Couch Tomato

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The identity theft discussion on main reminded me I wanted to start this thread. I know I need advice in a lot of areas - from tips on buying groceries to saving for retirement. Hell, even budgeting Clay in LOL.

Atinal, can you copy your posts over from main regarding identity theft? testing to see if she uses view new posts :cryingwlaughter:

Personal finance, credit, retirement, getting out of debt, home buying, and paying for Clay trips..or anything else that you want to chat about.

I'm wondering if anyone works for a company that has an ESOP? Mine just recently became one.

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I use "view new posts" but I don't have anything to contribute. You sure don't want me to advise you on how to spend money....... :lmaosmiley-1:

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When I got divorced a few ahem years ago, I had maybe 40K in retirement money, I went back into consulting and worked with acountants to save 50% of what I earned.

I am not good at investments, most of mine suck, but I am really good at not spending and not losing any money, even if it barely keeps up with inflation. I became a project manager for a year 2000 project and worked 15 hours a day 7 days a week. I basically gave up a year of my life and saved the bulk of the money then, 50% in retirement plans and 25% in savings. Was it worth it? I don't know, but I have been living on savings for 3 years without income. I am finally getting some minimal income this year and will supplement with savings, so it did have it's purposes.

Things to remember if or when you are 59.5 or older - or a parent- (I know, most people are younger....still) and you have any money in a retirement CD (ira, sep, keogh), you can go in once a year to a bank and ask for the highest rate. It doesn't matter how long it is in there for - 6 months or 5 years, they have to give you the highest rate they are paying. I do it in the spring.

I am sure people can get you other things

Here is the cheap gas price web site

And the sales on stuff site

Finally, the http://www.woot.com/ site where there are differnet products every nigt at midnight cst. Cheapest place to buy a new Romba. They sell them quite frequently maybe twice a month. I check every night for a scoomba, but I missed the sale they had for it, no internet at the beach that night

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How did I find out about this thread? Yep, I used "view new posts".

Let me go try to bring my posts over:

Toots said:

OMG, received a letter from BofA saying some of my credit card information may have been compromised at a third party location and my credit card number may have been part of this occurrence. I don't put my VISA out there a lot so sure would like to know what third party location they are talking about. I do know they sell information to others so that may be the location.

Have any of you had this happen? What happened as a result?

VISA will cancel the card and send a new one with a different account number.

But still......I'm stressed over this one.

---------------------------------------------------

My reply:

Toots, I just went through about a month and a half dealing with an identity theft problem. Mine started with me receiving calls from several creditors asking if I was applying for credit cards with them, when I would tell them no, they said that I might be being targeted for ID theft. Your situation may be a little different since you are being notified by the credit card company in an effort to avoid a problem. In my case someone had my name, my soc sec number and birthdate and was trying to set up accounts. I have known others who have had situations similar to yours who didn't really end up having any problem at all. I hope that is true in your case. I agree with you it is very stressful.

Next post regarding identity theft:

Toots, In my case none of my existing accounts were involved, I don't know if it hadn't been brought to my attention sooner if it would have come to that or not. There is some real irony involved in my case now that it seems like it is all behind me. The only company who ended up setting up an account that resulted in any charges was the company I worked for for 32 years. Adding further to that irony, is that after it was mostly cleared up and I was disputing said charges with my former employer, I received a letter from them that due to a laptop being stolen from an employee of another company who does business with them (handling our benefits) that my personal information might have been compromised. This information included name, soc securtiy age and more. Co-incidence? Although they claim this happened after I had my problem (less than 10 days). I am very suspicious that this might have been where the breach of my information started.

I am mainly responding to Toots about this because ID theft is a growing problem and I want everyone to know it does happen and it's a pain in the ass. It's the fastest growing crime in America. I spent hours trying to resolve the problem, yet I am probably one of the lucky ones. I wish I could tell you how to avoid it, because basically I'm a pretty careful person. I don't do online banking and I never was comfortable setting up a paypal account. I do buy somethings online, that's mostly Clay's fault HA!

Be aware of it and be careful out there (tm Hillstreet Blues)

---------------------------------------

There's probably a better way to bring this over than the way I did it but at least I got it here.

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Guest Toots

News in my stolen credit card number saga although no charges have been made yet, at least to my knowledge.

Think I told you that I do bill pay thru another bank and BofA notified that bank that the credit card # had changed and gave them the new number to reference when paying the bill.

