• If you begin to make more money or receive bonuses, act like don’t have it. Save any additional increases or bonuses. Doing this can directly lead to taking an early retirement.
  • Don’t view tax refunds or cash gifts as a way to get extra stuff. Sock it away.
  • Stop living as if the future doesn’t exist, stop living in the moment.
  • Drive your car for 10 years, get the full value of out it. Never buy a (new) car because you feel like it. If it’s not possible to buy a car out-right and must finance it, don’t take out a loan longer than 3 years. If you can’t make the 3 year monthly payments then you can’t afford it.
  • Deny yourself in the moment to have the real life you want in the future. (more…)

In an effort to reduce my debt load, I have taken an additional job in order to increase my accelerator margin payments. The good news is, in the 4 months I’ve been doing this new routine we’ve paid off four credit cards as well as a vehicle loan. The great news is that this new job offers a SEP account. Well, what exactly is a SEP account, is it just a different term for a 401k? Let’s take a look and find out.

Employers will typically offer one of these plans: 401(k), 403 (b), TSA, SIMPLE, SEP, or Keogh.

401(k) is the most popular type of employer sponsored retirement plan. This is also the most complex and costly to maintain for the company. The employer can elect to make a matching contribution to the employees salary-deferral contribution . Within 401(k)’s you can take out loans, set up a vesting schedule, and profit-sharing plan. Maximum annual contributions are $15,500.


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…)

As I sat down to write about eliminating one of credit card debts, I started looking up the numbers to include in this post. But doing that, lead to even more number crunching. I became so consumed by the shocking numbers, toggling between three spreadsheets I created, I spent the entire evening looking up old credit card statements. I wanted to document and log all the history associated with my credit card debts: the balances I carried each month, the monthly payments I was making, along with how much I was spending in interest!

Well, first to the good news! I paid off one of my credit cards!!! YAY! Now I only have 5 more to go. The highest balance I ever had on this card was $1,444 in July 2007. Thankfully, due to good interest rates, I only paid a total of $21 in interest fees for carrying this balance for 4 months. (more…)