You NEED to Know about this!

I just got word in writing that
the IRS has officially approved plans to
focus an audit campaign specifically
aimed at small and home-based business
owners who have reported a business
LOSS for 2 or more of the past 3 years.

In fact, I have a copy of their complete “plan
of attack.” Of course, it is marked “Internal
Use Only,” but it’s not “classified” or anything,
so I’m going to spill my guts to you about
everything I know – which is a LOT!

We’ve been through this before, but this plan
has some twists and turns that are new (and,
in my opinion, sinister).

Scheduled launch date: 4 weeks from now.

In war, the best intelligence one side can
ever get, is knowledge of the enemy’s battle
plan. The “element of surprise” is was can
kill you, but knowing in advance WHAT they
are planning to DO, and WHEN and HOW,
you have a fighting chance at victory.

Every year millions of small-business owners
report a Business Loss for variety of reasons.
If losses continue 2-3 years in a row, “Big
Brother’s” tracking system notifies the IRS
Audit Division. Auditors then race to the
“conclusion” that you are not running a “real
business” (i.e., not a for-profit business) or
else (they claim) you’d be profitable by now.

They then conclude that ALL of your business
expenses are NON-Deductible, because
“you are not running a “real business.” That
would leave you with a big fat tax bill!

To QUALIFY for small-business tax deductions
you must meet only ONE out of two requirements:
Report and pay taxes on Business PROFIT.
OR, you have
Be able to prove a “PROFIT INTENT –
i.e., prove that you’re legitimately
TRYING to make a profit.

READER ALERT: Auditors are not required
to tell you the truth, or certainly not all of the
truth. That means, they’ll default to Option #1,
above, and they’ll never even bring up #2
unless you do.

IRS Regulations, Section 1.183(b) and
Treasury Regulations, Section 1.183-2(b)

As to Option 1, if your business did not
report a profit, we can’t change that;
HOWEVER, as to Option 2, we have
something to work with here.

You are probably wondering, “How can
Someone PROVE an INTENTION to do
something like making a PROFIT in your
business? As it turns out, there IS a way–
an IRS-acceptable way! What is that way?

THAT’S what I will described IN DETAIL
during the web-briefing this coming FRIDAY.

REGISTER NOW for web briefing called:
  “Are YOU Sitting on a
   Tax-Audit TIME-BOMB?”
DATE: FRIDAY, Dec. 6th
TIME: 12-noon Pac; 1pm Mtn; 2pm Central; 3pm East

YOU should attend IF:
▪ Your business has NEVER made a Profit
▪ Your business has had a LOSS for 2+ years
▪ Sometimes report a Loss 2-3 years in a row
▪ You have teammates, downline, colleagues
whose business fit the circumstances above
▪ You are a “business survivalist” who is self-
disciplined to always be prepared “just in case”

If you are a “tax smart’ small-business owner
whose business is financially healthy, and if you
do not have people in your life who are struggling
to attain business success, you may not need to
watch the replay. attend. But for the rest of us

● Bootstrappers who are just trying to make it,
but need the deductions to help while they
work their way to profitability,
● Leaders who are committed to empowering
their followers to achieve the success they
are striving for and deserve.

If what I have written above has intrigued you,
worried you, inspired you or challenged you,

Even if you and your business are sitting on
this Tax Audit “Time Bomb,” there ARE things
you CAN DO that actually WILL WORK, and
I reveal every detail this coming Friday, 12/6.

REGISTER NOW for web briefing called:
 “Are YOU Sitting on a
    Tax-Audit TIME-BOMB?”
DATE: FRIDAY, Dec. 6th
TIME: 12-noon Pac; 1pm Mtn; 2pm Central; 3pm East

Hope to see you and help you on Friday.

        Dr. Ron Mueller, MBA, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker & Small-Biz Tax-Savings Coach

If your business is not yet, or not currently,
reporting a business profit, you want to take
this audit-threat very seriously. The IRS will
launch their “focused enforcement effort” just
a few weeks from now. You can bank on that

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

Have you gotten caught up in believing the popular rhetoric about the “rich” not paying their fair share of taxes?

Quick question howard,

Have you gotten caught up in believing the
popular rhetoric about the “rich” not paying
their fair share of taxes?

Let’s look at the IRS’s own stats for 2017
tax returns (that latest year for which
data is complete).

Below are rounded-off numbers, with specific
percentages following in parentheses)

The TOP 1% of tax filers, those whose
adjusted gross income (AGI) was more
than a half million dollars), paid nearly
40% (38.47%) of ALL taxes collected.

The TOP 5% paid 60% (59.14%) of all taxes.
The TOP 10% paid 70% (70.08%) of all taxes.

Meanwhile the entire “bottom 50%”
COMBINED, paid only 3% (3.11%) of
ALL taxes collected across America.

And, due to tax Credits, many of them
are getting a refund that is greater than
the total taxes they paid-in. That, in my
opinion, is both fair and deserved.

Those between the Top 10% and the
Bottom 50% paid the remaining 27%.
Looks like a more-than-level playing
field to me.

Since YOU are running YOUR OWN
business, aren’t you HOPING that
someday YOU will become earn the
title “upper income earner?”

Just some food for thought,
Dr. Ron Mueller, MBA, Ph.D.
Small-Business Tax-Savings Coach


If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now


I have been marketing online for 24 years helping people do it right with education, and list building tools and procedures. 

BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP The Basics of Starting a Business


The Basics of Starting a Business


So, you have an amazing idea for a business! But where do you even start?

We don’t want the not knowing what to do to keep you from starting your own business. Whether you want to start small or come out with a bang right off the bat, here are five key steps—taken from Christy Wright’s Business Boutique—that will get you started.

Related: Already have a business, but looking to grow your business even more? Check out Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches. This book is for leaders like yourself!

