Just Because You Can Spend More, Doesn’t Mean You Should

One of the things I heard a lot when my husband and I were shopping around for a new house a few years ago was this: You can borrow this much!

This much invariably turned out to be more than we were strictly comfortable spending.

One lender (specializing in no-doc loans for the self-employed) was even prepared to approve us for a mortgage loan with a payment that would have amounted to about 42% of our monthly income.  This was in the heady days just before the mortgage market crash and the financial crisis.

I wasn’t entirely sure I was ready to buy a home, but I knew I wasn’t comfortable with a payment that large.

Home buying isn’t the only time you need to be guarded in your spending decisions.  You might be told that you can “afford” a certain monthly car payment, or think that it’s easy to buy a brand new electronic device if you put it on a credit card and pay only the minimum payment.

Don’t Spend on Something Just Because You CanContinue Reading

How to Get Your Spouse More Involved in the Family Finances

In many marriages, there is the financial geek who enjoys setting the budget, paying the bills,  and managing the money. 

Often the other spouse wants no part of the finances.

While this is not always the case, it is true for many marriages.

This arrangement may work well for awhile, but over time, the spouse who handles the money may feel burdened by being the sole financial executor, especially if the family struggles with debt.

While the financial geek may never get his or her partner as excited about finances as he or she is, there are some ways to get your spouse involved more.

How You Can Get Your Spouse More Involved in the Family Finances

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Budgeting for Christmas Shopping Before it’s too Late

Shopping for christmas goodies

Yes, it is only just Fall and the leaves are barely starting to change color but before any of us realize it, the snow will be on the ground and Jingle Bells will be playing at the mall (OK, the holiday music will start once Halloween is over).

Budgeting for Christmas shopping now may sound like a chore but it can be the life line you need to avert debt.

Typically when a person goes Christmas shopping and there is no budget, then this gives the illusion of having no limits – and no limits often leads to January credit card bills that hurt.

Designing a budget helps you to avoid that steep downhill in January; and this helps to keep the happiness of the Christmas holidays lasting well into the new year.
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Can’t Pay On Time? Change Your Due Date!

Way back in the dark days when my credit card debt felt like a ball and chain around my neck I would have problems paying my credit card bills on time.

And man, was I so close a lot of those times!

I’d miss the due date by a day here, three days there.  See, my budget was timed badly such that my paycheck and my credit card due date were within days of each other (I was living paycheck-to-paycheck for a while).  By the time I could get my bills out they would already be late.  You can always ask the credit card company to waive a late fee but I had too many to ask anymore.

One day I found out I could ask the credit card company to move my due date.

“They would do that,” I thought?  I mean, why would they work with me since I owe them money?
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Try Out Your New Lifestyle Before You Actually Live It

mom

Life can be full of financial changes that you must adapt to.  One of the best ways to make the transition smoother is to try out your new lifestyle before you actually live it.   Take, for example, the stories of two women, Jessica and Maureen.
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How to Create a Budget for Variable Income

With people increasingly using technology to make money from home, it is becoming more common for many of us to live on a variable income. The problem for many, though, is how to create a budget for variable income?  Whether you have a stable base of income, with some variable elements, or whether your entire income is variable, you need to have some sort of plan for your money.

Estimates: Break Down Your Monthly Income and Expenses

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How We Manage Our Finances on the Road

On Plane Over My Fuji

This guest post is from Wifey of a Roadie, where M shares her tips and tricks as she and her husband travel the world.

Hi Everyone! Wifey of a Roadie here!

I’m reading all these informative and entertaining blogs on debt control and travel and therefore have been inspired to write this post.

Juggling Love and Careers

Some people have asked how in the world my husband and I have managed to stay together and travel so much.  When my husband got offered his first job to tour with Queen Latifah, he was told to ask my permission to accept because marriages don’t last in this business.
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