Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanks Leigh Ann

I received $5 in my PayPal account the other day. Thank you Leigh Ann, that will be applied to my debts and I will get debt free.

Lemon Award Finalists Named on's Website

A while back, I reported on's lemon award nominees. Today I revisited and found a link of finalists. The page contained a press release that is dated in the future, but since it is listed publicly, I am going to go ahead and report the nominee today. That will actually make ahead of Dave Ramsey, who I had first heard of the nominees from.

Bad Banking Has its Own Annual Award

The worst of the worst get the Lemon Award for Bad Banking

CHICAGO , IL -- (PR Newswire) - December 14, 2006 -- Ashley Clayton has a black hole in her bank account. Others have it too. This fraud is called 'CIC credit report' and appear on credit card statements. "They charge me $9.95 and don't give me any information about how to cancel this," complained Ashley.

The Claycomo Missouri resident is not alone as countless charges pour in about FreeCreditReport dot com . Free Credit Report along with the financial industry's worst offenders are being awarded the "Lemon Award for Bad Banking". Here is the 2006 summary write up: Full excerpts at 2006 Lemon Award :

(1) First Time Offenders Get Maximum Sentence at WaMu

Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) gets the 2006 Lemon Award for Bad Banking for taking first time late-payers to an interest rate over 31.9%. According to the terms:

Each time you default… we may increase the APRs on your account up to a maximum of the Default APR (31.99%)

Washington Mutual acquired Providian which has a history of class action judgments (one topped $400 million). Annie Chang, Director of Education for stated, "If big tobacco started a credit card company, they'd call it Providian" (now owned by Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) ) . "If there's a poster child for Lemon Award, it'd be Washington Mutual," said Larry Chiang, founder of and added, "it's the first bank ever to charge you for a credit line".

(2) 0 to 29.99 in 2 hours

"Late is late", said the Bank of America customer service rep, based in Colorado Springs CO, referring to the fact that the payment posted the day it was due… but was two hours late.

Each time your minimum payment is late ( i.e. , not received by 2 p.m. , ET, on its Payment Due Date), or the account balance is over-the-credit-limit, we may increase each of your account's Variable APRs up to the Default APR of 29.99%

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) was penalized in a class action suit for "rolling back" payment due dates according to court filings in Delaware . They could squeeze more late fees by rolling back the due date time to 10am and they were caught and penalized by the FTC. Bank of America, for taking your consumers 0 to 29.99% in two hours, you get the 2006 Lemon Award for Bad Banking.

(3) Best Buy gets Bad Banking Lemon Award
Buying the extended warrantee with a Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) credit card is, at best, an opportunity to argue for MONTHS whether Best Buy will honor the initial promise of warrantee. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of the free 'Buyer's Assurance Plan' on an American Express Card (NYSE: AXP) for the purchase and say no to the Best Buy extended warrantee.

(4) Reverse Mortgages get Bad Banking Lemon Award
There's the saying, "A fool and his money are quickly separated". Well there's a theme that the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) is harking is that, a fool and his house are quickly separated too. Reverse mortgages are also called Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and they are wrought with traps.

(5) Membership Penalizes -- Facebook Members Pay 23.24% APR
There's a product being hawked on -- A Visa with an APR of 18.24 or 23.24% which the disclosure box makes very unclear. The product "Plus One" is issued by Chase ( NYSE:JPM) and Facebook members get lured into an abush with a free t-shirt and $20 Amazon Card. Facebook gets the 2006 Bad Banking Lemon Award for charging students a rate that's five times higher than the prime rate. Facebook is the first social network to get a Lemon Award for Bad Banking.

(6) Annual Credit Report dot com
Annual Credit tricks consumers into buying credit score. The original spirit of the site is to comply with an FTC mandate that consumers be allowed to view their credit reports once a year from Trans Union, Equifax and Experian. What has happened is that Annual Credit has turned into a nice tidy profit center when traffic is redirected to sell consumers their credit score. turns a legal requirement into a lead generating site and the FTC deserves a Bad Banking Lemon Award for allowing this to happen.

