Sunday, May 27, 2012

Debt Free trips and vacations

Debt Free trips and vacations

By Keith Bunn Jr.
May 27, 2012

 Good morning! I am in Columbus, Georgia this fine Sunday morning. I went down to Atlanta and then Columbus last Friday to see my daughter’s high school graduation yesterday. It was an exciting time for everyone!
But one of the great things about this whole trip was that it was a Debt Free trip! That’s right, debt free. That means we didn’t go further into debt for me to go see my daughter’s graduation. My plane tickets to and from Georgia were bought with our debit card, as well as renting a car for 3 days and paying for my hotel stay. The rest of my expenses, like food, gas, and other miscellaneous things were all paid for in cash. Now we didn’t do as good a job of planning for this trip as I was hoping for because my wife wasn’t able to go, but at least my daughter was able to have her dad see her get her diploma.
Now the thing I want you to take from this is anybody can do this and you don’t need credit cards, airline miles or points and you certainly don’t need to go further into debt to take trips or vacations. It just takes some planning on your part and perhaps some sacrifices, like we did, to make your trips and vacations memorable and debt free!
Oh, I forgot to mention! Part of this debt trip was that my daughter gets to come back with me so we can have a graduation party for her in Michigan so other family members that weren’t able to go to Georgia can celebrate in this exciting time as well!
  I hope my posts inspire you to look at what you’re doing financially and because of it; possibly 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 facts and ideas, follow me on Facebook, or Twitter. Thanks you! , and!/Cavuscoaching .

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Medical Bills stressing you out? You need to keep your head up!


Medical Bills stressing you out? 
You need to keep your head up!

By Keith Bunn Jr.
May 20, 2012

Just as money fights and money problems are the #1 cause of divorce in this country, medical debt is the #1 cause of bankruptcy.

Knowing that a good portion of this kind of debt can either be reduced or eliminated before it can become a problem; I asked someone who I consider to be an expert in this field, "What is the best way for someone to deal with these issues?" Here is what they had to say...

Not everyone knows this, but most hospitals and health care providers have assistance programs available to people that are either not insured or under-insured?  There is help available; you just have to ask for it.  Most healthcare providers have some sort of sliding scale or assistance type program.  However, you have to be prompt about it, if you stick you head in the sand and hope everything will just go away, it won’t.  Your accounts will go to collections, and at that point you have waited too long and your opportunity for help is gone. 
Health care providers are not the villain that most people associate them to be.  They are there to help you with your medical needs at a time of crisis, or for those day-to-day medical needs we often encounter.  Just like any other service provider, they are expecting to get paid for the services rendered.  However, the difference between a healthcare provider and let’s say an auto repair place.  A healthcare provider cannot refuse treatment if it is an emergency, they will, however bill you.  Will your mechanic do that? Most will not. Most providers offer prompt pay discounts, meaning if you pay your balance owed in a lump sum payment quickly, they will reduce your balance owed by 10-20%, even if you have insurance and the balance is your co-pay, co-insurance and deductible balances left by insurance as patient responsibility.  I know you are probably thinking, well, that is just fine and dandy if you have the money to pay your balance.  Well, healthcare providers have assistance programs for the people that fall into that category too.  Healthcare providers have financial assistance programs to help the people that truly need the help.  Call your providers, ask for help. They will typically screen you over the telephone, and depending on the provider, and your circumstances, they may require you to send in additional information (proof of income, assets and expenses) to verify that you are indeed in need of help.  Most healthcare providers will also assist you in applying for state Medicaid assistance, local county agency assistance, federal or other charitable programs.  By working with your healthcare providers, they may be able to reduce or eliminate your financial responsibility.  Most providers make determination based on your household income, assets and expenses in comparison Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. Does your auto mechanic offer assistance plans that could potentially eliminate the expense all together?  Mine doesn’t.  So if you are willing to keep your head out of the sand, ask for help and provide the information, you could be surprised at what healthcare providers will do to help their patients.

I hope my posts inspire you to look at what you’re doing financially and because of it; you possibly 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. Thanks you!  For more money facts and ideas, follow me on Facebook, or Twitter. , and!/Cavuscoaching .

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Keeping your Eye on the Ball

Keeping your Eye on the Ball

By Keith Bunn Jr.

May 15, 2012

Do you remember in the movie Up, where the dogs in the movie were given a task, but were easily distracted by either the tennis balls on the bottom of the old man’s cane or by the possible appearance of a squirrel?  Those were some of the funniest parts of the movie for me. But have you ever noticed, either in yourself or in others, that we’re the same way?

