Types of debt and why they matter

Types of DebtIf you’re starting out with your financial education then a good starting point would be to understand the different types of debt and why they matter.

Personally I categorize debt as either good debt or bad debt.

Understanding the difference between the two is essential if you don’t want to remain poor all your life.

Do you carry some debt dear reader? If you do, you’re not alone.

Now you may think that debt is just part of life, and you may even believe that debt can’t be avoided?

Debt is certainly very hard to avoid, that much is true.

However don’t forget that personal debt is a burden on us because it has to be serviced and eventually repaid.

Yes, it may be a burden you can’t avoid but it’s no less stressful potentially for that technicality.

For emphasis let me repeat, in my opinion, there’s good debt and then there’s bad debt.

The obvious question is when is a debt considered bad debt? To put it another way, when is debt a bad idea?

Let’s consider some examples of debt.

TYpes of debt1. Secured Debt:

Buying a house is an example of a secured debt.

When buying a house, most people need a mortgage, which is of course a debt.

However, as long as you don’t overstretch yourself, mortgage debt is usually manageable for most people. And it’s rare that a lender will allow you to overstretch yourself these days.

With a mortgage the debt is secured against your property, so the risk for the lender is small.

If you fail to repay the mortgage loan, a lender simply repossesses the property and sells it to recover their money.

So because the associated risk to the lender is low, interest rates on secured debt are low too.

Coupled with long repayment periods, typically around 25 years, the monthly repayments on a mortgage are not significantly different from what you might pay if you were renting a property.

However by borrowing to purchase a property, that’s a good debt because eventually you’ll repay the debt and own the property, assuming you repay in full.

It’s a good debt because it results in the long-term acquisition of a valuable asset.

You need a roof over your head, of course, so buying with a mortgage makes good financial sense because at least you’ll own the property in the future.

And with luck, you’ll enjoy some capital appreciation on the value of the property too. That’s not guaranteed of course but historically that’s been the trend for those holding property assets for an extended period of time, certainly in the United Kingdom.

In summary, secured debt bears the lowest interest rates and leads to the acquisition of a valuable asset. So in my opinion that makes it a good debt.

2. Unsecured debt:

So when is debt a bad idea? The simple answer is when it’s an unsecured debt.

And what’s unsecured debt?

It’s a debt against which nothing valuable has been put up as security.

If the borrower fails to repay, the lender has nothing it can repossess to sell on to recover the balance outstanding. So for the lender that represents increased risk.

And because unsecured debt has no form of security then to compensate, the interest rate charged by the lender will be high, and sometimes very high.

The interest rate charged reflects the risk to the lender. The higher the risk the higher the interest rate applied.

Lenders recognize that there’s a risk that a proportion of their clients will fail to repay unsecured loans, so those who do make the repayment in full, have also paid a premium in order to protect the lender from any losses they might have incurred due to non-payment by others.

Now of course there will be occasions when unsecured debt is unavoidable.

For instance, young people just starting out might need some basic items of furniture for their homes. A bed would be a good example. You must have one and if you can’t afford it, then you might need to use a hire purchase arrangement. Handled with care then this shouldn’t be a huge problem.

So when is unsecured debt a really bad idea?

Put simply, when you start buying with unsecured credit that which you could live without. That gadget you couldn’t resist or those shoes that looked really nice in the store. Non-essentials you could have lived without until you had the money to pay for them.

You know the experience, I’m sure. You see something you can’t resist, out pops your flexible friend, and an impulse purchase is made before you’ve thought about whether it was a good idea or not.

The reckless use of credit cards, store cards, and payday loans can be a disaster because this type of debt is not secured against anything, so naturally the associated interest rates applied are very high.

Credit card or store card debt can bear an interest rate of up to around 30% or more.

In the UK, payday lenders have been known to charge interest rates equivalent to 3000%, 4000%, or even 5000%.

I find it hard to believe people fall for these loans but they do. I guess if your desperate sometimes then perhaps it’s a case of ‘needs must’.

3. The magic of compounding:

Why does this matter? The simple answer is the magic of compound interest.

The compounding effect of high rates of interest will quickly turn small sums borrowed into enormous sums owed.

For instance, if you borrow $1,000 at 3% interest, after five years you’ll owe $1,159, assuming nothing was repaid.

However if you borrow $1,000 at 35% interest then after five years you’ll owe $4,484, again that’s assuming nothing was repaid.

The difference is a massive $3,325. And more importantly, the value of your debt has also quadrupled.

So when interest rates are high, even if you make minimum payments, your debt can grow rapidly if you’re not careful.

