Apr 27 2006, 07:58 PM
Well, just that I would have been better off saving my money and slowly pay it off because my interest rate isn't that high on the student loans- whether it's more than the bank's interest rate on my saving account? I don't know, but it's just a general way to think about money.
Apr 28 2006, 12:03 AM
wow, venetia, of all the words I could ever think of to describe you (from reading your posts), I think idiot would be the last one EVER!
Apr 28 2006, 05:02 AM
Aww, thanks Ritahayworth (you gorgeous sweetie!), but really I can be quite the imbecile.
Pollystyrene I think I get it - if paying off the loan would significantly affect your quality of life or other opportunities, it's better to lose extra (via interest) in the long run in order to eat in the short run? (or profit, if you have an investment that appreciates at a higher rate than the loan grows) So, it's thinking about money in terms of material effects on you, maybe. That makes sense.
Lately I've started to think in years instead of months or weeks. It's quite weird. Everything has a cost per year in my mind and then if I'm making a decision I convert the potential cost per year into a percentage of my total income.
May 3 2006, 02:00 PM
I hope this thread doesn't burn out! Does anyone know why some people refer to their IRA's as mutual funds? Is it because your $ is invested in different funds? I have an IRA but am not that active in it (I invest more into a 401K). Although I don't have much in my IRA, I continue investing..Should I have more contact w/ my bank's financal planner about this? So..any new savings tips?
May 4 2006, 01:41 AM
Caroline: DO NOT go to your bank about investing! I sat next to a financial planner on a plane once and he told me that the bank will only sell you their products, so you would be better off using Ameritrade or another service like that to get a more diverse portfolio. It would probably be worth to find a financial planner who is independent to advise you.
I think most IRAs are invested in mutual funds.
My input about the student loans pay off is this: go ahead and pay it off as soon as you can. I figured it out and I would have paid the loan company 5k in interest if I waited the 20 years when my loan would have been paid had I stuck to the monthly payments. It felt great to pay it off and stick it to the loan company that was losing out on more cash. And it did help my credit rating too.
May 4 2006, 04:01 AM
Yikes. I can't stand Bank financial planners. My bank has some that used to drive me crazy phoning me up and offering to come round unsolicited! You really need someone who isn't primarily getting commission on selling certain investments.
So, an IRA is a retirement fund? In theory we're supposed to diversify into the asset classes (stocks, bonds, $, property) and try not to double up too much (eg if you had an IRA fund that invested in, say, residential property you wouldn't want to also buy into another fund that invested in the same stuff...)
May 4 2006, 10:37 AM
Trying to get our budget in order. The boy just does.not.get.it.
"Yes, baby, I know the smoothie is only three dollars. But the coffee was four. And the snack was ten. All the small expenses actually DO add up to a significant amount."
And I wonder how he got his credit score in such shitty shape...
Trying to gather all receipts and figure out what we can start paying off. We owe our parents collectively $4k, which we can pay off in four months, since our rent is paid up through July. Then we have to tackle the rest. So we're going to cash-in-envelopes for a while.
I know that once we get used to this city we'll be better at what we spend. At the moment we're just bleeding money...
And I have to look at my school financial aid offer, too. I think I might just wind up accepting all the loans, the total was about 3 grand this year, I think.
May 5 2006, 01:27 PM
Hi financial vixens!
I know nothing about IRAs, I would like to learn more though. I would really like to study up on investing too.
I just paid off my last store cc today. Nice! Now just have to work on the Visa...
May 7 2006, 08:33 PM
i know it sounds goofy, but i like watching that suzie orman finance show. i even read "young, fabulous, and broke" by her. it had some pretty good advice and was easy to read. i think she does try to sneak in some $ making scams on her web site-she's a business person afterall- so be warey of that..
May 8 2006, 07:31 AM
I like Suzie Orman too, caroline. I read her newest book & did learn some things from it. I think she's like most media personalities though-learn what you can but take it with a grain of salt.
May 9 2006, 08:06 AM
I read a really good financial book, titled "Girl Get Your Money Straight". It was really helpful to me because it gets to the psychogical root of your money issues.
May 9 2006, 12:42 PM
That's a cool title. I'll have to pick it up.
May 11 2006, 11:18 AM
quick question -- when trying to pay off debt, one should pay off cards with the highest interest rate first, right? (or is it the opposite? I've confused myself trying to logic it out.)
