In addition to that

there are all the (mlm) hallmark misleading statements. No mention of the $439 sign up fee, the $100 a yr renewal , $39 a month “license” fee, and lord knows what other hidden fees there are. And we are supposed to believe that after one “just recently becomes a member”, one is offered a $199 all inclusive cancun vacation. I won’t dignify the rest of the “residual income” and “recruitment”spiel…. (The stock is traded Over the Counter, currently at $0.42 – Could be a money making opp there -jk;).) So the “publicly traded” bit was misleading too! They are “listed” but not traded – except OTC.

Is it just me?

When someone comes in and starts making claims about how good a company is but doesn’t care enough to be professional and use proper grammar, I wonder if they even know what a good deal is.

None of us will use perfect grammar all the time, but if we’re trying to sell people on a business opportunity, we’re representing that business. If we, as a representative of that business, cannot show that we can adeptly use language, the most important tool in any business, then we’re telling people from the start that it’s just not as good as we say it is.

I just recently became a member of this organization

what interested me was the travel perks. They are a MLM company but what was unique about it, was that they offer stock option and they are a public traded company. Thats what caught my attention, but regardless they are MLM.
My only reason for joining was that every quarter you get a super and I mean super deal on resorts stays. The last one was to a Resort in Cancun all inclusive 4days 5nights for $199.00 Now thats a deal. I love to travel and maybe on average take 2 to 3 Vacations a year. I over looked the the MLM part of it because of the perks. Along with all that you are a independent travel agent with their co. and have the ability to recruit people into the orginazation and thats where the residuals and bonuses start. So for those that love to travel its like having a Costco card of travel, is basically the way I approached it.

Chip, she won’t be responding to this

Well, actually, she did, but her response revealed her true intentions, as they so often do:

“I hope my reply gives some idea. If you like, please feel free to email me personally, then I can introduce you to a community, where you can learn lots about business, and you will never be ripped off; and in which the rule is not to mention of a specific company or a product.”

Yep, another one… (sheesh)
In the immortal words of Hall & Oates, She’s Gone.

Hi mentoring-for-free

One of the best things about this wp blog is that we are generally free to examine people’s advice and ask for further clarification. In that spirit, please re-read your advice above. To me, the catch22 is obvious.

1. How are we supposed to decide who the “good” people are in MLM that are the “less than 1%” (“that sincerely care about you”)?
2. You mentioned “lots of time (and often money) spent on a wrong MLM”. That means there is a “right” MLM somewhere. Could you clarify what that might be ?

thanks for your time.

Stephen, it was a joke

Guys, sarcasm is REALLY difficult to detect in print. It’s EASY to catch the humor if you know the source, but without being familiar with who’s making jokes, it can be hard to know whether or not you really mean what you’re saying.

It’s not that tough to place some sort of clue in your posts. The one I use is a take-off on HTML:

Even j/k will do. (Just Kidding)

To make a topical reference: If it’s Saturday Night Live, The Onion or Steven Colbert, you can pretty much guess what to make of it. If it’s the New Yorker magazine, it’s obviously somewhat tougher.

They were talking about this on KLBJ out of Austin, TX

yesterday and one of the commentators pointed out something that this article doesn’t seem to touch on.
Their reference was the woman who went to Chicago and some how got into a meeting that the CEO of McDonald’s was speaking at. The woman interrupted the meeting by accusing the CEO of making BILLIONS while she was kept under the poverty level making $8.50 per hour for TEN years. She claimed she’d been at the same McDonald’s for 10 years with never a pay raise. And demanded to know why she should make such a low amount while he got paid BILLIONS every year. His response was “I’ve been with McDonald’s for 40 years” and then went on with his speech.
The discussion on air and in this home after this news story brought up these points.

1.She claims she’s been stuck at minimum wage $8.50 per hour for 10 years. 10 years ago minimum wage was not $8.50 per hour.

2.If she’s received zero pay increases in that 10 year period it means either she’s not a good worker or she has the world’s worst manager and we all know the managers at a fast food franchise change on a frequent basis.

