Tips to Protect Your Credit after a Security Breach

October 17th, 2017

Breaches of personally identifiable information and credit data are making the news on what seems to be a regular basis. The magnitude of the security hack at Equifax, one of the big 3 credit agencies brought a new level of concern among Americans for securing their credit information. Alan Akina breaks down the steps you should take to protect yourself in light of that recent credit breach in this brief video.

 

 

You can also read what Alan has to say, below.

Alan Akina: Good morning everyone. I have a very important question for you. Do you know if your personal financial information was compromised?

Now, with the recent announcement of the mega security breach by one of the big three credit bureaus, Equifax, this security breach could go down as one of the worst of all time hacks. And I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people about what they should know and what they should do?

Here are two things that you need to do today. First, go to equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the tab check potential impact. You’ll be asked to enter your last name and last six digits of social security number. Equifax will give you a determination at that point.

Now, if your personal account has been compromised or if it’s not, I still suggest that you do the following, a credit freeze. I strongly suggest that you put a credit freeze on your account at all three of the credit bureaus.

Now, what is a credit freeze? A credit freeze allows you to lock up your credit report and have you become the only one that can access your credit via a pin number that only you know. Now, what this does is it adds another layer of protection if someone tries to open up a new credit card, a loan or a mortgage in your name.

Even if they have your Social Security Number and your personal information, they will still need the pin to obtain credit. A freeze will have no impact on your existing credit accounts and you can continue to use them the same way you have been.

To setup a credit freeze, I suggest that you go to Equifax, TransUnion and Experian and click on the credit freeze tab.  I did these for each of my three accounts, Equifax was free, but Experian and TransUnion charge around $5.

I hope this helps you to sleep better at night.

How To Shop for the Best Credit Card for You

September 8th, 2017

How To Shop for the Best Credit Card for You

Did you know that almost 60% of all Americans do not compare offers when shopping for a credit card? It’s true.

Not shopping around to find the best deal and best fit when it comes to credit cards can result in higher interest rates and ultimately more of your hard earned money going to interest.

To help you become financially fit, use these 3 websites to find the best credit card offers available.

#1: CreditCards.com

This one of the biggest online portals for credit card offers. The site is free to use and part of the Bankrate online network. They offer cards with special offers, along with travel and purchase rewards.

#2: NerdWallet.com

This site makes shopping for credit cards very easy. Their website is user friendly and also provides valuable industry information. Instantly compare over 1,200 cards to find your best matches for your needs.

#3: WalletHub.com

This is a credit card search engine that allows you to quickly search for specific financial needs. Let’s say you are a college student, small business owner, or looking for the best rewards program, WalletHub will make it easy for you to find the right card.

As with all financial websites, be sure to double check all offers. Don’t hesitate to call the credit card companies directly to get more information.

7 Tips To Make Your Car Last Longer

September 8th, 2017

7 Tips To Make Your Car Last Longer

One of the best things you can do financially is to keep your paid off car as long as you can. Cars are some of the worst when it comes to depreciation. When you have a vehicle that is paid off and still continues to be reliable, along with you following the tips below, you could be able to travel many miles with an occasional repair here and there.

The big point I want you to leave with today is that it’s much smarter to keep a reliable vehicle that is paid off, than it is to take on car payments again and the interest payments that come along with them.

Here are 7 tips to help make your car last for a very long time:

Car Tip #1: Start with buying the right kind of car.

You want one that has a history of being on the road for many years. An easy way to determine how long a vehicle will last is to take a trip around the area where you live. Notice older vehicles that are still on the road. After a while, you will notice certain kinds of cars still running strong.

Car Tip #2: Follow your cars prescribed maintenance schedule.

Cars are like people. Just like you have to keep your body in top running condition, which includes occasionally have going to the doctor to get their advice about staying healthy, it helps to take your car to the doctor for tune ups and maintenance.

Car Tip #3: Warm-up time.

After starting your car do not rev the engine especially if it’s been sitting for more than 5 hours, since there will be very little oil bathing the engine. Instead, let your engine warm up for a minute or so before driving.

Car Tip #4: Check your tire pressure regularly.

Keeping your tires inflated properly will not only extend the life of the tire but also increase gas mileage. Driving with faulty tires can even cause damage to your car’s front end.

Car Tip #5: Keep it clean.

Regular washing and waxing will help the exterior last longer and keep it from rusting. Plus, when your car looks good you feel good. Remember, nobody really knows how many miles you have on your car but you.

Car Tip #6. Lighten your load when driving.

The more a car weighs the more stress on your engine, suspension, tires and brakes. It’s not a good idea to use your car for commercial purposes, or for hauling agricultural or construction equipment if you want it to last for a long time.

Car Tip #7: Take it easy when driving.

Driving fast requires you to stop fast which wears out your brakes faster. Hard driving puts more stress on your car than is necessary. Driving slower will save you money on gas and reduce your chances of getting expensive speeding tickets.

These are great ways to help you keep your car for a long time. As you are driving around, I bet you’ll see many cars still going strong, even though you know they are many years old. Do you think fixing your older car when it needs it instead of buying a new car with ongoing car payments is a popular option? Well check this out:

Have You Ever Wondered How Car Dealers Really Make Their Money?

The general perception is that they make a ton of money on the sale of new cars, even though buying a new car can be one of the most stressful things we do.

According to personal finance expert Clark Howard, here are the facts:

The average transaction price for a new car or truck is about $34,000. New car sales make up 57.5% of the their revenue but only accounts for 20% of the gross profit.

Used cars make up 23% of revenue but accounts for about 11% of the gross profit.

So how do car dealers make the most profit? Parts and service make up 14.8% of revenue, and a whopping 41% is profit.

As you can see, over 67% of a car dealership’s profit comes from parts and service, all from people like you who smartly try to make their older car last longer, instead of taking on car payments again for 36, 48 or even 60 months, and all the interest payments that come along with car payments.

6 Ways You Can Get A Raise

September 8th, 2017

6 Ways You Can Get A Raise

Imagine what your family would say when you come home from work and proclaim… “I just got a big fat raise!” They would be happy for you, and happy that you are able to support them even more.

How would you like to get a raise? Most people will immediately say YES! If you work for a company as an employee, one of the fastest ways to bring home more cash is to ask for a raise.

However, many people are afraid of asking for a raise, because they might get turned down. Well, you may be surprised to learn that 75% of those who ask for a raise get it, according to Payscale.com.

Want to increase your chances of getting the raise you want? Well you can, when you use these 6 Ways to Get a Raise:

Getting a Raise Step 1: Know how much to ask for.

If you don’t know the fair going rate for your position, then your plan could backfire. Do your research by turning to websites like GetRaised, Comparably, and PayScale to get salary information on related positions.

Getting a Raise Step 2: Document your results.

Keep detailed records of how your actions have helped to increase the bottom line of the company. This will help make your case for a raise. It will also remind your superiors how valuable you are to their company.

Getting a Raise Step 3: Don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Research the best ways to negotiate a raise, then practice your negotiation skills with a family member or friend. The more you practice, the more your confidence will build. The key to effective negotiation is to approach it with confidence.

Getting a Raise Step 4: Be friendly and easy to work with.

The old saying goes, you’ll attract more flies with sugar than vinegar. The fact is, bosses like to hire, work with and promote people who are fun. The best work environments are made up of team players who are friendly with each other as they pursue a common goal.

Getting a Raise Step 5: Be positive.

With confidence comes a positive outlook on your life and your job. Never approach asking for a raise by begging or giving a sob story about your bad situation. Start the conversation on a positive note and support your request with reasons why you deserve a raise.

Getting a Raise Step 6: Get the job done every day.

Prove your worth through your work ethic, professionalism and great attitude each and every day. Show through your actions that you are a team player and get the job done every day. For many employers, considering giving you a raise comes down to your personal production and how you help the company profit and grow.

Follow these steps and you could find yourself getting the raise you want. Congratulations! Yet, be careful after getting that well deserved raise, that you don’t squander your pay increase. Instead use it wisely, to pay off debt, invest or put away in your rainy day savings fund.

Top 6 Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage Tips

September 8th, 2017

Top 6 Homeowner's Insurance Coverage Tips

Buying your own home can be the biggest decision you ever make, besides deciding on your spouse or partner. Of the many things to take into account before you purchase your home, the effectiveness and cost of your homeowner insurance ranks high on the list.

Not only can homeowner insurance in some areas be hard to get, in most areas the premiums are usually more than you may expect. In addition, you can expect to pay more if you ever have to use your insurance.

This is why I’m here to help you today in this important area, by bringing your homeowner’s insurance to your attention. After you read this friendly reminder, I recommend reviewing your current coverage to make sure you are in good shape before you need to use your insurance.

Here are six of the most common situations you can encounter as a homeowner, which can cause you to pay more for insurance, or lose your insurance coverage altogether:

Insurance Tip #1) Dog and Animal Bites

As a responsible pet owner, you have to take steps to keep your pets safe, especially if they live outdoors. However, you have to consider the safety of others too. Close to 1 Million people a year in the US suffer animal-related injuries that require medical attention. When you call your insurer in the case that your pet injures someone, they will pay for that person’s injuries. Afterward, it’s common for the insurer to ask that you get rid of the animal, or you may risk getting dropped by them, making it difficult for you to insure your pet.

Insurance Tip #2) Sewer System Issues

Whether you have a septic tank or city sewer service, you are ultimately responsible for the part of the system that is on your property. Since most homeowner’s policies do not offer sewer system protection up front, many people may not be covered for sewer problems and not even know it.

Insurance Tip #3) High End Items and Jewelry Coverage

If your valuables are damaged due to a fire, flood, burglary or a disaster, it’s too late to get coverage for items you thought were already covered by your main policy, but are not. To protect valuables, it’s almost always required, and a smart move if not required, to purchase a separate policy for them.

Insurance Tip #4) Construction Theft, Damage and Risk

With home ownership comes repairs and improvements. While many areas of construction may be covered by your insurance, some may not be covered. It’s wise to know before you begin construction. As a homeowner, you may want to make improvements that increases your home’s value. In this case, it’s important to protect yourself from construction-related issues like construction theft, property damage and the general risk of having workers on your property.

Insurance Tip #5) Pool and Trampoline Injuries

One of the great perks of owning your own home is having fun in the sun in your back yard. Just be aware of the injuries and liabilities this can bring, including pool accidents, trampoline injuries and even cook-out mishaps. With the right coverage, you back yard can always be fun.

Insurance Tip #6) Roof Claims

The roof on your home takes a beating. Between the blistering sun in summer, frigid conditions in winter, plus damage from windstorms, lightning and hail, your roof is arguably the most important part of your home. Depending on your insurance carrier, when you file a roof claim for damage, many carriers will want to give you what they call the “actual value” for your roof replacement, which is different from the “replacement cost.” Consult your agent about your coverage now, so you are covered in the event you are faced with roof repairs or replacement. This one step alone can save you big bucks down the road.

When in doubt about whether you are covered for these areas enough or at all, your insurance agent will lay it all out for you. Insurance is one of those things we don’t want to pay for. However, if you’re under-insured, you could end up paying much more in the end.

