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Important Announcement

Know Your Money
Thursday – January 5, 2017

Important Announcement
By Donell Edwards

Thought for today:  Your best teacher is your last mistake. – Ralph Nader, American political activist, author, lecturer, and attorney. (1934)


The Announcement

We previously announced plans as shown above for our Know Your Money Money Management Success Strategies Institute to begin on Monday – January 9, 2017.  Today we are announcing that the start of the KYM  Money Management Success Strategies Institute has been delayed to coincide with the launch of our new live Internet radio talk show, CWR World News, which begins on Tuesday – March 7th on BlogTalk Internet Radio Network.  We will announce the new date for the start of the KYM Money Management Success Strategies Institute shortly after the launch of our talk radio program.

We are making this decision because utilizing the radio platform along with our KYM Blog and other resources will provide participants with a more diverse range of options and tools to develop or improve their money management skills.  Also, Financial Literacy Month is in April, and that is a time when we place great emphasis on personal money management through the KYM Blog.  Furthermore, we would like for this to be your program and delaying the start of the KYM Money Management Success Strategies Institute will allow time for you to contact us and let us know what your greatest concerns are about personal money management and the areas you would like most to learn about.  Just send an email to info@knowyourmoneyglobal.com, or use the comments section on our sign-up form from the sign-up tab on our KYM Blog.


Make This Your Resolution for 2017 and Beyond

We know that many people make resolutions at the start of each new year, and we want to encourage you, our followers, to make it your resolution to become more financially literate and astute in managing your money in 2017 and beyond.

Although we have delayed the start of the KYM Money Management Success Strategies Institute, we still strongly encourage you to begin now to work on your resolution to improve your money management skills by doing two things:  (1.)  Subscribe to our KYM Blog if you have not already done so, and begin or continue reading the great content provided.  Just go to the KYM Blog, look in the upper left side of the blog and you will see “Follow Know Your Money via email.”  Enter your email address in the box provided, and click the blue “Follow Know Your Money” submit bar.  That’s all there is to it.  (2.)  Sign-up now for the KYM Institute using the sign-up tab on our KYM Blog to access and complete our sign-up form.  Make the resolution, and follow through.


Banking Savings Funds Planning Finance Money Concept


Why Are We Doing This?

Before you dismiss this idea and decide that the KYM Institute is not for you, and that you don’t need to make any improvement managing your money, allow me to share something with you.  If you have been following our KYM Blog for some time now, you already know about my background. If you are a new follower, or in case you may have forgotten, I write this blog and develop programs and promote financial literacy because it is personal to me.

I understand that many factors may contribute to a person having money problems, and that does not necessarily mean that person does not know how to manage money.  In my personal experience, I knew how to budget, but I KNOWINGLY made bad choices that resulted in over spending, late payments, missed payments, bad credit, and all of the other problems that come from making bad money management decisions.  Not because I didn’t know better, but because I allowed my desires to overrule my good judgment.

Some of my problem was the result of not being able to earn enough money to live the lifestyle I desired.  I’m not talking about a lavish, exorbitant lifestyle, I’m talking about just having a safe and comfortable place to live, a dependable vehicle and the resources to maintain it in good condition, and to afford the basic necessities of life; food, clothing, and healthcare.  So, instead of accepting the fact that I had to live within my means until I could get into a career position with a salary that allowed me to do the things I wanted to do, I ignored the voice of reason in my mind and made bad spending decisions.  So, having money problems is not always the result of a lack of knowledge but can involve a person’s judgment, circumstances, and sometimes their emotions.

Although I was at one time a prime example of one who DELIBERATELY CHOSE to make bad money management decisions that I knew would result in negative consequences, I worked very hard for a number of years and overcame my bad decisions.  I restored my credit, I got a career position with a major corporation where I worked successfully for over eleven years until I was a victim of downsizing.  I went back to college and graduated summa cum laude and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and studied economics, money and banking, accounting, business mathematics, and managerial finance.  These courses all helped me to not only understand the principles of personal money management, but I also got a much better grasp of our economic system and Keynsian economics, which was very enlightening and helped me make more sense of the financial system.  I feel that all students should be taught economics in high school, but unless things have changed in the last several years, very few teach economics as a part of their curriculum.  If I had received a basic education in economics in high school, I truly believe that I would have determined to live within my means regardless of my emotions, desires, or circumstances.

That is why this institute is so personal for me.  I hope that by sharing my experience and knowledge, and with the assistance of some very special people in the finance industry, hopefully, I can help as many people as possible avoid the catastrophic money management mistakes and resulting consequences that I made.


Who Is the Know Your Money Money Management Success Strategies Institute For?

