Category Archives: Debt

A 2-minutes financial assessment

Depending on how you answer, it’ll mean you’re either a Warren Buffett, MC Hammer, or Macaulay Culkin, haha… At least according to CO-OPCreditUnions.org who devised this fun little ditty.

Here we go…. Answer “Always”“Sometimes,” or “Never” for each of the following statements, and then see below for the answer key. Come on Warren Buffett, come on Warren Buffett!!

How to retire 15 years earlier

I wanted to further explain how low expenses lead to early retirement by taking a look at a case study.

Be a Super Saver

Let’s explore the lives of two fraternal twins, tragically torn apart at birth (not in the separating conjoined twins sense, but rather in the figurative sense).  To protect their true identities, I have carefully crafted cover identities.  Each sibling led similar lives.  They went to college, studied engineering and obtained good jobs right out of college at age 21 earning $60,000 per year.

A very good tool to manage your money-personal capital

I decided to take the plunge into the world of all-in-one personal finance and investing software.  Some folks use Quicken, Mint, or Wealthfront.  I looked at all of those, and tried some but they didn’t quite do what I wanted to do.  They were either too clunky, cumbersome and time consuming to use, or they didn’t get the investment management part done correctly.

Enter Personal Capital.  This is a slick web site that makes managing your finances and investments quicker, easier, and prettier.  All your credit cards, checking, banking, investments, 401k’s, IRA’s, and other accounts are in one place, conveniently summarized.

Why we shuould buy used cars

Buying a brand new car has to be one of the worst financial decisions a person can make. I’ve said this before and I continue to harp, even though I know it sounds a tad… oh what’s the word… hardline? Crazy? Like a frugal evangelist? Nevertheless, I persist because it’s one of those purchasing decisions with the power to impact your longterm financial health in a profoundly negative way.

Life insurance is necessary

When we started working to pay off our consumer debt, we began by going through every single line item in our budget. The goal was to determine which expenses were truly value expenses in our life, and which were merely temporary, feel-good expenses that were hindering our ability to become debt free. 

Some of the items that we decided were no longer worth spending our money on (in terms of a greater goal) were:

  • cable TV
  • magazine subscriptions
  • dance lessons for the girls
  • eating out at restaurants
  • trips to the beauty salon
  • weekly dates with the kids to local restaurants

The cost of these things was really adding up, and that was evident by our continuously rising credit card debt. When we finally opened up our eyes to our dwindling net worth, we decided that it was time to discover what we truly valued in life and what we didn’t. The money we were spending on things that weren’t a true value to our lives then were redirected to more important stuff, like paying off debt.

How debt makes it difficult for you to achieve Financial Freedom

Let’s face it, you are most likely part of the 80% of the American population that is currently making a monthly loan payment. Between student loans, a home mortgage, car loans, and the exercise machine you bought on sale in January, it can be nearly impossible to not borrow money at some point in your life. While going into debt is often viewed a normal facet of life, most people do not realize how debt can destroy your chances of financial freedom and living the life you truly desire.