Sometimes

the best thing we can do as parents is allow our kids to fail. I know that sounds cruel and goes against the grain of our “motherness” – but the best teacher is experience.

And yes, it IS fair, to say “even though you are an adult – if you live in my house (or need my help) – THESE are the rules”.

Best wishes!!!

When my daughter, a college graduate with a good job

got mixed up in Quixtar, she had been in for almost two years. I let her be (she was already living on her own). I just loved her as much as I could without supporting her ideas. In fact, once when she ask her father and I to attend a Quixtar meeting, we very politely declined and told her that we did not believe in getting involved in that type of enterprise. So, she knew that we did not approve of Quixtar and all the wildly outrageous things they told her (she would be a millionaire in less than 5 years, etc.) One day she called me, in tears telling me that she couldn’t make her payments, that she was going to have to get rid of her nice car and look for something cheaper. She and I had a long conversation on the phone, I explained that I would be very happy to help her out on one condition. She had to stop spending money on Quixtar stuff. I explained that how could I give her money, if she was just going to turn around and give the money to Quixtar? She agreed. She continued to purchase a few products (hair care, etc.) that she liked, but she stopped with the biggest amount of stuff, no more motivational stuff and most of the other products she had been purchasing. She worked two jobs to get out of debt (she was over $13,000 in credit card debt, I found out later).

Today I don’t believe she buys anything from Quixtar (she never has any of their products when she comes home to visit or in her house when we visit her). She’s recently moved to another state with her boyfriend, a very nice, smart young man who has encouraged her to pursue certifications and more education in her field. I expect they will plan to get married in the next year or so.

I was lucky. She got out quickly, but she saw what can happen too. I think she had already reached the conclusion that she needed to quit spending money on Quixtar before she even called me, so it was easy for me to get her to agree to stop.

One other big deciding factor about how Quixtar really works too, was that once she decided to quit attending the meetings, etc. all those wonderful friends who “loved” her quit associating with her. They wouldn’t return her calls, they ignored her completely. We both agreed that they really hadn’t been her friends in the first place, she was only their friend as long as she was doing what they wanted. Her real friends (non Quixtar) stuck by her through it all and are still her friends today.

Best wishes to you and your son. I hope that eventually he will see the truth.

Tonight when he came over to

use my printer (it’s pick-up night and he needs his receipts) I reminded him that he had rent to pay in a few weeks and he assured me he was “doing fine”. I know tough love is necessary here. I will not pay his rent. And if he gets kicked out and lands on my doorstep again, I may have some leverage with him.

I first contacted this Blog in May

20 yr. old son…2+ years involved in Quixtar…..hundreds of motivational cd’s. I got great advice here and have continued to read posts. Well, my son moved out the weekend after Thanksgiving. Living in a situation that I wouldn’t have chosen in a downtown area. I put up his first months rent and deposit. It was worth it to get him out of this house. He made us all miserable. Now I have to pray he doesn’t spend every dime he has on energy drinks and vitamins and is able to pay his rent. I won’t be paying it. I hope his independence will be important enough to him to save enough money to pay his bills from RTLoans.com and I think making him self supporting is the only way he will see the amount of money he has wasted on this business. But you know, even though that would be the rational conclusion that most intelligent people would come to, I don’t trust his screwed up thinking. I guess it’s one step at a time. Hmmmm…where have I heard that before?

If the word of concept of independent is important to him

then that’s one way you can force him to reevaluate the situation. I often say an IBO (I prefer IBDrone) is supposed to be an Independent Business Owner, but there is no business because they don’t have a legal entity recognized as such by the government. It does not have the rights and responsibilities of a legal business. That includes (unfortunately), paying taxes, but also the ability to act as an entity on its own, accepting responsibility as an entity instead of the members of the business being responsible.

There goes the “B”. There is no Business. So they’re just an IO. But if you look at it and look at the contract, their entire downline can be taken from them by their upline. If they’re about to break off and their upline’s profit will suddenly dip to a small percentage, the upline can legally take it from him. True, they have to have a reason and often it’s ethics, but reasons can be invented. He won’t believe they can do that, but it can happen. If you’ve heard of a case of anyone leaving that he once respect, that’s a good leverage point.
Start asking more and more so he wonders if the booted person was really breaking rules or was just booted for convenience. If he contacts that person, he might find out a lot he doesn’t want to know.
If you get an opening like that, then you can focus on that he does not OWN this group he’s built. It can be taken from him and he has nobody to appeal to but those above him, which happen to be the same people who would take his business for whatever reason and are the same people that profit by taking his business.

