Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

September 22, 2013

Keeping your financial house in order

ASHLAND — Is less more? Is enough ever enough? Strive to live below your means instead of above your means.

This week, let’s talk money. There are several signs to watch for if you feel like you’re going broke. You lie to yourself and others. You don’t want to acknowledge how bad the situation is. You charge items even when we know you’re in trouble. You promise payment, knowing full well you won’t be able to pay the bill. You lie to your landlord, the bank, your friends. Here comes the domino effect.

Lying leads to friends leaving. There are problems with your mate because of bad money management. Financial woes put a huge strain on a marriage. There are phone calls and notes in the mail about late payments. Creditors come calling, and the strain on your marriage is getting worse and worse.

Each partner in the relationship plays the blame game and feels guilty. Pastors should talk strongly to couples about the finances of a marriage because this is one of the most important things to help keep a marriage safe and healthy.

When panic sets in, both parties make attempts to rectify some of the debt. Now you are caught in a trap of higher finance rates because of late payments. Late fees are eating up the payments you try to make.

Your credit score starts to suffer. This is critical stage. You are considered a credit risk. Banks and lenders do not want to do business with you. Buying a car or a home will be nearly impossible.

Next come garnishment of wages, lawsuits and divorce. All of these can come from not watching the front door of your finances. Work hard to keep your financial house in order.

If you believe you need help with your financial affairs, please consider the Dave Ramsey class Financial Peace. This is taught at Ashland Community and Technical College; area churches also offer this class.

To avoid bankruptcy, be persistent with payback. Pay what you owe on time. Think beyond yourself. How will this purchase affect my family?

You must be willing to work, carefully save and be disciplined. Don’t misuse credit cards. The finance rates are a trap. Pay off credit cards in full every month. If you can’t pay them off monthly, it costs too much.

Yes, you can work hard and fix bad credit. You should enlist an expert who can deal directly with your creditors and make a plan for payments that you can afford. Be diligent and your credit score will improve. Living a frugal life brings financial peace.

There are ways to change the way you shop and still feed your family healthy, affordable meals. You can take a vacation without breaking the bank. You can give your home high-style design at a low cost. A tip to decorate on a shoestring: Take your camera phone to a high-end furniture store. If you find a layout you love, take a picture. Now you can shop a store with lower prices and duplicate the look.

Check out the deals below for some free stuff.

Dollar Tree

Avatar Band-Aid Bandages, 20 count: $1; use $3 for three Johnson & Johnson Neosporin Band-Aids; free when you buy three

Efferdent, 16 count: use $1 for 1

Maybelline New York Hydra Time Lipstick; use $2 for one; RP on Sept. 8

Covergirl Eye Enhancers: use $1 for 1 Covergirl product

Zicam Cold Remedy: use $2 for one

Garnier Fructis Hair Color: use $1 for one

All you will owe on these items is tax.

Walmart

Gillette Foamy Shave Cream, 11 ounces: $1.72; use $6 for three coupon; 84-cent moneymaker

Gerber Second Foods applesauce, 4 ounces: 50 cents; use $1 on 2

C&H Light Sugar and Stevia Blend, 40 count: $1.92; use $2 for one; 8-cent moneymaker

CVS

Snickers: two for $5; limit one; $1 ExtraBucks; $1.50 coupon

Maxwell House Coffee, 10.5 ounces: $2.99; $1 EB; $1 coupon; limit one

Time to save your bucks for Halloween decorations. Also, there are 20 percent off coupons and $5 EB if you get your flu shot at CVS.

Halloween candy sales have begun. Time to buy on sale and stash the items.

Renuzit: three for $3; limit one deal; use coupon buy three get one free

Revlon Buttercream Hair Color: two for $9; $3 EB; use $3 coupon on each box; free; limit one deal.

 

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