Posts tagged debt
Posts tagged debt
Use this strategies if you’re saddled with debt.
I am a HUGE proponent of setting up your (basic) life to be able to make it on either income in a 2 income household. Paid for cars, a mortgage we can easily afford on one income and no other debt besides a single student loan payment has allowed us to vacation like rock stars, pay down a bunch or debt (mortgage and student loans) and max out our retirement savings before having a baby. Now that I work part time, we can still afford to save while living on 2 reduced incomes in a VERY pricey city. Whether or not both wage earners choose to continue working after they have children, leaving the option open by keeping your basic life doable on one income means financial freedom in all directions.
The backlash to the “Living with Less” article makes me sad and thankful. Sad that so many people can’t just celebrate another person’s choices (no, you don’t need a $4000 bed or anything else to live in a small space) and thankful that I live the way I do. Living in a smaller place than we can “afford” has allowed my family to see the world, allows me to arrange my work schedule (and works less) so I can stay home with my little one, and allows us to continue to build our nest egg on a reduced income. Stay hungry, stay foolish.
If this story were in Texas and not Singapore it would describe these folks as “big hat, no cattle” folks. No matter where you go in the world, overspending is overspending. Stay hungry, stay foolish.
Lord this is truth if I’ve ever heard it. As most of you know, I’m cheap. Not kinda cheap, not a little cheap. Really, really cheap. I am willing to pay for things that add value to my life and resent paying for anything else. I am very, very lucky to live in a neighborhood where conspicuous consumption is decidedly not ‘in’. And yet… shopping at the local (and pricey) farmers market is the norm. Organic clothing, driving a Prius, composting, all the norm. We may not be trying to keep up with the neighbors brand new BMW, but there is an assumption of ‘keeping up’ all the same. I have found that the trick is to go with the flow when the flow aligns with my priorities and proudly buck the trend when it does not. And yes, the most beautiful bumper sticker I’ve ever seen, the only one that makes my heart go pitter-pat, is the one that says “Don’t laugh… it’s paid for”
I love lists like this because it comforts me to know that I’m on the right path. While I have not always exhibited all these traits (I went though a long period of thinking that shopping would make me happy and solve my problems) looking at this list today makes me pleased to know that the money values I now hold are shared by other debt-free warriors. I’m not there yet, but I get closer every day. I hope all of you keep on keepin’ on the path to debt freedom on this long weekend.
$500,000. Five Hundred Thousand Dollars. HALF a MILLION dollars. That’s an unbelievable amount of money to spend on anything in 10 years, especially consumer goods that are worth 5-10 cents on the dollar the minute you leave the store. This story makes me sad for this woman- her past self, her current self and most of all her future self. Instead of a comfortable retirement and a paid off home, she has 2 dumpsters worth of goods, and no better sense of self esteem than before she started hoarding. This can and should be a cautionary tale for all of us that happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment can not come from material goods- no matter how much you shop.
Never say never, but I think that without major changes in the structure of lending for both educational and real estate financing that the people coming of financial age today face some very unique challenges. It’s hard enough to start your life at the starting line, but starting your real life a whole marathon’s distance behind the starting line makes it almost impossible to achieve a comfortable life. Student loans are the albatross of many people’s existence, my own included, and they can handicap you for your whole life in ways you never thought possible. All borrowing is bad. Bad, bad, bad. A burden to your freedom and your future, so steer clear at all costs!
What I always find so inspiring about these types of stories is how absolutely doable everything on this list really is. Don’t buy more anything than you can afford. Save some of your money. Not one of these things is outside the realm of possible for anyone on any income. None of these points includes “be the next Bill Gates” or “win the lottery”. Take heed, take heart and start saving!
I hate to use other people’s misery to make my personal finance point… but I really can’t think of anything dumber than committing to buy a HOUSE with someone that you are not married to. I don’t care if that person is your boyfriend of 17 years/your best friend since kindergarten/the President of the United States- the answer is if someone can not qualify for a loan on their own, then they can’t handle the loan. And to top if off, this author didn’t even get any kind of written agreement that would be legally enforceable against this so-called friend. She’s not only cost herself 200 points on her credit score, but the banks have EVERY right to come after her for the entire loan amount, back payments, fees, ect. If she gets out of this with JUST a hit on her credit score, she should consider herself very lucky indeed. An expensive lesson that I hope we can all learn from.