(7) Discover Credit Card on Campus

According to a October 2, 2006 article in USA Today , student were presented a credit card application with NO disclosure box. US credit states in clear terms that consumers must be presented a "Schumer" disclosure box that outlines cost, terms and penalties. Discover (NYSE:MWD) , you get a Bad Banking Lemon Award for breaking the law.

(8) for Not Being Free

It charges for something that's free at Annual Credit Experian (symbol: EXPN.L) owns gets the Lemon Award for violating federal disclosure laws. The English controlled entity runs ads on US TV, radio and Internet claiming "free reports" but charges $79.95. This Bad Banking Lemon Award was brought to light by the office of California Attorney General, Bill Lockyer.

(9) Sun Trust Skip-a-Payment Makes Balance Swell .

SunTrust (NYSE: STI) sends customers a "skip-a-payment" offer with a "Merry Christmas, Happy New Year" message. It sounds good to the consumer, but made Nathan Ballred's balance go from $ 178,000 to over $ 183,000 in a few months. The original loan amount had been $182,000.

All payments were made on-time but SunTrust said balance went up because it was a balloon note and interest wasn't being satisfied due to the skipped payments they had given. SunTrust said these offers weren't really good for customers. The bank knew it was a balloon note, so why offer this to someone knowing their balance will go up? SunTrust gets the 2006 Bad Banking Lemon Award for misleading its customer, Nathan Ballred.

(10) $93 Fee For Tiny Debit Overdraft .
Steve Pullis writes: Regions Bank, a large Regional Bank out of Birmingham, Alabama, has adopted a policy of allowing students (or anyone else) to use their Visa Check Card (debit card) even though they do not have funds to cover the transaction. This is done so that they can reap a $31.00 overdraft fee per transaction.

My daughter is a student at the University of Memphis and overdrew her account by 28 cents, for which she was charged $31.00. She then used it again for a couple of dollars and was charged another $31.00. By the time I was able to catch the problem and let her know that she had no money and was being charged by the bank, she had accumulated yet another overdraft fee of $31.00 for a grand total of $93.00 to cover less than $20 in overdraft amounts. I raised a ruckus with the bank about allowing ignorant college kids to overdraw their accounts, but they basically shrugged their shoulders. Regions Bank (NYSE: RF) gets the 2006 Bad Banking Lemon Award for charging Steve Pullis' daughter $93 in fees.

(11) Multiple low credit line accounts, Same Capital One Bank
Capital One (NYSE: COF) gets the 2006 Bad Banking Lemon Award for putting customers like Brad Kehn over a barrel. Brad writes, "My Capital One visa with a $300 credit limit keeps going over the balance with late fees causing over the limit fees. What's worse is that we keep getting more Capital One credit cards with similarly low credit lines."

According to Business Week , Nov 6, 2006 , "When Brad Kehn's Capital One credit card, it took him only three months to exceed his $300 credit line and get soaked with a $33 over-the-limit fee. But what surprised the Plankinton, South Dakota resident more was that Capital One then offered him another card even though he was over the limit -- and another and another.

(12) for Un-Authorized Charges

'Free' continues to be an expensive word in credit and VistaPrint may be the worst offender. After you order "free business cards", VistaPrint relays your credit card to some other subscription service that bills you $14.95.

Richard Lee noticed unauthorized charges of $14.95; dated June 20, 2006 and July 20, 2006 . They were for "Passport for Fun". There are dozens of documented cases against Vista Print at is the first online merchant to get a Bad Banking Lemon Award.

About is a site that helps people to drill down on credit issues by archiving answers to every problem submitted. Common problems can be searched and credit pitfalls can be sidestepped. Asking will always be FREE. Contact them at problems@Credit

It collects nominations for Lemon Award for Bad Banking from consumers all year long. Send them to . - 2021 Midwest Road, Suite 200 , Oak Brook IL 60521
Elaine Abereen
Media Relations

Annie Chang
Director of Education

disclosure policy

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be

"Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be" - Shakespeare

Have you ever stopped to consider what that famous line from Shakespeare's Hamlet means. I know, I for one had heard that phrase numerous times, but never gave it much thought, until now. Now that I am working to get debt free, that phrase has come to mean so much more then I had ever thought it would.
Rich McIver of
Credit cards were just making an appearance in mom's day, but to see the way plastic has replaced cold cash today, one would think they've been around forever.