May 11 2006, 12:21 PM
I think it depends on who you ask, bokovtoo. Some say highest balance, others say highest interest. I would go with the highest interest one.
I overextended myself financially this paycheck. I had to take $50 out of savings to cover the gap btw now & when I get paid again. Dammit!
May 11 2006, 05:49 PM
I think probably you should pay off the one with the highest interest amount not the highest interest rate or the highest balance. In other words, for each debt multiply the balance by the interest rate % and pick the one that comes out highest.
Foe example, 5% p/a of $10,000 is going to cost you more than 25% of $200.
May 15 2006, 06:22 AM
I need self control! Do I pay an extra $120 off my student loans or buy a pair of shorts and a shirt online? help me, please, someone rationalize this!
May 15 2006, 08:28 AM
Is the extra $120 going to make a difference in the loans? If not, I say buy the shorts & skirt. If it were a credit card bill you were going to pay extra on, I'd say make the payment.
May 15 2006, 04:27 PM
This is slightly tangential but for clothing decisions it helps (for me at least ) to think of their price in terms of Cost Per Wear. Like, divide the total cost of something by the number of times you've worn it (or will wear it).
May 17 2006, 05:51 PM
Tangent rant...ignore the crazy girl rocking in the corner...
I love Mr.Luci with my entire being. There is no one else on this planet who gets me the way he does, no one who supports me so whole-heartedly, no one as generous and loving and kind as him in the world.
I wish to wring his neck.
Having received yet.another.bill from a collections agency, I sat down once again with all the receipts and finances, etc. I cannot find the original bill for this one ANYWHERE. I assume he lost it, as he is incapable of, once opening a bill, either physically keeping the paper or paying it. It disappears into a void of nothingness along with his common sense about such matters.
So, I bite it, write the check, glaring at it the whole time. I start rifling through the rest of it, pausing at the cable bill. We have moved and were unable to return the box before that, so I need to send that back. I called them to find out the address and found that he hadn't yet cancelled the account, so that's another $40.
Another $280 for parking tickets which he didn't just fucking pay when he got them, so what would have been $120 has more than doubled. What is wrong with his brain? Does he want to live paycheck to paycheck with fucked-up credit his whole life???
I lurve the man, but it's becoming more and more apparent that he shouldn't be allowed to wield his ATM card without calling me, which is not a relationship I want.
May 17 2006, 06:37 PM
My sister caught my mother standing in front of a small bonfire made out of unopened bills and letters.
May 17 2006, 09:12 PM
lucizoe, when I was married my (now ex) husband and I spent a lot of time living paycheck to paycheck. I don't know if our system will work for you, but it worked for us -- one of the only things that did.
The boy had no responsibility for the fundage. I had a desk, and he gave all bills and receipts to me. He was instructed to leave them on my keyboard. He could open them, but then he put them there. I then divided the bills up by when in the month they were due, and paid bills three times a month. I even had a spreadsheet wherein I checked off every bill that I paid every month. Not the AMOUNT, per se, just the fact that they had been paid.
I don't know if you two are sharing an account or if he is just jacking up his own. If he loses his receipts, can you just check the bank account online? And get e-bills instead of paper? I got nothing for the parking tickets.
I don't know what to tell you, that would make me nuts. Some people just blow at money management and should avoid it whenever possible. Since it sounds like everything else is going along swimmingly in your relationship, it might behoove you to just take it all on. Fair? Not really, but maybe less painful in the long run.
May 18 2006, 03:29 PM
hee, kjhink, I have done that. But I might have to step it up. I do most of the bills online and he gives me his receipts. When I start going to school is when all this is really going to get hard, because my train ticket will be another $400 a month...how does anyone survive?? Fortunately, there will be no further parking tickets, since the car is never driven.
Rent is going to start kicking our asses in July; we're paid through June. Our least is until October, although we could extend it.
If we could get rid of that damn car that would be fab, since it eats up about $500 a month between parking and payments, but there's a lien on it and we need about two grand to make up the difference between the amount still owed to the dealer and what we could get if we sold it now. We can't sell it until we save the money, we can't save the money for that until we save the money for moving, which we can't do until we pay off a lot of stuff on the credit report. It just feels like a huge whirlwind and I can't get a handle on it. This is not helping the anxiety thing. I guess I'm just going to have to be a bitch about it.