Yes, the KYM Institute is for those who have problems or need help money management.  But it is also for those like I was, who know better, but because of inadequate income, loss of job, long-term health issues, or who just lack the willpower to control their spending, make very poor money management decisions.

As I have stated already, managing money is not always about a lack of knowledge, it is often a lack of willpower.


We Want To Help!

Regardless if you are comfortable with your money management skills, or you feel that you may need some help or just want support to help you resist giving in to the tendency to make decisions about your money that make you feel good, rather than making decisions that are in your best interest, don’t miss out on this opportunity to work on your money management skills because you are too proud and think you can handle things on your own.

Sure, you probably have the knowledge and ability to manage your personal finances, but can you improve?  In all honesty, are there areas where you really need to make improvement?

Let us help you, so that you can excel at managing your money.  Sometimes all a person needs is a support mechanism, or a resource to measure or review decisions against before they are implemented.  Allow us to support you in these ways through our KYM Institute.


The Next Steps

If you are really serious about making constructive changes in your personal money management habits, here are the next steps you should take.  Sign up now for the KYM Institute using the sign-up form on our KYM Blog to ensure that you receive news and updates about the program and that when the program begins you receive all of the tools and resources that will be provided for participants.

To emphasize, we really want this to be your program.  Delaying the start of the KYM Institute will allow time for you to let us know what you would like to learn from the institute and what specific questions you have, or what areas you feel you need help with.  Do not delay, take some time right now and give this some serious thought, then send your questions, suggestions, or comments to us by email at info@knowyourmoneyglobal.com, or use the comment box on our sign-up form under the sign-up tab on our KYM Blog.

We strongly encourage you to participate in the institute, and we look forward to working with you if you do.  


We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?  If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.



Donell Edwards Publisher, Writer, Speaker

Donell Edwards
Publisher, Writer, Speaker

About Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media Group which includes CWR World News Talk Radio Show and CWR World News & Information Service, a daily online newspaper.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.  

To book Mr. Edwards to speak at your next event, contact:

Donell Edwards Enterprises
13111 W. Markham St.
Suite 116
Little Rock, AR 72211


Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more information about personal money management.


Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial planner. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

Copyright © 2017 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Her Story

KYM Money Management Success Strategies Institute begins Monday – January 9, 2017. Sign Up Today.

Her Story
By Dwight Harshaw, BBA, Personal Finance Counselor

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

Recently, a story came to light in my hometown about a 27 year old woman who was cited for a misdemeanor sex charge. She was caught by an undercover detective in a sting operation targeting escort services. It was her first night on the job. How did she get there? She said she lost a second job, she was going through a bankruptcy, and her wages were being garnished. Her financial problems overwhelmed her and drove her to making an unfortunate decision, which destroyed her young career. I don’t know her and this is not a condemnation. I have great empathy for her. I am captivated by her story because-before she resigned-she was a high school algebra teacher, with a master’s degree, in her fifth year of service. What happened?

I don’t know any more than what has been publicized but in looking and speculating about her situation through a personal finance lens, I think she may have found herself in the circumstance that a lot of young people and people in general are in; they are besieged with debt. The average college graduate is nearly $20,000 in debt. (Source: Demos.org, “The Economic State of Young America,” May 2008) Many have fallen prey to the constant stream of messages (advertising) that are designed to persuade people to value things (depreciating assets, junk) more than money (financial security). Once young graduates get their credentials and jobs, they want the material accoutrements that they believe they should have. On top of school loans and credit card debt, they pile on more debt. And then, there are the ordinary living expenses of life to contend with. Before they know it, they find themselves in unsustainable financial predicaments. More attention needs to be given to the importance of wealth building, especially at the start of a career.


Stylish Woman Dancing with Martini in Hand


Wealth Building

Wealth building is simply being knowledgeable about money and making it work for you more than it works for others. To become a wealth builder, there are 4 things you should do. You should steer clear of new debt, establish an emergency fund, pay off your student loan debt early-if you have any, and save for your long term future.


Avoid Debt

The young lady is bankrupt and suffering wage garnishment. When credit is so easy to obtain, it is hard to be responsible. We use it to buy non-financial things that give us temporary pleasure. We buy expensive wardrobes of which the styles come and go; we buy new cars which lose value as soon as the deal is done; and we purchase things that we simply don’t need, but the debt on those things goes on, long after the usefulness and excitement is over. Credit should be used responsibly-never! Okay rarely. Debt avoidance is a virtue.


