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Category: Paying Off Debt

Should I Invest in Real Estate?

Should I Invest in Real Estate?

*This post is updated from its original posting about six months ago. I have been thinking about buying real estate to add to my portfolio. I thought a multi-family home next door to us would come on the market as a foreclosure, but that isn’t going to happen. So I have been thinking about how else, if at all, do I get into real estate. So while this was a thought experiment 3 years ago I still think about it…

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Our House Is My Debt Piggybank

Our House Is My Debt Piggybank

I have written a number of posts about home ownership. Generally, I think owning a home is a good thing. However, there are a variety of costs that can make it more costly than renting depending on the situation. In fact, I have argued that if you can’t save or have trouble saving that you could view your home as “forced” savings. In other words, paying down the mortgage and the home value going up gives you the ability to…

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Earmark Extra Income Ahead of Time

Earmark Extra Income Ahead of Time

One of the favorite things my dad would always tell me was that when I had money it was “burning a hole in my pocket.” And in some respects that was/is true. I remember using my allowance to buy toys, food, and games or other items. I don’t remember saving a lot of my money as a kid. I mean I had a savings account, but when I went to college I had enough money for spending money, but that…

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Public Service Loan Forgiveness Storm Clouds, Part 2

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Storm Clouds, Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote about the potential for storm clouds surrounding Public Service Loan Forgiveness. A program that Mrs. ROB and I are enrolled in that we can use to combat our student loan debt. The initial controversy stemmed from lawyers who worked at certain non-profit organizations but those organizations weren’t classified as 501 3(c)s, which were the specific non-profits covered by PSLF. Apparently, these lawyers were told that their jobs were initially covered by PSLF, but then…

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Using a HELOC as an Emergency Fund

Using a HELOC as an Emergency Fund

I have come to somewhat of an epiphany/understanding of my monetary self over the past few weeks. Part of this revelation was due to some recent financial trouble that we have had. That trouble stemmed from unexpected expenses that caused me, for the first time, in over 18 months to carry forward a balance on the rewards credit card that I use. In my past I have racked up credit card. Sometimes lots of it. I think right before I…

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Our/Your Savings Rate

Our/Your Savings Rate

  One of the things that financial planners and professionals constantly complain about is the low savings rates among Americans. The average saving rate in the United States is 5.7%, which is woefully under the 10-15% that people recommend you save for retirement/other things. In the ROB household, we are saving about 20-25% for retirement and I hope to kick that number up even further. However, is the 5.7% really the savings rate in America? How should we calculate it?…

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Renting vs. Buying a House–The Intangible Reasons

Renting vs. Buying a House–The Intangible Reasons

A couple of days ago I was listening to a great hour of radio from Tom Ashbrook’s On Point show on NPR. The subject was the hot housing market and the potential affordability of houses in a variety of housing markets across the country. The basic gist of the program: home affordability is getting harder and harder. There are a number of reasons as to why it is getting harder to buy a home. Part of that reason is certainly…

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Loan Forgiveness Storm Clouds?

Loan Forgiveness Storm Clouds?

Over the past few days I have been at a conference in Boston. And while I was performing my administrative duties I had a number of people send me the New York Times article that appeared on March 30.┬áIn essence, the article exposed a potential problem for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a subject I wrote two posts on this week (here and here). The potential problem is that when people submit their employment certification forms apparently the government…

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March 2017 Debt Repayment Update

March 2017 Debt Repayment Update

Over the past year I have tried to track my progress of paying off debt in quarterly updates. At the beginning of 2015 I had a total of $264000 in debt which included three primary debts: our mortgage, a personal loan, and my student loan. My goal for 2015 was to pay off 10% of my debt, which I was able to accomplish. I was also able to pay off a huge tax bill and our HEAT loan for 2015….

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My Public Service Loan Forgiveness Presentation

My Public Service Loan Forgiveness Presentation

Over the past couple of months I have attempted to add credentials to my knowledge of personal finance. A couple of months ago I enrolled with the National Financial Educators Council to become a Certified Financial Education Instructor. At the same time, I also began doing some counseling and work with individual colleagues of mine regarding Public Service Loan Forgiveness. One of those colleagues encouraged me to do a presentation for a larger faculty body on our campus. Today was…

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