Two Cents Tuesday - Pay off debt the smart way

We've been talking a lot about debt these days - last week I shared some tips on how to set up a strong foundation before paying off debt, so you can avoid binge-debting. (Check out that video here).

If you've set up your foundation already; you've saved up a little cushion, and you've stopped the bleeding, you're ready to power through some debt payoff. Where do you begin? Is there a smart way to do it? Are you supposed to avalanche it, snowball it, or something else?

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Two Cents Tuesday - Do this BEFORE you pay off debt

Do you find yourself getting into debt, working hard to pay it off (finally!) and then...getting into more debt? Does that credit card bill never seem to move that much, no matter what you do? 
 

In debt. Boo.

Debt free. Yay!

Debt, again. Boooooooo.

If this cycle sounds familiar, you're not alone. This is such a common situation that I coined a phrase to describe it - binge debting.

Binge debting is common, difficult to break out of, and psychologically and motivationally very demeaning. It can make you feel hopeless, dumb, and ashamed. 

There is, however, a cure.

Just like with binge dieting, binge debting's more well-known cousin, the solution lies in fixing the underlying issues.

The underlying issues that lead to binge debting? Lack of cushion (savings), and lack of planning (a budget).

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Two Cents Tuesday - What if I can't pay my taxes?

I bet you thought tax time was behind us, didn't you?

In reality, though, it's always tax time. Am I having enough withheld? Am I saving enough? How much will I owe? How much will I get back? What impact do the changes to tax laws have on me, if any?

Roughly 1 in 4 Americans will have a tax bill (not a refund) in any given year, and recent tax law changes mean that many people are finding their tax refunds are smaller or gone altogether. If you're self employed, you know this struggle well - particularly if your business is changing rapidly, and/or you don't have the cash to consult with a CPA to do detailed tax planning.

If you're one of the folks who got a bill this year, you might be asking yourself - what happens if I can't pay my taxes?

[Check out this week's Two Cents Tuesday video to hear everything I've got to say about this topic]

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Two Cents Tuesday - What's the deal with credit card points?

If you’re like most folks, you probably use credit cards. Maybe you’re working on paying them off, or maybe you’re like a lot of people and use them for points.

Getting rewarded for spending money you were going to use anyway? Sounds like a great thing, right? Just switch the card you pull out of your wallet and there you are. Points! As long as you pay off the cards at the end of the month, you don’t pay interest, and then you get all these magic points. Win-win, am I right?

Not so fast.

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Two Cents Tuesday - Get More Vacation For Less Money

Do you wish you could travel more without having a vacation-budget-hangover?


What do you like most about traveling? Checking out new places, spending time with family or friends away from the hustle of everyday life? Are you more of a staycation person, a backpack through Europe person, or a rent-a-house-with-the-whole-family person?


In this week’s Two Cents Tuesday video, I’m talking about why the answer to the above questions can help you save a bundle on your next vacation.

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Two Cents Tuesday - Spring Clean Your Finances

In this Two Cents Tuesday video, I’m talking about some spring cleaning you can do to your finances. After all, spring often feels like a mini-new year. A great time to reexamine things and check in on your goals, like:

  • Getting life insurance like the good adult that you are

  • Figuring out how retirement savings works when you’re self employed

  • Start budgeting, if you don’t already

  • Setting aside assumptions about what gets a spot in your budget - and what doesn’t - and looking at it with fresh eyes.

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How to share finances with your partner (without losing your marriage or your mind)

Pull up a chair and pour yourself a glass of wine, because we’re going to talk about how to handle money with a partner without losing your marriage or your mind.

OK – here’s the first and most important thing you need to know. Your relationship with money isn’t about money (and neither is your partner's). Wait...what?

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