Emergency Fund

If she had an emergency fund, she might not have been faced with a decision that put her career in jeopardy. An emergency fund is a fund dedicated specifically for extraordinary immediate crisis needs; it smoothes out a rough financial time. Car repairs, job lost, medical bills, household maintenance problems or things that cannot be paid for with out-of-pocket cash qualify as emergencies. It should be a priority to fund it with at least 1 to 2 thousand dollars initially and with 3 to 6 months of your take home pay ultimately.


Pay off student loan debt

Some are fortunate to not have student loan debt when college life is over. If that is not your fate, I have this advice; pay your loans off as soon as possible. Double your payments or add an extra amount to reduce the total interest and time that you will pay on your loan(s). Be sure to follow the protocol of the lender for early payoff. The sooner you pay off your student loan debt, the sooner you can get on with building wealth.



The money you save early on in your career will be the most valuable when you retire. The elements of time, dollar cost averaging, and compounding are a wealth builder’s best friend. Save to the maximum level in tax advantaged retirement plans offered by your employer. If nothing is offered or you can afford to save more, establish a traditional or Roth IRA and fund it to the max or with as much as you can. Ultimately you want to save at least 15% of your annual income for the future because the burden of providing for your retirement is on your shoulders. The money you save early will be worth more and be more useful in the years to come than the value of any consumer item you may buy today.

Her story is all of our stories. All of us have made unwise financial decisions. On a positive note she is young, smart, and hopefully ambitious. She will recover over time and this will all be a distant memory. Time heals. When you find yourself off track financially, get back on. To be a wealth builder, remember this; it is wise to pay with cash rather than with credit, have money set aside for a crisis, pay your debt off early, and save for your long term future.


About Dwight Harshaw: Dwight Harshaw is a personal finance counselor, realtor and writer. He has a BBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Finance with an emphasis on financial planning.



Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Saving Is Not Optional!

Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.  To book Mr. Edwards to speak at your next event, contact:

Donell Edwards Enterprises
13111 W. Markham St.
Suite 116
Little Rock, AR 72211

Thought for Today:  The habit of saving is itself an education. It fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. – Thornton T. Munger, American Scientist (1883 – 1975)

Know Your Money
Tuesday – December 6, 2016

Saving Is Not Optional!
By Donell Edwards  


There are many attitudes and philosophies about saving, but there is one factor that cannot be ignored in achieving financial security, and that factor is that saving is not optional.

Emphasis On Saving

Over the years in this blog we have discussed saving numerous times because of its importance.  In fact we featured a special series on saving in May of 2014.  The series included:  Getting Started – Do You Have What It Takes? published on May 12, 2014.  The second post in the series was Debt Management, Creating Income Streams, Savings, which was published on May 13, 2014.  The last post in the series was Making The Most Of your Savings published on May 16, 2014.

In addition to the special savings series we also published Knowing Your Personal Finances: Are You Ready to Save?, Starting An Emergency Fund, and Time To Change Your Thinking About Saving.


Saving Is Not Optional!

                                   Saving Is Not Optional!


Why Saving Is Not Optional

We are revisiting this topic today in view of a survey conducted by GoBankingRates in January 2016 which found that 1 in 3 Americans has $O (none, zilch, nada)  saved for retirement, 42 percent of Millennials indicated they have no retirement savings, and about 75% of Americans over 40 are behind on saving for retirement.

This follows a pattern that has existed now for over a decade, and continues to be a major issue in achieving financial health.  If any of those statistics apply to you individually you should be gravely concerned.  However, as we have also pointed out in this blog many times, a person must first have the circumstances to be able to save.  I speak from personal experience and know for a fact that some people really know they should save and want to, but just can’t because of their current circumstances.

What If You Just Can’t Save?

So, if you are reading this and are thinking “I know I need to save, but I just can’t right now because it takes everything I have to just get by, and most of the time there is not enough to take care of my living expenses.”  You have some challenges, and your goal should be to continue to work to change your circumstances so that you can save by taking on additional work if you are not already doing that, or by working overtime if it is available.  Also, by carefully examining your budget and eliminating everything except essentials, real essentials, such as shelter, food, utilities, and healthcare. Implement a spending moratorium, and don’t make any new purchases until you work yourself out of the situation that you are in.  The point is, don’t accept your current situation as permanent, make whatever changes and sacrifices you need to make to get your financial house in order, and once it is in order, continue to maintain a strong financial foundation.  The blessing of being in a less than favorable financial situation is that it forces you to make positive adjustments that will benefit you the rest of your life, if you are willing to work to overcome all of the problems holding you back financially.

Your Attitude Matters

On the other hand, if you have the means to save but just don’t see the advantage, consider what will happen to you and if you have a family, what will happen to your family if you do not have funds set aside for emergencies.  These could come in the form of the loss of employment, which is very possible in today’s economy.  Or it may be the result of you or a family member being the victim of a long-term health problem or disease.  Or perhaps it may be the result of an environmental catastrophe such as a flood, tornado, or hurricane.  If you do not have funds set aside for these things, how will they impact your finances?

