CSD’s Bank Account = 0; Floyd Mayweather Only Has One Bank Account, And There’s $123 Million In It

You know what I just got done doing this Saturday morning? I’ll tell you.

Going through the ultimate uncomfortable exercise of budget-balancing with my paycheck. To add extra hot sauce into the mix, my wife and I (because our money is our money, not his/her money) we did it with our two oldest sitting at the table.

Why?

So they learn many important things such as cooperation, negotiation, being humble (because the Stang could use parts over the kids needing a new textbook right guys?), that I do not work for free nor do we have the liberty to spend without knowing where it goes, and the sacrifices that we are making to live off of one income, etc..

Of course, we just really hope they learn how to handle money wisely as no one ever taught me.

In the end, this is never comfortable, depressing, and we end thinking, “Will we ever be able to just enjoy a “few luxuries” that other people enjoy without breaking the budget?”

But you know, my mouth dropped when I read the blog post below about 30 minutes after our meeting.

Money sure isn’t everything and I don’t know if I’d want to get my brains beat-out to make it, but WOW.

When I’m seeing the crazy reality-show stars or some other “celebrity” that seems to have never-ending stacks, I look at my wife and say, “So why did I go to college and get a degree?”

Oh, and I still owe up to my neck for that decision to add insult to that injury as well.

Also, just because you have the ability to make it, doesn’t mean you have the brains to use and keep it.

In the meantime, I’ll keep remembering the following verse:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5

BRITAIN BOXING

Floyd Mayweather loves money, which is good, because he has lots of it.

The champion boxer, who has never been afraid to flaunt his fortune, was at one point the highest earning athlete in the world, bringing in $85 million in winnings alone.

And with all that dough, you’d think Mayweather might want to spread his assets across a few accounts. Perhaps stash it in different banks and/or different accounts. You know, just in case.

Mayweather, however, doesn’t think that way.

In an excellent profile of the 36-year-old prizefighter in ESPN The Magazine, Tim Keown discovered just how many bank accounts Mayweather has — one.

That’s right, Mayweather keeps his fortune in a single account. Below is Keown’s reaction to seeing one of Mayweather’s bank slips.

I look up to see Floyd smiling. He begins to laugh. I say something unintelligible about too many numbers. I’m not sure what prompted this. Perhaps he mistook my look of fatigue for disapproval? Given his spending habits, is he concerned with pre-empting the inevitable talk that he will end up broke? Or is it simply one more example of the man’s hubris? I look down one more time to make sure I got it right. And yes, it’s right there, 11 numbers long.

There is more than $123 million in Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s bank account.

He nods, folds the slip and says, “One account, baby.”

This doesn’t seem like the greatest idea, but in Mayweather’s defense, he’s earned his money so he can do whatever he wants with it. And according to recent reports, his fortune is about to get a whole lot bigger.

Taken from: http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/dish/201309/floyd-mayweather-only-has-one-bank-account-and-its-got-123-million-it

CSD Dinner Table Topic of the Day: College, Student Loans and 21st Century Sharecropping

Definition of SHARECROPPER

: a tenant farmer especially in the southern United States who is provided with credit for seed, tools, living quarters, and food, who works the land, and who receives an agreed share of the value of the crop minus charges
Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sharecropper
share36s

When I graduated high school, I remember people who didn’t go to college saying, “I know people with college degrees that make less than I do and I didn’t go to college!”

Now, I’ll be one of the folks telling high school grads, “I went to college and got a degree and I make more money than average, but I’m still poorer than most people who didn’t go to college!”

“Under this system, black families would rent small plots of land, or shares, to work themselves; in return, they would give a portion of their crop to the landowner at the end of the year.

The sharecropping system also locked much of the South into a reliance on cotton, just at the time when the price for cotton was falling. In addition, while sharecropping gave African-Americans autonomy in their daily work and social lives, and freed them from the gang-labor system that had dominated during the slavery era, it often resulted in sharecroppers owing more to the landowner (for the use of tools and other supplies, for example) than they were able to repay. Some blacks managed to acquire enough money to move from sharecropping to renting or owning land by the end of the 1860s, but many more went into debt or were forced by poverty or the threat of violence to sign unfair and exploitative sharecropping or labor contracts that left them little hope of improving their situation.”

Source: http://www.history.com/topics/sharecropping

At the current rate, over the next few decades, we will likely return back to a time when only the affluent can afford a college education and those who previously had earned a college degree, will not be able to afford to send their own children to school and will be paying student loan payments out of their social-security checks.

