Without further ado, let’s continue on with the 10th Stage (the 2nd Round of the event, featuring posts from the “Debt” group category of articles submitted) of the 2013 Tour de Personal Finance (to follow all of the action, click on the Tour de Personal Finance category link and scroll down to read all the posts involved in this subject).
We greatly appreciate Debt Free Direct for being the title partner of the 2013 event and for all their great support. If you’re interested in learning more about the help and advice Debt Free Direct offers to people in debt or their money-saving tips on how to prevent building up debt, click here.
A Quick Reminder On Prizes For The 2013 Competition
The 2013 edition of the Tour de PF will be doubly exciting because we have some very nice cash prizes to give away to the winner and also to charity to continue helping the community.
These will be as follows:
- Yellow Jersey (1st Place) Winner of the 2013 Tour de Personal Finance will receive $100 cash via PayPal.
- In addition, the Yellow Jersey Winner will also get to decide what charity they want me to donate $700 to in honor of their efforts/victory.
To view the most up-to-date brackets of the competition, click the following link – 2013 Debt Free Direct Tour de PF Bracket
Going along with Tour de France cycling tradition, I’ve listed each competition within each stage as an “intermediate sprint” (one post versus another) along with the description provided by the blog author when the post was submitted.
Also, if applicable, I will give a brief description of the stage of the Tour de France that took place the same day as (or that has happened since the previous Stage of) the competition.
How to Vote
You can vote for the two articles (one from each intermediate sprint) you’d like to see proceed in the Tour by commenting in the comments section below and telling which are your favorites. I’ve listed a keyword after each post title to make it easy to vote (as a made-up example, you can just comment: Sprint 1: Mutual; Sprint 2: 401k, etc.)
Be sure to comment which one you like the best out of each set of two! Criteria for the best article is completely up to you, but you can use these factors as a guide: 1) post of your favorite blogger, 2) most interesting post, 3) most thought-provoking post, 4) most unique post, or 5) most actionable post. Here are today’s competitions:
Voting will continue until July 8th for this Stage!
Intermediate Sprint #1
- Should I Pay Off My Mortgage Early? (Mortgage): If you own a home, a significant portion of your income each month goes towards paying down your mortgage. Although most Americans would rather have no debt and interest payments, with interest rates at record lows, the traditional thinking and logic behind accelerating your mortgage payments may not apply anymore. From the benefits of liquidity and emergency funds to higher yield investments and retirement funding, there are much better ways to use your free cash flow. Stop seeing all debt as bad, and realize that a healthy amount can actually help further your financial goals.
- Credit Card Debt and Drug Addiction: Are They Related? (Addiction): While Dave Ramsey advocates the Debt Snowball method for paying down credit card debt and brain scan studies confirm the notion because of the limbic system’s joy at closing down accounts, nobody really tracks what happens after you close down an account. Specifically, nobody has studied the causes and incidences of relapse, where people who were on the road to becoming debt free suddenly veer off the path and rack up debt again. This article examines the neurological and behavioral similarities between credit card debt and drug addiction and suggests ways in which we can apply lessons learned from helping people with drug addiction to the process of getting out of credit card debt.
Intermediate Sprint # 2
- Which Is Harder: Paying off Debt or Saving Money? (Harder): Every week, I get asked whether someone should pay off their debt first or save instead, and every week I pretty much say the same thing: Go with whichever one makes you feel better. I often wonder afterwards, though, which side – indeed – IS the easiest to accomplish? Is it debt cuz you hate it so much and there’s an absolute number attached to it? Or is it savings cuz having tons of money in the bank is sexy as hell??
- Dealing With Debt: Seven Steps to Debt Busting (Busting): This article is awesome and should win because in it I share the seven ‘easy’ debt management steps that helped us pay off $157,000 worth of debt in three years. These are a combination between changing habits, learning new competencies, and changing our attitudes.
Tour de France Daily Recap
The Tour de France in real life continues today with Stage 7, a flat stage taking the riders 128 miles from Montpellier to Albi. I’ll be sure to bring an update on the race results once it finishes in the Sprints later tonight. Thanks!
***Photo courtesy of http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5f/WPC_2012f_Andr%C3%A9_Greipel_3.jpg