“The Holidays – A Time To Get Creative” Lessons In Debt, Credit And Home Ownership

December 6, 2009

Making the most of what you have applies to the basic principles of money management, but it also applies to sharing the holidays in a special way that creates memories simply by making the most of what we have.

Bringing a smile, a twinkle in the eye, a joy to the heart is not always about money, but the utilization of time, talent and consideration of others. Each year readers write in about what they have done at the holidays, simple yet effective when it came to making the season special.

Saving money can sometimes be felt through more efficient time management in a very hectic season. Taking out one box of decorations at a time, decorating a little each day is much easier for a working mom who has limited time.

One family’s creativity figured out a way to keep toddlers out of harms way of a Christmas tree tumbling down and to keep the ornaments still hanging on the tree. Once the storage tubs were emptied of Christmas decorations, they put something heavy inside the container, gift wrapped them to look like presents and placed them in front of the tree so little prying hands couldn’t reach the tree or the ornaments.

For the cook, starting with the Thanksgiving food shopping specials, buying ingredients for special dishes / cookies / desserts a little each trip to the grocery is easier and saves money rather than making a large purchase all at once.

A grandmother with grandchildren, and great grandchildren came up with a way to clean out her antiques and collectables. She gift wraps her ‘heirlooms’ and put them under the tree as a special gift along with her new gifts to them.

One lady used inexpensive plastic holiday tablecloths for wrapping large gifts. Another purchased holiday material and sewed huge bags for her large gifts and they were re-used the following year. I thought the idea of purchasing an inexpensive nativity scene for the children to play with so the special displayed one would go untouched by the little hands.

I really liked the idea of paying ahead for the elderly as gifts, such as paying in advance cable television for so many months, or having the bill forwarded to you. Another was paying for beauty treatments at the nursing home as many have beauty shops on the property.

Another wrote in that rather than spend time and money on gifts to have a celebration dinner together. And of course for the hard to please teen who already has everything, gift cards from their favorite store. They could be as little as $5 each, they will love getting to choose what they want. 

Spectrum Resources mission is to help you learn how to live inside your income. Creativity is a fun way to enter the world of personal money management.

Call (863) 967-0660 or email SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com and please visit all our blogs: http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com over 20,000 readers since March 09.

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“HOW TO Conquer The Spending Urge” Lessons In Debt, Credit And Home Ownership

December 1, 2009


 Get ready, get set GO ! You charge ahead into the stores staged for your arrival. You charge up the aisles one by one in search of THE right gift.  You charge through the crowds with determination to get that last special item on the shelf before anyone else grabs it.  You get to the cashier and in a breathless whisper, using what energy you have left, once again, you charge your purchases.  WHY do you do that ? 

 It’s a psychological warfare and you have just lost.  In today’s economy, believe me this is not a game it is warfare.  The manufacturers, retailers, lenders, and bankers are ALL counting on your weakness to buy !  Buy ! Buy !

 The good news you can conquer the spending urge.  Set your strategy to win.  Structure a plan by knowing who you are going to buy for and exactly how much you can afford to spend on each person.  You know your weaknesses, so prepare guards to protect yourself.  Use a detailed check list, have a system in place to keep you in control of your decisions.

Use ONLY CASH, and leave credit cards at home frozen in a glass of water.  IF you insist on using your debit card remember to keep it inside your check register to document each transaction.

 Right up front, do not spend money on wasteful things.  Don’t buy poinsettias or mini pine trees to decorate your house if you don’t have a green thumb to keep them alive.  Forget the ‘traditional’ food like fruitcake, eggnog, fancy nuts or peppermint candy if no one likes it.   Buy a little less than what you think you need, everyone is eating holiday foods, and are trying to cut back on consumption.  From the office parties, church functions, neighborhood gatherings, social functions, all of which are serving extra food, so cut back on the amount, offer smaller amounts in a wider variety.

Conquer the Mall by shopping alone unless you’re just browsing.  Make major purchases before the stampede. Don’t go on crowded weekends when you’re bound to become to frustrated to bargain hunt. You will end up buying just anything to get the chore out of the way. 

 Wait until AFTER Christmas to buy items you spot that you want for yourself. And take a special envelope with you to put all receipts in while shopping, this way they won’t get lost shuffling the bags, you know there is always a need to return something. Plus, you will have to match your receipts to your check register, or worse to your credit card statement when it comes in.

 Shop AFTER Christmas for stocking stuffers, greeting cards, decorations, and ‘Thank You Gifts” for your staff, postman, and service people. Use savings to pay down principal of debts.    

 Spectrum Resources (863) 967-0660 email:  SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com

And please visit all our blogs, each different: http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com

http://WomanToWomanMagazine.ning.com  http://SpectrumResources.wordpress.com

http://FinancialEducationAndOptions.blogspot.com and for those who want to raise their credit score in 75 days – Guaranteed visit: http://CreditJusticeServices.com/?ccc=1242

“Happy Thanksgiving !”

