Category Archives: debt

5 Reasons we’ll never lease again!

Photo from Consumer Reports

It’s about that time! Our car lease is finally coming to an end, and we need to find a new vehicle. Renée had leased a car back in 2011 before we were married. So, when her lease came to an end three years ago, we were faced with the decision to either buy with cash, finance, or lease a car. Well, that May we decided to lease again, a decision we deeply regretted by October when we realized that we no longer wanted to live in debt. Read the rest of this entry

Our year of failure was a success!

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Happy 2017! We are super excited to share this update with our readers! Last New Year, we themed 2016, the year of failure. You might be asking, “Why would anyone theme an upcoming year “a year of failure”?”  Well… keep reading!

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You surprised me with a new car… Was that in the budget?

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Renée was recently reminiscing of when Nii surprised her with her first smartphone in 2011 while still dating. “While I appreciated the gesture, my phone bill shot up because, now, I had a data plan.”  Renée’s budget is something Nii did not consider with his surprise. The surprise did not include Nii paying the monthly bill, and Renée’s income did Read the rest of this entry

Don’t swipe up! Don’t swipe down! 4 reasons we carry cash

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You’ve probably heard King Bach’s rule “don’t swipe left, don’t swipe right” when looking at pictures on someone else’s cell phone. Well, in the Darko household, we have a rule… don’t swipe up, don’t swipe down! Instead of using a debit or credit card, for many of our purchases, we use cash . Here’s 4 reasons we carry cash: Read the rest of this entry

3 month challenge to build a $1000 starter emergency fund

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The rain was blinding. Nii insisted we leave the hospital in the storm rather than wait for it to ease up. We had taken two cars to work. Renée backed out of her parking space and right into a hydrant. In five minutes, we went from not having a care in the world to needing a car repair of about $1000. Luckily, we had started an emergency fund a few months earlier. We paid cash, incurred no debt, and our car insurance premium didn’t increase. If this happened to you, would you have the cash or would you have to use your credit card? Read the rest of this entry

Greetings from Ghana: Why we want to be debt free!

Why do you want to be debt free? Coming to you from our medical mission trip in Accra, Ghana, we talk about why we are striving to become financially free. For some of you, it means working for yourself, being able to travel freely, or staying home with your kids. We’d love to hear what your “why” is in the comments. Thanks for keeping up!

The Darkos’ Top 5 Money Podcasts!

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Here at Team Darko, we’ve had some very interesting lessons to learn over the past year. Having two MBAs in the household, we were knowledgeable about business finance, but we still had a lot to learn about personal finance. We got the message about being frugal and saving money growing up. But, what about making our money work for us? Stocks, bonds, and other various vehicles to grow our money… We have a lot to learn about those. Read the rest of this entry

9 easy steps to the Darko debt payoff schedule

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Have you ever felt the need to cut back on the amount of debt you have? Have you ever felt annoyed when debt collectors call you? Have you ever felt guilty about not opening your mail because you hate seeing how much you owe? Have ever used one credit card to pay off another credit card debt? Some of you might recognize this as the CAGE questionnaire used for alcoholism screening. Why use this questionnaire to describe problems with debt? Read the rest of this entry

Nii’s accidental landlord nightmare! (With pictures…)

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In the last post, I described how I bought a sinking house in Atlanta despite having six-figure debt, a small salary, and no plans to stay in the house past five years. By the time I realized I needed to sell my house, the housing market crash was in full effect and my house was worth 60% of my current mortgage. My biggest problem was that I was leaving for Miami for one more year of training. Paying rent in a place as expensive as Miami and paying my mortgage would have easily eaten up over 98% of my paycheck each month. Read the rest of this entry

Nii bought a house and it sank!

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It was 2006 and anyone, I mean ANYONE, could get just about any house they wanted.  No money down, bad credit. You made $30K a year and you wanted a $450K house; you got it! Subprime lending was at it’s prime! After med school I was off to Atlanta, GA, to start my general surgery residency program. After all of those years in school, I felt like the late Johnny Kemp. “Just got paid! Friday night!”  Not a whole lot of money, but I was getting paid and not living on my student loan checks anymore. Maybe it was the feeling of “I have finally arrived” or maybe I just needed to feel like a full fledged adult… Whatever the reason, I was ready to cash in those delayed gratification checks. And I had the perfect timing! I found myself smack dab in the center of the housing boom. Read the rest of this entry