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Hi all,

I've seen articles that recommend having 3-6 months' worth of living expenses saved in cash. But what if I have a large credit card debt at 12% interest? Right now, I've got about 1.75 months of living expenses saved up, earning 4%. It would take me another year to get to 3 months' worth.

If I left the savings intact, I could pay off the CCs in 33 months. If I kept, oh, $1000 or something for quick cash emergencies and applied the rest of the savings toward the CC debt right now, I would be paid off in 27 mths, and would save about $1100 in interest. In this case, were a serious emergency to occur, I could always get the cash back off of the credit cards.

Any thoughts or experiences here?

Thanks.

* I am 'WorkingOnIt' :-)*
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It seems to me that 3-6 months is on the high side,
but I guess it depends on what kind of contingencies
you are trying to cover...is it job loss? How long will
it take you to find a new job if you lost your current
one?

You could also try to get a slightly better percentage
return by putting some of the savings in a money market
account or a CD. They're both generally considered safe,
give better interest than a saving account, and you can convert them to cash fairly quickly & easily.

I agree about the cards being available for emergency cash,
and I think that the $1100 you save by paying down the
credit card bills will serve you well. (Maybe you could even eventually put that money towards your emergency fund!)

In the end, though, you have to look at your situation.
You need to consider all these questions and decide for
yourself how much risk you can accept:
-Do you have a wife/husband and kids to support?
-Or are you single with no big responsibilities?
-Do you have relatives or friends who could help you
if you REALLY fell upon hard times?
-How secure is you current job position, and how easily
could you find a comparable new job?
-If you pay off the credit cards, will you just run them
up again?
-Could your credit card interest rate go up higher in
the future?
-Do you foresee any raises, promotions, bonuses, lottery
winnings, etc, which would help you pay off the cards
more quickly, at a later date?
-Are there other things you could do or cut out of your
budget to enable you to pay the cards off quicker without eating into your savings?

Good luck
-bry

On Wed, 09 Apr 97 17:43:01 -0600, WorkingOnIt wrote:
<<Hi all,

I've seen articles that recommend having 3-6 months' worth of living expenses saved in cash. But what if I have a large credit card debt at 12% interest? Right now, I've got about 1.75 months of living expenses saved up, earning 4%. It would take me another year to get to 3 months' worth.

If I left the savings intact, I could pay off the CCs in 33 months. If I kept, oh, $1000 or something for quick cash emergencies and applied the rest of the savings toward the CC debt right now, I would be paid off in 27 mths, and would save about $1100 in interest. In this case, were a serious emergency to occur, I could always get the cash back off of the credit cards.

Any thoughts or experiences here?

Thanks.

* I am 'WorkingOnIt' :-)*
>>
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On Wed, 09 Apr 97 17:43:01 -0600, WorkingOnIt wrote:
<<

Hi all,



I've seen articles that recommend having 3-6 months' worth of living expenses saved in cash. But what if I have a large credit card debt at 12% interest? Right now, I've got about 1.75 months of living expenses saved up, earning 4%. It would take me another year to get to 3 months' worth.



If I left the savings intact, I could pay off the CCs in 33 months. If I kept, oh, $1000 or something for quick cash emergencies and applied the rest of the savings toward the CC debt right now, I would be paid off in 27 mths, and would save about $1100 in interest. In this case, were a serious emergency to occur, I could always get the cash back off of the credit cards.



Any thoughts or experiences here?



Thanks.



* I am 'WorkingOnIt' :-)*

>>
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On Wed, 09 Apr 97 17:43:01 -0600, WorkingOnIt wrote:
<<

Hi all,



I've seen articles that recommend having 3-6 months' worth of living expenses saved in cash. But what if I have a large credit card debt at 12% interest? Right now, I've got about 1.75 months of living expenses saved up, earning 4%. It would take me another year to get to 3 months' worth.



If I left the savings intact, I could pay off the CCs in 33 months. If I kept, oh, $1000 or something for quick cash emergencies and applied the rest of the savings toward the CC debt right now, I would be paid off in 27 mths, and would save about $1100 in interest. In this case, were a serious emergency to occur, I could always get the cash back off of the credit cards.



Any thoughts or experiences here?



Thanks.



* I am 'WorkingOnIt' :-)*

>>

Let the credit companies help you lower your debt load instead of dipping into your savings.

The situation that WorkingOnIt describes is all to familiar around here. Fortunately it is also past history. To pay of our large credit card dept, I first started tracking My monthly interest charges and that was a great motivator to stop using those cards. Then I would track the total debt load each month and although the balance was going down slowly, I could see that I was making progress (another good encouragement). What made a big difference was transfering the credit balance to new cards that offered low introductory interest rates. I went from paying 18-21% to paying 5.9% and made the same payments, lowering the balance much faster.

