Here’s How Online Poker Changed How I View Money

I was introduced to poker back in 2007 while I was in college (back when it was legal).  It started from a friendly $5 buy in and quickly climbed up to $500 sit-ins.  The sound of shuffling poker chips were music to my ears.

Learning how to play poker definitely changed how I view money. I was your typical broke college kid looking forward to $1 beer specials at the bar, and in short time frame, I was the guy ordering a Grey Goose and Red Bull.  You could say that I had a pretty lucrative poker run while in college, but as they say, all good things come to an end.

Everything You Need to Know About Debt Settlement

In 2009 I worked for with some of the largest debt settlement companies, many of which are now out of business or shut down by their state’s Attorney General.  Debt settlement services are still rampant across the country.  They give you high expectations that you can cut your monthly payments and debt in half.  For someone who is knee deep in debt, they’re very susceptible to marketing gimmicks that these companies employ.

You’re Talking to Salespeople, Not A Credit Counselor

I was guilty of this.  When I first worked with these debt settlement companies, I hired a bunch of salespeople.  I ran them through scripts, rebuttals, and closing statements. If the customer was considering bankruptcy, we had a rebuttal for that.  If the customer was considering a debt management program from a credit counseling company, we had a rebuttal for that. If the customer was scared of the getting sued, we had a rebuttal for that. They were trained on how to be assertive without sugar coating the program.

3 Reasons Why ReadyForZero is Your Financial Friend


Lindsey-Carman-avatar-1415742581-95x95This guest contribution is from Lindsey Carlton. Lindsey is the editor-in-chief at, the leading authoritative expert on all things retail and savings. To read her original in-depth article click here

In a nation full of debt, it’s hard to find the best way to pay it off. Between student loans and a plethora of other debts, you may feel like you’ll never be able to pay off everything on time. And on top of that, there are many tools out there that promise to pay off your debt, but instead leave you frustrated.

ReadyForZero is different for a reason. The planning tool is backed up by a team who struggled with debt just like you and wants to help you live a debt-free life. Here are the 3 reasons why ReadyForZero is your financial friend.

How Debt Consolidation Can Jumpstart Your Journey to Financial Stability

chessNo matter how many aspects of your financial life you work to turn around, debt can be a giant burden halting all progress before it begins. It’s the elephant in the room that must be cleared before a solid financial foundation can be reconstructed.

But herding that elephant out is a tall order.

If you’re dealing with overwhelming debt in the form of several different accounts, all with different minimum payments, balances, and interest rates, debt consolidation is one viable option to consider.

Debt consolidation essentially takes all of your debt and rolls it into one large lump sum that only requires one monthly payment. This may be in the form of a loan used to pay off each creditor leaving you with one balance instead of several; credit card transfers so all credit card debt is under one card, perhaps with a lower interest rate; or a plan worked out with a debt consolidation company in which a more manageable debt payment plan is established with your creditors and you pay the third party company instead. If you quickly want to check your rates today, try ReadyForZero’s secure debt consolidation tool whenever you’re ready.

Sound interesting? Here are just a few ways debt consolidation can get you back on stable ground.

3 Emotional Side Effects of Debt and How to Handle Them

The tangible results of debt – calls from bill collectors, denial of loans, a growing stack of past due bills – may seem like the worst part of this ever-growing financial problem. But the reality is, these events would mean little if, underneath the surface, you weren’t dealing with the intense emotional effects of the issue.

Being financially indebted to someone doesn’t just put a strain on the funds you have coming in, it can trudge up fear, feelings of inadequacy, and many more emotions that can strain other areas of your life at the same time.

The purpose of mentioning these emotions isn’t to make your current debt appear to be even more of a burden, but instead to paint a picture of what might dissipate as your debt does.

Here are a few debt side effects that you might already be feeling the effects of.


A 2014 study by the American Psychological Association found the top reasons Americans experience stress is job pressure and money. It’s possible that job pressure, once drilled down, would also equate to money and the fear of losing said job and income stream.

