Enough with the Credit and Debit Card Confusion

September 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

Frank Curmudgeon – clearly knowledgeable in the world of finance – is wondering out loud why folks use debit cards instead of credit cards.  He appears proud of a history of never having used his own debit card to purchase anything.   Read more


A Public Failure to Walk the Money Talk

May 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

walk_the_walkHow many of us have “talked the talk” but not “walked the walk”? Well, add a money reporter from the New York Times to the list.

Mr. ToughMoneyLove doesn’t particularly like beating a man when he is down, but when you write about your own stupidity to sell papers and books, I’m all over it. Read more


There are No Secret Programs for Credit Card Debt

March 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

There have been rumors circulating in recent weeks that XM/Sirius is headed for bankruptcy court.  If the quality of ads airing on some of their channels is any indication, I believe it.

I have been an XM subscriber for several years although that is likely to change soon.  One of the talk radio channels I listen-to broadcasts programs syndicated from terrestrial radio.  This means I have to endure ads when the source programs have commercial breaks.  Many of those ads are variations on the theme of “we can help you eliminate your credit card debt.”  Often, the debt elimination sales pitch makes reference to “secret programs” that the credit card companies “don’t want you to know about.”

What a pile of ….. Read more


Living Within Your Means and the Marital Allowance

The mainstream media is now chock-full of stories about married couples having to tighten their belts to “live within their means.”  It is interesting that these stories are only recently becoming popular because not living within your means is a problem whether the economy is in good shape or, like now, in terrible shape.  But reading a recent story about this spendthrift couple in the New York Times, the picture becomes clearer. Read more


Bank Regulators Push Back Against Credit Card Junkies

November 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

The credit card junkies (credit card abusers and their bank enablers) smelled bailout blood in the water and decided to strike.  They asked Federal Bank Regulators at the Treasury for some favors.  First, the banks want to write-off billions in credit card debt (up to 40% of unpaid balances).  That in itself is not a problem that bank regulators care about.  The problem arises from the other part of this request.  The banks want to delay showing the credit card write-downs on their books until after the defaulting consumers pay the remaining balances on their card.  In effect, the banks want to pretend that their balance sheets are in much better condition than they really are, allowing them to operate with less “real” capital. Read more


Tough Love Techniques to Stop Using Credit Cards

Lots of Americans are burdened by substantial credit card debt and poor cash flow.  This combination causes these debtors to make only minimum payments on the card balances.   On top of this, the cardholders struggle with the willpower needed to stop using the cards.  Most understand that they should stop using their credit cards but find it difficult moving from knowledge to action.   Accordingly, other techniques must be used to prevent the continued escalation of the card balances because simple force of will is not going to work.   In other words, the cardholder must apply a “tough love” technique to himself or herself to break the card use cycle.  What are some of these self-administerd tough love techniques? Read more


Don’t Lend to Friends

July 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Loans and Borrowing

Today’s dysfunctional behavior pertains to deadbeat “friends” asking for a loan.  “SomewhereinDC” posted this query this morning on an MSN Money finance message board:

“A friend of mine has gotten herself into pretty bad credit card debt.  We have been friends for over a year, and I’ve gotten to know her as a responsible person. She is actively trying to pay off her credit card debt of approx $12K.  She has asked me for help in paying off one of her cards. She is asking me to lend her $2,400 so she can close off the card with the highest interest rate (25%).  In return, she would pay me back $200 a month for one year until fully paid off (I will not charge her interest b/c $2,400 is nothing to me and I won’t miss a couple hundred of dollars in interest)  “My question to all of you is this: Should I lend her the money? In your opinion or previous experience, is this a wise thing to do? Is this a great way to ruin a friendship?”

Read more