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(ABC)   New poll says that being debt free is the new American Dream. Which is pretty much why it's called a "dream"   (abcnews.go.com) divider line 426
    More: Unlikely, American Dream, American citizenship, new perspectives  
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3453 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Sep 2013 at 9:28 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-11 08:47:01 AM
I'm virtually there.  I do still have a car payment but that's it.
 
2013-09-11 09:10:03 AM
You can live entirely debt free. You can buy houses and cars for cash. It does require adjusting your expectations, but when it comes down to it, what is life except a series of decisions on priorities?

You're going to need a strict budget- if you have $300 a month for incidental expenses that means you get $10 a day to spend. You're probably not going to get to eat out frequently, if at all. Things like new cars will be out of your reach until you are old and well established, and you're going to have to learn how to do basic maintenance yourself. Houses will be modestly sized and probably not updated, but there are lots of livable houses for cheap: the range around here is between $70-$160 per square foot.

Do some basic calculations- an extra 10'x10' bedroom or office will cost you between $7,000 and $16,000 at that pricing level, is it worth it? A small but livable starter home around here can be bought for as little as $50K.

You probably won't be as rich as other people either- some people will come out ahead in the long run even though they've got debt through wise investments. There are other intangible factors, like when a bank provides a mortgage for a house then they assume the risk of ownership for a significant time. On the other hand, it's nice to have freedom, and to know that you're not tied down by mortgage payments if you ever want to change your lifestyle.

It's always been possible, but it really is a matter of priorities.
 
2013-09-11 09:22:04 AM

Fubini: You can live entirely debt free. You can buy houses and cars for cash. It does require adjusting your expectations, but when it comes down to it, what is life except a series of decisions on priorities?


Big news: water is wet, blah blah blah, words...words...blah.
 
2013-09-11 09:23:34 AM
Oh, and the headline is an inane tautology.
 
2013-09-11 09:24:37 AM
Fubini:
It's always been possible, but it really is a matter of priorities.

Some of it is, some of it is circumstance, some of it luck.  After my divorce, I happened to decide to move back to my home town, where I found an old house adjacent to my parents property and near the 3 acres of woods I own for $1,500.  Needed a lot of work, still needs a good bit but the price was right, property taxes are rock bottom and I'm right where I want to be.  Now some of that was my design, but a lot of it sort of fell into my lap as well.  I was also born smart enough to get a college education and a good salary job.  I count my blessings.
 
2013-09-11 09:27:15 AM
I'm debt free, have $100,000,000 in the bank, and I don't even own a television.

I also don't need to diet or work out because I have a high metabolism and my father is Carl Weathers.
 
2013-09-11 09:30:35 AM
I want Hope, Jobs, Cash, Gandolfini and the guy from Glee back. THANKS OBAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
 
2013-09-11 09:31:12 AM
Fark going to college unless you didn't bother with books and math and that other sissy nerd crap in high school and instead worked on your four-forty and/or your jump shot. That's who colleges and universities give a fair shake. Everybody else lines up to play $20,000 minimum three-card monte.
 
2013-09-11 09:31:59 AM
is this the part where misers come in and tell us if we too live like the homeless we can buy our first house in cash at the age of 70?
 
2013-09-11 09:32:02 AM
It doesn't matter how much they try, Obama's socialist policies will make each and every American owe their nation $670,000 in debt for all their healthcare and welfare checks.
 
2013-09-11 09:33:27 AM

nekom: After my divorce, I happened to decide to move back to my home town, where I found an old house adjacent to my parents property and near the 3 acres of woods I own for $1,500.


Sounds like one of those awful Zach Braff movies.
 
2013-09-11 09:34:39 AM
Bankruptcy is the new American Dream?
 
2013-09-11 09:35:22 AM
I am completely debt free, never had a car payment or a credit card and pay for my college out of pocket, but get reimbursed from the post 9/11 GI bill for that.

Of course now i need to refinance my house after my divorce to get my ex's name off the deed, so i had to delve in to the credit mire and start building some.
 
2013-09-11 09:36:13 AM

WTF Indeed: It doesn't matter how much they try, Obama's socialist policies will make each and every American owe their nation $670,000 in debt for all their healthcare and welfare checks.


Don't forget about the refrigerated flat screen plasma Obamaphones.
 
2013-09-11 09:36:40 AM
Wages haven't increased in years, housing prices (in Canada) are through the roof. There's more and more taxes, and fewer and fewer jobs...and we (those over 40+) are living longer and working longer. I'd say anyone under 30 is going to be screwed in the next few years. No jobs, no way to save for a mortgage. It's a sh*tty legacy we're leaving the next generation.
 
2013-09-11 09:36:53 AM
The real way to becoming debt free can be found here...

Link
 
2013-09-11 09:37:24 AM
Debt free for 12 years...

Credit rating now shot...
 
2013-09-11 09:37:34 AM

Fubini: if you have $300 a month for incidental expenses


What fantasy world is this?
 
2013-09-11 09:38:14 AM
ts1.mm.bing.net
Approves.

