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  #1  
Old 05-02-2017, 09:23 AM
onedayatatime13 onedayatatime13 is offline
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Default Financial Freedom

Is anyone else working on becoming debt free, budgeting, etc whole your LO is away?

This is my pet project for myself. My own personal finances, so I don't feel like I am choking on debt. I hate it so much. We can't control what is going on with them, but we can control how we move forward during this time.

We are not married so I am not working on his stuff, but my own for myself, my children and when he comes home. I figure it will help with the stress once everything is over.

I'm working on a plan that has me in great shape in 2- 4 years if all goes well. Of course life happens, which is why I have it going on for up to 4 years. My kids are on board.

I would love it if anyone wants to do it with me. This way we motivate one another and celebrate successes.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:45 AM
str82daheart str82daheart is offline
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In all honesty I have thought about it. I am not so much into debt however just getting better established credit and building my savings is something I would like to do. I feel like when my LO comes home there will be a lot of help he needs and not so much for him but I don't want him feeling stressed because my ish is messed up. I want him to have little to no worries because he already will have a lot to deal with getting back into society. I also talked to him about budgeting his commissary and things of that nature. I opened up an account with my name but his name is on it and he is the beneficiary of that account. When his family puts $200 on his books he makes them give me $50 and or a certain percent of it. Which I let him decide. The point im teaching him is not about the amount its about consistency. I then will put the money in that account. That is his money only. I don't use it. I am teaching him little things that he can do so when he comes home not only will he have the money that the prison collect (which is only 1000) he will have money that he has been saving + interest. I tell him just because you are in prison doesn't mean you cant manage things as you would if you were home. So I have to lead by an example and get my things on the right track too! I think its a good idea. Just start small.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:10 AM
onedayatatime13 onedayatatime13 is offline
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Sorry! Been handling my stuff and such it is becoming full time job. Budgeting is the most important. It into spending every dollar on a piece of paper because the month begins based on your income.

The plan I'm following:
1. 1k in savings for emergencies
2. Debt smallest to largest paid off
3. Save 3-6 months of household expenses for emergency purposes.

To build credit, I have seen people pay certain bills (electric bill, gas, and food shopping) on their credit card and pay it off right away. This keep your credit active and in great standing. Only do this if you have a budget and can stick to it.

For him, if 50 is going to you, you can choose to save that for him every no th for his home coming to buy necessities or just so he has cash on hand until he finds a job.

Let me know if you have questions or need help. It keeps me motivated. I'm one to practice what I preach or I am a hypocrite. This is my big project while he is gone. I'll worry about his homecoming later on. Right now, I'm taking care of me and my kids.
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by onedayatatime13 View Post
Sorry! Been handling my stuff and such it is becoming full time job. Budgeting is the most important. It into spending every dollar on a piece of paper because the month begins based on your income.

The plan I'm following:
1. 1k in savings for emergencies
2. Debt smallest to largest paid off
3. Save 3-6 months of household expenses for emergency purposes.

To build credit, I have seen people pay certain bills (electric bill, gas, and food shopping) on their credit card and pay it off right away. This keep your credit active and in great standing. Only do this if you have a budget and can stick to it.

For him, if 50 is going to you, you can choose to save that for him every no th for his home coming to buy necessities or just so he has cash on hand until he finds a job.

Let me know if you have questions or need help. It keeps me motivated. I'm one to practice what I preach or I am a hypocrite. This is my big project while he is gone. I'll worry about his homecoming later on. Right now, I'm taking care of me and my kids.
I'd change this to "highest interest rate to lowest interest rate". It accomplishes the same thing - all debt is paid off - but it emphasizes the best practices for actually paying off that debt.
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:17 AM
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Putting utilities on credit is not always even just about 'building credit'- I and many others do it to maximize rewards. HOWEVER, the thing to watch out for are the utilities that run credit cards through third-party vendors and their fee outweighs the rewards. If you only get 2% back on the rewards, then it doesn't make a lot of sense to put a $100 utility bill on a card if it is going to cost $2.95 (by example, using one of my electric carriers). If the bill is being put on the card for convenience and NOT rewards, then it is still something to be wary of.

Depending on amount of debt, one can ALSO actually be helped by ADDING a new card that has a 0% balance transfer offer. The money saved on interest will more than offset the potential 3% fee that may be charged. Some cards are doing fee-free transfers but usually only with shorter terms. Balance transfer arbitrage can still be done and is becoming easier the more distance exists between today and the market crash in 2008.

The other benefit to opening new cards is that utilization goes down which helps to INCREASE the score. Scoring models look at credit mix and utilization in addition to overall debt and other factors.

