Topics We’re Talking About: Champions of Financial Literacy

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When I first started working at ReadyForZero, I’d already been financially independent for some time. I pretty much started marking out (in some capacity) my money strategy the moment I graduated high school.

Even still, I’d never really considered myself to be a financial wizard. Then I started working for ReadyForZero. The (awesomesauce) blog offered me the opportunity to share my own financial knowledge and – importantly – prompted me to build upon this foundation. During the first few weeks, something pretty amazing happened: the more I threw myself into the topic of money, the more confidence I gained. No longer was I just chatting nonchalantly about rent and receipts. I was spouting off about things like APR, IBR, and gulp…. even index funds. No, I didn’t know everything, but I realized how much I was capable of learning

This from the same woman who earlier in life had substituted “you know… what’s-it-called” for about 70% of financial terms.

Learning the “money language” was one of the most crucial steps in the process of financial literacy. Whereas before I had the financial intuition, I didn’t necessarily have a way to communicate or organize it effectively. In order to speak with any fluency, I had to put in time to learn the language.

How is it that we learn a new language? By building up a vocabulary. Talking the talk. Having confidence in your potential and making an investment in your abilities. That’s exactly why I’m excited to be giving a blog drumroll to ReadyForZero’s upcoming course:

Destination Debt Free: A Six Week Course To Debt Freedom

shannonscreenshotsmallReaders, this is exactly the kind of course to help you achieve financial fluency in your life. Led by the incredibly talented Shannon McNay, this course offers the guidance and teaches the skills to help you achieve financial freedom. Beyond a supportive environment, it’s also an organized approach. The six week course breaks down what you need to know about creating a budget, paying off your debt, and creating a personal financial philosophy. Above all, Destination Debt Free provides you with the chance to learn a “language” that will assist you in all your future financial decisions. Whoa – talk about awesome! To sign-up to reserve a spot (space is limited!), head over to the course page.

» Learn more here!

Remember, whether in the form of a blog, a community, a podcast, or course, it’s essential that we practice, practice, practice in order to maintain and elevate that financial literacy.

What Are the Best Peer to Peer Lenders?

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We’ve talked previously about peer-to-peer loans and reviewed Lending Club (one of the most popular peer-to-peer lenders) in detail, but today we wanted to take a look at the best options for someone who wants to take out a peer-to-peer loan (for debt consolidation).

There are only a limited number of reputable debt consolidation companies, which is why you want to be sure to choose carefully. If you want to learn about the different types of consolidation loans, read our post about debt consolidation programs, and check out our post about the fees and costs for even more information.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the reputable peer-to-peer consolidation lenders and help you decide which one (if any) may be right for you.

Talking the Talk: Solutions to Common Money Problems with Jen Hemphill

Talking the TalkAre you ready to have some money questions answered? I mean really answered…Not like the run of the mill, been there tried that answers, but in-depth, actionable tips that will make a difference in your life?

Jen

Today’s the day! Our good friend and financial coach, Jen Hemphill, is releasing a brand new webinar today at noon EST. She’ll talk about the things we all commonly deal with in money but for which there never seems to be good enough advice. Read on to learn more about the webinar!

Straight Talk, Frugality, and Focusing on the Positive: Our Best Posts of September

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The leaves are changing, the weather is turning, kids are back in school…Fall is officially here. And with Fall tends to come new beginnings – is it possible following a school calendar early in our lives leaves it mark well into adulthood?

There are many changes Fall brings besides the weather, most notably the realization that holiday season is nearly upon us and soon to follow is a new year. Problem is, by the time many of us start preparing for the new year, it’s almost too late. So let’s talk about how to get a head start now! Here are some posts from September to help.

How I’m Planning to Get Ahead of Graduate School Debt

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This is a guest post by Kaitlin Butler.

Even though I’m not yet in grad school, I’m already “ready for zero” – like other readers of this blog, I am looking forward to being completely debt-free. In fact, I am debt-free now, but I’m considering pursuing a graduate degree in the next year or two, and if I do, I’ll be on the hook for the bill. This will probably mean tens of thousands of dollars in student loans – no small investment, especially so early in my career.

