I recently read the book, Deal With Your Debt by Liz Weston. At the time of this post, the Kindle version is free. MAKE SURE THE PRICE IS STILL $0.00 BEFORE ORDERING, prices can change at any time. You can read Kindle books even if you don’t have a Kindle device. There is software you can download to read Kindle books on your computer, mobile phone or tablet.

The book includes information on different types of debt, ways to get out of debt and stay out of debt. It covers credit card debt, mortgage debt, student loan debt and other topics.

It is a good resource for people who are in debt and refresher information for others.

One of my goals for the year is to read at least one book each week of the year. Click here for the other books I have read this year.

Nancy Kvamme
Nancy Kvamme

With direct deposits and auto payments that are available now, you may not be checking your accounts like you used to. It is important to either check your bank statements monthly or check it more often if you have online access to your bank accounts.

This morning I happended to check my bank account, after making a deposit of my paycheck yesterday. I was surprised to see it had not been posted yet. I called the bank to check the balance to make sure it was right. The deposit had not been recorded yet.

After some research they did find the deposit and it had not been posted. It is also important to check your accounts to make sure debits are not taken from your account also by mistake.

Several years ago, there was a quite large deposit made to my savings account. It turned out that it was supposed to be added to someone else’s account.

If a deposit it not posted to your account, you may be writing checks or making other purchases that will casuse your account to be overdrawn. If it is the bank’s fault, they may refund overdraft fees but it would still be a hassle.

Even if you have bills paid automatically, it is also important to take a look at your monthy statement to make sure you are not being billed for items you no longer need or use. There may be membership fees on your credit card that you know longer use but are still paying for.

Nancy Kvamme

There may be circumstances that come up where it is necessary to take money from your emergency fund or borrow money but in most cases it is important to live within your means. If your financial circumstances have changed it is important to change your spending to match your income. The longer you wait, the more financial trouble you will get into.

There were a couple of guests on a recent Suze Orman Show that had a problem living within their means.

One of the guests and her family were going into debt by $3,000 each month for a number of years. Usually, in cases like this, Suze goes through their expenses and tries to find areas they can cut back on. In this case, she could not find $3,000 worth of expenses without the family making major changes in their lives. They have a son that is getting ready to go to college and she was shocked to find out that she would likely not be able to help him get financing for college.

One of the segments on the Suze Orman Show, is “Can I Afford It?” where callers call in with their financial information and something the are thinking of purchasing to see if they can actually afford to purchase it. One of the callers was a 57 year old woman who wanted to take her daughter who was graduating from college on a safari. The cost of the trip would be $28,000. Her monthly income is $1,961 and expenses are $2,095 so she is spending more than she brings in each month. She has $29,000 in liquid savings and no money saved for retirement. So needless to say she was denied. She is spending more than she makes and wanted to spend all of her savings on the trip.

Trying to get Suze to change her mind she said she wanted to take her daughter on this trip because she had worked so hard at school. And she is getting $80 a month rent from her son since he uses her garage or something for his band to practice in.

In many cases, it may be necessary to take out student loans for your college education. However, it is important to keep track of how much you will need to pay back. Suze Orman has the guideline of borrowing the equivalent of what you will earn during the first year at your new job. One of the guests on the Suze Orman Show last night had $200,000 of student loan debt, $60,000 credit card debt and other debt and was bringing home $4,500 a month after taxes. She said while in school, she was told she would be able to afford the payments because she would be a doctor, but she was a therapist of some kind and was not making the incomes that doctors do. So it important to know what kind of income to expect when taking out student loans. Along with the amount of student loans you also need to figure the amount of interest you will be paying.

Then on Princess the
of the show had taken out student loans but had used a majority of the money for multiple trips and a nose job. Her parents had paid most of her college expenses and other expenses. By doing this they have put their retirement plans in jeopardy and have put off trips that they had hoped to go on.

Many people feel obligated to save for their children’s college funds, but may be important to fund your retirement funds first.

Nancy Kvamme

While dining out recently I overheard the conversation at a nearby table turn to credit card use. One diner, a young woman in mid 20s was talking about a friend who used credit cards mainly to get the reward points and could not afford to pay off the balance in full each month. She had tried telling him it was a bad idea to do this unless you had the money to pay it off or knew you would be getting the money soon. Another diner agreed that you should only use your credit card if you could afford to pay it off after the grace period.

Credit cards may be a convenient way to make purchases but it is important to keep in mind what your balances are and if you are able to pay the balances in full to avoid interest charges which may minus out any rewards you may have received.

If you do have credit card debt you may be considering transferring your balances to a credit card with a lower interest rate. There are some things to consider before transferring your balances.

Here is a recent article I wrote about Reasons not to Transfer credit card balances to other cards

Following are some other articles I have written about using credit cards.

Save money with good credit

Reasons to stop using credit cards

Why credit cards are a slippery slope to heavy debt

Pros and Cons to living debt free

Advice on using credit cards

Nancy Kvamme
Nancy Kvamme

You can download a free copy of Dave Ramsey’s Guide to Budgeting.

It is a 17 page guide with information on how to set up a budget, how to budget when on an irregular income, using the envelope system and other budgeting tips.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving
Nancy Kvamme

I stopped at Loopy’s Dollar Store at 110 11th St S, Moorhead today. Even though it is called a dollar store, some items are more and a dollar but most items are a dollar. There used to be a Loopy’s store at 8th St and 30th Ave S, Moorhead but it closed a few months ago.

Following are a few things I saw at the store today. The inventory can vary per day and store.

Eddie Bauer men’s socks $1 a pair
Hanes womens socks 6 pack for $5. They also have a variety of men’s, women’s and children’s socks.

Greeting cards 50 cents each

Some stores have shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants of brands such as Hanes, Jockey and others for about $7 to $9.

New Years Eve plates, napkins, party hats and noise makers $1 to $2.

If you are looking for something specific you take your chances of finding it at a dollar store, but if you have the time to stop you may find deals on things you are looking for.

Nancy Kvamme