Last weekend, Ally Bank attended FinCon12, the second annual gathering of personal finance bloggers organized by Philip Taylor of PT Money. Ally Bank was proud to be the Platinum Sponsor of the conference, which featured many popular personal finance bloggers, including J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly, Andrew Schrage of Money Crashers and columnist Liz Weston.
We asked you, the Ally community, what questions you had for your favorite personal finance bloggers, and then interviewed them at the conference.
Ally fan Judy wondered if paying off a mortgage early should be a primary goal, or if any extra savings should go elsewhere.
Blogger Debbie Dragon, who has written for sites such as Wise Bread, told us that while paying off your mortgage early is always a noble endeavor, tackling high-interest debt should be your first order of duty. “If you have really high interest rates on your credit cards, you should be paying those off before you focus on paying off your mortgage early,” she told us. “Really, anything with very high interest should be paid first.”
Another fan, Brent, asked whether it’s better to put savings into CDs, or if stocks or money markets are better savings options.
Rob Bennett of A Rich Life answered Brent’s question: “I would recommend certificates of deposit,” Bennett said, adding that he felt they were currently the safest option. “Protect the money now. You’ll have it available a couple years from now. That, in my opinion, is the much better route.”
Our Facebook fan Demetra asked what to do when a relative or friend asks to borrow money.
Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt said not to give money if you can’t afford to – but if you can afford it, consider simply gifting it. “We never lend friends or family money,” he said. “If someone is in a position where they need help, give them the money. I’ve heard of very few situations where loaning money to family or friends has ever worked out well. With no expectations to pay it back, I think you’ll feel much freer in the long run.”
What do you think of the bloggers’ advice? What’s your take on loaning money to friends or family members?