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Don't get duped

December 27th, 2006 at 04:07 pm

I noticed...after too long... that I was being charged $41 a month for credit protection on a Citicard that I'm trying to pay off. And the minimum payment is almost $145 and the penalty is about $45 of that total minimum payment. So- on $4800 worth of incurred debt (including all of the penalties), I'm only paying about $60 towards the principal! I didn't ever ask for the credit protection- it's like insurance on your own debt. Ha!

I have petitioned to have all of the months I payed for the credit protection and all of the penalties incurred from it to be credited to my account. I bet that this issue won't be resolved for months!

What a mess...

On Life Insurance- the dirty words

September 9th, 2006 at 07:27 am

I am licensed in Colorado to sell life insurance. Shoot me now- lol Let me also say that- I have not sold any insurance as of yet.

All I have to say, and you may have heard already: Buy Term and invest your savings. Term insurance is cheaper and has no cash value. Anything else is a rip off; "Cash value" is just a ploy just as posting the word "sale" over a retail display entices customers. We've wired our brains to automatically think that "sale" means a "sale" and "cash value" is actually "cash value". Cash value is what they offer you to cut their losses; when does chosing between ways to get back *your* money make consumer sense. "You can have the coverage, *or* the "cash (trash) value".

Sorry- Just a rant because we all deserve the right type of protection and deserve to keep as much of our hard earned money as possible.

http://www.gardenstatelife.com/howmuch.jsp

Giving $$ real value

August 23rd, 2006 at 07:51 am

I think the Devil played a cruel trick on us the day he gave us "credit", or abstract money that you'll pay dearly for in the future.

We know in our mind that we have access to money through credit, but fail to register ownership of spending unless we use tangable cash money.

Credit is a financial anesthetic that tricks our brain into spending our paychecks years into the future.

Electronic funds are almost as bad. As long as we can't physically hold and surrender the money- it does not trigger caution or responsible consumerism.

Cash is the way to go to stay on financial track. But, it seems to be the passe trend for today's consumer.

*********************

For me, this is my ultimate goal. I will gradually develop my own technique for transitioning back to the dinosaur practice of handling/managing cash. I owe it to Jasmin, my child, not to the credit companies.

U.F.Os ~ Personal Content

August 21st, 2006 at 06:06 am

Okay, I swear I'm as cautious of our finances as possible but sometimes UFOs come from nowhere. "Unfortunate Financial Occurances" should be planned for, yes, but I'm still in denial that I ever should have happened in the first place- planned or not.

Since I've been staying home with Jasmin, the money has be tight- but we were doing fine for about 7 months. Come on- my DH is a teacher, I'm sure you can imagine. LOL

Anyways, we went back to visit our family for the first time in two years because our baby niece was born. My initial impression was that "visiting family" equals "a frugal getaway". I spent a total of $40 during two weeks of "vacation".

My DH went bonkers! As though just because we were back in Chicago, we had our original incomes back. He went over his minutes on the cell phone (costing an extra $100) and overwithdrew the bank ($200). This is personal, please hold your criticism.

You remember we were on vacation, right? So we couldn't fix our bank problems for 10x days out. Over that ten day span we were charged $500 in bank fees, my credit card percentage went up 4% and we had to scrounge for the rest of the month and borrow $200 from his rich brother. On top of that, we're only paid monthly. OUCH!

I should have talked with DH about vacation purchases should be discussed (since I'm the one who handles the bills and he chooses to have a blind eye to the income he works so hard for). I figured we'd be together most of the trip (ie. the discussion would be easy since I'd be there to temper spending binges and I could put a few purchases on credit). I know- I'm totally against using credit- especially with my goals- but during vacation, I figured I'd have more control!

Well, if I had been there for the binges- I could have decreased his spending and used a little credit and avoided $500 of bank fees! The ripple effect has been enormous on our bills and marriage.

On top of that, when we got back we had to get plates and registration for the new car (gift from parents).

What a nightmare. Let this example kill any temptation to do things without communication with your spouse and planning ahead. Learn from our mistakes, please!

I doubt we'll have many happy memories left of our vacation because it was a financial nightmare!

Be Conscious of What you throw away

August 18th, 2006 at 02:08 pm

My husband is an art teacher. Art is not the most funded subject in most schools.

Since it's the beginning of the school year for most, including my dh, I suggest that if you have potential usable (art) supplies to call your school to see if the art teacher needs it.

For instance:
Pencils/Pens/Markers
Paper (construction etc)
Paints
Rags
Hand Soap
etc.

From our house, I save:
Cardboard rolls from T.P. & P.T.
Magazines
Baby food jars (containers for paints)
Hand Lotions
Plastic bags

I had an epiphany!

August 16th, 2006 at 07:13 am

The "Debt Beast" is the alter-ego of "Frugal & Stressed"! It's like the other side of the coin! Except now, I'm dealing with a team of beasts since DH and I have combined finances. Ack!

Debt is the "yin" energy; saving is the "yang" energy.