Sunday, December 25, 2011

What does your moral compass say to others?

What does your moral compass say to others?

By Keith Bunn Jr.
December 25, 2011

Have you ever had some sort of service done for you? You know, had some work done on your house, work done on your car… things like that? Where they said one thing and then they did the exact opposite. They may have done a good job, but what do you remember the most about them? That they said one thing and then did the opposite, right?
Now I’m probably going to show my age here, but that is just common sense to me. You have to be a man or woman of your word!!! If you say you’re going to do something or not do something and then don’t do that, that can tell volumes about your character. Good or bad. I’m not just talking about if you own a business; I’m talking about every waking minute of your life! And you can’t back away from what you said or wrote down either, even though it maybe unpleasant at the time.
To give you an example, let’s say you did own a business and you stated a new rule either in some sort of meeting or wrote it down in the company’s handbook and the rule was that you would reward any employee if the met a certain goal at work. Now once your employees start meeting these goals, you need to reward them like you said you would. Now if a lot of employees meet these goals all at once and it is now becoming costly… you still need to reward them like you said you would. Because if you don’t, your employees will lose trust in your word and will no longer try to meet the company’s goals.
As I said before, you have to do this every waking minute of your life. This means you have to do this when you are dealing with family, friends, your co-workers, your boss, employees, vendors, etc… your word tells a lot about you. Don’t make it say the wrong things.

As with all my blog posts, and social media posts, I welcome any comments and feed back on the topics I write about. It is the only way you and I will learn more about our selves and each other, so ask away!

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

– Romans 5:3-5 – 

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

You have to do what is right!

You have to do what is right!

By Keith Bunn Jr.
December 18, 2011

Not too long ago, I posted on Facebook about not making financial decisions in the middle of grieving when you have lost a love one and I stand by what I wrote. But there are sometimes you have to make those hard gut wrenching decisions when it comes to our pets.
This week’s blog is extremely hard for me to write because we had to make that very decision this past week. The picture above is of our beloved puppy Zeus. We don’t know when it happened, but according to his x-rays, it appeared that Zeus swallowed a small stone that he was not able to pass through his digestive track. The little guy was in pain and the vet said that he needed surgery right then. The surgery was going to cost $2000.00.
Now before I go on, you need to know that our dogs are like our kids and we spoil them as such. We have 3 other dogs that are much older than Zeus and they are the biggest babies you have ever seen. Also, during the time Zeus was at the vet, I was in the hospital having surgery myself. Having no more vacation or sick days left this year, I have been missing work without pay.
I’m sure you can guess by now that we had to put Zeus to sleep. We only had him for like 2 to 3 weeks but he had somehow snuck deep into our hearts. In fact, as I’m typing this, I’m crying like a little girl over his loss.
My point is, is that in the middle of our heart ache. We had to do the right thing and let him go so he was no longer in pain. We didn’t have the $2000.00 for the surgery and it really doesn’t make sense to potentially harm the rest of the family by going into $2000.00 more in debt while one of us is not working to save our puppy’s life. I know some of you don’t agree with this, but it was our decision and it is one we will have to live with.
So take this for what it is. There is a reason why we don’t keep animals around that are in pain like we do with us humans. They are not human. By doing the right thing, even though our hearts are breaking, it is another way we show our love for them.

Rest in peace Zeus! We sure do miss you!

As with all my blog posts, and social media posts, I welcome any comments and feed back on the topics I write about. It is the only way you and I will learn more about ourselves and each other, so ask away!

