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Email Newsletter 11/7/01

DEBTSMART EMAIL NEWSLETTER - Tools for financial success!
A Free E-Mail Newsletter from DebtSmart Online and Press One Publishing.
ISSN 1538-6740
November 7, 2001 Issue 12
Scott Bilker, Editor and Publisher, mailto:publisher@debtsmart.com
Richard Crammer, Editor, mailto:editor@debtsmart.com
For instructions to SUBSCRIBE, and DISCLAIMER, see bottom of this email.

=> Advertisers

=> Cool Debt Statistic

=> DebtSmart Resources

=> Letter from the Publisher

=> Survey

=> Quiz

=> Collection of Question and Answers

=> What About Ben Franklin?

=> Debt Collection

=> The Three Little Pigs: Your Child and Money

=> Kicking the Worry Habit

=> Review of "Living Within Your Means--The Easy Way"

=> Subscribe/Disclaimer Information

****FORWARD THIS ISSUE (please)************************
If you haven't already done so, please forward this issue to one or two of your friends or business associates. *****************************************************************

We have done our best to ensure that all advertisers included in the DebtSmart Email Newsletter offer quality products and services. However, if you have any problems, please let us know by sending mailto:comments@debtsmart.com 


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Source: Drowning in Debt, My Generation Sep-Oct 2001,
by Gary Belsky

In 1991 the country was spending 12.6 percent of its disposable income on household debt. As of Oct. 2001 the ratio now stands at 14.1 percent. Close to the 15 percent level that financial pros flag as the line between having debt and having a debt problem.

DebtSmart Resources

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Archive of DebtSmart Email Newsletters online:

How to use DebtSmart articles FREE in your ezine or on your web site:

Letter from the Publisher 
by Scott Bilker

I'm scheduled to be on "The Mike Show," (Business Talk Radio) for 60 minutes on Tuesday, 11/13/01, at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. Of course, scheduled means that there's always a chance that it may not happen however, I've been on before at the scheduled time.

The show is syndicated and heard in about 40 U.S. states. You can also listen to it online. The online set up takes a few minutes, and maybe a couple attempts. Also, there are silences when they insert commercials. Try it now, save the below link, and mark your calendar. Please write to me and let me know how you liked the show. Listen online at:

Thanks for replying to the last issue's survey on holiday spending! Here are some of the results:

79% of respondents said they spent less than $1,000 last holiday season and also plan to spend the same amount this year.

41% said that they think people will spend the same amount this year as last year.

34% think that people will spend less.

86% said they didn't fly anywhere last year.

82% said they're not going to fly this year.

Also, in this issue we are introducing a new feature, the DebtSmart Online Quiz. Check it out below.

Your Comments:

"I believe that some people will go out and shop til they drop but I also believe that others will not go out to the store and buy as much as they would normally. Those shop til you drop-ers will take their places so the economy will pretty much stay the same. I love the newsletter. I am in debt and am trying to get out. I find lots of tidbits of information that I can use and pass on. My friends also agree."--Danielle

"Great Articles! Good information. Look forward to each issue" --Bob

"Love the Newsletter!"--Tiffanie

"For our state (MN), I think people will be spending less because of the amount of layoffs, the State employees striking and our economy hurting now."--Denice

"I like the newsletter very much. Keep it coming! I always find an article that is either helpful or full of useful information that I will need at a later date."--Lucy

"I think it is getting better and better. I am truly impressed!!! I also like that you are able to help so many people with your work."--Barbara

"I was divorced 4 years ago, I had a husband who took care of all the bills for the most part, and now I am taking control of what little amount I do have to myself, there is a feeling of great accomplishment and pride that goes with my being able to take care of myself 4 years later and have made some wise decisions with your help. Thank you so much! Your online help is available when "I" have time to read up on the information, when I am fully able to sit down and comprehend what choices I have . I have gotten an equity loan to transfer my balances of my charge accounts so that the interest on the loan will be tax deductible, and also to have a new roof put on my home instead of just borrowing the money and the amounts of my finance charges going to pure waste. I never knew any of this 4 years ago let me tell ya...I have been able to increase my monthly cash flow so I feel more secure , and able to pay off the loan faster or take care of unexpected things that happen . You have given this blonde some great advice and I do appreciate your help.... thank you thank you thank you!"

Survey: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have?

The average credit card holder has 10 cards! Do you think that's too many? Not enough? How many credit cards do you have?

Use the link below to take the survey:

Quiz: General Credit Card Knowledge Quiz

We use credit everyday and it's important to know the basics of handling our debt to ensure that we're always getting the best deal. Test your credit knowledge right now with our new online quiz!

Collection of Questions and Answers
by Scott Bilker

I receive many questions from readers and try my best to get back to everyone directly. Below are some of the shorter Q&A's I've received.

Saving for a Down Payment
How do you save money to buy a home when you are swamped with credit card bills that just seem to suck every last bit of savings?

