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177 Past Due – Confessions Of A Financial Coach (Part 2)

by Derek Sisterhen on October 21, 2011

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Past Due: Radio 177 – Confessions Of A Financial Coach (Part 2)

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Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many people who are trying to handle their finances with purpose and intention. Our background – our personal history – has a tremendous influence on our lives. It also has a tremendous influence on our use of money. Over the years, I’ve seen where the “norms” created in the homes where we’ve been raised and our experiences on our own can catapult us to positive change, or be the only thing holding us back.

Today we discussed:

1) Internal vows – the commitments we make to ourselves (for better or worse) that we convince ourselves must come to fruition for us to be happy

2) Our true identity – where we use our money reveals everything about our belief system, how we value others, and what we believe we can accomplish with our lives

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Eat Healthy, Save Money

by Derek Sisterhen on October 11, 2011

Christine Luken, the Coupon Queen, is back to dispel some myths and give us some solid ways to save money on healthy foods. After Christine’s last guest post, it was clear we have some very discerning fans that are looking for ways to make products that are good for them also good for the budget. ~D.S.

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There’s a myth floating around out there that I am constantly trying to dispel. It goes something like this: “I’m eating healthy/organic/gluten-free, and there aren’t any coupons for the food I eat.” Or: “The only coupons I see out there are for processed and packaged foods.”

Let me set the record straight: You can eat healthy AND save money! The two are not mutually exclusive.

Now, it’s true that there are many coupons out there for products like Pop-Tarts, Rice-A-Roni, and Frosted Flakes. However, there are also coupons and deals to be had for Kashi Frozen Dinners, Cascadian Farms cereal, Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, and all-natural Luna Bars. You just need to know where to find them!

The first strategy you need to follow to save money on healthy food is to buy it when it’s on sale with coupons. Then you need to stock up on it so you have it on hand when it’s not on sale. This is known in couponing circles as “stockpiling.” Stockpiling does not mean you designate an entire room in your house to food storage. It simply means that you buy enough to last until the next sale. Never buy more of an item than your family will use before it expires. Things like organic cereal and granola bars have a reasonably long shelf life. You can freeze extra loaves of gluten-free bread when it goes on sale.

So where do you find coupons for organic and gluten-free products? It’s true that there aren’t too many of these in the Sunday paper (although you might spot a few.) The best ones I’ve found are online. Coupons.com frequently has printable coupons for Kashi products. With printable coupons, you can typically print two of any coupon per month per computer. So if you both you and your spouse have laptops and your kids have a desktop computer, you can potentially print six of the same coupon. You can also have friends and family members print some for you. Another great website for printable healthy coupons is MamboSpouts.com. I also recommend that you follow Organic Deals on Facebook. I frequently re-post deals they share for organic and gluten-free products.

Another way to get multiple coupons for healthy food is to search for them on E-Bay. Just type in the product name and coupon in the E-Bay search bar. There are quite a few “coupon clipping services” on E-Bay that will cut the coupons for you so that you can pay a few bucks for ten to twenty of a coupon. Let me give you a real-life example of this. Just a few weeks ago, I went to E-Bay and purchased twenty 50-cents off coupons for Luna Bars, an all-natural, 80% organic energy bar for women, for $6 shipped. My local Kroger doubles coupons so these are actually worth $1 for me. Guess what? Kroger sells Luna bars for 99 cents each. I use my coupons (usually five or ten at a time) to get my energy bars for free! My cost for the Luna bars was $6 for twenty, which is 30 cents a bar. 70% off isn’t too bad! Sometimes, people in other parts of the country, like Colorado and California, will get organic coupons in their Sunday papers that I wouldn’t get here in Cincinnati. Just make sure you are buying from a reputable seller with a good rating and that you’re buying original manufacturer’s coupons.

Do you have a favorite brand of organic or gluten-free food? If you write or email the manufacturer singing the praises of their products, they will frequently send you free coupons! It’s also a great idea to sign up for your favorite brands’ email lists and follow them on Facebook or Twitter. They frequently reward loyal followers and subscribers with printable coupons and free samples.

One last tip to reduce the cost of eating healthy is to use coupons for your non-food items. Even if you have a hard time finding good deals on your organic and gluten-free food, you can still use coupons to get your toilet paper, garbage bags, deodorant, shaving cream, dish washing liquid, and fabric softener for less. Now you can eat healthy without emptying your wallet!

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Christine Luken is a Coupon Queen, Financial Coach, and author of the e-book, Confessions of a Coupon Queen: Secrets Retailers Don’t Want You to Know. Christine has a passion for helping families save money so they can build up their savings and pay off their debt. In her spare time, you can find Christine on the golf course, at the mall shopping for shoes (coupons in hand!), or at home watching cage fighting with her husband. You can find her on her website or email her directly.

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174 Past Due – The Non-Conformist Family Is Making Progress!

by Derek Sisterhen on September 25, 2011

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Past Due: Radio 174 – The Non-Conformist Family Is Making Progress!

