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THE FRUGAL LIFE NEWS
Published Weekly by Randal Watkins
The Frugal Life
February 10, 2003
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THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MINIMUM REQUIRED PAYMENTS
In their unrelenting efforts to help everyday Americans manage
their finances using Debt Cards — you probably know them as
“Credit” cards — Debt Card companies are slowly, steadily,
quietly… shrinking their minimum required monthly payments.
With holiday bills arriving daily, it’s a good idea to pay close
attention to your minimum required payments. Some of them might
not properly be called, “Payments”, in the sense that the amount
of money that you send in actually pays for anything — other
than interest charged by the Debt Card company.
A few years ago, most Debt Card companies required 4% of the
balance as your minimum payment. For example, if you received a
monthly statement containing a $1000.00 charge for holiday travel,
your minimum required payment due would be 4% of $1000.00 or $40.
Depending on your interest rate, $40 would be enough to pay a
tiny portion of your $1000.00 balance with the lions’ share going
to pay interest. But, at least you made some progress against
your balance and, with luck, next month you would pay 4% of a
smaller balance — assuming, of course, that you did not add any
When I published the 2001 version of the DebtIntoWealth course,
the general minimum required payment had shrunk to 2% of the
This is not such a great thing. Although, in the example of this
$1000.00 charge, it means that your minimum required payment is
only $20, it also means an even smaller amount of money is used
to reduce your balance. The rest, of course, is interest.
The net effect is that you will take longer to pay off this debt
card when paying only 2% of the balance vs 4%. And, time being
money, you pay more interest.
Now MBNA Corp, the second largest card issuer, has shrunk
minimums to BELOW 1 PERCENT for some customers.
This effectively converts the payment into 100% interest.
You make virtually no progress against your balance, and again,
although 1% of $1000.00 is only $10, since you make no progress
against your balance, you will pay this $10 forever.
Worse, if the interest rate on your debt card results in an
interest due amount greater than $10 for this month, your card
balances will GROW by the amount of unpaid interest! And next
month you will be charged interest on this interest.
We call this the, “Black Hole,” effect in the course. At this
level of minimum required payment and accumulated unpaid interest,
your balance will grow until it consumes your entire networth!
So, as your bills arrive, examine each of your Debt Card minimum
required payments carefully. If you have a situation in which this
is occurring, pay MORE than the minimum required monthly payment
so that you will at least make some progress against your balance.
And stay alert for other tactics by your Debt Card company to keep
you paying them forever.
Payoff All of your Debts in 5-7 Years using the money you
Greg Moore is the author of the Debt Freedom Course, “DebtIntoWealth —
Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom”. For your FREE Lesson 1 of this
course, CLICK HERE: http://www.debtintowealth.com/frugal.html
Debt Into Wealth
FRUGAL HOME / GARDENING
HOW TO GROW NEW POTATOES
It’s so easy to enjoy tiny, melt-in-your-mouth homegrown potatoes, planted
before the last frost and harvested as the plants begin to bloom in spring.
1. As soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, select a sunny spot
in the garden and prepare the planting space by working a 3- to 5-inch layer
of organic compost or aged manure deeply into the soil. Skip step 2.
2. When using chemical fertilizers, mix deeply into soil before planting
time. High nitrogen fertilizer will cause heavy foliage growth (fewer
potatoes). Contact a local garden center for a recommendation suitable for
3. Remove weeds and break up clumps of soil. A pH of 5.2 to 6.0 is
preferable, so you’ll probably not want to select a spot that has been
recently limed. Stay away from areas where potatoes or tomatoes were grown
the previous year.
4. Select an early variety such as ‘Superior’, ‘Norgold Russet’,
‘Norland’, ‘Red Ruby’, ‘Epicure’, ‘Red Gold’ or preferably one suggested as
a good local variety by your county agent or a reputable local garden
For the rest of the article
Visit Healthy Pet Corner for lots of information, products,
and links for birds, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, and reptiles.
All for Pets
HEALTHY BEAUTIFUL NAILS DON’T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE – by Donna L. Watkins
First of all, stop using nail polish or having artificial nails applied.
Nails must have air and polish and fake nails block out all air and turns
your nails yellow – which is why many people keep doing what they’re doing.
There are great odds of getting fungus infections also so that’s another
good reason to stop. So…how do you make your nails look great?
Nutrition is the first key. The health of your nails will indicate the
health of your structural system [bones and muscles]. You need enough
protein and calcium for healthy strong nails. Gelatin is usually used for
protein. Make a veggie gelatin salad and get lots of nutrients that will
help your skin and youthful appearance with all those antioxidants.
