Banks in general Informative - Get out of debt - free advice, REALLY FREE

Review by darlene on 2006-02-23

Live WELL below your means. Pay every extra cent you can on your highest rate cards. Play the balance transfer game. So you pay a 3% one time fee for a year of 0% or 4%. big deal. you'll save more than that over a years time. It takes some time to get out from under it true. But you never will if you play by their rules. You have to get yourself into the mind set of "DO I really NEED it?"
After you get out of credit card debt. Work on your mortgage. USING THEIR MONEY!!!! Yeah, you can take $300 amonth and pay it to your mortgage and that will save you a ton in the life of the loan, BUT, by that time the credit card companies will be begging you to take their money. 0%, no fee balance tranfers. Use them to take a chunk off your principal. YOU CAN PAY OFF YOUR HOUSE.
If they tell you it doesn't pay to refinance, do the math yourself. Yeah, you pay an extra 3500 in closing cost. But if it lowers your monthly payment a 100 bucks do it. That's a 100 extra towards principal. Over the life of the loan it saves you a ton more than 3500. When your tax refund comes in, or you can take out a loan on your 401, throw it on your mortgage!!! Yes, you pay back the loan with interest. But the interest you are paying is to yourself, not THEM. And you are saving interest on your house. Same with the credit cards. Got a 401???

I don't have my house paid off YET. But I'm well on my way. Do I have a savings account, CD's and such? No. Why lock a chunk of money up drawing 5% when it'll save me alot more if I put it towards my house? And get this......the less you owe the less you pay in interest rates.

