Diamonds and Dogs #21

Mar 3, 2014 by

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.

money idea gems3 Diamonds

  • The more I read Save and Conquer, the more I like what Bryce is doing over there. He spent a lot of time compiling an incredible list of senior discounts offered by various retailers, restaurants, airlines, and more. Eligibility for some senior discounts these days begins at age 50. Woohoo! If you’re even approaching age 50, you really should check out Senior Discounts.
  • That so many people seem so compelled to accumulate so much mostly useless crap—often taking on debt in the process—is astonishing to me, and an interesting mystery. An article on Mindless Accumulation at the blog Done by Forty helps explain, I think. Great stuff. Mindless accumulation in this context is “the human instinct to earn past the point of our needs, or even our wants, and to simply work until we cannot work any more.” Fascinating, I’m very interested in your thoughts on the article.
  • In “Screw the Math—I Am Getting Out of Debt!“, Dee at Color Me Frugal adds her two cents to the timeless debate around whether it makes sense to pay off low interest debt faster than required. Dee embraces the many intangible and difficult to quantify but very real benefits of being debt free, wisely concluding that the question does not reduce solely to interest expense vs. expected investment returns.

lame money adviceA Dog

Have you been tempted by so-called “credit repair” services? They’re a rip-off friends. The infographic below, prepared by, explains what credit repair companies do.

In sum, you pay a big fee for getting some negative credit information removed from your credit report, but here’s the catch: the information comes back once the process fully completes. The slang term for what these agencies do is “jamming.” I can’t imagine why you’d want to, but you could easily ‘jam’ your own credit report, which is another reason not to hand over cash to any agency.

 jamming scam infographic

Nominations Please

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.

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  1. Travis Pizel

    Oh, boy, credit repair promises. the best way to repair your credit is to handle your finances right!

  2. Done by Forty

    Thank you so much for including my post! I appreciate you sharing it with your followers, as well as the kind words. Cheers!

  3. Thanks for the mention.

  4. Dee

    Thanks so much for the mention Kurt! It is much appreciated!

  5. Even if the more legit credit repair businesses get you a reduced interest rate, or a reduction in the amount you owe, your credit score will take a large hit, and you will probably have to pay “forgiveness” taxes on the reduction in the amount you owe.

    P.S. Thanks for the mention of Save and Conquer.

    • I didn’t know there were any legit credit repair businesses..?? Unless you mean nonprofit credit counseling agencies that help people improve their credit over time by repaying debt through a Debt Management Plan program.

      • Yeah, that’s pretty much what I meant. But even they may do things that will negatively impact your credit score. I would advise someone to just follow the Dave Ramsay debt snowball.

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