Looking for ways to save money and pay off debt?

Looking to save money and pay off debt? Here are some simple lifestyle changes and things you can do. Some may seem like common sense, however, some times we all don’t think as commonly as some.

First of all, I highly recommend David Ramsey and his advice and recommendations. You do not have to attend his Financial Peace University as I did. Most of all he advises and recommends can be found by searching online.

1.) Why buy new? The mark up on clothing, furniture and new vehicles is immense. Buy used. A car two years old is a good value as it has another year or more warranty and you save a ton of money verses buying brand new. Why buy those designer clothes brand new at full retail? Shop at thrift stores, consignment shops, etc… My son, and I, find great deals at Platos Closet, and Goodwill. I also shop on Ebay. Simply wash them well, and you are good to go and will save a lot of money.

2.) Food is typically your second most expensive monthly bill after your mortgage. Buy your groceries and discount food stores such as Aldi’s, and Trader Joe’s. At least buy the grocery brand over the brand name. Most are just as good, and at a lesser price. There is typically nothing wrong with most things generic from food to medicine to clothing. Also when making food, make something that is cost effective that can last for days such a chili, goulash, spaghetti. You can eat these as left overs for another day, or freeze them to eat in the future. If you plan well, and shop wisely, you can get a single person’s food budget down to under a hundred dollars a week. I know, as I have done it.

3.) Utilities is typically your third most expensive monthly bill. Why must you have your home thermostat at such a low temperature during the winter, and such a high temperature in the summer? In the summer, wear shorts, a t-shirt, and open the windows. If you have a basement, it is typically 10 to 20 degrees cooler. In the summer I keep my thermostat at 79, and I simply invest most of my home time in my basement. In the winter, I nearly do similar with the thermostat at around 63 and simply wear sweatpants and a sweat shirt. You will be pleasantly surprised on how much money you will save by doing similar. I have nearly cut my electric bill by 25% to 50%.

4.) Debt is not good, and we all should strive to do our best as not to be in debt. I understand a mortgage may be necessary especially if you get a really good rate of below 4%. However, other debt can destroy your finances if you let it. There is a way to leverage credit cards if you are cautious and disciplined. Opt for a cash back reward card, and pay it off every month. It’s a few extra dollars you can make by simply making normal purchases you already make. I like the new Apple Card, it offers a nice cash back, and it can be deposited in their Savings Account that earns near 5% interest. That is better than any savings account, and some CDs out there.

5.) Couples, split your meals. My Queen and I will often split one meal as most meals at restaurants are rather large. We are almost always content when we split our meals, and we also cut our calories in half with this process. ; )

6.) For goodness and wallet sake, turn off the lights. When leaving a room make it a habit for everyone to turn off the lights. The money leaving lights on, and some unnecessary appliances running can run up a utility bill.

7.) Why are you mailing, and printing so many things? Most of what you may be mailing, like bills, can be done online. I, myself, have rarely written a check unless it is required for school sports or pictures. Almost everything I do is electronic and online. The last time I think I used my printer was back in 2016, except for a meeting I needed paper copies quick for an important meeting. The money you will save in stamps, paper, and time can add up. Besides, did you know it is more secure to pay your bills electronically verses mailing a physical check?

8.) Why are you driving everywhere in a big vehicle, or near any vehicle for that matter? If it is within 5 miles (10k steps) simply walk. If you need to pick up just a few things, bring your back pack. If it seems to be too far or more than 5 miles, what about a motorcycle, or better yet a bicycle? You will save in gas, and become more healthy with the exercise. If you must travel in a vehicle, maybe ride sharing, and/or splitting the cost of gas with others.

9.) Sell, barter or trade what you don’t use, need, or have not used in a year or two. I am trying to get much better at this, and my Queen is exceptional at this. She is a minimalist. I know I have a lot of stuff I can sell that I do not need, or no longer use. My garage is crammed with a bunch of stuff, and I have a lot of clothes I have not worn for years that still have good value. I plan on some serious spring cleaning this spring and summer. Maybe you should consider it too. You may be surprised with the money you can make.