3.The CEO is just that the CEO he does not personally make billions a year. While McDonald’s and other fast food franchises may take in billions they also have millions to billions of overhead expenses like her salary, supplies, advertisement and the list goes on and on.

4.If she so loves working for McDonald’s like she claims she does why has she not taken advantage of their advancement opportunities over that 10 year period. Has she put out any effort to improve herself and make herself more valuable to the company?

5.If she is so unhappy with her salary why has she not changed jobs in 10 years? There is no reason she couldn’t have done so.

6.Now on to the more important aspect of this.

One of the commentators did some basic math. The woman was demanding that all fast food workers be raised to $15 per hour so they could have more in life. Notice she did not say get off public assistance. That is because if, as she said, she does have two children she is raising alone she would still be on public assistance at $15 per hour. That wage would net her $30,000-$31,000 per year income with two children that still puts her below the poverty line.
This would mean she’d still get the exact same government benefits she is getting now, and we as the tax payers would not only still be paying that amount, but now would see the cost of fast food doubling so we get doubly screwed. While all of us who are paying in taxes are seeing our income go constantly down by 10%, 15% or more her income would go up by 50%.
It would go up not because of her willingness to get an education and improve her position in life—she’s already demonstrated that she has no intention of doing that in the last 10 years—but by throwing a tantrum and trying to hurt the company she already works for.
Another consideration is if fast food workers get a double salary hike then every other minimum wage worker in the nation should get one too. If that happens then every person in the nation will suddenly find that EVERYTHING will go up hugely in price and we will ALL be worse off for it, including the minimum wage workers.
In other words the old saying “for every action there is an opposite reaction” shows true.
So yes, all of us would find it hard to live on minimum wage, government assistance is expensive but the answer is not mandatory doubling of the minimum wage the answer is education, hard work and finding ways to advance yourself in your chosen field.

No sympathy here, and Im about to become one of those minimum wage people

1. Perhaps if they were not eligible for food stamps, medicaid, free lunch, section 8 etc, they would not work there or at least, companies would have to pay more to attract workers. Basic supply and demand. The reality is, I volunteer to work at that wage, and sadly, too many have figured out how to milk the system.

I taught english as a second language at a company which was offering ESL classes to their workers so they would be promotable. Even once they became fluent, no one would accept a promotion if it meant they were paid more than $45k a year. Why? Because once you go over $50k all your govt sponsored benefits cease. So why would they trade a promotion making $52k a year when they can make $45k and get free food, free medical, housing 65% of market, free lunch, free breakfast, and cash aid?

2. Give me a break that it is the “adults” who are “forced” into these jobs. My teenage kids have been rejected from being hired at these jobs more times than they can count. Why? Because we have regulated teenage work hours to “save them from slavery” to the point no one will hire them. That includes my (credit wise) college 4.0gpa junior who is 16, finished high school 2 years ago, and still cant get a job at a fast food place because “she has to have a work permit.” Ds~now~18 fudged his age this summer (when he was 17) so he could get hired at an ice cream store. He was lucky they are a franchise and the owners operate under common sense.

August 11, 2016 | Category: message


I think if people are paid more, they can function better in society. As the article says, people who work the front lines at fast food joints can’t take care of a family on the income. They never get enough hours to call themselves full time employee’s for starters so they get no full time benefits. Sad state of affairs when we do see people with families on the front lines of Burger King – somewhere we’ve gotten off track.

As a small business owner

I don’t want someone looking over my shoulder at my books and saying, oh you you’re making too much or keeping too much of your profit (in comparison to what our employees make). My husband and I are the ones taking the risks, paying the bills, and not taking help from anyone to get it done. Plus doing it with no debt. We pay our employees well for what they do. Not all are paid the same, but according to their experience, duties and how long they’ve been here. Plus they get 2 bonuses a year, one in December and one in May or June—amount is based on the same as their hourly pay. None of our employees even starts at minimum wage, but above it. My dad, who was self-employed all of his adult working life, said if you pay minimum wage you get minimum work. For most people that is true, but not all, of course.

First, I would like to ask you:

Is you girl friend a strong character, like, “My way or high way” type? This type of people (whether male or female) is known to be a bit controlling and domineering (sorry o say this), but not necessarily bad people.

