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Thread: Budget Concerns & Tips

  1. #21
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    I don't know if it was mentioned but flea markets can be a good place to find deals.


  2. #22
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    One would be advised to look over you bank and credit card statements closely......
    Seems many banks have been bought out, have new owners and policies.

    Caught a charge for checking, supposed to be free....and it was reversed.
    Escrow accounts, and Christmas Club are being discontinued and changed over to saving accounts, with min balances, or they charge you...got this changed back, at least for a year, ...now two.

    Credit card showed a renewal for a virus scan software up grade, computer has been dead for 2 years...got that fixed....

    Keep getting bills for renewals on car insurance that I don't have, or warrenty extensions that you don't have....

    Just seems like you have to watch everything, all the time.

    Re-bid out your insurances for the best deal....my company will match costs.

    Yard sales and flea markets don't save me any money, I just buy a lot of cool stuff, that I didn't know I needed till I saw it....LOL....But it was a good deal.
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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  3. #23
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    Hunter, I bet you're a hoot at a flea market LOL. Where else an a fella get boiled peanuts?

  4. #24
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    I'm leery of quality at flea markets and the stuff you might buy like antiques etc usually don't fall into my budget situation in terms of saving. I do like goodwill/salvation army for this stuff and there is a place to go back to in case of issues.

    Speaking of Flea Markets you can get some decent knockoffs, but this may be walking a line in terms of piracy etc that people might not like.

  5. #25
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyt View Post
    Hunter, I bet you're a hoot at a flea market LOL. Where else an a fella get boiled peanuts?
    That's the problem, sometimes I get a deal just because I could talk him/her down....it the fun of it....LOL

    Or even funner, offer double the price, and after you walk away, watch them scratch there heads ...."What about that did we miss...?"
    Last edited by hunter63; 05-02-2013 at 08:05 PM.
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    That's the problem, sometimes I get a deal just because I could talk him/her down....it the fun of it....LOL

    Or even funner, offer double the price, and after you walk away, watch them scratch there heads ...."What about that did we miss...?"
    Likely to have some one turn you down thinking they have a much more valuable item then they thought lol.

    Haggling is fun tho but I don't go to flea markets to save money lol.

    More tips:
    Use less detergent when you wash, especially in HE machines. I use all clear or w/e and one big samclub bottle last my household, of 5, 3+ months. Clothes come out nice and clean too just make sure to pre treat stains.
    I also Line dry unless I must have something cleaned RIGHT NOW. I then run a quick cycle in dryer to finish off.
    Lint has many uses so save it worst case you can always toss it later.
    Samsclubs, at least around me will cut any meat you purchase from them and if you ask nicely separately pack and then wrap for you.

    Asking for stuff stores might just see as trash can net you big gains. (Recently got a bunch of plant trays for free)

    Posting you have scrap etc on craiglist will sually get soem one to come out and PAY you to take it away. Same for trees of some kinds.

  7. #27
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    If you have hospital bills go over them like a hawk. If they lump things like $356.23...Code 16523.34. Make the call and ask them to itemize it. If they refuse then tell them you can't pay them until you have a itemized bill. A nickle to a cup of coffee they change the charge. I received one last month that I knew was wrong because it didn't add up to my copay. I called them and they said, "don't worry about it we're going to run it back through insurance." They were only 9 months PAST their contracted date with my carrier to be able to submit a claim. They just tried to slide one through.
    Tracks Across the High Plains...Death on the Bombay Line...A Touch of Death and Mayhem...Dead Rock...The Griswald Mine Boys...All On Amazon Books.

  8. #28
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    More Tips:

    Although eating out isn't the best way to save money if you do Then snack before hand. Yep eat at your house to fruit drink some beverages get satiated but not full. Then you can skip the $15 worth of apps. Also skip desert and go to some place like Sweet Frog where you can buy by the ounce. Ounce of frozen yogurt some fresh berries a bit of whipped cream normally don't spend more than $2 for a nice size desert.

    Do a quick plan of your daily excursion. The back and forth in a day can eat your fuel and cost you big bucks. Going to the store then back home to later go out to almost the same location? Try to do both at one time and cut that fuel consumption in half.

  9. #29
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I do a yearly audit, on bills expenses, and such.

    There are two areas that are of concern....actually 3 with health care, getting to the age of change over form reg to Medicare etc, plus supplemental.
    That is a project in of it's self.

