From the category archives:

Dealing with Debt

Being frugal means being flexible

by Karen on November 5, 2008

Over the weekend, I posted my goals for November. In summary, I planned to pay off the entire remaining balance on my credit card and finish half of our Christmas shopping without reducing the amount budgeted for savings. Well, this week I received a letter from my student loan company that threw off my plans. […]

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This week I received the loan application and promissory note for my private student loan consolidation. According to the letter, I’ve been “conditionally approved.” If all of my paperwork is sent back correctly and verified, I’ll be actually approved. If I’m able to consolidate these loans, I’ll cut the interest rate and minimum payment almost […]

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Last night I called Chase to find out more information about consolidating my private student loan debt for a lower interest rate. I was hesitant to call. With the stock market rebounding yesterday, part of me wanted to wait another week or so to see if the credit market stabilizes a little. The truth is […]

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Credit crunch hits close to home

by Karen on October 13, 2008

With only two payments left on my credit card debt, it’s time to get serious about paying down my ridiculous private student loan debt. For the past year, I’ve been working hard to claw my way out of leftover debt from college. My first goal was to focus on my high-interest credit card debt. I […]

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My personal (student) loan experience

by Karen on September 18, 2008

As part of the Extended Group Writing Project at the Personal Finance Bloggers Network, I’m sharing the story of my biggest financial mistake: my student loan debt. I was in the same position as many high school graduates. I knew I needed to go to college if I ever wanted a chance at a successful […]

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Working an unexpected raise into the budget

by Karen on September 1, 2008

Last week we found out that Tony is getting a raise for his monthly teaching assistantship stipend, which works out to about a $160 increase in our monthly income after taxes. Woo hoo! This is particularly exciting because we weren’t expecting it at all. We thought it was a mistake when the deposit was higher […]

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Savings vs. debt: What’s your priority?

by Karen on August 17, 2008

Most personal finance gurus agree on a wide range of money topics, but there’s one that causes continual controversy: When creating a budget, should debt or savings take precedence? When we set our first zero-based budget using mint personal finance software,  we struggled with this one. Right now we’re focusing on paying down credit card […]

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Suze Orman is my financial hero. I love her philosophies on money management because she focuses not only on money, but on the emotions surrounding our money. Too many financial advisers ignore the fact that money is one of the most emotional topics in our lives. Suze believes that in order to make real progress […]

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The only credit card I use

by Karen on August 5, 2008

When I was in college, I learned “the credit card lesson.” It’s a familiar story. I started with an “emergency card” that I didn’t use for a year. Then I had some car problems that landed my only car in the shop with a $400 bill. I decided my broken car qualified as a real […]

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