Archive for July, 2009

Stop Spending on Unnecessary Stuff

This is my first rant but it probably won’t be my last.

What I do daily is look at people’s bank statements and financial data.  People come to me to help them out of financial messes.  What I see is totally sickening.    People are losing their houses to foreclosure, and:

  1. Pay more than the minimum on their credit card bills
  2. All I see on their bank statements is “Chipotle, Don Pedro, Taco Bell, Burger King . . .
  3. Hundreds to thousands minutes of text messages on both the adults’ and children’s’ cell phone bills

Let’s talk about the credit card bill first.   I believe that what we’re seeing in the Financial columns has a lot to do with this mindset.  “You have to keep a good credit score”, is what they say.  What good is a great credit card score is you’re living in your car?  Pay your mortgage and let the credit card bill go . Or at the very least pay a minimum on the credit cards.  If you lose your house or go into foreclosure your credit scores go in the basement anyway!

The reason I mentioned the restaurants is the fact that after all the bills are added up, a preponderance of of the “expenses” are in fluff!

Whatever happened to talking to people in person?  Or talking on the phone.  The teenagers love chatting, but does that mean you have to?  You’re not a teen anymore.  Try chatting on Facebook.  That can be fun and its free!

If you’re going to:

  1. Go on a budget – budgets don’t usually contain frivolous things such as eating in restaurants or texting.  Cook at home, buy Hamburger Helper and cook at home, get frozen entrees and cook at home.  Even if you only do that twice a week, the amount of money you save is unbelievable.  Ditto what I said above on texting.
  2. Convince your Lender that you want a loan modification, for example.  Lenders look at your bank statements when you apply for a loan modification.  Their logic is that if they’re going to give you something, you have to give them something in return.  A lot of times loan modifications can be denied because of  “frivolous ” spending.  If your bank statement shows you don’t care enough to pay your mortgage but you pay your credit card ahead, what are the Lenders to think?  To a Lender, eating out all the time and texting is really, really frivolous. If you are trying to get your mortgage modified, at least give them a modified budget which doesn’t include all the habits of the wealthy.  Give them a modified budget and show them you want to stay in your house.

Enough for today.  Just get your priorities in life straightened out – not for me, but for yourself.


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