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    Thursday, September 26th, 2013
    2:02 pm
    [ext_2191635]
    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
    7:50 am
    [miss_artiga]
    College Fund Update!
    Hi everyone! I just wanted to update all of you on the whole "college fund drama".
    community.livejournal.com/personalfinance/38135.html 

    It turned out to be not very dramatic at all! The "college fund" was actually a mutual fund (worth 25,000 dollars).My grandmother said that the only reason she hadn't brought it up was because she thought we didn't need the money yet (what with fafsa and all). And she said that her intention had been to wait until we had graduated to tell us about it. She said that she was worried we would start spending it if we knew about it. I guess my cousin bought a car or something? But anyway,  she took us to speak with the broker about our investments and to give him our mailing addresses. The broker asked us if we wanted any money forwarded to our accounts, but both of us decided to keep it all invested. My plan is to continue paying my own way through college and save the  money for the down payment of a house someday. So everything worked out ok. My grandmother and I had a long conversation about our relationship (or lack there of) and we worked out a lot of issues. All in all it worked out pretty well =)





    Current Mood: content
    Saturday, June 13th, 2009
    10:29 pm
    [jen_jen0708]
    How much is the *perfect* amount to save??
    the setup: a person in her mid 20's, with no children. about $210,000 per year in net income after taxes. lives in expensive city, so cost of living is pretty high. has about $100,000 saved. $5000 mortgage/property tax every month. no debt to speak of, just the big mortgage and one parent to kind-of support (but parent is self sufficient when it comes to her own finances).

    realistically, how much would be the 'perfect' amount to save every month? said person plans on having children within the next 5 years, so if that person were to live comfortably and not too frugally now and in the relative near future, what is the MAXIMUM amount that person should aim to be putting aside (also factoring in the high cost of living)? how much, percentage wise, would you put into savings if you were that person? would aiming to save 50% of net income each month be overkill, do you think? said person does not want to stress about finances, ever, but due to her slightly ocd tendencies (lol) she would like to have a set plan.

    and while I'm posting I may as well ask, would you recommend most of those savings to go into CDs? Or should the majority of the savings be invested in the stockmarket? said person just opened up an account with Charles Schwab last week but has not invested in anything at the moment. :)

    suzie orman wasn't taking calls today. jk, but i'm just looking for some light opinions, you guys. thanks in advance!!
    Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
    1:15 pm
    [miss_artiga]
    My grandmother has kept my college fund a secret =(
    Hi! Sorry if this is choppy. I'm just really upset right now. I just found out that my grandpa and my grandmother created a college fund for my sister, cousin and I when we were born. I was VERY close to my grandpa and I was devastated when he passed away five years ago. My relationship with my grandmother has always been somewhat strained. You see, my sister and I are both half Hispanic and my grandmother is kind of racist. But it's not like she hates us. And we of course don't hate her. We usually see her on the holidays. So what I found out today really shocked me.

    ANYWAY. My sister was hanging out with my cousin yesterday, and somehow the subject of how she was dreading college because of how much she would have to take out in loans came up. And my cousin was totally confused because "Duh! Why not just use the college fund grandpa and grandma set up for us when we were born? That's what I did!".

    My sister and I had NO idea there was a college fund set up for us. I'm just starting my THIRD year of college. And my sister is starting college in the fall. What should I do? Is there anything I can do? I'm just so upset right now. Our father left us when we were born, and my mother was paralyzed by a stroke a few years ago. My sister and I have had to balance taking care of my mom on the weekend and school work. So needless to say, a college fund would have really been a blessing.



    Current Mood: upset
    9:15 am
    [cokeonuts]
    I hate to be this personal in a random community I just added today, but I don't really know a lot about personal loans & how to obtain them on my own, etc. 

    I quit my job & couldn't find a replacement job for 3 months, of which I racked up quite a bit of debt on three credit cards. 
    I've since found a job but even though I am getting 40 hours a week with decent pay, I can only afford to pay off the interest the debt accrues each month, thus never letting me get out of the hole, or at best, not until many moons from now.

    I thought of the idea to get a small personal loan from my bank or Citifinancial who sent me an add saying I was pre-approved. The amount I was looking into was 3,000-4000 dollars. 
    I called Citi & filled out an over-the-phone app & the woman said I have what they call "new credit", which is, I am apparently a noob. I have three credit cards to my name, one opened over a year or two ago, & two opened recently, in the past 5-6 months. I also have a car loan (my parents co-signed to get me this loan) with my bank that I have been paying on for about two years.
    I've never been late on a payment, but my score is low because, like I said, I'm a credit noob. So the woman who did my application asked if I could get a co-signer, & I told her I'd call her back.