My recommendation, so you have protection and peace of mind, is to sit down with your agent every six months and review your coverage. This way, when you need to make a claim, you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket expenses.

101 Financial Has Completely Changed Our Lives

September 8th, 2017

Iosefo Tavita

Its been a little over 2 years since my wife and I took that first step towards financial peace of mind! My reasons for taking this leap of faith was much more than just paying off debt. After many attempts to get some kind of life insurance for myself and family, we were denied. I truly felt I had failed as a provider for my family.

How would they survive if I were gone? The only option left was to pay off as much debt as quickly as possible.

Now where do I start? When my wife first told me about 101 Financial, I honestly didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until months later after she attended a 101 Financial Workshop when I finally took notice.

After watching the video presentation online I was all in! That was the best thing that could’ve happened to our family! Within the first 5 months as a 101 Financial System student, we paid off over $20,000 of consumer debt.

Using what our Instructors taught us, we were able to purchase a much needed vehicle free and clear of any auto loan. Then 6 months later, my wife sent in her last payment for her student loan which she has had for over 10 years.

Had it not been for the education of 101 Financial, she’d be on the hook for another 10+ years. Let me not forget to mention that even though the Mrs. was out of work for 2 months when our son was born, the usual financial stress that comes with a newborn was non-existent.

What blows my mind is that we were able to do all of this with the same income and the same jobs! We didn’t work any overtime and were never asked to sell anything.

101 Financial has completely changed our lives. I have since learned that you don’t have to be debt-free in order to gain Financial Peace of Mind. This is a fact, for we have been at peace with our finances since the beginning of this journey. Most people are so busy trying to earn more money, when they should learn how to keep most of what they earn.

I think back to the phone interviews with all the insurance agents and I remember the sick feeling in my stomach after each denial. A year later with just the mortgage to pay off I am filled with so much gratitude for this company and I would like to thank Alan Akina for 101 Financial!

– Iosefo Tavita

Making the Decision to Change My Life

September 8th, 2017

Nichole Inouye-Nohara-NEW copy

“It Is In Your Moments Of Decision That Your Destiny Is Shaped.”
-Tony Robbins

Making the decision to change my life using the 101 Financial System was the best decision I have made. This system has gotten me through all of my ups and downs throughout my life.

I started my system back in 2006. I had just graduated from college and I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. All I knew is that I had college debt and a car.

My parents kept pestering me to look at this program that they just enrolled in and they found a lot of success with. I ended up giving in. I listened to them and enrolled in the 101 Financial System. It was great. I paid everything off within that first year and a half, and my story doesn’t end there.

I ended up getting married and having our first child. That was a crazy financial roller coaster ride. His medical bills were close to $10,000, plus much more to take care of him.

We decided to move in with my grandparents, so we remodeled their home. We loved living with them because my son has an awesome relationship with his great grandparents. Then my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so we decided is was time for us to move in to her place and help her out. I never realized how much it costs to move.

Fast-forward to today… If it wasn’t for my parents prodding us to enroll in this awesome 101 Financial System, we would have not made it through all the moves and helping our family.

We still financially help my grandparents today. We are back with my mother-in-law so my kids can really get to know her before she no longer remembers them. We took a few big family trips (2 Disney Cruises and a trip to Japan).

If I never took that moment to really listen to what my parents were telling me, and made that decision to follow them on this journey, our destiny and future would look so different. We wouldn’t have been able to help all the people we’ve helped along our journey.

Thank you,
The Nohara Ohana
Nichole Inouye-Nohara

Financial Education is So Important

September 8th, 2017


Ikaika and Ipo

10 Financial Mistakes To Avoid This Summer

August 14th, 2017

10 Financial Mistakes To Avoid This Summer

Sunshine, surf and vacations are great ways to enjoy your summer. This time of year can also be beneficial as you relax and recharge your internal batteries.

However, don’t think for a moment that summer is about tuning out and ignoring your obligations and financial best practices. When you lose sight of the hard work you’ve put in trying to take control of your finances, be careful. You can easily slip back into old ways, and lose precious financial momentum.

Today I want you to put some serious thought into these 10 common Financial Mistakes many people make during summer, so you can avoid putting yourself in a bad financial position.

Mistake #1. Going on vacation and not sticking to your monthly budget.

For some reason, people seem to think when summer comes around, it’s okay to forget about sound spending habits and sticking to your monthly budget. You may work hard all year round to stick to your budget. Yet when you ignore your budget for the sake of having summer fun, you can quickly find yourself back where you started financially in the fall. Be strong and you can find yourself making gains instead of losses every month of the year.

Mistake #2. Not making bill and debt payments on time.

Another thing you work hard to make better during the year, yet may forget during summer, is paying down your debt and improving your credit score. If you’ve ever had not-so-good credit, and worked hard for a long time to achieve good credit, then you go on summer vacation and forget to pay your bills on time, you are shooting yourself in the foot financially. An easy way to make sure you don’t pay bills and debt payments late is to automate your payments. It’s easy to set up, then you can forget about the world for a month or so, while your bill payments are made on time automatically.

Mistake #3. Not contributing to your retirement fund regularly.

Did you know, that in many cases, when you contribute to your retirement fund, your employer matches your contribution? It’s true. Knowing this, why would you not make sure you are contributing to your retirement each and every month, even when you’re on summer vacation? Instead of forgetting this while on vacation, set up an automatic payment or debit that sends money into your fund. Whether it’s summer or winter, you can grow your retirement funds.

Mistake #4. Not having an emergency fund.

Are you going on summer vacation, and using your savings to do it? While you may have a good time, what happens if an emergency arises and you don’t have the cash to deal with it? If you don’t have an emergency fund right now, start one today. If you do have an emergency fund, remember what that account is for… emergencies only. When something serious does arise, you will have peace of mind that you have the cash to handle it.

Mistake #5. Not paying off your credit cards in full each month.

It can be easy to rack up more debt while you’re on a nice summer trip. While it’s fine to put trip expenses on a credit card, you have to be careful. Many have good intentions about paying off their vacation when they return home. Other things can pop up, and before you know it, you’re paying the minimum payment, and the expenses you put on your credit card now start to grow and grow. Don’t get caught racking up credit card debt. Commit to paying off your vacation in full when you get home.

Mistake #6. Not building a detailed financial plan.

Do you know where your money is going each month? Do you spend without even thinking about it? Do you find it difficult to save? If so, having a financial plan will help. Without one, you will find it difficult to become debt-free, and you may see that at the end of each month, you have more month left than money. Making a sound financial plan does not have to be complicated or difficult. Your plan will guide you with how you spend your money, how you manage your bills and how to always have money that is working for you.

Mistake #7. Using emotion to buy or sell investments.

Speaking of having your money work for you, many think if they just dump some cash into investments, someday they will be rich. Not only is this not likely to happen, you will almost never be successful with this approach if you let your emotions guide your investments. Instead, you need to do your homework, so you can make informed decisions. Having the guidance of a qualified financial planner can help you put your money where it has the best chance of growing. This will also help you avoid losing your hard-earned money due to poor investment practices.

Mistake #8. Failure to update all of your insurance coverage.

Insurance is one of those things people believe you can set up once, and you never have to look at it again. The fact is, as your life and your family situation changes, it is likely your insurance must be updated to reflect these changes. If you go on a long summer vacation without consulting your insurance agent first, you may put yourself in a position where you are not covered for certain things, like your car and traveling, and your home being left alone unattended while you go to Disneyland. Check in with your insurance agent a few times a year for a check up.

Mistake #9. Failure to diversify your income and investments.

When you were a child, you may have heard your parents tell you… “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Though sage advice, many people today ignore it. So what does diversifying your income look like? You have streams of income from different sources, like having a job and a home-based business. What does diversifying your investments look like? Identify “growth funds” that increase your wealth, and income funds designed to deliver spendable income when you’re nearing retirement. A balance of both means you have a healthy investment plan.

Mistake #10. Not taking the time to educate yourself on financial matters.

Going back to childhood days again, remember the cartoon ostrich that would stick his head in the sand whenever trouble was near? Well some people today approach their financial matters the same way. It pays to take the time to get “financially literate” so you understand how to navigate the financial landscape.

 

7 Hidden Tricks To Save a Ton of Money Shopping on Amazon

August 14th, 2017

7 Hidden Tricks To Save a Ton of Money Shopping on Amazon

Do you shop on Amazon? I bet you do. Millions of Americans do everyday for the selection, convenience and most of all the price.

Why drive all over town, burn a tank of gas, battle the crowds and still not find what you’re looking for, when you can just logon to Amazon and save?

Since it’s likely you and most people shop at Amazon, why not get the most from your Amazon experience? Wouldn’t it be great to be an “insider” who knows the tricks for getting more for less, and even finding limited-time deals that aren’t advertised?

Well I have you covered. Today I’m exposing 7 hidden tricks that enable you to get special access to deals and save a pile of money on your next shopping day on Amazon.

Amazon Trick #1: Amazon Warehouse Deals.

This is where Amazon sells open box, warehouse-damaged goods and refurbished items that are in good condition. If you don’t mind a couple of scratches, you stand to save big bucks. You may even find items that are no longer posted on Amazon’s product pages.

Amazon Trick #2: Amazon Outlet.

Here you can find bargains on markdowns and overstocked products.

As you can imagine, many products were hot, and Amazon ordered truckloads of them. Now these items may not be so hot anymore, but you can still pick them up at big savings.

Amazon Trick #3: Use price tracker sites for Amazon products.

Sites like CamelCamelCamel.com, Prisync.com and Keepa.com are free services that track millions of products on Amazon. They alert you when there is a price drop for what you’re looking for.

Amazon Trick #4: Amazon Prime Student

This a Prime membership program created for college students, that gives them free 2-day shipping and more. College students get unlimited streaming of Prime movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos, 20% off pre-order and new release video games, exclusive deals and special savings off Amazon’s already low prices.

Amazon Trick #5: Amazon Family.

This program gives mothers 20% of diapers, wipes and family essentials, in addition to 50% off select parenting eBooks, along with 2-day free shipping.

Amazon Trick #6: No-Rush Shipping Credits

If you like to shop Amazon and don’t care if you have to wait a little longer for delivery, and you are a Prime member, you can earn shopping credits for your next purchase. Just choose “no-rush shipping to get shopping credits.

Amazon Trick #7: Let others use your Amazon Prime Account

Here’s how to share your Amazon Prime Account, by creating an Amazon Household. First, go to Amazon.com. Hover on the “Prime” pull-down and click “Explore all your Prime benefits.” Next, Scroll to bottom of page and click “Share Your Prime.” Then Sign in and enter the sign-in for the person with whom you wish to share your Prime benefits, and click “verify second adult’s account.” Then click “Create Household.” Now it’s easier than ever for your whole family (and your roommates, too) to shop at Amazon.

5 Tips For Starting A Business In Your Golden Years

August 14th, 2017

5 Tips For Starting A Business In Your Golden Years

Are you retired or contemplating retirement? Have you been considering starting your own business to keep you busy in your golden years? Could you use some extra cash, in case you did not prepare for retirement like you should have?

Well, the best way I know of to earn a nice retirement income, besides being prepared with investments and savings, is to start a simple business you can operate from your home.