Car Debt or Credit Debt First?
I've already organized my debt with the highest interest debt to be paid off first. Only thing is, my car loan is up toward the top... Does it make sense to start increasing my payments on this loan? Isn't it fixed, what I will pay on the loan? If this is the case shouldn't I start paying on the next highest interest debt (another credit card) instead? Thanks for any help! 

Extending a Low Rate
I knew I would now be making less money to pay off the debts incurred but never realized how difficult it would be. I am now paying the minimum required and know that I will never get out of it this way. Any suggestions?

Paying Off a Loan with Credit Cards
I have a home equity loan for 10 years at 8.50% for $26,000.00. Could I pay this down with credit cards using $500.00-a-month payments?

Buy a Car with a Cash Advance?
The logic of the 4.9% at 6 Months makes sense, BUT is it a reality?

What About Ben Franklin? 
by Doris Dobkins

I was reading a book to my kids this week called "The Value of Saving". It was the story of Benjamin Franklin. When Ben was a little boy of around 8 years old, he was already thinking of things to invent that would save him time and money so he would have more of both.

One day when he was walking along the sidewalk he found a penny that a rich man had dropped. When he tried to give it back to the man, the man said he was an honest boy and could keep it. Do you know what young Ben did with that penny? He decided to...

Use the below link to read the rest of this article: http://www.debtsmart.com/cgi-pl/go/011107_en.cgi?17&7428 

Debt Collection 
by Gary Foreman

Dear Dollar Stretcher, I had an outstanding judgment against me for $1,000 to pay off an apartment lease that was broken when my ex-husband and I divorced. The total amount owed prior to the judgment was $1,700. The third-party collector who's been calling me insists that I pay that amount. The court said I owe $1,000 which has been paid in full. What can I tell the collector to make him go away? --Sheri

Fortunately for Sheri she can take control of this situation without too much trouble. Her biggest ally is something...

Use the below link to read the rest of this article:

The Three Little Pigs: Your Child and Money 
by Scott Danger

I have a ten-month old daughter. As a first-time parent, I wonder how I will handle many things. Lately, I've been thinking about how and when I will introduce my daughter to the concepts of money and saving and spending. I then realized that I have probably already started this process. While I'm sure she does not understand the concept of money, I know she knows what a grocery store is. I know she knows that we take things from the shelf and put them in our cart. She also is learning that she is not allowed to do this. She also knows that the lady in the checkout line always smiles at her. She sees her dad give the lady some green paper and then we leave with our bags. Does she understand money and the transaction that took place? I doubt it. But, every week we go to the store and every time we are there, Dad gives the nice lady his green paper and every week we leave with our bags. Eventually, it will sink in. When we give someone the green paper, we get things. That's the concept. Even at ten months, they are learning.

In doing research for this article, I discovered that most experts agree that children should first have their own money to spend at age three or four. At this age, money should be something visual. A piggy bank is a great way to teach children the concept of money and spending, saving and investing. As I was searching the Internet for more information on this topic, I found the following idea submitted by a reader on an investing web site. The concept is simple, but it teaches children about the benefits of saving and investing and spending in a simple and visual way.

Set up...

Use the below link to read the rest of the article:

Kicking the Worry Habit 
by Michael Angier

I GREW UP ON A VERMONT FARM. After college I bought a farm of my own and operated it for several years. You might be interested to know that I learned the secret to making a small fortune in farming. It's kind of inside information and I don't pass it around to just anybody. Ready? Here it is: start out with a large one, and sooner or later, you'll have a small one.

Farmers don't lead easy lives. The work is hard and the risks are great. They're dependent on the weather and many other things outside of their control.

I used to worry all the time. I worried about livestock disease. I worried about getting bank loans. I worried about the buying price of grain and the selling prices of livestock. I worried about not having enough money. I was unhappy, fatigued and irritable. It had become a disease.

And then I...

Use the below link to read the rest of the article:

"Living Within Your Means--The Easy Way",
by Terry Rigg 
Review by Scott Bilker

We all know Terry. He's written many excellent and informative articles for DebtSmart. Now he's released a new online book, "Living Within Your Means--The Easy Way."

I personally found the online book packed with great information! Terry covers many topics with an easy-to-understand approach. Some of the numerous topics covered include: (1) Organizing Your Bills and Files, (2) Good Spending and Saving Habits (3) How to Deal with Debt, (4) What to do About Big Money Problems, plus whole lot more.

Terry includes worksheets, links to helpful web sites, and even how you can become a stay-at-home mom!

This online book is good and certainly well priced. In fact, we added it to the DebtSmart product catalog!

The online book is only $10.00 and, as a special offer to DebtSmart readers, you also receive the DebtSmart Loan Calculator FREE when you order Terry's book, that's a $20.00 value for only $10.00! BE SURE TO USE OFFER CODE 432 to get this special offer.

Click below to read more about Terry's book:


TO SUBSCRIBE to this newsletter click on the below link and complete the subscription form:

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

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 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 (c) 2001 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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