5 Ways to Recover From Financial Troubles

January 13th, 2017

5 Ways to Recover From Financial Troubles

Have you ever been through tough financial times?  Who hasn’t, right?  We all experience rough patches on our financial journey.

Think back to the last few times you experienced financial troubles. Have you ever fallen, and stayed in that financial state for a long time? I hope not, yet it does happen to many people. Falling is one thing, but staying stuck financially is no way to live.

When you fall and get back up, don’t you feel like you’ve just made a positive accomplishment? Well you have. We all make mistakes. Yet, when you recover quickly, you can get right back on the financial high road, where you’re spending wisely, earning all you can, limiting your credit purchases and saving each and every month.

Here are 5 tips to help you recover from financial troubles and get back on the financial high road quickly:

#1:  Commit yourself to living a better financial life.
Set goals that will make you be more responsible with your finances than ever.

#2:  Learn from your past money mistakes and resolve to never make those mistakes again.
A mistake is not bad, if you learn something from that mistake. Of course, even better (and less painful) is learning from other people’s mistakes.

#3:  Build and add to your emergency fund regularly.
Most of our troubles come from financial emergencies. When you can’t handle these emergencies, that’s when you feel like your finances are out of control. You will feel much better when you are always adding to your emergency fund.

#4:  Find a better paying job.
Besides watching your spending, increasing your income and putting that extra money to work for you is the key to experiencing financial peace of mind.

#5:  Become more financially literate. 
Read up on financial topics that interest you. I personally like to read one new book about personal finance each month. Another great way to become more financially literate is by doing what you are doing right now. Read your Financial Fitness Magazine from cover to cover, each and every month.

Find out how to make tough financial times easier here.

How to Pay for Your Gas While Driving to Work

January 13th, 2017

How to Pay for Your Gas While Driving to Work

How would you like to save the cash you usually spend on gas for your car to work every week?

What if you could make enough money to pay for your gas each month, all while driving to work?  Here’s how…

The other day I had to go to the airport, so I caught an Uber ride.

Chuck was my Uber driver. He told me that every day before he leaves for work, he turns on his Uber driver app, then he looks for riders in his area.

Chuck gives himself a 15-minute window from about 6:15am to 6:30am or so to find a rider. At least 2 to 3 times per week he finds a rider.

Most people at that time are going to the airport. Chuck happens to work only 10 minutes away from the airport.

Here are 6 benefits he mentioned to me that day, which save on gas, because riders are paying for it!

#1: You make enough money to cover your gas bill.

#2: You usually make enough cash to save some, too.

#3: You drive in the express lane (2+ passengers).

#4: You get tax benefits with your own business.

#5: You get paid every week from Uber.

#6: You choose when and where you want to work.

If you live someplace where most people are moving from where you live to a busier area, like an airport or the city, you stand to save money on your gas every week.

 

Plus, you may even earn extra cash to add to your savings!

3 Tips For Staying Away From Non-Banking Loans

January 13th, 2017

3 Tips For Staying Away From Non-Banking Loans

A recent study put out by FINRA found that 26% of Americans engaged in non-bank borrowing in 2015, which I hate to see.

These types of loans include auto title loans, payday loans, or using pawn shops or rent-to-own stores.

Non-bank borrowing methods are likely to come with extremely high interest rates. When you are late on a payment, or default on these types of loans, you could pay sky-high rates and fees, plus risk losing your car on title loans.

These loans often attract those with poor credit, lack of access to more traditional sources of credit, or both.

Since you are one of my Financial Fitness Magazine readers, I know you’re smarter than that.

You know being smart when it comes to borrowing and banking is crucial to your financial success.

It is bad for your finances to put yourself in positions where you think you need to access these high-risk borrower credit sources.

Which is why I’m here to help you stay away from bad financial decisions like taking out loans from non-banking sources.

Here are 3 Tips for avoiding these non-banking loans, and getting more favorable loans from traditional bank or credit unions:

#1:  It’s all about cash flow.
This means managing your cash flow, by tracking all of the money coming in and going out of your pocket. I call this knowing your “Money In and Money Out.”

#2:  Build your credit.
The best way to avoid shady and high-interest loans is to be responsible with your finances so you can qualify for loans with reasonable terms. If you don’t have good credit now, or you have no credit history, I suggest you start small, by applying for a low-limit credit card. If you can’t get one, you might have to get a secured credit card to start the credit-building or rebuilding process.

#3:  Know your needs and wants.
The next time you find yourself wanting to go buy something, and you’re going to buy it on credit, think again. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this now? Or is this just something I want, that can wait until later, when I have the cash to buy it?”

Stopping to think about these 3 tips before you whip out your wallet or purse is smart. Do you know how much money you have coming in and how much you have going out? Do you need to build your credit first? Do you really need to make this purchase?

The bottom line is… Don’t borrow the money if you don’t need it. Ask yourself each time you make a purchase if it’s a need or a want. If it is a need, see how you can make the purchase in cash, instead of running up your credit.

7 Ways to Create Your Dream Home

January 13th, 2017

7 Ways to Create Your Dream Home

You shopped long and hard to find just the right home in just the right part of town. While you loved the location, you may have wanted to make a few improvements.

Here are my 7 best Dream Home tips for upgrading your home, while increasing its value at the same time:

1) Custom Wine Rack and Bar
If you like to entertain in your home, nothing is sure to turn heads like your own custom bar and built-in wine rack. This means no more having your guests going to the refrigerator full of leftover food, smelly cheese and vegetables that are two weeks old.

#2) Indoor and Outdoor Living
Many people enjoy spending time outside as much as they do inside. For some, this means living inside and outside all the time, with glass panel doors that open for easy access to the great outdoors and close when the weather is not so nice.

#3) Roll-Away Kitchen Cabinets
Sometimes it’s just you and your partner cooking in the kitchen. While you can just use your counter top when you have guests over for a larger party, your countertop space can quickly be used up. Now you can install roll-away sections that are cabinets with a countertop, which hides away under your main countertop.

#4) Mini Fridge for Above and Below
Do you have a multi-level home with floors above and a basement below? If so, you know how many times you have to travel up and down when you’re entertaining or just lounging around? Install a small mini-fridge upstairs and below, and what you need will always be just steps away.

#5) Do Something with Unused Space
Many homes have at least one area too small to do much with, yet big enough that it makes part of your home seem empty. A smart way to use extra space like this is to create a small playroom for the children, a small office or even small yet useful hidden sliding door closets for extra storage.

#6) Who Else Wants More Drawer Space?
For every set of cabinets you have in any room, whether in the bathrooms or the kitchen, there is always that wasted space between the cabinets and the floor. Smart homeowners turn this space into extra drawers that sure come in handy!

#7) Use the Space Under Your Stairs
Ever wonder what to do with that empty space under your stairs? Well creative homeowners use this space for all sorts of things, including a doggie apartment, a library for all their books, and even more cabinets and drawers.

While you’ll get to enjoy all the upgrades you make to your home, it makes financial sense to improve your property for when that day comes when you want to sell it and move someplace else. Most quality home improvements can give you a positive return on your investment when it comes time to sell.

Our 101 Journey

January 13th, 2017

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101 Financial brings so much warmth to my heart and entered our lives at the most PERFECT time! We just got married, and will be starting a family soon with our first child.

I worked for Aloha Airlines, who unfortunately went into bankruptcy. At the same time, my husband who was a student athlete at UH MANOA graduated. The the unemployment checks and his side jobs ended so quickly that we couldn’t keep up with the necessities for our family.

We were fortunate to be living with family who helped us out with our situation, but we began to feel like we would never pay off our debt and would have to continue living with my parents for years. Our debt made us feel like our dreams and goals in life would never happen. We struggled on so many levels.

Fast-forward to the day we were introduced to 101 Financial. Our angel shared with my husband that 101 Financial helped him and his wife, so my husband took charge and watched the video.

I was skeptical, because I didn’t think anything could help us. I thought “no, we just need to make more money”… and that really didn’t feel like it was ever going to happen.

My husband attended his first class with our amazing Instructor and she guided him and worked with him every step of the way. Within the first 2 weeks on the 99 Program we started to see money in our account. By the second month she graduated us to the 101 Financial System.  With her help we paid off $45,000, our entire debt, in 8 months!

We felt like we DID IT. We felt with this financial education we CAN do anything, the sky is the limit!

We live on our own now with our family of seven. We purchased our first SUV to safely transport our family on the roads of Hawaii. We have taken our children on little staycations every year since we started our 101 Financial journey, and we recently took a huge vacation to UTAH. They had a blast visiting with family.

I am very fortunate to be a stay at home mother with my children, where I get to attend their field trips, sporting events, church activities, and be able to create my own memories with them to cherish forever.

Thank you, Alan Akina, for sharing these blessings in our lives.

– Sheallene Alo

Best Decision Ever!

January 13th, 2017

SS-Tadio

I first heard of 101 Financial five years ago from one of my customers. During that year, Alan Akina came into my store to shop for some fixtures. He also mentioned the program to me and gave me an autographed book. At that time I was very skeptical and didn’t bother to look into it.  I just forgot about it.

Within the next five years, I worked two jobs living paycheck to paycheck, trying to keep up with all my bills. I went back to school at University Of Phoenix, but could not continue after two years because I did not qualify for any grants.

During these 5 years, “life” happened. I had to quit my second job, because it was taking time away from my son, and he had started to act out. I ended up maxing out all my credit cards and taking a personal loan to pay it off. Eventually I had maxed them all out again.

Then I received an email that my student loan repayment plan was to start in 2016. Talk about stress and anxiety! I mentioned to my boyfriend that I needed to work a second job to pay for my student loans, because I couldn’t afford to have another monthly payment, especially an extra $368 a month.

He was very angry. He even gave me an ultimatum because working a second job would take away our family time together. It created friction between us. We would constantly argue, and it was putting a strain on our relationship.

On Christmas Eve 2015, we were at my boyfriend’s family’s house and his aunty mentioned that she went to this awesome workshop about how she will be able to pay off her mortgage in 9 years. I asked her the name of the workshop, and she said the 101 Financial System.

Then it hit me… I totally forgot about this. I told my boyfriend that I heard about this program from Wes, and I would call on Monday.

Monday came and as I walked into Home Depot, there was Wes. I asked about the workshop. The next day, I met Lori and Wes at the workshop and I was hooked. It was meant to be.

This was the best financial decision I made in my life! The 101 Financial System changed my life in so many ways. Since I started 90 days ago, I paid off $20,000 of my debt, and my credit score went up 55 points.

My relationship with my boyfriend has also improved. Both of us always talked about getting rid of our debt before we got married.  He started to see what 101 Financial has done for me, so he jumped on the program. We have a bright future together and we’ll be ready to get married sooner!

– Desiree Tadio

5 Things to Consider Before Switching Banks

December 12th, 2016

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Don’t like the bank you have now?

Are you thinking of switching banks?

Is a new bank making an offer you can’t resist?

If so, don’t be in a rush and make hasty decisions. There are a few important things to think about before you act, or you may be sorry later.

Here are my Top 5 things to do before making the switch:

#1:  Do Your Research. 

Before making the jump to a new bank you know little about, be sure to spend time researching the services you plan to use and compare the benefits to your existing bank.

#2:  Everything Will Change.

Keep in mind switching banks means changing direct deposits, automatic bill payments, recurring transfers, safe-deposit box access and in some cases, when and where you can access your bank.

#3:  Don’t Empty Your Account Yet.

If you do switch banks, be sure to keep some money in your old account just in case you missed a written check or automatic payment. It’s good to wait 30 days after you’ve opened your new bank account someplace else, to make sure all outstanding payments and debits have cleared.

#4:  Make New Relationships. 

