Free FInanical Advice

cobb

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
2,957
As one who works at a finanical institution, I feel I should say something.

1, get a calculator, doing math in your head isnt always reliable.

2, when using the atm machine, do not relie on its balance, use your balance from previous transactions as not many are taken out immediately at point of sale and can take several business days to pend or post.

3, save your receipts and at some point in time sit down and go over your transactions to see what has posted and what is left outstanding or mis posted.

4, round down your available balance and round up your purchases so when doing math in your head, you will leave some wiggle room.

5, you can always spend more than you have, this is when you over draw your account and can cost you 35 bucks per a transaction in over draft fees and they add up fast. Credit cards are the same way.

6, never rent a car, equipment or make reservations with your debit card. These businesses hold out funds and can leave you temperoarly broke before you return the car or check out the hotel room or even cancel your reservations and leave over drawn for 3-5days

7, when buying gas, many companies take out 1 dollar vs the actual gas you purchase, so this can throw your balance off as well. Very few gas companies will take out 50 or 75 bucks when you swipe your card and there fore refer to item 6.

8, never post date a check assuming the bank wont cash it or the person you wrote it too

9, many checks are processed electronically and the funds are extracted immediately from your account vs the grace period of afew days like in the past.

10, look into getting over draft protection as its way cheaper than over drawing your account, but like the commercial on tv, its only free when you dont use it.
 

lukus

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
252
Location
Central Texas
I've never really had much of a problem. I'm more of a cash in pocket guy, if I don't have the cash for it I probably don't really need it anyway. I do have two credit cards, mostly used for gas and the occasional reservation.

Debit cards are generally a bad idea anyway, they don't have the built in protection that credit cards do. If your debit card is stolen, they can take all your money; credit cards usually have a $50 limit to your liability.

I've always been amazed at the way some people handle their finances. Even people I know living with high credit card debt (in one case 25 thousand) like it's normal. Or the guy that lives in a neighborhood I drive past every day. Price range of the houses $110-120 thousand and he drives an H2 Hummer with 22" rims and a bass boat paint job. Car payment has to be as high as his mortgage! And we have to pay for these idiots through social security and medicare when they get older.

My wife is making me go to a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class every week. At first I didn't really want to go, but I have to admit it's been worthwhile. I aim to someday be one of those older people you see occasionally that do the traveling and have a vacation house somewhere in the mountains.
 

MicroE

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
951
Location
Northern NJ, USA
Thanks, Cobb. I was raised in a very frugal family (read: broke). I never pay fees or interest to anybody (except my mortgage).
You should also include a statement about credit scores. I love the current practice where ALL creditors raise a person's interest rate when he is late on a payment to ONE creditor.
 

Minjin

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 21, 2002
Messages
1,237
Location
Central PA
You want some good free financial advice? Visit Fatwallet Finance . Best overall financial forum on the net, IMHO.

My suggestions:
-don't use debit cards, use credit cards for EVERYTHING
-don't use ATMs...shouldn't be using cash except where absolutely needed
-keep a sufficient buffer in your accounts to prevent overdrawing...no tricks needed
 

ledlurker

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 11, 2002
Messages
387
Location
Victoria, Texas -- USA
My credit cards are now mainly used for groceries and gas only. I have gone back to the cash in pocket and checkbook with the occasional debit card. If you use plastic you spend more, this is a proven fact by studies done by the fast food industry. By doing this we eliminated enough frivolous spending to buy the mother in law a house and was once partially supporting my own mom at one time before her medical needs got to much to handle.


I have neighboors that claim they do not spend much but cannot understand why they have $25K in credit card debt. My response is the $50 steak dinner and the small discretionary items a couple of times a week will add up. I went through that and it took 4 years to get out of it along with the lunches brought from home.

I no longer care what people think about me by the car I drive and most things that were important when I was 24 no longer matter as I push 40.
 

jayflash

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
3,909
Location
Two Rivers, Wisconsin
It would be nice if larger stores had cash-only check out lanes. Seems that the majority pays for everything with plastic or a check - even for an under $5 purchase. Cash is quicker.
 

cobb

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
2,957
I know of equal horror stories regarding credit cards, so I did not mention them. I use another companies gas card for my purchases. I pay it off monthly, no interest due and get about ten bucks credit each month.

Man, the horror stories I could tell, but I can not say.
 
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