November 27, 2009

“Happy Thanksgiving !” Lessons in debt, credit and homeownership is on hold until all leftovers are eaten, and everyone is back on track with ‘catch up’ from being on holiday.  If you have time, please visit our other blogs, each with a different lesson:

http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com    http://FinancialEducationAndOptions.blogspot.com

http://WomanToWomanMagazine.ning.com  and http://SpectrumResources.wordpress.com

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“PHISHING – NOT A Sport You Want To Take Up !” Lessons In Debt, Credit And Home Ownership

November 23, 2009

 PHISHING – NOT a sport you want to take up, it will cost you time and money, don’t confuse it with FISHING, a sport that does bring rewards of pleasure. Now you are asking, “ What is phishing ?” The strange name sounds a lot like the all American sport ‘fishing’, something you do in a lake or stream with a pole. That’s because it’s a similar process: phishers apply bait and wait for a bite. They want you to be the fish.

There are several ways the crooks bait you while they are phishing. I have written a similar article on this subject matter on http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com if you desire more on the topic.  I have shared with my readers previously how online ads BAIT =FREE offer and all you have to pay is the $1.95 shipping and handling = HOOK !  The website:  FREE CREDIT REPORT.com has consumers bombarding the FTC with complaints because it is misleading to the general public.

These unexpected payments or charges with online wallet services like Paypal is another. When it comes to your money, especially, you can’t be too skeptical, here is how to identify whether there’s a scammer on the other end of that login form. Look at the URL – This may get a little techy, but it’s something any internet user should learn.

 The URL (Uniform Resource Locator), which is the web page’s full address, is a telling hint toward whether you’re being scammed. Your location bar is usually up at the top of the window you use for web browsing. The text inside starts with http:// or https://. The part that comes immediately after that is the host name, like /wired.com/. Sometimes, instead it has extra words up front, like /howto.wired.com/. That’s called a sub-domain.

 Whoever owns the main .com (or .net, .org, etc.) can make as many sub-domains as they want. Scammers use a simple trick to include your bank’s name in front of their own web site name. For example, your bank’s website is yourtrustedbank.com.

A scammer might use yourtrustedbank.securebank.com, which looks pretty good. But remember, your bank can own anything ending in yourtrustedbank.com. But whoever owns securebank.com (the scammer in this case) can put anything in front of securebank.com, including the name of your bank. Using the URL to identify the scam means you have to understand the difference between securebank.yourtrustedbank.com and yourbank.securetrustedbank.com. If they look the same to you, know that makes you extra vulnerable.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse: often the scammers get really devious and use yourtrustedbank.com.securebank.com. The URL begins with your bank’s complete web site name, but it’s still a scam! S

Spectrum Resources counsels in debt, credit and home ownership and offers education and options. Call (863) 967-0660 email: SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com

Please visit all our blogs: http://MoneySavingsTips.PolkVoice.com and http://SpectrumResources.wordpress.com  and http://WomanToWomanMagazine.ning.com http://FinancialEducationAndOptions.com 

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“The Great Pretenders” Lessons In Debt, Credit And Home

November 16, 2009

Ownership One of the great pretenders in your life is a third party creditor. Attorney’s offices often set up third party creditors who appear to look and act as a collection business. The attorneys cannot buy alleged debts and then sue in their own name, so they use collection businesses as false fronts to buy debts which were written off by original creditors.

The attorney’s office representing the dummy collection business can probably never prove the debt you are alleged to owe. That is because the debtor doesn’t have a contract with the dummy collection business.

 Most credit cards do permit the assignment of the ACCOUNT. They DO NOT permit the re-assignment of the DEBT. That is, the credit card company can sell or transfer the debt to another bank or collection agency.  However, there is no authorization to transfer the debt to a third collector, such as the dummy collection business, unless the contract is produced to show that fact, and few do.

 If they have a judgment against you, it is probably void! When they sue you, keep in mind they never or rarely attach a copy of the contract to the complaint. Nor can they produce anyone with first hand knowledge of the facts which are essential to supporting their case.

 Here is how they work.

 • Usually, the original creditor is required to write off the bad debt within 180 or so days.

• The original creditor, credit card or loan company sells its list of bad debts to collection agency A

• Collection agency A sells it to collection agency B

 • Collection agency B sells it to collection agency C who sells it to the dummy collection business the attorney’s has set up as a front.

• The dummy collection business usually says in it’s complaint that “we have purchased the debt” leaving the impression that they bought it from the original credit card or loan company.

• They usually do not have proof of the alleged debt (i.e. the contract) which is required, nor can they prove that they are the new owners of the alleged debt. As mentioned earlier, there is no authority to make more than one assignment.

• This third party collection business has NO standing to sue you. Attorney’s all the time sue debtors in the name of the original creditor, but keep ALL the money they get from the debtor through the lawsuit..

• This omission deprives the court of power to enter judgment. If you are contacted by ANY collection agents BEFORE any court action takes place, first send them a copy of this letter validating the debt. DO NOT call the attorney’s office and ask them if they have the contract. If they did, it would be in your file. To continue, you will need a copy of your court file which you can get from the clerk. 