I think it was a serious breach of credit card numbers and since BofA is responsible for paying other than my charges they are pretty concerned. Any charges that come in under the old number will be scrutinized closely.

My neighbors credit card number was stolen somewhere in Europe and by the time they discovered it the thiefs had thousands of dollars worth of purchases all over Europe. Of course, he is a much bigger spender than I so his credit card company didn't pick up the problem until it multiplied ...my purchases are rarely large and if so the VISA people deny the charges then call me to verify.

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toots, I think the credit card companies really do their best to try to nip these problems in the bud for thier customers and for thier good of their own businesses. After all, they probably have to write off millions of dollars in disputed charges on some of these things.

I will say too, that I had the most help from the Identity theft department from one of the major credit card companies. I think almost all of them have Identity theft departments now. She actually walked me through a lot of the things I needed to do and followed up with me to see if I needed any further help.

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Guest Toots
toots, I think the credit card companies really do their best to try to nip these problems in the bud for thier customers and for thier good of their own businesses. After all, they probably have to write off millions of dollars in disputed charges on some of these things.

I will say too, that I had the most help from the Identity theft department from one of the major credit card companies. I think almost all of them have Identity theft departments now. She actually walked me through a lot of the things I needed to do and followed up with me to see if I needed any further help.

atinal, thanks for your valuable input. The bank has provided info on identity theft.

I'm relieved that my bank accounts are not with BofA because that has to help somewhat but don't really know how much info the theives have at their disposal. I guess I'll have to wait and see.

:ph34r:

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Guest Toots

Play, that's a great site. I'm going to spend some time in there looking around for things I need. :clap:

Thanks... :woman:

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Before you shop - check www.couponseven.com/allstores.asp

That's an excellent site! Another thing I do when shoping on the internet is to google the name of the internet store along with 'coupon' (like this - 'Newport News coupon'). I've saved a bundle of money doing that. I sometimes have to look around for the best coupon codes, but I'm usually able to find codes for free shipping and 10 to 20 percent off.

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Play thank you for always providing intersting web sites.

Unfortunately I think I need to rename this no money no money no money no money no money. hee.

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Play thank you for always providing intersting web sites.

Unfortunately I think I need to rename this no money no money no money no money no money. hee.

Now THAT is a subject I know something about!! :cryingwlaughter:

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In the TMI category I actually called Consumer Credit Counseling Services today and made an appointment. We'll see how that goes. On the other side of the coin...back to job hunting. :cryingwlaughter:

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Guest Toots
In the TMI category I actually called Consumer Credit Counseling Services today and made an appointment. We'll see how that goes. On the other side of the coin...back to job hunting. :cryingwlaughter:

What all do they do couchie? I'm sorry you have to go job hunting but good luck with that!

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OK, here is a place to look for discount Spamalot tickets and to see the percentage sold each week.

link

You have to be a member, I majy jsut join for the discounts. I am looking at other sites.

Interestingly enough the discounts seem to end on Jan 11th just for Spamalot.

For cheap spamalot tickets, there is always standing room

Spamalot

Musical, Broadway

Tickets at Telecharge

Shubert Theatre, 225 West 44th Street (Between Broadway and 8th Avenue)

Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes, with one intermission

Performances: Tues 7:00 pm, Wed 2:00 pm, Wed 8:00 pm, Th 8:00 pm, Fri 8:00 pm, Sat 2:00 pm, Sat 8:00 pm, Sun 3:00 pm

Box Office Hours: Monday - Saturday: 10am - 8pm Sunday: Noon - 6pm

Open Ended Run

SR When the show is sold out, standing room tickets are available on the day of the performance at the box office for $21.25.

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People often wonder how I have so much time and get so little done. For me, nothing comes easy because of my way of doing things. I don't have a straight line life because I try to keep as much personal information out of the data pipeline. example - don't have an ATM card after working on the ATM system.

I had a paid Amex card since 1984, I originally got it for business, but used it as a personal card as well. As it became due, I decided I didn't want to pay fees anymore, so I called and asked it to be changed to a credit card. No biggie, the person on the phone was eager to change the card over as they are phasing out the green card. After a few weeks, no card. Yesterday, I get a letter in the mail basically asking me to have social security write to them and verify my socisl security number. The government writes references to credit card coampanies? It took me over 3 weeks to get a pin nunber for the governement, not including the number of phone calls. So I call Amex to tell them, never mind, abot an card from them and I think they are crazy, how hard can it be to switch over a card.

