Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tune in to Women in Business Radio 1/17

Hey everybody, meet a quick note to let you know that I’m existence interviewed on Women in Business Radio tomorrow. Tune in and follow by Twitter to ask questions. Then kibosh backwards by here and yield comments with your thoughts— and accolades


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Follow up on Auto DMs on Twitter

A pair of months past I wrote an article asking what you thought about about semiautomatic candid messages. Overwhelmingly, you said you don’t same them. You’re not alone. Turns discover you’re not alone. A recent analyse says 72% of grouping who responded had brawny feelings against machine candid messages, compared to 2% who liked them. Now it turns out, you crapper opt discover of a large sort of these semiautomatic candid messages by following the steps distinct on my friend Sean McGinnis’ blog: 312 Digital. So, no need to be harried some further. Just study the four steps, and in brief visit you’ll never be bothered by an semiautomatic dm again (or at small not as many).


Friday, January 14, 2011

Follow up on Auto DMs on Twitter

A couple of months past I wrote an article asking what you thought most about semiautomatic candid messages. Overwhelmingly, you said you don’t same them. You’re not alone. Turns discover you’re not alone. A recent analyse says 72% of grouping who responded had strong feelings against machine candid messages, compared to 2% who liked them. Now it turns out, you crapper opt discover of a large sort of these semiautomatic candid messages by mass the steps distinct on my friend Sean McGinnis’ blog: 312 Digital. So, no need to be annoyed some further. Just study the quaternary steps, and in brief order you’ll never be bothered by an semiautomatic dm again (or at small not as many).


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Is A Bad Credit Rating A Good Thing?

Is A Bad Credit Rating A Good Thing?

Could a bad credit rating save you from bigger problems? It has done just that for many young people. How can this be? I'll start with a true story.

A Good Credit Rating Story

A friend, whose name I will withhold, started his adulthood with good credit. He soon was able to get credit cards at will, and finance cars, snowmobiles and more. He managed to make the payments on his debt, and went deeper and deeper into debt while he was at it. By the time he was 30 years old, he had over $20,000 in credit card debt, plus loans on cars and business tools.

It was too much to handle. He considered bankruptcy, but was convinced that the credit card companies would reduce his balance due if he just threatened to do so. First, though, he had to stop paying on the cards, or the credit card companies wouldn't believe he was in financial trouble. He did this, then drafted a nice letter to the companies, explaining his situation. Most of them cut at least 30% off what he owed, provided he paid the remaining balance immediately. This he did with a home equity loan.

In the end, his bad credit rating wasn't as bad as if he had actually declared bankruptcy, so he was able to rebuild his credit score. He has also begun to rebuild his credit balances. His good credit rating has enabled him to begin again the stressful process of overburdening himself with debt.

A Bad Credit Rating Story

Another friend of mine had her first credit rating based on the phone bill in her first apartment. She didn't ever pay the phone bill on time, and it was eventually disconnected. This, and a few other minor credit infractions when young destroyed her credit scores. What has this meant?

She can't borrow, so she hasn't had the pleasure of being at the edge of bankruptcy. She can buy things for cash when she has it, or wait until she does. Has this inability to have a bunch of things around that are worth a fraction of what she owes on them made her a less happy person? The opposite is true, in my opinion. She just doesn't have the debt-stress that is so typical today.

Is Bad Credit Good?

I am not recommending that you purposely try to get a bad credit rating, but if you already have one, it isn't all bad. The habits that got you there would probably get you into even more trouble if you could borrow more. Look at it as an opportunity to stop going further into debt, and a chance to learn better habits.

Start paying cash for everything. Pay down those credit card balances (the higher interest ones first). The moment you get those cards paid off, start setting aside money to buy a good used car for cash. When you've done that, start putting what would have been a car payment into a savings account, for a future down payment on house or a business (the only things you should borrow for). A bad credit rating can be good thing, if you take it as a lesson and an opportunity.


How To Get Free Stuff

How To Get Free Stuff

Yes you can get free stuff, and yes, sometimes there are strings attached. For example, when we were at universal studios I got a free backpack. The catch? I spent six minutes filling out a credit card application. On the other hand, we ate pretty well for free on free sample days at local food stores when we lived in Tucson, and there really weren't any strings attached. Here are some other easy freebies

How to get Free hollydays

Somebody in Hawaii, Costa Rica or Colorado is just waiting for you to come and stay in their house while they are away. You may have to water the plants, and even get the mail for them, but you get to stay in a beautiful home in a sunny place. Sometimes you even get paid for these vacations. The only catch is that to find these opportunities, you may have to subscribe to one of the newsletters that list them.

We camped in our van for ten days at Williams Landing, east of Tallahassee, Florida, on Lake Talquin. It's a beautiful place, with hot showers. Our cost? Zero, and you can stay up to two weeks. There are free campgrounds scattered around the country. Ask an RVer about this, or buy a Woodall's directory from any large RV dealer. Camping can be an essentially free vacation if you do it right, because you may spend less than if you stayed home.
Free Entertainment

Some libraries now carry movies on DVD, and most at least have documentaries. We have even seen music videos on DVD in one library. The only cost is the time to get a library card.

Want to go to free concerts? Most festivals have some free musical entertainment. The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, MI, for example, has free entertainment every night during the week-long festival, including many recognizable bands and (often) a Beatles tribute band. Go to any search engine and type in "festival" and the name of towns around you to find these freebies.
More Ways To Get Free Stuff

Most states give away free road maps. Some give away free legal forms too, like statutory wills. Check the state's online sites.

