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 »