Enemy of Debt http://www.enemyofdebt.com Motivational Money Management Fri, 01 Jul 2016 13:16:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 7/1 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-71/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-71/#respond Fri, 01 Jul 2016 13:16:04 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17765 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 7/1

Happy 4th of July weekend, EOD Nation!  We don’t have any big plans for the weekend, although I definitely plan on firing up my grill to make some delicious food, and because……’Murica.   My son also has a friend coming to visit, so we’ll have a house guest for the week.  My wife and I instantly feel the need to start planning activities, but the look in our son’s eyes as we started discussing was priceless.  He wanted to hang out with his friend….not his friend and his parents  Time for us to take a step back.  LOL. Get your fists […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 7/1

fistpumpHappy 4th of July weekend, EOD Nation!  We don’t have any big plans for the weekend, although I definitely plan on firing up my grill to make some delicious food, and because……’Murica.   My son also has a friend coming to visit, so we’ll have a house guest for the week.  My wife and I instantly feel the need to start planning activities, but the look in our son’s eyes as we started discussing was priceless.  He wanted to hang out with his friend….not his friend and his parents  Time for us to take a step back.  LOL.

Get your fists in the air for America’s birthday!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-71/feed/ 0
13 Better Money Habits You Need to Get Out of Debt http://www.enemyofdebt.com/better-money-habits-get-out-debt/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/better-money-habits-get-out-debt/#comments Thu, 30 Jun 2016 04:11:45 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17743 Enemy of Debt - 13 Better Money Habits You Need to Get Out of Debt

Developing better money habits that lead to getting out of debt is one of those things everybody knows they should do, but sadly most don’t.  I know Angie and I struggled for years with nagging debt that never seemed to go away.  It wasn’t until we changed our money habits and our mindset about money that we were truly able to make a full effort at getting out of debt. We Had to Change Our Money Habits We spent a lot of time putting band-aids on our finances, but never fixed the underlying problem.  When it came down to it, […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - 13 Better Money Habits You Need to Get Out of Debt

Developing better money habits that lead to getting out of debt is one of those things everybody knows they should do, but sadly most don’t.  I know Angie and I struggled for years with nagging debt that never seemed to go away.  It wasn’t until we changed our money habits and our mindset about money that we were truly able to make a full effort at getting out of debt.

We Had to Change Our Money Habits

We spent a lot of time putting band-aids on our finances, but never fixed the underlying problem.  When it came down to it, our problem was not money, it was us.

Once we finally understood we had to change our money habits, then we knew it was going to take time, effort, and (that dreaded word) change if we were finally going to get out of debt.

Let’s face it, nobody likes change.

But change you must if you finally want to get out of debt and stop living paycheck to paycheck like everyone else.

13 Money Habits You Need to Get Out of Debt for Good

So for this post I thought I’d give you a complete list of what it takes to develop better money habits so you can get out of debt and permanently change your future for the better!  We did them and you can do them too!

Here they are:

Don’t Borrow Money

Yep, this one’s a no brainer!  But you’d be surprised at how many people wanting to develop better money habits and get out of debt overlook this one.

If you want to get out of debt, you have to stop borrowing money, period!

That means it’s time to cut up the credit cards, learn how to pay cash for your cars (it’s easier than you think), and eventually get the house and student loans paid off too.

You’ll never get out of debt if you keep believing you need to borrow money to live your life.

Be Patient

Paying off debt takes time.  Depending on how much debt you have, it may take anywhere from a few months to a few years to completely pay it off.

That means you have to be patient and understand that it just doesn’t happen overnight (unless your rich aunt leaves you an inheritance!).

Look at getting out of debt as a marathon, not a sprint.  Just like in a real marathon, you may hit a wall along the way and feel like quitting.  But when you decide to be relentless and continue on no matter what, you’ll finally get out of debt and practice better money habits for life!

Use a Budget to Keep Track

Keeping a budget is probably the best money habit you can develop.  Most anybody who is financially successful understands that keeping track of your money and where it goes is massively important.

If you don’t have a clear concept of where your money goes every month, then you tend to waste money without even knowing it.  Whether you have a high income or make very little, not keeping track of money causes you to live paycheck to paycheck and never get ahead.

I’ve put together an excellent resource on how to make a great budget that actually works.  You can find it at the link below:

My Book- “Balance- The Quick and Easy Guide to Financial Stability Using a Budget”

Use Cash in an Envelope System

Once you learn how to make a budget, I recommend that you go cash only.  Going cash only means you pay for things with cash, check, or a debit card.

