Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

As the year draws to a close, I wanted to wish one and all a very Happy new Year. The past year has been a great year. As you can see here, I made a lot of posts and since beginning this blog, I have made a lot pf progress towards my debt. Still though, I have a long way to go. I have some plans to get better control of my finances, if things work out.
In addition, I must find a way to start and or finish these projects that I need to get done around my home.

  • Home Office (approx.$500) started a few years ago in my basement. Basically a room in my unfinished basement, that will be the most secure room in the house for my computer equipment. Even if the house is broken into, they would have to break into this room while the alarm was going off. (the work would be done by myself and volunteers. In addition to security, it would create more room in my living areas and with the new sub floor get things off the damp cement.
  • Insulation ($200-$300) I have been here for 8 years and I still have no insulation in the attic. I am estimating that I will need 10 rolls, to get a good start. If that is correct I will need another 10 to put on roof side of the attic. Obviously, the 1ST priority is getting insulation in the ceiling as that is the closest barrier to the living area.
  • Driveway ($2500-$5000) In my backyard I have one parking spot where a garage used to be. I would like to bring in a bulldozer and remove the retaining wall, leveling the ground some (probably a slight slope) and put in a driveway to get both the roommates car and mine off the street. Cost estimates from a neighbor in the business is $2500 graveled and $5,000 paved. Of course I think I will start with gravel. Since there would be the slope, I think when I pave it, it should be heated for the winter. IE: don't want to slide down hill into a narrow alley and hit the neighbors garage. I have no idea how much that would cost, but I can go a few years with a graveled driveway.

  • So the new year looks bright as I pay down my debt, but I wonder where I am going to get funds for the projects I need to work on also, especially the insulating the attic project.

    January 1st Update

    As the year comes to a close (and since I didn't get you at a Dec 1 update) I thought it would be an excellent time to review the past 9 months of personal finance blogging and just what I was able to get paid off. If you haven't seen my goals for 2007, I encourage you to look over the blog and read over them. If you have any comments or suggestions, they are more then welcome.

    Now since I started this blog I have paid off more then $4,817. That translates into a 24.588% paid off, leaving $14,774 to get paid off. I am hopeful to make enough extra cash to get this debt paid off by the end of the year. God bless and have a Happy New Year.

    Friday, December 29, 2006

    News You Need To Know

    I would like to thank the News You Need to Know radio show on KMAJ 1440 AM for the $5 gift certificate to the Coffee Break Cafe.

    Kansas To Consider Capping PayDay Loan Interest

    (Associated Press) -- When North Carolina lawmakers capped the amount of interest payday loan companies could charge their customers for short-term loans, the industry went bust in that state.
    Melody McCray-Miller, a Wichita Democrat is hoping a measure she plans to introduce in the upcoming legislative session - which could include and interest rate cap similar to the one that drove the payday loan industry out in North Carolina - would make "predatory lending" less lucrative in Kansas.
    Sunflower Community Action, a grass roots community group seeking tighter restrictions on payday lending, backs Miller's efforts.
    "Whatever they're doing in North Carolina should be what's done everywhere," said J. J. Selmon, community organizer for the groups northeast chapter.

    After reading the above story, I set out to ask Representative Miller a few questions. Below is the result of that interview between her and I.

    P. O. T.) Can you explain, for the readers what the bill is and what it would do if it passes?

    McCray-Miller) The bill will do 3 things: 1. Strengthen the current Payday Loan statute with additional consumer protection clauses. 2. Regulate consumer loan transactions secured by a motor vehicle (better known as car title loans). Cap the interest rate of these "secured" loans at 36%. 3. Create a data base for the purpose of verifying compliance from the lending industry.

    P. O. T.) Why do you want to regulate the payday loan industry?

    McCray-Miller) We are looking at this issue from a consumer protection lens. The amendment and new law proposed are designed to better protect consumers from predatory lending while at the same time better educate the public to the need for financial literacy and bring awareness that other lending currently exist and more are needed.

    P. O. T.) Do you have any co-sponsors? Bi-partisan?

    McCray-Miller) Currently, the co-sponsors are, Rep. Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita) and Sen. Donald Betts(D-Wichita). Rep. Deena Horst (R-Salina) and Sen. (Chris) Steineger (D-Kansas City) have both shown a keen interest in the proposed legislation.

    P. O. T.) Will this bill also affect the high-priced rent to own stores, title loan places and other such rip off artists.

    McCray-Miller) This bill will directly affect title lenders.

    P. O. T.) What do you think the chances of this bill passing?
    McCray-Miller) I believe the bill has a good chance of getting a fair hearing and becoming law.

    P. O. T.) When do you plan to introduce this bill?

    McCray-Miller) The bill will be introduced at the beginning of the 2007 Legislative Session.

    P. O. T.) What do you think is the possibility of Congress taking up a bill like this and making these regulations national?

    McCray-Miller) Congress just recently approved and passed a law that caps the interest rate on loans considered to be predatory for military personnel and family members. I and many others believe that if Congress identified Payday, Auto title and other predatory lending practices as harmful and a threat to our nations security, the same is true for our local communities and the people that work and live in them.

    Whitney Damron, lobbyist for the Kansas Payday loan Association said, "people who are critical of payday loans are trying to take a choice from customers." In addition, he said that government shouldn't get involved credit decisions for consumers any more than it should tell consumers how many credit cards or mortgages they should have.

    Well Mr. Damron, I have to disagree with you here. Your objectivity is clouded by the money that this rip off industry is paying you. If a company or an industry specifically targeting and ripping off the consumer, it is the job of the government to protect the consumer. Protecting the consumer is all this bill is doing. I look forward for the January 8Th opening of legislative session and subsequently the introduction and eventual passage of this bill.

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    Sponsored Post: HP Giving Away HP Equipment

    Recently PayPerPost has been traveling around the country and visiting "posties" that is bloggers who use PayPerPost, and have them run a scavanger hunt. In the video above they met up with Robyn who had to run around downtown Chicago and find different items. I think the most interesting part of the video is when she had to get a hug and kiss from a stranger.
    I had difficulty viewing the video because my computer is so low on memory that it often goes to the vitual memory. So when asked, yes I would love to have the postie patrol come to Topeka, so that I could get some HP equipment and Digital Photo Printing, hopefully a new computer with larger memory and newer features then this old computer. Of course the money that payperpost gives the scavanger hunt participant wouldn't hurt either. That money could eleminate one of the smaller debts.

