Sunday, June 26, 2011

Credit Cards, Car Loans, & Mortgages, Oh My! Part 1

Credit Cards, Car Loans, & Mortgages, Oh My! Part 1

By Keith Bunn Jr.
June 26, 2011

Credit cards, car loans, and mortgages have been pretty much the standard in this country for decades now. We all know this and we’ve all probably either had or still have one or more of them, myself included. So I thought it would be a good idea to go over these topics. Let’s start with credit cards.
We’ve all seen the TV shows or movies where there is some thug type guy who loans some money to another guy who’s down on his luck at an outrageous interest rate. It is an illegal activity called Loan sharking and if you don’t pay it back when you’re supposed to, the thug makes the other guy’s life... you get the point. Sound familiar?
Credit card companies lure people in with talk like, low interest rates, cash back, convenience, and airline miles. The truth is, credit card companies feed off this country’s lack of patients. Offering the idea of living a better life than they’re living now with a swipe of a card. That sounds good until you have to pay that money back. That’s when that low interest rate gets jacked up to 30% or more. I know some of you are saying, “I pay mine on time each month, I don’t pay the interest.”  Did you know that some credit card companies have been known to hold your payment a day or two past the due date or even shred payments and say they never received it? Then you have to deal with the idiots in a cubical 500 miles away and argue with them that you paid your bill on time.

Cash back…

I just looked up online what the Discover® card has for rewards, for the month of June, you will earn 5% cash back bonus on up to $200 in purchases at the grocery stores and drug stores. Now that sounds fair. You pay the $200 plus 30% and they pay you 5% in Bonuses. Now if my math is right, you give them $260 and they give you back $10 ($200 x 30% = $60) ($200 x 5% = $10). Sounds pretty fair to me (he says sarcastically).


I’m not saying that it’s not convenient to pay with plastic. What I am saying is, that there maybe another way of paying with plastic that doesn’t involve debt. Instead of using a credit card, try using a debit card. You have the exact same protection, security wise, as you do with a credit card if you use the debit card as credit. Look it up. There is nothing you can’t buy or rent with a credit card that you can’t buy or rent with a debit card.
But remember this, A Dunn and Bradstreet study proved that people who spend with plastic (even the responsible ones), spend 12% - 18% more on purchases. Those same people will spend 37% more for fast food and 78% more at the vending machines. In another study done by M.I.T. proved that when people spend with cash, it hurts and registers psychologically. That pain is reduced somewhat when paying with a debit card and is reduced even more when spending with a credit card.

Airline miles/rewards…

Now again, I’m not saying that people are not getting their airline miles or rewards. I know some people who are getting them. I also know that it has been extremely hard for others. This is what I want you to think about or even track. I want you to figure out how much you’re spending on your credit cards compared to what you maybe getting in free or discounted airline tickets or rewards. I can bet that whatever you’re spending on those cards of yours, fees or no fees, interest or no interest, would more than pay for whatever you maybe getting from those companies.

Here are some credit card statistics…

·        Overall, the households in the U.S. spend over $412 BILLION in credit card charges each year.
·        Credit card interest is often raised when cardholders take out new loans, like mortgages, car loans, and other kinds of credit accounts.
·        The average credit card debt per household has gone up about 167% in the past 17 years.

“CREDIT CARD REFORM LAW WON'T SAVE STUPID FROM DEBT.” - Headline of the Day from the NY Post, Sept. 2010 –

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

The name ‘Cavus’

The name ‘Cavus’

There have been some questions from a few of you about my business’ name Cavus. How did I come up with that name, what does it mean?
Well, it was no simple task. For starters, It is pronounced (kav us). I thought about it for quite awhile before it came to me and even then, I almost didn’t use it.
I don’t know if any of you read my blog “Things you might not know about me”, but I mentioned that I served in the Army. I served altogether 8 years and I wanted to pay homage to my service. The job or MOS I had in the Army was 19D Cavalry Scout or ‘U.S. Cav’ for short. So I just switched the U.S. and the Cav around and came up with Cavus.
The Cavalry was also known for helping people when they were in trouble, "Send in the Cavalry!” So I thought it was fitting to use that as the name of the business.
Cavus' mission is to help and serve all those in need of financial assistance. Coaching them by using biblical and common sense principles.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Are you a team player?

Are you a team player?

