Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labor Day weekend financial blow-up

The days of living above my means and supplementing my income via my IRA withdrawals is long gone as my financial life went bust over the labor day weekend, never before will i have ever thought that the day will come when i will hit financial pavement. The labor day weekend culminated in financial hell for me and my family, a weekend that should have been spent on a family road trip ended up being spent indoors at home due to my financial situation.

Saturday 9/5 started out with our cable , phone and Internet service from Comcast being cut off and then our cell phone was also cut off on Monday 9/7, normally i am able to call them up and make the necessary payments to get the service back on but not this time, since i had no money available in any of my immediate accounts and to top things off, all but one of my cards was declined every time i tried to use them.

This is clearly the bottom that i had dreaded for so long, never again i said to myself, from now on i will make strides to live below my means, i will make strides to generate monthly income besides my regular income, i will strive to restore my financial self and dignity through investments.

I will provide an update of my status in terms of paying down my debt in the coming week.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Update on Financial Recovery

Alot has been happening in my financial recovery plan, i am making progress but at the expense of paying my bills on time, i have tried very hard to stay on schedule and pay them on time but the payoff that i did on American express deliquent account threw me off of my whole regimen. It is so funny how once i am thrown off my economic plan it takes me twice as hard and more money to recover, but i am steadfast in my resolve to be debt free (minus student loan and Mortgage obligations) going into 2011.

On another note, i am considering going back to School to get a doctorate or MBA degree in either financial engineering or management information systems, i do need to accquire some new higher-level skills for the second leg of my career journey which i am hoping will see me being self sufficient entrepreneur running my own Software Quality Assurance/Testing Consultancy, only time will tell.

I am happy to say that as off the end of this month i will be tracking at approximately 56K in debt down from 80K almost 2 years ago, i am hoping that i will finish the year around 40 - 45K in debt that is my goal for this year

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Never being broke Like this

Today i found myself hitting the bottom, i have never being so broke that i don't even know how i will get funds to purchase my train tickets to the office in the next couple of days. I have to figure out my financial plan, because i can't continue living like this.
I never thought that i will ever find myself in this position where my account is actually negative and i can't afford to buy anything. I made a promise to myself never to be in this position and i will definitely get to a positive net-worth in the next few years. I will provide some new updates to my financial plan soon as i made some progress in the last month.

Article on Finding Tech Jobs in the new economy

Check out the article below written by myself and published at

In the state of economy with unemployment hovering around 8.9%, looking for a job not only guarantees little or no response or call back, but if you got a call back you will be competing with a size able amount of prospects. What is a job hunter to do?

At any time in history of America, there are always sectors of the economy doing well while other sectors maybe languishing, now is not an exception. Companies that are differentiating themselves in their industry and providing much needed services as well as show means of attaining profitability are the ones that have the funds or are getting the funds needed to operate effectively and efficiently and moreover are the ones aggressively looking to expand in different directions with the much needed manpower and expertise in terms of new hires. In other words the new jobs are being created by startup that are currently being funded, in the process of being funded or currently profitable and looking to expand aggressively to take make share.
In looking at some venture funds website, one can still see that they are investing in promising startup and these start-ups are then going out and hiring the needed expertise to deliver on their promise to their owners (financial backers).
Job web sites like,, still provide thousands of listings which may include jobs from these start-ups but there is a higher chance that companies directly listing there openings in startup jobs specific web sites are looking to aggressively fill those positions and also these start-up jobs specific website are not really as well known as the popular site such as monster, hot jobs and dice.

For the job hunter that doesn’t mind grunting it out and possibly enjoying the fruits of their labor at a later time if the company ends up going public might be well suited to concentrate their jobs search at the following start-up jobs specific or related sites. (Niche site)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sites of Interest

I came across the following sites for finding savings on the net which may be off interest to all;

Digging out of debt has its price

So finally on 7/7/09 a significant amount of money came out of my account towards my American express bill hopefully to close out that account for good, i will see what happens when i get my next bill, the amount that was debited out of my account ended up putting my account in the negative due to the bad timing on the part of the collection agency, i can already smell the overdraft fees on this one, Chase has definitely made a killing over the last 12 months on my account with these overdraft fees. It is ironic that today's paper headlines read something like ...Banks are getting rich on overdraft fees, i can definitely attest to that.
I will definitely pull through on this, i hope this is the trigger i need to cut down on some more debt accounts. I will provide some more status on this at the end of the month.
On a sad note, i no longer have any money to pay my other bills till my next check which will be less anything that is negative in my account, My Cell phone is now cut due to no payment and wont get turned on till i can pay, what a life, i may have to dip into my personal IRA again to get myself out of this.

