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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter
November 30, 2005

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

Letter from the Publisher
by Scott Bilker


I do hope you all had a great Thanksgiving last week!

This issue of the email newsletter releases a new section of DebtSmart.com, specifically, the DebtSmart® Video Library Project! With your input, I've been working on this for over a year now. This section will include video presentations covering all money topics. Videos will include related links as well as text versions of the video.

The first release is 5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Debt. Please take the survey in this newsletter to let me know what you think of the video--thanks!

Interesting items and new media...
1) We're (me and the family) on our way back from dropping off my brother-in-law at the train station, when my 10-year-old daughter started singing out of the blue. I recorded it on the spot with my digital recorder. She said I could share it with you, but she did ask to remain anonymous by name (very shy). It's credit related and proud-daddy finds it cute--I thought you would enjoy it too. Listen here.
2) I was interviewed on NPR (National Public Radio) last week (Black Friday). You can listen to this 3-minute interview about credit card use during the holidays on their website here.
3) CBS 3 interviewed me for their consumer segment, 3 On Your Side, with Jim Donovan. The topic was Debit vs. Credit, and it aired two days ago. If you wish, you can watch the video, see photos from the interview, or watch on CBS's website.
4) The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, used a partial phone call transcript from my book, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, in a front-page story. You can check that out here.
5) Money magazine reports in its December 2005 issue whose advice teens trust most between mom, dad, grandma, and the web. And the winner is...MOM!
6) Steve Doocy, Fox News co-host of "Fox & Friends" on 11/15/05, at 7:30 AM ET, was talking about some trouble he had with his credit card bank. He said that he underpaid his bill by one dollar and let that one-dollar balance ride to the next month. The result was that his bank charged him a $40 interest charge! He spent one hour on the phone clearing that up. The reason is that a balance must be paid in full for the grace period to be valid. That one-dollar balance meant that his bill wasn't paid in full and, therefore, he was charged interest on his entire balance. He didn't mention his total balance, but if we guess that his APR is 10%, then a $40 interest charge means his balance must have been somewhere around $4,800.

Enjoy the issue!


DEBTSMART VIDEO LIBRARY: 5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Debt
by Scott Bilker

This is a DebtSmart® Video Library Presentation. The text from this presentation is included with the video. There are two streaming versions available to view online--one in the Windows Media Player format and the other in RealPlayer format. Additionally, there are two download speeds available for both versions in dial-up and high-speed Internet connections. Links to RealPlayer format streaming versions are available on the main video presentation page.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas people are going to spend $121.4 billion using their credit cards!

The key is not to let this debt stick. Don't allow yourself to get buried by that debt or spend the next year paying off the purchases from this holiday season.

How are you going to pay for the gifts?

Credit cards of course! I'm sure many people are going to criticize me for even suggesting such an idea.

I can hear it now, "Scott, are you crazy? Don't use your credit cards, USE CASH! I thought you were the anti-credit-card guy?"

Watch Video with: High-Speed Internet Connection or Dial-Up Internet Connection

"27.99% (Ouch!) on the older account"


THANKS! Your advice in Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt and on your website (Featured Credit Cards) have saved money, in my first step in helping my sister and her husband lower their debt. I was able to open a new credit account for them and transfer the balance ($4300) from another card, now paying only 3.99% for the entire time of repayment, instead of the 27.99% (Ouch!) on the older account. I'm about to tackle another card, but I wanted to share our success with you, since you were instrumental in making this happen. Again, thanks! Onward and downward--regarding debt, that is!


Read about special offer for all three of Scott Bilker's best-selling books

Household Math™: Coupon Shopping
by Scott Bilker

You have two coupons for orange juice. One is for Minute Maid and the other is for Tropicana. You like and drink both brands. The coupon for Minute Maid is for 2 half-gallon containers for $3. The coupon for Tropicana is $4.99 for a 96-ounce container. Which orange juice is the best deal? That is, which has the best price-per-unit volume? Hint: there are 128 fluid ounces in one gallon.

