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One man’s trash is another man’s $19.00!!

Dunt dunt dunt didump!  Dunt dunt didump-didump-dunnnn!  That probably looks like gibberish to most people, but it’s kind of hard to put the theme to Sanford and Son into words.  Scrapping (purely my term, other people may call it something else.) is when you gather scrap metal and take it to be recycled. 

About 5 years ago, not having much money for my wife’s birthday, but having an old refrigerator, I decided to take it to the scrap yard and see how much I could get for it.  I got a whopping $19 and swore that I’d never do it again.  Then the economy tanked and it became harder to make ends meet. 

One day I was driving down the street and there was a window unit air conditioner on the curb. Since I had always heard that there was copper in them, I pulled over and threw it on the back of my truck.  Since this was the height of people stealing heating and air units, I got a few funny looks when I went to the recycle yard, but I made $65.00 just for a few minutes of work, and I didn’t even have to go out of my way.  Needless to say, I was hooked.

Since then, people have found out that I scrap and they call me when they have metal to get rid of so I still don’t have to go out of my way, somehow, the metal finds me.  Now I told you all of that not to get you to start scrapping, but to say that if you get creative about your finances, you can find money in the most unusual places.

If you have time and a lawnmower, someone might pay you to cut their yard.  If you have decorating skills, someone may pay you to decorate their home. Just keep in mind that if you decide to start scrapping, the people you know might start singing the theme to Sanford and Son when you come around like they do to me!

Jon Vickers is an NFCC Certified Consumer Credit Counselor at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma.  CCCS is a non-profit Credit Counseling agency with offices in Bethany, Enid and Tinker Air Force Base. Contact us at http://www.cccsok.org or 1-800-364-2227

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One man trash is another mans $19!!

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Hey Rose, This boat has a leak!!!

Have you ever thought of your budget as “having leaks”? Did you know that businesses have been counting on your spending leaks for years? Next time you want into a convenience store take a look around the register. What do you see? Let me help you…. Do you need that lighter? What about that 2 pack of cookies? Now you are at a major store like Wally World or Target. Playing cards, travel sized items, nuts, gum… You name it. If you go into any of these places with the intent of buying certain things and buy one of these impulse buys…You just sprung a leak!!                                                                                     

This isn’t an attack on Wal-Mart because honestly…If I owned a business I’d do it too!!

Wal-Mart averages 100 million customers a week. Let’s just say for laughs that 10% bought just one extra item at the checkout stands. That is potentially $10 million dollars a week in impulse buys.

The thing we need to do is Be Aware!! Have you ever broken a $20 or $50 and then wondered…Where did it go? Take the time to track your spending over a month. Write down everything no matter how small. A dollar spent today can be hundreds in a year. Trust me; it will be an eye opener. This is the best way you will ever stop spending leaks and keep your budget from going down in the cold murky depths of spending despair.

Anthony Murray is an NFCC Certified Consumer Credit Counselor and Bankruptcy Services Coordinator at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma.  CCCS is a non-profit Credit Counseling agency with offices in Bethany, Enid and Tinker Air Force Base. Contact us at http://www.cccsok.org or 1-800-364-2227

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Good Monday Morning!!

This morning I received an e-mail from one of the attorneys that we deal with for bankruptcy clients. He was sharing his thanks to CCCS of Central Oklahoma for times we have gone “above and beyond” for his office and clients. I think they are worth sharing…

CCCS of Central Oklahoma helped my little office assist a debtor with a mortal disease by quickly completing both pre-filing and pre-dischage courses so that he would physically expire with the peace of mind that the modest frame house he left his grand-kids would be free of creditors’ claims;

CCCS of Central Oklahoma staff member did a special, after hours and private counseling session with a client who was delaying very dangerous surgery so if she failed to survive she could leave her house to her beloved granddaughter free of creditors’ claims;

CCCS of Central Oklahoma on multiple occasions “squeezed a client” in to an already crowded pre-filing conference call session to stop confirmation of sheriff’s sale of a house under foreclosure so that another family could get a fresh start in their familiar house through Chapter 13;

CCCS of Central Oklahoma is the only agency (public or private) that I’ve found who knows squat about loan modifications and get very hands-on with homeowners desperately working to save their respective abodes.

And this is why we do this… We aren’t going to get rich. We aren’t even going to get famous. We just want to see our community healthy and happy!!

Anthony Murray is an NFCC Certified Consumer Credit Counselor and Bankruptcy Services Coordinator at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma.  CCCS is a non-profit Credit Counseling agency with offices in Bethany, Enid and Tinker Air Force Base. Contact us at http://www.cccsok.org or 1-800-364-2227  

 

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Who are we and why are we here?