I did keep trying to hang up and they begged me to stay on to straighten this out. After about 30 minutes, it turns out that I had opened it as a corproate account and they had my corporation number, not my SSN and they could not seem to understand this. It sounds so much easier, but there was lots of round and round talking to different people asking all sorts of stupid questions about all sorts of things - like my job. I said I didn't know the address for my job in India. Sorry, the smart aleck part can never leave you. So finally, I said 24 years of credit history, versus you screwing up my SSN - which matters more? They said I would have the card in 3 weeks. I said Whee - three weeks of using my other credit cards and then I will be at the beach and still be using other credit cards and I didn't know when I would be back to pick it up. The credit card will be here this week. Idjits.

I know this did not need to happen, but seriously, when does a number overide a 24 year history of spending thousands every year? Why is this world so impersonal and check list driven.

I followed that up by going to the bank to have them sign a "permission" form so I could transfer a direct deposit from one account to a different one - the bank was sold and the numbers and types of accounts available are changing. The bank officer said they had never ever seen anything like that before - must be just me.

Then I finally won one over at the post office - they would not let me insure the playbills because they were a first class letter - the woman insisted I rewrap it into a loarger package, so I went to the web site where is said you could insure letters, then I called thier contact number where htey could not believe someone would not insure a letter because their people are all correctly trained. So I went back and she told me I was rude for coming back to her after she told me already that I had to repackage everything. I told her I could insure a letter and she refused to let me, so I finally agreed to priority mail if she would just take them off my hands. She was out of priority thinkgies and walked away and was talking (probably complaining about me) to her manager when she came back and put it through as insured first class mail without another word. Weird world. I said thank you and left.

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Play...just read this above...I guess I was distracted by my NYC trip!!

anyway... ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

have got to get the money situation under control. With the cost of everything going up..thing just don't stretch as far.

I cancelled my trip to Hawaii...just going to put it off to probably January.

I'm focused!!

bring on those tips..

I'm even considering walking to work....LOL.

sigh.

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bring on those tips..

Amen.

I'm looking for a 2nd job so that I can try to get ahead for once.

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I've been trying to trim down my monthly expenses lately. Cut channels on my satellite TV package, called the phone company to get a better plan for my long distance and mobile phone, stuff like that. Trying to use up all the food in the freezer instead of buying more every week. Yesterday I went for an appt at the bank to renew my mortgage, and the lady who was doing it started going through all my financial stuff. When she realized that a large portion of my monthly income was going to paying things like car loan, line of credit, student loan, visa, etc., she recommended that I should take out a home equity loan at a much lesser interest rate, and get rid of all the other stuff. From her calculations, it would save me about $1500 a year in interest, and more importantly, give me a whole lot more to work with per month. YAY! Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel!

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That's great, luckiest!

I'm trying to 1) pay off debt and 2) save for a house. Thank goodness I live so close to work, which helps with gas. I need to work on my grocery & household items budgets, though. I think I'm going to have to ban myself from Target! Every freaking time I go in that store, I come out with a bag of stuff that wasn't anywhere near being on my "need" list!! <_<

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:laola0: for luckiest1!

annabear, the way you are at Target -- that's how I am at Sam's Club. I walk in with a list...and walk out with 20 other things besides.

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Luckiest There is one thing to be careful of though. Years ago, three of us shared an office, two of us were financially conservative and the thrid was a rather happy spender who made more money than the rest of us but was always in debt. We found out he was "carrying" over 10K of debt on his credit card and almost passed out. The first thing we had him do is call the credit card company and have his interest rate lowered. - One phone cal was all it took to get his interest rate cut in half. The second thing we suggested, loud and often was to transfer the debt to a home equity loan which is tax deductible ans well as at more reasonable rates. He did that and all was good..... until he started building up that credit card debt again to over 4K. - it is very important to make sure you pay it off each month, getting additional equity if you have to do it, because there is a phenomena known as credit card debt creep, where is slowly builds back up. I don't mean this to sound insulting, it is something that I have observed in other people as well. People either pay it off 100% or they "carry" some debt. You pretty much have to decide which youchoose to be and stick with it. You might be shocked at who carries debt and the amount of money you save if you just pay off all bills immediately - which I know is virtually impossible if you have kids. Actually, that might just be the difference, people who have kids and those who don't.

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