5 Things to know about Social Security
- Created on 19 April 2014
Sorry guys, the SSA put out this white paper specifically for women. I’ll do some digging to find the related details for our gentlemen readers next. Ladies, these points are interesting. I’ve highlighted a few. To read the full details on the SSA’s website, click here.
1. As long as you have worked 10 years and earned 40 credits, you are eligible for a Social Security benefit. As of today, once you reach 62, you’re eligible.
2. There is no limit or penalty (i.e. your benefit is reduced) for married couples. A non-working spouse is only entitled to ½ her husband’s benefit if she never worked outside the home (that sucks!).
3. If you are due two benefits (your own and a portion of your husband’s), you’ll only get the hire of the two.
4. Divorcees who were married at least 10 years are eligible for a portion of your ex’s benefit.
5. When you spouse (or ex) dies, you are eligible for a widow’s benefit.
Just FYI. Something to keep in mind.
- Created on 17 April 2014
Work colleges…YEAH! Are the kids still saying thebomb.com? Well they should if discussing work colleges (and they should be discussing work colleges). The concept, while not new, is definitely new to me. We’re constantly reporting how college costs are increasing 8% annually (twice the rate of inflation), student debt averages are skyrocketing ($26,000 in average debt for graduates), and job prospects for recent grads are dismal. Makes one rethink the decision to push college at any cost. Well start rethinking your rethinking.
Fighting Frugal Fatigue
- Created on 10 April 2014
The recent “Debt Free Like Me” webinar brought together three speakers who have each paid off over $100,000 in debt. We heard from a single mom, an entrepreneur who took a risk, and one half of a couple that started their debt free journey in their mid-50’s. Each story was unique and powerful. Each story was inspiring.
After listening to each account, I was reminded of something I did constantly during my debt free journey. I constantly consumed stories from those who’d accomplished what I was then attempting. I loved to hear from those who’d dumped their debt. The success of complete strangers served as an incredible source of motivation during our 7 year process. Who knew I was fighting frugal fatigue?
We’ve done a post on Frugal Fatigue as identified by the National Association of Credit Counseling. It’s basically a scenario which causes your continued motivation for dumping debt to plateau. What’s missing are some tips to fight this phenomenon.
Enslaved by Your Style
- Created on 03 April 2014
“It’s just part of my budget, like keeping the light on,” said Rochelle Milles. “I’ll forgo a lot of things, but not my hair. (Essence magazine article)
Admittedly, we haven’t consistently explored the topic of personal style cut backs on the way to debt freedom. Style choices just seemed too personal to tackle. Truth be told, finances are very personal. Style choices as they relate to dumping debt will no longer receive a pass. A recent exercise in the MISSION POSSIBLE project precipitated this new perspective. How much did you spend on “looking good” expenses last month? Multiply by 12 to get an annual figure. Is it in line with your goals for debt freedom?
Grooming is essential. There are a myriad of professional and personal reasons that require a reasonable appearance. However, as with most items, how much one should spend is debatable. Debt is essentially a modern day form of slavery. Your style choices could actually be contributing to your continued enslavement. Consider the following figures:
Debt Free Like Me - Money Smart Week
- Created on 02 April 2014
The Debt Free Divas are hosting an interactive workshop with 3 fascinating people. Each of them has paid off over $100,000 in debt and lived to tell the story. As part of our Money Smart Week contribution, this online seminar can be attended from any computer near you. The discussion if FREE and our participants will be taking your questions. You're invited to learn from their stories and be inspired.
Register for this FREE event and join us on Tuesday, April 8 @ 7:00 pm CST.
You can find plenty of FREE events on the Money Smart Week website.
5 Debt Free Tips for Single Moms
- Created on 28 March 2014
We received a very interesting post in our private MISSION POSSIBLE group (register here to join) seeking advice for single moms. Dumping debt can be a challenge for all family structures. However, for advice specific to single moms, I turned to the one person I know who has walked the walk and come out on the debt free side of life. Aja Williams paid off $130,000 of debt while raising a magnificent son and she offered the following 5 points that single parents should consider while dumping debt.
Final "No-Buy" Month Challenge - Win $50
- Created on 23 March 2014
Need inspiration? Check out the latest video. We can't wait. See you online!
Embrace Your Mistakes with Money
- Created on 21 March 2014
An active member of Team Debt Free raised a common sentiment on our Facebook page. She expressed disappointment for money mishaps made before the debt free light bulb flickered. One thing I know, without hesitation, is that we’ve all done something dumb with money! I truly believe the shame and/or guilt we carry over money mishaps keeps us from moving forward. We won’t discuss it or seek help and thus stay stuck in a cycle of bad money moves. When you don’t know, you don’t know.
The best way to break the cycle is embrace your mistakes. Don’t hide from them. Use the lessons from errors in judgment, bad credit reports, massive debt accumulation, etc. to make better choices moving forward. I love this quote because it’s true:
- Created on 15 March 2014
Michelle Jackson, founder of The Shop My Closet Project, will lead Session 3 of the MISSION POSSIBLE project. Make sure you are registered to learn about "conscious spending" habits. Do you know what this is? Michelle is giving us the low down on our upcoming Team Debrief (interactive webinar) Tuesday, March 25th at 7:30 pm CST. Lives are changing and we want you to join the group.
When it comes to dumping debt, going it alone is fine. However, in community, you have a 33% higher chance of reaching your debt free goals. Research backs up the old adage..."there is strength in numbers". Join the MISSION POSSIBLE project and dump your debt with other like-minded debt dumpers!
Travel Bug? Travel on a Budget
- Created on 14 March 2014
You will definitely have to give up some things to dump debt. Generally, we're in debt because we've overextended ourselves. So cutting back is required to course correct. One of the first things to go was my travel tendency. Facebook can make it hard to stick to a no-travel commitment when faced with a constant stream of vacation photos from you friends and no-so-friendlies in your friend list. Before you unfriend everyone with passport, I ran across a great source for managing your travel needs without blowing your budget at Make Money Your Way.
Here's a snippet:
One of the most frustrating things for me since my journey began to get my finances in order has been watching Facebook posts of those around me taking glamorous vacations. I really want to be happy for my friends and peers, but I can’t help but get that twinge of jealousy and bitterness. There are a lot of different ways to travel for less than the average person. Some of them can even be really nice to make the best of your situation.