Banking is about relationships. Get to know the key people at the new bank, like the branch manager and loan officers. When you need something that you could do using the drive-through teller, go inside instead. Get to know one representative well by seeing that person each time you visit your bank. Do this for a couple months and your new buddy in the bank will be your best friend.

#5:  Close Your Account.

After your account at your new bank is open and you have all of your automatic payments, debits and deposits going through them, it’s safe to close your old bank account.

Once you’re done with your old bank, visit them one more time to get a written letter stating that the last automatic payments, checks and debits have cleared, and that your account is closed.

This simple yet important advice could save you big headaches down the road.

Use Edmunds.com to Save Money on Your Next Car

December 12th, 2016

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When buying a car, your expenses are not limited to just the sticker price.

While one car might be cheaper than similar models at purchase time, that same car could cost you much more to own over the long run.

Today I want to introduce you to Edmunds.com… a website and widget that helps you calculate what your true cost of ownership will be on any car you want.

Just go to the TCO or “True Cost to Own” widget that you’ll find on their website. If you’re in the market for another car, whether it’s brand new or used, you need to have this site bookmarked for future use.

Here are 5 important factors to consider when buying your next car, which the Edmunds.com “True Cost to Own” widget will give you visibility into:

#1:  Depreciation 

This by far is the greatest expense. Consumer Reports states that the average car will depreciate in value by 50% after 5 years. What this means is whatever you bought it for, you can count on it being worth half of that 5 years from now.

#2:  Fuel Cost

This can really add up, especially for SUV owners. Consumer Reports says that fuel will account for 24% of the cost of ownership.

#3:  Interest Cost

This is tied directly to the purchase price and accounts for 11% of ownership. Getting the lowest rate possible is in your best interest.

#4: Insurance

Insurance costs can vary widely, by the make, model, condition and age of a vehicle. You can expect it to be responsible for 10% of your overall cost.

#5:  Maintenance

Depending on the mileage, age and quality of the vehicle, your projected maintenance cost will be around 4% of your total cost.

As you can imagine, these costs of ownership will vary by which vehicles you are checking out.

That’s the beauty of the Edmunds.com website. First, narrow your search so you have 5 different cars that you’d like to own. Then run each vehicle through Edmunds.com “True Cost to Own” widget.

When you have accurate, real data regarding how much a car will cost you to own over time, you can pick the right choice for you. You’ll find a car you’d like to drive, while saving money on your decision and purchase.  When you shop wisely, the savings you see over time could be quite a chunk of cash.

5 Tips for Protecting Your Family with Life Insurance

December 12th, 2016

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Life insurance is a subject many feel awkward talking about. Yet it’s one of the most important conversations you could ever have with your spouse or partner.

The first important question to ask yourself is… “Would your family be able to survive if you or your spouse suddenly died?”

Think about this for a moment. How would your family be financially without your income?

You see, an average of 1 in 3 households would have immediate trouble paying living expenses if the primary wage earner died, according to the 2016 insurance barometer study.

The fact is, 40% of people have not purchased life insurance because they don’t know how much or what they need. However, that is no excuse not to figure out these questions and make sure your family is protected.

Today I want to get you started thinking about this, and get you to take a few simple, yet important action steps.

Here are 5 quick action steps to get you moving in the right direction:

#1 – Review

Do an insurance review of any existing policies you do have. Find out if your coverage is enough for your current situation. This means at least getting enough coverage to pay off all debt and the mortgage, however much that may be.

#2 – Interview

Interview at least three different life insurance providers and find one that fits your needs. The biggest piece of advice I would give you is to not rush this process. Take your time and meet a few agents with a different companies.

#3 – Options

Look for either Term, Whole Life or a combination of both. If you’re not familiar with these choices, what they cover and what they don’t, take the time to educate yourself so you know which options are right for you.

4 – Necessity

In case you don’t realize it, insurance agents are salespeople. They are in business to make a profit, which is a percentage of the policies they have written. Don’t fall for sales pitches and unnecessary add-ons that insurance agents may try to offer you. Shop for what you need.

#5 – Take Action

Don’t spend so much time interviewing and weighing your options, that you still don’t take action and commit to a policy. Get something. At the very least, get a low cost term policy. Then look at upgrading when your term expires. Right now, anything is better than having nothing.

Remember, this is about your family and their well-being after you pass. It’s too late to protect your family when you’re gone. Make it a priority to get something in place as soon as you can.

What In the World is a Jumbo Loan?

December 12th, 2016

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If you ever bought a house and worked with a mortgage professional, you may have noticed that some will try to dazzle you with fancy mortgage terms like “jumbo” or “conforming loans.”

Well what in the world is a jumbo loan? Let me try to make this as simple as possible for you, so you can make wise decisions when it comes to financing a new home.

The first thing you should know is that about 90% of all mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (I’ll cover those in a future segment).

These two agencies buy, package and resell virtually any mortgage that adheres to what they call their “conforming loan guidelines.”

There is a maximum limit for conforming loans. In Honolulu it’s $721,000. Kauai is $713,000.The Big Island is $625,000. Maui comes in at $657,800. When mortgages exceed these limits, that’s when they are called Jumbo loans.

These Jumbo loans are not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, so lenders typically will require a bigger down payment and are much more strict with qualifying requirements.

I brought you this look at Jumbo mortgages to expand your education and knowledge about what they are and how they work, in case you are ever in the position of using one.

As you can see, mortgages can get very large, depending on where you live and the kind of home you want to live in. Mortgages of this size and above can really affect your budget when you have to make payments each month for 20 or 30 years.

Just imagine what it would be like to have a mortgage like these and pay it all off not in 20 or 30 years… but in only 5 to 8 years? Do you think this sounds impossible?

Well I have good news for you. Not only is it possible to pay off a substantial long-term mortgage in only 5 to 8 years… hundreds of our 101 Financial students have done it.

How can you find out how to pay off your mortgage in only 5 to 8 years, while saving all those interest payments you would otherwise be making for 20 or 30 years?

I lay it all out for you, in my free online training called “Experiencing Financial Peace of Mind.”

Register to attend this free online training here.

During our free online training, we show people just like you how they can take control of their finances, and live better lives.

As part of the training, we go in-depth about how our students pay off their mortgages in a fraction of the time it would usually take, while they save 10s or even 100s of thousands of dollars of interest charges they would normally send to their banker.

There’s so much to share, I just don’t have the room for it all here. Claim your free spot for this training now. Then attend to get the whole story.

101 Financial Has Been an Answer to Our Prayers

December 12th, 2016

makaiwi

When we got married in 2014, my husband and I believed we would be financially comfortable. We were taught that with hard work and education, we would thrive. My husband, Ana, worked hard and excelled at his career. I had my master’s degree and worked professionally. We had financial goals to pay off our debts, build our savings and buy a home. We thought we would quickly and easily reach our financial goals.

However, we found it to be harder than we thought to pay off debt and pay for living expenses, while building our savings at the same time. It got even harder when we decided to have our daughter, which meant moving into a bigger place and assuming all the expenses that come with having a child.

We decided I would be a stay-at-home mom, leaving the financial responsibility on my husband. We believed if we saved enough, and if he made enough, we would have enough to survive comfortably.

But with less income and more expenses, our financial goals seemed impossible to reach. While my husband had a fair credit score, I didn’t have a credit score at all. Attempting and failing to pre-qualify for the amount we wanted for a home loan, learning that we were not as financially set as we thought, was a wakeup call for us.

Despite doing side jobs and pinching pennies to contribute to our family income, it wasn’t enough. We were barely making it. My husband felt he was inadequate as a provider. I felt I was irresponsible and made the wrong choice to be a stay-at-home mom. We lived with sadness and regret over our financial shortcomings, and lost hope that we’d ever fulfill our dreams.

One night in May, 2016, when the weight of our finances seemed unbearable, we decided to take action. We recognized we were struggling and everything we tried was not working for us. If we wanted change, we had to change what we were doing.

We previously heard about 101 Financial from family members and friends, and decided to check out the website. After watching Alan’s presentation video, we decided we were ready to start our journey to financial peace of mind. We completed our financial analysis and enrolled that night.

After building our foundation with the 99 Financial Program in June, we graduated to the 101 Financial System by July. With the smarter banking we learned, we paid off my husband’s personal credit card debt and $6,000 of his auto loan within one month.

By November, we paid off the remaining $12,000 of my husband’s auto loan, which boosted his credit score. I had also qualified for a credit card and established a good credit score. We began building our savings, which previously seemed impossible. Most importantly, we felt empowered to take control of our financial destiny.

101 Financial has literally been an answer to our prayers. It helped us work on our financial goals, allowed me to be home with my daughter, and eased the financial burden my husband felt he bore alone.

We are happy and confident that we will always be able to provide for our needs and some of our wants, too. We continue to learn skills that will last forever and that we can pass on to our family.

Working hard and gaining an education can only take you so far. Being financially educated is critical in the journey to financial peace of mind.

– Rachel Kakaiwi-Tuiasosopo

101 Financial – Allowing Our Family to Come First

December 12th, 2016

st-laurent

“Aloha! We are Chauncey and Anuhea St. Laurent of Kaneohe and have been students of 101 Financial since September, 2014.

Before we started the program we decided I would not return to my full-time job after giving birth to our second son. Day care costs were almost equal to an entire paycheck and I’d hardly ever see my babies if I was working.

My heart broke a little every time I thought of spending 50-60 hours at work a week, only seeing my kids for a couple of hectic hours before shuffling them to and from the sitter and preparing them for bed.

However, after a few months of me staying home with two kids we realized, that despite cutting back majorly on expenses, we were depleting our savings and racking up our credit card debt. I was forced to return to work.

An old volleyball acquaintance shared 101 Financial with us. Within 3 months of starting with 101 Financial, we had re-established our savings, paid off the credit cards we had charged up during that time, and paid off one of our car loans, which was about $30,000!

Since then we’ve been able to learn how to keep track of our budget and have increased our cash flow hundreds of dollars each month, which has allowed me to be a full-time, stay-at-home mom.

We have paid off three outer island trips and a two week vacation to the mainland beforehand. That’s tons of quality time with our family, making memories and having fun, and truly enjoying our lives.

We don’t fight about money anymore and are scheduled to pay off the remainder of our debt, my student loan and the rest of our car loan, by mid-2017. After that, we will use the 101 Financial System to save quickly for our first down payment and hope to purchase our first home in 2018.

We are so grateful for this program and the financial peace of mind it has given us. We now know that anything is possible, including private school for our children’s education, regular family trips, multiple home ownership, and using our wealth to help and serve others! Also, we’re so excited that we added baby number three to our family in September, 2016!”

– Chauncey and Anuhea St. Laurent

Do You Know The Two Ways To Invest In Real Estate?

November 10th, 2016

do-you-know-the-two-ways-to-invest-in-real-estate

Have you ever considered investing in real estate? If so, you may be wondering…

“Where do I start, and how do I do it without losing money?”

There are so many different ways to invest in real estate, it can get very confusing.

That’s why I whittled it down to a couple of simple categories:

Cash Flow Investing… and Cash Now Investing.

Cash Flow Investing is buying properties to rent for income.

This would include single family homes, condos and town homes.

On the commercial side of this category, there are apartment buildings, warehouses, office buildings and more.

The key benefit to remember is that you are buying the cash each property generates every month.

The question to ask before jumping in to this kind of real estate investing is:

“Will I earn positive cash flow each month on this unit?”

Next comes Cash Now Investing, which is buying and selling properties, land and buildings for a profit. Some call it real estate flipping.

The key to making this kind of investing pay off for you, is to buy distressed properties that can be fixed up or built and sold for a profit.

As with any investment, you should do your due diligence and make judgments based on numbers, not emotions or a gut feel.

Remember to let the numbers tell the story, and you could find yourself a wealthy real estate investor this time next year.