    "Brought to you by HP"

    Thursday, December 28, 2006

    2007: Resolutions, Plans & A look Ahead

    I don't usually make resolutions, in fact the last time I did, I was a teenager in high school, some 20+ years ago. Well this year, as the year comes to a close. I would not be the Prince of thrift if I did not at least take a look at what I plan to do in 2007 about the nasty debt that I have spent the last 9 months actively fighting.
    So without further ado, here are my 2007 resolutions (aka goals)

  • Officially pay-off and eliminate the credit card. While the credit card has been cut up, auto payments continue to hit it and my balance continues to fluctuate between $800 and $1000.
  • Eliminate the remaining Home Improvement Loan. I still owe approximately $1400. I have been paying this down and in 2007 I will escalate my payments and get this debt paid off.
  • The Chevy. - In January of 2006 I took out a loan for a car that I should not have bought. Yep it was a stupid tax. I reasoned that I needed a new car because my old truck had been totaled twice by hit and run drivers and was dangerous to drive. While the reasoning may have been true, I did not need a 2004 nor did I need to spend $14,000 for a $11,000 car. I could have bought a $3,000 car to get around as I saved for a nicer car. In 2007 I resolve to find a way to either get out from the upside down loan or to find a way to escalate my payments and get the loan paid off quickly.
  • Education - I want to look more in depth to seeking CPA or other financial certification.
  • Love - I want to get to a position financially so that I can again consider meeting a special girl and dating.
  • Tuesday, December 26, 2006

    SPONSORED POST: Trade Line Broker

    A few weeks ago I reviewed a website called Seasoned Trades, today I am reviewing According to this page,

    You have stumbled across the greatest business opportunity in EXISTENCE. This isn't "Multi-Level-Marketing" or anything like it -- This business is Credit.

    Unlike other websites that feed you a bunch of fluff about the "opportunity", and ask you to waste your time listening to conference calls for hours on end before revealing the product, we are going to cut to the chase.

    The company is Seasoned Trade Lines, LLC. We market a program that allows our clients to legally and ethically add up to 200 points to their credit score in 90 days or less, by becoming an authorized user on established credit card accounts. We have hundreds of satisfied clients, and have been in business for 2 1/2 years.

    As I read the page, my interest was peaked, how could I make money through the credit industry?

    Well it wasn't long, before was telling me their plan.

    Seasoned Trade Lines, LLC in affiliation with several other online properties, receives hundreds of online requests for credit help daily.

    When our clients enroll with us, we pay folks in our Credit Network (that's you) to add our clients as an Authorized User to your accounts. You will specifically ask your credit card company to send only 1 card in the name of our clients to YOUR home. You will place a charge on your card in any amount, and 60 days later the history of your account(s) will appear on our clients' credit files That's it! In fact, even Fair, Isaac, and Co. (the people who invented the FICO score) say that the fastest way to build credit is to be added as an authorized user to established credit card accounts. The FTC even says that this technique can help those who couldn't ordinarily obtain credit such as students and home makers

    Pretty powerful stuff coming from the guys who write the rules.

    The fact is, adding seasoned trade lines to a credit file is the fastest way to build prime credit. The only catch is that all primary account holders must continue to maintain their accounts.

    What? Do I have stupid written across my forehead? They actually want people to add strangers to their credit accounts? If that isn't the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Like Dave Ramsey says, if a bank won't learn someone money, there must be a reason why.

    Of course, tries to reassure the reader of their page that it is safe.

    Your good credit will always be protected.

    Our clients will never know who you are, and if they do not maintain their credit, it has no effect on you whatsoever.

    Your credit card company will issue a card in our clients' name, and only you will receive the credit card issued to that person.

    Use that card once or twice for anything, and the next credit reporting period that cards history will be place on our clients' credit file...

    All members are paid $50-$150 for every client of ours who purchases 1 Authorized User account. Total workload is roughly a 5 minute phone call to your credit card company, per authorized user. Most of our clients purchase 3 - 4 Authorized User accounts, so if you have 3 - 5 accounts that meet the criteria, you would be paid $150 - $450 for 20 minutes of work! Some of our card holders maintain 10-20 good credit cards, some with an unlimited # of authorized users that can be added, and make in excess of $2000 a week.

    Finally, the website promises
    No work or fees is required. Just say "I want to come on board", and your in. You will receive payments 24 hours after a client pays their fees.
    Oh, Well, I guess I will just have to ruin my good name, to help some stranger raise their "credit score." jeez, no thanks.

    2 New Carnivals Started

    Debt Free 4ever made it into 2 brand new carnivals that were launched this holiday weekend.
  • Carnival of Credit Cards
  • an exclusive carnival on credit card related issues

  • Carnival of Money Stories

  • the first edition of Money Stories, where people share their personal experience/stories dealing with finance.

    I expect there will also be an appearance in the Carnival of Personal Finance today.

    Monday, December 25, 2006

    Merry Christmas

    The entire Chesney Park NIA board and Chesney park Action team would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. For those of you who may celebrate Hanukkah, we would like to offer hope that this time would be a very blessed as well.

    - Kevin Surbaugh
    Chesney park NIA V. P. (and webmaster)

    Sunday, December 24, 2006

    Dems, GOP don't even agree on the holidays

    Recently a liberal columnist in the local paper, reprinted this article by a man named John Carlson, who says the best way to tell Republicans from Democrats is by observing how they act during the holidays.
    I found my acts/favorites, would make me a member of both parties, so as a Christmas treat, I thought I would share this with all of you. Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy it.

    Republicans say "Merry Christmas!"
    Democrats say "Happy Holidays!"

    Republicans help the poor during the holidays by sending $50 to the Salvation Army.
    Democrats help the poor by giving $50, one buck at a time, to panhandlers on the street.

    Democrats get back at Republicans on their Christmas list by giving them fruitcakes.
    Republicans re-wrap them and send them to in-laws.

    When not in stores, Republicans use a catalog.
    Democrats watch for "incredible TV offers" on late-night TV.

    Democrats do a lot of their shopping at Costco and Wal-Mart.
    So do Republicans, but they don't admit it.

    Republican parents have no problem buying their kids toy guns.
    Democrats refuse to do so. That is why their kids pretend to shoot each other with dolls.

    Republicans spend hundreds of dollars and hours of work decorating the yard with outdoor lights and Christmas displays.
    Democrats save their time and money and drive around at night to enjoy the scenery.

    Democrats' favorite Christmas movie is "Miracle on 34th Street."
    Republicans' favorite Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life."
    Right-wing Republicans' favorite Christmas movie is "Die Hard."

    Republicans always take the price tag off any expensive gifts they buy before wrapping.
    Democrats also remove tags from pricey gifts ... and reposition them to make sure they are seen.

    Republicans wear wide red ties and green sport jackets during the festive season.
    So do Democrats, all year round.

    Most Republicans try, at least once, enclosing indulgent, wretchedly maudlin form letters about their families in Christmas cards.
    Public ridicule from Democrats usually discourages them from doing it again.