As I said above, if you want to develop better money habits and get out of debt for good, credit cards are no longer an option.  Ditching credit cards is easy once you get used to it, but I have to admit it feels a little weird at first.

I wrote a killer post about how to set up your own envelope system, which you can find at the link below:

How to Start an Envelope System and Budget With Cash

Know Your Numbers

Knowing your numbers is very important for keeping track of short term and long term financial goals.  So what does it mean to know your numbers?  It means you should know how much you’re spending on certain things so they don’t get out of hand and cause you financial stress.  Knowing your numbers also means having a firm grasp of what you have, what you don’t have, and what you need for the future.

For instance:

  • How much do you pay for housing? ( I recommend 25% of your take home pay or less)
  • How much are you putting into savings every month? (I recommend 15% of your income once your consumer debt is paid off)
  • How much do you spend on food? Could you spend less and put money into savings instead?
  • How much is your net worth (how much you own minus how much you owe)?
  • And others…

Get Your Spouse on Board

If you’re married, it’s hugely important to be able to communicate about money and have shared financial goals.  Establishing better money habits happens much easier when you have two people pulling in the same direction.

Sometimes it’s hard to get your spouse on board with a financial plan, but when you both start working together, managing finances becomes so much easier.  Just the act of working together on something this important can go a long way toward making a happier marriage.

I cover marriage and money extensively in my CFF get out of debt course- You can find out more about it here.

Have Goals for Your Money

Money without goals is like a traveler without a destination.  You can wander around aimlessly all day, but you’ll never get anywhere.

Develop short term and long term goals for your money.  Here are some goals that I recommend:

  • How much money you plan on saving this year
  • How much money you plan to invest this year
  • Start an emergency fund
  • What happens to your money when you’re gone

This is only a short list of goals to work toward.  Having focused goals for your money, how it grows, and where it goes keeps you on track for the future instead of wandering aimlessly with your finances.

Develop better money habits by consistently working on your financial goals and your future will thank you!

Stop Worrying What Other People Think

Keeping up with the Joneses is one of the worst things that get people into financial trouble.  When you think you have to have the same big house and expensive cars everybody else has, you can get into financial trouble quickly.

Keeping up with everybody else doesn’t work.  The part that you don’t see is that the Joneses are up to their eyeballs in debt.  They are stressed out, having trouble paying bills, and struggling to keep it all together (this is true even if they have a high income).

Be different by spending less than you make and living within your means.  People might perceive you a little differently, but that’s a good thing!

Embrace Change

Learning to embrace change is a good thing.  Always be willing to change how you manage your money and how you think about finances as you gain new knowledge.

Changing the way you do things is not always easy, but it gets easier the more times you do it.

Get an Abundance Mindset

So many people are conflicted in what they believe about money and wealth.  There are a lot of negative messages about money you hear that just aren’t true, but the constant rattle of financial negativity can get to you after a while.

Money and wealth are not evil, but some people are.

Learn to develop a mindset of abundance and understand that money is only bad in the hands of bad people.  God wants abundance for all, and when He can trust you with it, the Bible says He will add even more to you (see 2 Corinthians 9:7-9).

Here are a few articles I’ve written on the subject that you’ll find helpful:

Abundance vs. Scarcity- Your Mindset Makes All the Difference

Havdalah- How to Have an Overflowing Cup of Financial Abundance

9 Lessons on Finance and Success From King Solomon

Find Ways to Make Extra Money

One of the best things you can do to supercharge your finances is to find ways to make extra money.  Stick that extra income into savings and investments on top of what you’re already saving, and you’ll see your net worth grow (and your debt shrink) amazingly quickly!

I’ve written a ton of articles on making extra money over the years.  You can find a complete list of them on the CFF Money Making Ideas page.

Give Money Away

One of the better money habits you can ever develop is to be a giver.  The Bible shows the incredible power of giving time after time.  God is a god of increase and abundance, and giving unlocks the key to access all the abundance He wants for you.

Giving is a very counterintuitive thing to do.  You would think when you give something away, it’s just gone.

But that’s not how it works…

The neat thing about giving of yourself and your money is that it catches God’s attention.  He always ensures that whatever you give comes back to you bigger and better than when you gave it.

