MoneyWise Live | October 31, 2018

The $20 Rule for Credit Cards

Show Notes

It started out as recreational - something fun to do just nights and weekends. You told yourself you could control it but before long it was controlling you. The monkey was on your back. You were hooked.  Of course we’re talking about addiction to credit cards. Using plastic can definitely be habit forming but financial planner and teacher Rob West has a simple way to help you break the chains of charging stuff. On this MoneyWise Live, these topics on the $20 rule:

  • Some might think that was an interesting teaser and our topic is informative but exciting? Why is this MoneyWise Live exciting?
  • This MoneyWise Live is about helping folks loosen the grip that credit cards have on them. Where do they start?
  • What about some tips for reducing credit card balances?
  • If the $20 rule only reduced most test subjects balances only $100 per month, should we really be be excited about that?
  • What else did the study reveal?
  • We've gone over the $20 rule but how about the "Chop it up into Little Pieces" rule if you can’t pay off your balance? Isn’t that a better way to go?

Next, Rob and Steve answer these questions at 800-525-7000 or via email at

  • If your present method is to save money to finally contribute to next year's Roth IRA at the beginning of the year, is this an acceptable practice?
  • If six years ago when you originally purchased a condo, you planned on making extra principle payments and didn't get around to it, would it be just as good to make a lump sum payment now of about 6 year's payments?
  • If you seem to hear a lot of privileged people call into MoneyWise Live, what do you have as advice for someone who feels over-worked, under-paid totally exhausted and over-taxed?
  • If you have a $3,800 car loan, have $10,000 savings and your wife might not go back to work after your first child, should you keep the savings or use it to pay off the car loan?
  • If you don't really need your Social Security payments but are thinking about starting your benefits, should you take it early (at age 62) and invest it into something like a Roth?
  • If you loaned someone money from your Roth that you now realize probably won't be paid back, are there any creative ways to recover the money?
  • How badly would it hurt your credit score to use a debt management agency to pay off credit card debt?
  • Is there a substitute (other than a 529) similar to US Savings Bonds for giving to your children?
  • If your student loans have gone into garnishment, is there any way to get them out of garnishment?

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