Student loan debt, minimalism, needs and wants, debit vs. credit and red flag loans.

1. What is the Future of Student Loan Debt

Stefanie O’Connell — Considering student loan debt far surpasses credit card debt — $1.2 trillion versus $703 billion, it deserves the attention it’s receiving. Adam says one main reason this debt exists is kids were always told to go to school and earn a degree. It’s been ingrained in all of us. And the next step is, if you can’t afford college, take out loans.

But no one educated kids and young adults on borrowing money. As Adam says: “And yet they’re signing up for decades of debt repayment.” He believes the future holds a smarter generation of kids, as long as their parents teach them financial responsibility. He provides five ways you can “prepare your kids for the financial future that awaits them.”

 2. 5 Reasons to Become a Minimalist

Frugal Rules — Robin loves her minimalist lifestyle. She says it “enhances” her life in many ways and wants to share its attributes. First, minimalism is not just about decluttering. It’s a big part, but it goes beyond that. This lifestyle actually saves you money.

As you sift through the things you don’t really need, like closets brimming with shoes and clothes, or a garage or attic bulging with stuff, you realize you don’t require so much space. This provides you with an opportunity to downsize, as she did. Now she has no mortgage. Another interesting reason is: “To Get More of Your Time Back.”  After all, time is money.

3. Differences Between Needs and Wants (Luxuries) and How to Draw the Line

Money Crashers — Amy breaks down the basic needs or “necessities” and the luxuries people desire. These luxuries are usually the reason we become burdened by debt. In her “need” group she lists three categories: food, housing and health.

Under luxuries she discusses “Goods and Status.” People buy these goods because they “show off their social status.” I also think some people buy them to hide their social status. A person who drives a new BMW and makes $30,000 a year is probably falsely enhancing their image or status. I won’t give away her conclusion. Also, read this blog on the  misplaced priorities of credit card customers.

4. Debit Card vs. Credit Card — Which is Better?

cashmoneylife — Ryan says there’s an “age old debate in the financial community” regarding credit card use versus debit card. With that in mind, he starts off by listing the differences between the two cards. The major difference is your debit card is connected to your checking account.

He then lists their benefits and downsides. A debit card benefit is “access to cash.” A credit card benefit is rewards. He lists debit card fraud as a downside and increased spending as a downside for credit cards. His last section: “But Which Do You Use, Debit or Credit?” is very interesting. You may be surprised by his answer. After you finish, read this post on why your credit card is not your friend.

5. How to Spot a Loan That Can Bring You Down: 6 Red Flags

Money Talks News: This blog starts off with a thought-provoking premise: “Risky loans — deals that can ruin financial lives — didn’t disappear with the recession.” It’s true. Scammers never sleep. And although these loans aren’t illegal, (for the most part) they are financial killers.

Red flag number four is a loan too many people walk wide-eyed into: “Super-long loans.” With these loans, you can suddenly afford the monthly payment for that luxury SUV or sports sedan. Maybe, but how much money are you wasting on interest? Check out the other five red flags before you take out another loan.

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Brian Bienkowski

Brian Bienkowski


Bienkowski is a contributing writer and is the face of's 'By the Numbers' videos.

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Article last modified on November 22, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Around the Web: Risky Loans - AMP.