So keep your eyes on the snail mail. Last week I applied for a card charging 0.0% (yes zero) interest for the first six months on purchases and 5.9% on balance transfers.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Y
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On Wed, 16 Apr 97 08:03:35 -0600, y wrote:
<<

On Wed, 09 Apr 97 17:43:01 -0600, WorkingOnIt wrote:

<<



Hi all,







I've seen articles that recommend having 3-6 months' worth of living expenses saved in cash. But what if I have a large credit card debt at 12% interest? Right now, I've got about 1.75 months of living expenses saved up, earning 4%. It would take me another year to get to 3 months' worth.







If I left the savings intact, I could pay off the CCs in 33 months. If I kept, oh, $1000 or something for quick cash emergencies and applied the rest of the savings toward the CC debt right now, I would be paid off in 27 mths, and would save about $1100 in interest. In this case, were a serious emergency to occur, I could always get the cash back off of the credit cards.







Any thoughts or experiences here?







Thanks.







* I am 'WorkingOnIt' :-)*

****I once had a college accounting professor state that credit card debt was the DEBT DEVIL--worse than all other kinds. He went on to ask "What use is a savings account for emergencies if you have credit card debt?" His point was that in an emergency, the most important asset is GOOD CREDIT. His advice was to take cash and pay off as much debt as one was comfortable with paying at one time. The sooner you are debt free, the sooner the money you make stays in your pocket.

Maudibe


>>

>>
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****I once had a college accounting professor state that credit card debt was the DEBT DEVIL--worse than all other kinds. He went on to ask 'What use is a savings account for emergencies if you have credit card debt?' His point was that in an emergency, the most important asset is GOOD CREDIT. His advice was to take cash and pay off as much debt as one was comfortable with paying at one time. The sooner you are debt free, the sooner the money you make stays in your pocket.

---
Agreed, a professor of mine stated that the term 'Savings Account' is the most inappropriate name for it because of the insignificant amount of interest earned. However, credit cards, even those with low introductory rates of 5.9, are eating up not only the interest you 'earn' with the savings account, but also into your savings.

Building a few months of savings for a rainy day is a nice thought, but the best, and perhaps most Foolish, way to truly save money is to pay off all high interest CCs, and then avoid using a savings account to store rainy day funds...rather invest in something that will return better than the 4% mentioned, and also able to be liquidated quickly for quick cash.

CMD out
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I tend to agree that credit cards are the "evil debt". I mean, when it
comes down to it, there are only three uses for cards.

1. Convenience - "I have the money to pay this and will at the end of
the month"

2. Emergency - "I need this, but don't have the money right now. I
absolutely must have it though" (Car Repairs, etc.)

3. Indulgence - "I want this, yet I don't have the money. I'm gonna do
it anyway though and pay 20% interest for the next 6 years."


Now, if # 1 is true, then either get a debit card, or make darn sure
that you pay the balance each month in full.

If # 2 is correct, then credic cards are somewhat useful as short-term
loans. However, you'd better do your best to pay that off as quickly as
possible else you'll get swampped with debt.

# 3 is the situation I imagine most people get themselves into (myself
included in college). DON'T DO IT! :) Material things are cool and all,
but when you figure out what you actually paid for it, you'll be sick.

So, pay them darn cards off!

Best,

David
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On Wed, 23 Apr 1997 17:48:39 -0400, 'David Forrest)' wrote:
<<I tend to agree that credit cards are the 'evil debt'. I mean, when it comes down to it, there are only three uses for cards.

1. Convenience - 'I have the money to pay this and will at the end of the month'

2. Emergency - 'I need this, but don't have the money right now. I absolutely must have it though' (Car Repairs, etc.)

3. Indulgence - 'I want this, yet I don't have the money. I'm gonna do it anyway though and pay 20% interest for the next 6 years.'

Now, if # 1 is true, then either get a debit card, or make darn sure that you pay the balance each month in full.>>

But ATM cards are still not accepted in very many
places yet, and the MC/Visa debit cards often carry
fees with them. I shouldn't have to pay to use
money that's already mine--I'd rather use a no-fee
card for convenience and track my debt *religiously*.
Of course, I always pay up at the end of the month.

<<If # 2 is correct, then credic cards are somewhat useful as short-term loans. However, you'd better do your best to pay that off as quickly as possible else you'll get swampped with debt.>>

Which is why even people with no-fee cards should
try to get the lowest rate they can. 'Cause you just
never know...

