Every Day

Are You Living Paycheck to Paycheck?

The most recent figures show that 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That figure should scare everyone.

How did most Americans get into this bind? There is only one answer that I can think of and that is debt! Too much debt and not enough equity.

Why do people think that they have to have everything now? What happened to saving for the things you want or need?

Let’s say you have just graduated from college and got your first job. So you moved out of Mom and Dad’s house and got an apartment. You need furniture. So you use a credit card to buy what you need. You figure you will just pay it off over time. What happened to getting the basic necessities of a bed, something to sit on, and a small table to eat at until you can afford to buy the suite of furniture? What happened to going to garage sales to look for these things or using relatives hand me downs? Why do you need to buy a suite of new furniture that you can’t afford to pay for? I know, you want everything that you have gotten used to while living at home and you want it now. You forget that your parents have been married for years and saved for things. 

Lest I get told in comments that many young people’s parents were in debt up to their eyeballs and they had lousy role models, I know that. Because your parents were irresponsible is not an excuse for you doing the same thing. Learn about money so that you won’t become your parents. There is so much more information out there today than when I was a young adult. The internet is a valuable resource. Or you can go to the library and take out books to read to educate yourselves like I did. We didn’t have the internet way back when.

So many people are digging themselves into a hole that they either have no intention of getting out of or will be in debt for the rest of their lives making those payments to the bank every month. They don’t give the future a minute’s thought. It sends shivers down my spine.

They live their lives charging debt like there is no tomorrow. They are indentured servants to the credit card companies. They get in a bind and borrow money from their parents to get out of that bind. But you know what, the majority never do because they just charge those credit cards right back up. Then they owe both their parents and the credit card companies.

Next stop is the bank to consolidate those credit cards and the loan to their parents into one loan that they think will give them a lower payment to pay it all off. You will probably get a lower interest rate than the credit card interest rate.  Do they cut up the credit cards? No! 

So they use the credit cards again and again because they deserve things. Now they owe the consolidation loan and a credit card balance that is mounting. They are making minimum payments(again) on those credit cards. Now what to do? 

Oh, you have a home. Well perhaps you have some equity in that home. Let’s go to the bank and consolidate the first consolidation loan and the all of the credit cards into a home equity loan. While we are at it, let’s take that loan for lots more years. That will lower your payments!

Do you see the vicious cycle here? Building debt is the worst thing you can do. Eventually you will lose everything! Unless you pay off that debt, you are in big trouble. You could end up in bankruptcy or worse yet lose your home. The bank has nothing to lose because they will just take your home, sell it, and pay off your debt with the equity.

So now you have been evicted from your home. No problem, we will just get an apartment. But where will you get the money for the deposits? Since you now may have ruined your credit rating or owe too much money, what landlord will rent to you?

This entire post is meant to get you thinking. It is not to scold you. Do you really want to be this person I talk about? Then do something about it. Will it be easy? Will it take a long time to pay off your debt? Yes, but you didn’t get into this mess overnight.

You have another choice though. You can continue getting deeper and deeper in debt, end up with nothing in your old age and live a very poor existence.

I want you to live a life of wealth so get a plan written down or make a chart to track all of your money on your computer. Then faithfully follow that plan to make your life better.  Don’t stay in that 78%! This is one place where you do not want to follow the crowd!

Every Day

Till Debt Do Us Part

How many of you knew that there is a Canadian show called “Till Debt Do Us Part”?  I didn’t. Since we are debt free, including no mortgage, I was never looking for shows like this. I stumbled upon it on Saturday on You Tube. So I did some binge watching of a number of shows.

Of course it is a lot of entertainment but if you have never budgeted your money, it might be helpful in that area. 

The premise is that a woman named, Gail, who has a background in finance makes house calls to people who are seriously in debt and need someone’s help to set up a plan to get rid of that debt. 

She shows the couples how much over their income they are spending each month and how much debt they will be in in 5 years if they don’t fix it. 

