Peer Pressure and Debt

Whew, is it getting hot in here? For some reason, the past two days was a huge day for financial peer pressure. It just seemed like everywhere I went, there was some example about how our family isn’t/wouldn’t/won’t fit in because of some of the financial choices that we are making. Our biggest long-term goal is to completely get out of debt, including our house and to start to build wealth so we can give generously. At the moment, we are far from this goal, but making progress. We have no debt, other than our house, although that debt is … Continue reading

Taking Debt Too Lightly

Why is it so easy to go into debt and so hard to get out of it? I think for modern generations, there has been a culture of taking debt too lightly. Fortunately, for some of us, that culture is changing toward one of getting rid of debt or not getting into it in the first place. Meanwhile, there is still a more corporate culture that encourages debt, and it is one, as individuals, that we have to fight against in order to be solvent and live a good life. Being offered a loan, whether it is a home mortgage, … Continue reading

Getting Your Spouse to Be Frugal

One of the most frustrating things is get your budget down significantly, only to see it blown by a spouse who is not with the program. All of the hard work and careful planning that you do to save money can be unravelled by one impulse purchase or bad decision. So how do you get your spouse or other family member on board? Read on for some tips. Address the Stigmas My friend Bonnie (not her real name because I don’t want to embarrass her) is almost ready to give up on trying to be frugal and save money. Her … Continue reading

Debt Settlement

This morning I saw a commercial for a debt forgiveness program. It’s not the first time I’ve seen the commercial and other ones like it. It sounds really great. Just wipe away your credit card debt without declaring bankruptcy. I’ve known for years that you can call your creditors and negotiate a repayment of a fraction of what you owe. The theory is that the creditor will be grateful for any payment and a settled account is better than one that ends in default. What you’ll find, though, is that creditors don’t want to settle the debt. Why should they? … Continue reading

Getting Your Finances Straight Before the Hospital Bills Arrive

When it comes to paying for prenatal care and labor and delivery, get your ducks in a row before you give birth. While eight months may not be enough time to get completely prepared financially, preparing for the large stack of bills before they arrive will give you the upper hand and reduce your stress. First of all, figure out what you can afford. Not many people have the kind of cash it takes to pay a hospital bill in full when it is due, so most of us end up making monthly payments. Figure out what the maximum monthly … Continue reading

Paying Off Your Debt for the Summer

Whether you have a large mortgage payment or owe your best friend $50, paying off your debt can be satisfying, not only for your financial well being, but for your self esteem as well. But how can you pay off debt when you are overwhelmed? Summer is a great time to pay off some debt. Here are some tips. Go on lock down Stop adding to your debt and avoid spending money on anything new. Obviously, you will need food and shelter. Unless you are going around naked, new clothes are not a necessity. Stay home, cancel the gym membership … Continue reading

How to Decrease Your Debt

If you find yourself drowning in expenses and don’t know how to get out of it, you aren’t alone. The average household owes $18,000 or more in credit card and other debt. If you have completed a budget and know that you are spending more than you are making, then you absolutely have to decrease your debt, no matter what. Here are some steps to take. First, stop using your credit cards. Cut them up, lock them away, give them to a trusted relative to hold, whatever it is that you need to do, but just stop. What if there … Continue reading

Eliminating Debt as a Single Parent

Talking about debt may not be a very fun or popular topic but how we manage our finances can be an extremely big deal for the average single parent. It can be such a tough catch-22 since we need to support our kids and take care of our lives and we also want to keep financial sound on a solid level—this means providing for our kids without going into debt. Now, I want to admit to you that I am NOT completely debt free—I still have several thousand dollars worth of student loans that I will probably be paying on … Continue reading

Linking Financial and Physical Health

A recent poll from the Associated Press and AOL Health took a look at the link between financial health (or lack thereof) and physical health. The poll was conducted in March and April of 2008 with more than one thousand adults from forty-eight states. The last time a poll like this was conducted was 2004. Comparing the two polls found that debt-related stress is fourteen percent higher now than it was four years ago. A research psychologist on the study estimated that between ten and sixteen million people are living in debt and suffering physically from the stress. Respondents in … Continue reading

Frugal Contentment Thieves 2

When we last left off, we were talking about how a comfortable neighbor can rob you of your frugal contentment. Now, let’s see what to do about it, as well as how to face two other potential thieves. The best way around this is to realize that your frugal living is a choice that you have made. You might be able to have some of the things that your neighbor does, but you might also have the debt, the second or third job or the stress that goes with it. And isn’t it better to enjoy a simple life free … Continue reading