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Old 03-27-2009, 08:55 PM   #101
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I stand corrected. You are indeed right that the credit bureaus publish a credit score that is generated as a joint effort of the three bureaus. I called TransUnion on this and they confirmed that the FICO score is more readily used by creditors. That number can vary because each creditor looks at credit differently and so each develop their own criteria as to what is important. Their own formulas are used and cannot be equated to the Vantage score. However, if you have a good Vantage score, you will probably have a favorable FICO score. At the suggestion of TransUnion I went online at FICO.com and calculated my score using a simplified FICO system. Without spending $40 to get this number I got it free and came up with 805 on the high side. Tops in the FICO method is 850 as someone else pointed out. In so much as my Vantage score if right up there, I decided that my FICO score should lean toward the high side also. I thank you for correcting me as it allowed me to get more involved in the credit rating system. I've been hammering on my son and daughter to get their credit reports corrected.

$40 is no good. Goto annualcreditreport.com to get your free REPORT from any of the 3 bureaus. While going thru that process, you can get your FICO from that bureau for only $6 or so...very worth it imho...just to know....i like to take a peak every once in a while. Highest I've had was around 740
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:28 PM   #102
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Only buy what you eat. Then eat it. If you throw food away you might as well throw a handful of change in the garbage.

I also got a kill-o-watt meter. Very useful to determine the energy draw from appliances.

Develop some activities that don't require spending money. Invite friends over to play cards. Make walking part of your workout routine. Use your library.

Learn to cook some vegetarian meals that really taste good and incorporate them into your diet. There are several recipe sites online that have tons of rated recipes, such as Mexican dishes or vegetable bean soups that are healthy and inexpensive.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:45 PM   #103
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Buy what you eat is a good one. Really working on that myself. Think I got it down pat.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:47 PM   #104
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I have three tips.

(2) An unrelated money-saving tip: In the summer, I keep the thermostat as warm as is comfortable, and wear nearly nothing and drink lots of ice water.
Ohhh, I love it when you talk like that. Post a pic so we can see how to do it.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:54 PM   #105
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Maybe this has already been posted, but when I see stuff like turkey backs, necks, thighs, etc. (super cheap) in the super market I immediately stock up and make a rich turkey stew. Of course you have to buy the carrots, onions and celery to do too. Also make large quantities of chili and other heary soup/stew type dishes and freeze it in various sizes. Never have to buy lunch stuff if I am home- just unfreeze one of the smaller batches.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:33 PM   #106
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Don't be afraid to question your (or society's) assumptions. "You need insurance." Whoa, not so fast. Yes you probably do, but what kinds, at what prices? See my recent questions about my insurance coverages. While I probably won't drop my auto coverage, I may well reduce or drop home coverage, a bad deal in florida, getting worse. I will almost certainly go from a BCBS individual plan to a student health plan, at about 1/3 or 1/4 the cost. Net savings, around $4000/year. That's pretty good for a annual income of $25K/year, if I am lucky. As I said in my other posts, my assets and income are such that anybody who tried to sue me would pretty much be out of luck. i look forward to inviting an attorney to my home and explaing my financial situation and then asking him if he really still wants the plantiff's case

on a lighter note, if you are a drunk as I used to be, you can (1) quit (AA works for me !) or if you drink to excess, start with a few good beers (wine, whatever) and use the cheap stuff for last. In the case of beer, Natural Ice, Steel Reserve (8%), or almost any Malt Liquor will do
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:14 AM   #107
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I did a major remodel in '06 and bought all new appliances. I never did this before, but I got the extended warranty for about $350 for 5 years. Every appliance except the microwave has needed service after the initial 1 year warranty ran out. And the fridge has needed about 6 service calls. Without the warranty, each call would have started out at $100 when the guy walks through the door.

Moral of the story? They don't make appliances like they used to.
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:34 AM   #108
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I did a major remodel in '06 and bought all new appliances. I never did this before, but I got the extended warranty for about $350 for 5 years. Every appliance except the microwave has needed service after the initial 1 year warranty ran out. And the fridge has needed about 6 service calls. Without the warranty, each call would have started out at $100 when the guy walks through the door.

Moral of the story? They don't make appliances like they used to.
Sounds like you had a run of bad (or maybe good) luck, but generally extended warranties are a bad deal for consumers. Thinking about it logically, if you were a manufacturer would you sell a policy that you would probably lose money on?

