My History

 

 

I include my background because I think it is important to understanding how and why I developed these concepts. 

 

Neither of my parents finished high school.  My dad is very smart and really understood business even though he spent eighteen years working as a meat cutter.  He worked from 5 AM until 2 PM and usually crashed exhausted until dinner at 6PM.  This was the routine unless it was Wednesday. 

 

After work on Wednesday he would drive forty-five minutes to the suburbs with coupons in hand to save money.  It was not uncommon for him to hit seven to eight grocery stores in the evening.  He would return home around eleven o’ clock at night only to get up at four thirty on Thursday to return to work.  My mom stayed at home with my brother, sister and I, for her to be able to stay at home my dad often worked weekends cutting meat in the suburbs for a different grocery store. 

 

He always stressed the value of a good education so that I would not have to live my life the same way as him.  My dad was brilliant when it came to finances and often juggled bills from one credit card to the next to post-pone the principle payments.  This would only last for so long and eventually had to be paid, but it did buy him time.  My dad’s frugal nature was a gift that I would not truly understand the impact of for years to come. 

 

         I left my family and entered the Marine Corps.  I had never had much money and was afraid of wasting it so I developed a disciplined savings plan.  I received $750 a month when I first entered the Marines in 1994.  I would withdraw the max amount allowed for a day, $300 and place $200 in my wall locker.  The other $100 I would place in my wallet. 

         Whenever I went out to eat I would recall the worst possible time that I had.  For me radio watch at two o’ clock in the morning usually did the trick.  I would ask myself if that combo meal was really worth that time spent working.  I do not remember a time when the answer was yes.  I got to the point where the $100 was usually spent almost entirely on gas money and tithing to the church. 

         The miniscule paychecks I received in the Marines also prevented me from being approved for a credit card.  I was denied a Sears’ credit card!  The only reason I wanted the card was my desire to some day own a home.  I knew that you had to have good credit to buy a home and get the best interest rates.  I went ahead and requested a secured card, just to establish credit.  (You must have good credit for my program to work.  This is not a quick fix and does take time to design.  If you have destroyed your credit please follow the same steps.) 

         When I received my secured card I maxed out my massive $300.00 limit by purchasing tires!  I paid this in full before I ever left the store by writing a check.  (In most cases I still do not purchase items on credit unless I know that I have the money in savings to pay the bill in full.  The reason that I use credit cards is the 1-3% cash back that I receive.)  

         The reason that I mention this is as a possible way to create the sense of savings for oneself.  Tools can do nothing without proper application.