10.) Join a club. No, I am not saying join an expensive country club. However, joining a club such as The Moose, The Eagles, The VFW, etc can save you money on food, drinks, and entertainment. One club we belong too, the food is good, and 20% to 40% less at most restaurants. Plus, there are no taxes charged on the food and beverage purchases to you. In addition, there is free live music entertainment on the weekends. Besides a large percentage of purchases and your membership goes to worth while causes and charities

11.) If you have credit card debt, or temporarily have to leverage credit card debt, make it a goal to pay if off, even if you have to sacrifice a few un-necessities. Go with the lowest balance cards first. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to get any remaining credit cards paid off. Go with cash back rewards cards (unless you fly frequently) with the lowest interest rates as possible. Take the higher interest rate cards, and move them to another good card that offers a free interest rate for a long period of time, and work to pay off that amount in that time and not charge additional debt on top of it. I have two cards that have a cash back reward that I use to purchase just about everything I need, and even pay bills. I simply strive to pay if off within 30 days so I am not charged any interest, and I earn additional cash. Like I shared above, the Apple Card has a great offer right now. If you open their savings account, you earn nearly 4% interest and your cash reward is also deposited in that savings account. If ever you need that money in that savings account, you can simply transfer it to your own checking account. However, be cautious to make sure you pay off the balance every month as the Apple Card can have high interest rates.

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Better You and Me in 2023

I have continued and going strong since my New Year’s Resolution of 2020 that I call #GetFitStayFit. I wrote about in a previous article and here is the link:

https://bro24.medium.com/its-not-magic-it-s-diligence-79901c05c324

People have asked me how I am going with my New Year’s Resolution and what was my New Year’s Resolution for 2023. Well, as shared above, I have continued and going strong, but I have revised, and tweaked my plan. I have also continued having my son and lady join me and call my New Year’s Resolution for 2023, #BetterYouAndMeIn2023.

I have continued on the Mediterranean Diet that I call The Mediterranean Way, but I found I was having too many cheat days, eating to late in the evening, not drinking enough water, not getting enough rest, and hit a plateau in my weight loss. I simply could not get to my goal or ideal weight. Therefore I added back Intermittent Fasting, increased my calorie deficit, and increased my rest on a schedule. As of today, May 17, 2023, I am pleased to say that I have been able to get past that plateau.

Below is my #BetterYouAndMeIn2023 routine and regime if you may be interested in knowing, or trying it out. It does work well, at least for me. It should work for you. However, always check with your medical doctor before starting or changing any exercise program or eating habit.

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Martin’s “Better You And Me In 2023” plan

Below is my son, my Queen and I at the gym on Christmas 2022

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Below is my son, my Queen (photo bombing) and I at The Pro’s Gym in Columbus Ohio at the Arnold Sports Expo in March 2023

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Below is my Queen and I at the gym in April 2023

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It wasn’t me, it was Him.

During C19 and the Pandemic, I created Purpose Principles Passion podcast, youtube channel, articles, and book(s) to be released to encourage, inspire, educate, comfort, and motivate others while helping myself be more accountable. It is the part of my personal mission/purpose statement of “To pour as much love and wisdom into my children as possible, and make a positive impact in the lives of others for the Cause of Christ.”

However, am I always positive, motivated, or claim to have it all together? I am not, and do not. Just like most anyone whom has a few years of life behind them, I have been hurt, betrayed, cheated on, lied to, stolen from, worried, fearful, and endured immense pain, not all being physical. (I still have some pain, almost daily, but some days are better than other days.) There have been times I have suffered from so much immense pain that it didn’t just hurt to breathe, it hurt to simply exist. I have had days, and experiences, that I wanted to throw in the towel. When I have shared more details of my life’s story, I have had others find it difficult to hear, very hard to believe, and wondered how in the world that I pushed forward and moved on.

