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Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NeverGuessed] #329562
01/05/14 03:11 AM
01/05/14 03:11 AM
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Lil Offline

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When DH and I first married we were so poor, we seriously contemplated bankrupcy. We applied and got food grants on more than one occasion. Clothing grants as well.

Ways we saved (and still do sort of) we were gifted a huge chest freezer, so we bought entire animals. A whole sheep might cost $100 for the animal plus butchery cost, but it lasted 3 months and saved about $300. Ive always have some sort of vegetable garden. I look at the dinted and past by dates on tinned food specials. Almost all of our clothing comes from 2nd hand or consignments store, although in the last 12 months Ive been buying more on trademe (like e-bay)

We own our house freehold and plan on retireing in it so any money we spend on renovations, is going to benefit us long term. This does mean some of our considerations is - will this be a problem when we are elderly? Will we struggle to upkeep this on a pension?

I am the sale queen. My older daughter says my favourite word is 'free' followed by 'sale'. We have an ongoing list of items we want to purchase, and we wait for sales to come before buying them. For example our TV blew up 2 weeks before Christmas. I waited until the boxing day sale at the local warehouse and bought a large flat screen for less than the cost or a full price, much smaller one two weeks previously. It took me 5 years to find and approve of a coffee table! It used to drive DH nuts, but now he sees that we both work part time, and have a much nicer lifestyle than many of our peers who are working full time.

I never pay for handymen/gardeners and its only been the last couple of years we've taken the cars to the mechanic. That has more to do with the cars exceeding DHs skill than having more money. Even my car was a budget purchase. In the begining of 2009 I went around all the yeards looking specifically for a Mazda 6, silver, manual, and I was willing to wait until I found it. I found a 2007 model that was everything on my list and even better the car guy wanted it GONE. He had bought it off a couple who had bought it brand new and then seperated a few months later. This car had 7k on the clock, and was still under warrentee! It had sat on his yard for over a year and he was sick of it. He traded our Terracan in plus 3k. I still have that car, and it rolled over to 100k 3 months ago.

Im fortunate in that we are a healthy family and rarely go to the doctors or dentist. Shoot I hardly even go to the hairdressers because DH likes me with long hair.

I could go on, but in summery, apart from our recent dietry changes, we spend as little as possible and save as much as we can since 2/3 of our income is seasonal.


AKA Lildoggie

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Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NeverGuessed] #329584
01/05/14 07:11 AM
01/05/14 07:11 AM
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Ace Offline OP
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Shoot! I shouldn't have delayed my answers, NG. Lil's post is a hard act to follow but here goes:


1) Do you pay for lawn care?
Used to but not any more.

Snow plowing?
Never have.

2) We talked about car expenses. 'Nuff said!
We paid cash for both our then-barely-used vehicles and also pay to have them maintained but we drive them for decades.

3) Are you and/or Mr Ace manually facile?
No, Mr. Ace does well at yardwork/lawn care but not so much with tools or equipment. I'm pretty creative and loved the ability to take woodshop my Sr. year of HS (before then girls could only take Home Ec....I know, I'm really dating myself, eh?) If anyone's the fixit person, it's me---but I have my limitations.

4) Do you know that buying whole tenderloins of beef, cutting and freezing the fillets, yields better meals cheaper than fast-food hamburgers?
We don't eat much red meat but I buy and roast turkeys all year long. I roasted a turkey last week and pulled it apart and separately froze the remaining breast section and 2 hindquarters. Tonight I made turkey noodle and veggie soup in a huge pot and froze it in ziploc bags set into large bowls which then fit into a sauce pan for reheating. There was enough for 4 nights dinners in the coming weeks.

5) Dining out? There is a website that offers $25 certificates usually for $10, for restaurants, organized by zip-code. Periodically, they run promotions selling those certificates for $4.00.
I've never heard of this web site so I wonder if it's a regional thing. What's the name of it? We don't go out to dinner much but when we do, it's usually because we have been given a gift card or certificate.

I agree with you, NG that it IS a choice. The more educated one becomes, the better choices will be made. That's why I'm hoping we can pool all our experiences, tips and suggestions (good or bad) to learn what work$ better for individual couples and families.

Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #329602
01/05/14 05:04 PM
01/05/14 05:04 PM
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NeverGuessed Offline
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I've never heard of this web site...What's the name of it?

www.restaurant.com

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NeverGuessed] #331767
01/18/14 04:58 PM
01/18/14 04:58 PM
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Ace Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
I've never heard of this web site...What's the name of it?

www.restaurant.com




Thanks for the link, NG. Out of the blue, my H asked me to go out to dinner with him, alone, tonight. He let me choose where we go so I'm checking out that web site now.

Also, for anyone interested in saving and planning for retirement, I found an article about a guy and his wife who retired at 30 to become stay-at-home-parents (and enjoy other pleasures in life) so I started the thread on Retirement ideas on the Construction Zone forum. Hopefully we can turn it into an article for MA. At least it could be an informative thread we can move to the <<<MAgnify Marriage>>> forum.

I'd appreciate your input on the Retirement & Marriage thread, too. Anyone who posted retirement-related info on this thread is welcome to re-post it.

Thanks,
Ace

Last edited by Ace; 01/18/14 04:59 PM. Reason: add link

We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #331853
01/19/14 07:48 PM
01/19/14 07:48 PM
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Ace Offline OP
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Here's a tip to save money and headaches (and possibly time-wasting complications).

Instead of putting your own credit card numbers, passwords and codes online, buy MC or Visa gift cards which work just like personal credit cards. They have built in limits which cuts down on fraudulent charges.

I posted on a new Rant thread that I am paranoid, suspicious and I worry too much.

For years I have never used personal credit cards online. If I want to buy something advertised that requires a credit card, I use the phone option and always get the name and city/country of the phone rep and I also write down the confirmation or transaction number along with the price, tax, shipping costs, etc.

This morning, I used a new visa gift card to buy something but when the confirmation was emailed, I discovered that I purchased 5 items instead of 1. Because of the gift card limitation, the transaction was declined and the sale was off. Had it been on my personal credit card, I would have had to go through a hassle to have the transaction changed or nullified, or worse, I might not have even noticed.

I'll use the phone option to order the product - only one - tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm posting this tip for others who may want to save themselves time, hassle or money using personal credit cards online.

If you have to use your personal card for purchases online or by phone, here are a couple tips that may seem like common sense but may still be helpful if a crisis diminishes such sense:

* When you use your credit cards online, be sure to print a copy of the receipt and file it along with all the relative information somewhere that you can later compare it to your statement.

* Have the actual card on hand when you make a phone purchase so you have the customer service number handy in case you need to cancel the card quickly.

* Keep track of all purchases in a file or notebook. When your product arrives, put the paperwork with your purchasing info in case you want to take advantage of a money-back guarantee. (Most companies are counting on customers losing documentation, decreasing or negating the guarantee risks.)

* When your statement comes, compare your purchases, dates and amounts. They usually include an 800 number on the statement to call in case of a discrepancy.

Like I said, I'm paranoid, suspicious and I worry too much. But if these tips help someone, it's worth the few minutes to share it.

Ace

ETA: The new Visa/MC gift cards have additional security features, requiring that they be registered on a web site before being used, especially online. Allow extra time to register gift cards before needing them.

Last edited by Ace; 01/19/14 08:32 PM.

We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #333586
02/01/14 01:39 PM
02/01/14 01:39 PM
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NeverGuessed Offline
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Well, for the cost-conscious who don't mind airline food....

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/man-eats-for-free-at-airport-145153681.html

Quote:
In the grand tradition of the mad genius who bought mountains of Healthy Choice pudding so he could rack up millions of frequent flier miles on the cheap comes the story of a Chinese man who took advantage of a loophole to eat for free in an airport VIP lounge for nearly a year.

The story was originally covered in the Chinese-language newspaper Kwong Wah Yit Poh in Malaysia, according to the New York Post. The man, who isn't named in the piece, purchased a refundable first-class ticket aboard China Eastern Airlines that came with a complimentary meal at the airline's VIP lounge.