5 Reasons To Reevaluate Your New Year’s Financial Resolutions

Dreaming is undeniably easier than doing. So when we sit down to make resolutions at the first of the year, it’s easy to be blinded by the excitement of possibility without much thought of the actions we’ll take to turn those dreams into reality.

Then enters the guilt. Guilt that we failed so quickly, guilt that we don’t actually know how to take steps forward, guilt that we just aren’t motivated enough to do anything but stick to the status quo.

There are a variety of reasons why some New Year’s resolutions live and die within the first few weeks of January, but the truth is, sometimes the resolution itself is to blame.

With 2015 now fully underway, now is the time to reevaluate those resolutions and make sure they are worth the time and energy it will take to turn them into reality.

Here are five things to consider.

Does Debt Consolidation Help or Hurt Your Credit?


If you’re struggling to make the minimum payments on your debt, missing due dates and not making any substantial headway in the process, you’re credit score likely already mirrors your situation. After all, these three numbers are supposed to be the quickest snapshot of your financial health and ability to repay creditors.

Debt consolidation may be an option you’re considering in order to regain some solid footing, but it’s important to note how this move can impact your credit worthiness and score. Will it lend a helping hand or kick you when you’re down? When you’re ready to give debt consolidation serious consideration, be sure check out ReadyForZero’s debt consolidation tool.

It depends on a variety of factors. Here are a few.

The Type of Debt Consolidation You’re Considering

While the basic principle behind debt consolidation – taking debts and combining them into one, hopefully more manageable debt – is essentially all the same, there are different ways to go about it.

Debt consolidation through a debt relief company or bank usually entails this third party negotiating for lower payments or rates on your behalf, sometimes capitalizing on relationships they have already established with your creditor.

If credit card debt is what you’re struggling with, then this type of debt can be consolidated through a balance transfer onto a new card with a low APR, or perhaps a 0% APR during an introductory period.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Pursuing Debt Consolidation

Debt repayment

Bills can spur a great deal of anxiety – especially when they represent a seemingly insurmountable pile of debt.

If you’re struggling to make payments to multiple creditors at various amounts on different dates throughout the month, you’re likely feeling the pressure. Debt consolidation and the promise of wrapping each debt into one predictable monthly payment might seem like the perfect solution to your potential financial burnout. And for some, it can help a great deal.

But financial stumbling blocks like these don’t always have a one-size-fits-all solution and may require some careful deliberation on your part. Before you head down the debt consolidation path, make sure to ask yourself these questions.

If you do decide to try debt consolidation, be sure to check out the ReadyForZero debt consolidation tool.

Question #1: Have I addressed the underlying issues that created the debt?

First and foremost, have you stopped the financial bleeding that caused the debt in the first place? If, for instance, credit cards are your kryptonite, have you stopped charging? That is step #1.

In the majority of cases, sizeable consumer debt is created over a long period of time and is really just the physical symptom of a pattern of bad habits and emotions that haven’t been attended to.

Top 5 Best (Free) Spreadsheets for Paying Off Debt

laptop and coffe

When you’re in debt, it can feel confusing and overwhelming – as if you’re trying to find your way out of a huge maze with ten-foot walls and no map to guide you.

Luckily, the first step to getting out of debt is to give yourself a map. And that starts with using some kind of spreadsheet or tool to organize all your debts so you can see what you owe and create a plan for paying them off.

Now, if you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you’re already aware of a more high-tech solution than spreadsheets, but in this post we’re first going to look at the best of the traditional spreadsheets and then discuss other options, including ReadyForZero, at the end of the post.

So let’s take a look at some fantastic maps that can help you conquer debt!

7 Debt Repayment Tips from Someone Who’s Been There

Debt repayment

When I graduated (as a newlywed) with a four-year degree, I also graduated with maxed out credit cards, student loans, and an auto loan. After two years of working, I had paid down some of the credit card debt, but a cross-country move and grad school ran the credit card debt back up, and added more to the student loans. I even ended up with more debt as a result of not being prepared to pay taxes with my home business. If there was a way to do it wrong paying for things, I probably did it.

My situation has improved since then, thanks to the efforts my husband and I have made to change things up with our finances. Here are 7 debt repayment tips that can help you move forward: