Debt Free News #23 – Serguei Merzliakov

The Enemy of Debt Questionnaire – Congratulations to Serguei Merzliakov! How much debt did you have and how long did it take you to pay it off? Took a relatively small 20k loan to finance my nightschool studies (professional education with chartership at the end). Took 4 years of sweat to repay it as I became unemployed in year 3. Used advice from Eliminate the Muda, Wisebread, and The Motley Fool. Finally, going shopping with the list and not being afraid to donate old things (without replacing it) was also helpful – gave me understanding of my own spending habits. […] Read more »

Financial Literacy Month – Avoid Bankruptcy Using the Pro-Rata Plan

The Pro-Rata Method can keep creditors off your back and help you avoid future judgments, or the execution of a judgment because you are declaring hardship and essentially asking for an alternative plan until you can afford to make the original monthly payments for all of your debt. It is in the creditor’s best interest to accept this plan because it’s better for them to receive something rather than the nothing they’ll receive if you filed bankruptcy. You borrowed the money though and you want to pay it back, you just need a little wiggle room until you can get back on your feet. WATCH THIS VIDEO! Read more »

The Psychology of Wealth Book Giveaway

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a super awesome weekend! I had a terrific weekend but I’m a little sore and slightly injured. haha! Saturday morning I woke up and attended Isaac’s Opening Day Ceremonies and his first t-ball game! I played baseball from age 5-18 so I was very excited when Isaac told Alana and I that he wanted to play baseball. After that I was on my way to the Mud Warrior mud run I signed up for – 4 miles of mud and obstacles. I completed the run in a little over an hour and had […] Read more »

Financial Literacy Month – Kids and Money

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having an awesome week so far. Today I’d like to share a video with you that I think you’ll love. Last year I participated in Financial Literacy Month with Steve from MoneyPlanSOS. The idea was to create a one minute video to promote financial literacy. It was fun and one of the videos I made featuring my son (4 years old at the  time), was picked up by CBS Money Watch. I received a lot of great emails from that video so I thought I would do something with Isaac again this year. This year […] Read more »

Getting Out of Debt is About Challenging Yourself

There are a lot of things that go into getting out of debt. You’ve got to spend less than you make, put some effort into tracking your income and expenses, and perhaps the most important thing is to change your financial behavior. With that said, something I find to be extremely helpful is taking myself out of my comfort zone in the name of reaching my goals. This can be a hard thing to do but challenging yourself to do what you don’t want to or think you can’t do is great for finding out who you really are. I […] Read more »

My ImpulseSave Experience: Is Saving Money Fun?

Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a great weekend so far! A few weeks ago I did an ImpulseSave Invite Giveaway! At the time, I wasn’t quite fully setup and connected to my Perkstreet checking account so unfortunately I couldn’t share a more personal review of the site and the wonderful savings tool that it is. On March 11th, I was finally able to take full advantage of the site. Since then I’ve jumped in head first and I must say — I LOVE IT!!!! I don’t think saving money has ever been this much fun! My wife and I […] Read more »

Debt Free News #22 – Bobbie Bushman

Happy Monday everyone! Today I thought I would share another Debt Free Story with you. It’s been a while and this series has become very popular so I hope you enjoy this one. This Debt Free News edition is actually one of my favorites. Not because previous debt free stories are any less exciting but because it so closely resembles my story. When we were plagued with debt we both worked our tails off and in the very beginning of our marriage we spent more time with our co-workers than we did with each other. We passed each other at […] Read more »

Increase Your Personal Savings and Live the Life You Want

Do you have trouble saving money? Take one look at the savings rate in America and you’ll realize you’re not alone. It goes up and down but before the gloomy recession savings rates were as low as -2%. You read that right. Americans had a negative savings rate! It’s gone up a little bit since then but there is still much room for improvement. Clearly Americans have trouble saving money but imagine if there was something that encouraged you to pay yourself first each and every month. Instead of running out of money at the end of the month to […] Read more »

Valentine’s Day on a Budget

Valentine’s Day… (sigh) In modern times we celebrate this day by showing our love for one another. The original meaning of Valentine’s Day, however, was to honor Saint Valentine but the connection between that and what Valentine’s Day has become is a complete mystery. The connection is only found in folklore and legends but nothing concrete. Deemed by many as a “Hallmark Holiday”, Valentine’s Day has exploded into a mass marketing campaign  that has been accepted by society as the romantic holiday of love. This acceptance has people buying jewelry, expensive chocolate, plush teddy bears with hearts that sing songs, […] Read more »

Your Credit Score — It’s Not a Measure of Financial Responsibility

If I received a quarter for every time someone told me I “needed” a credit score I would be super rich right now. There are many myths surrounding the credit score and believe it or not, it’s the financial world itself that continues to spread these myths. Ask any educated finance graduate if you need a credit score and you’ll most likely hear a “default” answer of ABSOLUTELY. Ask them why you need a score and not only are you likely to get an evil eye roll, the next words out of their mouth will probably be…ARE YOU KIDDING ME? […] Read more »

Pay Off Debt Faster by Using the Right Financial Tools

How many of you have a plan you consistently follow each month to pay off debt? Based on my own experience (before my wife and I got our financial heads together), I’d guess that many of you do not. I know the drill. You pay off a little debt here and a little debt there but it’s random and not based on any kind of written (or visual) plan. You make some progress and take a few steps forward but then suddenly find yourself taking a few more steps back. Some of you may even be paying just the minimum […] Read more »

Kids and Money – Credit Cards for 2 Year Olds?

Do you want your 2 year old “learning” to swipe a credit card? This Christmas Noah (our 2 year old) was given a Shop and Learn Cash Register. At first I was excited. The nerd in me eagerly opened it up and secretly drooled over the idea that Noah was going to start learning about money. It had buttons, sounds, lights, a working coin drawer, a scanner and groceries to ring up. Perfect fun right? Then I noticed it also came with a credit card. I’d rather it not have a card at all — debit or credit — but […] Read more »

American Consumers Dive 5.6 Billion Dollars Deeper in Credit Card Debt in One Month

While some of us were saying No to Restaurants in November it seems others were saying YES to binge shopping sprees financed by credit card debt. In an article sent to me by my friends over at Impulse Save, consumers racked up 5.6 billion dollars in credit card debt in November alone. Judging by the shape of the economy (specifically unemployment) one would expect these numbers to be down so this is an astonishing statistic. The Time Moneyland article also shared Federal Reserve data that shows consumer borrowing skyrocketed by 20.4 billion and is the highest month-over-month increase in the […] Read more »

The Psychology of Getting Out of Debt

One week ago many of you started working on your financial resolutions for 2012. Hopefully those of you with debt resolved to put together a solid plan to destroy it once and for all. There are many factors that go into the process of debt elimination but one that is often overlooked or underestimated is the psychological side. Anyone can say they want to become debt free but it’s our emotionally-driven behaviors and attitudes that will grant us final passage into the world of financial freedom. Math is only a very small component in the game of debt yet it’s […] Read more »