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Re-Doubling Your Efforts at Financial Success

One of the special reports available to members of Christian Money Plus has to do with drastically lowering the cost of watching television. It’s amazing, when you think about how sneakily television-watching has become the major, monthly expense it has from when many of us were kids. It used to be nothing, outside of the cost of the set and the cost of the electricity we used to watch it, but now, it is not at all unusual to see people paying upwards of $200 per month to access the wide array of channels that can now be had by the TV “enthusiast.” Beyond the matter of television, it’s important to note the mass psychological leverage that has come to be exerted over all of us over the past several decades regarding the matter of consumption, generally (ironically, it is through our TV sets that we receive so many messages about how important so much “stuff” is, or should be, to our happiness).

This is not an article about detaching yourself from material possessions or anything quite so philosophical, but is, rather, about encouraging you to look at the rest of things on which you spend money in the way Jim Paris encourages you to look at TV viewing in his special report. Did you know it is estimated that the average American forks over about $1,000 per year on coffee? What about the amount of money spent on dining out? Even if you enjoy a nice night out once a week at a decent restaurant, it’s nothing for that dinner to cost $100, including tip. What if you were able to cut that weekly check in half, or perhaps went to the same restaurants but did so every other week?

The point is that there are a lot of holes in our proverbial financial pockets through which thousands and thousands of dollars are slipping each year, money that could be applied constructively to either paying down important and substantial debt, like the mortgage, or to use toward building a retirement plan on which you can rely when you are no longer able to work. What this will take, however, is a willingness on your part to make some tough but very important decisions about the current expenses that characterize your life. It will involve changing the way you think, perhaps even re-training yourself to learn to be happy with less, but here’s the cool part about that: because even modest changes can make such a big difference to your financial profile, you will likely find that there’s, overall, very little you have to change or go without in order to make the progress that will really matter down the road.

Robert G. Yetman, Jr.
ChristianMoneyPlus Co-Founder

Your Next Car: Buy…or Lease?

Car leasing is a mechanism that has evolved quite a bit since it first became a popular option for people seeking new cars, and so, in that process, has become an option of greater interest for many folks. That said, it’s important to note that many of the core components of leasing remain intact, so your evaluation of whether or not leasing is right for you may well rely on the same considerations that have long been in place. Ultimately, the decision whether to buy or lease is not unlike the decision whether to purchase or rent a place to live; that is, it’s not that one or the other is always good or bad, but, rather, it’s a case of appropriately considering and recognizing your own personal circumstances, and so the matter of what’s best for you is largely contingent on how well you understand those.

For one thing, leasing is a great option for people who like moving in and out of cars over the course of just a few years. With average car loan terms now just over five years, and average lease periods right at about three years, leasing affords the “high-turnover car guy (or gal)” greater financial freedom to make a move. This means that if you are the other kind of car owner, the kind who is happy driving a vehicle until the wheels fall off, then buying is unquestionably the best option for you.

Something else to consider is the number of miles you drive each year. Leasing tends to become costly when you go much over 15,000 miles in a year, because mileage premium charges will kick in to the tune of around 25 cents per mile over the annual limit. This means that if you do a lot of driving, say, an average of 70 to 100 miles per day, then leasing will be a wallet-killer and something to be avoided.

The centerpiece of the leasing advantage is in knowing that you’re a person who likes being in a different car every few years and who drives a relatively modest number of miles. If that’s you, you’re a great candidate for a lease. Something else to remember – because those who lease turn vehicles over so frequently, they have far fewer car repair bills; new car warranties are now of such a quality and length that by the time they expire, you’re already moving on to the next car.

James L. Paris
Co-Founder ChristianMoneyPlus

CNN International On Roku

The CNN International Channel on Roku seems to be having some technical issues these days. You can grab the channel at this link.  About two weeks ago it stopped working, and I have tried it on 3 different devices (including a Roku at my daughter’s home) and still no luck, so I am pretty much convinced that it is the channel itself and nothing on my end. A great resolution to this problem that I found is Nowhere TV (which is free). This is a great plug-in and includes CNN International and quite a lot of other channels as well.  The good news is that CNN International is working fine from within Nowhere TV.

James L. Paris
Co-Founder ChristianMoneyPlus

 

 

Why I Dumped The PlayOn Plug-In For My Roku

playonI recently discovered an add-on service for my Roku called PlayOn.  The service, as described, appeared to offer a robust set of new channels I could add to my Roku for only $25 per year or $49 lifetime.  The problem is that most of the channels require subscriptions or for me to already be a cable TV subscriber (which I am not).  In the end, I decided to cancel the service and request a refund.

I was most disappointed with the weak customer service response when I inquired if I was missing something on my perception about their channel line up.  I get two boilerplate e mail replies that appeared to be computer generated.

The bottom line is that PlayOn does not really add much if anything to what you can get without it from other free sources.  My advice; save your money.

James L. Paris
ChristianMoneyPlus Co-Founder