1. Determine Your Why

Before you put yourself out there in the world as a business, the first question you need to answer is, “Why am I doing this?” Owning a small business is hard work. According to the Small Business Association, only two-thirds of small businesses survive two years.[1] It’s a roller coaster ride, so you better love what you’re doing in order to survive the ups and downs. If you’re just in it for the money, you won’t make a lot of money—and you won’t be in business long, either.

Christy loves to talk about her mom, who owns a cake shop. She says, “Now, in her mid-sixties, she’s still making cakes. When she has a stressful day and vents to me about being bogged down with orders, sometimes I ask, ‘Mom, why do you still do it?’”


Does your business have the right insurance? Connect with a local pro to learn more.

Christy says she always replies, “Because it matters to the families who have gotten their cakes from me for over thirty years. It matters to that bride who will never forget her wedding day and the cake I made. I’m not just making cakes. I’m a part of some of the most special, important, and remembered moments in someone’s life. That’s why I still do it.”

2. Work Out the Logistics

Once you have your why, it’s a good idea to plan out the specifics on the front end, like how you will actually do business. Be sure to answer these questions:

  • What product or service will you offer? Remember to stay in your lane. Opportunities in business are endless, but not every opportunity is a good one. Successful business leaders are willing to let good opportunities pass them by if they aren’t the right opportunities for their specific businesses.
  • What schedule will you work? Your schedule can look any way you want. There’s no “right” schedule, and you certainly don’t have to abide by a nine-to-five day.
  • What will your budget be? You need to make sure that you know what your business income and outgo will be, even when you first start out. The last thing you want to happen is to go into debt for this business. Knowing your budget will also help you figure out . . .
  • How much will you charge? Setting the right price point is critical to your profitability, marketing ability, and overall success in business.
  • What will your policies be? You need policies for shipping, returns, cancellations, and other situations that will come up. Setting your policies on the front end helps ensure you aren’t taken advantage of later.

3. Make It Official

Getting your business license shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s not a big expense: probably around $15, depending on where you live.

Another thing you’ll want to do right away is open a separate checking account for the business. A business checking account can be listed under your name and Social Security number. For example, the account could be named: John Doe, DBA (Doing Business As) John Doe Plumbing. Place all of the money you make from the business into that account. Pay all of your business-related expenses from there as well.

Income minus expenses equals profit, so if you’re putting your income into this account, and you’re taking your expenses out of here, then the balance will be your profit. But, most importantly, don’t go into debt to start this business. Follow the steps we’ve outlined, pay cash as you go, and start building your business slowly. And while we’re on the subject of money . . .

4. Pay Your Taxes

If you take home any of those business profits, you need to set aside one-fourth of that income in a small savings account for taxes. Legally, if you make over $600 gross income on the business in one quarter—a three-month period—then you’re supposed to file quarterly estimates on your taxes and pay withholding. And that should usually come out to around 25%.

So, for instance, if you make $10,000 and spend $9,000, then you have $1,000 left to take home. Write a check for $750 to yourself and a check for $250 to go into your tax savings account. That will take care of your taxes.

If you’re not aware of your tax situation, a withdrawal in November could bring a major tax bill in April. Not a good deal. To avoid any confusion, make sure you have a tax professional—one with the heart of a teacher—that you can trust. Be smart about what you are doing with your money—keeping in mind that what you are doing now can affect you later.

5. Put Yourself Out There

This is the moment you’ve waited for! You’ve laid a solid foundation by knowing your why, making your business official, and working out the logistics. Now it’s time to tell the world about your business through marketing!

Think about the brand you want to build. What do you want your business to look and feel like? What words do your ideal customers use? Everything from the colors on your website to the font on your business cards should reflect a consistent brand experience for your customers.

With that in mind, it’s time to set up a website or a (free!) social media account for your business. This is where you get to start the conversation with your potential customers, tell your story, and share what you have to offer! People buy from people they know, like, and trust—so this is your opportunity to establish those connections.

Bonus: Stay Motivated

It’s hard to start a business, and it’s also difficult to keep your business going while you’re working hard in the trenches. Keep yourself motivated by subscribing to our EntreLeadership Podcast, or attending one of our business live events for a resourceful and inspirational experience that will help you not just stay in business, but live out your dream for your business.

So get out there and start your business now!

For the complete plan on how to start or grow a business, pick up a copy of Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide for Making Money Doing What She Loves.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now



What Is a QSEHRA?

Everything You Need to Know About QSEHRA


Every small-business owner knows how difficult and confusing it is to deal with their employees’ health care. We don’t need to tell you that health care costs are increasing every year at an average rate of 5.5%.1 You feel it. So, what’s a small-business owner to do if they want to provide health coverage but don’t have enough employees to make it cost-effective to enroll in group coverage? Well, one option is to set up a Qualified Small Employers Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA).2

What is a QSEHRA?

A QSEHRA (pronounced Q-Sarah) is one way that small-business owners can help offset their employees’ health care costs. But your business will have to meet some strict IRS requirements before you can offer a QSEHRA.3 You qualify to offer a QSEHRA if your business:

  • Employs less than 50 full-time employees
  • Does not offer a group health plan
  • Does not offer any other type of health reimbursement arrangement

With a QSEHRA, your company reimburses your employees up to $4,950 per year for an individual and up to $10,000 for a family for qualified medical expenses.4 Tax-free. That’s pretty great!

How does a QSEHRA work?

One of the advantages of choosing a QSEHRA instead of purchasing a group health plan like an HMO is that you have some flexibility in how you set up the plan, and your employees then have some flexibility in what kind of health care plan they choose. With a traditional group health plan, if the employer chooses to offer an HMO, then everyone in the company who’s eligible gets an HMO. If they want a PPO or HDHP, they’re out of luck.


Business taxes can be confusing. Get the help you need.

When you set up a QSEHRA, your eligible team members basically pay for their own health care expenses, they get to pick their desired independent plan, and you reimburse them. Simple, right? Well, it gets complicated very fast. Let’s break down how a QSEHRA works in detail.