That was almost a year ago. Every day since the purchase (after eating his meal), the man would then rebook his ticket (for free) for a flight on the following day. Then he'd return to the airport, eat, change his flight and go home.

He did this three-hundred times. When it was discovered, he simply turned in the ticket for a full refund!

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NeverGuessed] #346173
05/01/14 06:43 PM
05/01/14 06:43 PM
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Marta Offline
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We kind of neglected giving generously on this thread. I recently read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/More-Less-Lifestyle-Excessive-Generosity/dp/0781408202

It was very interesting about how we all have so much more than what we need. This book challenges you in many ways. For example how long could you go without ever wearing an item of clothing twice?? You might be surprised. One girl did it for over a year. Now sometimes she had to wear a tshirt in winter or sweater in the summer. I think she did end up wearing a different top for over a year. Same thing with food. He shows really creative ways for helping other people.

I got this book free through David E Cook books. They give away a book or two every week if you subscribe to the newsletter. It is a Christian book place if that matters to you:
http://www.dccebooks.com/

The free book a couple of weeks ago is a fun couples devotional based on the Song of Solomon..

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Marta] #346182
05/01/14 08:27 PM
05/01/14 08:27 PM
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Marta, that's so true, I go through my stuff every year for the youth rummage sale, and am amazed at the abundance we have! I stop buying much for a month or two, and then forget again! It amazes me how much debate is about all kinds of things when there are folks doing without basic things and meanwhile we have so much stockpiled.

How about we talk about what we're giving? I've been giving of my time, sponsoring 3 women in Al-anon.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Marta] #346290
05/03/14 06:08 AM
05/03/14 06:08 AM
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Ace Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Ace
I've often heard it said that "one of the best ways to help the poor is not be one of them." During times when our family was living hand to mouth and paycheck to paycheck, we were unable to give to others as much as we wanted. Gradually things changed as we made better choices and we became able to share our resources with others in our community and around the world.



Originally Posted By: Marta
We kind of neglected giving generously on this thread.


You're right, Marta. The opening paragraph mentioned giving and being a blessing to others but not in the realm of doing so "generously." Good point.

I'm fortunate in that my work involves many opportunities to contribute to enhancing personal lives every day. I'm able to give time, talents and sometimes a listening ear, which often may be more valuable than giving money.


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #374908
01/29/15 06:56 PM
01/29/15 06:56 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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I'm going to have to re-read this again. I got in over my head this summer with family vacations I planned but couldn't afford, and just now finished paying it off. Never Again!

I found this link, I liked the advice there! Save up before you buy!

http://funcheaporfree.com/2012/10/the-7-bank-accounts-every-family-should/


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NewEveryDay] #423853
06/01/17 03:40 AM
06/01/17 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
I'm going to have to re-read this again. I got in over my head this summer with family vacations I planned but couldn't afford, and just now finished paying it off. Never Again!

I found this link, I liked the advice there! Save up before you buy!

http://funcheaporfree.com/2012/10/the-7-bank-accounts-every-family-should/


Hi NED,

It's been two and a half years since you posted this and much has happened in your life and in ours. How are you doing in your desire to "save before you buy" and "stay within your budget?" Do you have more helpful links you can share?

Does anyone else have thoughts to help with this topic: "How to make/keep/give away money?" Financial Literacy education in our schools is still one of my passions and I apologize for not developing this thread into an article. All help is welcome.

Thanks,
Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #423950
06/02/17 01:49 AM
06/02/17 01:49 AM
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Mark1952 Offline
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Well, since Acey bumped this and because I have an opinion about it, I'll put in my two cents.

Several years ago, we took the Dave Ramsey course Financial Peace University. During the nine weeks of the class we eliminated two credit cards entirely. We also stopped using all but one, which was tied to a home equity line of credit.

Since then, we put a son through college, not without debt, but trying to keep it to a minimum. We have three vehicles, all paid for, none in perfect shape, all running and useable.

In 2011, the company I worked for began imploding due to changes in the economy and a business model unable to adapt to the changing world of online buying. The cell phone part of the business pretty much stopped and I kept the radio communications portion operating from my spare bedroom at home through early 2013 to help my customers transition to the new FCC rules that finally went into effect in January of that year.