I’m looking to minimize the cost of my education by getting ahead and identifying my best financing options. One bonus of working at a student lending startup is that I’ve learned a great deal from my teammates at CommonBond about the nitty gritty details of student loans and about how they financed their own educations. Whether you’re looking for graduate school loans or trying to pay them off, I’d like to share my plan of attack for maximizing my investment in my education a few years down the line.

MoneyBuzz Ep. 002: Tool Time For Your Finances, An Interview With Paula Pant of Afford Anything

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Personal finance doesn’t always come with directions. I know… it’s a bummer, right? But there’s some good news to that reality check – you can learn! You can get help! You can utilize resources! You can create the kind of life you want to lead.

Enter: Paula Pant of the blog Afford Anything.

In Ep 2. of MoneyBuzz

For this week’s episode, we were fortunate enough to sit down with Paula to chat about her financial mission, from earning passive income to crafting a career outside the 9-5 trudge.

What did we learn from Paula Pant? Oh, just pretty much how to be awesome.

Not only is is she living proof that it’s possible to break free from the social constructs that may be holding you back (financial and otherwise), she’s on a mission to help her readers collect the tools, confidence, and motivation to do the same.

She had so many quotables it was all I could do not to transcribe the entire audio interview right here for you. We’ve already geeked out over her phenomenal blog but after meeting her, listening to her lovely radio-ready voice, and collecting “ooooh” after “ahhh” in response to her wisdom, we can share with full confidence that she’s the coolest.

Plus, we learned her spirit animal (hint: it goes roar).

Lending Club Vs. Prosper: Which is Best for Debt Consolidation?

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When someone talks about Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending in the United States, they often are referring to one of two companies dominating the industry: Lending Club or Prosper. Both have been officially registered with the Securities Exchange Commission, and both have loaned over $1 billion each to borrowers around the country.

Impressive, right? But even if you’ve decided that it makes sense to consolidate your debt, how do you know which company is right for you?

How I Rocked My Job Hunt (And How You Can Too)

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As an English major from UC Santa Cruz, I’m no stranger to looks of pity. Creative writing isn’t exactly a major known for its promise of job security and despite my best efforts to prove everyone wrong, my job hunt post college wasn’t doing much to help my case. As in, I wasn’t exactly drowning in job offers. When I mentioned the challenges I faced, I usually received one of two responses:

That’s what happens when you choose humanities.
or
Do what you love – you’ll get there.

It seemed like it always came down to two extremes – excessive pessimism or excessive optimism. The feedback was conflicting, to say the least, and rarely did I find the kind of balanced guidance I was hoping for. But eventually, I realized that was part of the problem. I was waiting and hoping for someone to tell me what to do instead of actually doing it myself. Realizing that fact was a game changer. If I was to make any headway I had to take action on any advice I received rather than just waiting patiently for the secret sauce.

Ultimately, I did finally hit my stride but that’s not to say it was easy. The process itself was full of trial and error and there were plenty of downs along with the ups. But with hard work and focus, I managed to transform the job hunt into something that left me feeling excited by opportunity rather than defeated by the challenges.

Here are some of the most useful lessons I took away and how they helped me to refocus (and rock) the job hunt:

How Long Does a Delinquency Stay On My Credit Report?

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When life gets crazy, it can be hard to keep track of payments, and occasionally one slips through the cracks. At the same time, despite our best intentions, we sometimes find ourselves unable to make a payment for financial reasons. No matter what the cause, a delinquent payment is never fun for a borrower to deal with. First, you have to deal with the inquiries from your creditor, and second you have to deal with the impact on your credit score.

But how exactly does a delinquency affect your credit score? And how long does a delinquency stay on your credit report? These are important questions, and they’re also ones we get asked about frequently, so we’ll do our best to answer them below:

Rate Chasing, Babysitting Rings, and More! 23 Ways to Save Money Today

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We all want to have a bigger savings account, and it’s not hard to understand why. Having a significant amount of savings in the bank can be the difference between having to use credit to pay for unexpected expenses and being able to deal with them while avoiding debt. It also gives you the chance to pay for planned expenses smoothly. But building up that savings account is not easy, is it? It takes time and dedication, not to mention a bit of creativity and grit. For anyone who wants to funnel more of their paycheck into their savings account, we wanted to share some tips for making it happen.

So let’s get to it! Here are 23 ways to grow your savings faster: