Hello, and welcome to the 112th edition of the Carnival of Debt Reduction! This is my first time to host this particular carnival and I am happy to do so! Debt Reduction is one of the most important things anyone can do for their financial future, and this carnival is chock full of great ideas to help you learn about ways to reduce your debt, make a budget, plan, spend less, and ultimately improve your financial situation by getting out of debt! Thanks to all the authors who took the time to send in a submission this week.
This week is the Making Progress Edition, because even though a couple people sent in articles about a recent setback, every article had one underlying theme – progress is being made on slaying the debt monster. Even those who noted a change also wrote about how they were going to handle it. That is the kind of news I like to hear!
I’ve done my best to arrange these in a logical manner so the readers can find topics more easily. I’ll lead off with my Editor’s Choices. These are my favorite selections from the carnival this week. I think they are well written, provide a service, or are just plain entertaining.
- Ann Hartter from Saving Advice presents How to Make Your Credit Card Less Useful. This is one of my favorite articles this week. The premise? Do something to your credit card so you can’t use it. Some of the recommendations are quite useful, and I highly recommend watching the video at the end!
- The Happy Rock presents Finance Tool : Debt Snowball Calculator. This is a cool little tool that can help you determine the best (mathematical) way to pay off your debts. Sometimes though, it is better to go with the debt snowball solution, and pay off debts in a slightly different order – just to give you a better piece of mind.
- Golbguru, from Money, Matter, and More Musings presents Will You Spoil Your Children If You Give Them Substantial Economic Gifts?. This article is not 100% about debt reduction, but more about debt prevention and financial accountability. An interesting quote (in relation to parents providing for their children): “The more dollars adult children receive, the fewer dollars they accumulate, while those who are given fewer dollars accumulate more.”
Budgeting and Planning: Having a plan is the easiest and most efficient way to get out of debt. These articles can help you along your way to making a better plan, or learning how to deal with a plan that has gone awry.
- Mike from The Financial Blogger presents A different type of budget. He writes: “I present the way I am making my budget. Since the world of personal finance is constantly evolving to a bigger and more complex creature, I thought that the regular budget with 2 columns (expenses/revenues) was not sufficient. In fact, we are now receiving different types of income at different intervals.” Mike brings up a great point – everyone’s situation is different – find what works for you! And check out his article to see how he is doing it for his situation!
- paidtwice, from I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…, had a change in her work situation which will affect her and her husband’s accelerated debt repayment plans. Read about their current situation and how they plan to deal with it in her article, And Then Everything Changes.
- Ryan Russell at CareOne Credit Counseling presents Map Out Your Financial Future. He writes: “Create a map of your financial transactions and you’ll see where your money actually goes each month. Preparing a monthly set of personal financial statements gives you the information you need to effectively manage your finances and improve your financial status.” Solid advice!
Pay off Debt or Save? This is a popular question, and one that doesn’t always have one correct answer. These two posts will give you a couple ideas that may be applicable for your situation.
- Green Panda at Green Panda Treehouse presents Pay Off Debt First or Start Savings (Chicken or the Egg). Which came first the chicken or the egg? Should you save or should you aggressively pay down debt? Find out what Green Panda thinks.
- FMF from Free Money Finance presents Issues Not Usually Addressed When Discussing Paying Off Home Debt. The eponymous question is asked, “Should you prepay your mortgage, or let it ride?”
- ispf from Grad Money Matters presents Some Thoughts on Debt Aversion and Employee Stock Purchase Plan. I’m in the same boat as ispf… I have a strong aversion to debt and do everything I can to get rid of it quickly!
Reducing Expenses to Kill Debt: These are a few great ways to free up some cash that can be used to kill your debt! The important thing to remember though, is to use your extra funds to pay down your debt, not buy more stuff!
- Exjackly presents Leasing a New Car Makes No Sense. He writes: “As we all know, minimizing our expenses is the easiest way to be able to work on our debt reduction goals. Since automobiles make such a large part of our expenses, reducing the cost of the car is important for our budgets. Examining the cost of leasing vs buying it becomes clear that buying (used especially) is the best way to go.”
- Debtdieter from Debt Diet, presents Do You Get What You Pay For?. Debtdieter advocates purchasing generic goods to cut down on expenses – which can increase the amount of money one can funnel toward paying of debt! Great advice!
Bankruptcy: The dreaded “B” word. No, not what you’re thinking! Bankruptcy should almost never be considered your first option. These two articles tell you why.
- David from My Two Dollars presents Why You Should Avoid Bankruptcy When You Spend Yourself Into Debt. David wrote a nice article here that has to do more with being accountable for your actions and learning from your mistakes than it has to do with the emotional and financial aspects of declaring bankruptcy. And I agree with David here – too many people look for the easy way out.
- Kim Staudenraus presents Bankruptcy Truth. This article nicely compliments the previous article – it deals with the financial and emotional aspects of declaring bankruptcy.
Personal Situations: I admire anyone who has the courage to tell their financial story to other people. These people are making progress, and they want to share their story. Thanks for sharing, and good luck meeting your goals!
- Lynnae from Being Frugal shares her public declaration – No New Debt! in the article, October – The Final Numbers and a Public Declaration. Good luck, Lynnae! I hope you do it!
- Amanda from Me Vs. Debt presents Goodbye 30% APR. She states: “This outlines my problems with a high interest rate and an alternative to paying it. At the end it describes how my rate was finally lowered after the balance had been paid off.” Note: There are a few strong words in this article.
- Patti from 2nd Grade Teacher presents Stop This Train!. Patti shares some of her experiences and the progress she is making on her journey out of debt. Patti, I think you’re doing a great job! Keep it up.
Miscellaneous: These articles didn’t quite fall into a neat category, but I think they are definitely worth sharing and worth reading.
- Emergencies: Adam from Where Your Treasure Is presents Is It an Emergency?. Does your current situation warrant a dip into your emergency fund?
- Consumer Protection: Randall at Credit Withdrawal presents Paperless Statements and Pitfalls to Look Out For. Check you statements often – you never know when a company is going to try and pull a fast one on you and raise your rates with little to no notice!
- Debt Free is the way to be! Mandy from Frugal Dollar presents Clearing out the Clutter. This article relates household clutter to debt. And it’s true – once you clear things out, you have a fresh perspective on the world around you.
- Trivia: Did you know that in the US, you can pay any debt with legal tender? That includes paying a $12,000 tax bill with dollar bills and coins! (both articles previously published at Cash Money Life, but included for a little trivia fun!).
Thanks for reading, and a BIG THANK YOU to all of this week’s contributers. Thank you for sharing your article to help others get out of debt!
Do you want to participate in next week’s Carnival of Debt Reduction? If so, Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Debt Reduction using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.