Even if you have insurance to help with some of these issues, in most instances you are still exposing yourself to substantial financial loss.  That is why setting aside emergency funds is so very important to financial stability.

What You Can Do Now:  Pay Off Your Debt

The first thing we suggest is that you pay off all outstanding debt, with the understanding that this probably will be a long-term goal.  As you pay off a debt,  take the money you were using to pay that debt and apply it to another debt, and continue this process until all of your debt is eliminated.  The trick is not to incur any additional debt while you are doing this.

What You Can Do Now:  Control Your Spending

Learn how to identify and eliminate wasteful spending.  Also, improve your shopping skills and learn how to plan your shopping and look for bargains and save on grocery, clothing, and other items or services you purchase.  Become a coupon clipper and use coupons to help with your savings on your purchases.  Consider using SmartPhone apps that can help you save if you own a SmartPhone like Ibotta,  SnipSnapSavingStar and Coupon Sherpa.  Always look for ways to save on purchase and control your spending so that you can save for the unexpected, and eventually to build wealth.  Make sacrifices willingly and do not give in to impulse buying.  Make credit card payments early or on time and pay more than the minimum required to improve your credit rating, which results in a higher credit score and lower interest rates, and which will help you avoid late charges.

As we have mentioned previously in this post in order to save there must be funds to save.  Those funds should come from effectively managing the income that you have, implementing and closely following your budget, and paying down your debt.  A key factor in your success will be how well you learn to control your spending.  Without being redundant but to emphasize, be aware that controlling spending takes sacrifice, willpower, determination, and a willingness to change.  Make the commitment to yourself to do these things.  If you happen to receive income occasionally from other sources, don’t go on a spending spree and waste it all, but use some of that money for your savings.  You should develop a savings conscious mentality with any money that you receive.

What You Can Do Now: Earn More On Your Current Job Or In Your Career 

Here’s how:

  • Prepare yourself for success, a job promotion or raise by becoming an avid reader.  Read, read, read.  Read trade magazines and learn about what is going on in your industry.  Be a resource for your supervisor and management team.  Be the person that becomes known as the guru in your office.  Study the company’s internal reports, newsletters, and any other information that will educate you about the company’s goals, objectives, competition, projections, etc.
  • Attend seminars related to your current position and further educate yourself or learn new skills that can be utilized in your current position or to help you to advance your career.
  • Become close friends with your human resources manager.  Find out what options you have for career advancement and what you need to do to position yourself for success in pursuing those positions.
  • Be open to the idea of returning to college to get additional education.
  • If overtime is available, be willing to work overtime to increase your income.

What You Can Do Now:  Create New Income Streams

You can create a new income stream by starting a home based business.  The power of a home based business is revealed in this comment from the U.S. Small Business Administration website:  “What do Apple Computer, Hershey’s, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and the Ford Motor Company have in common? These well-known corporations all started out as home-based businesses. In fact, more than half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner’s home.”

In addition to having an additional income stream from starting a home based business, there are some very good tax advantages as well.  Obviously, everyone does not have the desire or the drive to have a home based business.  But if you have the entrepreneurial spirit, you are well organized and are good at time management, and you are willing to learn, having a home based business can provide you with many rewards.

How To Save

If you are currently in a position financially to start saving but it is something you just have not done and would like to start but need some ideas on how to get started, here is a great idea.

I was listening to the radio a few months ago and heard about a fantastic way for people who have very little money to use a portion of their income to save $,378 within a year.  Then this process may be repeated over and over again, or modified to increase the amounts and save more.  The idea is to get into the habit of saving, to convince yourself that you can save.

I did some research after hearing about this saving method and discovered an outstanding blogger, Lisa Bedford, and her blog, The Survival Mom – http://thesurvivalmom.com/.  Lisa shared information on her blog about this interesting saving method known as the 52 Week Challenge.  If you are looking for a place to start, this may be just what you need.

Where To Save

One of your concerns, justifiably so,  may be where to save your money, since the interest rates at most banks is so very low it is almost not worth even putting money into them.  The question then is where is the best place for savers to save their money?

In researching this question and discussing it with some of the people in the finance industry, I discovered that credit unions generally pay more interest than banks.  In May 2014 GoBankingRates.com published an article, Highest Savings Account Rate Is 40X the National Average, which included a comparison chart that shows the average savings account rates over the previous year for banks and credit unions and the national average, and the change from 2013 to 2014.  The article also lists the 10 best savings accounts based on data from the GoBankingRates database.  So, credit unions are a good choice.