If so, there is a little hope that you can stop her. However, she would have a success to some degree, selling products. And only about 5% of population (according to experts) are good at “selling.” What you can do in this case is just let her do what she wants to do.

Then, if she isn’t this type, it’s unlikely that she can succeed in Arbonne. And I guess you are “very skeptical and concerned” because she would spend lots of time and, often money, with no good result. Or she would get hurt.

My suggestion is:
Set some time aside so that you and your girlfriend can talk without any distraction. Then ask her the following questions.
1. How did you get involved in Arbonne?
2. Fast approval 1000 dollar loan from LendMe1000 Inc.
3. Why do you wan to do it? (Or what do you want to achieve from it)?
4. Are you in love with the company?
5. Are you in love with their products?

These questions will give her chance to think over.

Then tell her of your concern, speaking from your heart. Tell her that you sincerely want her to succeed in what she wants to do, and that you don’t want her to get hurt.

Then listen to what she wants to say.

Then suggest her this if you can.
Arbonne is a MLM company. And it’s a hard company to make money with, if you would. MLM may look simple and easy, but it’s not. There are whole lots of things to learn in order to succeed in MLM. Also you have to be with right team of people with high integrity; the company has to have fair compensation plan to be paid fairly. Y

ou have to have a good mentor, who sincerely cares about you, and doesn’t take advantage of you or exploit you. Such companies or forums are rare in MLM industry (less than 1%). But if you REALLY WANT TO make something out of MLM, the wisest thing to do is to search such good people. It may take time, but will save lots of time (and often money) spent on a wrong MLM. And if you don’t want to take time to to search or learn things, you would be better off staying out of MLM. If you fell in love with the products, just be a customer, and don’t expect to make any money out of it. Also, there is no such a thing as immediate gratification or free lunch.

Then, listen to what she wants to say.
My best suggestion is to use this as an opportunity to get to know each other better.

I hope the above helps.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me, or post a reply.

The thing is

these fast food/minimum wage jobs aren’t *designed* for someone with a wife, 3 kids, and a mortgage. They’re designed for high school and college kids who are living at home. $750/hr for 30 hours per week is $900/month. It would be VERY difficult to only make that much, and be out on your own. It’s supposed to be a STEPPING STONE to the next thing.

Problem is that while the company may be making the $ quoted

the owner-operators who run and own the stores aren’t. They do not have loads of money and will not be able to pay higher wages without raising their cost of goods… a lot. Also, many employees who have been offered insurance in the past preferred instead to let the taxpayers flip the bill by being uninsured and frequenting emergency rooms. Finally, with the changes to insurance due to Obamacare, these employees are now seeing their hours reduced to less than 30 hours and the insurance they had access to buy into disappear. They will now be force to buy from the exchanges or pay the fine/tax which is $95 or 1% of income but greatly increases over the years.

So I’ve been on this “new” computer for a couple of months

it’s got the latest outlook on it, and I believe the latest internet explorer as well. We think that the internet explorer might be the problem. We also have a complete up to date Mcafee on it. And one of the newer windows programs—I forget which one, my old computer had vista on it, and this one is newer than that. Before anyone asks, we have ran a complete scan, defragged, and even ran pc mechanic on this computer and these problems still exist.

I have my computer set for no pop-ups, and the firewall set, yet whenever I go to just about any webpage and click to move to the next page. An advertisement whole new browser window pops up. How can I stop this? Also pages I visit regularly have “drop down deals” on them that if I get anywhere near those they drop down and cover the page I’m working on. VERY annoying. Sometimes it’s on the side and the x to close them won’t work. I do not have this problem on my old computer, but it’s not running all the new stuff. Ex: when I am on working on my blogs. I move from one page to another while working on uploading blogs it will not only open (sometimes) the page I want, but a Toyota car dealership webpage. Or if I am at looking up a cricut cartridge that stupid drop down deals screws everything up. If I manage to get the extra windows to close they will sometimes re-open saying that it was closed unexpectedly.

2. I believe that the cause of the next problem is due to the first one. Facebook and other pages often don’t load due to a long running script. I click on the stop the script and it locks up my whole computer.

