We are very excited to welcome our baby boy into the world, into our lives, and into our hearts! Having been married for four years, we are more than emotionally ready to extend our family beyond husband and wife. Being emotionally ready to have a baby is one thing; being financially ready is another! Read the rest of this entry
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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’!)
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