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The Simple Dollar

Mortgage market: Is it a good time to refinance?

Mortgage market can change, and homeowners' personal circumstances can, too. After marriage, is it a good idea to refinance a mortgage to include both spouses regardless of the mortgage market? Look to question No. 1 in the reader mailbag.

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NET PAY – $613.13
Health – $32.56 (5%)
Debts – $154.65 (25%)
Investment (through work) – $60.47 (10%)
Food – $69.77 (11%)
School – $47.67 (8%)
Memorial Plan – $24.42 (4%)
Utilities – $40.70 (7%)
Rent – $93.02 (15%)
Fare – $18.20 (3%)
Church – $46.51 (8%)
Cellphone – $9.30 (2%)
Educational Insurance – $48.06 (8%)
TOTAL $645.33 (105%)

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Recent posts

I would really want to Zero-out my debts, i just do not know how can i make it faster? Debts were incurred due to home expenses and bad purchases before. is there any really fast way to pay off all of my debts? I want to pay them all by december 2011. I plan to use all my 1 month ($600)-salary bonus but that would mean a still zero savings for me and my son.

I want to make it faster so that i can start saving up and then finally have the courage to resign from my job. I been here for 10 years. Pay is good. Very near my house ( i can walk from house to the office). But i have this gnawing feeling that i am not growing anymore and i am not happy anymore. Add another stress that an ex is working on the same office and i cant take it…i also want to resign so that i can just forget about my stupidity and finally move on and go on with my life…i just want a new life..a new beggining..i am just scared to do it..because of my son ( i have to care for him and i cant bear him going hungry) or am i just being a real coward? ( i can take it if you thikn that way)…i used to be so brave but when a child is present, life’s decision is more difficult to do..

One of my concern is the rent, am i paying too much for it?..i like the house (2 BR;two-storey;good neighbors; nice mountain view, the free parking space, wide play area for my son. -in short ILOVEIT), It so big for a 2 adults (me and my mom) and for a child. However most of the time, when my big family comes for a visit, i do not have a problem since i have a big ,nice and a clean house for them to stay. But i still think that a $90 a month is too much, what do you think?

I have negative expenses and most of the time , i am helped by my brother. but i cant always do that. I need to manage my finances. I feel so helpless and desperate without savings and such a great amount of debt.
- Lindsay

Right now, you’re spending more than you’re bringing in, which means you have no means with which to pay down that debt early. I’m not entirely clear on how this works. Are you accumulating more debt month over month?

If you want debt freedom, you have to be spending less than you’re bringing in (so you’re not accumulating more debt) and you have to be applying that difference in some positive way (toward the debt, preferably).

Some of these expenses are going to have to go. Do you need a memorial plan? That seems like a significant chunk of your income just to cover a possible funeral. What does your investment through work consist of? Is it necessary when you’re in this kind of financial state? I’m not sure what has to be cut, but something does, and after you make cuts, you have to start applying the remaining money to the debt and get rid of it as quickly as you can.

Q6: Financial book for teenager
I’ve been trying to find a book recommendation for my 18 year old son. He is going to college in August and wants to get a credit card. I want him to read a good economics book first, what do you recommend?
- Audra

I don’t think I’d toss an economics book at him at this point. Books like The Wealth of Nations aren’t particularly relevant to the day-to-day life of most eighteen year olds.