The WORST thing to do is go all Dave Ramsey and think that credit is bad. The other potentially poor decision is to focus on getting the small debts paid first. If the larger debts have higher interest rates, then getting rid of them first is often a good priority. Minimum payments on a high APR because you are putting larger chunks towards a small APR debt costs you more in the long run...

Other things beyond savings to potentially consider are the direct stock purchase programs. You can find MANY of those online, with some allowing you to invest as little as $25 or $50 per month. The amounts may not seem substantial, but over time, those fractional shares with dividend re-investments can add up. Many of the stocks they offer are ones that are established companies and have a track record of growth that outpaces inflation. And no, the dividends won't be an amount that screws up tax preparation since in most years, you are looking at amounts under $50. Further, many of them have no commissions on the purchase because the company agrees to pay those fees.
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  #6  
Old 05-07-2017, 10:17 AM
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I'd change this to "highest interest rate to lowest interest rate". It accomplishes the same thing - all debt is paid off - but it emphasizes the best practices for actually paying off that debt.
I have seen the argument for both of these. The smallest is supposed to help more psychologically then anything else. This way people see small successes and it helps keep motivated. Paying off 3 small debts quickly feels good where a large debt with a higher interest rate may take a long time.

My interest rates are all about the same, so it doesn't matter per say. Based on the charts I made..nerd I am.. It is a few months difference.

Overall, having a plan someone sticks to is most important.
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2017, 10:26 AM
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Putting utilities on credit is not always even just about 'building credit'- I and many others do it to maximize rewards. HOWEVER, the thing to watch out for are the utilities that run credit cards through third-party vendors and their fee outweighs the rewards. If you only get 2% back on the rewards, then it doesn't make a lot of sense to put a $100 utility bill on a card if it is going to cost $2.95 (by example, using one of my electric carriers). If the bill is being put on the card for convenience and NOT rewards, then it is still something to be wary of.

Depending on amount of debt, one can ALSO actually be helped by ADDING a new card that has a 0% balance transfer offer. The money saved on interest will more than offset the potential 3% fee that may be charged. Some cards are doing fee-free transfers but usually only with shorter terms. Balance transfer arbitrage can still be done and is becoming easier the more distance exists between today and the market crash in 2008.

The other benefit to opening new cards is that utilization goes down which helps to INCREASE the score. Scoring models look at credit mix and utilization in addition to overall debt and other factors.

The WORST thing to do is go all Dave Ramsey and think that credit is bad. The other potentially poor decision is to focus on getting the small debts paid first. If the larger debts have higher interest rates, then getting rid of them first is often a good priority. Minimum payments on a high APR because you are putting larger chunks towards a small APR debt costs you more in the long run...

Other things beyond savings to potentially consider are the direct stock purchase programs. You can find MANY of those online, with some allowing you to invest as little as $25 or $50 per month. The amounts may not seem substantial, but over time, those fractional shares with dividend re-investments can add up. Many of the stocks they offer are ones that are established companies and have a track record of growth that outpaces inflation. And no, the dividends won't be an amount that screws up tax preparation since in most years, you are looking at amounts under $50. Further, many of them have no commissions on the purchase because the company agrees to pay those fees.
I'm not against credit at all. Yes, I do follow a modified DR plan. I did years ago and paid off 40k in debt in 2 years without selling anything. Divorce and natural disaster hurt, so it is time to start over.

I mentioned paying utilities if they can be paid off write away as if you were paying cash. Most people right now are living pay check to pay check. Many on here may find they lost an income or they have a new budget line to take care of their loved one.

Everything you said in regard to credit is true only if someone is trying to build their credit. If it is in the toilet, they are not getting a new card or anything until they bring down their debt to income ratio. Plus, they need to keep things current.

There are many plans out there and I don't believe there is a one way to fix it.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:15 AM
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I agree you need some credit. I had to file bankruptcy due to my stupidity of paying for medical expenses on my credit card and the loss of a small business. I was so against having any credit cards and used just cash. I did get a car loan 3 years ago hoping it would increase my credit score and it basically did nothing. A couple of months ago I finally broke down and got a credit card with a $1000 credit limit. After the very first billing cycle my credit score went up 43 points on transunion and 23 points on equifax. I went from fair credit to good credit in the span of a month. Before that my score hadn't moved but a couple of points in five years. I have my cellphone to autopay from my credit card and my credit card to autopay from my bank account the day after. I pay no interest doing it this way. I plan on doing this for six months and applying for another card and doing the same thing. I won't use the card for anything other than a bill I'm already paying monthly.

