“Who Would’ve Ever Thought Of That ?”

August 23, 2009

Road to freedom pic                       You are probably like many people who just want to have a good time and enjoy life as much as possible. To get the most out of life for the least amount of money and effort we have to become skilled.  We must sharpen our skills to look for savings, freebies, and tips that will make our journey a pleasurable one.  

 Who would ever thought, despite their ads as being ‘Priceless”  that a credit card company would bring joy to a consumer. Check out the savings offered through all Bank of America ATM, debit and credit cards.   FREE weekend admissions to more than 100 museums and science centers in 26 states and the District of Columbia participate in the “Museums on Us” program on the first full weekend of every month.   Cardholders get free general admission but must pay for special exhibits and ticketed shows.  Look for the list to find the nearest to you at http://museums.bankofamerica.com

 You have probably developed a sharp eye for savings, shortcuts, and planning tips without even realizing it.   You may have learned it is the little things that make a difference, discovered quickly if your passport gets lost or stolen. Using the tip about backing up your passport could be a stress saver.  Our suggestion is to have your local copy shop make a laminated credit card-size black and white version of the photo page of your passport.  That way, if you lose your regular passport you still will have all of your information until you can get a replacement. 

 When traveling, be prepared for the unexpected, and the worse scenario ! Before you leave home write down to carry with you at all times the American consul ant’s phone  number for easy access.

 Another point we wouldn’t ordinarily think of is giving as much thought to coming home as we do leaving. When traveling some countries, especially in the Caribbean and Central America, charge tourist taxes to depart the country – and some accept ONLY cash in LOCAL currency. Check: http://travel.state.gov/travel  

 Being prepared is the key to being a ‘seasoned happy traveler’ and accumulating many new memories.  Being prepared also saves money, sometimes a great deal of money!    Come back often to learn of more ways to live within your income.    

 Spectrum Resource’s mission is to provide counseling in debt, credit and home ownership issues to assist you in becoming financial self-sufficient.  We provide education, resources and options that make a difference in a positive way ! Call 863-967-0660 or email at SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com and visit: http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com  also visit

http://SpectrumResources.wordpress.com and last by not least,

http://FinancialEducationAndOptions.blogspot.com for continual learning.


“Let Me Entertain You”

August 19, 2009

2008704 Budgeting is a necessity we all agree,  it’s a place we don’t want to go where a lot of good stuff has to be eliminated.   Yes, you can enjoy the good times and save money too.  Let me entertain you with some ideas on how you can achieve your goals.

You can have the best of both worlds by being creative,  a budget and a life that entertains you.  Let the kid in you out to play and think outside the box, you can still get what you want without feeling deprived.  Make this an adventure exploring new ways to have fun.

 If you are single, and you like to entertain at flashier places that cater to the expensive dinner crowd. Then for you to save on money but still look good, invite your dates for a midday meal, less crowded, more romantic and yes, less expensive.  

 Another suggestion is to meet at the bar and order from the bar menu instead of the dinner menu that cost more. Be different !  Another, is to eat your main course before you go out, and invite your date out for a specialty dessert.  If you cook, invite your date over for a cook in, then go out for dessert at a special place.  

 What about a ‘brunch’ a late breakfast followed by a early noon day movie, instead of a late movie and dinner afterwards ?  A walk through a sunny local park, feed the ducks, and call it a special day with everyone’s attitude adjusted for more. Good times are shared with good company on a whole lot less money.  It’s all about attitude !

 The home body who enjoys movies but wants to cut expenses check out the free online site where you can watch all the movies you like on your computer or laptop : www.Hulu.com.  If you are into sports, instead of expensive cable premium channels watch sports on www.ESPN360.com .

You love baseball, take in live local games saving you hundreds of dollars on expensive seats. Is it particular players you watch or the game itself you enjoy ?  The hotdogs are just the same.  The same with music,  again,  is it the status of attending the symphony, or do you really love live orchestra music ?  Instead of expensive tickets to the symphony, check the local college or university’s orchestra schedule and enjoy the sounds for a lot less. Check the city’s schedule for music in the park events and take a blanket and thermos.