By Keith Bunn Jr.
June 19, 2011

Imagine this; you’re at a football game featuring your favorite team and their biggest rival. You have awesome seats that cost you a fortune. The two teams go out in the center of the field for the coin toss. Your team wins the toss and decides to be on offence. Both teams go back to the sidelines and the coaches start to strategize about the plays that will be done during the kickoff. The rival team starts out onto the field, and begins to set up for the kickoff. Your team begins to move out onto the field towards the end where they will receive to ball. It’s then you notice something odd. Your team only has 6 players out onto the field. You start to think, the others will be out soon, but no one else runs out. Now you’re thinking, this isn't right, what are they doing?
Now we all know that this will never happen. No team from any kind of sport would send out half their players to play the game. The chances of that team winning the game would be about zero. Well that is exactly what happens in your marriage when you and your spouse are not on the same page when it comes to your money. The chances of you winning financially are almost zero.

Proverbs 31:10–11 says, "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain."  This can be said the other way too “Who can find a virtuous husband…”  Both ways are right. If one of you does the budget, pays and mails out the bills, while the other spouse hands over their paycheck and takes no part in the household budget, but then later on gets mad when something goes wrong or wants to buy something and there is no money, that puts tremendous amounts of stress on the spouse trying to do the right thing. Believe me, I've done that to my wife. I had no idea how much stress I put on her until something went wrong and she just broke down crying. That was when we talked about money, that’s when I got involved and that was wrong on my part.

Now, Julie writes out the budget, we both sit down and go over it. I will ask questions if I have any, if not and I agree to what she has written down and something goes wrong, I have no right to get into her case about it because I agreed to the plan too. We both made the decision to do it. Now if one of us changes the plan after agreeing on it and doesn't talk about the changed plan with the other and something goes wrong, well now we have something to gripe about and we have a right to get in each other’s case. Because it turned an ‘our plan’ into a ‘my plan’, which can cause not only stress, but sometimes resentment as well.

Look, the number one cause of divorce in this country is due to money fights and money problems. If that the number one cause, what do you think will happen if you got that part of your marriage under control? And once you start communicating about that, you’ll start to communicate about other things and that will be the beginning of a more fulfilled marriage. I’m telling you from experience, if you go running out on that financial field as a whole team and not half your players; you’re on your way to winning the game of money and marriage.

“Family is a connection to life... a tie to the past... a road to the future.” – Unknown –

I hope my posts inspire you to look at what you’re doing financially and if needed, make some changes that will cause you to win financially. I also look forward to reading your views on any articles or postings that I may post. For more money news, facts and ideas, follow me on Facebook, or Twitter. Thank you!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Things you might not know about me.

Things you might not know about me

1.     I’ve been married 2 times. The second time if differently better than the first.
2.     In my divorce, all I got was a couple boxes of stuff, my 2 dogs, and a car that broke down a couple of months after I got it.
3.     I have had 10 jobs in my lifetime so far. From delivering news papers, military, retail, to factory work.
4.     My birthday is on Halloween. I have only known 2 or 3 other people with the same birthday.
5.     When I was in the military, I was in the U.S. Cavalry. No, I didn’t ride horses.
6.     I love working in our gardens. Whether its flowers or vegetables, it doesn’t matter.
7.     One of the sacrifices I’m making in our quest of getting out of debt is that I’m driving a car that I paid $500. for. Part of the back bumper is held up with duck tape.
8.     I have been to 4 out of the 7 continents. Out of those 4, I have been to 6 countries.
9.     I have only been to 16 out of the 50 states, but I call Michigan home. I have a lot more to see.
10. I have been inside the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and 1 of the Great Pyramids of Giza. I have also walked to the top of Eiffel’s Tower, also in Paris.
11. I have been in jail twice. 1st time it was my fault, the 2nd was not. No felonies. Enough said.
12. I have torn my meniscus twice, both times while playing racquetball. I don’t play racquetball any more.
13. My nose has been broke 3 times. Once in a fight. The other 2 from goofing off.
14. I’m not a big sports guy. I would rather go watch it in person or play it myself than watch it on TV, but that doesn’t happen much now. (see #’s 7 & 12)
15. There isn’t much I won’t eat or at least try once.
16. I gave my life to Christ and was baptized on Nov. 1, 2009.
17. I can pretty much say every dialog to every Star Trek and Star Wars movie ever made. Drives my family crazy.
18. I have a rather large Star Wars collection.
19. If I have a choice, I would rather work 3rd shift than the other 2.
20. I normally take my birthday off every year. It’s rare that I don’t.
21. I don’t drink any alcohol any more. I didn’t like what it was doing to me.
22. My best time ever for running 2 miles was 13 mins. 25 sec. My 2nd best was just over 14 mins.
23. My biggest fear is of failing so I have normally not tried, but I realize now that if I don’t try, I’ve failed. It’s a vicious circle. I’m working on it.
24. The only mode of transportation I haven’t been on is a ship. If my wife has anything to say about it, that will be checked off my list soon.
25. When I was younger, I wanted at least 6 kids. I was stupid! 3 is more than enough!