She also sets up a budget for them so that they can be out of debt in a few years.

Now I am skeptical about how many of these couples actually follow their plan after the three weeks of the show is gone. Especially of those who I am sure will never change their ways. There were some couples I watched who I hope made it to their debt free date. However, there were some who thought it was all a big joke and I am sure were just after the “up to $5000.00” that she would give them if they did what she told them and had good attitudes. Hopefully, Gail made sure that the money was put on their debt and didn’t leave it up to the couples to do it.

I am sure there are many couples like them who are just really bad with their money. Either they have never been taught how to budget with their money or they believe they “deserve” to buy whatever they want whether they can pay for it or not. The latter I don’t have any sympathy for. They are the ones who end up having their cars repossessed, losing their homes, and ruining their credit. 

If you have debt, please take a look at some of the videos that I will link. It may open your eyes. I can’t link them all but I will give you links to some of the ones that I thought were interesting: 

Debt On A Tight Rope

Slaying The Debt Dragon

Time To Pay The Piper

Cash Poor House Proud

Ground By Debt

Gail Force of Winds

You can find a lot more here or by searching for each Season in the search bar:

A Lot More 

I hope these motivate some of you to budget your money and tackle your debt. You can not have true freedom and less stress unless you do something about it.

Every Day

I Was Just Thinking………………

I was just thinking how nice it is to have no debt. Sure we use our credit cards so that we can earn rewards points and cash back. But those credit card balances get paid in full every month. It is so nice to be stress free and not have to worry about money.

What brought this to mind this weekend is that a friend was telling me how they will always be in debt and never get it paid off. She told me that we are very lucky to have no debt. Comments like that get my dander up.

Luck had nothing to do with it. It was a lot of hard work to get where we are today. It was years of careful spending and not spending beyond our means. We didn’t buy a lot of stuff that “The Jones” thought was necessary to buy all of the time.

We were careful with our money because we knew we wanted to retire earlier than 65. My Hubby’s parents died at young ages and never really got to enjoy a retirement. Hubby wanted a few years in retirement. We will be retired 18 years in August. Amazing how quickly that has flown by.

You too can have a good retirement if you plan properly and pay off your mortgage, pay off your credit card debt, and pay cash for your cars.

Many seniors are living pretty well in retirement on just social security because they paid off all of their debt before they retired. I can’t stress that enough. 

After you pay off that debt, plan for emergencies instead of charging things. Things will break and have to be repaired. Cars don’t last forever. Homes need repairs and taxes are always an expense as long as you own a home.

I don’t think that people think about the real cost of credit card debt. They go out to dinner and spend $50. and put that and another $10. for the tip on their card. Then they don’t pay it in full when the bill comes due. They repeat it over and over again whether it be dinner out or clothing, or anything else that they want. They are paying exorbitant interest rates. They don’t thing about the true cost of that dinner that they didn’t pay in full or all of the other things they charge. That dinner didn’t really cost them $60. It costs them the interest on it until they actually pay it off. That can take months if you are only paying minimum payments. That dinner ends up costing them a small fortune.

Mortgage interest rates are a lot cheaper so that is the last thing you should pay off. Pay the credit cards and the car loan and when those are done, pay extra every month on the principal of your mortgage loan. It is truly amazing how many thousands of dollars in interest you can save by paying it off years early.

When you have the car loan paid off, start saving that same payment in an investment vehicle so that when you need a car again, you have the cash.

All of this is not rocket science people. It is pretty straight forward. Do you have to sacrifice? Yes, if you truly want to get rid of your debt! But a lot of people I believe do not want to do the hard work to get rid of it. They don’t want to cut expenses or make more income to do it.  

I have actually had people tell me that they deserve to go out to dinner a few times a week, go to the movies or concerts or whatever else they pay to do, because they worked hard. No one deserves anything that they can’t pay cash for. If you are spending your paychecks before you get them, you are headed for trouble in the long run. And some day it will catch up with you.

