My husband and I had to rent a car on a recent trip to Florida. When we tried to pay with our debit card, the attendant told us he would have to pull our credit report if we used debit instead of credit. He said all rental car companies operate that way, because there was concern about people stealing the cars and closing their checking accounts. Is this true? Weíre trying to take control of our money using your plan, and we donít want to get a credit card if we donít have to.
No, itís not true that all rental car companies operate that way. I have a debit card
I use to rent cars everywhere I go, and Iíve never experienced anything like that.
There still may be a few of the smaller rental car companies that donít take debit cards, but him telling you credit cards
are the only way anyone rents a car without a big credit check hassle is a bunch of crap.
When youíre setting up your reservation in the future
, verify in advance that youíre dealing with a company that accepts debit cards and that there are no ridiculous strings attached. Then, if you donít like the terms and conditions, go to another rental company.
But donít take a chance on wrecking your total money makeover by running out to get a credit card for something silly. Itís just not worth the risk!
Itís For Everyone
My husband and I have seven kids. What parts of your program work best for large families?
My entire plan works for a large family
. Larger families just have more expenses. What does change ó and you already knew this ó is that it can be a larger financial burden. This isnít criticism; itís just a mathematical fact.
When you kick things into overdrive like you folks have done, two things have happened. One, youíve extended the time that youíre going to be supporting the kids financially. Two, youíve got a lot of baby birds to feed and clothe. Unless you have an astronomical income, it slows down the process of hitting financial goals like getting out of debt
, because youíve got a drain on the math side of things. Itís a wonderful drain; itís a glorious drain; but mathematically speaking where the money is concerned, itís still a drain.
You really donít have any choice but to do a budget
. Having seven kids doesnít give you an excuse to live out of control or mean that living out of control without a plan is the definition of success. Youíve got to set more emergency categories aside in your budget. Youíve got to budget heavier for food, medical, transportation and things like that, because youíve got more things pulling at you ó and your money!
Donít cut your safety net
I make $25,000 a year, and Iím single. I expect my salary to increase to $35,000 next year, so can I get by with a $500 starter emergency fund instead of $1,000? I have about $38,000 in debt right now, including student loans, and I donít know how to keep up with bills and everything if I try saving a bigger emergency fund.
You really need a starter emergency fund of $1,000 if youíre at a point in life where student loans
are in the picture. It might seem like an impossible task right now, but that should be your first big goal. A written, monthly budget will go a long way toward helping you achieve that goal.
Making a budget
for your money isnít rocket science. Itís a simple, written planning process where you give a name and destination to every dollar you make before the month begins. Food, shelter, clothing, transportation and utilities are necessities, so they come first. After youíve taken care of those, make sure youíre current on your debts. Once all that is out of the way, put every spare dollar you can into your emergency fund.
If you do this with a sense of urgency, and limit spending
to necessities, it wonít take very long. Youíll be surprised by how quickly it can happen, and youíll love the newfound sense of security youíll have in knowing $1,000 is sitting there ready to cover lifeís little emergencies!