6 Tips for Saving Money This Fall

November 10th, 2016

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Fall is a beautiful time of year. Depending on where you are, the weather is fantastic, the beaches aren’t crowded and the seasonal winter tourists have yet to arrive.

To help keep fall amazing for your wallet here are 6 tips for saving money this fall:

#1:  Put a pause on your gym membership and go outside to workout.

If you regularly go to the gym to use their treadmill, try taking a real walk outside, where you’ll see your friends walking and the birds flying by. Another great benefit of walking or running outside is, it’s absolutely free.

#2:  Have a No-Spend Weekend each month until Christmas has passed.

If you can save $100-$200 in November and December, you might just have enough to cover the Christmas presents.

#3:  If you have to travel do it now.

Fall offers some of the best deals on airfare, hotels and activities. Fall can also be a great time to take personal trips to areas that are beautiful in the fall, like New England or the Southern US.

#4:  Skip the mall.

When you’re preparing to freshen your wardrobe with warm clothes for the winter… skip the mall and hit the thrift stores or yard sales. There you’ll find great deals on jackets, sweaters and other surprises.

#5:  Set a budget and track all of your expenses and income.

Be sure that you are spending less than you make each month. This tip is a good one to follow all year round. It’s especially important when the holidays are not far off, when most people increase the amount of money they spend.

#6:  Pay off your highest interest credit card.

Put as much of your extra income against your highest interest rate credit card each month. In no time at all you will see your balance on that credit card disappear. Just imagine having your highest interest debt being all paid off when spring arrives!

If you only apply half of these tips this fall, you stand to keep a lot of money in the bank.  Go one step further and use it to boost the balance in your Emergency Fund, so you are protected by life’s unexpected expenses.

Do You Have Financial Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

November 10th, 2016

do-you-have-financial-post-traumatic-stress-disorder

Do you ever get stressed out over your financial situation?

Do you feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do?

If this sounds familiar you might be experiencing Financial Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

According to a recent study by Payoff.com, 1 in 4 Americans and 1 in 3 Millennials suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder-like symptoms caused by financially-induced stress.

The study found that the psychological and emotional levels of stress over money are closely related to those found in individuals with PTSD.

This speaks volumes, since PTSD is usually experienced by service members who go off to war, or civilians who have experienced some type of violent crime or accident.

The folks at Payoff.com believe that stagnant incomes, non-existent savings, high debt levels and financial ordeals like defaults or evictions contribute to the symptoms.

Can you relate to what they’ve found in this study? Have you experienced physical or psychological feelings related to carrying around a mountain of debt, or having a substantial financial crisis in your life?

If so, don’t worry. Here are three ways to help you overcome these feelings and start down the path to living a normal, happier life:

#1:  Make a commitment that you will focus at least 30 minutes a day on your financial life.

It’s a fact, when you take action to correct a situation you are worried about, your fears and worry diminish significantly.

#2:  Keep a budget that projects ahead at least 3 months.

Being proactive about your finances is another way to keep your stress levels down. When you have a budget and know how much you can spend in different areas of your life, you’re less likely to get into a stressful position that you feel you can’t get out of.

#3:  Seek the help of a qualified financial professional.

When in doubt about what to do about your financial situation, it always helps to get assistance from someone who is an expert.

I have been helping people fix their personal finances for many years. Most people find that my free online personal finance training gives them the answers they are looking for. They also report feeling much better afterward.

You can watch my free online personal finance training here.

Do You Have a Budget For Your Home?

November 10th, 2016

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Whether you’re a new homeowner, or you’ve owned a home for decades, you know how a home can suck up every last dime you have if you let it.

Today we’re taking a look at ways you can apply a budget to your home, just like you do your personal finances.

Except this time, instead of having a budget that controls what you and your family spend on living expenses… we’re talking about having a budget for expenses related to your home.

Just like a traditional budget, where you know how much you bring in, and how much you can spend without going bankrupt… you must know how much money you have to spend on your home, so you don’t overspend and jeopardize your family budget for living expenses.

As you know already, your home will take any money you give it, and then demand more. The object is to not let your home expenses take over your entire family budget.

Here are 4 areas to watch with your home budget, where your home will want to take more money than it should:

#1: Fix Those Home Repairs Now

Though home repairs must be a part of your home budget, if you put off or ignore repairs that need to be made, the problem will only get worse, not better. That means when the time comes when you don’t have a choice but to make those repairs, it’s likely they will cost you 50% more, since you let the small repairs turn into major projects.

#2: Monitor The Cost of Your Utilities

Did you know you have control over how much you pay for utilities each month? Well you do, and it’s easier than you think. Does your family let the shower run a long time? Do you leave your home for days, with all the lights on? Do you water your yard for an hour, when it only needs 10 minutes? Paying attention to these areas will save you cash each and every month.

#3: Do You Pay For More Entertainment Than You Use?

These days many families have internet, cable, multiple smart phone data plans and satellite, as well as on-demand this and on-demand that. Do you have the super-duper deluxe package, yet you only watch 5 channels, and you go out to the movies? You could cut your home entertainment costs by 50% or more, by cutting your services to be in line with what you actually use.

#4: Make Your Mortgage Your Friend

Some people habitually pay their mortgage late. You have to pay your mortgage each month. Why not pay it on time, and save the late payment charge each month? Even better, when you make an additional payment to your principle, you will pay off your mortgage faster, and save a mountain of interest payments.

Now you know that your home should have a budget, too. When you put the attention you need to your home’s budget each month, you have also made your mortgage your friend.

We Do Have One Big Regret… That We Didn’t Start This Sooner!

November 10th, 2016

nicky-and-shane

We have only been on this journey for 4 months and what an amazing journey it has been this far. Our financial lives forever changed, thanks to 101 Financial.

Before 101 Financial, we were having a hard time making ends meet. We had just enough to pay our bills, and would be in the negative most times. We were trying to pay down our credit cards, but that was getting us nowhere! Now faced with the hard fact that the beautiful place we were living in was no longer affordable, we thought that the only choice we had was to move. Since it was so expensive to live in Hawaii, moving to the mainland became our focus.

Before that could happen, Shane brought up his parents’ success with 101 Financial. While Shane was sharing that with me, I recalled that my daughter had told me about 101 Financial a year prior. So, we looked into it and heard more success stories from a few of our friends who were greatly benefiting from the 101 Financial System. That encouraged us take the leap of faith!  After all, from what we were hearing, we had everything to gain and nothing to lose.

It was difficult to wrap our conventional banking minds around this newly taught knowledge, but we could clearly see it all coming together. We regained control of our finances from the very first day. During that first class, our Instructor Soriah asked us to list our goals. For as long as we could remember the goal was to be debt free. We honestly never thought past that.

She then asked us to list anything and everything we have been wanting to do. Wide eyed with excitement, and wondering if this was really possible… she said GO FOR IT! So we listed a total of four goals. Number one was of course being debt free. Within 60 days, we paid off $12,000. Did we REALLY just do that? Holy cow, we’re debt free!

We did that with me on workman’s comp, receiving only 60% of my normal take-home pay. We just couldn’t believe what was happening! If that wasn’t enough, a month later in September, we completed goals #2 and #3, taking a trip for just for us, and taking a family trip. WOW. The best part was, our trips were paid off before we left. We were amazed.

The awesomeness hasn’t stopped, either. We got invited by a family to join them on a trip to Disneyland this Christmas. Thanks to our newfound knowledge and control of our finances, we happily accepted.  We would have never been able to do three trips in one year, let alone within a couple months of each other, if it wasn’t for 101 Financial.

We do have one big regret… that we didn’t start this sooner! What a beautiful thing it is to have financial peace of mind!

Excited with the knowledge and financial freedom we have gained, we knew the next step was to become Instructors. We care deeply about our family and friends and are passionate about helping them build their own 101 Financial success story.

Thank you Alan Akina for sharing this wealth of knowledge! It has forever changed our lives.

– Nicky Keama & Shane Yamauchi

 

Money Is of Value For The Good That It Can Do

November 10th, 2016

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My 101 Financial success story is like so many shared by members throughout the 101 Financial community. I was stuck in conventional banking and it was very clear to me that it was not working. I wanted and I deserved more.

But, instead of sharing the tangible evidence of my 101 Financial success, like the amount of debt I eliminated, the money I saved, or how quickly my life changed after joining 101 Financial, I’d like to share with you, the readers, the stuff you can’t see that define my personal beliefs about why I “succeeded”.

First, I learned that money is not of value for the things that it can buy. Money is of value for the good that it can do. At the core of 101 Financial is the belief that everyone deserves financial peace of mind. 101 Financial challenges you to think bigger than the need calls for. What does “financial peace of mind” mean to you? Would you take better care of your aging parents? – What about your brother, sister, or their families? – What about your community at-large? 101 Financial was my springboard to go the extra mile, to be able to give back to my family, my friends, and my community because I am no longer weighed down by the stress of trying to make my own ends meet.

Second, I learned that money follows a specific path. If you do not know how money flows, then you can never control or reroute it. Money is the river. 101 Financial is the dam. 101 Financial teaches you how to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. 101 Financial not only gave me the skills and knowledge about the path of money, better budgeting, smart banking, debt management, and building credit, but it gave me confidence to stop placing limitations on my true financial potential.

Lastly, I learned that I must be in the driver’s seat to ensure my own successes. If we are not willing to do the work to truly take care of ourselves, what makes us think that someone else will? In reality, our jobs, Social Security, or 401Ks will not get us through retirement, let alone allow us to achieve the life we deserve. 101 Financial forces you to take an active role in your own wealth management. Yes, I said wealth management, because 101 Financial will get you out of debt and on the road to building wealth. You can be an unstoppable force.

Finally, I share with you this, there are infinite ways to define “success” and for every individual the idea of success will be different. If you are a current 101 Financial student, I encourage you to stay motivated and committed. Celebrate your successes, big or small – you deserve it.

If you are thinking of letting 101 Financial help you, take a hard look at where you are. If you are not making progress every day, to where you dream of being free, realize it’s time for a change. They say when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. 101 Financial is here, so you must be ready.

– Monika Mali

 

We Paid off $22,000 of Credit Card Debt in 7 Months

November 10th, 2016

9 Do’s and Don’ts For Retirement Planning

October 7th, 2016

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Many Americans are not very good when it comes to planning for their retirement. Many have not done anything to build up funds and assets they can live on when they no longer work. How long will your retirement funds carry you in your “golden years?”

Today I’m going to share with you what you should NOT do when preparing for retirement, and what you SHOULD do instead.

Here’s what you should NOT do when preparing for your retirement, that could get in the way of you retiring comfortably, living the lifestyle you do now (or even better):

Retirement Tip #1 – DON’T avoid or ignore planning for your retirement now.

Put money in savings or investments that will support your lifestyle. Not investing in your future now could put you in a less than desirable situation when you’re ready to retire.

Retirement Tip #2 – DON’T estimate low for your needs.

This may put you in a position where you run out of money early, or you have to settle for a lifestyle that is less than what you desire. Don’t risk it.

Retirement Tip #3 – DON’T ignore retirement plans and vehicles that are tax-friendly.

With a self-directed plan like a Roth IRA, you may incur taxes up front, but your retirement payouts could be tax free.

Retirement Tip #4 – DON’T be scared and invest too conservatively.

A financial professional can help you find a reasonable balance between safety from risk and asset growth potential.

Now, here are 5 things you SHOULD do so you can get on the path to living the lifestyle you desire when you’re retired:

Retirement Tip #5 – DO figure out the amount of income you’ll need.

Set yourself up so you can live the lifestyle you want to live. It is wise to plan for a need that is from 80-100% of your income today.

Retirement Tip #6 – DO an inventory of the income you’ll receive in retirement.