If you are retired, or will be retiring soon, and want extra income so you can live more comfortably…

Here are 5 Tips to consider before getting started:

Retirement Business Tip #1: Cover your basics.

Figure out how to pay for all of your living expenses during the startup phase. Be sure you have sufficient income or savings you can live on until you’re earning money. To help you get started, you can even pick up some part-time work until your business brings you the extra income you want.

Retirement Business Tip #2: Test your idea.

Just because you think starting a particular type of business would be a good choice for you, does not necessarily mean it is a good choice. Talk to your family and friends about your ideas. Start with a small group of people as a test first, so you can gather feedback, adjust your plan and build from there. You will want to start a business that is a good fit for you.

Retirement Business Tip #3: Leverage your experience.

Have you been working for a while and have developed valuable skill sets? Before considering a business which you don’t have experience with, think about leveraging your existing skills and use them to your advantage.

Retirement Business Tip #4: Bootstrap your business.

Try not to use much or any of your retirement and rainy day funds to start your business. Instead use as little money as possible. Bootstrapping has helped countless entrepreneurs launch successful businesses. This is where you start with a small amount of cash and do what you can with it to generate some kind of money. Then with the money you earn, repeat this process to create more capital, as you see your business methodically grow step by step.

Retirement Business Tip #5: Take care of your health.

You’ve worked practically your entire life either for yourself or at a job. Your retirement years are not the time to push yourself to the limit with your work hours. In the startup world pulling all-nighters and working 24/7 is the norm. Make your plans and ideas such that you won’t be required to work more than a few hours each day.

With these simple yet important tips, it is very possible for you to create a small, enjoyable and profitable business that’s based out of your home, which could provide all the money you’d need to live comfortably, without touching your savings, emergency fund or investments.

After all, you’re not getting older, you’re getting better!

7 Tips for Outsmarting Robo-Calls & Spam Emails

August 14th, 2017

7 Tips for Outsmarting Robo-Calls & Spam Emails

Are you getting tired of all those fake robo-calls to your home phone or cell phone? They can be as simple as trying to trick you into signing up for a different home security system, or as dangerous as falsely proclaiming you owe the IRS money and they are suing you, and the caller says they will help.

What about those SPAM emails that tell you have $500,000 waiting to be transferred to your bank account, or your computer has a virus and they will fix it for a fee?

If you’re like me, you got tired of all this a long time ago. So what can you do to protect yourself, and not get taken advantage of by scammers, rip-off artists and thieves?

Follow these 6 Tips to avoid getting ripped off by scammers:

Scammer Tip #1: Always trust your gut.

If it doesn’t feel right, just hang up the phone or delete the email. If you still don’t feel right, try…

Scammer Tip #2: Do a quick online search.

Search on the company or person that’s trying to scam you. Simply enter the name of the person or company, followed by the words “rip-off” or “review” before their name in the search box. You’ll probably see lots of comments about the same scammer, and it’s likely you’ll find out what they are doing. You can always check the Better Business Bureau too. This is where a lot of people go first to report a complaint about a business or person trying to scam others.

Scammer Tip #3: Let your good judgement prevail.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Realize that no one is going to give you $500,000 for doing little to nothing, or offer to pay you 12% per month on your money, over the phone or by email.

Scammer Tip #4: Don’t believe caller ID.

Many people don’t realize this, but new technology enables scam artists to fake their caller ID status. They can make their phone call look like a trusted company or person you know. When in doubt, call your local police department to report suspicious scammer activity.

Scammer Tip #5: Beware of fake check and bank wire schemes.

Don’t deposit a check and wire the money back to the scammer if someone asks you to do so. There is no reason to deposit a check from someone you don’t know. If the check you deposited is fake you are still responsible for the money sent by wire.

Scammer Tip #6: It’s not free if you have to pay for it.

If someone calls you about a prize you won, be wary and skeptical. If you really won a prize it’s free… never pay for the prize. With legitimate contests, you are never required to buy anything or pay to enter, much less pay to claim your prize.

Scammer Tip #7: Be a prepared citizen in 2017.

In today’s world, scammers are everywhere. Your best defense is knowledge. You can get yourself up to date with the latest scams by signing up for free scam alerts at www.ftc.gov/scams

Our Unexpected Blessing

August 14th, 2017

Ford-Ohana

Before we were introduced to 101 Financial, we had a small savings, but noticed we could never keep building our savings. We had times when we were just living paycheck to paycheck.

My husband and I are not doctors or lawyers. We are just an average local family that is trying to make a living and raise our family in Hawaii.

In September of 2016, my sister Shawna told me she went to a presentation about finances. It seemed very interesting to me, because I am always interested in learning how to manage our finances better. She also sent me a link to a video presentation to watch at home.

Right after watching it, I immediately made my husband watch it. After he watched it, he told me “Find out how we can enroll in 101 Financial, because we’re getting ripped off by our bank!”

In October of 2016, we enrolled in the 99 Financial Program. I remember meeting with Maile for our very first class, we felt so nervous and ashamed because of the debt we had and how we were managing our finances. Maile was awesome, she always encouraged us and reminded us not to feel ashamed.

She always encouraged my husband to be involved, because before this, he was almost never involved. Before we enrolled in the 99 Program, my husband would just give me his paychecks and I would be the one responsible for our finances. At times this was very stressful for me because we were barely making it because our finances were so unorganized.

While we were on the 99 Program, we automated our monthly bills, calculated our weekly budget, identified our cash flow and were able to get comfortable with doing our projections on a weekly basis.

In the beginning, I felt so embarrassed because when we were looking over our money coming in and money going out, I could see we were not being responsible with our finances and I was so unorganized.

Then in February we were able to enroll in the 101 Financial System and got started tackling our bills. With the amazing guidance from Uncle Merle, within the first 2 months we were able to pay off our Nissan Armada that had a balance of $3,481, we paid down $4,000 of our credit card bill, and paid off a personal loan of $2,000.

On a regular conventional banking system, I believe this would have taken us about 3 years. We are truly thankful for Uncle Merle for always being so patient and thorough with us in our 101 journey.

It really makes a difference to receive encouragement in areas in your life that you are not familiar with. He has helped my husband to feel more confident in knowing everything that is going on with our finances now. To me, that’s HUGE!

We always tell ourselves we wish we knew about 101 Financial 5 or even 10 years ago, because we would have been in a better place today, but everything happens for a reason.

We are so thankful and grateful to Alan Akina and this amazing system that is helping local and mainland families reach and achieve their financial goals and dreams. We truly feel blessed and are super excited to see where we will be in the next 12 months!

– The Ford Ohana

The Future is Bright!

August 14th, 2017

Jesica and Jason Matsuoka

We were introduced to 101 Financial back in January 2009 and we joined right away. We implemented the tools immediately but we didn’t stick with it. At the time we had two small kids and various excuses for not paying attention to where our money was going. We just didn’t fully grasp the concepts and went back to paying our bills the conventional way.

That’s where we stayed for 8 years. We didn’t get behind or add any debt to our lives, but we never got ahead either.

Earlier this year, Jesica had a couple of conversations with a friend who is also a 101 Instructor and those conversations reminded her, “We are still students of 101 Financial. We paid our dues many years ago. It’s time for us to get back in touch and be re-introduced to the system.”

To be honest, we didn’t remember any of the 101 concepts, except we knew we had a debt checking account, and it sat there, mostly unused over the last 8 years. Barbara gave us a 1-on-1 student refresher and it all came back.

Jesica attended the next corporate workshop and it reinforced what we re-learned from the refresher. Jesica hasn’t missed a workshop since that day. We also scheduled an In Home Workshop with the Nagamine’s because we wanted our friends and family to be introduced to the 101 concepts as soon as possible.

It frustrated Jesica at first to realize how many years had been wasted when we could have gotten so much further ahead in our finances. But we also believe that all things happen for a reason, and this is our time to come back with full purpose to be students of 101 Financial, and Instructors as well. We want to make up for lost time and share this with everyone we can.

What a blessing this company is for all who need financial education and guidance. What a blessing this 101 family is. We have each other and we get to experience great things together. We didn’t fully understand the gift we were given 8 years ago, but you can bet we won’t let it pass us by again.

We are grateful to be among you, and so happy to a part of something so much bigger than any of us yet know. The future is bright! Thank you, Alan, and thank you, 101 Financial!

– Jesica & Jason Matsuoka

4 Types Of Capital That Create Long-Term Generational Wealth

July 12th, 2017

4 Types Of Capital That Create Long-Term Generational Wealth

Are you planning to build long-term generational wealth for your family? I think for most people that is the goal but they only think about in terms of financial capital.

According to financial advisor Max Osbon, there are 4 types of capital you need:

Capital Types #1: Financial Capital.

Financial capital is the value of all of your assets combined. Once you start to accumulate a significant net worth, you should focus on growing it, protecting it and passing it on to your heirs in a tax efficient manner.

Do you invest in assets that generate income without you? In the world of financial assets, you are limited to stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities and currency, cash. Understanding these different investments and the manner in which you invest in them is the key to building financial wealth.

Capital Types #2: Human or Personal Capital.

Who will be responsible and in charge of the family wealth. How can you ensure that your successors treat your financial capital the same way you would…thoughtfully and carefully. Here we are talking about the thinking and actions you take every day that are consistent with your values, desires and beliefs. We create our own world. If you don’t like it, you can absolutely change it to your liking.

Capital Types #3: Intellectual Capital.

This is the playbook for how you and your family will work together to solve problems and address conflict. Part of your intellectual capital often involves business activities that develop assets, many of which do this without your direct daily participation. Building wealth in this area leverage business prosperity and how we invest in ourselves in an asset based way, instead of an income based way. Some look at this as “the business of family.”

Capital Types #4: Social Capital.

What will be your level of civic engagement? True family wealth includes caring for and helping others. I’m sure you’ve seen countless foundations supported or sponsored by wealth families, which enable the greater good in society to grow and prosper. Giving back is very important to those with generational wealth, as it is the right thing to do, plus it moves wealth to organizations doing good, rather than going into government coffers in the form of taxes that will likely be squandered in areas that your beliefs may not support.

5 Summer Travel Money-Savings Tips

July 12th, 2017

5 Summer Travel Money-Savings Tips

Planning on traveling this summer? If you are, just know it can get very expensive very quickly. My advice is to follow these 5 summer travel tips that will enable you to save money and have a lot of fun, while avoiding costly mistakes and overspending.

Summer Travel Tip #1: Remember your snail mail and the bills.

When you’re away for two, three even four weeks or more, the mail just keeps coming and coming. Inside your mailbox, the bills start stacking up, too.

If you’re traveling and having a blast, it can be easy to forget what’s going on at home, like your mail and the bills. Forget, and miss paying just one bill, or you are more than a month late, the consequences can be huge. You’ll pay hefty fees and more interest, then it can get even worse. You can also expect a drop in your credit score which can take a major toll on your financial life.

I recommend you either pay your bills a month in advance, or set them to get paid in your bill pay service automatically on the correct date. This way you can have fun while being worry-free.

Summer Travel Tip #2: Be careful with valuables and electronics.

