May 18: Best from the blogosphereMay 18, 2015
By Sheryl Smolkin
Over the last few weeks, the Globe & Mail has featured an interesting series on debt, and how it is affecting both individuals and the economy. If you haven’t been following it, take a look at some of the stories below:
I particularly like Rob Carrick’s article There’s no such thing as good debt. Mortgages, investment loans and student loans have traditionally been characterized as “good” debt. Carrick agrees borrowing for each of these purposes can be a rational thing to do and you may end up wealthier as a result. But he concludes there are too many pitfalls today for any one of them to qualify as a no-brainer financial decision.
Big Cajun Man (Alan Whitton) on the Canadian Personal Finance lists several articles about the evils of debt among his personal favourites. In 2008, he wrote Debt is like Fat. He says that just like his weight gain occurred a little at a time over 14 years, if you are not careful, debt build up can occur slowly without your noticing it.
If you are facing a mountain of debt and don’t know where to start, take a look at How I Paid Off $30,000 of Debt in Two Years, The Blog Post I’ve Been Waiting to Write and What a Year of Being Debt-Free Has Taught Me by Cait Flanders, who blogs at Blonde on a Budget.
In 2013, Krystal Yee at Give me back my five bucks wrote How do you fight debt fatigue?. Debt fatigue is a mental state that can happen when you’ve been in debt for so long that you think you’ll never dig yourself out of the hole you’ve created for yourself. She quotes financial expert Gail Vaz-Oxlade who often tells people on her television shows to try and make a plan to get out of debt in 36 months or less – because anything more than three years, and you’ll likely suffer from some form of debt fatigue.
And finally, in a guest post on the Canadian Finance blog, Jim Yih from Retire Happy wrote that Debt Can Be A Problem For The Baby Boomers’ Retirement Plans. He says baby boomers who are getting ready for retirement need to get serious about planning for the best years of their lives. Part of getting serious is addressing debt head on and taking the necessary steps to develop good habits around debt. His five tips on how boomers can deal with the debt epidemic are: stop overspending; increase your income; get support; focus on you before your kids; and, take one step at a time.
Do you follow blogs with terrific ideas for saving money that haven’t been mentioned in our weekly “Best from the blogosphere?” Share the information with us on http://wp.me/P1YR2T-JR and your name will be entered in a quarterly draw for a gift card.
Sept 23: Best from the blogosphereSeptember 23, 2013
By Sheryl Smolkin
On Retire Happy, Jim Yih explains why the best retirement plan is to be debt free. Yet according to a new report from Equifax Canada, traditional “golden years” could be becoming rarer for older Canadian consumers as their debt loads rise.
Canadian consumers of all ages continued to increase their debt burden. Total debt rose by nearly $77 billion, or 6.1 per cent, compared with the same time last year. But consumers 65 and older had the greatest year-over-year increase, at 6.5 per cent, according to the credit-monitoring company.
Therefore, in this week’s Best from the Blogosphere, we focus on both how to avoid going into debt and ways to pay off your debt as you approach retirement.
Guest bloggers on Becoming Minimalist Gina and Josh Masters recently paid off $60,000 in debt. They offer 33 proven ways to reduce personal debt. Another guest post from Vincent Nguyen of Self Stairway counters 10 common objections to minimalism.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to eliminate debt. Determining how fast we can and should eliminate debt starts with a few simple steps discussed on mint.com.
Lee Anne Davies, a leading expert on demographic change shows businesses the value of understanding aging, retirement and money issues. She partners with Globe and Mail personal finance columnist Rob Carrick in the video Seniors in debt.
And on GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca, Laurie Campbell, Executive Director at the Credit Counselling Service of Toronto and Rob Carrick discuss how a credit counsellor can help you get out of serious debt.
Do you follow blogs with terrific ideas for saving money that haven’t been mentioned in our weekly “Best from the blogosphere. Share the information with us on http://wp.me/P1YR2T-JR and your name will be entered in a quarterly draw for a gift card.