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June 23, 2016

Build Your Wealth - Three Great Tips


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I bookmark everything. If you're looking for parenting advice, tips on growing zucchini or how to make McDonald's signature sweet tea at home, I can help with that! One blog entry I recently added to my collection was "3 Utterly Obvious Ways to Build Wealth". In a nutshell, here's what Jeff Rose at Credit.com has to say about building wealth.

1. Say "NO" to Debt

Saying “no” to debt is truly a behavior at the heart of so many wealthy individuals. Why? It has something to do with interest rates. Student loans, credit cards, personal loans, car loans, and many other types ...


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January 5, 2016

What Kind of Company Do You Keep?


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Dan Lewis (back left) with his daughter, Bonnie, and wife, Mary, standing behind his son, James, and Dan's parents, Jim and Joan Lewis.

My mom was right about many things. At fifty years old, I can say that it does matter what company I keep. I can also say that giving and saving come first and careful spending then follows.

I grew up in the 1960’s, the son of committed, working-class parents. My mother always allowed us to watch her keep our family books that started with giving to our church, savings for rainy days and careful spending on mostly our needs and sometimes even our wants. My parents taught me the same and now, having been married over 50 years, are still generous ...


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February 24, 2015

Six Tips For Saving Success


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February 23-28 is America Saves Week and since living a life of True Balance includes saving regularly, this week is a perfect time to step back and ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to meet our goals. Even a few small changes can have a big impact on your financial future.

So, in recognition of America Saves Week, here are six simple tips to help assess and improve your saving strategy and put you on the path towards saving success:

  • Set a goal. The first step is to establish a realistic savings goal. Consider your expenses, make a budget and ...

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June 13, 2014

My Son, My Hero


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The first time I felt unconditional love was on June 11, 2010 when we welcomed our son, Aiden, into the world.

Our story is quite different than most but stories like ours happen more frequently than people realize. 1 in every 100 children share a component of our story. At 3 days old, we learned that Aiden was 1 in 100 born with heart defects. My pregnancy was normal. I "went by the book". Giving birth to an unhealthy child isn't something that I thought to prepare for.

We met a phenomenal non-profit through Aiden's Journey, Kerrington's Heart Inc., who provided support ...


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May 8, 2014

Thanks, Mama, For Your Example


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Dear Mama:

Sometimes I catch myself doing something and I think, “How did I know how to do that?” And then I realize, I learned it from you.

You have been such an amazing example to me in so many ways, but the way in which you serve others and give of yourself is the most poignant. Even as a small girl, I remember going with you to take food to those who had lost a loved one, had an illness or were celebrating a new birth. You taught me about reusing things we were blessed with. “Hand-me-downs” were never something we ...


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May 6, 2014

Thanks for Teaching Me to Give, Mom


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Dear Mom,

Thank you for teaching me that the most important things in life aren’t really “things” at all.

Your life is a constant inspiration to me! You’ve shown that even when you think you don’t have anything to give, you ALWAYS do. My whole life I’ve watched you energetically and sometimes sacrificially give to those around you. Family and friends would all agree. From giving a neighbor a ride to the grocery store, to taking a sick friend to the doctor, to praying for complete strangers you met while out and about, you’ve taught me that you don’t have to have ...


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May 2, 2014

Thanks, Mom. I'm Saving My Money!


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Dear Mom,

As Mother’s day is approaching I want to take a minute to thank you for a few things. It would take a book, a very large book, to thank you for everything you have done for me throughout my life.

One of the most important things you have ever taught me is how to be smart with my money. You taught me how to start saving money at a very young age and explained to me that if there is something special I really want, like a new pair of those fancy basketball shoes that I couldn’t live without, then ...


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May 1, 2014

Thanks for Being Generous, Mom


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Dear Mom,

As Mother’s Day approaches, I want to say thank you for the good example that you have set for Steph and I over the years. 

In addition to teaching us to be kind, gentle, and honest, you have always been a generous giver.  Whether you are giving of your time or resources, when someone needs help – you never hesitate…even when your To-Do list is miles long. Sarah (center) pictured with her mom, Sheri Shaver, and sister, Steph.

So thanks for being you, Mom, and for all that you have done – and continue to do – for me and so many others.

With love,

Sarah

Photo: Sarah (center) pictured with her mom, Sheri Shaver, and sister, ...


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March 24, 2014

Tools to the Rescue!


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The year I got married I moved three times.  Let me tell you, there is nothing like moving to force you to face your pack-rat ways!  When you have to wrap, box, unbox, and unwrap every single item you own multiple times, you quickly begin to long for simplicity, perhaps even a pioneer-day log-cabin one-trunk-holds-all-your-possessions kind of life. 

I can’t say I’ve continued on a perfectly straight line of progress ever since then, but I have never lost the desire to pare down, streamline, and let go of that which simply takes me more time to dust.  And for everything I ...


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February 28, 2014

30 Years Later


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My parents taught me to save when I was very small.  They started my first savings account and taught me to work hard and save for the things I needed and wanted.

As a teenager, I invested hours of hard work on the family farm – saving money for school, for a vehicle (a 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass!), and of course, for my future needs. 

When I started working full time I began to invest in a retirement plan. At the time, retirement seemed so far down the road. Well, time has a way of flying by and here I am today – ...


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