A Vote for Responsible Personal Finance

by David Sung

Debt in America Infographic Cash Store Infographic - Debt in America - A Vote for Responsible Personal Finance[/caption] With millions of Americans about to vote for the next president of the United States, it stands to reason that topics like the national debt and personal finance are two of the top concerns in many American households. The reality is many people have successfully managed their debt. It takes time, diligent planning and above all, a commitment by all financial contributors to make it happen.

There is no shortage of financial experts and resources to choose from. However, we want to highlight three individual voices that know the debt struggle and, in some ways, are still living it. By reading about their experiences, we hope everyone can pick up a few tips on managing debt and their finances. Here are their stories:

The Centsible Life

“It’s a long road, but it didn’t take us overnight to accrue our debt, and our debt won’t disappear overnight either.” – Kelly Whalen

Kelly Whalen is a supermom and champion supporter of financial freedom. She’s been voicing her thoughts on the Internet since 1997 and has turned her blog into a business within the past 3 years. But it all started with a little debt.

The Centsible Life is the channel Kelly created to share the advice that helped her family take control of their debt situation. While the journey is not over, she has positioned herself as not only a brain-trust for smart financial decisions but as an attractive resource for media outlets like TLC, CNN Money, Kiplinger, and Woman’s Day.

In addition to personal finance tips, Kelly and her team of writers provide product reviews and solutions that cater to her growing audience. Her other business ventures also include a small consulting firm and a social media marketing agency. Kelly’s success is proof that there is a way out of debt and the solution is sometimes finding what you love to do and making it work for you.

See Debt Run

Michelle and Jefferson are your typical family living in Middle America. With three kids, full time jobs and more than $21,000 in debt, they knew something had to change. Instead of continuing to haphazardly combat debt and unexpected expenses, the couple constructed a plan of action that would allow them to save, pay their debts and live comfortably. Their blog, See Debt Run, chronicles their highs and lows with the tips that have helped them over their debt hurdles.

With both contributing to the content of the blog, their personal finance ideologies often differ from each other but the goal is the same: to live debt free. So far, what the couple is doing is working. At the beginning of the year, the couple had $21, 952 in debt. They have since lowered their debt to $8,628* with a total payoff date set for March 2013. Now that’s progress.

If you’re looking for inspiration to jumpstart your family’s personal finance goals, take a look at the site which is updated weekly.

Young Adult Money

Young adults are quickly figuring out that the days of no financial responsibility are fading away. This is especially true for those who have found themselves with a $30,000+ degree, a dwindling grace period for loan repayments, and no way to pay it back with a job that matches their degree. In fact, a staggering 37.8 percent of recent graduates aren’t working in a field that uses their degree.  In a recent report from the Institute for College Access and Success, 2011 graduates are ladled with an average of $26,600 in student debt.

David, author of the blog Young Adult Money, is one of those recent graduates. As a newlywed and new homeowner, he’s working optimistically to balance what he wants with his student debt obligations.

He is no stranger to balancing budgets as an accountant. But when it comes to personal implementation, he knows that there’s a lot more to it than credits and debts. For those in their 20’s and 30’s, David has practical knowledge of how to move forward with debt and a smart financial plan. His blog offers insight on topics that affect financial decisions from employment to saving to home ownership.

If you’re entering the adult world or you’re already there, take a look at his story to start down your own path of living debt free.  

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