For a couple of years, we depleted savings, I worked odd jobs, did some contract work and got paid a minimal salary for working at a barn where I spent more hours per day than the person who operated the barn. My wife was working, so I had insurance for my continuing health issues and then in the middle of 2014, the company she worked for also imploded. They simply could no longer afford to pay people to do the work while the owners sat around not doing it and getting paid for it.

With the loss of her job, I lost my insurance coverage and the first round of lab tests cost me over 1300 bucks. I negotiated with the University of Illinois Hospital and ended up paying one dollar and seventy five cents more per visit to the dermatology department as a self paying customer than I had paid for my co-pay under the insurance plan. Not sure how much the insurance was paying, but my price went up to $41.75.

My wife got a new job, which she hated but it paid for her insurance. We simply had not enough income to buy insurance through the exchange and were told we did not qualify for enough of a subsidy to make up for the cost of insurance and still pay for the co-pays and deductible of 5K on the cheapest plan that had almost no network anywhere within 50 miles. One med cost me $327 per month without insurance and $247 with it if I paid 572 per month for the plan that covered it. I committed to getting off the meds entirely and worked toward doing that ASAP.

Then in June of 2015, an EF3 tornado went through the property where we had our vacation place. We had some damage, lost one tree, lots of debris to clean up. The guy due west of me, across the street, lost everything. The guy one door east lost everything. The guy one door north lost half of his property and almost all the trees. 4 doors south you couldn't tell what had been there and the section near Pine Lake lost 15 acres of pine trees over 100 years old. The association lost over 15 thousand trees.

I spent the rest of the summer of 2015 assisting cleanup for those worse off than us. I also decided to apply for SS retirement benefits and declare myself retired. On Labor Day weekend in 2015, we sold the vacation property because we simply could no longer pay to keep it, keep it up and get there often enough to use it. Nobody in the family seemed interested enough that I should keep it for them, so we let it go after over 40 years in the family.

We used the money from the sale to catch up on repairs to the house. I put in new floors, painted, fixed stuff, did electrical updates, refinished the kitchen cabinets and changed the trim throughout the house.

In early 2016, my wife had a health problem, was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, spent time in the hospital, got a defibrillator implanted, was diagnosed as diabetic, applied for disability and was denied but at least our subsidy for the exchange was enough to afford the insurance that paid the bills for the most part. My only taxable income for the year was SS retirement benefits, which ain't much. For part of the year we did get 125 per month in SNAP benefits. Ever try to eat on 125 per month?

In January 2017, she was finally approved for disability (no lawyers, just stayed after it, reapplied, appealed, called and nagged...) and she began collecting disability officially in January, though it didn't really appear until February and the retroactive part back to November of 2016 showed up in April.

The extra income meant the loss of most of the subsidy toward insurance and we now have insurance with a 7000 dollar deductible and 7300 dollars in out of pocket copays EACH and after one year of taking no meds, I am now having to buy them again. AND at the end of this month, I start on Medicare, which will cost 134 per month, will require some sort of gap coverage plan that will be around 100 and change and a drug plan that will be another 30. My wife's insurance will then go down around 150 per month because it will be only her on the policy but I won't get a subsidy any more. Yes I know that you can get a Medicare Advantage Plan for almost nothing at all beyond the 134 per month. They pay almost nothing unless you have a catastrophic illness and less if you can't find a doctor in the network. The doctors who know me and have been treating me are not in network, so...

Rule of thumb...Pay a lot for insurance up front and they pay a lot when you need to use it. Pay very little for it up front and that is what they pay when it comes time to make a claim. The POINT of insurance, for the insurance company, is to spread the cost sufficiently for them to make a profit while meeting obligations. What often get lost in todays discussions on healthcare is that somebody has to pay the actual bills. You do it or somebody else has to do it. Nothing is free, even if you didn't have to pay for it yourself. (One of my favorite commercial campaigns is about car insurance. They pay for you to get a new car if you wreck your old one. Amazing. You do have to pay extra for it to work like that, though and usually have higher deductibles and they won't always let you pick a different car and...terms and conditions of many pages.)