    Democrats' favorite Christmas song is "Deck the Halls."
    Young Democrats' favorite Christmas song is "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
    Republicans' favorite Christmas song is " White Christmas."
    Young Republicans' favorite Christmas song is "White Christmas."

    Cheapskate Republicans buy an artificial Christmas tree.
    Tightfisted Democrats buy a real tree, but they wait until the week before Christmas, when the lots lower their prices.

    Democratic men like to watch football while wives, girlfriends or mothers fix holiday meals.
    On this, Republicans are in full agreement.

    Republicans see nothing wrong with letting their children play "Cowboys and Indians."
    Democrats don't, either, as long as the Indians get to win.

    Republicans first began thinking like Republicans when they stopped believing in Santa Claus.
    Democrats became Democrats because they never stopped believing in Santa Claus.

    Merry Christmas everyone

    Merry Christmas everyone and to my Jewish friends happy Hanukkah (or Chanukkah).

    Friday, December 22, 2006

    Blogging Convention! Conferences?

    I recently learned that there will be a blogging convntion. Blog World Expo—a convention about blogging which will be held in Las Vegas! It’s not going to be held until November 8th and 9th, 2007.
    I would love to go, but we shall see. What i would like to know, is, where do I find out about all the conventions and confrences for bloggers, especially personal finance bloggers.
    I have seen several previous confrences posted. The only future confrence I have seen is BlogHer '07 for the women bloggers. Does anyone know where I can find information on future confrences? Maybe some that are closer to where I live.

    Recent Stupidity

    I know it's hard to believe that I would do anything stupid (Sarcasm Intended). Especially, when I sometimes come across so harsh about doing the right thing financially. Perhaps, I come across that way, because I am preaching to myself as well as trying to encourage everyone else to avoid the mistakes that I made, and seem to continue to make.

    So what did I do that was so stupid? Well, as some of you may know (and others may not) I collect political memorabilia, especially Campaign Buttons, well recently I visited the home of the only Vice-President (and only American Indian to) from Kansas. After, that visit, something any me was set off. I went on a shopping spree that I could not really afford, to buy campaign buttons of every candidate (successful or otherwise) from Kansas to ever run for President or Vice-President.
    So lets see there was Charles Curtis (VP for Hoover), President Eisenhower, Bob Dole (VP running-mate for Ford in '76), Bob Dole (Presidential Campaign), and Alf Landon (ran for President). I am still waiting for some of these pins to arrive, while I have already received some. Then of course the Kansas collection still won't be complete. Why? Because, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, has announced his intentions to run for President in 2008 (Buttons are yet to even be printed). Of course, if he failed to get the nomination, he still could be picked to be the V.P. running-mate). I am hopeful those buttons won't cost me anything, or at least I will actually have the funds when they do become available next year.

    OK, so there you have it. How I was stupid. Let the harassing and head knocking begin. I fulling admit my mistakes. Of course that is part of the idea, of this blog, to discuss every aspect of my financial picture as well as what the experts say is the right course.

    Mortgage Means What?

    If you are thinking of buying a home, the word "mortgage" should loom large. Mort (ie Mortal). Gage. Divide up these words and you get "death pledge" in French. But it doesn't stop there in Latin it translates as "Death Grip," ie (John went outside to gage the extent of the damage.)


    I was looking around the Internet today, and I found Deals & Bargains, otherwise known as The great thing about this site, that is updated daily is that they have coupons that can be used at online stores. Yep, that's right folks. These coupons cannot be printed off and taken to a physical store location, instead they are to be used online. The downside, if it really is a downside, is the site is geared for those readers in North Carolina.
    So, what if you are outside of North Carolina, in one of the other 49 sates, like myself? I don't know. I tried to contact them, but found no phone number. They did have an e-mail address, but would not guarantee a personal reply.
    However, I got to looking around, and I decided that people in all 50 states could use the site. At least most of them, because they are business' that I have already done business with at some point or another. Business' such as 1-800Flowers, 1-800PETMEDS or PetSmart. I could be wrong, but I figure these business' will ship anywhere in the USA, especially if they already have a customer base in that state.
    The site looks like a great site, and if you like to shop online, get out your debit card, and purchase the items you need and save some money while doing it.

    Thursday, December 21, 2006

    Truth About Interest Rate

    I am often asked,

    Why should I pay off my low interest rate loan (mortgage or otherwise) when I could make so much more by investing in the market?

    John Cummuta says, On a typical monthly mortgage payment, 90% or more of the payment is interest each month. While the loan company made you feel like you were getting a 5% or 6% mortgage, you're actually paying 90%+ of your money toward interest each month. It would only be 5% or 6% if you paid the entire balance off the first year.

    The other reason paying off your mortgage is a good idea is that paying off debt gives you a guaranteed return on investment equal to the debt's interest rate, so you must only compare paying off your mortgage loan with investments that would also guarantee their return. What investments guarantee their returns? Growth/equity mutual funds do not guarantee their return. In fact, you can lose money in these funds. It's the same with individual stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals, and almost all types of securities. The safest investments that do guarantee their return rates are U.S. Treasury instruments, such as bills, notes and bonds. You'll find that long-term bonds generally offer the highest interest rate of the three, but this rate will always be less than current mortgage interest rates. So prepaying your mortgage will always give you a higher return on your money then the best comparable guaranteed-return investment.

    Wednesday, December 20, 2006

    Pay Those Taxes

    I am not familiar with other states, but in Kansas today is the last day to pay those nasty property taxes. I went to the county court house yesterday, and paid mine. Money, I really didn't have yet. Every time I try to get my savings built up, either something breaks or I stupidly overspend and raid the saved money.
    Something I have started doing is automatically putting one source of extra money in the savings and forcing myself to not use it for regular spending. Over the course of the past month since I implemented the plan, it has been working. However, it was not enough to cover the $390 tax bill.
    The good thing, if I can keep the plan going as planned I will have the money saved for the 2ND half of my taxes as well as my insurance payments when they come due again.

    Sponsored: I Made Money with Pay Per Post

    OK, so most of my readers, know that I occasionally use some pay-to-post services to bring in a few dollars. While I have not found enough opportunities (I am choosy) to bring in the $400-$500 some bloggers claim to be able to make. I have done better with PayPerPost then I have with Blogsvertise. So far PayPerPost has paid me a total of $82.50 since I started with them a few months back.
    Currently, I have a $10 post that I will be paid for in a few days and I am looking forward to that.
    I will be honest here and say that while I am grateful for the few dollars I do make, I just wish that I could find more opportunities to post about that fit within the topic of this blog. Still I love PayPerPost, I just wish I could make, in good conscience the $400-$500 each month. If I could get that then I would have my debts paid off in about 4 months. Well, except for that dang car. That car was probably the biggest stupid tax I made. Though, if you seen the truck that I had been driving around in, you would know how much I needed something safer. But, that's getting into another topic. If you would like to sign up for PayPerPost for your own blog, click on any of the links in this post and enter my email address (frugal -AT- as your referer. It is a great source for a little extra cash and unlike Google AdSense, they don't wait until you earn $100 to send you the money. You are paid 30 days from the date of your sponsored post.
    Once you sign up then you make money from posts, just like this one. PayPerPost will pay me $10 for this post, 30 days from today.