    I spoke to my parents in co-signing & they aren't sure or hesitant. 
    My question is, if they say no, do I have any other options in getting around a co-signer? I understand why I need one...but, I don't have anyone else to turn to. I see a lot of payday loans online, but I'm afraid of a scam. Can someone shed some light on what my options are? 

    I'm really understanding the pressure of not being able to get ahead, & I just want the constant feel of "owing dread" off of my shoulders. I don't see how people with 30k+ debt do it. 

    Thanks for any help I might generate from this.
    Sunday, May 10th, 2009
    8:29 am
    [wheezysgal]
    18 and just starting out
    This goes out to anybody that can help me.

    I'm 18 and just about ready to start college and get an apartment. I am a clean slate: no checking, no savings, no debt, no experience. I am not messing this up.

    First, I have 10k saved up in an account under my grandma's name. The college I am going to gave me 19k in scholarships, (plus I'll earn more through the school), 3k in really low loans, 3k in work study. The cost of attendance (tuition and books) is about 6,500. I don't see any of the extra money until school starts. That's where the 10k comes in... I will buy my needed supplies and a down on an apartment out of that.

    Then once the reimbursement check comes, pay it right back off and invest it all. I want to place 5k in long-term savings, and 5k in short-term savings (saving for my eventual move to France...). Is this a wise idea? Where do I invest it? Is this money taxable for the college? What is an IRA account and is it a good idea for me to place money in it?

    Next, I will pay off a 10 month lease for my apartment. That takes away a fair chunk of money, but I'm estimating I'll have about 4k left, plus whatever my job brings in. So, how do I divide up this money? I want to invest invest invest, and I'm willing to be really frugal to do so.

    Do I sound crazy/inexperienced/too hasty?
    Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
    12:44 pm
    [haptotrope]
    So, what have you done to your retirement account?
    So, The economy pulled out the rug from under our retirement accounts.

    I pulled all my investments and tossed mine into a Money Markety-Mutual Fund (TIAA-CREF) thing for now -- I guess I was sick of seeing money leave my account, and that seemed "safest" -- I mean If I could have pulled it without penalty and put it under my mattress I would have (and I've got 20 years before I can do so). But I'm having some second thoughts, and I'm wondering how you've chosen to steel your reserves against the recession?

    (I'm also trying to see if there is a way to make this a more active community, since these issues are going to be highly relevant in the upcoming economic armageddon times.)
    Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
    7:30 pm
    [haptotrope]
    "Balance Chasing"
    So I learned about a new thing today. Its called "Balance Chasing."

    So I, and likely you, may have gotten a letter in the mail from your credit card company (mine is HSBC) reining in my potential spending. I don't have much debt, so I wasn't terribly concerned, until I logged in and looked at my account and they had lowered my balance to right around what they next APR and fiance charges will cost me. Which, will, in my next cycle put me right over the edge, and into "overlimit territory" -- if it doesn't look 'too close for comfort' now. And adding overlimit fees on top of the absurd interest rates-- This sucker is getting paid off as soon as the balance transfer goes through and usage frozen.

    BUT it would seem as if there is a more nefarious plot at work -- this tom foolery can affect your credit score. And if you're like me, you maybe made some bad choices, or ignorant choices, and now you get to try and spend a good chunk of your fiscal energy trying to be a good doobie and working on your FICO score.

    And this is what I found when I looked it up to see what the bejeebus is going on.

    From Consumerist.com blog comment on an AMEX article.
    ohiomensch -- 12:27 PM on Wed Oct 8 2008
    AMEX practices "Balance Chasing", if they think you are any kind of risk, they will lower your limit to about $100 over whatever your balance is, and then all your other credit cards will up their interest rates based on your credit usage ratio.
    So suddenly that $10000 limit you had gets reduced to 2000, and if your balance is 1900 it looks like you are maxed out, and other cards respond by charging you more. Nice going Amex.


    So here are more links for your information:
  • Credit Matters Blog- Chasing Balance- What It Is And Why it Sucks

  • Wall Street Journal Blog- Are Shrinking Credit Limits Silently Hurting Your Credit Score?

