Category Archive: Popular Posts

2008’s Best Of The Best – February

I want to thank those of you who have supported No Credit Needed during 2008. I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of the most popular posts from the past twelve months – the best of the best.

February 2008 –

February 2:  My Favorite Books About Debt Reduction

February 3:  Debt Cures For Living Debt Free – Here’s how I live without borrowing money.

February 7:  Living On A Budget: Don’t Knock It Until You Try It – I’ve been living on a budget for almost four years, and I couldn’t live without one.

February 18:  Paying For Three Kids To Go To College Is Going To Be Expensive

February 25:  10 Things To Do After You Get Out Of Debt –  Getting out of debt is only the beginning!

February 27:  Building An Emergency Fund: Where To Keep It?

February 28:  Facing The Frustrating Realities With Which We Must Deal – My reflections on the current economic meltdown.

2009 is shaping up to be another remarkable year for No Credit Needed.  I want to again thank all of you who have supported the site.

If you would like to help No Credit Needed reach an even larger audience, here are a few things that you can do.

You can subscribe to No Credit Needed via RSS or Email.  Either way, you will always have the freshest No Credit Needed content.  Click here for more information about subscribing to No Credit Needed.

You can comment.  I love to hear from my readers, and comments help create a conversation between you, me, and other readers.  Comments take two or three minutes to show up, so please be patient.

You can promote No Credit Needed and each post via social media sites.  At the bottom of each post, you’ll see a little reminder that reads –    Share: add to tip’d – digg this – stumble it – save to del.icio.us – where you can quickly and easily add posts to your favorite social media sites.  If you don’t have accounts with all of these services, consider signing up.  Each service is unique, and each service will help you promote the sites you like and find new sites to enjoy.

You can link to No Credit Needed.  Do you have a website?  Feel free to add No Credit Needed to your blogroll or list of links.  If you do, be sure to contact me and let me know!

You can follow my Twitter updates.  Twitter is a strange, wonderful, unique networking site.  I really can’t describe it, but I sure do like it.  Consider following me and creating your own Twitter profile.

I sincerely hope that you will continue to enjoy No Credit Needed.  Almost four years ago, when I sat down at my computer and started this site, I would never have dreamed, in a million years, the impact that it would have on me and my life.  I have met so many good people and I have learned so much from my readers.  You keep me motivated and you keep me involved.  I can’t think of a better way to put it – You ROCK!

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2008’s Best Of The Best – January

I want to thank those of you who have supported No Credit Needed during 2008. I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of the most popular posts from the past twelve months – the best of the best.

January 2008

January 9:   Building A Better Budget With The New Baby On Board –  In April, my wife gave birth to our third child, a beautiful baby girl.  While preparing for the baby’s arrival, we created a brand new budget.  The baby is now eight months old, and she’s the sweetest thing in the whole wide world!

January 10:  Time To Call The Credit Card Company –  For those who are in credit card debt, this is a must-read.  Do not settle for your current interest rates!  Grab your phone and start making some calls.

January 25:  Back To The Basics : How To Get Out Of Debt –  Here you go, a super-simple guide for getting out of debt.  I’ve written about this subject, over and over, but with today’s economy, articles like this one are more important than ever.

2009 is shaping up to be another remarkable year for No Credit Needed.  I want to again thank all of you who have supported the site.

If you would like to help No Credit Needed reach an even larger audience, here are a few things that you can do.

You can subscribe to No Credit Needed via RSS or Email.  Either way, you will always have the freshest No Credit Needed content.  Click here for more information about subscribing to No Credit Needed.

You can comment.  I love to hear from my readers, and comments help create a conversation between you, me, and other readers.  Comments take two or three minutes to show up, so please be patient.

You can promote No Credit Needed and each post via social media sites.  At the bottom of each post, you’ll see a little reminder that reads –    Share: add to tip’d – digg this – stumble it – save to del.icio.us – where you can quickly and easily add posts to your favorite social media sites.  If you don’t have accounts with all of these services, consider signing up.  Each service is unique, and each service will help you promote the sites you like and find new sites to enjoy.

You can link to No Credit Needed.  Do you have a website?  Feel free to add No Credit Needed to your blogroll or list of links.  If you do, be sure to contact me and let me know!

You can follow my Twitter updates.  Twitter is a strange, wonderful, unique networking site.  I really can’t describe it, but I sure do like it.  Consider following me and creating your own Twitter profile.

I sincely hope that you will continue to enjoy No Credit Needed.  Almost four years ago, when I sat down at my computer and started this site, I would never have dreamed, in a million years, the impact that it would have on me and my life.  I have met so many good people and I have learned so much from my readers.  You keep me motivated and you keep me involved.  I can’t think of a better way to put it – You ROCK!

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Facing The Frustrating Realities With Which We Must Deal

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As you move away from financial irresponsibility and towards financial stability, you will find yourself becoming aware of certain new realities. First and foremost, you will note that the vast majority of Americans live without much regard for their own financial futures. Supported by a massive government that believes in handouts and bailouts, many folks have forgotten the idea of personal responsibility. Living well beyond their actual means, most have succumb to the pressure to have more, get more, and use more.

Ironically, instead of supporting those individuals who wish to save, our government promotes consumption. Instead of urging people to save for down payments (and thus prove financial maturity), our government promotes even-lower mortgage rates, swelling the supply of money and lowering the value of the dollar. Instead of honoring its budget, our government grows ever larger, competing with private enterprise, entrenching itself in every area of our lives.

