Monday, June 29, 2009

My Finances are Better than They once Were

Looking over finances takes time, dedication, honesty, focus, and a bunch of other things. You must be willing to bear all and open up about the money you make. While writing on My Financial Success I have realized that yes, I have wasted money over the years. Now, I am willing to make a difference with the money I bring home. Once upon a time, I couldn't tell you where my money went. All I knew is that it was all gone. No more and there where still 15 days left in the month. Truly, I got tired of living that way. The material items and that instantaneous thrill will only last for a moment. The financial value will have depleted over time, no longer being worth the amount that you spent.

No longer will I finance anything. All of my purchases will be with cash, check, money order or cashier's check. The interest rate and fees are ridiculous that are charged when you finance or take out a loan. What is the point? The extra cash you spend payin on that could be going to something else.

As for my cable, I got rid of Showtime. I am slowly cutting the extra channels. The phone and Internet can not be cut. I am sure there is something that could be done about my fews. To total I believe my monthly pay out is about $400.00 a month. That really isn't that bad. Working toward cutting more costs.

The tax lien has to be paid separately, so I am going to pay $450.00 for July and August. Those two payments will pay for the Ford Explorer. In September, I will pay $1,000 a month to get the Escalade paid for. Never let anyone use your SSN for anything. I can admit my ignorance. Also, if you purchase a vehicle out of state the sales tax is not included in that purchase. The SSN thing I knew that and I thought the person would handle responsibilities, I was wrong. Purchasing a vehicle out of state and tagging it in another county was new on me. You live and you learn.

These are my serious debts
Wachovia $3600
Tax Lien $6,000
US Dept of Education $13,000

In order to pay off my debts, I will put all of my extra cash toward the above listed challenges. Figuring out other avenues where I cut corners on spending. $24,000 will be paid off by August 2o1o. I will say it over and over, the money I make is not mine if I owe a collector. I will pay off these debts and have them behind me. In the mean time, I will save cash too. No longer will I waste the money that I make. I have a goal to retire by 40. Doing the things that I have been doing in the past have not been successful. Changing my money habits will benefit me and my family in the long run. Building generational wealth is my goal.

Haven't heard anything from my appeal letter for reinstatement of my financial aid. Will call tomorrow to find out what is going on. They said it would be 2 weeks, it has been 15 days.

The other day, I went to Barnes and Noble and looked over some personal finance books. They really motivated me to get back on track. Really tired of wasting money.

It takes a person to finally get tired of things to really make a difference, well I am tired.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Elements of Distance Education Diffusion

The Future of Distance Education

By: George Siemens

EDUC 8842: Principals of Distance Education

I agree with Siemens view on global diversity, communication, and collaborative interaction. These elements do create an effective experience and allow distance education to stand on its own. Traditional classrooms offer face to face interaction and is scheduled at a specific day and time. Online learning gives the student enonomity and affords an opportunity to interact with individuals with whom they may not in an traditional setting.
Distance education benefits corporations by allowing them to interact with different offices around the world.

What online tools are available today to facilitate these interactions among leaners?
There are several tools that will facilitate interactions in the online setting.
For instance:
Assignments within the course shell allow for dailouge.
Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other online social network sites give students another avenue to discuss course assignments.
Skype gives classmates a chance to use new technology to hold conversations about the courses.
Not only can these tools be used with the students, it can be used with the professors.

Siemens stated examples of what fuels distance education's growing acceptance:
The increase in online communicationPractional experience with new toolsGrowing comfort with online discourseAbility to communicate with diverse global groups

Distance education will continue to grow and change. Siemens feels it will be impacted by:
New communication technologies
Contribution by experts around the world
Increased use of multimedia, games, and simulations

Also in moving toward a growing shift in online education, it has been called the triple helix model of education. This is where universities, government, and businesses work together to provide and equip students with the online environment.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Learning From Every Post

There have been gains as far as My Financial Success is concerned. Every post tends to be different. Overall, this blog is about what steps I take to achieve financial freedom. The journey has been long and hard and I feel that I have grown every day. It takes time and dedication to grow from your own mistakes and to learn from what others have done.