    The two that I feel can be improved on are media, and insurance.

    Add up what you are paying for phone(s), TV, (discussed), and internet service........I was appalled at how the couple of bucks a month seem to "creep" the bill, real gradual....and bingo.

    Insurance , same thing, and after a few calls and estimates, was able to cut back on older vehicles, toys, increase homeowners, and add a identity protection plan......at a lower cost.

    All the make "your own tips" and such are a great saver, but the PITA monthly bills, are a lot of work, but more bang for the buck....if you can put the effort into it....big results.

    Just like buying a car, showroom price isn't the price.....the back room is where they make the money....Plans, intrest rates, warrenties, etc.
    Most people don't like dealing with these issues, but can really be an eye opener.
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

  10. #30
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    I call up and say, lower my bill... they squirm on that one lol.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Winnie's Avatar
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    Credit Cards.
    One piece of advice I would pass on about credit cards, set up a direct debit for the minimum amount, then if for some reason you forget, at least you're not going to get slammed with a non payment charge. Also, if you're going to have them, have two cards, but only ever use one. The other company will constantly offer you 0% balance transfer offers. I generally wait to buy a large value item until I get one of these, whack it on the card I use, then transfer the balance to the one I don't. The secret to making this work is to adjust the direct debit to pay off the balance within the time and you pay no interest, but you must be committed to making the payments. Miss one and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. Make them work for you, not vice versa.
    And NEVER EVER use your card to get cash!
    Recession; A period when you go without something your Grandparents never heard of.

  12. #32
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Speaking of credit cards.....

    Use them as a convenience, not to purchase something you could otherwise not afford. I''m talking about purchases, not emergencies.
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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    Speaking of credit cards.....

    Use them as a convenience, not to purchase something you could otherwise not afford. I''m talking about purchases, not emergencies.
    I carry a card as a means to not carry cash, not because I don't have cash. My father always said only spend the money you have in your pocket today because tomorrow's money ain't here yet.

    If you must use a card understand that you should calculate payment on a 12 month plan at the least. Keeping a balance on a credit card is the worse thing you can do, unless for some reason its a 0% interest card that won't ever go up.

    A small trick I use is to process 2 payments a month for the minimum, While it comes out as the same its sometimes easier to make 2 smaller payments one each pay cycle for many people, than one large one. It also ensures you don't miss a payment deadline.

  14. #34
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    If you don't carry a balance, and pay off in full when ever used....no intrest......hard to do but effective.
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
    Evoking the 50 year old rule...
    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

  15. #35
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    One of the best tips I ever received wasn't a tip... it was a kick in the A** after being schooled with some basic math.

    If you sit down and are brutally honest with yourself, if your debt can't be paid off in <7 years, seek professional debt counselling.

    You may be nowhere near bankruptcy, but you will simply be throwing away a fortune in interest that could be going to primary payments. Typically if in YOUR estimation current debt will take you 5-10 years to pay off, pros can help you get that paid off in 3-7yrs without much sacrifice.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oddmott View Post
    One of the best tips I ever received wasn't a tip... it was a kick in the A** after being schooled with some basic math.

    If you sit down and are brutally honest with yourself, if your debt can't be paid off in <7 years, seek professional debt counselling.

    You may be nowhere near bankruptcy, but you will simply be throwing away a fortune in interest that could be going to primary payments. Typically if in YOUR estimation current debt will take you 5-10 years to pay off, pros can help you get that paid off in 3-7yrs without much sacrifice.
    I'm sorry but this is terrible advice.

    "Professional Debt counselors" do nothing for you that you can not do yourself, further they often get "clients" in deeper financial hardship due to the methods of debt negotiation and "Fees."

    Perhaps if you went to a non-profit organization which had no fees and simply offered a counseling service that would be wise (If this is what you meant Odd then good tip), however if some one is trying to make money off of "Saving you money." it is a scam and you should run.

    Truth is most info you get from anyone who will give advice for free is rather common sense, and some basic budget guidelines.

  17. #37
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    Oh and another great budgeting resource... I'm not sure if you guys have anything like it in the U.S.... is government asset surplus sales. In Canada we have the - crownassets.pwgsc.gc.ca/mn-eng.cfm - Government of Canada Surplus.