Of course, you may have some ideas of your own, be creative and you can entertain you on a lot less. Just know that being on a budget, having a structured plan does not mean you are denied the pleasures of life !                                    

Call Spectrum Resources (863) 967-0660 or email:SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com  and please put our blogs in your favorites and come back often for more ideas, options, resources, and education on how to live INSIDE your income.  http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com,

http://FinancialEducationAndOptions.blogspot.com and come back to this location


“It’s The Little Things That Matter”

August 15, 2009

economic times

You are probably thinking romantic thoughts about now.  Well, I am sorry but as a credit risk assessment planner, the little things that matter are the habitual latte everyday, the sandwich with the extra mayo from the deli instead of a sack lunch from home.  A trip through the car wash instead of using a bucket and garden hose. These little things DO make a difference in money management. 

You have in this lesson formulas that will help you know exactly how little is too much.  You need to figure out how much you’re spending on the big things too. So get out some paper, and at the top, write down your total monthly income after taxes.

Next write down what you spent on every bill this month including loans and credit cards. Divide each number into your income to determine the percentage you are spending for each expense (Example: You spend $725 on rent and make $2400 per month: 725/2400= 30%).

Now, if you would  compare your percentages to what experts recommend, you will know if you are on the right track managing your money, or if the little things have gotten to big for your income:

  • Your base rent (not including utilities) should account for about 30% of your income.
  • 5% should be set aside for your emergency fund, which has a goal amount of 6 times your take home pay.
  • 10% should be spent on utilities and other necessary living staples, such as cleaning supplies and toilet paper.
  • Student loans should account for 8% of your income.
  • Credit cards, car payments and any other personal loans should come in between 10 and 20% of your income.
  • Car insurance (or if you don’t drive, your transportation costs) should account for 15%.
  • 8% should go toward clothing and similar items.
  • Food expenses (including eating out) should be no more than 18% of your income.
  • You can spend up to 5% on recreation and entertainment.
  • 10% goes into long term savings such as a house, college, relocating, or retirement.

Tracking your money is an essential but major pain. By being conscience of every penny of your spending, you will also become very aware of your decisions.   You can take control of all the little things that add up to big amounts over a month’s time.  Stop running over your minutes on your cell phone.  Stop all the extras channels you currently have on your tv that is not being watched.  Trade or barter your gym membership for walks around the block.  These little things ad up over a months time and can be saved to add up to a large deposit on the principle of your debt.

Contact Spectrum Resources for more formulas that will help you structure a plan that is designed just for you.  Spectrum Resources counsels in debt, credit and home ownership and we can help you.

Call ( 863) 967-0660  or Email: SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.comand visit all our blogs for lessons that pay you: http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com and http://SpectrumRersources.wordpress.com and http://FinancialEducationAndOptions.blogspot.com

All tax exempt donations are wlecomed to help us help others through education.  Please mail your donation to:  SRDC,  2014 Brentwood Dr. Auburndale, FL. 33823

“Know Your Friends, But Know Your Enemies Better”

August 9, 2009

Money thief in maskYou might be thinking…I have no enemies!  Well, Mr. Webster says, ‘enemy=something harmful’.  As a result of bank’s tactics regarding their credit cards;  emotional, mental stress, financial loss, and family feuds in my book are harmful.

 The media shares with us the  banks will suffer a total of $82 BILLION in credit card losses through next year alone even though they are charging on average APR 26.87%  to 32.99% !  So needless to say, they are burning the midnight oils in efforts to come up with creative new methods to separate you from your money while of course limiting their risk.

 The new legislation is the first of it’s kind in years and the banks will respond by charging you more and giving you less.  Knowing unemployment was climbing, and the people’s money becoming tighter, why didn’t the banks create a mutually beneficial plan.