1. Design your plan.

First things first: You can choose a limit on how much you’ll reimburse your employees. Just make sure your plan meets the IRS “same terms requirement,” which means you can’t give some employees more money than others—with a couple of exceptions that we’ll get to.5

In the easiest, but possibly most expensive option, you can choose to reimburse everyone up to the maximum allowed. Boom. Done.

Or, you can select a flat rate for everyone. Let’s say you set this at $300 a month. Everyone can expense up to $300.

You can offer different rates based on marital status or dependents. In this example, single employees get $300 per month, married employees get $600, and families get $900.

The last way you can break it down is by age. This one is a little more complicated because the amounts have to be tied to a reference plan on the individual market. Basically, your reimbursement amounts are on a sliding scale based on the employee’s age. The older they are, the more you pay.

You can also choose what kinds of health expenses to reimburse. For example, you can limit it to paying for premiums. Or you can reimburse for premiums and qualified medical expenses such as co-pays, prescriptions, dental visits or vision care. You can also exclude categories of expenses, but you have to exclude them for everyone. Again, just make sure to apply it fairly.

2. Team members pay for their own health care.

With a QSEHRA, your team members pay for their own health insurance and medical bills. Employees can submit receipts for reimbursement of anything listed in IRS Publication 502, which contains an extensive list of qualified medical expenses.6 This includes things like:

  • Insurance premiums
  • Prescription medications
  • Chiropractic treatments
  • Diagnostic studies
  • Dental and orthodontic care
  • Eye exams and corrective lenses
  • Hearing aids
  • Emergency services
  • Caring for a disabled dependent
  • Non-cosmetic surgery

Again, you can limit what you reimburse for, just as long the limits apply to everyone.

3. Your team members give you proof of payment.

This part sounds simple at first. And it is mostly, except for one thing: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA requires health plans and most health care providers to make sure that a patient’s protected health information (PHI) is, well, protected.7  Some examples of PHI include:

  • A bill from a hospital visit
  • Lab results
  • Surgery reports
  • Explanation of benefits (EOB) from an insurance company
  • Social Security numbers, health plan group numbers, medical report numbers and patient ID numbers

The main ways to show proof of payment for services are receipts from the point of service and explanation of benefits forms. But receipts and EOBs are considered to be protected health information. Since you would be, in effect, administering a health plan by reimbursing medical expenses under a QSEHRA, you’d need to be HIPAA compliant.

This is where the needle scratches the record. Getting HIPAA compliant requires undergoing some certification and training and involves the four main HIPAA Rules.8 These rules include:

1. HIPAA Privacy Rule: This rule is designed to ensure that patient health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high-quality care and to protect the public’s health and well-being.9

2. HIPAA Security Rule: This rule is designed to ensure sure that any electronic transmission of health records meets the standards established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) within HHS.10

3. HIPAA Compliance and Enforcement Rule: This rule establishes provisions relating to compliance, investigations and enforcement of the privacy and security rules.11 It also establishes civil money penalties and procedures for hearings.

4. Breach Notification Rule: This rule states that the HHS must be notified of any breach of unsecured protected health information. There are different rules depending on if the breach affected more or less than 500 patients.12

Obviously, this is super complicated and serious because if you don’t do things right, it can cost you a lot of money in fines and penalties. Also, because there’s a ton of sensitive information in a person’s medical records, some employees may be reluctant to share it with their boss. That’s just something to consider.

4. You reimburse your team members up to the limit you set.

This is the easy part. You have the proof, now you pay them. There are different ways to do it, but it’s usually done through payroll. In the vast majority of cases, reimbursements are tax-free. The main exception is if the employee wants to be reimbursed for their spouse’s contribution to their health plan.

If your employee has a regular reimbursement, you can automate that to come out of their check at the same time each month. Just make sure to get that proof of payment!

You may want to compare the costs of implementing a QSEHRA to see how much it would cost to offer a traditional group health insurance plan. Or, you could offer your employees a point of contact in the insurance industry to help them pick the plan that’s right for their health care needs. In that case, definitely talk to one of our independent insurance agent Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs).

Which employees can take advantage of a QSEHRA?

So, the general rule is that all employees are treated fairly under a QSEHRA. This means you must include all of your full-time employees in the QSEHRA. But you can choose whether or not to include:

  • Part-time employees
  • Seasonal employees
  • Employees under 25 at the start of the plan year

Basically, anyone who gets a W-2 must or can be included, depending on full-time or part-time status. Contractors or workers who get a 1099 cannot be included in a QSEHRA.

How does a QSEHRA affect my business taxes?

When it’s time to file your small-business taxes, reimbursements under a QSEHRA are counted as deductions. So that’s awesome. But there’s a lot of paperwork. You need to account for all reimbursements and make sure you’re in compliance.

Small-business taxes can already be a hassle, and adding a QSEHRA on top of that just makes it even more complicated. So, get some help from a professional tax advisor. Our tax ELPs can make your life easier and save you some money.

Find a tax pro in your area today!

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

GETTING OUT OF DEBT Tired of Keeping Up With the Joneses?


Tired of Keeping Up With the Joneses?

Tired of Keeping Up With the Joneses?


You’ve met them before. Actually, they’re the family living like no one else only a few houses down from yours. Mr. Jones drives the Bentley, and Mrs. Jones drives the Mercedes. Their house is picture perfect, their yard is the best in the neighborhood, and their children are so polite, they make the von Trapp kids look like heathens.

The Joneses are the envy of social media. They throw the best parties, drive the nicest cars, have big screen TVs in every room, sport the latest smartphones, and go on the most Instagram-worthy vacations. But the question is . . . how can they afford it? And even more important—is life just about keeping up with the Joneses?

The Truth About the Joneses

Want to know the truth? The Joneses are broke. That’s b-r-o-k-e with a capital “B.” And we’re not saying that so you can feel better about that old beater car (with the rusted-through floorboards) you’ve been driving around since Y2K. Remember—the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Sure, it may look greener, but are you willing to go into thousands of dollars of debt each year for the nicest lawn in the neighborhood?