Resist the pitch: Consumer Reports Shopping Blog
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:53 AM   #109
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Sounds like you had a run of bad (or maybe good) luck, but generally extended warranties are a bad deal for consumers. Thinking about it logically, if you were a manufacturer would you sell a policy that you would probably lose money on?
I think I agree, but I'd also say that people do that whenever they buy insurance of any kind. (Obviously, if buying insurance was mathematically favorable for the buyers, the insurers would go broke.) So really what it comes down to is how much you pay for the amount of economic security it provides you and whether you can afford to "self-insure" the loss. The problem with extended warranties as a form of "insurance" is that the premium tends to be very high as a percentage of "insured value," and the amounts being insured are often small enough that many folks can self-insure.
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:10 PM   #110
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A few months back, I really started getting irritated whenever I needed paper towels. What I wanted was to stop buying paper towels forever but I thought of all the times I needed a paper towel for really disgusting chores like cat barf. At about the same time, DH decided to switch from whitey-tighteys to boxer briefs. I cut them all up and they have now become the" disposable" rags that I use for unsavory chores. I feel very smug and wonderful.
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:32 PM   #111
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$40 is no good. Goto annualcreditreport.com to get your free REPORT from any of the 3 bureaus. While going thru that process, you can get your FICO from that bureau for only $6 or so...very worth it imho...just to know....i like to take a peak every once in a while. Highest I've had was around 740
I agree. It's about time for me to request my first free credit report at the web site you mentioned. Heard on the local news this morning about requesting three separate reports at various dates thru the year. I'm requesting the first one on 4-1-09, the second on on 8-1-09 and the third one on 12-1-09, each from a different credit bureau. Kind of gives me ongoing review of my credit. I really don't need to do this--it's just something I'm going to try. When I make the 4/1 request I'm going to ask for the FICO score also. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 03-28-2009, 02:12 PM   #112
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Just did this based on this rec. Very painless and tickled with my score. Nothing on the report that looked out of place. I'd never checked the report or my FICO score before.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:58 PM   #113
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$40 is no good. Goto annualcreditreport.com to get your free REPORT from any of the 3 bureaus. While going thru that process, you can get your FICO from that bureau for only $6 or so...very worth it imho...just to know....i like to take a peak every once in a while. Highest I've had was around 740
We have security freezes on our accounts which I think is wise. Last time I tried annualcreditreport it did not seem to work for us. Anyone else have this sort of problem?
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:09 PM   #114
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We have security freezes on our accounts which I think is wise. Last time I tried annualcreditreport it did not seem to work for us. Anyone else have this sort of problem?
Interesting. I hear Clark Howard talk about this "freeze" all the time, but I thought it only applied to "hard" pulls that are actually an application for credit and not "soft" pulls which are just an inquiry. Anyone know otherwise?
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:39 PM   #115
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Tell me about this freeze. I saw that PenFed had run a credit check on me, and all I have with them is a small savings account. I might want to "freeze" myself.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:07 PM   #116
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Tell me about this freeze. I saw that PenFed had run a credit check on me, and all I have with them is a small savings account. I might want to "freeze" myself.
Just enter "credit freeze" in your search engine and you will probably see some relevent discussion of this. The laws are state specific but there are sites that even give you form letters to start the process. It takes a little effort to do but assuming you live in a state that allows this you can always temporarily unfreeze to get a new credit card or whatever.
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:43 PM   #117
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As Isbcal says, it's state specific. Until a few years ago you couldn't do it unless you had had your identity stolen. Now it's a bit easier.

Most states charge like $10 to put it on, another $10 to take it off. Unless you've been a victim of ID theft, in which case it's free. Also I've known a few people who have done it, and then had to go through hell to get it lifted when they needed to apply for a loan. I'm hoping the three agencies make this a lot easier to do. I don't mind the fees so much, but free would be nicer.

I think controlling access to your credit report would be a powerful tool in the fight against ID theft, but it would seriously impact the profit margin of the agencies, so I'm sure they'll make it as hard to do as they legally can.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:35 PM   #118
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cashflo2u2:turkey backs, necks, thighs, etc. (super cheap) in the super market I immediately stock up and make a rich turkey stew. Also make large quantities of chili and other heary soup/stew type dishes and freeze it in various sizes.

Great post. To freeze cooked meals in any quantity, you also will need to invest in many freezer containers. But this does not have to cost big $$, since the so-called "disposable" ones last for ages.

Tonight's dinner was a savory turkey pot pie, made with meat from T'giving and Christmas 2008 turkeys; lots of cut-up vegetables, rosemary, basil, thyme, and garlic (bland food is banned food, at the Amethyst residence). The pie was so huge that we now have leftovers, made from leftovers, for 3 more meals for 2 people. It looks like I have invented Leftovers Squared!
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:15 PM   #119
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My favorite saving advice? If you're still working, avoid the cost of living creep that comes with raises over time like the plague. Obviously if you were able to live comfortably on x pre-raise, then you can live on x now, despite now having x+y available. It's surprising how difficult it is.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:56 AM   #120
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We have security freezes on our accounts which I think is wise. Last time I tried annualcreditreport it did not seem to work for us. Anyone else have this sort of problem?
IIRC we could get a report from one of the agencies but not the others.
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