3. When on certain webpages I cannot highlight and copy things that I’ve previously copied, or as in my blogspot pages when I need to add a hyperlink I cannot highlight the section I want to hyperlink without first reloading the page, then it will work.

4. Again on blogspot I cannot directly copy from word (where I compose my post) and then open the correct page at blogspot and paste it immediately. I first have to put in the title, save it, then reload the page, then it will paste.

5. I correctly close down all my internet and computer windows before shutting down my computer each afternoon. But when I boot up the next day the same 4 windows, that I visited weeks ago in internet explorer all open up at once which bogs down the entire start up process. How do I stop this?

6. I have signature lines set up for my accounts, but they only show up periodically with no rhyme or reason when I’m sending emails.

Has anyone else had these problems and if so how have you fixed them. Jan who is getting pretty peeved at it.

Does he qualify for the Federal displaced workers act?

I know CA is different, but my bil went to the tech on small engine repair (to learn to repair the machines at the casino he now works for) on that and here in OK and he got a pittance living wage and food stamps and commodities (he’s Creek Indian) while he was in school and working a minimum wage job.
Shows you how states vary. When both dh and ds were unemployed for so long we did not qualify for food stamps due to their unemployment. We could have one or the other but not both. We chose to do the unemployment because at least with that I could mystery shop and make additional money while we were not ALLOWED to do that for food stamps. Keeping the 4 walls was more important to us, and luckily I had some food storage and the Produce Fairy.

Since all 3 of those categories happen to apply to us right now

I thought I’d change the subject line (was: fast food wages) and throw my thoughts in there too.

One of the problems in the past we have had since DH was discharged was being able to afford things, primarily medical insurance. Of course, right now, I’d be happy for work which pays our minimum monthlies (4 walls and bills) and try and figure out later about medical. But I digress.

While it may vary slightly from state to state, in California $50,000 is the cut off for every benefit or social program. No Medical, No food stamps, No TANF, No college tuition assistance. Since those are dropped, we would automatically be disqualified from reduced utility rates.

$50,000 would cover our 4 walls & minimums. It would not cover gas to get to and from work, it would not cover medical insurance, it would not cover food. It would not cover the spike in utilities.

Our rent, as an example, is $1900, and that’s cheap. Utilities are currently hovering in the $200 range, they would jump to at least $400 at full rate. Medical insurance would run at least $500 (last time pre-Ocare that I looked) but is more likely now to be closer to $1,000. Plus $500 a month for gas.

So when/if DH goes back to work, if he makes at least $50k, we have to have a plan to bring in an additional $1,700 a month on top just for survival.

That’s just reality. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it, I’m just saying we better have a plan. Oh yeah, plus all the forestalls from the IRS would go away immediately too.

In MY perfect world, given how Ocare was supposed to be “helping the poor and needy,” if you became gainfully employed again, you would stay on state medical until you were able to financially cover medical yourself, but not longer than a year.

In California, you can go to Junior colleges for FREE if you are (a) a vet (b) a child of a vet (I think there might be a sliding scale), (c) are on any of the social benefit programs, (d) have low enough income, (e) are illegally in the United States under the Dream Act. These are called Board Of Governor’s Waivers. It is how DS18 and DD16 are paying for college this year. DD16 is getting her license to become an interpreter for the Deaf. It’s not a huge savings for the two of them, but it’s $3000 I don’t have this year, for sure.

You can also go to JC part time (6 units or 2 classes) for free if you are (f) an enrolled high school student. DD16 did this for 2 years.

Our JC systems are set up as Vo-Techs in additional to being a gateway to a 4 year university. So at a minimum, a person in any of the 5 pre-mentioned categories you could do a 2 year program to become a licensed cosmetologist, auto mechanic, etc etc, for free, and better your life as a result.

On the other hand, IF DH were to do that, guess what? Our unemployment stops IMMEDIATELY. (This goes to hand up vs. hand out.) So we can be on sitting on our butts for 2 years doing nothing, and be able to pay rent. Or we can look at reality, go to school in the same 2 years to better our opportunities, and GET COMPLETELY CUT OFF from money that WE PAID INTO for 20 years of working.

