Site Tour

Tour guide

You’re not on Fleet Street, but it is a tour.

Through Money Counselor, I aim to offer tools, information, and ideas to help readers make better money decisions over time. Besides the topics covered in regular posts, I’ve spent and continue to spend a lot of time collecting and linking from each page resources I think would prove valuable.

Look Up

Check the top of this page, for example. Under the Free Downloads link are:

  • 6 Steps to a Great Family Budget – a compilation of a series of Money Counselor posts with my ideas on how to create a budget guaranteed to help you reach your goals.
  • DIY Debt Settlement Guide – this popular download contains Money Counselor’s step-by-step suggestions for settling a debt on your own (as opposed to paying an exorbitant fee to some likely scammer to attempt to do it for you).
  • DIY Debt Payoff Guide – a very useful (if I do say so myself) step-by-step, easy-to-follow Money Counselor guide to setting up a system to pay off your debts with the least amount of cash.
  • Understanding Your FICO Score – produced by the Fair Isaac Corp., (the inventors of the FICO credit score), this excellent publication contains EVERYTHING you need to know about your FICO score and what you need to do to maximize it.
  • What You Should Know About Home Equity Lines of Credit – self-explanatory title, from the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.
  • The Center for a New American Dream Guide to Sharing – a wonderful and rapidly growing way to save money and reduce your environmental footprint.
  • Campaign for Young America Debt Toolkit – help here from Young Invincibles if you have student loan debt.
  • Child Identity Theft: Prevention and Cure — a guide from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission
  • AAA Your Driving Costs: How Much Are You Really Paying to Drive? — This annual publication from AAA always shocks. Owning a driving a car is likely costing you far more than you realize!
  • Money Smart for Older Adults — Designed to provide you with information and tips to help prevent common frauds, scams and other types of elder financial exploitation

You may find annoying that the Money Counselor guides, though free, require a password to access. I ask readers to send me a quick note to request the password, and I promptly reply. But, for the lucky readers of this page, I’ll save you the trouble. The password for all of the downloads is: debtfree

Also at the top of each Money Counselor site page is a link to Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission—usually dealing with the latest scam, scheme, or rip-off—and under More Money for You you’ll find links to sites and resources you can use to cut your expenses and put more money in your pocket. Take a look. I’ve used many of these myself.

Look Right

Now direct your eyes rightward to what is called the ‘right sidebar.’ Starting at the top, you have the opportunity to subscribe (by RSS or email) to Money Counselor, follow Money Counselor on Twitter (through my handle, @KurtFischer57, I tweet only about money stuff), and ‘like’ Money Counselor on Facebook. If you haven’t done all of these, I’d really appreciate it if you would now!

I’ll skip over the advertising (I’m guessing you’re not disappointed), down to the Debt Payoff Calculator. I like this compact tool. You enter your total credit card debt, the interest rate (calculate or guess a weighted average if you have several accounts at different rates, or do one account at a time), and the amount you pay each month. Click Calculate, and if you’re like 99 people out of 100, you’ll be shocked at the results. Then play around with the monthly payment to learn how much interest expense you’ll save by focusing your energy on paying more each month.

Next is my “Blogroll.” You’ve probably seen a version of this on other blogs, and everyone has a different philosophy. Some bloggers will “trade links” with just about any site. I respect that—bloggers need links to impress the almighty Google and get traffic—but, so far, I’ve taken a different approach. My blogroll includes sites I’ve followed for a while that, in my opinion, regularly offer quality content that’s likely to prove useful to Money Counselor’s readers. (I’m not saying that every other blog out there but not on my blogroll stinks, not at all. First, I’ve never seen many, many blogs, and second, many blogs—though excellent—are geared toward a different niche than Money Counselor.) Some of the sites listed on Money Counselor’s blogroll link to Money Counselor, and some don’t. In other words, linking to Money Counselor is not a prerequisite for being on my blogroll, but consistently offering content and resources useful to Money Counselor’s readers is. The Money Counselor blogroll will certainly grow over time—I have much yet to discover out there in the blogosphere.

The next section, Budget Worksheets, offers links to different sorts of tools helpful in creating a family budget. Then there are Consumer Alerts—this is the same set of links available through the Consumer Alerts link at the top of the page. I’ll probably get rid of the top-of-page link when I think of something else to put up there.

The Crisis Help section contains links to resources useful to families and individuals who are in serious, but usually short-term, difficulty. Perhaps a layoff or illness or major unexpected expense like an uninsured loss has thrown the family budget into chaos. Faced with such a challenge, it’s time to investigate and tap into the aid that’s intended to help in such situations, and these links will help you get started.

The FTC Fact Sheets section contains links to very readable and valuable publications on credit, debt, and security issues that affect nearly everybody. Reviewing these will help you be savvier about your money, identify rip-offs and scams before you get sucked in, and understand your rights if you have fallen behind on debts, among other topics.

More Money For You repeats the resource links also available through the link at the top of the page. The Philosophy of Life links are to articles and resources dealing with The Big Picture, versus how to save a buck or two here and there. A good part of financial success is state of mind and philosophy of life, I think. The links here are to resources that I’ve found useful and which have helped shape my own philosophy of life.

Under the Resources sections are links to a variety of websites, calculators, and tools to help you better manage your money. Check them out. As with all the other links in the sidebar, if you “hover” for a moment over a link, more information will pop-up.

In Stuff You Should Know is, first, information for parties interested in guest posting or advertising on Money Counselor. Next is a disclaimer that I hope will prevent anyone from successfully suing me after a misadventure trying out an idea they found here. Last is Money Counselor’s privacy policy, if such things interest you.

Under Very Cool Sites are links to a few non-money but, well, very cool sites I enjoy, so I thought you might like them too.

Finally, you’ll find a bit more info about me, including a link to my Linked In profile, if you’re curious.

Look Down

If you visit a normal post page, you’ll see where you can “Share the Wealth” by sharing posts through social media outlets. Please do! And then there’s the comments section, where you can offer your thoughts. A vibrant comments dialogue is critical, I think, to a blog’s utility. So comment! I usually comment back. I try to be clever buy usually fail, so you can laugh at my attempts.

Look Left

Look left and you don’t see anything. That’s because the “left sidebar” appears only on the homepage. After you’re done here, check it out by clicking Home at the top of this page. You’ll find (top to bottom) snippets from the three most recent @KurtFischer57 tweets, a list of the five most provocative posts (based on the number of comments a post inspires), all the Categories of Money Counselor posts so you can concentrate on a particular topic area if you’d like, a site search box, and the Money Counselor post archives.

Updates

I’m continually making changes to all of these sections. I’ve decided I’ll include a brief alert in the future whenever I add something new. Otherwise, how would you know unless you study the entire homepage each visit!

Please Make Suggestions!

I want this site to be useful to YOU. I urge you to critique what’s here and make suggestions about what’s missing that you’d like to see. Thanks!

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