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August signals the beginning of back to school shopping. GreenPath has tips to save…

14 Aug

Plan your back-to-school shopping… Here are some great tips!

GreenPath Financial Wellness Blog

Back to school shopping already? The ads and inserts in the paper are usually my first reminders that  back to school shopping  and fall are just around the corner.   This can be an expensive month for parents but a little planning before the shopping might help you avoid the drain on your pocketbook.

According to the National Retail Federation the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend $688.92 this year on their children for back to school needs.  This is up from $603.63 per average family spent last year.

If you have planned for this and have the money set aside to get your kids ready for the first days of school, pat yourself on the back.  Don’t give up though if you aren’t sure you have the money in the bank to make the needed purchases.  There are some things you can do now to cut your…

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A #SpecialNeedsChild in the Family

10 Jul

What your neighbors don’t know about your life

Hello to everyone reading this post. You’ve come to the place where truth is spoken and answers are sought. I want you to share in my journey, and feel free to share your journey with me.

I am the proud mother of a special-needs child, and my baby is now 32. I know—you’re thinking “she’s no baby”… But she’s my baby, and that she’ll always be!

Many years ago I enjoyed an absolutely wonderful pregnancy, marveling at each kick of my unborn child. Feeling my little one toss and turn, and specifically delighting in the activity that taking a bath brought about… Yes, pregnancy—a miracle of life.

Just a few weeks before my first child saw the light of day, I started to feel ill. My doctor attributed my uneasiness and discomfort to the fact that this was my first child and I was making something of nothing… He was so wrong!

Two weeks before my due date, I experienced such excruciating pain that I was unable to eat or sleep. No labor yet—it was foolish to go to the hospital, or so I was told. Thankfully I became so uncomfortable that I had to go to the hospital… and eight hours later—for the purpose of saving my life—the doctors performed a cesarean section just in time. They saved me, and my daughter… but the life to come was no easy journey.

Follow the journey here, and I’ll share what my neighbors didn’t know about my life, and may only be finding out now.

Maybe your life will have similarities to mine—or be something completely different!

Share your thoughts with me at bettyanne@sunsetdreambooks.com. Together we can spread the word that having a special needs child is an experience you would not generally request, but is a blessing to you and all those around you! Come along with me—and together we will enlighten the world!

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

www.sunsetdreambooks.com

“Like” my page at www.facebook.com/SunsetDreamBooks

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

#Bankruptcy is a fresh start, not a disgrace

6 Jul

Make the smart choice to push the reset button

The most devastating financial situation a person could ever face is bankruptcy. In the minds of many it is the ultimate neon sign of failure. As a paralegal, I observed that individuals will run from it, hide from it, ignore and condemn it—and in the process they generally seal their fate of filing it.

What I want you to realize is that bankruptcy is not the evil monster you have been taught to believe. It is a legal means of moving beyond true financial despair toward a life of hope. There is no time in history that ever screamed the word bankruptcy as a viable means of survival than the one in which we currently live. The world-wide financial markets have bottomed out—revealing the reality of fraudulent investments, limitless greed and financial ruin.

If you find it difficult or even impossible to pay your monthly financial obligations on time, you should think about the possibility of filing bankruptcy. Learn about the realities of the process and how the law could benefit you personally. No two situations are alike, and what might work for a friend or neighbor may not be the best solution in your situation.

The most important observation I can share with you today is that the majority of people that could benefit from bankruptcy wait much longer to file than they should. It is in our nature is to pay obligations in full, no matter how hard we have to work to do it. Honestly, there are some situations that are so dire and insurmountable that a person is smarter to wipe the slate clean and use their energies toward rebuilding their finances than suffering under a smothering burden.

Maybe your health is suffering due to the stress of unpaid bills. Everything else in your life is also suffering because your health keeps you from performing well at work, and the ability to provide for your family. What price do you put on your health? What sickness will you endure needlessly because you are too proud to admit that you need to start over?

