DEBT DIET

Have you ever heard the say; you can wonder into debt but, you can’t wonder out?

Well! Getting out of debt is like going on a diet—it may sound simple, but it sure isn’t easy. The only thing that really works is to spend less and save more.

Debt doesn’t benefit nobody, it doesn’t benefit your life, it doesn’t benefit a marriage or a family or your future. Just as in the past few years I’ve experienced the satisfaction of being fitted, I have also eexperienced the pain of being overweight. It has been a rollercoaster and emotionally draining! Is so much alike that debt also has its consequences. Here are a few reasons I think everyone should avoid debt:

  1. Debt makes you a slave/servant to your lender.
  2. Debt steals from your future.
  3. Debt hinders/makes it impossible sharing with others and practicing generosity.
  4. Debt erodes resources through high interest payments.
  5. Debt promotes impulse buying.
  6. Debt is like money leaking from your pocket or bank account
  7. Debt compromises your retirement
  8. Debt is like having winter all year round
  9. Debt controls your money not you.
  10. Debt is NOT sexy.


The number one thing we recommend to start you on a debt diet is having a game plan.

My amazing husband, Anuar, and I have experienced the incredible miracle of being freed from $47,000 in consumer debt. We purposed to get out of debt and made immediate changes in our lifestyle to accomplish this, and within two years we were debt free! Funny thing is, like I said; you can wonder into debt or even sometimes debt can creep up on you. Murphy has a way to make his way. No, sometimes you’re not even looking to getting into debt but, I guarantee you, if you don’t always have a plan for your money someone else will. We made up our minds, made a decision, prayed for God’s help, and found the strength we needed keep the commitment to become and stay debt free. Thus, the first step is to decide to become debt free and determine to do it God’s way. Read, how to payoff debt with a low income

Get on a budget.

We cannot stress this enough! We have tons of resources and ideas available here on our blog to help you with this, feel free to explore around and get in touch with us let us know how we can help and serve you best!

Write down your debt on paper from smallest to largest. Make a chart with the amount you owe on it, add to your monthly budget the amount you’re planning to pay each month, once you have processed that payment go back to your chart and make the changes.

We believe that following a regime will help you stay in charge but, more importantly will help you get out of debt a lot sooner. Read, the silliest thing I did to payoff debt.

What other plans have you implemented to get out of debt?

Have you ever been on a debt diet before?

leave us a comment or connect with us we would love to hear from you.

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Top Financial Challenges For Women 

 

 

 

 

 

 

far from trying to stereotype women, we just want to share few of the top financial challenges women face in today’s society, disadvantages that women need to be aware of when dealing with money matters. Again we’re not trying to stereotype women, each woman is unique and possesses the ability to soar and be a world class influential woman.

let’s dive in!

1. Wage Gap– on average, women earn less than men. Why that gap exists is a matter of often-heated debate, but the fact of its existence isn’t disputed.

 

 

  • What to do– While the wage gap is a subject for society as a whole to address, in the short term, individual women need to focus on money management and budgeting. A very particular trait in women is the ability to focus and multi task. Learning and developing new skills, one of the best ways of facing the wage gap challenge for women is by consistently tracking spending in writing. Skills are learned so this is one skill all women should learn tracking all spending, and using the collected data to create a new written budget. See our budgeting article

 2. Price Gapproducts designed exclusively for women are more expensive than those meant for men, women’s clothing is more likely to need dry cleaning, and women have to purchase things like cosmetics that men don’t use. All of these expenses add up to a hefty price gap between the genders. Studies have also shown that women’s health care is more expensive than men’s, even when exhibiting the same symptoms, not surprise!