For those in the military, United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a good option.  This company provides banking, investing, and insurance services to people who serve or have served in the military and their families.

Another option is to purchase Certificates of Deposit (CDs) if you are prepared to leave the money in the account for at least 6 to 12 months.  Since you should be saving for the purpose of creating an emergency fund or to accumulate enough money to invest, leaving the money in the account for up to a year should not be a problem.  In some cases the interest on CDs may be higher than the interest in banks.

So, do your own research, and look for the best deal.  Also, make sure to read the fine print because there may be penalties for making more withdrawals than allowed, for failing to meet the minimum balance requirement, and there could be other hidden penalties or fees.

A Word For Millennials and Gen-X

A word especially for our young readers, the Millennials and gen-Xers.  The statistics referenced earlier in this post indicate that Millennials and Gen-Xers are among the highest percentage of Americans who have little or no savings.  This may be interpreted as either a lack of appreciation for the importance of saving, or a lack of information and understanding about the importance of saving.  I can remember when I was in my twenties I did not really appreciate the importance of saving.  I knew that it was a good thing if I did, but even with my parents encouraging me and repeatedly trying to help me appreciate how important it was to save, I still viewed it as something optional that I could do later.  At that age, I felt that I was “bulletproof,” “untouchable,” that I could conquer the world on my own terms and ignore all of the wisdom that had been made available to me.  I learned later in life how very wrong I was.  Thankfully, I learned before it was too late, but it was still very, very, very costly to me.

If you are a young person and you are reading this, 18-35 years of age, please take some time to think about how you manage your money.  Think about your future.  Think about all of the things in life that you have not prepared for financially in the event you lose your current income.  Will you be able to have a place to live, or will you be forced to move back home with your parents?  Will you be able to keep your vehicle, or will you  be forced to lose it?  Will you be able to continue to take care of your family if you have one?  What will happen to your spouse and children?  These are some very important potentially life changing scenarios that should be given every consideration.

If you are a mature reader and you know a young person that needs this information, perhaps your own child, or a relative or colleague or business associate, recommend this blog post to them or send it to them.

We also encourage every reader who feels the need for assistance with their own money management skills, to help get out of debt, control spending, and begin saving, to sign-up for our 13 week KYM Money Success Strategies Institute, which starts on Monday – January 9, 2017.  This program will provide step-by-step instructions on how to improve money management skills, use credit wisely, get out of debt, and build wealth, featuring daily video support during the first four weeks.

We will also be available to help with any questions enrollees may have.  So, make this your New Year’s Resolution, to enroll in our KYM Money Success Strategies Institute.  To enroll, just click here.  And remember we start Monday – January 9, 2017.  SIGN UP NOW!


We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?  If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.


Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more information about personal money management.




Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial planner. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Crazy Checks

Thought for today:  All deception in the course of life is indeed nothing else but a lie reduced to practice, and falsehood passing from words into things.  – Robert Southey, British author, 1774-1843


Know Your Money
Monday – December 5, 2016
Crazy Checks
By Dwight Harshaw, BBA, Personal Finance Counselor 


Dwight Harshaw, BBA

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

We all receive them, mailings from credit card companies that contain checks-that were not ordered or requested. I must confess that I have used one. I’ve taken advantage of a zero percent transfer fee, no interest offer-which is rare today-to pay off the balance of another credit card that I could have paid anyway. I remember it felt good initially but for months afterwards, it was a burden to pay the loan back. Fortunately I was able to pay it back within the designated time period and suffered no repercussions from using it. I was lucky. Many are not.

The marketers of debt do all they can to entice us to use their crazy checks. The checks can be used to pay off debt, make purchases, or deposit money into bank accounts. The credit card companies want to make sure that we have money to spend-up to a defined limit because they are not crazy-with strings attached. The strings or terms for using the checks are not hidden. There is a time period in which the interest charged will be zero or very low, provided that you make your payments on time. There is a transfer fee that is capped at a nominal amount. They are almost like regular checks, right? Wrong!


Man Holding Forehead --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis


Many people use the checks, experience setbacks, and their terms change. A delayed or missed payment can cause you to pay more fees and high interest. It is all there in black and white in the terms and conditions, read it.

When you receive unsolicited checks in the mail from your bank or credit card company, tear them up. Using them is almost as bad as writing a hot check. They are not money substitutes, they are loans. They are a clever way for issuers to keep you in perpetual debt. It is too easy to overextend yourself. And when you are overextended you can’t build wealth.


About Dwight Harshaw:  Dwight Harshaw is a personal finance counselor, realtor and writer.  He has a BBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Finance with emphasis on financial planning.