How many times have we lost jewelry or and iPad while traveling. It seems like the family has to bring everything they own on a road trip, right? If you don’t absolutely need it on the trip don’t bring it. If your family puts up a fuss, make a rule that each person or child can bring one device, phone, toy or game with them on the trip. This will make managing “stuff” much easier, and will reduce the likelihood of something of value getting lost.

Summer Travel Tip #3: Are you paying for insurance you don’t need?

These days, credit cards and car insurance policies are fairly comprehensive in what they will cover when you’re on a trip.

For example, I think travel coverage is a waste of money. If you will have a rental car, check with you car insurance provider and credit card company to see what they will cover when renting a car. It’s likely they will cover a lot. Watch out for high-pressure sales people at rental car companies who want to sell you extras you don’t need. Call your car insurance company before you leave, and you may be surprised how much they will cover on a trip.

Summer Travel Tip #4: Pack smart. Pack light.

If you’re flying, you probably already know that airline baggage fees can be pretty costly. It seems each time you fly, they go up in price even more. While you used to be able to carry on two bags for free, now it’s likely you’ll pay $25 per bag or more.

If you’re traveling by car, remember my tip above, about only letting your family bring one thing each. Having to dig through a car and trunk every time someone wants something will get old quickly. Packing light will also enable you to by a souvenir or two if you’d like.

Summer Travel Tip #5: Bing Price Predictor Alternative

Though the Bing Price Predictor, which had a 75% accuracy rate for spotting the best air fare rates is no more many find Kayak.com a suitable alternative.

Kayak helps make your search for the cheapest flights and hotel rooms easier. Their forecasting tools let you see what a trip will cost you, even if your travel date is somewhere down the road. You can also use their Explore feature to see how far your budget will take you.

Summer Financial Reading for Graduates

July 12th, 2017

Summer Financial Reading for Graduates

If you are the parent of a recent high school or college graduate, I’m sure you are very proud. I’m sure your students are proud too, and relieved to not have any more papers to write or homework to do.

However, now that they have graduated and are out in the real world, they may still have a rough time financially. Which is why I’m recommending that you give your new graduate some extra home work. That’s right.

You see, most graduates, even though they may have received an extensive education, most did not get an education in managing personal finances and how money really works.

Today I’m sharing three book suggestions to get your new graduate off to a good financial start. The first two will cost you around $14.95 each… and book number three is free, since you’re one of my Financial Fitness Magazine readers.

These books will get your new graduate off on the right foot, so they can avoid the financial heartache many families deal with every day.

Here are the three books on money that I have personally read, that I personally recommend, that will help people at any age.

“The Millionaire Next Door”

My all time favorite book on money is “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas Stanley. This book will help your graduate learn how real millionaires live their lives. If they pick up just a few tips from Mr. Stanley, your graduate will be much better off because of it. My favorite quote from the book is “Big hat no cattle.”

“Rich Dad Poor Dad”

Next I suggest your graduate ready “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. Mr Kiyosaki was born and raised in Hawaii and will teach your graduate the valuable concepts of cashflow management, business and real estate investing.

“The Super Duper Simple Book On Money”

The third book I suggest that your graduate read this summer is none other than “The Super Duper Simple Book on Money” written by yours truly. I wrote this book to help people take their first financial steps in life, no matter how old they are. This book can be read in 30 minutes or less and was a #1 Best Seller on Amazon. Your graduate can download the digital version for free at www.superdupersimplebooks.com.

How To Save 10% Per Year On Your Home Energy Bill

July 12th, 2017

How To Save 10% Per Year On Your Home Energy Bill

How would you like to save 10% on your energy bill each and every year? Who wouldn’t, right?

According to Energy.gov you can save 10% on your electric bill by simply turning your AC thermostat up 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day from it’s normal setting.

You stand to save even more by turning off the AC completely when you leave the house for work.

This can be done manually, but programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.

Also, according to This Old House, avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and higher electric bills.

During winter time, by closing your chimney’s damper, you can save close to 10% on heating that would normally go up the chimney.

When buying new appliances, look for the EnergyStar seal. By making this smart choice, you can save $80/year on your refrigerator, plus another $110/year on operating your washing machine. You can also save $30/year operating your dishwasher.

When you pick up these new appliances, your energy savings can pay for your fridge in about five years, pay for your washing machine in eight years and pay for your dishwasher in eight years.

Want to save even more? Many old-style water heaters with the big tank can cost a fortune, especially if you have a large family. Instead, you can install an energy-efficient water heater that only comes on when you need it, saving you on electric and water, that can pay for the heater in three to four years.

The Kahanu’s Financial Journey

July 12th, 2017

Veronica and Alii Kahanu copy

“We are Veronica and Alii Kahanu. Before enrolling in 101 Financial I, Veronica, primarily handled the whole budget which included oversight of what our monthly income was and what bills had to be paid. But it was not organized and therefore we started to experience times when our account started to go negative because we did not have a financial plan to follow and help us stay within our budget.
This started to cause stress because with a negative bank account there was also the overdraft fees being added on to the debt, and not knowing if we would be able to feed our family of eight was very frustrating. So I finally decided to ask Eric Oshiro my sponsor how to start on 101 Financial stuff that I heard him talking about. Eric sent me to the website and told me to submit my budget for the financial analysis and so I did. Then we set up our first meeting for 99 Financial with Kamaile Heide.
At first it was an eye opening experience to actually go line by line on exactly what and when money comes in and goes out. The 3 months of projections and setting a weekly budget really helped us see how we needed to be more organized with our finances.
It was a relief for me to have that first meeting with my husband at my side. To have Alii there being involved with the budget made a big difference because prior to that he did not really know about our budget. By having knowledge of the budget and the weekly budget my husband is now able to understand how daily spending affects our family budget.
There was homework that was assigned to help us find ways to reduce our bills and also bring in more money.
We are still in the 99 Financial Program and working diligently to graduate on to 100 Financial Program, but of course it will take time and discipline. With the 99 Financial Program, I feel less stressed because I now have an organized plan for my budget. I am able to have better control over how we handle our money. And with the reading material provided from enrolling in the 99 Financial Program, we are better equipped to find ways to save money.
It is such a relief to know exactly what and when money is coming in and going out and being able to strategically plan out a weekly budget so our account does not go negative and the bills can be paid on time.
Also, thanks to our homework, I was able to talk to a mortgage lender and found out I could refinance and bring down my rate from 4.25% to 3.25% saving us $400 dollars a month.

I believe 101 Financial is a great program to be in and that everyone needs to learn these financial strategies. I look forward to reaching the 101 Financial System from 99 Financial so I can one day help others.”

– Veronica and Alii Kahanu

Lucky to STILL live in Hawaii

July 12th, 2017

Macaria and Paul Carroll copy

“My husband and I became homeowners in November 2010. My goal was to become a homeowner before I was 30 years old and I transferred that aspiration to my husband Paul.

We worked very hard to build up our credit and save money for a down payment. Through hard work and perseverance… we did it! We were homeowners at 27 and 28 respectively. I was so proud that we were able to set that goal and reach it, especially in Hawaii…one of the most expensive places to live.

In the few years that followed, life happened…career changes, pay cuts, and a growing family. It was now October 2014 and we had less then $100 dollars in our savings, we were living on credit to make ends meet, and working all the overtime we could get. We were living paycheck to paycheck and on the brink of financial chaos.

We came to the conclusion we were “house poor.” I have heard the term before, but now I was living it. We were barely keeping our heads above water and the stress levels were rising.

Our one and only light at the end of the tunnel was to sell our house and move to the mainland. What a tough decision that was to swallow our pride, admit defeat, leave our home and family, for somewhere that had a better cost of living.

It was fate that I saw an old friend Jason in Target. I heard of 101 Financial prior to Jason talking to me about it, but my knowledge was limited. Honestly, I thought it was a scam, multi-level marketing… something I had absolutely no interest in. Jason invited us to a 101 workshop, and only out of pure desperation did we attend.

We saw the workshop a few days later and Alan Akina happened to be the presenter. The money principals he shared made sense. The payoff graph he showed with the 101 Financial System seemed unbelievable. With hesitation, and did I mention pure desperation, we jumped into 101 Financial full force. We decided this would be our last-ditch effort to fix our finances so we could stay home. We made the agreement that if this didn’t work, we had to move.

Fast-forward to November 2014 and our first 101 Financial class. Our starting consumer debt was an auto loan of $22,500, three Credit cards totaling $4,500, a personal loan of $3,400, a student loan over $10,000 and of course, the mortgage at about $400,000.

Using the smarter banking that 101 Financial is about, and with the guidance of Grace, we were able to pay off the auto loan, credit cards, and personal loan for a grand total of $30,400…. all in a matter of 4 months!

Unbelievable right? Well, I’m telling you we did that! That’s not all. In addition to paying off that burden of debt, we learned how to bank smarter, use a credit card correctly, and raised our credit scores from an okay 650 to an awesome 780.

Additionally, now that we didn’t have all those monthly bills, we now had a cash flow of over $1,500 dollars every month. In 4 months, we made a complete turn around and most importantly… we didn’t need to move!

As I am writing this, it feels like I am bragging or boasting about all the money we have. The reality is, we actually make less now, as we don’t work any overtime and we live off of our base pay.

It’s an incredible feeling to know that we went from struggling financially…to being more than comfortable. All because we took a leap of faith and gave 101 Financial a shot. I encourage everyone to have an open mind and take the first step to financial freedom just like we did.

I just want to say, from the BIGGEST skeptic out there…from the person that went to a workshop out of pure desperation…this is the real deal!

Thank you to Alan Akina, for sharing this knowledge with us, and thank you to Jason and Grace for inviting us.”

– Macaria and Paul Carroll

10 Ways To Make More Money In Your Retirement Years

June 10th, 2017

10 Ways To Make More Money In Your Retirement Years

Are you retired and having a tough time living on your pension or social security?

Are you getting older and know you will have a better life if you plan ahead now, by setting yourself up to have the extra income you want, month after month?

I’m sure you want to be comfortable in your retirement years. Well, adding more income every month can make it easier.

Today I have 10 tips for you to give you some ideas to think about, for making more money after you retire.

Retirement Income Tip #1: Put your expertise to work by starting your own business.

There’s a good chance that whatever you did for a living before you retired can be the basis of a money-generating business. Just think, you already know how to do what you do. Just do it as a business owner or a freelancer and you could set yourself up to bring in income as long as you want.

Retirement Income Tip #2: Become an Uber driver.

If you live in an area that is fairly populated to very populated, working as an Uber driver in your spare time can be a great way to earn extra income “on demand.” It’s not a bad life to be able to work when you want to and not work when you don’t.

Retirement Income Tip #3: Work part-time at your local golf course.

If you like to golf, just imagine enjoying being on the golf course every day, while get the perks of free golf and more money. Many people would rather play golf than go to work anyway. You could be the envy of your neighborhood when you go golfing every day, while earning extra cash.
Retirement Income Tip #4: Use Airbnb or VRBO to rent out a spare room in your home.

Rental income is one of the best forms of money you can make. You really don’t have to do much to earn rental money. Just keep up your property, let people know you have a room for rent. That is now easier with listing services like AirBnB and VRBO.

