Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Posts Tagged ‘debt

Snowball debt payment

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I just read a comment from a reader named Dan:

I really like the spreadsheet, and your spreadsheet coupled with a snowball worksheet (also freeware) from Vertex42.com are what I am using to crawl (and I mean crawl) my way out of debt. I use your worksheet to capture all income and variables, then the Vertex42 worksheet to more effectively pay down debt. Between the two of you, I plan on being Credit Card debt free in six years.

My spreadsheet is an Excel workbook and it’s available for free download. The Vertex42 site is quite interesting and worth a click. I think the worksheet that Dan’s referring to is this one. Take a look—maybe it will help you.

Written by Leisureguy

26 February 2009 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Daily life, Software

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Relationships and debt

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Very interesting post at Don’stuff. Well worth reading and describes well the value of a good partnership.

And in this connection, I should mention again that you can download Within Your Means for free. (17,588 downloads to date.)

Written by Leisureguy

22 July 2008 at 11:53 am

Posted in Daily life

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Self-congratulatory post

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I’m extremely pleased with the comments that have been posted on the “Managing Your Money” post. Apparently the Excel workbook (downloadable via a link in the post) has worked well for some. I think the key is that it surfaces the implicit spending involved in gradually wearing out possessions that must, someday, be replaced and provides for automatically saving the replacement money so that, when the day comes, no crisis erupts.

I now would suggest that you save this money via automatic transfer to ING Direct. (Last I checked, passbook savings accounts in regular banks paid 1/10th of 1% interest per year.) As the money accumulates, transfer it to one of Vanguard‘s low-fee balanced funds. (For most of their funds, “low-fee” becomes “no-fee” once you have $10,000 in the fund.)

At any rate, take a look at the post and give the workbook a try. It might prove helpful.

Written by Leisureguy

2 November 2007 at 9:56 am

Posted in Daily life

Tagged with , ,

Watch out for Binding Mandatory Arbitration

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It’s a trap. Watchdog Blog describes it:

Earlier this summer, we sounded the alarm about binding mandatory arbitration (BMA) clauses in the fine print of cable bills sent out by Comcast.  Comcast was not the first company to pull this trick on consumers and, sadly, we’ve learned it is far from the last.

Today, Public Citizen releases a ground-breaking report, The Arbitration Trap: How Credit Card Companies Ensnare Consumers [pdf]. It shows how credit card companies rig their contracts with consumers, using binding mandatory arbitration to evade accountability, strip consumers of their rights and enforce their will. In fact, arbitrators rule for business between 94 and 97 percent of the time.

In a nutshell, BMA is private, corporate-dominated secret “court” that overwhelming rules against consumers. In this world, merely by signing your name on the dotted line, you have forfeited your right to a trial by jury. If someone steals your identity and runs out to buy a $4,000 plasma TV – and the credit card company wants YOU to pay for it – the dispute will automatically bypass the public civil justice system. Instead, it goes straight to an arbitrator who may have heard thousands of cases for that same credit card company.

Arbitrators make all their dough from repeat business, so it’s no surprise that they usually rule in favor of business. Consumers are left with no way out because the decisions they make are final and there is little room for appeal.

Here is what you can do to stand up to this corporate bullying from credit card and other companies:

  • Pressure Congress: Write your representatives in Congress and ask them to support the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 introduced by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.).
  • Protect Yourself: Read our report [pdf] and learn all of the ways you can protect yourself from getting trapped in arbitration.
  • Tell Others: E-mail this post to friends and family.

Have you suffered from binding mandatory arbitration?  Share your story in the comments.

Written by Leisureguy

29 September 2007 at 1:02 pm

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