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ISSUE #177

Email Newsletter  

  May 28, 2008  


Scott Bilker
Signature
Scott Bilker, founder of DebtSmart
  

Hi,

My latest project is a new type of budgeting system. Please complete the survey included in the email newsletter so I can finish developing it--thanks!

There has been so much in the news over the past couple weeks concerning money. I've included links to DebtSmart stories and other big stories.

Best,
Scott


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In This Issue

Cool Quote
Switching heads and bodies
Auto Insurance on the Rise
SURVEY: Envelope Budgeting System
Secret History of Credit Cards
10 Simple Things You Can Do To Save Money
"Good Book--five stars"
Car dealers make cash regardless of the deal
Household Math™: Coupons and Sandwiches
ID-protection ads come back to bite pitchman
Simple Strategies to Eliminating Debt
Best Places to Find Free Software
The 15-Minute Tip: Avoiding Bank-Fee Surprises
 

Cool Quote

"A mistake is a future benefit, the full value of which is yet to be realized."
--Edwin Land, inventor of the Polaroid camera

More cool quotes from past issues


Switching heads and bodies
by Scott Bilker

Have you heard this one? A graphic designer working on a high school yearbook mixed the heads and bodies of students. The yearbook company said that it was an honest mistake. They said the high school required them to make heads the same size and eyes at the same level in all photos. This is a case where digital switching didn't turn out to be profitable because they had to pay to reprint all the yearbooks. So what does this have to do with your credit cards?

Finish reading this article


STATISTIC: Auto Insurance on the Rise

Nationwide, the average cost of auto insurance jumped 50% between 1989 and 2005, but average per-car spending on coverage rose just 13% in California, according to the report. Other states where price hikes were held down, relatively speaking, included New Jersey with a 20% increase in that time period; Hawaii, 25%; New Hampshire, 30%; and Pennsylvania, 31%. States with the steepest rate changes were Nebraska, where average per-car costs surged 118% to $620 from $285 between 1989 and 2005, and South Dakota, where costs jumped 107% to about $565 from $274. Other high-increase states include: Montana, 104%; Wyoming, 101%; and Kentucky, 100%. Wyoming does not control rates, and the other four states require companies to file notice of rate changes but don't require state pre-approval of those changes.

More credit card and debt statistics


SURVEY: Envelope Budgeting System

Envelope budgeting is where you take your cash and distribute it into envelopes for categories like groceries, charity, utilities, dining out, etc. I'm working on a developing a new approach to this old system. An approach that will allow credit use, gift card use, and more. This is "not your grandfather's envelope budgeting system." Please give me a hand in developing this 21st Century Envelope System by completing this survey.

Complete survey here


Secret History of Credit Cards

This PBS and Frontline special aired about four years ago. It was great then, and it's still great today. Check out the inside story on how the banks try to stay one step ahead of the law and the consumer.

See story here


10 Simple Things You Can Do To Save Money
by Art Graham

Here are ten simple things you can do to save money:

1) Start clipping coupons from the Sunday paper, and go online to find websites that offer printable coupons for Target, Wal-Mart and many local grocery stores. Yes, I know. Clipping coupons is a hassle. But if you take a few minutes each week to quickly go through the coupons to see which ones you'll really use and then use them each time you go grocery shopping, you will save money. You can call your local grocery stores to ask if they double or triple the face value of coupons and on which days they do it. Go shopping on those days.

2) At the end of every day, take your...

Finish reading the article


"Good Book--five stars"

Following suggestions, one phone call got a 10% discount. But, since that's not good enough, will transfer to competing 0 balance, still lowөr interөst ratө cards. Also, some helpful chapters at the back for dealing with disputes, calculating rates, etc.

Book is concise, straightforward and well-organized. Good information for anyone with a credit card to know.

--Amazon.com Bookreader

Learn how to "Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt"


Car dealers make cash regardless of the deal
by Craig Howie

(AOL Autos) -- You may have heard this before when negotiating to buy a new car at invoice price: "But I have to feed my family," pleads the finance guy at the dealership, "I don't want to lose the shirt off my back."