I’ve read about it in the Bible many times, and better yet I’ve seen it proven in my own life!

Read more about the power of giving on the CFF Giving page

Get an Emergency Fund

Better money habits start with a solid contingency plan.  You always need a financial reserve available for the inevitable emergency.  You know you’ll have an emergency expense to deal with at some point in the future, you just don’t know when or how much it will cost.

So it’s wise to be prepared.

When it comes to getting out of debt, having at least a small emergency fund is extremely important.  Having that financial cushion in place helps you deal with any bumps along the way that could derail your get out of debt plan.

 

Take Responsibility for Your Financial Situation

One of the first things you have to do once you decide to develop better money habits and get out of debt is to realize that you are the one responsible for your finances.  If you’re married, then it’s both of you.

You have to stop blaming the government, your job, the economy, and any other convenient scapegoat.

You have to put your big boy (or girl) pants on and make your financial situation work no matter what outside factors may be influencing your situation.

Taking responsibility like this has an empowering effect on your attitude, helping you attack your debt so relentlessly that you won’t rest until you’re done with debt forever!

Better Money Habits Breed Success

Nobody who has truly become a financial success did it without developing better money habits along the way.  Sure, you can get rich without ever establishing better financial habits, but the wealth doesn’t last very long.  Just ask some professional athletes or the average lottery winner.

Developing better habits with money is a lifelong process that begins the minute you decide you’re done living an average (broke) financial life.

But once you finally start the process, you’ll wonder why in the world you didn’t start sooner!

Question:  Did I leave anything out?  Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page with any other good money habits you recommend.

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/better-money-habits-get-out-debt/feed/ 4
Why Being Frugal Is Pointless Unless You Crush Your Mortgage http://www.enemyofdebt.com/why-being-frugal-is-pointless-unless-you-crush-your-mortgage/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/why-being-frugal-is-pointless-unless-you-crush-your-mortgage/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2016 07:35:03 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17729 Enemy of Debt - Why Being Frugal Is Pointless Unless You Crush Your Mortgage

I’m sure I’m not the only one around here that gets a lot of benefit reading the great tips and insightful behavioral issues that we all have with money here on Enemy Of Debt, however over the course of many years I’ve talked to a number of friends and family in confidence as well as read a lot about how people handle their finances and there is one HUGE pitfall that I’ve noticed almost everyone has. They all have tunnel vision. Most people are so busy, so concerned, so consumed with the immediate things in front of their eyes that […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Why Being Frugal Is Pointless Unless You Crush Your Mortgage

The-Street

I’m sure I’m not the only one around here that gets a lot of benefit reading the great tips and insightful behavioral issues that we all have with money here on Enemy Of Debt, however over the course of many years I’ve talked to a number of friends and family in confidence as well as read a lot about how people handle their finances and there is one HUGE pitfall that I’ve noticed almost everyone has.

They all have tunnel vision.

Most people are so busy, so concerned, so consumed with the immediate things in front of their eyes that they completely ignore everything else. For example stop and think about what money related issues you dealt with today.

Did you need to fill up the car with petrol and hunted around to find the cheapest price?

Did you go food shopping and made sure to buy the no named brand things or only certain products because they were on special?

These are day to day, immediate money related problems that we encounter and whilst I’m not one to tell you to go around wasting your money I want to try and make it clear today that focusing on these types of problems is basically pointless unless you get your mortgage well and truly sorted first.

Why?

If you shop carefully every time you do food shopping you could save hundreds of dollars a year which is great… but let’s compare that to your mortgage:

A $250,000 loan at 3.5% paid off over 7 years vs 30 years will save you roughly $120,000.

$120,000!!!

If you have a bigger loan like $350,000 the difference is even more ridiculous at $170,000!

It’s pretty clear isn’t it? Being frugal is pointless unless you crush your mortgage first.

When you spend all of your time being frugal and paying attention to the immediate things that happen every day like buying petrol or doing food shopping it’s all for nothing, you’ll still be going backwards to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Financial sites often tell you to “start with your biggest expense” when budgeting but then go on to completely miss THE biggest expense of all, mortgage payments!

So if you only take away one message from this article today make sure it’s to always, always have your mortgage paid off as quickly as possible.

So how can you pay off your mortgage over 7 years instead of 30?