“Forget hitting the books son, better go dribble that basketball or throw that football to get a scholarship!”

students-loans2

Oh, and before someone comments, “Well, if you can’t afford to pay for a college degree, then you shouldn’t get a loan to pay for one!”

As a Dave Ramsey fan, I agree.

So surely you don’t have any credit cards, a car note or a mortgage right? Because if you can’t pay cash for a house, then why should you feel entitled to get a loan to buy a home. After all, the amount many owe in student loan debt equals what they would pay for a home.

Also, I’ll agree more with that statement when our student loan debt is seen as “too big to fail” like the banks that loaned the money, and maybe it can just be wiped off the books.

…just like the folks that walked away from their houses when they bought more than they should have when those loans were flowing like water.

Quite honestly, college is still the best option for the young and old. However, my gripe is with the “wisdom” that getting the education is a guarantee to a great paying job, home ownership, and “you’ll make much more money than your peers that didn’t go to college over your lifetime.”

Well, none of those are absolute truths.

But you better be absolutely sure what you want to major in, how much does it pay in the end and know exactly what you can pay off. Because while the banks that loaned you the money are too big to fail, you aren’t…and you can’t file bankruptcy on student loan debt like they can!

Check out this article from blog.metrotrends.org

With national student loan debt of roughly $1 trillion, it’s no surprise that many Americans are worried about their student loans.

Student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt and is second only to mortgage debt among those age 29-37. This ballooning student loan debt is a contributor to the “lost generation” of 20- and 30-somethings, whose average wealth is lower than the average wealth of those in their 20s and 30s three decades ago.

We published a new brief on school-related debt, using the FINRA Investor Educational Foundation’s 2012 National Financial Capability Survey. One in five adults age 20 and older has school-related debt and concern about the ability to repay is pervasive. The majority of student debt holders (57 percent) is worried that they may be unable to repay that debt.

If Congress doesn’t reach a compromise and the rate of subsidized student loans doubles, student loan debt and the increased payment burden will increase stress around repayment.

Beyond the short-term burden of repaying loan balances and interest, this early debt can have ripple effects and hinder borrowers’ ability to get on a secure wealth-building path. It can delay building a rainy day fund, homeownership, and saving for retirement.

Some of our findings may not be shocking to those who write monthly checks to Sallie Mae, yet they illustrate the magnitude and pervasiveness of the issue:

  • Student loan debt affects people at all levels of educational attainment. Nine percent of those with just high school diplomas have school-related debt, possibly incurred for non-degree training or to fund a child’s education. Twenty-five percent of those with some college education but no degree have student loans.
  • Student loan debt disproportionately affects African Americans and Hispanics. African Americans and Hispanics are twice as likely to have student loan debt as compared with whites. The large racial wealth gap and lower wealth among families of color likely lead these students to more often turn to student loans to finance their education.
  • Student loan debt affects people at nearly all income levels. Twenty percent of those in households with annual incomes under $25,000 have student loans—that’s only 2 percent more than those earning $100,000 and up.
  • Concern about repaying student loan debt also cuts across economic and demographic groups (see figure below). Nearly three-fourths of those with incomes less than $25,000 are concerned about their ability to repay—and so is a still-substantial 36 percent of those earning above $100,000.

College is a good investment for those able to complete the degree, but roughly half of people do not. Out of the starting gate, students should consider the cost and completion rate at the institution they plan to attend, earnings in their field of study, and type of student loan (public or private). Helping young people take advantage of student loans to get their degrees—but avoid burying themselves in debt—is a step in the right direction toward economic stability and wealth accumulation.

studentdebt_graph

Illustration by Daniel Wolfe / The Urban Institute.

 

Happy New Year – from CornerstoneDad

Dads, have you made that New Year’s Resolution yet? Whether you have or have not, check out the tips at All-Pro Dad titled:

Our Classic 10 Ways to be an All Pro Dad  http://www.allprodad.com/top10/parenting/our-classic-10-ways-to-be-an-all-pro-dad/

You can find details at the link above, but here’s a peek at the list:

1.) Love your wife

2.) Spend time with your kids

3.) Be a role model

4.) Understand and enjoy your children

5.) Show affection

6.) Secure your family’s financial future

7.) Eat together as a family

8.) Discipline with a gentle spirit

9.) Pray and worship together

10.) Realize you are a father forever

If you have any other good ideas of goals for dad’s or would like to just share some that you have, let us know in the comments section!