So did you ever wonder why some car dealerships let their cars go at invoice, when all possible customer rebates have been taken into account and at a price that seems to leave a dealer no operating profit?

It has to do with a little-known secret called dealer holdback. If the dealer has a sensible buying strategy, a complex series of payments from manufacturer to dealer and the bank will ensure he's always able to feed his family, oftentimes regardless of how good a deal you secure.

Read article


Household Math (TM): Coupons and Sandwiches
by Scott Bilker

Here's something we, here at DebtSmart, were discussing last week. We're always ordering from this Sub Shop down the street and, being the thrifty folks we are, we decided to figure out the most money-saving way to get lunch. An excellent example of math that can be applied to everyday situations:

Every time you order a sub, whether it's a whole sub or a half-sub, you get a coupon. When you accumulate 15 coupons you get a free whole sub. Four (4) of us from work are going out to lunch, everybody is going to order the Cheese, Boiled Ham, Proscuittini, Cappacuolo sandwich which costs $7.45 for a whole sub and $4.70 for a half-sub. Each person eats a half-sub for lunch, and we plan on going here all the time.

We've already collected 11 coupons. Is it better to get 4 half-subs now and get the free whole sub next time? Or, is it better to split 2 whole subs this time and next time, and get the free whole sub on the third lunch trip?

Answer this math problem


ID-protection ads come back to bite pitchman
by Jordan Robertson

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Todd Davis has dared criminals for two years to try stealing his identity: Ads for his fraud-prevention company, LifeLock, even offer his Social Security number next to his smiling mug.

Now, Lifelock customers in Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia are suing Davis, claiming his service didn't work as promised and he knew it wouldn't, because the service had failed even him.

Attorney David Paris said he found records of other people applying for or receiving driver's licenses at least 20 times using Davis' Social Security number, though some of the applications may have been rejected because data in them didn't match what the Social Security Administration had on file.

Read article


Simple Strategies to Eliminating Debt
by Stefano Grossi

If you've taken on more debt than you can handle, don't be discouraged. You're not alone. Thousands of Americans are in the same boat, with many of them carrying huge debt loads. It doesn't matter how much money you make. If you can't live within your means, you become a slave to your creditors. This article is by no means a comprehensive treatise on financial planning. Nonetheless, what follows are a few strategies to regain your financial freedom.

Ask Yourself Why?

Money is a powerful force that can destroy you if you let it. You must learn to master your money instead of letting it master you. If you don't do this, you'll never get out of debt. I'll say it once more. If you do not learn to control your spending, you'll never get out of debt. Be brutally honest with yourself. Examine your internal reasons about why you are in debt. I'm not referring to financial blows beyond your control, but about the times when you let the power of money control you.

Finish reading this article


Best Places to Find Free Software

I've mentioned before about saving money on software by finding the good, free stuff--and there is plenty! A few of my favorites are Freespire (Linux OS), WordWeb (Windows dictionary), OpenOffice (Windows, Linux, and MAC office suite), Abyss (Windows and Linux web server), IrfranView (Windows photo editing), and Google Docs. You can find many great packages listed at: (1) PCMag; (2) Yahoo Tech; and (3) Download.


The 15-Minute Tip: Avoiding Bank-Fee Surprises
by Jennifer Openshaw

Switch to the offensive to stop them before they hit you again.

I was filing some old bank statements during a routine desk cleanup. One I hadn't opened from last April had a surprise in it. A small slip of paper -- a new fee schedule -- fell onto the floor.

An unopened bank statement? OK, you got me. No, these days I don't balance my checkbook every month. Simply don't have the time.

But that's not the issue -- it's bigger. New fees for services, new "punitive" fees. Some lower, most higher. And only for certain types of accounts. Now, with all the accounts they offer, do I remember what kind of account I have? Nope.

Read 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 website. 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 website 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 ©2008 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.

The DebtSmart Email Newsletter, ISSN 1538-6740, is written and published by Scott Bilker and edited by Larissa Bilker and Denise Troy. Please contact comments@debtsmart.com with any comments, problems, or concerns. (See the very bottom of the email to make changes to your subscription.)

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