And that’s when you can become enslaved by your debts.

And that’s why it matters. Ultimately this burden can become very stressful.

4. Manage your money or your money will manage you:

Far too many people borrow money in the form of unsecured debt to purchase discretionary items. That’s items they could live without, if push came to shove.

Wasting money is this way is a really bad move. Not just bad it’s seriously stupid.

I recommend that you follow this simple rule: If you can live without it, never use debt to buy it.

Yes of course it’s nice to have the latest smartphone or the latest television or whatever but is it really worth the pressure of unnecessary debt?

When high rates of interest start pushing up the sum outstanding significantly, you have to ask yourself, will the burden of this unnecessary debt still seem worth it? I doubt it.

Wouldn’t it be better to wait until you’ve saved up the money to make the purchase instead?

Wouldn’t it also be cheaper in the long-term to save up and buy the product when you actually have the money? You’ll appreciate the item so much more too.

5. Debt is a form of slavery:

Being indebted is just a form of slavery. It’s as simple as that really. And, once again, that’s why it matters.

For as long as you owe money you can never be truly free.

If you’re debt-free then you’re stress-free too. Wouldn’t you prefer to be debt-free and stress-free?

Good debt will help you but bad debt will make your life a misery.

6. Conclusion:

Put simply, there are two types of debt, good and bad. Debt is either secured or unsecured. Interest rates on the former will be relatively low, whereas interest rates on the latter can be very high.

Interest rates matter because of the compounding effect.

Unsecured debt can be the road to the poor house, particularly if you use it to buy stuff you could live without with credit that bears interest rates that are very high.

The type of debt that’s bad will enslave you and it’ll become increasingly stressful.

If you only take one message away from this article then that’s it.

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15 Things Poor People Do That The Rich Don’t

Can we learn from the habits of poor people when it comes to money?

Yes, when considered against what the rich would not do.

It’s a fact that the choices people make will affect the life they experience.

Quite simply our lives are dictated by the choices we make whether we like it or not.

The video in this post makes some interesting observations about the choices made by people destined to remain poor relative to those who enjoy greater prosperity and the finer things in life.

Now you might feel that some of the observations made here are a little harsh on the less fortunate but actually in my experience the points being made are ‘bang on the money‘, if you’ll excuse the fashionable terminology dear reader.

I think you’d be wise to listen carefully and think about the underlying messages in the video and be honest with yourself.

Just think about it for a minute and I’m sure you’ll agree.

We enhance our value by increasing our knowledge and skills, rather than making sure we know who the latest fashionable celebrity is dating. Why would that matter to anyone?

Listen, learn, and make changes as necessary.

You don’t have to be poor but, if you are right now, then you need to start making some changes.

Nothing will change unless you do first.

Things Poor People Do That The Rich Don’t:

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The 4 steps to financial freedom

Steps to Financial FreedomFinancial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this. ~Dave Ramsey

Many people are searching for the steps to financial freedom. Search the internet and there will be references to seven, eight, nine, and even ten steps but I think only four steps really matter.

However before I discuss those steps, let us first think about the biggest cause of people remaining poor, namely the burden of debt.

Statistics suggest that most people these days are heavily in debt. And debt is a burden that enslaves us. Knowing we have debts can be stressful.

What is the underlying cause of such debt? That’s simple. Mostly it’s the overuse of credit cards with little or no thought to how this will affect our financial well-being.

Unsecured debt built up through the excessive use of credit cards is very expensive.

That means even a small sum outstanding on a credit card can quickly become a large debt due to the effect of compound interest if you only make the minimum payment each month.

Are you affected by debt dear reader? Are your finances out of control? Would you like to achieve financial freedom?

Steps to Financial Freedom:

Often I hear people say things like, if only I could increase my income I could pay off my debts.

In fact those same people, if they did increase their income, would probably just spend more. And financial freedom would still remain a distant dream.

If financial freedom is your aim then it’s essential that you take control of your finances. And the steps to financial freedom are as follows:-

1. Spend less than you earn:

It all starts with spending less than you earn. If you spend less than you earn you can work on becoming debt free and then start to build capital.

2. Pay yourself first:

You must always pay yourself first. What does that mean? It means that as soon as you get paid each month you take a minimum of 10% of what you earn and put it away somewhere safe immediately.

Never, ever wait until the end of the month to see what you’ve got left.

If you do that you’ll never save anything.

If you take 10% upfront it will just be another debit on your income like taxes and pension contributions. You’ll quickly get used to having only the remaining 90% to live on.

And what do you do with the 10% or whatever you’ve put away?

