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His view on borrowing doesn't sit well with this blogger.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 2:58AM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

As much good as he does, Dave Ramsey drives me nuts with his extreme views on debt.

Ramsey, as he readily admits, did some really stupid things with debt. Leveraged to the hilt on bad real estate deals, he went bust in a way most of us could never imagine. As a real estate investor, my leverage and borrowing comes nowhere near the toxic level Ramsey went to.

Why? Because Ramsey's personality is one of extremes. Much like an alcoholic, he could not control his use of debt. He got one taste of that leverage, and he was borrowing before noon ever day.


Learn how to get a your report from this agency.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 2:24AM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

Have you ever been turned down for a checking account? While denials are more common when applying for credit, you can also be declined when applying for a bank account.

If you have been declined, it's likely due to a reporting agency that many have never heard of, but has a lot of information about and influence over banking customers. It's called ChexSystems.


Don't expect to make big bucks if you decide to try it.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 2:19AM

This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

"Many professionals in the field consider mystery shopping a part-time activity, at best." --

Take that quote, from a Federal Trade Commission consumer alert called "The secrets of mystery shopping revealed," to heart and you'll be able to sniff out a lot of mystery-shopping scams.

The bottom line is that mystery shopping is a side pursuit at best. Any promises or hints that a company can offer you more is a sign that you're dealing with a bad company. If you're one for lists, the following might be helpful, but nothing beats your gut feeling.


Many of his quotes apply to money management.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 2:15AM

This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

He led our fair nation to freedom, and his face stares at us from the ubiquitous $1 bill. He's none other than George Washington, the first president of the United States.

As one of our first elder statesmen, Washington left a wealth of memorable quotes, many of which apply to personal finance. He spoke much about integrity and character as well as discipline and service -- characteristics important in establishing a sound personal-finance life.

Let's take a look at the following nine quotes:


If your financial plan has flaws, it's not going to work properly.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 1:58AM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

It was the budget, with the spreadsheet, in the library -- that's what killed your finances.

The dictionary defines a budget as "an estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future." Budgeting, the quintessential money-management tool, should identify where we spend our money so that we can make better spending choices.

While there is no one right way to budget, the purpose of any budget should be to give us the information we need to make smart spending decisions.


Some of these answers might surprise you.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 1:50AM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

How much do you know about millionaires?

My wife had dinner with her friend Linda, who is a high school social studies teacher. As they ate, Linda bemoaned the lack of personal-finance and economics education in the United States. She mentioned that every year she gives her economics students a short "millionaire quiz" (registration required) to see just how much they know about wealth and where it comes from. They do poorly at it, which surprises them.

Linda says they always pay attention to the follow-up discussion.

Because I asked nicely, Linda sent me a copy of the millionaire quiz in the mail. Here are the questions that give the kids so much trouble:


They live together, and she covers most of the expenses.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 1:41AM

Lots of once-routine spending decisions are undergoing scrutiny these days. Should one of them be who pays for the engagement ring?

"Miss M" posed that question at M is for Money. She knows what she wants in a ring, but her intended, "Mr. M," can't afford it. "If this ring is so important to me, then why don't I buy it for myself? Why should I burden Mr. M's finances with something he can't afford?" she wrote

Here may be the crux of the matter: "If I wait till he can afford a ring, I may be waiting forever," she added. They've been together for six years.


Should you freeze them in a block of ice or keep using?

By Karen Datko Oct 9, 2009 2:37PM

Matt Jabs of Debt Free Adventure has paid off his credit cards. But now he’s wondering how to proceed.


Simple answer, you say? Cut them into a thousand tiny pieces and close the accounts. Or how about keeping one for emergencies only? And what about the impact to your credit score?


After much thought and consultation with other personal-finance bloggers, Matt came up with three possibilities and asked readers to vote. Each has drawbacks. We wonder, what do you think?



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