Right now, I am at a block. To do this or to do that. Peggy has been giving me some sound advice. Growth is something that I am doing and I have to build to just say no to somethings. For instance, I know I can watch tv on the Internet, but to actually get rid of cable, that is going to take some time. I did get rid of HBO and Cinemax, keeping Showtime, Sundance, Starz, and Encore. Thinking really hard about getting rid of another channel. The phone is another issue, having the Internet and phone in a bundle has given me features that come along with the packet. Caller ID, comes in handy. Getting rid of call waiting, three way, and all the other things will save me money two. My phone bill may just be under $25.00 a month cutting those features.

Sometimes I get confused on what is more important. Here are the challenges that I face financially. Background history, two loans from undergraduate school have not been paid in full. They are in deferment until January 2011 (anticipated graduation date Walden University). Since I work at a low income school, I qualify for teacher loan forgiveness program. Due to having loans prior to October 1998 the money can not be taken off. Hence my wanting to get these loans paid off so my post graduate loans can be relieved.

Now that the tax lien has reared its ugly head, which is more important?
Wachovia: $2,680.57
Tax Lien: $5,927.42
US Dept. of Education: $13,402.56

The quicker I pay them off the quicker I can do other things. Maybe this is what I will do. Instead of paying $200.00 a month on Wachovia, I will be $500.00 a month of the tax lien. Wachovia will receive $100 and the US Dept of Education will get $25.00 monthly. More will be paid on Wachovia and the tax lien as I make more money. The tax lien and Wachovia will be done for by December 09.

What is important tends to take the back burner to things that hold no relevance to my life. It is so easy to loss sight of the main thing. This month was one of them. There are only 9 weeks to my vacation and I have wasted almost 3 of them. Relaxing, getting confused, and not doing a thing has me feeling lackadesic. The real estate bug has biten me again. Properties are out there waiting to be purchased and rented out.

Back to the debts. I am going to pay the minimum on the student loans and put the lump sum on the tax lien. I have to get what I want for me. Having the lien paid for will allow me other opportunties. Working extra, selling candles, and tutoring will support paying off debt. It will be done.

Right now, I feel anxious ready to make things happen. Taking one day at a time and doing what I can with what I have will help. Things will work themselves out. It takes me to always be ontop of my money and put it to good use.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Handling Money Takes Time and Effort

It's Your Money, What will You do with It?
Working with my finances has taken patience and understand. The patience has to come from within. It has taken time, learning, and building to get to where I am. Do not be afraid to discuss your finances. Your money isn't a dirty little secret. Stand up to them. The money is yours. Don't spend more than you make. Save some and grow from what you have. Material items what do they really mean? Honestly, nothing, and I know that. This is why I am working toward having something in the future.

Paying Bills on Time
Paying my cable bill was interesting. I was told that if a technican has to come out it is a $29.00 fee. What is that? I have some understanding of what the problem was. Paying my bills at the end of the month is putting me a month behind. The cable bill was the first bill that I paid when it came out. This is a new routine for me. Sticking with it will eliminate the late fees. I also paid my cell phone bill.

Tax Lien
The tax lien has taken time to get situated. Taking time to send paperwork to the Dept. of Revenue has cut penalties, fees, and other costs in half. Now I have to determine how I will get this debt taking care of. I know I have have it paid for before I can qualify for a loan. The quicker it is paid for the quicker I can move and get rental properties. Push comes to shove I can have this paid off in 6 months (December 09). This will give ample time to get my credit score up to move by the summer 10.

Walden University
My gpa is a 3.26. I am so proud of myself. With my gpa going above a 3.00 I am eligible for financial aid. Getting my courses done and completing the KAMs will have me a step closer to completing the program. My mind has to be in order to organize all of the things that I need to do to get things done. Procrastination is something that I have to get rid of. Something that has been racking my brain is what to do with the PhD once it is obtained.

