Debt Management

Ten Ways To Accelerate Your Net Worth Growth

Now that you’ve calculated our net worth, you’re probably excited about seeing that number go up, and once it starts going up, you’re going to want to see it keep going up, faster and faster, rocketing to the moon. For my net worth growth, I have a thumbnail goal of a 2% increase per month …

Is An Auto Loan Good Or Bad Debt?

This is an issue that I continue to hear contradicting perspectives on. Is an auto loan considered to be “good debt” or “bad debt”? Let’s look at the viewpoints. An auto loan is a “bad debt” because Automobiles depreciate quickly When you borrow money against an asset that depreciates rapidly, you’re simply purging money. Automobile …

Should I Pay Off Student Loans or Invest?

Recently, I received an email from Nate, a reader of The Simple Dollar. He was wondering whether it makes more sense to invest or to pay off his student loans: I’m a regular reader of your site. I’m also a senior getting ready to graduate. I’m in an interesting situation and I was wonder what …

When Should I Begin Investing?

Lots of people who begin putting their financial house in proper order quickly begin to wonder when they should start investing in high-return items with risk, particularly the stock market. They see the 10%-12% average annual return, have cash that they want to sock away for a while, and talk themselves into investing before they’re …

Facts About Car Title Loans & Rent To Owns

Yesterday, a local talk radio show did a segment on the ethics behind car title loans and rent-to-owns. The host, one J. Michael McKoy, argued that such services are vital for low income families, while his more sensible sidekick was arguing vehemently against them. The callers were a motley crew of various opinions, as you …

Simple Money Management Steps

One of the first money management steps I took when I reached financial armageddon was to take on my credit cards. I was paying hundreds of dollars each month in finance charges and it had to stop or else I would never get out of debt. I didn’t really want to go to a credit …

Readers Reveal Painful Truths About Credit Card Debt

Recently, several readers of The Simple Dollar have emailed me and asked questions about managing and reorganizing their debt. These individuals are trying to find their way through the debt nightmare of the modern world, one that so many of us find ourselves in at some point in our lives. I hear questions about whether …

Debt Snowball Concept: How I Made It Work For Me

I’m a sometimes listener to Dave Ramsey’s radio show (it’s not consistently on the air in my area) and I’ve recently read Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. In both, Ramsey advocates a concept that he calls the “debt snowball.” Here’s how it works. First, make a list of all of the debts you have, with …

The Financial Turnaround Continues

Just seven months ago, I was on the edge of bankruptcy. I had more than 10K in credit card debt, owed more than 7K on an expensive truck payment, and had more than 35K in student loan debt. About three months ago, I hit my first milestone: I sent in the final payment on my …

Categories: Debt Management, Money

#4: Paying for a Home

This is part of a series in which we re-evaluate Money Magazine’s “25 Rules To Grow Rich By”. One “rule” will be re-evaluated each weekday until the series concludes; you can keep tabs on the action at the 25 Rules index. How Much Should My House Payment Be? Rule #4: Your total housing payments should …

If I Could Do It All Over Again: Advising Myself At Age Eighteen

Ten years ago, I was in the midst of my freshman year in college. I had very little concept of money or what to do with it, but at that point I still had an overall positive net worth. If only I knew then what I know now, I sometimes think to myself, particularly when …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #9: The Road to Recovery

Yesterday, I described my financial meltdown, when I reached a point where there was more money going out each month than coming in with no real hope for redemption without a change from within. Then, thanks to some inspiration, I made that change. The first thing I did was I laid out every single expense …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #8: Meltdown

Yesterday, I detailed the impact of a baby on my downward financial spiral; suffice it to say, the finances were not good. Everything was set up for a collapse and I inched up to the precipice, largely oblivious of how close I was to the lip of Mount Doom. The most fundamental problem was that …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #7: Here Comes Baby

Yesterday, I talked about the period in my life where my wife and I spent money like it was going out of style in order to obtain a “yuppie” lifestyle. Then, that magic moment happened: we took a home pregnancy test and discovered that a little one was on the way. I can remember that …

The Road To Financial Armageddon #6: The Yuppie Years

On Saturday, we learned how love and marriage caused me to sink even deeper into a financial hole I was digging for myself. I had hopes that as a married couple we would begin to get our financial house in order, but it was not to be. My first big mistake is that I bought …

The Road To Financial Armageddon #5: Love and Marriage

Yesterday, we learned about my immature behavior in handling a large steady income. I was starting to sink further into debt without really acquiring any assets, and I was building up a lifestyle based around extremely poor spending decisions. Yet, I was about to embark on a path that would make matters much worse. I …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #4: The First Taste of Real Money

Yesterday, we watched as I stumbled through college making a series of classic financial errors. Yet I finished (albeit in six years) with a pair of degrees, and I was able to find work utilizing both of them. I was suddenly making more money per year than my parents had made combined in any year, …

The One Month Challenge

I used to waste tons of money on silly little things. I did it so often and so regularly that I didn’t even realize that it was adding up to a huge dent in my finances. A pack of Tic-Tacs here, a CD there, a DVD here, a new book there… it wasn’t long before …

I’m In Big Financial Trouble – Where Do I Start?

Several months ago, I sat down with my finances and took a good hard look at things. I was in approximately $10,000 of credit card debt spread out over three cards, and that’s not counting my student loans or vehicle loans. I also had no money in savings and – even scarier – I wanted …