  • What to do– Again, budgeting is key. Comparison shopping is also a must. There are all kinds of great apps or even store websites that can be use for comparison with the idea of saving money. The number one form of overspending isn’t buying on impulse, it’s paying too much for things. So look at your necessary spending and see if there’s anything you’re paying too much for that can be bought cheaper from another source, or in bulk. See our 10 ways of to make extra money article

3. Long-Term Care some of these categories seem especially unfair, in that they represent admirable qualities that nevertheless result in financial challenges for women. A Princeton study found that women are twice as likely as their male siblings to end up caring for an elderly parent. And a study from the Journal of Applied Gerontology found that women are more likely to be displaced from the workforce when providing long-term care.

  • What to do– The best solution is to plan well ahead of time, it is always a good idea to add a long term care insurance  tab to your budget planning when you start thinking that it might be necessary in the coming years. The fact that is in your mind, and you are concern about it tells that you might want to start planning for it before is too late.  Put a small percentage aside on your budget and get ready so that you’re able to get long-term care insurance to meet this need when the time comes. Every family situation is different, but if you think this kind of situation is likely, that insurance is more likely to be worth it. And your whole family needs to come together and decide if they are going to buck the trend and share care giving responsibilities equally among siblings just make sure is on writing as a contract, not that you don’t trust your family but, people tend to agree to this type of things and many times fail to deliver leaving the responsibility to a single individual to deal with. See our the secret to savings article

4.Charity – another category that turns a positive into a challenge; women are more likely to give to charity than men, and on average they donate more.




  • What to do– Donating to worthy charities and those that are concistent with your values is great, so we’d only caution you to make charitable giving part of your written spending plan so you don’t go overboard.  You can’t give what you don’t have, do not over promise and do not let anyone bully you or manipulate you into giving. Set a percentage of your income in your budget for giving and stick to it. Do not write checks by Faith to bounce back and get charge for overdraft knowing that there’s no money in your account. Doing that won’t help you or the causes you support. Think of when you’re on an airplane; they tell you in an emergency to put the breathing mask on yourself first, before helping anyone else. The same principle applies here. You’re no good to charities or the needy if you can’t make ends meet yourself. Follow your budget and give as you can, your priority is working your money plan so that you, your family and the people you love and wantvto help can benefit, so make giving a top priority in your budget and give accordingly. See our why giving article

4. Education– yet another positive trend that ends up costing women more money. These days, women are more likely to attend college than men. That’s good—it’s part of how society is addressing the wage gap—but with tuition costs skyrocketing in recent decades, today’s graduates are left with hefty student loan debt.

  • What to do– Student loans are a huge headache for graduates and a huge business for financial institutions everywhere in America, Student loans sees no gender it affects men and women alike. see our How to pay for college without using student loans article




 

What other financial challenges you think women are facing today?

If you’ve got difficulties with your finances in general we’re here to help. Contact us today @ www.redtogreeneconomy.com or @ getinfo@redtogreeneconomy.com

The Silliest Thing I Did to Pay Off Debt

What’s the craziest, silliest thing you ever did to pay off debt ? Well me personally? You’ll probably laugh at this one but hey I’m debt FREE! And I’m going to share it anyway.

I’m seriously terrified of being in debt. Like seriously, seriously.

Growing up, I was told by  one of my aunts if you can’t buy things cash don’t buy them, you don’t need them. I took her philosophy seriously and I’ve done my best to stay out of debt as much as possible but, few years ago my husband and I were $47,000.00 in debt, we did everything in power to pay off our debt quick. It took us three to four years just on his income, one of the craziest things I did was collecting pennies, my mom would have a small bucket ready for me at least twice a month, those pennies were worth anywhere from $15 to $40 each time, I also picked up every penny I saw lying on the ground. It was crazy but our debt was getting paid.




 

Maybe you’re in debt today, it doesn’t matter how big or small, here are some tips of other things we did that might help you.

Step One – Get Together A List Of Every Debt You Have

The first step to pay off your is to know every debt you owe. This can be a bit overwhelming, but it is a necessary first step.

We started by pulling our free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, the only place where you get 100% free credit reports as authorized by federal law. You can pull your credit report from all three bureaus if you wish or you can simply pull one report from each bureau every 4 months if you want to monitor your credit for fraud. Either way, you’re entitled to one report from each bureau (Experian, Transunion and Equifax) per year.