Know exactly how much income you will bring in after you retire, including social security, pensions, savings, bonds income properties and investment dividends.

Retirement Tip #7 – DO leverage the right savings and investment vehicles.

You want to have vehicles in place that will produce the income you need, plus discretionary income for traveling, and doing the other things you want to do. Consult a qualified retirement planner to see which vehicles are right for you.

Retirement Tip #8 – DO know how much you can withdraw.

You will need money for your day to day living. To still leave your principle largely unaffected, a good rule is to consider limiting retirement withdrawals to 4% of your overall funds.

Retirement Tip #9 – DO save, save and save more now.

Right now is the time to start or continue saving for your retirement. Today, next month and every month is the time to save as much as you can, so you can build a substantial retirement fund.

No matter how old or young you are, planning for your retirement before you retire is of utmost importance to your quality of life in the future.

Take this advice seriously, and make a plan to get clear on how you will be able to live the life you want to live when you no longer work for a living.

7 Simple Tips To Save More Money Every Week

October 7th, 2016

7-simple-tips-to-save-more-money-every-weekWhen most people think about saving money regularly, the thoughts that come to mind are “I don’t make enough to save.” “Saving is too hard.” “When I save, I just end up spending it on something else.”

You don’t have to cringe when you think about saving, when you use this easy to follow plan for putting more cash in the bank every week. While each of these steps are simple, when you use all 10 you’ll see how your savings can really add up:

Saving Tip #1 – Buy Local and Shop at the Farmers Market.

Not only can you save 25% each week off the cost of produce you buy from the big supermarket chains, shopping at local farmers markets will usually have fresher and more choices to choose from.

Saving Tip #2 – Pack a Lunch For Work Once a Week.

By packing your own lunch from home that you take to work once a week, you’ll easily save up to 75% of what you would pay for a lunch out. Plus, it will be higher quality and include the things you like the most.

Saving Tip #3 – Eat Dinner Out One Less Time Per Week.

The average cost of a dinner out for two is $40. By not eating dinner out once per week, you’re saving that $40, plus tip, and plus the gas to get there and back.

Saving Tip #4 – Stop One Habit You Do Now For Good.

Everyone has a daily routine, which includes habitual purchases of certain things. If you smoke cigarettes, go to Starbucks, drink Coke or buy anything else every day… just by eliminating one of these things from your daily habit permanently can easily save you $10 to $50 per week.

Saving Tip #5 – Know Your Needs vs. Your Wants.

There are some things we can’t live without, which you can call needs. Then there are many things we want, but don’t necessarily need. Make it a point to cut the number of wants you buy each week, and you could save a pile of cash at the end of the week. Before you buy something you want, take a moment and think… “Do I really need this?”

Saving Tip #6 – Eat Right and Exercise Regularly.

There are more people who are out of shape and have health issues than there are healthy, fit people. The cost of living for a healthy person is a fraction of what it costs an unhealthy person to control their high-blood pressure, go to the doctor often, have surgeries and have to pay for all the things that happen when your body “breaks down.”

Saving Tip #7 – Don’t Let Your Bank Take You To The Cleaners.

It’s bad enough so many people pay a mountain of interest charges and checking account fees to their banks. Many also incur late fees, bounced check fees and over-the-limit fees. Practice more responsible practices with your money, and you stand to save big bucks every week.

If you just try two or three of my suggestions, you’ll see more money staying in your pocket. Try all seven, plus add a few of your own ways to save, and you’ll really see your weekly savings pile up. Then you can put your savings in your savings account, where it belongs.

Personal Prosperity Books To Read With Your Family

October 7th, 2016

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Having time off during the upcoming holiday season is a great time to catch up on some reading. It’s also a great time to educate your family on what it takes to manage personal finances properly, and live a life of financial peace of mind.

By reading with your family, your children, you can start them off in the right direction in life, which could lead to them becoming adults who are prosperous and understand how money works.

Today I’m sharing 5 of my favorite books about success and prosperity that I think every family should sit down and read with their kids.

Prosperity Book #1: The Millionaire Next Door.

In this book your family will see who the wealthy really are, that it’s not who they think they are. The authors of this book studied the habits of the wealthy, and even broke it down to the type of car they drive.

Prosperity Book #2: Rich Dad Poor Dad.

I love the way Robert Kiyosaki takes complicated accounting and business concepts and uses visuals to make it easy for all to understand. Which is why this is a good book to read with your family.

Prosperity Book #3: MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom.

Author Tony Robbins interviewed 50 of the most legendary investors in the world and included their best advice in this book. Your family will get insights from many different successful people, each with their own take on the path to prosperity.

Prosperity Book #4: Think and Grow Rich.

This is a true classic. Napoleon Hill spent over 20 years researching the attributes of 500 of the most successful people in business. Most successful entrepreneurs today got their start with the concepts in Think and Grow Rich.

Prosperity Book #5: The Super Duper Simple Book on Money.

Yes, by yours truly. I wrote this book to help people of all ages take their first financial step in life, or fix a life of poor financial moves, so they can go on to live prosperous lives, without being shackled by the stress of debt.

If you don’t already own them, head over to Amazon today and purchase each of these timeless books. Then make it a point during the holiday season to sit down and read each with your family. They will gain a world of financial knowledge. Plus, you may just learn something, too.

7 Reasons To Have Your Home Inspected Annually

October 7th, 2016

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Your home is probably the biggest investment you’ve ever made. In addition to the price of your home, you also incur interest charges from your mortgage for decades, and pay hefty insurance premiums and taxes.

When you decide it’s time to sell your home, to move into another area or to lease instead of own, you expect to receive a cash windfall from the sale. However, sometime this is not the case, due to problems with your home’s condition.

It can be difficult to assess the condition of your home just by looking at it from the street. Yet not knowing the current condition of your home can lead to many serious problems.

The best way to know for sure if your home is in good shape, or needs some attention, is to have a qualified, licensed home inspector take a thorough look inside, outside, above and below your home once a year.

Here are 7 big reasons to have your home inspected annually by a qualified professional, and protect your investment:

Reason #1) Outdated Electrical Systems In Older Homes:

If your home was built prior to 1970, it’s possible that the fuse box, the wiring in your walls and the entire electrical system could be dangerous. Pre-1970 homes and electrical systems were held to different standards than homes built more recently. These problems can lead to power outages and in the worst scenarios, electrical fires.

Reason #2) Leaky Water and Sewer Pipes:

Depending on the age of your home, and the part of the country where it was built, it’s possible that the pipes that supply water throughout your home can degrade and become pitted. Over the years, pipe joint connections can also degrade, which can lead to expensive repairs of not only your pipes, but walls, ceilings and flooring, too.

Reason #3) Sloping Grade Bringing Water Toward Home:

Over time, with weather and the seasons, the grade of your property can change. If the grade now has areas where it leads water toward your building instead of away from it, water can create serious damage. Your foundation can be compromised, allowing leaks to seep in your home and under the foundation. Water can also affect walls of your home that were not protected from the water flow.

Reason #4) Weathered Wood or Asphalt Roofing:

Asphalt roof shingles have been a popular product since the 1970s, as they can handle extreme heat and cold, while still maintaining protection for the wooden roof underneath. Some homes have even been built using wooden shingles, which give the house a nice appearance, but like asphalt shingles, wood shingles can break down, where they can crack and leak over time.

Reason #5) Textured Stucco On Spanish-Style Homes:

Many areas of the country are home to Spanish-style architecture, which includes the common use of stucco inside the home and on the exterior. As stucco ages, small pockets can form that catch water from rain. As this water remains in the stucco pockets over time, the water can find it’s way into cracks, leading to leaks and water damage.

Reason #6) Insect, Mold and Other Hidden Damage:

While you can’t see inside walls and wood structures, they can be affected by certain factors that can cause structural and health-related issues. Insects of all kinds, including termites, carpenter ants, bees and more, can build nests that damage the structure of your home. Mold from water leaks can take hold and grow, leading to respiratory problems for you and your family. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, there could be damage that you can’t see, that can affect the structural integrity of the home.

Reason #7) Aged Furnaces, Heating and Cooling Systems:

Heating systems and furnaces in older homes suffer from fatigue just like any other system or structure that can deteriorate over time. With faulty heating systems, there is the risk of carbon monoxide or other dangerous elements entering the living space of your home. Older cooling systems can have an equally damaging impact on your home by not draining condensation properly, leading to leaks and mold in wood and walls.

This important look at what home owners can face when not knowing the condition of their houses is very real. My intent is to give you a wake up call, so you realize the benefit and necessity of having your home inspected annually.

As founder of 101 Financial, I’m in your financial corner. I want to see only the best for you. This is why I urge you to make plans now to get your home inspected. It would be sad to hear that the investment you’ve made over all these years would be for not, because the condition of your home doesn’t bring you the selling price you expect.

No Money

October 7th, 2016

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“We had no money to pay off our debt. We were more than $100,000 in debt. Our debts included a house mortgage, car loans and credit cards. We had a little savings which we had to dip into whenever we needed to. Our savings never went up, only down.

We talked about future goals like life and burial insurance, but could not afford it. We did not know how to manage our finances. Our debt payments were more than our income and we needed help.

We decided to try another option. My husband decided to pick up overtime hours at work and I got a second job to get our debt lowered. But that was not a very good idea. It made things worse, because we would come home tired and irritable with work and each other. The one and only thing we could do was pray. I believe prayer always helps.

Thank God, one day I was talking to my coworker and she mentioned her daughter was going on a trip to Oahu for a financial conference. So me being curious, I asked “What kind of financial conference is this?” My friend said “It’s called 101 Financial.” She said “You know the guy who started it, he’s on the news sometimes in the morning talking about finances.” I said “Alan Akina?” She said “Yes that’s the guy.” I asked her, “Are you in 101 Financial, too?” And she said, “No not yet.” I asked “How can I join?” and she said “Go online to 101 Financial and do your research.”

Which I did, and that was the best day of our lives.

I went home, checked it out online and read everything I needed to know about 101 Financial. Then I shared it with my husband, he liked it, too. So we both went to a presentation and listened to everything Alan had said, and we agreed, yes the banks are using our money for their gain not ours. Right there and then, no question asked, we decided to join.

We met with our Instructor and planned for our first class. That night and the next day we read and talked about 101 Financial more and we still talk about it now. Our first meeting was for the 99 Financial Program, organizing your debt. It was really good, hands on, visually seeing where our money is going. Our Instructors showed us what to look for and how to save money and we did it.

We have saved more money in 2 months than we have saved in years. We could not believe it. Being committed, following exactly as we were supposed to and keeping in touch with our Instructors helped a lot.

Now we are moving on to the next level, The 101 Financial System. This is where we start paying off our debt, while still sticking within the budget. We already paid off 3 credit cards. Next month we will pay off more debt and every month after that, until all our debt is paid. We are projecting next year for all our debt to be paid off in full, which includes 2 cars and a house.

Thank you 101 Financial for the peace of mind we now have.

The burden has been lifted and now we can now see the light. We could not have done it without 101 Financial and your patient Instructors who have done a great job. Now we would like to be a part of your 101 Financial family, so we can help others as you have helped us.”

– Randy and Myra Ioane

Giving Power Back to the People

October 7th, 2016

asuao-family“Life before 101 Financial was a struggle, living paycheck to paycheck – the story we all know too well.

Just married with a new baby, we just didn’t know how we were going to pay all the bills and still have anything left. We had a lot of medical bills from years ago that had gone to collections, it built up to about $500 dollars.

We had a wedding ring to pay for that was $4,000, a car that was $12,000, and a credit card that was $900. Along with living expenses here in Hawaii, the bills were coming fast and there was no space for anything extra.

