Credit scores: Advice to a college student
Credit scores: If they're high enough, you can get a good credit card. Question No. 2 in this reader mailbag.
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Do you and your family use organic personal care products, like toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, and deodorant? If so, do you have any recommendations? This is a new idea to me, and its a little overwhelming to change everything, but it makes a lot of sense that we absorb too many chemicals into our body through our skin.Skip to next paragraph
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Another idea that I’ve seen on other blogs is making your own deodorant or using baking soda as shampoo. Have you tried any of these ideas, and what do you think of them?
I’m not too worried about buying everything organic. I buy organic when the prices are reasonable in comparison to the non-organic items. For some foods, like seafood, the organic label doesn’t have a ton of meaning.
As for organic personal care products, you’re really getting into an area without a specific meaning there. I just recommend reading the ingredients and picking up only products where you understand what’s in them.
I’ve tried various replacements for toiletries and none of them are all that great without significant work. We’ve made our own soap on occasion to great success.
Q7: Which debt first?
I will be coming into a two part windfall this winter when my company distributes profit sharing (allegedly, 33%). I should be receiving roughly 10k this December (post tax if I choose no additional retirement distribution) and another $3,500 in March. I make 55k annually and am doing well enough at my 25 years of age. I purchased my home in August 09 and currently owe 101k on a 30yr note at 5.25% interest. I have 3 student loans consisting of the following:
Loan 1: Fed Stafford, Balance: $2800, Rate: 2.6% now, 3.25% later fixed (in deferment due to me finishing Grad school this December)
Loan 2: Fed Direct, Balance: $12,500, Rate: 6.8% fixed (in deferment too), Payment: $143 (10 yr)
Loan 3: Private student loan, Balance: $8,800, Rate: 3.1% variable (based on LIBOR average, has been high in better economic times), Payment: $51 (15yr)
I currently have 10k in in my emergency fund savings account, 32k in my 401k (saving 10% pre-tax with a company match of 1.5%), own my 2008 Dodge Charger free and clear, and luckily have zero credit card debt. I am single with a serious girlfriend who I could marry in the next two years, but that money would come from my monthly savings and a bond she has with for that purpose.
All that said, which loan (2 or 3) should be paid off first? I’m leaning towards 2 since i’m not paying it currently (although it is in the budget, that money is just saved instead) and it is locked into a high interest rate, but want your opinion on the matter (as well as any other option I’m not considering). What should I do?
You should always pay off the loan that has the higher interest rate at the moment first, so I would go with #2 as well.
The only exception to that would be certain loans where if the rate adjusts you’re going to have to pay the back interest (like some credit card balance transfers). In those cases, I would pay the one with the highest adjusted rate first – but that’s not the case here.
Don’t worry about what might happen with things like this. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.