Buy the Biggest House on the Block


The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. It happened again.  I fell for click-bait.  The title on the link was ‘Buy the biggest house on the block’.  My first reaction was “What idiot thought this up?”  Buying too much house is one of the biggest problems people have in managing their finances and here is someone saying buy the biggest.  The link was to a brief video interview with an economist.  As it turns out, she is preaching the same principles as most do when it comes to personal finance. The interview starts out with her saying the best piece of financial advice she every received was from an older colleague when she was starting out.  She had asked for advice on whether she should buy a car or not.  Her colleague informed her that there are two sides to the interest equation, the paying side and the receiving side.  Her colleague said you always want to be on the receiving side.  … Read more

Selling Myself Short – Don’t Underestimate Yourself!

billion dollar lottery

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. I am beginning to think that I have been under-estimating myself a little bit.  For those that haven’t seen it in previous posts, running is something that I do as part of my regular exercising. Currently I have been running now, more or less off and on, for about 5 or 6 years.  This past October I finished my first marathon and I am signed up for another one this coming October.  Marathons, and the training regimen that go with them, seem to be the only thing that keeps me on a regular pattern of running.  In addition to the upcoming marathon, I recently ran a couple of shorter races as they fit within the training plan. The First Race The first race was 15K, or 9.3 miles.  Before the race, friends and family will usually ask how I hope to finish or my desired pace.  For this particular race, I had run 8-miles the … Read more

Married… and Almost Out of Debt


The following is a staff writer post from Libby Balke.  She’s an amazing writer, work-at-home mother of two, and has been married almost 8 years.  Please leave any questions or comments below for either Libby or Crystal.  🙂 When my husband said, “I do” – now nearly eight years ago – he wasn’t just agreeing to make me a part of his life til death do us part. He was also agreeing to take on the $55,000 in student loans I’d amassed during my undergraduate and graduate school years. It was a big change for my husband; as an athlete on scholarship, he’d attended the same school as I did, but without accruing a single dollar of student loan debt. For the first three years of our married life – the so-called “Newlywed” period – we didn’t worry too much about that original student loan debt. In fact, we made very little effort to pay off the debt, with the exception of the bare minimum monthly payments. During that period, we applied for (and were approved for) loan after loan after loan. First it was one vehicle loan, then another; we took out a loan for our first house back … Read more

We Did It: Debt Free

After nearly eight years of stops and starts, forward progress and steps backwards, we did it. Over $100,000 in consumer debt has been paid off to get us debt free (minus house), including student loans, two new cars, 3 international trips, a wedding, furniture, and other various expenses that come with having two kids. We did it by creating a debt payoff plan, tracking our progress, and most importantly, working together. We stopped treating each person’s debt as a separate problem. “My” debt became “our” debt. We combined finances and efforts. We paid off debts from smallest amount to largest to build momentum. We even did it despite my wife losing her job and taking a lower-paying one. Even though some told us that debt was normal, that it was okay to keep some around in order to free up cash-on-hand, we saw the writing on the wall in 2008 and no longer did we want to be slaves to large banks, entities that seem to become more threadbare as each year passes. We wanted to be debt free. We had grown tired of renting our life, and although we made a decent salary, we had nothing to show for … Read more

Transitioning Into Your Life’s Debt-Reduction Phase

The following is a guest post:

Many people incur debt as a matter of necessity. They need to get an education, so they take out debt to pay for their student loans. They need a mode of transportation, so they buy a car with money they don’t have. And they need a home to raise a family, so they take out more debt in the form of a mortgage plan.

These people aren’t frivolous spenders. They don’t necessarily have expensive tastes and they don’t desire to live beyond their means. But for a period of their life they must do exactly that.

Read moreTransitioning Into Your Life’s Debt-Reduction Phase

Debt Payoff Progress – Feb 2012

In my last debt payoff update, I noted that we were 7 months away from paying off all our debt (minus the house).

A few days ago we paid off my wife’s student loan. When she graduated about 10 years ago, she owed about $25,000.

That leaves us with just my student loan, with a balance of approximately $8338. When I graduated 8 years ago, I owed about $20,000. In addition to the credit cards that were paid off years ago, and our two paid-for vehicles, we’ve paid off more than $90,000 in debt accrued over the past 10-15 years.

Read moreDebt Payoff Progress – Feb 2012

Make a Monthly Debt Budget: Rule 3

This is Rule 3 in my 10 Rules to End Your Debt and Change Your Life.

Now that you have mastered Rule 2 and dedicated a month to spending less than you earn and tracking every expense, it’s time to make a monthly debt and bills budget and live by it.

The purpose of Rule 2 was to give us some information to work with (as well as training you to live on less than you earn), and will work hand-in-hand with this Rule as we move towards our debt payoff in Rule 4.

Read moreMake a Monthly Debt Budget: Rule 3