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Cheri Merz

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Re: The Four Golden Rules Of Personal Finance
3/4/2006 9:18:11 PM
Martha, You are so right, on all counts. I've shared before that I do use credit cards in exactly the way you mention, although all of mine give back money rather than gift cards. I used the rebate check from one of them to pay for my husband's Christmas gift last year, and it was much nicer than it would have been had it come out of the Christmas gift budget, lol. (We have four kids and their partners and four grandkids.) It would have been just as good an idea to stash it away in a money market account or flexible CD. Saving "found" money is one great tip that I have for everyone. Cheri PS If discipline is the problem, there's a great solution to that, too. It's the main story on my Money page on the website.
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Cheri Merz

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Re: The Four Golden Rules Of Personal Finance
3/4/2006 9:29:54 PM
Lawton, Good point, and not only about credit cards, but also people not being educated to handle their money. You're right...it isn't just about increasing the income, whether through employment, enterprise or winning the lottery (as IF...). If you don't know how to handle a little, you certainly don't know how to handle a lot. They are the same principles, really. It's my opinion that most of the good education (as distinguished from what your creditors are trying to teach you) that's floating around assumes people already know the basics. Maybe they do and just aren't practicing them. But that's why you see me here posting the basics instead of stock investing or even real estate investing where I actually have some knowledge, if not expertise. Before you can run, you must know how to walk, otherwise you're going to fall flat on your face. It's too bad that not all of us who grew up in a different era heeded the advice of our parents and grandparents. Instant gratification is a powerful thing, isn't it? Maybe what turned the corner for me was that my other main interest I talk about in my other forum taught me I could change my life by changing my attitudes and choices. We all can. Thanks for joining us, my friend. Cheri
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Donna Zuehl

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Re: The Four Golden Rules Of Personal Finance
3/4/2006 10:07:00 PM
Thanks for the information Cheri. When I was working full time as an activity therapist for the mentally ill I had a deferred compensation plan through work. After working 24 years it ended up being as much or more than my pension. However, I am still short of money. I pay my own health insurance premiums which are about $425 a month. Since I take lots of medications I need the insurance plan I currently have because it pays 80%. If I had not saved money while working full-time I would really have a problem now. DonnaZ
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Leon Horton

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Re: The Four Golden Rules Of Personal Finance
3/4/2006 10:25:10 PM
Hi Cheri, You made a brief mention of the "How" in your first post. The way anybody can save money is by creating a budget and spend every cent (on paper) every month before the month starts. That should be a plan for how the money is to be spent and stick to it. If you have to, use envelopes and put the allotted money for each category of spending in the envelope. I would be willing to bet that you would find that you spend less money that way. That is where the savings money comes from. The first items on the budget should be prioritized. First comes food, shelter, utilities, transportation and clothing. Entertainment should take a seat at the end of the line. But if you have a strong requirement to save then be sure that is near the top of the list like tithing should be. Using a budget will actually free up more money to work for you the way you want it to. I hope I didn't tell you something you already knew. Of course you knew all of that, duh! Peace, Leon
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Cheri Merz

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Re: The Four Golden Rules Of Personal Finance
3/4/2006 10:51:33 PM
Leon, LOL! Yes, you're a bit ahead of me, but that's OK. I've written before about budgets, and will again. In fact, I'm preparing an ebook about how to set them up, for people who aren't as detail-oriented as you and I. Trouble is, most people think budget is a four-letter word. And then there's the sticking to it part. I kept a detailed budget first on paper then on a computer spreadsheet for 23 years before I found a more effective method. I was always robbing Peter to pay Paul, even though I did the half that you didn't mention, which was track every cent I spent AS I spent it, as well as planning for the spending ahead of time. (For you folks who are groaning just reading that, remember I did mention a more effective method--and it's not at all painful, lol.) But Leon, you must wait for the rest of the story like everyone else. :-) Thanks for giving me a perfect opening for a sneak preview of upcoming posts. Cheri
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