IN THIS ISSUE #163
Larissa S. Bilker
Editor: Denise Troy
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Understanding, managing, saving, spending, and
investing money wisely are key components of many adults' definitions of
financial literacy. More than one-half of U.S. adults are familiar with
financial literacy concepts. Less than 30% of U.S. adults view their personal
financial knowledge as very good or better. Investing, retirement planning, and
taxes are the financial areas in which U.S. adults feel they need the most
guidance. Spending, insurance, lending/borrowing, and banking are financial areas
for which adults feel they need the least help.
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Letter from the Publisher
by Scott Bilker
Why are women paid less? Because they
don't like to negotiate!
||In surveys, 2.5 times
more women than men said they feel "a great deal of apprehension"
negotiations about four times as often as women.
||When asked to pick
metaphors for the process of negotiating, men picked "winning a
ballgame" and a "wrestling match," while women picked "going to the
||Women will pay as much
as $1,353 to avoid negotiating the price of a car, which may help
explain why 63 percent of Saturn car buyers are women.
||Women are more
pessimistic about how much is available when they do negotiate,
and they typically ask for and get less--on
average, 30 percent less than men.
||Twenty percent of adult
women (22 million people) say they never negotiate at all, even
though they often recognize negotiation as appropriate and even
The above statistics are from Linda Babcock
and Sara Laschever, authors of Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the
Gender Divide. More info and details about their book can be found
Here is a great video I ran across from ABC
News that explains why women are paid less. Check it out
So girls, give the gift of
Fight back! Here is a special deal I worked up for you. Get three copies of
Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, for $5.95 each! Hey, and you
didn't have to negotiate with me for the price. This book retails for
$19.95 each! Now that's a great gift--high value, awesome price--smart stocking
stuffer. This offer is only available for DebtSmart Email Newsletter readers
for 24 hours after this email
is opened! Get it now! Gift the gift of consumer power!
Use this link to get books now!
Manipulating the System
by Scott Bilker
Friday night and the phone
rings... you know the call, it's late, the last bite of dinner on your
plate, and 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 a refinance deal!
The girl asks about my mortgage, my rates,
and my credit card debts--and I do 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
Negotiation Success in Dubai
by Ria Mendoza
I never thought I'd be
emailing you because sometimes I find that the tips and tricks you send out
do not apply to me--it seems more complicated than my actual
finances. You see, there are no taxes here in Dubai, no 401k-funds either,
but I enjoy reading your money tips and tricks and how-to's on dealing with
Anyway, there's one tip that stuck to me,
which I read when I was new to your site/column. It's to contact your bank
to request if you want them to reverse charges, give you leeway on payments,
or whatever your situation requires.
Finish Reading Article
"Thanks for inspiring me..."
I really enjoy your newsletter and thank you
for all your great ideas and inspiration over the years.
I was horrified to discover today that I was
hit with a $39 late fee for failing to pay $21 on my no interest credit card
at Best Buy through HSBC. I make it a point NEVER to pay interest or
penalties on any of my credit cards, and this was a rare oversight on my
part. I called HSBC Customer Service and was told they would be willing to
give me a 50% discount on the late fee.
I explained that I wanted the entire fee waived,
but she refused. I asked to speak to a manager but was put on hold for an
excessive period of time. I decided to call back and be more insistent, to
the point of threatening to close the card if they did not waive the entire
fee. I got the same response. I then made the following points:
||This was a one-time
||I have never asked for
a fee waiver before.
||I have accounts with
HSBC in three countries.
||I have at least half
a dozen credit cards with HSBC.
||I will not pay 100%
(let alone 200%!) in penalties simply for missing a small payment.
||I will close my
accounts (ALL of them) if I do not get a full waiver.
After waiting a few moments, the customer
service rep came back and said that it is not their policy but that because
I am such a good customer, her manager agreed to waive the entire fee in the
amount of $39.
As a single parent and Realtor struggling in
a tough real estate market, with no income for the foreseeable future, every
little bit counts. It just goes to show you, it pays to be insistent!
Thanks for inspiring me to threaten closing
down my accounts--and meaning it. I hoped it would pay off, and it certainly
J.A., Madison, WI
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Household Math(tm): Cash Advance Savings
I have an offer to write a check in
any amount at 1.99% APR (forever) with a one-time 3% fee on the check. I
would like to make a transfer to a credit card for $3,400.00 on which I am
now paying 11.24% interest. I'm currently paying $100.00 per month toward
After adding the 3% fee, how much I will save
by doing this?
Answer this problem
Wasn't Paying Attention: Where Does My Money Go and How Can I Get Some Back?
by Janet Hall
Tracking, planning, and "overhauling"
your hard-earned money can help you reach any financial goals that you have,
help you in getting out of debt, and help you gain back control of your
money, your future, and your life.
Dawn Rivers Baker of WAHM & Mompreneur has a
great series, Financial Management 101, in which she writes, "Managing cash
flow is the simple matter of projecting cash receipts and needed cash
outlays within a certain period of time - a week, a month, a quarter, a year
Good cash management consists very basically
of three things: knowing when you need money, knowing where that money is
going to come from, and knowing where you can get money from if you fall
short. With good cash management, you may find yourself with a bit of money
left over when you have paid your bills.
Finish Reading Article
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