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The Frugal Life News
October 12, 2005 Edition
The Frugal Life

A Note From Randal

Hello Everyone,


We have been busy, making new beds for the plants. Here in Virginia, there is very little top soil so it is necessary to either ammend the soil or build berms. We have been building berms and pulling the plants out of the hard clay. With the rain we got last week, the transplanted plants were able to enjoy a good soaking for the first time.

Hope your lives are going well during this fall season.

As always we are grateful to all of you who have been sharing The Frugal Life News with others!

Frugally yours,


Frugal Finances

And So It Begins… Credit Card Companies Are Changing!

Last April I warned of a coming storm for credit card holders who carry a balance and make monthly payments. Credit card companies would soon increase their required minimum monthly payment, resulting in budget squeezes for many.

A September 29th business headline announces…

‘Late Credit Card Payments Hit Record…’

but most credit card companies have been waiting until the 4th quarter of 2005 to implement this government mandated change.

Why are we seeing record late payments BEFORE this change is in effect?

Just as giant hurricanes begin as small tropical depressions, 87% of family financial distress starts with unexpected expenses or decreased income.

‘It now costs about $48 to fill a midsize car with gas, or $8 more than it did in June…’ according to the American Bankers Association.

This extra $8 per fill-up has to come from somewhere. Consumers are either borrowing to buy gas, thereby increasing their credit card balances, and by definition their required minimum payments, or they are decreasing savings and diverting more of their current income for gasoline.

Either way, there’s less money available to make timely credit card payments.

Adding fuel to this storm, credit card interest rates are rising as the federal reserve continues to raise interest rates. Higher rates result in higher payments and further constricts family finances.

Credit card providers aren’t particularly concerned about late payments. Late payment fees provide 30% of credit card company revenue. These fees are, of course, added to credit card balances, along with past due interest, and everything is put through the finance charge machinery for next month.

All of these factors are increasing minimum payments ahead of the required minimum payment change. When this change kicks in there will be a stampede for the bankruptcy courts.

In the last week of September alone, the number of personal bankruptcy filings in the U.S. jumped to 68,000 — another record. Bankruptcy laws will change on October 17. So it’s either stampede now, or face the uncertainty of these new laws later.

This isn’t going to be pretty and there’s no way to predict all of the side-effects of the interaction of debt, interest rates, the economy, mother nature, and politicians.

One thing remains clear, though…

The closer you are to debt freedom, the smaller the impact.

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

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, Cell Phones & Internet Service

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 Gardening

• Old kitchen spoons and forks are excellent implements for working in the tight spaces of a rock garden or container planting. They’re also ideal for transplanting seedlings.

• Give an old garden hose a second life as a support for a hanging basket from a tree. Slip a piece of hose over the length of wire that will be in contact with the tree to protect the branch from being cut by the wire hanger.

• Dinnerware becomes a garden tool when you think creatively. A knife makes a great patio weeder.

These ideas are from The Frugal Gardener by Catriona Tudor Erler

Frugal How-To Shop

Flea Markets, Yard Sales, Pawn Shops

Yes! Pawn shops are a great place to find bargains and it’s becoming a new fad so you need to get out there while there’s still some great deals left.

The merchandise isn’t junk. Think about it. When people pawn an item, it’s often something very special to them that they are reluctant to part with. If you see somebody leaving after having to let go of such an item, you may let guilt keep you from enjoying the deal.

Chains such as Cash America have opened clean, brightly lit stores across the country and will surely snare the hip budget buyers.

Make Your Own Home, Bath and Beauty Products

Essential oil kits allow you to make your own safe non-chemical home and
beauty products. Making your home less toxic for yourself, children and
Make Your Own
Home and Beauty Products

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 available.
Herbal Heartworm
Program & Prevention

Pet Information, Links and Natural Foods

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

Frugal Learning

Singing Success At-Home Study Course

The Singing Success Vocal Training Program, by celebrity vocal coach Brett
Manning, is the only vocal training program that guarantees a full octave
increase in your vocal range! You’ll learn to sing as easily as you speak,
completely eliminating vocal strain, and you will learn to master the
techniques of vocal style, including runs, licks and trills. Money-back

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

This issue there are no new questions or comments. Remember when you post your question it has the opportunity to be included in this ezine so that over 15,000 people can respond to your question. It’s a great way to get answers that you can’t find readily anywhere else.

Home Based Business Ideas

Nature’s Sunshine Products – Herbs and Supplements

Earn an income selling over 500 natural health products, beverages,
essential oils, skin care systems, water filters, and more. Websites for
Nature’s Sunshine

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 learn how
to make bath salts, personalized perfumes, body spritzers and more using
essential oils, while you make a nice income.
Home Spa Party

Flint River Ranch – Oven Baked Pet Foods

Make additional income providing healthy pet foods and bones to friends,
neighbors and 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 earn 19% on all sales.
Flint River Ranch

Life’s Abundance Foods and Supplements

Formulated 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
available for $8.50/month.
Healthy Pet


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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