You Can Help Create Generational Financial Literacy
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
4d ago
Knowledge may be power, but it isn’t money.  When you read think pieces about how the millions of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck despite working at least 40 hours per week are struggling financially because they are ignorant, your first instinct is to tell those journalists to tell you to your face that you are ignorant.  Then you remember that the authors of such content are struggling freelancers just like you, that they are juggling so many responsibilities that they don’t have time to consult a thesaurus and think through the connotations of all the words that the thesau ..read more
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We Are All ALICE
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
4d ago
Economists say that the economy is doing fine, but you are flat broke, and so is everyone you know.  Finally, there is a name for people in our situation.  We are ALICE, which stands for asset-limited, income-constrained, and employed.  In other words, we work day and night, but we have little to show for it; all the money goes to rent and to paying the minimum payments on our debts.  We would love to practice the debt avalanche method or put a portion of every paycheck into savings so that we could eventually qualify for a mortgage, but in practice, we are lucky if we can ..read more
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Florida Needs Dutch Style Mortgages
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
1w ago
Excitement has always been easy to find in Florida, but financial stability never has.  Florida is where you go to build a glamorous mansion and show it off on MTV Cribs, only to have a hurricane reduce your house to rubble by the time the episode airs.  It only makes sense that the most bone chilling scene in The Big Short took place in South Florida.  Even before homeowners’ insurance became prohibitively expensive, Florida has always been a destination for risk seekers, but now, even the most adventuresome Floridians are starting to understand that the party is over.  Fl ..read more
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Beware of Doom Spending
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
2w ago
Yes, the root cause of our financial problems is that everything is too expensive, especially unavoidable purchases like groceries, gasoline, and rent.  It is also true that necessities are so expensive that salaried employees are now starting to feel the precariousness of their financial situation and getting a taste of what freelancers and hourly paid workers have always felt.  If people with steady employment want to understand why they feel broke even though economists say that the economy is doing well, they should look in the mirror.  If you have ever bought an airline tic ..read more
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On the Financial Struggles of Parents
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
3w ago
Everyone is struggling financially these days, but the parents of minor children feel the strain worst of all.  If the key to financial wellbeing is to earn more and spend less, trying to do either of those while you have a minor child living at home is like trying to achieve the same task with one hand tied behind your back.  Every person has the same number of hours in a day, but when you are a parent, your time does not belong exclusively to you.  Cutting back on your spending involves extraordinary time management; you must plan ahead to avoid spending on ready made meals or ..read more
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The Four Elements of Home Mortgage Availability
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
3w ago
The bad news is that it is well nigh impossible to qualify for a home mortgage unless you are rich.  Families with incomes just above $100,000 can barely pay their monthly bills, much less save any money to put toward a down payment.  The slightly more encouraging news is that your home mortgage is not just one financial obligation but four, even though it gets bundled together in one monthly payment.  Pessimists will quickly point out that all of these obligations are unaffordable unless you are already rich, and that any of them is less expensive if you already have the means ..read more
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New Tax Rules Could Make Homeownership More Affordable
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
3w ago
Good news about personal finances is hard to find these days, especially when it comes to homeownership.  Conventional wisdom has settled on the thesis that buying a house, if you have never owned one before, is beyond your greatest ambitions; it is the previous generation’s American dream, and in an era where households with six-figure incomes live paycheck to paycheck if they are lucky, it has gone the way of the paper dinner napkin.  Many factors, which fluctuate constantly, affect how affordable home mortgage loans are.  These include society-wide trends, such as federally d ..read more
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Floridians’ Finances Go From Bad to Worse As Federal Internet Subsidy Ends
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
1M ago
Say what you will about the Internet sapping people’s productivity and bringing out the worst in everyone, but if people’s devices were to suddenly stop functioning, things would get a lot worse before they got better.  Yes, it’s annoying when old people go on Facebook to share their reactionary views and even more annoying when they call you in the middle of your workday to ask if you received the email forward they sent you about the dangers of a certain fruit or vegetable that is ubiquitous in your diet.  It is even worse when young people take to the Internet to shout loudly abou ..read more
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How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
1M ago
Your credit card statement is probably so painful to look at that you do not even read it carefully.  You glance at the minimum payment and the total outstanding balance.  Your credit card statement might tell you how long it will take you to pay off your balance if you keep making payments and don’t make any additional purchases, but you don’t want to think about it.  It might also tell you how much more quickly you could pay it off if you added ten or twenty dollars to the principal each month, but you know you cannot afford it.  If you read your credit card statement car ..read more
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Is Credit Card Debt Forgiveness Right for You?
Nowack & Olson PLLC | Bankruptcy Law Blog
by Jay Butchko
1M ago
American consumers have a total of more than a trillion dollars in credit card debt, and a lot of it is yours.  Credit card debt is a big part of the reason that most households are living paycheck to paycheck, even the ones with an annual income of more than $100,000.  Debt payments, including minimum payments on credit cards, are taking up a substantial portion of consumers’ paychecks.  Therefore, it can come as a relief that there is even such a thing as credit card debt forgiveness.  Is it really possible to make some of your credit card debt disappear just by asking ni ..read more
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