Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beware of Bank of America

"USA Today" reports in today's edition that Bank of America will start charging an annual fee to some of its credit card customers in 2010. The fee will be $29.

Apparently, this fee will be "tested on 1% of its credit card accounts," this according to a spokeswoman for the company. The fee will be applied every February.

To make matters worse, "USA Today" states that even customers "in good standing" face the potential of being charged an annual fee. For those of you who don't know, credit card companies consider those of us who pay "on time" to be "deadbeats." In other words, they can't take any extra money from us on a monthly basis. So evidentally, banks like Bank of America plan to go this route, especially since new credit card legislation, which takes full effect in February, limits how banks levy charges.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'Tis The Season

Hi Everyone!

I'm back and ready to blog!! I'm looking forward to my upcoming seminars about avoiding credit card debt. And now that we are approaching mid-October, it's not too early to talk about holiday spending.

With so many people burdened by the economy, gift giving during the upcoming holiday season may add to their stress levels.........But it DOESN'T HAVE TO! Keep a couple of things in mind -

1) If you haven't already started to put some money aside for holiday spending, that's ok. You can start now. Now, yes, I did just write that people are burdened by the economy, so you might be asking "Why is he talking about saving for the holidays when bill paying is tough enough?"
Well, being a student of "human nature" as much as I am of credit card debt, I know that a lot of people will still spend a significant amount of money on holiday gifts, despite their current economic situation. So it's best to discipline yourself to put away a few dollars a week now for the next couple of months than to wait until December and then worry about where you are going to find the money. THAT'S when people get into real trouble...with their credit cards! They feel they have no other choice but to charge. However, if you save now, you can avoid those dreaded January and February bills.

2) If you feel that you cannot "save" money now, but you know that you are still going to spend that money, then buy those Christmas gifts NOW! At least you will get your shopping done early and you won't have to fight the crowds right before the holidays (or on "Black Friday.") This also gives you an opportunity to plan your spending instead of rushing at the end of the season and potentially overspending on items that you might not really want to by anyway, but were forced to because the "pickings were slim."

With a little bit of planning and discipline, you can have an affordable (and Happy!) holiday season. Remember - you don't have to "keep up with the Joneses." Besides, as Dave Ramsey says, "They're broke too!"