For a while now I have been writing posts for this blog, telling people about money, budgets, finances, mortgages etc. Today it occurred to me that some people reading this may have no idea who we really are…

We are Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma. We are a non-profit credit counseling agency…But wait…We are so much more than that. We are a collection of people albeit a small collection. There are around 20 of us here working towards one goal… To see our clients in a better place.

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Maybe you are in over you head financially on the edge of despair praying to God the phone doesn’t ring and no one knocks on the door to tell you your lights are being shut off. Maybe you are opening the refrigerator and wondering what to feed your kids – because of a lack of choices.

If this is you, you need heart, emotion and understanding AND solutions. I’ll put the hearts and expertise of my co-workers up against any agency out there. If you are struggling all you need to do is reach out. I promise…you will find a friendly hand reaching back…

Anthony Murray is an NFCC Certified Consumer Credit Counselor and Bankruptcy Services Coordinator at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma.  CCCS is a non-profit Credit Counseling agency with offices in Bethany, Enid and Tinker Air Force Base. Contact us at http://www.cccsok.org or 1-800-364-2227

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Our Community Garden

Here at CCCS of Central Oklahoma we are always talking to clients about budgets, credit and financial planning. Besides having a healthy pocketbook it is also important to have a healthy lifestyle. Now the problem here is being able to eat healthy without going broke doing it.Image

Sometime back we began tossing the idea around the office of starting a community garden. Something small that we all could all contribute to and reap the rewards from. The next dilemma was where would we grow a garden at the office?? It was decided that the best solution would be a container garden!!

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We started with some 5 gallon buckets donated by my brother Joe. Then Bert and Bob pitched in a couple of buckets. Tressa came up with some of those reusable bags that you get from the grocery store and we were off and running!!

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We each pitched in a few bucks for seeds and soil and Tressa did most all the planting. Some watering by Tressa, Cristy and Monica and we have the makings of a pretty nice little garden. Best of all…it didn’t cost us that much.

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Neighbors, family, friends and/or co-workers it doesn’t matter. I’d like to think the value we get from this is far greater than just the cost of the produce. It’s the friendships built. And isn’t that what really counts?? Give it a try… Plant a garden and see what grows. You might be surprised.

 

Anthony Murray is an NFCC Certified Consumer Credit Counselor and Bankruptcy Services Coordinator at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma.  CCCS is a non-profit Credit Counseling agency with offices in Bethany, Enid and Tinker Air Force Base. Contact us at http://www.cccsok.org or 1-800-364-2227

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Thousands Seek Financial Help from NFCC Member Agencies Each Day

Washington, DC – The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) Member Agencies assist more than three million people each year, with 12,500 consumers receiving counseling to resolve their financial distress on an average day.

“Whether the financial concern is related to building a budget, debt repayment, buying their first home or saving the one they’re in, each day thousands of consumers recognize that the NFCC Agencies represent the gold standard in credit counseling, and reach out to them for help,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC.  “Many continue to struggle with deep financial distress.  It is important that they realize they are not alone, and that substantive help is available either free of charge or at low cost.”

The average consumer who came to an NFCC Member Agency for counseling in 2011 was between 35 and 54 years of age, had a household income of $34,809, and owed $26,878 in unsecured debt spread across five credit cards, resulting in an unsecured debt to income ratio of 77 percent.

Through the Debt Management Plan (DMP), one of the many resolution tools available to the counselors, $2.27 billion was returned to creditors by NFCC Agencies on behalf of consumers last year. This significant amount of money reflects how often a skilled counselor can find relief for those who think their situation is beyond repair.

Additionally, NFCC Members are Executive Office of the United States Trustee (EOUST) -approved providers of the mandated bankruptcy pre-filing counseling and per-discharge education.  Not surprisingly, the number one reason consumers gave for seeking bankruptcy was reduced income.  However, poor money management skills was the reason given second most often, reflecting the continued need for financial education.

“Whether struggling with loss of income, an underwater mortgage or seemingly insurmountable debt, consumers owe it to themselves to seek help from a trained and certified credit counselor,” continued Cunningham.  “As a convenience to consumers, NFCC Agencies offer counseling in-person, by phone or online.  All things considered, there is little reason to continue drowning in financial distress when help is so readily available.”

To be automatically connected to the NFCC Member Agency closest to you, dial (800) 388-2227 or go online to www.DebtAdvice.org.  For assistance in Spanish, call (800) 682-9832.
 The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services. NFCC Members annually help more than three million consumers through close to 750 community-based offices nationwide. For free and affordable confidential advice through a reputable NFCC Member, call (800) 388-2227, (en Español (800) 682-9832) or visit www.nfcc.org.  Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/NFCCDebtAdvice, on Twitter: twitter.com/NFCCDebtAdvice, on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/NFCC09 and our blog: http://financialeducation.nfcc.org/.

CCCS is a non-profit Credit Counseling agency with offices in Bethany, Enid and Tinker Air Force Base. Contact us at http://www.cccsok.org or 1-800-364-2227