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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter
November 14, 2007: Issue #163

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


" One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind."
--Malayan Proverb
Quotes from all previous newsletters


Letter from the Publisher
Cool Quote
Manipulating the System
DebtSmart® Recommended Products and Services
Negotiation Success in Dubai
STATISTICS: Adult Attitudes Toward Financial Literacy
"Thanks for inspiring me..."
Household Math(tm): Cash Advance Savings
Wasn't Paying Attention: Where Does My Money Go and How Can I Get Some Back?
DebtSmart® Column for your use in-print, ezine, or website
DebtSmart® books and software, and other products
Update Your Email Address, Subscribe, Unsubscribe, and Disclaimer Information
Publisher: Scott Bilker
Editor: Larissa S. Bilker
Assistant Editor: Denise Troy

ISSN 1538-6740

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Adult Attitudes Toward
Financial Literacy

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.
Read more credit card and debt statistics

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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" about negotiating.
* Men initiate 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 dentist."
* 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 necessary.

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.

Here is a great video I ran across from ABC News that explains why women are paid less. Check it out here.

So girls, give the gift of negotiation!
Fight back! Here is a special deal I worked up for you. Get three copies of my book, 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 banks.

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..."

Hi Scott,

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:

1) This was a one-time oversight.
2) I have never asked for a fee waiver before.
3) I have accounts with HSBC in three countries.
4) I have at least half a dozen credit cards with HSBC.
5) I will not pay 100% (let alone 200%!) in penalties simply for missing a small payment.
6) 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 did!

Continued Success,
J.A., Madison, WI

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

Household Math(tm): Cash Advance Savings
by Scott Bilker

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 this debt.

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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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 ©2007 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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