When Trying to do the Right Thing Financially Bites You in the Ass

3190816

If you make it to the bottom of today’s post, there is a reward for you! True story.

__________________________

My wife and I are in the process of refinancing our house. When we bought the home a year ago, it was about as painless of a process as buying a home can be. There was some grunt work on our parts, but by and large it was what you would expect; chasing down bank ledgers, getting statements, providing numbers, signing papers, etc.

This year we wanted to refinance. It has only been a year, but the interest rates have dropped enough that it meant freeing up some cash each month that we could then focus on debt in the short term, which was critical given our situation.

What we have found is that the process of refinancing has been FAR more imposing than the original purchase. Not only has it taken months of work to make it happen, but it has also required me to provide what seems to be the same information several times over.

At a certain point in the refinance process, I was also working on getting some debts consolidated at a much lower interest rate (%29.99 > %13.99), but before I did this I asked our loan officer if this would affect anything. I was told it would be fine, since my credit rating was already verified and the interest rate of the refinance was locked.

Smash cut to Thursday morning when I got a call from the same loan officer asking me why there was brand new debt on my profile. I remined her that it was the consolidation loan, and here response was, “Well, Dave, you personally took this debt consolidation loan out, and when you had originally asked me about it, I thought it was to consolidate your own debt. Instead you used it to pay off debt that was in your wife’s name, hence it now shows as new debt on you, and thus we probably can’t secure the loan for you at this time.”

Let’s unpack this for a moment:Read More »

The Idea of an Economic Recession Makes Me Gassy

thinkheader-2

The Thursday Think Tanks are semi-random thoughts that may not necessarily fall directly into the category of finances, but I still feel are worth sharing. Read at your own risk!

_____________________________

I’m a nervous person by nature. I don’t think most people who meet me get that impression, as outwardly I think I come off as pretty self-assured and confident. Yet when it comes to things like playing my guitar in front of people, giving presentations at work, or speaking at conferences, I am a MESS on the inside. I’ve had a fair amount of experience in all of those situations, and yet every time I get insanely nervous!

When I get nervous, my stomach has a tendency to gurgle and bubble. Part of it stems from an old surgery I had on my small intestines many years ago, but the way it manifests is by bubbling and fizzing so loudly that it’s easy for people in the same room I’m in to hear it.

I’ve been in particularly stressful work meetings before where the presenter has had to stop and ask, “Dave, do you need us to take a break so that you can grab a snack or something?” thinking it was stomach loudly growling out in hunger. I usually don’t have the heart to tell them it’s not hunger, but the impending sense of doom I’m currently feeling. No sense in two gurgling stomachs in the room.

Another key area that affects this condition is stress over finances. In the time since we came to terms with our financial shortcomings, I have had many nights where my stomach sounds like a stinky bog “glorping” and “blooping” outside of a witch’s window as she dines away on small children. It usually really kicks in as I am laying next to my wife in bed, trying to shut my super-chatty brain off, as she is also attempting to fall asleep. This elicits one of the following responses:

“You’re thinking about finances again, aren’t you?”

“What has you stressed out now?”

“Things are going to be fine.”

“That thing won’t quit. Can you please go sleep in the guest bedroom?”

Over the last month or two, things have gone smoother as we’ve got our finances back on the right track, and as a result I’ve spent less nights in the guest bedroom. This is great, because the guest bedroom tends to be where our largest house spiders seem to congregate at some kind of giant-hairy-house-spider-key-party, which makes my stress levels rise, which makes my stomach gurgle so much that it prevents me sleeping due to the sound of the walls rattling. I hate spiders.

Seriously. I f*cking hate them.Read More »

The App that Taught Me to Meditate

Welcome to another “Tuesday Tip Jar” where I will share awesome savings and financial tips as I find them. I might not have something for you every Tuesday, but when I do, you’ll find it here!

If you’ve got a financial tip you think others would benefit from, please send it to me via my contact page at the top of the blog!

Starting Credit Card Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Credit Card Debt: $109,570.87
Total Paid Off: $16,739.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

I don’t know about you guys, but being in debt stresses me out! For the longest time I wasn’t good at dealing with stress, but now I’ve found that if I tackle it on four distinct fronts, I can stay ahead of it for the most part. My 4 fronts of attack are:

  1. Getting the right amount of sleep.
  2. Exercising at least 5 days a week.
  3. Eating healthy foods.
  4. Meditating.

Today I’d like to focus on items #4 in that list and specifically on the app that taught me how to meditate.

