Living with one loan; how to simplify your life

Life is simpler with little or no debt. If you can organize your life so that you can maintain just one loan—your mortgage — you’ll find yourself saving more money and better prepared to support your kids through college and yourself in retirement.

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  • Life is simpler with little or no debt. If you can organize your life so that you can maintain just one loan—your mortgage — you’ll find yourself saving more money and better prepared to support your kids through college and yourself in retirement.

  • Here are some simple guidelines to help you live with just one loan:

  • Stay out of debt as much as possible

  • It is virtually impossible to buy a home where you can raise your kids without borrowing the money. Nothing else, however, is nearly so difficult to buy without debt. Stick to your guns. Save your cash and buy only what you can afford.

  • Pay off the credit cards

  • Pay off your credit cards, first. Pay a little extra each month on the card with the smallest balance. When it’s paid off, take the extra you were paying plus the paid off card’s payment and apply that to the next card. By using this pattern, you can accelerate your debt reduction plan.

  • Pay off the car

  • If you’ve got a car loan now, promise yourself that this will be the last one. When the car is paid off, keep making the payments into savings. Prepare to purchase all future cars with cash.

  • Save for the things you want

  • It's not that everyone wants more stuff; everyone wants more stuff — now. The difference between those who have money and those who have debt is simply a matter of timing. Waiting a few months to save up for the thing you want — or even need — will empower your spending with earned interest rather that taxing it with interest you pay.

  • Stay in your home

  • If you choose to stay in your home after you reach a point where you could buy a bigger, nicer one, you’ll allow yourself more room to be saving each month. This way, you’ll have the cash to pay for things you want and need — including college for the kids and retirement for you. Ironically, it will be easier to live with one small loan than one big loan.

  • Don’t consolidate

  • I know that some people were hoping to get tips on consolidating debt into one loan, but that strategy is literally too easy. Doing that will rob you of the discipline you need to save your money and will almost certainly fail. One consolidation would be followed by the next and eventually, there would simply be too much to consolidate and the weight of it will overwhelm you.

  • Live frugally

  • If you combine these basic steps with a pattern of frugal living, you’ll find the cash begin to accumulate. We’ve all witnessed wealthy people buying groceries with coupons, or arguing with the checkout person about a few pennies. The key to wealth is living well within your means.

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  • You and your family will benefit from a goal to live with just one loan. Get to the "one-loan-place" as soon as you can and you’ll quickly find yourself thinking about becoming a "no-loan" family.

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Devin Thorpe, husband, father, author of Your Mark On The World and a popular guest speaker, is a Forbes Contributor. Building on a twenty-five year career in finance and entrepreneurship that included $500 million in completed transactions, he now champions social good full time, seeking to help others succeed in their efforts to make the world a better place.

Website: http://www.yourmarkontheworld.com

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