What are some things people don’t know about you?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Who’s your mentor?

Who’s your mentor?

By Keith Bunn Jr.
June 12, 2011

Mentors are those that guide us or show us the way things are done. Whether it is in business, sports, school, etc… They can be of any race, sex, or age. We all know this, but did you know that you can have more than one and that they don’t have to mentor us on a one on one bases? I have several mentors now and I’ve only met one face to face, just long enough to shake his hand at one of his speaking engagements my wife and I volunteered at one year. The rest have mentored me through the books I read, audio books and free podcasts I listen to on my iPod while traveling back and forth to work (about 45 min. each way) and while at work.
You are never too old to have a mentor and certainly never too young. As I mentioned in the Time Machine  blog, we all need to continue to read and learn. And just because you have read or listened to what your mentor(s) have to say once, doesn’t mean you can’t learn from that material over and over again. How many times have you sat and watched a movie or TV show that you’ve seen before and said, “I don’t remember that scene.”  It is the same way with the books and other learning material you may have. The more you go over that material the more you’ll learn from it. Repetition matters! So I encourage you to find the kinds of material you want to learn from and go over them again and again. Highlight the parts in the books that standout to you and share this knowledge with everyone you know. You never know, you may be able to help or inspire someone else.

  ‎"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." 

- Proverbs 24:3-4 –


“Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve.  - Mary Kay Ash –

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

“Why are you afraid?” - Mark 4:40 -

“Why are you afraid?”
- Mark 4:40 -

By Keith Bunn Jr.
June 5, 2011

In the bible, Jesus asks the question, “Why are you afraid?”  quite often. The one time that sticks in my mind the most is the story told in Mark 4:35-41 NCV.
It says, That evening, Jesus said to his followers, "Let's go across the lake."  Leaving the crowd behind, they took him in the boat just as he was. There were also other boats with them.  A very strong wind came up on the lake. The waves came over the sides and into the boat so that it was already full of water.  Jesus was at the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a cushion. His followers woke him and said, "Teacher, don't you care that we are drowning!"  Jesus stood up and commanded the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind stopped, and it became completely calm.  Jesus said to his followers, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"  The followers were very afraid and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

There are two basic kinds of fear.

There are all kinds of fears that we experience throughout our lives. There is the fear of getting burned when we’re near a hot stove or oven. There is the fear of getting hit by a car if we have to cross a busy road. These are the kinds of fears that are good because they help us stay safe. Protect us from being harmed. I’m sure that was the same kind of fears Jesus’ disciples felt when their boat was being pounded by the waves in the book of Mark. They were freaking out! I know I would have. We all know this kind of fear. But there is another kind of fear that we sometimes mistake it for the other kind and it’s called F.E.A.R.: False Evident Appearing Real. This kind of fear is the kind that most of us suffer from and is the kind we have no control of. To give you an example… Are they going to like me? Are they going to hate me? Is my family & friends going to be safe today? Is the car going to break down on me? Will I get laid off? These are just a few examples, but I think you get my point. If there is no indication that something is going to happen, why do we worry about such things? I do it myself. I have a fear of speaking in front of big crowds. You put more than 10 people in front of me who I have to speak to and I start to get about a million butterflies in my stomach 10 to 20 minutes before I have to speak. I don’t know why. I know that the people are not going to stone me after the first sentence comes out of my mouth, but the butterflies are there. I do have to say that I am getting better about it the more I do it.
Now, you maybe wondering, what on earth does all this have to do with money? When we make financial decisions based on fear, it can hurt us later on down the road. If we let that collector who’s yelling at us on the phone, threatening us, making us afraid to the point where we pay them, where a telemarketer convinces us that we need to buy something or we won’t be popular, or we’re afraid that the world is coming to an end and we cash out our investments. These kinds of fears and worries can not only drive us crazy, but can also cause health, emotional, mental, and relational issues as well. So, I guess what I’m saying here is. If you start to feel a sense of anxiety, worry, or fears come over you, ask yourself these questions, “Is what I’m fearful of something I can control? Can I control whether or not it will or will not happen?” If your answer is yes, then do what you can to control the situation and overcome your fears. If your answer is no, then try to concentrate on the things you can control. If that is something you can’t seem to do on your own, then there is no shame in getting some help in controlling your fears. Talk to your family, friends, pastor, or doctor about your fears, and get your life back.

“Fear can keep a man out of danger but courage can support him in it.” – Thomas Fuller –

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