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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Health Insurance when you are laid off

Pals, I was reading letters at a website I look at often. A woman wrote that her 62-year old husband had been unexpectedly laid-off from his job. She said she didn't know where to begin to think about health insurance (and a lot more).  I talked to Len.  Man, we have been here.
This is what Len wrote. This answer is too long to post on someone else's website so we are sharing it here. 
...
Says Len:
You are in a difficult situation.

Mindful Chickens - Frugal Stuff 1/11/2018

1. We bought a car!! We bought our (former) 2006 Mercury Milan and 2004 Ford Ranger around 2006-2007.  Len is a very good vehicle dad – they lasted this long. The truck is still reliably chugging along; we sold it to a neighbor. However it became apparent a few weeks ago that the Milan could no longer take care of itself. Sigh. 

We talked about what kind of car we wanted in the past few weeks. Len did on-line research, finding cars we might like to try.  We decided we would spend part of two days test-driving these several makes of cars.

"Must-Haves" 1/10/2018

A friend (Thanks, Carol) tweeted this.  

“The term “must-haves” is profoundly unsettling to me.”

For those of us trying to live both frugally and thoughtfully – Yup!

I looked into the website she was responding to; it was coupons for:

Mindful Chickens 12/27/2017

1. Update: Only giving and receiving food items with our (adult) kids on Christmas was as fun as anything.  (http://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/not-buying-presents-christmas-what-fresh-hell) Receiving MY OWN PERSONAL BUTTERSCOTCH PIE was astounding!  In order to enjoy my whole pie without dying of Adult Onset Gluttony, I have made a pie chart (hah) which is on the counter next to the fridge. I am enjoying one piece of pie per day, which means I should be done next Monday.

The Chicken is Thinking 12/11/2017

1. We either squandered $60 this year or saved $30 today – depends on how you look at it. (Ahhh, the prism of life metaphor…)

Len’s lost his job last spring but soon enough he found his next job (he’s a serial worker); he now works mostly from home.

Guess who should have called the insurance company two days after he lost that job? Argh. We’ve been paying car insurance on the basis of a daily 40-mile round-trip commute he doesn’t make.

How to Save Hundreds on Fresh Herbs!

This probably never happens to you. You buy fresh cilantro (or parsley or basil or whatever herb you think you need) at the grocery store. You come home and stick it in the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator.

Two weeks later you throw away the plastic bag of green slime.

It occurred to me several months ago to ask the Internet how one ought to store fresh herbs. 

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