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Email Newsletter 1/14/04

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DEBTSMART® EMAIL NEWSLETTER 
ISSN 1538-6740 
January 14, 2004 Issue 66

Tools for financial success! A Free E-Mail Newsletter from DebtSmart Online and Press One Publishing.

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Publisher: Scott Bilker, mailto:publisher@debtsmart.com

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IN THIS ISSUE

==> Cool Quote

==> Letter from the Publisher

==> Reader Review

==> One day late, yeah right!

==> Household Math™: Choosing a price

==> Your 2004 New Year’s Resolution--save more money!

==> DebtSmart Help Center

==> Always Check Your Credit Report

==> Don’t try to do more in 2004

==> DebtSmart® Resources

==> Subscribe/Unsubscribe/Disclaimer Information

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COOL QUOTE

“I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. And I had no idea I could be this happy without incurring credit card debt.” 
--Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde 2” (Reese Witherspoon)

Click below for quotes from all previous newsletters: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?04&7428

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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER 
by Scott Bilker

Hello,

I hope you had a great holiday season and wonderful New Year! Boy, time is really moving along fast. I’m sure you noticed that time seems to go faster as you age. Those summer vacations from school seemed so much longer when you were a kid compared to today. There is a mathematical reason for this.

To some degree, we measure time according to our own clock. When you’re 5 years old, the next 5 years is an entire lifetime. One year is 1/5 or 20% of your life. When you’re 25 years old, 5 years is only 20% of your life, which is how much time you perceived as only one year at age 5.

On to money...here are a few post holiday tips when using credit: 

1) Review your credit card statements carefully. Be sure to immediately dispute charges that you don’t recognize to be yours. 
2) If allowed, skip payments on low-rate cards and send to high-rate cards. 
3) Consolidate your credit cards when it makes sense. (Lower rates.) 
4)  Be sure to pay off department store cards in full to avoid interest. If you don’t have the cash then transfer the balance to a major credit card at a lower rate. 
5) Call your credit card banks and negotiate a low-rate transfer for 2003 holiday purchases. 
6) If you can’t get a better rate from you current cards, then call another and let them know that you’ll transfer your balance right now if they can give a low rate with no transfer fees. 
7)  Get some of next year’s shopping done now while stores are liquidating their holiday inventory. 
8) If you can anticipate what you’re going to need next year then buy it while it’s on sale now.

Regards, Scott

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“THE CONFIDENCE YOU NEED IS CONTAINED HEREIN...

I had the same problem most of you reading this have. But after reading this book from cover to cover, I was awashed with a new vigor and confidence to launch a strategic war of words with the credit card telephone handlers. As you read thru the transcripts of the author's actual calls, picture yourself talking on the phone with the same savvy as he. Then close the book, put up your over charged, over penalized, and over interest rated bill and MAKE CALLS! Show them that you are taking CONTROL of your finances and relish the experience of sticking up for yourself.” 
—Amazon.com reader (madinventor) from Brooklyn, NY

Click below to read more: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?05&7428

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ONE DAY LATE, YEAH RIGHT! 
by Scott Bilker

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!

A couple years ago most credit card banks changed their policy of what “late” means to meaning “one day late is late” It used to be that late was if your payment was due on the 1st but received on say the 20th. Not so anymore. If you’re 24 hours late, it’s late, and you will be charged the late fee. Late fees have also been rising and some are now as high as $35!

What did I know?

I had the feeling that since being one day late means that banks can charge you a late fee, it’s possible that, well, payments could “accidentally” be held for say, oh, 24 hours. Oops, you’re late!

My theory was a step closer to confirmation when one of my credit card payments was exactly one day late. I always track everything--every check, every payment date, and all transactions. I use Quicken and other custom software I developed to pay my bills. So when I was late by one day, I took a look at the date that bank’s check was written.

Guess how early I mailed the payment?

Seven days!

The 8th day was the late day. I called the bank and...

Click below to read article: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?06&7428

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HOUSEHOLD MATH™

CHOOSING A PRICE 
by Scott Bilker

Jack and Jill put their house on the market to sell when 30-year mortgage rates were 8%. They listed their 3-bedroom ranch for $135,000 because they knew that the monthly payment is exactly what most people can afford.