For us it took around 6.5 years and we paid down a $400,000 loan which saved us over $300,000 in interest. To do this in such a short time frame took a lot of discipline and work but after going back over it all I’d say about 99% of it boiled down to doing three things:

1. Set your repayments high and make them automatic. The single biggest thing I learned is to ignore virtually all the “experts” tips and instead focus all your effort on finding ALL available extra money and pushing that to the mortgage. I’m not talking about that once off $2,000 bonus or tax return or whatever, I’m talking about looking at your income and setting up an automatic, reoccurring payment to your mortgage that is made up of a sizable chunk. Think $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 on top of your normal mortgage payment every fortnight. There are many ways to get this extra money which is something I cover in detail at Mutilate The Mortgage but for now I’d just like to focus on the mortgage part.

This extra repayment should also be automatic. With online banking these days it’s super easy to set recurring automatic payments up and once done it happens every fortnight without any effort or thought on your part which is exactly how easy good finance should be. Saving huge amounts of interest becomes the default option and you can just get on with living your life instead of worrying about it all.

2. Stay motivated. Find out why you want to pay off your mortgage faster and put that reason in a very visible spot so you never forget it. Then keep reminding yourself of that reason every few months by imagining what that future will look like. This is critical as although 7 years is much shorter than 30, it’s still seven years that you will have to remain disciplined and keep chipping away at your mortgage. Maybe use that reason as your “transaction description” so you see it each time the money is automatically transferred.

3. Cut costs and increase efficiency. Initially your automatic additional mortgage repayment might only be $200, but after setting it up your main focus should be on finding MORE available income by cutting costs, earning more income and increasing efficiency. When you trim or save on your bills, up the amount of your automatic payment. When you get a raise or new job paying more, up the amount of your automatic payment. I encourage most people to strive for pushing 70% of their after tax income towards their mortgage and a number of people even go further than that.

I know putting 70% of your income towards the mortgage might initially sound ridiculous and impossible but it’s actually quite attainable. Experts always throw lame figures like “5%” or “15%” savings around but you can do better! Much better! We’re past 70% and there are many other examples of people who even get to 80%!

The important message for today though is that you should make sure you’re address your biggest expenses first which is your mortgage. Stop spending all your time worrying about the small things and instead focus your effort on the big, giant elephant in the room first. A common saying that fits this problem is “penny wise, pound foolish“. Don’t be wise with your cents until you’ve fully analyzed and accounted for all your dollars first!

So are you sweating over the small things and ignoring your mortgage? Why haven’t you addressed the bigger issue yet? Or do you focus on something else instead?

Today’s post comes from Alex. He blogs over at Mutilate The Mortgage and is giving away a few free gifts just for Enemy Of Debt readers. Head over to www.MutilateTheMortgage.com to find out how to pay off your mortgage in under 10 years.

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/why-being-frugal-is-pointless-unless-you-crush-your-mortgage/feed/ 0
Save Money On IAMS Dog Food At Target! http://www.enemyofdebt.com/save-money-on-iams-dog-food-at-target/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/save-money-on-iams-dog-food-at-target/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2016 12:06:18 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17747 Enemy of Debt - Save Money On IAMS Dog Food At Target!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #IamsDogGiftCardOffer #CollectiveBias It’s a great time to shop for your pet! Save $2 now, plus get a $10 Target Gift Card when you spend $40 on your furry friend.

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Save Money On IAMS Dog Food At Target!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #IamsDogGiftCardOffer #CollectiveBias

IAMS

It’s a great time to shop for your pet! Save $2 now, plus get a $10 Target Gift Card when you spend $40 on your furry friend.

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/save-money-on-iams-dog-food-at-target/feed/ 0
Save Money By Cooking At Home: Mexican Night Edition http://www.enemyofdebt.com/saving-money-by-cooking-at-home-mexican-night-edition/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/saving-money-by-cooking-at-home-mexican-night-edition/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:42:19 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17734 Enemy of Debt - Save Money By Cooking At Home: Mexican Night Edition

“I want a Margarita,” said my wife. We both had had a busy day doing separate activities and we were making plans for the evening together. My wife was in the mood for an adult beverage, and we began discussing where we could get a good margarita and dinner. We both made a few suggestions, but nothing really sounded good. Neither of us really wanted to be around other people. What she said next was music to my ears. “We could just get stuff and make drinks and dinner at home.” Not being a fan of dining out, I was […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Save Money By Cooking At Home: Mexican Night Edition

13516148_10207068606169898_9154699800373643331_n“I want a Margarita,” said my wife.

