Diamonds and Dogs #19
In each post of the Money Counselor “Diamonds & Dogs” series, I pick three items—an article, a website, a video, an image—that in my humble opinion would be especially valuable—the Diamonds—in helping Money Counselor readers make better money choices. And to contrast with the three Diamonds, I pick one lame item—the Dog.
- J. Money at Budgets Are $exy did a post titled “The hardest decision was to live DIFFERENTLY than everyone else“, a quote from an email J got from one of his readers. The title instantly attracted me since being an “oddball” (my Mom’s label) is sort of my lifestyle. I wholeheartedly agree with J when he writes in his article, “you do have to live differently than everyone else to reach your financial goals.” J publishes an extended excerpt from his reader’s email that lists the writer’s impressive financial accomplishments over the past seven years, all done by choice, if you get what I mean.
- I like this guy Mr. Money Mustache, and his blog has loads of appeal. But what I like best about the blog is Mr. MM’s writing ability. Few of his posts disappoint, but I especially enjoyed “Wealth Advice That Should Be Obvious.” Mr. MM offers eight pieces of advice, one of which reduces to a recommendation to buy twelve pounds of cheese! Makes one wonder if Mr. MM might own a little Kraft Foods Group stock. Seriously though, as usual, Mr. Money Mustache’s suggestions all hit the mark and, yes, should be obvious if only we were as diligent as he about our financial well being.
- I published this 3-minute video in a quick post about a week ago, but I think it deserves more ‘air time.’ Its subject, 77-year old Mr. Tom Palome, makes ends meet in “retirement” by working two, near minimum wage part-time jobs. The shocking part is that Mr. Palome enjoyed a long, well paying career as a marketing professional. I’m humbled by Mr. Palome’s attitude and grace. (If the video has vanished or doesn’t work for you, here’s a direct link.)
I understand that people sometimes don’t pay their debts when they can and should and that debt collectors have a legitimate job to do. But I don’t like the straight up deceit and illegality that characterize the tactics of many collectors. But hey, at least collectors provide a public service of a sort by occupying a lower spot than even members of Congress on the job performance scale!
The strategy of debt collectors is simple: become a greater nuisance in the debtor’s life than each of the other collectors hounding the debtor so that any free cash comes my way as the debtor hopes it’ll make me go away. Believe me, you don’t want to be the focus of one of these debt collector nuisance contests, which is one good reason to pay off your debts.
The site CreditCards.com recently published an article on debt collectors’ latest addition to their nuisance arsenal: text messages. Big deal, you may be thinking, I can easily ignore a debt collector’s texts. Uh-uh. In a case recently outlined by the FTC, relatives, friends, and co-workers of the debtor got text messages related to their debtor-friend’s troubles. (See what I mean about collection tactics?) An example text read, “It is URGENT for you to call National Attorney Service regarding a very sensitive matter.”
The FTC levied a $1 million fine against National Attorney Collection Services Inc. and National Attorney Services LLC, both controlled by Archie Donovan, related to the text messages. Mr. Donovan’s companies collect debts on behalf of payday loan companies. But debt collectors communicating by text is not illegal, per se. Mr. Donovan’s companies were fined because the 100,000 texts per month his companies were sending failed to state that they were attempts to collect a debt, and that any information gained would be used for that purpose, as the law requires.
Do you have a nomination for a Diamond or Dog? Send it to me please. I’ll give you credit if I use it in a “3 Diamonds and a Dog” post.