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Year in Review…


I like to spend a little time on the last day of each year and reflect on what I’ve learned.

1. When you pay off credit cards and car loans, banks turn into the very worst version of your mother. They write sappy love notes telling you how much you are missed and wouldn’t it be nice if you’d care to spend the holidays with them?

2. It’s never too early to start teaching children about the perils of debt – but constantly singing ‘If you’re happy and debt free clap your hands’ to your six month old nephew may annoy his mother.

3. It was somehow possible to lower my already sub-par vacationing standards. I went from ‘Motel 4 type establishments’ to ‘tents with 25 cent showers’ – and it wasn’t bad!

4. Marrying my best friend and celebrating five years of wedded bliss was the best decision I ever made – well…other than the decision to wear clean underwear in case of an emergency.

5. Blog readers are awesome, supportive, and helpful. Thanks for helping me grow.

6. I’ve had more than my fair share of laughter and joy. Regardless of the numbers on my bank statement, the interest rate of my mortgage, or drama of life, my family and friends are unchanging. I am a very lucky girl.

Please be safe tonight. Save money, stay home.

Great News for Credit Card Borrowers…


Over the weekend, you may have received a letter from your credit card company about the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Fact-Sheet-Reforms-to-Protect-American-Credit-Card-Holders/). My bank sent me a list of the changes and included the effective date – February 2010. This Act was signed by the Obama Administration in May of this year, but I forgot about it until now.

This change to policy will be helpful to borrowers who struggle to make payments on time and suffer rising interest rates. It also forces credit card companies to apply payments to the debt with the higher interest rate first rather than pay off the teaser rate. I am hoping this will finally give those who find themselves continually stuck in the cycle of debt, a real chance to get ahead.

One of the changes, my favorite of all, is the restriction on issuing cards to those under 21. My first card was peddled to me on my college campus at the ripe old age of 19. I got in the habit of spending more than I made and by 21, I was more than $2,500 in debt.

Of course there is still a down side to this – I read an interesting article about how the changes will affect those who are careful with payments and are ‘good’ borrowers. It doesn’t look good! Check out the article at: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1791592/us_credit_card_issuers_must_prepare_pg2.html?cat=3

Regardless, I think this change will be good for those seeking to become debt free.