Since that time 30-year mortgage interest rates have fallen to 7%. Jack and Jill know that since mortgage rates have dropped people can afford to pay more for their house with the same monthly payment they would get at the old, higher rate.

How much can Jack and Jill sell their house for now and keep the monthly payment as affordable as it was when they originally put the house up for sale?

Click below to solve problem: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?07&7428

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YOUR 2004 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION--SAVE MORE MONEY 
by Gregory Thomas

Are you planning on a "New Year's Resolution" to start saving more money in 2004?

Like any resolution, unless some action is taken on your part, nothing will ever change.

For example, if your New Year's resolution is to lose weight, you WILL have to change a few eating habits and/or exercise regularly. If your goal is to quit smoking, then you WILL need to make an honest effort to stop smoking.

Key To Your Success
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The key to making your resolution become a reality is to set a 'goal'. In other words, what do you want the 'extra' money for? Are you saving for a new car stereo system? What about a family trip to Las Vegas?

Point is...

Click below to read article: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?08&7428

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DEBTSMART HELP CENTER 
by Scott Bilker

Hi,

Helping you with your debt is very important to me personally! If you've been reading my articles, you know that I always encourage self-help as a first step. However, being buried in debt can be very overwhelming, which is why you may want to explore other options.

One of those options is professional, ongoing help with credit counselors. I've started to personally check out certain companies so I can recommend the ones that are worth considering!

If you would like to speak with a representative from a...

Click below to read more: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?09&7428

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ALWAYS CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT 
by Scott Bilker

I cannot stress enough the importance of periodically checking your credit report! Banks are not the only ones that look at this “financial résumé,” employers, insurance companies, and many other people will pass judgement on you based on your credit history.

You want to make sure that there are no errors in these reports...

Click below to read more: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?10&7428

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DON'T TRY TO DO MORE IN 2004 
by Michael Hudson, Ph.D.

The holidays are quickly fading into memory and the New Year is now in full swing. No doubt you have returned to your disheveled workspace and your daily routine. Perhaps you've even tackled that resolution you made about getting organized and cleaning off your desk.

But wait. Did you do it again this year? Did you create the list?

You know the list I mean. That list you created in the midst of your year-end/new year clean-up effort. The list that includes all those things that you intended to get done in 2003 but did not, AND all those things you are firmly committed to for 2004. The list that has the nice check boxes and the specific deadlines for completion for every item. Yes, that list.

Don't get me wrong. Creating the list was a very good idea and merits a round of applause. You invested your time wisely and assembled all the carryover items in one place, while defining a clear plan for the year ahead. But you cannot afford to stop there.

Realize that when you created the list you implicitly committed yourself to...

Click below to read article: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?11&7428

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DEBTSMART® RESOURCES

DebtSmart® Books, software, reports, in-print and downloads: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?01&7428

Archive of DebtSmart® Email Newsletters online: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?02&7428

How to use DebtSmart® articles FREE in your e-zine or on your web site: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?03&7428

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HOW TO SUBSCRIBE OR UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS NEWSLETTER

All recipients of DEBTSMART® EMAIL NEWSLETTER have signed up voluntarily for the newsletter via our website.

TO SUBSCRIBE to this newsletter, click on the below link and complete the subscription form: 
http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/040114_en.cgi?00&7428

Please contact mailto:comments@debtsmart.com with any comments, problems, or concerns.

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The author(s), Press One Publishing, and DebtSmart.com shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by the information contained in this email newsletter and/or at the DebtSmart.com web site. The information, methods and techniques described may not work for you and no recommendation is made to follow the same course of action. Every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of all content contained herein. However, there may be mistakes; typographical, mathematical, or in content. This email newsletter and the DebtSmart.com web site have been created for your entertainment only. You must always seek the proper professional advice before taking any financial or legal action. You have been warned.

Copyright © 2004 Press One Publishing. All rights reserved. Please do not reprint, or host on your web site, without explicit permission. However, if you found this newsletter helpful, we grant you permission, and strongly encourage you, to e-mail it to a business associate or a friend. Thank you.

 
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