I honestly have so much more disposable cash now that I just use cash and the stress and guilt of being in debt has been completely taken away. I've even managed to save a few thousand for emergencies.
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2017, 11:19 AM
onedayatatime13 onedayatatime13 is offline
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I agree you need some credit. I had to file bankruptcy due to my stupidity of paying for medical expenses on my credit card and the loss of a small business. I was so against having any credit cards and used just cash. I did get a car loan 3 years ago hoping it would increase my credit score and it basically did nothing. A couple of months ago I finally broke down and got a credit card with a $1000 credit limit. After the very first billing cycle my credit score went up 43 points on transunion and 23 points on equifax. I went from fair credit to good credit in the span of a month. Before that my score hadn't moved but a couple of points in five years. I have my cellphone to autopay from my credit card and my credit card to autopay from my bank account the day after. I pay no interest doing it this way. I plan on doing this for six months and applying for another card and doing the same thing. I won't use the card for anything other than a bill I'm already paying monthly.

I honestly have so much more disposable cash now that I just use cash and the stress and guilt of being in debt has been completely taken away. I've even managed to save a few thousand for emergencies.
I don't want to file for bankruptcy but if I keep doing what I doing I would be there in a few years. Most of it is modifying behaviors and impulse buying. In two years ill hopefully be syraight again with a lot of discipline. Took time to get here and will take time to repair it!

At this stage of the game I only need good credit to redo my mortgage to get my ex off the mortgage. Aside from that there is no need for credit really.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:27 AM
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Back in the 1980s I read a book that changed my life. The book is called The Wealthy Barber. The book, now on its third edition, was written by David Chilton. Please see:

https://smile.amazon.com/Wealthy-Bar...s%2A=0&ie=UTF8

If you can't find a copy of this book at your local library, let me know. I will gladly send a copy to you. Good luck.
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:04 PM
onedayatatime13 onedayatatime13 is offline
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Back in the 1980s I read a book that changed my life. The book is called The Wealthy Barber. The book, now on its third edition, was written by David Chilton. Please see:

https://smile.amazon.com/Wealthy-Bar...s%2A=0&ie=UTF8

If you can't find a copy of this book at your local library, let me know. I will gladly send a copy to you. Good luck.
Thank you! I will look for it. I'm gearing up this month to get my stuff together. Thank you again!
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:15 PM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
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At this stage of the game I only need good credit to redo my mortgage to get my ex off the mortgage. Aside from that there is no need for credit really.
This is not correct. You will ALWAYS benefit from having some modicum of credit, even if it is just a card with a toy limit for emergencies. You own a home...appliances go bad, roofs occasionally need to be replaced or repaired after a storm. Sure you can pay cash, but few people actually keep the necessary resources to pay cash even for a $600 refrigerator or the cheapest washer or dryer on the floor at whatever big box one seeks the replacement. Ditto some manner of car repair.

Further, somewhere down the road when you look to get a new car (even a used one), the difference between established credit and no credit can be thousands across the life of a loan.

And this does not even get into maximizing rewards programs. One does not even need to manufacture spending to get enough rewards to pay for flight tickets in a short period of time. Recurring monthly bills like insurance, cable and other utilities add up across the year...why hemorrhage that money and have no rewards to show for it?
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:25 PM
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This is not correct. You will ALWAYS benefit from having some modicum of credit, even if it is just a card with a toy limit for emergencies. You own a home...appliances go bad, roofs occasionally need to be replaced or repaired after a storm. Sure you can pay cash, but few people actually keep the necessary resources to pay cash even for a $600 refrigerator or the cheapest washer or dryer on the floor at whatever big box one seeks the replacement. Ditto some manner of car repair.

Further, somewhere down the road when you look to get a new car (even a used one), the difference between established credit and no credit can be thousands across the life of a loan.

And this does not even get into maximizing rewards programs. One does not even need to manufacture spending to get enough rewards to pay for flight tickets in a short period of time. Recurring monthly bills like insurance, cable and other utilities add up across the year...why hemorrhage that money and have no rewards to show for it?
I understand your point. I think for me right now I have to break the credit habit to live within my means. I did do this program years ago and my credit score was a 780. I closed a lot of accounts and paid off a lot of debt. It took two years.

Right now, I just want to get myself disciplined in how I spend money. It is a behavior thing and lack of impulse control.