This report will show you a list of all of the debts that you owe other than loans from friends and family. The balances owed may be a month off if your creditor hasn’t reported your most recent payment, but it will give you the big picture of who you owe money to.

Once you have this list of who you owe money to, it’s time to dig deeper to get the rest of the information you’ll need.

Step Two – Find Out Everything About The Debts You Owe

Now that you have a list of who you owe money to, it’s time to figure out everything else about your debt. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to know about every debt you owe:


      • Exact amount you owe
      • Payment amount
      • Frequency of payment (monthly, quarterly, etc)
      • How many payments left (if fixed term debt such as a mortgage, student loan or car loan)
      • Interest rate and whether it is fixed or variable
        • If variable, what the rate is based on (prime rate, LIBOR, etc)




    • Due dates
    • Grace period (if applicable)

    Where do you get this information? To find out how much you owe, check your most recent statements.

    For everything else, you’ll need to do a little bit of digging. For loans, check the loan documents you signed. If you can’t find the loan documents, try calling the creditor or log in to their website and check your account details.

    For credit cards, check the terms you agreed to when you signed up for the card. You may also be able to find this information online after you log in to your account on the credit card’s website. If you’re having trouble understanding the terms, call the number on the back of your credit card. A representative will be more than happy to help you.

    Step Three – Assess Your Debt Situation

    It’s time to look at the big picture now that you’ve figured out all the details on every debt you owe. It probably won’t be fun and it could be just plain ugly, but you have to do it to move forward.

    First, add up the total amount of debt you owe. The number may be scary but we’re going to work on knocking it down, so don’t worry too much yet.

    Next, take the amount of all of your monthly payments and add them up. This the minimum amount of money that you owe on your debt every month. Again, this can be overwhelming, but you’ll be able to knock this down as you pay off your debts one at a time.

    Step Four Choose a Debt Pay-Off Plan

    There are a few different debt pay off plans you can choose from.

    The snowball method requires you to list your debts from smallest to largest and pay them off in that order. You pay all of your minimum payments and throw everything else toward the smallest bill. This is a great method for anyone looking for instant motivation and is the method I used when I had credit card debt.

    Check out The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

     The second method is the debt avalanche. With this method you’re paying off your debts from largest to smallest interest rate, therefore saving money over the long run. (You’re still making minimum payments on everything else.)

    There is no right or wrong way to go. The method you choose will depend upon your personality.

    Step Five Trow Extra Cash at Your Debt When Possible

    Chances are sometime in the year you will get a bonus or a raise or at the very least a tax refund. When you do, don’t spend it. Use it to pay off debt.

    The tax refund is easy. Just use the entire thing to pay off a credit card or apply to student loans. The same goes for any bonus you may receive at work. Often, these come during the holidays, so don’t be tempted to spend the money on gifts.




    Chances are everyone in your life already has everything they truly need.

    As for a raise, have the extra money immediately put in another bank account. You can then dip into this money every few months and use it as a lump sum to pay off debt. If you do it this way, you’ll never miss the money in the first place.

    Step Six Have a Garage Sale

     Most people have houses or apartments full of unwanted or unneeded items. Now is a great time to sell them. Whether you want to throw them up on Ebay or Craig’s list or have a yard sale, get them out of your house and free up some room. You’ll also end up with extra cash in your pocket that you can use to pay off your debt. When it comes to how to pay off debt quickly, this is one of the easiest ways. If you don’t think you have anything to sell, look again.

     

    Also, don’t forget that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, so don’t assume no one would want to give you money for that ugly Christmas sweater or that vase you got as a wedding gift ten years ago from Aunt Judy that you’ve always hated.

    Step Seven Find an Extra Job

    This is absolutely fine I’m sure you are busy enough but don’t dismiss this idea your goal is to get out of debt and get your peace of mind. Even a few hours a week can provide you with a decent amount of cash to use to pay off debt, and when it comes to how to pay off debt quickly, sometimes we have to do things we don’t really want to do.

