Sunday, May 29, 2011

Who wants to be a Millionaire?

Who wants to be a Millionaire?

By Keith Bunn Jr.
May 29, 2011

If you were to go up to anyone, young or old, male or female, and ask them, “Do you want to be a millionaire?”, I’m at least 98% sure most of them would say, yes. Wouldn’t you? But if you followed that question with this one, “Do you think you’ll become a millionaire?” chances are they would say, no.
That’s too bad too, because in this country, the ability, chances, and opportunities for you or for anyone else in this country to become a millionaire are better than anywhere else in the world. It’s just most people today don’t know how to get there. That doesn’t stop us from hoping for that day where Lady Luck will smile down on us and POOF , we’re rich. Oh I know that there are stories out there where someone wins the lottery, inherited a ton of money from a passing relative, or dug up something valuable in their back yard. I know it does happen, you just don’t hear about it that much. And there is a reason for that. It’s because it doesn’t happen that much!

Our general opinions about millionaires are.

I think that most Americans generally think that the millionaires in this country are just like what we see on TV shows or in the movies. We think that they just keep passing the ‘money secret’ down from one generation to the other. That they got to where they are at by stepping all over the little man. That they have all these public officials and politicians in there pockets to get whatever they want. Fortunately, for the most part, that is not true.
The real millionaires.

80% of the millionaires in this country are first generation rich, based on Tom Stanley’s book “The Millionaire Next Door”. This means that they started with nothing (like most of us), made good choices for themselves, worked hard, and lived on less then they make. In fact, you probably pass by them everyday in the grocery store and not even know it because they drive nice used cars and don’t look or act wealthy at all.
I personally know 2 millionaires. One is an arrogant jerk and the other is an awesome giving man. Now, do you know some people in the lower or middle class income who are arrogant jerks or who are awesome and giving? I do too. You see, it’s not having money or the lack of money that makes you that way. If you have or don’t have money and you’re a jerk… you’re just a JERK! It is your character that makes you nice or a jerk. Money is amoral.

What do they do that we don’t?

The biggest thing that they do that most of us don’t, is that they live on less than they make. Most of the millionaires in this country use very little to no debt in their financial lives. A couple of years ago, a survey was done asking the Forbes 400 (the 400 wealthiest people in North America) what is the best way to become wealthy. 75% of them said, becoming and staying debt free was the key.
They don’t play the lottery or gamble. Now, I’m not talking about playing cards with friends or family on the weekends. I’m talking about going to the casinos, playing the Lotto, etc… “Well someone has to win.”  This is a statement that is made by those who don’t really know what they’re talking about. Did you know that you are statistically more likely to be struck by lightning 6 times and live than you are to win the Lotto? It’s true. “By playing the lottery, I’m helping our schools.”  Really? Then why is it, that I’m always hearing about more and more schools closing in my home state of Michigan? And don’t even get me started on how the lottery helps fund our road repairs. Have you driven in this state lately? Do me a favor. Next time you’re at a party store, or anywhere else that sells lottery tickets, look to see who’s buying the tickets. It’s Darrel and his other brother Darrel. Statistically, it’s the middle and lower classes that play the lottery. It is a tax on the poor!
The majority of the rich don’t buy new cars. They buy a 1 to 2 year old car and they pay for it in cash. The average car payment in the U.S. is $484.00. If you took $484.00, and invested that earning 10% from the age 30 to 70 years old, that would be $3,112,353.00!  I hope you like the car. You see, cars are the biggest thing we by that go down in value, but you hear people all the time say, “You’re always going to have a car payment.”  Ok, let’s look at that for a second. If you bought a good, reliable used car for a $1000.00, and we already stated that the average car payment is $484.00 a month. If you were to pay yourself the $484.00 a month and just placed it into a cookie jar for 10 months, you would have $4840.00. Add that to the value of your $1000.00 paid for car and you could buy a $5840.00 car in cash. Now here’s the cool part. Do it again! In other 10 months you could have $10,680.00 ($4840. + $5840. = $10,680.). Now in less than 2 years, you went from a $1000.00 beater car to just under an $11,000.00 paid for car while other people with car payment are still making payments. Now, if you continued to do this, but instead of putting the $484.00 in a cookie jar each month, you put it into an investment earning you 10% for just 5 years, you could easily pull out $15,000.00 every 5 years without adding another penny to the investment. You know what that’s called? Free cars for life!   
These are just a few things millionaires do that the majority of American’s don’t. It is our choices in life that can determine whether or not we can retire comfortably in our golden years. Retire with dignity!

 "If the grass looks greener on the other side then water your lawn." – Unknown –    

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Give me, give me, give me!

Give me, give me, give me!