Answer this problem

SURVEY for Video Library: 5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Debt
by Scott Bilker

The DebtSmart® Video Library Project has been launched! My feeling is that the video is a nice complement to the written article because it's sometimes easier to understand the content when listening and watching. I'd rather watch a video about history than read about it. However, there are other topics, like math, where I'd rather have the book.

Please let me know what you think of my first video presentation, 5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Debt, by completing this survey. I always consider your responses when working on new projects!

Complete the survey here

DebtSmart® Help Center
by Scott Bilker


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 check out certain companies personally so I can recommend the ones that are worth considering!

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

Read more at the DebtSmart Help Center

Every penny counts
by Scott Bilker

How many times have you walked out into the parking lot of a supermarket and spotted a penny on the ground? Plenty of times no doubt. You might bend over to pick one up if you see Lincoln staring at you, but for the most part you just keep walking by.

I mean after all, with the cost of inflation over the years, what is a penny worth? It really isn't worth that much as far as buying something tangible like a television, is it? What's a penny going to add toward that purchase (besides one cent)?

Finish reading article

Manipulating the system
by Scott Bilker

Friday night and the phone rings... you know the call, it's late, the last bite of my dinner being chewed, all you want to do is watch TV and relax. Guess who's calling? Yes, it's a mortgage company that's trying to sell me a refinance deal!

The girl asks me about my mortgage, my rates, and my credit card debts--and I reply. After all, I'm always curious about getting a better loan (plus, I like to throw them off their scripts).

I ask her what their best rates are. She tells me that it depends on my credit history. I said, "Okay, say I have a credit rating like Bill Gates. NOW what's your best rate?" She said that she can't quote a rate; however, the loan officer would let me know. So I agreed to have the loan officer give me a call.

Finish Reading Article


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 ©2005 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.


" If you would like to know the value of money, go and try to borrow some."
--Benjamin Franklin

Quotes from all previous newsletters


Cool Quote
Credit and Debt Statistics
Letter from the publisher
DEBTSMART VIDEO LIBRARY: 5 ways to avoid holiday debt
SURVEY for video library: 5 ways to avoid holiday debt
"27.99% (Ouch!) on the older account"
Household Math™: Coupon shopping
More credit, more options
DebtSmart® Help Center
How to save money on your phone service within minutes!
Every penny counts
Manipulating the system
DebtSmart® Resources
Subscribe/Disclaimer Information
Free DebtSmart® Column for in print publication, ezine, or web site
Publisher: Scott Bilker
Editor: Larissa S. Bilker
Assistant Editor: Denise Troy

ISSN 1538-6740


Total Holiday Spending

U.S. consumers are expected to spend $435.3 billion this holiday season—a moderate 5 percent jump versus a year ago. In comparison, 2004 holiday sales rose 6.7 percent.
Credit and Debt Statistics Database
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Please contact comments@debtsmart.com with any comments, problems, or concerns.


How to save money on your phone service within minutes!
by Scott Bilker
You will save money using this service. I've been using it for a few months now, and it has worked perfectly for me! 1.9 cents per minute plus free minutes for signing up! I signed up for $25 and got the free minutes. So the total time I received was 1,578 minutes! That's 1.58 cents per minute!

Read more about phone savings


More credit, more options
by Scott Bilker

Credit options are your weapon against the banks! The key to success is using your credit lines to save money--not to go crazy spending! (I know you won't go crazy spending because you're DebtSmart, but I had to mention that anyway.)

I've found a few more good credit deals that I want to bring to your attention. If you have high-rate debt, then you should apply online now and transfer your balances to some of these cards. (Or search through the entire list.)

Blue from American Express®
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: 15 Months
APR: 10.99%

Pulaski Bank Visa®/MasterCard®
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: 6 Months
APR: 7.99%

Citi® Platinum Select® Card
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: Up to 12 Months
APR: As low as 8.49%

Chase Platinum Visa®
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: 12 Months
APR: 10.74%

Free Cash Rewards Platinum Visa® Card
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: 12 Months
APR: 11.49%

Discover® Titanium Card
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: 6 Months
APR: 9.99%

Universal Entertainment Platinum MasterCard® from Chase
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: 6 Months
APR: 12.99%

Search complete list of credit cards

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