    If you use all of this second income to pay your debt, you’ll see a huge difference quickly.

    Make sure this second job is something that is stress-free. This is especially important if you have a stressful full-time job. The job doesn’t need to be glamorous and while you might not love it, just keep in mind that a little short-term extra work will pay off big sooner than you realize.

    Step Eight Work Overtime

    If you have decided one job is plenty, thank you very much, then instead of finding a second one or creating one for yourself, check with your employer to find out if you can get some overtime work.

    The advantage here is you already work there and you know the lay of the land, so to speak. If your company is short handed, then they will be thrilled to help you out and might even give you a raise in the long run for being a team player.

    Step Nine Start a Side Business

    While this is related to a second job, in my humble opinion it is a little better because you’ll be working for yourself. When a lot of people think of a side hustle they think of working online and that’s certainly an option.

    However, if you’re not the kind of person that is tech savvy or you don’t like to write, then don’t forget about everything you can do offline.

    For example, you can make money doing almost anything. You can mow lawns, deliver groceries, clean houses, the list is endless. The great thing about this is you can choose your own hours and how much you




    Step Ten Don’t Forget to Get Creative and Enjoy Your Debt FREE Life.

    Have some creativity, chances are you’re good at something. If you work on your craft and get creative you will achieve your dream of living a debt free life. Op out from receiving offers in your mailbox

    Nothing is more annoying than pulling up to your mailbox after a long day of work and finding it filled to the brim with junk mail credit card offers. Every day, credit card companies fill up our mailboxes with needless junk that is immediately rerouted to the shredder or trash can. But here’s great news: You can make them stop! It’s actually very easy to stop receiving unsolicited junk mail credit card offers. All you need to do is visit optoutprescreen.com, type in your information, and you’ll stop receiving these offers for five years. Or, if you use traditional mail to send in the form, you can opt out for 10 years.

     

    It’s simple. No more credit card junk mail for you, no more wasted time for your mailman, and no more overheated shredders and filled-to-the-brim trash cans.

    Don’t forget to live within or bellow your means, this is so important not just while you’re on your debt free journey but always. That’s how you’ll be able to enjoy peace of mind and even build wealth.

    What’s been the craziest thing you’ve done to pay off debt?

    Also while you are here download a free copy of our 45 Practical Ways to Save Money Every Day E-book.

    please share our resources and stay connected with us on social media we’ll see you around.

    The Secret To Saving Money

    We all know we need to save, but most people don’t save like they know they should. Why? Because they have competing goals. The goal to save isn’t a high enough priority to delay the purchase of that pizza, DVD player, new computer, that next vacation or china cabinet. So we purchase, buy, and consume all our dollars away
    or, worse yet, go into debt to buy these things.



    Saving money is not a matter of math. It’s a matter of urgency.

    You won’t save money when you get that next raise.

    You won’t save money when that car is paid off.

    You wont save money when the kidsare grown.

    Youll only save money when itbecomes an emotional priority.

    We all know we need to savebut most people dont save like they know they shouldWhyBecause they have competing goalsThe goal to save isna high enough priority to delay the purchase of that pizzaDVD playernew computerthat next vacation or china cabinetSo we purchasebuyand consume all our dollars away

    orworse yetgo into debt to buy these things.

    That debt becomes monthly payments that control our paychecks and make us say

    things like, “We just dont make enough to save any money!” Wrong,wrongwrongWe do make enough to save moneywe just arent willing to quit spoiling ourselves with our

    little projects or pleasuresIt doesnt matter what you makeyou can save money.It just has to become a big enough priority to you.
    Make Saving a Priority

    If a doctor told you that your child was dying and could only be saved with a $15,000 operation that your insurance would not cover and could only be performed nine months from today, could you save $15,000 between now and then? Of course you could! You would sell things, you would stop any spending that wasn’t required to survive, and you would take two extra jobs. For that short nine months, you would become a saving machine. You would give up virtually anything to accomplish that $15,000 goal.