Nowadays, borrowing to buy a home is considered by even the most conservative financial experts to be a good move, but spending is a big problem, as evidenced by the millions of Americans who are in debt over their heads. Nowadays Shakespeare might be more likely to advise us to "neither a borrower nor a spender be."

It's spending, not low income, that is at the root of most financial problems. Sometimes events beyond our control can propel us into debt, like the loss of a job, the death of a spouse, or large medical bills, but let's face it: for most of us, spending is what gets us into trouble. In fact, I believe that the key to having money is learning not to spend it. Notice that I didn't say "learning how to spend it," but rather, "learning not to spend it.

The more money most people make, the more they spend. If they get a raise in salary--they buy a newer car, or a bigger home, or a bigger, better whatever. But it's not just the big things they buy, it's all the little things they now feel they can easily afford, and those things add up amazingly quickly.

When you borrow, you end up paying more for everything, then you would have if you had paid cash. When it comes to lending to family and friends, it just becomes a barrier between the two of you, especially if they thought it was a gift (and you thought it was a loan) or are slow to pay you back.

As Dave Ramsey, John Cummuta and so many others have said over and over, it's better to pay cash for everything. You end up paying less, and in the long run the tortoise always wins.

Grant Cushinberry: Serving up wisdom, not turkey, toys

Article from the Topeka Capital Journal:

Grant Cushinberry, for so long synonymous with Topeka's Community Thanksgiving Dinner, isn't sure if he will make it to today's 39th annual event, which takes place from noon to 3 p.m. at the Kansas Expocentre's Agricultural Hall, near S.W. 17th and Tyler.

Beset by a series of strokes that date back to 1998, Cushinberry since 2001 has lived at the Eventide Convalescent Center, 2015 S.E. 10th.

He said he likes it there, as he is afforded the round-the-clock nursing care that he requires.

"I'm around a lot of good people," Cushinberry, 85, said earlier this week. "They treat me like royalty here.

"I can come and go as I please, but the folks here don't want me to go too far, in case I would have another stroke."

Cushinberry, who uses a walker to get around, said he would wait until today to see how he felt before deciding whether to attend the dinner that he helped organize for the better part of three decades.

He said he has many family members and friends who can drive him around town, but he guards against going out at night, lest he should fall and possibly break a hip.

"My bones are so old," he said, "that a screw wouldn't be able to hold them together if I took a fall."

Cushinberry, who worked at the Colmery-O'Neil VA Medical Center, said he got an idea for a Thanksgiving dinner when he would see people eating out of garbage cans while making runs in the trash-hauling business he owned.

"I said 'This shouldn't be, here in the land of plenty,' " Cushinberry recalled. "I asked people to help. Some said, 'No, I'm not going to give you anything. Let them get up and help themselves.'

"I said, 'I can't say much about that, but if you want to help, fine. If you don't, I appreciate that, too.' "

Cushinberry, who said he was a "good beggar," made the rounds and got donations for the dinner.

Born in the all-black town of Nicodemus in northwest Kansas, Cushinberry grew up in Hoisington.

He said he served as a combat medic in the Army in World War II and came to Topeka to attend the old Kansas Vocational School on the GI Bill. He later attended Washburn University.

But beyond his Thanksgiving dinner work, Cushinberry was known throughout the city for assisting children, taking them to the circus and ball games, and in the fall going to their schools and giving them a truckload of watermelons.

For years, he also ran "God's Little Half Acre" at 1835 S.W. Fillmore, where he would distribute free food, clothing, medical supplies and fresh produce.

A sign at God's Little Half Acre proclaimed the giveaway items were "for the needy, not the greedy."

"It was a labor of love," he said. "I wouldn't work that hard for money."

Cushinberry said it makes him feel good to think he may have helped someone along life's way.

"I was fortunate to have a good family -- a mother and dad," Cushinberry said. "They used to always say, 'Look around -- you can always find someone worse off than you. Help 'em if you can.'