    Here you can get all sorts of stuff really cheap (like 3-5 yr old vehicles for 1/3rd or 1/4 of what you'd pay used at a dealership) in singles or in bulk.

    I know there are other auction services... I just find that government asset ones provide the best savings and potential profit margins. A buddy and I buy, fix and flip 3 & 4 year old cars and SUVs for pretty decent coin. Make $1000-3000 profit on each and do between 6-11 per year.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oddmott View Post
    Oh and another great budgeting resource... I'm not sure if you guys have anything like it in the U.S.... is government asset surplus sales. In Canada we have the - crownassets.pwgsc.gc.ca/mn-eng.cfm - Government of Canada Surplus.

    Here you can get all sorts of stuff really cheap (like 3-5 yr old vehicles for 1/3rd or 1/4 of what you'd pay used at a dealership) in singles or in bulk.

    I know there are other auction services... I just find that government asset ones provide the best savings and potential profit margins. A buddy and I buy, fix and flip 3 & 4 year old cars and SUVs for pretty decent coin. Make $1000-3000 profit on each and do between 6-11 per year.
    Auctions in NY require a dealer lic.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidlastink View Post

    Perhaps if you went to a non-profit organization which had no fees and simply offered a counseling service that would be wise (If this is what you meant Odd then good tip), however if some one is trying to make money off of "Saving you money." it is a scam and you should run.

    Truth is most info you get from anyone who will give advice for free is rather common sense, and some basic budget guidelines.
    Meh, I know folks who've used both and had great success with both. You'd have to look really hard or be very naive to settle on an organization that puts you further in debt.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oddmott View Post
    Meh, I know folks who've used both and had great success with both. You'd have to look really hard or be very naive to settle on an organization that puts you further in debt.
    Not to try and berate you or anything but, The very principle of paying some one to reduce your debt unless they are taking a very insignificant fee is counter to the plan of getting out of debt.

    Here in the U.S "Debt consolidation Professionals" have no more authority or power than the consumer themselves, in fact they have less. Thus all they can do is call up your Debt holders and negotiate on your behalf. Which you can do yourself for free. Most often they charge a % based fee on the amount of debt they consolidate for you. So if you owe 10,000 and they consolidate or reduce it down to 6,000 they would take a percentage of $4,000. This is not like pro se representation in a court its is rather straight forward and easy and with little effort on ones own part very possible to reduce debt by %30 if one had cash on hand to make lump sum payments.

    ALSO most forgiven debt is considered to be income according to the IRS and has to be reported and calculated when filing your taxes. This makes a huge difference as tax brackets can have very different taxation guidelines and as little as $5000 can make you ineligible for tax deductions/ credits/ and exemptions.

    Best method to get out of debt:

    Pay off small balance high interest cards ASAP
    Then pay off small balance Low interest cards.
    Apply the majority of those min. payments to a large Balance High Interest Card (of course trying to pay significantly more than your interest accrual so as to reduce the principal)

    If you find yourself unable to accomplish the above you can call up your debt holder and inquire about account freezes/interest freezes This at least will allow you to pay down principal with out interest running, or at a lower interest rate.
    Some times Debt Holders will require an account to be in default in order to work out any arrangements, If possible avoid this.

    Once you have reduced all the debt that could be handled you need to calculate your costs.

    Figure out the interest being paid on each remaining account and then total them. Then compare this to available Consolidation loan rates. (Often times a credit score above 600 is needed for many lenders)

    If your current payments toward interest are greater than the payments which would be made toward a debt consolidation loan (taking into account loan origination fees etc.) than it would be beneficial to consolidate.
    If the above still is not a viable option then Bankruptcy may very well be a needed course of action if you are unable to meet payment obligations.

    If you are able to meet payment obligations then continue paying towards those higher interest cards which you will be able to pay down principal. Eventually you should be at a point where your debt to credit ratio has improved your credit rating and then seek a beneficial loan rate, or simply be able to pay off outstanding debt.

    Now this does not mean the concept of bad debt does not apply, Upside down homes etc. Again here you may very well be faced with foreclosure and bankruptcy (seek the guidance of an attorney here, many with give an initial consult for free and some legal aide is available free of charge)

    Perhaps this works differently in Canada but here in the U.S it is normally not a good idea.

    If anything I said was unclear please ask me to clarify.

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