This may sound harsh to you but sometimes people need a reminder about how they are ruining their lives.

Since I have been blogging(over 12 years) I have had many people write me to say they just paid off their homes and it was the last debt they had. They cannot believe how freeing it is to own everything and not owe the bank. We had one reader who has become a good friend pay off hers recently. I was so proud of her and her husband and so happy for them.

There is another reader who has paid off “a ton of debt” and is now working on paying off their home. I love watching her progress. They will get there sooner than they think.

We are coming up on the month of June. By the end of that month, half the year will be gone. How many of you made resolutions to pay off your debt and haven’t been actively working on it? It is never to late to start. Start right away. Cut those expenses and put the money you save on your debt each month.

I would love for all of you to be debt free. That is one of the reasons that I have blogged for over 12 years. If I can help just one person, all of the time that I have spent blogging is worth it.  

Every Day

Now That January Is Well Under Way……

Now that January is well under way, are you wondering how you are going to pay off all of those Christmas gifts you charged? Are you dreading the credit card bill coming? Are you robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Or did you pay cash, use debit, or write a check for those gifts? Or did you pay your credit card bill in full when it came? If you did, Congratulations! You have started off 2019 with a lot less stress than many.

I know that some of my readers are paying down debt and I am 100% behind them and cheering them on. They know that it isn’t easy but they are doing what it takes to become debt free. They don’t want the stress anymore.

But there are others who I am sure put Christmas gifts they couldn’t afford on their credit cards that are already charged up $ 5,000. and higher. Why not? In their minds, each gift only added a little bit to what they already owe. Instead of looking at the big picture and what they already owe, they just charged away.

Some owe so much money now that they can’t figure out how to pay normal expenses like car and homeowner’s insurances, utility bills, gasoline for the car, taxes on their home, and even food each week. So they just add them to the credit cards.

Some aren’t even trying to pay their debt off. They just are in total denial. They pay the minimums on their cards each month while the interest just keeps building up. They go out to eat many times a month and enjoy lots of entertainment each month. They continue to buy crap that they really don’t need. How do they do that you say? Easy, they just keep putting it on the credit cards!

They believe that they deserve to do all of these things even if they have to run up the credit card bills. Well, I know you won’t like this people but I am here to say that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t deserve it! Someone has to point out the truth to you!

If you can’t afford to buy Christmas gifts, eat out, go to the movies, the casino or the sports game or any other entertainment venue, don’t do it! If you have debt, get rid of the cable bill and any other bill that is not a necessity. Cut way back to get rid of those credit cards!

If you need to get a job or a second job to pay them off do it. Your future is at risk if you don’t. How long do you think that you can just keep putting expenses on your credit cards before you have no more credit to use. That will happen faster than you think. 

I have seen people in my 51 years of marriage who have eventually lost their homes or have had to sell their homes to pay off debt. It wasn’t medical debt which is a whole different ballgame. Do you really want that to be you? That is a really scary thought but it is true!

I don’t want to see any of you who read here stressed out because of debt. It’s January and a new year. Do what you have to do to get out from under that burden. It can be summed up in two words:


Get back to basics and put every spare dime on your debt. Yes, your debt. You created it and you must pay it off.

I know there will probably be a few people who will still be in denial after reading this and will be really ticked over what I have had to say but that is okay. They can just stop reading and go their merry way because this blog obviously isn’t helping them. I have written on this subject over and over again but there are some that just don’t get it! They continue to ruin their futures and there really is no helping them because they refuse to help themselves.

If I sound angry, I am not. I just don’t understand why people live a life of denial and continue to ruin their futures. I would hope that people are smarter than that.

So make this the year you finally get out from under your debt burden. Do the hard work! 

If you need to see a great example of someone who is paying down their debt go to Out My Window .
She has paid off a number of debts and continues working on others including her mortgage debt. I cheer her on all of time! She is a great role model for those of you who have debt.