"God put you on earth to help your fellow man, even if you have to go out of your way to help somebody."

One of Cushinberry's enduring legacies is his work in the Thanksgiving feast, which annually serves approximately 3,000 people from all walks of life.

"It's something that's needed," Cushinberry said. "People are still hungry."

The Community Thanksgiving Dinner traces its history to 1968 at East Topeka United Methodist Church, 708 S.E. Lime, when the late Addie Spicher and Pauline Johnson helped lead the original event.

"We served 69 people at the first dinner," said Johnson, who at 80 is volunteering at her 36th consecutive Thanksgiving event this year. "They would just drop in by the twos and threes. Some came in from the old Norva Hotel on 4th and Kansas. They could sleep there but they couldn't eat there, so they took a cab to the dinner."

The Thanksgiving dinner became a fixture at East Topeka United Methodist Church.

Johnson said that a few years later, Cushinberry started a Thanksgiving dinner at the Jordan-Patterson American Legion Post, at S.E. 15th and Adams.

Johnson said she approached Cushinberry and convinced him to merge his dinner with the ongoing one at the east-side church.

Starting in the early-1970s, the dinners took place at the old Mid-America Fairgrounds, S.W. 17th and Topeka Boulevard, Johnson said.

When some of the buildings there were torn down to make way for the Kansas Expocentre, Johnson said, the dinner was moved to other locations -- first to the National Guard Armory at S.W. 27th and Topeka Boulevard, then to the basement of the old Municipal Auditorium, 214 S.E. 8th, before finding a home on the Expocentre grounds.

Crowds would come to the dinners, and dozens of volunteers would help with food preparation, delivery, transportation and clean-up afterward.

That is the way it was then, and that is the way it is now.

"It's bringing the people together," Johnson said. "Just bringing the community together, where they can all fellowship in one room and give thanks to God for another year."

As always, this year's Thanksgiving menu will include turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, along with coffee and iced tea.

The event is now coordinated by the Community Thanksgiving Dinner Foundation, yet it continues in much the way it was early on.

The goal of feeding people a Thanksgiving meal and offering friendship and companionship remains intact.

Though Cushinberry isn't leading the charge as he once did, he hasn't been forgotten by those who carry on the dinner tradition.

"Grant was a good, loving man, who would help anybody in need," Johnson said. "He was always looking out for somebody."

Joe Marshall, 79, vice president of the Community Thanksgiving Dinner Foundation, said Cushinberry was helping to lead the annual event when he started volunteering in it about 20 years ago.

"Grant was a take-charge person," Marshall said. "He really got involved. He did a lot for people."

Cushinberry's son, Garry, 49, said the entire family is proud of his father and his contributions to the community.

He said his father's favorite Bible passage stated that "to whom much is given, much is required," and often said that in doing his good works, "he was just paying rent for being down here on earth."

Cushinberry said his father "was just glad to be able to be a messenger for God and to feed the hungry.

"If he fed one person, he felt that was what he was put down on earth to do -- and that was to help humankind."

Cushinberry said his father was always proud to call Topeka home because of the giving nature of the people who live here.

Cushinberry said his father was an example of what one person with one idea can do.

"He didn't sit back and say, 'I'm one person -- I can't do it,' " he said. "He had an idea and he followed through with it and got a lot of folks to help him out along the way, and Topeka's a better place for it.

"He used to always tell me we're all one race, and that's the human race. He not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk."
I recently came accross a blog article written by Rich McIver. In it, he easily debunks my naysayers who want to argue with me over the use of credit. How does he do it? He pulls an old well known saying that mom, grandma and everyone before them used to say for generattions. I am sure everyone has heard it, but like me had forgotten about it, not even realizing what it meant until now. Neither a borrower nor a lender be. That's right folks. A saying that was very popular before credit cards surfaced less then a hundred years ago, and since has been heard by everyone us, goes right in line with Dave Ramsey has been teaching. How we need to take a lesson from good old mom.
He actually listed 33 different "old-time" sayings that we should be applying to spending and saving lives today. I encourage you to read his full comments, but below are the 33 phrases and ideas.

