4 Lessons I Learned from Being in Debt

Not only did I used to be indifferent to being in debt, I just didn't care. Here are some of the lessons I learned from that experience.When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I was fairly indifferent to the amount of debt I carried. In my eyes, it was too early to worry about money or the future. I was young, dumb, and completely foolish about how the real world worked. Plus, I knew deep down that I would eventually make huge sums of money.

How? I wasn’t sure.

Unfortunately, the money I thought I would earn didn’t come until much, much later. Even worse, I made a lot of awful financial decisions based on my ignorant mindset – things like buying a $1,300 vacuum and financing a $25,000 car when I made $8.50 an hour. Not only did I fail to understand the gravity of my situation, but for some reason, I just didn’t care. I couldn’t fully understand the lifelong consequences of my bad decisions – or even why it mattered. Unfortunately, I paid out the nose for my silly purchases and splurges, often to the detriment of my long-term goals.

The first years of my marriage to Greg were filled with more of the same. We made plenty of money, but we had few plans for how to make that money count. Eventually, my husband and I shaped up. Even though we weren’t in serious trouble, we had student loans, car loans, and home improvement loans to contend with. Something had to change. [Read more…]

8 Credit Card Myths: Busted!

There is a lot of misinformation floating around regarding credit cards. Join me as I use my mad skills to bust 8 common credit card myths. KEE-YI!When it comes to having credit cards, there’s a lot of malarkey and misinformation floating around. Peddled by well-meaning people who think they are looking out for your best interests, the lines of reality quickly get blurred. Their heart is definitely in the right place, and I’m not saying that they don’t have reason for concern. After all, the average American’s household credit card balance (for those carrying balances) is over $15,000. So clearly, there is a credit card debt issue in this country.

Still, credit cards tend to get a pretty tough rap. I would never want you to open a credit card if you’ve had credit addiction problems in the past, nor would I ever encourage you to pile up credit card debt. Frankly, consumer debt is a prison sentence and I want you to avoid it at all costs. Yet, using credit cards can be an advantageous financial pursuit when it is done properly. That’s why I’m slipping on my white jumpsuit, strapping on my proton pack, and heading out to bust these 8 common credit card myths! [Read more…]

Learn How to Become a Millionaire with These 7 Secrets

Becoming a millionaire is still the gold standard of financial success, but how do you do it? Learn how to become a millionaire with these 7 secrets!Although a million dollars won’t buy you what it used to, becoming a millionaire is still the gold standard of financial success in America. Once you’ve crossed the million dollar barrier, you have officially entered into the land of the wealthy. For most Americans, a million dollars in net worth seems like it is out of reach – but it doesn’t have to be.

According to the Spectrum Group, a market research and consulting firm based in the D.C. area, more U.S. households than ever before have a net worth of over one million dollars. In 2014, this demographic included 10.1 million households, an increase of almost 500,000 from the previous year.

How do they do it? The answers may not be as difficult – or as complicated – as you might think. Building wealth is often the result of creating good habits and dedicating yourself to accomplishing individual tasks. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to become a millionaire, now is the time to start learning. Use these 7 (not so secret) secrets to start building your fortune today. [Read more…]

What to Do if You’re in Trouble with the IRS

IRS - taxes concept  - file cabinet label, bronze holder against grunge and scratched wood

IRS – taxes concept – file cabinet label, bronze holder against grunge and scratched wood

No matter how you spin it, taxes are a pain. Still, it’s something we all must face year after year. If you are behind on your taxes and owe the IRS money, your tax situation can go from feeling like a small burden to more like a pants-on-fire emergency. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to work towards a resolution: [Read more…]

“Get Real” Moments that Changed Our Financial Lives

Saving money doesn't always come easy. Even for born savers, there is usually a "get real" moment when it comes to their own finances.This article is part of  the 2015 Financial Literacy Awareness Carnival hosted by The Heavy Purse. For more posts in the carnival, follow the link!

For most of us, saving money hasn’t always come easy. Even those of us who are born savers have stumbled along the way. Usually, it takes some education and a few massive money mistakes before we truly find our calling as extreme savers. There’s almost always an “ah-ha” moment (or seven) that forces us to get real about our financial situation. Our story is no different.

I have to admit, I’ve always been stingy, but saving money is something I had to learn. It wasn’t that I wanted to spend it all on stuff. Heck, I’ve probably only spent $1,000 on clothing over the last 20 years (for realsies). However, for years, I never really kept track of my money. As long as I had some in my checking account, I though I was fine. Boy, was I wrong. [Read more…]

“Slice of Finance” with Pizza Steve

Sup, brah? So, check this out! It's my totally awesome tribute to "Uncle Grandpa's" Pizza Steve and his gnarly karate battle with Dr. Debt. Enjoy!Clearly, I’ve been watching too much “Uncle Grandpa.” Please note that the story is mine, however the character of Pizza Steve, his likeness, and image was created by Pete Browngardt. I assume the character is owned by Mr. Browngardt and Cartoon Network. Here is my tribute. Enjoy! (If you need a little background info, please reference the embedded video near the end of the piece.)

Annnnd Now, A “Slice of Finance” with PIZZA STEVE!

Sup brah?!? So, check this out! Just last week I was over in Greece at an Italian Karate tournament, bustin’ up boards and totally destroying the competition like I always do. After mopping the floor with a few namby-pambies, I was minding my own awesomeness –  just gettin’ my relax on in the hotel hot tub if you know what I mean. That’s when it happened! The pool room door flew open, and there stood the biggest, harriest, most disgusting beast I’ve ever seen: Dr. Debt. [Read more…]