Your Questions About Debt-free Living

Betty asks…

What are my options for paying off debt quickly?

I have about $25,000 dollars of debt and I need to pay it off ASAP. I am 23 and I don’t want to go live with my parents again in order to pay it all off while working, which is looking like what I might have to do. Do I have any other options?

John answers:

I’ve ever ment the similiar thing — still a little bit annoy,here http://www.DebtFreetips.info/debt-free.htm is the resource tha help me out.

Daniel asks…

How do I find out if house is in foreclosure?

There is house in great neighborhood that has obviously not been lived in in quite some time. There have been numerous utility notices on the door, but after about 4 months it is not for sale. How would I find out what the status is? Is it possible to make an offer before it hits the market?

John answers:

In my neighborhood at least 4 houses are owned by out of state
owners who have debt free homes.

Any MULTIPLE MONTH empty houses in your area are likely debt free
or going through unique litigation.

Check with your county recorder to see who has any loans
against the house.

Susan asks…

What should my saving priority be at this stage of my life?

I am a young (under 30) recent law school grad. I have a mountain of student loans, but zero credit card debt. I currently put 8% of my salary into my 401(k), have a small amount invested in stocks, and put my spare change in to a high-interest savings account while paying the minimums on my student loans. I live in an apartment but I want to save for a house. What, if anything, should I change about the way I’m currently saving that would speed up the rate at which I can purchase a home? Should I put less into my 401(k) and more into my savings or brokerage accounts? Something else? I need advice. Thanks!

John answers:

Much of what you do should be determined by the rate of return that you are receiving on your 401K. If the interest that you are paying on your loans is greater than the interest gained on the 401K then you want to pay off the loan as fast as you can.

You can afford to invest in higher risk investments at this point in your life. Mutual funds have been considered safe in the past. Savings are not savings if you have debt. The goal should always be achieving debt free status.

Maximize smart investments. Avoid debt. Pay off loans. Do not buy expensive luxury items. (depreciation will get you).
Buying a house may save you money in the long run versus renting.

Just my thoughts.

Charles asks…

How many of you live in High Society?

How many of you live in High Society? Is it still in existence today? I remembered back in the 50s and 60s, it was of prominence, given the affluence of the people of the United States and the strength of the US economy. What happened since then?

John answers:

Most people in USA have been living in High Society for a long time. Baby boomers seem to be the worst of any generation. They are living way above their means and have now pushed mega debt on their children’s children. High Society to me means debt free not showy and extravagance. I guess the result of the 50s and 60s is the baby boomers, I deserve and want it now generation.

Music of High Society is long gone. Rap is here to stay.

John asks…

What are some good ways to pay off debt and save money?

I am a single parent who does not receive child support. My credit has gotten out of hand and I want to improve my credit rating. After each paycheck I have little money left over and I live on a very tight budget. What can I do to improve my credit rating, pay off some debt, and save money?

John answers:

There is a great plan out there that my wife and I ran across. It has helped us out tremendously. Pick up a book called the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. He has put together a simple, logical, easy to understand plan that works. It is nothing more than the advice your grandparents would have given you but just by reading this book you get so pumped up it is amazing. I read the book in a day and was shocked at the stark realities of finance I did not know before. My wife read it as well and we both felt like someone hit us square in the face. Yes, we were stupid with our money. We have been on the plan for 13 months and we have paid off 20k in debt. Both cars are paid off, All credit cards are paid off and we have 1 more thing to go and we will be debt free. We have an account for christmas this year and will not be putting anything on a credit card again, EVER. We have finally seen the light where personal finance is concerned and it is wonderful. With no car and credit card payments every month, we have a lot of cash to work with every month. The hardest thing to do is to change yourself, but you gotta start somewhere, sometime.
Dave is a little bit of a religious guy. I do not know what your religious persuasion is and do not care. If you can read past that into what his plan really teaches you to do, you will wind up a huge winner. There is no selling stuff or online surveys or anything stupid like that. If you do not want to invest the $20 or so dollars in his book, grab it out of the library. This will change you life. I know it has given my wife and I great peace to finally be getting our house in order financially. Good luck. It will be the best, most valuable book you have ever read. You can do it. If we can turn our lives around, anyone can.

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