First of all I want to be teachable. I realize I don’t have all the answers. After reading the forums on this site for a while I finally decided to join the discussions. I guess to me it just felt like you were projecting on my friend Tony your frustrations with your parent (as with Stannius’s situation). If this is not the case then I do apologize.
Second I didn’t intend on bringing religion into the conversation. (Even though I do believe that a person's belief system does in fact shape his or her view of money/finances.) I’m just not familiar with other resources that help people get out of debt, etc. Forgive me if I offended you it was not my intention.
I'm not sure I appreciate the tone of this message but I will try to respond in cordial manner addressing the issue at hand. Usually I agree with your logic doinghomework. In fact from what I’ve read you, doinghomework, are one of the better minds on these forums. Not sure if this was just a bad day or what.
I'm looking for constructive feedback not a beat down. Nor am I interested in a debate about religion.
The topic of this thread is what to do with a financially strapped person you care for.
I appreciate that you think I generally make helpful postings here. I have enjoyed most of your postings as well Mr. Eagle and I think you give good advice overall. I truly believe that you should practice whatever religious beliefs you want but if you want to bring them in to the finance arena then you ought to think more critically first.
If you want to profess your faith here then I will ignore your postings since I am neither a moderator nor the owner of this board. Whether they choose to allow that is up to them. But as long as this is a finance forum, I am going to promote what I think is sound thinking about finances. And if someone mentions a company that I believe is not giving sound advice, I'm going to pint that out.
You do make helpful posts. In fact I do respect your opinions and value your advice. And if you would like to question a company that may have flaws I agree that is your right as well. However, no system is perfect to my understanding. This was the first thread that has puzzled me regarding your thoughts. As you pointed out I have a right to whatever religious beliefs (or rejection thereof) I desire to pursue. As do you. I think we agree on that.
The reason I mentioned Dave Ramsey once again was because this was the program I was familiar with and have used in the past. If there is such a free debt reduction program (and a better one at that) please let me know where to find it. I’m not closed to other options or resources. Thus the reason for me asking the questions and getting advice
I am trying to be teachable and open to other ideas to help my friend (and myself/others in the future).
When you start suggesting that some firm that uses the financial distress of others to promote a religious agenda is somehow a solution, you have crossed a line in my opinion. Those firms are not helping people like your friend. If you don't understand that then you have more learning ahead of you. And, while Dave Ramsey's top-level advice to get out of debt may be positive, his method (snowball) unarguably costs people extra money, and his promotion of his product (which he charges for) at churches is highly suspect.
I was skeptical of DR as well. However, I borrowed his material for free from a relative and this is why I listened to/watched his course. I didn’t pay 1 cent for his advice. In fact I just took what he suggested and personalized it. I made an excel sheet that works just as well as all his forms. While there may be other free (once again I’d like to know the details of this/these sources) resources out there what I took away from DR wasn’t necessarily the religious element but the basic financial principles: Spend Less than you Make, Budget, Pay off Debt, Save for An Emergency, Invest Wisely, etc. I guess one of the beefs some people have with DR is he promotes giving money to churches (tithe) and brings in the religious aspect of things (albeit a pretty “light” version of religion according to some?). In my view DR is just a communicator. He translates financial ideas into ideas average people can grasp. Perhaps because he can dumb it down for just regular folk is why he charges for his services. Also let me point out he was just one of the resources we used to help us get out of debt.
Please help me understand how the debt snowball method costs people extra money. I suppose it is because he tackles the smallest debt first instead of the one with the highest interest rate?
If such a product were promoted at Mensa conventions or other places where people think critically without the influence of religion they'd be unsuccessful. I think he knows that. So yes, I have it in for firms like Dave Ramsey and Crown Financial that take advantage of people because (in my opinion) there brains function less well than others. The shell out money they can't afford for advice they could get for free simply because it comes at a church they've been brainwashed to believe.
I consider myself somewhat intelligent. But my wife has told me that my brain doesn’t always function properly.
As I mentioned before I didn’t pay a cent for DR’s advice. Nor did anyone at any church require me to pay anything. I do not consider myself brainwashed. In fact I am open to other people’s ideas.
And if that is not enough he goes on to give information that is either a lie of so terribly ignorant that it is potentially damaging.
Please specify what DR teaches that are lies or ignorant. Understand I like DR like I like certain flavors of ice cream (solutions to financially issues). Say DR is plain vanilla. If there are better flavors out there I want to be aware of them and even perhaps try them out.
Your friend is a deadbeat.
As to the reason why he tried to reduce his child support is his wife made over 100k a year as well. He was living off of 25k a year. Yet she was receiving $700 a month of his $1500 paycheck. Do the math. He couldn’t even support himself with basic necessities. She had the house he paid for. He gave it up for his little girl to have a good home to grow up in. Plus he got stuck with all the credit card debt which she charged. I hope that sheds some light on the matter.
Anyone else have other suggestion and/or constructive feedback?
I don't know the details of the situation so I will not comment further except to say that, regardless of the history, how could a guy try to not pay his child support. The amount was determined by some judge that looked at all the facts.
Please read the above explanation. Tony wasn't trying not to pay. He was trying to get the amount paid proportianate to his income in order to be able to being able to pay for basic necessities for himself (food, shelter, clothing, transportation) and pay the child support.
The woman stole his lunch, kept his kid, kept his house, and still wasn’t satisfied. The money they had jointly went to pay off the house and to partially pay the credit cards in his name.
He was totally screwed over. (“Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.” By William Congreve may be an analogy applicable here)
He was living on an income below poverty limit, had no shelter, no food, and couldn’t get a better job due to the fact he had no transportation (credit is shot so not really much of a chance to get a car loan) to improve his situation (he walked to work). He lived on less than $800 a month (yes, the job was pretty pitiful but in this economy we were thankful) Would you like to know what his ex-wife told their daughter they needed Tony’s money ($700 amonth) for? She said it was so the Ex and daughter could get their nails done every week, hair done every week, pay for cell phones, so they could afford any/all HD programming, and for them being able to eat out every day of the week. What a thing to tell a child… Yet Tony never did get behind on child support. He may have lost 30 or 40 pounds due to malnutrition in the process. But I digress. It’s really a complicated situation and I agree there’s no point in talking further about it.
He had the ability to pay then screwed it up with his own behavior. Let me guess, now he has joined your church hoping for help. Sounds like a manipulator to me.
The company that he worked for fired him because he made too much money as he had loyally worked at his employer for too long. They brought in someone to do the same job at one-fourth the cost. That’s just good ‘Ol corporate America for you. People get near fifty and somehow turn from an asset to a liability.
Nice guess. However, no you’re wrong about Tony joining any church. Tony doesn’t even attend any religious organization. I met him through work. We have been friends for years. He remained my friend during a very hard season in my life when others turned their backs on me. I am loyal to my friends.
Eagle, I have nothing against you. I think you have made great posts for the most part. It sounds like you've also come to the same general conclusion that your friend is not worth the effort. And your religion is none of my business.
I really have nothing against you either doinghomework. I do value your thoughts even though we may not agree on everything. But then that is the beauty of humanity – diversity. This is the great ability to share the same space without having to have the same ideals, values, or beliefs.
You’re right on the conclusion. It is sad but I have come to realize that helping my friend is just not a sound investment. This is actually a very sad realization as I write it out. But I don’t give up hope that maybe, just maybe Tony may call me someday to start a budget and get his life in order. It’s a long shot I know and may never happen.