Jul 182011
 

Preface – This article is an in-your-face and was written to help to those that going through this unpleasant process.

Ok, so times can be tough and you have lost your job. It has been 6 months and you are still going through life like you still have a job, still eating out, going to the movies, having the same parties, and your mini-vacations etc. Yeah, sound familiar…you have some savings and your not desperate just yet but you know it is coming.

Your Ego has allot with what your doing or not doing now. Maybe you have 3 kids and your concerned about the backlash and how your kids, wives, and friends will view you as less of  a man or breadwinner. This can happen to the best of us and it is realizing that you should “suck it up” and do what you have to do to keep the family in food, rent, and clothes. This may mean a part time job or something but you should act now and stop the financial bleeding, so you do not pay more in the future.

So… what do you do and how do you get started? Most people avoid the reality of taking financial assessment and this should be one of  the first things you do after you pray for strength and getting a new job.  Consider at temporary but immediate financial diet, TV, kids cell phones, overpriced home and car insurance can weight you down.  These NON-Essential expenses are only realized when that steady paycheck is not coming in and you have to take money out of savings or pay with an already partially overtaxed credit card, oh yeah, the credit card. Maybe you were blessed to get some severance pay or had 3-6 months emergency, which the average family does not have, so there is that. What do you do? You start to feel squeezed and you need financial relief until after you get your new job.

First off, don’t kid yourself about looking for and finding a new job as it can be scary. The National job hunting average says it takes 6 months to 2 years to find and land a new job.  Now days you will find that there might be 5 other applicants competing for the same position. It is time to get your family and or select non-judgmental supportive, friends involved. If your married, your wife can start looking at the coupons, your kids may lose their phones, X-Box,  and your internet premium channels package get trimmed. All these reality efforts now will pay off big for you in the long run. Most people in our country do not know how to live without. Think about the daily Starbucks or Pete’s Latte you get, hmm… that is $3.50 x 20 days a month or more, that is $70 per month you can really live without. Make it at home for $15/month. It is not pleasant but you should dig into those sometimes hidden and unnecessary expenses that were “gotta haves”.

Your parents and how you were raised– Think back on your families history, Parents or Grandparents life, ranging but not limited to tough times in 1950-80’s. As a kid, did your parents get you a weekly or monthly allowance and a cell phone, car and or car insurance, XBox monthly subscription, and that Family Gym subscription that you barely used, or something like that.

Most of our older and wiser Mom and Dads, made us earn whatever we wanted over our basic needs, but not so much today. As a Father and Mother providing for their family of 3 kids, these multiple seemingly small miscellaneous expenses can add up and represent $200-$600 per month!. Money that you now don’t have and should not be paying for. Think deep and hard, is it critical for you or your family to have these things at this moment?  Really? Probably not and as painful as it is, have a talk with your family, wife, girlfriend, or whomever, and let them know you require your help.  Husbands and Wives have to get on the same page, as one maybe saving and the other spending on things that are just not necessary to a house in financial instability. Do your best to not use that Credit Card and line of Credit that is just hanging out their for you to pick.

Help your kids with ideas by suggesting they may help themselves by getting part-time work, babysitting or helping around a store or something… anything to cover their OWN, non-essential needs.

College, this is a real tough one… You have a son or daughter going to a nice school and you ONLY have enough funds to cover 3 more months? What do you do? Line of Credit? NO. Think about it now, but do something now before it gets even tougher.

House Payments, Mortgage – Yeah there is that “roof over your head” thing. Look over your current mortgage and see if you have room to refinance of your house. Many people are upside down or owe more than it is worth and you cannot qualify for an interest rate adjustment. Try anyway, by talking to your current bank or lending institution and get some ideas as to what they can do for you without going through a complete refinance. Most are upside down and in the past 15 years, jumping from job to job and bigger house to bigger house to end up with one that scoops up a large amount of your monthly income… Now that house is not as attractive now that the music has stopped. (i.e. no job) Did I say Income? Oh yeah, hello? remember you do not have a job.  Next, look at your auto and home insurances, (oh that boat insurance). A simple phone call to your agent can get you and Immediate adjustment on your insurances by adjusting your deductibles, coverage amounts, the boat, RV, or other Toys, and strip them down until you get on your feet. DO IT NOW, DO NOT WAIT.

Agreements and Contracts – You always want to honor your agreements with all the companies you do business with unless you did not get what you agreed to or you find out what it costs you to get out of an agreement. One thing to remember, if you do not have a copy of the agreement and the company wants to enforce it, it will be up to them to get you a copy of that agreement. In many cases (I.E. phone, alarm company, or cable company), will not have an agreement and will tell you they do to keep you on. Ask for it, it cannot hurt. If they cannot produce it and your certain that you are at the end of your term, pay the fee to get out or tell them that you do not have an agreement because they cannot produce one for you.

