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    • CDTV Launch! March 30, 2011
        Credit Dusters has just launched our interactive television show. The network is called CDTV and it will start out with a daily show about all things credit. You can go there now…tv.creditdusters.com.
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    • New VW and Other Purchases I Didn’t Make June 4, 2008
      It seems strange considering my profession.  I recently pulled a copy of my credit report through the credit watch service  I am a member of.  I needed to purchase a car so I wanted to see where my scores stood and shop for the best interest rate.  To my surprise I had purchased a brand new […]
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    • Loan Modification – The Best Chance for Success April 30, 2008
      This week we are discussing a painful, but important situation that a lot of American consumers are facing. It is so scary to think that you might lose your home, but we want you to know that there is hope. We want to be a resource to those folks because we have been there and […]
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    • Beauty in Simplicity Chapter IV – The Final Verse April 25, 2008
      My family lives in a small, rural town in Southern Indiana. We are surrounded by a soy bean field with hundreds of sprawling acres across the street and a large lake that adjoins our property in the back. Sounds nice, right? Why am I so discontented?What is it that continues to drive me toward always […]
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    • Beauty in Simplicity Chapter III – The Endless Road April 24, 2008
      I began writing about the subject as a result of my daughter and I going on a field trip to our county 4-H last week. All the modern day farmers talking about raising chickens, cows, rabbits, and living off the land made me yearn for a life like that. This is my journey…The truth is […]
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    • Beauty in Simplicity Chapter II – What’s in the Box? April 23, 2008
      In his book, Halftime, author and successful businessman Bob Buford comments on the purpose of money in the following manner: Mike Kiami is a strategic planning consultant. He is brilliant. He is intuitive. He is demanding. He slices through all the pretense and posturing, and hones in on the core. He does not believe in […]
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    • Beauty In Simplicity – Chapter 1 April 22, 2008
      “Stop this train, I want to get off!” – Vanilla Ice Yesterday I touched on the fact that I am soul searching for the simple life. My wife and I used to think the Amish had the answer. I now know, as I mentioned, that I do not have to buy a farm and work […]
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    • A Rabbit Meat Shortage, The American Consumer, and Something About The Simple Life April 21, 2008
      I went on a field trip with my 3rd grade daughter this past week to our county 4-H. I learned a lot about farm animals. It was quite amazing because I saw the farmer of today and even with all the modern technology, (like a $280K combine that has a stereo, GPS system, and two seats) it […]
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    • How To Not Blow Your Tax Refund April 2, 2008
      In my previous post I wrote about the importance of filing even when you owe. Today I am going to give some helpful tips on preparing for your refund. Whether you are getting $500.00 or $5000.00 it is human nature to spend your money two or three times before it even hits the bank. I would encourage […]
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    • How To Proactively Protect Your Identity March 26, 2008
      Freecreditdusters.com has a great article on ID Theft – Check it out
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Beauty in Simplicity Chapter III – The Endless Road

I began writing about the subject as a result of my daughter and I going on a field trip to our county 4-H last week. All the modern day farmers talking about raising chickens, cows, rabbits, and living off the land made me yearn for a life like that. This is my journey…The truth is that money gives you options. This truth infects all of us. My son who has birthday money, runs around Wal-mart like a tycoon, my kids demand a family vacation when summer hits, and I want to be blogging on the beach. Beach Blogger? It has a nice sound!

So there is no doubting the power of money. It is intoxicating when you have it and frustrating to the point of madness when you don’t. So, what is wrong with money? There is nothing wrong with money – It is the incessant need and desire for it that is the problem.

If we are really honest with ourselves, we believe money gives us a life without worry. Yet we exchange the lack of worry for something much more sinister and that is a lack of satisfaction. When we have money we have so many options that we are no longer satisfied with what would have blown us away before. I have found that to be the case in my own life. Suddenly the Honda Accord (which is a great car) pales in comparison to a BMW. Why? You could say performance and better handling, but the truth is that we want more than we can really afford. We are always pushing the envelope.

This is why I am struggling so deeply with the concept of simplicity. I secretly do not want to be simple because then no one will notice me. My wife and I own a business so there is a certain perception with that. We get the questions like: “Did you guys move?” “I saw your new car! (It’s not new, except to us.)”

The truth is we are dealing with the same issues that every new, small business struggles with. Survival is the word of the day. Perception is everything though. So we continue down the road – choosing the one less traveled and wondering if we made the right choice.

 

Time, not money is the key to a great Spring Break

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Time, not money is the key to a great Spring Break!

Back in the day there was a big movement of child experts who claimed that your kids require, “quality and not quantity.” If this has been your philosophy I have a question for you, “How is that working for you? ”

The cold, hard reality is that your family is just like anything else worthwhile. It takes both quality and quantity to be successful. This is the case with any endeavor from your career, to your hobby, and anything else.

 If you decide this spring to plant a garden, then you cannot simply till the soil, plant the seed, and wait for the harvest. A gardener knows that he must care for the little seedlings even though he cannot even see them. He realizes that in order for that seed to shoot roots down and have enough strength to break through the ground it is going to need a fertile, well-cared area.

Your children are no different. They require you to spend time with them. Do not make the mistake of feeling as if you have to go somewhere to have a great time. Love in any family is spelled  T – I – M – E!

