Understanding the Debt Snowball

Women's Money Week
The debt snowball method is a great way to pay off debt, especially if you have several different debts. Put simply, it's a plan that helps you focus on one debt at a time until that individual debt is G-O-N-E. Then you move on to the next one in the list, repeating the process until you can proudly shout "I'm debt free!". Why It's Called a Debt Snowball When something snowballs, it quickly gains momentum or increases as it goes. Naturally you don't want that to happen to the debts themselves! Your debt, of course, goes away as you work through it. A more appropriate name for this plan might be the payment snowball method, because it's the payments you send toward your debt that snowball that increase, but that…
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Double Your Down Payment Savings

Miscellaneous
Buying a home is a big financial goal, however saving for the down payment can be a major roadblock. There are several different routes to achieving this goal. When the lease on the apartment my boyfriend and I rent was nearing expiration, we considered buying a home. In the process, we discovered a savings program, called a ‘matched savings’ program, to help speed up down payment savings. Matched savings programs are also called Individual Development Accounts (IDA) and are generally offered by nonprofits and/or government agencies in local areas. There are three things these programs can be used to fund. Buying a homeOpening a small businessSaving for college/job training. As you probably gathered from the name, when you enroll in one of these programs every dollar you deposit is matched.…
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Starting Off the Year Right: 4 Tips to Prepare for Home Ownership

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2019: New Year, new you? How about this instead? 2019: New Year, new home! That has a nice ring to it! Many people dream of owning a home one day, and that dream can become a reality for anyone by taking the rights steps. There are many pieces to the puzzle of home buying, and these 4 pieces are ones that are often misunderstood, but that anyone wanting to own a home should know! Credit Lenders will be evaluating your credit history to determine your ability to repay your home loan. Do they only look at your credit score? No. There are several items that are reviewed in addition to your credit score. The number of open credit accounts you have, the length of time credit accounts have been opened,…
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Baby Boomer Women Wish They Had Saved More Money for Retirement

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If you’re a baby boomer woman and you feel like you’re behind in your retirement savings, you are not alone. According to The Allianz Women, Money and Power Study (2007), 62% of women wish they had done more to prepare for their retirement. More than half (55%) wish they had saved more money and had started saving sooner.Women will most likely outlive their male counterpart, which means that the likelihood of women being on their own at some point in their lives is quite high. Longevity is the biggest financial risk women face in retirement.Because of the longevity factor alone, we women need to take charge of our finances and save like crazy. We need to get rid of debt as quickly as possible, build emergency savings and brush up…
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TOP 26 “Myth-Conceptions” of Credit

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The media, newspapers and  internet are full of incorrect information regarding Credit. One of the things that I want to make available to you and your  family and friends, there are certain facts about credit that will affect consumers and any financial decision that you have made or about to make. Please share these facts with everyone you know. You could make a positive change in their  life without realizing it! MYTH #1 You share a credit score with your spouse. Untrue! Your spouse and your credit report and credit scores are looked at individually. It is based on your social security number which is unique to you. If you get an authorized user account (also known  as "piggybacking") for your spouse, that will also show up on the report.…
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6 Steps to Healthy Spending. And Forget About a Budget

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This post was originally published on Behavioral Cents.This is THE YEAR you want to get on top of your cash. GREAT! The worst thing you can do is start with a budget. What? Really? Why? (and secretly, you’re probably thinking Yay!!). Money is not logical. Money is fraught with emotion.  And if you force yourself to do something you “should” be doing, you will find some zillion reasons not to do it. Then you’ll feel bad because you “should” be doing it but aren’t, and you’ll start judging yourself, and then feel like a failure.  You’ll quit.To successfully change your money behaviors, you want them to stick. And that means managing your money emotion as well as your money flows. A budget typically defines a forced march, allowing you to spend…
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6 Steps to Getting Your Finances in Order

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“A goal is a dream with a deadline,” stated author Napoleon Hill.  The new year provides motivation for setting goals.  New Year’s is a time to evaluate where you are on many levels.  Resolutions are a firm decision to do or not do something. Many New Year’s resolutions involve money and personal finances. When setting financial goals, people generally want to save more, spend less, or get more finances in order.  Whatever your goals may be the process for successfully achieving them has been well researched and can be used by anyone.  The six steps below will assist you in reaching your goals.  Please note that if you are married, financial goals work much better when both partners are on the same page. 1. Determine what you want to accomplish.…
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Take Care of Your Loved Ones by Updating Your Beneficiary Forms

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The saddest phone call an advisor will ever receive is that a client passed away. This happened to me recently. One of my dear clients, a former school teacher, passed away a month ago at the tender young age of fifty-nine.Her children will inherit her retirement accounts. But if something unforeseen happened to you, who would get yours? Would your assets go to those you choose? If you’re not certain who your retirement account would go to, it would be a good thing to double check. Updating your beneficiary forms is one of those ‘important but not urgent’ personal finance To Do’s. Which means it can get put off until it’s too late. When was the last time you spoke to your advisor about updating your beneficiary forms?Life happens and…
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Four “Be’s” to be Financially Sound

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After drowning in, then repaying, $77,000 in debt, I guess you could say I’ve learned a thing or two about personal finance.I learned a lot of the ‘textbook info’, like the very real and brutal impact of cash advances.I studied, then mastered the art of budgeting.I learned the horrible consequences of credit card debt.And, I learned how to reduce my expenses and earn more money.But, perhaps more surprising to me was learning, as Angela Duckworth identifies, just how gritty I could be. The most simplistic definition of grit (in my own words) involves the number of times you’ll fall on your face, get up, and try something again.  And, let me tell you... I fell on my face.After falling deeply into this massive financial rock bottom, riddled with an incredible…
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Improving Your Money and Your Partner Relationship

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Money is often cited as one of the biggest problems in both romantic relationships and families too. According to a survey conducted by Wells Fargo, 44% of people ranked personal finances as the most difficult topic to talk about. The challenge is that when we don’t talk about money, we’re not able to resolve our differences and anyone who’s ever been in a relationship knows how detrimental that can be. It’s no surprise that mutual trust is eroded when relationships and money are misaligned especially because money and trust work hand-in-hand.A study published in 2013 in the Family Relations journal examined more than 4,500 couples and found that fights about money were a top predictor of divorce regardless of income, net worth, and debt levels. Some of the issues that…
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