Should You Buy or Rent a Home, Which is Better?

Is it better to buy or rent” when it comes to finding a place to live?  If you read my last post “Buying a Home, Is It a Good Investment?’ , you discovered that buying a house is not always a good investment if you’re looking for investment-like return for building wealth. There are some cases where you can make a decent return over 30 years, but in many cases, the increase in value of the house doesn’t come anywhere near keeping up with the ongoing expenses such as maintenance, mortgage interest, insurance, and property taxes, which can actually result […] Read more »

Buying a Home- Is it a Good Investment?

Buying a Home Is it a Good Investment

Most people have been told at some point that buying a home is a good investment.  We’ve heard from our parents, the media, relatives, and real estate pros that buying a house is a good investment that will help you to secure your financial future. We’re told that investing in a home that appreciates over time will help you secure your golden years by paying it off in your younger years and leaving you without a house payment when your older.  It also provides you with a large chunk of money once you sell it and downsize to a smaller […] Read more »

I Seriously Screwed Up!

financial panic

Not long ago, I was reflecting back about the first time my wife Angie and I were scheduled to make announcements and greet visitors from the platform at our Sunday church service. I’m an introvert, so I was pretty nervous.  I wanted to make sure and do it right, make people feel welcome, and keep from screwing it up. So with Angie by my side we made it through the greeting and announcements just fine.  At that point I realized that no one had told me who to hand the mic off to next. I froze like a gallon of […] 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 »

Debt and Deeper Issues

Have you been trying to gain control of your money issues but just never seem to get any traction?  I’ve talked to a ton of people over the years who have taken classes, written budgets, read books, and made every effort they could to get out of debt and try to make sense of their money.  But after a short period of time they’re back to the same old habits they’ve always had, ending up with more month than money and steadily adding to their pile of debt. Why does this happen so often?  Is it because I just didn’t […] 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 »

12 Smart Steps for Buying a Home

buying a home

When you decide it’s time for you to buy a home, especially when it’s your first one, there are plenty of important details you need to know that can save you a large amount of time, money, and problems if you just take the time and effort to pay attention to the details and use a little common sense. I’m convinced that one of the main reasons so many people have been foreclosed on and are struggling is because they failed to use some of these common sense rules when they purchased a house and they ended up in financial […] Read more »

“You Know You’re Broke If… “- 50 Ways to Know if You’re Light in the Wallet

You Know You're Broke If...

If you’re broke, well, you probably know you’re broke.  Most of the time nobody has to tell you.  Even so, today I thought it would be fun to inform those who may be a little unsure by taking a look at the lighter side of being light in the wallet. So I made a list of 50 ways you know you’re broke. Because sometimes talking about money can be boring and you just gotta have a little fun!   You Know You’re Broke If… …Your latte’ bill is as vente’ as your car payment. …You comfort yourself by saying “Mo’ […] Read more »

5 Killer Ways to Make Money, Even in This Economy

Make Extra Money

Are you needing to make some extra jack because you’re having trouble making ends meet in this difficult economy?  If you’ve already cut expenses to the bone and done everything else you can to use what you have wisely, then here are a few tips you can use to make some extra money that you can do immediately that can help get your bills caught up, and start paying down that debt.  Some of these are just common sense and some you might not have ever thought about, but all of them can make you some extra money to get […] Read more »

4 Steps to Never Having a Car Payment Again

no car payment

Ever experience that sick feeling when your car payment is due every month?  You realize that you don’t have a much of a choice when it comes to making that payment because you need that vehicle to get to work and run the kids around town. But you knew if you were able to have a paid for vehicle that your family’s finances would be so much easier to deal with.  What if something unexpected happened like getting laid off or an accident/ illness that keeps you out of work for several months?  Would you end up losing your vehicle […] 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 »

6 Credit Card Lies We Believe

credit card traps

Over the course of the last generation or so, we as Americans have changed our habits and now use credit cards as one of the primary tools for purchasing.  But when you use credit cards, there are several problems you should watch out for when it comes to being a user of that “convenient” plastic. As for me, I think credit cards are not necessary in order to get by in everyday life.  The convenience of using plastic is not beneficial enough to offset the potential problems that credit card use often brings. In my opinion, there is not a […] Read more »

Dealing With Student Loan Debt

student loans

  If you have student loans from attending college (Let’s hope you don’t) and you’re a recent graduate, you might be a little concerned about how you’re going to get that student loan debt paid back. As college tuitions have risen over the years and starting salaries have remained flat or even gone down, it has become much more difficult for many people to meet those huge student loan obligations and get them paid off in a timely manner. Total student loan debt is now over $1 Trillion and even exceeds total credit card debt according to Allie Johnson at […] Read more »

You Definitely DON’T Need a Credit Score

This guy thinks he needs a credit score

Do you have a credit score?  Probably so.  Do you have any idea what your credit score is?  Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.  Do you really believe that it’s totally necessary to have a credit score?  Most people do, and I think they are wrong. First, let’s take a quick look at exactly what your credit score is and why you have one.  Your credit score, also known as the FICO score, was created by the Fair Isaac Company (Thus “FICO”) to estimate a person’s credit worthiness.  Your FICO score is really just a number that tells people how […] Read more »