I have a hard time keeping my life organized, and I didn’t work about organizing my finances when I was in college, because I didn’t have any money to organize. But now that I’m in the working world, I have an emergency fund, a 401(k), lots of bills, and a condo that I own. It’s easy to accumulate many accounts over a period of time and have your money spread around so much that you lose track of it. My philosophy is to keep it as simple as possible. You can usually put your money into four different categories.
For some of you, this will not be attainable, but many of you have a few thousand dollars of debt lingering out in the abyss of debt that won’t go away. If you have less than $10,000 in debt, then I believe you can be debt free before you start drinking egg nog and listening to stories from your parents that you’ve heard every year since you can remember Christmas. So here are my four ways to getting out of debt before January 1st, 2008.
Start Selling Stuff, Lots of Stuff!
One of the biggest decisions we make in life is the work we engage in on an every day basis. You may be in a job that you hate right now, or you may be loving what you do right now. The fact is that our career may change over our lifetime, but our passions and desires never change. The hard part is finding work that lines up with our passions and desires. College students and recent graduates make the huge mistake of starting a career based on the income. Our parents, friends, and the media tell us to go for the money, even if the work is boring or lacks meaning in our life. In the Bible, Ecclesiastes 5:10 says:
” Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”
Once we get in the habit of loving money over everything else in our life, we start to realize the other areas of our life that begin to fail. Constantly pursuing money without pursuing your passions leads to a downward spiral of more shallow relationships, less physical health, and less mental stability. In reality, a large salary plays much less of a role in how we feel about our job than we may think.
Lifespy wrote an article about how to make college more affordable.
I completely agree with letting go of the idea that private schools with big brand names will always give you a better education. You can get a great education at your public state university. It all depends on how you apply yourself. Also, staying in town for two years and going to community college is a viable option for those whose parents cannot pay for their tuition. I should have done this, but instead I went to a private Christian school in Georgia and found out after a year and a half that I had amassed over $10,000 in debt just for my undergrad degree!
There will quickly come a time in your marriage or dating relationship when you disagree about money. The most common argument occurs when two people disagree about how a certain amount of money should be spent. The guy might want to buy a television while the girl wants to put the money away for a vacation. One spouse may want to cut down on eating out while the other may want to cut off the cable or cell phone bill. These and many other financial decisions will often cause a dispute between two spouses. One of three scenarios occurs when a financial dispute arises.
Last Tuesday, Dateline started a piece about identity theft. They have done segments on identity theft in the past, but this is an ongoing series that is going deep into the life and behind the scenes of identity thieves and the elaborate crime rings going on around the world. I didn’t get to see it, but I am going to try to watch the show this coming tuesday.
Whether you agree or disagree with the war in Iraq or even the “war on terror”, I think we can all find common ground in the fact that terrorism is a horrible reality in the world and it needs to be stopped. In order for terrorism to take place, it takes resources and these resources have to come from a some kind of funding. The fundamental reaon why the Bush Administration justifies their actions in the Middle East is because they believe that terrorism would not exist if oil-rich countries were not sponsoring terrorists. Terrorists are poor. If you think Osama Bin-Laden is a self made millionare, you are wrong. If you think that terrorists can still pull off acts like 9/11 with limited funding, you are wrong. Many leaders in our country believe that we need to cut off theses sources of funding and many believe that Iran and other Middle Eastern countries are funding terrorist groups. So, what can we do about this?
Here’s how to deal with a creditor: Tell them to shut up, give the finger to the phone, and hang up! No, just kidding, but I know we all think about doing that sometimes. If you have fallen behind on some bills or you have some really old bills that you let go and they insist on calling you 5 years later, remember to always keep your composure. Collection agents and creditors thrive on threatening you, scaring you, or backing you into a corner and trying to get you to think in an irrational manner. NEVER stoop to their level. Depending on the company or agency, they WILL be ruthless at some point. This goes mostly for unsecured debt creditors. Auto loan and mortgage creditors are generally more reputable, because they know that they can just take the car or house away if it gets too bad. Here are five steps to dealing with creditors and collection agencies.
You saw it coming, I saw it coming, we all saw it coming! The fallout from the real estate frenzy is in full effect. It started with the realization that home prices are halting and “for sale” signs are sitting in the lawn for a longer period of time. Now, those 2/1 and 3/1 ARMS that so many people bought on their home are starting to adjust, and their adjusting UP, UP AND AWAY! Their adjusting so far up that people don’t know what to do, and they may lose their home. If you are savvy at buying foreclosures and have the liquid capital to do it, you’ll probably get a steal on real estate in the coming year or two.
It took a while, but Congress is finally starting to take interest in the unbelievable practices of the cut-throat credit card industry. Senator Carl Levin will be heading up a committee to investigate the practices of credit card companies and come up with legislation that would further regulate the financial practices of credit card companies. I work in the insurance industry, so I definitely understand that it is our responsibility to read the credit card terms and conditions. But let’s be honest, unless you work in the credit card industry, it’s impossible to figure out how they calculate your daily, weekly, monthly, and even your yearly interest rate.