3. Eliminate credit card debt:

Initially if you have a credit card debt burden then it makes sense to use that money to deal with paying off your debt first because the interest you’ll pay on the debt is always greater than any interest you’ll get on savings.

To pay off your credit card debt it’s essential that you find a way to eliminate the interest element each month so that any payments you then make go against the outstanding balance.

And how is that done?

Well, when you take out a new credit card account it often comes with a period of zero interest, usually six months. These accounts also usually allow you to transfer in an outstanding debt from another credit card account.

So by moving from one card provider to another and transferring the debt across to the new account, you then have a period of six months to make payments against the outstanding balance without accumulating interest on the old debt.

Never, ever use this card to increase your debt. Use it only for reducing your debt.

At the end of the period of zero interest on your new card repeat the process if necessary. Once again, you move to another card account offering you a zero-interest period. By focusing only on the outstanding balance it will be paid off quicker.

Eliminating the burden of debt is the first step on the road to financial freedom.

Freedom from debt will give you peace of mind. And peace of mind is a good reason for spending less than you earn.

Once the debt is cleared, what next with the money you’ve paid yourself first.

4. Build capital:

Initially put your money into a savings account. Then, as that builds into a larger sum, you can start thinking about other forms of investment like stocks, bonds, and property.

Once you develop the habit of putting some of your money away each month it’s amazing how quickly it accumulates into a decent capital sum and you’ll be on the road to achieving financial freedom.

Conclusion:

Learn to live within your means.

If you live modestly and spend your money wisely, you can ensure that you have enough money when you really need it.

You can also build that nest egg for your retirement and give a little back to those less fortunate than yourself. And you’ll feel so much better about yourself too.

Conversely, gathering too much clutter through excessive spending on things you don’t really need can become stressful, as well as wasteful. The choice is yours.

Financial freedom is achievable and it will give you peace of mind.

You will sleep better knowing you’re debt-free.

The steps to financial freedom are really quite simple. Spend less than you earn; pay yourself first; eliminate expensive credit card debt; and start building capital.

Do this and one day your older self will be grateful you made the effort I can assure you.

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Creating a life plan: 17 ways the rich and poor think differently

Why is it that some people are wealthy and others not?

You might argue that the rich inherit money and therefore they’re just lucky. That may be true in some cases, perhaps.

Having wealthy parents certainly helps no doubt but there are plenty of examples of self-made millionaires and billionaires. And there are plenty of examples of people who lost all their wealth and then just created another fortune.

There are also plenty of examples of poor people who’ve enjoyed good fortune on a lottery only to squander their millions within a few short years.

This would suggest that the rich and poor have a different philosophy with respect to creating a life plan and money as a resource.

The video embedded here explores 17 ways in which rich people and poor people think differently. The video is interesting and informative and well-worth a few minutes of your time.

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How to turn your yearly income into your monthly income

How to turn your yearly income into your monthly incomeAre you one of those people who feel you should be earning more than you do?

Would you like to know how to turn your yearly income into your monthly income?

To have enough money to enjoy the lifestyle you’d love?

You’d like a greater income but you don’t know how, right?

Perhaps you feel that big money never flows to people like you?

A natural assumption perhaps, but it’s wrong. With the right approach you too can have a lot more money than you have right now. Yes, you can become truly wealthy.

The question is where do you begin?

Well you can start by understanding the Law of Compensation. In the video included here the American, self-help guru Bob Proctor explains that income is earned according to the Law of Compensation.

The Law of Compensation:

Bob explains that the Law of Compensation states that the amount of money you earn will always be in exact ratio to the following three points, namely:-

  1. The NEED for what you do.
  2. Your ABILITY to do it.
  3. The DIFFICULTY there would be in REPLACING YOU.

Now you have no control over points 1 and 3, so you must concentrate on point number 2. You must be constantly honing your skills and become a master of whatever you do.

That said, becoming a master of what you do is only part of the solution.

To earn more you must decide on your strategy for earning money. In the video Bob Proctor explains that there are in fact only three strategies for earning money.

The Strategies for Earning Money:

So what are the three income earning strategies? Bob Proctor describes these are M1; M2; and M3. In more detail that means:-

M1: Trading your time for money:

Essentially this is paid employment and it is the way that 96% of people earn an income.

The problem is that, unless you’re a Wall Street banker, you’re unlikely to get rich this way. In fact it probably explains why you’re not rich right now.

M2: Invest Money to Earn Money:

Assuming you’re working for the man as a salaried employee, you can start saving, and gradually as your savings grow you can invest your money in stocks, bonds and property and over time your investments will start generating an income of their own.