    So what are you waiting for? Go sign-up now.

    Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    Avoid Holiday Loans

    Have you heard about the newest loan product out there? It's the newest twist on those rip off refund anticipation loans, also known as RALs (something the major tax prep firms have been doing for years — after January first). They figure out your refund, and lend you that amount at a high interest rate. You pay them back when Uncle Sam's check arrives.

    However, holiday loans are available in December. Instead of a W2 form, you bring in your latest pay stub. The tax firm estimates your refund and lends you that amount.

    NBC reported,

    "These holiday loans in particular are marketed to people at a time when they are probably most vulnerable," a consumer advocate with the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy in New York.

    Consumer advocates have long criticized the tax season loans. Annual interest rates on RALs range from 40 to more than 700 percent, according to the National Consumer Law Center.

    "They're offering a very bad product," says Griffith. "And what's worse is they know they're offering a bad product."

    But there's another critic.

    "In our assessment, this product is really not a good value for consumers," says Mark Ernst, CEO of H&R Block talking to investment analysts on Feb. 24, 2006, about holiday loans offered by a competitor, Jackson Hewitt. "This looks like another variation on refund loans, only worse. That was our judgment about it."

    But H&R Block started making holiday loans, too, for business reasons.

    "I mean, it's very clear to me, our intent is not to cede the early season to any competitors," says Ernst.

    A Chicago research group thinks this kind of Refund Anticipation Loan is a terrible idea. According to the Chicago Sun-Times,
    The Woodstock Institute said the holiday loans, combined with other refund anticipation loans taken at tax time, will eat away hundreds of dollars from individual returns.

    "From the looks of this product, tax preparers are moving into the payday loan business," said Marva Williams, senior vice president of Woodstock. "We strongly urge consumers to stay away from these expensive loans this holiday season, just as they would avoid a payday loan."

    As I have said so many times in this blog, as have a number of financial advisers that I follow, you can not get ahead and build real wealth, by borrowing.

    Sponser: Financial One

    An industry leader, Financial One offers mortgage and insurance services to both residential and commercial clients. In addition to providing an abundance of convenient alternatives at the lowest cost possible, Financial One's executive team is comprised of key market makers with more than 50 years of combined industry experience. This experience extends significant benefits to clients through knowledge of all types of financing alternatives including residential purchases, refinances, investment property, construction loans, mixed use and commercial as well as an array of insurance products. With a strong understanding that business success is tied directly to customer care, a significant portion of business comes by way of referrals from past clients just like you.

    Since Financial One is a full service they offer Life Insurance and annuity products. Annuties are something to avoid, not neccessarilly because of risk, but because you can get better returns elsewhere. Now for the life insurance. Financial Ones online life insurance shopping system instantly compares life insurance rates from over 140 companies. The form is easy to fill out and you get quotes back within seconds of hitting the submit button.

    Finally, the final product to discuss is of course mortgages. As I have said in previous posts, I believe people should save their money up rather then borrow to buy a house. However, as I have also said, a first time home owner may find it neccessary to borrow a portion. The key here is to make a bigger downpayment, and buy smaller, then upgrade when you can pay (cash + sell of the smaller home) cash for the newer home. I cannot completely condem mortgages (although some seem to miss that part of some previous posts) but be careful, avoid them as much possible. If you are buying a 2nd, 3rd, etc or even rental properties, then avoid mortgages at all costs.

    For those that do look towards mortgages, then make a larger down payment (at least 50%) and get a 15-year fixed rather then the typical 30-year. Of course shorter the term the better, as long as the rates are fixed. Problem with spreading out the term is you're only paying more interest rather then decreasing your monthly payment.

    Sunday, December 17, 2006

    My Ebay Auction Ending Tonight

    I finally received a bid on my eBay auction that started a week ago. I have about 2 hours left before the auction ends (about 7 pm central time). Right now it's really going for pennies on the dollar to an individual who wants to pick it up locally. I am still hopeful, that I will be able to sell the item for closer to full price, especially since it is new.

    Credit card fees can suck you in

    I found this article interesting. Those of you who insist on using credit cards, may want to reconsider that after you have read this guys story. Especially those of you, who use the arguement that you pay your balance off in full every month. If everyone, that says they paid the bill in full actually did, then the credit cards companies would be bankrupt. However, there is a more pressing reasoning to cut up those credit cards. This time I am not releying on Dave Ramsey to prove my point, instead I am looking to an article in the USA Today (Dec. 15, 2006).

    René Rodríguez of Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, paid late on his August credit card bill for the first time in years. A simple oversight: He misplaced his bill.

    But the fees Rodríguez was hit with were hardly simple. First, Citibank charged a $39 late fee. And even though he paid his full balance, the bank dropped his interest-free grace period. Then it began charging interest, compounding daily, at a 24% annual rate. All told, it cost him nearly $100. The policy "is perplexing," Rodríguez says. "It's probably somewhere in the contract, and whether it's fair or not, once the company puts it there, you're stuck."

    Remember when most of us paid only an annual fee on credit cards? Today, late fees and over-the-limit fees are replacing that annual fee. Add in a dizzying array of extra charges: for phone payments, "expedited" online payments, credit card use overseas and balance transfers from other cards.

    At a time when Americans wield more plastic than ever — 692 million credit cards, with $711 billion of debt — fees and policies have grown so complex that even regulators struggle to grasp them.

    That's right folks, miss that payment due date once, and your grace period no longer exists.

    Lots of card issuers offer low initial interest rates these days. But once they've pulled you in, they often replace "fixed" rates with floating rates — which can rise — and impose penalty rates of up to 30% even on those with good credit.

    "It's like economic Darwinism," says Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center, an advocacy group. "The business model has changed from one rate and annual fee to all these different tiers and fees designed to make money."

    As I have stated repeatedly, you cannot beat the credit card companies. Eventually, you will miss a payment for some reason, probably by accident and they will sock it to you. It's not a game that I am willing to play. Pay cash for everything, and you will come out ahead of anyone that pays with credit. Ths article is a perfect illustration of that point.

    As for those 0% and low intrest credit card offers, the article is clear in repeating what I have said in past posts. Those offers are to lure you in and then they snare you, like a wild animal in a hunters trap. Or, to use John Cummuta's annalogy, like a drug dealer, giving a new adict his first taste of cocaine. Once you have tried the drug, it becomes hard to refuse it. That's why Cummuta refers to credit cards as "Consumer Cocaine."