Free dental x-rays are available at some dental colleges. You have to be patient, as the students are just learning, but an experienced technician is always with them. You get the x-rays to take to your own dentist, which can save you $30 to $80. Some schools charge a small fee.

Some utility companies offer free energy audits. They come to your home and find the places where you are wasting energy. Some even give you a free kit for caulking windows and weather-stripping doors.

You can get free, confidential business advice from a business expert via email. Go to the website of "SCORE" (Service Corps of Retired Executives). These are successful business executives who volunteer their time to help others in business.
Some restaurants offer free dinners on your birthday. Others offer a free birthday cake. Many bars will buy your first drink for you if it's your birthday. How do you find the ones that do this? The same way you always discover how to get free stuff - as


Debt Consolidation Is It A Good Idea?

Debt Consolidation
Is It A Good Idea?

Why is debt consolidation necessary? Maybe it isn't. It seems like the easy way out of the problem of too many payments every month. When your credit card and loan payments add up to $900 every month, why not just get a loan that will pay all of these debts off and have a nice easy payment of say, $300? There are two reasons why this may be a bad idea.

Debt Consolidation Ignores The Cause

Too much debt? Why? Rarely is the cause due entirely unforeseeable circumstances. Most often, if you have debt problems, it is because you buy too many things on credit. In other words, it is due to bad financial habits.

Now what happens when you combine all that debt? Do you have less debt? Maybe you get a lower interest rate on average, but you still owe all the money, right? Your consolidated debt is just easier to pay, because it is in one lower payment stretched out over a longer period. What else becomes easier now? Adding more debt.

This is exactly what many people do. They get their $900 of various payments rolled into a loan with a $300 payment, and now they have all that excess income. Time to go buy some things on credit. Obviously, debt consolidation can be a way to postpone reckoning with the real problem - bad financial habits. Postponing dealing with debt makes it much worse, of course.

Debt Consolidation Costs More

It may seem like you are saving money on interest with some consolidation loans, but this isn't always true. The problem is that you are converting short-term debt into long term debt. The longer you take to pay off the money owed, the more you pay in interest.

Let's look at an example. If you owed $6,000 on a credit card, with 18% annual interest, it would take a payment of $176.26 per month to pay it off in four years. You would pay a total of $2460 in interest. Suppose, in order to get the best interest rate and easiest terms, you rolled the debt into your 30-year mortgage on your home (many people do this). If it was a 7% loan, it would add only $39.92 to the payment. That's easier than $176, and a much lower interest rate, but how much total interest will you pay over the years? $8371 - more than the original debt.

Of course there are debt consolidation loans that are not for 30 years, but you get the point. Even with a 15-year, 7% loan, which would costs $53.93 per month, you would pay at least 50% more in interest than with the 18% 4-year payoff. Converting short-term debt into long term debt can cost you a lot more in interest.

Try hard to make those payments and get rid of that debt sooner. You'll be glad you did. Of course, it may be impossible to make those payments. That happens, but for a reason. At least work as hard on changing your habits as you do on getting that consolidation loan.


Living Cheap

Living Cheap

Living cheap doesn't mean being miserable, or giving up what you want. In fact, in my own case, it meant getting to do the things I really wanted to do. The less you spend on each thing or activity, the more of them you can have, right? So the key is to spend less and still get what you need and want. Here is how I managed it.

Living Cheap In A Mobile Home

My first house was a mobile home on a small lot. I bought it for less than $20,000, and had payments of $257 per month. Even with taxes, insurance and repairs, it cost less than rent. It had three bedrooms, an expanded living room, and a nice fenced-in yard. I eventually sold it for $45,000.

What really made it cheap, though, was two things that I did. First, I paid as much as I could on it when I was working. I owned it free and clear within five years, and from that point on it cost an average of $300 per month to pay for the utilities, phone, garbage collection, taxes, insurance, and repairs. That's living cheap.

The next thing I did made it even cheaper. I found that I could easily rent the other two bedrooms, and get $65 per week for one, and $75 or more per week for the other. I included all utilities, and found decent young guys to rent to. The rents added up to $600 per month, making this more than cheap living, and even better than free housing. I made $300 per month AND lived for free.

Living Cheap By Planning

I found that I could work less, so I could get by without a car. That saved a lot of money. The occasional bus fare, and the used bicycle I bought didn't add up to a fourth of what it cost to have a car. I had to plan my trips around town a little better, but it was worth it.

During these years I never paid more than $40 for a piece of furniture. You have to know what is important to you. I paid $220 for a high-tech sleeping bag, because I liked ultralight backpacking. On the other hand, I couldn't tell the difference between a nice, clean used couch for $30 and one that cost $900.

One thing I found was that when I worked less, I had time to look around at my options. Time can save youa lot of money. I paid half of what others paid for groceries. When I did get a car, I found a repossessed one that was worth much more than I paid. I went to Ecuador for a month for $1,040 total, including all airfare, hotels, meals, a guided climb up a 21,000-foot mountain, and more. It was possible because I had the time to search for the deals.

I worked part-time jobs for years. I read books, played chess, wrote poetry. I traveled several times a year,

and met the love of my life in South America (happily married for over eight years now). All this was possible not because I made a lot of money, but because I spent less than I made, and used the difference for the things that mattered to me.

This isn't a how-to guide. I explain how I traveled and bought things so cheaply in other articles. This example is simply to get you thinking about the possibilities, and point out some principles. The principles? Don't buy things you don't need. Find ways to pay less without getting less. Spend a little less time working and a little more time thinking. Stay out of debt. Know what is truly important to you, because this is what you can have more of by living cheap.


  © Blogger template Purple by 2008

Back to TOP