Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How Much?!
How much?  If you listen carefully you can hear that being said all over the United States by unsuspecting college graduates who had no idea the true cost of the college degree they just obtained and guess what now the loan has come due.  Why would these adults know the amount of loans that were taken out on their behalf, because more than likely their parents had them sign up for the debt when they were eighteen.  What eighteen year old has the life experience to even understand what debt even is, but four years later all of sudden they are in a crash course with reality.  Imagine coming out of school with a student loan debt of 40, 50, or even $100,000!  Go one step further and imagine having that amount of debt with an entry level salary or even worse no career at all!  This is a dilemma that graduates find themselves in today.  The sad part is that it did not have to be this way and all it took to change this outcome was preparation on the part of the parents and the kids themselves.

Parents have eighteen years to prepare for their children to go to college for free.  The opportunities are endless for a free education.  Starting with investing into an Educational Savings Account or a 529 Plan and letting the money compound for eighteen years will definitely have your child going to college debt free.  Next start applying for college scholarships immediately.  Don’t believe the lie that only athletes and insanely smart kids get scholarships.  Also don’t wait until junior or senior year in high school to start searching because there are scholarships for kids as young as thirteen or even younger as seen on this website: .  Last, but not least every able teenager can work for their collegiate dreams.  They can wash cars, mow grass, have yard sales, get a job, deliver newspapers, etc.  They can work in high school and college to insure that they come out a debt free graduate.  Both parents and kids should realize that the college they choose should match the money they have saved.  A child doesn’t have to go to an Ivy League institution to have a great career.  For example I went to South Carolina State University and although I was on a tennis scholarship I knew that it cost $7,000 a year for tuition and boarding.  During the same time Wake Forest which is a private university had a tuition and boarding of over $25,000 a year!  There is no way that a diploma from Wake Forest is worth FOUR TIMES more than a diploma from South Carolina State University.  I promise the opportunities are out there if you make the right choices and as a result of those choices a DEBT FREE education will be waiting for you!

Have you ever had a “how much” moment with student loan debt?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What Are You Waiting For?

The first session of my Adult Money Management Class was completed last night.  It was filled with individuals who were ready to make a change when it came to their finances.  They each came ready to digest the material and start to apply it to their lives.  Over the years I’ve come to realize when it comes to managing your finances individuals tend to go at it alone because they fear what people will think of them.  They don’t want to be embarrassed in front of others because the financial mistakes that they have made up until now will be out for everyone to see.  The ones that finally say “I’ve had enough” come to realize that they are not in the minority when it comes to financial issues, but where they are in the minority is when it comes to those that will seek help. It takes courage to say I am going to make a change in my financial life and having that type of courage will overtake any type of fear and it will definitely get you through the journey to become DEBT FREE!  

It does not matter what your age is when you decide to get your financial house in order as long as you do it! In the class last night the ages ranged from twenty six to eighty years old and each person said that they came away with some information that will help their household financially.  I was once where they are today and even though there was a time when I did not want anyone to know the amount of my debt I am now able to stand before others and tell my story without shame as I did last night at the beginning of class.  I know it helps when you are not alone in this journey to be DEBT FREE!  


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Don't Get Fired!

I recently read an article on titled "Can Financial Worries Get You Fired?"  It pointed out that in a Human Resource survey that employees were not able to concentrate on their daily job activities because they were constantly worrying about monthly bills.  They mentioned mortgages and credit card debt, but the most revealing was that there are many Americans wondering how they are going to keep the lights on or even put food on the table.  When you get to the point where you have to figure out how to feed yourself or your family it is understandable that you can't concentrate on the task at hand which is working.

I have been in the position of worrying about debt while at work and I can testify first hand not much work gets done.  In the article there are some tips to overcome this dilemma.  My advice to those facing financial worry is to seek out books that talk about getting out of debt the old fashion way (spending less than you make).  Steer clear of the books that hint that getting out of debt will be fast and easy because it won't.  In fact it will take time and it will take a lot of will power, but it will be well worth it in the end.  Also search for FREE classes or workshops that teach financial literacy.  I am actually starting a free class on the 21st that will go over the steps to becoming debt free, so trust me the classes are out there.  Whatever it is just do something and tell your financial situation I will no longer be a victim, but a victor!

Does financial worrying effect you in the workplace?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Who Will Save You?

After reading this USA Today article by Bobby Allyn I realized how many times I have heard this story before about parents sacrificing their own future livelihood (retirement) in order to financially support their grown kids.  Parents helping out in ways such as buying cars and putting down payments on homes, as the parents who are featured in the article did.  The parents in the article paid the down payment and also became cosigners on a house for their daughter and her boyfriend.  This move on their part raises numerous red flags!  First and foremost if a child or any adult for that matter needs a co-signer on anything there tends to be a reason on the part of the bank for this requirement and it is that the bank knows this person eventually won't be able to pay and they need someone with money(co-signer) to go after when the bill comes due.  Also these parents in the article also left the mortgage payment up to their daughter and her boyfriend (not husband), so if they decide to no longer be a couple then the daughter may not be able to afford the mortgage and now the parents have to sacrifice more future retirement income to pay for a home they don't even live in!

Parents have to trust that they have raised their children right and know when to cut the umbilical cord because if they don't they risk ruining their retirement savings and having to work longer than 65 years of age. Remember adult children are younger than you and can work two or three jobs to obtain that dream house or car so don't be afraid as the parent to tell them "NO".  We all have to stand on our own two feet and become responsible for our own lives.  One exception I do have is that if you as a parent have retirement covered and your financial adviser has said that you can't spend all the money in a lifetime($1 mil+) then helping out a child in NEED to get back on their feet financially is understandable.  For the parents with young children such as myself you can take two small steps now to get your kids on the right track financially:
1. Start a 529 Plan which is a college savings plan because this will allow the child to go to college for free and not graduate with student loans. These loans can be overwhelming for someone starting out on their own.
2. Teach them how to save and budget their money. Also don't pay for all their "wants", but instead when they are old enough have them get a job to make their own money and you will soon find out when they work for it they save more and spend wisely!

Question: Whether you are a parent or an adult child can you relate to this article?

Till next Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Road to Financial Freedom


Why did I decide to do a blog? Why did I decide to call it death to debt? It's simple and that is why I named the first post Road to Financial Freedom because that is exactly what it has been for me over the past three years. In 2008 I found myself laid off with $48,000 in debt not including the mortgage and an one year old staring me in the face at home. Right then and there my husband and I decided to work together to get out from under this mountain of debt. It took us 2 1/2 years, but by the time I hit 30 years on this earth we were DEBT FREE! Before getting laid off our family was spending money and not thinking about paying off the debt and it took this traumatic life event to get us to sit up and pay attention. We took the necessary steps needed and made sacrifices that helped us save money and pay off the debt. Our finances were on life support, but now I am happy to say all vital signs are good and we are now on a path to generational wealth where not only will our children benefit, but also their great grandchildren will be able to build off what we have started today!

Today I help others help themselves to get out of debt through workshops and speaking engagements. It is indeed my passion to spread financial literacy and I look forward to writing weekly here on this blog to help others become debt free!