I know I am! I can be going along doing one thing and then all of a sudden something catches my eye and I’m off doing that thing. By the end of the day, I haven’t accomplished anything. The same thing can happen with your finances. It is easy to get off track and go right back to the same habits that got you in to your financial mess in the first place. One of the places this happens the most is at the grocery store. You go in with a list and a set budget of $150 for a week’s worth of groceries and by the time you check out, your bill is $200. Been there, done that, and I have a whole closet full of T-shirts!!!

What we have to do is keep our eye on the ball. Or in other words, stick to the plan you have laid out for yourself. You have to remember why you put yourself on your plan in the first place. Maybe your goal was to get out of debt by a certain date, upgrade to a newer car, or going on a trip. Whatever that goal is, remind yourself that if you stray from your plan, the chances of you not reaching your goals greaten. And don’t try lie to yourself saying, “If I do this one thing, I’ll work extra to make up for it.” You know that won’t happen, so remind yourself of your goals and remind yourself often. Keep your eye on the ball!

I hope my posts inspire you to look at what you’re doing financially & because of it; you possible 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. Thanks you!

For additional money ideas and facts, follow me on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin ,!/Cavuscoaching , and

Sunday, May 6, 2012

You have an opportunity to do so much more: Part 2

You have an opportunity to do so much more: Part 2

By Keith Bunn Jr.

May 6, 2012

Part 2: Married soldiers

As any married couple will tell you, being married can be tough at times, but it is my opinion that being married while serving in the armed forces is even tougher. It is already a fact that money issues are the #1 cause of divorce in this country, but when you add the stress of having to move often all over the world and being separated for long periods of time, the odds of having a successful marriage drops significantly.

This topic was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. I found myself having dozens of things that I would and wouldn’t over again going through my head. So the simplest thing I came up with was to do some bullet points that I thought would help both your marriage and your finances.

·         Communication: As I stated before, money issues are the #1 reason couples get divorced, so if you and your spouse talk to each other and get on the same page about your money, that opens other doors of communication in other areas of your lives, which in turn sets a good foundation in your marriage. With all the different ways we can communicate with people today, it is more important than ever to learn how to communicate with the person beside you in life.  

·         Sacrifice: The civilian world can’t even begin to understand all the sacrifices a military family must endure, especially these days. With that said, what I’m about to suggest will seem small in comparison. You need, as a family, to learn to sacrifice some small things in order to win big in the future. Sell some stuff to help pay off debt and develop a plan to live on less than you make by trying to live on your base pay only. Service men & women who receive Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), Basic Allowance for Separations Rations (BAS), and Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), just to name a few, can find themselves dependent on those funds to live on and can later find themselves in a pinch when they get deployed somewhere and lose one or more of those allowances. Buy used vehicles instead of new. And also, rent homes instead of buying or live on post when possible. This will save you and your family a lot of headaches as well as money when you get orders to move.

·         Plan: Where do you and your spouse see yourselves 5 to 10 years down the road? You need to dream about where you want to be and plan on how to get there. There is a lot of uncertainty in the military. Making plans on what you want to do, grounds you to your family and helps you make decisions when some of that uncertainty surfaces.

·         Serve: This alone falls directly on the service men and women themselves. Serve your family with the same honor, commitment, and a sense of duty as you do serving your country. The military isn’t always a safe work environment in peace or at war, so make sure you have your affairs in order. Make sure you have a Will, make sure that your family knows exactly what needs to be done and how to do it if something were to happen to you. Don’t buy a lot of stuff with payments on it just because you were off somewhere defending us. You and your family have sacrificed enough without the extra stress of possibly going broke if something were to happen to you.

I have seen a lot of service men and women hurt themselves and their families financially because of making selfish and childish decisions and racking up debt in the process. You don’t deserve that! You have an opportunity to do so much more!!

As with all my blog and social media posts, I welcome any comments and feedback 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, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin for additional money ideas and facts. , ,!/Cavuscoaching , and

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Big Thanks!

A Big Thanks!

By Keith Bunn Jr.

May 5, 2012

With things being so busy lately, I didn’t notice that I have already passed the one year mark with my blogs (May 1). So I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for all the comments and support over my first year of blogging, it’s been fun!
Don't forget to catch tomorrows blog: You have an opportunity to do so much more: Part 2.

Thanks again!