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Uncle Buck

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  1. I love that one...I gotta stick that on the 'fridge. Great information, Radi8, and well presented. I like the way you break down necessary vs. quasi-necessary vs. unnecessary spending. DW and I have used a written monthly budget for over two years and I don't know how I ever did without it. Rather than being restrictive, I find a budget actually comforting. When a bill is due, I now just pay it, without having to feel a little nervous about whether or not we have the money. I know we do. It's been planned in advance. I'd like to add to this discussion that I use an Excel spreadsheet for the budget, and track the bank accounts in Quicken. When you track in Quicken or other personal financial software, and assign a category to every entry, you can quickly run reports at any time that tell you exactly where your spending is. No cheating. Black and white. No money is spent without being recorded. Even if I take $20 from the ATM to pay for a haircut, I enter that $20 ATM receipt in Quicken as "Personal:Hair Care". We use cash envelopes for some expenses like eating out and pocket money; I just cash a check at the beginning of the month and record the amounts to the appropriate category in Quicken. I know that using software isn't for everyone...that's cool. But I recommend it for those who want to keep a handle on where the money is going. And it makes reconciling your checking account (you ARE doing that, right? ) a snap.
  2. I have a Chase Platinum MC that is currently at 30% utilization. It is my only remaining CC with a balance. I will be paying it off by the middle of June. The account is in good standing and has been for almost two full years (minimum payments made 2-3 weeks in advance of the due date). There was a time in the past that payments were behind (never more than 30 days) and the account was jacked to 29.99%. That is still the purchases APR, although this current balance is a 3.99% BT. Obviously, Chase doesn't know I'm preparing to pay this account to zero. I want to press them for a rate reduction on that purchases APR. When is the best time to request this reduction, (1) now or (2) when it is paid off (or is one as good as the other)?
  3. You're welcome. If you get a chance, you might post here: what they told you, what they promised, and whether you got what you wanted. Search on your name "UncleBuck" so you can hang the answer on this thread. Frankly, this whole situation (Sears, not you) is getting a little old. Over half a year since they said they would fix it soon. I have no gripe, my Sears utilization is up right now, so out-of-date actually helps me. But other customers (like you) are getting hurt. ER edited to add, thanks to surfer8210 for the update! I spoke to Sears CS today. The CSR was very polite and agreed to update both cards to all three CRAs. I'll report back to this thread in about 45 days when I check my reports again to see if they actually did. Thanks again for the advice. I just wanted to report back that Sears did indeed accurately update both of these tradelines to the CRA as they promised in late Feb.
  4. You're welcome. If you get a chance, you might post here: what they told you, what they promised, and whether you got what you wanted. Search on your name "UncleBuck" so you can hang the answer on this thread. Frankly, this whole situation (Sears, not you) is getting a little old. Over half a year since they said they would fix it soon. I have no gripe, my Sears utilization is up right now, so out-of-date actually helps me. But other customers (like you) are getting hurt. ER edited to add, thanks to surfer8210 for the update! I spoke to Sears CS today. The CSR was very polite and agreed to update both cards to all three CRAs. I'll report back to this thread in about 45 days when I check my reports again to see if they actually did. Thanks again for the advice.
  5. Thanks for the information and the links! I'll contact Sears with a little honey instead of vinegar.
  6. I have searched for this topic and reviewed the FCBA, so my apologies if I'm covering ground that's been covered before. I have two accounts with Sears, a Premier store card (CL $6,220) and the Gold MasterCard (CL $16,500). The balances on my CRs have not been updated by Sears/Citi since May 2006. The accounts are paid, yet I've discovered still report at $3,600 and $13,500. As you can imagine, this is seriously messing with my utilization. My question: can this be resolved with a phone call to customer service, or should I send a letter (and should it reference any laws?)?
  7. We had a JCPenny card that went inactive from 2000 to 2006. DW thought the account had been closed until I discovered it on our credit record. I contacted JCP, got a couple replacement cards, and I've used it twice in recent months. The CL is a paltry $800. I don't know what it was six years ago; I suspect it has been CLD'd over those years. I keep it open now because it's from 1986 with a clean history and I've learned here not to close a very old account.
  8. Great idea. I discovered a similar container a while back. I may be the only person here that reloads ammunition, but I discovered that the snap-close plastic box for Hornady 38 caliber 125-grain jacketed hollowpoint bullets (100 count) holds my sockdrawer cards perfectly...and of course I store them in the gun safe. I have yet to decide which is more dangerous in there...the guns or the credit cards.
  9. he he thats ture That may be, but only about once a month like most snakes.
  10. Exactly. The core of his teaching is to live on less than you make, which is certainly a good idea. The opposite of that is to buy goods and services that you really cannot afford and then find yourself deeply in debt. I don't think anyone at CB advocates the latter. But...living on less than you make requires good planning and tons of DISCIPLINE. If you have, or have developed (i.e. turned away from the destructiveness of living on more than you make), this high level of discipline, it is then illogical of DR to propose that you don't have the discipline to properly and with discipline handle a CC. I say read, learn, discuss, meditate, and then use your own brain to make your own good decisions. This is called maturity and responsibility. There are some good nuggets in his teachings, Suzy's teachings, and the teachings of a lot of so-called "experts". Most of those good nuggets have been around for a long time; they've just been re-packaged by DR and Suzy and the like. And not to defend DR, but although he does like the "100% down plan" on a house, he does not advise against using a fixed-rate mortgage to buy a home. He just suggests having an emergency fund established (so Murphy won't move in your new spare bedroom), a good downpayment, and to use a short term of 15 years or less. I don't think that's rotten advice. But I do think that having a good credit record and score established (if that has not cost you a lot of wasted interest payments just for the sake of obtaining said score) eases that process (of obtaining a mortgage) and positions you for getting the best mortgage rates and terms. In all things financial, the key word is DISCIPLINE.
  11. http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/debt/20060620a1.asp Apologies if this link has already been posted; I didn't see it on the first three pages of topics.

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