Which Income Class Are You In? How Do You Rank?

Income Class

“The other people that live on this lake aren’t uber-wealthy are they? No, they’re middle-class, right?….Like us!” …said one of our friends that earns over $200,000 a year….

I literally had to bite my lip to keep from entering the conversation.

Middle-class like you? You really think you’re middle class? In what fairy-tale world do you live where $200,000 a year is considered middle-class?

Instead of blurting out my brash comments, I decided to suppress them, do some research, and then plaster my findings passively all over this website! Lol.

Which Income Class Are You In?

While I was delving into the details of the income classes, I naturally grew curious around where Liz and I landed on the income spectrum, and then where we might land in the future with our growing rental empire (which at this moment is an “empire” of one… ;)). So of course if I’m . . . → Read More: Which Income Class Are You In? How Do You Rank?

Who Cares About Interest Rates? How to Rank Your Cards for Debt Repayment

how to rank your cards for debt repayment

Let’s say you owe a bunch of money to several different credit card companies. Maybe you owe a little bit on this card, but a lot on that one. Or this card has a higher interest rate than that one. Does it matter which one you pay off first?

Yes, it does. But I’m going to recommend you rank those cards in a different way than most of the money gurus suggest.

This post has been written by our amazing staff writer, Jamie Jeffers.

Have you heard of the debt snowball method promoted by Dave Ramsey? I’ve got no problems with Dave! I enjoyed his class and his ideas. But his method of paying off cards from smallest to largest balance didn’t cut it for me. It wasn’t the motivation I needed.

(Derek’s Note: The snowball method definitely worked for me! But it’s always good to hear some other opinions . . . → Read More: Who Cares About Interest Rates? How to Rank Your Cards for Debt Repayment

How to Start Paying Off Your Debt If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

paying off debt if you're feeling overwhelmed

A friend of mine recently asked for my advice as it pertained to paying off debt. She had about $5,000 in debt across a couple of credit cards and a personal loan and wasn’t making any progress on paying it off.

When I asked her why, she responded with “I just feel overwhelmed. I don’t even know where to start.”

This post has been written by Amanda Abella, accomplished writer and speaker in the area of personal finance.

Overwhelm and Procrastination

Before getting into how to start paying off debt, it would be beneficial to discuss the relationship between overwhelm and procrastination.

Overwhelm happens when we feel like the task at hand is too big. We may also feel it when we are unsure of how to tackle it. Instead of starting to take action in even the smallest of ways, we let our feelings about overwhelm (namely fear) . . . → Read More: How to Start Paying Off Your Debt If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

The Average Debt Load in America is $100,000 – How Do You Compare?

average debt load in America

The goal of this site is to prompt you to be weird beyond belief. And by that I mean wealthy. The average American is broke. Actually, the average American is worse than broke, they’re $100,000 in debt. According to Nerdwallet, debt is on the rise again:

The average credit card debt is $6,184. On top of this, add car loans, student loans, and mortgage debt to the mix and the average debt load in America is $99,835.73.

For some of you, this might actually seem low. Your mortgage debt alone probably totals more than $100,000. And if that’s the case, you’re worse than the average.

The Average Road

At one point in my life, I was $18,000 in student loan debt, a few thousand bucks in credit card debt, and I had a mortgage of $70,000. I was pretty much average according to the charts above.

Some of you . . . → Read More: The Average Debt Load in America is $100,000 – How Do You Compare?

The #Hashtag That Inspired Us to Pay Down Thousands in Debt

pay down thousands in debt

This inspiring post was written by Jamie Jeffers, one of our very talented staff writers! Enjoy!

The day my husband and I sat down to form our goals for the next year or two ended much differently than I could have expected. You see, we have this meeting every year in early January, and I was excited to talk about the things we could accomplish this year.

My husband had a pretty good job and was starting to make a little more money. That seemed like the perfect opportunity to do some of the things we’ve always wanted to do.

There was just one problem. A bigger problem than I even realized at the time. It’s called debt.