Retirement Income Tip #5: Try pet sitting or walking dogs for people in your neighborhood.

If you love animals and pets, and don’t mind walking them or watching after them for a few hours every day, you can earn extra cash. At the end of the day your pet “guests” go home, and you’ve had a fun day doing what you love.

Retirement Income Tip #6: Teach English online.

There are many ways to earn an income from home, like you’re discovering today. A great way to help others from foreign lands function day to day in America is to help them learn to speak English. All you have to do is become an English teacher at one of the online language programs like Lingoda.com or iTudorGroup.

Retirement Income Tip #7: Try house sitting.

Though babysitting can be a tough job, watching over homes of people who take long vacations or live in your area seasonally can be easy. These homeowners want someone to stop by their homes regularly to make sure all is well. You can be the person who stops by weekly, and earn extra spending money while you’re at it.

Retirement Income Tip #8: Turn your hobby into a business.

Hobbies are great for extra income, since you love doing whatever the hobby is. Just do your hobby as usual, then sell the things you make online. You can get started selling what you create easily, when you set up a simple Facebook or Etsy page.

Retirement Income Tip #9: Write the book you’ve always wanted to write.

Everyone has at least one good book in them. Write a compelling book on a subject others are deeply interested in, and you could have a best-seller on your hands. Imagine you on a TV talk show talking about your latest book with the host!

Retirement Income Tip #10: Make DIY video tutorials.

YouTube is a free video platform that lets you create any video you want and share it with the world. Many create “do it yourself” tutorials in areas they are good in. What can you teach people on video to help them create or do what they want?

My message today is all about keeping yourself busy in retirement in a way that keeps you sharp and young at heart, while putting more cash in the bank. If you don’t think you can do any of these suggestions, I’m here to tell you that you can. Like Nike used to say… Just Do It!

5 Tips To Save On Your Auto Insurance

June 10th, 2017

5 Tips To Save On Your Auto Insurance

According to the US Labor Department, consumers spent an average of $983 on auto insurance in 2014. This a 23% increase from just five years ago.

Since insurance rates are always on the rise, here are 5 Tips to lower your auto insurance bill.

1: Always get quotes from at least 3 different providers.

Auto insurance prices can vary greatly from company to company. Shopping around can save you a lot more than you may think.

2: Get the highest deductible you can afford to take on.

Typically the higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be. You’ll pay more when you have an accident, but if you’re like most people who haven’t had an accident in years, you stand to gain from the lower monthly premiums.

3: Before you buy a car, check on the insurance cost.

If at all possible, make this one of your research steps before getting a car. The fact is, some cars have cheaper insurance costs, and some cars have much higher costs. If you put off getting that sports car you want, and make do with a family car for a few years, you’ll enjoy fairly low insurance costs, depending on where you live.

4: Pass on collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is an old clunker.

If your car is really old, you might be paying more in insurance than the car is worth. Use this calculation to see for yourself…

Add your comprehensive and collision premium together and multiply the total by 10. If the number is more than the value of your car, then you should pass.

5: Work to increase your credit score.

Most companies use your credit score to determine your premium. A lower credit score could increase your payments by up to 50%. So it pays to do what you can to increase your credit score. Starting with getting your credit report, and having any mistakes corrected which may be affecting your score in a negative way.

Since you have to pay auto insurance every year, cutting your insurance expenses can really add up.

6 Tips For Dealing With Debt Collectors

June 10th, 2017

6 Tips For Dealing With Debt Collectors

Dealing with debt collectors can be a nightmare for you and your family. Some of the tactics they use are questionable and very annoying.

Even though you may be having financial difficulties, just know you do have rights. When you approach your debt problems the right way, you can make a bad situation better.

This means stopping phone calls from creditors at all hours, receiving certified mail that requires your signature, and putting an end to dealing with the shady tactics involved in this industry.

According to Bankrate.com… when facing debt collectors, keep calm and follow these 6 smart tips:

Collections Tip #1: Get the information in writing.

Within 5 days of contacting you, a debt collector must send you a written notice with details of the collection. Ask for this letter before engaging with them.

Collections Tip #2: Dispute the debt in writing if you don’t believe you owe it.

Send the collection agency a letter within 30 days of receiving their notice. Either tell them why you do not owe this debt, or offer to enter into a payment arrangement.

Collections Tip #3: Keep a record of everything.

Make a log of your calls, your emails and letters with the collection agency. Proving that you have made an attempt to deal with them can help.

Collections Tip #4: Watch what you say.

Remember, they are trying to probe to see if you have the capacity to pay. Say little as you can and always stand firm when talking to a collection agency.

Collections Tip #5: Offer to negotiate your debt down.

Times are tight and debt collectors are looking to get whatever they can. Start out by offering 10 to 15% of what they say you owe. If you can work it out that you’ll pay 20% of what you owe, consider this a win.

Collections Tip #6: Get any deals in writing.

Think before you pay. Before you part with one dollar, make sure you get the pay off deal in writing. This way when a collector tries to pressure you for more, you have proof of the terms agreed upon.

The fact is, if you’re having trouble with debt, there may be other options that work more in your favor. 101 Financial helps families with personal finances out of control every day.

Getting the help you need is as easy as booking your free phone consultation with one of our 101 Financial Instructors.

5 Tips For Investing In Rental Properties

June 10th, 2017

5 Tips For Investing In Rental Properties

Have you ever considered investing in rental properties?

Having a few income-generating properties in your portfolio is a great way to supplement your income, build wealth and set up your family’s next generation financially.

If you like the idea of having properties you own, that generates income for you each month…

Here are 5 tips when investing in rental properties:

Rental Property Tip #1: The goal is to earn a profit.

It is critical you start with this mindset before dropping a dime into a property. A rental property that puts you more in debt, without having the upside of profit that gives you passive income, is not a smart move.

Rental Property Tip #2: Pick good houses in good neighborhoods.

As you can imagine, there is no sense in becoming a landlord in a bad neighborhood. When you focus on acquiring quality properties, you will usually attract better tenants who appreciate you and have a greater profit potential.

Rental Property Tip #3: Know where you buy.

You want to be the expert in your town when it come to real estate. You should know the key numbers like… average sales prices, taxes, rental income, vacancy rates and handyman service fees.

Rental Property Tip #4: Don’t pay retail prices unless it’s a sweet deal.

Buy properties that are undervalued, that is where your money will be made. Try to envision what the place could be like with a little work, and not necessarily what it looks like now.

Rental Property Tip #5: Become a student of real estate.

Learn as much as you can about investing in real estate in your area. Read books, listen to podcasts and speak with and interview other investors. An educated investor is a wealthy investor.

Then get out there and pick up your first rental property. You will learn more by getting started doing than by being stuck in studying mode that any other approach.

Back on Track

June 10th, 2017

Saad

Prior to being on the 99 Financial Program, our finances were a disaster. We had no budget plan whatsoever. We just spent our hard-earned money carelessly.

My Fiancé also had seven different credit cards that he could not keep up with anymore. All seven went into collections. Because of all the missed payments on our credit cards, our credit scores were very low. Not being able to qualify for the 101 Financial System right away was very discouraging to us. However, we knew we had to start getting serious about our finances.

We were introduced to 101 Financial by my friend Noralyn who is also our 101 Instructor. Being on the 99 Program, we knew we would have to make some sacrifices to get where we want to be.

We learned to do three month projections which taught us how to plan ahead and budget better. The projections helped us keep track of all of our spending. We also learned to automate our monthly bills so we never miss a payment again.

Five months ago, we were able to open up a secured line of credit and now bank at one place. Before this, we had several checking and saving accounts at different banks. Banking at one bank makes it so much easier for us to keep track of our finances.

So far, we paid off $3,522.67 of debt while on the 99 Financial Program. That’s five out of seven credit cards taken care of so far.

Our credit scores jumped a little over 50 points each and are starting to slowly increase. This is something I thought was impossible.

Our goal now is to pay off the rest of our debt, continue to bring our credit scores up and graduate to the 101 Financial System.

Thank you 101 Financial for helping us take control of our finances. We feel so much better!

– Kimberly Saad

From Stressed To Blessed

June 10th, 2017

Alo

We first heard about 101 Financial in 2013. We moved from Utah to Hawaii so Kaeo could attend school and play football. He was going to school full-time and not working much, so we didn’t think we would benefit from the 101 Financial System.

After Kaeo graduated, he was accepted into the University of Utah. Our journey brought us back to Utah. We stayed with my parents for about two months and got our first place in Provo.

We were so excited and thought it would be a cinch living in Utah.

Everyone knows financial struggles are everywhere. This was the first time we were ever making car payments, paying rent, utilities, gas bill, etc. and we were feeling it!

After only 2 short months of struggling paycheck to paycheck, arguing and trying to get the hang of being on our own, we finally decided something needed to change, when we had missed a bill and needed to borrow money to pay it.

We gave 101 Instructors Sheallene and Kimo a call. Although I was hesitant, I knew we needed financial help.

We started in the 99 Financial Program and holy smokes… IMMEDIATELY we felt such an incredible difference in our attitude toward each other, and saw a difference in our finances.

WE ACTUALLY STARTED SAVING!! By writing each dollar down, we were able to track where everything was going, even our “play money.” We advanced to the 101 Financial System and set a goal to pay off our one debt… our car. After 3 months, we paid our car off and had about $2,500 in our savings!

To some people having that much in savings may not be a lot. But for us, coming from not even having a savings account, it felt so amazing!

We have been able to plan and take trips and we are able to give our children things that we could not afford before. Something as simple as multiple presents for birthdays is now a possibility for us and we are so grateful!

Our family is happier. Our kids are happier. Our marriage is happier.

We are continuing to build a savings and have set goals that before, we didn’t even want to try! We have been so extremely blessed by this program and are optimistic about our future! We recently became 101 Instructors and are excited to share this with Utah!

We have financial peace of mind each day and are no longer worried about whether the bills will be paid, or if we have money in savings. We are getting bills paid, building our savings, and paying off our debts.

101 Financial has taught us so much and we can’t wait to continue learning and sharing!

– Kaeokalei Alo

In Four Years We Were Able To Purchase Two Homes

June 10th, 2017

– Monica and Dan

10 Really Dumb Money Mistakes To Avoid

May 9th, 2017

10 Really Dumb Money Mistakes To Avoid

Did you know the number one cause of divorce is money problems? It’s true. This has caused millions of families to break up, which is a shame.

According to USA Today…70% of couples argue about finances. More than half say the fights stem from what one spouse saw as a frivolous purchase. Yet there are many other causes of families having financial difficulties.

Here are 10 really dumb money mistakes to avoid, so you don’t have to get into any more arguments with your spouse or partner about money:

Mistake #1: Spending more than you earn.

This is the number 1 reason why families get in over their head with bills and credit cards, leading to personal finances out of control. That’s why one of the first things we teach our students is knowing the concept of “money in” vs. “money out.”

Mistake #2: Not saving anything.

Not having a fund set aside for a rainy day will make your stress level go through the roof when you find yourself with a real emergency. Make it a point to take 10% of what you earn, and put that in your savings account each month.

