How to Get Out of Debt – The Debt Warfare Approach

If you make a good income and are fed up with being in debt, and sinking deeper each month, then it’s time to get serious. Every day in debt is a day longer before retirement. Time is what you are ultimately giving up, which has more value than any fiat currency. Paying off your debts and making tough sacrifices is the only way to reclaim your time. Don’t work a day longer than you have to.Here is how I have paid off, and am still paying off, debts.   Combine Finances – If you are a newly married couple and are wondering if you should combine finances, my advice is to do it. It took my wife and I a few years to do this, mainly because we were both independent and proud people who felt they could take care of their own bills and payments.   The mistake we made is not seeing our debt as our debt. Once we combined finances, we combined forces. It also gave us a sense of being in it together. This is critical to the Married with Debt strategy. As long as one partner is not on the plan, your efforts and dreams of financial … Read more

Should I Pay for my Child’s College?

I don’t know when it happened, but apparently all parents are expected to pay for their child’s college education these days. Every financial services commercial on television assumes that this is my plan, and they all ask me the same question: how am I going to pay for it? Not “are you going to do it?’ but rather “how?” am I going to do it. I want to be honest that I don’t know that I agree with this. This can be attributed to my natural contrarian streak, but I do feel that it is necessary that we examine personal finance mythology to see what works. My oldest daughter is in private school, and it costs $115 per month to pay her tuition and fees. This is discounted by 50% because my wife is a teacher at the school. Her high school tuition will be approximately $10,000 per year (not discount eligible), more than my college education cost. So for two children, by the time they are both through high school, I will have spent approximately $115,000. One saving grace is that we will save approximately $5,000 per year in childcare costs once my second (youngest) daughter goes to kindergarten in three … Read more

Hubpages – Is It Worth It?

So, count me among those who have fallen under the spell of passive income that Hubpages offers. Passive income is one thing our parents had from things like real estate and rental properties. Today’s “New Rich” prefer to set it and forget it, as Tim Ferriss would say, which makes online marketing a potential that can build to a low work empire. One of our greatest tools to get out of debt is to increase income. That’s why you will hear me recommend you sell things – sell your cars and buy beaters; sell your jewelry; have a garage sale. If writing articles can be a piece of the puzzle, why not try? Yes, there are stories of Hubbers earning up to $2,000 per month from hundreds of articles that continue to earn, month after month. Called “evergreen content,” these timeless and informative posts are the key to passive income. From my research I have learned it is not easy. Many Hubs take upwards of a year to start earning modest sums. The thought of having 100 articles each earning at least a dollar per day is my goal – this would allow me to work from home on projects … Read more

10 Personal Finance Rules to End Your Debt and Change Your Life

Part of changing your life and getting out of debt is changing your rules. If you develop and stick to a set of rules and maxims, you will greatly increase your chances of success. Much can (and will) be written about each one, but they are pretty self explanatory. These rules are important, though. For example, if you can’t live on less than you earn, you will never be out of debt. Period – end of story.   These are not in any particular order:   10 Personal Finance Rules to End Your Debt and Change Your Life   1. Combine Incomes, Finances and Efforts –  If you are married or a serious, cohabitating couple who are in it for the long-term, it is probably time to join bank accounts and develop a cohesive strategy for debt elimination and retirement. Being married with debt is about sharing the sacrifice and the reward.   2. Live on Less than You Make – This is the most simple to understand, yet the hardest to follow. It is the cornerstone to debt freedom and financial Independence. Everything starts here.   3. Pay Off Debts Smallest to Largest, Regardless of Interest Rates – This goes counter … Read more

Collecting and Stacking Silver Coins and Bars – Pay Yourself First

Owning physical silver, which is the pure collectible form of the industrial commodity, is a form of diversification and hedging. It should not generally be considered an investment, though fearless traders have made (and lost) significant sums of money in short periods of time. It is better suited for those with an eye towards long-term savings. A recent post on Bible Money Matterstalked about the story of the Richest Man in Babylon. The man in the story sought out the advice of rich people, and was told:“I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep. And so will you.” One of the best ways I’ve found to do this is buy regularly purchasing silver coins and bars. In uncertain economic times, holding physical gold and silver can be a hedge against inflation and currency devaluation. It is a way to consistently pay yourself and save a portion of your paycheck in a valuable form. Reasons to own physical silver:   CONTINUE READING >

Otok Brać – Vacation from Vacation

The phylloxera swept across the terraced hills of Otok Brać – Island of Brać – in the early 1900s, invading the soil.  Native to North America, the tiny yellow aphids traveled across the sea to Europe in the late 1800s, feeding on vino roots and spreading their wine death like an infestation of involuntary Prohibition.  The people on the island of Brać did not see it coming, and the families stood in awe and despair at the expanse of useless vineyards left in its wake. And the families began to splinter.  Some sought refuge on the mainland of the Dalmatian coast; some found their way to the university in Zagreb, while many began to feed the Croatian diasporas in South America, the United States and Australia. Those that stayed planted more olive trees, knowing that it would be 50 years before they would bear fruit, and that the hard work might mean a better future for those generations to come. The old olive trees watched, some for hundreds of years or more,  and continued to put forth.  The terra rossa soil held them close, and it was the color of blood.   My wife and I arrived on Brać via a car … Read more

Married With Debt

Like most 30 year olds who are married with children, I am in debt. That is what ‘Married with Debt’ means. Is it possible to get married without debt? I’m sure it is, but what fun is that? When I think about the hundreds of thousands of dollars that have passed through my hands over the years, many times leaving my bank account the day they arrived. I become tired of renting my lifestyle. I am tired of living under the thumbs of banks, owing them hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’ve spent so much, bought so much, did so much, but have nothing to show for it but a few gray hairs and some stories. I’m tired of working just for the sake of getting by. And the longer I go with just getting by, the more frustrated I get with not getting ahead. I’m tired of playing by the rules. The rules enslave us in a buy now pay later scheme that ensures we work until we are 70 and die penniless. Time to write some new rules…