I’ve often mentioned how we want to have an impact on people and our business that utilizes the Amway Business Opportunity and World Wide Dreambuilders allows us to accomplish that in so many ways. Last night was just another reminder of the real impact we have on people we are in business with and how those people can actually in turn impact us.
A couple in our business got married yesterday late afternoon at the MaGrath Mansion on Ada Boulevard here in Edmonton which is one of the prime spots for outdoor weddings. Such a beautiful and elegant setting which was a total fit for this couple and highlighted the amazing people they are. This is a couple that has taken a lot of values from World Wide Dreambuilders and incorporated them directly into their lives and it is apparent with how in love they are, how much they smile all the time (I don’t know any other couple that smiles this much), and how solid of a relationship they have. They’ve mentioned many times that the path they were on before getting involved with WWDB was a path that would have taken them an additional 4 to 5 years before getting married. While that may be fine for some people, after seeing great examples of some pretty solid marriages they decided there was no reason to wait that long and well the rest is history.
This couple is great at putting things into practice like paying for a wedding in cash and not going into debt for a wedding. I won’t say how else things are going for them financially but making decisions like this will lead them into a debt free lifestyle very soon. We are very proud of them and others on our team that are doing these same types of decisions. There are a few more weddings coming up in our business and all of them are being paid for in cash. Much different from the norm that you see where people go into HUGE amounts of debt for one day.
I mentioned earlier how this couple impacts us, they impact us by inspiring us to smile each and every single day as they always do. They inspire us to continue to work on our marriage and express love like they do. This is just one of many examples this couple and other couples and singles on our team inspire and impact us. Its those qualities of people that inspire us that we look for when building our team. We don’t just want to impact people ourselves but we want to be impacted and inspired from the people we work with. That’s why we don’t just “sign” people up for the sake of it.
Once dinner was done the speeches started and it was at this point we saw the impact we and other upline have made on this couple. To be invited to their wedding and reception along with family and friends is a great honour and we were very blessed to be part of the day. They wanted us to be there because we are like family to them and have helped them through many tough decisions and directions in life. It was quite apparent the impact we made when not only my wife and me were mentioned in a special shout out but quite a few of their upline as well in front of family and friends. While their family and friends may never really understand the impact, they do and I am so proud to see them married and starting their life off in such a positive way.
Our business while rudimentary is an online webstore however there are so many intangible things that comes with what we do. It’s the system of World Wide Dreambuilders (WWDB) that helps us create life long friends and people who inspire us. I cannot even begin to explain the things I’ve received from this amazing association but I can tell you I thank God every day for our life, where we are and where we are going. I’m glad that He was able to remove my cloud of scepticism after 5 months to allow me to see something I would not have normally seen. Sometimes what we are looking for doesn’t come in the packages we expect. Something I think all of us need to keep in mind when opportunities present themselves.
Today Lindsay and I headed out to the Jeep Dodge dealership to check out the Jeep Patriot. Now we have no intention of buying a new vehicle however I wanted to test drive the vehicle and get a sense of how it drives and handles. We are looking for a used version of the patriot, probably the 2009 Limited version because that will be in our budget in June. Since we will be debt free and starting to actually make money and be in the black we will pay cash for this new vehicle and that is a great feeling.
Today really opened my eyes to how car salesmen use people’s excitement to get them to buy a car they probably had no intention of buying that particular day. Now I’m not saying everyone does this but I can see how people get sucked in and also end up paying more than their budget (if they even have one). I honestly believe people don’t have someone they can bounce their ideas off of. Really I feel they lack mentorship. That’s where the whole ridiculous consumer debt comes from, people making stupid decisions. People feel they deserve a new car, they feel entitled. Its that line of thinking that has this country in the highest debt levels it’s never seen for a very long time.
When shopping for a new car or even a used car, take the emotion out of it. Have a predetermined budget of what you can afford. Do your research so that you can steer the conversation when discussing the vehicle. So many people have no idea the stats of the vehicle they are looking at, this gives the salesperson the upper hand. Have the upper hand so that you don’t cecum to the excitement and find yourself signing papers you never meant to.
Saturday Lindsay and I went shopping for baby stuff to start grasping just how much this little tyke is going to cost us. This stuff is quite expensive if your looking for new stuff, however as some know my Scottish heritage will always find the good deals out there.
There are tons of stores in Edmonton such as E-Children, Babies R Us, Baby Sam, etc… I actually remember Baby Sam from long ago when my good friends Kyle and Erron where shopping there and they needed a truck to haul their new stuff home. At that time I was nowhere near ready to have kids and didn’t even think I’d be doing that type of shopping anytime soon. Well fast forward what, 8 years and now I’m doing the same thing they were. Pretty darn exciting. We cannot wait to get the baby room all decorated and painted towards the end of this month. One quick note, we are not finding out the sex of the baby, so most of our decorating will be gender neutral. Lindsay found a pretty sweet crib sheet and comforter set which will be perfect for either a girl or boy.
