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The Frugal Life News – 04/26/05


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The Frugal Life News
April 26, 2005 Edition
The Frugal Life

A Note From Randal
Hello Everyone,

Our Forum has been busy so we have packed some new questions at the bottom of this ezine. Lets remember that sharing information is what makes the site, ezine and the forum a valuable resource of frugal information. Please make sure to post your comments directly in the forum. Lately I have received some responses emailed directly to me. You have to make the postings we cant do it for you. Time constraints and also author ownership rights prevent us from posting to the forum on your behalf.

Thanks for understanding and sharing The Frugal Life News with others!

Frugally yours,


Frugal Finances

A Storm Is Coming…

What would you do if your REQUIRED minimum monthly payments on each of your credit cards DOUBLED… without your charging a cent more?

For example, suppose you owe $10,000 on a card and your required minimum payment is 2% of your balance or $200. What would you do if your required minimum payment ballooned to $400?

Reduce retirement savings? Increase the debt on your home? Decrease your standard of living? Panic?

Twelve months from now this will be a desperate reality for thousands of credit card holders making minimum payments.

According to Business Week, April 25 edition, a rule change by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency:

first introduced in January of 2003 is now being strictly enforced, requiring credit-card companies to increase required minimum monthly payments over the next 12 months.

Today, typical required minimum monthly payments are 2% of the balance. Some credit-card companies require as little as 1% of the balance. In 12 months, typical required minimum monthly payments will double to 4% of the balance!

This rule change is an attempt to eliminate Black Holes, also called negative amortization, where payments don’t cover at least the interest due. It’s also an attempt to assure at least some of the principal is paid with each minimum credit card payment.

Although well intentioned, a noose is tightening…

Inflation is accelerating…

“Soaring energy costs helped drive the U.S. Consumer Price Index
up in March by 0.6 percent, the sharpest monthly gain since October.”

taking a bigger bite out of paychecks leaving little room to absorb payment increases.

Paychecks are getting smaller…

“Wages for the average worker fell in 2004, after adjusting for inflation,
first such drop in nearly decade.” — N.Y. Times

so we can’t count on bigger paychecks to make these payments.

If you think bankruptcy will provide some relief… think again. A new bankruptcy bill has been signed into law making it tougher for heavily indebted Americans to wipe out their obligations.

Look for a cascade of financial pain for many Americans about 12 months from now…

Credit card minimum payments increase, which leads to missed payments, creating late fees and higher interest rates, which decreases FICO score, triggering Universal Default clauses on other credit cards causing their interest rates to skyrocket, and more missed payments, and so on…

And not even bankruptcy will guarantee escape.

The only guaranteed way to avoid this disaster is to start today with a systematic plan to pay off all debt, but especially your credit card debt, as fast as possible. Even paying off 1 or 2 cards will create some cushion to absorb increases 12 months from now.

The first warning shot was fired back in January 2003. You have a 12-month window of opportunity. Take it.


Greg Moore is the Architect of the Debt Freedom System,
‘DebtIntoWealth — Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom.”

“What the heck… I’ll give it a try!”

“I have to say I’m so glad I purchased your DebtIntoWealth
System! I was skeptical at first, so I went to the website. It
sounded good, so I figured “what the heck,” I’ll give it a
try. My goal was to pay off $5000 in credit card debt and a
car loan so I could buy a new home, and get me and my 4 girls
out of our 2 bedroom apartment. It worked! It’s now 9 months
later and ALL of my debt is paid off, and I just signed a
contract on a new 5 bedroom house! There is no better feeling
than to have NO debts, and a savings account too! Thanks to
your system, my family is going to have a better life by not
being enslaved to debt.”
— Katrina S. in Houston, TX

What the heck… Give DebtIntoWealth a try, today!

Free Lesson #1 – Debt Freedom Course

Pay off all of your debt in 5-7 years using the money you already make. Find out why financial guru and best-selling author, Suze Orman, is advising her millions of followers to “Pay Everything Off as Fast As Possible!”

Frugal Home Communications
Long Distance, Prepaid Phone Cards, Internet Service and Cellular Phone Service

Long Distance, Prepaid Phone Cards, Internet Access & Cellular Phone Options

3.9 Cent Long Distance With No Access Numbers to Dial
Prepaid Phone Cards
Shop the Plans for Cellular Phones
No hidden fees or charges!

Frugal Health Care

Co-op Health Financing & Community Health Improvement

This non-profit mutual aid system pools money to reduce health care costs. Although this organization began in Ithaca, NY, the members are not only in the state of New York. They pay to any credentialed health care provider in the world. Any U.S. citizen can become a member.

The Health Alliance proceeds systematically to make preventive and innovative health care more affordable, and to recapture health insurance premiums. The Alliance is governed by a local board of directors (representing different health sectors) elected by Alliance members. They adjust Health policies to maximize immediate member benefits, while retaining enough reserves to build nonprofit clinics.

Frugal Gardening

The Edible Schoolyard

Urban public school students now have a one-acre organic garden and a kitchen classroom. Using food systems as a unifying concept, students learn how to grow, harvest, and prepare nutritious seasonal produce. Experiences in the kitchen and garden foster a better understanding of how the natural world sustains us, and promote the environmental and social well being of
our school community.

Children learn about the connection between what they eat and where it comes from, with the goal of fostering environmental stewardship and revolutionizing the school lunch program.

Linking garden and kitchen activities with classroom lessons using ecological principles, students develop a deep understanding and
appreciation of how nature sustains life.