  • 1. A penny saved is a penny earned

  • 2. It's wise to save for a rainy day

  • 3. The first step is always the hardest

  • 4. Don't count your chickens before they hatch

  • 5. A rolling stone gathers no moss

  • 6. There's no place like home (and no food like home-cooked)

  • 7. Charity begins at home

  • 8. Penny wise and pound foolish

  • 9. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks

  • 10. Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today

  • 11. An idle mind (and body) is the devil's workshop

  • 12.Phone Talk is NOT cheap

  • 13. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

  • 14. Neither a borrower nor a lender be

  • 15. Planning makes perfect

  • 16. A fool and his money are soon parted

  • 17. Share and share alike

  • 18. Hands Many hands make light work

  • 19. Two is better than one

  • 20. Water, water everywhere, but not one drop being drunk

  • 21. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone

  • 22.What's in a name? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet

  • 23. A walk a day keeps the doctor (and medical expenses) away

  • 24. Waste not, want not

  • 25. Don't try to keep up with the Joneses

  • 26. A chain is as strong as its weakest link

  • 27. Don't raid the cookie jar

  • 28. Big is beautiful

  • 29. Read the fine print before you sign the dotted line

  • 30. Time is money

  • 31. Watch and weigh your purchases

  • 32. Small drops of water make up the mighty ocean

  • 33. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again

  • I see 33 potential articles here.

    Credit Freeze

    I was recently reading an editorial in Money Magazine (October 2006) "How Not To Fight Identity Theft." It seems congress has been debating HR 3997. A bill that was to have been voted on in July 2006, but has been on hold ever since. The problem is this bill would actually eaken current laws, making it easier for ID thieves to access your information. For example according to the article some 20 states have laws that would allow anyone to ask the 3 credit bureaus for a credit freeze.
    According to, those states are

    California, New Jersey, Louisiana, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Nevada, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, North Carolina and Colorado. However, Texas, Vermont, Illinois and Washington.

    What is a Creit Freeze? Again according to,
    With a credit freeze, no one can open any form of credit in your name. Your credit file is off limits to potential lenders, insurers and even potential employers. Here's how it works.

    When you apply for a loan, credit card or cell phone, the company issuing credit contacts one of the three credit reporting agencies and requests to see your credit file. If you have a freeze on your account, the company will be told that it cannot see your credit file because your account is frozen. At this point, most companies would not allow the loan, issue the credit card or activate the cell phone.

    But this does not mean that you won't be able to get credit for yourself or allow potential employers to run a background check. The three credit bureaus assign a personal identification number for you when you freeze your report. Using this PIN, you can lift the freeze when necessary.

    With a credit lock-down, a criminal can have your name, birthday and Social Security number -- but it won't matter. No credit will be issued.

    What Congress wants to do is only allow those that have had their identities stolen to freeze their credit. Anyone that is in a state like California, that allows a consumer be proactive would be out of luck. Not only that but if a company suffers a Data Breach, this law would not require them to notify the consumers.

    The sponser of the bill is, Rep LaTourette, Steve C. [OH-14] (introduced 10/6/2005) and the co-sponsers (and the dates they signed on) are listed below alphabetically.

  • Rep Bean, Melissa L. [IL-8] - 3/29/2006
  • Rep Biggert, Judy [IL-13] - 11/17/2005
  • Rep Castle, Michael N. [DE] - 10/6/2005
  • Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] - 3/29/2006
  • Rep Foley, Mark [FL-16] - 4/4/2006
  • Rep Gillmor, Paul E. [OH-5] - 10/26/2005
  • Rep Harris, Katherine [FL-13] - 10/26/2005
  • Rep Hinojosa, Ruben [TX-15] - 5/25/2006
  • Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] - 5/25/2006
  • Rep Hooley, Darlene [OR-5] - 10/6/2005
  • Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] - 10/26/2005
  • Rep Kennedy, Mark R. [MN-6] - 10/26/2005
  • Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. [MI-11] - 4/4/2006
  • Rep McHugh, John M. [NY-23] - 3/29/2006
  • Rep Moore, Dennis [KS-3] - 10/6/2005
  • Rep Ney, Robert W. [OH-18] - 2/15/2006
  • Rep Pearce, Stevan [NM-2] - 11/17/2005
  • Rep Price, Tom [GA-6] - 3/29/2006
  • Rep Pryce, Deborah [OH-15] - 10/6/2005
  • Rep Renzi, Rick [AZ-1] - 11/3/2005
  • Rep Scott, David [GA-13] - 3/29/2006
  • Rep Shays, Christopher [CT-4] - 3/2/2006
  • Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12] - 10/26/2005
  • Rep Wolf, Frank R. [VA-10] - 4/4/2006

