How Becoming Debt-Free at 25 Changed My Life

I first learned about using “debt as a tool” in my job at a bank, but there were some major pot holes in my new “road to success.” I used things like credit cards and car loans to “get ahead” and establish my credit. Sounds pretty normal, right? The problem was, I didn’t do anything else. Using debt trumped the importance of saving for emergencies, budgeting my monthly expenses, investing while I was young, and spending less than I made each month. Becoming debt-free was not on my radar. How did things go for me? Well, I spent the first half of my twenties working hard with very little to show for it. I had no budget, no long-term plan, no debt-free plan, almost no savings, and a glowing credit report. I was missing some MAJOR pieces to a healthy financial foundation (basically all of them) and headed for disaster. . . . → Read More: How Becoming Debt-Free at 25 Changed My Life

How to Survive a Loss of Income

survive a loss of income

In 2012, my husband and I both worked full-time with no children. By 2014, we were a family of four living on a single income of less than $2,000 a month. It wasn’t an easy time for us, but I’m going to share with you the lessons we learned and applied to help us make it on our own two feet. By the end of this article, you will have a clearer understanding of not just how to survive a loss of income, but how to thrive afterward.

7 Ways to Survive a Loss Of Income

In the following steps, I’m going to outline what you can do today to prepare for a future income loss or how to survive a current loss. Many of the techniques my husband and I used were lessons we learned from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Whether or not you follow all of Dave’s . . . → Read More: How to Survive a Loss of Income

14 Steps to Get a Serious Head Start in Life

spend more money

Only 59% of college students actually finish their degree. Of all college students, the average debt load when they finish (or quit) is over $30,000 and their unemployment rate is 8.5%, far greater than the 5.5% average unemployment rate of the entire nation. More so now than ever, college attendees are actually finding themselves left behind economically, rather than getting ahead like the past generations. They have seemingly done everything right, but many are jobless or underemployed, and sinking under a mountain of debt.

Source: Institute of Education Sciences

I thought going to college was supposed to lead to a head start in life! Apparently it’s just a way to get behind? What is the correct path for getting ahead these days?

14 Steps to Get a Head Start in Life

With tuition rates on the rise and an ever-increasingly saturated marketplace, what can students do today . . . → Read More: 14 Steps to Get a Serious Head Start in Life

Financial Independence: It’s Not the Final Chapter

financial independence

Financial Independence – what is it really? Is it when you finally rid yourself of all debts and can actually afford to buy some bling with cash? Or is it when you finally have enough money socked away for that inevitable future emergency?

There are many different opinions about financial independence. Some of them are blatantly wrong (like the emergency fund statement above), while others are close but are stretched a bit so that financial independence becomes more achievable for them.

A little advice for you. Don’t dumb down financial independence just because you’re not even close. Learn what it truly is, decide if it’s for you. And if it is, then work your butt off to get there in the least amount of time possible!

What is Financial Independence?

Surprisingly, I think Wikipedia did the best job defining financial independence:

Financial independence (FI) is generally used to describe the . . . → Read More: Financial Independence: It’s Not the Final Chapter

How to Enjoy the Weekend While Battling Debt

battling debt

In 2011, my newly wed husband and I decided to get out of debt. It felt counter-intuitive because it was, after all, our first year of marriage. Weren’t we supposed to be having fun and seeing the world, not battling debt in a tiny apartment and a rice and beans diet?

We didn’t understand it fully at the time, but spending our first year of marriage battling debt as a team was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Not only did it help us learn better financial habits, but it helped us change our behavior about money – and that having lots of it doesn’t directly correlate with “having fun.”

