Archive for April 2013

And Baby Sangl #3 is a …

GIRL!

Over the past several weeks, lots of people shared their “vote” on what they thought our new addition was going to be.

The results of the vote were:

  • 59% said GIRL
  • 41% said BOY

2 to 1 said “GIRL,” and you were right!

Ribbons and curls. My Little Pony. Bows. Little sundresses.

A baby sister for her big sister.

My heart is full.

And my bank account is trembling.

Can’t wait to meet this beautiful blessing!

How 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers Work – And Save THOUSANDS of Dollars!

NOTE: I wrote this post to help people who are paying high interest on their credit cards. I maintain a running list of 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card offers HERE.

Here’s a fact: Many people possess credit card debt they are unable to pay off each and every month.

They want to pay it off each month, but they are unable to. As a result, they feel stuck. The interest rate being applied to their credit card balance is one of the primary reasons they feel that way.

0% balance transfer credit card offers provide a way to eliminate a credit card debt very quickly and can provide HUGE savings over keeping a balance on a high interest card.

Here’s an example:

  • Credit Card Balance: $16,000
  • Interest Rate: 21.99%
  • Minimum Payment: 1% of balance plus interest charges (or $10 – whichever is greater)

If this person were to keep the balance on this card, they would pay $44,895.36 and take 36 years 4 months to eliminate!

By transferring the balance to a 0% transfer offer and making the same payment, they would pay $17,039.51 TOTAL (only $1,039.51 in interest and fees) – and they would be free of credit card debt in 49 months!

Rolling a high interest credit card balance to a 0% balance transfer credit card offer SAVED $27,855.86 and become debt free 387 months (32 years and 3 months) sooner!

Here’s the process of how this type of offer works:

  1. THE OFFER  An offer and application for a zero percent balance transfer credit card is completed online or through a mail-in offer.  During the application process, the applicant is asked if they wish to transfer a balance.When this option is selected, the application process includes the opportunity to provide information regarding existing loan balances that they wish to be transferred.  This requested information is detailed including – current provider, account numbers, and loan balance.It is important to understand that the application process requires the applicant to provide their social security number and that a credit check will be performed.Once the application is submitted, a decision is typically rendered within a time range of a few minutes to a few days.
  2. THE EVALUATION  Once the application has been submitted, the credit card provider evaluates the information provided to determine credit-worthiness.  This evaluation is completed based upon several factors that vary between lenders.  It always involves a check of one’s credit score and the loan amount requested.This evaluation also ensures that the person listed on the application is really the person requesting credit.  This is an extremely important step to prevent identity theft and fraud and should make the applicant feel much more comfortable with this process.
  3. THE DECISION  Once this evaluation is complete, a decision is rendered.  The lender’s decision will be one of three alternatives:
    1. ACCEPTED:  ALL of the balances to be transferred to zero percent
    2. ACCEPTED:  SOME of the balances to be transferred to zero percent
    3. DENIED:  NONE of the balances will be transferred

    If ALL of the balance transfer requests are accepted, the new credit card provider will send money directly to each of the lenders.  Within a few short days, the balances due each previous lender will be lowered by the requested amount and that new balance will transfer to the new card provider.

    If SOME of the balance transfer requests are accepted, the new credit card provider will send money directly to some of the lenders.  IT SHOULD BE NOTED that it varies between lenders on which balances will be accepted.  On one of Discover’s applications, it stated the following in their terms and conditions:

    “We process multiple balance transfers in the order they are requested on the application. Your credit line may be less than the amount of balance transfers you request. In addition, balance transfers may be limited to a portion of your credit line. If a balance transfer will exceed the credit available for a balance transfer, you authorize us to process any balance transfer for less than the amount requested, up to the amount of your credit available for balance transfers.” – SOURCE: Discover’s website

    If NONE of the balance transfer requests are accepted, then it means that requested balance transfers will not occur and the current lenders will remain the owners of each debt.