Here’s the thing: 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.(1Basically, that means almost 8 out of 10 people probably can’t afford the home they’re living in and the car they’re driving. They might not even have the cash to cover the next emergency that pops up. Kind of crazy, right?


More than 5 million have beaten debt this way. You can too!

So, why are so many people going into so much debt? To be honest, it’s about comparison. Rachel Cruze talks about this in her book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs:

“I had to come to terms with the fact that I was caught up in comparisons. I was chasing someone else’s life instead of enjoying my own. I was letting someone I had never met influence not only how I was going to spend my money, but how I was going to live my life.”

—Rachel Cruze, Love Your Life Not Theirs

We want what we don’t have to impress people we probably don’t even like. In the world today, a fancy car and a big house are the standards of success. But is that what it’s really about? Not a chance. It’s about contentment. If you’re really content with what you have, you’re likely not going to be on the lookout for the next best thing that will bring you “happiness.”

What Does It Mean to Live Like No One Else?

Live like no one else now, so later you can live and give like no one else. But what does that even mean? It means no more comparing your house with the neighbor’s house, not going out to eat four times a week, and sticking to a budget.

It all comes down to two words: focused intensity. If you want to live like no one else, you have to stay focused on your goal. And if your goal is debt freedom, the sacrifices are worth it. But living like no one else looks a little different for everyone. For most, it looks like cutting out all of the extras, selling so much stuff the kids think they’re next, and not seeing the inside of a restaurant unless you’re taking orders.

If you want to live and give like no one else later, you have to learn how to live a little . . . weird now. Sure, your family and friends will wonder what came over you. And the word no will be your new best friend when it comes to all those expensive social outings.

Just like Dave Ramsey says, “No one accidentally wins at anything. You have to pay a price to win, and you don’t win if you don’t pay a price.” And the price of getting out from under those chains of debt might seem high now, but in the end, it’ll be well worth it.

Benefits of Living Like No One Else

If you’re like some people, you might make a pro/con list when you’re about to count the cost of your next big decision. But let us assure you, if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, the pros will far outweigh the cons when it comes to deciding to get out of debt. Here are some of the benefits of living like no one else:

1. You’ll gain more self-control.

You may have heard this before, but adults make a plan and follow it. Children do what feels good. When you’re living like no one else, you’ll be following your plan with ease. No longer will you be swiping that credit card at the mention of the word sale.

2. You’ll radiate confidence.

When you’re not focused on keeping up with the Joneses, you’ll be surprised to find that you’ll stop caring what other people think and even pinpoint the people who are keeping you in debt. It’s about chasing your goals and building a financial legacy for your family, not about the car you drive or even if you’ve got a fancy gold card.

3. You’ll become more goal-driven.

Listen, you’ve already made the best goal ever: to get out of debt. So once you’ve achieved that, making and setting goals for yourself just gets easier and easier. You’ll learn how to set smart goals that you can measure and then run hard to achieve them. And it all starts with becoming debt-free.

4. You’ll give generously.

The best part of living like no one else is the fact that you can start giving like no one else. When you’re no longer throwing your paycheck to your past, you’re freed up to start living and giving the way God intended.

5. You’ll leave a legacy.

Imagine leaving an inheritance for your children, your grandchildren—and heck!—maybe even your great grandchildren! When you’re living like no one else, you have the ability to set yourself up for the retirement of your dreams, give generously, and make plans to leave a legacy that will change your family tree.

How to Live Like No One Else

So now that you’re sold on living like no one else . . . what does that even look like? It starts with counting the cost. Like Dave said above, you have to pay a price to win. And that price is different for everyone. But the best thing you can do is decide to change. That’s exactly what Keith and Emily did.

Keith and Emily were trying to be the Joneses. “We couldn’t do anything halfway. We couldn’t just have any apartment—we had to have a downtown loft apartment. We couldn’t just have any car—we had to have a convertible, a brand-new convertible,” Emily recounted.

“Just like Dave says, everything that took our parents 30 years to achieve, we wanted it right then,” Keith said.

After taking Financial Peace University, everything changed. They knew they had to make some big sacrifices if they wanted to get out of debt and change their future. So that’s exactly what they did. “All of the tears, all of the frustration, all of the anger—it was so worth it because now there’s just peace and freedom,” Keith and Emily said. Talk about living like no one else.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

GETTING OUT OF DEBT 10 Money Myths Broke People Believe


10 Money Myths Broke People Believe

10 Money Myths Broke People Believe


Let’s face it. There are a ton of myths out there parading around as truth. But the real truth is that these myths are keeping broke people . . . well, broke!

We’ve all messed up when it comes to money. Maybe you signed up for every credit card offer you received in the mail, or you just thought debt was a way of life. Maybe you’ve fallen into the trap of the almighty FICO score.

Don’t worry—you’re not the only one. That’s why we’ve compiled this list below. It’s about time we call out these long-believed “truths” for what they really are: myths. Plus, once you know the real truth, you can start your journey toward financial peace.

1. I can always save later.

Saving is for yuppies, right? Well, not if you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Nearly one in four people in America today don’t save each month.(1)

But the key to building a solid future with your money starts with budgeting and saving. And it doesn’t start when you make more money—it starts today. The more you can set aside now, even if it’s just a little bit, the less you’ll have to worry about later. Start your free budget and begin saving now with EveryDollar!


More than 5 million have beaten debt this way. You can too!

2. Old cars just aren’t as safe.

In Everyday Millionaires, Chris Hogan states that the average millionaire drives a four-year-old car with at least 41,000 miles on it.(2) Yep—you heard us right. Millionaires are driving used cars. Not only that, eight out of 10 millionaires drive off the lot debt-free without a car payment. If millionaires can drive used cars, why can’t the rest of us?

Let’s face it—an old car can be just as safe as a new car. You just have to do your research. And when you buy used (with cash), you won’t have to worry about paying on your car loan long after your car goes kaput.