It is my fervent hope that you make the choice to put your shame and guilt behind you to at least explore the option of bankruptcy. You’ll find that your current fears of filing bankruptcy will prove to be unfounded, and any further delay will just prolong your journey toward financial health.

Visit www.sunsetdreambooks.com today to learn more about the brighter financial future that is well within your grasp—once you take that first, albeit scary, step. You and I will work together toward dispelling those fears and learning how to make informed, sound decisions about your financial future—all in a language you will understand. If you know someone facing bankruptcy, and you want to help them move one step closer to prosperity, order my book for them. Read it yourself and, as a good friend, share it with them as you walk with them toward their best hope for financial restoration.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

Do men and women handle #bankruptcy differently?

27 Jun

Of course they do—they are from different planets!

Serious financial problems are devastating to everyone. I never met a person in my career as a paralegal happy to face the problems that come along with the territory. Yesterday, I discussed my observations about the ways men deal with difficult financial situations—including bankruptcy. Today I’ll talk about those I relate to even better—women… because I am one.

There are many women facing serious budget problems in today’s world, whether or not they are part of a couple. People with high-paying jobs, women with children at home, retirees living on fixed incomes: all of these individuals have been hurt by the present economic market.

I noticed when working through these difficulties with women that they very often felt ashamed, personally responsible and quite hopeless. Sometimes they took care of the family budget because their partner didn’t want any part of it, but there just wasn’t enough money coming in to pay the bills on time, or at all. Women often absorb the negativity around them, and then accept full responsibility for duties that should have been handled together with their spouses or partners. Women may also find it difficult to face the reality of the situation, knowing that they might be blamed or ridiculed once the truth is known.

The most important decision a woman can make is to find the right circumstance to share the details about her financial situation with a professional. Fortunately, a woman is more likely to consult professionals than her male counterpart—in much the same way as asking for directions when lost comes because it is natural to her. When she finds that help, the tears begin to flow, the self-imposed guilt surfaces, and it is then possible to take steps toward financial health.

In addition, a professional might also be more comfortable portraying the realities of the situation to the woman’s spouse. As a third party, the emotionality is removed from the situation and it can be faced head-on and realistically. It is hard to play the blame game when you’re in the office of an attorney or paralegal.

I always worked hard to create an environment for women where they felt safe and secure in their decisions. Along with this came the opportunity to allow her to vent, cry, and recover. Then we were ready to do the real work.

It was always a pleasure to see spouses work together toward the common goal. Sadly, it was rare to be involved with couples that didn’t find the need to blame one partner or the other, but that could be attributed to human nature.

For those women living on their own, many are already used to doing without the latest purse, fancy car, and expensive jewelry. I am amazed at how frugally a woman can live, and how dedicated she becomes to the goal of financial freedom. Women have always taught me something in the process.

If you are a woman  facing a serious financial crisis, turn to a valuable, affordable resource: BANKRUPTCY FROM A TO Z: THE PATH TO FINANCIAL HOPE AND FREEDOM. You can find it on my website: www.sunsetdreambooks.com and at www.amazon.com. Let me work along with you to achieve your goals. We can do this together!

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget: Part Three

23 Jun

Part Three: What do I do with this mountain of bills?

If you’ve followed along with me since Part One: The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget, you know that you’re taking positive steps toward dealing with your scary financial situation. It might be painful, but you are moving in the right direction.

You’re now faced with organized piles of bills, and coming to terms with your actual money situation. The bills you should pay each and every month, your rent or mortgage, and utilities, have the most impact on your life if you don’t pay them on time. Just how behind are you on these bills? Are you at risk of losing your home or car?

Maybe you’ve been able to pay housing and car expenses on time, but your credit cards are far behind. I’m sure you’re receiving calls day and night from collectors. I know the phone calls are not pleasant. The people employed by companies to collect balances are not paid to be nice. They are paid to collect money. I know, because I used to work for a major automobile company and had to work in the collections department before I could be promoted to the job I really wanted. I’ve been on the other side of those telephone calls, and it isn’t pleasant there either. There is pressure to maintain very high collection rates in order to keep your job. Very often the people calling to collect past-due payments are also paying their own bills late. Is that news to you?