Mistake #3: Living in a place you can’t afford.

This is another financial disaster waiting to happen. If you can’t afford where you live, that means you’ll probably rely on other means to meet the bills every month, which is usually a credit card or a personal loan.

Mistake #4: Missing out on a 401k match from your employer.

It’s really a “no brainer” to contribute to your employer-funded 401k. Each time you do, up to a certain amount, your employer will add the same amount to your 401k. As the years go by, you can build a nice next egg, or retirement fund, with your boss’s help.

Mistake #5: Failing to invest savings.

While it’s essential to put aside some of the money you earn into your savings account, that money won’t make you much in return on it’s own. That’s why investing some of your savings wisely is so important.

Mistake #6: Investing with greed or desperation.

If you are expecting to make a million dollars in one year, or you’re investing because your financial back is up against a wall and you need a return on your money fast, you’ll most likely be disappointed with your results.

Mistake #7: Tapping into retirement funds early.

There are many different ways you can earn extra income if you really think about it. Even if this means getting a second job or starting a home business, that’s better than dipping into your retirement funds, that you may find hard to replace when you’re older and not working.

Mistake #8: Waiting too long to get life or disability insurance.

After you get injured and can’t work, or you pass away, is not the time to protect your family with insurance. Be proactive with your family’s future. Did you know that many life insurance policies can build cash value over time? It’s true.

Mistake #9: Failing to make a will.

You remember what happened when Prince died, right? I think there is still a probate court case going, with people who say they deserve a cut of his fortune. Don’t leave your legacy up to the courts. Making a will is fast, easy and inexpensive… even free. You can create your simple will for free, with the easy steps you’ll find at LegalZoom.com.

Mistake #10: Following a cookie-cutter approach to building wealth.

The fact is, the world of finances changes like the seasons. You must stay informed about trends and problems that can help you build your wealth, or that may decrease your wealth without you even being aware. This is why it’s always smart to have a qualified financial advisor in your corner.

7 Tips For Avoiding Those Sneaky Hotel Fees

May 9th, 2017

7 Tips For Avoiding Those Sneaky Hotel Fees

Hotels are becoming more like airlines every day, adding a bunch of fees that makes staying at most hotels super expensive.

Beside the resort fee, you may also get charged for early check in fees, cancellation fees, baggage storage fees, Wi-fi fees and parking fees.

Here are 7 tips to avoid those sneaky hotel fees:

Tip #1: Read the fine print before booking the room.

Tip #2: Sign up for hotel rewards programs, they typically offer their loyal customers free services.

Tip #3: Don’t store your snacks and drinks in the mini bar, they monitor usage in some hotels. You could get charged for items you already paid for on your own!

Tip #4. Go to the lobby to use the free Wi-fi. You may see others there with you, avoiding these fees, too.

Tip #5: Park off site. Look for street parking or search online for nearby parking that may be cheaper than the hotel parking fees, especially if you’re staying for multiple nights.

Tip #6: Check with your credit card to see if they will waive any of your hotel fees. American Express is usually the best at giving you extra savings and perks.

Tip #7: Skip the hotel and use services like Airbnb or VRBO.com. You could enjoy a much more comfortable stay that’s more like being at home, and the property owners typically don’t charge you extra for the extras.

6 Tips For Finding Last Minute Cash for College

May 9th, 2017

6 Tips For Finding Last Minute Cash for College

Do you have students attending college this fall and it looks like you’ll be short on cash to cover books and tuition? Don’t worry, I have a few tips to help you.

You may know, college expenses can really add up. If you find yourself in this situation, consider these 6 tips for finding last minute cash for college.

#1: Special circumstance application.

Life is complicated. Sometimes family or personal circumstances can impact your student’s academic credentials. You can relate information about family or personal circumstances in most institutions’ Common Application. You may want to seek the advice of your student’s dean or advisor regarding special circumstances.
#2: Get tax credits.

The American Opportunity tax credit and Lifetime Learning tax credit can help ease the burden for parents. The American opportunity tax credit (AOTC) is a credit for qualified education expenses paid for an eligible student for the first four years of higher education.You can get a maximum annual credit of $2,500 per eligible student.

#3: Low-Interest Student Loans.

Student loans are another option, but I suggest you shop around for the best deals. Only take what you need and nothing more. Also watch out for “deferment” of college fees. This means your student can go to school without paying month to month. Yet, when they’re done, they will have a mountain of debt to pay back.

#4: Cancellations.

Have you heard of scholarship cancellations? Sometimes other students change their minds and may not attend the university they are enrolled in. This may open up scholarship money for that school at the last minute. It pays to check if there have been cancellations at your student’s school.

#5 Pay Over Time.

Ask for a payment plan. Some schools will allow you to make monthly payments on your tuition. It never hurts to ask. If you can make the payments monthly, instead of deferring them until they graduate, you can help you student avoid the burden of many thousands of dollars of debt.

#6 Have Your Student Work Part-Time.

By having your student work at a job part-time, they will earn cash for college expenses. Working part-time will also give your student life experience and much needed cash to live on campus.

When Are New Mortgage Points Tax Deductible?

May 9th, 2017

When Are New Mortgage Points Tax Deductible

Most of us know we can deduct mortgage interest on our taxes each year. But what are the rules when it comes to deducting “points” paid on your new mortgage?

First lets talk about what points are.

Points are charges that are paid by a borrower, you, to get into a mortgage.

Points are considered prepaid interest. Generally speaking, because points are prepaid interest, you must deduct them over the term of the mortgage.

However the IRS says you may be able to deduct the points in the year of the actual payments, as long as you meet the following requirements:

1. The loan is for your primary residence.

2. Paying points is common in your area.

3. You use the cash method of accounting.

4. Points were not used for items like appraisal, inspection, title and attorney fees.

5. You brought the funds at closing and did not borrow the funds from a lender.

6. The points were computed as a percentage of the principal of the mortgage.

If you answer yes to all of these questions, then you can deduct the points paid for the year in which the payment was made.

101 Convinced the Biggest Skeptic

May 9th, 2017

faagau

I was a skeptic. I didn’t want our adviser, a friend, to know our financial “business” so I went into the 99 Financial Program hesitant.

It wasn’t long before we went on to the 101 Financial System, and I was still hesitant. My husband, tired of just getting by and doing banking the old way, took the lead and I am so thankful he did.

Since that leap of faith in the 101 Financial System, we opened a joint bank account (after 16 years of marriage we have never done this), our credit score improved, we bought a new car (which was something unimaginable), we have been able to travel, and our unexpected life setbacks are not as stressful using the 101 Financial System.

Our marriage has gotten better since our finances improved as well. We even have the means to bless others financially, and that feeling is fantastic!

Most recently we attended my mother-in-law’s funeral in California, all five of us! If it wasn’t for 101 Financial we know we would not have had the resources to attend as a family and say our final goodbyes.

With 101 Financial, next big step for our family will be home ownership. Can’t wait to share that story as well.”

Tamara Faagau

What an Awesome Feeling

May 9th, 2017

sevilla

“About 5 years ago, a good friend introduced us to the 101 Financial System. Upon hearing what the program was about, we were skeptical. Can we actually pay off a mortgage balance of $135,000 in less than 5 years under this plan?

It seemed too good to be true. But since Albert Ebueng, a manager of Wells Fargo Bank, recommended this particular plan to us, we went ahead.

We couldn’t believe how easy the plan was. We did our homework, worked on the spreadsheet, took notes, and became model students.

We did not change our lifestyle. We continued to eat out, go on vacations and let the plan work itself.

In just 3 years, we paid off our mortgage. What an awesome feeling that was. What plan can you possibly follow that will allow you to pay off your $100,000+ mortgage in less time? 101 Financial!

We are extremely grateful for Albert helping us achieve our goal. Without 101 Financial, we would not be experiencing the feeling of being debt-free, and we also would still be paying for our mortgage.”

Rhodel & Joan Sevilla

5 Reasons To Incorporate Your Small Business

April 3rd, 2017

5 Reasons To Incorporate Your Small Business

Are you a small business owner and you don’t know whether you should incorporate your business or not?

You see, there are 4 main choices you have when it comes to running your business.

First, as a sole proprietor or Limited Liability Company. Then there are the S and C Corps.

The SBA reports that over 80% of all small businesses are sole proprietors. All of these businesses stand to benefit in many ways, by incorporating.

Here are 5 reasons to incorporate your small business:

Reason #1. Protect your personal assets.

Incorporating is like putting up a wall between your business and your personal life. Whatever happens with your business does not affect your personal liability.

Reason #2: Add credibility and legitimacy.

When you incorporate your business, by adding LLC or Inc to your business name, you seem more like a real business, especially to those who don’t know you. Since people want to do business with credible companies, this is a good thing.

Reason #3: Build your business brand.

With an S or C corporation you have sole rights to the name of your business in your state. It is smart to have a catchy name people remember, or that include benefits of what you do. Since no one can use the same name you do, the more you promote your brand the more you will benefit.

Reason #4: Enjoy tax benefits and save money.

By electing to be taxed as an S corporation, you can avoid the dreaded double taxation. This means you won’t be taxed on your business income, plus your personal income, which in many cases for a sole proprietor, is the same.

Reason #5: Establish credit for your business.

Why rely on your personal credit for business expenses, when you can build business credit instead? This means your personal credit lines will not be affected by the amount of business credit you are using. Your business and personal credit are completely separate when you incorporate your business.

Whenever you start, change or dissolve a business entity, it’s wise to get the help of a CPA who deals with businesses and the taxes business and individuals pay.

Their help will come in handy when completing your yearly tax return, and when any issues about your taxes, income or business come in to play.

Is Working from Home Right for You?

April 3rd, 2017

It all sounds great to work from home, but is it really right for you? Here are 5 things to consider before making the switch.

Simple Rules To Remember When Lending Money To Family

April 3rd, 2017

Simple Rules To Remember When Lending Money To Family

“Should I lend money to a family member or friend?”

This is a complicated question, one that I get a lot. Before you do it ask yourself this question… “Will I get this money back?” The answer will most likely be… “Probably not!”

The next question to ask is… “Will this affect our relationship?” The answer is most likely…”Yes!”

The first rule of thumb for lending money is…If you don’t have money to lend, don’t even think about it.

Secondly, establish a personal policy when it comes to lending money to family or friends. When asked, you can be strong and let them know… “Our relationship is worth more than any amount of money.”

If you have a hard time saying no, try saying it a different way. For example… you can say “Sorry, but it’s just not in my budget right now.” Or “I have a personal policy that values relationships over money.”

Next, try to help them in other ways. You can help them set up a budget or review their finances with them.

If you have to lend them money, draw up a contract and make it official. You can find contracts online that are simple and easy to understand.

Finally, if you do have the money to give, then give it to them instead of loaning it to them. You’ll be much better off, since giving is a virtue. In occasional situations, it is “doing good.” Which is much better than loaning money that you may never get back.

5 Ways to Avoid Costly Mistakes and Save More Money (Part 3)

April 3rd, 2017

5 Ways to Avoid Costly Mistakes and Save More Money Part 3

This month I’m continuing my special segment for homeowners, to help you keep more cash in your pocket. These tips will help you save money and avoid mistakes that cost you money.