I just got off the phone with my mummy, who backed me up nicely. She even told me to use feminine wiles. Thanks mom!
I am losing my mind over this. He doesn't want to live like monks, I keep insisting that for the time being we HAVE to live like monks. It's like he's in denial about how much trouble he's in, credit-wise. We won't be able to find anyone to rent to us if we don't work on that score, but he's dragging his feet on getting a report run that we can look at.
Okay, whew, thanks again.
May 19 2006, 08:03 AM
I don't really have any advice, lucizoe, but I just wanted to give you some support. I think with things like finances, you gotta do what you gotta do. If that means taking more control of the household finances, do it. I know when I do stuff like that it makes me feel like a bitch sometimes, but with money, to me the benefit outweighs that.
That's tough if you guys have different spending philosophies. I agree, it's no fun to play catch up, but sometimes it's necessary. Are there some small luxuries he can have to make him feel satisfied? Do you think that would work?
May 20 2006, 09:38 PM
luci, just as an aside... when and if he gets a credit report run--if he has anything that appears as a write-off, don't bother paying.
If after the entry it has a 9, or something that says profit and loss write-off, you will derive no benefit from paying it. In fact, doing so can even cause his score to drop. By the time the creditor writes the account off, there is no way to redeem it and no point in paying it.
You very well might already know that, so I apologize if I'm being annoying. I only learned that a few months ago, though.
May 20 2006, 10:01 PM
Thanks so much...especially for letting me let off that vitriolic steam. As I said, love him to pieces, want to strangle him.
We had a nice chat about it and I got him on the same page...kjhink, thanks for that advice...when we get the report run again I'll remember that.
Yay for busties!
May 31 2006, 08:06 AM
Hello, all. Got another mortgage question. If you are married & you file your taxes as married, can only one person apply for a mortgage?
Jun 3 2006, 10:06 AM
I cannot believe that debt collectors are actually paid to be so rude and criticising and babyish. This morning, one mimicked me. I said "ok". and he said it in this whiney voice. Yes, I was an idiot who ran up a lot of credit card debt, but do I deserve that?
I am curious, however if I am a good candidate for bankruptcy. I am a single mom right now and a full time student. I have about 15,000 dollars debt between cradit cards and a repossessed car. I would like to have a good credit score, but right now I just can't see cutting back on school to get a job. I jst want to finish my degree. Any suggestions?
That is sooo interesting about the "write-offs". The companies would lead you to believe that you do have to pay it.
Jun 3 2006, 07:46 PM
Eeeee - just got the credit report printed up...it's gone up 90 points since we were apartment-hunting, go figure
mirabella, that is so out of line. What a shit!!!
Jun 4 2006, 09:08 AM
Oooh, yay! I've been looking for a thread like this.
Opinions and advice sought.
Situation: I'm a US citizen living in the US, about to get my PhD (I defend next week... aaaah!). Starting a job in August - not sure which one yet (waiting to hear about postdoc funding), but it's in the same department and I'll eventually get the postdoc funding, although I might work as a lab manager for a year before I get it.
Anyway, weirdly enough this job is in my hometown, and I'll be moving back in with my parents to save money and pay off $20K in student loans from grad school and undergrad. If I get the funding, I'll get paid $47K/yr, if not, probably around 30K/yr. Either way I'll have few expenses. I also have ~5 or 6 K of credit card debt, accumulated over the last 6 years of living on a grad student stipend. However, I have a terrific credit score, since I paid off a car loan and have never been late with payments on anything.
I'm wondering what my plan of attack should be in saving vs. debt payments. I want to get a Roth IRA, because I'll probably make more money later in life and it would be better to put taxed $ away for later while I'm in a lower tax bracket. I will also have access (I'm pretty sure) to a TIAA-Cref retirement fund through the university. I also want to pay off ALL my debt ASAP, just for the psychological relief. But I'm not sure what order to do all this in.
PS: Mirabella, you're right. They ARE paid to be mean. My cousin used to be a collections officer and they get trained in intimidation tactics. He had to quit because the job made him so sad and stressed out.
Jun 11 2006, 08:03 AM
The entire NYTimes magazine this sunday is devoted to debt, national and personal. Of course, it paints a horrific picture but it was still a good read....