Looking for a job – This is typically not a pleasant process, and especially if your over 40 and have worked at the same job for many years. You have to learn how to network and make a resume, if you ever have done one before.

How do you go about finding a job?  Start with the Internet is a great place to start, but your best job seekers are your friends and family. Post it with your friends on your Facebook or blog page if you have one. People love to help others. Post your resume or job qualifications EVERYWHERE. An old sales saying comes to mind, “Untold is UnSold”   Your friends and family know you well and if your a hard worker, they will help you network for a new job. It is great if you have a specific skill. Sometimes you can find misc jobs you can pick up just by telling others about your situation. Ya gotta do what it takes to make it and you will have to roll with these times to keep moving forward.

Church and Food – Networking for a job is critical. Let your Church office know that you are looking for a job. If you don’t have a Church, get one. Do not be afraid to ask for meals that some churches or private food banks offer. Churches are getting strained with the great need a the time of this article. The hardest thing for the proud man or woman is to just ask.

If your not a church goer, find one and get plugged in. One of the best things you can do  is volunteer your time at anything to do with the church, meeting people that are sometimes in the same space you are. It seems that you always find a job or opening when your helping others and not actually looking for a job at that moment. When you volunteer, your guard is down and your open to things you never thought you would be. Think about volunteering on evenings or weekends. Volunteering is extremely therapeutic when your out of a job or anytime.

P.S. Find a smaller church that has missions and is actively outreaching in the community. Our family go to Calvary Refuge Huntington Beach, a non-denominational church, where the door is always open.

E

May 242009
 

The effects of the sunken economy are found in pockets here and there where I live in Orange County, California.  People out of jobs were typically related to jobs or services in the real estate market and especially the  x-mortgage brokers that had the rug pulled out from under them. At least that is how it started. Now we all have brothers, sisters, friends that are lost or have been losing their jobs.

Now it is rippling into every segment of the population and nobody is really immune to it’s effects and fallout. There are many people who are and have been “drinking the president’s Koolaid” when getting their 10 minutes of news when they come home from work and are running their lives as usual.  Then there are the ones like us that read and filter through, understanding that this is not going to go away anytime soon and we all do our part to tighten our belts and also help others. Our stock market is temporarily being propped up, but a downturn is eminent.

The auto industry is the next major one to really unravel.  The silent Giant, Ford has been working away at some very cool and gas efficient models that will probably keep them afloat with the near death of GM and Chrysler.  I have family that is floundering in the auto industry and there are very mixed emotions on where they will be in 6 months or for that matter, 3 months from today.

Those of you who are fortunate enough to have a solid financial life, I urge you to identify a friend or a co-worker that is trying but not making it or is having a time of it. How do you help? Send them a few bucks, make an anonymous bank deposit, make a meal, counsel, pay for something they need as part of their daily lives, get creative, but help. If each of us do our part in our own circle of friends and family, we can really make a difference.

You may be thinking, “how can my help really affect others?” You never know that your encouragement can keep that dad or mom from doing something drastic or having to go without. I am torn between helping others in other countries but I come back right her in our own backyard with people who need our help and attention. It does not take much.

I have been given a gift with the ability to spot a person of family in pain or that needs help. Ever walked by a person that is crying or just looks sad? Do you know what you can do for that person if you asked “are you alright? Is there anything I can do for you?.

Put yourself in their position and it will not be difficult to come up with some ideas you can help others. Ego…? This is not about how good you can feel so keep your blessings to your immediate family and don’t boast of what you have done, it will spoil the gift and sometimes really embarrass the person or family you are helping. Keep it on the down-low.

How does this help you? Indirectly it does because in the process of helping others, it affects how you view the world and others, typically for the better. Get your kids and family involved. If you cannot help financially, help by being there for them, which can make a real difference.

When it happens anonymously  tell me how your helping others affected their lives and how you think you helped them. Don’t use names just speak in generalities.

One person or family at a time.

May 152009
 

My heart goes out to the dealers that are being cut out of GM / Chrystler system.  As a Corporation, I understant what the suits are thinking and this is a tough tough position all those dedicated hard working people.

I have worked with a franchise and cannot imagine spending many years building the business and the brand and then getting dumped. This move will add a nail in the coffin to the Brands.  I think they should have given the dealers some alternatives to being immediately out of business…. Like…

How bout they only support them if they have can run on their own and the car dealer sells them cars and does not carry any paper. The dealers may or may not be in a credit position to buy them but at least they have a choice over their own destiny. Charge the dealer a franchise fee so Corporate is not spending money allowing the Dealer to again make choices.

Nobody said it was going to be easy and I am not certain what the financial bleeding gain Corporate will have from these cuts, but I can assure you that they probably far outweight the trust and bad press that will proceed, having the buyers consider a foreign car or , better yet a Ford.

