On Trying to Pay Off Debt and Falling Off the Wagon (As We Do Sometimes)

Logan! So good to see you here - just like the old days! But sorry you're having a rough time. Debt is tough, no question. And realizing that you are your own worst enemy is just...discouraging. I used to have credit cards that I "kept off the books," so that I wouldn't have to acknowledge how much money I was spending (and, I'll be honest - how frivolously I was spending). Then, I "took out a loan from savings" so that, again, I didn't have to acknowledge how much I was spending. It was a bad, bad cycle. What helped me was to be totally honest with myself about my spending. No more secret spending which led, ultimately, to no more "loans," which led, after a long time, to having a balanced spending plan. It was no fun, at all, but I learned a lot about myself? I became a better person? Maybe? Or maybe not. Mostly I just have less stress now.

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 5:37 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: September 2014 Check-in

Nothing very exciting. After a job change, salary is a little lower, so I'm adjusting for a bit. August: $3494 September: $4414

Posted on September 30, 2014 at 8:46 pm 0

On What Will You Do With Your Extra $200?

@Mae I can't find the citation, but the benefit formula for determining distribution is higher for lower wage workers than for those with higher income. The range is something like a 5% return on contributions for those in the lowest bracket, compared with 0.5% for the highest bracket. Here are the CBO's findings: http://goo.gl/cO1Lmn

Posted on September 30, 2014 at 3:23 pm 0

On What Will You Do With Your Extra $200?

@jfruh Also not regressive when higher earners pay income taxes on the benefit, but lower income earners don't.

Posted on September 30, 2014 at 3:09 pm 0

On What Will You Do With Your Extra $200?

@jfruh It's not regressive when those who pay the most into the system get the least out of it. And it's not regressive when lower income workers receive an earned income tax credit to offset the FICA tax.

Posted on September 30, 2014 at 2:52 pm 0

On Happy Monday. Are You Richer Than The Average Millennial?

@que_si It always bugs me that mint includes the car in net worth, especially since they don't update the depreciation attached to the Kelley Blue Book value.

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 2:32 pm 0

On Are Family Dinners Anti-Feminist?

@Josh Michtom@facebook A church-run food pantry in my neighborhood is always happy to receive food donations, but they also suggest donations of kitchen equipment or even time to teach people to cook. It's hard to live on rice and beans when you don't have the pan to cook them in!

Posted on September 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: August 2014 Check-in

Nothing terribly exciting this month. Still saving for a down payment on a house: July 2014: $2448 August: $3494

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 9:24 am 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: August 2014 Check-in

@TheDoctorsCompanion It does depend on what you're comfortable with. When I was paying off my last student loan, I decided to take a huge chunk of my savings and apply it to the loans. I was left with 1K in savings, but I was willing to take the risk of little liquidity because it meant just a couple of months to reach the final payoff for the loans. So for me, the decision rested on how long I was wiling to live with such little savings.

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 9:20 am 0

On Considering Our Retirements

@The Dauphine A consult with an attorney might be helpful to see if there are any options to help your mom qualify. Most legal aid organizations have elder law boards that could also help.

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 12:39 pm 1