Checkout my website, Facebook, & Twitter pages as well. , , and!/Cavuscoaching

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Money Fights

By Keith Bunn Jr.
December 11, 2011

First off, let’s admit it; if you have a spouse or even just a boyfriend or girlfriend, you’ve had an argument or two in your relationship. It is perfectly natural for that to happen from time to time. What isn’t natural is when you’re at each other’s throats all the time. The number one thing that people argue about these days is money!
The thing is, if you got that part of your relationship under control, all the other parts you’re having issues with will start to fall in line. So how can you start getting things under control? A good place to start would be starting a budget. In every relationship, you have a Saver and you have a Spender. Kind of like a Yin and Yang of finances, and you need each other so that you both have a long lasting financial life.
The Saver needs the Spender so they can enjoy life more and don’t end up being a hermit in a cave somewhere. The Spender needs the Saver to kind of rein them in from time to time so they don’t have to eat Alpo in their golden years.
The person with the God given talent for dealing with numbers should draw up the budget and then the two of you sit down and go over it to make it both of yours. If the other partner thinks that something needs to be changed, you both discuss it and make the change(s) only if both of you agree to it and as long as your budget balances! What this does is, is that it opens up the communication channels between the two of you and stars to bring you closer together.
Now, if your partner won’t do this with you or wants to separate the money into his and hers, there maybe bigger underlying problems and you may need to seek out some marriage counseling of some kind. If you’re not married yet but plan to someday, I suggest looking into getting some kind of pre-marital counseling that includes how to deal with your money. The pre-marital counseling should bring out where you both stand on money, kids, in-laws, and religion. The four things couples fight about the most.

As with all my blog posts, and social media posts, I welcome any comments and feed back on the topics I write about. It is the only way you and I will learn more about ourselves and each other, so ask away!

“Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows.” – Ben Stein –

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

No Manna for you

No Manna for you

By Keith Bunn Jr.
Original Posting: December 4, 2011
Updated Posting: September 28, 2013

One of the things I hear time and time again is, “God will provide for our needs.” And then those people just sit on their butts and complain that “Life’s not fair!” Well, I have to say that for those people, I believe that God won’t provide for you.
Now before you stone me to death, let me explain. How many times have you heard of some farmer somewhere, who has prayed to God for a bountiful crop of corn at the beginning of the planting season and get that crop without planting a single seed? You haven’t! Yes, at one time God did do those kind of miracles. One time in particular was written in the book of Exodus 16:4 NIV, Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions."

It is my belief that God does provide for us all but not in that way anymore. I believe that God provides for us by going through us, by using our unique and individual gifts and talents and won’t bless us if all we do is just sit on our butts waiting for a miracle.
I was told a story some time ago that a man drove up to his pastor in a newer truck he just bought and asked the pastor for prayers that he can make the truck payments. God will not answer those prayers. God will not and did not leave stacks of money on on that guy's dinning room table so he could make his truck payment. You have to be proactive in your life and not let life happen to you, then expect God to bless you or answer your prayers the way you would like Him to.
You have to plan your life how you want it to be and only then will God bless you either through you or through others in your life. Proverbs 16:9 ESV says, "
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps."

I’m not saying my interpretation of these and other scriptures are right but I do know that when we started to plan and live our lives the way God said we should live, situations seemed to just fall into place that made us think that God had a hand in our lives that was guiding us in a certain direction. That can happen for you as well.

"Here is a good question to ponder: What is in your life today that is not in line with what you want tomorrow?"
- Dr. Henry Cloud -

The reason I do this is to give people hope and to try to inspire others. To make them think about their finances, whether they are young or old, so they can win financially.
If you have any questions for me about my posts or if you need help learning how to live on less than you make and creating a budget, you can call me at (616) 454-2046 or e-mail me at I’d be happy to do what I can to help!
You can also find more money news, facts and ideas, on my Facebook and/or Twitter pages. I'd be grateful if you followed me. Thank you!

