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Debt Gone, Part I!

February 26th, 2007 at 04:04 am

Wow, I really haven't updated much in the month of February. As I mentioned in

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previous post, I received the bonus for 2006 last week (yeah, the company I work at is weird, they give out bonus after closing out 2006 earnings). Look at the CC3 at the right, it's gone! Originally, I balance transferred CC2 to CC3. Last week, I used the bonus to pay off CC3 balance of $12,000. Now I only have about $13,000 on CC1.

Also, two more car payments and the car will be paid off!

Happy, happy!!

$518 Credit Card Debt Reduced!

November 22nd, 2006 at 05:21 am

So far this month, I have reduced the total amounts by $244 on CC 1, $135 on CC 2, and $139 on CC 3. That's total of $518 reduction in credit card debt! Now I'm just looking forward to a big bonus . . .

I'm heading out to

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Chicago (from
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EWR to
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MDW). Have an (early) Thanksgiving, everyone!

Generation Y = Generation DEBT!

November 6th, 2006 at 12:44 pm

A few days ago, I read

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post on "Generation Y Not". It was somewhat shocking and amusing. It's true that the Generation Y (people born in 1972-1981 1978-2000, age 6 to 28) is in deep debt, having less net worth, and facing super-high housing costs. But at the same time, the Generation Y still have the time to make changes. Better yet, the high debt level is met with low interest rate. Moreover, the home ownership for 35-or-below is 43%, higher than 37% of 10 years ago.

I ran into
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Feed the Pig that intuitively teaches people how to save money. Personally, I think latte factor is not practically. Here are some recommendations I collected from
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Feed the Pig:

Plan for retirement early: Start saving at 24 will give you an edge over someone starting at 35. Save $4,000 per year and invest in
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IRA . The amount will grow to $449,000. If you wait until 35 to start, it will only grow to $232,000.

Prioritize goals: Save from various sources, spend it on something your really want, say a high-class honeymoon or a
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42" plasma TV. When you have a goal, it's easier to make sacrifice on minor things.

24-hour wait period: Commercials nowadays are well-designed, they persuade you into buying things you often don't need. When you want to buy something you're not sure about, give yourself 24 hours to think over.

Eliminate credit card debt: Enough said. Start from high to low interest rate and pay it back ASAP, even if you need to do overtime or shop at dollar-store.

Buy a house (townhouse, condo): Nothing beats investing in your own residence. Certain markets are over-prices, so wait for the right buyer's market.

Learn to invest: The difference between 6% and 10% return on investing $200 per month can be $500,000 in 35 years.

I'm planning ahead! I'm finalizing my
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cash flow for October and writing about
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The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by
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Suze Orman.

GOOD (Get out of debt)!

November 2nd, 2006 at 06:00 am

Tonight I read an

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article on
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Newsweek magazine on tips to get out of debt. Some are cookie-cutter lines from personal finance books, while some have practical values (whether you do it or not is another day's discussion):

* Pay it Down: Work overtime, take on a second job and devote that income to paying down debt. Cash in CDs, home equity loans, loans against retirement.

* Cut Spending: Cook at home more often, brown bag it at work and be creative about gifts. If you have the biggest cable package offered, cut back to a lesser plan. Same for cell phones, Internet.

* Track Your Expenses: This is the only way to have a true picture of where your money goes. Once you see where you are, it might be helpful to have a family meeting to decide how you want to spend your hard-earned dollars. A joint effort yields a greater result, so let the kids in on things. Reviewing how you spend your money allows you to set priorities and results in a freedom, putting you in charge.

* Pay Cash: This results in a significant savings, both in terms of what you purchase, but also in not paying interest on your purchases. When you're out of money, you simply stop buying!

* Around the House: Adjust the thermostat by only two degrees. Experts say you can reduce your heating and cooling bills by 5 to 10 percent by simply moving the thermostat two degrees. Also empty your carís trunk & fill the tires. The heavier your vehicle, the harder the engine has to work to push it around town. Correct air pressure in your tires will improve your gas mileage by about 10 percent.

* Check Your Withholdings: Speak to your human resources department at work and confirm that you have the proper number of withholding allowances on your W4. If you routinely get a federal tax refund, you're shorting yourself each month. The average refund for 2005 was well over $2,000.

* Have an Insurance Check-Up: You don't want to be over- or under-insured, but if you haven't compared rates in a while, it's time to do so. Also, inquire about discounts for good driving, security systems, or putting all of your insurance with one carrier.

* Don't Impulse Shop: If you see something you want, don't buy it on the spot. Later, if you still want it and you're sure you can afford it, then go ahead.

* Have a Garage Sale: If you are paying for a storage building, go through those items and get rid of what you can. Then, do the same at home. You'll make money off of the items you don't use anyway, and you'll save the cost of storage.

* Power Pay Your Creditors: Some people find that paying off small bills one at a time gives them a sense of accomplishment. When one bill is paid in full, take the amount you were paying to that creditor and start paying the next largest bill. Keep working your way up the ladder of bills. When you get to the largest bills, you've built up a significant payment and can likely knock off that large debt quickly. Meanwhile, be sure to keep paying at least the minimum on everything.