Jun 11 2006, 09:29 AM
Cool. I'll have to check it out.
I'm finally helping pay off my credit card debt... I split it into 3 cycles, but hopefully in 6 months, my credit rating will improve a bit.
So glad that someone started this thread!
Jun 12 2006, 09:45 AM
Re: frequent flyer cards. Yes, get one if you are at all a frequent flyer. You are more likely to get good seats, more likely to get bumped up, and you really can get free flights. My parents fly a lot (more than they should) and it's been the only reason United treats them decently. Even if you don't fly a lot, you can benefit from them.
As for short or student loan, it's the student loan, of course. Anything you pay off early is that much less you'll be charged interest on. Have you looked at the actual amounts you pay for student loans? If you do, you'll see how much it is and it's enough to scare me into paying early as much as I can.
Mortgages, too, of course. It's been repeated a lot, but it bears repeating: One extra mortage payment a year can half the length of your mortage over the life of it.
Anyway, here I am full of advice, and I'm stumped. We've just moved back to the US from the UK, neither of us have jobs at the moment (and my partner is a UK citizen, so not eligible for gov't programs) and I'm pregnant.
I'm desperate for income and I don't know what to do. He'll get a job eventually, but as a truck driver he needs to get his CDL here first, and that'll take a little time.
I'm desperate. Any ideas for money earners?
Jun 12 2006, 09:53 AM
If I'm looking to get a credit card (like a real credit card- all I have now are store credit cards) to only use in emergencies- house, car, medical, one of us loses our job and the mortgage is due, etc....what should I look for? Like what's a reasonable interest rate? Some cards have annual fees whether or not you use them in that year, right? Any other "catches" out there they have? Any recommendations on cards to go with?
ETA: Anoushh, question about what you said about an extra mortgage payment- does it matter if the extra payment is made at once, or can it be spread out over a few months? And you'd want to have them apply it towards the principle, right?
Jun 12 2006, 10:14 AM
PS--it doesn't have to be paid all at once. If I only had $20 extra to add to my payment (back when I had one--god, I wish I hadn't sold that house), I'd add it. Pay anything extra you can.
Yes, definitely towards the principle. Thanks for reminding me of that.
Jun 12 2006, 10:56 AM
i'm an after school teacher and a bunch of my coworkers have supplemented their income babysitting....i'm in boston and in a three or four hour period i could easily make $50 or 60. It's even better (for me) if they are small kids or if you babysit right after bedtime, because you are getting paid to read or knit or whatever.
Jun 12 2006, 11:33 AM
How do they get the word out?
Jun 12 2006, 08:17 PM
fliers at schools and community bulletin boards (seriously, even at peets coffee), craigslist....and word of mouth. if you are new to the area, then references helps a lot.
Jun 13 2006, 07:53 AM
craig's list is great-you can post your own babysitting ad, and/or answer to other people's ads. There are also various babysitter-parent match sites which are usually free for the sitter.
Babysitting rules. I sat from 5:30-9:30 on Sunday night, the kid went to bed at 8:00, I made $68. Pretty sweet for just a couple hours of work.
I paid off a 7K credit card bill in a year by babysitting-it was a lot of work but really not that bad-totally flexible schedule, etc.
Jun 13 2006, 09:37 AM
Wow maddy29! That's some impressive determination right there. Jeeze, I feel like I've had this credit card debt looming over me for so long, I'm trying to pay off my credit card debt, and it's less than 2K, but I am putting like $150.00 towards it every month. But now I set my sights on babysitting...
Jun 13 2006, 10:10 AM
Yeah, it felt sooo great to pay off that credit card bill. I had been unemployed for a few months and just wasn't being careful. It just always felt like this huuuge burden on me all the time, and I just hated it. I decided on 1 year to no credit card debt. 2K is not too bad, if you get some extra babysitting jobs you can pay that off in no time!
Jun 27 2006, 11:55 AM
Does anyone know anything about student loan consolidation (US)? I'm supposed to do this before the end of the month because interest rates are going to go up...
The thing is, I have two different sets of loans, from two different schools, and two different companies. I can't figure out how to consolidate both sets into one payment, what sort of payment plan to choose, and what the hell, in short, I'm doing. I just graduated, and I'm unemployed. This whole thing is making my stomach hurt. Help, someone, please?