Buy a car used, and save the money you would have put toward a car payment. In no time, you’ll have enough money to trade up for a nicer, newer car—all without a pesky car payment!

3. My family won’t be happy if I don’t give them the best.

There’s no denying the fact that family should be at the top of your priority list. And their happiness should definitely play into that. But if happiness is being found in stuff, then you might actually have a case of “want-itis.” Want-itis is the aftermath of discontent, believing that your stuff will make you happy. But believe us—it won’t.

And when it comes to raising money-smart kids, it’s important to show them the value of a dollar through hard work. You might have had to work at a young age when you were a kid, but don’t let your past be a burden on your children. Help your kids to know what it’s like to work and be responsible. When they’re ready to leave the nest, they’ll thank you—trust us.

4. I’m too old to win with money.

Forgive us for shouting, but IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START PREPARING FOR YOUR FUTURE. It doesn’t matter how old you are. What matters most is that you start now! If you have debt holding you back, it’s time to pay it off as quickly as you can.

And once you’re out of debt, save like you’ve never saved before in Baby Step 3. After that, you can move on to Baby Step 4 so you can begin to invest and set yourself and your family up for the future . . . especially for retirement.

Retirement will look different for everyone. Maybe for some, it’s traveling and leisure. And for others, it’s the chance to have a second career you’ve always dreamed of. Maybe you just want to make sure you’ve left a legacy for future generations of your family. Whatever it is for you, you can do it!

5. My credit score is everything.

If you haven’t heard, your credit score is just another word for an “I love debt” score. The finance industry has been working hard to secure the myth that a credit score is what you need to conduct business, purchase a house, or buy a car. But the credit score really only judges you based on your relationship with debt. Pretty crazy, right?

Let us assure you that the economy won’t fail—and neither will you—if you decide to attack your debt with everything you have. Once you’re out of debt and at peace with your finances, that credit score won’t matter anyway!

6. I earned this.

Ouch. This one is a tough mind-set to break, especially when you’ve just put in long hours at the office and worked overtime for three weeks straight. We get it, you want to celebrate by spending that hard-earned paycheck!

But listen closely: Spending without a plan is never a good idea—whether you’re on vacation, in your 20s, or just plain tired of working so much. No matter where you are in life, it’s always smart to make a plan, track your spending, and stay on track with your future goals.

7. Why should I make more money? Uncle Sam will just take it all away.

We’re going to get really honest for a minute. Children do what feels good, but adults devise a plan and follow it. And we hate to break it to you . . . being an adult means paying your taxes and your bills and making a plan for the future.

The best thing you can do for your family is to make sure you’re not going to be a burden on them financially. If you want to leave a legacy and change your family tree, you have to start learning how to live differently.

Check out these top characteristics of debt-free living, and learn how to incorporate them into your own life.

8. I don’t need insurance.

We get it. No one loves spending money on insurance. But it has a great purpose: to transfer any losses you might have in the future from you to your insurance company. Whether it’s a house fire, a flood, or—heaven forbid—a loss in the family, insurance takes the brunt of the loss so you don’t have to.

No matter if you rent or own your home, it’s important to cover your bases.

If you drive a car, you need insurance. It’s illegal to drive without it.

And if you’re a living, breathing human . . . you want life insurance. Life insurance may sound morbid, but if something were to happen to you, you want your loved ones taken care of. Speaking of life insurance, always choose term life! Whole life insurance covers you throughout your entire life, which sounds pretty good, right? Wrong. The truth is that you’ll spend a lot more throughout your lifetime on a high premium and may never even see the cash value. Yikes.

9. The neighbors have it. Why shouldn’t I?

Let us stop you right there. Keeping up with the Joneses is a very dangerous game when it comes to your finances . . . and really, your life.

If you’ve got your eyes on what your neighbors have, you might find yourself with a big hole in your pocket. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself deeper in debt and chasing things that won’t actually make you happy.

When you choose gratitude and seek contentment with what you have, you’ll be much happier. Plus, your family (and your bank account) will thank you later.

10. I will always be broke.

What you believe about this statement will determine if it’s true. If you believe you’re always going to be broke, you’re probably right. And guess what—what you believe has a direct influence on what you do. So, if you believe you’re always going to be broke, you’re probably not actively seeking ways to get ahead.

Let’s change that attitude! Broke people get out of debt when they finally decide they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired! It’ll take hard work and motivation, but you can become debt-free!

Whether you’ve bought into some of these myths or not, the truth is that they’re still . . . myths. And maybe this is the first time anyone has ever told you the truth. Either way, there’s hope!

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

GETTING OUT OF DEBT Where to Turn When There’s Nowhere Else to Go


Where to Turn When There’s Nowhere Else to Go


If you’ve heard Dave Ramsey on the radio with any frequency or read any of his best-sellers, you know what advice he’s likely to give most of the time.

If your financial life is upside down, Dave will encourage you to try everything to climb out of that pit without resorting to bankruptcy. That is seen as a last resort at Financial Peace University(FPU).

In FPU we teach doing whatever it takes to get out of debt. It takes gazelle intensity and a willingness to sacrifice now for success later. Sometimes the hole is too deep and the shovel is too small for even the most determined person.

A recent survey sent to 4,000 FPU members revealed that 12% had already filed for bankruptcy before starting FPU and 9% more had seriously considered it. If that’s where you think you are headed, we can help.

The money mistakes you’ll regret most are those you make too quickly. A decision based on knowledge and wise counsel is always your best move.

Fighting your way out of financial trouble requires all of your energy. Don’t make things worse by fighting blindly. Find out what your options are and put together the best possible plan.


More than 5 million have beaten debt this way. You can too!