One of the things we are excited about though is paying for our baby stuff in cash and not going into debt for it. Trust me this will probably be much harder than buying a vehicle and wanting to pay for it in cash. Why? Because it’s your child! You want to buy the best for them and sometimes we let that get the best of us and do ridiculous things. I’m thankful for the friends we have in our life and the association of people that also think going into debt isn’t a smart idea, even if it’s buying stuff for your kids. We’ve got lots of examples of upline, crossline and friends who are paying for baby stuff in cash and are not going into debt and I love that example. It’s quite powerful. Don’t misunderstand me those examples are not *just* in this business, they are out there but just harder to find because we as Canadians live a carefree debt lifestyle, so much so the government has to step in and change mortgage rules to stop us from being stupid. (Check out Garth Turner’s Perspective on that).
Anyway this is just another example of places where people can get carried away. Stop, check yourself and your finances and make sure your doing the right thing. Go shopping, find out the costs of things, and then save up for them and pay it in cash. Stop doing what every other Canadian does and thinking debt is cool, it’s not. It only hurts you and your family in the long run.
You know it’s the simple things in life that really excite me and on the way home from work today I realized that we are going to be paying for the insurance deductible and the new windshield for my car with cash. That’s $1000 for the deductible and $350 for the windshield that over a year ago we would have just pulled out the good old Visa and paid for it that way. Today or in a few days when the car is ready, we will pay for it in cash. I cannot tell you how awesome of a feeling that is.
I’m pretty transparent when it comes to our debt and we do still have a little bit left as we finish off one more item. Having the flexibility of paying a little less on our debt so that we could pay for this item in cash is amazing. Next paycheque and some of our retail profit cheques we will just put towards debt again. It’s the simple things like that which reduce the amount of stress in our life.
Now I cannot honestly say it wasn’t Amway that helped with that, it was the association we have where we get around people that think of paying for things in cash, that live without debt, that have helped us steward our money better than before we were associated with World Wide. It’s not always about the big fancy things or talking “Diamond”, its honestly the simple things like what I’ve talked about here that make what we do worth it. Could we have possibly done this without World Wide? Possibly, but I know we were not in the right mindset, we were in the mindset of keeping up with the Joneses and making sure that we looked good and saved face. Not a great place to be in, it’s what ended us in a heap of debt. Something we will never do again.
I think today is a good day to give an update to what we’ve accomplished so far with our debt reduction. I’ve mentioned earlier that we are very open with our debt and how much we’ve had. While it’s quite embarrassing what we’ve racked up, we wanted to become an example to people out there that you can gain control over your debt with some smarter decisions, hard work and dedication. I will first hand say that NONE of our debt money has been paid off with any of the income we’ve made with our business. That sits in a different account accumulating for our new vehicle that we plan on buying in cash. We wanted to also be an example to people building this business that you can pay off debt without touching your income made with this business. One last disclaimer before I continue, everyone’s debt situation is different and this is just an example of what we’ve done. Nobody has ever told us what to do with our money as that’s one of the cardinal rules that we uphold; “Do not mess with anyone’s money”.
So what’s the update? Well let me share:
- As of June 1st we sold our condo and have decided to rent for the next few years. We used the money we made off our condo to pay off some of our debts.
- $239,000 Mortgage – DEBT, gone. You may think your house is an asset but it’s not, not until it’s making you more money then what your mortgage payment is (example; having renters). There is no such thing as “good debt”
- $30,000 Home Equity Line of Credit – DEBT, gone.
- $8,000 of $10,000 Line of Credit – DEBT, almost done.
- $27,000 previously blogged about consumer credit card debt gone.
Debt left to finish off:
- $2,000 of the previously mentioned Home Equity Line of Credit
- $10,000 Vehicle loan
Total Debt Paid Off Since November 2009 = $304,000
So there you go. $304,000 paid off since we first set a plan of action in November. What did we change that helped us do this? We got around people who didn’t live a debt lifestyle and lives a cash flow lifestyle, we read Richest Man in Babylon, we got some coaching from people who had similar amount of debt and who paid it off, and we set a budget. That’s all we did. Can you do the same? Absolutely without question. It may look different then what we’ve done but there are always better options out there and sometimes you just have to make some sacrifices.
We want to set the example of how to live a cash flow lifestyle instead of a debt one and we are doing that right now.