Perplexed by some of the on-goings in the workplace, I headed out to Barnes & Noble in search of something to settle my mind and grant me clarity. I did not know what I was looking for but knew the section I was headed to: Business and Personal Finance. I begin to peruse some of the titles, pulling a book of the shelf, placing it back until I came across this 96 page book. The Dip by Seth Godin. The author familiar, as I use to follow his blog and have more recently heard Dave Ramsey’s recommendations of his writings.  Being as frugal (read cheap) as I am, I curled up in one of the comfy chairs with my Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte and begin to read. (more…)

With elation, I must announce we are finally out of consumer debt!  No more credit card bills, no more car payments, no more personal loans or retail financing.

Last October, I listened to a series of CDs by John Cummuta. (I’ve written about debt elimination before).  By November, we were serious about finding our own accelerator margin and eliminating our debt. At that time, we owed close to $15,000 on credit cards and $7,000 on vehicle loans.

By September 1, 2008, we paid off $22,000 in 10 months. We attempted to pay off our debts the previous the year but kept falling back in to the buy now pay later trap. Looking back, the highest amount of debt we ever accumulated was in May 2007, over $20,000 in credit card debt and over $8,000 on our vehicles. With a steady accelerator margin we plugged away at it, month after month. We lived frugally, used coupons, sold items we no longer needed or used, took on second jobs, sold investments, and after all our hard work we can now proudly say we are consumer debt free! (more…)

As you may have noticed, yet again, my writing has been sporadic to say the least. Back near the date of my last post, I was reviewing our financial situation in anticipation of large upcoming expenses. Towards the middle of March, I became fearful as I began calculating all these expenses, my brother’s weddings, my husband’s brother’s destination wedding, paying the income tax we owed, dental work that totaled $1500, major car repairs…

I had also just finished reading Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover. The testimonials of grown men earning six figures having to pick up pizza delivery jobs to eliminate debt hit home with me. I knew there was no way we’d be able to afford any of these upcoming expenses (more…)

  • A good rule of thumb on selling items (except the home) to pay down debt is this: If you can’t be debt-free on it in 18 to 20 months, sell it.
  • It’s not recommended to sell your home unless you have payments above 45% of your monthly take-home pay.
  • Generally speaking, if your second mortgage is more than 50% of your gross annual income, you should not put it in the Debt Snowball. Pay it off with your first mortgage after you’re able to save for retirement.
  • You are secure and will leave a nice inheritance when you can live off 8% of your nest egg per year. If you earn 12% interest on your money and only pull out 8%, you grow your nest egg each year by that extra 4% to keep up with inflation. To live on $40,000 you’d only need a nest egg of $500,000. (more…)

I’ve seen the billboards, tuned in to the radio show and have slowly started to give Dave Ramsey a second chance. My friends that are on the ‘Dave Ramsey program’ all love it, and swear by it. So I borrowed a book from a friend, and just finished reading it cover to cover (a feat in itself for someone like me). The book was what I expected, nothing too terriblyTotal Money Makeover new or revolutionary (one of the reasons I decided to borrow it instead of purchase it). His mantra, ‘if you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else’ is enumerated throughout the pages. Essentially, you need to 1) live on less than you make and 2) only buy things when you can afford them, which means paying cash for the entire amount. (more…)

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