Life After PhD
Having an online business would be great. Do I want to do the business school for secondary students, and adult learning center, buy duplexes? What do I do? So many choices and I know I can do more then one thing. Thinking less of myself is an issue too. I deserve so much more and being able to obtain it is totally up to me. Know what I want is the thing, I see it and getting to it really takes focus. To be in the world and not of it is such I serious thing.

July Things
savings $300.00 (Peggy, I am paying myself)
water $90.00
Geico $221.00
Knology $121.00
Wachovia $100.00
Tax Lien $500.00
US Dept of Education $25.00

Betty's Only
There is someone that has been helping me sell my candles. Coming into my cousins house, I made $30.00 in a matter of minutes selling Betty's Only candles. I will be giving him candles once a month to sell for me. Sitting on money. Just want to get the candles out there.

Posting on My Financial Success
Writing on my blog has helped me see what I am doing wrong with me money. Accountability and effort is what it has taken me to see the forest for the trees. Being honest to you about my money helps to be realistic about the money and what I do with it. I remember asking, "Where is my money going?" Now, I can say I know where my money is going.

This post may be scattered and given me a sounding board. Posting is relaxing and allows me to express myself.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What Changes Do I need to Make?

This month I haven't been doing the right thing with my money. Spending on unnecessary items, that really don't mean a thing. To be truthful, I don't know how much money I have spent since the beginning of the month. All I know is that it is much more then I wanted to spend. We have been eating out everday and that is more money coming out.

Walden University
I passed my courses this past term. I am taking two courses now and my independent study. Paying for school was trying and it let me know that I make a decent amount of money. It is all about doing the right thing with my cash. Now that another term has started I am waiting until tomorrow to find out if my GPA has increased. This will allow me to get financial aid which is greatly needed.

Paying Bills On Time
Thinking about my finances has me realizing that I have late fees on my accounts due to paying my bills when I get paid at the end of the month. Starting this month, I will pay my bills when they come.

Tax Lien
Disputing the tax lien made a major difference in how much I have to pay. In the beginning the tax lien was almost $12,000. Now it is $6,000 and that will be paid off by the end of the year. Paying the lien will allow us to finally be able to move and for me to get more properties.

Online Banking
The strangest thing happened with my online banking. Monthly, I pay for my braces using this service. In the mail, I received a late statement for $243.00. This is a late payment for May and June's regular cost. What has happened? May's bill has not been paid. The last time that I talked with secretary at the orthodontist office the May payment came the June's. I owe a late payment for this. Where was the check? This was an incident that occured that can't be explained. I have learned and I am truly thinking of taking the payment with me from now on. I will have to see first.

Things that I have done
windshield wipers
back speaker fixed

Things needed to do
sell candles
renew Betty's Only
raining and headliner (Liam)
new tires
grill fixed (Liam)
pass classes
get financial aid
get passport

June Bill's
T-Mobile $60.00
Water $90.00
Geico $221.00
Braces $109.00
Wachovia $200.00
Tax Lien $200.00
US Dept of Education $25.00

These are the things that I am currently experiencing. Daily, I learn from others and try to stay focused on what is important in my life. There is still so much more to learn. My posts are about my life and what it takes for me to obtain the financial security. Growing and building is what I am focused on. All I can tell you is what I know and read from others.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Principles of Distance Education

As you all may know I am in school at Walden University. Currently, I am taking two courses. One course, Principles of Distance Education is allowing us to use our blog to discuss our assignments. We have been placed in groups. My group consists of 3 members including Peggy Creighton and Erin Mitchell, and me.

After reading the three articles by Moller, Huett, Foshay, and Coleman, and watching or listening to the Simonson videos, compare and contrast the reasons these authors believe there is a need to evolve distance education to the next generation. Do you agree with their positions? Why or why not?

My Response
Moller, Huett, Foshay, Coleman, and Simonson believe there is a need to evolve distance education to the next generation because as time moves forward learners become more advanced. Coleman stated that distance education has been around for centuries or decades. For instance, the matchbook covers (be a detective online), correspondence schools, and distance education have offered e-learning to assist those people that want to learn other than using a conventional system.

