A friend showed me the way he and his wife were banking and was very excited about it. I'm just beginning to check it out and have opened an account and am waiting for the initial funding to be posted. It looks very promising. I'm not looking at it to replace my main banking account (that's what they all want right?). Rather as a replacement for SmartyPig. Neither have quicken functionality so that is a push but the web app and online Goals interface seems fresh and Simple uses a different approach than SmartyPig. You might want to Check it Out. The "Safe to Spend" concept is pretty cool to if you were to use it as your main account. Here is a link https://www.simple.com/
In this episode, Andy gives three words that have the potential to change your financial world forever. (And no, he's not selling anything.)
Link to Video here http://yourmove.is/watch/guardrails/5/
I recently came across some great material at Kahn Academy on this topic. We talk a lot in FPU classes about renting vs buying and when is a good time to buy a house. I advise participants be on Baby Step 3b before buying a house. Baby Step 3 is Debt Free with a 3-6 month emergency fund in place. Baby Step 3b adds a 20% down-payment that you use towards a 15 Year fixed rate loan that is no more than 25% of your take home pay. An additional consideration when house planning is to have margin if you have an interruption in employment. Ask questions like: Do both spouses want to / need to work full time to fund this house purchase? Could we make it financially on one income if we chose to or had to? Elizabeth Warren has a good book out on this topic called the Two Income Trap. Renting makes perfect sense depending on your stage of life, roots to the community etc. If you move a lot for work renting is generally the better option. To help unpack this check out the 3 part video series on rent vs buy at Kahn Academy. I've attached the spreadsheet below from lesson 3. Renting vs Buying Lesson link
My friend Greg emailed me a part of this blog post. I found Carey's leanings insightful and compelling. I hope it sparks conversation and action at your house. Here is a link to his de-brief.
My year long spending fast is over.
For the last year, I’ve been on a 12 month personal spending fast. The rules are here if you want to read them, along with two updates I gave along the way (at 3 months and 8 months). (The 8 month update includes the only case where I broke the rules.)
But basically it meant I agreed to purchase no new technology, music, apps, clothing or other discretionary personal items for a year.
I was inspired to begin it by my assistant Sarah, who had spent the previous year on a personal spending fast. You can read about Sarah’s fast here.
My twelve months came to an end on the weekend.
- See more at: http://careynieuwhof.com/2013/03/7-lessons-from-my-year-long-spending-fast/
Based on last nights FPU discussion I decided to put a Credit Freeze on my credit report with the 3 reporting agencies. It was pretty easy and cost me $30 ($10 each) With Equifax & Experian I was able to complete the process online without creating an account. With TransUnion the online process failed, the automated phone process failed, and I had to speak to a representative with a very thick accent that helped me complete the process. So at this point my file is frozen and I must "Thaw" it to allow any inquires, soft or hard. If your not ready to put a freeze on your account you might want to consider the identity theft insurance Dave recommends. He advocates it includes restoration services. Check your homeowners policy to see if this is already included. Below are detailed instructions on how to do so with each of the agencies courtesy of www.clarkhoward.com
We did not talk about this last night but a MUST for all FPU participants is to use the Optoutpressscreen service. I encourage everyone to do this immediately. It blocks credit issuers from doing a soft inquire against your credit file to determine if they want to send you unsolicited offers of credit. Who needs that! Use the link above to sign up today.
EQUIFAX CREDIT FREEZE - [Website]
EXPERIAN CREDIT FREEZE - [Website]
TRANSUNION CREDIT FREEZE - [Website]
FPU Clinton Twp Campus - Spring 2014 Class starts March 30th 10:30am in the in the Creuse Cafe @ the JPAC Click here to register
Class meets in the Creuse Cafe inside the John Armstrong Performing Arts Center (JPAC) Please purchase your membership kit online when you register. If your already a FPU member we would still like you to register online. Just indicate you already have your membership materials. New format workbooks are available here. The class materials for the first two weeks are available on the Resources page of this site. You can download and bring them to class if you want to check it out before purchasing a kit or if your kit has not arrived yet.
Hi Everyone - I was cleaning up an old laptop and found this video that originally ran on Fox Business Channel back in 2008. It's a great motivational video if you are taking FPU now or want to re-ignite your Gazelle intensity. Dave takes you through the whole program in about 1 hour. The video is very similar to a Live event I attending in Grand Rapids with my Dad back in 2005. It was a great father and son road trip. You can see I had more hair and a few more chins back in 2005! I hope you enjoy the video and it inspires you to live out Biblical truths and principles in your financial life.