So now there’s no “O”. Now ownership. If you own something, only the government can take it from you through eminent domain. You don’t own what can be taken, but at least he has “I”. Or does he? Does he decide what products to sell? Does he make decisions on what goes on sale, or do others tell him what to do? If there’s a convention or group meeting, can he go or not go, or is he under pressure to go? How many decisions does he actually make? You and I know the answer: none.
They’re all made by the upline who tells him what to do and how to behave.

No “I”.

And take that with all the puns and intended meanings you can. There is no “I” in IBO, just a drone following instructions.

These are big points that you can use to start him thinking.

On the other hand, I do have my own business. It’s legal, it pays taxes, can make payments and do actions on its own. I decide what to charge people, what I need to work on next, and how to handle customers. I don’t have an upline telling me what prices are and what’s on sale or how to package products. I can be flexible and adapt to my customers needs instead of telling them how it’s done. While it’s not always the case, I decide if I’m going to sleep all day and work all night. I forward my home/office lines to my cell. Many times I’ve been down by the river, walking the dog or sitting with the dog reading Shakespeare or Harry Potter when I get a call form a client, I respond, answer their questions, take what notes I have to, then hang up and they think I’m in the studio and have no idea I’m sitting by the river watching that woman in the bikini top and Daisy Dukes — er, I mean sitting by the river reading “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and sipping on ice cold water from my cooler as my dog lies curled up next to me.

Compare the two. Which is a true IBO?

Use those points for him, or ones like them to get him to think.

Also, and this is IMPORTANT, remember he won’t want to give up one dream without another, so get him thinking first about what kind of business he could run if he were doing anything he wanted to. Then get him to start thinking about that and dreaming about what he really wants to do. When he has that in his head, that’s when you start comparing the possibilities of being an independent business man with the drone they’re teaching him to be.

Mark recomends that you figure out

how much you will need to save to pay for your children’s college in full. Divide that by the amount of time you have before they go to college and save that dollar amount each year. You can technically be saving for college, retirment and paying down the house at the same time. You just have to have a plan to fund college and retirement and be on track with it.

You’re right

we need to estimate how much we need to retire. I know our income will go up from here, we’re in our mid 30’s. Know of any good calculators? I’m not sure how to begin figuring this out. With inflation, and our income changing in the next 30 yrs.

College: Does Dave recommend you save the cost of 4yrs of college for each kid (fully funded) before paying down on the house?

The question I would have is are you saving enough

Are your projected numbers on track for retirement or do you need to invest more. *much will depend on your age and income here.

Second would be college. $4000 per year for two children isn’t going to pay for college. Right now our state school is at $14,000 per year in state tuition (no including room board or books). We live far enough away that he’d have to live on campus. So it will cost closer to $23,000 per year (Room and board is $8000). Ramsey’s standard number of $40,000 for college won’t pay for two years in my part of the country. Look up your state school online, figure in cost of tuition, fees, books and if neccessary room and board. If not then the cost of a car to get to and from school and the annual gas cost as well. Then add in some for raising tution costs between now and when your child will enter school.

What a wonderful place to be!

How old are you? Have you figured out how much you need to retire? Will you be able to get there with 15%?

Do you have more than 20% equity in your house? When do you want to “move up”? If it is in a few years, then I would put more down on the current house. If your retirement is falling very short, then I would add a bit extra to retirement until you get it up to where you need it to be.

We’re on baby step 4

It’s time to fund retirement accounts. So, I looked at the budget and we can invest 15% of our gross into retirement. I’ve looked into Vanguard, and that starts with $3,000.

We can also save $4,000/yr for our 2 kids college fund.
Then we’ll still have money at the end of the month. Does that get thrown at the house payment? Do we do all this at the same time though?

The first 3 baby steps seemed more clear, and now I’m confused.

We’re also wondering if we are supposed to catch up and put more money into our retirement? I have a whopping $80 invested in my 401K.LOL! That’s a few months at the 1% match at work.

We also WANT to move up in house. When would Dave recommend doing that?

GREAT NEWS TO SHARE!