  • Yahoo Finance- How to Blow Your Credit Limit Without Spending

  • Ways to Respond to a Credit Limit Cut

    I'm cool with credit Card Companies tightening their belts, since we're in a huge economic scandal that they were hugely a part of -- but I wonder how much of all this is once again "how the little guys are made to pay for the bigger guys' mistakes" and how much of the broad sweeping data useage will betray the consumer in the end.

    Anyway! Keep an eye on the mailbox and another in your online credit card statement!
  • Tuesday, October 7th, 2008
    9:42 pm
    [brigittefires]
    Personal Finance Software--Quicken, specifically
    I've been using Quicken 2005 for the last 6 months to track my finances. It's been great. The program, however, has quite a few, shall we say, "quirks" that are mildly annoying to downright frustrating.

    I've been told that of the Quicken programs, 2005 is the least intuitive and least logical version of all of them. Great! So if I upgrade it will solve most of my problems, right? (I'm under no dilusion that all my problems will be solved because I am not an accountant and I'm still learning how all this personal finance stuff works so some of my "issues" could be me, but the few people I've talked to about them have said that's a program issue, not me being dumb. Plus the upgraded versions may not actually change all those problems.)

    Specifically, my grandmother who used to do payroll and accounting for a school district for 30+ years (and retired a very long time ago, like 10+ years?--so not a lot of computer work there), now wants to start tracking her finances on her computer. Except she's not very computer-savvy, so it also needs to be a program I am familiar with and can help her with, and that is intuitive and logical to both an amateur/layperson (me) and someone who knows the ins and outs of business and personal accounting (her).

    Well now we get to what I want to ask. Does anyone have experience with Quicken 2007 for Mac? Bonus if you have experience with Quicken 2005, and can tell me any specific differences. Any specific quirks you've noticed in the 2007 that may make the program difficult to use? Any tips you'd like to suggest about upgrading?

    I was planning on going into the Apple store because then at least I can sort of look over the interface since I know they have Quicken 2007 on some of their tester computers. But some of the quirks I've found I'm only just now noticing, or just not understanding what I want to do and how the interface is keeping me from doing it. After 6 months. So I'm afraid that testing it for a few minutes without my own data to understand will mean I might miss something that could be a deal-breaker of the program that might make me want to switch to something else.



    Caveat: I've used or at least checked out most of the programs that have been suggested here that were free or really cheap, and I haven't been too impressed with them. Plus my grandma has some more complicated finances to track with her 401k and such that many of them don't even address. She's paying for it, so I get a free upgrade personally, and I'd rather her pay $34 for this once than try a few different program and get annoyed and frustrated and possibly lose money by not tracking her finances better. If you have any useful suggestions for personal finance programs, great, but please no bashing me for using Quicken since it's OMG so (not very) expensive. As it is, the 2005 version I got for free.
    Monday, September 22nd, 2008
    2:39 pm
    [black_berry623]
    Interview Request: Holiday Budgeting for College Students
    Me: A writer based in Chicago, looking for students (undergrad or graduate) who can discuss their budgeting, or lack thereof, for the holidays. I’m particularly interested in hearing from students who juggle multiple financial responsibilities - student loans, jobs. Do you have creative ideas on saving money on travel, gift giving, New Year’s Eve expenses? How do you make yourself stick to a budget? For details, comment in the reply section with your contact info (feel free to delete it afterwards after it's gone to my inbox).

    Participation requires a short phone interview, 10-15 minutes max.
    Tuesday, May 13th, 2008
    2:36 pm
    [carmelncal]
    Review Every Single Girl's Guide to Her Future Husband's Last Divorce
    Hey Bloggers,

    I am working right now on promoting a book, Every Single Girl’s Guide to Her Future Husband’s Last Divorce. This book provides a nuanced outlook on learning more about assessing your future husband’s divorce and what that means for you as you are embarking on a new journey with him. This is very useful information about custody, alimony, child support, personal finance and step parent issues. This is your guide to ensuring the success of your new marriage!
    If you are interested in reviewing this book, please email me at chelseasterling@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.
    Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
    5:34 pm
    [hollowpointslug]
    I would like to add some friends who are interested in investing and investments. I have an IRA and brokerage and do some CDs. I'm pretty hyped on UUPIX right now but am diversified. Anyhow, if anyone is into trading, etc, feel free to add me and leavee a comment.
    Thanks,
    Mark
    Thursday, February 14th, 2008
    6:43 am
    [pegkerr]
    Free Downloadable Suze Orman e-book
    From getrichslowly: Want a free book from financial guru Suze Orman? Until 8pm Eastern on the evening of February 14th, the Oprah Winfrey site is giving away a free PDF version of Orman’s latest book, Women & Money. To find the download, scroll to the bottom of this page. The book is available in both English and Spanish editions. (For those not familiar with her work, Orman is a financial writer who advises people on how to handle their money wisely).
    Thursday, July 12th, 2007
    3:17 am
    [segunyo]
    Financial Management Software
    I am trying to find some software to help me manage my finances.