My answer, it wasn’t me, it was Him. When I had my faith shook to it’s core, near death experiences, immense loss, adversity, set-backs…, it had to be the Holy Spirit whispering, “I am still here“. It had to be true non fair weather Christian friends and family whom never gave up on me, even when I didn’t want to accept it, or hear it. It was the unconditional love I had, and still have, for my children. It was something at the center of my core that had to be re-awakened that is what I now call, and others have called, G.R.I.T. (Guts, Resilience, Initiative, Tenacity)

I strive to be grateful, positive, encouraging, and inspiring. However, some days, my humanity and human emotions cause me to not be as much of those things. This is when I, and we, must recognize that is the tool of the enemy, the adversary, and fear, and doubt are also his tools. We must remember that for every temptation, God has provided a way out, and being ungrateful, negative, fearful, doubtful, and uninspiring are also temptations, traps, and prisons.

If you woke up this morning, be grateful, as there are many whom did not. If you have a roof over your head, running water, and food in the fridge, be grateful as there are many whom do not and you are among the more wealthy than the average of the world. If you have a true non fair weather friend, be grateful, appreciate that friend, continue to nurture that relationship. True non fair weather friends are hard to come by, and they are priceless.

Maybe you are in pain, maybe you lost your job, maybe you are struggling to make rent, maybe you are handicapped, have a disability, or an illness. Maybe you have not found true love…; be thankful, count and leverage what you do have for the good of yourself and others. As my brother had said, “play the hand your dealt, and play it well.

Below is a bible verse that was shared with me during a very difficult time in my life, and a fellow believer was inspired by it, and said it reminded them of me, and that it may inspire me as I was doing my best to play with the hand I was dealt at the time:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippines 4:12-20

I share some of my own personal experiences, and testimonials in my writings, and media channels on Purpose Principles Passion, and I also invite others to share theirs. So when I share my real life stories, and people ask me how I made it through, how did I do it? I say, it wasn’t me, I couldn’t have did it on my own, it was by God, and Him working through others whom loved me. Therefore I try to share this type of to encouragement, inspiration, education, knowledge, and motivate others to be the best they can be, and even if it is just a little bit better than the day before. To know they are never alone, and unloved in the world, with God. That a seemingly present darkness, will not last. That tomorrow is a brand new day of fresh opportunities and adventure. That they can be part of something so much bigger than themselves. That they are important miraculous creations, that they matter, and that they can make a positive impact in their own lives and others.

Join me on Purpose Principles Passion, and together let’s learn to, and make a positive impact in our lives, and the lives of others and live our legacy today.

You can easily find my digital content in any search engine. Most have the lion with a 24 watermark, and/or my avatar on a bike. If you cannot find my podcast, youtube channel, articles, blogsite, twitter, simply ping me and I would be delighted to share them with you. Make sure to subscribe, like, comment, and share it. Thank you.

Be grateful, be healthy, be happy.

and run your race with perseverance, and finish well

Hebrews 12:1-3

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”

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Temper

Temper

There once was a little boy who had a very bad temper. His father decided to hand him a bag of nails and said that every time the boy lost his temper, he had to hammer a nail into the fence.

On the first day, the boy hammered 37 nails into that fence.

The boy gradually began to control his temper over the next few weeks, and the number of nails he was hammering into the fence slowly decreased.

He discovered it was easier to control his temper than to hammer those nails into the fence.

Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father the news and the father suggested that the boy should now pull out a nail every day he kept his temper under control.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

“you have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

Moral of the story:

Control your anger, and don’t say things to people in the heat of the moment, that you may later regret. Some things in life, you are unable to take back.

ctto

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“You’re too edgy…”

“You’re a little edgy. A bit controversial at times. Kind of rough around the edges. You should go more with the flow and grain of things.”

People whom changed the world for the good, including Jesus Christ and the disciples and apostles were all of the above too.