<<# 3 is the situation I imagine most people get themselves into (myself included in college). DON'T DO IT! :) Material things are cool and all, but when you figure out what you actually paid for it, you'll be sick.>>

If you pay the minimum every month on a credit
card, doesn't it ultimately come out to something
like three or four times what you ostensibly paid
for the thing? *shudder*

Which means that paying cash is equivalent to card
holder's finding a 75% off sale! Chew on *that*
next time you pull out the plastic.

Dave Tepper
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These are definately excellant points for the choice of cash over plastic,
however one point I would like to make for the argument of credit is insurance.
My attitude for using credit is this, don't use it if you can't pay if off at
the end of the month. If I have the cash to make the purchase, then I'll use
my card. I then am insured against theft or damage for 3 months. This was
especially useful when we bought a camera for my wife to take to Australia.
Of course not all cards offer this type of protection.
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<<<These are definately excellant points for the choice of cash over plastic,
however one point I would like to make for the argument of credit is insurance.
My attitude for using credit is this, don't use it if you can't pay if off at
the end of the month. If I have the cash to make the purchase, then I'll use
my card. I then am insured against theft or damage for 3 months. This was
especially useful when we bought a camera for my wife to take to Australia.
Of course not all cards offer this type of protection.>>>

Kelvin,
Excellent point! Credit card users should definitely take advantage of any perks offered by card issuers. Remember, they are still making money from the fee a merchant pays everytime a transaction occurs.

People should also remember to keep the receipts from purchases just for the reason you mention. The insurance factor is a great benefit.

TMF2Aruba
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Aruba sez:
<<<
Excellent point! Credit card users should definitely take advantage of any perks offered by card issuers. Remember, they are still making money from the fee a merchant pays everytime a transaction occurs.
>>>

All kinds of perks out there with the right card... recently I rented a car, only to realize (too late) that if I had used a different card, the insurance would have been covered at no extra charge. Next time I'll remember. It would have saved me a good 20% over what I ended up paying.

Sometimes, obviously, it is more convenient to use a credit card -- that's why they exist. And for certain expenses (like renting a car) you pretty much have to have one. The point is, pay your balance down to zero every month.

That's

E
V
E
R
Y

Month.

Cheeze
Who Has Been In The
Credit Card Hole
Before And
Who Knows
Its Travails
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Cheeze replied:
<<All kinds of perks out there with the right card... recently I rented a car, only to realize (too late) that if I had used a different card, the insurance would have been covered at no extra charge. Next time I'll remember. It would have saved me a good 20% over what I ended up paying.>>>

Renting a car with a credit card is an excellent point to bring up! I *always* use a credit card when renting a car (even in Aruba!). However, you always need to call your credit card company to verify what is and isn't covered as far as the insurance goes.

I've found that a gold card will always have superior advantages, and always seems to cover the insurance on car rentals. Although most personal insurance companies will cover car rentals, not everyone wants to take the chance of putting in a claim on their insurance if it can be avoided, and often personal car insurance won't cover car rentals outside of the United States.

However you do it, my experience has been to save a bundle by always declining the extra insurance from Car Rental Companies. It's very expensive, and they'll do everything to get you to take it--that's how they make the big bucks.

Check out what YOUR card offers!

TMF 2Aruba...
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
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<<However you do it, my experience has been to save a bundle by always declining the extra insurance from Car Rental Companies. It's very expensive, and they'll do everything to get you to take it--that's how they make the big bucks. >>

No question that declining additional insurance coverage is a TERRIFIC idea if, and only if, you are certain what is covered and what is NOT covered. It is really difficult to be in a forgien country, decline the rental car insurance coverage, get in an accident, and find that your options are limited.

So make CERTAIN that you know what is covered and not covered so you ARE able to decline this insurance. As Tony says, the insurance is expensive and could be unnecessary.

TMF Taxes
Roy Lewis
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One thing I recently found is that just because you may have a gold card, that doesn't necessarily mean that you have insurance coverage. I was told that Visa has dropped their 90 day insurance for items purchased, but Gold Mastercard still carries it. There are also some cards whose coverage on auto's are before your insurance carrier kicks in and some are after. From what I've heard, the American Express Platinum is the best, but to pay $300.00/year seems a little (lot) excessive.

kelvin
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<<<One thing I recently found is that just because you may have a gold card, that doesn't necessarily mean that you have insurance coverage. I was told that Visa has dropped their 90 day insurance for items purchased, but Gold Mastercard still carries it. There are also some cards whose coverage on auto's are before your insurance carrier kicks in and some are after. From what I've heard, the American Express Platinum is the best, but to pay $300.00/year seems a little (lot) excessive.>>>

Kelvin,
Thanks for pointing that out! You're absolutely right--just because it's "gold" doesn't mean the coverage is there. I wish I had made that clearer myself, but since mine is a Mastercard (which still carries the coverage), I didn't think about the other ones.