That’s great but you need to know what you’re doing and, if you have nothing now, it will take some time before you can start generating anything approaching a useful extra income.

Of course should you have a large sum of money right now then this might be a solution but for most people it’s not really, which is why only around 3% of people make an income this way.

M3: Multiply your time with multiple sources of income:

How to turn your yearly income into your monthly incomeEstablishing multiple income streams is where you can start making serious money.

Even fewer people make an income this way, around 1%, but that has more to do with the fact that most people fail to recognize it’s potential.

Now let me make one thing clear, having multiple income streams does not mean working multiple jobs.

It means having income streams that will earn money for you even whilst you’re sleeping.

M3 is the income strategy that will help you earn far more than you earn now. Certainly it will if you do it right.

Bob Proctor offers the example of Network Marketing (also known as Multi-Level Marketing) whereby not only do you sell products but you also create your own network of sellers which means when they sell you get a part of the commission generated on those sales.

The best network marketers have made a lot of money this way but it’s not the only answer to generate multiple streams of income.

The internet offers multiple ways of getting rich online nowadays.

For instance you can use Amazon as a market place and sell products with fulfillment (delivery to customer) handled by Amazon.

You can also generate commissions through affiliate marketing with Amazon, as well as others like Clickbank and Commission Junction (CJ). These can be great ways to make money whilst you sleep.

Blogging and Vlogging are other ways of producing income streams too.

There are numerous ways for the ambitious and determined. In fact it’s never been easier for people prepared to put in the effort.

So listen to what Bob Proctor has to say and be inspired to take action now.

Further Reading:

In the video, Bob Proctor makes reference to Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Think and Grow Rich is a classic of the financial education genre.

Originally written in the 1930s but it’s still around today and still very popular.

And it’s still around for a reason. It’s exceptional and definitely worth adding to your personal reference library. I have my own copy and you can take a look at the book if you CLICK HERE.

Bob Proctor himself has also produced some excellent self-help books too and you can take a look them if you CLICK HERE.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. These commissions serve only to cover the cost of maintaining this site. Your understanding is truly appreciated dear reader. Thank you.

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25 inspirational stories of people going from rags to riches

Inspirational StoriesInspirational stories can be so uplifting. They tell us that if other people can be successful then so can we.

Did you have a tough start in life?

Perhaps you feel that your difficult past will prevent you from enjoying a successful future?

Well a tough past doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a tough future.

The same goes for a mediocre past.

The past is the past of course and it can’t be changed. However it serves only as a series of lessons to be learned. Remember, it’s not a life sentence.

You can create any future you want, as long as you’re determined, focused and prepared to put in plenty of hard work. You won’t get anywhere without those ingredients. Nevertheless it can be done, though it will be all down to you.

The future is an endless stream of opportunities that you can choose to take or not.

Don’t just accept my word, look around for people who’ve actually done it. There are plenty of inspirational stories if you’ll just look for them. Today I offer you a video with 25 inspirational stories.

Inspirational Stories25 Inspirational Stories:

In the video included here there are 25 excellent examples of people who had a tough start in life but went on to enjoy considerable financial success.

These are all inspirational stories of people going from rags to riches. And if they can do it, why not you?

And remember this; you’re never too old.

Colonel Sanders started KFC at the grand old age of 65.

And Ray Kroc began building the business empire we now know as McDonald’s at 52.

Believe you can and you will.

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Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Today I offer you Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Rules For Success dear reader.

If you want success then you would be wise to listen to people who have already achieved some success.

Identify what they did to achieve their success and copy it.

If it worked for them then it will probably work for you.

Now there are few people more successful in their chosen field than Warren Buffett.

So he offers you his ‘Top 10 Rules For Success’ in this video, embedded here. It’s definitely worth your time to listen him.

Here are his tips and I recommend them to you.

Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Rules For Success:

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Steve Jobs’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Looking for the Top 10 Rules for Success dear reader?

Certainly it’s true, if you want success then look for successful people and copy what they do.

The late Steve Jobs is not only an icon but also a great role model to use as your template for achieving success.

Here are Steve Jobs‘ Top 10 Rules For Success. Watch this video, it is inspirational and well worth your time and I recommend it to you.

Top 10 Rules for Success:

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Wealth Creation Strategies

Here’s another video from Brian Tracy with some advice on what he sees as the top wealth creation strategies for financial success. This is really useful I think.

Brian Tracy is one of the best motivational speakers I know and I can recommend his audio programs highly.

His messages are always so simple yet so very effective.

I recommend you give this video a few minutes of your time because Brian Tracy is always worth a listen. You won’t be disappointed.

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