See how many of these money saving tips you’re already doing, and how many mistakes you may be making now.

Keeping More Cash Tip #1: Don’t Ignore Mold

If you see mold near water pipes, waste lines, ice maker lines or plumbing fixtures, chances are you have a leak somewhere. To find the problem, let the water run while you check for water or damp spots. Remember that water can travel in any direction if it gets sucked into material like drywall or carpeting.

Keeping More Cash Tip #2: Inspect Water Heaters For Leaks

Water heaters can leak from the drain or relief valves, which are easy to replace. If a leak is coming from the tank, it’s time to take action. Over the years, tanks can crack from rust developing. Don’t ignore puddles or wet spots. A damaged tank will leave you with a flood on your hands sooner or later.

Keeping More Cash Tip #3: Replace Old Circuit Breakers

In one of our previous issues of Financial Fitness Magazine, we talked about how to troubleshoot lighting and appliances, and how you can sometimes just reset the breaker. However, when a breaker trips again and again, it needs to be replaced, or you risk serious damage or even fire.

Keeping More Cash Tip #4: Pests Like Older Houses

It’s always a good idea to occasionally take a screwdriver and poke around the wood around your windows, doors and closets. Hard wood is what you want to see. If your screwdriver goes into the wood easily, you could have bugs that eat wood, making a meal on your wood.

Keeping More Cash Tip #5: Prepare When On Vacations

If you go on a vacation with your family for more than a week, it’s a good idea to prepare your home for being left alone. It’s smart to turn off the water main. Also be sure to close and lock your windows and doors, including your garage door. This will prevent leaks from developing or getting out of hand while you’re gone, and make gaining entry to your home more difficult for would-be thieves or animals.

With all of these cases, and many more, it’s always a wise idea to be proactive when it comes to monitoring the condition of your home. Left alone, your home can turn into a money pit, and even a safety hazard, with you constantly doing emergency repairs. Be proactive. You’ll save a pile of cash and avoid a lot of headaches and stress.

Our Credit Scores Jumped Quickly

April 3rd, 2017

Cubelo

When we heard about 101 Financial, it was too good to be true! We had to try it for ourselves.

Just like everyone else out there, we had lived outside of our means and racked up several credit cards of debt throughout the years.

Within 4 months of starting with the 101 Financial System, we were able to pay off over $15,000 of debt. The reality that we could be debt free in a year or so really set in and has motivated us even more.

One major benefit of paying all of our debt off was seeing our credit scores jump so quickly.

Our credit card utilization was down, credit scores were up and we were able to get the lowest loan rate offered on a vehicle.

The knowledge we have gained through 101 Financial has helped us tremendously.

With what we have experienced in such a short amount of time, we wanted to share our story with others with hope to help guide others just as we have been.

Hillary Cubelo & John Austin

Paying Off A Car Loan Of $22,000 In Just Six Months

April 3rd, 2017

Tyson and Taylor Auger

101 Financial has blessed our family’s life within such a short amount of time.

Our journey all started when our good friend and 101 Financial Instructor walked through our house while being under construction and asked, “Do you want to pay off your house in seven years?”

We laughed and said, “Yes, if that is even possible!” Little did we know that was a real possibility for us.

After our first meeting with Alan Akina we knew that 101 Financial was a great fit for our family, and immediately moved forward with our financial education.

It’s been exciting to see our success with paying off a car loan of $22,000 in just six months, that would have taken us four years to pay off. We are now working on paying off our brand new house in six years!

We can’t imagine buying and living in a new home without the knowledge we have now. We truly have peace of mind each month when our mortgage and bills are due.

We are so grateful to have found 101 Financial, for our wonderful Instructor and the friends we have made along the way.

We have been given powerful tools to help us make our family’s dream become a reality. We are very eager and excited to see what we can accomplish on this journey.

to be continued…

Tyson and Taylor Auger

Saved $230,000 On Their Mortgage Interest

April 3rd, 2017

101 Success Story of the Week – Earl and Rochelle


Earl and Rochelle Inouye

5 Steps To Building A Solid Credit Score

March 10th, 2017

5 Steps To Building A Solid Credit Score

The last thing you want to do in 2017 is to bang up your credit score.

Having a great credit score will qualify you for the best loan rates, possibly lower your insurance premiums and even help you to get a new higher paying job.

Here are 5 things you can do today to start improving your credit score:

#1: Download your free credit report at www.AnnualCreditReport.com

I suggest you get one credit report from each of the three credit bureaus once every three months. This will allow you to monitor your credit report regularly, while never having to pay for a report.

#2: Report errors immediately.

When you receive your credit reports, check for any errors you find, like a wrong address, a credit card that does not belong to you, or bad debt that should’ve been removed. Then report any errors to that reporting service right away.

#3: Visit www.CreditKarma.com

This is where you can get your credit score, absolutely free. Just remember, AnnualCreditReport.com does not give you a credit score. They give you a credit report. By visiting CreditKarma.com you’ll get your most up to date credit score. Visit this site every few months to monitor how your credit score is doing.

#4: Don’t be late.

To maintain a good credit report and credit score, be sure to never be late or miss a payment. Even making one payment late or missing just one payment can affect your report and credit score negatively. Never paying late or missing a payment has the biggest impact on lowering your score.

#5: Improve your score. Pay off debt as quickly.

The best way I know of to improve your credit score is by paying off debt. When you pay off debt quickly, you get an even greater benefit. A good target credit score to shoot for is 750 or higher. While it may take some time and effort to raise your credit score, the effort is well worth it for the sake of your financial health.

5 Little-Known Tax Deductions

March 10th, 2017

5 Little-Known Tax Deductions

Did you know the more tax deductions you can find and use, the more money you will save? While this is great, knowing the available legal tax deductions is half the battle.

According to TurboTax, here are 5 little-known tax deductions to consider this year, if you haven’t filed your tax return yet. If you have filed, you can apply these tips for every year’s taxes.

#1. Are You a Working Parent?

Parents who work and leave their kids with a babysitter are eligible for a tax credit. There are certain limitations on age and percentage of the credit. So if you are a working parent, it’s worth your while to find out these limitations.

#2. Are You Moving?

If you got a new job, and it is 50 miles further from your home than your old job, you can deduct the costs associated with moving, including transportation, storage, insurance and even lodging.

#3. Work Part-Time?

If you have two jobs, and one of your jobs is part-time, you can deduct a portion of the cost of getting from one job to another each and every day you work. Over the course of a year, this deduction can really add up.

#4. Give to Charity?

We all know you can deduct charitable contributions. But did you know you can deduct the cost of transportation to a charitable event or fundraiser? You can, just be sure to keep track of your miles. If you attend charitable events often, and if you support many different charities, this deduction can add up fast.

#5. Home Office?

If you are self-employed, you are eligible for a variety of deductions that other workers can’t claim. Working at home, you can deduct a portion of your utilities, a portion of your cell phone usage, the mileage you drive for business-related activities, and even a portion of your rent or mortgage.

Now I just have to leave you with one word of warning. If you’re not an expert when it comes to taxes, I suggest you check with your tax professional first. They will know the most recent changes of what you can deduct and what you can’t. While this will cost you a fee, what you can save be going to a qualified professional will make up the difference.

Can You Really Make More Money By Sleeping Longer

March 10th, 2017

Can You Really Make More Money By Sleeping Longer

Have you ever heard the term “money doesn’t sleep” or “I’m wasting time sleeping?”

Well you are going to love this. What if you could actually make more money, by sleeping longer? According to research, you can.

Researchers have shown that those who sleep more, make more money, and have better career paths.

In a new study by economist Matthew Gibson and Jeffrey Shrader, they examined the correlation between a worker’s productivity and the amount of time they spent sleeping.

Here is what they found:

A one hour increase in average weekly sleep can increase your wages by 1.5% in the short term, and 4.9% in the long term.

These researchers also found that a one hour increase per night can increase wages by a whopping 16%.

Would you like to earn more just be sleeping more?

Here are 5 Tips for getting more sleep:

Tip 1) Set up a routine.

Go to bed the same time each night.

Tip 2) Forget the snooze button.

Instead, set your alarm for the exact time you need to get up, then get up when your alarm sounds.

Tip 3) Exercise regularly.

The more you exercise, the easier and faster that you’ll fall asleep.

Tip 4) Keep your room dark and cool.

This will let you relax and sleep deeper. Have you ever tried to sleep in a hot room with the lights on? You’ll never get a good night sleep.

Tip 5) No computers before bed.

Avoid getting on a computer or your cell phone before bedtime. Studies show that the light and radiation that come off a phone, tablet or computer display can effect your quality of sleep.

The moral of this story? Always remember, it pays to sleep.

5 Ways to Avoid Costly Mistakes and Save More Money (Part 2)

March 10th, 2017

5 Ways to Avoid Costly Mistakes and Save More Money Part 2

This month I’m continuing my special segment for homeowners, to help you keep more cash in your pocket. These tips will help you save money and avoid mistakes that cost you money.

See how many of these money saving tips you’re already doing, and how many mistakes you may be making now.

Then look out for 5 more tips coming your way in next month’s Financial Fitness Magazine.

Keeping More Cash Tip #1: Check The Reset Button.

When a light goes out, who do you call? If you’re like most, you call the local home repair company. They come out and check the situation, fix it for you, then leave you with a hefty bill. Next time a light goes out, check the GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupter first. That’s the little red button on most newer plug receptacles and outdoor lighting. Press it, and most likely you’ll reset the GFCI and you’re good to go. Do this next time before you call for help, and you’ll save a pile of cash.

Keeping More Cash Tip #2: Test the Outlet.

Ever have one of your electronic devices stop working out of the blue? It can happen any time. Before you assume the electronic device is broken, and you go out and buy another, try this instead. Unplug the device and plug in a lamp or clock in the same outlet. If the lamp works and the clock shows the time, your outlet is fine, and the outage was just a momentary glitch. This is another way to save cash when you would usually call an expensive repair man, for something that is really simple to check.

Keeping More Cash Tip #3: Flip the Breaker.

Staying with my last example, if you find the lamp or clock does not work, don’t throw them away. Leave them plugged in, and find the box in your home where the circuit breakers are located. You’ll see all the switches will be in the same direction. When you see one that is in the opposite direction, you may have had a power surge that tripped that circuit breaker. Just flip that one breaker in the same direction as the others, and you should be good to go, without calling anyone.

Keeping More Cash Tip #4: Fixing Leaking Doors.

Do you sometime see water coming in from under an outside door, when it rains hard for a while? Do you sometime feel a cool or warm breeze coming up from the threshold? Leaving this situation alone can cost you money as cool or warm air leaves your home. Water leaking in can cause damage that will need to be repaired. Instead, get a screwdriver and adjust the screws on the threshold. As you do, the metal piece raises so it is closer to the bottom of your door. This will save you money by stopping water from coming in and stopping your AC or heated air from leaking out.

Keeping More Cash Tip #5: Inspect Your Gutters.