And as Roy said earlier, always..ALWAYS check with the issuer.

Thanks for the Foolish post, Kelvin!
TMF 2Aruba
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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BTW: I heard on NPR yesterday that Advanta is now charging a $25.00 fee to cancel their card. I couldn't believe my ears! Can someone say "class action lawsuit?" If this trend is followed by other cards then we definately should be leary about what cards we have and have not.

kelvin
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<<BTW: I heard on NPR yesterday that Advanta is now charging a $25.00 fee to cancel their card. I couldn't believe my ears! Can someone say 'class action lawsuit?' If this trend is followed by other cards then we definately should be leary about what cards we have and have not.>>

Whoa!! Kelvin, are you serious?? That is unbelievable. I don't see how that can be done, unless the card issuer makes the user sign a contract prior to getting the card--similar to the way cellular phone companies work it.

Sheesh, what's next? You're on the checkout at the supermarket and the cashier says:
Milk....that's $1.99
Bread...that's $1.29
What? You don't have tomatoes? That'll cost you $3.49.

Tony
TMF 2Aruba
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<< Whoa!! Kelvin, are you serious?? That is unbelievable. I don't see how that can be done, unless the card issuer makes the user sign a contract prior to getting the card--similar to the way cellular phone companies work it.

You're absolutely right. I actually have an Advanta card, (it was originally Household). I am going to call them to verify what I've heard. I don't see how they can "introduce" this new fee to already existing contracts. The card is a no fee account, so there's no harm in keeping it... yet. If these guys are allowed to change the game on the fly, who knows what can happen. I'll let you know what the outcome is. I'm a person of strong principal... I cancelled my American Express over a 1.95 charge, so things like this really make me irritated.

kelvin
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<<You're absolutely right. I actually have an Advanta card, (it was originally Household). I am going to call them to verify what I've heard. I don't see how they can 'introduce' this new fee to already existing contracts. The card is a no fee account, so there's no harm in keeping it... yet. If these guys are allowed to change the game on the fly, who knows what can happen. I'll let you know what the outcome is. I'm a person of strong principal... I cancelled my American Express over a 1.95 charge, so things
like this really make me irritated.>>

Many companies CAN change on the fly. They simply send you a "revised" agreement with one of your bills. On a small slip of paper. In fine print. That many don't read.

I was trapped like this not too long ago. I had a card that would allow a grace period from purchase to payment (i.e., no interest charged). And as Tony (TMF 2Aruba) has noted, these cards can be very valuable when you pay off you balance on a monthly basis: you get an interest free loan.

Anyway, one month I got an interest charge on my card (with a zero balance). I called, and they told me of the "change" that occurred: No more grace period.

I cancelled my card immediately.

So you're on the right road, Kelvin. Call the company and see what's up.

TMF Taxes
Roy Lewis
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On Thu, 12 Jun 97 20:19:07 -0600, TMF2Aruba wrote: <<<<BTW: I heard on NPR yesterday that Advanta is now charging a $25.00 fee to cancel their card. I couldn't believe my ears! Can someone say 'class action lawsuit?' If this trend is followed by other cards then we definately should be leary about what cards we have and have not.>>

Whoa!! Kelvin, are you serious?? That is unbelievable. I don't see how that can be done, unless the card issuer makes the user sign a contract prior to getting the card--similar to the way cellular phone companies work it.

>>

They did send out an eddendum to the ccc I think in April. I
cancelled my card the next day.

anil...
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<<They did send out an eddendum to the ccc I think in April. I cancelled my card the next day.>>

Bravo! Very Foolish!

Tony
TMF2Aruba
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Split the difference my friend and for god sakes make it a lesson learned and dont do it again !!
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Do you realize you are responding to posts that are Years old?

Jean
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I would go for paying the credit cards debt. even if the financials are in favor of other options. It is really strange how credit cards debts creap up to become a major hastle.

My action plan from now till the coming 6 months is to reach into a point where I am able to cut the cards and keep one for extreme emergencies.

I know I am going thin on cash (having one month at hand) but I am willing to risk it to get rid of this evil.
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Welcome, Sam.