  • What I want to know is why haven't we heard more about this before now? Overall, that's 18 Republicans (RINO's really) and t Democrats, including Dennis Moore fr down the road in the next congressional district. So does mean that now that Democratic controlled Congress will now pass the bill and hurt us consumers, while helping out the theives who prey on us?

    We need to make sure congress kills this bill. Or at least make so the consumer can be proactive, like the California and Colorado laws, allowing everyone to have the ability to freeze their credit, regardless if their idenity has been stolen or not.

    A Frugal Christmas

    Dave Ramsey writes on his website:

    If you are paying off debt, don't let Christmas be an excuse to go back into debt. Making a budget for the big holiday is crucial to not spending too much. You should start saving a few months in advance, but since we're past that time, if you haven't started a budget, then you have to get creative. Don't buy something so expensive that you are still paying for it in March ... in fact, don't buy ANYTHING that you can't afford! It's time to break the cycle of spending more than you make.

    He suggests looking for deals. There are plenty of Web sites out there that advertise great deals on used items, he says. Take into account, he points out, that "used" doesn't mean "cheap quality". There are plenty of times when someone buys clothes and either doesn't like them or they don't fit. Then they want to sell them. People can also get bored with toys, musical instruments and all sorts of things and want to get rid of them. Take advantage of these deals!
    He reminds us,
    it's the thought that counts. And many times, the right thought can translate into a gift that will really make the day of the person to whom you give it. Making someone's favorite dinner can be a great and inexpensive gift. It also is something that you put effort into, which holds more meaning than just stopping at a store and buying something. Try it! Get creative with gift-giving and it can be more fun than receiving gifts.

    Presidential Dollar Coin

    I recently learned that the U. S. Mint is going to try again the dollar coin concept.
    The U.S. Mint has unveiled this past week, the first designs for the new Presidential Dollar Coin program. The new coins will feel identitcal to the Sacagawea coins that begun production a few years ago.
    Like the state quarter program, there will be 4 $1 dollar coins issued each year in the order that they served.
    For some reason, the American public just doesn’t like dollar coins. If you ask me, they will never catch on, until all $1 bills are pulled out of circulation, leaving the coin coin as the publics only choice for $1 currency.

    The United States is honoring our Nation's Presidents by issuing $1 circulating coins featuring their images in the order that they served, beginning with Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison in 2007. The United States Mint will mint and issue four Presidential $1 coins per year, and each will have a reverse design featuring a striking rendition of the Statue of Liberty. The composition of the new Presidential $1 Coins will be identical to that of the Golden Dollar featuring Sacagawea.

    The Presidential $1 Coin Act (Public Law 109-145) seeks to revitalize the design of United States coins and return circulating coinage to its position as an object of aesthetic beauty in its own right. Accordingly, the new Presidential $1 coins will feature larger, more dramatic artwork, as well as edge-incused inscriptions of the year of minting or issuance, "E Pluribus Unum," "In God We Trust" and the mint mark.