By Keith Bunn Jr.
May 22, 2011

One definition of entitlement is belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges.”  We’ve all seen it haven’t we? At the very least you’ve seen it on TV or heard it on some kind of radio program. Maybe you’ve even seen that kind of spirit in a family member or friend. It also seems that the younger the person is, the more they think they’re entitled to something. Well I have to tell you, if you’re one of those people, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Now that’s an old saying, but it’s true. You don’t get something for nothing or at least you shouldn’t. Even in the bible it says, "If any man will not work, neither shall he eat." - 2 Thessalonians 3:10 -.  Cause and effect!
Now I know people are going through hard times these days, but what if I told you that some of their hard times could have been less painful or avoided altogether? It’s true. All they had to do is stash some cash away for emergencies and be on a budget, that’s it. At the very least do that. Because if you think about it, emergencies or unexpected events are not really unexpected? What!? How can you say that!? Well, that’s easy. You’re human! Bad things happen to good people from time to time. Cars break down, someone gets sick and has to go to the hospital, a storm damages your home, someone losses their job, etc…
And if you have debt on top of these emergencies, the pain of those issues increase. I suggest, if you have debt, that you save up $1000.00 and don’t touch it unless an emergency comes your way. This will be the cushion against some of life’s mishaps. Then, start paying down your debt. Once the debt is cleared up, go back to that $1000.00, and build it up to 3 to 6 month’s worth of your household expenses. For some of you that would be about $10,000.00. Now Keith, how can I save $10,000.00? I’m working paycheck to paycheck!?  That’s easy too. That’s where the budget comes into play. At the beginning of each month, you do a new budget. You spend your household income on paper first, so there are no surprises about where your money is going. 
Income – outgo = exactly zero.
            Once your debt has gone down and you continue to do a budget each and every month, you’ll find the money to fund your emergency fund. In fact, you’ll feel like you got a raise! And once that’s done, you won’t have any need for entitlements or government assistances.  

“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools”        Herbert Spencer –

On a side note, I want to thank all of you who have signed up to follow my blog or has read it & commented on it in some other forum. Don’t forget, you can also leave comments at the end of each blog. Thanks again. I do appreciate it.

For comments or question, connect with me on Facebook at,  on Twitter @cavuscoaching , or

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Time Machine.

Time Machine.

By Keith Bunn Jr.
May 15, 2011

Have you ever seen the 1960 movie classic ‘The Time Machine’  staring Rod Taylor, and Yvette Mimieux? The movie was directed by George Pal and was based on the novel by H. G. Wells. It also won an Oscar for its top notch special effects for those days. When I saw that movie, I thought it was the best thing since bread and butter. It was the first time I’d seen a show with the idea of man traveling through time. The older I got the more shows appeared on both the big and small screens with the ideas of time travel. I also realized as I got older that there was no way that any of that was possible but it was still fun to think of the possibilities. Wondering what I would do if I was given the ability to travel back or forward in time. What would I do? Where would I go? Who would I meet? And if I dared, what would I change. Have you ever thought about that? What would you do?
Now, I have thought about this again in the past few years, sometimes at great length and I do believe I would go back and give myself a big kick in the butt! After that, I would explain who I was and what I was doing there. I would hand myself a kind of gift basket of instructions of what to do, what not to do, who to meet, who to avoid, and a big list of books to read, videos to watch and CDs to listen to. I would have probably done this in the late 80’s, when I was in Germany serving in the Army. Because if I knew then what I know now, I would have left there with a whole lot more that $90.00 in my pocket and I would probably be a multimillionaire now!
But as we all know, that won’t happen. So I have had to deal with issues of all types as most people do who screw around in their younger years. So if you’re young, 20’s to early 30’s, take some advice from a guy coming up towards 50. Don’t be impulsive, think before you act and seek wise counsel. Learn from someone who has done something with their life and succeeded. Continue to learn!  READ, READ, READ, AND READ! Readers are always winners. Even if you don’t like to read, read anyway. The average millionaire reads one non-fiction book a month. Never go into debt. You’d be surprised at how much money you’d have if you didn’t. Something to think about.             

For comments or question, connect with me on Facebook at,  on Twitter @cavuscoaching , or

Monday, May 9, 2011

What the FICO?

What the FICO?

By Keith Bunn Jr.
Originally posted May 9, 2011
Re-posted September 8, 2013

You are always hearing today that you need to maintain and build your credit score, also known as the Fair, Isaac and Company score (FICO). But what do we really know about this score and is it as important as everyone claims it is?

The history of FICO and what it does.

The FICO score was founded by engineer Bill Fair and mathematician Earl Isaac in 1956. It is a tool used to measure how much of a risk there is in offering an individual credit on buying something, like a car, home, TVs, or getting a line of credit for home improvements or starting a business, etc... The higher the score (in the 800’s) the less risk you are and the likelihood of you repaying back the debt you got the credit on is greater. The lower the score (in the 500’s) the greater the risk you are of not repaying back the debt. FICO’s main headquarters is located in Minneapolis, MN, but they have offices all over the world including  Australia, Canada, China, Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, and many more.
There are three major consumer reporting agencies used in the United States and Canada: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These agencies keep a recorded on everyone who has taken out loans or made purchases using credit. Each agency has its own credit score based on the information it has received. However, based on personal experience, not all creditors report to all three credit agencies. Years ago, before I learned that getting a car loan is stupid, I tried to get a loan at a car dealership through their finance office. The lady in the office came back out after a while and told me that I didn't have anything on my credit. Now I knew that wasn't true because I had a car loan before, I bought a house before, plus a bunch of other things I had bought on credit. There had to be something on there. Well, we later found out that the finance office only checks Experian and not any of the other ones and evidently, none of my past creditors reported anything to Experian.
So how do these credit scores really work then? Well, lets say for example, that Equifax gives you a score of 650, Experian gives you a score of 720, and TransUnion gives you a score of 700. The general rule is, is that the creditor will use the middle number (our example, 700). That is the number that will be used especially for mortgages. Now again, not all financial institutions will use the FICO score the same way. Of course, they will pull you score the same as everyone else, but sometimes local banks for example may tweek the score using their own formulas and use that number to determine if you’re eligible for a loan of some kind. And insurance companies may use their own formulas, called a ‘clue report’, along with your FICO score to determine your car insurance premium.
Is the FICO score really important?

