Use The 4 Keys of Consistency to Get Out of Debt

consistent get out of debt

When you decide to start getting out of debt, it can be hard because you’re attempting to live life in a new way.  You’re changing your mindset about money and developing new habits that you hope to be permanent. But while you’re in the midst of making all these changes, it can be easy to let some of those old habits and mindsets creep back in. Change is hard. That’s why it’s necessary to learn how to be consistent when you’re trying to getting out of debt.   It Takes Firmness of Character To Get Out of Debt One definition […] Read more »

What the Check Engine Light Taught Me about Myself, My Finances, and My Relationship With My Wife

“I’m not happy with you, by the way,” Vonnie stated in a matter of fact tone. “You can’t keep things from me like that. You know that.” Driving north through Iowa on our way home from St. Louis, the check engine light remained illuminated on the dashboard of our rental car, reminding me of my mistake. It started a few days earlier during our 4 day trip to St. Louis when we had asked the valet at our hotel to retrieve our rental car so we could get some paperwork out of the car. I sat down in the drivers […] Read more »

Creating The Right Mindset to Get Out of Debt

Many of you are constantly thinking about ways to change your habits, your finances, your life, and whatever else you can to help make the future better.  That’s what smart people do. When it comes to making change happen, the first step you have to take is to create a mindset for yourself that’s going to allow you to succeed. Let’s face it, if you decide you want to make changes big or small, but you don’t really take the step of preparing for that change, then it’s just wishful thinking- you’re living in a fantasy world. Good preparation breeds […] Read more »

Worrying Doesn’t Accomplish Anything. Take Action. Now.

“Are you making yourself old again?” I heard Tori’s friend say to her from behind me as we headed off to dance class. I had never heard the phrase before, but I immediately understood what she meant. She was referring to the scrunched look on Tori’s face which was a result of the unusually rough time that just occurred at home as I had to continuously poke and prod her to get dinner eaten, dressed, and out the door on time for class. The wrinkles on her face made her look old. But even more than just making her look […] Read more »

Are You One of the “Financially Fragile” Americans?

financially fragile

I read in a Wall Street Journal article that almost half of all Americans would have to sell some of their possessions if they needed to come up with $2,000 cash within 30 days.  The author called these people “financially fragile”. Wow!  That’s disturbing statistic. It’s especially surprising when you realize that a normal emergency expense like a major car repair or a child’s broken arm (which happened to my son a few weeks ago) can pretty easily set you back a couple of grand. Why Are So Many of Us Financially Fragile? So what’s the deal?  Why is it […] Read more »

Credit Cards Should Have A Warning Label for People Like Me

I could tell by the writing on the envelope resting on top of the stack of the day’s mail that it was the settlement check I had been waiting for. I am included in a class action lawsuit against Chase in which they are accused of pulling a “bait and switch” by offering customers a fixed, low interest rate to lure new customers to transfer balances and then later jacking up the minimum payment policy. This happened back in 2009, and resulted in my inability to meet my monthly financial commitments. It was also the driving factor that caused my […] Read more »

This is Why Your Budget Isn’t Working

how do you budget

  A few months ago, I wrote a few articles about how to budget.  But only recently, I realized that there was something I left out of those articles. I discovered that when I speak to people about their finances and how to make a budget, there is inevitable that person that tells me, “I tried to do a budget, but it just didn’t work for me”. When they express that to me, they seriously believe that doing a written budget just doesn’t work and that there has to be a better way of doing things.  But there is one […] Read more »

This is Why You Overspend!

This is Why You Overspend

Overspending is something that most all of us have been guilty of at one time or another.  But when you overspend on a regular basis, it can put a real dent in the amount of money you have to spend on the things you need, not just the things you want. If you’re someone that tends to overspend often and then discover you’ve made a bit of a mess financially, it’s probably wise to start doing a little digging and try to discover just why the overspending is happening in the first place. Know Why Overspending Happens When you know […] Read more »

Does Your Wallet (or Purse) Reflect Your Financial Goals?

If you love sitcoms, you may be familiar with a show that aired during the 1990’s called Seinfeld. If so, surely you remember an episode that mocks the size and fatness of George Costanza’s wallet. He would put everything in his wallet including money, receipts, numbers, coupons and even candy. I was sitting in my office the other day and became painfully aware that my wallet had become just a little too thick. It was time to do one of those periodic cleansing of the wallet to purge those things that I don’t need to be sitting on for 10 […] Read more »

Financial Lessons: I learned It by Watching You

The 1980’s anti-drug public service announcement where a father finds his son’s drug stash and confronts him, only to learn the horrid truth, “I learned it by watching you.” Some things never change and the depths of your parental influence run greater than you may think. Your kids are watching your every move, even how you manage money. Every moment can present a learning opportunity. Think about the typical week… Monday: You are dropping your child off at school and they remind you they don’t have any money in their lunch account. You respond with an off-handed, “I’ll just wait […] Read more »

A Glass Of Wine, A Sign, and An Obstacle Walk Into a Bar….

Vonnie and I went to the end of the school year staff appreciation function for her new job. It was at a bar and grill and I figured it would be a great way to put faces with the names of people she’s been talking about for the last 6 weeks. As Vonnie ordered a glass of wine, I stepped onto the outdoor patio to take a phone call. While I was on the phone, Vonnie and one of her co-workers walked by me making the “going for a smoke” sign with her thumb and index finger pressed together and […] Read more »

Ashamed of your debt? Me, too. Here’s why.

A few days ago, fellow EOD writer Travis talked about being ashamed of his debt. I could totally relate to his post because when I was in debt, I felt exactly the same way. But as I read and reread Travis’s post, I started asking myself “why was I ashamed?” Although I couldn’t really come up with one good specific reason, I was able to come up with a few possibilities: Debt meant I couldn’t control myself. I am completely guilty of making impulse purchase after impulse purchase. I had a good friend who I used to hang out with […] Read more »

What My Friends and Family Don’t Know….Only Hurts Me

At mile 19 of the Twin Cities Marathon in 2003, I found my family, as well as my brother-in-law and his family cheering me on. Seeing their familiar faces provided me the instant mental “pick me up” that I so desperately needed to keep going.  When you’re being challenged in life, having people there to support you can make all the difference. However, as I work to achieve the very difficult task of getting out of debt, I am missing the support of many of the important people in my day to day life. Because they have no idea what […] Read more »

I’m Not Paying For Your Mistake, Even If You Are Only 13

I’m a night owl, commonly staying up several hours later than the rest of my family. I use this time to do various tasks that I never seem to find time for during the day. So it wasn’t out of the ordinary when I decided to take up a late night activity to resolve my checking account spreadsheet with my online banking portal. With my wife and daughter comfortably sleeping, and my son hiding out in his room playing Xbox, I sat down at my computer around 11:00pm and got to work. 11:05pm: I notice a debit from Microsoft for […] Read more »