For the 45th week in the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge, I chose Zero Debt - The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom by Lynnette Khalfani.
This book was geared for those who are in some serious debt...like super scary levels of debt. As I read it, I ended up skimming through parts of it since it didn't apply to what I was looking for when I found the book at the library.
Nonetheless, there were a couple of appropriate things that I'll follow up with:
- Call 888-5-OPT-OUT to get of credit bureaus' databases for pre-screened mailings.
- Contact www.the-dma.org to get off mailing lists
The author included a pledge which would have been helpful to me when I was in college and learning how to manage credit cards. I was receiving credit card "invitations" in the mail and I thought it would be something I needed to do as a young adult. In retrospect, I should have asked my parents about what I should have done when I received these mailings.
At any rate, this pledge would have been helpful at the time as a good reminder each time I was contemplating a purchase:
I, insert your name here, realize that I am in a financial hole. Therefore, I hereby vow to stop digging myself further into debt. I acknowledge that I can never be free from money worries if I continue to spend excessively, for the wrong reasons, or on unnecessary things. From this day forward (insert month date and year) I will be more conscious of my spending habits, being careful to keep my behavior in line with my desire to reduce my debt and achieve financial freedom.
Another tip was to create an effective filing system including:
- banking records (including checking and savings accounts)
- bills paid
- budget (for itemized listings of all your expenses, income, and assets)
- credit cards
- insurance (auto, health, life, and property insurance)
The author also suggested saving money at a credit union that's far away from your home. Have a "hands off" account where it's somewhat difficult or inconvenient to access your money.
One last tidbit: If you save/invest $150 a month, earning 10% here's how it will grow:
Actual Your $ with Interest
Money Saved at each year-end
Year 1 $1,800 $ 1,980
Year 2 $3,600 $ 3,967
Year 3 $5,400 $ 6,267
Year 4 $7,200 $ 8,808
Year 5 $9,000 $ 11,615
Year 10 $18,000 $ 30,726
Year 20 $36,000 $113,905
Year 30 $54,000 $339,073