Be bold and courageous and live a life worth living and a life worthy of what Christ did for you. Embrace your Calling and leverage your time, talents and treasure for what matters for eternity. We were all given different gifts, and talents to be utilized not sat on. Don’t impress or work for the approval and acceptance of the masses and mere mortals. Do as an apprentice of The King and work unto the Lord, and not mankind.

Remember the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. Be a laborer for God.

#LoveGodLovePeopleLiveOnMission

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_____ Give (HIS) Love A Bad Name…

Please allow me to preface something before I share my perspective on this brief video below and the means this “Street Preacher” and his entourage “preach”, “teach”, and “evangelize”. I confess I am no saint, and very thankful that a forgiving God may forgive me, and accept me. I do not claim to be a “preacher” nor a “pastor”, however I do believe I am a Messenger and all those whom are saved and proclaim to be a Christian, are to be Messengers. I strive to do my best to serve better, love better, be more kind, one day at a time; hoping I can be more like Christ than I was the day before. I am not judging the tactics of this “street preacher” as I am no judge. Besides, some One already has that job, and I surely do not want it. However, I cringe at the tactics such as these that provoke animosity, anger, and even violence. My quandary is, how is this, or these tactics being like Jesus? Yes, Christ said preach the gospel to all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teach them all He has commanded. However, I do not recall reading where Jesus was shouting and screaming at sinners, and holding up abrasive worded signs. Nor, did I see where Jesus leaned towards inciting violence. What I have read is where Jesus was empathetic, spoke of love, and in a way that others could understand and relate, (called Parables). He walked alongside sinners, ate with sinners, and discussed love and ways of forgiveness to repent, live a new life, and have an eternal life with God. Of course Jesus gave instructions on how this is to be done, and what He was going to do to create the way to God, but He said it, and done it, with, and in love.

I have been a Christian a very long time, involved in church, and many different ministries, and I do not see, read, nor feel this below is the best way to minister to others, and lead them to an understanding of the Gospel, and salvation through Jesus Christ. In addition, most of the US, and a good majority of the world has heard the gospel. I think 80% of Americans claim to be a Christian. Many have been hurt by church, and in your face abrasive preaching, judgement, and casting out for a variety of sins. All the while a good portion of these preachers or church leadership are/were living in their own sin, or in fact committing a sin by preaching hate, false doctrine, or turning away another soul because they may have made a mistake, failed, sinned, or not lived up to the expectations of a human preacher/pastor, human church leadership, or human church congregation. The thing is we are all sinners, and God sees all sin the same.

The below video is not what I think is the best way to teach, preach, lead, serve, and love others as Christ did. I see, feel, and think this way of “preaching” gives His love a bad name. In other words, these tactics give Christians a bad name. (I now hear Bon Jovi’s rock hit, “You Give Love A Bad Name” playing in my head.)

Personally, I prefer to listen attentively, engage lovingly, and articulate the Gospel in an authentic, respectful, and genuine way. The bible is truth, and the bible says that the Word of God doesn’t go out and return void. However, I do not read where the bible says shout it out in anger, or malice, or intent of creating violence. Yes, I believe Christians are to be warriors for God. And there is a time to stand up, and fight against evil atrocities, but much of our fight is with and against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

I have never seen an argument, shouting hatefully, getting in someones face, ever win anyone over to Christ. I say love the hell out of others, don’t beat them with harsh words, conflicting signs, immediate judgement of their sins, and clinched fists. First seek to understand attentively, with love and empathy, then to be understood. You could be a bible scholar that knows the bible inside and out, but without love, it is all useless. People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

If you would like to see any of the scriptures in reference to support my perspective, please ping me, and I will share them with you.

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Perplexing… What say you?

