Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Boat - A Symbol of Our Philosophy

Over the past several weeks I have talked about my Frap Fund. You know the one where I don’t go to Starbuck and put the money away. Or the money we save with coupons goes into a savings account.

I kind of fell off the wagon this week and was only able to save a little bit but @TheDeeView and I had a realization which will amount to a tremendous savings.

As summer is approaching, faster than I thought, I started the search for a boat for us to use over the summer in our mountain escape. I even took the 10yr old boat shopping one Saturday a couple of weeks ago, only for the 2 of us to be overwhelmed.

The onto Craig’s List and Boattrader.

I was determined to find the best boat and a great deal (you know, being a great saver that I am).

Then @TheDeeView and I started talking about the money to own a boat and get it in the water this summer. What started out as a boat in the $9,000 range quickly became double that by the time we added servicing, dock fees, equipment, skis, wakeboards etc. Oh my God. It became crazy.

Halt! Slam on the breaks, stop this crazy nonsense and smell the roses. We both decided at that moment a boat was not the great idea it had been!

We decided to save the money, get rid of one of our credit cards and find different ways to enjoy the summer in the mountains.

At the end of the day, I ended up buying a portable tetherball set for kids, which I can play and guess what we will get more enjoyment out of that by playing together and getting exercise. We’ve added biking to the mountains and walking hiking and just hanging out.

My god we’ve saved $17,000 just by doing this one thing!!!

Now that’s a FRAP FUND contribution!!!

Oh and by the way we were able to find a great sleep away camp for the kids for one week and we are still ahead.

What the boat purchase made us do was to stop and really consider our own lives, spending habits and ways for which we can spend money more efficiently and save money.

We are now assessing other strategic cuts in our lifestyle that will actually give us a better quality of life and at the same time boost our savings.

Now that is not to say we won’t buy the boat next year, but for now we are about filing our Frap Fund.

Work this in with my other #BudgetBuddy tips and have fun saving.

Saving money should be about fun and not a chore. I love seeing my Frap Fund grow.

When I am done with this blog I will actually be transferring money to the Frap Fund because we decided not to go out to dinner this weekend which would have cost us, family of 4 an easy $120, instead we BBQed and saved an excess of $80 for the Frap Fund baby!

That’s what I’m talking about!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Frap Fund - The Sequel!

Frap Fund #2

Well a few weeks ago I started to talk about savings and how we opened a Frap Fund to transfer all of our savings into.

SO to start this blog off I thought I would just state that since I am blogging about it I should also report my results for the last week.

This last week we saved $281 by not going out to dinner twice, store coupons, store clubs and wait for it, I only went to Starbucks once during the week, I must be going thru coffee withdrawal by now.

But alas my coffee was free from the office and yes its Starbucks.

This week I also took time out of my day to go to 7 year olds first grade class and talk to them about savings and why it is so important. I delivered to the classroom 22 piggy banks and the kids were in love with them and they couldn’t stop talking about both savings and other ways to save money.

We also had the teacher fully engaged and she introduced the concept of the kids filling their piggy banks then transferring the money to a savings account at the bank, thus allowing for the addition of interest.

Meeting with these kids opened my eyes to how we, meaning us everyday consumers, have not done a good job with savings. We have been a spend-it society even above our means.

But these kids don’t have any of those preset conditions to spend yet! I think it is our job as adults to teach these kids about savings.

I mentioned to the kids that I felt money was an emotion and some of the kids understood and even gave me other emotions. These kids had it down now if we can just keep them on the growth path, happy days.

Since starting to talk about the Frap Fund lon my blog I am now finding people who I now have read it and we have started talking about savings and credit card debt again.

And speaking of savings there was a great little article in the LA times that talked about if you had bought $5,700 worth of Apple stock when the MAC came out, approx. 1997, instead of the MAC, it would now be worth more than $330,000!

Wow is what I said.

In addition, if you had purchased one share of Apple stock instead of the ipad when it came out you would have made an additional $70 on that one share in the past several weeks. But hey at least I have my iphone; I don’t want to even see what the stock has done in that period of time.

I may regret buying it!

Nah never!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The End Of FICO As We Know It

Okay let’s follow along with a recent blog and talk about credit cards and credit scores.

I think it’s about time we all revolt against the so-called FICO system.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this week, I have had my fill of the credit card industry as a whole.

One of my clients shows up with a letter from Wells Fargo saying they will reduce the interest rate on the credit card if a payment of 10% would be made.

Sounds great right?

But when you go on to read the fine print “Wells Fargo will reduce your credit limit by the amount of the payment”. Are you F*%#&ing kidding me!

These banks take TARP funds, oh ya, that was taxpayer money, then they turn around and screw all of us.

The reduction in interest rate is great; however reducing the credit limit will negatively impact your FICO score!

Come on Congress when are you going to grow some balls and deal with these institutions?

I thought part of the bailout was to help them (the banks) so they could turn around and help the individuals. Well if the way they are helping people is to damage their credit scores, then I ask; how that helping?

We need real financial reform; the credit card reform was a joke. It allowed the banks several months to screw us and they are still doing it. When is the Federal Government going to step up???

Whatever happened to the day when banks would work with their customers and reach across the desk and shake the hands and say we can do that?

Let’s start by getting rid of this lame ass FICO system which is now terminally antiquated due to the recession.

Wells Fargo you should be ashamed of yourself (and Goldman too!)