From the Editor’s Desk

Gary Foreman

Tired of All Things COVID Yet?

Hello to all my Frugal Friends!

Tired of all things COVID? I am! I’m tired of scary headlines, quarantines, masks and everything else related to the virus. So let’s do something different. Let’s take a look at a couple recent articles that’ll help take your mind off of COVID.

I admit that I’m not a green thumb person. In fact, it’s been said that I have the hand of death when it comes to lawn and garden. Now I know that many of you enjoy spending time manicuring your lawns or harvesting your gardens. But did you know that there were more than 3.2 million lawn and garden injuries in the last 10 years? Who knew? I did know that you shouldn’t reach under your lawn mower. But I was unaware that your garden hose could hurt you! If you want to read more about it check out this article on Lawnstarter.com.

Here’s one a little closer to home (our financial home, at least). A recent study says that over 80% of parents wish schools taught personal finance. Most of those parents will make an effort to teach their children themselves. I’d certainly agree that it’s important and needed. But surprisingly, as of this past February, only 21 states required high school students to take a personal finance course. I’m not going to suggest what they could drop to make room for a personal finance course, but I’m sure that something on the curriculum is less important that teaching young adults about how to survive financially. (source: MyBankTracker.com)

Speaking of financial education, I’m surprised how many people haven’t been taught about compound interest or how the ‘rule of 72’ could double their debts or savings. Or even the simple concept of the time value of money.

Oh well, enough serious. Let’s end on a funny note. According to the New England Aquarium you’re more likely to be killed by a vending machine than a shark. We know enough to stay away from sharks, but I’d suggest that you steer clear of those nasty vending machines! (Even if they don’t threaten your life, they will leave you poorer!)

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!
Gary

Some Stats that May or May Not Surprise You

Hello to all my Frugal Friends!

As we enter the 6th month of the COVID crisis, here are some stats that you’ll find interesting. Some you’d expect. But others could be surprising.

“Banks charged $4+ Billion in NSF (non-sufficient funds) Fees during Q2 2020. Banks charged $5+ Billion in Overdraft Fees during Q2 2020.” (source: Big Banks Still Earning Billions)

That’s not surprising. Many have had their income hit badly by the virus. Dealing with an empty bank account could be expected. Some banks are waiving fees in order to help customers. Initially Ally Bank and Bank of America were among them. There may be others by now. Some will charge a fee but remove it if you call and ask. (source: USNews.com)

The article pointed out that this might be a time when you want to stop automatic bill pays. A service that was convenient when your income was stable could throw you into an overdraft situation now.

Another report was unexpected until I thought about it. “Americans are saving more and spending less compared to before the pandemic with 60% of respondents calling themselves ‘savers,’ which was up from 54% in 2019. 46% say they are ‘more of a saver now’ compared to before the pandemic. Nearly half (49%) of respondents say their monthly spending has decreased over the course of the last year.” (source: CNBC.com

I suppose that’s not surprising. If you’ve kept your job, your income is the same. But places to spend your money are mostly closed. It’s only natural that you’d save money.

But the same survey shows that not everyone has fared so well. “14% of Americans say they have wiped out their emergency savings since the onset of the pandemic and 11% have borrowed money to cover emergency expenses.”

That’s one reason why we’re offering a discount on 2 ebooks to help you get out of debt. How to Conquer Debt No Matter How Much You Have is a how-to guide to debt reduction. Tools you need to put together a personalized debt payoff plan that will actually work for you. You’ll learn how to lower the interest rates you pay and where to find the money to repay debts.

In How to Conquer Debt Faster you’ll find a collection of 153 tips that can help speed up the debt payoff process and stay motivated to reach your debt free goal.

We’ve bundled the two ebooks together and put them on sale until midnight ET September 21st. We’re discounting the price to $7.98. Our promise to you has always been simple. If you can’t use the information to save more than the cost of the bundle, we’ll refund your money no questions asked.

Whether you’ve been hard hit financially by the COVID virus or not, now is the time to take control of debt. If your income is stable, you want to be out of debt before there’s another surprise. If your income is compromised, you need to manage your debt carefully to avoid losing your credit score and heading towards a bankruptcy.

So act now to take control of your debt. No one else can do it for you. You’ll need to do it for yourself.

Here’s where you can order them!

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!
Gary

Has COVID Put You on a Path to a Debt Problem?

Hello to all my Frugal Friends!

This COVID virus has hit the overall economy hard. But not everyone has paid the same price. Some people have been hit much harder than others. Some, because of the nature of their job, have been pretty much unaffected financially. Others have been devastated.

As you probably know, our goal has always been to provide good financial advice. To help people survive whatever financial circumstances they’re in. So there are 2 things that I’d like to present to you this week.

First is something we call A Debt Problem Checklist. It’ll help you identify if you have (or are beginning to have) a debt problem. But, more importantly, it’ll also share some free debt resources that you can use to weather the storm.

Secondly, we offer two ebooks to help you get out of debt. If you’re struggling, we want to help. We’re going to put the ebooks on sale as a bundle until midnight ET September 20th. We’re dropping the price to $7.98. As always we give a money back guarantee. If you can’t use the information to save more than you spent on the books, we’ll refund your money! No questions asked. But I can tell you that I’d be really surprised if you read them and don’t save many, many times the cost of the ebooks.

As a side note, something I’ve learned living a frugal life for all these years. Being frugal is not always about how much something costs. It’s really about value. For instance, I’m a DIYer. When I buy a tool I can choose an inexpensive version or one that’s more expensive. I don’t merely look at the price. If it’s a tool that I’ll rarely use, the inexpensive (and lower quality) tool will probably be fine. But, if it’s something I’ll use often, the higher priced (and higher quality) tool may well be a better frugal choice. Some tools save you much, much more than they cost.

You can purchase the debt ebook bundle here.

We want to do what we can to help everyone through this financial upheaval. By providing a free website, newsletters and even some ebooks to help you.

And oh, yes, and we even have Facebook pages for The Dollar Stretcher and After 50 Finances. Why don’t you drop by? Oh, and let a friend or relative know that there’s help facing this financial crisis.

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!
Gary

About the Author

Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who founded The Dollar Stretcher.com website and newsletters in 1996. He's the author of How to Conquer Debt No Matter How Much You Have and he's been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money, Credit.com and CreditCards.com. Gary shares his philosophy of money here. Gary is available for audio, video or print interviews. For more info see his media page.

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