It is Saturday, and I know that you just want to kick back and relax a bit today. Until my next post, scour all of the possible hiding places where mail from bill collectors could be stashed. Sit down and open each of the bills you took the time to sort out. I’m sure there is some mail you never had the strength to open. It is now time to face reality. Begin to put these bills in order by date, each pile representing the bills from a particular company. We’ll work together on the next step after you’ve had a chance to catch your breath.

Until then, focus on the future and remember that you’re working toward a better one.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

http://www.sunsetdreambooks.com

HAVING LESS TO SPEND COSTS YOU MORE IN THE END

16 Jun

No matter how hard I’ve tried during my life, when I have had the least amount of money to spend it always seemed to cost me more in the end. Over the years money has been tight for me and my family. Having a special-needs daughter contributed substantially to our shaky finances. Never knowing what extra expenses we would have from one day to the next kept us off-balance and worried about the future.

There were times when I didn’t have enough in my checkbook to grocery shop for a full week at a time. The bad thing was, shopping every few days for smaller quantities of food always makes the money disappear more quickly. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to scrape enough cash together to spend more when I shopped. I was always running out of something. There were times when I didn’t even know if there would be enough to put food on the table. I wasn’t able to afford larger quantities of the products I used every day, so I ultimately had to pay more for every item I purchased.

Do you find that you run to the grocery store more than once a week because funds are tight, or hit the drive-thru because of the lure of the dollar menu? Maybe you can only put a few gallons of gas in your car at a time. Living this way leads to deeper debt, and a weakened ability to budget. After all, the large box of cereal always costs less per ounce than the smaller one, and the laundry detergent gets cheaper as the size of the container it comes in gets larger.

You may need to think about an alternative. If your money doesn’t reach to the end of the week, you are facing a financial meltdown. You spend more than you have by charging food and gas, and ultimately there will never be enough to go around even for the necessities of life. Face those facts now, and find out how to make changes that will keep you from drowning in debt.

Visit www.sunsetdreambooks.com to learn about resources that will help you before another minute goes by. Work toward getting your way of life back, and the money in your checkbook will finally reach to the end of the week. There is hope, and you deserve the chance to find it. You deserve a fresh start!

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

I’m late, I’m late, for a very important…

15 Jun

Good morning all.

I don’t have time to write my personal thoughts this morning. My interview at noon EDT with Etienne Gibbs on www.blogtalkradio.com/intheauthorscorner takes priority this morning. I’m really looking forward to it. If you want to hear more about me and my work, tune in either live or later on when you have time.

Find out what makes me tick.

A new and enlightening blog will be my focus for you this afternoon. I hope you check out the interview. It will be good to connect with all of you on a new and exciting level.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

On Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

WHEN THE “B” WORD STANDS FOR BANKRUPTCY

14 Jun

WHEN THE “B” WORD STANDS FOR BANKRUPTCY

This is a very painful and difficult topic to discuss. It touches people on so many more levels than the balance in their checkbook. It is my goal as a passionate paralegal to turn thinking around. Realigning the perceptions of bankruptcy will allow people to release the guilt and shame associated with the word.

If you face this situation, the “B” word—bankruptcy–really stands for hope and freedom.

Bankruptcy brings hope for a future without constant arguments over bills and empowerment by releasing feelings of shame and guilt. Bankruptcy allows freedom from the harassing phone calls, and the debilitating anguish over the severity of your situation.

I know how depressing life is when you don’t have enough money to go around. I have walked in your shoes, experienced the same emotions. That’s why I want you to listen to what I have to say. There is someone on your side – and my name is Betty Anne.