Begin right now by tapping into the wisdom and experience of Dave’s financial coaches. Their live video webinar, “Surviving a Financial Storm,” is available right now. The webinar will cover the steps you need to take today to evaluate your situation and create a plan of action. Our coaches will show you how to:

  • Successfully deal with collectors while defending your financial life
  • Evaluate all your options
  • Know the truth about your credit score

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

GETTING OUT OF DEBT How to Avoid Bankruptcy


How to Avoid Bankruptcy


Nobody thinks filing for bankruptcy is a great idea. Even quality bankruptcy attorneys will tell you it is a last resort. The fear, the shame, the guilt—it turns your world upside down. Although someone might do everything possible to avoid bankruptcy, sometimes good people still have to go through it. But it’s definitely not an easy out.

Dave’s Bankruptcy Story

Did you know Dave Ramsey filed for bankruptcy? He had earned a net worth of over a million dollars by the time he was 26. But in September of 1988, it all came crashing down when the bank called the notes of his loans. He was left totally broke and completely broken.

That was Dave’s turning point.

If you’ve already filed bankruptcy, you can get past it, just like Dave did. Every successful person has failed at one point or another, but they learn from their mistakes instead of carrying them around.

What Does Filing for Bankruptcy Mean?

When you go through the process of filing for bankruptcy, you’re telling the court you can’t pay your debts. Set up through federal laws, bankruptcy will cancel many of your debts so you can get a fresh start. The bankruptcy itself will be listed on your credit report for the next 7–10 years.

When you file for bankruptcy, creditors have to stop any effort to collect money from you—at least temporarily. Most creditors can’t write, call or sue you after you’ve filed. Bankruptcy can also stop foreclosure on your home, repossession of property, or garnishment of your wages.


More than 5 million have beaten debt this way. You can too!

But filing for bankruptcy won’t erase all your debt. Unsecured debts like student loans, child support, and IRS debt don’t qualify for bankruptcy. And although the record will leave your credit report after some time, the scare of it can follow you for the rest of your life.

Sadly, a lot of people who file bankruptcy have lost hope and can’t see another way out. They’ve given up. Most of those who come to our office or call The Dave Ramsey Show have options, but they’re too wrapped up in the situation to see alternatives.

Ways You Can Avoid Bankruptcy

Take Care of the Four Walls First

When you’re trying to crawl out of debt and avoid bankruptcy at all costs, the first thing to do is make sure the necessities are taken care of: food, shelter and utilities, transportation, and clothing. If you’re at the very bottom, make sure you pay for food and utilities. Then make sure your rent or mortgage is current. Don’t pay anyone else until these basics are covered. It’s not okay to lose the house because your credit card company is getting cranky with you!

Sell Everything in Sight

You have money hanging around in the form of DVDs, TVs, boats, clothes, books, furniture, tools, office supplies, craft supplies, and toys. Get rid of everything you don’t need. That sounds drastic, but so is filing for bankruptcy. Take the money you make and put it toward getting bills (including the mortgage and the car payment) up to date. Those late fees are a killer.

Live on a Bare-Bones Budget

You’re trying to avoid bankruptcy here. That means your budget has no room for frills. No streaming services, no cable, no huge cell phone plans, no dining out, and no vacations until you’re out of debt. Buy generic food, eat beans and rice, and drink water from the tap. Drink coffee you brewed yourself, not a barista. And stick to your budget. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

Get a Second Job

These days, it’s not uncommon to hear of someone working a second (or third) job. Having an additional source of income can help you avoid bankruptcy. Just be sure you’re putting the extra income toward paying off your debts. Getting a second job will mean sacrificing time with family and friends, and we know that’s hard. But remember—this situation is only temporary. You won’t have to live like this forever. If you live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else, the payoff will be worth all your effort.

Connect With a Financial Coach

Sometimes it’s best to sit down and talk with a financial coach when you need guidance with money issues. Don’t let that intimidate you. When looking for a financial coach, just make sure you find someone who has the heart of a teacher. You want a person who will walk with you and guide you along the way—not someone looking to take advantage of your situation.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

GETTING OUT OF DEBT The Truth About Bankruptcy


The Truth About Bankruptcy


You did everything you could to avoid it. You cut back on spending. You sold stuff to make payments. You’ve been eating rice and beans for months now. But even with all the work, you’ve come to one painful conclusion—you may need to file bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is confusing, not to mention emotionally devastating. It’s a serious decision, and we don’t want you to have surprises along the way. Here are some things you need to know before you take the first step.

Related: If you need help right now, contact one of our financial coaches.

What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a court proceeding where you tell a judge you can’t pay your debts. The judge and court trustee examine your assets and liabilities to decide whether to discharge those debts. If the court finds that you really have no means to pay back your debt, you declare bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy can stop foreclosure on your home, repossession of property, or garnishment of your wages. Bankruptcy cancels many—not all—of your debts.

Bankruptcy doesn’t clear:

  • Student loans
  • Government debts like taxes, fines or penalties
  • Child support and alimony
  • Expensive items purchased right before filing bankruptcy like cars, boats, or jewelry

When you file for bankruptcy, creditors have to stop any effort to collect money from you, at least temporarily. Most creditors can’t write, call or sue you after you’ve filed. However, even if you declare bankruptcy, the courts can require you to pay back certain debts. Each bankruptcy case is unique, and only a court can decide the details of your own bankruptcy.


More than 5 million have beaten debt this way. You can too!

What are the main types of bankruptcy?

There are two main types of bankruptcy for consumers. You’ve probably heard of them: Chapter 13 and Chapter 7.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 means the court approves a plan for you to repay some or all of your debts over three to five years. You get to keep your assets (stuff you own) and you’re given time to bring your mortgage up to date. You agree to a monthly payment plan and must follow a strict budget monitored by the court. This kind of bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven years.

Related: Dave explains where a Chapter 13 bankruptcy falls in the Baby Steps.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 means the court sells all your assets—with some exemptions—so you can pay back as much debt as possible. The remaining unpaid debt is erased. You could lose your home (or the equity you’ve put into it) and your car in the process, depending on what the court decides. You can only file Chapter 7 bankruptcy if the court decides your income is too low to pay back your debt. This type of bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years.