I'm not college educated, I don't think of myself as brainy, but just think about it? Did you have your own computer growing up, or a cell phone? Why do you kids need one? I turned out fine. Did you? Does all the STUFF REALLY IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE??? Do you really enjoy watching your big screen TV while in the back of your head you are worried about paying the bills?? My 30 TV does me fine.
Comments:21 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-02-27
Posted by tander on 2006-02-23:
A big screen TV is nice though and so are cell phones..*lol*
Posted by dealco on 2006-02-23:
True, adults now did not have computers and cell phones when they were kids. Do you think it is because THEY WEREN'T AROUND!?!? Computers are becoming a necessity in education anymore, so for a child to not have a computer at home, especially when the child is in high school, is just hurting the child. You wouldn't need the latest version of Windows or the fastest computer processor - just a computer that has a word processor and, if you can afford it, connection to the internet. Cell phones are so convenient for parents to get in touch with kids (again, especially older children) - and by the age of 16 or whenever you drive your own car, you NEED to have a cell phone in case of emergency.
Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-02-23:
Living below your means is always the best approach. For me, we have a 19" TV with just the standard 5 free channels. No cable or satilite. Just a cell phone, no other toys or gadgets. We buy used cars and run them until they die. Always pay extra on the mortgage and put the savings we got from cancelling PMI back into paying the mortgage.
Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-02-23:
btw, Unfortunately playing the credit transfer game actually hurts your credit score. More than 2 accounts a year is a negative and when you keep closing those old accounts, it also counts as a negitive that you do not have a long history with some account. Another negative is the ratio of debt to available credit. Having to much available credit can be bad, so can having a high debt ratio to available credit.
Posted by darlene on 2006-02-23:
I'm talking a computer for every kid's room that they mostly use for games and IMimg their freinds. And have you ever used a pay phone? I have. And they are still out there. Yes, I have cable and a cell phone. I have 4 phones on my account, and when someones account comes due they get the option of leaving the plan they have joining up with me and the rest and save $ with in network calling. I got rid of my landline years ago. I'm talking about the kids that are into TEXT MESSAGING mostly. A freind of mine has a daughter who has to have a new this and a new that. Has to join every club in school, try everything cus' she might like it. It's justified by the fact that her grades are good. Before the expense of the extra car and insurance when she turned 16 her mother was out every night of the week driving her to and from. What she spent on gas every week was outrageous. Text messaging for two on top of it. They had to file chapter 13 three years. And they haven't changed their spending abit. She has been conned into beleiving they NEED all the stuff to grow into well adjusted adults. They're looking at filing again.
Posted by darlene on 2006-02-23:
Dear Dsmith, which is better, staying in debt for 20 years or having your credit score lowered abit? I have 8 open cards and my credit report shows at least 10 closed. My credit score is 780. Don't buy into what they try to sell you.
Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-02-23:
Darlene, I was not saying that I avoiding balance transfer just because of credit scores. I was only pointing it out. Last year I got a new credit card with 0% for 18 months. I could not transfer the balance from one card since it was with the same bank, so I transferred it to a 3rd card, and then transfered it to the new card. Costs a little in fees, but saves me a bunch on interest.
Posted by darlene on 2006-02-23:
Dsmith, I just assumed, I'm sorry. Alot of people are afraid of doing it because of their credit score. The debt to income ratio is a big one. I had that problem too. Until I just stuck to my plan. I kept the cards I had didn't close any when I got them paid off. They would raise my credit limit and offer me balance transfers etc. Took a few years, I'm not going to lie and say it was a quick process. But the further I got in it the easier it became and the quicker things got paid off. I always keep one that has a 0 balance for when I have to transfer to avoid interest. I don't have to worry about the debt to income anymore, (last 2 years) but I still carry a high credit card debt. All at no interest. When my motgage gets paid off I will still carry a high balance so I can put their money in CDs.
Posted by darlene on 2006-02-23:
dealco, when did 300 channels on the tube become a NEEDED thing? When did cell phones and computers become NEEDED? Soon after they came available to the general public and made affordable??? I didn't have a computer until last year. Before that, I took the kid to the library to use theirs. She had a cell phone for EMERGENCY use only. 39 cents a minute to use it. It only took a few times of her losing her allowance over the phone bill for her to stop. I have since gotten into the Sprint to Sprint thing. But she still knows that it'll cost her money she has worked for to use the text messaging. She doesn't. I don't have a 300 bill like some parents I know. She gets good grades, has freinds she sees face to face and is generally a good kid. She doesn't spend all day playing games on the computer or imimg her freinds. She gets out and walks places or rides her bike. She's not overweight like a large percentage of kids today. Yes, I have to hear about who has what and so and so's parents got them this and that. And why won't you buy me.....I'm not here to be her freind or buy her love. Don't get me wrong, I buy her some of the HOT items. Just not all of them. She does'nt need every color of Jellies for each set of clothes.
My name is not Jones so I don't NEED to have what they have. I'd rather tone it down and live debt free. Relax and enjoy what I do have instead of worrying about how to pay for evrything just so I can say I have it.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-02-23:
Darlene, you have some good ideas and make some good points. As far as a "big screen TV" I am fine with my 27". I have been without the use of the internet on my computer for about three months and I am going crazy. My kids showed me how much information is out there on the "net" about ten years ago... Convenience... I have a cell phone but no "land line" phone... Convenience and can always be contacted. My 16 year old has a "Cricket" phone and is very responsible with it. JMHO. Zz the "baby boomer".
Posted by D. on 2006-02-23:
Gee...I thought a 27" TV was a big screen...well, compared to my 19-20" tv, it is...LOL
Posted by darlene on 2006-02-24:
I just put those things down as "for instances". Everyone has to make up their own mind about what is NEEDED. For some reason there are people who can't make their minimum payments but still think they NEED to go out to dinner once aweek.
In this HAVE TO HAVE IT NOW society, people pay 3 and 4 times as much for something on credit than it would have cost if they had waited until they had the money.
I know a young man from work who has had his insurance cancelled, late payments on his cards and a hard time making his rent. But he makes sure his cable bill is on time and he always has the latest toys.
My own father, who is on a limited income, spends his last nickel on things he doesn't NEED. His last purchase was for a DVD player. $250. Top of the line he said. I say why? I paid $50 for mine. Works just as well and both will be outdated in a year or two anyway. He thinks he can afford the best and newest, but when it comes to NEEDING new tires on his car, he asks me for the money.
Young, old, and middleaged. There are alot of people in this country that have their priorities screwed up. That's why we have rampant credit card debt. People are in trouble.
Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-02-24:
Funny.. I am on my 2nd DVD player. The first one cost $32 and lasted nearly 2 years. Our current one cost $29 and is still going strong after 12 months. I do not see the point in spending large sums for DVD players.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-02-24:
Lighten up Darlene. Are you in good health? (Priceless) If we die today we can't take that money with us can we? Have a little fun.
Posted by KateM on 2006-02-24:
I agree with Darlene to an extent. People do overspend on items that are not a neccesity. I dont agree with her assesment of what isnt neccesary. In 2006 a computer is definately a neccesity, particularly if you have a kid in school. Now I dont believe you need to go into debt to aquire frivolous items or neccesities its all about budgeting and saving.
Posted by darlene on 2006-02-24:
Missing the point on the computer issue I think. I must have hit a sore spot. One last thing about computers. $700 x 24% interest paid at minimum monthly payments = ? I don't know, but way too much. Have 2 kids? 3 kids? They'll tell you they each need their NEED their own. Then of course you'll need one too because you can never get on the ones you have.......