Women should be on calcium supplements because they lose calcium in their
monthly menstrual cycles and in having children. A liquid form of calcium
is better assimilated. Depending on whether your body is acid or alkaline
would determine whether you would use Coral Calcium or not. I use Nature’s
Sunshine’s Liquid Calcium: http://www.theherbsplace.com/liqcalc.html href=” http://www.theherbsplace.com/liqcalc.html “> Liquid Calcium but
some prefer Coral Calcium: http://www.theherbsplace.com/coral.html href=” http://www.theherbsplace.com/coral.html “> Coral Calcium
File your nails on one direction only. Find a grade of emery board that
provides you with the feel and looks you want when you’re done. Then use a
buffer to polish your nails to a shine and to promote circulation for better
nail health. It will take time, but getting circulation there and new nail
growth will take away the yellow. You can have pretty looking nails again
without polish and fake nails. Saves the bucks for sure! Looks nicer since
nail polish only looks really good for a day or two and then it’s all
When you’re done buffing, rub in some Vitamin A and/or E. Just stick a
capsule with a pin and rub it in. What’s leftover will do nicely around
your eyes or on age spots and scars. Look naturally beautiful! Feed your
body with what it needs for good health and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of life-promoting and anti-aging
substances. Tap into them!
Donna L. Watkins is the creator of “A Touch of Nature,” a free email
newsletter on the wonders of nature. Subscribe here:
http://www.theherbsplace.com/atn.html href=” http://www.theherbsplace.com/atn.html “> A Touch of Nature
MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING, BATH, and BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Here’s a kit with everything you will need to start making your
own pampering and cleaning products for pennies with the
easy-to-follow recipe guide.
Make Your Own
Helpful tip for winter:
For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water
and put Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps.
They won’t refreeze. – Lois
WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FORUM?
Maybe you can help these folks out with a few suggestions? Or post some of
your own questions. LOG-IN TO POST Here’s the link:
https://www.thefrugallife.com/bulletinboard.html href=” https://www.thefrugallife.com/bulletinboard.html “> Forum
Questions Needing Answers at The Forum:
All questions are shortened due to space considerations. You can see the
entire question on the forum.
1. Any suggestions for a Senior who needs to upgrade present car? Have very
little to spend each month and no savings to fall back on. Would appreciate
any input! Thanks.
2. I would like ideas on how to get brown spots out of OLD material–like
tablecloths, linens, antique samplers, ring-bearer pillow from 32 years ago,
3. We live in southern NM and want to convert our lawn to a water friendly
desert landscaping. Anyone with experience doing this? Thanks!
4. Hi All, I’m looking for a homemade activator for my compost pile –
5. Hey all, Several years ago while visiting a friend and being very tired,
she put a couple drops of some kind of oil on my tounge and it “knocked me
out” I want to get some more Can you help?
6. I have two cats, Gilbert (2 yrs) and Jakob (6-9 months). Need help with
2 problems. Excessive grooming and acting up during my cycle. The other
thing I would like advice about is how to introduce her to the baby that I
will have in June without disturbing her again. – teapot
7. I have a little hamster and I let him out for a little while at night.
He likes to try to burrow holes in the carpet. Is there any repellent I can
use to keep him away from those little corners of the room where he likes to
dig.? – Steve
Do It Yourself
8. I have termites running through the main beam in my house. We cannot
afford to have the house treated and we have wood beam ceilings in our
house. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so very much Robin
HOME-BASED BUSINESS IDEAS
HOME SPA PARTY PLAN – MAKE BATH & BODY PRODUCTS
Have you noticed how popular bath and pampering products have become? The
HomeSpa Party Plan taps into that craze. Guests at HomeSpa parties will
learn how to make bath salts, personalized perfumes, body spritzers and more
using essential oils, while you make a nice income from Nature’s Sunshine.
http://www.theherbsplace.com/essentialspa.html href=” http://www.theherbsplace.com/essentialspa.html “> Home Spa Party
FLINT RIVER RANCH OVEN-BAKED PET FOODS
If you have pets, they’ll love Flint River and you can make an income
providing good pet foods and other pet products to friends, neighbors and
your family. Pets keep eating, so customers keep buying. If you love
animals, this is a very rewarding home-based business. With only 100 volume
a month you can earn 19% on all sales.
http://www.healthypetcorner.com/FRR/busop.html href=” http://www.theherbsplace.com/essentialspa.html “> Flint River Ranch
NATURAL PET FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS
Life’s Abundance has great products by Dr. Jane Bicks and Dr. Barry Sears who
developed the Zone Diet for Overweight Dogs. Besides dog, cat and horse
products, you will have a non-toxic line of cleaning products – safe for
pets and children. Visit this website for more information. This type of
site is also available for $10.95/month (plus an initial $20 set-up fee). href=” http://www.lifesabundance.com/Opportunity/Opportunity.aspx?realname=10037649
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