Are You Financially Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

I am a huge supporter of financial literacy, for both kids and adults. Financial literacy has become more complex since I was a fifth grader back in the 80’s (I know I am dating myself here). The financial services industry has exploded offering everything from online trading to debt relief. Tax laws make filing taxes a DIY nightmare, unless you purchase software like TurboTax with a step by step guide. And, applying for a loan or a credit card of any kind requires reading twenty plus pages of fine print. In a previous article, The Great Debate Kids and Money […] Read more »

What Will You Do…With Your Tax Refund

If you are one of the millions of Americans slated to receive a tax refund this year, why not make your refund work for you? Of course you will be tempted to splurge on a vacation, start home renovations or maybe even buy something frivolous, but why not use it to improve your financial situation. If you are struggling with debt, have little to no emergency fund, or haven’t even begun to think about retirement those refund dollars could make a big difference. Reducing your debt and preparing for the “what if” are a great way to reduce daily stress […] Read more »

It’s a Win-Win: Get Rewarded for Saving

I recently heard about a really cool concept that started abroad and is making its way to the US—prize linked savings accounts. Just for doing what you’re already (hopefully, should be) doing, you are automatically entered to win a prize. Yes, adults like prizes and anything that is free just like kids do.; a novel idea that has more people thinking about saving for their future. This comes at just the right time, with the rate of savings in America at an all time low. A report issued by the non-profit Corporation for Enterprise Development, found almost one third of […] Read more »

Just Say No!

I’ve always had trouble with the word no even as a child. My mom claims she would have raised my brother ten times before having to raise me again. I was strong willed, stubborn and loved to say, “no”. Not much has changed since then, I am still strong willed and stubborn, the difference is now I can’t say no, to anyone. Extra responsibilities at work? Sure, no problem. We’d like you to be the head room parent this year. Ok, I can do that! Would you mind being the website coordinator for football? Yeah, I don’t see why not. […] Read more »

“No More Frivolous Spending!”

I have a confession to make…It’s been over a year since I tracked my household’s expenses. Yes I know better, yes that is horrible, and yes unfortunately, it’s the truth. My boyfriend and I have been living together for about a year and a half. Prior to his “moving in” we tracked both of our expenses and built a household budget that was fair and worked for both of us. We haven’t looked at it since. In fact, I pay all of our household bills and manage the finances for his business. He has NO idea where his money is […] Read more »

Make 2013 Debt Free…Join the Debt Movement

Did you ever wonder why New Year’s resolutions never last? Each year as I resolve to quit all the bad habits I developed over the previous year, I always do. But if you take the right approach to a resolution such as “getting out of debt”, there’s no reason you can’t be successful. If you’ve been working to get out of debt with little success and need a kick start, consider joining the Debt Movement! We all need a little help from time to time whether it’s a debt relief plan that makes the process easier, a nudge in the […] Read more »

Don’t Let Debt Hold You Back

2012 is rapidly coming to a close and it’s time to start thinking about your goals for 2013. If you have debts consider developing a plan to make 2013 the year you get out. Interest Affects Your Bottom Line The exercise of defining all of your credit card debt and the subsequent interest rates should be a top “to do”. Start by pulling your free annual credit report and seeing what you owe and at what rate. Create a spreadsheet, document or put a pen to paper listing your debts. Then calculate how much money you are spending each month […] Read more »

Holiday Shopping: Hook Line and Sinker

The holidays are expensive there is no doubt about that. Just how much are we spending? According to the National Retail Federation an average of $423 compared to $398 last year. Shoppers lured by deals often fall prey to opening credit cards to get an extra discount or delay payments. Card Hub’s latest study shows eight out of ten retailers offer financing to consumers, but more than 60% of them provide mind boggling terms, such as an offer of an initial zero percent term with backdated interest if the entire balance is not paid off during the offer period. So […] Read more »

There Is No Magic Pill for Debt Freedom

I can’t tell you the countless times I have been tempted by the magic pill. You know the one I am talking about; the one that claims you can lose 20 pounds in one month without exercising, get rich working just four hours a day, or the one you can take to get rid of your debt. The magic pill seems like an answer to your problems and the best part is you don’t have to do anything except swallow. Who wouldn’t be tempted? The problem with magic pills is that they are missing the key component to accomplishing any […] Read more »

Debt Struggles of the Millennial Generation

Across the United States the Millennial Generation is struggling with debt, especially in the state of Virginia, a place my friend, Brad Chaffee happens to reside. According to recent internal data from CareOne the number of Virginia residents between the ages of 18 and 24 seeking debt relief increased 33% from 2010 to 2011 and was 12% higher than the national average. The number of 25 to 34 year old Virginian’s seeking debt relief also increased during that same period, by 4%, and was 3% higher than the national average. So what is happening that is causing higher than the national average […] Read more »

Credit Card Negotiator

No it’s not William Shatner the Priceline negotiator, it’s you the credit card negotiator! You’ve got credit card debt that is starting to get out of control and you’ve decided it’s time to take the preverbal “bull by the horns”. So how do you get started? Who do you talk to? Where can you turn for help? Understanding how to negotiate credit card debt just may be the first step for getting your finances back in order. But first things first there are a few cardinal rules when it comes to negotiating with your creditors. 1. Know what you want. […] Read more »

Are You the Next Pawn Star?

One of my favorite shows to watch is Pawn Stars on the history channel. Watching episodes of this popular TV show has become somewhat of an event at our house. The show is educational, fascinating and largely about making money, what’s not to love? Long before banks, ATMS and check-cashing services, there were pawn shops. Pawning was the leading form of consumer credit in the United States until the 1950s, and pawn shops are still helping everyday people get by when they need to. The premise of Pawn Stars is a multigenerational family; The Harrison’s running a pawn shop in […] Read more »

7 Habits of Debt-Free People

As an indebted individual I always admire those that live a completely debt-free lifestyle. My in-debtedness is for the most part to what most consider “good” debt; a mortgage and a few outstanding medical bills. My goal is to set up a payment plan for them and pay them all off by this time next year. I cut credit card debt out of my life in my late twenty’s only using credit cards to my advantage and paying the balances in full each month. Living debt free is a lifestyle choice that requires hard work and an affirmation for saying […] Read more »

I Dare You to Move

I just finished moving for the fifth time in five years. Not only is moving not fun, it’s expensive! I have moved for various reasons over this time frame, divorce, a brief second marriage and a crazy landlord. People move for many other reasons, a change in jobs, to be closer to family, the list goes on and on. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 17 percent of the U.S. population moves each year. The reality is moving is just part of life’s adventures and whether you do it once in your life or twenty times there are ways you […] Read more »