Monday, November 28, 2011



By Keith Bunn Jr.
November 28, 2011

As I mentioned on Facebook not too long ago, this is the season of giving. It can be the one time of year that you can really make a different in someone’s or some family’s lives.
I’ll give you an example, but I want to make clear that I am not bragging in any way shape or form. Last year, around this time, I had decided that I didn’t need any more material type stuff for Christmas. I realized that I was very content with what I already had. Instead, what I wanted to do with the money that would have gone towards my gift(s) is to give it away. So what we decided to do was to go to a restaurant and anonymously pay for a couple of other peoples’ meals plus nice tips, and then when our meal was over, we would give our waitress a big tip. To make a long story short, there just so happened to be only one waitress that was working that evening so she got all 3 tips. She was so happy, the last thing I heard her say was, “I think I’m going to cry.” We left that restaurant feeling 10 feet tall.
Now you don’t have to do what we did, in fact, there are tons of ways to give to others that don’t cost you a penny. You can give some of you time helping at a homeless shelter or a nursing home. Sometimes those folks would just love to have someone to talk to. And who knows, maybe there is something they can give you from their life experiences and knowledge.
You can also give of your talents, whatever that may be. If you’re a mechanic, help fix someone’s car whether or not you know them. Or teach some kids on how to fix cars. If you can sew well on a sewing machine, teach some kids on how to make their own clothes, repair or alter clothes for others, or volunteer to make costumes for a school play. Whatever your God given talent is, don’t waste it on chasing the all mighty dollar. You will be given much more in return by giving away your time, talent, and money to others.

As with all my blog posts, and social media posts, I welcome any comments and feed back on the topics I write about. It is the only way you and I will learn more about ourselves and each other, so ask away!

“Surplus wealth is a sacred trust to be managed for the good of others.”
-       Andrew Carnegie –

Checkout my website, Facebook, & Twitter pages as well. , , and!/Cavuscoaching

Sunday, November 20, 2011



By Keith Bunn Jr.
November 20, 2011

Out of all the books I’ve read, podcasts I've listened to, etc… the one thing that is constant is that you have to know why you want to do anything you want to do. I know that sounds like it would be a no brainier, but think about it. How many times have you wanted to do something, get out of debt, lose weight, save money, etc… and you started doing just that, but a week, month, or a year later, you stopped doing what you wanted to do. We all do it, (myself included). And we give some sort of excuse for why we stopped. It was too hard, I didn’t get results fast enough, I felt deprived, the list goes on and on.
If we can remember the why’s, we can all accomplish our goals. Why do I want to get out of debt? So I have more money, take trips, and give more. Why do I want to lose weight? So I can have more energy, live longer, and be healthier.
Now this part is mainly for the guys out there. Women do it to from time to time, but this is more of a guy trait. Guys, don’t go home when you’ve discovered some kind of plan, whether it deals with money, diet, etc… and announce to the household, “We’re on a plan!”  Because if you don’t go over the why’s first, you will have some serious resistance and you won’t get anywhere with whatever plan you came up with. For example; if you discovered a plan to get out of debt and you came home and said to your family, “Hey guys, I just heard about this plan today about how we can get out of debt and start saving some serious money. What we’re going to do is, we’re going to go on a budget, we’re not going to take a vacation this year, and the kids are going to have to quit all their sport events. And dear, we’re going to have to sell your car to get rid of that payment.”
If you did that, your family would think you went crazy and they would be right. If instead you said something like “Hey everyone, I was thinking today, what would it be like if we had extra funds to do things and go to places that we always wanted to do? We could take that really big trip we’ve always talked about, we could possibly put that addition on the house we’ve talked about for years… what do you guys think?
Now once you've got the family fired up and dreaming about the why, the out come of the changes, then you can go over your ideas on how you can accomplish those goals together.

“The triumph can't be had without the struggle.”  - Wilma Rudolph - (1940 - 1994)

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

How is this helping?

How is this helping?