We weren’t sure if this was for us, but we knew we needed something, so we thought we might as well hear it out. We started off in the 99 Financial Program, to me that was the best step for us. We were able to get comfortable with the basics and take accountability for our spending.

We were a lot more aware and more prepared, always knowing we would have enough for emergencies. This really blew our mind to see that we had the same paycheck, but with good planning skills and good habits we were able to make it work and never feel worried that we wouldn’t have enough.

I felt really good about what we had done. Our Instructor knew we could make it to The 101 Financial System. We were able to graduate within 30 days of being on the 99 Financial Program and from there we just flew!

We paid off our medical debt, our ring, and our credit card. We were also able to fund all the new things we needed like a new bed, fix our car, and fund big trips that we needed to take.

Now that the majority of all of that is done, we can get back to work on finishing up our car payments. We have the tools to do it before the end of this year.

The future is bright. We will be home owners soon and are excited to see what we can do after that. After learning and applying what we have learned from 101 Financial, we have the confidence, knowledge and the support we need to do the best we can for our family.

Thank you 101 Financial for giving the power back to the people!”

– Asuao Family

Thought It Was Too Good To Be True

October 7th, 2016

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“I’d heard of 101 Financial years ago, but thought it was too good to be true. In this video, I share my experience, and what we were able to accomplish after joining 101 Financial. ”

– Ashlyn Tengan

4 Financial Lessons I Learned From Michael Phelps

August 31st, 2016

Olympic fever was felt worldwide in 2016. Michael Phelps has done it again winning his 23rd gold medal and 28th medal overall.

For today?s Financial Fitness Magazine, I have compiled 4 of the top financial lessons from I learned from Michael Phelps.

Financial Lesson #1: It does not matter where you start financially.

Did you know Michael Phelps did not win a medal in his first Olympic games? It’s true. Even though he did not start well, he showed the world that his future looked bright. Even though you may not be in a great financial position right now, your financial future can also be better, when you commit to making your future bright.

Financial Lesson #2: Financial success is a journey of overcoming challenges.

Michael endured many ups and downs throughout his career. At the age of 10 he was diagnosed with ADHD. And after he did well at the 2012 Olympic games, he lost his endorsement deals due to some bad choices he made. He overcame those challenges to have his best Olympic games ever in 2016. And he is sure to reap the benefits of new, even more lucrative endorsement deals.

Financial Lesson #3: Always set and go after financial goals.

After the 2012 Olympic games in London, Phelps retired from swimming. With no goals to chase he was arrested for DUI twice. With new commitment to his goals in 2016, he then turned his focus to Rio… and the rest is history.

Financial Lesson #4: Giving back is the key to financial success.

Michael has inspired and mentored thousands of youngsters. He also inspired Joseph Schooling of Singapore who won the gold medal in the 100m butterfly, while Phelps won the silver. When you give back by helping others and giving to charitable organizations or your church, it ends up bringing you blessings you may not expect.

7 Tips To Help You Save Money When Buying A Used Car

August 31st, 2016

Are you in the market for a used car that’s nice, but won’t break the bank? Make a smart choice, by following these 7 Tips before going car shopping and closing the deal:

Car Shopping Tip #1: Know how much car you can afford before you buy.

A good target is 10% or less of your monthly income going towards a payment.

Car Shopping Tip #2: Make a list of your top 3 car choices and start early.

Give yourself at least 3 months time to do your research and negotiations. Don’t rush into a deal, you may be sorry later on.

Car Shopping Tip #3: Buy a car that is 2 years old and just off a lease or recent trade in.

Doing this will enable you to avoid a big chunk of the depreciation at the start and still have a great car.

Car Shopping Tip #4: Use websites like KBB.com, TrueCar and Edmunds.

Using these new and used car pricing websites, you will get an idea of prices you’ll pay and reviews of the used cars you are considering buying.

Car Shopping Tip #5: Start your search for used cars on AutoTrader, the largest car sales website.

They list millions of new, used, and certified second-hand cars from thousands of dealers and private sellers. Then you can compare prices you found by searching on Ebay Motors, Craigslist and reviewing the local newspaper.

Car Shopping Tip #6: Pay for you used car in full.

If at all possible, it’s always a good idea to pay for your car in full when you take delivery. You won’t have another monthly payment to make, and you stand to save big bucks on interest costs, especially on longer-term loans.

Car Shopping Tip #7: Deal with the Internet Sales Manager.

If you find a used car you like at a dealership, make notes on the car and the price and leave. Then connect with the internet sales manager via email and text messages to start the conversation. By approaching your car buying like this, you can avoid dealing with high pressure sales tactics from the dealership’s usual car salespeople. And you are more likely to get a fair price faster.

Paying For Chores Teaches Valuable Financial Lessons

August 31st, 2016

In this day and age, it seems our children are growing up without understanding and embracing the value of money. It’s no surprise, since many parents’ answer to “Mom, can I have $20 to go to the movies?” is “Here honey, go have fun.”

The problem with this approach is, whenever your children want to have something or do something that costs money, they grow to expect you’ll just give them the money.

In the old days, it was common for parents to give their children allowances, that they could spend or save at their discretion. But there was always a catch… the child had to perform some task around the house that needed to get done. We called them “chores.”

This way the parents cut their work around the house in half, as their children did their chores. While at the same time, the children learned the important lesson of the value of money. They learned how working for what you want is better than asking (or begging) for money all the time.

Whether you create chores for your children to do, or use another method of having them do something for financial compensation… every time they have to work for something they want… will teach them the value of money.

So why is this lesson so important? Many children grow up to be adults and parents, but they still do not understand the value of money. These people are the ones who run up tens of thousands in credit card bills without even thinking about it. Then when it comes to pay the bills, they are stuck.

You being tough with your children about money now, while it may seem unpleasant to you, is actually giving them the financial education they need to become prosperous adults who understand the value of money. These adults are far less likely to abuse money and credit. And are far less likely to experience family problems due to personal finances out of control.

Do you have a yard that needs to be mowed? How about the dirty car that needs to be washed? Pick a few things each month that you know needs to get done, and pay your children to do it. Before you know it, your children will be coming to you, not begging for money, but begging to cut the grass or wash the car!

A New Kitchen Can Increase Your Home’s Value and Enjoyment

August 31st, 2016

Do you enjoy cooking for your family, your relatives and for friends around the neighborhood? How about the great get-togethers that happen around a home that smells like a gourmet restaurant?

If you like to eat out in restaurants every day, this tip is not for you. But if you value the time you spend in the kitchen creating new and delicious meals that are crowd and family pleasers, I’m here to tell you… Keep on cooking baby!

However, cooking is not nearly as much fun when you’re in a kitchen that looks like it’s from the 1960s. It’s a fact, that amateur home chefs have much more fun, and are more creative, cooking in a kitchen with all the new appliances, fixtures and “bells and whistles.”

What’s great is, while you’re enjoying your awesome kitchen… a kitchen your visitors want to hang out in because it’s so cool… you secretly think about how your new kitchen increased the value of your home by $40,000, $50,000 or more!

While it does cost you to totally remodel your kitchen, this cost is really an investment in your home. Not only will a modern kitchen with all the bells and whistles increase your home’s value… when you go to sell your home, your awesome kitchen could be the biggest selling point.

And that’s a big deal, since at any time there are 10s of thousands of homes for sale in any particular area. And when you want to sell, who’s homes do you think will sell the easiest? The home with the 1960s faded yellow appliances and the old school fake counter top laminates? Or the kitchen that looks like a studio for Food Network?

A Huge Weight Lifted Off Our Shoulders

August 31st, 2016

Our story began back in 2011. We were a fairly new couple trying to blend our families together with a new bundle of joy on the way.

A friend, Melinda Anakalea, introduced 101 Financial to us after hearing me whine about our finances at work. She generously arranged for her Instructor, Tara Shim, to come out and host a small group presentation for us and a few other co-workers. I was immediately intrigued and couldn’t wait to start. My husband (then boyfriend) was not as enthusiastic!

We started our journey running two separate 99 Financial Programs because we refused to put our money together. It was a long 18 months of getting real with ourselves and each other. This was our truth, $30,000 deep in consumer debt, credit in poor/fair standing, juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet, stressed and tired. Sadly, we accepted this as “normal.”

The 99 Financial Program got us organized and created a strong financial foundation, bringing us together as one.
We jumped on the 101 Financial System together and attacked our debt with a vengeance. Within 6 months, we paid down $20,000! A huge weight lifted off our shoulders and we knew our lives were about to change.

A few months later, we got engaged. YAY! We were able to happily plan and pay for our entire wedding and a three week honeymoon adventure within 9 months. Everything was paid before we even left. Our wedding was everything we imagined it would be… simple, sweet and STRESS FREE!

Our honeymoon was an amazing start to our marriage. We enjoyed a week exploring different islands of the Caribbean on the cruise ship Allure of the Seas. We then spent a couple of days embracing our inner child at Universal Studios, followed by another week in New York City. Then we circled back to Maui for a few days where it all began before returning home to the Big Island.

Two months after returning home from our honeymoon, I made the bold decision to leave my job to support my daughter?s education, and to relieve her from all the responsibilities I had put on her shoulders to accommodate my work schedule. It was a tough decision to make, but through projections and an our undying commitment to the “budget,” we pulled through and created a better quality of life for our family.

This was my “aha-moment.” It solidified the importance of financial education and how valuable 101 Financial is to me and my family. Getting out of debt was great. Paying off our wedding and honeymoon was fantastic. However, no longer suffering from the anxiety and stress of everyday life and bills was PRICELESS!

On July 2, 2015, we hit another milestone in our 101 Financial journey. We became first-time homeowners! What?s even more exciting is knowing we have a plan in place that will allow us to pay it off faster than we ever imagined.

Opportunities are presenting itself left and right. In January 2016, we started our own bookkeeping company… DeMello I.N.C., LLC. We are also now in the process of acquiring our second home. None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the education we received with 101 Financial.

Thank you Alan Akina and the rest of our 101 Ohana for everything! We are beyond grateful and truly appreciative.

– Ihilani DeMello

 

Almost $80,000 In Debt Eliminated

August 31st, 2016

Like many others before us, we thought 101 Financial was too good to be true, and like many others before us, we were happily proven wrong.

Along with many other college students, both my husband and I couldn’t afford college outright and had to take out loans to afford our education. When all was said and done, I incurred approximately $110,000 in student loan debt to get my doctorate. I was overwhelmed with the reality that I owed a small mortgage back to the federal government at 6.8% interest. I was automatically enrolled in the extended-repayment plan, relegating me to pay almost $800 per month for the next 25 years.

At first, I had to defer my loans, because finding a job upon returning home from college took quite a while. Eventually, I was blessed to find a great job in my chosen field which paid a very comfortable income, but we still couldn’t pay more than the minimum amount for my student loans. We didn’t want to be stuck with this debt for 25 years, but the reality was that we couldn’t get married, save for a down payment on a house, or just save money for an emergency fund and pay more than the minimum payment.

Fast-forward a few years… we had the beautiful wedding we wanted, bought a place to call our very own, and had money tucked away in a rainy-day fund, but we were still saddled with debt. We were juggling my school loans, his school loans, the car loan for the second car we desperately needed once we moved out to the Leeward Coast, and of course the mortgage for our new home.

We were able to make all the minimum payments on all of our loans and still tuck away some money in savings every month. But after being married a couple years, we naturally started talking about having children. After analyzing our finances, we concluded that we couldn’t afford to have kids unless we stopped saving every month. We both came from single-parent homes and watched our mothers struggle financially with little to no savings to fall back on. We absolutely refused to put ourselves at risk of repeating their mistakes.

As a completely unexpected turn of events, we were invited to a 101 Financial Workshop by my husband?s coworker. She had already shared some of the financial success she and her Instructors were having with The 101 Financial System before inviting us, and while we were apprehensive, we figured if we didn’t need to commit to or pay anything beforehand, all we had to lose was a few hours of our time.

