Did You Know Your Debt Can Hurt Your Health?

My husband and I recently met with a financial planner to discuss rolling over my retirement savings account from my former employer. 

How we finally found a planner we felt we could trust is a different story, but this planner, I’ll call Mr. Smith, is a Dave Ramsey endorsed local provider, and as expected, much of his advice was on par with Dave Ramsey’s teachings.

In addition to discussing the rollover, we also discussed our finances in general and that we are paying off what seems like insurmountable debt, the majority of which now is student loan debt.  We also spoke about our income, which is lower than we would like because my husband is working at an entry level post doc position and I am freelancing part-time while caring for our young children during the day.

Mr. Smith assured us, “Your income will grow more than you can believe once you pay off that debt because debt takes so much of your energy.  Get rid of that debt completely, and all of your energy can go toward building your careers.”

While I found the entire conversation beneficial, that piece of information is the one that I keep returning to.

Debt is Mentally and Physically Exhausting

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Are Online College Classes Right for You?

Universities and colleges have offered online courses for several years now as a way to offer students a more flexible schedule. 

A nice bonus is that online courses often cost less than courses in the traditional classroom, and you also save on transportation costs because you do not have to drive to campus.

In light of the financial benefits and the flexibility online courses offer, these types of courses seem like they should be a great fit for most students, but often they are not.

If you are considering taking an online course, there are several things you must know.

Reasons You Should Not Take an Online Course

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How to Create a Low-Cost Will

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Most adults, especially parents, know how important a will is. 

This one document can help determine who will raise your children in the event of your untimely death.  Die without a will and the state determines who will raise your children.  If your children are grown, a will keeps your estate out of probate and retains the inheritance for your inheritors, not the court fees probate generators.  A will can also curb fights over who gets what; your wishes are clearly written in the will.

Even though we all know wills are important, “a staggering 65% of adults do not have wills.”   When asked why, “a large number of people said that a will is too expensive and too complicated” (Mellert Law).

You may likely feel this way, too.  However, there are plenty of ways you can create your will without spending a lot of money.

Consider the following ways to create a low-cost will:

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How to Negotiate to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rates

According to CreditCards.com, the average credit card debt (per household with credit card debt) is $15,956, and the average APR paid on that debt is 12.78%.

Annually, the average household is paying over $2,000 a year just in credit card interest.

If you do not want to or are unable to transfer your balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate, your next best line of defense is to negotiate with the credit card company to get a lower interest rate.

Before you call to negotiate, remember that you will need to be calm and polite the entire time. 

Do not let your emotions enter into the negotiations.  Also, keep in mind that credit card negotiations are effective about 50% of the time.  Don’t use this knowledge as an excuse to give up, but also recognize that you may not always be able to get the credit card company to budge.

Follow these tips when calling to negotiate to lower credit card  interest rates:

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Making the Most of Your Wedding Registry

If you are engaged, one important task on your wedding to do list is to create a wedding registry.

You may spend a few hours with your fiance choosing a store to register for your wedding gifts and actually picking the items to appear on the list.  Some people find the process so overwhelming that they continue registering over the course of a few days.

If you are recently engaged and planning to create a wedding registry, here are a few tips to make the most of your registry:

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Will Divorce Make You Happier? The Emotional and Financial Implications of Divorce

It happens to the best of couples. 

You start out deeply in love, and then, with the stresses of life, child rearing and career growth, you don’t spend enough time together.

You grow apart.

You start to get upset with one another and find flaws.  (Ironically, often the traits that most endeared your spouse to you in the beginning are now the very traits you find most irritating).

It is at this point that many couples consider getting divorced.

According to Dr. Heller, a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts, “about 10% of all marriages end in divorce during the first five years and another 10% by the tenth year.”

Divorce can seem like the easy way out.
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Grow Your Own Garden This Summer to Save at the Grocery Store

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If you are like most Americans, you have probably felt the pain at the grocery store cash register when buying your family’s groceries.

While the increase in the price of gas most often makes the nightly news, the increase in the price of groceries hits consumers’ wallets even more so, especially if you have a family.

If you don’t want to resort to being an extreme couponer buying processed foods for pennies on the dollar, there is another way to save—grow your own garden.

Can’t Grow a Garden Because You Live in the City?  Think Again

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