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The Non-Conformist Family is back! We’re checking in with Josh and Sarah Gordon as they are five weeks into their action plan (they were the focus of Episode #169).

First Month Review:

During our cross-interview (Josh asked me questions about financial coaching, then I asked him questions about the last month), we learned a few important success factors:

1) A spending plan is just another piece of paper (or spreadsheet) until you know how much you’ve been spending. Josh and Sarah discovered their passion for coffee was a significant monthly expense.

2) Sometimes you just have to say “No”! The Gordons made a tough call by cancelling an impromptu trip with family, but they saved some money in the process.

Next Month’s Action Steps:

1) Continue to track spending, looking for continued patterns and behaviors that encourage or limit success.

2) Place every single penny of leftover cash flow into the emergency fund. (Josh even had a great plan to move $2 to the emergency fund every time he felt tempted to go out for coffee; sometimes we have to reward ourselves in other ways!)

We’ll look forward to checking in with The Non-Conformist Family in another month!

If you have a specific question, I’d be happy to answer it and further cultivate the wisdom of the Past Due Radio masses. The experiences of our listener base provide plenty of insight we all can learn from; don’t hesitate to ask – I’m happy to help!

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171 Past Due – Should I Delay Debt Freedom To Be A Best Man?

by Derek Sisterhen on September 5, 2011

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Past Due: Radio 171 – Should I Delay Debt Freedom To Be A Best Man?

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BJ and Sylvia wrote in from Germany looking for guidance on a dilemma: Do they attend BJ’s brother’s wedding (BJ being the best man, by the way) and delay debt freedom, or continue with their plan to become debt free and disappoint their family?

Talk about a can of worms! But hey, that’s life and money, isn’t it?

Because of the cost of travel back to the U.S., recent unexpected expenses, and changes in income, this is no little decision. Add to that the pressure of family expectations, and you have a recipe for major stress.

Today, we helped BJ and Sylvia by:

1) Discussing that there is an opportunity cost of getting out of debt – all those opportunities we have to say, ‘No’ to – and that we must assess just how much that cost weighs in our current strategy toward debt freedom.

2) Covering the four lists that everyone should make upon committing to getting out debt and controlling spending:

  • List of goals for the next 6-12 months
  • List of current expenses
  • List of reasons to use emergency savings
  • List of reasons to suspend the debt snowball

3) Unpacking the other areas where family and money tend to intersect – like Christmas, wedding and baby showers – and how to set the appropriate boundary so that you invest in those relationships without short-changing financial goals.

If you have a specific question, I’d be happy to answer it and further cultivate the wisdom of the Past Due Radio masses. The experiences of our listener base provide plenty of insight we all can learn from; don’t hesitate to ask – I’m happy to help!

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3 Lessons On Pregnancy & Money

August 23, 2011

Jon White is not only talking the talk, he’s walking the walk. It’s so exciting to think that he and his wife Lisa are welcoming their first child into a financially healthy home. For many families, the onset of children exposes cracks in the financial foundation.  If nothing else, these three simple ways to prepare […]

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169 Past Due – The Financial Plan For The Non-Conformist Family

August 19, 2011

Past Due: Radio 169 – The Financial Plan For The Non-Conformist Family Right-click to download Send me your feedback or leave me a voice mail: (919) 374-0501 Leave a review on iTunes Josh and Sarah Gordon of thenonconformistfamily.com have agreed to be guinea pigs in the PDR lab! In their effort to avoid mediocrity, they’re […]

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165 Past Due – How Much Life Insurance Do I Really Need?

July 22, 2011

Past Due: Radio 165 – How Much Life Insurance Do I Really Need? Right-click to download Send me your feedback or leave me a voice mail: (919) 374-0501 Leave a review on iTunes You have to respect the power of Facebook. I put out an APB to see what kind of financial questions my friends […]

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163 Past Due – Teaching Your Kids About Work And Reward

June 24, 2011

Past Due: Radio 163 – Teaching Your Kids About Work And Reward Right-click to download Send me your feedback or leave me a voice mail: (919) 374-0501 Leave a review on iTunes Susan and William of Raleigh, NC are the winners of the Kids & Money Contest! They wrote in about the numerous financial mistakes […]

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162 Past Due – Help! My Fiance’s Finances Are Trashed!

June 17, 2011

Past Due: Radio 162 – Help! My Fiance’s Finances Are Trashed! Right-click to download Send me your feedback or leave me a voice mail: (919) 374-0501 Leave a review on iTunes I was teaching a group of undergrad and graduate interns at SAS Institute earlier this week and was asked a great question: What do […]

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145 Past Due – Real Life: Daniel & Melissa – Debt Free To Save A Life

February 19, 2011

Past Due: Radio 145 – Real Life: Daniel & Melissa – Debt Free To Save A Life Right-click to download Send me your feedback or leave me a voice mail: (919) 374-0501 Leave a review on iTunes Have you ever thought that by becoming debt free you could be positioned to save someone’s life? Today, […]

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