THAT is how screwed up our government in. IMO, they don’t really want to give people a hand up, they want to create a mentality that ingrains you HAVE to be dependent on the government in order to survive.

When we first applied for EBT (food stamps) DH’s unemployment handed kicked in yet, so we qualified for the maximum, $793. When it kicked in, (a whopping $1800 a month which doesn’t cover our rent), it dropped to about half, $390. We reported the income, but it took 6 weeks for our case “worker” to note it. By that time, according to their math, they had “overpaid” us for 1 month by $390. Our choices were (according to them) even though it was THEIR fault, to (1) pay it back all at once, (2) pay it back in installments, (3) be dropped from EBT. We chose (2).

So now our EBT is $380 a month. I’m grateful for it. But it is completely ridiculous to think that a family of 5 could feed itself, even cooking from scratch, on $380 a month. And that doesn’t include toilet paper, shampoo, stuff like that.

I digress. EBT managed to figure out “we owed them” for THEIR error. Exactly why are they unwilling to do the same for the WalMart fiasco? To answer Eldred’s question, every time I buy something on EBT, it prints out at the bottom how much I have left, like a gift card does. I’m sure people bought their normal amount of stuff, saw the balance didn’t go down, and then went back in for more.

Still, EBT DOES have a way to get that $ back. It and Walmart may choose not to, but that’s a different decision than not being able to.

Yup, got all those covered

and know it will be a process but the local office is encouraging me to go ahead and I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

It’s nice to know that I’m on the right track when I read your comments Kathryn – I research and keep digging until I have a plan A, B, C,D, E and F… maybe even G and H – plan for the absolute worst and hope for the best – and find the silver lining in every situation.

Just have to figure out how I can fit my mini cow in the mix – that would make parasite management a LOT better.

March 4, 2016 | Category: covered

My first gut reaction to anything with a USDA stamp on it is..

“there’s gonna be LOTS of hoops to jump through, and it’ll be awhile in the process…….” First things first. It’s not enough for most farm loans, to merely be earning a profit at the moment. Every ag lending program I’ve ever seen, whether through USDA or through commercial lenders, requires that you show your business records for typically the last five years. They want to know that not only are you managing things well now, but you have a long track record of managing the farm profitably through all the regular ups and downs of whatever market you’re selling for. And when I say records, I’m talking about typical business accounting reports like Profit & Loss, Cash Flow, taxes, sales records, cost of doing business, etc. So if you don’t have those records, and/or if you don’t have rock solid performance, that right there may disqualify you.
Having said that, perhaps a more careful and prudent approach would be to find a local or regional ag lender, and go in and talk to them about what you would qualify for IF you decided to refinance. Most lenders are happy to sit down with someone (whether residential, commercial or in this case agricultural) and go over your actual numbers to see what you could do today. Ask them about that particular program too, and see if they have any experience with it or with other USDA lending programs. That would give you some really valuable information not only about whether you qualify, but also what are the hoops going to be. Also find out how long it takes between actually making the application, getting an answer, and then getting the money. Those loans are rarely fast. Think in terms of months. Particularly since the USDA offices are coming off the furloughs, they’re going to be seriously backed up with paperwork that needed to go out three weeks ago. I’d let this sit for at least two weeks and let them start to get caught up, before going in for that appt.
Most importantly: if you don’t qualify now (and don’t be surprised if that’s the situation) ask what you’d need to do now, to qualify down the road. This also applies not only to your situation, but to ANYONE wanting to refinance ANY type of loan. Lenders have had a hard time keeping up with all the new financing changes given how flaky the economy has been the last five years or so, and that’s their day in day out jobs. Very difficult for borrowers to keep up with those changes. So even if you would have qualified a few years ago, the rules are all different now. Given that, it’s very, very common for a borrower, or potential borrower, to want to find out what they qualify for. You’d make the lender’s day if you walked in without your heart set on X, but rather wanted to see where you stood and how you can strengthen your application. Or, if you already do qualify, then you’ll KNOW instead of wondering. We’re preparing to do exactly the same thing so that we can learn what to do now, to be able to qualify for buying the farm where we rent land. We don’t want that moment to come one year, two years or five years from now, and go in with fingers crossed, and find out we don’t qualify. Better to find out now, and kill those obstacles now, then present a really solid application later.