    Presidential Dollar Coin Release Schedule

    1 George Washington 1789-1797
    2 John Adams 1797-1801
    3 Thomas Jefferson 1801-1809
    4 James Madison 1809-1817

    5 James Monroe 1817-1825
    6 John Quincy Adams 1825-1829
    7 Andrew Jackson 1829-1837
    8 Martin Van Buren 1837-1841

    9 William Henry Harrison 1841
    10 John Tyler 1841-1845
    11 James K. Polk 1845-1849
    12 Zachary Taylor 1849-1850

    13 Millard Fillmore 1850-1853
    14 Franklin Pierce 1853-1857
    15 James Buchanan 1857-1861
    16 Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865

    17 Andrew Johnson 1865-1869
    18 Ulysses S. Grant 1869-1877
    19 Rutherford B. Hayes 1877-1881
    20 James A. Garfield 1881

    21 Chester A. Arthur 1881-1885
    22 Grover Cleveland 1885-1889
    23 Benjamin Harrison 1889-1893
    24 Grover Cleveland 1893-1897

    25 William McKinley 1897-1901
    26 Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909
    27 William H. Taft 1909-1913
    28 Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921

    29 Warren Harding 1921-1923
    30 Calvin Coolidge 1923-1929
    31 Herbert Hoover 1929-1933
    32 Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1933-1945

    33 Harry S Truman 1945-1953
    34 Dwight David Eisenhower 1953-1961
    35 John F. Kennedy 1961-1963
    36 Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969

    37 Richard M. Nixon 1969-1974

    Jim Cates Show

    I want to thank the "Jim Cates Show," (which airs on 1440 AM in Topeka) for the T-shirt and $5 gift certificate to the Coffee Break Cafe, that I won during a recent trivia contest.
    If any of you are in the Topeka, KS area, I highly recomend listening to the Jim Cates Show between 8 and 11 am, Monday-Friday. An awesome talk show, that keeps me well informed.

    Monday, November 27, 2006

    Computer Monitor

    I would like to thank Jeff W. of Topeka for the gift of the 19 inch monitor and the DVD drive. They are very much appreciated.

    Sunday, November 26, 2006

    Thank You Page Created

    Taking an idea from LeighAnn, I have created a seperate blog to track and give thanks for the little bit of extra money and gifts that I receive. I tyhink this will work better then trying to keep track of it on the side bar.
    You will notice that the spot on the side bar, where I had tried to track those things, I have placed a link to the new page Kevin Thank You's.

    In addition, I have been contacted this weekend by a gentleman that wants to sponser my blog for the next year. If I accept his offer, their "ad" will not only appear in the side bar of DebtFree4ever but also on this ThanksYou page.

    Let me get started by bring everyone up to date. I am about $17,000 in debt not counting the $3,000 IRS tax debt.

    So far I have only received money from the montonizing of my blog (totals received so far, as of today):
    PayPerPost $51.50
    BlogsVerTise $27.50
    Google AdSense $113.10

    I want to thank each of these revenue sources.

    If any private individual wants to "donate" to help with my debts they are welcome to use the paypal button or to send a gift (cash, small items, letters of encouragement, whatever) via the U.S.P.S.

    Thanks again, I am shooting to become debt-free by the end of 2008, although I am hopeful that I can do it all in the next year. A daughnting task, considering that I only make about $19,000/year.


    After trying to post monies received from PayPerPost, Blogsvertise and Adsense in the side bar of my regular blog (, I thought I would take a lesson from LeighAnn and post my receipts and thank you's in a seperate blog, that will be linked to the main blog.
    In addition, I have been contacted this weekend by a gentleman that wants to sponser my blog for the next year. If I accept his offer, their "ad" will not only appear in the side bar of DebtFree4ever but also on this ThanksYou page.

    Let me get started by bring everyone up to date. I am about $17,000 in debt not counting the $3,000 IRS tax debt.

    So far I have only received money from the montonizing of my blog (totals received so far, as of today):
    PayPerPost $51.50
    BlogsVerTise $27.50
    Google AdSense $113.10

    I want to thank each of these revenue sources.

    If any private individual wants to "donate" to help with my debts they are welcome to use the paypal button or to send a gift (cash, small items, letters of encouragement, whatever) via the U.S.P.S.

    Thanks again, I am shooting to become debt-free by the end of 2008, although I am hopeful that I can do it all in the next year. A daughnting task, considering that I only make about $19,000/year.

    Saturday, November 25, 2006

    You Still Have a Chance to Watch the Buffett Special

    If you missed the interview with Warren Buffett that I discussed a few days ago. You still have an opprtunity to watch it this weekend.