Well as we read, the FICO score seems to be pretty important right? The answer to that question is both yes and no. In today’s culture, we live at a very fast pace and for most of us, we are impatient when it comes to getting what we want. We want it and we want it now. Larry Burkett said, “We spend the first 5 to 7 years of our marriage trying to obtain the same standard of living as our parents, only it took them 35 years to get there.”  
We have to have that nice new car or truck to impress our family, friends, and even that person at the stop light that we’ll never meet. We have to buy a house as soon as possible after getting married because paying rent for an apartment is just throwing good money down the drain. We have to have a credit card to rent a hotel or car, or go on nice vacations. So, if you believe all that, then your answer to the above question would be ‘yes’. I have talked to a lot of people who believe that and they are up to their eye balls in debt trying to maintain a credit score and/or maintain an image of looking like they are in a good financial setting. They have multiple credit cards, multiple car loans, multiple mortgages, etc…
But what if I told you that even though the FICO score is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, having a large FICO score is not an indication of you winning financially. In fact, for a good number of people, it means the opposite.  You see, the FICO score is really an, I love debt score. If you look it up on, you will see that your score is broken down into 5 categories. 35% of your score is based on your payment history. 30% is based on your debt levels. If your level of debt gets too high, your score gets harmed. If your level gets too low, your score starts to go away. 15% is based on the length of time you've been in debt. 10% is based on the type of debt you have. And the last 10% is based on any new debt. What percentage is based on how much money you have saved or how long you've worked at your present job? It doesn't! Wouldn't you think that was important too?
Dave Ramsey gave the best example that I know of to explain what this means. He said that in the past 20 plus years, he has zero debt and pays for things using cash only. By doing so, he has freed up his largest wealth building tool, his income. So today, he is now a multimillionaire. He continues by saying that if he wanted to go down the street and rent a studio apartment, a $500.00 per month apartment, the apartment manager would more than likely look to see what his FICO score was, but because his score is zero, they would probably not rent him that apartment even though he has enough money to write a check and buy the whole complex.
You see, you could win millions of dollars playing the lottery, inherit millions when your long lost uncle passes away, or receive a million dollar a year raise from your employer and your FICO score won’t go up one point unless you use that money to go into debt and stay in debt your whole life. There is something wrong about that. So my answer to the question, “Is the FICO score really important?”,  would be ‘no’.
My wife and I are no longer borrowing money, we are paying down our debt, and we are being patience and paying for things we want or need with cash. Overtime, our credit scores will cleanse themselves and our scores will become zero. It’s up to you now, you have to make the decision of what you believe. Continue to worship at the altar of the great FICO or reduce your financial risk by not borrowing anymore money, pay down your existing debt, use cash for purchases, and save money. The choice is yours.
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!

Sunday, May 1, 2011



My name is Keith Bunn Jr. and I would like to welcome you to my blog page. This is a first for me so I hope you’ll be patient with me as I’m sure to make some mistakes.

About myself

I am 44 years old. I am married to a wonderful woman, Julie. I have 2 kids from a previous marriage and a step-son from my wife’s previous marriage.
I’m currently a machinist, but I’m starting a transition of starting my own company of financial coaching.
My whole journey started in 2007 with my wife, step-son & myself going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU), to coordinating the classes ourselves at the White Cloud United Methodist Church in White Cloud, MI, and now putting things into motion to help others with there finances at least on a part time bases.
With going through Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training  workshop, Having 5 FPU classes we’ve coordinated under our belts so far, and getting tips from other coaches, like Justin Lukasavige,  Derek Sisterhen, and Dan Miller, I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome so far.

The purpose of this blog

The purpose of this blog is not to sell you anything. The purpose of it is to make you aware of some financial things that I’ve learned in the past 4 years. I will talk about bankruptcies, investing (401K’s, 403B’s, IRA’s, etc…), money & family, I will also tell you some scriptures from the bible and how that relates with money, and so on…  I also hope to inspire you by sharing with you my favorite books and  authors, from John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller, and Justin Lukasavige to name a few and to share what I’ve learned from them. It is my hope that sharing this information with you will help you, your family and your friends, to change your lives for the good, the way this information we’ve learned, has changed ours. So I welcome any and all comments and questions, and I will do my best to answer them on here.

Thank you,