We both had had a busy day doing separate activities and we were making plans for the evening together. My wife was in the mood for an adult beverage, and we began discussing where we could get a good margarita and dinner. We both made a few suggestions, but nothing really sounded good. Neither of us really wanted to be around other people. What she said next was music to my ears.

“We could just get stuff and make drinks and dinner at home.”

Not being a fan of dining out, I was quick to jump on the suggestion. First we started searching for margarita recipes. Once we found one that sounded good, we laid down plans for what we wanted to eat for dinner. Following the Mexican theme, my wife remembered a recipe for a taco bake that she had seen. We’ve never made it before and she suggested that it would be fun for us to cook something new together.

We created a list of everything we needed to make both the taco bake and the margaritas and headed to the stores to pick up the supplies.

First we went to the liquor store for the adult beverage ingredients. Since we were doing this ourselves in the comfort of our own home, we decided to buy top shelf ingredients to make the best margaritas possible.

Liquor Bill : $48 for a 375ML of Tequila, and a 375ML of Triple Sec

Next we went to the grocery store to pick up what we needed to make our dinner.

Food Bill: $24 including tortilla chips and queso dip as an appetizer.

Once we got home, we had a great time together making frozen margaritas and the taco bake. We even created a Mexican restaurant environment by playing the Latino music station through our cable service.

Cost Comparison

Estimated Restaurant Cost

Had we actually gone out to a Mexican restaurant, our bill would have looked something like this:

  • Chips and Salsa/Queso: $0. This is commonly free at most Mexican restaurants
  • Entress: $12 x 2 = $24. I looked at our favorite Mexican restaurant for a cost estimate.
  • Margaritas : $7 x 4 = $28. We made HUGE margaritas that would likely had been 2 each at a restaurant.
  • Tip: Giving approximately a 20% tip, this would come to about $11.

Total Bill: $63

Staying At Home Cost

  • Liquor: $48
  • Food : $24

Total Bill: $72

Wait, wasn’t eating at home supposed to be cheaper? We’ve forgotten something very important here that affects the actual cost of our dinner. We actually only consumed 3 oz, or 90ML, of each container of alcohol. That works out to be 24% of the alcohol.

When we calculate how much of the alcohol products we actually used, our cost looks like this:

  • Liquor: $11.52
  • Food: $24

Adjusted Bill: 35.52 – a savings of $27.48.

Granted, the full alcohol bill needed to be paid out of pocket for this event, but we could do this several more times before we need to buy the alcohol products again. One could have the perspective that we paid slightly more this time, and subsequent events will be much cheaper, or the savings could be spread across all events.

Either way, we had a great time at home making margaritas and cooking together. I’ll take that over sitting in a booth waiting for someone to bring me something I may not like, and margaritas made with low quality products any day.

How about you EOD Nation, have you ever tried to recreate a restaurant quality meal at home?

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/saving-money-by-cooking-at-home-mexican-night-edition/feed/ 2
Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/24 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-624/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-624/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:38:19 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17731 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/24

Last weekend my wife and I were in Duluth, MN for me to run a 5K and a half marathon as part of Grandma’s Marathon weekend.  With that now behind us, it’s time to focus on summer projects.  First up is a leftover from last year:  re-staining the deck.  I stripped it of the old stain last year, but didn’t get to finishing the project.  So, we’ll be doing some light sanding and then putting a fresh coat of oil based stain on it.  If we paid someone to do it, it would cost over $700.   No Thanks.  I know […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/24

fistpumpLast weekend my wife and I were in Duluth, MN for me to run a 5K and a half marathon as part of Grandma’s Marathon weekend.  With that now behind us, it’s time to focus on summer projects.  First up is a leftover from last year:  re-staining the deck.  I stripped it of the old stain last year, but didn’t get to finishing the project.  So, we’ll be doing some light sanding and then putting a fresh coat of oil based stain on it.  If we paid someone to do it, it would cost over $700.   No Thanks.  I know how to use a brush.  🙂

Get those fists up for summer projects, friends.  Then take a peek at my favorite posts of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

 

 

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-624/feed/ 2
6 Ways To Save Money When Traveling to Run A Marathon http://www.enemyofdebt.com/6-ways-to-save-money-when-traveling-to-run-a-marathon/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/6-ways-to-save-money-when-traveling-to-run-a-marathon/#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2016 00:12:01 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17720 Enemy of Debt - 6 Ways To Save Money When Traveling to Run A Marathon