On a different note, i noticed on my way in to the office that there is a large proportionate number of women that are pregnant, i guess the myth is true, that more women get pregnant at times of recession. It is unbelievable the human spirit to survive and thrive.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New article on finding tech work

I finally published my new article on eHow about strategies on finding tech work in this new economy

Weekend goes by so fast

The last couple of days saw me working on an article that deals with finding Jobs in this economy, i have been thinking about the best avenues for the unemployed to go about looking for employment and i finally penned down what my thoughts are, i will look into the different areas to post it up, stay tuned.

I was a little disappointed over the weekend because i ended up not being able to sign-off on my Amex bills for good like i thought i will be able to do, apparently the creditors try to get the money out of my account on the same day i deposited the last check to make it complete and my bank decided not to honor my overdraft protection on that date and sent it back, i have so far called the creditor twice with no callback hoping they will still be willing to do it, men that was a failed opportunity, i will keep trying and hopefully something will come off it.

In my web browsing, i came across the following interesting writeups;

The 101 Best Twitter Job Search/Career Experts Plus 6

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Best and Worst Cities for Recession Recovery

The best and worst cities for recovering the recession as per Forbes

Progress towards Wiping out debt

In the past week, i have been working on the possibility of wiping out my American express debt and from the looks of it, it might possibly come true, i am hoping that if i can pull it off, that may be the trigger i need to also get rid of my second American express account. I have been dreaming of having the account gone from my debt and also possibly getting rid of my Bank of America line of credit account debt as well as my HSBC credit card account debt which combined for a total of around 24K by the end of this year. I am not exactly sure how i will be able to get rid of 24K by years end but something tells me to work towards it and hopefully get it done.

On another note, i have been thinking of getting into refurbished laptop selling in third world countries in Africa, i was investigating this venture over the weekend and came to the conclusion that the margins on these laptops are worth it as long as you have the necessary selling volume and you definitely keep your shipping cost down to a minimum. I will aggressively look into getting into this venture and i will also need to find a place where i can get these refurbished laptops or net books at a compelling price (average refurbished laptop or net book price is $300). I am open to suggestions of where to get them at an affordable and compelling price.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend Update

The weekends seem to go by so fast, it is already Sunday, this weekend i ended up spending more money than i intended, went in for a routine oil change on my car and before i knew what was happening the bill went from an expected 20 dollars to whopping 63 dollars, i strongly believe that the auto shops are a cartel made out to find ways to screw the ordinary man, i was being told that i probably need this and that and then they recommend i get it today.I knew that i really didn't need it but some thing was telling me to just go along, i need to work on my will power to just say no.
On a more brighter note, today was father's day and i celebrated it with the family, i ended up spending more than 56 dollars at the supermarket and made dinner for the family (should have been the other way around), we had a good meal and everyone had a good time afterwards.
I didn't get a chance to work on my website Bank Homes Direct and look for ways to market as well as promote it some more, i need to seek out other ways to get that done this week, it has been slow going to i need to speed it along.

I stumbled upon a website which lets one track airline tickets in order to make a better priced purchase, i intend to track tickets to Disney world and Las Vegas over a period of time since those two places are where the wife and family wants to vacation next.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Financial Health Update

I finally went through my bills after making some time in between holding down a regular gig and trying to promote the new website anyway i can (still taking solicitations on how to effectively promote the site), for what i can see, i only made little progress last month on whittle down my debt, i was able to pay down close to $1000 dollars but due to interests and some late fees i didn't make much of a dent this month, i need to double up my effort to get to the finish line of DEBT FREEDOM, on another sad note, i have to write checks totalling 1600 between now and Friday to come up to speed on my outstanding bills, this is an ongoing battle because one block on the road sets you back couple of months down the line, at this rate i may reduce my debt substantially but still be stuck with bad credit due to the way i am making the payments, i seriously need to come up with a system that keeps me from paying any bills late each month. I also need to seriously look into making some passive income via the Internet. My current outstanding debt stands at around 52K for Credit card and unsecured loans and 13K (combined) student loans.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Useful Resources - Interesting Reads