By Keith Bunn Jr.
November 13, 2011

I guess I just don’t get it and I do have to admit that I really haven’t paid too much attention to all the “Occupy Wall Street” protesting for the simple fact that if you ask one person why they are protesting, they will give you an answer. If you go over to the other side of the same group and ask the same question “why”, you will get a completely different answer. And it is also different at all the other places that these protests have spread to. My question to all those protestor every where is, HOW IS THIS HELPING YOU!!
I understand you’re mad about the corruption in our government, but how is this helping you? I understand that you maybe out of work, but how is sleeping in a tent at the protest site for days or weeks at a time helping you find work? I understand that you feel like the rich are getting richer while you are becoming more broke, but how is holding a sign all day that says “We are the 99%” helping you to build some wealth of your own? I just don’t get it!!!
Part of the reason I don’t get it is because my wife and I are trying to get our financial act together because we’ve realized that its not up to Washington DC, the state of Michigan, Kent county, or the city of Grand Rapids to fix our lives or our financial mess. IT’S OUR RESPONSIBILITY!!! And your life and mess is yours!!!
One of the problems I think is a lack of knowledge. The knowledge that protesting isn’t going to solve your problems, its not going to stop the corruption in the government, its not going to get you employed, and it is surely not going to help you pay off any debts you may have or start building wealth of your own. To fix these things in your life, you will either figure them out on your own or with some help. Either way, will be a lot better than protesting.
And to help you out, I’ll give you some book titles I recommend you start reading immediately. For helping you find work, I recommend 48 days to the work you love and No More Mondays. Both by Dan Miller.
To help you understand rich people and to learn that they are not like the people you see on TV or in the movies, I recommend The Millionaire Next Door, and The Millionaire Mind. Both by Tom Stanley. And finally, to help you figure out how to start paying off your debt and build some wealth of your own, I recommend The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.
The choice is yours. You can either sit in the poo that is your life or you can do something to get out of the poo.

"Here is a good question to ponder: What is in your life today that is not in line with what you want tomorrow?" - Dr. Henry Cloud –

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Negative in, Negative out

Negative in, Negative out

By Keith Bunn Jr.
Originally posted on November 6, 2011
Re-posted on April 15, 2013 

I have this friend at work that no matter what topic we start chatting about, it seems that he always has a negative outlook on things. It’s like he is Chicken Little and the sky is always falling. Which is too bad because he really is a smart guy.

I think one of the biggest reasons he is like that is because he reads and listens to a lot of negative stuff on the internet and radio. I am a firm believer that if you constantly put negative stuff into your head then you will have an overall negative outlook on life. You will constantly think, I can’t do this, I can’t do that, no one can get ahead, I’ll always be poor, and every one is against me. That is just no way to live! Find some motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Max Lucado, Tony Robins, and even Dave Ramsey and listen what they have to say and see if your outlook changes. I can almost guarantee it will.

Now I’m not saying that life is a bowl of cherries, its not. It has its ups and downs in everyone’s life, but to listen, watch, and just be negative all the time is just not right and will affect you and others around you.

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford - 

The main reason I do all this is to give people hope and to try to inspire others. To make them think about their finances, whether they are young or old, so they can win financially.
If you have any questions for me about my posts or about your finances, you can call me at (616) 454-2046 or e-mail me at For more money news, facts and ideas follow me on Facebook, or Twitter. Thank you!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Moving Update