Last weekend my wife and I traveled about 4 hours north to Duluth, Minnesota so I could run a half marathon as part of the Grandma’s Marathon weekend. If you’ve ever traveled to another city to participate in a large running event, you know that the prices of many necessities are jacked sky high because they have a captive audience. For example, hotel room prices double during marathon weekend in Duluth, and guests are required to stay (or at least pay for) two nights. Also, event parking prices go into effect for lots near marathon activities. The good news is […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - 6 Ways To Save Money When Traveling to Run A Marathon

EOD_MarathonPicLast weekend my wife and I traveled about 4 hours north to Duluth, Minnesota so I could run a half marathon as part of the Grandma’s Marathon weekend. If you’ve ever traveled to another city to participate in a large running event, you know that the prices of many necessities are jacked sky high because they have a captive audience.

For example, hotel room prices double during marathon weekend in Duluth, and guests are required to stay (or at least pay for) two nights. Also, event parking prices go into effect for lots near marathon activities.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to bring down the price of participating in such an event. Here are six ways to save money when traveling for a major running event:

Share A Room

Hotel rooms are going to be expensive, but the cost can be cut in half by sharing a room with a friend that may also be participating in the same event.

Spaghetti Feed

Runners like to load up on carbohydrates the night before a race, therefore many major marathons offer an inexpensive spaghetti feed. Prices will vary, but in Duluth the price was $12 for adults, $6 for ages 5-12, and younger kids eat free. At those prices, it might be the least expensive meal to be found all of marathon weekend.

Hotel Happy Hours

Some hotels offer free happy hours that can help runners take the edge off their nerves before a race, or celebrate afterwards with an adult beverage. The hotel we stayed at offered a happy hour that wasn’t free, but was much less expensive than going out to a bar. They also offered free appetizers each night that actually served as a light meal.

Stay Near The Action

Last year my wife and I stayed nearly a mile from where the marathon weekend events took place. While we had easy access through a sky-way to events such as the health and fitness expo, concerts, and nearby restaurants and bars it took awhile to get there. This year, we paid almost exactly the same as we did last year, but stayed just a few blocks from all the action. The biggest positive was my wife could set up a bag chair right outside the hotel and watch me head to the nearby finish line. There was no reason to pay for event parking, or even drive anywhere. We parked our van when we arrived, and didn’t move it until we headed home.

Restaurant Specials

Call around, or ask the hotel if there are any restaurants having specials during the event. We found a great Italian restaurant that was having a 3 course meal for $13. We also got coupons from the hotel for several nearby restaurants saving us money on nearly every meal.

Runner Discounts

Many entertainment options will give a discount to runners. Always ask, as you may find discounts on anything from movie tickets, to tours of the area.

A weekend out of town for a running event can be expensive. But runners and their families can minimize costs, and still have a great time by utilizing these tips.

Are you a runner that has experienced the high cost of traveling out of town for a race? Do you have any other tips to save money?

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/6-ways-to-save-money-when-traveling-to-run-a-marathon/feed/ 1
How to Increase Your Credit Score Without Using Credit Cards http://www.enemyofdebt.com/how-to-increase-your-credit-score-without-using-credit-cards/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/how-to-increase-your-credit-score-without-using-credit-cards/#comments Sun, 19 Jun 2016 02:36:18 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17712 Enemy of Debt - How to Increase Your Credit Score Without Using Credit Cards

If you’ve read any of my articles before, you know I’m not a big fan of having a credit score.  In fact, I believe the best credit score is no score at all.  So why would I write a post about how to increase your credit score? Well, in some cases it’s easier to increase your credit score quickly rather than waiting for it to go to zero while you’re in the transition of getting out of debt (which may take months to years). This might be necessary if you have an immediate need for buying a home or renting […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - How to Increase Your Credit Score Without Using Credit Cards

How to Increase Your Credit Score Without Using Credit Cards

If you’ve read any of my articles before, you know I’m not a big fan of having a credit score.  In fact, I believe the best credit score is no score at all.  So why would I write a post about how to increase your credit score?

Well, in some cases it’s easier to increase your credit score quickly rather than waiting for it to go to zero while you’re in the transition of getting out of debt (which may take months to years).

This might be necessary if you have an immediate need for buying a home or renting a house, for instance.