As an FYI, the post you replied to is over 13 years old, so hopefully at this point, WorkingOnIt has already worked out their questions. ;-)

I would go for paying the credit cards debt. even if the financials are in favor of other options.

Especially in today's low interest rate and tight credit environment, that's probably a good idea.

It is really strange how credit cards debts creap up to become a major hastle.

The way to keep credit cards from becoming a hassle is to commit to paying them off every single month. If you don't carry any debt, then credit cards won't be a hassle.

My action plan from now till the coming 6 months is to reach into a point where I am able to cut the cards and keep one for extreme emergencies.

This is a good plan, assuming you don't see any need to borrow additional money (like for a mortgage or a car) in the future. If you do see the possibility for need for credit in the future, then you may want to consider using 2 credit card accounts on a regular basis, but paying them off completely every month.

I know I am going thin on cash (having one month at hand) but I am willing to risk it to get rid of this evil.

Keeping one month of expenses in cash on hand is a reasonable amount while paying down debt. However, just spending savings in order to pay off debt won't resolve your debt problem if you haven't resolved the issues that got you into debt. Have you examined your spending vs. your income to understand how you developed the debt in the first place?

AJ
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Is your payment date based on paying the minimum due each month??
I have recently found a resource that taught me a schedule to making the most out of my payments.
Step one :
take your cards and write down the amount you owe.
#2 write the minimum due
#3 divide the amount due by the payment. this will give you a number and a ranking of which you should pay-off first. The lowest number should be first ......
If you can add even $20 to that card each month, while making your other minimum payments, it will speed up the pay-off date.
After paying that card off apply that to card two on your list and so-on.
It has helped me. I started with 20,000 in debt and have a debt free date in 28 months.
Good luck
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Welcome. Please realize that that post you replied to is over 14 years old, so the advice you have given hopefully won't be much use to the original poster, assuming they have paid off their debt by now.

I have recently found a resource that taught me a schedule to making the most out of my payments.
Step one :
take your cards and write down the amount you owe.
#2 write the minimum due
#3 divide the amount due by the payment. this will give you a number and a ranking of which you should pay-off first. The lowest number should be first ......
If you can add even $20 to that card each month, while making your other minimum payments, it will speed up the pay-off date.
After paying that card off apply that to card two on your list and so-on.


This is a partial summary of David Bach's 'DOLP' method. http://finishrich.com/dolp/

Depending on the interest rates on each debt, this method can end up costing you more than simply using the same amount of total payments and paying down in interest rate order, from highest to lowest.

David Bach, Dave Ramsey and others who support paying down debt in an order other than highest rate to lowest rate posit that the quicker payoffs of the smaller balances provide motivation that will encourage the debtor to continue paying off their debt. This might be true for some people. However, others will get more motivation by seeing the their total debt drop faster, which is what will happen if the highest interest rate debt is paid down first.

For each individual, the method that will keep them motivated is the best one to choose.

AJ
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Hi all,
To answer your question, workingonit, you'll need to do multiple things to address they credit card pay-down and the savings dilemna. The late Joe Dominguez, co-author of "Your Money or Your Life", advocated frugality, analyzing every single dollar that you earn, and every single that you spend. The novel idea is, whatever you don't spend, you get to save! Make a game out of it, and when you have enough savings you'll have your "life" back, or the freedom to pursue your life, not as a debt slave tied to a job you dislike! Constant frugal spending and discovering new personal revenue streams will lead you to discover your solution to debt eradication. According to Dominguez, your regular debt pay-down is the SAME as savings. It's true, add up all your money and deduct your debt and that is what you have! Each month, you will be saving and you will be increasing your overall cash balance. So for example if you have $20,000 in a bank account and $30,000 on credit cards, you don't really have $20,000 now do you? Think about it, you are still $10,000 in the hole. Dominguez would have said to pay down whatever is most expensive first AND, remember that paying down debt IS saving! Logic follows that if you have cash sitting around when you really owe it to someone,you are just mindlessly paying interest to park their money in your bank account. You have to pay it eventually so you may as well just pay all back today that is the cheapest way. The remainer of the balance you can chip away weekly, throwing a little bit whenever you have the cash. For the time being until you are out of the hole and have built up 6 months of living expenses, you must rely on your credit cards for emergency funds, and that is the cold hard fact which many os us have gotten ourselves in to. I, too, am working on it! Almost there!
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<Long-term equity returns exceed 22.4% compounded for the life of the portfolio>

Another fantasy with no proof, like an OCS vs. Navy seal. But one can dream.
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Ummm.... guys? This thread is from 1997... I doubt the OP is still around....
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Ummm.... guys? This thread is from 1997... I doubt the OP is still around....