Moving Update

By Keith Bunn Jr.
October 30, 2011

Harmed, no. Stressed, yes! As most of you know, we are at the tail end of our big move from White Cloud, MI to Grand Rapids, MI. I would say we are about 95% to 98% done. I still have to get our office arranged the way I’d like so I can kick this business into overdrive.
Even though we had been moving small amounts of stuff here for a week, the biggest part of the move didn’t take place until Oct. 28th.  Shortly after I got home from work (about 6:15 AM), we were already starting to see the signs of stress of the big part of the move. My step-son Cody woke up sick. Just like that, we were a man down. So Julie and I went to pick up the moving truck and started our trek north. An hour later, I had the truck backed up to the front door and we started loading our stuff. Now I have to tell you, you have no idea how much crap you can accumulate in 20 years until you try to pack it up to move.
Later, after lunch, we got word that Cody was feeling better and was on his way up north, but as usual, Murphy (you know Murphy, from Murphy’s Law) stepped in again and Cody’s car broke down and had to get it and himself towed back to the house. Soon after, Julie’s Cousin Kim came over and helped us stay on task and get things loaded on the truck. And I needed it too. After working 8 hours already from work, I was beat and needed someone to kick me in the tail to keep me going. When were got the truck loaded from front to back, we thanked Kim for her help and we waited for Cody’s friend David, who was going to help us unload. Back in Grand Rapids, my brother Dave met us at our storage unit to unload a few things there and then the rest of the stuff at the house. So after I had been up for almost 30 hours straight, we finally called it a night and I fell deep into a coma.
The next day, with the help of my brother and the boys, we went back up to White Cloud to grab a bunch more stuff. Now, there is very little stuff left to grab and we can grab that with the cars we have.
Now you maybe asking yourself, “What does this have to do with finance?” and my answer would be, it has a lot to do with finance. One of the things that have to take place when you’re in a financial mess and you decide its time to clean that mess up is sacrifice. And in our case, Julie is making the biggest sacrifice out of all of us. She left a job that she has had for decades. And because she left that job, we decided to move closer to both of our jobs, to move from a house that she has lived in, longer than she has been a mom. Also, now that we live closer to our jobs, there is plenty of time in between work for both of us to get back and forth so all we need is one car now, even if I’m working overtime, so we’re selling my car.
So what are we getting in return for all this sacrificing? Well, Julie’s new job pays a little more than she did at her other job, plus there is more room to advance compared to no room at the other place. On top of that, with us selling my car, we will be paying less in gas, insurance, registration, and up keep. Is our sacrifice huge? For some people, yes. But there are others that are so hardcore when it comes to cleaning up their messes, they are literally are on beans and rice and ramen noodles for years. So the question I have for you is, what level of sacrifice would you go to, to clean up your financial mess?
I would like to thank everyone who helped with our move. I’d also like to thank all of you for your patience while we have been in the process of this move and I haven’t been on Facebook and Tweeter that much, but now that I’m some what back to normal, I will be paying more attention to all these things.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”  - Ayn Rand -

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

401K vs. Roth 401K

401K vs. Roth 401K

By Keith Bunn Jr.
October 23, 2011

Both the traditional 401Ks and Roth 401Ks is, as it was explained to me, “a coat” to protect your investment from the bitter cold of taxes. It is NOT the investment.

Most of us know what a 401K is. It is a way to invest pre-tax money through your workplace for retirement and when you reach 59 ½ years old, you are able to withdrawal that money without paying penalties for early withdrawals. However, because traditional 401Ks are pre-tax, meaning the money was taken out of your paychecks before it was taxed, Uncle Sam will want his cut when you start your withdrawals.

A Roth 401K is different in the way that your money from your paycheck is invested after taxes are taken out and it will grow TAX FREE. Which means that when you start withdrawing that money at 59 ½ years old or older, you will not owe taxes on it because you already paid the taxes up front
Now whether or not your company matches, the tax free part of a Roth 401K is a big deal. Because it is the earnings of those investments that will make up the majority of your nest egg, not what you put into it.

It is always wise to take a company match on either the traditional 401K or the Roth 401K up to the percentage the company offers. For the simple fact that at the time of the match, you just doubled your money, or close to it depending on the percentage of the match. That’s kind of return is hard to beat in any kind of investing. But the company match of the Roth 401K is a pre-tax match. Which means you will have taxes due on the matching portion of that nest egg but what you put into it will be tax free.

So to give you an example…

If you have $3 million in a non-matching, traditional 401K. the taxes on $3 million will be about $1 million. Which leaves you with a $2 million nest egg.

