A Straight Talk on Debt

A Straight Talk on Debt gives you the real deal on debt, straight from our employees and personal finance experts. Learn more about debt relief plans and how to be financially fit.
  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Retirement; How's it Going for You

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    I have read many articles where financial advisors are saying that to live out your  retirement years and not run out of money you need to sock away a couple of million dollars prior to retirement. WOW! I don't think I made a couple of million dollars in my entire working life. 

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Teaching Kids the Meaning of Value

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    I was honestly surprised at what I was hearing. My memory of 7th grade was a time when who you hung out with and what you wore became extremely important to your social status. Having a plain organizer is the sort of thing that a bully could easily latch on to. But here was my daughter more concerned with being able to properly organize her school work than impressing her class mates.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    6 Unexciting but Necessary Living Expenses, and How to Minimize Them

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    Here are six unexciting but necessary living expenses, with some techniques to minimize them.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Squeezing Out Every Drop of Value

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    Occasionally, my wife would come visit me next to my grill, look at my broken down charcoal starter and tell me I should get a new one. I would just shake my head, refusing to shell out $15 for a new one. I didn't care how ugly my chimney was, or how nonfunctional it appeared.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Just Curious...What Things Will/Won't You Splurge on

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    I shared the questions with my husband and he stopped cold in this tracks. What were we thinking? We were very nearly on the verge of blowing our budget big time with absolutely no regrets - just thoughts of fun, fun, fun! We decided to sleep on this and see how we felt tomorrow. 

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Three Ways Your Smart Phone Can Save You Money

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    Here are three ways I use my smart phone to keep me on budget, and get the most for my money.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    If You Have a Pet, You MUST Have an Emergency Fund

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    My daughter had used the time to search the internet and had managed to match our cat's symptoms to a serious feline disease. When my wife and I got home, our daughter was very upset which resulted in my wife also becoming quite upset about the state of our cat. A few phone calls later, we were off to the vet.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    How to Make a Good Meal Great

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    We were planning to throw some Mahi Mahi and asparagus on grill, and had more than enough to share with our friends. They responded via text and said they already had a tri tip roast on the grill, and were making mashed red potatoes as a side. We suggested combining dinners at our house.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Dining Out Doesn't Have to be a Budget Buster

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    One of our favorite things to do is get dressed up and have dinner at a nice restaurant. We are able to do this just as we have done everything since retirement - by looking at things differently and thinking out of the box. 

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Debt Limits Your Back to School Shopping Choices

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    I showed Vonnie, and we both shook our heads. We both knew that in years past, we would have been forced to overpay, and buy the $60 backpack because we were in one of the stores for which we had a store credit card.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Making the Most with What You Already Have

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    We don't feel we are doing without or that we are not enjoying life. Instead, choosing what is really important and saving our money for it has become an imaginative, fun challenge. We aren't living the life we had before retirement; we are enjoying a totally new way of thinking and living. 

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Manual vs. Electric Razors; Which is Cheaper?

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    Before committing to one or the other, I did a little price comparison to see which would be the better choice.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Credit Card Balance Protection Insurance (and Why it Sucks)

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    Credit card balance protection insurance comes in a few different varieties; depending on the kind you have, it could pay out in the event of an involuntary job loss, disability, critical illness, or death.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    My Master Plan to Use Credit Cards Responsibly

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    I didn't think I could ever trust myself to keep from falling back into the trap of revolving credit by paying the balance in full each month. A lack of communication with my wife, and a sense of entitlement resulted in credit card abuse resulting in $109,000 of credit card debt. 

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Hints From the Stock Piling Queen

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    How do you decide what to stockpile? I looked at our needs and went from there. Canned goods are very easy to stockpile because there is usually a sale on canned goods weekly. When something was on sale that we ate and liked such as green beans; instead of buying the sale quantity, I doubled and sometimes tripled what I bought. Pay close attention to the outdates of whatever you buy. I'm buying canned goods with 2 to 3 years forward outdates. 

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Never Forget You're in Love

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    Going through an intense debt elimination program, it's easy to make it the focus of your life. It's easy to think that working on your relationship is something that will have to wait until you get your financial footing back. 

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Tips to Make Extra Cash...Fast!

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    My husband and I are retired and living on a fixed income and have tried many things to supplement our finances.  Some ideas have worked and some have not. Some have created a great deal of "fast cash" and others have only generated a small amount. 

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Two Questions That Will Stop Impulse Buying

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    Between writing, email, surfing the internet and a whole basket of other activities, I use my computer a lot. But I noticed that I hardly EVER use the speakers. So infrequently that I'm kicking myself for not buying the less expensive speakers, or just plugging in headphones I already own when sound was required.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    All Coupons are not Created Equal

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    There are quite a few retailers that do promotions similar to Old Navy's Super Cash.  Pay attention to what they give you, and what the fine print says.  Otherwise, you might just find out the hard way that two 10s don't equal 20.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    How Will my Teenage Driver Affect my Car Insurance

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    Young males are the highest risk category for having an accident, so I wasn't looking forward to seeing what having my son become a driver would do to our insurance rates. But, I knew it needed to be done so we called up our agent and had him gently tell us the damage.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Everything You Need to Know About Life Insurance

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    Life insurance eases the burden of the people who survive you. It's not a windfall; even policies for hundreds of thousands of dollars are usually calculated precisely. (We'll explore how shortly).

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    What Does Stocking up Mean to You?

    • 2 Comments

    It's the phrase that popped into my head recently when I came across a fantastic sale on charcoal. Twin packs of grill fuel shrink wrapped together for the usual price of a single bag. It's a phrase that maybe you've used once or twice as well.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    10 for $10.00 and I’m Diggin’ It!

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    Before you start making piles of 10 in your shopping cart, be sure you know the rules. Can you get the sale price ($1.00 per item) if you don't want 10? Can you combine different items to total 10 and get them for $10.00? I have shopped at stores where they just won't allow this and require that you buy 10 of the same item to get the $1.00 each price.

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    How Many Credit Scores Are There?

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    I used to say I didn't care at all about my credit score. I've posted countless times to threads in the forums stating that I just pay my bills on time and let my score take care of itself. Then, earlier this year, my wife and I walked through the doors of our bank and started the process of trying to refinance our mortgage. 

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  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    You CAN Use Multiple Coupons at Once!

    • 4 Comments

    I'm usually a fairly passive guy in these kinds of situations, and would have just accepted what the cashier said, and would have made a point to use the second coupon the next time we were at the mall. 

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In addition to the blogs, be sure to check out the new CareOne Groups:

Starting Out

Are you finally out on your own and figuring out how to balance your finances? If so, this is the group for you. In Starting Out, you can talk about the challenges you are dealing with in a group of like-minded people.

Settling In

Do you feel like you are finally understanding what being a "grown-up" is all about and are settling into your adult life? If so, this is the group for you. In Settling In you can connect with others who are just like you.

Balancing It All

Struggling to balance all that an established lifestyle has to offer? The balancing it all group is for you. Discuss the challenges you face when your responsibilities at work, at home and with family and friends all compete for your attention.

The New Retirement

Are you currently retired or planning on retiring very soon? If so, this is the group for you. Times have changed and so has retirement. Learn how others are redefining retirement.