We live in strange times, where people have ceded their liberty for (so-called) security. We have abandoned the ideas of frugality, simplicity, and prudence and replaced them with greed, consumption, and excess. I feel that we are moving towards a day of reckoning – A day when the spinning-plates of an ill-advised war, a convoluted tax structure, and a pseudo-stimulated economy shall come crashing down.

I wish that I knew all of the answers – but I’m just beginning to understand the questions. But, I do know this – Things feel uneasy. I talk to folks all the time – good, honest, hard working folks – and they are worried. Many (most?) are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Husbands and wives are working to provide for their families, but they feel overwhelmed. Burdened with the desire to provide bigger and better things for themselves and their children, but unaware of the methods for bringing about true prosperity, many are one misstep, one illness, one lost paycheck away from financial ruin. And so, they depend on credit and the promises of government, instead of their own ingenuity and abilities.

We must gather ourselves – and move in a different direction. We should demand fiscal responsibility – from our politicians, from the people with whom we invest our money, from the companies with which we do business – and from ourselves.

All true change begins at home. We must learn to live within our means. We must seek for opportunities to increase our income. We must teach out children about financial matters and we must talk with our spouses about money. And, above all, we must take personal responsibility for the financial decisions we make. Reversing our course may be difficult – but we must being to turn the wheel.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Instead of blaming the rich, we should learn from them. Instead of criticizing profitable businesses, we should thank them for the jobs they provide. Instead of supporting failing policies and practices, we should encourage ingenuity and enterprise. Instead of borrowing from our enemies, we should trade with our friends. Instead of glorifying the excess of celebrity, we should applaud the wisdom of the millionaire-next-door. Instead of promoting laziness, we should reward hard work. Instead of doing what we’ve been doing – we should do something else.

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10 Things To Do After You Get Out Of Debt

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As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have been debt free for two years. After two years of enjoying life – debt free -I can state, without hesitation, that deciding to get out debt was the smartest decision I have ever made. I cannot explain how different my life is now. Instead of worrying about interest rates or late payments, I can enjoy the process of saving money and planning for the future.

Clearly, getting out of debt was a big deal. But, my goal is to live without borrowing money. To that end, I have been working my way through the following list of –

10 Things To Do After You Get Out Of Debt

I created this list almost three years ago, while I was still getting out of debt, and I have modified it, several times, since then, adding new goals as my financial situation changed. These are the steps that I am taking (or plan to take) to ensure my family’s financial well-being. I will list the step and underneath each step, I’ll indicate my own progress.

  1. Fully-fund an emergency fund with enough money to cover 6 months worth of necessary expenses.
    • Shortly after getting out of debt, I accomplished this step. Since that time, I dipped into my emergency fund to purchase an automobile. I am currently rebuilding a portion of my emergency fund. I have also begun to refer to this portion of my savings as non-retirement savings.
  2. Learn more about available retirement options. Consider pre-tax and after-tax retirement options. Understand the account benefits / restrictions.
    • I have chosen to fully-fund a 403b account, a Roth IRA, and partially fund a SEP-IRA account. My wife fully-funds her pension plan and a Roth IRA. The amount that you can contribute to a retirement account will be limited by the amount of money you make and the amount of monthly necessary expenses you have. For me, funding retirement accounts is a ‘must’.
  3. Learn more about investing – mutual funds, exchange traded funds, stocks bonds, etc.
    • While I only have a rudimentary understanding of the stock market and how it works, I have decided to stick with low-cost, index-based mutual funds and ETFs. I read several books and websites about investing. Right now, I am working to build up the funds in my retirement accounts and I am ‘keeping things simple’. Perhaps, one day, I will broaden my basket of investments, but for now, I am satisfied with the mutual funds and ETFs that I own.
  4. Learn more about college savings options.
    • My wife and I have two children (with a third on the way) and I am working very hard to fully-fund three Education Savings Accounts. I am also learning more about 529 plans and other options for college funding.
  5. Create a will and other end of life documents to ensure the safety and security of my wife and kids, should something happen to me.
    • I have a will and my wife does, too. I still need to work on some other end-of-life documents and learn more about this particular subject.
  6. Increase term life insurance coverage to an amount that will adequately support my wife and kids, should something happen to me. Do the same for my wife, should something happen to her.
    • My wife and I both have term life coverage – but we need to increase our coverage amount. At present, we both have about 6 times our annual income in term life coverage, but we would like to have about 12 times. I will revisit this issue next October, when our policies are due to be updated.
  7. Organize my financial documents. Create a system that I will actually use.
    • I have created my own, very simple, system for organizing and storing my documents. I still need to invest in a safe / safe-deposit box. For now, I keep copies of important documents in two locations.
  8. Create and maintain and easy-to-use financial inventory for my spouse.
  9. Learn more about taxes and how to minimize my tax liability.
    • I have yet to understand our arcane tax system, but I have learned that I can reduce my tax burden by increasing my pre-tax retirement contributions. Also, I have done my very best to understand effective tax rates.
  10. Find creative ways to earn extra income and become financial independent.
    • I have figured out how to monetize my various websites, I enjoy selling items for profit, and I am working hard to make myself an irreplaceable worker. Every day, I move towards financial independence, and every day, I am reminded of both how far I have come and how far I have to go!

Clearly, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but its the list that I’m working through at this time. I want to encourage you to create a list of your own. If you can’t think of your own list – that’s cool – use mine!

If you have steps / goals that I haven’t listed, feel free to leave a comment and share. Combining our knowledge and dreams, we all move forward.

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