/I'm racking up credit card debt, so I'm getting a real kick in the crotch out of these replies
//hot.
 
2013-09-11 09:38:24 AM

doglover: Fubini: if you have $300 a month for incidental expenses

What fantasy world is this?


Old people who still don't understand that wages are severely depressed.
 
2013-09-11 09:38:32 AM

Reverend Monkeypants: Debt free for 12 years...

Credit rating now shot...


Yeah, but we can buy each other beers with cash.
 
2013-09-11 09:39:24 AM

WTF Indeed: It doesn't matter how much they try, Obama's socialist policies will make each and every American owe their nation $670,000 in debt for all their healthcare and welfare checks.


Besides smart and funny buttons we need a stupid button for the really moronic.
 
2013-09-11 09:39:26 AM

sigdiamond2000: WTF Indeed: It doesn't matter how much they try, Obama's socialist policies will make each and every American owe their nation $670,000 in debt for all their healthcare and welfare checks.

Don't forget about the refrigerated flat screen plasma color cable Obamaphones.


FTFY
 
2013-09-11 09:40:46 AM
I'm debt free because of this one weird trick...
 
2013-09-11 09:41:16 AM
I am completly debt free right now.

/buying a house next year though
//will be a long time until I can say that I am debt free again
 
2013-09-11 09:41:56 AM

nekom: Some of it is, some of it is circumstance, some of it luck.


You are absolutely right at that. One illness can wipe out your life savings. Being born into a good family in a good school district makes all the difference in the world.
 
2013-09-11 09:42:03 AM
If we were all debt free and not fat, America really would be the greatest nation in the world.
 
2013-09-11 09:42:31 AM

yanoosh: WTF Indeed: It doesn't matter how much they try, Obama's socialist policies will make each and every American owe their nation $670,000 in debt for all their healthcare and welfare checks.

Besides smart and funny buttons we need a stupid button for the really moronic.


There you go again, asking a governing body to give you more things for free. When will it stop?
 
2013-09-11 09:43:27 AM
In my younger days, I ran up debt like it was something supposed to happen.  It took me a very long time to get out from it.

Zero on the credit cards, zero school loans (finally!), no more car payments on a 2008 Ford.  Just mortgage payment now and I round up my mortgage payment to pay a little extra.

It can be done.
 
2013-09-11 09:46:12 AM
...

SuperT: is this the part where misers come in and tell us if we too live like the homeless we can buy our first house in cash at the age of 70?


No, this is the thread where people piss and moan about their financial woes, and then bristle at the prospect of cutting back on their spending.

I get it, declaring something* "impossible" is a lot easier than trying.

* - getting out of debt, finding/keeping a job, quitting smoking, etc.
 
2013-09-11 09:46:38 AM
Took me a long time, but I killed the CC debt, paid off my car, and I'm going to school on someone elses dime.

Now to fix the 20 pounds of prosperity around my waist.
 
2013-09-11 09:46:42 AM

DubtodaIll: If we were all debt free and not fat, America really would be the greatest nation in the world.


if we were all debt free the american (and soon the world) economy would collapse so hard it would make 2008 look like a bad half day.
 
2013-09-11 09:47:12 AM
I work with a guy who is in his late 40's and has never borrowed a dime. He paid for his college education with cash that he earned during the summer by painting houses. He's paid cash for every vehicle and rents his home. He doesn't even have a credit card. He makes about $40k/year as a teacher (yeah, teacher pay in our state sucks), and 50% of his paycheck goes straight into savings, and it's been that way since he started teaching nearly 30 years ago. Of course he's not married either, which makes a big difference. He doesn't lead a life of luxury, but he could easily retire at 50 and still have a high quality of life. When you look at the portion of an average American's paycheck that goes into just paying interest, it's easy to see how most people never feel like they're getting ahead. The sense of freedom that must come with being as financially secure as he is must be very nice.
 
2013-09-11 09:47:18 AM
A buddy of mine is trying to do this.  Accelerating his mortgage, car payments, and cancelled his credit cards.  He said in about 10 years he should be completely debt free.

What he then followed up with is he has absolutely no savings.  No 401K, and only maybe a few hundred dollars in unbudgeted cash at the end of every month.  He also has 2 kids and his wife is stay at home.  I asked him what he'd do if he were to lose his job, or some sort of unexpected expense would happen, and his response was "That's not going to happen."

Well then, glad that's taken care of.
 
2013-09-11 09:47:35 AM

Fubini: Houses will be modestly sized and probably not updated, but there are lots of livable houses for cheap: the range around here is between $70-$160 per square foot.


...and have fun saving up to buy one cash while you're paying rent.
 
2013-09-11 09:49:54 AM

mod3072: The sense of freedom that must come with being as financially secure as he is must be very nice.


Not nearly as nice as the sense of freedom you get from wildly spending money on frivolous things.
 
2013-09-11 09:50:36 AM

nekom: I'm virtually there.  I do still have a car payment but that's it.