Make 2012 the year you become the dad that you want to be and the year you help make your sons and daughters the men and women that they are to be.

Introducing: The CornerstoneDad-Cost-to-Fun-Factor

Perhaps it’s a sunny day outside or maybe you’re making a “where-to-go” list for your vacation. You or the First Lady of the home recommends going to X-park or Y-event and if you’re like me, your mind starts calculating…(hit dream sequence music), For all of us to go that’s $25 per ticket x 7 equals $175 and we’ll only be there 5 hours, so really that’s  $35 per hour of entertainment/activity. I don’t make that much at work per hour!”

Now let me introduce the CornerstoneDad-Cost-to-Fun-Factor (CCFF)! During the summer, my family hates to spend time inside the house. I don’t even like to visit other people if I know all we’re going to do is sit inside on a bright sunny day. Therefore, we tend to be a bit more loose with the entertainment envelope as we seek out places to take the kids without breaking the entire budget. Please still understand, If It’s Free, It’s Me! That’s still this CornerstoneDad’s motto, but sometimes you just have to unfold the wallet and do what you have to do for the family, something you already know as a CornerstoneDad.

So again, here’s our equation:

1.) Price per ticket x number of tickets = Total Cost

2.) Total Cost / Length of Time having fun = Total Cost per Hour (or minute depending how you far you want to calculate)

3.) Whatever the result, that decides whether we go or not.

Now for an example:

Major League baseball game tickets for decent seats run about $40 per ticket. A game lasts about 3 hours. So for all 7 of us to attend a game, the CCFF is over $93! If I include the $10 for parking (we’re not parking close, we all need the exercise anyway), $5 for a program, and my kids already know I do not stand for being gouged at the concession stand, that bumps the CCFF up over $98. Now you all know I’m a baseball fan all the way through, but it’s hard for me to justify paying that much money to watch a bunch of millionaires play ball when, like LeBron James reminded me, when I wake up tomorrow I’ll have my same problems (like financial ones) and they will be just fine.

 

Now the CCFF does not take into account other factors that may make an unreasonable high score a trip to consider. If my children have never attended a baseball game or there was a special team/player that they wanted to see, I may just shell out the cash. But where it comes in handy is reflected in a trip to an amusement park. The total between parking and tickets was around $140 (Twilight rate but only from 5-10pm) for a CCFF of $29. Now, if we would have done the typical all-day trip, the CCFF would have been around $40. Therefore, we went after 5pm, did not have to buy food and just wander around the park to get our money’s worth. The best part, the park was less crowded and the kids were still able to ride the “necessary” roller coasters.

You know...when you get older, you sure start thinking about a lot more "what ifs" when you're riding coasters!

Now how about you? Do you use something like the CCFF with your family and how have the results been? Has it worked out well? If not, give it a try and let us know the results.

What Do Reggie Jackson and My Father Have In Common?

Today, Mr. October Reggie Jackson turned 65 years old. My dad recently turned nearly the same age at almost the same time. Reggie Jackson is a lover of muscle cars, my dad is as well. Reggie Jackson’s public persona seems extremely complex. Well, my dad’s public and private personas are complex as well. Reggie seemed to be one who did not believe in turning the other cheek. My dad’s advice to me was always throw the first punch because you don’t know if he’ll lay you out with his first blow. Reggie was born in Pennsylvania, my dad’s relatives are in Pennsylvania (okay, that one’s a stretch but I still counted it as a kid!).

But there is one glaring difference between the two men. Reggie made his fame and fortune from baseball and my dad hated sports. He made his fame at home and his fortune in the plant. Both men got dirty and worked with their hands, but in two very different ways.

Yet, had it not been for my father, I never would have looked up to “the straw that stirs the drink” (and Reggie did not mean that the way the reporter told it by the way).

Despite the fact that my dad never liked sports, he never discouraged my passion for baseball. As a matter of fact, two things he taught me early on that I’ve carried for over 30 years:

1.) Do not cheer for the home team, because they are losers.

2.) Look at Reggie, and how he handles himself, and that’s how you must handle yourself in this world.

 Dad knew the impact the ‘hood could have had on me. While we weren’t exactly living in the projects, many of the problems of the projects existed, just in a cleaner neighborhood. Selling drugs, or what we called “rollin'”, was still the fastest way for a kid to make a lot of money and have a lot of girls fast. Shootings across the street from our house were common along with break-ins, car theft, and fighting. Thankfully, we also had many parents working solid middle-class jobs to always keep the neighborhood a float. Since they weren’t allowed to move into traditional white suburbs, they were forced to stay in their own community so in many ways, it benefited us all as a whole.

What we also had commercially, was a lack of black athletes on television when they were not on the field. But when dad saw how Reggie mastered the King’s English and commanded respect for his knowledge of the game and demeanor, he was wise to tell me to observe. Reggie often commentated for ABC in the ’70s and ’80s if the Yankees were out of the playoffs.

Little did I know at that time that one day I would have to at least know many of the rules of the King’s English as well when I grew up. I would also have to not be the “typical nigga or black guy” that many of my colleagues would expect me to be, just like Reggie. I would have to talk a certain way at job interviews, avoid being labeled and yet stand up for myself and prove that I deserved to be in that class or office and not because of Affirmative Action. At the same time, I would have to be just as complex, for people in America have a hard time understanding how you can be pro-black and yet marry someone of a different race. I’m sure Reggie ran into this as to some black folks, Reggie was a sell-out with his proper talking, candy bars, and white girls. But Reggie seemed to always make sure that he represented himself and the black community well. He spoke out about teams that did not have enough black players and even advised former teammate Willie Randolph not to take the Detroit Tiger job. They were the worst of the worst in Major League baseball. Reggie threw out the question the black community always asks, “Why do we only get the job/call/White House when things cannot get any worse? That’s just setting us up to fail!”

I can’t say I idolized Reggie. The man never put food on my table, but he did wave at me when I yelled his name at a California Angels game…he did…really! I’ve memorized many of his stats, read his autobiography, visited the Baseball Hall of Fame to have my picture taken with his bust, and even named one of my kids after him. But my fascination with Mr. Jackson was never about him, but about what he represented. He was a man of class, determination, dependable, clutch-performer, and he danced to the beat of his own drum all the while paying homage to those like Robinson, Aaron, and Mays that bought the drum.

Overall, the man was much like my father.

So dad, who are you allowing to influence your son? Is it a street pimp, a corporate pimp, a drug-dealer, or a prescription drug-dealer? Do those people reflect the values that you want your son to have or the values that you have or at least want to have?

Understand this, somebody and something will influence your boys. You better take advantage of the time that you have to determine what kind of influence that will be. I’m glad my dad had the insight to do that when I was younger. While I’m no where near the man that I wanted to be, I’m no where near the man I could have been.

Happy Birthday Dad and Mr. October!

Tips On How to Wash Your Car for CornerstoneDads and CornerstoneKids

The weather in my area finally hit a temperature where a person would feel guilty if they were not outside doing something. Many people take this time to actually clean and wash their car as they are good about getting the dirt and salt off during the winter, but a car may run around quite dirty during spring as after all, “Why wash the car since it’s going to rain anyway?”

Now for my family, the kids know the deal. When I go to the coin car wash, wax the van (hey, the minivan needs love too!), or even clay bar the van, they jump out and ask if they can help. Those little hands help indeed, as it often cuts my time in half and when they have done it often enough, they get pretty good at their assigned responsibilities. “Big Homie, knock out the wheels…Boney, get around the edges of the door…”. Ahhh…it’s good to have eager labor.

The boys in my family continue the tradition started by my father: you always need to drive a clean car. We will even wash a rental car. Not because we are trying to make it look like our own, but because we do not want to be seen in a dirty ride! This is yet another lesson that I’m passing on to my children. It teaches them good stewardship of the things they have in their possession, even if they have to give it back to someone else.

I must say, the ultimate is when we wash and clean the car, and jump in to cruise on a Friday or Saturday night. Oh, that’s quality family-time right there!

This article posted by Consumer Reports offers some tips on how to take care of that investment (or two) that’s sitting in your driveway.

Do’s and don’ts of washing your car

FAQs on the do-it-yourself car wash

For many vehicle owners, the weekend act of washing a car by hand is a therapeutic act as beneficial for the person’s state of mind as to the vehicle’s appearance. That’s good, because frequent washing is also the best way to maintain a new-car finish. But as simple as washing your car may seem, there are some things to watch for so that you don’t accidentally scratch or degrade the finish. Here are some basic car-washing tips.

When should I wash the car?

Don’t… wait for a layer of crud to accumulate before washing. Dead bugs, bird droppings, and chemicals from the atmosphere all leach acids that can strip away wax and eventually eat into your car’s paint. If left too long, they can cause damage that requires sanding and repainting the area to correct.

Do… wash off dead bugs, bird droppings, and tree-sap mist as soon as possible. Other than this, a weekly car wash will keep the finish in its best shape. In addition, if you live in an area that suffers from acid rain, rinse your vehicle off after a period of rainy weather. Otherwise, acidic chemicals in the rainwater will be left on the surface after the droplets have evaporated, leaving a mark that can permanently mar the paint.

What kind of products should I use?

Don’t… use household cleaning agents like hand soap, dishwashing detergent, or glass cleaner on the paint. These aren’t formulated for use on a car’s paint and may strip off the protective wax.

Do… use a dedicated car-wash product, which is milder and specifically designed for use on automotive paint. Apply the suds with a large, soft natural sponge or a lamb’s-wool mitt. See our car wax report for tips and advice on all types of waxes.

Grease, rubber, and road-tar deposits picked up from the road often accumulate around the wheel wells and along the lower edge of the body. These can be stubborn to remove and may require a stronger product, such as a bug-and-tar remover. Use a soft, nonabrasive cloth to remove these deposits, as they can quickly blacken your sponge.

Use a separate sponge to clean the wheels and tires, which may be coated with sand, brake dust, and other debris that could mar the car’s finish. Mild soap and water may work here; if not, a dedicated wheel cleaner may be required. Be sure the cleaner is compatible with the type of finish (paint, clear-coat, chrome, etc.) used on the wheels. A strong formula intended for mag wheels, for instance, can damage the clear coat that’s used on the wheels that come on today’s cars. To be on the safe side, choose a cleaner that’s labeled as safe for use on all wheels.

Are there any general guidelines I should follow when washing a car?

Don’t… wash your car when the body is hot, such as immediately after driving it or after it has been parked in direct sunlight for awhile. Heat speeds the drying of soap and water, making washing more difficult and increasing the chances that spots or deposits will form.

Don’t move the sponge in circles. This can create light, but noticeable scratches called swirl marks. Instead, move the sponge lengthwise across the hood and other body panels. And don’t continue using a sponge that’s dropped on the ground without thoroughly rinsing it out. The sponge can pick up dirt particles that can scratch the paint.

Do… rinse all surfaces thoroughly with water before you begin washing to remove loose dirt and debris that could cause scratching. Once you begin, concentrate on one section at a time, washing and rinsing each area completely before moving on to the next one. This ensures that you have plenty of time to rinse before the soap dries. Start at the top, and then work your way around the car.

Work the car-wash solution into a lather with plenty of suds that provide lots of lubrication on the paint surface. And rinse the sponge often. Using a separate bucket to rinse the sponge keeps dirt from getting mixed into the sudsy wash water.

When rinsing, use a hose without a nozzle and let the water flow over the car from top to bottom. This creates a sheeting action that helps minimize pooling of water.

How should I dry the car when I’m done?

Don’t… let the car air dry, and don’t expect a drive around the block to do an effective job. Either will leave watermarks, which in areas with hard water are the minerals left after evaporation. In addition, don’t use an abrasive towel or other material that can leave hairline scratches in the paint.

Do… use a chamois (natural or synthetic) or soft terry towels. If you choose towels, you may need several. It’s best to blot the water up instead of dragging the towel or chamois over the paint. The drying process can be speeded up by using a soft squeegee to remove most of the water on the body, but be sure the rubber is pliable and that it doesn’t pick up bits of dirt that can cause scratches.

Source: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/news/2005/dos-and-donts-of-washing-your-car-1205/overview/index.htm

 

Video of how to wash your car:

Source: Youtube

“Junior Raising Junior” – The Cycle of Teenage Fatherhood

While 13 sounds young enough to make headlines, in many areas of this country, that would not seem too surprising...even less if it's a 13 year old girl!

We often talk about generations of “babies raising babies” in the context of a young mother raising a baby, who later becomes a teenage mom herself. However, what about “junior raising junior”, as in a young father raising a son, who becomes a teenage-father?

An article published at the Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications (http://opac.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=7208) reports that the Yale School of Public Health found sons of adolescent fathers are nearly twice as likely to perpetuate the cycle of young parenthood and become teenage dads themselves. While the deleterious effects of teenage motherhood are well studied, often talked about and greatly feared, teenage-fatherhood if often viewed from a much different perspective. However, like teenage-motherhood, the decision to become a father unleashes challenges for both the father and the child.

Those on the outside looking in often ask, “How could this happen? Did the child not learn the lesson watching the struggles of the parent?”

The article gives some indication as to why the cycle continues. ““The mechanism of this intergenerational cycle remains unclear. However, research suggests that parents are a major factor in shaping adolescent attitudes and often communicate their values and expectations through their behavior,” Sipsma said.”

In other words young dad, your actions speak louder than your words.

In upcoming posts we will explore how to be a Teenage CornerstoneDad. It can be done, it is possible and I am a testimony to this fact. I became a father at 19 years old, while working a “deadend” job and still living with my parents. Suffice to say, it cost me far more than I would have ever imagined.

It will cost you far more than what you or any around you can imagine as well. Understand that I am not just talking about money. But, financially you will pay an enormous price as well.

We will also focus on the possibility of a tremendous payoff. This could be the opportunity of a lifetime for you to step up and be the man that you needed to learn how to be, albeit a bit early and before marriage.

If you are a teenage or even a single-father in your early 20’s, I would like to hear from you. Feel free to post your story in the comments section.

 

Did Last Christmas Bankrupt Your Family?

Won't take too strong of a wind to blow down this House of Cash...and how about yours?

Right after Thanksgiving, I told you my feelings about the culture’s push to encourage more-and-more Americans to get into debt. With reports of a possible “W” recession (by the same folks that told you to spend money) and little job security, you would think American’s would learn their lesson.

However, many did not. The Piper must be paid eventually.

Creditcards.com reported that personal bankruptcies rose eight percent in 2010. But the telling statement may have been the following:

“We have a situation that is nowhere near resolved right now,” given the continued sky-high unemployment rate and the millions who owe far more on their homes than their properties are worth, says David Jones, president of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. On top of that, Jones worries about the reports of a robust 2010 holiday shopping season. “That’s going to hit home this month and next,” Jones says, fearing it will fuel bankruptcy filings in the first half of 2011.”

Read more: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/bankruptcy-statistics-2010-q4.php#ixzz1Bots6bpC

Looks like 2011 may not deliver the recovery many desire to see in their households because of too much “fun” in 2010.

Keith Fitzhugh: Finally an Athlete That Deserves To Be Called “A Man”

Over the last few years, a disturbing trend has been taking place in the American sports lexicon. Larry Johnson is “a man”, Adrian Peterson is “a man”, Albert Pujos is “a man”, and the list continues with each athlete that is hot at time the statement is made. First, no person should just be labelled “a man” because they can carry a football, hit somebody so hard their shoulders clap, or hit a baseball whenever and however they like. All of us should resist having our manhood based on what we do for a living and/or our physical abilities. Second, the trials and tribulations of someone like Larry Johnson prove that “a man” can act more like, “a boy” when it comes to off-field behavior and decision-making. Looks like many fantasy football fans spoke too soon on LJ.

LJ's four arrests and various assault charges against women proves that just because you're a TD machine, doesn't mean your acting like a man.

However, I caught the story of Keith Fitzhugh on ESPN recently, and I felt that this guy is truly “a man”. Keith Fitzhugh had an opportunity to play for the New York Jets this season, but instead chose to stay home, work a “regular job”, and take care of his parents.  The NFL’s minimum salary is $320,000. I assume Fitzhugh would not collect all of that since he would have joined the team so late in the season. Yet, the Jets are almost a sure lock for making the playoffs and each playoff appearance and win would mean more money on top of his salary. It is one thing to turn down a job that would pay you $5,000 more if it did not offer you the security and flexibility you desired. But I never would have imagined someone doing it for probably more than 10 times their current salary and the fame of being a professional athlete. Also, rags-to-riches stories like Kurt Warner’s, are still fresh in our mind. The former grocery store bagger would later win MVP awards, a Super Bowl ring, and make four Pro Bowl appearances.

As a former grocery store worker myself, Kurt's story even inspires me!