We listened intently to everything Alan had to say, and our skepticism started to melt away. What we found to be most reassuring was that it was no “quick-fix” scheme. He preached having sound financial habits and discipline as a foundation. And using his system for rapid debt elimination to build on that foundation to achieve the financial freedom he?s helped so many others attain.

That is exactly the path that we are on now. We joined The 101 Financial System almost seven months ago, and since then we’ve completely eliminated all of my husband’s student loans and our car loan, and we’ve considerably reduced the balance on my student loan debt… totaling almost $80,000 in debt eliminated.

We are conquering our debt by using Alan’s 101 Financial System to tackle our principal and minimize the interest we are paying on our loans. We finally feel ahead of things. We are projected to close out my school loan in approximately 2 years instead of 22 years and we actually feel financially comfortable to start our family.

Thank you so much 101 Financial for all you have blessed us with. We feel so empowered by the financial freedom and peace of mind you promised us from day one.

– Kevin and Alissa Makaipo

 

Changing Our Life With 101 Financial

August 31st, 2016

– Lavalle Ramos-Dias and Mark Dias

 

How To Achieve Financial Freedom

August 17th, 2016

What is financial freedom?

Most advisors define financial freedom as “when your investments generate enough passive income to cover your monthly living expenses, whether you go to work or not.”

So how can you earn enough passive income to cover your living expenses?

With these four financial moves you should make, that will enable you to become financially free:

Financial Move #1 – Know exactly how much you need to bring in each month to cover your living expenses.

Sit down today and make a detailed list of everything you pay for each and every month. This includes your mortgage payment, your car payment, and all the utilities for your home. It can also include medical expenses and education expenses like private school, books, meals at school and university or student loan costs. As well as your usual living expenses like food, water, going to the movies and taking vacations. When you add all these up, this will be your target number.

Financial Move #2 – Take inventory of your current assets and the income they generate each month.

These assets can include social security payments from all the money you’ve sent the government over the year. It also includes dividends and payouts from any retirement accounts you may have. Plus, include your savings account, and funds generated from your investment portfolio.

Financial Move #3 – Build a plan to increase the passive income you earn, so you can get to your target number (your living expenses). Then set a date for when you want to reach this goal.

For example if your target goal is $5,000 a month in passive income, you can now set a target date 5 years from now to be able to have all of your living expenses paid by your passive income sources.

Financial Move #4 – Leverage at least one of the two best ways to generate passive income on a long-term basis:

Start your own business – Where you have employees that do all the work for you, and you collect the profit at the end of each month…

Or own rental properties that generate income every month. With this option, not only can you earn money from the rent you collect, you can also benefit by increases in equity value of your properties when the housing market is up.

As you can see, becoming financially free is not that difficult. You just have to know the best ways to get there. Then take action to put these effective ways into action. Enabling you to create your future of financial freedom.

5 Reasons Why You Should Stop “Spending To Impress”

August 17th, 2016

You know the phrase… “Keeping up with the Joneses.”

It’s the pressure and thoughts of having better and bigger toys, houses, cars and stuff than your neighbors. This behavior is one of the top ways families eventually find themselves overextended, underwater… and in financial ruin.

Here are 5 big reasons why you should not try to impress others with what you have, and to stop “spending to impress” your family and neighbors if you’re guilty of this now:

Big Reason #1: You have nothing to prove.

There is no trophy or award that goes to the person with the most stuff. Often, behaving like this can actually cause family and friends to resent you, for showing off while others are experiencing financial troubles.

Big Reason #2: Buying stuff will put you deeper into debt.

If you put $10,000 of stuff on a credit card, the interest cost will be close to $15,000. Leaving you with the reality that you really just paid more than double the cost of the things you bought.

Big Reason #3: The “big” friends you have are probably faking it too.

Did you ever think that they are playing the same game? It is a losing game. Over time, your friends will pay the price for showing off, just like you could when you let “spending to impress” take over your life.

Big Reason #4: Your retirement plan will be upset with you.

You see, having more money in your investment accounts working for you is much smarter, and gives you a much better feeling than spending that money on trying to impress someone. You won’t have the money you need down the road because of you spending and neglecting your retirement account. Plus, you will miss out on the tax benefits making deposits into your retirement account can bring you.

Big Reason #5: Those you love don’t care about your stuff.

The people that truly matter to you don’t care about the fancy things you buy. While your family really loves you no matter what you have or what you look like, they could grow to resent you for having things they don’t.

And guess what? When you don’t practice “spending to impress,” you’ll find it far easier to save money every single month. You’ll see your bank account growing every month. While you see your credit card bills get smaller and smaller.

5 Financial Fitness Tips for High School Graduates

August 17th, 2016

So you have a son or daughter that graduated high school this year. Now what?

When it comes to money, now is when things really count. Your high school grad can grow up to be very good with money, and live a great life. Or they can get stuck in the rut of personal finance problems that stays with them for life.

With only 17 states across the country requiring high school students to take financial literacy courses, getting financially fit could be an uphill battle for any recent grad.

I know you care deeply about your child, and the happy life and success they can attain. I’m sure you’d hate to see them coming to you for cash at every turn, just because they never learned how to manage money.

I want to help you fix this today, so your grad lives the great life we just pictured, instead of the life of difficult and despair.

Here are 5 tips to help your high school graduates navigate the financial world:

Financial Step #1: Teach them to live within their means.

Tell them why they need to spend less than they make each month. Monitor their spending, and make sure they understand exactly what this important step means to their future. Explain to them what could happen in either scenario, the good and the bad.

Financial Step #2: Avoid debt as much as possible.

I understand that debt is necessary for certain things like buying a home or even for a college education. But you have to encourage them to use the money they need and that’s it. Not a dime more. Explain to them what happens when they are irresponsible with credit and debt.

Financial Step #3: Use the power of compounding interest to make them rich.

Set up a Roth IRA in their name and have them invest a little bit of money each month in a low cost index fund. Maybe even let them know that you will match every deposit they make so they have extra incentive. Starting them off on the right foot early in life, and making saving and investing automatic, will pay off for them big time.

Financial Step #4: Have them mind their credit.

At this age they might not have a credit score yet, but now is the time to have them work on it. Make sure they know a great target to shoot for with their credit score is 750 or higher. Teach them how to be responsible with credit. And be sure they know exactly what can happen to them if the don’t follow your advice.

Financial Step #5: Have them fun with their finances.

Seeing money build in their accounts will be fun to them. Encourage them to enjoy saving, investing and spending wisely. When they get off track, which will happen, don’t let money stress them out and affect your relationship. Let them know it’s just money. And there’s more where that came from if they stay on the right path.

You taking the time to guide your new high school grad in the right direction could mean the difference between them respecting money and credit, and enjoying watching their wealth grow…

Or them being irresponsible with money and credit, bringing stress into your family, and of course hitting you up for cash every time you turn around.

7 Summertime Tips for Homeowners

August 17th, 2016

Summer is a great time for family fun, picnics in the park, going to the beach and traveling to your favorite locations.

However, summer is also an important time for homeowners.

Here are 7 Summertime Tips all homeowners should pay attention to, if you want to save some cash, and keep your stress levels down:

Summertime Tip #1) Do a summertime audit of your insurance coverage.

While your family is enjoying time off from school, and spending time having fun in the sun, this time of year is a great time to check your home’s insurance coverage. One good storm can damage your home with flying objects, buckets of rain water leaking into home, trees falling on your home (or on your neighbor’s home) and more.

Summertime Tip #2) Give your air conditioning system a yearly checkup.

While we may not even think much about our air conditioners in cooler months, it’s something most of us can’t do without during the warmer months of summer. Many air conditioning contractors and service companies offer “summertime checkups” that can give you peace of mind that all is fine, or alert you to serious problems ahead, that a simple repair could help you avoid.

Summertime Tip #3) A clean home is a beautiful home.

During the cooler and darker days of winter, not many people spend time or effort cleaning the outside of their homes. Yet left to the elements, including pollution and shade that causes mold buildup, your home can start looking unkept. Taking the time to do a thorough cleaning of the outside of your home in summer (or have someone do it for you) can leave your home looking great all winter long.

Summertime Tip #4) Help your air conditioner help you.

Summer is also a great time to make sure that the cool air you are paying good money for is not just leaking out and cooling the entire neighborhood. Spending just one weekend making sure your windows seal properly, while caulking any openings you find in windows, siding and door frames, could save you hundreds of dollars over just one summer season.

Summertime Tip #5) Ensure peace of mind while you’re away.

Many families do a lot of traveling during the summer months. With no one to watch over your home, you may return with a number of unpleasant surprises. A smart move is to turn off the water to your home, or at least close the faucets going to your clothes washer. Another is to have a security system on your home, as well as a friend or neighbor who will watch for any suspicious activity or emergencies.

Summertime Tip #6) Keep your gutters clean and water-sealed.

Even if it isn’t the end of fall, leaves and debris can still accumulate in your home’s gutters. Then all it takes is a good storm to bring them down. Also be sure to seal all cracks and joints so water doesn’t escape where it can leak into your home.

Summertime Tip #7) Don’t forget to take a look at your roof.

The roof on your home takes the full force of winter weather, strong winds, and heavy rains. Roofing can also get baked with temperatures as high as 120 degrees. With all the work your roof does for you, it pays to climb up there while the weather is nice during summer to do a thorough inspection. Fix (or have a qualified professional fix) any issues you find, before they get out of hand and cost you big bucks.

Taking action on each of these smart money-saving and preventative moves during summer will ensure your home stays safe, sound and beautiful.

The savings you could enjoy by focusing on just half of these tips may well be enough for next summer’s big vacation.

The Power of Change

August 17th, 2016

“I started as a client of 101 Financial in 2007. I had just gone through a difficult divorce and was at one of the lowest points in my life. For 25 years I was dependent on a husband, and suddenly I found myself at the helm ALONE, with five children who had yet to complete their college education.

I was at rock bottom, my confidence level was at an all-time low, and I was in debt way over my head with a credit score in the 500s. Then someone introduced me to 101 Financial. I was so ashamed, but he convinced me to give it a try. I will NEVER forget that turning point in my life. Thank you Jerry Jona and Lewis Lindsey for never giving up on me!

Not only did I discover a great system, I learned to THINK DIFFERENTLY. I learned to think progressively, to seek out fresh and innovative techniques, to juggle, to negotiate, to pay off debt, to set life goals and to strategize.

Today I am a CHANGED woman. The incredible power and confidence that came with 101 Financial has provided me with the ability to get my children to their college graduation and beyond. By the time my last child was a senior at LMU, tuition and expenses had capped $52,000 for one year, and I DID it, on an income of less than $35,000, all by myself! My oldest now has her own business, I have two Engineers, one Attorney, and my youngest child sells real estate.

101 Financial provided me with the skills that I so desperately needed in my time of despair. I consider it a milestone in my journey. The education is phenomenal, but moreover I am indebted for the change that occurred WITHIN myself, a person who today is much stronger and much more unconventional.

I have been able to conquer debt, outmaneuver the banks, and gift my children with a college education. But more importantly I have shown them that positive change can occur when we allow ourselves to be a catalyst for it. I’ve shown them what it means to overcome adversity, to face challenges with conviction, and to have the faith that God places people in your life for a reason. My life is a reminder to them to never doubt the power of self-reliance, and the possibilities that can be accomplished once you OPEN yourself to new thought processes!

Today I have the confidence in KNOWING that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to. I will NEVER go back to living in fear or to giving in to conformity. I am more determined and dedicated than ever to helping others and empowering them to achieve their goals. Today I am honored to assist countless parents and children with the financial aid process for college; not for financial reward, but to pay forward what has been afforded to me through the remarkable power of financial education and personal development!”