    I have a Mac, so Microsoft Money isn't an option. Quicken seemed like the best idea and my uncle, who is a financial planner, recommended it, but I read the reviews on the Apple Web site and it freaks me out a bit to spend $70 on something that so many people do not find user-friendly.  Because if it isn't easy to use, intuitive, and doesn't have enough user support, I don't know that it will get used and I will have wasted money and not have gotten any closer to managing my finances.

    I'm interested in something that does sync up to online accounts. Does anybody know of any or use any particular programs, on a Mac, that you find easy to use, helpful for budgeting and also sync to your accounts? Or are you a huge fan of Qucken and can reassure me?

    I am not interested in using Excel, tried that and I get too distracted playing with it and also prefer something that will bring up reports and show me patterns etc without requiring intensive training and programming in the program itself.

    Thanks so much for any input!
    Tuesday, June 19th, 2007
    1:39 pm
    [echoardi]
    Who knows anything about this?

    http://www.prosper.com/

    If you do, please tell?

    Current Mood: curious
    Saturday, June 16th, 2007
    7:13 am
    [pegkerr]
    New feed that may be of interest
    I have just set up an RSS feed for the blog of Chris Farrell, the host of American Public Radio's program "Marketplace Money." (This show has a podcast, by the way, to which you can subscribe on iTunes, here.) The by-line on the blog is "Helping you manage your money well." Friend mrktplacemoney to read it on your friends page.
    Thursday, April 19th, 2007
    3:58 pm
    [dolliedestroyed]
    I'm in my second year of college, and the most intimidating part of beginning college for me, was funding college. I don't have the type of parents who can afford to help me out with college, but they still made too much money for FAFSA to completely cover my financial needs. I didn't want to stay at home during college, either.

    A friend of mine referred me to a great company. I know this sounds like spam, but it's not. You can reply, and I will reply back. And I will talk about other things as well.

    If you're in need of a student loan, or need to refinance your student loan, I highly recommend http://www.studentfinanceloans.info. The people there are very friendly and they help to make college a little less stressful.

    On to another subject, I can't wait for summer!

    Current Mood: tired
    Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
    9:34 pm
    [echoardi]
    ING Electric Orange?
    Anyone have opinions on ING's new checking account- electric orange?

    x-posted to poor_skills

    Current Mood: curious
    Monday, October 30th, 2006
    1:38 pm
    [vap0ur_trail]
    hey all,

    I had a good FICO score of about 720 when I financed my new car 3 years ago. Through my credit union I got a decent interest rate of 6.4.

    As luck would have it, I was rear-ended last Friday and found out my car is a total loss. My credit score has plummetted to around 550-600. I'm afraid I'll be turned away when attempting to finance whatever car I end up getting.

    Once my insurance pays off my car, will my FICO score go up since my debt-to-earning ration will have improved? If so, how long will that take to show up on my credit report?
    Friday, October 27th, 2006
    4:02 pm
    [biteduringclass]
    Help Me For I'm Careless With My Money
    I am in such a rut with my finances right now.

    I have 2 credit cards: One with a balance of 381.28, the other 589.03.

    My checking account has been ridiculously overdrawn{protected by overdraft protection = thank you credit union}.

    My monthly bills are:

    $150.00+/- for electricity
    $213.00 for rent
    $100.00 for other expenses
    $100.00+/- for credit card bills
    $169.00 for car payment
    $30.00 RIRA
    $80.00 for gas

    I make roughly $1000/mo before taxes and also about 200+/- with babysitting/bartending.

    Somehow....I am still in a financial rut.

    Any suggestions?

    ~mon~

    PS: I am 23, full time job, live on my own w/roomies.

    Current Mood: concerned
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