Deciphering Debt

Total U.S. consumer debt was $11.65 trillion at the end of Q1 2014, up 3.7 percent from the previous year, according to the New York Federal Reserve. Let’s put this number in perspective: Just 40 years ago, the total amount of all U.S. debt—including government, business and consumer obligations—was only $2.2 trillion. It has become normal for Americans to start building debt portfolios as soon as they turn 18, when they can start applying for credit cards. What happens when these people lose their jobs or suffer some other financial hardship? Sometimes, it forces them to choose which bills get left unpaid. When default is imminent, prioritizing your debt can mitigate the damage to your credit history.

Lower Priority – Medical Bills

An analysis by NerdWallet Health found 20 percent of all American adults ages 19-64 experienced economic hardship due to medical bills last year. The study also found that 60 percent of bankruptcies in 2013 were due to medical expenses.

Medical bills are one-time invoices that you either pay or you don’t. They only appear on your credit report when collections status is reached. Once this happens, the damage to your FICO score is done. Paying off the debt will not improve your credit, as it does nothing to move the meter on any of the five factors that influence credit scores.

The good news is that collections accounts drop off your credit report seven years after the day the account initially went delinquent. If this doesn’t happen automatically, simply write the three major credit bureaus via certified mail with documentation showing the account should be deleted.

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Inc and Fast Company Magazine Bundle for $8.99

by Sean Bryant on July 30, 2014

Inc Fast Company MagazineToday only you can get up to a four year subscription to both Inc and Fast Company Magazines for just $8.99 per year.  Use coupon code OneSmartDollar at checkout.  This deal is good for both new and renewal subscriptions and can also be given as a gift.

Subscribe to Inc and Fast Company Magazines

This deal will expire at 11:59 EST on July 30, 2014

About INC

INC helps you run your small business. Each issue features in-depth articles on getting financial backing, managing your money, important laws that affect you, how-to deal with taxes, and tips on managing people.
About Fast Company
Fast Company Magazine is known as the hip guide to the business revolution, featuring the latest business news and trends, cutting-edge entrepreneurs and the very fastest growing companies.
Not interested in either of these magazines?  You can use coupon code OneSmartDollar and save 20% off other magazine titles.


Video Conferencing as a Global Video Tool

by Sean Bryant on July 29, 2014


One hundred and fifty years ago, the fastest means of travel was a steam powered train locomotive and the quickest means a person could communicate over great distances was through a telegraph. Now, traveling across an ocean or continent is a matter of hours instead of days, and anyone can dial a number and instantly talk with someone thousands of miles away.  A few strokes on a keyboard and a button press can instantly send messages continents away, and with a single camera families and friends countries apart can talk face-to-face with nothing but a screen between them.

The advances in transportation and communication in the past century and a half have revolutionized the way humanity interacts with one another. No longer are humans a collection of disparate groups divided by vast oceans and land as globalization continues to march forward. There are still plenty of obstacles before societies can come together, yet thanks to the wonders of technology and the Internet, we’re more connected than ever before.  As time continues to progress, that interconnection and melding of cultures, ethnicities, and ideas will continue to advance. Tools like video conferencing have been a major player in creating this environment of instant communication and boundary-defying relationships. It’s also a tool that your business can easily put to use as a means to interview potential employees from around the globe, especially since it’s incredibly easy to get started with a cloud based conference service provider like Blue Jeans.

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Why Being Unhappy Makes You Spend More Money

by Melanie Lockert on July 28, 2014

Spend More Money

Life is a crazy roller coaster. One day you can be flying high, the next you may be down in the dumps. Everyone experiences moments where things just aren’t right. It could be a symptom of general malaise, or something more serious. At different times in our life, it’s common to experience stress and bouts of unhappiness. During these difficult times, people tend to spend more money. We all have different spending triggers, but unhappiness is a big one for most people. Here are reasons why being unhappy makes you spend more money (and how you can work through it).