We both knew we were in debt. In fact, “pay off debt” had made our goals list every year for several years in a row. The funny thing is that it never . . . → Read More: The #Hashtag That Inspired Us to Pay Down Thousands in Debt

How to Get Completely Debt Free by 30

completely debt free

I graduated from college at the age of 23 and was worth -$10,000. Over the next 7 years, I married, divorced, remarried, and still came out completely debt free (including the house) by the time I turned 30.

How the heck did I do that?

How to Get Completely Debt Free by 30

I honestly didn’t think I was doing anything that spectacular at the time. Sure, I was a little more aggressive than most, but was I super-human in my efforts to pay off my student loans, my credit cards, and my house? Nope. Absolutely anyone could have done what I did over those seven years.

Looking back, I attribute my financial success to the following reasons – all of which you can implement and use for your success as well!

1) I Got Scared

Everything was new. We just recently graduated, found an apartment, and were living on . . . → Read More: How to Get Completely Debt Free by 30

How to Stay Motivated After Getting Out of Debt

Stay Motivated After Getting Our of Debt

There’s no shame in slowing down a little bit once you get out of debt, but there are so many people that take their foot off the gas completely! And sometimes they even start driving in reverse and dive back into debt! Why is this? And what steps can you take to stay motivated after getting out of debt?

Why Do People Go Back Into Debt After Getting Out?

You’d think that once people rid themselves of their debt, they’d vow never to go back in, but it honestly seems to happen more often than not. So what on earth are these people thinking? What is it that drives them back into debt?

1) It’s a Habit

It’s incredibly easy to buy stuff you can’t afford, and when you’ve done it all your life it’s crazy difficult to kick the habit. With the media swirling all around you, telling you . . . → Read More: How to Stay Motivated After Getting Out of Debt

I’ve Been Completely Debt Free For 2 Years Now – What’s Life Like Today?

completely debt free

It seems like it was so long ago, but I still remember that day as clearly as if it were yesterday. It was a mild day in mid-December and I just received my bi-weekly paycheck. With this payment, my bank account was bolstered to an amount $1,500 greater than my last remaining debt, the $14,799 home loan. It took just one click of the mouse. I was completely debt free.

An immediate smile was drawn onto my face. The final weight was lifted off from my back. I was now free to live the life I chose, rather than the one I handcuffed myself to. That day marked the end of my debt payoff and the beginning of my wealth creation. I just knew that from that moment onward, my life was going to be so much better.

Related: How I Paid Off My Mortgage in One Year

Completely Debt . . . → Read More: I’ve Been Completely Debt Free For 2 Years Now – What’s Life Like Today?

5 Things That Throw People Into Debt (and How to Avoid Them)

Avoid Debt

No one wakes up one day and decides to go on a spending spree, ready to max out all their credit cards at once. While that might make a good reality show, it’s not the reason Americans owe $12.12 trillion in debt.

We can argue about “good debt” versus “bad debt”. But the truth is most Americans owe money month after month. And it’s dragging down our ability to build wealth.

Our own family owes a variety of debt. We’ve got credit card bills, car payments, and student loans. It wasn’t done lightly, but from a sense of necessity (real or not).

So why are so many people in debt? It’s because they react rather than prepare. They know they should be saving for a rainy day, but the sky sure looks clear right now! There’s no sense of urgency without an emergency.

Just as we study history to . . . → Read More: 5 Things That Throw People Into Debt (and How to Avoid Them)

What Could You Do If You Had No Debt?

Dream with me for a moment. YOU have absolutely no debt.

Your car payment is forgiven, your student loans are no more, that medical debt is wiped clean – heck, even your mortgage is completely paid for!

How much extra money do you have now?

Car loan = $400 a month Student loans = $600 a month Medical debt = $100 a month House payment = $1,200 a month

If you were completely debt free, you would have an extra $2,300 a month.

What Could You Do If You Had No Debt?

Alright, so now you’ve got $2,300 a month coming in. What would you do with it?

You Could….

1) Take a vacation every month

If you had no debt, maybe you’d start the vacation of the month plan. For $2,300, you could go just about anywhere AND stay in a pretty decent hotel to boot.

2) Save . . . → Read More: What Could You Do If You Had No Debt?