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15 Little Life Hacks

Tell me a story and be in my upcoming book

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[Update]: Most of the questions near the top of each category have lots of answers. Please try to answer the ones near the bottom!

I have a new iwillteachyoutoberich book on the way, and I’m looking for some stories and data to feature in my book.

Credit cards. Tell me about…

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Investment accounts. Tell me about…

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  1. ooooh, surveys and stories. Any way I can help. :oP :o)
    Also, I got your book using my personal development funds at work. Through with about 1/4 of it and so far I really like it. My boss wants to borrow it after I’m done. I think she’ll also find it really enlightening. So far I agree a lot with the student views expressed in the book. :o)

  2. When H and I met in ’99 he was $70k+ in debt (credit cards and truck payments).

    He had no savings, no IRA, no 401k.

    I had 6 digits on my balance sheet and debt only in the form of a mortgage.

    He quickly saw the errors of his financial ways (he was miserable and embarrassed to have no idea how money worked), buckled down, started contributing at max amount towards 401k, and paid off all his debt within 3 years (I supported us while he threw most of his salary towards debt).

    We now are “this close” to 7 digits on our balance sheet, live off of one income, and are plugging away full force towards early retirement in 10 years.

    It comes down to lifestyle, visualizing goals, and fierce determination to manage your balance sheet like it’s your own company, “The Business of You”.

  3. I’ve seen the error of my financial ways (e.g. I took out student loans) but I have no idea what I’m supposed to do about it.

  4. minimum- nothing wrong with student loans, as long as they are used as an investment in the future with reasonable expectations for the ROR of the investment.

    Case and point, two friends of mine:

    First one went to an in-state public school (inexpensive) and got a double major in civil / environmental engineering using student loans. The investment has paid off and now he’s living and working as a professional engineer in a reasonable cost-of-living part of the country making plenty of money to pay back the loans and follow the American dream.

    Second one got student loans to attend a small private liberal arts college (expensive) to study philosophy and minor in Asian studies. Believe it or not, she’s had trouble finding a job cabable of supporting her living expenses and pay back her student loans. After 10 years (wow, I’m getting old), she’s still struggling just to break even.

  5. Yes, I understand, it’s just that my student loans had a highly negative ROI (or ROR). It’s very depressing just to think about it and I haver this mountain of debt and have no idea how to pay it off – or how to have a life in the meantime because I am perpetually broke – on minimum wage.

  6. We’ll put finance girl. I was also in a similar situation as you were. My wife and I met about 2 years ago. I was (and still am) debt free (exept for a mortgage and car lease). She had no savings, a small 401k and about 20k in Credit card debt. Not too bad but did it was difficult for her to knock them down. The first thing we did was pay them all down with our wedding gift money and managed to stay debt free from that point on. It seems that everyone I meet with a similar story that manages to get out of debt are determined to stay debt free from that point on. It changes your entire perpective on life. Good luck!

  7. MW, I understand your frustration, if only because when I got out of engineering school I experienced months of unemployment before being able to break into my field.

    Not knowing much about your background, is it just that you’re having difficulties breaking into your field or is your field just a low paying one? I can’t imagine a college grad having difficulty finding a job better paying than minimum wage in most parts of the country. Sometimes colleges have resources for landing interviews and leads… have you consulted your alma mater? Sorry if I’m coming off as pushy or nosey… just trying to lend some advice (although I know it wasn’t even requested).

    Keep your chin up!

  8. I am well into middle age and have nothing which could remotely be considered career-related experience, so I don’t think there’s a good job in my future.