You Just Don’t Care

When you are unhappy, you are more likely to feel detached from your goals. I have often had a destructive nonchalance that hits me when I’m feeling down. I just don’t care about money, budgeting, tracking expenses or anything. It seems like work, and all I want to do is feel better. For me that means going out to eat and indulging in convenience. It’s important to take care of yourself if you are unhappy, but also realize that there are ways to overcome it and not throw all rules out the window in your quest for happiness.

Antidote: Think about how you will feel about spending frivolously after your unhappiness subsides. I know it’s hard to think ahead when everything feels so hard in the moment, but don’t lose sight of your goals. Find frugal alternatives to self-care like meditation, baths, yoga, hiking, running, biking, and chatting with friends.

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DiscountMags Multi-Year Magazine Sale

by Sean Bryant on July 27, 2014


This weekend only DiscountMags is running a multi-year magazine sale. The longer of a subscription you purchase the cheaper the per year rate will be. They have a bunch of magazine titles including Self, Entrepreneur, OK! and more.

This promotion will expire at 11:59 pm EST on July 27, 2014.

Lifestyle Category

  • Maxim (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $6.99, 3yrs: $9.99, 4yrs: $12.50)
  • GQ (1yrs: $4.99, 2yrs: $8.99, 3yrs: $13.50)
  • Glamour (1yrs: $4.99, 2yrs: $8.99, 3yrs: $13.50, 4yrs: $17.99)
  • Self (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50, 3yrs: $12.50)
  • Cosmopolitan (2yrs: $8.99)
  • Elle (2yrs: $6.99)
  • Lucky (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50)
  • Esquire (1yrs: $4.99, 2yrs: $8.99, 3yrs: $13.50)
  • Marie Claire (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50, 3yrs: $12.50)
  • Allure (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50, 3yrs: $12.50)
  • Woman’s Day (2yrs: $7.99)
  • Seventeen (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50, 3yrs: $12.50)
  • Vogue (1yrs: $8.99, 2yrs: $13.50, 3yrs: $19.99)
  • Garden & Gun (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50)
  • Redbook (1yrs: $4.99, 2yrs: $8.99)
  • Teen Vogue (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50, 3yrs: $12.50)
  • Harper’s Bazaar (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50, 3yrs: $12.50)
  • Details (1yrs: $4.99, 2yrs: $8.99, 3yrs: $13.50)
  • Oxygen (1yrs: $14.99, 2yrs: $19.99)
  • Complex (1yrs: $3.50, 2yrs: $6.75, 3yrs: $10.00)

Tech Category

Home Category

Fitness Category

Cooking Category

Sports Category

  • Golf Digest (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50, 3yrs: $12.50)
  • Slam (1yrs: $9.99, 2yrs: $17.99)
  • Tennis (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50, 3yrs: $12.50, 4yrs: $16.50)
  • Baseball Digest (1yrs: $9.99, 2yrs: $17.99, 3yrs: $24.99)
  • Snowboard (1yrs: $4.50, 2yrs: $8.50, 3yrs: $12.50)

Gossip Category

  • Us Weekly (1yrs: $18.99, 2yrs: $33.99, 3yrs: $44.99)
  • OK! (1yrs: $12.99, 2yrs: $20.00, 3yrs: $24.99)

Business Category

Family & Kids Category

Travel Category

News & Local Category

Photo Category

Auto Category


Preparing for an Extended Trip Around the World

July 24, 2014

There are many people who would love to take an extended vacation, or even move overseas for a time, but the logistics of planning the trip are too overwhelming. In addition to everything else, there is the little problem of what to do with your belongings. Some of them can go with you, but moving […]

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Everything You Need to Know About Trend Investing: 5 Basics for New Investors

July 21, 2014
Trend Investing

When it comes to investing, there are never “sure things.” Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably engaged in illegal activities, and you want to get as far away as possible, as soon as possible. The fact that you can never guarantee a return on an investment shouldn’t keep you from investing altogether, though. While […]

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