Call Spectrum Resources (863)967-0660 Or Email: SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com Visit: http://SpectrumResources.wordpress.com and http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com http://FinancialEducationAndOptions.blogspot.com & http://WomanToWomanMagazine.ning.com Raise your credit scores in 75 days-Guaranteed ! See http://CreditJusticeServices.com/?ccc=1242

“Moving Forward With The Rhythm Of Life” Lessons In Debt, Credit And Home Ownership

November 11, 2009

get-past-blockWe feel the season’s air change, we see fashion and merchandise trends come and go.  Throughout history, politicians have basically sung the same song, and made the same promises, and manipulated the public as they always have.  But somehow we don’t connect any of the rhythms of life throughout history to our own personal life.   We can’t control others, nor change what will appear in the history books, but we can be aware of the cycles in our personal life, if we stop and reflect.  We can take charge and prepare for what others in the world have set on the stage for us. 

 Many philosophies and religions recognize the importance of seven year cycles. This seven year cycle appears to represent a natural rhythm in human lives. When we move in tune with our natural rhythms we feel good and tend to progress. When we oppose our nature, it appears that in some fashion we come to a stop. Now is the time to look closely at the patterns in our past to see what we have done correctly, and what now appears to have been mistakes, actions, and thinking that went against the flow of the world. CHANGE always starts with thinking – think about it !

 New York Times excerpt from the article “Broader Measure of Unemployment Stands at 17.5%” by  David  Leonhardt explains:   For all the pain caused by the Great Recession, the job market still was not in as bad shape as it had been during the depths of the early 1980s recession — until now.

 The broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment tracked by the Labor Department has reached its highest level in decades. If statistics went back so far, the measure would almost certainly be at its highest level since the Great Depression.  In all, more than one out of every six workers — 17.5 percent — were unemployed or underemployed in October. The previous recorded high was 17.1 percent, in December 1982.

 Nothing is carved in stone, except on a tombstone, and since you are still breathing, you are able to move from this point forward.  The unemployment rate is 17.5 percent, but those maybe people who have not evaluated their self worth properly. They maybe people who don’t understand that every human has worth and brings value to the table to benefit others.  It is a matter of recognizing that value and promoting it in the mainstream of life amongst people who will appreciate what you have to offer.

 Debt, credit and home ownership challenges are met with solutions when people realize all matters connected to money come back to priorities.  Each individual’s self worth determines, not only the path taken in all cycles of life, also determining the quality in which it is traveled.    

 Spectrum Resources Call (863)967-0660  or Email: SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com

visit: http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com  &  http://SpectrumResources.wordpress.com

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“Credit Cards – Consider The Differences” Lessons In Debt, Credit And Home Ownership

November 7, 2009


As a trained and experienced credit risk assessment planner, when counseling with families I am always amazed how few people ever shop and compare credit cards when deciding upon entering a world designed to keep you on the hook for a minimum of 25 years. What Is A Credit Card

 Oddily, people shop houses and give serious consideration to a 30 year loan.  People shop cars and give serious consideration to 10-15 year loan. But people DO NOT research the one thing that does the most damage to relationships, lives and cost the most in interest, the credit card !

  Not all credit cards are the same, nor do they all treat their customers the same. And like wicked step parents, they certainly do not discipline their customers the same for late payments or other random acts of misconduct. 

 Good credit cards aren’t necessarily easy to find, especially these days.  And the big boys in the industry may not offer them at all.   If you check out the website www.Bankrate.com  and perhaps: www.CreditCardGuide.com or www.CardRatings.com you will be able to shop and compare to see which would actually be best for your lifestyle personal spending habits.

 Consumers to protect themselves really need to research the offers, conditions and terms.  Remember: “The big print giveth, and the small print taketh  away !” The best way to avoid traps is to pay your balance in full every month.  However, it is wise to know the terms just in case you get into the position where you are not able to pay the full amount.

  • You should watch out for rates that go up for no reason, the new law will help slow this down, but you still need to watch for it.
  • Under the “Universal Default” is not your friend.  For example, because you are late on your car insurance, they raise the interest rate on your credit card.  Yes, I know, there is no connection, but through “Universal Default” credit cards can get by with it.
  • Know exactly what fees are in store for you in case you default in any way.
  • Know exactly what your grace period, and understand they change things without notice.
  • Know the ‘default rate’ which they will bump you to for the smallest infraction.  And it isn’t cheap.

 17 out of 22 credit card companies surveyed (77%) say they change terms at ANY TIME for ANY REASON !   July 2010, the game rules will change, many to your benefit.               

 Spectrum Resources has counseled for over 7 years families trying to live inside their income.  Our mission is to provide education and resources that make a positive difference. Call (863)-967-0660 or email: SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com

Facing a possible foreclosure ?  Visit our trusted resource: www.OneCaboodle.com  look at the HOME PACK a real money saver                                                                                                                     Wanting to raise your credit score ?  Visit: www.CreditJusticeServices.com/?ccc=1242  

and to learn more visit all our blogs: http://FinancialEducationAndOptions.blogspot.com               http://SpectrumResources.wordpress.com & http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com and http://WomanToWomanMagazine.ning.com