    Homemade Soap

    So I have been considering making my own soap. Well sort of. I have a bunch of soap scraps saved up (not to mention some barely used "hotel" soap), and thought I would melt them into new bars of soap to save money. Does anyone have any experience with this? If so how difficult is the process?

    Where can I get the soap molds from? What is the process? What about liquid hand soap, would that be easier/cheaper?

    Friday, December 15, 2006

    Money Magazine: Scraping by on $150,000 a year

    I was insulted when I saw the Money Magazine headline. Then I saw the sub-title.
    The Schuetts have an enviable income. So why are they having a hard time making ends meet,
    then I realized they were talking about a family (like so many) who had made a lot of financial mistakes. So much so, they struggle financially like someone or even a family that makes less then $20,000.

    f she thought it would really fix her family's finances, Amy Schuett would make it her New Year's resolution to squeeze every bit of extra spending from the family budget.

    But she's already slashed so many little luxuries - the gourmet coffee, the restaurant lunches, the weekly dates with husband Brian - that she's fresh out of ideas.

    Cable TV? Unplugged. Pool membership? Down the drain.

    They've even considered giving up their unlisted phone number. At a cost of $3 a month, this move wouldn't save much - even over, say, 150 years - but it shows how desperate the couple feel about easing their financial strain. "We're struggling week to week to get by," says Brian, 42. "Any money that comes in gets chewed up right away."

    Digesting that fact becomes harder when you consider that the Schuetts earn a comfortable living, with Amy, 39, pulling in $150,000 a year as a hospital psychiatrist. True, their income did take a big hit last summer when Brian got laid off from his job as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical firm (he'd been making a base salary of $82,000 a year, plus commissions as high as $24,000).

    Whoa, whoa, right there, did I read that right? His annual commissions alone is more then I make in a year? This couple is in serious need of learning, how to spend within their means. Of course it's, not just this family, but a lot of families of all income levels. What can we learn from their mistakes?

    There's only one thing that stands between the average person and the discipline needed to save on a regular basis: human nature. When it comes to money, "we tend to spend as much as we have," says Susan Kaplan, a financial planner in Newton, Mass.

    So take self-discipline out of the equation by enrolling in automatic investing plans through your employer and financial services providers; you tell them how much to deduct from your paycheck or checking account, and the money will be shifted every month into investments of your choice without further ado from you. In effect, you make the discipline of saving your money someone else's job.

    Set targets for how much you should be saving for various goals through these automatic investing plans, then slowly work your way up to the goal.

    Financial planner Bonnie Hughes, for instance, suggests that you aim to have at least 10 percent of your income directed to a 401(k) or similar retirement account (15 percent would be ideal); 4 percent in a savings account or money-market fund designated for emergencies (you can stop once the account is equal to six months' worth of your living expenses); and another $100 a month going into 529 plans for each of your kids.

    The important thing, though, is just to get started with a different way of thinking about money: From this day forward, you will treat saving like a bill and make it the first one you pay each month. And you will no doubt find yourself automatically adjusting your spending downward as a result.

    Kaplan notes, "If you never have the money at hand, you can't spend it."

    As we continue to read the article, we learn that this couple also owns several rental properties. Now for me and I am sure Dave Ramsey, there is no question about it, sell these properties.

    But there is more. They don't want to give up some expenses, even temporarily while they are getting out of debt.

    "The feeling that you can never get ahead can be demoralizing," says Kaplan. So make sure in your zeal to spend less and save more, you still allow yourself a few expenditures that bring your family real pleasure. You just need to figure out in advance how you'll pay for them.

    Last year, for instance, Brian's parents gave the Schuetts a horse named Red for their kids to ride. They think it will cost a few hundred dollars a month to feed and care for the animal, and they're willing to give up ballet lessons and gymnastics classes for the girls to pay for it.

    The trade-off is worth it, says Brian, because "the kids so love having a horse."

    In fact, Amy has already got a name if they get a second horse: Buttercup. "We'll probably have to wait a while for that," says Brian. "We've got another beast to tame first."

    Until, they take drastic action this couple will not be debt-free. If they keep the attitude of keeping some luxeries, that many Americans can't afford, like keeping a horse (and especially getting a 2ND horse), ballet lessons and/or gymnastics, they will continue to have a harder time to pay off their debts. Just ask Leigh Ann of, who recently got debt-free by cutting out all unnecessary expenses.

    In Memory of Lamar Hunt

    This isn't a personal financial post and I am not even a Cheifs fan, but in memory of someone who was a founder of the old American Football League and even orchestrating the merger with the NFL.

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lamar Hunt, the soft-spoken son of a Texas oil tycoon whose vision gave birth to the modern NFL, is being remembered as a man who changed the face of pro football.

    "Lamar Hunt was one of the most influential owners in professional football over the past 40-plus years," Dan Rooney, chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers, said Thursday as plans were being made for burial of the 74-year-old sports pioneer.

    "He was instrumental in the formation of the American Football League and in the AFL-NFL merger, which helped the National Football League grow into America's passion."

    Hunt, who founded the American Football League in 1960 after the NFL refused to sell him a team, died Wednesday night in a Dallas hospital following a long battle with prostate cancer.

    He moved his Dallas Texans to Kansas City in 1963 and renamed them the Chiefs.

    "In creating the AFL, he likely did more to change the NFL over the last half-century than any other single person," said New York Jets CEO Woody Johnson. "Without Lamar Hunt, there would be no Super Bowl, a term he originally coined, and there would not be a New York Jets franchise."

    Hunt entered the hospital for the last time Nov. 22, only 24 hours before his beloved Chiefs hosted Denver in a Thanksgiving night game. While treating him for a partially collapsed lung, doctors discovered the cancer had spread.

    "He wanted people to love the sports like he did," his wife Norma said. "He loved sports so much, he was so passionate about them and he wanted others to share the joy."
    according to

    Save VS Borrowing: Why Borrowing Is Stupid

    (image from 1st Tennessee) One responder to my post the other day (on 0% credit cards) left this message,

    I have to disagree with the premise and the following statement "don't spend (or invest) money you don't have."

    The average home costs $170k in the US. Should someone not buy a home because they don't have 170k in cash?

    Should a high school graduate forgo college because he doesn't have 30k for tuition & books?

    Should you forgo medical treatment (even though you might die) because you don't have 10k for medical treatment?

    The whole "don't spend money you don't have" sounds pretty stupid when you start putting things into context.

    The short answer to this person is yes, and while his comment saying that the idea of not spending more then you have is stupid, is in fact well stupid. However, the poster is using the mindset of most Americans. Americans who will never be wealthy, because they want everything now, rather then following the advice of those who actually have money, like Warren buffet, Dave Ramsey or John Cummuta.