    The secret to saving money is to make it a priority. But that happens only when you start to feel some healthy anger—or fear—and then focus that emotion on your personal decisions. Harnessing that emotion will make you move yourself to the top of your creditor list. Then ask yourself which bill is the most important. After tithing, who should you pay first this month? The answer is you! Until you pay God first, then yourself, then everyone and everything else, you will never save money.
    Advertisers and marketers are touching our emotions every day and taking every dollar we have by making us see our wants as needs. It’s time for that to stop! Emotions make great slaves, but they’re lousy masters.  It doesn’t matter how educated or sophisticated you are—if you aren’t saving money, you’re letting your emotions control your actions. You need to take charge!

    So whether you need to save for college tuition, a plane ticket to the family reunion, new school clothes for little John or Mary, retirement, or anything else, start now! It’s never too late!

    HOW TO PAY FOR COLLEGE WITHOUT USING STUDENT LOANS

     
    I was motivated to write this post after having a college planning chat with a good friend of mine. I know planning for college can seem overwhelming for the student and the parents.

    my friend is a parents educator and the mom of Three. This was a good conversation but, it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, I was excited and anxious to hear what my friend had to share with her parents. I most mention that only one of my friend’s kids still lived with her and had to make a college decision at the time of our conversation, my friend started her speech to her parents that day by saying: “it is impossible to save and plan your children education, knowing that you’ll always have a car payment. I knew right there and then that this wasn’t an easy topic for her in spite of the fact that two of her children were grown and gone.




    But, there’re so many options to help your teenager get ready. I know, I know,  you have to deal with the SAT and ACT scores, keeping grades up in high school and researching the best schools, but your teenager also has to start filling out applications for colleges, scholarships and grants. Stay positive There’s so much to do that it’s easy for your mind to go numb because of all the details.

    But as much as your teen might want to get lost in their video games and forget about application deadlines, you can’t let them do that! This is their future we’re talking about.

    As much as you and your teen may want to wait and procrastinate, it’s not a good idea to put all these applications off until the last minute. When they do that,they’re more likely to make mistakes, which could cause delays in the application process. Or they could cause their applications to be rejected altogether!
    Sit down and make a plan. Once the acceptance letters start rolling in, I promise you won’t regret it!

    Consider also an ESA (Education Savings Account) you not always have to have a car oayment that is a shallow way of thinking. An ESA are Funds in these accounts that grow tax-free and are tax-free when withdrawn for K-12 or college education expenses before age 30. ESAs also offer increased flexibility. Investment options are virtually limitless, and you can make investment changes at any time the reason I like ESA vrs 529 is because with an ESA you have more control of the money and therefore you can make decisions as to the 529 where you invest more but have no control. Yes with an ESA Contributions are limited to $2,000 a year per child. You’ll be subject to the same taxes and penalties as a 529 plan if the funds aren’t used for eligible expenses. The ability to contribute is subject to income limits, but children also can contribute on their own behalf.

    At a Glance of ESA vrs 529

     529 College Savings PlanCoverdell ESA
    Tax advantagesXX
    Qualified withdrawals can be used for K-12 expenses X
    Qualified withdrawals can be used for post-secondary expensesXX
    Wide variety of investment options X
    High contribution limit (more than $250,000)X 
    No income limits for contributorsX 
    No withdrawal age limitX 

    You can considere also: Federal Aid: The good news about federal aid is that it accounts for the largest amount of aid available. The bad news is that federal aid is largely based on financial need. So if your family’s income is above the maximum income for eligibility,don’t be discouraged. You can take advantage of several other sources of aid.

    State Aid: This is based on a combination of financial need and achievements. From now until you head to college, you should work on your grades, test scores and extracurricular achievements to increase your eligibility for these scholarships





    Military Aid: If you or an immediate family member have served or plan to serve in the military, then look into military aid. This is a great way to serve your country and get your college paid for!