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Question of the Day – Giving/Charity

I recall talking about this in the past but I don’t remember making it the question of the day. So, here goes:

Do you budget for giving or do you simply give as the opportunity presents itself?

My wife and I USED to give on the spur of the moment. This year though, we actually budgeted for the entire year, giving a monthly amount to a couple of different charities that we respect. When someone calls to ask for money, I tell them that we have a budget for our giving and they normally leave us alone.


I don’t feel guilty for not contributing to every charity that calls because we can’t possibly contribute to every cause, and we already budget for our giving. Now I just wish the charities we already give to would stop asking us for ADDITIONAL funds but that’s another blog topic.

Jonathan Clements’ Guide to Starting Small

Today’s Getting Going column by Jonathan Clements is titled Start Small, Think Big: How to Launch Your Financial Life With Just a Few Bucks (free). For those just starting out, with little money to invest, Clements recommends: Continue reading Jonathan Clements’ Guide to Starting Small

Watch Out For Foreclosure Scams!

It never ceases to amaze me at the lengths that people will go to in order to make a buck. One of the latest scams, called mortgage fraud, involves companies that disguise themselves as “helpers” to homeowners who are struggling to make payments on their homes and are facing foreclosure. Lingling Wei states in this article ($) in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal:

The problem centers on foreclosure-rescue companies, which target homeowners behind on their mortgage payments through newspaper ads or fliers claiming services such as “fast cash,” “equity funding” and “no credit check.” According to some recent cases filed by consumers and regulators, the companies mislead borrowers into believing they can save their homes from foreclosure in exchange for a transfer of the title for a year or two. The companies promise borrowers they can stay in their homes by paying rent for that period, giving them time to catch up financially until they can buy back their property. Often unknown to the borrowers, however, the companies may have sold their homes to a third party, stripping out the home equity and leaving the borrowers on the verge of eviction.

I know we have all heard this line MILLIONS of times, but I feel like I need to say it again:

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The real shame is that most of these buyers were probably duped when they bought the house in the first place, using risky mortgages in order to “afford” the mortgage payment. It’s a shame but that’s the way the world works.