Since the inception of The Edible Schoolyard, the school garden movement and the demand for fresh, organically produced foods has spread nationally. We are at a threshold of growth in the shift toward sustainable food systems these resources may guide your involvement to have one in your own community:

Make Your Own Home And Beauty Products
Bath, Beauty, Perfumes, Cleaning and Air Freshener/Deodorizer

Essential oil kits allow you to make your own safe non-chemical home and beauty products. You’ll save a lot and feel better about making your home less toxic for yourself, children and pets. The Starter Pack has a Recipe Guide with tons of ideas.
Make Your Own Home and Beauty Products

Frugal Decorating

Deodorize While You Kill Bacteria and Viruses

Essential oils will make your home smell wonderful without the dangerous air freshener chemicals that have been in the news. The big bonus is that you also get the anti-microbial properties of essential plant oils so you can kill germs throughout your home without bleach and toxic cleaning products.

The AromaBall is a handy plug-in appliance with a ceramic plate that holds a small pad on which you add essential oils. Easy-to-use as a night light.

Get more info and/or purchase here:
AromaBall for Deodorizer and Anti-Microbial Home Defense

Frugal Pets

Herbal Heartworm Program and Prevention

Robin Sockness works with pet owners with an individualized program and has currently worked with over 700 dogs. Herbs are safer and less expensive so it’s a win-win situation for all. Prevention programs are available also.
Read more about it here:
Herbal Heartworm Program & Prevention

Free Information, Free Ecards, and Pet Foods Too!

Healthy Pet Corner provides lots of information and links for birds, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, and reptiles.
Healthy Pet Corner – Your Pet Portal

Frugal Tips From Our Subscribers

Cleaning Aluminum Pots

To clean aluminum pots and pans, simply fill them with water and add 2 T. cream of tarter. Boil for 5-10 minutes, then wash and dry as usual. You won’t believe your eyes!

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:

Questions Needing Answers At The Forum

Cleaning Forum
1. Does anyone out there know how to get nail polish out of my white cotton sheets. Help!!!!

2. Ok, so I needed a jewelery box so I bought a wood box and some acrylic paint and I painted the box. I let it sit for a few days and then I put my sunglasses in it. Somehow, without moving the box, my sunglasses got paint all over them, on all sides. I don’t understand how it happened, but it’s on both sides of the lenses and everything. It’s about $200 worth of sunglasses so if anyone knows a way to remove paint from them, I’d really appreciate learning! Thanks in advance, Amanda

Critters Forum
1. Does anyone have any safe home remedies to get rid of fleas on dogs? We bathe our dogs weekly but have already noticed they have a lot of fleas on them. we spray the yard frequently for fleas and think that the fleas are now jumping on the dogs to survive. What can i spray on my dogs to get rid of the problem? Help!

Decorating Forum
1. Any tips for hanging pictures on walls that are concrete block-based? I live in a very old cottage, and the outer walls, which are concrete, bend any nail that’s longer than 1/2 inch. It’s been suggested that I use a drill with a masonry bit to drill holes in the walls, and then use concrete screws to hang the pictures (all of which are too heavy for adhesive hangers). However, I’ve never used a drill before, and I’m afraid of what it will do to the paint layer on the walls. Any ideas? Laurel

Home Based Business Ideas

Home Spa Party Plan – Make Bath and 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.
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 $100.00 volume a month you can earn 19% on all sales. Websites are not yet available.
Flint River Ranch

Nature’s Sunshine Products – Herbs and Supplements

If you’ve been a natural health nut, you have a lot of information to share. Earn an income selling over 500 natural health products, beverages, essential oils, skin care systems, water filters, and more. Websites are also available for $15.95/month (plus an initial $19.95 set-up fee).
Nature’s Sunshine Products

Long Distance, Internet Access & Cellular Phone Options

3.9 Cent Long Distance With No Access Numbers to Dial
3.9 Cent Prepaid Phone Cards
Shop the Plans for Cellular Phones
No Hidden Fees or Charges

Life’s Abundance Foods and Supplements

Life’s Abundance products by Dr. Jane Bicks and Dr. Barry Sears who developed the Zone Diet for Overweight Dogs. Besides dog, cat and horse products, they have a non-toxic line of cleaning products – safe for pets and children. Websites are available for $8.50/month (plus an initial $20 set-up fee).
Healthy Pet Net

ZoneNet Health Products

ZoneNet products are distributed by the same company that produces Healthy Pet Net. ZoneNet products are backed by the research and wisdom of Dr. Barry Sears one of America’s most trusted health and wellness experts. Their mission is to to develop superior functional food products that help people achieve long-term wellness. Websites are available for $8.50/month (plus an initial $20 set-up fee).
ZoneNet Health Products


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Copyright, Legal Disclaimer and Reprint Information

2005 Randal J. Watkins

Information in The Frugal Life News (TFL) has been derived from sources believed accurate and reliable. In no event shall *The Frugal Life,* Randal Watkins, or the TFL staff be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with the use of information herein.

TFL does not knowingly accept ads from advertisers deemed detrimental to TFL’s readers, however, publication of an ad in TFL does not constitute an endorsement for such product or service.

There is no remuneration for suggestions, tips, or ideas submitted by readers. All suggestions, tips, and ideas, submitted for publication in The Frugal Life, become the property of The Frugal Life, notwithstanding similar rights of the reader submitting such suggestions, tips, or ideas. TFL publishes readers’ names with their suggestions, tips, and ideas unless a reader requests otherwise at the time of the submission.

Forwarding and Use of This Newsletter

You may forward or use this copyrighted newsletter on a website if you include the following credit:

Editor, Randal J. Watkins, of, provides this free newsletter to subscribers. The Frugal Life is sponsored by which provides quality Nature’s Sunshine Products at wholesale prices. Visit now to shop or view the list of free newsletters available.
The Herbs Place

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