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  1. Getting Past “It’s impossible” to “I can do this”

    by , 09-14-2009 at 09:00 AM (C@rol's Blog)
    I know several people who, rather than trying to deal with their finances, have simply thrown up their hands and declared that it’s impossible, so why bother. They say things like, “I owe so much I’ll never get out of debt so why pay anything?” or, “I don’t know where to start; it’s too overwhelming so I just let it go,” or “This stuff is over my head and I don’t have time to learn.” Or, they see some news story about how you’ll never catch up if you’re fifty-five and have no retirement savings, ...
  2. 8 Reasons Why You Need to Read Your Bills Every Month

    by , 09-03-2009 at 12:30 PM (C@rol's Blog)
    The mail comes, you glance at your bills and drop them in the “To Be Paid” pile. Then, on the appointed day, you write out the checks or direct the online bill pay to do its thing and then you forget about it until next month. In the process of paying your bills, do you really read them? Do you look at all the inserts and read the line by line breakdown of what you owe? Do you look for anything that seems odd? If you just pay your bills on auto-pilot without reading them thoroughly, you may be wasting ...
  3. The Cost of Tossing That Item

    by , 08-31-2009 at 06:02 PM (C@rol's Blog)
    When people ask me about ways to save money, I give them the usual answers. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need, look for the best deal on what you do need, be conscious of your spending, etc. But I also throw in one more simple piece of advice. Don’t throw stuff away that you know you’ll need again.

    This may seem pretty obvious. Why throw away something that’s perfectly good, only to buy a new one next year or next month? Surely people don’t do that, right? Wrong. I know many people ...
  4. Luck Has Nothing to Do With It

    by , 08-31-2009 at 05:53 PM (C@rol's Blog)
    It’s very frustrating when people who don’t know us well attribute our decent financial situation to “luck.” As in, “You’re so lucky that you don’t have debt,” or, “You’re so lucky not to have to worry about your bills.” The conversation usually ends with the other person saying something along the lines of, “I wish I could be as lucky as you.” Of course, good manners dictate that I don’t scoff at their kindly meant words, but I want to tell them that they could be in the same situation as I am, ...
  5. Have the Courage to have the Christmas You Can Afford

    by , 08-10-2009 at 08:24 PM (C@rol's Blog)
    I was talking with a group of friends about the upcoming holidays and one said, “I’m so afraid of Christmas. I don’t know how we’re going to afford it and I just know we’re going to end up in financial trouble because of it. It terrifies me, but there’s nothing I can do about it!” The others in the group all chimed in with their own fears and worries, as well.

    I sat there listening to the various tales of fear and despair wondering what, exactly, the problem was. It seems simple to ...
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