Here is a question I received that I think more people are wondering about and may not have had the opportunity to ask in class. Quite honestly I didn't have the answer either but suspected Jennifer was getting bad advice. I thought No Fault limited property damage and liability coverage but would have been parading my ignorance to try to answer. So I asked the expert, Kim Bergstrom who provides KCC's coverage as well as our personal insurance coverages. Here is the question and what she had to say.
Question - I am trying to go through the insurance portion of this class and make sure that we are covered as he suggested. Yet, as I am doing this I have people telling me that because we are a no fault state that increasing the liability on the auto insurance is a waste of money because it covers our car not the other car. I am so confused about insurance that I may as well be reading German :). Would you suggest still following Dave's advise in increasing liability to 500,000? Thank you Jennifer L.
Answer - Hi Dave, It is confusing! Michigan is a no fault State, and you're right, it mostly applies to the coverage for physical damage to your vehicle but it also applies to damages for minor injuries. In these cases, each person mostly goes to their own auto insurance carrier for coverage.
There are some exceptions that apply to the physical damage coverage, but they are all addressed by coverages (PPI and Limited Property Damage Liability) that are on all auto insurance policies, so I’m only going to address the exceptions to the bodily injury liability coverage. By the way, I agree with Dave that it is a really good idea to increase your liability limits to at least $500,000:
1. If you make a mistake while driving and cause an accident in which someone is seriously injured you can still be sued and held responsible for damages as a result of pain and suffering, loss of consortium and wage loss beyond the 3 years the PIP coverage provides. Currently the law says to be able to recover damages from an at fault driver/vehicle owner you must meet one of the three following thresholds:
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Serious impairment of a bodily function. (This is open to interpretation and highly litigated.)
You always risk the possibility of someone suing you and being awarded damages that are more than your policy liability limits. In that case you could be required to pay the additional amount from your personal assets. Higher liability limits increase the protection of your personal assets.
2. By having the higher liability limits you can also purchase matching limits for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This protects you and your family members for injuries you sustain by a driver who either has no insurance or is driving with lower limits than you have.
Claim Examples with $500,000 Uninsured/Underinsured motorist limits:
- Let's say you or a resident relative are seriously injured as a result of someone else's negligent driving and have a claim that is worth $300,000. If the at fault driver/vehicle owner didn't have any insurance, you would be able to make an uninsured motorist claim against your own insurance company and receive the $300,000 compensation from them. They would pursue reimbursement from the uninsured at fault driver/vehicle owner, but he/she probably doesn’t have assets, but that makes it the insurance company’s problem and not yours.
Same scenario as above, but the at fault driver/vehicle owner is driving with the minimum liability limits required in Michigan of $20,000/person and $40,000/accident. Their insurance company would cut you a check for $20,000 and tell you to try to recover the additional $280,000 from their insured who likely doesn’t have any assets either. You would be able to collect the $280,000 from your insurance company under the Underinsured Motorist coverage and again, it would be their responsibility to try to recover from the at fault driver/vehicle owner.
I hope you find this helpful. Please let me know if you have additional questions or if I can be of any other service to you.
Ok friends and FPU Peeps. Here is a story for ya. I've had a task on my list for a number of months now "Check Annual Credit". It kept getting forwarded and the other morning was the day I set aside the time to check it off the list. So I ran a report from 1 of the 3 agencies for my wife and I. I only ran 1 so I had the option to re-run it later if I needed to dispute anything and wanted to check if the change was made later.
I was reviewing my report and low and behold and open credit card! How could this be? I looked at the card issuer and the account number are realized it was a card associated with my Mom's account. When my Dad, I still miss him a bunch, passed back in February I was added as the joint party on their old join bank account. This allowed me to help with bill payment and banking stuff. What I didn't expect was their credit card now became MY credit card, YUCK.
I touched base with Mom and she agreed to close it. Here is the initial response I received from the credit union in regards to the request to close. I figured you guys would get a kick out out of it! Thank you for contacting XXXX Federal Credit Union. If you would like to close your Visa Platinum Plus we can certainly do this for you, but we wanted to take a moment to discuss a few key things that may affect your decision. By closing a long standing line of credit, it could hurt your credit scores and make them lower. There are two major items that are looked for on your credit history, the first is payment history and the second is the length of time your accounts have been opened. Additionally, another one of the things that is looked for on your credit report is the amount of revolving balances that you have available to spend. By leaving this card open with no balance, it could help keep your scores up because it will supply a larger amount of availability. If you would still like to proceed with closing your card we can do this, but we just wanted to let you know how it may affect your credit. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or if we can assist you further. We are always happy to help. Thank you and have a great day!
I've had to make a few calls and emails at this point to get it closed. My Mom even got the speech above about "this is not a good idea".