EF-Roger

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His tips for others who are working to pay off big debt are:

  • Be aggressive. Paying just the minimum won’t do the job, he says. “If people can pay off a $35,000 car loan in five years, why do they just pay minimums on student loans? If you just pay the minimum, it will never go away.”
  • Automate it. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to spend money that is earmarked for debt. (Also don’t risk a late payment or oversight.)
  • Use windfalls. A birthday check, a bonus or a tax refund can help you reach your goals faster, he said.
Read more A man who paid off $100,000 gives his 3 best tips to pay off debt - Business Insider
 

Amy

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The third point is something I always do. People get money as a present and want to run out to buy something. It's important to stop and consider - Do I really need to buy something just because someone gave me money? If you don't NEED something, don't buy it! Use the gift money to pay on an existing debt! It drives me crazy seeing everyone running to the mall after the holidays to spend their gift money, when I know half of them have to be behind on their house or car payments. We live in a society that emphasizes "stuff" and not financial responsibility.
 
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mtayp01

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I know someone who has nearly $50,000 in debt but still gets to live luxuriously by buying all her "wants" instead of allotting enough money to pay off her debt. Her attitude on money and debt is something I sure will haunt her in a few years' time, and I can only observe from afar. I admit to having the same attitude as regards birthday checks and bonuses, and it's really something I'm trying to work on improving at the moment. I'm planning to set aside funds for bank savings and stock investment while having enough for my everyday needs and occasional luxuries. Hopefully I get to budget my earnings properly for me to accomplish this.
 

pwarbi

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Debt these days seems to be something that people aren't too concerned about but I think that is more a reflection on the way society is these days.

When I was growing up and into my early twenties, being in debt was something to be ashamed of and the thought of being declared bankrupt was a last resort and for many people it was something they dreaded worse than death itself.

While I agree that it's a good thing that them days are gone, and more and more people are realising that it is only money, and certainly not something to let affect your health, I think people have gone too far the other way now.

I know a lot of people who are in debt and have no hope of paying it back but still live like kings. Bankruptcy is just something they look at as an occupational hazard and if it happens them so be it, at least they've enjoyed the money while they had it.

For me there needs to be a balance and while some debt is sometimes unavoidable, when it becomes unmanageable then there needs to be more help available, and a financial advisor just saying declared yourself bankrupt and start again, isn't really the best advice.
 

Kathryn M.

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“If people can pay off a $35,000 car loan in five years..."
Now THAT is what I call revelation. If that is not a paradigm shift, then I don't know what is. I've never thought of it that way, but it is definitely the truth. We DO pay off our cars in 5 years. Sometimes 3 years if we are really serious about it. Wow. I'm copy and pasting this everywhere. I think this is the most mind-blowing piece of wisdom I've heard all year.

I wonder what would happen if the student loan payback period went from 15-30 years to 5 years.
 

Steve Dawson

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Debt will always be the worst possible choice, unless its interest-free of course, but with the exception of HP agreements with furniture manufacturers, thats never likely to happen. If expansion of your personal income is only possible with investment funds that you don't have then obviously borrowing should be considered, but otherwise, frugality and saving is the best way to make sure you won't need to waste money on interest payments in the future.
 

harpazo22

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Those are great points. Especially number 1. People should strive to pay off more quicker. If you pay larger sums you won't have as long to go on payments. This is something I'll keep in mind as I pay off my student loans.
 

pwarbi

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While paying off a debt should be high on your list of priorities, I wouldn't budget so as it's THE most important expense you have. While I said before I knew people in debt that still lives like kings and that's not acceptable, I also know people who have practically put their life on hold for 5 years and spent every penny they earned on paying the debt back, often going without essentials, and that's not right either.

Finding a balance is the best solution, make sure debt is being paid back, but not at the detriment to your every day life.
 

Self-Invested

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As someone with fiscally irresponsible parents, this is something I've struggled with myself for my whole life. I save coins obsessively, picking up any penny I see, and put it in a jar. When the jar is full I cash it and buy myself something nice. However, if I had kept the $150/year or so I get from doing that, then I'd have a heck of a lot more money in my savings.
 

djentre

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Its a very inspirational story and the lessons that emerge from it are certainly important. I think the point about utilization of windfalls is really important. A lot of times we just spend any additional money that we may get whether it is a bonus or a refund. We think of it as a gift and are obsessed with spending it.

The solution that worked for me when I was in such a situation was to buy bonds with a lock in period. It made me relax knowing fully well that the money was safe, that I couldn't get to it even if I wanted to, but that in case of an emergency I could always use the bonds to get a line of credit that would help me get by.
 

TobiasW

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My goodness what an inspiring story! Fortunately I managed to pay all my debts off a few years ago - none of them caused by profligacy I should say, simply the debts so many of us build up with children and mortgages and low paying jobs and so on, but I really empathise with those who still have money worries hanging round their necks. I think one of the hardest things is acknowledging your problems. It's so easy to just ignore the 'private and confidential' envelopes coming through the door, but the really essential thing is to make a plan and stick to it. And to build in a few (inexpensive) treats - we're none of us saints!
 