Simonson says, today, distance education is widely adopted and approaching critical mass in society. With this growth, education is going to have to fit the learner. As a society, we are moving toward individualized learning, and distance education will provide that for the individual. In the k-12 environment, years ago there were no computers in the classroom, now each room has at least five. The education has to be geared toward the learner. The youth of today have the Internet, cell phones, video games, just to name a few. Having the variety of technologies, the education will have to adapt on order to meet the needs of the learners.

I do agree with their positions. The students that I teach are somewhat advanced and in order to grasp their attention the education needs to fit their interests. These student use the Internet and cell phones to interact with one another. Why can't they use these mediums when it comes to education?

Distance Education: The Next Generation

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 1: Training and development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70-75. Use the Academic Search Premier database, and search using the article's Accession Number: 33281719.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66-70. Use the Academic Search Premier database, and search using the article's Accession Number: 33991516.

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5). 63-67.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

PF Bloggers Weight Loss Challenge

I have joined a PF Bloggers Weight Loss Challenge by Man vs. Debt. This challenge is from June 1 to July 31. What is crazy is I started a blog Can I Really Lose Weight. I haven't posted in a very long time, not that long, but still. Accountability is key. Working with a team will help support and fuss when needed. I can not let my team down.

Zeta Team

Check us out to see our progress. We will work together to lose weight.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sometimes, I just don't Know

Payday was Friday and I have spent more then necessary. Things are working out for the best. There are many improvements I honestly can say, but that never is enough. As always, there are many things that need to be done. Here, I will work on sorting out my to do list for this month, financial obligations, and my business plans.

June Plans
get speakers fixed on Liam $170.00
headliner and raining in Liam $500.00
front yard landscaped $500.00 I guess
house cleaned free
throw away things haven't used or worn in over a year free

Financial Obligations other than monthly bills
Wachovia $2,780.57
US Dept. of Education $13,402.56
Tax Lien $12,000

Tax Lien
I wrote a letter to the Dept of Revenue in reference to the tax lien. The total cost has escalated to $12,000 give or take a few. That is awful, there are fees, court costs, accrued costs, and other fees that have come along with having this debt. First, I would like to say yes, I did receive paperwork on this debt, but when I inquired about the debt I never received anything stated exactly what it was in reference to. I have no problem paying the debt, I just want it to be a reasonable price.

Once the lien is taking care of I will prepare to move. There are always things that appear. They are there laying dormant, waiting for the most inopportune moment to rear their ugly face. That will not get me down. I will continue to build from what I have, put my cash to good use, and learn from others. I am looking forward to achieving financial success.

Savings Account
Last month, I started to save some money. It is about time. Within the last few months, I have finally realized what I am doing with my money and how to build and use what I have. I want to thank you and my blog for being there for me to sort out my financial ups and downs. This has truly been a learning process. My learning will never stop. There is so much more to be done with my money.

As for my savings account, I have had this for as long as I have had my checking out. I only had the minimum in it, that is a mess. I started to put money into it last month. Now I have $506.00 in my savings account. That is something big. When I get to $1,000 I may open a Roth IRA.

Business Plans
Paying for Walden University was a big step for me. I recieved a B in my class. Hopefully, I will be off of academic probation. Now, I am taking 2 courses this term. If I have to pay for school that will be another opportunity for me to achieve financial freedom. Turn obstacles into opportunities.

My doman name has expired, I must renew that. O, I haven't purchased my books for this term. That is another financial obligation, that is something that I should have done last week. Crazy.

As for Betty's Only, I have looked into getting a business license, that is something that will be done within the month. There has to be a way to promote Betty's Only. I have a product, I just need to promote it.

This is what is going on with me overall. There is more to say, but finally it all depends on my focus on the situations. What is more important? There is so much and I know I can get it all done. I don't want to work like this forever, there is another route. I know what it is, it is all up to me to get my finances and thoughts in order. Do right with what I have and I can achieve more.