E

Jan 192009
 

Well, i did not have time to make a video but I think that Montyorlee missed the point.  Reply to Monty

I do not think you heard that we closed our account and he is correct about closing the account would affect your equifax and credit rating reports.

Cutting the Credit Cards is part of the process. Take your own test and see how many married and living together couples do not co-mingle their accounts. Each one makes there own finance, most having between 3-10 grand in debt.

The cutting of the cards keeps them on the same financial page. Dave got us to use a monthly review of our expenses to use ONLY cash and to make an emergency and special savings.

With the job and economy crisis getting worse, reality is setting in. Living within your means is what Dave Ramsey is teaching, and having a CC card in your pocket can be hard for many.

Using a CC in hard financial times is like a person that has a eating disorder with lots of food in the fridge. It is almost impossible to do.

Last, Forget any of this advise if you are both not the same spending page and you do not discuss what you spend and save on a regular basis.

e

Dec 212008
 

I know you have heard this before but why again is it we are bailing out the automakers?  If this was business on the street and an investor group was involved, I do not think they would loan them a dime.

The American car makers have pretty much had their head in the sand watching the “other guys” deliver what the public wants and needs, at a modest price.  Some of the “other guys” sell cars that are purchased at a premium and still we pay for it because of the forward thinking designs they produce, along with ridiculous reliability.

I am a Republican and I think Bush is blowing it by NOT sending the Clear message NOT to make any loan. Yes, there would be some real backlashes in all sectors of life and it could spiral us into a depression, but these guys waste more money and appear that they will to continue to do so.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the people could vote major issues like this? After all, it is our money the President and Congress is spending.

Weren’t we financially in trouble before this all started?

For what it is worth, I have said my peace.

e

Nov 102008
 

I don’t know about you but every day that goes by I hear more and more ways that this 
$ 700 Billion dollar, with a “B”, bailout is being used. It is just another way for corporations to get money back their coffers, write down their debit, and still keep on doing the same thing, in different ways below the radar.

Who is going to regulate it the money at the Macro level?… nobody….. Joe, go back to work… 

I never drank the coolaid on this one when it was first proposed. I want to know what line I have to get into to get a piece of that? Joe The Plumber won’t see a dime of it and he is the one that needs it.

If my company spent money it did not have and made financially unsound decisions, I would go down the toilet and be in the bread line. Not in America at the “Government – Corporate Level” 

I am certain that more effective placement and distribution of this money could be done. It is too much for one group of “Politician-types” to control and actually spend on Specific recovery related rescues then the “Umbrella” of policies that will direct money to the the wolves and crooks that should not get a second chance. 

Feel free to comment.

Oct 092008
 

Well,

As of around September 29th. to date, there are two positions that people are in.

  1. Out of the Market Chillin
  2. FETAL POSITION

It is looking pretty grim out there. People in the finance banking and real-estate community are acting as if they did not see it coming. A good businessman CFO, CEO, reviews it’s balance sheets and knows what is coming.

AIG really pissed me off. The arrogance of these people. It is clear that nobody is having critical strategy meetings, or “Ritz-Gate” would never had happened. Maybe it was already in the budget and they had a P.O…… kidding.

Next is the pompus arrogance of these CEO’s and Executives that do a bad job and get paid for it. My friend Wayne Slavitt, said it well and quote from his blog. waxingandwayneing.wordpress.com

Quote – “This is really simple to me. If I hire a professional painter to paint my house and the work is shoddy, I get my money back; I didn’t get what I bargained for with this individual. You don’t do your work, you don’t get paid. These executives did shoddy work and now need to pay us back: Matter closed.The second reason I am so irritated at this situation is the lack of remorse of these executives. Have you heard any of them simply say, “I’m sorry”? Have any of these pompous managers issued any apology for what they have done—for the mess they created? If they have, I haven’t heard them.” end quote

No Main Street or “Joe Six pack” business owner would give a guy a bonus for doing a poor job. Where does this mind set come from? Sometimes the Europeans do it right, for example, Mercedes Executive income is DIRECTLY tied to their sales success, with a $12 million cap. You won’t find any Wallstreet exectives falling over that job position.

As for Credit, families companies do not know how to operate any other way. My suggestion for families is to spend $200 bucks at DaveRamsey.com and get a reality check.

Trivia – As of 1:36 PST – Wallstreet News –
“We’re all watching the windows on Wall Street, Any second now people should start jumping”

Oct 092008
 

For those of you who are worried about your investments, here’s a thought:

 

1.        If you had purchased $1,000.00 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago you would have $49.00 left.

2.        With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1,000.00.

3.        With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5.00 left.

4.        If you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have $214.00 cash.

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle. It’s called the 401-Keg.