If you have $3 million in a non-matching, Roth 401K. There are no taxes due because it grew tax free. Which leaves you with a $3 million nest egg. Because of the tax free portion of the Roth, I think you would agree that a Roth 401K beats a traditional 401K hands down.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Age and Wealth

Age and Wealth

By Keith Bunn Jr.
October 16, 2011

One of the things I’ve heard from the older generation when I talk about money management is that it’s too late for them to do anything about their money issues because they’re about ready to retire anyway. I say that’s a bunch of bologna. It is NEVER too late to learn how to manage your money. Did you know that at the ages of 50 to 60 years old are statistically your most financially productive years of your adult life and for you to sit there thinking about retirement, giving up, while you’re financial world is a mess is just plain irresponsible!
I could give you a bunch of well known names that did everything history knows them for what they did when they were in their 50’s and 60’s, but one comes to mind more than any other, Colonel Sanders.
 Colonel Sanders didn’t fry any chicken professionally until he was in his 60’s. The reason he started Kentucky Fried Chicken was because he was broke and knew he wasn’t going to be able to make it on social security benefits.
So figure out what you’d like to do and do it. You don’t necessarily have to go outside of your home. You could sell stuff on Ebay or Craig’s List. Make some crafts and sell them at craft show around your community or across your state. Share your experience with others by tutoring them. There are all different kinds of ways you can supplement your social security benefits. Just don’t quite. All it takes is one idea and you could be making more that you every have in your life.

“You don’t discover your passions by listening to someone else talk about discovering your passions.”
     Jason Jaggard –

Sunday, October 9, 2011

“The Borrower is Slave to the Lender.” - Proverbs 22:7 -

“The Borrower is Slave to the Lender.”
- Proverbs 22:7 -

By Keith Bunn Jr.
October 9, 2011

Well, if this whole recession deal doesn’t make you think that Proverbs 22:7 is real, then maybe what China is recently doing might. It was reported on September 14th by that China will be buying up some of the European debt. If they haven’t done it yet, they plan to take their  $3.2 trillion of reserves and help out Greece and Italy by buying up there debt to help stabilize the Euro. This is only a temporary fix. They (Greece and Italy) still have to pay that money back, but instead of owing to several different lenders, they just owe China now. That would be like you and I getting a debt consolidation loan where we wrap up all our credit cards, car loans, mortgage, etc… and put it into one giant loan. That doesn’t solve anything, you just moved the debt, you didn’t pay it off and then you just keep doing what you’ve been doing that got you in the mess in the first place. As Larry Burkett said, “Debt is not the problem, it is the symptom.” The countries of the world (U.S. included) are going to have to pull their heads out of the sand and actually deal with their over spending and debt problems. The Keynesian (see Aug. 21st blog, ‘Then and Now’ ) way of thinking DOESN’T WORK!! It doesn’t matter who they borrow the money from.
As of right now, this puts China in the power seat when it comes to a financial power for the simple fact they don’t over spend, they have money for emergencies, and they’re able to invest in other country's bonds, but this also leaves them in a vulnerable spot too because if the countries they have put billions of dollars into go bankrupt, then they just lost their money. It will be interesting to see how these events unfold.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

It’s Ghost and Goblin Time

It’s Ghost and Goblin Time

By Keith Bunn Jr.
October 2, 2011

I just love Halloween!! I would even go as far as saying that it is one of my favorite holidays! Well, it is my birthday after all… I mean, ever since I was a kid, I looked forward to dressing up, and running around the neighborhood and getting candy. In the year 2001, I even worked at a Halloween store for part time work to help pay for Christmas. Unfortunately, I did a lot of spending in that store as well. I bought a scary Grim Reaper costume that I could wear around the store to scare all the kids with. I was like a kid in a candy store! It was great!

But the Halloween buying when I was a kid, was nothing like today. Today, decorations for outside as well as for the inside, not to mention the tons of candy.... You name it, and I’m sure someone has it. In fact, the U.S. spent about $5.8 billion dollars last year. That puts Halloween second only to Christmas for retail spending. THAT’S A LOT!! So what can we do to reduce the cost of Halloween?

1) You can make your own decorations. One year, we took scrap wood from a job I had and made tomb stones with it. It just took a little time plus some spray paint and they looked great. On top of that, it was a fun project for the whole family.