So before I started work this morning, I took some time to relax, sip some hot coffee, listen to some inspirational music, and catch up on some of the news. Once I skimmed through some news, I began to get frustrated, perplexed, and even appalled. It makes me think, and want to say out loud, “What in the world has happened to our society and sense of reality? Where did common sense go? Where has wisdom gone? Where is the sanity? Where has the philosophies, hopes, vision, and moral objectives gone that our Founding Fathers sought, and wanted for this country?”

As a grown man, father of three, and man of faith, do I just bite my tongue, turn off all the news, stay away from all social media, and remain quiet? Do we as Christians just turn our heads, button our lips, and hide under rocks?

Yes, I know what prophecy says. I know what has been foretold, and the world will become more wicked and further from God, until He returns. However, God has used men and women of faith to make a difference all throughout history. What difference am I making? What difference are my children making? What difference are you making? How are we leveraging and using our time, talents, and treasures until the day He comes? Are we afraid? Are we afraid to speak out and up? Are we afraid we will offend someone? Guess what? Fear and doubt are the tools of the adversary, the enemy. The bible says “Fear Not” about 365 times in the bible, and I think it is to remember for each day of the year. Keep in mind the Disciples, Apostles, and Jesus Christ offended many. Almost all to their own deaths.

What can you do? What are you willing to do? What will you be remembered for? What will be the legacy that you leave for your children, and their children, and their children..? Maybe we should live our legacy in the moment, to live our legacy today?

What say you?

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Do You Put Cheap Gas in Your Motorcycle?

Do we put cheap gas in our motorcycles? Do we not keep our bikes, cars, and trucks tuned, and oiled? Do we buy auto, home and life insurance? How many big screen TVs, and expensive devices, do we own?

If we take excellent care of our motorcycles, trucks, have auto and home insurance,.. If we buy and have several big screen TVs, and the latest devices; then how much are we taking care of what is truly much more important? What is truly priceless? In which, is our health?!

If we wouldn’t pour salt or acid in our motorcycles and trucks? If we keep our vehicles tuned and oiled. If we take good care of our physical property, and pay for material possessions insurance, pay big bucks for the latest gadgets; then why would we pour junk and poisons into our bodies, minds, and souls?!

It is simply foolish to take better care of material possessions than our own lives! Our own body, mind, and soul!

YOU and I only have one body, mind and soul. We are stewards of our one physical vessel, and should strive each day to take excellent care of it, keep it tuned, and feed it well.

This is a simple summary on how to tune, and how to take good care of your body, mind, and soul. Which again is priceless!

1.) Exercise daily, and intensely exercise with resistance training with progressive overload 4 to 6 days a week with 2 days of those days including cardio. Make it a goal to get at least 10k steps in a day, and every day.

2.) Make it a goal and habit to get no less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Go to bed at the same time, and rise at the same time.

3.) Drink plenty of water. At least 1/2 to 1 gallon of water each and every day.

4.) Eat more whole, clean, and healthy foods and implement a good eating habit such as the Mediterranean Diet, a way of life. Stop the fast foods, processed foods, white enriched breads, white pastas, sugary sodas, fried foods, high sugar/corn fructose sugars, limit desserts to very small on special occasions, and eat until your content and not full. Get at least .80 grams of protein to 1 pound of body weight. You can not out train a good eating habit.

5.) If you are overweight or obese, strive to stay in a calorie deficit and start from your maintenance calories and go down in small steps to start with a goal of 25% under your maintenance calories until you reach your ideal weight.

6.) Stop wasting precious time on social media, and devices. Invest that time more wisely with exercise, meditation, prayer, reading, productive projects, engaging in person with friends and family. Other examples: Write a short story, essay, or a book. Work on the garden or new landscaping. Explore new places and destinations. Walk, hike, and explore metro and national parks, take pictures and create a photo or video journal.

7.) Limit to near shutting down the chaos of negative news stories and releases. Much news these days are over sensationalize, over repeated, biased, and fake. Limit your TV binge watching, and see #6 above.

8.) Surround yourself with positive, optimistic, high value oriented, hard working people. We become the average of our 5 closest friends. Choose wisely.