When I started meditating a little over a year ago, it wasn’t to find spiritual awakening or to transcend to a different plane of spiritual existence. To be totally honest, I was skeptical to say the least. One day I was on Instagram, and I saw this nice little post someone had shared about taking the time to calm your mind. It was tied to an app, and for some reason it piqued my interest…Read More »

Sniffing, Swallowing, Meditating, and Wrasslin’

I’ve always been told stress is a killer, and so anything you can do to ease that stress is absolutely worth it.

Starting Debt (01.01.19): $124,310.77
Current Debt: $107,793.15
Total Paid Off: $16,517.62
Income Going to Savings: 1%

I’ve been making a lot of posts lately about how stressful debt can be. In fact, I’d say that yammering about stress as much as I have has actually contributed to stressing me out a bit.

My stress used to get so intense that my back would seize up and I’d be miserable. Like way more miserable than I normally am. Which says a LOT. Ask my wife.

So today I thought I’d share a couple of useful tips and tricks for dealing with stress.

LET ME BE TOTALLY CLEAR ABOUT SOMETHING: None of these are paid endorsements. These are just things I personally use and have found helpful, so I thought I’d share. I don’t own stock in these companies, and I’m not paid by them in any way, shape, or form.

Even typing that was kind of stressful, so here we go!!

___________________________________________

Meditation – I know you’ve heard lots of people bring up the subject of meditation, and let me just say that I was one of the biggest skeptics on the planet, despite thousands of years of proof that meditation is highly beneficial.

Like most things of this nature I had no clue where to begin until I found an app that I absolutely love. The app is called Calm, and it gives you a large library of guided meditation lessons, even a large collection specifically targeted at people new to the practice, plus my favorite part which is a daily 10-minute guided meditation session.

I’m not going to be dusting off my tambourine and handing out flowers at the airport anytime soon, but I can firmly say that meditating every single day is now an essential part of my life. And speaking of essential

Essential Oils – I had a co-worker turn me on to these, and I will never be without them. I bought a diffuser and set of “starter oils” on Amazon and the entire thing set me back around $50 bucks… maybe less.

I either dump the oils into the diffuser and sniff and snort my way to bliss, or I just rub some of them on my skin. Read the warnings, and make sure you rub the right things in the right spots. Trust me on that one…

It’s pretty amazing though how a couple of drops of Lavender can really calm you right down.

Vitamins – I’ve always taken vitamins, and while my amounts and types can vary, I’m a pretty firm believer in fish oil (capsules) and a good solid daily multivitamin.

Fish oil does exactly what you would imagine in that it lubricates joints and keeps you from getting quite so stiff on those stressful days. Pro Tip: Get the burpless kind. Otherwise you’ll spend all day feeling as if you’re about to belch out a salmon.

The multivitamin should be kind of self-explanatory. Vitamins are good. They help your body. I’m almost a doctor.

In either case, buy them from Costco. You can get a tub for like 10 bucks.

Yoga – At the age of 17, I ruptured a disc in my back and herniated two others in a weight lifting accident. I spent a good portion of my early adult life with chronic back pain, and it wasn’t until I found yoga that most of my problems went away. Daily stretching is critical regardless of your age, and I’ve found that yoga goes a LONG way in helping me stay ahead of back issues. The moment I start to feel my back tensing up, I dive into some serious stretching and can pretty much always work out the stiffness.

I’m being serious when I say that yoga was an absolute life changer for me, and made my overall quality of life increase dramatically.

So which one do I use? Why the one founded by former WCW wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page, of course! I know it sound silly, but if you go check out his website and app, you’ll see that he has traded in his wrestling persona many moons ago for his yoga business and now uses it to rehab ailing wrestlers who have been ravaged by the bumps they have taken over the years.

(As a quick side note, be sure to watch his documentary, “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake Roberts,” when you have time. It’s really good.)

Anyway, DDP Yoga is great, and the app is very well made. If you don’t want to use the app, he has DVDs too. If you only practice yoga on VHS, I can’t do much for you.

Exercise – I saved this one for last because hopefully it’s a no-brainer. I try to make the gym a minimum of 3 days a week, and I run at least a few miles 3 more of those days. I cannot stress enough how much exercise has helped me during the really tough times.

Your brain has no time to think about bills and finances when it’s busy worrying about keeping you alive as beads of sweat roll down your face. So do SOMETHING. Lift weights, run, swim, bike… just get out there!

___________________________________________

Yes I get that in a blog where I talk about debt a lot I essentially just pitched you on at least 4 things that cost money, but if purchased in moderation these are the types of good purchases that I can get squarely behind.

I’ve always been told stress is a killer, and so anything you can do to ease that stress is absolutely worth it. If you’ve got tips and tricks of your own, I’d LOVE to hear about them! Leave me a comment or shoot me an email.