What's really interesting is that this is the third time that this thread has been revived. Something about the title must really fascinate people.

Nancy
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What's really interesting is that this is the third time that this thread has been revived. Something about the title must really fascinate people.

It's post #3, ever, on the board. They are apparently people who like to start at the very beginning...

~mary anna

(it's a very good place to start... ????)
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(it's a very good place to start... ????)

When you read you begin with A, B, C

When you sing you begin with Do Re Mi.

Nancy
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I have clicked on a link someone will post relating to an old post, then forget I have gone "back in time" and just start hitting <next> to keep reading, then post a reply to an old post. I wonder if that what happened in this instance. I cannot imagine someone going back to post #1 and reading straight through!
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>> What's really interesting is that this is the third time that this thread has been revived. <<

What's also interesting is how the economy and public sentiment on economic outlooks have changed since 1997.

In the second post of this thread, someone responded to the OP thinking that 3-6 months of living expenses in a liquid emergency fund might a little too much. How many would think so today, given how many people have been out of work for 2 years or more?

#29
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When you read you begin with A, B, C

When you sing you begin with Do Re Mi.

Nancy


Yay! Wasn't sure if others would catch that. hehehe. (I tried to make the music note symbols, but it turned them into question marks.)

~mary anna
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What's really interesting is that this is the third time that this thread has been revived. Something about the title must really fascinate people.

What surprised me was that the person who revived it is listed as both a new contributer and an old school fool. How does that work?

LWW
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What surprised me was that the person who revived it is listed as both a new contributer and an old school fool. How does that work?

First time they've posted in six years of being a member. This could indicate someone who showed up briefly and then left, only to return very recently, or someone who had two IDs, and has decided to use the fallback membership.

Or just someone who hasn't had a lot to say.

Nancy
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I am pleased to ssy that I just have received some extra cash for which I have paid off 3 of my credit cards. I paid off one other card last month. This is insane, when you consider 4 credit cards. I am not going to use these cards again, unless I can pay them off within the mohth they are used.

The key to credit card debt is to be able to pay the "vig" and the minimum payment in the same month. For instance if they say you have a minimum payment of $85.00 and your interest payment is 46.00, you shouldtry to pay $121.00 in this same month. This way you are not absorbing new "vig" into your principal balance.

Dennyh
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<<When you read you begin with A, B, C

When you sing you begin with Do Re Mi.

Nancy

Yay! Wasn't sure if others would catch that. hehehe. (I tried to make the music note symbols, but it turned them into question marks.)>>


?? When you read you begin with A, B, C ?

? When you sing you begin with Do Re Mi. ??
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<<
Yay! Wasn't sure if others would catch that. hehehe. (I tried to make the music note symbols, but it turned them into question marks.)>>>>

Darn!
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?? When you read you begin with A, B, C ?

? When you sing you begin with Do Re Mi. ??


Okay, this is totally my fault. Someone on LBYM wondered about the longest gap between an original post and a response, so I said that the Credit Card board had a response to a post that was almost 15 years old and provided a link. SP responded to it.

SP, it appears that your childhood was darkened by never seeing "The Sound of Music. In one of the songs Maria, the governess, is teaching the children to sing, and the song starts, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A, B. C, when you sing you begin with Do, Re, Mi."

Nancy
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OK---

Who knows the secrets of using musical notes as special keyboard symbols?


I tried Alt 1, 3, which produces a musical note, and it even shows as a musical note when I used "preview message."

But when I posted it, it gets changed to question marks---

??? what's with that ???


Seattle Pioneer
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H<<SP, it appears that your childhood was darkened by never seeing "The Sound of Music. In one of the songs Maria, the governess, is teaching the children to sing, and the song starts, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A, B. C, when you sing you begin with Do, Re, Mi."

Nancy >>


Heh, heh! Oh, I'm a big fan of The Sound of Music, and it's a charming song.


I just can't get musical notes to post as special character symbols. They are posting as question marks as described on the earlier post.

My life wont be complete until I can do that....



Seattle Pioneer
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I just can't get musical notes to post as special character symbols. They are posting as question marks as described on the earlier post.

My life wont be complete until I can do that....


The Fool took that ability away. You aren't the only one complaining.

Nancy
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SeattlePioneer,

You wrote, I just can't get musical notes to post as special character symbols. They are posting as question marks as described on the earlier post.

You mean ???… don't work?

- Joel
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SeattlePioneer,

I wrote, You mean ???… don't work?