Great information on how to guide

Sign of the times

Great resources to help make one a better web designer

100 Plus sites dealing with green living

140 Search engines you might not have all heard off

Bargain hunting resources on the net

Resources to do just about anything online

Making money online resources

Blogging toolbox for ages

85 plus Tools and Resources for Freelancers and Web Workers

I came across this article that provides more than 85 tools that are essential to a freelancer or web worker, pay attention to the job listings section and the miscellaneous tools section

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Maintaining and marketing the newsite

Lately i find myself working late nights trying to finetune the new site as well as market it effectively, i am hoping to push it out there and get people's interest on the site going, the first feedback i got was about the company logo which i had since changed, i am working on providing some more items on the site as well as figuring out how to generate revenue to the point that the site is self sufficient. I am definitely open to ideas on how to go about marketing the site effectively.

On another note, my bills for the month are currently coming in and i am yet to open them and compile the balances to see what overall progress i made in the past month. i will update the site with my progress in a day or two, i am hoping that in the next couple of days my work on the site will level off so that i can get back to maintaining the blog and researching other prospects.

Monday, June 8, 2009

My New Idea website is now live

I worked through the whole weekend and i am glad to say that i finally got the site up and running, i have to say that it is by no means complete and i expect to keep tweaking the site as time goes on. Please feel free to check out the site and i welcome any feedback both good or bad.

I need suggestions on how to market and derive ad revenue from the site.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Interesting Reads

The lifestyles of people who are not doing well financially, am guilty of some of these

Great tutorial on Credit reports

Compare your net worth to other American Families

Uncover business ideas from untapped niche markets

Authentic Work at home jobs out there

niche auction site targeted to Moms

This could be anyone of us, need to diversify my income stream

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Being Broke is no fun

Today i find myself broke like i have never being before, i was forced to give my daughter her lunch money with my Collectible silver coins, short of racking up another overdraft charge, i am running a negative 194 in my checking account due to some missed check calculations. I need to do a better job of managing my finances because that 194 can definitely go towards paying down some other bills.

On a different note, i have been worked diligently to get the website up and going, i was hoping it will be up by now but due to my current financial state, i wont be able to pay for the hosting part of it till this weekend so i am hoping that everything goes well and that the site should be up on Monday 6/8/09, keeping my hand crossed. It has been a great learning experience getting back up on HTML and web-designing, i am currently putting finishing touches to the last of the pages and still need to work on a professional looking logo for the site, i have downloaded the opens source program gimp and hope to have something soon. During the whole design and coding process i cam across two valuable tools/site that i will like to recommend to anyone - Firebug (add-on to FireFox), it helps with seeing what parts of the code are linking to what parts of the HTML page especially for updating sections or troubleshooting. The other is the HTML Validator - which is an invaluable tool especially to someone like me who hasn't coded in HTML since 2.0, it is a necessary check for any novice HTML coder.

The stock market has been on an uptrend as off late even with the minor pullback a few days back, it has gone up too quick, too fast that even though stocks were really beaten down to start with it, i think that a correction is definitely going to come in the near term, i need to place sell limit orders on my stocks as soon as possible.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Idea Website almost complete

I have been spending some late nights in the past few days trying to put finishing touches to a website based on an idea that came to me last weekend, i have to tell you that my HTML skills are all but rusted due to lack of usage over this year, it is definitely fun getting my hands dirty again, i cant wait to see what the overall reaction will be on the site.

On the other note, i am a little bit disturbed by the high cost of child care in the country, my wife called me to inform me that the cheapest quotes she was able to get for child care services to watch our two kids will come out to almost 2 thousand dollars amount, that is way too much, i refuse to accept that as the only option, i am going to be looking into different ways that we can cut down on the child care expenses while getting quality service in the process, i am happy to welcome suggestions on how to tackle this issue short of telling the wife to stay home and look after the kids.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend Hustle

This past weekend was a hustle, i worked late into saturday morning on a site for my new idea, most of the body was already done but i still need to get the site registered, figure out how to get the images to display and optimize properly as well as have it up and running, i am really proud of myself for following through on this one and executing right away, i believe that the key to success is seizing the moment and capitalizing, i am hoping that by tuesday at the latest i will work out all the kinks and have the site up and running, please stay tuned!!!!!.