Follow us on Twitter  and Facebook for more information about personal money management.



Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Confessions Of A Spendaholic

Donell Edwards, Blogger

Donell Edwards Publisher, Writer, Speaker

Donell Edwards
Publisher, Writer, Speaker

About Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.








Know Your Money
Monday – November 14, 2016
(First published March 14, 2014)

Know Your Money Special Feature:
Confessions Of A Spendaholic
By Donell Edwards


The MacMillan Dictionary defines spendaholic as “Somebody who is addicted to spending money.”  At one time to some extent that definition described me.  From a young age I felt deprived, although I was provided with a comfortable lifestyle and just about everything I wanted.  However, as a child, I compared what my family had with others who had more and I felt inferior.  I never discussed these feelings with anyone, and this thinking affected many of the decisions that I made in my life when I reached adulthood.

To me, being able to buy things and having lots of credit cards were symbols of success.  So many times I made purchases that I could not afford.  Needless to say, that got me into financial difficulty.  Most of the time I managed to survive without any serious problems, but eventually bad spending practices caught up with me.

While spending freely, I never considered the damage that was being done to my credit, and the resulting affect not having good credit had on employment opportunities, qualifying for a home loan or auto loan, and many other important aspects of life.

I was an angry young man because I believed that I had been denied many employment opportunities that I qualified for which had limited my income and my ability to enjoy the kind of lifestyle that I wanted.  I had developed a sense that I was entitled to more, that I deserved the things I wanted, and that when I got married and had a family that we deserved more.  So I retaliated by getting as many credit cards as I could and using them to get what I wanted and thinking that I would find a way to pay the credit card bills somehow.  I was reacting to my circumstances, which I felt were unfair, but it was the wrong reaction.

MP900149068 - Man Using ATM

I share this in hopes that anyone reading this who has similar feelings or thoughts may be helped to learn from my experience.  You see, although I was not necessarily addicted to spending, I was a spendaholic nonetheless because I knowingly spend money that I did not have by using credit cards excessively.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have a budget or that I did not understand how to budget, however, at that time my budget was based on hope rather than on reality.  Hope that I would get a better job, hope that I would be able to make more money, hope that I would be successful in business ventures that I started, and everything would be alright.  At the same time I was mad because I was in this situation and I felt life was unfair and I was reacting to my circumstances.  Whatever my reasons, they were wrong.

As I embarked down this road to financial self-destruction I was in denial and rejected the good advice I received from family and friends who tried to help me.  I would tell them, “You just don’t understand.”  Eventually I lost everything and had to work to reestablish my credit and rebuild my life.  All because of being a spendaholic.

Those experience in life taught me valuable lessons that I will never forget, and that I hope will allow me to help others by sharing the knowledge that I gained from having those experiences.  I know that spending can be addictive, but anyone who really wants to can overcome the addiction.  Just don’t let it destroy you before you take action.

Brave Souls Wanted:
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

Helpful Videos:

Buying vs Renting A House:  The Advantages of Each

Teaching Kids About Money


Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management

Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved



Knowing Your Personal Finances: What Happens When The Budget Comes Under Attack?

Donell Edwards, Blogger

Donell Edwards Publisher, Writer, Speaker

Donell Edwards
Publisher, Writer, Speaker

About Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.








Know Your Money
Monday – November 14, 2016
(First published March 11, 2014)

What Happens When The Budget Comes Under Attack?
By Donell Edwards

Before getting into today’s post I want to acknowledge that there is a diverse group of readers of our Know Your Money Blog.  Some have the financial acumen to be very successful in managing their money and read our blog merely because it interests them.  Others, although affluent, understand that the cliché, knowledge is power, is more than just a cliché, there is a great deal of truth in those words.  So they seek as much knowledge and information as they can get to be well informed on how to improve their financial skills.  Then there are those who are on a financial level where they feel stuck and would like to improve their financial situation.  And then there are others who are in real trouble financially and who are struggling just to get by from day-to-day.

I would like to say to those in the latter group, those who are struggling to get by, that I understand.  I can fully relate.  I know that if you have read our posts in the past there were probably times when you said this is meaningless to me because I don’t know how I will be able to get by from one day to another.  So how on earth am I supposed to have a budget?  I stay constantly behind on practically everything.  It is all that I can do to pay the mortgage or rent and the utilities.  Every day I drive an automobile that I hope will not quit before I go all the places I need to go.  I have to scrounge to find gas money.  And I am in almost constant fear of the consequences of an accident because I can’t afford auto insurance.  There are even times when there is not enough food in the household.  When I get a bill paid it seems like it is due again the instant it gets paid.  I am very fearful of the consequences of anyone in the family getting sick because I don’t know what I would do.  We are too poor to die, I would not be able to bury my deceased loved ones.  But some might reason, aren’t there social programs to help people with these kinds of needs.  Yes, but many people, while not having enough income for a normal life, exceed the income requirements for public assistance.  They are on their own.  I know.  I have been there.  I have experienced  some of the same things myself.