Which I suppose means, NO…

I wonder why? Some special characters do still work. For instance, the ellipse character I'm using isn't standard ASCII either…

Forgive me, but I'm going to post a few additional tests:

pre:
???…


tt:
???…

normal:
??? … ?™??????

pre:
??? … ?™??????


??? … ?™??????

italic
??? … ?™??????

bold
??? … ?™??????

And I assume none of that will work either...

- Joel
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................======
........======......|
........|...................|
........|...................|
........|...........xxxx
.xxxx..........xxxxx
xxxxx..........xxx
.xxx



?
...?

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kahunacfa,

You wrote, When filtered through TMF's Servers, probably Dell, but who knows?, the special combination keystrokes do not always have predictable MF message board renderings. == Simple as that!!!

The <Alt>-<keypad> combinations are simple ASCII character codes. The symbols are non-standard (above 127). The feature has been part of the PC BIOS since at least the IBM PC XT. (I used to use it creating DOS apps.) While the BIOS doesn't handle the keyboard in Windows, the standard Windows keyboard drivers have always emulated this functionality for as long as I can recall.

So while the problem does make the TMF message board renderings pretty much useless, I'm pretty sure it's all TMF's fault. Probably some programmer or manager trying to save people from themselves...

- Joel
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WorkingOnIt,

If you are comfortable with what you have in savings rights now, then work on paying down the debt. This would save you a lot of interest and help your credit score. If you did have an emergency you would always have some available credit on the card, which I would recommend you use as a last resort. Furthermore, I would never suggest you ever pull cash out of a credit card. The interest on cash advances is usually higher than just paying for an item as credit.

I would further suggest you either cut up the card and close the account after you pay it off or lower the available credit limit. You can always request your own credit limit and if the card company is not willing to grant your wish, switch companies. My recommendation is not to have a credit limit you cannot pay off in the same month.

I had once got stuck in the credit rat race. However, in the last two years I have not paid my credit card company a lick of interest. I use it each month and send them a pay in full check each month. This comes after I called them and lowered the credit limit to $500. You will find that the money you can now put into your savings will be enough for almost any emergency that can arise.
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I had once got stuck in the credit rat race. However, in the last two years I have not paid my credit card company a lick of interest. I use it each month and send them a pay in full check each month. This comes after I called them and lowered the credit limit to $500. You will find that the money you can now put into your savings will be enough for almost any emergency that can arise.

Credit cards are useful. For those who can't handle credit, a very low credit limit may be necessary. I don't pay interest, and I would find a $500 credit limit to be a problem.

Emergencies are not the issue. Several routine bills are charged to credit cards. I don't carry a lot of cash, and there are hazards to carrying a checkbook. The risks of using a debit cards are unacceptable.

We use credit cards for most routine purchases. Travel without a credit card would be very difficult.

For those who plan on obtaining a mortgage, establishing credit and using it wisely is necessary.
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Interesting. The third post on this board, from more than 15 years ago, is still getting attention.

Nancy
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Interesting. The third post on this board, from more than 15 years ago, is still getting attention.

Nancy


I didn't notice that the original post was old.
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I'm close to being out of debt and followed Dave Ramsey's program (google it),

1. save $1000 in CASH for emergencies (true emergency..not something is on sale emergency).
2. make a budget and assign every dollar a place to go.
3. all funds left over after necessities go to paying off debt.

4. pay off all debt except house before working towards 6 months bills.

If you don't watch your money and tightly budget then you probably waste a large amount in what I call nickle and dime leaks.

Look at his (Dave Ramsey) program for getting out of debt. I don't necessarily agree with his investing advice but his debt strategy has worked for me. I'm about 15 months (barring any major issues) from being out of debt except for my house.
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AJermo,

You wrote, I'm close to being out of debt and followed Dave Ramsey's program (google it),

1. save $1000 in CASH for emergencies (true emergency..not something is on sale emergency).
2. make a budget and assign every dollar a place to go.
3. all funds left over after necessities go to paying off debt.

4. pay off all debt except house before working towards 6 months bills.

If you don't watch your money and tightly budget then you probably waste a large amount in what I call nickle and dime leaks.

Look at his (Dave Ramsey) program for getting out of debt. I don't necessarily agree with his investing advice but his debt strategy has worked for me. I'm about 15 months (barring any major issues) from being out of debt except for my house.


I'm sure most of the regulars here know of Dave Ramsey's debt reduction program. He hardly makes any secret of how it works. He uses a modified snowball program that pays off the smallest debts first.

