Debt

Debt Freedom: A Personal Finance Startegy

I hear from a lot of readers who avidly follow Dave Ramsey. Many of them have taken his Financial Peace course, some got on board with his Total Money Makeover, and others avidly follow his radio show. Virtually all of them are strongly committed to complete debt freedom as a goal and they’re throwing everything …

Categories: Debt, Getting Started

The Big Debate #4: Pay Off Debt or Save for Retirement?

This week, The Simple Dollar is taking a deeper look at five common personal finance debates. Once a day or so, I’ll get a long email from someone pouring out the details of their personal finance situation. Quite often, they’ve reached an age where they’re starting to seriously worry about retirement and have realized that …

Categories: Debt, Retirement

Looking at Debt Repayment as an Investment

Quite often on The Simple Dollar, I’ll mention the advantages of getting your debt paid down. For most debts, paying them down is the best thing you can do with your money, provided that you have a small emergency fund set up to protect yourself against the unforeseen and at least some retirement savings. As …

Categories: Debt, Getting Started

The Single Biggest Money Mistake I’ve Ever Made

The single biggest money mistake I’ve ever made was the day I decided that my future self would pay for stuff that I wanted (not needed, but wanted) now. The amazing part is that I remember it like it was yesterday. I was twenty years old and a junior in college. I had taken the …

Categories: Debt, Getting Started

Debt Snowball Into Savings Or Pay Off Debt?

The idea of debt snowballing is a popular one: it pushes you to get rid of your debts and get on a financially stable playing field, plus it encourages you to behave in a frugal fashion because you’re setting aside such a large, steady block of money each month to eliminate those debts. What’s a …

Categories: Dave Ramsey, Debt

Got Credit Card Debt?

Jon writes in: I have a bunch of credit card debt spread across several different cards and I’m having a hard time getting started paying them off. You’ve offered a lot of little solutions for debt removal, but I need a plan I can execute to deal with these credit cards. How can I get …

12 Tactics On How To Get Rid Of Debt

Almost every day, someone writes to me with intimate details about their debt situation. Some of them are pretty mild and can easily be taken care of with a little bit of elbow grease – others are horrifying and will take some very serious attention to manage. In either situation, the principles for getting rid …

Categories: Debt

A Portfolio of Credit Cards for Specific Purchases?

Jenelle wrote in recently and described her way of using credit cards: Unlike your advice to minimize your credit cards, I actually have eight open credit cards that I use all the time. These cards cover all of my purchases but each one has a particular bonus program that I can take specific advantage of. …

Categories: Credit Cards, Debt

How Big Should My Car Down Payment Be?

Jimmie wrote in with a good question over the weekend: I’m going to buy a new car in several months and I’m trying to figure out how much down payment I should have. I’ve heard tons of different answers from different people. What’s your take? My initial take was to give this an off-the-cuff response …

You Can Do This

About two years ago, I had almost $17,000 in credit card debt. That added up to about a third of my salary at the time, and the minimum payments were more than my rent. Most months, my paycheck was gone before I would even see it, swallowed up by credit card payments, a rent payment, …

Categories: Debt, Getting Started

Pay Ahead on Your Mortgage or Investing?

Recently, I mentioned a Consumer Reports article that encouraged people to invest instead of paying ahead on their mortgage. It left me thinking quite a bit about debt repayment and how I should handle my mortgage. Our situation My wife and I are planning on eliminating our student loans in the next year to a …

Categories: Debt, Housing, Investing

Using All Cash To Kick The Debt Habit

One common tactic adopted by people who are in severe financial straits is an all-cash lifestyle. They tear up all of their credit cards and move strictly to a cash-based personal finance plan, cashing each check and living strictly off of that money. I personally feel that this is a good immediate response to the …

Categories: Debt, Getting Started

Should I Pay Off Low-Interest Debt or Invest?

This week, The Simple Dollar attempts to address challenging questions in personal finance by looking at both sides of the story and figuring out some of the factors you need to look at to make a decision. Most homeowners are in the process of paying off a large mortgage, one which requires a large payment …

Categories: Debt, Investing

Seven Tips For Avoiding Boredom During A Financial Turnaround

One strong undercurrent of sentiment among commenters on this blog is that living a financially sensible lifestyle – spending far less than you earn, investing, not spending money foolishly, and so on – is boring. Incredibly boring, in fact. So boring that I get numerous comments along the lines of “WHY DON’T YOU GET A …

A Deeper Look At Dave Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps To Financial Freedom – And How They Apply To Us

In a recent discussion about why I’m looking at paying off debt in the short term over investing, a reader mentioned Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover, which basically encourages everyone to follow these seven steps to financial freedom: 1. $1,000 to start an emergency fund 2. Pay off all debt (except the home) …

Categories: Dave Ramsey, Debt

Why I Focus on Debt Freedom over Investing

Over the last few weeks, my wife and I have taken some serious looks at our overall financial state, our happiness with our current lifestyle, and whether or not one of us wants to become a stay-at-home parent. Although we’ve not reached a consensus on all of these issues, we have agreed on one fundamental …

Categories: Debt, Investing

The One Hour Project: Construct Your Debt Snowball (Or Something Like It)

If you’ve gone through even a few of the one hour projects in this series, you likely have some more money in your pocket. Don’t rush out and spend that jingle – instead, use that jingle to repay your debts, even if it’s just a few dollars a month. Understanding the “Debt Snowball” A debt …

Categories: Debt, One Hour Project

Should I Pay Off Debt or Invest?

The one personal finance issue that I debate internally over quite a bit is whether one should pay off debt or invest if all they have are relatively low interest rate debts (7.5% or less, for instance). All of my remaining debts are below 7% and, thanks to careful frugal living, my spending is quite …

Categories: Debt, Investing

The One Hour Project: Create A Visual Debt Reminder

Keeping your focus on getting out of debt can be a challenge for some people. It’s so incredibly easy to just not think about it at all and make a bad financial choice, like putting something unnecessary on the credit card or going out for an expensive dinner and drinks. One of the most effective …

Categories: Debt, One Hour Project