9.) Learn something new every week, or if possible, every day. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may seem to anyone else. Always be learning, which helps you grow mentally, and intellectually.

10.) Smile more often, serve someone, and extend genuine compliments. Serve your family, friends, neighbors. Get involved at church and/or a local charity and give back to these organizations with your time, talents and treasures.

These 10 things will improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Make them a habit and you will maintain a good a healthy life; physically, mentally, and spiritually. Join me for strategies on living healthier, physically, mentally, and spiritually in addition to devotionals, and talks with interesting and intriguing leaders on Purpose Principles Passion:
YOUTUBE: YouTube.com/Bro24
PODCAST: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/purposeprinciplespassion

And, as shared, you only live once, and you only have one life. It is priceless, and worth more than any material possession.

DISCLAIMER: Please first check with your own medical doctor before launching into any change in eating habits, diet, or exercise program. I am neither a doctor, nor a mechanic, and many of you may not be either. So if we have a trained mechanics look at our vehicles, and get their advice, opinion, and recommendation; surely we should consult with a medical doctor, nutritionist, physical therapist, sports medicine professional, biblically sound pastor, and even a counselor or psychologist for physical, mental, and spiritual health.

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Is healthy living a sin? Is loving yourself, selfish?

I’ve heard evangelists, preachers, and pastors say that you shouldn’t love things of this world, not even yourself. I’ve seen and heard them preach against a plethora of sins. I’ve also seen many of these similar preachers over work while neglecting quality time with their spouse and other loved ones. All the while barely fitting in a normal suit as they over eat, are unhealthy, and highly overweight. Maybe this may be ruffling some feathers or causing a tilted eye brow. However, the thing is, the truth is the truth, whether it offends a person or not. Stay with me here. We unfortunately already live in a too easily offended society that has already caused it’s share of problems. So buck up a bit and read on.

The Bible advises us to be selfless, but not telling us to intentionally destroy the temple of the body by over eating, staying stagnant, or binge watching movies to the wee hours and not having proper rest. The Bible doesn’t say we are to be perfect, but it does tell us to strive and pursue excellence. The Bible does teach us to not sin, but a sin is a sin, no matter how big or small us mere mortals may categorize it. Not taking care of your physical, mental and spiritual health is also a sin. A sin that may often be easily corrected and well under our control. Neglecting your spouse, children and close loved ones, while you over work at your career, at church, or obsessed hobby, is also a sin. The Bible teaches balance and margin. Christ lived within margin. The Bible also teaches us how we should eat, rest, exercise, and work.

I speak from personal experience, past mistakes, being a Christian for over 4 decades, and a ministry leader for well over a generation. Christian leaders should certainly love God first. He is the center, rock, and foundation. But your family, and your health immediately follows. If you would like to read the many Bible verses that support this, then simply Ping me or follow me on any of my podcasts or YouTube channels.

Remember your life is a gift. Time is priceless and your health is your highest wealth. Don’t take it for granted, don’t waste it, take care of it and those whom depend on you and truly love you. If you blatantly do not, then what type of Christ centered leader are you to listen to, or follow? How is a person to apply biblical sound wisdom they hear from a leader whom blatantly doesn’t apply it in their life? Not that any Christian leader is perfect, but should humbly confess their faults and strive for excellence.

The Bible teaches that Christian’s are to be salt and light of the world. If we are not healthy physically, mentally and spiritually; then how bright and salty are we? Our lives become contrary in what we speak, teach or preach.

If this post may be causing you to ponder or possibly convict you; it’s not too late to change or correct your path to enjoy a healthier you, healthier relationships, and a longer gift of life to help lead others.

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Be careful of your thoughts…

We have on average 75K thoughts per day. 91% of those thoughts are the same each day. So the difference between living an ordinary and extraordinary life happens in those 9% of your daily thoughts.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes” – Charles Swindoll

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