Related: Dave explains the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

You’ve probably heard of other types of bankruptcy, like Chapter 11. It’s typically reserved for businesses. You may also hear of Chapter 12 bankruptcy, which is for farmers and fishermen.

For specific information about bankruptcy laws in your area, visit the United States Courts website. There you’ll find information on the process and where to find help in your area. There is a bankruptcy court for each judicial district in the United States—90 districts in all.

What are the consequences of filing bankruptcy?

Let’s not sugarcoat it: Bankruptcy takes a huge emotional toll on a person. It ranks up there with divorce, loss of a loved one and business failure. Beyond the emotional impact, here are other effects of declaring bankruptcy:

Your bankruptcy becomes public domain.
This means your name and other personal information will appear in court records for the public to access. That’s right . . . potential employers, banks, clients and businesses can access the details of your bankruptcy.

Filing bankruptcy is expensive.
Filing fees for Chapter 13 bankruptcy will cost around $310 plus attorney fees, which can be anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000. For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll shell out $335 for filing fees and $835 to $3,835 for an attorney.(1)

Buying a home could be more complicated.
Unless you pay cash for a home, it could take one to four years before you qualify for a mortgage loan.

What should I do before I file for bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy is a big deal, so you don’t want to go into the process blind. Here are some things you need to do before you take any action:

1. Organize your paperwork.

Make a list of all debts, from your mortgage to student loans to child support. For each of those debts, find paperwork to verify the amounts. If you talk to anyone (lawyer or financial coach), you’ll need this information.

2. Look at options.

Before you file, try your best to pay off your debt. Get on a bare-bones budget. Talk with creditors about lowering interest rates or getting better terms. Move to a smaller place. Get an extra job to pay the bills. You get the idea.

3. Try financial coaching.

A financial coach can give you a different, unbiased perspective on your financial situation. They can talk with you about alternatives to bankruptcy and create a customized plan to get you out of the red. And they can give you encouragement and that extra kick in the right direction!

4. Get professional help.

If you’ve done everything you can and still can’t get your head above water, bankruptcy may be your only option. Filing is complicated and involves lots of paperwork and the potential for mistakes. Working with a pro is your best option for walking through the process.

How can Ramsey Solutions help you?

No matter where you are on the spectrum of bankruptcy—from thinking about filing to starting over after filing—we have the resources to help you establish life-long smart money habits. Here are three ways we can help:

First, if your family decides to file bankruptcy, we’ll be here to help you during the process and give you the tools to restore your hope after your bankruptcy is discharged. We’ll never get angry with someone for filing bankruptcy. It’s a difficult, emotional situation. We get that.

Second, if you haven’t filed yet, we have coaches available to meet with you to find a better option than bankruptcy if at all possible. Our ultimate goal is to help you find financial peace and change your family tree. Bankruptcy is a setback, but your situation—no matter how bad—is never hopeless.

Third, if you think there’s any possible way to avoid bankruptcy, we’d like to introduce you to Financial Peace University: a nine-week online or group program that will teach you how to get out of debt the right way.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now

GETTING OUT OF DEBT What Are the Different Types of Bankruptcies?


What Are the Different Types of Bankruptcies?

Couple looking at receipts and bills


You’re sitting at the kitchen table, staring down collection notices and wondering how you’re going to make things work. Maybe you’ve recently lost your job and the debt is piling up to an overwhelming amount. And then you think it—that word you never thought you’d have to consider: bankruptcy.

Sometimes your situation seems so hopeless that bankruptcy looks like your only option. We know you might feel scared and backed into a corner, but bankruptcy isn’t a decision to make lightly. It’s important to know exactly what bankruptcy is and what the different types of bankruptcies are so you can make the best decision for your situation.

What Is Bankruptcy?

More than just a way to lose a game of Monopoly, bankruptcy in real life is a lot more serious: It’s when you go before a judge and tell them you can’t pay your debts. Then, depending on the situation, they either erase your debts or make a plan for you to pay them back. There are several reasons why people file for bankruptcy—things like a job loss, a divorce, a medical emergency or a death in the family. In fact, more than 730,000 nonbusiness bankruptcies were filed in 2018.1 That’s crazy!

But bankruptcy is a major life event that affects more than just your finances. It can follow you when you’re trying to apply for a job, buy a house, or start a business. Even though people might see it as a “fresh start,” bankruptcy only treats the symptoms, not the problem.


More than 5 million have beaten debt this way. You can too!

It’s also important to know that bankruptcy doesn’t clear student loans, government debts (taxes, fines or penalties), reaffirmed debt (where you recommit to the terms of a current loan), child support or alimony. So, if those are your only debts, bankruptcy isn’t the path for you.

What Are the Types of Bankruptcies?

Even though the general goal of bankruptcy is to clear debt, not all bankruptcies are created equal. In fact, there are six different types of bankruptcies:

  • Chapter 7: Liquidation
  • Chapter 13: Repayment Plan
  • Chapter 11: Large Reorganization
  • Chapter 12: Family Farmers
  • Chapter 15: Used in Foreign Cases
  • Chapter 9: Municipalities

You may have just taken one look at this list and zoned out for second. That’s okay. More than likely, you would only be dealing with the two most common types of bankruptcies for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. (A chapter just refers to the specific section of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code where the law is found.2) But we’ll take a look at each type so you’re familiar with the options.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Also known as liquidation or straight bankruptcy, Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy for individuals. A court-appointed trustee oversees the liquidation (sale) of your assets (anything you own that has value) to pay off your creditors (the people you owe money to). Any remaining unsecured debt (like credit cards or medical bills) is typically erased. But as we mentioned earlier, this doesn’t include the types of debt that aren’t forgiven through bankruptcy, such as student loans and taxes.

Now, depending on which state you live in, there are some things that the court won’t force you to sell. For example, most people are able to hold on to basic necessities like their house, car and retirement accounts during Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but nothing is guaranteed. Chapter 7 also can’t stop a foreclosure—it can only postpone it. The only way to keep the stuff you still owe money on is to reaffirm the debt, which means you recommit to the loan agreement and continue making payments. But most Chapter 7 bankruptcies are no-asset cases, which means there’s no property with enough value to sell.

