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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The Mindful Chickens are Wordy Today

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

  • Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).
  • Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.
  • Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

This is my collection of wise choices and dastardly schemes from the last two months.

ONE: Our electric toothbrush/water pick would no longer hold a charge but a new one costs more than $100. Len took it to the battery store where they replaced it for $15.

Mindful Chickens - Plastic & Hunger 12/20/2020

I went for a walk on Wednesday and saw this mitten on a sidewalk. When I was at the same spot on Friday, it was still there, so I brought it home because it is a hand-knitted kid mitten, ya know? Any knitters out there interested in making it a mate, so that we could give it to a kid in my community or your? It's 7" from top to ribbed bottom. 

...

The point of “Mindful Chickens” is to spend less money while being mindful of the environment and our human values. We can try, right?

Holy Mackerel! Mindful Chickens 12/12/2020

Yamiche and Weijia licking out the mackerel bowl this morning.

...

I said I would write “mindful things” we did this week. The agenda of “Mindful Chickens” is to spend less money plus be mindful of the environment and our other values at the same time. Sometimes, one of those purposes wins over the other, but we can think before we spend, right?

1. I cut my hair. This is not a particular skill of mine, but I can do it well enough to not look like the Pittsburgh Paint Dutch boy.

Who Let the Chickens Out?

Mindful Chickens i.e., being frugal and living by our values instead of by blithering consumerism is how this blog started. Yet I seldom post lists anymore about choices Len and I make that hit that marker because I can tell from who follows me that this is not why most of you are here.

But today I have a lot of things I want to accomplish. Preparing the Light Posts takes me a long time so I am not going to do one – I do plan to be back at it Monday.

7-6-2020 Mindful QUARANTINED Chickens

(Thanks, KJR, for the funny fluffy chicken photo!) 

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

Making (a little) Sense of Medicare by Len Lamberg

Friends learned recently that they are facing imminent retirement with the accompanying medicare and insurance decisions - that have to be made now and made right. They asked how we figured out what to do. I asked Len if he could write up what he knows in plain English - and thought this would take him 20 minutes.

This took Len several hours over several days.

Our friends say this makes more sense than anything else they have read so far.

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