When I was 27, I finally took my head out of the sand and did what I had been dreading for months. I added up the balances of my credit cards and discovered that they had skyrocketed to over $15,000! By looking at the statements separately, I had tricked myself into believing my debt was much less. I was blindly writing checks each month, just enough to pay the minimum required. Every time I opened the mailbox, I felt a little queasy. Keep reading »
Out in paperback now: the book Smart Girls Marry Money: How Women Have Been Duped Into the Romantic Dream—And How They’re Paying For It, by Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake. Forget for a moment that they annoyingly refer to grown women as “girls” in their title and check out their thesis: because, for a variety of reasons, men earn more money than women, it’s a wise move to marry someone who can provide for you and your family. Keep reading »
You thought you had credit card debt: a New Jersey bankruptcy court says Teresa Giudice and her husband, Joe, of “The Real Housewives Of New Jersey,” owe $11 million to creditors.
Court documents claim the couple’s income is $79,000, plus they receive $120,000 in “assistance” from family. Although their combined income of $200K is pretty sweet, it’s not enough to finance their blinged-out lifestyle.
Let’s find out: what the hell were this Jersey girl and her man buying? Keep reading »
One Venti latte five mornings a week. You could probably pay for your caffeine addiction with cash, but who carries around stacks of green besides strippers and Lil Wayne? Plastic is so much more convenient.
A couple coffees probably won’t send you to the poorhouse, but are you swiping the plastic for groceries? Rent? Routine living expenses?
If so, you’re not alone, says Clarky Davis, The Debt Diva, author of The Debt Diva’s Financial Guide. Davis says most Gen Y-ers have more than three credit cards, and one-fifth of them owe more than $10,000. Of those households in the U.S. with credit card debt, the average debt is $16,007. So, when are you in over your head? If you are struggling to meet your minimum payment, your phone is blowing up with collections calls, or you cannot pay off your entire credit card balance in three months … the Debt Diva is talking to YOU. Keep reading »
If you’re lucky enough to have money in this crap-tastic economy, you’ve got to do all you can to make sure you’re using it wisely enough to not only remain financially afloat now, but also in the foreseeable – and even distant – future. Doing so involves carefully considering the way you dole out those Benjamins. While some purchases are best paid for in cash, you can get a better bang for your buck by putting some on a credit card. For info on which purchases are better financed with cold, hard cash and which should be paid for in small increments, consider these tips, courtesy of personal finance expert Manisha Thakor.
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In certain ways, I think of my life in two parts. There was before, when I was more carefree, more irresponsible, and carried debt. And there’s after, where I’m a bit more serious, way more self-controlled, and have no debt at all. But how did I get here? Well, I didn’t read a book, I didn’t watch Suze Orman, and I didn’t write down every single thing that I spent. It wasn’t easy. And it sure didn’t happen over night. But, eventually, I went from debt-heavy to debt-free, and I would like to report from personal experience that while the road there isn’t exactly paved with fun and frivolity, the payoff is pretty awesome. Keep reading »
Recently, a wonderful, terrific, incredible thing in my life happened, but I’m still having a little trouble embracing the good news. Two weeks ago, my husband of four months dipped into his life savings and paid off the remainder of my student loans. This was no small feat, of course; the amount left on my loans for graduate school were big — enough to finance a luxury car, or an extended trip around the world, or serve as a down payment for a small New York apartment. Instead, Drew, my husband, used the money to pay off a debt I’d accrued before I even met him, a debt I lost plenty of sleep over wondering how I’d ever crawl out of. That, in the end, I had this modern-day version of a knight-in-shining armor come rescue me, the damsel in distress, is something that’s stirred a complicated mix of emotions in me, most prominent among them gratitude, but certainly a large dose of guilt and shame as well. Keep reading »
Are cutting credit cards up a new recession trend? The Atlantic thinks so:
“Cutting up credit cards is a classic solution to the temptations of easy credit, but as Americans have become more and more reliant on plastic, there’s been a resurgence of interest in swearing off credit entirely.”
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If you have an extravagant wedding, you might be in debt longer than your marriage lasts. According to a U.K. financial management company, couples borrow an average of $42,000 to pay for their wedding. This can take 16 years to pay off with interest and everything, and the average marriage supposedly lasts 11.5 years! So, when it’s time for you to get divorced, you might end up divvying up debt, rather than assets. If you’re engaged, take the advice of our recently married Wendy and make your wedding more about memories than money. [Marie Claire U.K.] Keep reading »