Mary Beth Writes

Just figures; all the frugal sites i read are talking about freezing lovely produce from their gardens - while I'm  freezing my credit report...

Per my Mindful Chickens of just this morning - I just froze two credit reports and fraud alerted the third. There are apparently two smaller credit reporting agencies I never heard of before, so I’m doing nothing about them at this time.

I suggest you read this first. Krebs is a well-respected guy; I heard him interviewed on an NPR show a while back. Read “about the author” section for more credentials.  

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/09/the-equifax-breach-what-you-should-know/

Freezing the credit reports was not NEARLY as hard as I expected it to be.  If you use the links in Krebs’ article, it takes you directly to the Security Freeze pages of each of the websites. 

Equifax did not charge me to install the freeze.  Experion and TransUnion charge $10 each. Which means in a marriage of two people, you will pay $10 for EACH freeze, which is $40. Unless you have a police report on credit fraud against your account. You can read more about it in the article.

Last night when we noticed the mysterious $50 charges and repayments in our credit bill – Len sent an email to our credit account company.

WHILE I was putting the credit freeze on TransUnion – our credit company card cancelled our card so I could not charge the $10 fee to it. Isn’t life simple? I called TransUnion, the guy said to put a free 90-day fraud alert on it. Then when we get the new credit card, we can pay the fee to get the freeze then.

We won’t freeze Len’s credit reports until we get our new cards.

All I want to clearly say here is – this was not hard.  It took less than an hour to do the three reporting agencies. They do ask some security questions, but I could answer them.

I now have pin numbers that I will put in our regular safe place. If we want to buy something big (like a car or open a new credit card) with credit we will have to call (or email) the reporting agencies, give them the pin, and they will give reports to whomever we designate.  But since we are at a very stable and boring place in our financial lives (Praise Be) we probably won’t do this much or ever.  In the meantime we don’t have to worry that our credit is living a Pulp Fiction life without us. 

Comments

Grrrrr. Been there, done that. What a pain

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Looking for Sincere and Heartfelt Tales

A while back I posted an article about my friend Franc; I talked about how he has created a good life for himself even though he has rarely earned more than $15,000 in a year. (Right here)

This article was satisfying to write. I enjoyed spending time with Franc and asking nosy questions. Yes, it’s a challenge to interview folks and then write about their lives, but I did this often in my 12 years as a newspaper columnist and I like the adventure of it.

Mindful Chickens - Chicago Edition

Mindful? Thinking about what we do around here to be responsible to the world and to ourselves.

Chicken? Cheep, Cheep, Cheap!

 You may have noticed I haven’t posted in a while. There’s been a lot going on – including this pleasure.  Len and I went to Chicago for several days to care for our granddaughter while our daughter and son-in-law went out of town.

Mindful Chickens on an Icy Night

My church has been working for months to organize their fund-raising auction that was supposed to be TONIGHT. But instead we are in the middle of the massive spring storm that is scrubbing the nation from Oklahoma to I don’t know where next. The wind is howling; rain is sleeting into snow over a glaze of ice.

So the auction is postponed until next Saturday evening. I have put in so many hours (as have many other) working towards this event in the past weeks - that being quietly at home not working on it makes me feel as if I won a lottery. 

Two Chickens and a 3-Legged Lamb

Mindful Chickens? We are frugal so that our retirement savings will last as long as we do. At the same time we try to consume responsibly so that our choices have the least negative impact on our fellow humans and on our earth and its creatures.  Cheep, Cheap!

Did you have a nice weekend? Did you get to share a meal or a chocolate egg or a PEEP with a friend or a child or a childish friend?

Other Peoples' Mindful Chickens

I regularly read blogs about being frugal.  I like them because they are about people taking as much control of the quality of their life as they can within the many different circumstances in which people live.  I especially love the letters people write listing what they did in the past few days to be careful and thoughtful about what they spend and how they save.

Retired Chicken Observations 3/22-2018

Two things I have been thinking about lately. Both are related to retirement income and retirement adventure.

1. Last week Len and I went to our Social Security office to sign me up for Spousal Benefits.  It took me several run-throughs to understand what “spousal benefits” are. Since then I have talked to several other people who were also unclear on the concept.

My confusion was this. I was already getting Social Security based on my earnings when I worked (as opposed to what I did when I stayed home and raised kids. But let’s not go there now. Grrrr.)

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