More power to you if it works for you. A lot of us argue Dave's program makes a foolish mistake - it lists debts by size, not interest rate. The fastest way to snowball your debts is always to pay down your highest rate debts first. There is just no arguing with the math - paying higher rate debts first simply saves money and time.

However Dave's method does appeal to people's need to feel they are accomplishing something. Regardless how artificial it is, knocking a creditor off the list does seem to give people an emotional boost. And some times that's what you need.

Of course if you'll go back through the board's posting history, you'll find Dave's program has been discussed to death ... though it has been a while since we've had a healthy argument [I mean discussion] about it.

- Joel
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AJermo,

BTW, it's probably not a good idea to keep replying to a 16 year-old thread...

- Joel
Doh! I've done it too!
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Hey, you didn't say how long it would take to pay off all of the credit card if you used all of your savings. I just hope you aren't using the cc any more. You are right, you can use it for emergencies only! Use it for only what you can pay off at the end of the month. PAY IT OFF ASAP!!!! After if is paid off, you can save money for emergencies. Maybe fixing your own lunches instead of eating out or limit something that you spend extra dollars on will help pay off stuff faster. Being out of debt really frees you up because you don't owe anyone. You are in control then and have money to invest (even if it is only for fun, like a movie or eating out occasionally.
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Nothing like responding to a 16 year post. . . .

Ishtar
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ishtarastarte,

You wrote, Nothing like responding to a 16 year post. . . .

Well, if WorkingOnIt hasn't made any progress on that in 16 years, maybe that's the *one* post that will get him to pay it all off this month! ;-)

That's assuming he's still a lurker. He hasn't posted anything else in 16 years...

- Joel
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It depends on you. It depends on your personal discipline. If you pay down the cards, would you be able to ensure you don't spend the money on it again?

Your best logical bet is to Keep a smaller cash reserve for emergencies, and put all that money on the credit card to pay down the debt and save on interest charges.

In a real emergency (such as loss of employment) the best thing to do is cut your expenses to the bone and then you have the few-months living expenses that you could use from your Credit Cards. However, this only works if you don't use CC spending on fake "emergencies" and you have the discipline needed to stick to your plan.

All those Credit Card Payments you used to make will start to snowball into faster progress against the debt and eventually if you maintain the same payments and savings contributions you are/were making when you started you will find that you will start saving money very quickly after the cards are gone.
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Nothing like responding to a 17 year old post.

Ishtar
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Hi,
Another option that I am using is to take advantage of those offers of 0% interest until some point in 2016 on CC balance transfers. This normally cost you 3% but if you are going to take a year or more to pay off the debt, this is obviously less than the 12% or higher. It will take me about 2 years to pay off my CC's while still living a decent life and this is saving me a ton of interest.
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WorkingOnIt-"Hi all,I've seen articles that recommend having 3-6 months' worth of living expenses saved in cash. But what if I have a large credit card debt at 12% interest? Right now, I've got about 1.75 months of living expenses saved up, earning 4%. It would take me another year to get to 3 months' worth. If I left the savings intact, I could pay off the CCs in 33 months. If I kept, oh, $1000 or something for quick cash emergencies and applied the rest of the savings toward the CC debt right now, I would be paid off in 27 mths, and would save about $1100 in interest. In this case, were a serious emergency to occur, I could always get the cash back off of the credit cards. Any thoughts or experiences here?"

My husband and I were in your shoes and made the commitment to get ourselves out of debt and today we have lived debt free for ten years.

It takes soul searching and commitment. It is important to take a long hard look at what money is being spent and if what is being purchased is necessary. One important key to eliminating debt is to make a commitment to not buy anything that is not a necessity and paying cash for necessities while paying off debit.

While we didn't resort to Top Reman, we did significantly reduce our discretionary spending giving us the ability to pay down our debt much faster. As we reduced our debt each month our motivation grew stronger.

Good luck to you.

RHGCMG
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RHGCMG -

Welcome to the Credit Cards and Consumer Debt board, and congratulations on your climb out of debt. The posts that you are replying to are old enough that you were probably in debt at the time that they were written, so hopefully the posters you are responding to have also made their way out of debt by now, too.

AJ
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rhgcmg,

I doubt WorkingOnIt is going to read your reply. They posted this one message ... and disappeared some 18 years ago.

Perhaps they're "DoneWithIt" by now? ;-)

- Joel
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Hello, new Fool here responding to a 19 year old post.

WorkingOnIt may be long gone, but I'm benefitting from the info being shared, I'm sure other Fools are taking notes since this thread doesn't seem to want to die, so I think that there may still be some value to keeping a thread alive....

Just a thought...

Fool on,
-Matt
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