– Mylie Aiu

 

101 Showed me the World… Literally!

August 17th, 2016

“Hi! I’m Gabby Desimone. I’m 20 years old now, but began my financial life right out of high school. I had always been a saver and thrifty with my money because I grew up in a household that was quite poor, always struggling to make ends meet and stressing on where money would come from. Seeing my parents always worrying and never having the opportunity to just live their life, and be in a constant mode of stress, was EXACTLY what I didn’t want for my future.

I knew that if that was to be the case I would need to be diligent with my resources and break the cycle I was raised in. I had a conversation with my Aunty Shan Otare one day, about the goals I had to travel, and she basically said: “Why not YOU…let me show you how.” That’s where the 99 Financial program came in. I immediately started to see my money not only grow, but work for my benefit.

My biggest goal was to visit Europe while still being a teenager! With the 99 Financial program, I was able to begin saving, and within literally 4 months I was able to save for a 2 month trip to Europe & the U.S. East Coast! All while still being 19 years old.

I’ve had numerous accounts of people of all ages, lifestyles, and from different countries that marvel at my capability of doing so! I ALWAYS tell them, “Believe me, it isn’t only me, the 99 Financial program has literally changed my life and has afforded me to reach some of my biggest dreams!”

Fast-forward to today, since returning from my adventurous trip, I have now graduated to the 101 Financial System, and already have the means to go on my next 2 month journey to Central America, Canada & the U.S. West Coast this summer. All while still having a savings to fall back on to. I’m already planning for a trip to Asia in early 2017.

Did I mention I work only part time as a barista and photographer? Yeah, let’s just say a TON of people are insanely interested, shocked and impressed to see me leaving again, so soon after returning from my European trip last fall.

I’m beyond thankful and feel so blessed to have an awesome Instructor and the 101 Financial System change my life like it has, and in such a short period of time! I now never have to feel that intense stress that comes with not knowing where my money will come from. I can ENJOY and LIVE my life in a state of Financial Well-Being. I used to never give in to those “this program has changed my life” quotes, but honestly I was proven wrong with 101 Financial. I mean, how many 21 year olds are able to say they’ve visited 12 countries on their own on terms, and their own dime?

Thank you Aunty Shan & 101 Financial.”

– Gabby Desimone

 

Our Journey to Being Debt-Free

August 17th, 2016

“Aloha, my name is Bettina, along with my fiancé and my 2 kids, we’d like to share our 101 Financial success story and how it changed our lives drastically. My family and I were introduced to 101 Financial in June 2015 and actually joined the system in November 2015. I initially knew about the system 2 years prior, but was really skeptical about it. That was until my good friend brought me to one of the seminars that was held at the MACC. Even then I was still a bit nervous about joining, but 4 months later we joined.

September 2014; my fiancé was involved in an incident and couldn’t work for 9 months. That left us with only my income. We lived pay check to pay check, with 2 kids, 2 car payments and other living expenses with only one income. We were so behind with bills that I had to sell my first vehicle in order to avoid repossession, it was the hardest decision of my life. I worked hard for it to just sell it prior to only having it for 3 years.

Both of our credit scores went down and it felt as if I was never getting out of debt. We were $30,000 or more in debt when we first signed up. As embarrassing as it sounds, we started with only $20 in our account. At that time, we had been living off of credit cards and short-term loans, that left us in a whirlpool of debt.

Then my boyfriend got his job back and I thought, things will finally change, but it just got worse. We were still doing the same things, just paying what we needed to pay every month, but never really saved anything. That’s when we decided we needed help with our finances and sent our Instructors (Jessica Salva & Karen Patague) a text message who encouraged us and helped us to better understand the whole system.

When we first signed up, we started with the 99 Financial program and after learning more about the system, we eventually progressed into the 101 Financial System. Three months into the 101 Financial System, we’ve paid off our personal loans, credit cards, late payments and also prepaid for our very first trip.

In 3 months, we paid off a little over $10,000 and still have extra on the side for our rainy day fund, our savings and future expenses. We are now working towards a second vehicle and saving up for a house extension. We weren’t expecting to do it this year, it’s a blessing that 101 Financial came in at the right time and made it possible for us to do it sooner.

Our credit scores have improved and we’ve been doing better with our finances. The 101 Financial System taught us how to control our money, how to live comfortably and be at peace. We love 101 Financial and we’ll definitely encourage families and friends to join in on the road to being DEBT FREE. Mahalo to my Instructors and to Alan Akina!”

– Bettina Mae Oliva

 

Get The Job You Want, Even If You Have Bad Credit

June 30th, 2016

Did you know that having bad credit can prevent you from getting the job you’ve always wanted? It’s true. So what do you do if you’re trying to land the job of your dreams, and you think you have bad credit?

First, it’s important for you to know what a good credit score is. Most credit scores fall between 300 and 850. A score of 720 or above suggests that you’ve been managing your credit in an acceptable way.

So why do employers check your credit? One common scenario is when two people have applied for the same position, and the company uses their credit reports to determine which one to choose.

As you can imagine, an employer would much rather have someone working with their company that doesn’t have the burden of financial stress affecting them every day.

Here are 5 simple steps you can take to boost your credit score and help you land your dream job.

Step 1. Get your credit score.

If you don’t know where you stand now, you can’t determine where you want to be financially. You’ll want to know your FICO score. This is available at MyFICO.com

Step 2. Get your credit report.

I suggest you use one of the free to use sites, like CreditKarma.com or AnnualCreditReport.com.

Step 3. Identify and fix any errors found.

Start with checking your personal information, like social security number, address and correct spelling of your name. To make sure this is your credit report, and not someone else’s.

Next look for any credit accounts that do not belong to you. Then check that your payment history is correct. If you find errors, start by contacting the credit reporting agencies for each item. They are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Step 4. Get up to date with any overdue accounts.

If you’re behind and think you need help getting current, contact the creditor to work out a payment plan. Creditors love it when you are talking to them and making an effort to get it right.

Step 5. The best way to improve your score is by understanding how your credit score is calculated.

This begins with making your credit payments on time, which
is the biggest factor, and accounts for 35% your credit score. The amount of debt you have is worth 30% of your credit score.

To reduce your debt, pay off the highest interest rate debt first, then roll the entire amount that was going to that debt to the next highest interest rate debt.

To find out how you can get the help you need to make a better credit score a reality in your life, you can get your
free copy of my “Super Duper Simple Book On Money”
right here… www.101Financial.com/book

And to find out where you stand now with your personal finances as a whole, get your personal financial analysis at: www.101Financial.com/financial-analysis/

3 Ways To Save $1,000 This Month

June 30th, 2016

Can you come up with a $1,000 right now if an emergency situation popped up?

According to a recent poll conducted by the Associated Press/NORC, two-thirds of Americans would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to cover an emergency.

Here’s the crazy thing… this difficulty spans all income levels, including:

– 75% of those making $50,000 or less.
– 66% of those making between $50,000 and $100,000.
– 38% of those making over $100,000.

People in all three of these income groups would have at least some difficulty coming up with a grand, including those making more than $100,000 a year.

Here are 3 ways to put $1,000 in your savings account this month, to ensure you can come up with the thousand bucks if you need it:

Way to Save $1,000 #1: Have a good old fashioned yard sale.

If you haven’t used something in the past 6 months you can probably put it up for sale. On one good Saturday morning you can make you up to $500.

Way to Save $1,000 #2: Return past purchases.

Do you have a big ticket item that was recently purchased, that you’re really not using? This can be taken back for cash… and easily save you $250 or more.

Way to Save $1,000 #3: Try the Triple-Sit program.

Baby sit, pet sit or house sit. Offer your services for a few days this month. This could net you another $250.

Once you have your $1,000… put it in a saving account.

Then as you think of more ways to save cash for an unexpected emergency, save that cash and add to your savings each month.

Before you know it, you could be sitting pretty on a $10,000 Emergency Fund. Which will do wonders for you if you worry about not having enough money in a pinch.

Don’t Leave Your Family Hanging Like Prince Did, Get A Will

June 30th, 2016

By now you know that Prince the famous musician died without a will.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Prince is worth an estimated $300 million and the number is expected to grow.

Without a will, Prince’s estate will now be handled by the State of Minnesota. The state will determine which family members get what.

To be sure that this never happens to you, here are 3 ways to get a will established this week.

Your Will #1: Write the will yourself.

Get out a sheet of paper and write down all of your wishes, being very specific in choosing your beneficiaries and who the executor will be. Have at least 3 witnesses sign and date it.

Your Will #2: Use an online service like LegalZoom.com.

You can get their basic will for just $69 or the full version for $149.

Your Will #3: Hire an attorney.

Just about any attorney can draw up a will for you. But if you are in need of an advanced plan, it’s best to hire an attorney who specializes in estate planning.

Remember that a will is a very important legal document.

Having a will brings to life your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of your children, after you are gone.

Don’t leave your family hanging. Don’t leave your wishes in the hands of your state government. The small effort you make now will make your family’s life easier later on.

5 Tips For Saving On Home Expenses Month After Month

June 30th, 2016

As a homeowner, you know the bills and expenses you pay each month to maintain your home can get out of control. Especially if you ask yourself this question at the end of each month…

“Where did all that money go?”

Well today I’m here to help you reclaim some of that cash, especially the home expenses you have that happen every month.

Here are 5 smart tips for saving on your home expenses month after month:

Home Expense Savings Tip #1: Electricity.

If your electric bill is anything like most people’s, you could use some ideas for cutting that bill in a big way. So what can you do to shrink your electric bill every month?

Consider adding natural gas service. Do you know how much it costs to run an electric hot water heater day in and day out? It’s not cheap. With a natural gas “on demand” water heater, the gas only comes on when you turn the water on. And there is no tank to keep hot when you’re not using it, which is most of the time.

Then there’s all the other electric consumers you have in your home. Be sure to use energy efficient lighting, and have window shades to block the sun during the day. You’ll also want to have ceiling fans, and a smart thermostat that adjusts for day and night heating and cooling.

Home Expense Savings Tip #2: Perform preventative maintenance.

It’s a fact, it takes a lot less money to keep your home in good condition, than letting it get so bad you have to call a professional to fix it. It pays to have someone look at and tune up your appliances once a year. And to put a fresh coat of paint inside and out. Do this and you’ll feel like you’re living in a new home, for a long time, with minimal expense.

Home Expense Savings Tip #3: Do your own yard maintenance.

Have you added up how much it costs you each month for your lawn cutter guy, your pest control guy, your tree trimmer guy and your fertilizer guy to show up? Well you can do all yourself, and it’s not really that much to do. And the savings will really add up.

Home Expense Savings Tip #4: Shop around for insurance.

When you bought your home, did you check out what other companies were charging? I have news for you, many people don’t. They just go with the company “their mother” always used. Or the company that the lady down the block uses. Do your homework and you could save a pile of cash every year.

Home Expense Savings Tip #5: Don’t fall for extended repair plans and appliance insurance.

If you have ever accepted one of these “plans” you know it’s likely you never used it, though you pay for it, often monthly. You’ll save far more by having something fixed when it needs it, or buying a new item, than paying for “what if” appliance and services insurance that you’ll probably never use.

Home Expense Savings BONUS Tip #6: Pay down your mortgage so you can stop paying PMI.

If you didn’t put at least 20% down on your home when you bought it, it’s likely you’re paying Private Mortgage Insurance in every one of your mortgage payments. Pay as much as you can toward the principle on your loan, and your PMI payments will go away much sooner, saving you a boatload over the life of your mortgage.

As you can see, you stand to save a significant amount of cash by following any of the tips I’ve shared with you today.