That’s how this type of offer works – hopefully it can help you save tons of money!

Disclosure

SERIES: How To Win With Money – Part 9

Welcome to another series here on the wildly popular I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. website. We’re passionate about helping YOU win with your money. In this series, we are going to be talking about a practical, step-by-step plan that you can use to take your finances to the stratosphere!

How To Win With Money

9.  Live a great life!

When you have accomplished Levels 1 through 8, you have positioned yourself to fund all of the amazing dreams and plans you have for your life. It allows you to be generous, provide in an amazing way for your family, and fund dreams you hardly dared to give breath.

Utilize your wealth to bless the poor and serve the less fortunate. Recognize that life is fleeting and that a life lived serving others and in the service of others is amazing. Ensure that you teach your children to apply the levels so that an inheritance will bless them instead of ruin them. Take no pride in your financial status as it will only amplify who you are anyway.

Have a blast with life! Life is amazing. And awesome. And wonderful. It is worth being FIRED UP over! And it is way too short to live it financially broken.

Read the entire series (available after 4/20/2013)

SERIES: How To Win With Money – Part 8

Welcome to another series here on the wildly popular I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. website. We’re passionate about helping YOU win with your money. In this series, we are going to be talking about a practical, step-by-step plan that you can use to take your finances to the stratosphere!

How To Win With Money

8.  Place at least 30% of your gross income into tax-advantaged investments.

Now that you’ve eliminated all of your debt – including your house and business debt, you have nearly reached the top of the ladder of winning with your money. At this level, you are now positioning yourself to prosper like few others choose to do. You have become an elite manager of money. Everyone can do this, but not too many are willing to make the few (but tough) decisions necessary to do so! In general, it takes between seven and ten years to move from Level 1 to Level 8.

Invest money into tax-advantaged holdings. It is important to pursue diversification to protect the investments to protect against a massive loss. Many people have achieved Level 8, but became so enamored with a particular investment (such as Enron) that they disregarded the importance of diversification and fell from Level 8 back to Level 1! After all, this is not about greed and hoarding. It is all about funding goals – your plans, hopes, and dreams.

Consider a 40 year old couple earning a combined income of $50,000 per year who has arrived at Level 8. They are now able to invest at least $15,000 per year. Suppose they already had $60,000 saved up because of their efforts in Levels 3 and 6. If they invest $15,000 per year from age 40 to age 66 and gain 12% annual growth, they will have $4,000,156 at retirement. That is with zero pay raises for 26 straight years.

Level 8 positions you for the final level on the “How To Win With Money” Ladder. It’s the best one of all.

Read the entire series (available after 4/20/2013)

SERIES: How To Win With Money – Part 7

Welcome to another series here on the wildly popular I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. website. We’re passionate about helping YOU win with your money. In this series, we are going to be talking about a practical, step-by-step plan that you can use to take your finances to the stratosphere!

How To Win With Money

7.  Pay off house (and business debt)

This is a level that marks a “major milestone” for most people. It is the goal of most people to retire with zero debt including their home. It provides a sense of security and accomplishment like little else will.

Utilize extra income and “found money” to eliminate the mortgage. There are several simple steps you can employ that can have a major impact on the velocity of your pay-off.

  1. Make a half-payment every two weeks Because there are 52 weeks in a year, this will result in 13 full payments each year. This can eliminate around 5 to 7 years on the average mortgage.
  2. Each year, use tax refund to make one extra payment toward principal This will accomplish very close to the same as option #1
  3. Pay extra money toward principal each month  Use our early pay-off calculator to help you figure out how many months you can shave off your mortgage!

When you eliminate your final debts, your monthly cost of living has usually been reduced by 50% or more. This accomplishes two things:

  1. It provides more financial security
  2. It makes your investments last twice as long because you now require only half of your previous need.

By the way, I paid off my house by age 38, and I promise you this is an incredible feeling.

You can do this!

Read the entire series (available after 4/20/2013)