2) Make your own costumes or reuse costumes. There are all kinds of books and magazines out this time of year to give you ideas of what you can do.

3) Grow your own pumpkins. All it takes is a dollar pack of seeds, patience, and a green thumb and you can have a great year round project for the kids and an endless supply of seeds to grow pumpkins every year.

4) Give out cheaper candy. You don’t have to give out the name brand stuff to the neighborhood. I mean who are you trying to impress, the 5 year old you won’t see again until next Halloween?

If you do 2 or more of these suggestions, you’ll save a lot of money for what is the start of a very expensive holiday season.

The reason I do this, is to give people hope and to try to inspire others. To make people think about their finances, whether they are young or old, so they can win financially.
If you have any questions for me about my posts or if you need help learning how to live on less than you make and creating a budget, you can call me at (616) 454-2046 or e-mail me at I’d be happy to help! 
You can also find more money news, facts and ideas, on my Facebook and/or Twitter pages. I'd be grateful if you followed me. Thank you!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Dreaded Debt Collector

The Dreaded Debt Collector

By Keith Bunn Jr.
September 25, 2011

I can remember when I was going through my divorce years ago, I was doing a lot of emotional spending to “medicate” (not drug buying) my depression and since of loss. Needless to say, I was over spending and a lot of those purchases went to collections. I know, I know… All I can say is, I was young and dumb.
Anyway, I guess I was one of the lucky ones. I never had a really rude one call me. I just had the dumb ones. After a while, I just kind of had fun with them. To give you an example of one of the many phone conversations I had. Now keep in mind, I was living with my parents at the time.

Me: Hello?

Collector: Yes, may I speak to Mr. Bunn please?

Me: (I knew it was for me) Senior or Junior?

Collector: Hummm, I don’t know. It doesn’t say.

Me: Well, what do you need to speak to him about? Maybe I can tell you if you need Sr. or Jr.?

Collector: I can only talk about this matter with Mr. Bunn.

Me: Ok, Sr. or Jr.?

Collector: It doesn’t say here… Keith R. Bunn?
Me: Ok, Sr. or Jr.?

Collector: It doesn’t say. What’s the difference?

Me: One is older than the other. Do you have his age or birth date?

Collector: No, it just says Keith R. Bunn.

Me: OK, Sr. or Jr.?

Now, I just wore that collector out and many more after that one with that very same routine. Some of the calls lasting about 15 minutes.
But as I said, I was one of the lucky ones who never had a bad collections call. But some are not as fortunate. Some people get extremely rude collectors that will say anything to get money sent to them. Example, a friend of mine (we’ll call her Sue Smith) told me after the fact, that she received a call from a collector saying that she owed them $150. When my friend said that she didn’t owe that and that they had the wrong Sue Smith, the collector quickly came back saying, “Maybe so, but isn’t worth $150. to keep this off your credit report?”
I hate to say it, but she paid the $150. because she, like so many others out there, worship at the alter of the ‘Great FICO’. She was worried that her financial reputation was going to be tarnished. The point is, you have rights about how you are treated by collectors.
In 1977, Congress passed a law called the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that makes harassing calls ILLEGAL. What do I mean by harassing? When the same company calls you multiple times on the same day, calling you at work after you told them not to, when they are rude to you on the phone, cussing at you, or threaten you. A collector can only call you between 8 AM to 9 PM your time, not their time. A collector telling you that they are going to take your paycheck or garnish your wages before they have done a lengthy, legal lawsuit is also ILLEGAL (with the exception of IRS, or student loan debt). The Act also allows you to stop all calls from collectors except of notifying you of a lawsuit, which I don’t recommend except in horrible situations.
Remember, these collectors are idiots in cubicles hundreds of miles away. Their whole script is to make you angry and/or afraid because that’s when you are most vulnerable and make the wrong decision. If unsure what to do, seek the advice of someone you trust and talk to them about it before doing anything. Know your rights and don’t let these butt heads beat you up with your FICO score.