In this case the goal would be to stay out of the middle territory where a bad credit score could prevent you from being approved for a mortgage or convincing a landlord to let you rent their property.

The Problem With Credit Scores

Too many people are led to believe that they need to go into debt and build credit so they can get the things they need financially, such as a home loan, a car loan, etc.

I won’t go into all the details here, but you don’t need a credit score to succeed in life.

If you insist on taking out loans and using credit to run your life, then you want the highest credit rating possible.  But if you’re getting out of debt and want to never use consumer debt again, your goal is to have no credit score whatsoever (which is what I teach).

Increase Your Credit Score Without Credit Cards

So if you’re stuck in a situation where you need your credit score to increase, but you don’t want to take on more debt, what do you do?

Well, you have several options available that can still keep you on the path to getting out of debt.  You can do these without using credit cards (or other debt) to increase your score if that’s what you need right now.

Below you’ll find some good options that fit the bill…

 

Look for Credit Report Errors

One of the quickest things you can do to increase your credit score is to scan your credit reports for errors.  According to an FTC study, as many as 25% of credit reports have errors.  Many of these errors can result in a lower credit score.

One way you can help correct these errors is by using a credit repair service.  I don’t usually recommend that.  But if you insist on letting someone else do it for you, it would probably be a good idea to find a service that’s highly rated.  You can find ratings for those on this handy ratings page for credit repair services at BadCredit.org

Contacting the credit bureau yourself and getting errors fixed may take some time and effort, but it’s definitely worth it.  Doing it yourself can result in a higher credit score in the long run without paying fees for someone else to handle it for you.

Pay Utilities and Rent on Time

Of course, paying your bills on time is a great way to maintain a good credit score, but only if those on time payments are being reported to the credit rating agencies.

Most landlords and utilities don’t do this.

So if you want to make sure your on time payments are being reported, contact your landlord and utility companies and request that they report every on time payment you send.  This could help your credit score increase significantly once the credit bureaus have a record of on time payments to consider.

ECredable

Ecredable is a company that helps you build a good credit score without having to use credit cards and loans to do it.   Ecredable records payment information from utility bills, life insurance payments, phone bills, cable bills, and other payments not usually considered in a traditional credit score.

From that information they build your AMP (All My Payments) credit score which is just as legal and valid as any credit score from a traditional credit bureau.

The beautiful thing about the Ecredable AMP score is that you’re making the typical bill payments you always make, without resorting to debt to build a credit score.

Keep Credit Card Balances Low

30% of your credit rating is based on your level of debt.  One way to improve your credit score is to pay down your credit cards and other debt to a lower level.  Of course, I believe having no debt is best.  But if you do have credit card debt, keep it at a low level compared to the max amount available on each card.

For instance, if you have a credit card with a $5,000 max, keep the balance at $500 or less.  Do this with all your credit cards to maximize your score with the eventual goal of getting out of debt for good.

Manual Underwriting

I’m a firm believer that you don’t need a credit score for any reason.  No matter what you need to do financially, it’s just not necessary to go into debt and build a good credit score so you can qualify to take out more debt.

Why would you want to get into that financial death spiral?

If you need to take out a reasonable mortgage on a house, you can take advantage of manual underwriting if you have no credit score.

Instead of letting a computer decide your mortgage fate based on your credit score, manual underwriting actually utilizes a human being to assess your finances to see if you can qualify for a mortgage.

There are a few basic criteria you’ll need to meet to qualify for manual underwriting, but a credit score is not one of them!

Be Patient

Whether you’re trying to build your credit score to a higher level or trying to get rid of it for good, you have to realize it takes patience.

The world of credit scores rarely moves quickly, but with a bit of diligence and a lot of patience you can achieve the outcome you’re looking for.

Other Things You Can Do

As I said earlier, I don’t like credit scores and truly believe you don’t need one to get by in life.  I don’t care what the gurus on TV say, true financial freedom comes from having no debt.

