How To Maintain A Debt-Free Lifestyle With Your Sanity Intact

debt free

Living completely debt-free is challenging – but not impossible.

Many people succeed in living their lives without falling too deep into debt. People of different ages and income levels have made this choice. It requires dedication, but if it’s something you want, don’t allow naysayers talk you out of it.

There are multiple methods out there for people like you who are looking to cut spending, pay debts, or avoid it all together. The important thing is to choose a system that works for you. Review yourself. You know your weaknesses, and that’s where you should start.

Here are a couple of ways to avoid acquiring debt.

Pay off any debt immediately. For many people, it helps to use physical currency to avoid making impulse buys or racking up a huge credit card balance. A credit card makes obtaining expensive things easier. Renting a car, traveling, making hotel reservations, and splurges on technology. If you know yourself as an impulse spender, and a credit card isn’t something you can handle – just don’t get one. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to use your credit card for its rewards points and cash back. Never wait for the monthly bill, instead pay it ASAP. This will force you to think about how much money you have before you swipe.

Build Large Savings. Earning a sizable savings account is a feat in itself. It’s also the most effective way to stay out of debt. Think of your savings as a preparation for emergency expenses. This way, when car repairs or medical bills pop up, you won’t rush to your nearest credit card. Saving is also essential if one of your goals is to purchase a property of your own. When it comes to choosing mortgage, home loans offered by Newcastle Permanent is a perfect place to start looking.

Get a cheap used car. Many of us can’t afford a brand new car outright, so many opt to take on a car payment. But here’s the deal: No one needs a car loan. There are plenty of dependable used cars available out there. There is a risk involved in buying a used car, but there is also a risk in dealing with wily salesmen at the dealership, who often mislead you into buying restrictive and costly warrantees. Do your research on reliable car types, take a good mechanic with you, and use your judgement when purchasing your car. Buying a good car can last for years with relatively little maintenance.

You can also utilize public transportation depending on your location, but in rural areas, a car is often a necessity.

Rent. Boy oh boy, what happened with “why rent when you can buy” philosophy I see every day? While renting for life sounds like a living nightmare to some people, real estate is not cheap either. If you are committed to staying debt-free, then housing is your biggest challenge. That aside, saving up for a good home is a totally plausible idea once you save enough for a mortgage and is employed in a steady company. If you’re single and living alone is out of your budget, consider subletting or renting a room until you’re ready to get affordable home loans in your preferred location.

Being debt-free starts with a conscious effort and a commitment to follow through your objective. Best of luck!

How to Navigate the Purchase Process for First Time Home Buyers


You’ve got your dream job.  Your student loans are under control. You’ve actually managed to save some money. Buying that first house or condo is now number one on your bucket list.  It’s so tempting to get started by browsing through all the real estate websites online, falling in love with a neighborhood or style of home.  Downtown, suburbs, house, condo – what’s the perfect fit for your lifestyle?

Before you go overboard surfing the internet for your perfect home, there are some pretty systematic steps to follow.  Your number one priority is to meet with a mortgage banker or mortgage broker.  These professionals will review your employment, savings and credit history.  More important, they will let you know the maximum amount you can borrow based on the information you provide.  Your mortgage professional will then provide you with a ‘pre-approval’ which you’ll need to provide when signing a contract for purchase.

Just because you can afford a high payment doesn’t mean you should buy a home at the top of your price range.  Home ownership & home maintenance is always more expensive than you think! Older homes have hidden costs & chic downtown condos come with pricey monthly homeowners association fees.

Now that you have pre-approval in hand, the next professional on your list should be a quality real estate agent.  Ask for referrals and try to connect with an agent that works with first time home buyers.  The agent will help steer you in the right direction with neighborhoods, amenities and pricing.  A good agent will also help you prioritize your wish list items for your new home.

Before finding the perfect home, decide on the area in town that’s most preferable. Consider your commute, amenities in the area, access to highways, etc.  This will help narrow down your search considerably.  It’s all about location!  With the price range, home type, amenities & location nailed down, your agent will be able to narrow your search to a more manageable number of properties to view.

You’ve found the perfect property. Your real estate agent has negotiated a great deal on the price and your mortgage banker has approved your loan.  Your last step is to have a serious celebration at a special occasion restaurant.  You’ll remember this meal for years to come. The Midtown Grille in Raleigh, NC is just the place for that special celebration! Congratulations homeowner!

How to Make a Good Impression at a Job Interview


When you are preparing yourself for a job interview, most people advising you are probably focusing more on how to handle those tough questions by giving thorough and well-thought-out responses. That is okay because, actually, that’s the core of the interview in the first place. However, there is more: making a stellar first impression. See our tips below on how you can successfully do this:

1) Dress the Part

When you set foot into the interview room, your appearance will definitely play an important part in how the interview panel first perceives you. Showing up neatly dressed in a fine suit and scuff-less shoes presents you as both well put-together and professional. You can put together the outfit you need at an affordable price when you use coupons or take advantage of other special occasions.

2) Show-up Time Matters a Lot

It goes without saying that you must never be late for a job interview. It is even more important to you if this is your dream job! Make it a habit to always arrive early for your interviews and other formal engagements so that you get used to it. In case you find yourself in a situation where run late due to some unavoidable circumstances, be sure to inform your interviewers as soon as you possibly can.

3) Show Some Enthusiasm!

The reason why you were invited for this interview is because your prospective new employers believe that you are the right person for the job. So, show them that they actually made the right decision in calling you in! Prove that you can do the job better than those you are competing with in this interview. And remember not to be negative about your past or current employers or working conditions, because it can actually work against you terribly.

4) Everything should be Neat, Organized and Easily Accessible

When you get to the interview room, you should expect that during the first few minutes somebody is going to ask you for a copy of your resume. Make sure that you have put it (and everything else needed) in a position where they are neatly organized and readily available inside your bag for easy access when you are asked to pull them out.

5) Handling the Question: Why Do You Want this Job?

This is a question you should expect, therefore, plan for its appropriate answer in advance. It is only you who can answer this question the way it should. It has to be a well-thought and compeling answer. Just being in need of a job is not a good enough justification for anyone to hire you. 

6) Remember to be Nice to the Receptionist

Do not disregard the person seated at the front desk just because they are not your hiring manager. Their impression of you actually matters because, in fact, some companies nowadays are specifically asking their front desk attendants how prospective interviewees behave as they come through the door and use that as a factor in their ultimate hiring decision. Remember to always treat everybody with respect.

7) When to Ask Questions

Although you should allow the interview panel to lead the interview, you do not have to wait till the end of your talk to ask questions. In fact, relevant inquiries help to emphasize your interest in the new job position. What is important, you should let those questions flow naturally with the interview – do not just ask so as to appear enthusiastic or engaging.