    The key is to save for those big purchases, such as a house. John Cummuta even suggests you may have to borrow to buy your first house. However, what you do is buy a smaller house (a starter house) save up money as you pay off that house, then when the time comes to move into a $170k + house, you pay cash for it. The thing is when you borrow to pay for anything, you end up paying much more for it. For example over the course of 30 years you will end up paying the bank a half million dollars for that 170k house. How stupid is that? Why not save the money up and pay less. That is in fact how rich get rich and the richer get richer.
    Take a look at Donald Trump, a great businessman, but a poor example of wealth building. How many times has he filed bankruptcy now?

    Now for education, this is a common problem, but if a student graduating high school had truly wise and prudent parents, then they would have money saved up for their kids education. Dave Ramsey tells a story about a couple who had a few thousand saved for their first kids education. Now she was pregnant with a 2ND child and wondering how they were going to pay for the education of that 2ND child, who wasn't even born yet. Dave didn't have an answer, probably only be able to pay half of each child's education. That wasn't good enough for this couple, they returned to Dave a few months later and reported that the young father (a school teacher) had gotten a 2ND job over the previous few months, delivering pizza, to earn enough money to fund the newborn education.

    These parents were wise, and they thought ahead enough, to even get a 2ND job, to make sure their kids future was met. So Mr. Rich Slick, if you want to really have enough money to be a "rich slick" then you will save rather then borrow and live within your means.

    In fact the graph on this post (from 1st Tennessee) shows how much more a borrower will spend on education then a person who had saved. Rich Slick is that what you want for your kids? Sorry, but I want to provide better for my kids future then that.

    this article has made it's way into other blogs. Mandy commented on D's post
    I guess you mean to take the advice with a grain of salt. Aim high. Some people feel that if there's a loan on offer for 95% of the purchasing price, they should take it. Or if they can get student loans for their kids' entire education, they should go for it.

    I think the aim should be to have as much of your own cash as possible. Get the smaller house if needs be, and pay it off earlier. Then it's an asset.

    Plan for your kids' education instead of letting it sneak up on you (and them). If you have something to contribute, the debt incurred will be significantly less.

    To me, it's all about an attitude adjustment from the "I want it all now" to "I want what is possible without huge debt"
    It has also made it's way to GetRichSlick.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    Did you hear about this? Recently Dean Hunt with Dean Hunt received emails from someone claiming that he (Dean) should remove his blog from Google search because the blog was ranking higher then the e-mailers business website. Funny stuff, that has made the top news websites this past weekend.

    ——-Original Message——-

    From: xxxxx xxxxxxxxx
    Date: 12/8/2006 xx:xx:xx PM
    To: Dean Hunt
    Subject: Google Removal Request

    Hello Dean,

    My name is [edited] and I run [edited].com

    I have been running the site for over two years and we have been ranked very highly for the search term [edited].

    On Thursday morning I checked our google positions and your site is now above us for this term. I haev checked your blog and it has nothing to do with [edited], so I think it would be best all round if you remove your blog from google for this search term.

    Please understand that we make our living from this, and you are just writing a blog that has nothing to do with [edited].

    If you do not remove yourself from google for this search, then I will call them myself and have you removed.

    I expect a reply soon.



    From: xxxxx xxxxxxxxx
    Date: 12/8/2006 xx:xx:xx PM
    To: [edited]
    Subject: Re: Google Removal Request


    Dean here from

    I just received your e-mail. My first question would have to be… Are you serious?

    I had to re-read your e-mail three times to make sure my eyes were not playing tricks on me!

    Here is some more info that may help you understand my stance on this:

    a) I have never attempted to rank for the search term [edited], I seem to rank fairly well for [edited], which I suppose is fairly similar. But if Google prefers my site to yours then perhaps you should be asking yourself why that is.

    b) There is nothing I can do about removing myself for that search term, nor am I going to attempt to do anything. I have no information on my site related to [edited], so I am sure that the searchers will generally visit your site instead.

    c) You can contact Google if you wish! I doubt you will get a serious reply though.

    Perhaps instead of wasting your time with e-mails like this you could work on improving your web site instead?

    Anyway, good luck with contacting google, if you do get a reply, I would love a copy of their e-mail. I have prepared a nice little place on my wall to hang it from.

    Take care,


    Bizarre Google Request Update
    December 11th, 2006

    Good morning,

    You are probably aware that over the weekend my “Bizzare google request” story was featured on many major news sites on the net. It has been discussed on thousands of sites and forums and the response was so high that my server crashed on two occasions. (Current total = 45,000+ readers)

    I am honestly amazed by the response! I only posted the first e-mail on here because I thought it was amusing, and I was genuinly surprised to see the attention that it received.

    Anyway, I have spoken to some friends and my plan was just to let this all calm down and for me to get back to normal. But I have received another e-mail from him this morning, and if you guys find it half as funny as I do then it is surely worth posting.

    However, this time I have NOT replied to the e-mail. Quite frankly I am lost for words with this guy, and I am losing my patience.

    So what I would like you to do is to use the comments box in this article and tell me what you think I should reply with.

    Here is his e-mail:


    Firstly, I have to admit that I was not impressed with the sarcastic nature of your reply.

    Secondly, I am writing to let you know that I have contacted Google and am awaiting their reply.

    You have to understand Dean that an online business should be higher in Google than a blog.

    Don’t forget that Google is a business as well, they obviously make more money from other businesses than they do from blogs, so it is in their interest that I am higher than you for certain searches.

    I have also contacted my lawyer about this issue, so you should expect a letter in the post very soon.

    I expect a reply soon.

    I honestly don’t know whether to just block his e-mails or keep playing with this guy. At times his attitude makes me laugh, but at other times he really frustrates me that he thinks he can bully people like this.

    Amazingly, I have had e-mails from other webmasters who have had similar threats to this. So it appears that the larger sites are used to using bullying tactics. But these tactics will NOT work on the internet and they will NOT work on me!

    He may have a good lawyer, but I have got a blog and quite frankly I am used to playing the underdog, so I don’t scare easily.

    I look forward to hearing your replies for this e-mail. I am currently looking down the side of the sofa to see if I can find a prize for the best reply.


    You Can't Beat The Credit Card Companies

    Yesterday, I received a comment from someone who said,

    I'm still making $10/day on credit cards.

    This is the same detractor who repeatedly tries to convince me that he is smarter then the Credit Card companies.

    Repeat after me: A credit card is not money. A credit card is not money. A credit card is not money. A credit card is not money.

    If you don't have real money at your disposal, you don't have any business even thinking about anything but the most basic of needs. Again: A credit card is not money. As Dave Ramsey (and John Cummuta) says, don't spend (or invest) money you don't have.