During different times of the year, debris from trees can collect in your home’s gutters. As this builds up, the gutters can’t do their job effectively. Let this build up for a long time, and you can develop leaks that can make their way into your home. In severe cases, the weight of debris can bring down your gutters, requiring a repair company to come to your location and fix it. As usual, when you call a service company to come to your home, you can expect a hefty bill. It makes sense to clean your gutters regularly, so you can keep more cash in the bank.

A Tremendous Difference In Our Lives

March 10th, 2017

Sheena Solomon copy

In 2009, I was a divorced mother of 2, when I met my Jason. He also had 2 children, one of which has special needs. When we met, we had both gone through very hard divorces and were forced to move back in with family.

In February of 2012, our lives changed forever. Jason and I were married and went to Lanai for our honeymoon. On the way back, while on the ferry, we received a call from child welfare services that Jason’s children were taken into the state’s custody for a situation with their birth mother. We rushed from Lahaina to pick them up.

We went through court proceedings for 10 months, and the money we saved was now being used for attorney fees. For years, we made the best of the situation, we sold pickled mango, and dry Aku to save up for a down payment again, and I learned how to coupon. But we still lived paycheck to paycheck.

After we were finally able to purchase a home, our bills grew as bills do, when you take on a bigger home. Bigger electric bills, bigger water bills, and everything else that comes with a new home.

That’s when I saw my friend Mary Jane posting on her Instagram about how she bought a home, was currently paying off her car, and paid off credit card debt. I was curious!

I reached out to her and asked “how the heck are you making all this money?” She told me something that changed our lives. “Come with me to a seminar”. One seminar. That’s all it took. We went, and it clicked!

I was doing everything I could on my own. I was cutting corners everywhere, and still couldn’t get ahead. We are middle class. We make too much to qualify for assistance, but not enough to get by.

101 Financial has made a tremendous difference in our lives. Now, we can breathe. No more paycheck to paycheck. Before 101, I was working to pay bills. Now, it’s “what can we do with our money next?”

Our new way of banking has made the biggest difference in our family. I still text my friend and coach thanking her for introducing my family to financial freedom!

– Sheena Solomon

It’s Never Too Late To Start

March 10th, 2017

Apo

“Six years ago we went through a year-long, very expensive, very painful divorce. Once the divorce was finalized, I was now a single mother of two daughters, and the sole owner of a mortgage. I was carrying a growing amount of debt that began from the cost of the divorce. The amount of debt I owed continued to grow… my house flooded, and eventually my oldest daughter began college. I began to worry if I’d be able to qualify for loans for her school.

In addition, in order to be able to transfer the mortgage to myself, my home was in a five-year ARM, and four years had already passed. I was starting to panic that I would lose my home. I was carrying a lot of debt and had a zero to negative cash flow each month. I knew I was in trouble when I was starting to make only the minimum payments on my credit cards and my balances continued to climb.

At work, people kept talking about this 101 Financial thing. The first few times I just blew it off. I had been to so many finance classes, and bought budgeting books. I was sure there was nothing they could teach me that I didn’t already know.

Well… after a couple of years, and as the hype grew larger, I finally decided it was time to check it out. I started the 101 Financial System in April of 2015. Jodie Agsalog and Valerie Verceluz gave me the missing tools I needed to move towards my financial success. I was able to pay off two credit cards and a personal loan in the first few months.

Since then, I have been able to pay off all of my remaining credit cards (for a total of over $50,000 in credit card debt alone). My cash flow has increased tremendously and my credit score has improved by 100 points!

I was able to purchase a new car when my old one decided to break down, I was also able to get a great deal when I refinanced my mortgage. And I have total confidence that I will be able to pay off my daughter’s student loans before she graduates from school. My biggest goal is to pay off my home in eight to ten years.

I wish I had the tools I learned from 101 Financial years ago… but it’s never too late to start.”

– Michelle Apo

A Simple Way To Invest In The Stock Market

February 15th, 2017

A Simple Way To Invest In The Stock Market

Do you ever think about investing in stocks? Do you want to build a large retirement portfolio, but just don’t know what to do first, then next?

If so, here’s a simple investment technique that does not rely on you trying to do the impossible, time the market, which is difficult even for experienced investors to do.

It’s called Dollar Cost Averaging. Here’s how it works:

Let’s say you have $100 to invest on a monthly basis.

Using dollar cost averaging, you would set up your account to automatically buy $100 worth of an investment at the same time each month, regardless of the price of the shares.

When share prices are low you will end up buying more shares.

When share prices are high you will end up buying less shares.

The theory is, the average cost per share will be lower over time, which will increase your chances of making more money.

This approach allows you to build your investments, while not getting stressed out about the ongoing fluctuation in the value of stocks.

As with any investment, there is no guarantee that you will not lose money. However, by starting early, and consistently investing over time, the odds are in your favor to create a winning formula for your family’s financial fitness.

You can get started today with this plan. What makes it easy is that you only invest $100 per month. You also won’t have all the stress many experience by constantly watching what the market is doing on a day to day basis.

Use These 6 Free Fitness Apps To Get In Shape

February 15th, 2017

Use These 6 Free Fitness Apps To Get In Shape

Do you want to get in shape, but you don’t want to pay for the gym membership every month, month after month?

Well don’t sweat it. You can still get a great workout, while saving money each and every month.

Here are 6 of the best free fitness apps to help get you in tip-top shape:

Free Fitness App #1: MyFitnessPal.

This app has been around for a while and boasts the largest food and calorie database. So you can get the nutrition you need, without all the carbs you don’t need.

Free Fitness App #2: The 7 Minute Workout.

If you don’t have much time to workout, try the 7 minute workout by Johnson and Johnson. This app is fast, simple and uses a science-based method that lets you work out on the go.

Free Fitness App #3: Charity Miles.

If you like to make a difference in the lives of others whenever you can, try Charity Miles. Every mile you walk, jog or run can earn money for one or many of over 30 different charities you support.

Free Fitness App #4: Jefit.

The Jefit app lets users personalize workout routines, track and record your progress and analyze your data. This way you are not just working out for the sake of working out. With the data this app gives you, you will know when you are making real progress toward your goals.

Free Fitness App #5: C25K.

Do you hold down the couch more than you exercise? You’ll love this app for the couch potatoes, called C25K. The C stands for couch and is designed to get you in shape little by little, to eventually be able to run a 5k in just 8 weeks.

Free Fitness App #6: Zombies Run.

If you like games, you’ll love this app, that turns working out into a game. With this app you can walk, run or jog while listening to music and your zombie mission. If you are chased by zombies, as you may imagine, you’ll have to speed up. Just don’t look behind you, or you may let them catch you.

7 Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires

February 15th, 2017

7 Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires

Do Millionaires know something you don’t?

When it comes to building wealth, learning from those that have done it before you is a great way to cut your learning curve.

The fact is, if others can become wealthy, so can you. It’s all about seeing what works for others, then making a plan to apply their strategies in your day to day life.

Here are 7 Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires, according to Entrepreneur Magazine.

Millionaire Secret #1: Decide to be a Millionaire.

You know this already, that if you want to do anything that will bring value to your life, you must make a decision to make it happen.

Millionaire Secret #2: Get rid of poverty thinking.

There is no shortage of money on this planet, only a shortage of people who think correctly about it. When you choose to view money differently, your open the doors to your life and income growing.

Millionaire Secret #3: Treat it like a duty.

Self-made millionaires are not driven by money. They are driven by the need to validate their contributions. In order for you to make a difference in people’s lives, and make this world a better place, connect your desire to help with your ability to earn more money.

Millionaire Secret #4: Surround yourself with millionaires.

You can’t learn how to make money from someone who doesn’t have it. They say, “success breeds success.” There is also another saying that goes… “You are only as successful as the people you hang out with.”

Millionaire Secret #5: Work like a millionaire.

They treat time differently. Wealthy people buy other people’s time, while the poor sell their time to employers. Choose to focus on your strengths and pay others to do what for you are weaknesses.

Millionaire Secret #6: Shift your focus from spending to investing.

The rich don’t spend money, they invest. They know the US tax code favors investing over spending. This is how great fortunes are made. This is also why I’m always advising you to save, instead of spending recklessly.

Millionaire Secret #7: Create multiple streams of income.

The really rich never depend on only one flow of income. Instead, they always focus on create multiple streams of income from different sources. Make it a point to sit down and see how you can create additional income sources to add to the income you earn now.

BONUS Millionaire Secret #8: Teach your children how money works.

One of the biggest lessons you can learn is to teach your family, including your children of any age, the value of money. When you teach them how money works, you will have the peace of mind of knowing they will always be able to take care of themselves financially.

Without coming to you for financial help again and again.

5 Ways to Avoid Costly Mistakes and Save More Money (Part 1)

February 15th, 2017

5 Ways to Avoid Costly Mistakes and Save More Money Part 1

With all of the expenses that come along with owning your own home, you must do what you can to minimize mistakes that cost you money, while always looking for ways to save any money you can.

Remember, saving your money, even if it is only a little bit at a time, can really add up. By the end of the year, you can actually save enough for an important home improvement, or enough to take your family on that big vacation they’ve always dreamed of.

This month begins my special segment for homeowners, to help you keep more cash in your pocket. My intent is to help you save more money and avoid mistakes that cost you money.

See how many of these money saving tips you’re doing, and also how many of these mistakes you may be making. Then look out for 5 more tips coming your way in next month’s Financial Fitness Magazine:

Keeping More Cash Tip #1: Is your fridge too warm or too cold?

With different family members in and out of your fridge many times a day, personal preferences may come into play, with some wanting certain things very cold, then others who change the setting back to warmer. Since many foods can spoil from being too cold or too warm, find a happy medium that will make your family happy, and save you money on wasted spoiled food. Also remember that a higher yet still cold setting can save you money every month.

Keeping More Cash Tip #2: Low-Flow Toilets and Showers.

The sources of water you use every day can really add up over the course of a month, and much more over the course of a year. If you live in an older home with old fixtures, making the decision to save all the water you can by replacing your old toilets and shower heads to newer “low flow” models will save you a pile of cash, while also helping to conserve one of our most precious resources, clean water.

Keeping More Cash Tip #3: Insulate Doors and Windows.

Whether it’s summer or winter, or any time in between, you are spending good money to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Yet if your windows and doors let air from the outside in, and let your comfortable air from inside escape to the outside, you are letting your hard-earned money blow away with the wind. Do a yearly check to make sure your windows are insulated and close tightly, as well as seeing that any openings around your outside doors have the proper weather stripping.

Keeping More Cash Tip #4: Use Fans For Circulation.

Did you know that moving air helps to increase evaporation of moisture in the air in your home? If you use air conditioning regularly, you can make your family more comfortable by installing ceiling fans. Doing this will enable you to lower the setting on your air conditioner, keeping your home comfortable, while saving cash every month.

Keeping More Cash Tip #5: Keeping Walls Clean Without Paint.

If your family is anything like mine, they are always moving through the house with dirty hands, touching walls and light switches, creating ugly marks and fingerprints. Before you get the temptation to buy paint and repaint your interior, try a cloth with warm water and gentle soap first. Doing this will clean most marks off your walls. Then you can keep the $25 or more in your pocket that you would have spent on a can of paint, every time your walls and switch plates get dirty again.