I know that for some reading this, you may have a very difficult time understanding how anyone could get into this situation.  If you have not experienced it yourself and you have had a fairly easy ride, you probably cannot imagine anyone being in such a dire situation.  Nonetheless, this is the reality for many people.  That is why it is so important to me to try to offer the help my neighbors in this condition need by sharing my experiences and knowledge through the information in our blog.

Today’s blog post is about what to do when the budget comes under attack.  That is why I wanted to acknowledge those who feel that a budget is not practical under their circumstances before embarking on today’s post, and to emphasize that everyone needs a budget.  We will discuss how to prepare a budget under distress in another post.  That being said, regardless of what financial level you are on, what can you do when the budget comes under attack?  When you have prepared a realistic budget and the unexpected happens, how can you effectively respond?

Young Man with His Hand on His Forehead

First of all, let us consider some of the areas in which the budget may come under attack:

Work Related

  • Demotion
  • Layoff
  • Downsizing
  • Reduction in hours
  • Termination

Family Matters

  • Marriage
  • Birth of a child
  • Divorce
  • Death of a mate
  • Caring for ageing parents

Health Issues

  • Illness
  • Disease
  • Injury
  • Long-term illness
  • Surgery
  • Disability


  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Auto accident
  • Everything else

It is very easy to become complacent when things are going well and the budget works the way we planned, but when any of the events listed above occur unexpectedly, or other things happen that attack the budget, we must always have a backup plan.  The best backup plan is an emergency fund, however, as we have previously stated numerous times, this is a process, and we have not gotten that far along in the process yet.  The emergency fund is something that we will discuss in the future.

However, where we are now in the process is evaluating and monitoring spending, developing a realistic, workable budget, and adhering rigidly to that budget.  So after having accomplished those tasks at this point in the process, when there is no emergency fund, how do we handle the attack on the budget?

First of all, it must be determined if the factors affecting the budget are long-term or short-term and plan to adjust the budget accordingly.  A short-term impact of only a few weeks or a few months is far different than an impact of a year or longer.  Whatever the situation, we must determine how to adjust the budget to allow for the additional expenses incurred as a result of the event or events that have occurred.  This means reducing payments where possible, eliminating items that can be eliminated, and contacting creditors and explaining the changed financial circumstances and where possible negotiating more affordable payment terms.  That is why it is so important to always pay bills, pay them on time, or early if possible, and to always try to pay more than the minimum amount due.  It is much more likely that a creditor will work with you in a crisis if you have established a good payment history and have developed a good relationship with them.

So, adjusting the budget is the first step.  If adjusting the budget does not eliminate the problem then other measures are necessary.  You will have to determine what measures will work best for you, but be prepared to make sacrifices.  It may be necessary to take a second job for a time.  If you own any valuables and the unexpected expense may be eliminated by selling valuables, that is an option.  For example, if you have jewelry, antiques, collectables, stocks, etc. that would bring in enough to pay the expense that is an option.

For those who do not have valuables that can be sold or assets that may be liquidated, finding items in the budget with the highest payment amounts that can be eliminated is another option.  Remember, depending on the amount of the expense and the length, it may be necessary to make some very undesirable sacrifices.  For instance, if you have a high vehicle payment and public transportation is available, an option for you may be to place an ad in the newspaper or online for someone to take over the payments on your vehicle.  Or if you lease your home or apartment, consider moving to a home or apartment that is less expensive if the expense incurred is of a significant enough amount and for a long enough period of time.  These are very drastic measures, but they may be very necessary to get back on track with the budget.

Start today working on your backup plan; don’t wait for a crisis to happen.  Consider what you would do if some of the things listed above happened to you, consider how your budget would be affected, what measures you would need to take in order to adjust your budget.  Although the emergency fund is later in the process, if you are on a course with your budget where you have or will have money left over each month, save as much as you can.  That will definitely help in the case of unexpected events that attack your budget.

We welcome your comments and suggestions on how to overcome unexpected expenses that strain the budget.   Just submit your comments at the end of this post.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for guest contributor Felicia Johnson and her post, “Making Change.”

Today’s Extra

By the way, I found the following video very interesting.  It discusses the negative affects of materialism on life and society.  This is very relevant to our discussion on money management and spending, because too often one of the root causes of poor money management is a materialistic lifestyle.  What is materialism?  The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines materialism as, “a preoccupation with or stress upon material rather than intellectual or spiritual things.”  The video really should cause each of us to pause and consider how we are living our lives.  I hope you enjoy it.