You are a good person. You want to do the best for yourself and your family. Turn the “B” word into the giant you no longer fear—but something you conquer and use to your advantage. It really is just a legal process used to turn your financial situation around. It is not a reflection of who you are as a person. Aren’t you worth it? Doesn’t your family deserve better than their current situation?

Go to my website to read the reviews of my latest book – BANKRUPTCY FROM A TO Z: THE PATH TO FINANCIAL HOPE AND FREEDOM. I am confident you will relate to what real people—much like you–have to say about bankruptcy. Clicking on www.sunsetdreambooks.com could be the most important action you take today. You will be one step closer to financial hope and freedom.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

Follow me on Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

Has your net worth decreased dramatically?

13 Jun

Has your net worth decreased dramatically over the past few years? I know mine has. I’m sure you’ve heard this shocking story because it is all over the news. Chances are–if you work, and had saved enough of your hard-earned money to buy a home–your net worth is not what it used to be–these headlines are your reality. The funds you planned to use for retirement have all but disappeared, and your home is probably worth less than what you owe on it.

I know that much of what we hear in the news seems arbitrary, and just something for the talking heads to discuss (keeps them in a job). Truth is, the latest news that the net worth of the average American dropped approximately 40% in just four short years hits YOU squarely in the checkbook!

Let’s face it – average people  don’t have the advantage that federal, state and local governments do to increase and create new taxes so they can collect additional money. Governments can spend more than they take in because we have no choice but to pay what they determine is our fair share. We don’t have the options that unions and big businesses have to receive tax credits– because their collective amounts of money control people in powerful places.

What we can do as our overall net worth shrinks is look into ways to make the amount of personal debt we owe shrink too. Our money no longer stretches far enough to pay what we were once able to pay–before the financial meltdown of the world. Alternatives that hard-working people would never have contemplated before may be just the right decisions to make now. Our economy has been reduced to many people scrambling for the crumbs that fall off of the gluttonous table of government. Don’t you and your family deserve more than scraps?

Visit www.sunsetdreambooks.com to learn more about protecting your net worth from now on.

No one, especially not the government, will protect it for you.

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS 

Have you stepped off of the sidewalk lately?

10 Jun

Feeling the need to be completely honest with you, I have to admit that I always LOVED school. I confess that I was even referred to as “teacher’s pet” more than once. Please don’t hate me for it. I didn’t play sports and wasn’t one of the popular girls. I guess I was just making the best of the situation.

Always doing extra credit and striving for A’s I spent quite a bit of my time indoors working on homework and projects. Believe it or not, it was fun for me. What I lacked at that time in my life was a little bit of the “rogue” spirit. Never wanting to break any rules, I walked a tight line–and because of that I didn’t have too much fun.

Can you even imagine that when I was in the 7th grade while waiting outside school for my mother pick me up to go to an appointment, I had the audacity to stand on the grass, not on the sidewalk! I was breaking the school rules for the first time, but I didn’t even realize it. Wouldn’t you know a “safety” spied me and couldn’t wait to stand toe to toe with me to point out my misdeed. She made me feel like a failure and ordered me off of the grass immediately! How dare I step off of that sidewalk onto the sacred grass!

The sad part was that even as a “mature” 7th grader, getting yelled at by a “safety” made me cry. Do you remember “safeties”? They wore the revered, white cross-over belt/harness thing. Maybe you were a “safety” in school, or the equally important “hall monitor”. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, these special students were appointed by teachers to keep the rest of us in line.

I wanted to be good. I wanted to follow the rules. I was ashamed that at that time in my life I let my peers and the administration down. The good news is–as I grew older and braver, I learned to push some boundaries, chase some dreams, and I have accomplished much. I don’t think I would have done so had I not stepped off of some sidewalks and onto the grass.

You can step off of the sidewalk without getting run over in the dangerous street or parking lot. Learn how to have fun and frolic in the grass–somewhere between complete safety and downright danger!

All my best!

Betty Anne

SUNSET DREAM BOOKS

On Twitter @sunsetdreamboox

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