So, after 6 years of no actual job, hanging onto a vacation place that costs 5000 per year in added expense (taxes, dues, utilities etc) for 4 of those years, incredible medical costs for both of us at times, we decided to refinance what we still owed on the house. We called our regular bank. My credit score was 790. Our payments were cut by over a third. The one "issue" noted was that I didn't use available credit and tend to pay off loans early.

Our only current debt is our home, which is still about 50% equity in spite of having lost about 40 thousand in equity when the housing market around here simply vanished in 08 and 09.It has recovered, but not all of it yet.

For years we watched friends borrow money, use all available credit and buy new cars every couple of years. We had a lot more credit available but didn't choose to use it just in case something happened to our income. We followed Dave Ramsey's advice to "live like no one else" so that one day we could live like no one else. We aren't finishing life with a vast fortune or with two houses and a bass boat in the garage but it looks like we might be able to end up without any debt and had we borrowed every available penny when things were going well, we would have a lot less now than we have. Some neighborhoods near here are still almost 40% bank owned and prices have only recovered about 20% or so.

My advice is to pay off as much debt as possible by any means possible and avoid borrowing just because you can. Sure you can both work two jobs, have a new car, a big house, 200 dollar sneakers and 150 dollar jeans. But let me share a secret with you. The young you is going to have to take care of the old you and if you end up old and in debt, extra jobs, even one perhaps and time away from home can't keep it all going. If it isn't all paid for, 100% of it, when it is time to retire, you simply cannot retire. If you don't have enough to live on and not work, you can't not work.

While it might seem when you are 30, 40 or even 50 that you can keep working until you turn 75, life changes, health fails, things more important than the kind of car you have parked outside show themselves and one trip to the hospital in the middle of the night might turn out to cost you thousands, even with that great insurance.

The neighbors might have a newer car. They might have a bigger house. They might have fancier clothes but unless it all belongs to them with no debt at all, it could all be gone in a matter of months if the job they have worked their whole lives is suddenly gone or one of them has a heart attack or one of the kids has an accident and needs a million dollars worth of therapy just to live to adulthood.

If at all possible, live debt free. Friends who are in their early 40s just paid off their house. They have 9 kids. She is a stay at home Mom. The kids are home schooled and all test in the top 1% in almost every category. The house sits on over 5 acres and would probably sell for over a million if they wanted to sell it. They live like no one else so that one day, they can live like no one else.

You don't have to borrow money just because you can and borrowing money to buy what you cannot afford is never really a good idea. One day you will be old and the young you is who must take care of the old you.

And NEVER borrow money to pay an existing debt you cannot afford to make the payment on.


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Mark1952] #424022
06/02/17 03:23 PM
06/02/17 03:23 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Sound advice.
Now I just have to take it.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Mark1952] #424110
06/04/17 01:38 AM
06/04/17 01:38 AM
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Ace Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Well, since Acey bumped this and because I have an opinion about it, I'll put in my two cents.


Thanks for your input, Mark and for sharing about your challenges you're in the process of overcoming.

Originally Posted By: Mark1952
If at all possible, live debt free. Friends who are in their early 40s just paid off their house. They have 9 kids. She is a stay at home Mom. The kids are home schooled and all test in the top 1% in almost every category. The house sits on over 5 acres and would probably sell for over a million if they wanted to sell it. They live like no one else so that one day, they can live like no one else.


When we were first married, I wish we had the discipline to save/invest my income (and forget about it) while living off H's teaching/coaching salary. I thought about it in the beginning and even started making double mortgage payments on our first house. But then I justified spending my meager earnings when the kids were born and always seemed to need 'stuff.' Hearing about folks like your 40-year-old friends is great. Good for them.

Originally Posted By: Mark1952
And NEVER borrow money to pay an existing debt you cannot afford to make the payment on.


In my opinion, this is where our social culture and educational systems fail our children and they end up repeating the financial errors of their parents and grandparents (aka baby boomers). I believe we should begin teaching financial literacy in an age-appropriate manner beginning with 5-year-old kindergartners.


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
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