So if you want to achieve the kind of financial freedom that fundamentally changes your life for good, here’s what I recommend:

  • Decide that you don’t want to live like the average broke person who believes a credit score is necessary
  • Get in the habit of doing a monthly budget
  • Keep an emergency fund handy

Question:  What’s your opinion?  Do you think I’m crazy for wanting a zero credit score? Leave a comment and let me know…

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/how-to-increase-your-credit-score-without-using-credit-cards/feed/ 7
Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/17 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-617/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-617/#respond Fri, 17 Jun 2016 14:35:12 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17702 Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/17

Race weekend is finally here! After months of training and hard work, I’ll be running a 5k this evening, and a half marathon tomorrow as part of Grandma’s Marathon weekend in Duluth, MN.  Vonnie and I traveled to Duluth yesterday and one thing is clear; captive audience prices apply.  Hotel room prices double for this weekend, and you have to stay two nights.  Souvenirs, food, you name it and the price has gone up, bute’re doing our best to stay on budget and have fun! Get your fists up to wish me luck….and for my favorite posts of the week! […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 6/17

fistpumpRace weekend is finally here! After months of training and hard work, I’ll be running a 5k this evening, and a half marathon tomorrow as part of Grandma’s Marathon weekend in Duluth, MN.  Vonnie and I traveled to Duluth yesterday and one thing is clear; captive audience prices apply.  Hotel room prices double for this weekend, and you have to stay two nights.  Souvenirs, food, you name it and the price has gone up, bute’re doing our best to stay on budget and have fun!

Get your fists up to wish me luck….and for my favorite posts of the week!

Posts That Make Me Fist Pump

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/fist-pump-friday-i-love-you-like-a-blogger-roundup-617/feed/ 0
Don’t Be Fooled By The End Result http://www.enemyofdebt.com/dont-be-fooled-by-the-end-result/ http://www.enemyofdebt.com/dont-be-fooled-by-the-end-result/#comments Mon, 13 Jun 2016 20:51:58 +0000 http://www.enemyofdebt.com/?p=17697 Enemy of Debt - Don’t Be Fooled By The End Result

I’ve been called crazy, nuts, stupid, inspirational, amazing and countless other terms. I’m a long distance runner. I’ve run 5 marathons, several 10 mile races, a handful of 10Ks and even a few 5Ks. This weekend I’ll be running my second half marathon. Many people cannot comprehend how I can run such long distances. The trap these observers have fallen into is they only see the end result. I don’t just wake up and decide to run 26.2 miles. What isn’t seen is my alarm clock going off at 4:15am to go for my training runs 5 days a week. […]

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
Enemy of Debt - Don’t Be Fooled By The End Result

EOD_ResultPicI’ve been called crazy, nuts, stupid, inspirational, amazing and countless other terms. I’m a long distance runner. I’ve run 5 marathons, several 10 mile races, a handful of 10Ks and even a few 5Ks. This weekend I’ll be running my second half marathon.

Many people cannot comprehend how I can run such long distances.

The trap these observers have fallen into is they only see the end result. I don’t just wake up and decide to run 26.2 miles. What isn’t seen is my alarm clock going off at 4:15am to go for my training runs 5 days a week. The other 2 days are strength training. They don’t see the 3 hour, 18 mile runs when the dew point is a tropical 75 degrees. They don’t see the look of excitement on my face after a great run, nor do they feel the disappointment and shattering of my confidence after a terrible run.

People see the end result on race day, but do not see the hard work, training and preparation required to run a marathon.

We all do this sort of thing from time to time, especially when we compare our own abilities and limitations to the achievements and capabilities of others. We tend to explain away a person’s ability to outdo us with a brush stroke that the other person has some magic power, talent, or resource that we do not. People tell me I have good genes, or explain that they could never do it because they have bad knees.

This same phenomenon holds true when it comes to personal finance as well. When you see a person go on a vacation you could only dream about, or buy something you have coveted for years, what is your reaction? One of the following phrases likely sounds familiar, “I could do that too if I made as much money as they did,” or “It must be nice to be rich.” I’ve made those same statements. Of course we make those statements without knowing how much the other person makes, or really anything about their financial state.

  • We only see a person going on a nice vacation, not necessarily the hours of overtime they willingly put in sacrificing time away from their family to take them on the trip of a lifetime.
  • We only see a person buying a boat, not necessarily the weeks, months, or years of a low entertainment budget to save for the purchase.
  • We see someone sending their kids to college, but not necessarily the budgetary sacrifices that they will be making to do so.

We see the end result, but don’t think much about the hard work, dedication and sacrifices that go into making that end result a reality. The next time you see someone buying or doing something you also desire, don’t make the mistake of dismissing it as that person having something access to something you don’t.

Maybe all it takes is a little hard work.

Copyright © Enemy of Debt

]]>
http://www.enemyofdebt.com/dont-be-fooled-by-the-end-result/feed/ 5