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Author: TMFRunkle Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308239  
Subject: Solicitations and Fribble Date: 2/18/1998 9:45 PM
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Don't be surprised by solicitations showing up in your e-mail. I haven't seen it in this board, but I am constantly sweeping solicitation posts out of the AOL board. They have now started posting the solicitations Friday night, since they learned they don't get pulled until Monday morning. They are for consolidation loans, multi level marketing schemes, and a pyramid scheme keeps showing up. Since I started posting there, I get solicitations for 125% home equity loans to consolidate my bills, etc.

I put warnings up to people on that board about the different solicitations, TOS, and all that. What the result was was a series of obscene flames against me, again on Friday night :) I've just resorted to getting the posts pulled.

As for my Fribble today - I have gotten 19 e-mails on this one. My record was 35, on Dollar Cost Averaging. It's about 50-50 for and against. Of the against, half say they use their cards and pay every month, but they understand why I made my decision. The other half have said that "I did a great disservice" to my readers, and one said I was "financially irresponsible".

Of the "disservice" letters - my response was this: There are plenty of pro-credit card ads thrown at us every day. Just watch TV. Two Fribbles that are anti-card hardly distorts the picture. Also, this is only my decision, I am not pushing it on everybody else. There are plenty of people telling you what you need to do (stop smoking, don't eat fatty foods, etc), they do quite well at it, I don't need to help.

The "financially irresponsible" one was kind of funny, at least I thought so. I asked them why they felt it necessary to personally insult me for my lifestyle decision. I suggested it would make good material for Fribble #3 on this. You don't think I'm going to let something that elicits this much response go without beating it to death?

Credit Cardless in Pittsburgh
George
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Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 699 of 308239
Subject: Re: Solicitations and Fribble Date: 2/18/1998 10:29 PM
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George;
You should post this to the other boards as I just read what could be a solicitation on the Fools and their money board. It could be someone being helpful too.
I am fairly inexperienced on boards of any sort so maybe you can answer a question that I have. Why do some people take an alternate opinion as a personal assault and respond in kind? If you put a gun to my head and tell me to destroy my credit cards, you are forcing me. When you state the opinion that cc are dangerous, I can agree,disagree or whatever but I'm the one that decides. I'm old and need things to make sense and this doesn't so any enlightenment you can shed will be greatly appreciated.
Sam4d

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Author: TchrP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 700 of 308239
Subject: Re: Solicitations and Fribble Date: 2/18/1998 10:49 PM
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Why would anyone think that not using credit cards is financially irresponsible?

Now, I do use credit cards, but if I had replied to the Fribble, it would have been favorable.

I haven't carried over a balance since about 1979. Despite, or maybe because, of that, I receive offers of credit cards with limits that are equal to or greater than my annual income. So I haven't forgotten the risk.

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Author: TchrP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 701 of 308239
Subject: Re: Solicitations and Fribble Date: 2/18/1998 10:51 PM
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>> Why do some people take an alternate opinion as a personal assault and respond in kind?
------------------------------
Perhaps they do interpret it as a criticism - and people are most likely to be defensive if such a criticism would, in truth, be justified.

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Author: pwyles Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 704 of 308239
Subject: Re: Solicitations and Fribble Date: 2/19/1998 3:27 AM
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I took the same approach as George on credit cards, before it became fashionable or at least a fribble. I use cash, paper checks, and a debit card. I refuse any new debt. There I said it, now I wonder if I will get 19 additional nail messages to my usual 50 or 60 daily messages. Not using a credit card seems to be the only practical way to see a reduction in the balance for those people unfortunate enough to still be carrying a balance.

~~paul

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Author: RecoveringFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 705 of 308239
Subject: Re: Solicitations and Fribble Date: 2/19/1998 11:12 AM
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It seems that often one's choice is viewed as an opinion of another's choice, hence the backlash. I'm an OPM user and do better managing money with credit cards than cash. I'm not fond of the cost of bankruptcies and that can come with irresponsible use of credit. That's simply my opinion(as with just about everything I post :)

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Author: TMFJedi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 717 of 308239
Subject: Re: Solicitations and Fribble Date: 2/20/1998 4:49 PM
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<<I took the same approach as George on credit cards, before it became fashionable or at least a
fribble. I use cash, paper checks, and a debit card. I refuse any new debt. There I said it, now I
wonder if I will get 19 additional nail messages to my usual 50 or 60 daily messages. Not using a
credit card seems to be the only practical way to see a reduction in the balance for those people
unfortunate enough to still be carrying a balance.

~~paul>>

I have to admit to using credit cards more than I should. I have also been tempted to annihilate the few I have. But I have a couple or three good reasons for not annihilating them all:
1) Holding reservations, deposits that will be returned (i.e. renting a VCR at the local video store), and similar nonsense. There has to be some way around it, but generally speaking, you need to have a credit card to hold a reservation. I suppose I could use my handy-dandy credit card for this, but if the establishment does something stupid, I'd rather dispute a charge I haven't paid for than cash out of my checking account.
2) Emergencies. There's any number of 'em - kitchen faucet goes AWOL, something happens to the car and insurance won't cover it (or it's not worth letting them know about it), minor household accident destroys a windowpane - that needs to be/should be taken care of as quickly as possible, but I just don't have the cash at the moment, but I will in a couple days or a week. Charge it, and write out the check to the credit card company as soon as I have the money.
3) Travel. I hate carrying a lot of cash, and I am always terrified of losing traveler's checks. Charge it. Just make sure you have the cash to pay it off as soon as you return.