May I also add, what does this say about his parents, specifically his disabled father? Can they be more proud of the son they raised and wisdom that goes beyond what most know at 24 years-of-age? Remember, being a CornerstoneDad is about being the anchor of your family. Regardless of age, your life is still a part of who they are, so when you are down, they are down and there to help you. That’s being relevant, that’s being a linchpin in your family, that’s being a patriarch, that’s being a CornerstoneDad. I wonder if Fitzhugh’s dad put work and money above his family? I do not know the answer, but the fact that Fitzhugh chose his father and mother over money and fame leaves a few clues.

 

 

 

 

Source:

Tony Dungee’s All-Pro Dad site: http://www.allprodad.com/

For video of an interview with Keith Fitzhugh, please see: http://allprodad.com/page.php?id=312

FAMILY OVER FOOTBALL

By: Mickey McClean – Worldmag.com

Often when we read about the off-field exploits of professional athletes the focus is on scandalous behavior: drugs, alcohol, violence, infidelity. It was refreshing to read this week about former pro football player Keith Fitzhugh, who gained notoriety for doing something unexpected but commanded of us: honoring his father and mother.

With several players going down with injuries, the New York Jets desperately needed help in their defensive backfield as they looked to make a run at the Super Bowl. They knew Fitzhugh, who had been in their training camp the past two years only to be cut from the squad, so they rang him up with an offer to rejoin the team immediately. Granted, the Jets weren’t throwing tons of money at him or guaranteeing him a permanent spot on their roster; still, what 24-year-old who has dreamed of playing in the NFL wouldn’t jump at a chance to pull on the pads again and possibly play his way into a long-term deal?

But the former Mississippi State standout said no.

“I know the Jets have a great opportunity of making the Super Bowl, and that’s one dream that every child has is to play sports and make it to the Super Bowl or get to the World Series,” Fitzhugh told The Associated Press. “But, there’s a time when you have to think, ‘Hey, you’ve only got one mom and dad.’ They won’t be here forever, and while they’re here, you’ve got to cherish that time.”

After the Jets cut him prior to this season, Fitzhugh decided to head back home, land a steady job, and help take care of his mother and his father, who is unable to work because of a disability. He’s been a conductor for Norfolk Southern Railroad for the past three months.

“I’ve got something now where I know every two weeks I’m getting a paycheck,” said Fitzhugh, who had a brief stint with the Baltimore Ravens last December before re-signing with the Jets in the offseason. “I don’t want to let [Norfolk Southern] down or run from them because I got a shot for a couple of weeks. I just feel that that’s not right at the moment. I’m looking more long-term in life right now than the short-term.”

In talking to the press this week, Jets coach Rex Ryan reacted to Fitzhugh’s surprising decision: “That’s one of the reasons why we wanted that kid. He’s a tough guy. He’s a guy with a lot of character. He’s just a really outstanding young man. The decision that he made was a tough one for him, but I admire his decision.”

As we debate whether our children should look to athletes as role models, maybe we need to consider not only the superstars but those like Fitzhugh who make the tough call to put the quest for fame and fortune aside for something that’s much more lasting.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).

“Thank You Lord for All Our Blessings, but It Is Not Enough. Amen.”

I have a sure-fire love-line you can say to your lady. You know, one of those “sweet-nothing” phrases. “Baby, I am so thankful that I have you, for all you have done for me and what a blessing you are to me. So thankful, that tomorrow I think we should go out and start looking for another wife. Let us get up early, and see what we can find. Love you sweetie.”

Now, unless your wife is featured on Sister Wives, I have a feeling those lines aren’t going to go over very well. Yet, this is basically the attitude of many American’s this time of year. Thanksgiving comes and we are inundated with stories about being thankful for all of the things that we have and the very next story appeals to the consumption side of our personalities by telling us it is “Black Friday” (wait, isn’t it also Black Friday if a bunch of people at work get fired?) and stores open early for us to begin Christmas shopping. Am I the only one noticing this inconsistency? “Be thankful for all you have, but go spend to get more because it is not enough!” To make matters worse, the third story is probably about the threat of a “W” recession and the unemployment numbers (which is at 9% as of October 2010 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .

Financial talk show host Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com) commonly says that getting out of debt changes your family tree. I think those are very true words. First, the Bible says in Proverbs 22:7 that, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Therefore Dad, how can you properly be the cornerstone of your family if you are a slave to a credit card company and/or bank?