Fast forward to November 2012. At this point, my husband and I were living 100% off of his income and putting each of my paychecks toward our student loan and credit card debt. We sent our last check . . . → Read More: How to Enjoy the Weekend While Battling Debt

How to Ditch Your Debt in Less Than a Week

ditch your debt in less than a week

This isn’t an infomercial. I’m not selling you a ‘get out of debt quick’ package for five easy installments of $39.95 (but wait, there’s more! Now you can get two for the price of one! Just kidding…). There is a way to ditch your debt in less than a week, but it doesn’t come without extreme sacrifice.

How to Ditch Your Debt in Less Than a Week

Are you pissed off at your debt? Are you sick of living paycheck to paycheck just to cover all those payments? Then get rid of them! Ditch your debt in less than a week with the extreme tips below.

1) Call Your Collectors

If you’ve already defaulted on some loans and they’re now with a collection agency, you should first try to strike a deal with them to pay less than the amount owed. For instance, if you owe $20,000, entice the collection . . . → Read More: How to Ditch Your Debt in Less Than a Week

How to Get Through College Without Debt

need to go to college

Getting through college without debt used to be an obtainable goal for many students. Now, a student is considered lucky if they graduate with minimal debt. The average debt that a college student will accumulate in four years is $35,051. This number is shocking, and to add onto it, this is for the average state college. Private colleges likely rack up even more debt.

(*This post was written by Kimberly Studdard, a regular guest writer here at Life And My Finances)

How to Get Through College Without Debt

Hope is not lost for you though. I have 15 different ways that you can use to get through college without debt. I like to consider myself an expert in this area. I have attended college before, and I am going back this fall. Both times have been debt free. You can do it too.

1. Take College Courses in High School . . . → Read More: How to Get Through College Without Debt

Freedom Money – The Road to Financial Freedom

pros and cons of paying off the mortgage early

There’s a difference between being financially uncomfortable, being comfortable, and reaching financial freedom. And Brian Robben is committed to reaching financial freedom and teaching others how to do it along the way. Today, I interviewed Brian who recently wrote the new book Freedom Money.

Debt is often a roadblock for many people trying to get rich. What are some specific tips you have to destroy debt?

I 100% agree that debt needs to go if your goal is financial freedom. Debt is vicious and can ruin your life if it gets too much power over you.

Because of that, if you have debt then it’s crucial you aggressively attack your debt.

Below are some tips I recommend for paying off student loans, credit card debt, or any other debt:

Pay every two weeks instead of monthly. If you do this you’ll actually make 13 . . . → Read More: Freedom Money – The Road to Financial Freedom

5 Reasons Why People Are Taking on More Debt

taking on more debt

It doesn’t make any sense does it? Just eight years ago, our nation saw one of the most devastating recessions in history, but now it seems like we’ve so quickly forgotten what put us there in the first place. Not only has personal debt been increasing over the last couple of years, it’s once again inching toward the all-time high.

5 Reasons Why People Are Taking On More Debt

There’s no doubt about it – people are taking on more debt, but why? Why would they put themselves at risk again? Are we all just so vain that we’d rather be up to our eyeballs in debt than to let people know that we’re broke? For some of us, absolutely yes. For others, the reasons are a bit more real than that.

1) More Confidence in the Economy

Just eight years ago, the Dow was at $6,500. . . . → Read More: 5 Reasons Why People Are Taking on More Debt

How I’m Conquering My $44,000 of Student Loan Debt

student loan debt

Katelyn is 26 years old and has learned to hate debt (go Katelyn!). And, she’s learning to conquer with the best of them. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did.

Student loan debt is the worst. There are so many things I would have done differently if I had known what $44,000 in student loan debt does to one financially, mentally, and physically.

I have two degrees – a BA in biochemistry and a MPH in public health. Both degrees cost me just over $22,000 in loans for a total of $44,103 in student loan debt. Add in the thousands of dollars of interest and I’m looking at over $50,000. Oh the things I could do with that kind of money!

I began by just paying the minimum on my undergraduate loans. Hey, that’s not so bad! My loans went into deferment while I was in . . . → Read More: How I’m Conquering My $44,000 of Student Loan Debt