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

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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

Debts of our Lives (Part 2): Paying off $130K debt in 6 months was good for our marriage

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Going into our marriage, we were a great set up for divorce… statistically speaking anyway. It’s common knowledge that the number one reason for divorce in America is money issues. We had accrued more than $800K in debt coming into the marriage. While we both knew how much combined debt we had, there was no clear pre-marital conversation on how we would address it once we said “I do”. In Part 1 of this post, we talked about realizing that we hadn’t made a solid plan to pay off our debt or save money.  A few months later, it was time to go Janet Jackson mode and take “controoool”! (Get those shoulders movin’!)

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Like sands through the hourglass, so are the debts of our lives… (Part 1)

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It was April 2014, about five months after our wedding, and we were ready to call it QUITS! Oh… Not with each other, with our financial advisor and our life insurance agent. They were very nice people, but we were frustrated about not having a plan of attack for our excessive student loan debt and crazy high life and disability insurance payments.

The advice we were getting was not specific to our new situation. Being married is financially different than being single. It’s a two income household now, but it was like our money wasn’t working to our benefit. We weren’t saving or investing as aggressively as we knew we could, and our student loan debt definitely was not decreasing as quickly as we wanted. We didn’t have a plan! Read the rest of this entry

Darko Review: Dave Ramsey’s EveryDollar budgeting system

Our first video! We created a quick tutorial and review of Dave Ramsey’s EveryDollar budgeting system. This tool is designed to help you plan how to spend your money to your best benefit. If you’ve ever wondered where you spent most of your money at the end of the month, EveryDollar just might be the tool for you! Take a look and tell us what you think! Thanks for watching!

Married “two” medicine

DSC08121We were finally catching up on season 5 of The Walking Dead when my (Renée’s) phone rings. “ER” pops up on my caller ID.  “Ugh! Why are they calling  me now?!?” The physician assistant tells me the story of a woman having a miscarriage. I decide that I need to go in.  Nothing unusual about our quality time being interrupted by work.

Half jokingly, “Wanna come with me?” I ask Nii. It’s his day off and no doctor wants to be in the hospital on their day off. Surprisingly, he says,”Ok, I’ll go with you. But, I’m going straight to the lounge. I don’t want anybody stopping me in the ER!” So, we leave the comfort of our home and head in… together.

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How we accrued over $800K in debt in 8 years!

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“…’til student loan debt do us part.”


“GOOD DEBT” TRAP

Ever heard of “good debt”? You know… good debt! Student loans, mortgage, car… that good debt. The kind that “builds up your credit.”  As the great Bob Marley said, “Don’t let them fool ya! Or even try to school ya!” There is no such thing as good debt. What is so good about owing anybody money? Nothing! Debt is bad. Period! Read the rest of this entry

Meet Nii and Renée… Team Darko!

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We are newly married doctors in debt up to our ears! We are NOT the Joneses. In fact, we might be opposite the Joneses.  We each grew up without much in pretty rough neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY, and Irvington. NJ. You’d think that since we didn’t have everything we wanted growing up that we’d go crazy and get anything and everything we want as adults – especially two doctors! However… Read the rest of this entry