Bankruptcy, the Last Resort

When you can't possibly pay what you owe and informal arrangements with creditors have failed, it might be time to think about declaring bankruptcy. Remember, bankruptcy is a last-ditch solution, and it's not a do-it-yourself proposition; you'll want to hire an attorney with expertise in bankruptcy to help you make important decisions that will affect the outcome. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention... Continue reading

Budgeting 101: How to Pay Off Old Debt

Whatever the source of your old debt -- old student loans, past due credit cards or something else -- it can feel like a millstone hanging around your neck, especially if debt collectors are hassling you. However, don't let the fear or uncertainty get the best of you. According to Eric Roberge, a certified financial planner in Boston who works with young professionals across the country, "The... Continue reading

Personal Finances: When's It Worth Going Into Debt?

To charge or not to charge? That’s a question the editors at Kiplinger hear a lot. Is it okay to go into debt for a wedding ring? Grad school? A car? Travel? Furniture? Of course, what the readers are really asking is if going into debt is worth the impact to their personal finances. The short answer: It’s usually not. When you’re in debt, you limit your options and you have less control over... Continue reading

3 Budget Tips for Paying Off Credit Card Debt

3 Budget Tips for Paying Off Credit Card Debt If you have credit card debt you're trying to pay off, you're not alone. As of the start of 2013, reports that Americans had more than $600 million of credit card debt. "Paying off debt can be a long, tedious process and leave you feeling a bit deprived and sometimes like it will never be over," says Erin Baehr, a certified financial... Continue reading

Warning Signs of Too Much Debt

A longstanding rule of thumb holds that monthly payments on debts (not including a home mortgage, which is really more of an investment) shouldn’t exceed 20 percent of take-home pay. The closer you get to that 20 percent ceiling, the greater your risk of over-indebtedness. Rules of thumb can be useful, but don’t count on this one to keep you out of trouble. It says nothing about your total... Continue reading

Personal Finance Turnaround: Debt Management Resources

Personal Finance Turnaround: Debt Management Resources The most courageous step you can take to improving your financial health is admitting that you need assistance with managing debt. According to Certified Consumer Credit Counselor Natasha Wyckoff, "One of the positive aspects of a fluctuating economy is that you and other consumers have similar challenges." In other words, you are not alone... Continue reading

Debt Management Programs: Pros and Cons

Credit can be a wonderful thing. For example, credit cards are safer and more convenient than carrying cash, particularly when you are traveling. But too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Downturns in the economy, or even poor financial management, can result in out-of-control debt that leaves you with too much month at the end of your money. You might consider entering a debt management... Continue reading

Budgeting Conundrum: What Are the Benefits of a 401(k) Loan to Pay Off Debt?

Your 401(k) plan is designed to help you save for your retirement. Anytime you take money out of the account, you're depleting your long-term savings. To discourage you from accessing the funds early, the Internal Revenue Service taxes and penalizes withdrawals before retirement age. However, if you have a short-term emergency need for funds, you may be able to avoid these costs by taking a 401(k... Continue reading

Money-Saving Games and Strategies

Date: June 21, 2017 Try to explain the importance of saving money to some people and you might just hear snores in the middle of your well-intended lesson. Instead, introduce games and strategies into your talk and show them how saving money can be fun. Some low-tech strategies have been around for decades; others are perfectly tailored for a generation that grew up with a passion for computer... Continue reading