As for health?????? Yes, I am healthy and I do very much realize that time is priceless. From 95 to 99 I progressively felt worse and worse. Couldn't get a real diagnosis on what was wrong with me. Was on 10 differnt drugs to treat the symtoms. Aug of 99 I felt like I wasn't going to make it much longer. What did I do? : ) !!! I went to Gardner White and bought a housefull of new furniture on 0% interest, got the life insurance on it. Figured if I was going to die my family might as well have something nice. By that time I couldn't get real life insurance because I was so sick. Unfortunenately???? ha ha, I ran into a doctor ( had been to lord knows how many ) who did dianose me. Cushings Disease. Sent me for the tests and got me into the U of M. Dec 3rd I went in for brain surgery. I ended up having to pay for the furniture. Still have it though.
But that year after was my turning point. I realized that all the STUFF I had was costing me TIME. Time to pay for it, time to clean it, time to put it back where it belonged. All this really cool stuff but no time to sit on the porch, scratch the dog's head and watch the flowers grow. Time is the most precious thing we have, can't buy more no matter how good your credit is. Time is way more important than STUFF. But we waste time paying for, cleaning it, worrying about it, and thinking about how to get more stuff. George Carlin has a scit about "Stuff". Just cracks me up.
And that is about it. Less STUFF and more TIME. Which would you rather do? Work your life away for things you aren't home to really enjoy anyway or have more time to enjoy the things you can afford.
I had a son who died at 8 months of age. SIDS. I spent 5 months of his life working a full time job. Just so we could BUY MORE STUFF. Would I give up all the stuff to have him back? Would I give up the stuff we bought in those 5 months just to have those 5 months with him instead of him being at the babysitters and me at work?

We pay a very high price for all the STUFF. I'm glad you brought that up. The saying time equals money, so true. What is more important to you.........??
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-02-24:
No, you didn't hit a sore spot. Welcome and have a good life.
Posted by D. on 2006-02-24:
2 kids 2 computers, 3 kids 3 computers? Because THEY say they need them? Come on, who is running the household...2 kids 3 kids or 20 kids, you teach them the meaning of SHARING...a computer for each kid, they will never learn the value of money...each kid gets an hour or hour an a half on the computer if needed for school work...for entertainment or for kicks, they share...mine,mine,mine is wrong, wrong, wrong! And to give them what they want when it isn't necessary...big WRONG...they'll never learn from that...and yes, I know that was just an example you used, and this is just my response to that example because I know it is a realistic issue.
Posted by darlene on 2006-02-25:
I wish you all a GOOD life. I decided to post this information because there are alot of books out there, ( people getting out of debt at your expense ) the will charge you 29.95 for the same information.

The 8 open cards I have, 3 have balances, 5 are in reserve. The balances on the 3 are from 7 months ago when I transfered 10,000.00 off my mortgage. I do this to save 7% interest. It also helps to keep me to my plan. It is hard to give the mortgage company your extra money every month, month in and month out. At least I found it hard. I made it so I HAVE to pay extra and I save money too.
And can I just take back the computer issue? How about satilite radio? can we use that as an example instead? I realize that kids today need a computer. Kids from poor families who don't have one are forced to go to the library. Not fair. Hey, I have one. With high speed cable. If I hadn't got web tv back in 98 I'd be dead right now. Fact. Computers are wonderful things and everyone should have ONE.
Posted by S. on 2006-02-26:
Com'on, Siffer. Eight credit cards are OK as long as handled properly. I actually have nine credit cards and just this afternoon applied for another one because I want the $50 gift card and the 'points' for cash deduction from my billing is more liberal than others I've seen. BUT--I pay my account(s) off in full each month so I don't get slugged with the high interest rates. I can 'boast' two TVs in my apartment, too--both 13"--one TV/VCR combo. Last one cost me less than $100 and it's over 5 yrs. old--knock wood. I don't need a 50" TV. My DVD player was on sale for $29. I use a credit card for 99.9% of my shopping, getting a discount on all items. Only place I pay cash is at the dollar store because they only accept debit cards and I don't want to get caught in that trap. Notice I said 'dollar store?' It's not beneath me to make a purchase at this kind of store. When I recently painted my bathroom, that's where I bought the roller and tray. I didn't go to a high-end hardware store to purchase a lamb's wool roller and steel tray. I waited until a local general merchandise store had their house brand paint on sale. I use online banking to pay my bills. It's been at least two yrs. since I ordered checks. (The free ones from my bank aren't monogrammed--I like that silly touch.) I don't remember the last time I bought postage stamps. If meats I like are on sale, I buy much more than I need and use my vacuum sealer to store the excess in the freezer. I'm on monthly medication for which my physician writes a RX for a 3-mo. supply. I get only one month's supply at a time. When there's a coupon available for a gift card for a transfered RX, I make use of it. I believe I developed these habits because I was widowed at a very early age and did not have a husband to fall back on if I got in a bind. I am not cheap, miserly, etc. I am generous with gifts. I go out to dinner very frequently, attend plays, concerts, take nice vacations, etc. When needed, my clothing purchases are made at stores that are holding sales. I also peruse thrift stores--purchased a Harris Tweed coat for $15. The questions I always ask of myself when considering a purchase are: Do I really need it and can I afford it? I think Darlene has offered some very good ideas on how to very comfortably live beneath your means in our current excessive spending society. I know this is long-winded, but thought my 'MO' might help others. (Can't comment on mortgages--always lived in apartments.)
Posted by darlene on 2006-02-27:
So that when the 0% starts running out on the balances you have, you can easily flip them over to another 0% card. I do this so I don't ever get stuck with paying any interest. Even for one month.
I'm happy to know I'm not the only one out there who doesn't need bigger and better to be happy. I for one was NOT really happy when I was in major debt. Scared for the most part. What if...? was always in the back of my mind.

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