Of course these aren't the only times I let myself use them (I am still working on that one), but they are the best reasons I know to have them. Fortunately, I have yet to dig myself into a hole I can't get out of in a reasonable time, but I do need to work on holding myself to only those reasons.

Kaiti
Jedi in orbit.



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Author: TMFRunkle Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 719 of 308239
Subject: Re: Solicitations and Fribble Date: 2/20/1998 9:36 PM
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I'm still getting hate mail over my Fribble on cards, but I expected that. I am going to write Fribble III on this, after 25 letters, I can't let this go. In the meanwhile, let me write about some of the stuff that I got in the e-mail box:

First and foremost, the nastiest letter I got was about how I was exposing people to the danger of having their accounts cleared out if their debit card was stolen.

I went and called my bank (Melon) to see what would happen if my debit card was stolen. If I report the theft in 48 hours, I am liable to paying $50 maximum. That's if the $50 in charges occurs before I call. After 48 hours it gets a little dicey. I don't know if that's how all banks work it, check for yourself.

I was accused in that letter of "endorsing the use of a product". I said in the Fribble that I use a debit card. I didn't say, "cut up your credit cards, use a debit card, it's better for you."

I also had one short and sarcastic response, and a couple others that said I did a great disservice to our readers by not talking about the advantages of credit cards. I think the card companies do a good job of that, so I can't really add to it.

In fairness, credit cards are great if you pay the balance off every month. They help you with your cash flow, are much safer than cash, and yes, debit cards too. Also, contesting purchases is easier. I would never travel without a credit card. Best yet, some give rebates, which could be free money. Using them this way requires self-discipline, and controlling your purchases. Many, if not most of us in America, never built up that self-discipline. While I wasn't in the habit of charging to dangerous levels, I tended to get sloppy in my accounts. The balance tended to build. For me, other things in my life seemed more important (not spending, I was concentrating on my job, instead of the household budget)

For me, the only way to get around this was to give up the card. It's extreme, but I'm the guy in the latest Fool book that put 225,000 miles on his car. I do a lot in extremes. I believe if over the years you have a tendency to run up the balance on a card too much, it's not something easy to break. I have paid off my credit card balances repeatedly, and swore I would only charge what I could pay in the month. Next thing I know - whammo, I owe, I owe, I owe. So, I made a lifestyle decision.

Yes, there are many benefits to using a credit card, and paying off the balance each month. However, if you have habitually run up more than you can pay, don't think you can automatically change your purchase patterns. To do so takes a major effort at controlling your spending habits, and budgeting money. I'm at this stage right now. In 9 months my military career is ending (I'm retiring), and I have many other changes to make.

George

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Author: WadaPhooliam Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 720 of 308239
Subject: Re: Solicitations and Fribble Date: 2/20/1998 10:45 PM
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<< I'm still getting hate mail over my Fribble on cards, but I expected that. I am going to write Fribble III on this, after 25 letters, I can't let this go. In the meanwhile, let me write about some of the stuff that I got in the e-mail box: >>

George,

I find it almost unbelievable that people could write the kind of drivel you mentioned. While my wife and I personally find credit cards convenient (and we get frequent flyer miles to boot), we also pay off the balance every month. In fact, one of the first things we did when we got married in '82 was to pay off the balances on our individual cards (about $1500 at the time). We had the balances down to 0 in 3 months and have kept them there.

It really isn't that hard for people to live within their means when they value the goods/services purchased soley for their intrinsic value rather than trying to impress people (including themselves) with their ability to buy what are often overpriced items because they have 'upscale' brand recognition.







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Author: 5853 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 722 of 308239
Subject: Re: Solicitations and Fribble Date: 2/21/1998 1:32 AM
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<<I believe if over the years you have a tendency to run up the balance on a card too much, it's not something easy to break.>>

George,
I've been enjoying this thread a lot, and I'm looking forward to Fribble III.

I cut up my VISA credit card a while ago, and I had been using a debit card instead. However, I found that even with the debit card, I tended to get kind of vague about what I was doing since I would keep the receipts and just enter and balance from time to time. Now I just use paper checks with the carbons and that keeps me grounded. However, I do use the debit card for the infrequent catalog or online purchase and it has been worrying me that info about my account is "out there." So, here's my solution. I
have two checking accounts, one of which is attached to my debit card, and one that I use for all my regular check spending. I transfer money into the debit account only when I make a telephone or online purchase. I don't have overdraft protection on the debit card account and I know the balance exactly (it's under $50.) I figure if anyone tries to access the account the charge will bounce and I'll be notified. Works for me.

Margo

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