I do agree that if someone is disciplined they can benefit from the rewards of credit. If they are not, they can dig a hole that hurts.
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:51 PM
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Right now, I just want to get myself disciplined in how I spend money. It is a behavior thing and lack of impulse control.
If someone is THAT concerned about lack of impulse control, then they can either cut the card up on arrival (then request a new one in an emergency since it would arrive within a few days) or, as some I knew did, literally freeze them in a bowl of water and keep them in the back of the freezer. They had to be REALLY motivated to get the card thawed...
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:54 PM
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If someone is THAT concerned about lack of impulse control, then they can either cut the card up on arrival (then request a new one in an emergency since it would arrive within a few days) or, as some I knew did, literally freeze them in a bowl of water and keep them in the back of the freezer. They had to be REALLY motivated to get the card thawed...
Hahahha I love the freezing in a bowl. It does make you question how badly you want something.
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:06 PM
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I did do this program years ago and my credit score was a 780. I closed a lot of accounts and paid off a lot of debt. It took two years.
You should be very proud of yourself for paying off that debt. 780 is an excellent credit score, by the way.

That said, having good credit is desirable even if you aren't interested in borrowing in the near future. Having a good credit score tends to indicate that you are responsible and that you tend to keep your word. Many landlords and potential employers, for example, will take a look at your credit score when deciding whether to rent to you or hire you. I've even heard of some people breaking up with someone that they were dating once they found out that their significant other had a poor credit history.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:18 PM
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No one ever talked to me about the importance of credit and as a teen/young 20-something, I immediately destroyed mine. Went thru bankruptcy and the whole bit. However, good credit is very, very important! Poor credit can cause high insurance and interest rates. A friend of mine was recently denied cell phone service by Sprint for her low score. Some jobs even check credit scores these days. You just never know when when it might come back to haunt you.

Now, my credit is something I'm continually working on. Some things I found to help is to not activate my new cards. I continually take advantage of every 0% balance transfer offer that comes my way. All of my credit cards offer rewards. Points, cash back, no annual fees, any perk I can get out of them. And, every single year I request a credit limit increase. More available credit boosts your score without even having to pay down any debt. Then it's just a matter of not using it lol.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:58 PM
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And, every single year I request a credit limit increase. More available credit boosts your score without even having to pay down any debt.
Well said. Increasing your credit limits helps to lower your debt to available credit ratio. The lower that ratio, the better off you are. Example: If you owe $100 and your credit limit is $500, your debt to available credit ratio is 20%. If, however, you owe $100 and your credit limit is raised to $1,000, your debt to available credit ratio now becomes 10%. Creditors do not like to see a high ratio. It makes them nervous. If your debt to available credit ratio gets above 30%, your credit score will begin to fall. Remember: the lower your debt to available credit ratio, the higher your credit score.

One suggestion about asking for credit limit increases (CLI): Ask the credit card company if they will consider granting the CLI request with a "soft pull" as opposed to a "hard pull" of your credit report. A hard pull is when a creditor, with your permission, examines your credit report for the purpose of determining whether you qualify for credit. All hard pulls within the last 2 years are listed on your credit report. If you have too many inquiries (hard pulls), your credit score will fall. Creditors get nervous if they think you are looking to get a lot of new available credit in a short period of time. By contrast, a soft pull is when the credit card company or bank looks at your credit report without a notation being made on your credit report. You always want a soft pull over a hard pull. American Express, for example, is very good at giving CLIs with only a soft pull.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:10 AM
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No one ever talked to me about the importance of credit and as a teen/young 20-something ...
Sadly, your story is quite common. I can't understand why. Our society would be so much better off if we taught financial responsibility in our high schools. Think about it. We live in a country where most marriages fail. What do couples fight about often? Money issues. Ideally, people should invest at least 10% of their income for long-term growth. What is the reality? 7 in 10 American families have less than $1,000 in savings.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money...tudy/91083712/
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:35 AM
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Dave Ramsey is a well known expert on this field. Google him and see if it works for you!
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:27 AM
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Dave Ramsey is a well known expert on this field. Google him and see if it works for you!
Some of his ideas have merit, but his anti-credit stance will harm people long-term, especially younger people.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:02 PM
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Some of his ideas have merit, but his anti-credit stance will harm people long-term, especially younger people.
I am taking some of the ideas and some not so much lile the credit. I have been. Researching it more and getting myself squared away. It will take time, but right now I have that, so I'm just plugging away at the debt and working on the credit score.

Hoping in the new year I'll be in a much better place!
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:05 PM
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I'd change this to "highest interest rate to lowest interest rate". It accomplishes the same thing - all debt is paid off - but it emphasizes the best practices for actually paying off that debt.
There is a great app called the Debt Payoff planner. It shows you both ways. In my case it was the same time with maybe 1k more in interest if I did smallest to largest.

I took everyone's comments and working more holistic approach. I thank you all
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