Debt Management

The Biggest Risk Of All: You

Whenever I make calculations on this site, I usually involve some calculation in which a person contributes some dollars a month each month to savings in order to make an even comparison of which option is a better deal. Quite often, to the chagrin of my readers who are looking for a “deal,” I recommend …

Categories: Debt Management

An Introduction To Compound Interest With Spreadsheets, Part 3: A Simple Mortgage Calculator

Regular compound interest is (basically) the way most loans and savings accounts work, including home mortgages. Here, we’re going to use a spreadsheet to calculate a home mortgage payment estimator (and even a full payment schedule) using the principles of compound interest. Fire up your spreadsheet and enter the following information into cells: In A1, …

Student Loan Consolidation 101

If you have more than one student loan after college, chances are you’ve been approached by more than one group seeking to consolidate your student loans (if you haven’t graduated yet and have multiple loans… just wait). These groups promise all sorts of things, from a percent reduction in your balance to a low interest …

A Fresh Look At Auto Leases: Does A Savings Account Help?

Recently, a reader left this comment on an earlier post about the auto lease trap: What if you lease a car like a jetta that can be leased for $248 a month and take the difference between what you would be paying if you bought it and put that in a savings account? In other …

Dave Ramsey vs. Suze Orman: Which Plan For Dealing With Debts Is Best?

Recently, AllFinancialMatters posed the following question: which method of getting out of debt works better, Suze Orman‘s or Dave Ramsey‘s? Here are the compared plans: Here’s Dave Ramsey’s Snowball Method for paying off credit cards: Step 1 – Make a list of all your credit cards, ranked in order from the highest balance to the …

5 Ways to Deal With Debt Collectors and Harrassment

If you’re in a situation where debt collectors are calling you three times a day demanding that your debts be repaid, you’re probably rather worried and possibly rather frightened about the situation, especially if you are having difficulty paying back the debts you owe. Even worse, many debt collectors are highly unscrupulous, calling people that …

Categories: Debt Management

10 Options To Consider Before Getting A Payday Loan

Yesterday, I discussed in brief my conflicted opinions on payday loans. To summarize, I basically think they border on predatory, but they exist because society provides no safety net to low-income people, and thus they do fill a marketplace niche. The typical person who takes out a payday loan is an individual who has not …

Review: Generation Debt

My interest in Generation Debt comes from the fruits of a series of lengthy discussions I’ve had with my in-laws as well as the parents of other friends. These discussions basically focused on a two-pronged central concept: that Generation X and especially Generation Y have had a terrible financial hand dealt to them compared to …

Generation Debt: Expensive Schooling And Cheap Labor

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at Generation Debt, a book that proposes to show why today is a terrible time to be young, from a financial perspective, at least. Is there enough meat on this idea to make an interesting argument, or is this book just blowing in the wind? Let’s find …

Free Up Extra Money For Debt Payment & Investments

Every once in a while, I look through my collections of various media (more specifically, DVDs, books, video games, and CDs) and realize that it contains a lot of things that I’ll likely never look at or listen to again. I might have a sentimental attachment to some of the items, but for many of …

Buying a Car With Cash vs. Going Into Debt

Recently, I’ve had discussions with several readers about the concept of paying cash versus taking out a loan for medium-sized purchases, such as an automobile. In order to demonstrate how cost-effective it truly is to buying a car with cash rather than taking out a loan, here’s a clear example that you can calculate at …

Categories: 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 …