This holiday season, we spend money on ourselves and others and then regret it. Here’s how not to.
Dvorkin on Debt
Expert debt advice and money tips for the real world
Not sure what to think about the latest trending financial news? Just ask Debt.com founder and CPA Howard Dvorkin!Where you get your financial advice matters! Asking your favorite search engine works for many things, but search results aren’t exactly the best place for qualified advice. When it comes to finance, relying on anecdotal situations and personal money tips can be a recipe for disaster. That’s why Debt.com created Dvorkin on Debt. Each week, our founder Howard Dvorkin focuses on a trending financial topic and offers his advice. He explains how to avoid common money traps, get out of debt, achieve financial stability and built better credit. It’s practical financial advice about today’s hottest financial topics that you can trust because it comes from a certified expert. And remember, if you have a specific question that you’d like answered, Howard also answers weekly Ask the Expert questions. Just ask your question, give us some juicy details to provide some backstory and Howard could answer your question next!
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More about Debt.com Founder, Howard Dvorkin, CPA
Howard Dvorkin, CPA, is a wealth of financial knowledge. He built a financial empire out of nothing. He started one of the largest credit counseling firms out of an office roughly the size of a closet. He’s helped thousands of people get out of debt. And he’s even written two books:
This is Howard’s first book, written in 2010 during the recovery after the Great Recession. Howard saw that the crash had left millions of Americans financial vulnerable. Debts from medical bills and credit cards to upside down mortgages had wreaked havoc with consumer credit scores. This book helps you work your way out of debt and achieve the credit you always wanted.
Howard published a follow up to Credit Hell in 2013. This new book focuses on energizing the reader to achieve lasting financial stability. If Credit Hell is a financial cure, Power Up is preventative medicine. It teaches you that with the right financial strategy and mindset, you can maintain a healthy financial life despite what life throws your way.
Our 10 Favorite Quotes from Howard’s Books
- Howard explains after the crash how lenders will react to financial reforms… “You see, the banks and other lenders won’t be able to accumulate as much profit as they did before, because the industry will have to be more transparent. So, in the future, they will probably spend an inordinate amount of time and brainpower on discovering new and wildly creative methods, probably devious, to extract more money from their customers.”
- Howard’s thoughts on personal clichés… “Phrases like live for today, tomorrow may never come; live every day like it’s your last make great movie lines, but they aren’t realistic. At a primal level, I think we would all like to live every day like it’s out last, but that’s probably not a good idea, at least in the way that many people comprehend those words.”
- Where Howard believes that true value exists… “Place value in the people around you and yourself, because when opulence disappears, the only things left are people. The values of a family manifest themselves in the use of teamwork; it’s the job of picking one another up, supporting one another through the good times and the bad.”
- Howard explains the grift of cash-back credit cards… “It’s brilliant. Spend a bunch of money that you probably don’t have and we’ll give a small fraction of that money back. It’s a deal that you can’t afford not to take – even if you can’t afford it.”
- On the concept of giving credit cards to teens… “For the record, I am not a fan of handing out credit cards to children, regardless of their age. Children should be taught the lesson of saving, not spending.”
- Howard explains why should educate yourself instead of just relying on the advice of others… “You be the boss. As I’ve said before, you are usually on your own when making choices regarding your money. There will be other professionals who say they are there to guide and assist you, and in all fairness, they could be. But in the end if something goes wrong it will be your money lost, not theirs.
- An example of how experts like Howard negotiate… “I let the vendor negotiate against himself to get the price I was comfortable paying. I initially threw out a low price… He lowered his price three times. I never countered any of his price reductions until we got to a price that I felt was reasonable. Then I slammed in another piece of merchandise to finish off the deal in my favor. If I wasn’t comfortable or satisfied with the price, I would have never spent the money. I could have easily walked away from the deal if I chose to.”
- Howard’s thoughts on how friends can help with finances… “Friends can help you regain your financial independence, not by lending you money but by offering support and understanding as you discover your financial power.”
- Howard compares the feeling of making purchases in cash versus credit… “If you paid cash for everything then you would understand and appreciate the value of money. Think about what it would take to save $1,000 for an item you really want. A lot of time and effort would be invested before you could finally purchase it. The purchase would feel like an accomplishment. It doesn’t feel that way with a credit card. You don’t achieve a sense of satisfaction; there is no triumph. There is the instant gratification and then the feeling of sheer doom when you receive the credit card bill.”
- Wisdom from Howard on what to do if you fall behind on loan payments… “As I’ve stated before, educate yourself; be a smart consumer… Talk to your lender and try, even if you are fed up, to be respectful. Losing your temper won’t help; bad behavior usually begets bad behavior, and it’s better to keep on the good side of your lender while you are struggling through this calamity.”