Are You A Spendaholic?  Share Your Experience

If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

Recommended Reading:

The High Price of Materialism

Four Steps to Making Budgeting Easier for Anyone


Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management

Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Vacations On A Budget

Guest Contributor

Lionel Shipman Owner - Shipman ConsultingLionel Shipman is the owner of Shipman Consulting, a personal and business finance-consulting firm specializing in helping individuals and businesses improve their financial outlooks. The primary focus of the firm is facilitating seminars and classes to educate, motivate, and empower people to take charge of their financial lives. The firm also offers one-on-one consulting services.

Please visit the firm’s website for information at WWW.ShipmanConsulting.Com.

Email address: Contact@ShipmanConsulting.Com ; Twitter: @LShipmanSC

Know Your Money
Monday – November 14, 2016
(First published July 15, 2014)

Vacations On A Budget……
By Guest Contributor
Mr. Lionel Shipman


I believe vacations and time away from work and the hustle and bustle of life are very important. Everyone needs a break, mentally and physically. However, everyone is not taking a break. According to the CBS Moneywatch website dated April 4, 2014, employees of America used half of their eligible vacation time during the past 12 months according to a Glassdoor survey. The primary reasons were fear of getting behind in work and the concern that no one else could do their job function. In many countries such as France and Greece, companies are required to pay employees who take time off for vacation. However, in United States, there is no requirement and many people do not even take the time that they are entitled to or have accrued. Why are Americans not taking vacations? My guess is some cannot afford to take the time off due to the demands of their job or position; whereas, others simply cannot afford to take a vacation. Then, there are some Americans who will utilize their vacation or personal time off but will not really take advantage of it, because while on vacation they are checking and responding to emails or receiving and returning phone calls.

The purpose of vacation is to remove oneself, for a specified period of time, from the routine of work life and other potential stresses of life. Whether you work in an office setting, construction site or otherwise, every working person deserves and needs a vacation. Take a break from the demands of work and rest your minds and bodies. Whether you are resting in a hammock in your backyard or a beach chair in Maui, utilize your vacation time.

Family Eating An Al Fresco Meal

Taking a vacation does not have to be extravagant and expensive. Today, many people are taking a “staycation”. A staycation is a vacation at home or close to home where the vacation budget is smaller than a normal vacation. The most important aspect of taking a vacation or staycation is budgeting for it. As with other household budgets, establishing a vacation budget is vital.

Here is a simple plan: (1) Make a realistic list of vacation spots. For many people, vacationing in the south of France or equi-trekking in Ireland is not realistic, based upon the amount of their incomes. Therefore, be realistic where you would like to spend a vacation based on what you and/or your family can afford. I have a list of places that I would like to go but I cannot realistically go at this time or this year. Some of the places require more time beyond the standard 7 days of vacation and require more money than any past vacation. (2) Determine how long you want to stay. Vacation time can vary depending upon the amount of time you have and how much you can afford. For some people, 2-3 days may be the limit. Regardless of the vacation time you have accrued or have been allotted, take the time to relax your mind and body. (3) Determine the costs of the vacation. This step is the most important one. The costs of going on a traditional vacation may include travel costs (airfares, rental car expenses, gas costs if traveling in your own vehicle, etc.), accommodations, food, admission prices to parks and/or entertainment venues and miscellaneous places.

Once you have compiled the costs, you must determine if the costs are within your financial means. Then, establish a budget and start allocating money towards the vacation. I do not recommend financing a vacation using a credit card especially if there is a rolling balance. If you are not paying the balance off the month the charges are due, you should not use a credit card.

Unfortunately, a number of people have been and will continue utilizing a credit card to pay for their vacations. Some of these people fail to realize that well after the vacation they are still paying for it because of the accrued interest. For example, let’s say you charged a $2,000.00 vacation on a credit card and decided to make monthly payments as opposed to paying the balance off at the end of the billing cycle. Depending on how soon you pay off the balance, your overall vacation cost will exceed your budgeted amount. Can you imagine still paying for a vacation that was taken 3 – 6 months ago? I cannot and I encourage you to feel the same way.

If you do not have the money, your vacation destinations will be limited but not all are out of reach. You may not be able to afford your ideal vacation this year or next year but it is still obtainable. If you prepare a budget and set aside the funds over a specified period of time, your vacation can become a reality. If the particular vacation is still not within reach, then plan a more affordable vacation. Remember, you can always take a staycation. Typically, it is less expensive and you can still relax your mind and body.


© 2016 Shipman Consulting  –  All Rights Reserved