Should You Pay Off Debt or Save First?

Pay Off Debt or Save? MoneyMozart.com

A few years ago we had credit card debt.  How did we accumulate it?  The same way any “normal” family does – home expenses or some other series of random purchases. We also worked really hard to pay it off.  When the debt was finally paid off, it was almost anti-climactic because we didn’t even realize how fast it’d happened.  We didn’t really have a plan, but we put as much as we could toward debt and it worked. I think just being aware of the debt was the first step.

This doesn’t mean we are debt-free though. We still have student loan debt and a car loan we’re working to pay off,  as well as a mortgage and home equity line.  But for some reason paying off the credit card debt felt pretty damn good.  When we were in this place, there wasn’t even a thought of stashing cash – we just wanted the debt gone. Yet, as we get older, make more money, and cut our overall debt, I’ve often considered padding my savings over paying down debt.

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7 Ways to Get Your Frugal Landscaping On

frugal landscaping - moneymozart.com

Holy crap landscaping is expensive! We got an estimate last summer to do mulch and some basic plants in our front yard and it was around $4,000. Ugh.

A few years ago, I decided to be Mr. Badass and cut my own mulch beds, not having a fucking clue what I was doing. I had a friend over, we popped some beers, and started cutting squiggly lines in the grass like the pros do. Then I bought a bunch of dirt, covered up whatever grass was left, and eventually topped it with mulch. Bingo! There you have it, a perfectly landscaped yard. Except… no plants or flowers… and a ton of weeds within weeks. I suck at this. 

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When Frugalism Becomes Extremism

frugal

I am all for being frugal and living below my means, but what happens when it becomes too extreme?

We got take-out last night because we were too tired to cook. I was really hungry by the end of the work day, so I was totally on board. $14… Who cares, right? Yet, as I was laying in bed, my wife reminded me that we needed a new window treatment for our bedroom window – in fact we probably need a few around the house. My immediate response was “we can hold out a little longer”. She disagreed and repeated that we needed it. I mean this thing is hanging by a thread. We can’t even close it without manually feeding the string through the blinds, and the string itself is just about to snap. 

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