    The thing is you don't know what will happen tomorrow. You may think your paycheck will be available to you on your payday, but what happens if the company goes bankrupt between now and then. Or maybe the "mail" truck delivering the checks to your location wrecks (breaks down, gets stuck, etc), delaying the checks. Borrowing from so called free credit cards is risky. The credit cards aren't stupid, they can tell what you are doing and trying to pull the wool over their eyes will only make you a higher credit risk to them rather then a better.

    Michael Clarke writes in This is Money,

    The practice, where a customer draws the maximum amount on a 0% card to either put in a high interest account or to offset a mortgage, has been popular with sophisticated card users since 0% deals first became popular in early 2000.

    At the end of the 0% introductory period, stoozers (British term: those who borrow at 0% then invest the borrowed funds) either withdraw the money from where it has been invested and use it to pay off the full credit card balance, or switch to a new 0% deal.

    ...One way card providers are stopping customers doing this is by preventing them from transferring money into current or savings accounts. While it is still possible to transfer balances between credit cards, most card providers can now recognise bank account numbers and stop transfers to current accounts.

    They also recognize other credit card numbers, and while viewing your credit report, they will see a lot of balance transfers between credit card companies. Eventually, they will say, "hey this guy is jerking us around," or something to that affect and start denying his credit. The person that thinks they are smarter then the card companies will begin to see their credit score (FICO) to drop.

    Be leery of anyone like this guy, that tells you that you can beat the credit card companies.

    Monday, December 11, 2006

    Thank You Carlos

    I would like to Thank Carlos for signing up for PayPerPost and using my email (on the right) as a referral, netting me an extra $5.

    Thank you so much Carlos.

    New Ebay Auction & Other Thoughts

    It's time for to again try to help out my personal finances with some eBay sales, so after a few months break from the eBay selling, I am back to it again. I stopped a when a box of computer parts didn't sell twice. This time I have listed a brand new, unopened, still in the box Magic bullet to get the sales started off. I have two computer monitors, that I will probably be adding soon, as well.

    My AdSense spots are doing OK. I don't have enough visitors to make them as profitable as I really need, but that is OK. They are doing better, then I had originally expected. I need them to be clicked on 3-21 times each day just to get a monthly check. That will come in time, as my readership increases. So far I have received one $100 check for the period between April and September. For the period since October 1st to present, I am half towards my 2ND check. It appears hat currently Google will be paying me twice a year. Every little bit helps.

    Other sources of revenue are also sporadic, but as I have said every little bit help. That reminds me, I need to go and update the "Thank You Blog."

    Friday, December 8, 2006

    We Made The "Top 100 Blogs to read in 2007"

    CHICAGO , IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 8, 2006 -- Kevin Surbaugh, of Topeka, KS, was selected by the editors of as one of the "Top 100 blogs to read in 2007."

    He is in the hole approximately $20,000 - $19,890 to be exact. He is single and fully admits that he made some bad financial decisions in the past that made his debt swell. His debt is down from a 2006 high of $21,798 set in July, when he refinanced his car.

    Overcoming his surprise, Surbaugh said that it was "an honor to be chosen to be on this list." Writing DebtFree4ever, is a fun hobby. "I enjoy reading every comment, even the ones I disagree with," he said.

    Surbaugh had been writing a political blog at this time last year, but in lateed March (2006) he started and inside one month, had 4 times the readership of the political blog. He said it was a "no brainierer" of which blog should get all his attention and shut down the other blog, putting the name up for sale. Since those early days, DebtFree4ever has grown to better then 200 readers each week with new readers joining all the time.

    Because Surbaugh has a blog, his experiences are open for everyone to read about. All of his financial health is charted and graphed for the world to see.

    These graphs show snapshots of how much he owes and when he expects he is going to be debt-free. You can check this out for yourself at

    Blogs, like Surbaugh's, open a window into a person's struggles. recognizeses these bloggers as the "Top 100 Blogs to read in 2007 ."

    See other blogs nominated for the national award: collects nominations for Lemon Award for Bad Banking from consumers all year long. Send them to .

    Thursday, December 7, 2006

    A penny saved is a penny earned

    Ok so the other day, I posted an article on 33 lessons from mom regarding finances. Today, I will make my second post as I go through the list 1 by 1.

    Rich M. said,

    Why did your mom place so much importance on your piggybank as you were growing up? Because money saved does grow, due to this magic fertilizer called compound interest. Mom’s recommendation - when your paycheck comes in, set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account so that 10 percent is saved immediately. While the pinch may be felt for a few months, pretty soon it will be replaced by the bulge of the fattening savings account.

    I have heard some say that saving a penny now days isn't worth the effort. Wel I disagree. You can save a penny a day doubled everyday and be a millionaire in 30 days. Of course, eventually it isn't practical,unless you already have the million dollars. However, if you save a penny a day at age 15. Then the next year save 2 pennies a day and the next year 4 and so on, along with the compounded interest over the years, you could be a millionaire by the time you are 45 or 50. That is provided that you never dipped into that savings and you always continued to ad more to that savings account. A penny is still worth saving. Perhaps thats why so many aren't wealthy. Well besides all the overspending so many of us do.

    To Be or Not To Be

    (I love this cartoon)

    A few months back I started montonizing this blog to help bring in a few bucks to suplement my $19K annual salary. There was some debate about it at the time, I even asked for all of your opinions. Since then I have used Blogsvertise and PayPerPost ver since. Well except the month of November, when I didn't post any. Well someone was surprised when I typed up two yesterday from Blogsvertise. This person sent a note saying:
    You should write the 33 blog posts. I'd rather see them than all the sponsored posts you've been writing lately.

    Well s/he is refering to another post I amde, and currently have been working on. Howevr, they take research and I have several in my drafts waiting for completion as I have the time.
    Since, I only make 19k, I need the additional resources to come from someplace. Though, I don't make enough from the montonization of this blog, to make much difference, but it does help.

    Certainly, I would prefer to get rid of blogsvertise and payperpost, because they take some time away from my regular posts, searching out the assignments that would fit in with the theme of this blog. However, I need to get 3 hits on Google Adsense every single day on a regular basis, just to get the minimum income that it takes all 3 to currently bring in. That is something that just isn't going to happen with on 50 unigue visitors everyday. I diffenitly cannot get the 21 clicks on the adsense ads that would bring in the resources that I actually need, to supplement my income.

