MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Raise Taxes or Increase Participation?

April 9th, 2015 Viewed 1104 times

It’s easy to ask someone else to pay the debt, hard for us to pay it ourselves.  If increasing taxes is not the answer to our debt problem, what is?

Christmas: Not the Time To Go Into Debt

December 18th, 2011 Viewed 2078 times

Christmas Card

My life with debt has seen its ups and downs.  When I got out of college, one of my first big purchases was a used car.  It cost me $6,000, for which I took out my first auto-loan.  Of course, with little expenses1 and a full time job, I was able to repay the loan in six months.

From there, it was just playing with investing and saving money.  Sure, I had a credit card, but I never carried a balance.  If you were to ask me then, “What is a Good Credit Score?” I could assure you I had one.

  1. Living at home until I was married []

$534,000 Per Household

June 7th, 2011 Viewed 1954 times

How do you plan on paying off this one?

The $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations amounts to $534,000 per household. That’s more than five times what Americans have borrowed for everything else — mortgages, car loans and other debt. It reflects the challenge as the number of retirees soars over the next 20 years and seniors try to collect on those spending promises.

Could I Please Have Some More Credit?

March 17th, 2011 Viewed 2127 times
Barack Obama and Timothy Geithner

Barack Obama and Timothy Geithner (Photo credit: Downing Street)

What would happen if you told the bank that you were underwater financially, that you were paying more than you were taking in, and for the forsee-able future the situation would just get worse… and then you ask them to raise your credit limit?

I would think that they would probably laugh you out of the bank—or they should.

And yet, this is exactly what our Treasury Secretary practically said to Congress.

Is This The End of the United States of America?

March 11th, 2011 Viewed 2725 times
American flag

American flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Depending on who you read, this country is in for a bumpy ride.  The problem centers on a debt spiral that is out of control, and only getting worse.

The latest reason for this pessimism comes from some recent statistics—35 percent of wages and salaries this year come from social welfare benefits such as Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment, Social Security and Welfare.

Should We Stop Making Pennies?

January 6th, 2011 Viewed 2084 times

Coins

Penny for your thoughts?

I can remember, as a kid, when I could get a gumball for a penny in the machine at the grocery store.  Today, it’s a quarter.

Over Two Years and Still Out Of Debt

September 26th, 2009 Viewed 2316 times
Debt

Debt (Photo credit: LendingMemo)

This past week, I was in a conversation with a coworker about cars.  You see, ever since I decided to be done with debt and my wife and I decided to have our third child, we’ve only owned one car—a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan SE.  It’s old, but it has low mileage for the age and it’s served us well.  Until I started to drive back and forth to work for my new job.

How’s Your Income to Debt Ratio?

July 2nd, 2009 Viewed 1491 times

income-to-debt

I saw this handy graphic the other day and just had to share.  You can click on the image on the right to see the original, full sized image.

The green represents income and the red represents debt.  Pardon the language in the 29 year old comment, but it’s very real.  The more income we have, the more debt we accrue because of the increased spending power.

The thing is, after we get into so much debt we find that we’re in a prison to debt—giving most of our earnings that are supposed to be working for us to someone else.

This nightmare has to end.

I’m Out This Week!

July 9th, 2007 Viewed 2820 times

Yes, that’s right. I’ll be out of debt this week! It’s going to take a lot of my savings, but today I’ll be moving money out of my emergency fund and some of the kids savings account to make up the $2,800 that I need in order to say goodbye to the credit card debt.

That means that I’ll be making the gas gauge 0%, removing the chip-in widget, and start moving on to saving for Christmas!

Some things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Not everyone will understand your desire to get out of debt.
  • People don’t understand delaying getting something that they think that you can’t live without now.
  • It’s difficult to budget without spending much on yourself– but once you get in the habit, it’s easier to resist spending money you don’t have. In fact, it makes it seem odd when you spend a lot because you wonder what you could have done cheaper.

That last one happened this weekend. Saturday was VirtuousBlonde and my anniversary. Her mother sent us some money to eat out, so we knew we had the money. We went to Denny’s, and ordered our meal. At the end, when we got the bill, it was over $40 (before tip) and it felt really strange to spend that much for food. We usually keep it under $20 with the five of us (well, the youngest is free). We started to analyze the bill and saw a bunch of places where we could have saved money. We had to say “hey, we have the money, we should live once in a while!” That’s how ingrained saving money has become.

So, a bit of encouragement: It might be hard to budget at first, and sticking to it might seem a pain, but eventually it becomes habit and you’re free– because you aren’t borrowing on your future!

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.