A plan of logic. Instead, to cover their losses from the mortgage frauds they chose to raise interest rates and charge more fees, and play “got-cha’ games.  I always heard, “You cannot get blood out of a turnip ! and another,  Something is better than nothing!’   Apparently the banking world never heard of those old time sayings.

 The new law covers old debt, however it doesn’t stop them from hiking rates on new purchases. Or zapping credit lines, and pulling benefit offers.  After all, they can simply get up in the morning and create all new rules to the game because the banks rule…period. 

 Sign up for online alerts to avoid the double whammy of fees plus penalty rates. You will get a email or text message alert notifying you when your bill is due and what minimum is owed.

 As of this month, August, 2009, statements must be mailed 21 days BEFORE the bill is due. Previously it was 14 days.   Also credit card issuers have to give a 45 days notice (instead of the old 15 days) before increasing interest rates and fees.   Of course, don’t hold your breath on this because few people got even the 15 day notice.  

 There are more changes coming in February 2010, and again in August 2010. Don’t get warm and fuzzy feelings and lay back all secure, it is still up to you to protect yourself.  Stay knowledgeable, watch your credit card statements VERY close. And work with a trained credit risk assessment planner at Spectrum Resources to lead you through this mine field.

                                                                                                                                            Call Spectrum Resources @ (863) 967-0660

or email: SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com  and visit all our blogs for lessons on how to live inside your income:  http://FinancialEducationAndOptions.blogspot.com and http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com  and http://SpectrumResources.wordpress.com

All tax exempt donations to help us help others through our financial literacy program is appreciated and can be mailed to: SRDC 2014 Brentwood Dr.  Auburndale, FL 33823

“What Will It Do To My Score ?”

August 6, 2009

HELP buttonAs a credit risk assessment planner, I still find clients who don’t know they have to review all the 3 major credit bureaus; Trans-Union, Equifax, Experian to get the full picture of what is being recorded in their credit reports.

Due to identity theft, now every consumer should review their credit reports a minimum of once a year. Back in 2004 a study by the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group or MASSPIRG of the 3 major credit bureaus, and found the following findings: 79% of American credit reports contain incorrect information — 8 out of 10 people.  Also 1 in 4 credit reports are so inaccurate that the borrower is turned down for financing.

    Spectrum Resources has found through our resources a client gains between 50 and 100 points when they dispute items with the help of a paralegal and one of our certified credit counselors in a 75 Day Credit Makeover program .

    You lose 5 to 10 points every month you keep negative trade lines on your credit report.  So you can see how important it is to know what is in your credit report and then taking action to dispute and remove all negative inaccurate info.

    You  can increase you credit score by changing your debt to credit ratio. For example if you debt is 60% of your credit limit you will lose 30 points.  Debt is 50% of your credit limit you will lose 20 points, and is your debt is 40% of your credit limit you will lose 10 points.  HOWEVER,  if your debt is less that 40% of your credit limit you will   lose zero points !

    Based on our resources there is a 96 chance of the trade line being removed if the disputed lines follow these guidelines based upon the very important Date Of Last Activity (DLA).  All laws and chances of removal are based on this date.  For example: Trade Line must be remove after 7 years from DLA. If less than 1 year from DLA – 30% chance of being removed , greater than 1 year from DLA- 50% chance,     greater than 2 years from DLA – 70% chance.  If Collection, Judgment, Tax lien is Paid off – 80% to 85% chance of it being removed.

   Another popular question is  how many points a negative trade line cut the credit score and the  following shows the damage, for example:  Tax lien (pr) -100 points, Judgment (pr) -50 points,  Profit + Lose write off (tl) -30 points ,  Collections (cl) -20 points , Late (tl) – 30,60,90 days -10 points                                                                

 Please contact Spectrum Resources, trained certified counselors in debt, credit and home ownership issue to help you align your debt to credit issues, raise your credit score and save you money.  (863) 967-0660 or email: SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com   And please visit our other blogs: http://MoneySavingTips.PolkVoice.com  and http://FinancialEducationAndOptions.blogspot.com and of course return to this one, http://SpectrumResources.wordpress.com  to learn more.