Those companies will run your house really well as they will dictate when everyone wakes up with their unsolicited 8 A.M. wake-up calls to becoming an uninvited guest at dinner or with 8:30 P.M. “night-night” bedtime calls. Yes indeed, your kids will view mom and dad in a whole new light as they watch them panic like a roach in light, when that phone rings and you look at the caller-ID and tell them not to answer the phone numerous times each day. Yes, Sweet Daddy move over, there’s a new loan shark in the Evan’s family!

 

The Evans family could always count on old Sweets to give them money when they needed it, for a price they never could afford to repay!

If you are slave to the lender, please show some wisdom this Christmas season. The very people you may be trying to impress would not be too impressed if they knew the amount of debt your household carries. Imagine those people being over at your home when the phone rings and asking, “Your phone is ringing, you aren’t going to answer it?” Then again, would it really matter? Debt and consumption are the fuels to the American economy right? Creditcards.com reports that the average household has nearly four credit cards as of 2008. The average credit card debt for those households is nearly $16,000! Time for a change, and it begins at home by not being a slave to your personal Sweet Daddy Williams.

This is our first Christmas with no credit card and that is what I’m truly thankful for. No payments to linger into 2011 from 2010. This is surely the greatest gift that I will give my children this holiday season.

Next time, we’ll take another look at the benefits of changing your family tree by becoming debt free. You can influence your children’s attitude in a whole new way concerning money. Left on their own, society has no problem teaching them if you will not. The real message this time of year is actually, “Be thankful for what you have been able to accumulate, but keep striving to attain more because you do not want to be without the latest _____.”

Dad, Get the Gift That Keeps On Giving

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As I pointed out in my previous post, I have always enjoyed taking photos. However, like any other hobby, what is my “thang” may not be someone else’s “thang”. But Dads, if you have children, you need to get a camera and use it.

Now,  I’m writing this to you to give you plenty of notice as Thanksgiving is around the corner and if money is going to be too tight before then, you can get ready to shop online or hit the stores for the “Black Friday” sales. Actually, our family’s first digital camera was this inexpensive HP E317 model like the one below that my photo friend teased me heavily about. Yet, this little camera delivered a couple of my best shots ever. Now, that does go to show that sometimes it is not about the price of the equipment, but whether you read the instruction booklet and learn how to use it. So buy what your wallet can afford and don’t get sucked into the novice megapixel game.

Your homework if you will, is to take photos of your family this holiday season. Try not to have everyone pose for every picture, but just get shots of the family interacting. Now, most of you likely have done this, but when was the last time you went back and looked at the photos? At least every year, I suggest you go back and look at the photos from the previous holiday a year prior. I think you are going to be amazed at how much your family has changed in what seemed to be a short amount of time.

Men spend so much time every day at work or looking for work, most are not fortunate enough to be stay-at-home dads that get to catch so many moments like mom often catches. Perhaps your kids are older, well my friend, pretty soon they will not even be spending holidays with you, but with friends or “friends” (if you know what I mean). So capture those memories while you can.

Personally, I have more children that most of the people I know. Conversely, I know of no one who has a house as small as mine. Meaning, I have no man-cave, basement, hot rod, or anything else to “escape” when the kids start working my nerves. But recently I started looking at some photos I had just taken earlier this year. My girls have changed the most out of everybody in last few months and it dawned on me how time is flying by. Pretty soon, Lord’s Will and the creek-don’t-rise, they will have their own families or perhaps living far away and we will not be able to be together. Then I will be wanting to run to them, instead of running away from them.

If you need any tips on making a camera purchase, there are some great inexpensive models out there and I am glad to help. As much as I hate to say it, use the camera-phone if you have to, as long as you download the pictures and not just leave them there to send to relatives. Enjoy dads and appreciate the fact that you no longer have to take film in to develop (unless you want) and you can delete the bad pictures, which are common when shooting indoors.

Enjoy, stay strong, and show them some love.

Cool Pappa

Dad, Are You Brave Enough to Test Your Success?


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Last time I asked you how you defined success as a dad. If you judge your success by what your children think, All-Pro Dad has a test that is perfect for you. Perhaps you do not have the courage or relationship to ask your children how they think you are doing or have done as a father. This little test can be a conversation-starter. Have your child/children take the test preferably with you not around. Then look at their answers and the recommendations by All-Pro Dad. Did your child’s answer reflect what you were thinking? Did you score better than you thought or not as good as you expected? Whatever the outcome, determine today to get better and to DO better. Both of you are alive therefore it is not too late for a brand new start.

The test can be found at: http://www.allprodad.com/resources/kidsquiz.php