Check out more Spring Break Tips: http://freecreditdusters.com/

Game of Life Better Than Blockbuster’s

springbreak08.gif Well, we played the Game of Life last night and as promised I will give you the highlights. It turned out better than I could have ever hoped. We all had a blast and learned a lot.

The amazing part about the game and reality is the unpredictability. You never know when you are going to lose your job, get sick, have a child, run into some money – the ups’ and downs of life itself are displayed in the form of pink and blue pegs driving plastic SUV’s (we have the new version).

It was interesting to me the reasons behind the choices the kids made. The game begins with a lot of decisions. Do you go to college and or not go to college? All of the kids wanted to start their career. I asked Emily why and she said she liked the picture. Sean, my 4 year old, wanted to get married immediately. The kids all squealed when we gave them $10K each, but quickly realized how fast the money changed hands.

Emily, my nine year old, pulled her salary card after picking a police woman. She was elated to find out she made $60k every time she passed a “Payday”, but was angry when she realized she would have to give her money away each time she landed on a taxes space.

The interesting part on a personal level was that I decided to take the college route. I actually never went to college so it was a surreal experience seeing myself taking the long route and watching everyone else get jobs, pass several payday’s , and even get married before I graduated.

Emily’s car rolled away and she did not have insurance so she had to pay $15k. When Emily got married she tried to put her husband in the back of the SUV instead of next to her. Lord, bless her future husband!

Seth, our seven year old, did something that surprised me. When it came time to buy a house he opted for the most expensive one. His career was a computer tech so he had more money than I did as I doctor (Isn’t that how life works?) Then his mom asked him if he wanted insurance on the house. At first he said no because the insurance was $45k. Then we explained to him that if he had a fire or flood then he would have to pay big money for the repairs or even lose his house altogether. He thought for a moment and elected to buy the cheaper house so he could “afford” the insurance.

The kids agreed that we all had a good time and even spoke later about what we learned. I look forward to many more trips around the game board because Life, like the game, is way too much fun to sit out!

The Game Of Life

springbreak08.gif The Game of Life has always been my family’s favorite board game. This is where you scratch your head and mouth the words, “Board game?”  Yes, I did say it. You know the pre-pixel version where the whole family gathers around the table and interacts with fun, laughter, and a little friendly competition. It is old school, but this is what my family will be doing on our first night of spring break.

 In the real game called Life, my wife and I have had many conversations about our kids (we have three) and their lack of understanding about money. We set up our nine-year-old daughter and our seven-year-old boy with their own savings accounts. The four-year-old is still too young. We are not frivolous spenders when it comes to our kids, but they still do not have a grasp of where money comes from and that it is not an infinite commodity.

We are really trying to get creative with our family nights and turn them into masked-over learning experiences as opposed to just another movie night. The movie night is the easy and lazy way of technically having family night.

Monday night we are going to eat dinner together with every electrical device unplugged. Yes, even my laptop…does it have an off button? Our first order of business is for each family member to tell their favorite part about the day. If you start this you will find that kids are just mini adults and they have a tendency to be very negative about their day. My daughter wants to start out about the latest gossip in her 3rd grade class. We gently, yet firmly, steer the conversation to positive stuff. Because none of my kids want to actually hear about my latest exploits starting a social networking site, I usually end up making some kind of story about the king of Persia calling me on a secret mission.

After we clear the table we get out the game for the night. Just like real life the Game of Life has a lot of twists and turns. We are hoping to share with our kids the value of family over the desire for pure worldly possessions.

It should be interesting. I will let you know tomorrow how it went.

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You can also check out our other site which I will posting daily: http://freecreditdusters.com/

Good things come to those who are proactive!

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Today we received a phone call from one of our clients. Carla and her husband called to thank us for sending them to the credit watch service. They had signed up a few months ago, but had never checked her credit since then.She was surprised when she received an email from Trans Union alerting her that several new trade lines had been added to her credit report. Carla knew that she had not applied for anything. She logged onto to her True Credit services and saw that 3 new collections had been added from the same company.

The ironic part is that these were her husband’s medical bills and they had been added to her account. She had just spoken with the collection agency and set up payment arrangement to avoid it reporting on her account.  They had assured her that the collections accounts would not be reported to the credit bureau.

“Because I was signed up with the service it alerted me immediately that something was wrong on my credit. This allowed me to be an educated consumer and hold the collection agency accountable. If I had not had the service with True Credit I would have not known about these until I applied for a loan. By then it would have been too late.”

We are working with Carla to get those items removed permanently from her report. Carla did a great job and we were happy to hear from her. 

Seth Godin and That Noise Inside My Head

Happy Monday!

If you have not heard of Seth Godin then you are in for a real treat. Seth is a mentor and a master marketer. He has completely changed the landscape of what it means to sell to people. More than anything, Seth has an innate insight into the human condition. I never thought I would have the ability to reference him on my Credit Dusters blog, but here I am.

Today, Seth speaks to us about the that noise inside my head. Check it out. It will make you think deep today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year….and the rest of your life about the choices we make and why we make them.

Your Friend,

Matt Sullivan

The New Credit Face of FICO 08

Credit Hawk Blog has an excellent post as well as several resources about the new credit scoring system that is already out. Check it out: http://credithawk.blogspot.com/2008/03/new-face-of-fico-08.html

Thanks,

Matt Sullivan, CEO