Jun 27 2006, 12:23 PM
What kind of loans are they? from a private company, or are they federal loans? perkins...etc?
I totally get the stomach ache-I went through that when I consolidated. But it's soooo worth it because interest rates are low, I think still.
Call the consolidation place and ask them, just bug them with all of your questions. What are your options with payment plans? Are you in the 6 months grace period right now? When will it end?
Jul 20 2006, 10:08 AM
I hope this thread doesn't die, it's a really good one! I'm not sure if I posted this question here or not..Just wondering about transferring credit card debt on to a 0% interest (12 month offer only) card every year or so..Does this effect one's credit score? Thanks!
Jul 22 2006, 12:41 PM
lowredmoon, just call the loan consolidation folks at the U.S. govt and they'll talk you through it. You can consolidate federal and private loans under and just owe Uncle Sam yer money - that is, if the govt's interest rate is better than the private rate, which at this point I'm guessing it is. Good luck.
Aug 2 2006, 12:45 PM
Caroline, I don't think it affects your credit score (it hasn't mine, anyway) but beware of hidden costs associated with the card (balance transfer fees, annual fees, etc). Make sure that the 0% covers new purchases as well - I made that mistake with a card I had - 0% for my balance transfer, but the interest rate on new purchases was 16.99%!
Here's my question for you lovely ladies: does anyone know anything about work-from-home jobs, like where you do data-entering on the computer at night, or home assembly kits? I want to get a second job (to pay off bills, save for Christmas, etc), but I'd like to do it from my home. All of the stuff I saw online had a start-up fee associated with it; and I don't think that I should have to pay $ to earn $. Hope that makes sense!
(sorry for the long post)
Aug 2 2006, 02:16 PM
i tried finding at home work like that, but it seems like it's all pretty scamlike. those "fill out surveys and make thousands" is total bs, you have to pay to sign up and it's a LOT More time, and if you don't fit into the demographics a study wants, you won't get a survey....
the home assembly kits-i heard that you have to put it together PERFECTLY or they won't pay you-this woman said she'd get paid for like 1 out of every 5. many of them (like putting together packets of info) sound easy, but really you are relying on pyramid schemes....
sorry to be a downer. I really looked for work like that, but ended up going back to babysitting. i also buy 2nd hand clothes and sell them on ebay, again not a stable income but good for some extra money.
is it true that you can consolidate random private loans with your gov't ones? is that true even if you've already consolidated your gov't loans?
Aug 3 2006, 04:12 AM
umm, i wasn't allowed to cosolidate my federal student loans with my private ones. as far as i know, you are only allowed to re-consolidate if you take out a new loan.
Aug 3 2006, 07:53 AM
yeah, that's what i thought too, gumby. just checking in case i'm paying more interest than i need to be. student loans are so depressing.
Aug 3 2006, 08:42 AM
Student loans are depressing. I learned some lessons the hard way--recently I borrowed some money to go back to university and I was able to set up a repayment system that allowed me to take a small amount of money out of my account to be paid directly towards my loan on a weekly basis, long before the loan became "due". I paid the same amount as I would have on a monthly basis, but the amount of money I saved on interest by paying a portion weekly lowered the overall cost of the loan considerably.
That's something I wish I'd known before, as in, the first time I borrowed money for school. It doesn't make a massive difference if you're borrowing a smaller amount of money (though it sure does bring down the amount owing much more quickly) but on larger student loans you can save quite a bit. If you make the payment small enough so that you don't really feel it (like, $20 a week or so), paying the loan back is somewhat effortless. In my case, I'll have more than half of the loan's principle and interest paid off when payments come due in November, so my total repayment time will be much, much shorter.
I don't know if loans in the US or elsewhere are set up along similar lines for students, but if they are, this is one way to cut down costs.
Aug 6 2006, 05:25 AM
Chacha that sounds like a great plan! I haven't heard of it in the US. Sounds like a good thing to take advantage of.
I'm reading a book now by Tamara Draut called Strapped. Holy crap, it's so terrifying. She takes issue with Suze Orman advising new college graduates to use a credit card for day to day expenses when first starting out....
I used to like Suze Orman but then I saw her star in a car commercial a few months ago and it totally turned me off.