More Posts by Frugal Portland

The Student Loan Interest Rate Doubled: Now What?

So, it happened. July 1st was the deadline. And now, regardless of fault, the student loan interest rate doubled. It used to be 3.4% (but who had that?) and now it’s 6.8%. What do we do now? Do we even know what that means? I’d argue that we don’t really know what that will mean. […]

What Does Consumer Confidence Mean?

I was listening to a story the other day on my local NPR affiliate (yes, I’m one of those) and I heard something completely astonishing. The story itself wasn’t so surprising. Consumer confidence is at a five-year high. But what they said next completely blew my mind. The article said that consumer spending makes up […]

Get Out of the Debt Mentality

Credit cards. Student loans. Store credit cards. Dental credit cards. Car loans. First mortgages. Second mortgages. Lines of credit.¬† Zero percent financing. We’re borrowing for everything!   How Debt Keeps us Constantly Broke We are like crows, in a sense. Hey, look at that shiny thing, we think. And we want it. For major purchases, […]

The Funny Thing About Time

As we head into the summer, I can’t help but recall being a child. It took years to get through the last nice days of the school year. And then freedom! Somehow the period between June and September was one endless stream of sunshine. The moment we’d been waiting for the entire time we were […]

7 Practical Tips on How to Deal with Student Loan Debt

According to the nonprofit American Student Assistance, there are approximately 37 million people with student loans in the United States today, and the average balance is about $24,000. Friends, this is not good debt. And Congress would like to double the student loan interest rate on federal student loans, starting in July. The terms on […]

The Most Important Piece of Financial Advice for College Graduates

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I would tell someone who is graduating college. What advice I’d give. What stories I would tell. I could fill a book with nuggets of wisdom I’ve picked up in the nine years I’ve been out of college (first, where on earth did I put my gosh darn […]

Rethinking Money Goals

“I’m never going to be rich,” my future brother-in-law said, “I’m too lazy.” We were sitting on a blanket, enjoying a picnic on an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon in May. He continued, “I like doing things like this way more than I like having money, so I’m not going to get myself into a situation […]

How Do You Know When It’s a Good Time to Start Investing?

When you first start your financial journey, you learn pretty quickly that there are many steps between the starting line (college graduation) and the finish line (retirement without poverty). And yet, there are a ton of moving pieces. You have to pay to live somewhere, you have to start paying those student loans back, you […]

How to Pay Off Student Loans Before Going Gray

Last week, I got a letter in the mail from ACS. It said, “Congratulations! Our records indicate that you have successfully paid off your student loan.” I was thrilled, to be sure, but on the other hand, I’m 31 years old. I felt like I should have paid this off years ago. I hardly resemble […]

The Value of the Little Things: 7 Ways To Make Yourself Happy

I love Mondays. No, no, don’t throw things at me. It’s not the work day that I love. It’s a little more embarrassing than that. It’s The Bachelor. You know, the one on ABC. It’s a guilty pleasure, for sure. But there is serious pleasure there. Every Monday, my close friend teaches a class, then […]

How to Give a Great Conference Presentation

I showed my boss my slides. He gave me a few pointers, told me to add a few things, then told me I’d be great. “There’s just one piece of advice I want to give you,” he said. “It’s the only advice that matters.” “I’m listening,” I responded. “Remember, you’re the expert. Nobody knows more […]