Can We Break This Spending Cycle? Do We Want To?

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Amy Dacyczyn, author of the wildly popular 1990s The Tightwad Gazette, wrote a post one time about the television show Roseanne.

She noted that Dan and Roseanne are always struggling financially.

One time, they get an unexpected bonus of $50, and each Dan and Roseanne spend the money on things for themselves without discussing their purchases with one another.  Now, instead of having an extra $50, they are $50 in the hole.

Dacyczyn noted that every time Dan or Roseanne got extra money or worked overtime, they developed a “Yipee!-We-can-spend” attitude.  Yet, when money is tight, they scrimp and save and “feel poor” because they can’t spend.

Is America a Nation of Dan and Roseanne Connors?

The last several years have been rough ones financially for American citizens.

Many people lost their houses, and even if they were able to keep up with payments, they may have found themselves underwater.  People lost their jobs, and even if they were able to stay employed, they may not have seen a raise for years while health care and other costs escalated.

Yet, there are signs that the economy is improving.
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3 Debt Lessons from Game of Thrones

“A Lannister always pays his debts.”

Growing up, Tyrion Lannister learned that lesson from his father.

Whether the debt was in promised payment for a deed done, or whether it was revenge for a debt of honor, that theme is something associated heavily with Tyrion Lannister in the A Song of Ice and Fire books (made famous by the HBO show Game of Thrones).

Warning: There may be spoilers, since this piece is based on the books, and not the TV show.

Even though it might take time to engineer your plan to get out of debt, it’s important to do what you can to reduce your obligations, and Tyrion Lannister is a perfect example of this.

Debt Lessons from Game of Thrones

Make a Plan to Pay Off Your Debt

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How Compound Interest Can Work Against You

We hear a lot about compound interest, and how it can help you build your retirement.

Indeed, the power of compound interest is the subject of many articles on how to build wealth over time.

Even though compound interest is powerful, it’s not just a force for good.  In fact, compound interest, like so much in the world of finances, is itself neither good nor bad.  It’s how you use it that matters.

Understanding how compound interest works is essential.

A quote, commonly attributed to Albert Einstein (although it hasn’t been completely substantiated), points out that, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it earns it, and he who doesn’t pays it.”

Compound interest can work against you just as well as it can work for you.

The key is to earn it — and not pay it.  Debt is the way that you pay compound interest, and it works against you.

Simple Interest vs. Compound Interest

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ReadyForZero | Review – Pay Off and Manage Your Debt

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Some people just have a single loan or two that they want to get rid of.  Others have so much debt that what they really need most is an hour or two with a bankruptcy attorney.

But for everyone in the vast space in between the two extremes is an online debt management tool called ReadyForZero.

It isn’t a traditional debt management service that will actively manage your debts for you, but a debt management tool that will give you what you need to do the job yourself.

How ReadyForZero Works

When you sign up for ReadyForZero it links to your loan accounts and assembles your information – account balances, interest rates and minimum payments.  This will include not only credit cards, but also student loans, car loans, mortgages and any other loans you have.

It will display the information on all of your accounts on a single page and update it daily.  This will provide you with that all-important big picture view of your debt situation in one convenient place.
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The Debt Movement – Pay Down Your Debt, An Interview With Jeff Rose

Are you in debt?

I don’t mean to get all personal on you.  It’s OK to admit though, many of us are in debt in some way, shape, or form (we are).

If you want to get rid of your debt help is here – The Debt Movement.  

This will be a HUGE 3-month push to pay down debt.  You will have the opportunity to join together with personal finance bloggers as well as people like yourself who are working their way out of debt.

I had the fortune of shooting a few questions to Jeff Rose, The Debt Movement’s founder and chief evangelist , also known for his excellent site Good Financial Cents.

Me: Jeff, what is The Debt Movement all about?

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How to Consolidate Your Debt and Pros and Cons

Getting into debt is really easy if someone is willing to give you a credit line. It’s the getting out of debt that is the hard part.

Many financial gurus advise against debt consolidation.  There’s the old adage of “You can’t go into debt to get out of debt.

While consolidating does have its risks, it can be beneficial in helping you turn your finances around.

Pros and Cons of Consolidating Debt

First let’s look at the positives and negatives of using debt consolidation to helping you get out of debt once and for all.

Pros of Debt Consolidation

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Payoff Mortgage Faster – How Do I Do It? – Four Ways

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Who wouldn’t want to pay off their mortgage faster?

The big question is “how do I do it?”

Whether to pay off your mortgage faster, is an important personal financial decision.

But before one can answer “how do I do it,” you must first ask the questions of “can I do it” and “why should I do it.”

The can-I part reveals if one has the financial ability to put more money aside for bigger and quicker payments.  The why-should-I part involves whether to use the additional money available, alternatively, for investing or consumption purposes since funds borrowed under mortgage probably have a lower interest rate than say credit card debt.

Paying off a mortgage faster also has tax implications on mortgage interest deduction.

If one has the financial means; is willing to forgo any investment opportunity; is prepared to postpone any would-be nice consumption; and has weighed on any tax savings, there are ways that one can consider to pay off a mortgage faster.
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