You can only file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if the court decides you don’t make enough money to pay back your debt. This decision is based on the means test, which compares your income to the state average and looks at your finances to see if you have the disposable income (aka the means) to pay back a decent amount of what you owe to creditors. If your income is too low to do so, then you may qualify for Chapter 7.

Keep in mind that if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have to attend a meeting of the creditors where people you owe money to can ask you all kinds of questions about your debt and your finances. Yeah, that’s about as fun as it sounds. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy also stays on your credit report for 10 years, and you won’t be able to file for it again until after eight years.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

While Chapter 7 bankruptcy often forgives your debt, Chapter 13 bankruptcy basically reorganizes it. The court approves a monthly payment plan so you can pay back a portion of your unsecured debt and all of your secured debt over a period of three to five years. The monthly payment amounts depend on your income and the amount of debt you have. But the court also gets to put you on a strict budget and check all your spending (ouch!).

Unlike Chapter 7, this kind of bankruptcy allows you to keep your assets and catch up on any debt that isn’t bankruptable. Chapter 13 can also stop a foreclosure by giving you time to bring your mortgage up to date.

Anyone can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as long as their unsecured debt is less than $419,275, and their secured debt is less than $1,257,850.3  Plus, you have to be up to date on any tax filings. You should also know that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven years, and you can’t file for it again until after two years.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

For the most part, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is used to reorganize a business or corporation. Businesses come up with a plan for how they’ll continue operating the company while paying off their debt, and both the court and the creditors must approve this plan. Some individuals, such as real estate investors, who have too much debt to qualify for Chapter 13, but who also have a lot of high-value properties and assets, may also choose to file under Chapter 11. But unless you’re a pro athlete or a celebrity, you’re probably not going to mess with this one.

Chapter 12 Bankruptcy

This is a repayment plan that allows family farmers and fisherman to avoid having to sell all their stuff or foreclose on their property. While it’s similar to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 12 is a little more flexible and has higher debt limits.

Chapter 15 Bankruptcy

Chapter 15 deals with international bankruptcy issues and gives foreign debtors access to U.S. bankruptcy courts.

Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

Chapter 9 bankruptcy is another repayment plan that allows towns, cities, school districts, etc. to reorganize and pay back what they owe.

For more specific information about bankruptcy laws in your area, visit the United States Courts website.

Which Type of Bankruptcy Is Right for My Situation?

Since the other types of bankruptcies are specifically geared toward certain individuals or businesses, most people only qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Here’s a side-by-side comparison to show how they’re different:

The biggest difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy comes down to the person’s assets and income level. For instance, if someone had a recent job loss or an unsteady income, they might fall into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But if the means test says they make enough money to pay back their debts, they would fall into a Chapter 13 instead. Someone might also apply for Chapter 13 if avoiding home foreclosure is a top priority, or they could go for Chapter 7 if timing is an issue—since it’s significantly faster than Chapter 13.

But bankruptcy is a nerve-wracking experience, and choosing between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is like trying to pick the lesser of two evils. In both cases, privacy goes out the window. All your information literally gets laid out on a table for the court to look through. Then there’s the fact that about half of Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases nationwide are dismissed because the debtor can’t make the monthly payments.4

And while creditors are not legally able to hound you for money while you go through the bankruptcy process, the court will come after you harder than any credit card company can if you miss a payment in Chapter 13. But if your case is dismissed, then creditors have the ability to take their cut directly from your paycheck and your home might go into foreclosure.

Bankruptcy may seem like a magic wand that can make all your problems disappear. But it’s far from a magical experience—and it takes a huge emotional toll. Dave Ramsey filed for bankruptcy before he completely changed the way he handled money, and he never advises anyone to consider it. In fact, he says bankruptcy falls into the same category as divorce—it should only be your last resort, after you’ve tried every other possible route first.

So, let’s look at some ways you can avoid filing for bankruptcy altogether.

What Are Some Alternatives to Filing for Bankruptcy?

No matter how deep in debt you are, it is possible to avoid bankruptcy. You just need to know your options. Here are a few steps you can take that will help get you out of debt without filing for bankruptcy:

Take care of necessities first.

Before you do anything, you want to make sure the Four Walls are covered: food, utilities, shelter, and transportation. You won’t have the energy to fight your way out of debt if you don’t have a house to sleep in or food to eat. So make sure you’re taking care of yourself and your family first. The collectors can wait.

Get on a budget.

We mentioned before that in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court puts you on a budget and tracks your spending. But the truth is, you can do those things without filing for bankruptcy. If you’re on your last leg, making a budget can be a total game changer. By tracking where your money is going—instead of wondering where it went—you’ll find money you didn’t even realize you had. And yeah, budgeting also means cutting all unnecessary expenses to pay off debt. The cable and the subscriptions have to go. No more dining out. No more vacations. You’re in survival mode. But instead of the government telling you how to manage your money for five years in a bankruptcy case, you get to be the one calling the shots.

Boost your income.

Your income is your most powerful wealth-building (and debt-fighting) tool. The more money you make, the more you can throw at your debt. So, you may need to pick up a second job or work more hours at your current job to help keep you afloat while you catch up on those monthly payments. Yes, it can be exhausting, but your temporary sacrifice will be worth it in the long run.

Sell your stuff.

Remember how we said the court liquidates your assets in Chapter 7 bankruptcy? What if you sold your stuff instead? If you’ve got anything of value, like boats, fancy lawn mowers, or anything with a motor that you don’t use to drive to work, sell it! Furniture, collectibles, jewelry, that guitar you promised to learn to play someday—anything you don’t need has got to go. Sound extreme? This is basically what could happen if you file for bankruptcy—except you wouldn’t have control over how your things get sold. So hit up Craigslist, eBay and Facebook Marketplace and turn your stuff into fast cash.

Get on a plan!

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now