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How interesting, couple of hours ago I was talking to my brother about how to pay off debt and we came to a solution that we need to cut out expenses. I think I will try with Be aggressive and Automate it.
 

swalia

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Useful tips! I have been struggling to pay off my credit card debt. No matter how much I pay off, I still end up accumulating more. I think I need to start paying by cash and stop using credit card altogether till I pay off my debt.
 

setupdisc

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Useful tips! I have been struggling to pay off my credit card debt. No matter how much I pay off, I still end up accumulating more. I think I need to start paying by cash and stop using credit card altogether till I pay off my debt.
Using cash and allocating a reserve amount above the minimum payment each month is a good way to get rid of debt on a single credit card.

If you have more than one card, another tactic you can use is to snowball the balance of each of the smaller cards to one or two cards with a higher limit. The positive in this is that you can consolidate some or all of your other credit cards and payments into 1 or 2 payments only each month. Even though they become slightly higher than they were before since you're pushing the limits of your balance on those cards, the balance of the remaining cards become low enough that they can quickly or instantly be paid off so that you no longer have to make the minimum monthly payments on them individually.

So for example, lets say you were paying $35 a month on 3 cards, making it to where each month the total you had to pay was $105. if you had a large card with a limit of $2,000 or $3,000 on it that was mostly unused, and 2 smaller cards with a limit of $1000 and $900 that were nearly maxed out, you could push the 2 smaller card balances entirely to the 1 card with a high limit. Your monthly payment would then only be $70 or so since your balance was higher or slightly compounded on one card, but the other two cards would now be completely paid off. Don't use those cards at all except for an emergency, or to buy something at the store that is like $5 or less each month, just to keep the card active. The temptation is great to use it, but don't do it because you'll end up with more deby again. If you push it all to one card and use cash for purchases from there, you can now use the extra $35 a month in the difference between the $105 you paid before and the $70 you pay now on one card to pay off the balance faster, and you no longer have to worry about multiple card payments or missing any of them since you just merged everything to one. This is kind of what debt consolidation companies do for you, but without the fees and it's something you can do to help yourself get out of debt even faster if it's a multi-card situation.

Another tip for staying out of debt that I've learned the hard way is to not be too generous or kind with your finances to friends, loved ones, or potential business partners if they have not paid their debts to their family, friends, or professional obligations because if they would do that to them, take from them, and leave them hanging that way...the chances are good that they would do that to you, too.
 
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pwarbi

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You do often find in life that the people who are the most generous are the ones who have the least, but that can be looked at in two different ways.

They're the most generous to others because they know what it's like to not have a lot, so when they have got money they like to share it and to help others, or...You could say that the reason in the first place they never have money is because they're too generous in the first place.

You often find also, that the richest people can often be the meanest, and they'd charge their own grandmother if she asked them for help, so there needs to be a fine line that you stick to.
 

djentre

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Also, in life, being a little tight-fisted with money helps. When I was earning a ton in college, I would brag about it to family and friends and then all of them would come to me with their problems, I would help them out. I was nuts. I even bought a bike for this friend whose bike was stolen. But, when I almost went bankrupt a year later, no one shed a tear for me, except my parents. It just made me realize that if I keep my mouth shut about what I'm making and cover my own basis first, I would be able to do much better financially. All the toys in the world can't replace the security of cash and insurance, and knowing that you don't have debt or have a way to pay off your debt.
 

briannagodess

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Those are great tips actually. For me, I'm careful not to get into debts. I don't like using my credit card so much if it's not necessary. Then, I don't buy those things that aren't needed. We usually just buy groceries and that's it. I haven't shopped for new clothes in months. With food, that's something we don't scrimp on since we believe it's an important part of my life. We love enjoying new restaurants or local bistros.

But in case you are in debt, I understand that it's not necessarily your own fault. Sometimes, life hits you hard and you have no choice but to give in. No matter what, know that there is a way out and you can get out of your debt.
 

Adrianna Nine

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His tips for others who are working to pay off big debt are:

  • Be aggressive. Paying just the minimum won’t do the job, he says. “If people can pay off a $35,000 car loan in five years, why do they just pay minimums on student loans? If you just pay the minimum, it will never go away.”
  • Automate it. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to spend money that is earmarked for debt. (Also don’t risk a late payment or oversight.)
  • Use windfalls. A birthday check, a bonus or a tax refund can help you reach your goals faster, he said.
Read more A man who paid off $100,000 gives his 3 best tips to pay off debt - Business Insider
These are awesome tips for people experiencing debt for the first time, especially for first-time credit card owners, students who are taking out their academic loans, and people who financed their first vehicle. I remember opening my first credit card and realizing that no matter how much I spent with it, my minimum monthly payment would be $25. I was shocked. It baffled me that some people are willing to charge hundreds of dollars to their credit cards and then take years to chip away at that debt.

I understand that sometimes we get ourselves into debt that we simply can't pay off very quickly. Some months, people may only have $50 to put toward their credit cards, or only $10 extra to tack onto their car payment. But every dollar counts, and I myself have been stuck in the mindset of, "Well, it's only $10 extra and it won't make much of a difference, so I might as well spend it instead of putting it toward my car." And long-term, that isn't a healthy way to think about debt.
 

Alex74874

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20% of income - to pay the debts, 10% - for savings, 70% - for living. This should be the main rule for everyone.
 
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