Same here, and even the car payment is voluntary at this point.  I could pay it off, but I'm getting ready to move across the country so I'd rather hold on to the extra cash.

But then, that got me wondering whether or not I even want to pay it off.  Credit bureaus base your rating in part on what your current debt to credit ratio is, so if you want to boost your score you should have a couple credit cards but always keep their balance below 20%.  My thought was, would that work for a loan as well?  If I keep a $200 balance on a $20k loan all the way out to its term before paying it off, would it be some sort of ZOMG OVER 9000 credit boost?  It's really not hurting much since it's such a small balance on a low interest loan to begin with.  Thoughts?
 
2013-09-11 09:52:45 AM
You gotta be a little bit eccentric and not give two poos what people think of you but it can be done. Like this guy.
 
2013-09-11 09:53:55 AM
It's been my dream for a while now.   The judge in my divorce felt he was splitting things right down the middle - she got 100% of the assets and I got 100% of the debts and alimony.  I've paid off about 85% of the pile 'o bills that I started with, while my cheating ex now has more debt than I do.

One thing that I think a lot of young people are realizing is the need for physical mobility, as jobs lasting for life, or even 20 years, are pretty much a thing of the past.  Owning a house, or more specifically being shackled to a mortgage payment, when the entire area takes an economic dump is being seen more and more as a liability.  Having to find a buyer in a downturn when you're suddenly underwater and everyone else is selling too, or having to walk away and deal with the credit ramifications, makes renting and just letting a lease expire look like a heck of lot more attractive lifestyle.

Student loans, on the other hand, are a new bubble in the process of blowing up in our face, as they can't be discharged in bankruptcy after people get out of school and find out there are no jobs to be had and that they discover the loans had gotchas that were never required to be disclosed.
 
2013-09-11 09:54:42 AM
I've found women have a higher expectation of living (typically) than do men. Kids are pricey too, and getting on board with something non-traditional requires the wife (and as the kids get older) the kids also be on board.

I'd rather compromise a little on my 'ideal lifestyle' than adopt a lifestyle that would mean my wife leaves me, my kids resent me, etc.
 
2013-09-11 09:54:46 AM
Credit score = your sucker rating.
 
2013-09-11 09:56:34 AM

SuperT: DubtodaIll: If we were all debt free and not fat, America really would be the greatest nation in the world.

if we were all debt free the american (and soon the world) economy would collapse so hard it would make 2008 look like a bad half day.


Well, it would certainly be different, but it wouldn't collapse in its entirety.  We'd be rid of credit cards and lots of other institutions that claim to be critical to societal function, but it would be a more honest civilization and therefore better.
 
2013-09-11 09:57:02 AM
Just my experience but I don't have a credit card and only had a mortgage for a few years.  My credit rating was 761 when I got my new car loan.  They want a history of you paying your loans on time.
 
2013-09-11 09:58:02 AM
I'm close to debt free.

Close to not eating hot food on a regular basis...

Pretty close to not sleeping indoors.

...livin' the dream
 
2013-09-11 09:58:05 AM
Owe on house and car, that would be it if not for one thing.  We owe about ten grand on medical debt when my wife got sick this year.  Insurance paid for jack shiat.  We dont have credit cards, have not had them for 6 years and we never will again.  We are destroying America from what I hear.

/thanks alot obama
 
2013-09-11 09:59:00 AM
It's really not that hard. But considering it takes hard work and sacrifice I understand that it's damn near impossible for the vast majority of people.
 
2013-09-11 10:00:51 AM
I'm debt free, but the life is not that interesting of a dream.
 
2013-09-11 10:03:45 AM

enik: It's really not that hard. But considering it takes hard work and sacrifice I understand that it's damn near impossible for the vast majority of people.


But OBAMA!

/you have nailed it
 
2013-09-11 10:04:27 AM

DubtodaIll: SuperT: DubtodaIll: If we were all debt free and not fat, America really would be the greatest nation in the world.

if we were all debt free the american (and soon the world) economy would collapse so hard it would make 2008 look like a bad half day.

Well, it would certainly be different, but it wouldn't collapse in its entirety.  We'd be rid of credit cards and lots of other institutions that claim to be critical to societal function, but it would be a more honest civilization and therefore better.


Its so much the reduction of the credit card companies as it is the large reduction of consumer spending that was happening by using those credit cards.
 
2013-09-11 10:04:38 AM
StrangeQ:
But then, that got me wondering whether or not I even want to pay it off.  Credit bureaus base your rating in part on what your current debt to credit ratio is, so if you want to boost your score you should have a couple credit cards but always keep their balance below 20%.  My thought was, would that work for a loan as well?  If I keep a $200 balance on a $20k loan all the way out to its term before paying it off, would it be some sort of ZOMG OVER 9000 credit boost?  It's really not hurting much since it's such a small balance on a low interest loan to begin with.  Thoughts?

I'm pretty sure your available credit calculated for utilization is only revolving credit lines, not installment loans.  It would show that it was paid off early though, I believe.  Whether a lender considers that good, bad or doesn't care, who knows.
 
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