Spend that windfall wisely (even if you didn't win the Powerball lottery)

3. What other outstanding loans do I have?

Rick Wilking/Reuters/File
Pro Chrysler Jeep lot man Hector Martinez removes personal effects from a Dodge Durango that was repossessed and returned to the Chrysler dealership in Thornton, Colo., in late 2008. If you have loans with higher interest rates than your credit cards, it probably makes sense to pay those loans off first.

Consider paying off a personal loan instead of credit card debt, especially if that loan may has a higher interest rate than your credit card balances. For several years after the financial meltdown, credit card companies kept interest rates high. Recently, they have changed course and many have been offering zero-percent interest rates for balance transfers and new purchases with terms that last up to 18 months. If you take advantage of those offers, then it makes sense to first pay off a personal loan, if there is no prepayment penalty. 

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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