#1: Dh is cancer-free! He will have a microsurgery after the first of the year when our new and better insurance plan rolls out to remove one benign tumor… but then thats it! No radiation! Yippee skippy!!! This means we also don’t have to dread a year or more of enormous medical bills… all that money can safely be diverted to debt payments. Whew!
01

#2: So we are legally married, but we are having our actual ceremony back home in Detroit next year (so we can pay cash for everything). Found my dream dress! AND it is being custom made, through a Chinese dressmaker for… $175! I was hesitant to order the dress initially, so I took a photo to a local dressmaker to inquire about cost of replicating it, and even though it cost her money, she convinced me that in her experiences the last few years 99% of brides who order from China are more than happy with their purchases. Anywho, the Chinese dressmaker is custom making the dress for me, based on all my exact measurements, and she is also leaving extra fabric on the inseam so that if needed the local gal can make any alterations I might need. So fingers crossed I am among the 99% of satisfied customers. So far, so good.

Oh and for our homework – paid off Capital One, and since it began as a secured card, that means a check will be coming in the mail sometime for the secured portion. Woo hoo!

Congrats on moving up the steps!

Conventional wisdom is to save 3-6 months of expenses into your FFEF. Some people would count EVERY expense, but some would only count *essential* expenses. Something like cable TV *could* be cancelled if there was no money coming in, so that’s not essential. Car insurance would still need to be paid…essential. You can choose to be anywhere in that range, and nobody would argue with you.

We will be starting Baby Step 3 just after Christmas

How do we know how much to put in? I’m thinking if DH ever lost his job then we would need health insurance on 7 people? We also have 5 kids to put through college so were thinking of getting to Baby Step 4 after the 3 months but just not sure.

Also, FPU will be available in Feb here. We have been working through this on our own. Would you still recommend?

thanks,

Erin

If your husband is considering a job transfer which might include

relocating or other expenses, then I’d say pay off the car and then start on BS3. How much faster would you be there if you stopped the retirement contributions?

Dave recommends that if you can pay off your debt in less than 18 months (I think, it might be 24 months) that you stop retirement contributions for that length of time. If it will take longer, then continue the retirement to get the matching funds.

So in your situation, with a planned job transfer, I’d stop the retirement long enough to get the car paid off and then restart while you work on BS3.

Once dh is settled into the new job, you can empty the savings (except for the $1K BEF) and pay down the college loan and really start snowballing things toward it.

Just think, if your stopping the retirement add $150 to your snowball, that plus the car payment of $320 and a loan of $3K, you can have the car paid off in about 6 months. Then I’d keep that $470 going into savings for another 6 months, giving you almost another $3K. Restart the retirement and keep the $320 going into savings for another 6 months and you’ll have just under $5K.

If you can make it through the job transfer without spending that, then you can put it all toward your college loan…. 12 months at $50/month plus $5K, then about 15 months later, you can be debt free! (Less if your dh gets a raise with the transfer.)

I am wondering if we should start cheating soon to get to Baby Step 3

We took the PFU class this spring and are simmering away in our crock pot towards these goals. LOL!
We are in Step2, we have two debts left: school loan ($50/mo.; $11,000 balance) and vehicle loan ($320/mo.; $3,000 balance).
We are tithing, with not much extra, if any, going towards the debt snowball. We have 4% going into retirement plan at work. Nothing else is going into any savings plan.
My hubby is considering a job transfer within the next 12-24 months.
Knowing that moving isn’t cheap and it takes cash, I started wondering if it would be wisest to start Baby Step 3 after our vehicle is paid off.
I, of course, think we are running a tight ship over here, but we are getting the hang of it, finally! I think it really does just take time to change our habits. This is the 1st Christmas in a long time where we won’t have any regrets!!! VERY EXCITING STUFF!
What would Dave say about leaving 1 item on the debt snowball while achieving step 3? Even this question is months ahead of getting to that point, but goals never hurt!
Thanks!

Congratulations!

That’s where a lot of us have made improvements over the years. It’s always nice to find some big juicy way to reduce costs, and yea often in the beginning there are a few of those. But it’s the daily scrutiny, the “can I do it THIS way for cheaper rather than THAT way?” which results in considerable savings over time. I think it’s the mindset which tells us we can still accomplish what we need/want, without it costing us a fortune in the process. And that’s the day our money works for us, not the other way around!

Phones and Internet

So, we got rid of our cell phone service and started having two oldest pay for their own phone bills( $12/month for each) for a savings of $80/month AND DH called the internet service and talked to them about that bill and they agreed that they are overcharging us $15/month. So that bill was lowered, too. No paying us back and they never would have told us the mistake and continued to let us overpay forever probably, but Praise God, DH’s coworker was talking about the prices and we investigated. So progress in sealing the leaks in our budget and getting money to go where it is supposed to go.