Just imagine what these savings could add up to month after month, when you apply all of these tips? It could be enough to take a great trip, build an addition on your home, or even make your family’s savings much bigger than it is now.

We Cut Our Debt In Half In a Little More Than 3 Months

June 30th, 2016

I knew about 101 Financial for a few years before my wife and I actually signed up. My brother had been doing it for a couple of years, yet, he never really explained how the program worked. For someone who is constantly traveling the world it seemed to be working well for him, and 101 Financial has supported his lifestyle. Since I never had much knowledge on the program, I was skeptical of it and never really took any interest.

Fast forward to 2015, I met the love of my life and we got married in June. Currently we live in Edwards, CA where my wife is stationed for the Air Force while I attend school full-time as a Veteran. Considering that we had to move from Hawaii, we accumulated about $26,000 of debt.

Before joining 101 Financial we were very responsible with budgeting, however, we were not where we wanted to be and still found ourselves stuck at the same spot. Eventually it created unwanted frustration and problems at home. Then in November my wife and I were blessed with news that we were going to have our first Keiki. That’s when I realized we needed help in finding a better way to handle our financial situation.

In January of this year we finally decided to see what 101 was all about. Jodee was very informative and helpful during our orientation. Immediately my wife and I became students and it was such a relief for us. In just a little over three months we were able to cut our debt down to half.

Considering that we only have one income and some benefits from the VA, it was a great accomplishment for us. Also, we were able to enjoy ourselves during the weekend and take road trips to places such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas.

Today we’ve realized how much The 101 Financial System has changed our lives. It has allowed us to live a better and more relaxing life. When our baby girl arrives in August, 101 Financial will provide us the opportunity to give her the best life we can possibly offer her. Ultimately, we’re very thankful for the knowledge that we’ve gained from our instructor Jodee. We’d also like to thank Alan for all that you do. If there is anyone out there that is considering 101, I highly suggest you sign up!

– Jeremy and Kristen Fuller

 

We Will Have Our Conventional Mortgage Paid Off In Full

June 30th, 2016

When Cameron and I first started the 101 Financial System in 2009 we were in pretty good shape, but far from being financially fit. Most of what I knew about finances came from Cameron’s solid habits. We owned an investment home in Utah and had just bought our first home for us where we were living in Washington.

I had just given birth to our second child and I was a full time stay at home mom. Neither of us had any college debt or outside consumer debt, but money was tight and was also the center of most disagreements. In most relationships you will come across the spender and the saver.

Spoiler alert: I am the spender.

After five years of marriage and telling Alan Akina, our longtime friend, that 101 Financial wasn’t for us, we finally decided that we would give 101 a try. I was supportive in my husband’s decision, but had no idea what that meant for me; the spender. Well, let me tell you. It was long talks about what I spent at Target, followed by threats of no more name brand jeans… my kryptonite.

Like a faithful student, Cameron attended the workshop alone, and even did a few classes without me. He was even hesitant when he paid $3,100 straight to our mortgage principal in the first class. But soon he started to understand where our money was going and wished for me to learn alongside him.

I had unknowingly grown accustomed to my mother and father’s lifestyle. By no means were they extravagant but money wasn’t an issue. I had to learn that I was my own financial obligation, no one else’s. And now that I was married with a family, it became increasingly apparent that I needed to learn financial accountability.

I started this journey with no understanding of finances, not even understanding how to use a credit card. I tried to catch up to Cameron’s accounting background, and grew more and more excited as we started to familiarize ourselves with the program.

To my surprise, my oldest son was born with a clubfoot that had gone unnoticed in the ultrasound. We were hit with unforeseen medical expenses totaling in the upwards of $20,000 dollars. With the help of 101 Financial, we were able to pay off all of his medical expenses in a matter of months. And pay for any necessary treatments without feeling burdened.

I was able to provide the best for him. Within the first year, the financial stress lessened and we bought and paid off two cars. I was able to travel home to Hawaii for months at a time and still attack our Washington mortgage.

In the next few years we were able to bring our Washington mortgage down $60,000 from our original purchase price. We’ve since then leveraged the 101 Financial System to move us home to Hawaii, pay for, start up and bond our own General Contracting company, Evolution Builders. We paid off five more cars, including two work trucks, and two old cars for hobby. We also became part owners at Crossfit Zeus, where we were able to pay our share in cash, and even save over $10,000 in cash in five months. In four months we paid off our $22,000 Disney Vacation Club timeshare membership and most importantly we were able to create memories with our family.

One of the best things about being a 101 Financial System student is the comfort and flexibility of the roadmap. In the last six years our family has gone back to Seattle to visit friends and family; visited Mickey Mouse and Aulani 4 times, Disneyland 6 times, Disney World, Las Vegas 4 times, and even Utah, Mexico, Hilo, and Maui.

In July of 2014 Cameron and I finally bought our current home on Oahu. Excited to own in Hawaii, we made a goal to pay our home off in less than 8 years. Just shy of our home’s 2 year anniversary we will have our conventional mortgage paid off in full. Shattering any previous goals that we had made.

I cannot even begin to express the gratitude that I have to Alan and 101 FInancial for educating us on a better way; for pushing us to continue to learn and expand our knowledge base. To look and think outside the box, to surround ourselves with the right people, to focus on the big picture, to go after what we want and live the life we want to live.

The only joy that is better than seeing your child’s face light up the first time they see Mickey, is knowing that they will be able to perpetuate this knowledge for generations to come.

Maya Angelou said it best, “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better.”

– Kamaile and Cameron Heide

 

Did You Know Your Bank Does This With Your Money?

June 7th, 2016

If you had a secret key that let you come into your bank after everyone is gone for the day, and see the money you have in your checking account, you would be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Because when you opened that door to your checking account, and looked inside, you know what you would see?

NOTHING.

That’s right. You see, at night, when you’re not looking, the bank “borrows” your money (without paying you ANY interest). All while they use your money, and everyone else’s in your bank, to make money off your money, by investing in the money markets and stock markets that are open on the other side of the world. Then when they are done for the night, they put your money back in your account.

Now if you tried to get your bank to pay you interest on the money they borrow from you every day, you know the answer you would get. Sorry, Charlie.

What if there was a way you could beat the bank at their own game, and keep your money safe from your bank? Well I have a nice surprise for you, there is a way you can. That not only keeps your money in your account, it can actually save you a boatload of interest from your mortgage and your credit cards at the same time.

Curious how this works? Wonder how you can really beat the banks at their own game? Well I have news for you, hardly anyone even knows this goes on, much less understands how it works.

But today, you can get all the shocking details, and how you can leverage this knowledge for your gain, when you attend my limited-time Special Online Training Class for people like you, called:

“Experiencing Financial Peace of Mind” with Alan Akina.

During this Special Online Training, you’ll get all the details about what I’ve given you a peek at today. Plus you’ll find out all about who I am, how my life was growing up in a poor family, to going out and seeking the financial knowledge I needed to figure out just how this thing called money really works. Then all about why I started my financial education company “101 Financial”, and how we’ve helped 10s of thousands of people leave their stress about finances behind, to live lives of financial peace of mind.

What’s great is… Because you’re one of my Financial Fitness Magazine readers, you get to attend for Free!

Just one thing… access is limited, and I don’t know how much longer I’ll be making this online training available for free. So register to attend for free while you can.

Then, on the day of your training, you can watch on your computer from the comfort of your own home. What you will experience will transform how you look at managing your finances.

Register to Attend “Experiencing Financial Peace of Mind”

5 Tips To Save On Your Auto Insurance

June 7th, 2016

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.

7 Tips for Increasing the Value of Your Home

June 7th, 2016

If you’re in the market to sell your home, or just want to prepare it so when that day comes, you can get the most out of your investment, you’ll want to remember my 7 Tips for Increasing the Value of Your Home…

Tip 1) Curb Appeal Speaks Volumes.

Any realtor will tell you, if you can make your home look like a million dollars when someone drives up, you’re on your way to increasing the value of your home. Just by adding some nice plants and maybe some decorative bricks or paver stones, you can have people thinking…”That’s the nicest house on the block.”

Tip 2) It’s Amazing What A Fresh Coat Of Paint Can Do.

While paint can protect your home for up to 10 years, it can get a bit weathered looking after just a few years in the hot sun, or after a few brutal winters. Hiring a quality contractor who uses premium paint can not only boost the value of your home, your house could become the star of the neighborhood.

Tip 3) How Old Does Your Kitchen Look?

Another focal point of a nice home is a well laid-out kitchen, with all the latest appliances and a comfortable kitchen living area. While buying all new appliances and cabinets is great, it’s a wonder what your kitchen could look like just by cleaning and refinishing what you have.

Tip 4) Are Your Floors ‘Old School’?

There used to be a time when shag carpeting was all the rage. Times have changed though. By tearing out old musty carpets, along with cheap linoleum flooring, and reflooring with today’s beautiful and low-maintenance hard wood and laminate wood floors, you stand to increase your home’s value significantly.

Tip 5) Insulation and Climate Control.

Gone are the days of having “window rattlers” to cool you, and dusty and dangerous heaters to keep you warm. Today’s electric and natural gas-powered climate control systems will keep you comfortable all year long. Plus, you’ll reduce your electric bill and add to your home’s value measurably by being more energy efficient.

Tip 6) Improve Your Indoor And Outdoor Lighting.

With the emergence of LED lighting at affordable prices, there’s no longer the need for high-wattage incandescent bulbs that give harsh light and generate heat. Plus, LED lighting can typically last up to 10 times longer, saving you the hassle and expense of replacing 20 light bulbs, 2 or 3 times a year.

Tip 7) Create a Beautiful Landscape For You And Your Neighbors.

Nothing improves a home’s appearance and value like a striking landscape. While it does take a few dollars to install and maintain a grand, lush landscape… this addition will make you feel better about your home every day. And make your neighbors and visitors jealous every time they drive by your home.

Some realtors estimate that by making the improvements you’ve read today, depending on the local real estate market, that your efforts could increase the value of your home as much as 25%.

We Are So Grateful We Decided To Start 101 Financial

June 7th, 2016

When David & I were first married, we would do our finances together. Eventually I took over paying our bills and balancing the checkbook. Long story short, David is now in charge of finances and we’ve been better because of it.

He has our online payments scheduled and makes sure we have the money to pay off credit cards in full each month. And he makes sure we don’t use more money than we have in our account.

We’ve watched some of Alan’s videos and wanted to get more information about 101. We knew people we could ask but somehow never got around to it. We’ve known several people who have posted on social media how The 101 Financial System has helped them buy a house, get out of huge debt or pay for a new car.

Somehow we didn’t feel the urgency to find out more since we weren’t trapped with a lot of debt. The only debt we’ve had in our almost 10 years of marriage was my student loans from college. And with the Federal Teacher Forgiveness Program we eliminated the last $10,000 left on the loan.

We had car payments, but the interest rate was at 0% so we didn’t have to worry about paying more than we had signed up for. We weren’t living paycheck to paycheck, we paid our bills on time and had a pretty good credit score.

We were fortunate enough to recently buy a house, so now we have a mortgage and started paying for bills that go with owning your own home.

I guess it’s all about timing. We now had more friends and family that are associated with 101 Financial. They’ve asked if we wanted to go to a meeting or to a meeting in town, but for one reason or another we would miss the event. We finally had a chance to attend a meeting, heard the presentation and decided it was the right time to get started.

We met with our cousin, Soriah Tuimaunei in April 2016 and hit the ground running. Once we started, we were able to pay off the remaining $10,000 on our car and paid $45,000 toward our mortgage.

We are so grateful that we decided to start 101 Financial so we could start eliminating the rest of our mortgage faster than we could have on our own. Eventually we want to buy more property, get an additional car and go on more family vacations.

– David and Carol Yuen