Saturday, didn't really do much except babysit the Kids, the wife went to work for most of the day, we traveled out to Pennsylvania on saturday night and stayed overnight with relatives, the kids had a great time and i had a necessary break, glad i didn't have to spend any money besides Gas especially since i didn't have any to spend from the get go

Sunday night, we got back home, i was going through my new statements and i am glad to say i reached a milestone, for the first time in so many years i have been able to pay down my student loan to ten thousand and change, this is great progress, i am inspired and i hope to get rid of the entire thing in 2 years, My American express blue card statement came and i also saw the balance went down by almost 60 dollars, however the next bill is due in a day, i need to figure out how to get some money to pay it since i don't want to incur any late payments at this time of the game. However to a little bit of bad news, my comcast bill came today and it was 157 dollars for the triple play somehow that seems to be too much, i am thinking right now whether i do need a home phone since i make all my calls on the cell phone and i might get rid of HBO, Showtime and Starz soon, the only thing i really need is actually the broadband connection which come to think of it, i can get cheaper standalone, i really have to look into cheapening my whole triple play package.

So far the weekend turned out really nice and short, back to the daily grind, there has to be a better way of making money, still working on finding it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

New Idea comes to mind

During my commute to work this morning, an idea came to my mind about how to leverage brand identity to take advantage of the current ongoing mortgage crisis fallout which is the high level of foreclosures and the availability of bank owned homes. I am going to do some more research on a possible website and hopefully have something usable by Monday. Please check back later for a peek into my Idea. On a different note, i stumbled upon a couple more sites today that are worth checking out. (this site seems to be pushing online searches to the next level) (this site provides tip on living an Eco-friendly live)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Adjustable Rate Mortgage is almost up

My adjustable rate mortgage on my home is about to readjust come July 2009, it was originally a 5 year ARM at 5.625% when my credit score was at 700, i am currently contemplating what my options are since it might be very difficult to refinance the loan with my credit. I may look into getting countrywide to work with me on a loan modification program. I do believe that i the value of my home should still be more than what my current balance on the loan is even though it has lost some value over the last year or two. This is going to be a big hurdle for me and i am looking for input in terms of how to address this, wouldn't want to lose the house but i do wonder what my loan will readjust to once it is up (the loan was actually supposed to be tied to the Libor rate i believe, could be wrong, hmmm)

Stocks i am currently tracking

The market seems to be in an up and down mood today, my close fund investment GAB seems to be up today so far .11, it has been on an uptrend lately and has returned upwards of 17 % YTD and did i mention that it has a dividend yield of 19.30%, they will be paying a quarterly dividend amount of 20 cents a share on June 23 2009 to common stock shareholders on record as of June 16 2009, wish i could buy some more. I will look into comparable close end funds with a lower entry price. I am also tracking the Solar Stock SOLF which has also been in an uptrend as off late, it is currently down by .13 but up YTD over 43%. GOOG has also been a great performer for me but i am hoping it will go higher in the short term, i am contemplating selling it in my IRA and getting into some lower price stock with a much brighter prospect of trending upwards in the near term.

Sites stumbled upon

I stumbled upon the following sites that i though were interesting and worth checking out (I stumbled upon this site while searching for travel sites where i may put together a vacation package for the family but pay for it installmentally, need to find a way to pay for this once i am ready) ( this seemed like a great site to find bargains will check this out more often) (from what i could tell this site pays individuals to answer questions from their customers on just about anything, the maximum pay per question was about 10cents, not much but it can make for a side passive income to someone sitting at home doing nothing) ( i came across this open innovation site while reading one of the many financial magazines that i go through during my lunch which are mostly spent at Barnes and Noble, i signed up as a member but has yet to get into the site officially and research it some more, i am definitely intrigued by it)
Welcome to my blog, this is a journey, one of learning from previous financial mistake and ultimately making the leap into positive net-worth and livable passive income.

Below is the breakdown of my current situation as i embark on this self recovery journey, i will be providing monthly updates as to changes to my financial health.

Checking/Savings Account = 1000
401K = 9070
IRA = 5000
Etrade Investment Account = 5200
Home Value = 195K (*conservative estimate since Zillow estimates at 209K)
Cars (1994 Benz SL500; 1998 Lexus ES300) = 17000 Collectibles (Rare Silver coins) = 5000
Watch Collection = 5000
Mortgage = 187K
Student loans = 13,500
Unsecured debt = 54780
Current Net-worth is in the Negative
Anticipated goal in 3 years is to have a current Net-worth of at least 50K
Ultimate goal in 5 years is to have a net-worth that runs into hundreds of thousand and a passive income of t least 2k/Month.