    I did on November 30th (I believe) create disclosure policy stating from that day forth I would mark all posts that are sponsered as being as such. My question, to all my readers, should mark them as sponsered the way I have (in the 3 that were affected) or should I put the word sponser in the title? Such as
    "SPONSER: Such As This"
    So what do you think? If you would prefer that I get rid of the paid posts all together, what ways do you propose that I make the needed resources to pay off my debts, so that I can replace the shoes on my feet that have holes in them? Or to actually buy food? Have you seen the price of eggs this week? $1.29 for a dozen large eggs. I am someone that normally eat 2-3 eggs a day. When I seen the price of eggs today, I left, without purchasing them. I will eat a can of beans for breakfast rather then pay that kind of price for now.

    Wednesday, December 6, 2006

    Insurance Quotes Website Review

    Are you looking for a place to compare insurance quotes? may be the place for you. The website in this reviewers opinion, is easy to use. Simply type you zip code into the box on the front page, and follow instructions.

    Once I submitted my information to and their spider searched their database, they came back and said that they could not find anyone in the Topeka area to write the life insurance to meet my needs. The website also will search auto, home, health, etc, but I did not search any of those databases.

    I did find to be an interesting website and could be valubl;e if you are researching insuranc quotes, however I find that the database seems smaller then simaler services out there.

    The beauty of it is, when they couldn't provide me with any information, they came me a list of websites that they thought might be able to help me.

    sponser sponser sponser sponser sponser sponser Looks Interesting

    Money Buddy does two things: product comparison and personal finance information. Compare thousands of credit cards, car loans and home loans with the product finder. And whether you're a financial novice or expert, you'll find plenty of news, info, guides and tips - just browse the sections, or search for an article with the search bar above. And if you're still in need of guidance, search the directory for an expert's advice.

    That's the claim of While, I am opposed to borrowing, I believe that those of us that have been foolish in the past to borrow, need to know if we have the best interest rates. If claims are correct, the information would be valuable. However, before running out refinancing, remeber what John Cummuta says about that.
    The newer a loan is the more interst you are paying, so when you refinance, you are starting over and paying almost 100% interest. So consider refinancing carefully.

    I can not recommend nor criticize If you visit the website, I just encourage you to be carefull and smart before submitting any personal information to these Australians.

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    Avoid PayDay Loans

    Today I was looking at the website of one of those payday loan places. You know one those places that some have called loan sharks. Even the guy I talk about the most, has nothing good to say about these type of places. Dave Ramsey says that you never find them located near where rich people live, because the rich don't use them. They prey on the poor and the military. Because of that, those are the places that they set up shop.
    When I say they prey, I mean it. They will set up shop right outside the military bases and when a low and underpaid member of our military is late paying their debt, they blackmail him/her by threatening to tell their commanding officer.

    Not only that, but they are called loan sharks because of the interest rates they charge. Rates that figure up to an apr that can be as high as 1303.57%. That's right 1303.57%, of course that is the fine print, they will only tell you that it is 25% when trying to hook you. It's after you sign the contract that you learn the true costs. That 25% however is over the 7-16 day life of the loan. Think about it, you can get better rates from the evil credit card companies then these jerks.
    Ok, so lambasted the industry, now what about this online version of these jerks?

    National Payday Loans claims that their loans are "Fast, easy and free." Free? But they charge 25% to loan up to $300. Well their website explains..."Free payday loans for first time customers, this is a no fax loan and there is no credit check required." Ahhh, I see. So like a drug dealer giving a free sample to the newbie to get them addicted, so that they keep coming back time after time.

    Their website does have a faq page, on which you can find a chart showing the actual APR's that National Payday Loans is actually charging on their loans.

    At one point in time I was hooked by con artisits like these guys and eventually I said no more and have never gone back. Now National Payday Loans wants to try to lure me in with a "free loan," however, I am smarter then that. I would not recomend these guys to my worst enemy.

    This review is NOT a sponser in any way....I wrote this review totally on my show the crap that scum like this will do.

    Saturday, December 2, 2006

    Free Breakfast

    A friend of mine, who was watching the game on ABC, just called and told me that Chic-fil-a was a sponsor and that they ran an ad for a free breakfast if you log into You have to be among the 1st 1 million people to respond to get the free breakfast coupon in the mail.
    When I logged on and submitted my info, I was told I would also get a free milk shake when I purchased a chic-fil-a sandwich and bottle of Dasani water.

    Friday, December 1, 2006

    My Need For Insulation

    I recently posted a request on FreeCycle for insulation. I seen insulation listed a couple times as offers, but I have never been successful at being the receiver of those particular offers. The house I live (and bought 8 years ago, come January) in has absolutely no insulation. None, nada, zilch and the cash is not there to buy the needed rolls. I figure about 10 rolls (maybe more) to get insulation in my attic.
    So far no one has responded, but I am hopeful someone will have at least one roll that they can give me. Once I get debt free that will be one of the first home improvements that I will save up for. Along with finishing the bathroom remodel and the back porch improvements. Of course the living room picture window needs replaced as well.
    Once I get some insulation in the attic though, I will be able to reduce my heating expenses some. And in the long run that will save hundreds more then the insulation would ever cost.
    I even went to the local weatherization group and applied for help there, but they said I made $100 to much to receive help from them. If they would have come out to do anything, they would have blown insulation into the walls as well the attic and finished off by making sure the windows were sealed. All of which I need done, but will just have to wait for awhile.
    Since heat rises, my first concern is getting insulation into the attic. Second would be making sure the windows are sealed with some good caulking.

    Seasoned Trades Repairs Credit? No Thanks

    Raise your credit score up to 200 points! As seen in the Wall Street Journal. That is the claim of Anyone that has read this blog for any length of time, knows that I am a Dave ramsey fan and as such, I don't care about my FICO score. I do not worship at the altar of the FICO score. So no matter what, I am not going to recomend this sponser in any way. As Dave has said many times you can get a mortgage without a FICO score, but you can't get a FICO without debt. Since, I do not do debt, I don't care about the stupid FICO.
    Another thing Dave Ramsey teaches is that you can't get out of Debt microwave fast, instead it is slow like a crock pot. This website apparently thinks you can change your bad FICO to good, microwave fast.

    Learn how to add years of perfect payment history for FREE!

    The secret is out!

    We will teach you the secrets that WILL raise your credit score up to 200 points in a short amount of time.

    I would never recomend Seasoned Trades or any other so called credit repair service. Forget the FICO, pay your debts, if you have to make payment arrangements with your debtors or get a settlement offfer from them of you can't pay in full.
    Sell your stuff, or as Dave Ramsey says, "sell so much stuff, that the kids think they are next." Then use the money from the selling of this stuff to pay off your debt. Once you are debt free you can again start buying some of these things, if you feel that you have to have them. Only this time, do it slower and cheaper by buying for the items with cash.
    One of these days I dream that I will have quality items in my home instead of cheap formica crap that is worthless after you bring it home from the box store.
    However, I will do it with cash and I will never go into debt again. I will never use Seasoned Trades and I recomened that no one else does either.

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