Are you good with money?

When it comes to money matters, what is your greatest fear? Are you good with money? Who handles your money and does the bill paying? What are people’s biggest worries? Here’s a poll on what worries most Americans.

Inspired by Gayle King

This entry was posted in behavior, choices, differences, emotions, feelings, life lessons, lifestyles, money, opinions, people, scared, things, worry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Are you good with money?

  1. SKL says:

    I’m a pretty simple person, so I really don’t worry much about money. My bills are relatively small, and I have savings. I do hate to see my savings dwindle as I pay more out in taxes than I take in – because the control freak in me wants it to be there down the line in case I need it, or if my kids need it for school. And I cringe at the thought of large expenses (like house fixing). Of course I want to make sure my kids are secure until they can strike out on their own. But there isn’t much of a “lifestyle” I need to prop up over here.

    I’m pretty good with money. It was really tight when I was paying off my student loans, so I had to figure out some tricks, some of which I still use (though I’m not as frugal as I used to be). I tend to be very risk-averse, so I park my cash where it will earn earn a small but steady return. Some would say that is not smart, but at least I didn’t lose principal during the Obama Crash (or any other crash). I don’t keep an interest-bearing payable unless I have absolutely no choice. If I don’t have the cash money for something, I shop around until I find something I can afford. So I’m pretty disciplined.

  2. Laura says:

    There are days when I feel like I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul. Seems like the minute we get some sort of windfall, something major goes wrong, and that windfall goes out the door, with interest. Last year it was the roof, this year, it was the fridge and a rotted floor. And now my lawn mower is getting an overhaul.

    My biggest worry is that something big will happen to me, health-wise, and not only will it eradicate our savings (since I don’t have health insurance – can’t afford it, and they won’t insure me anyway), I won’t be able to pay off the bills, because I can’t find a job. It’s depressing.

  3. Nikki says:

    My greatest fear, is that Jason will lose his job and we’ll have to really struggle again. We haven’t “struggled” in some time. We’ve been climbing out of that hole for so long, I’d hate to be thrown back in.

    For the most part, he make a majority of our money and I pay the bills each month. The money I bring in, goes to food, gas, odds and ins. His goes to rent and bills. It works out well. I’m home, so I do pay the bills and keep track of our spending. We recently hired a credit recovery person and they also offer finance counseling which we took!

    We made all the mistakes one can make when we were young and just figuring life out. Not the best time to make big decisions, but we did and we have to pay for them. We’re now in our 30’s and have figured it all out…long road but it’s a nice road to be on!

  4. Joy says:

    My greatest fear is that Buffalo Veneer will have to close it’s doors. It’s been hard keeping it alive that last 3 years. I worry about retiring sometimes. We’ve had really rough times and I’d hate for that to happen again. I suck with money. That’s probably why I worry about it. Paul pays all the bills and I don’t really pay too much attention to it but I really should know what to do and “how” to do everything. Sometimes I get scared because I don’t know anything about money.

  5. I worked at a credit-card company for many months, and I now have an intense fear of credit cards because of the way people are so irresponsible with them. I think I’m going to stick to debit-cards throughout my adult life if I can manage it.

    • Joy says:

      Credit Cards are evil EVIL things. If you can keep that plan Ilana, all the more power to you.

      • Nikki says:

        They are EVIL, but they can make or break your dream! For the last 4 years, we’ve payed everything with cash or debit. We have no credit now and have to build it back up in order to buy a house. The trick is to keep your spending about 10%-20% of your balance. I’ve learned so much, everything I wished we would have learned 10 years ago.

  6. Sue says:

    Yes, we are both good with money and it has paid off. Paid off in the sense that we have a savings and a great credit score. I learned most of my credit stuff from when I worked at Fingerhut in the credit department for the bank side. Got to read credit reports, learned how they make your credit score, what goes on and what doesn’t and just b/c they say it’s been 7 years or longer and it’s not “there”, it’s there and some companies will hold it against you. But, like Ilana said, many many people are irresponsible and didn’t realize you had to pay all that borrowed money back! (Those calls drove me the most nuts!)

  7. SKL says:

    Credit cards – I have a couple. I use them responsibly. I pay off the balance each month. They are convenient because I don’t have to think ahead to bring enough cash for whatever I may decide to buy. And I can keep most of my money in an interest-bearing account until the time comes to pay my bill.

    I had some credit problems when I was younger. I had 25 student loans (no exaggeration) and the payments totaled $1,100 per month, early in my career. Of course I had all the other bills that young people have – rent, car, etc. I got disorganized and missed a couple of payments here and there, and eventually I got a 6-month deferral, which enabled me to get back on track permanently. I did a lot of analysis to find every penny I could cut, every choice that could reduce my interest expense or increase my cash flow. Seven years went by pretty fast, and my credit was squeaky clean. (Though, ironically, my score would be higher if I had more debt!).

    When I was younger, money used to really stress me out. I had over $200K of debt in my name, and zero savings. I was not happy in my job and at times was in real fear of being fired. I was very much a “worst case” kind of thinker. I wouldn’t feel secure until I felt I could survive for years without a paycheck. All that sounds bad, but I’m now rather glad, because it motivated me to get way into the black before starting to spend money again. My mom used to say, “relax, you will always be in debt, like everyone else, and it’s OK.” But she was wrong. It never felt OK, and I did get completely out of personal debt and have stayed that way for some time. (Business debt is another story.)

  8. SKL says:

    I was going to say – the thing with credit cards is that people don’t realize how grave the consequences are if you screw up a little tiny bit. I was pretty good about mine, until the time when I was working 2 jobs, almost around the clock, and just didn’t get around to making a payment on time. I got the next statement and made a double payment. Well, little did I know that it would post only as the late payment from the prior bill. And the next payment was also considered late, and the third month they cancelled my credit card – but not before charging me a shitload of fees and penalty interest. So my rates went up on my other card because they got wind of the fact that I’d been late on the cancelled card. All this time I actually had the money to pay the bill; I just didn’t think a few days late was a big deal. By the time I realized what an idiot I was, I had done a ridiculous amount of damage. Hundreds of dollars in fees – what a terrible waste, when I could afford it least. In hind sight, it all sounds obvious, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who has had this happen.

    And then there are those “free trial offers” that start hitting your card after you’ve forgotten you signed up (and are difficult to stop), “free gifts” where they charge you shipping and handling in excess of the “gift” value, etc., etc. There really should be a “sucker-defense” class for young people so they go in with their eyes open.

  9. Phyllis says:

    I’m ok with money, but not great! I’ve paid off one credit card and closed the account. Now I’m working on paying off the second one. Like Laura, al lot of my life has been spent borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. I did ok while I was able to work 2 jobs, but now that I only work one that gives me 23 hrs. @ week there are again times when things are very difficult. It would improve if the darn property taxes stopped going up, but even in these times the properties are still being over assessed. 😦

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