Pay the mortgage or credit cards first? Which do you let be late?

ID-100104309

Let me start off by saying: I hope you never find yourself in this difficult situation! Life gets really stressful when money is tight. People get sick, layoffs happen, and the household income drops due to unforeseen circumstances. When you find yourself short on cash, which do you let be late: The mortgage or credit cards? According to TransUnion, one of the major credit reporting agencies, more Americans choose to pay their credit card bills to keep from being late than keep a mortgage current. Is this wise? Let’s walk through a few scenarios to expose the pros and cons […] Read more »

Are Luxury Hotels Worth the Price?

Luxury

A car pulls up to a hotel, the owner gets out as a doorman removes the bags and a valet takes the keys and drives away.  Inside the lobby a well dressed person at the reception desk goes through the check in process while describing all the amenities the hotel has to offer.  Being able to stay at a luxury hotel where employees bend over backwards to do everything for you is portrayed as a symbol of pampering and wealth. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? My wife and I spent the 4th of July weekend […] Read more »

Have We Learned To Use Credit Responsibly?

Using Credit

The thunder and lightning carrying on outside represented my struggle well. Two evenly matched forces were doing battle inside my head. The need to save money whenever possible, and my solid stance that using a credit card to pay for something should be avoided at all costs. Let me be clear, I do not think that credit cards themselves are evil. When used correctly, they can be a valuable tool in a person’s financial tool belt that can actually save money.   However, I have a huge problem with some of the business practices and policies of credit card companies. My […] Read more »

No Thanks, DirectTV, You Know Where You Can Stick Your High Pressure Sales Act

Salesman

I thanked the employee that had asked if I needed any help, guided me to what I was looking for within Best Buy,  and answered my questions. As I began to turn away, he said, “Oh, just one more thing. Who is your cable provider?” It was at that moment I noticed for the first time he was wearing a shirt with the DIRECTV logo embroidered into it. I knew exactly what was coming next as he led me to a table where he pulled out a notebook and started asking me more questions. He wrote information I was providing […] Read more »

Knowing when to throw in the towel is an art: bankruptcy and liquidation are a hard choice

debt

Today’s post comes a brand new member of the TeamEOD writing team – please help me give a warm welcome to Maria who hails from The Money Principle!   I have a lot of admiration for Maria, as she has an absolutely INCREDIBLE debt payoff story. She’ll be appearing here from time to time, and I can’t wait to read Maria’s take on saving money and debt.  Take it away, Maria! Our readers over on The Money Principle (and some others) know that slightly over four years ago we were in debt; heck we were in a lot of debt. We […] Read more »

Confession: I Broke My Number One Rule Of Shopping

Wallet

I know I cannot be trusted with credit cards; the temptation of overspending is just too much for me to handle. That’s why I will never carry them again.   But I would have never guessed the events that unfolded late last week as I was shopping for needed items for our annual Memorial Weekend Luau themed party. The party was going to be a little bigger than it has been the last few years, because it was also doubling as our celebration for completing our Debt Management program. We’ve been saving up since the end of January to make sure […] Read more »

Credit Card Companies Aren’t Providing Credit Scores For YOUR Benefit

Credit Card

The credit card companies are at it again. Remember, these are the same companies that think you’re so stupid that they actually created a commercial that suggests it would be a great idea to buy things for your friends just to earn credit card rewards. What are they up to now? Credit card companies are offering to give you your credit score for free. On the surface, it sounds like a good deal for consumers. Obtaining your credit score will usually cost you somewhere around $20. The credit card companies are doing us such a nice favor by providing us […] Read more »

The Big Wins You Should Go After

Big Win

The following is a guest post from Martin of Studenomics, where he’s totally focused on creating financial freedom by 30! I’ve been writing about personal finance for five years now. I’ve explored every topic from big wins to frugality to real estate. There are times where I discuss more advanced topics. Then sometimes I run into a friend and they want to hear about getting started. I know that most of you are past the stage of getting started so we won’t discuss the basics. Instead we will refresh on the big wins. The one thing that we’re all delusional […] Read more »

Renting isn’t throwing money away

Renting

How many times have you heard someone say “renting an apartment is just throwing money away?” Maybe you’ve been told it’s better to buy a house when the monthly mortgage payment is equal to rent. It sounds reasonable but it isn’t true: Renting isn’t throwing money away. The dollars left out of the deal Buying a house will cost you much more than just a monthly payment. Rentals often include things like water, trash collection, and even heat that a mortgage just doesn’t cover. A home owner has to pay those on top of their principle, interest, taxes, and insurance. […] Read more »

When Your Kid Shows More Financial Responsibility Than You

Kid_responsible

Have you ever had one of those moments where as a parent you just hang your head in shame, because your son or daughter showed more responsibility you? Yeah, I had that happen to me just this weekend. My son got his Xbox360 a few years ago, and instantly wanted to take advantage of the console’s ability to play games online with his friends. In order to make that happen, we had to purchase an Xbox Live membership. We gave him a year’s subscription as a birthday present, and to pay for it we attached our checking account to the […] Read more »

It Takes Money To Save Money

fertilizer

It takes money to make money. It’s a common phrase you may have heard before. My interpretation of the phrase boils down to investing, whether it be in stocks or a business. If you have money, it gives you more options to be able to generate more money.   Over the weekend I found a similar but less known assertion to be true. It takes money to save money. One of the things that I had let go of while we were paying off our debt was our lawn care. I love having a lush green lawn, but achieving the look […] Read more »

Financial Literacy: Communication and Teamwork Are Vital to Success

fin_lit_carnival_2014

  Preface:  Today I’m taking part in the Financial Literacy Awareness Carnival hosted by Shannon at The Heavy Purse.  Once you’ve finished here, click here and check out the list of other great posts by my fellow bloggers also participating in the carnival! Sitting in a chair facing a filled to capacity movie theater, the question that popped into my head was, “How did I get here?” I was one of three customers invited to the headquarters of CareOne Debt Relief Services in Maryland in September of 2012. They were holding an employee recognition event, and wanted to have a […] Read more »

Review and Give Away: How Much Money Do I Need To Retire?

Retire_pic

The book had been sitting on my desk in my home office for months, staring at me in plain sight as a reminder that I needed to read it. Someday. I had received How Much Money Do I Need To Retire from the author, Todd Tresidder, at the Financial Blogger Conference back in October, but I just couldn’t seem to find the time or the motivation to read it. Looking back, my mind just wasn’t in the right place. At the time, getting back on track with our retirement planning was just a twinkle in my eye. We only had […] Read more »