February 27, 2016 | Category: reaction

I’m thinking longer term

made my peace that it probably isn’t going to happen within the next 5 years unless I win the Lottery (and you gotta play to win!) and I’m tired of living for tomorrow – time to make the best of what I have and enjoy it.

No limit or minimum on the size.

This program is in place if you have less than stellar credit which is why I’m thinking of it.

Working on both those – pups are paying for themselves and the rest of the dogs so that is covered.

Sheep will break even even if I have to sell all lambs (calculated using 1 per ewe and 10 out of 16 ewes) for meat. Most of my girls throw twins and trips and if sold for breeding stock, even if only 10% I’ll show a healthy profit.

Poultry – as much as I’d like to have chickens again, I’ve come to the conclusion that guineas can do the same pest control job I need and cost significantly less to feed, and honestly, I LIKE roast guinea fowl!

Mike says refinancing is only good when

you will be holding on to the place longer than it would take you to recover the cost of the refinance. He generally says 5 years or longer. I know you have been talking about moving lock stock and barrel north, WAAAY north, and if you are still considering that then a re-fi may not be a good option due to the costs.
Also, I forget how many acres you have, but those loans sometimes are based on the size of your place, also with where you are located are you in danger of being pulled into the city limits or fence line? If so that may rule you out.
With what your ex has pulled this last couple of years would you even qualify? Because even though you are divorced the bills he took will still show up on your credit report.
Kathryn knows a heck of a lot more about farm financing than I do, so you two may need to do some serious chatting about the pros and cons of the option.
Please remember though if there is anything you cannot bank on it is livestock production. It’s either really good, or really bad—we’ve both been there—sometimes together.
Have you ran a cost analysis on your sheep yet? How about the puppy sales? I know we discussed the pros and cons of poultry production the other day.

Yeah, I knew it was to pay off your mortgage

But it doesn’t sound like a standard mortgage that you’d get from a simple re-finance. That’s what gives me ‘pause’… Is there any stipulation from the USDA on WHAT the loan needs to be used for?

Is there any merit in what I’m thinking?

Ya know… if the planets align just right and I can make decent sales next year, my sheep could pay off my mortgage which would be make me giddy with delight since I have 10 years left.

I was mulling over something so wanted to ask the collective wisdom of the group:

The USDA has a loan program for farmers at a really low % like 1.5 or it may be capped at 3% – regardless, if I refinance using that program, and keep it at 10 years, I could use the extra 2% to pay down my loan faster (currently close to $60,000 or thereabouts) – anything my sheep provide over and above breaking even I could throw in as well after establishing an emergency fund.

December 12, 2015 | Category: thinking

I am proud that my kids are getting the message

They may only be 6 and 7, but they understand the importance of saving for things. Even my son, who has very severe ADHD, understands that he needs to save money if he wants something. We just started an allowance system that is a base amount (5 dollars) with chance to earn more for doing extra chores. Each week, they put one dollar into their long term savings piggy bank. The rest they can choose what to do with. They are also deciding to sell some of their toys that they don’t want anymore. My daughter wants an American Girl doll and she is saving for it. She already has 92 dollars saved. My son is saving for something electronic, like an i touch. They are choosing not to use their money for those impulse buys and I am so proud of them.

They say that the best thing a mom can do in life is to teach her children well. That is my goal for my kids and I think that they are getting the message with money. I really hope that they can avoid making my mistakes and we are on the right track. I am a very happy mom today.

September 27, 2015 | Category: message

I just came back from the local bait & tackle shop

They are out of Red Worms (used for composting) and they are not going to be getting any more. That would be because the supplier has decided to STOP SELLING them to the shops.

AND, everyone in the county buys from the same wholesaler.

So I think I am going to have to make a small investment in about 200 worms, and a larger container and start growing worms, worm compost and compost tea. I will have a ready market (albeit wholesale) with the bait & tackle guys, plus all the gardening people.

July 27, 2015 | Category: shops