    WARREN BUFFETT: THE BILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR not only airs on November 20th at 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM, but it will be rebroadcast on Friday, November 24th at 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM ET and on Sunday, November 26th at 10:00 PM and 1:00 AM ET.

    Happy Thanksgiving from the Frugal One

    Happy Thanksgiving. I know, I know, Thanksgiving was a couple days ago. However, my family and I are getting together today. A chance to see cousins that I haven't seen in years. One in particular, I haven't seen in 18 or 19 years. Since, we will all be at his mothers home, I am hopping to see the cousin that was one of my better friends, when I actually got to see him. I am taking my corn pudding (see recipe at: and a pan of candied yams.

    Corn Pudding is a recipe that is pretty frugal to make and oh so delicious. I only had to buy one thing that I normally never buy, to make it. That ingrediant was an 8 oz box of sour cream. If you have never had it, I encourage you to try it out. My favorite recipe is the Jiffy corn pudding. However, you can also find a copy of the recipe made from scratch, if you are one that prefers to go that route.

    I know, I haven't been posting much recently, but I promise, that things will get back to normal before to long.
    God Bless.

    Thursday, November 23, 2006

    Miscellanious Thoughts: Don't Buy, Unless You Have The Cash

    It has been a couple of weeks since I have posted anything. It has been a busy time at work, and I have been just exhausted when I come home. Thanksgiving time at a grocery store is very busy. During the past couple of weeks, I have been attempting to move into another position that is available at work, but they offered it to someone else. The position would not have been a promotion for me (same rank), just better hours.

    However I did see the Warren Buffett special on CNBC that aired Monday (Nov. 20) at 7 pm Central (8 Eastern).

    Be a fly on the wall for Liz Claman's one-hour, revealing and rare visit with billionaire Warren Buffett. He's unconventional and acts on what you can't teach - his gut. Claman spent a day with him and explored everything from his first childhood business to his tastes in music, tv, and clothes to his thoughts on big business. Learn why he recently pledged $31 billion. All this, and the world's second wealthiest man doesn't even have a cell phone or a computer. This is the story of Warren Buffet: the billionaire next door.

    Most of the show talked about facts that most any hard core fan, such as myself would already know. There were, however, a couple of things that I didn't know. One of which surprised me, but makes sense, given his wealth and the lifestyle I already knew he lived.
    The first thing I learned was that he had sold his Lincoln (famous for it's "thrifty" license plate) on ebay earlier this year. The other was a comment that he made to the interviewer Liz Claman. The comment, is one that agrees with Dave Ramsey. Ramsey is famous for saying that rich people don't use credit cards and that is part of the reason they are rich. A statement that several of the readers of this blog disagree with. Buffett made the comment that he has never owned a credit card. A fact that surprised me, given the fact that owns a huge stake in American Express (NYSE: AXP).

    In other news this month, I have completely blown my budget for the month. I must resist the temptation to overspend and stick to my budget. I did a lousy job this month, but I promise to do better next month. I must learn from Buffett, to live within my means. I. E.: Don't buy unless you have the cash saved up for it!

    Monday, November 6, 2006

    Seen Bush Yesterday

    President Bush spoke to about 6,000 people who filled the Kansas Expocenter in Topeka, Kansas yesterday. As one of those in attendance, as a volunteer, assigned to keep the press in their assigned areas, I stood in position beside several secret service agents.

    "Whatever you do, don't believe the prognosticators -- the pundits," the president told a cheering crowd of fans at the Kansas Expocentre. "A bunch of them have already decided that the verdict's in. But they forgot the folks in Kansas haven't gone to the polls yet."

    - President Bush

    I want to encourage everyone to vote tomorrow.

    Thursday, November 2, 2006

    New Blog To Track Grocery Prices

    A new community (blog) has been formed and is the newest member of network. The sole purpose of this new site is to be
    a community that will seek to keep track of "every day prices," at grocery stores. Obviously, I can not travel to every store in the United States to do this. So other members, will be able to post for their own local areas. One thing that I ask however, is that you compare prices with other stores in your area, and do NOT post sale prices. There are sites already for those.

    This new community is a sister site of and is located at:
    Grocery Store Prices.