‎"The only people who don't believe debt is stressful are those who have never been debt free."
- Larry Burkett –

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Sunday, September 18, 2011



By Keith Bunn Jr.
September 18, 2011

Whether you have been following my blogs, Facebook, or Twitter pages, you have heard me mentioning about Emergency Funds. It is my opinion that the emergency fund is the most important part of a healthy financial plan and here’s why.
When life sneaks up and smacks us with an unplanned event like, the car needs repairs, your hot water heater needs to be replaced, someone gets sick, a job lose, etc… we get stressed and frustrated because you may not have the funds to cover these events. The thing is, these events, and others like them should not be considered unplanned events. Why? Because cars break, water heaters ware out, people get sick, and whether you’re in a good or bad economy, people lose their jobs. All these things happen; we just don’t know when they’re going to happen. And when we don’t plan for these events and we don’t have cash readily available to cover them, we go to other sources like credit cards, 401K’s/403B’s, your kids college funds, cash out investments, or borrow it from your family, friends or bank. All of which are not good choices.
Julie & I follow what is called “the Seven Baby Steps”. Developed by Dave Ramsey, baby steps 1 and 3 cover this topic. Baby step 1 is a starter emergency fund of $1000. ($500. if your income is under $20,000 per yr) and you should put it into a good money market account. There, it will get about CD (certificate of deposit) rates, but won’t penalize you for taking it out for emergencies. What this small fund will do is cover all those little emergencies that seem to be a big hairy deal when you don’t have the cash to cover them. Now here is the key. You need to sit down and make a list of what you (and your spouse, if married) would consider an emergency and you don’t touch that money unless one or more of those things on that list happen. Later, once you’re done with baby step 2 (paying off all debt except for your home), you move onto baby step 3, which you go back to the $1000. emergency fund and build it up to 3 to 6 months worth of your household expenses. For some of you, this could be anywhere of $10,000. to $20,000. Once that’s done, you can move onto other things like investing, saving for your kids college, paying off your home, and build unbelievable amounts of wealth and give.
Now I know your thinking, ‘This sounds good on paper, but real life doesn’t work that way.’  Well, the only thing I can say to that is, let’s work together on it and I’ll prove it will work for you. It’s not easy, but the peace of mind you’ll have, having an emergency fund is priceless!!

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller –

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Do you really deserve it?

Do you really deserve it?

By Keith Bunn Jr.
September 11, 2011

The excuse or reason, I hear the most of why someone bought or splurged on something is, ‘I deserved it’. But do you? Let me explain…

You DON’T deserve to retire solely on a broken system called Social Security because you didn’t plan for retirement.
Your kids DON’T deserve to take on the burden of possibly taking care of you in your golden years because you dwindled your money away for decades and didn’t plan for the future.
You DON’T deserve to pay for that vacation, furniture, clothes, etc… for decades because you were too impatient to save up for it and you put it on a credit card.
You DON’T deserve to take a tail kicking on the deprecation of a car you bought on payments, you couldn’t afford anyway.
You DON’T deserve to be all stressed out when an emergency comes your way and you have no way of paying for it because you don’t have a plan in place just for emergencies.
You DON’T deserve to have your marriage hanging on by a thread because of money issues.

What you DO deserve is to retire with dignity because you planned for it at an early age.
What you DO deserve is the peace of mind that your kids don’t have to worry about how you’re doing financially and hopefully learned from your example and are doing well themselves.
What you DO deserve is to enjoy your purchases because you have lived within your means and paid for them in cash.
What you DO deserve is not taking a tail kicking on the deprecation of a car purchase because you bought a reliable 1 to 2 year old car with cash.
What you DO deserve is the peace of mind that if an emergency does rear its ugly head, you have an emergency fund in place to cope with it.
What you DO deserve to have a better marriage because you both are working and planning your finances together.

“Credit buying is like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately & gives you a lift. The hangover comes the day after.”  - Joyce Brothers –

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