saving.Read more

Weight Loss Journey: How Steve Uses Accountability to Get Healthier

Don't you love a good story about a person's weight loss journey?

I know I do.  That's why I asked Steve from My Family On A Budget to share his fitness / weight loss transformation story with us.

weight loss journeySteve, like many of us out there, had trouble losing weight.  Well, how can you blame the guy?  He's a loving husband and a stay-at-home daddy to two beautiful girls.  The guy doesn't exactly get a lot of time to focus on himself.

But, that's how it is as we get older isn't it?  We get married and raise children.  Our hopes and dreams for ourselves become hopes and dreams for those entrusted to our care -- our spouses and children.

My wife will never let me live down how I ran a marathon one month after my son was born.  Setting my "new dad" move aside, I lost about 40 pounds between 2014 and 2015 with dieting and running.

However, like Steve, I gained a lot of it back.  Sure, I can blame my new dad duties, but the truth is I allowed myself to eat crap again.  I didn't hold myself accountable and my wife was too busy being a new nursing mother to help me there.  Plus, I did kind of run a marathon when my son was a month old!

Anyway, check out the details of Steve's weight loss journey.  I know I saw some parallels in my own personal weight loss journey and I'm sure some of Steve's story will resonate with you.

Thank you, Steve, for sharing your story with us!Read more

Debt Payoff Story: How Jodi Paid Off $67,000

One of the great things about blogging is the chance to meet wonderful people and connect with them on a personal level. We have that today with Jodi.  She commented on my article about how I paid off $20,000 in student loan debt and I loved her debt payoff story.  She was kind enough to share her story in depth with me and she’s allowing me to share it with all of you.

debt payoffI truly believe her experience to be inspirational and a testament to owning your own financial situation. Jodi took charge of her finances, did the hard, but necessary work of paying them off, and she’s staring at $67,000 debt payoff that is down to its last payment as I share this.  A true inspiration.  Please read Jodi’s story below.

First, some background about Jodi.​

I am 36 years old and live in New York City, where I have lived since college graduation in 2002.

In 2008, I earned a second degree to become a certified court reporter, which has been my full-time profession since.

How did you get into debt?

​I borrowed a total of $50,000 in student loans for both degrees. While finishing up my court reporting degree, I was working part time and going to school only at night.

At a certain point, after one of my very long and exhausting days, I reasoned out that I would finish school a lot faster (and therefore, be able to get a job in my intended field much quicker) if I began going to school full time instead. So, I decided to leave my job and focus solely on expediting my degree.

Looking back, I think this was one of the best decisions for me. It enabled me to get a job just ahead of the economy crash of 2008.

But, it also meant I had to live off of my credit cards for a few months while finishing up school without an income. Scary!  And it sure did add up on the plastic.Read more

1 27 28 29