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How to Choose a Budgeting App

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
November 3, 2021 10:21 am

How to Choose a Budgeting App

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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November 3, 2021 10:21 am

Did you know that two thirds of smartphone users have at least one budgeting app? They’ve discovered how easy it is to keep tabs on their money from anywhere. On today's MoneyWise Live, host Rob West will talk with Chad Clark about how to make your life easier by choosing the right budgeting app. Then Rob will take your calls on various financial questions from a biblical perspective. 

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Have you received notices from so-called credit restoration companies claiming they can fix your credit?

Well, in reality, only you can do it. Hi, I'm Rob West. COVID has had a devastating impact on the finances of millions of families. Unable to pay their bills on time, their credit histories have taken a hit. I'll talk about how to correct that, and it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. So, as I said, there's nothing that a for-pay company can do to improve your credit score that you can't do yourself.

Don't be taken in by those offers. Restoring your credit takes time and discipline, and no one can do it but you. The sad truth is, most black marks on your credit report will stay there for seven years, and there's almost nothing you can do about it.

I say almost, because there are a couple of things you can do, but only under certain circumstances. First, you can only successfully dispute late payments on your credit report if they're incorrect, and you'll definitely want to do that because your payment history makes up 35% of your FICO score. Start by getting your credit reports produced by the three credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can do that at AnnualCreditReport.com. Sign up there, follow the instructions, and the site will provide you with your credit reports. You have to request them individually from each of the three bureaus. Then, check to make sure the line item with your late payment or collection item is correct.

If it isn't, you can dispute it right there online. Now, if a black mark is accurate, you want to pay off that debt as quickly as possible, or at least bring it up to date. It won't improve your credit, but it will minimize the damage and start the clock ticking toward the date the item will be removed from your report. Now, you might think that by paying off the debt that was in arrears, the black mark will come off your report, but it doesn't, and it won't raise your score, but it will show that you've taken responsibility for the debt and made good on it.

Again, damage control. Now, for the second way, you actually can have a damaging item removed from your reports. Let's say you've been getting notices from a company that says you have an unpaid bill.

You say you don't. Let's say you know you don't, and you've been getting nowhere with customer relations. Maybe you returned an item and it wasn't recorded on their end, or you never received it. And finally, it does go to collections, and that shows up on your report. You can have that gone to collections item temporarily taken off your report because you're disputing the charge. The credit bureaus will then give the company 30 days to respond, and if it doesn't, the item stays off your report. Now, all of this can seem a bit complicated, especially if you're panicking about seeing a black mark or marks on your credit reports. They'll lower your score and negatively impact the interest rate you'll be offered if you apply for a loan. They could even prevent you from getting a loan at all. And that's why these fly-by-night outfits that claim to be able to fix your credit are so successful. They'll often promise to have collection accounts removed from your report, and of course, they want an upfront fee for their so-called services.

Don't fall for it. Now you know only you can improve your credit. Let's look at just one of the highly questionable practices these companies use. They might tell you to dispute every single item on your credit report, whether it's accurate or not.

The hope is that the original lender will be too busy or too distracted to respond to the credit bureau's request for verification of a legitimately reported late payment, and occasionally that does happen. But if it does, you've gotten away with not paying a bill on time or not paying it at all. As followers of Christ, we should never do that because it's just simply dishonest. Proverbs 21, 3 teaches to do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Then Romans 13, give to everyone what you owe them. If you owe taxes, pay taxes. If revenue, then revenue. Now, there's some good news relating to the fact that legitimate black marks stay on your credit report for seven years.

You can't change that. But on the other hand, they won't carry the same weight as time goes by. In fact, after just two years, they start to have less impact on your credit score. As long as you pay all of your other bills on time and make progress paying off your debt, your score will continue to improve each year, and that should encourage you to keep going with your plan to restore your credit. Bottom line, stay on top of this. Be checking your credit reports at least every quarter so you can spot those black marks that perhaps are inaccurate, dispute them, and get them removed.

And if you stay on top of it, you'll make sure you're getting the best rates and terms anytime you seek credit. All right, your calls are next. Here's the number, 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. We're delighted to have you with us today on MoneyWise Live.

I'm Rob Last year host. In just a moment, we'll be taking your calls on anything financial. We're going to run your questions through the lens of biblical principles and biblical truth and see if we can help you move forward with confidence. You know, as I was thinking this morning about a presentation I'm giving next week on money, you know, so much of our finances, we tend to focus on the outcomes. You know, we think about the fact that we want to pay off debt or we want to give more. Perhaps we'd like to save a bit more for the future.

But, you know, we've got to back up a few steps. You know, we've got to start with our beliefs and where they came from. You know, what has shaped our view of money?

Largely, that comes from how we were raised. What are our earliest memories of money? What was money like growing up? Was it tight?

Was there plenty? Did your parents live on a budget? And, you know, so much of how both how God has wired us as well as our upbringing shapes how we view money today. And it can lead us to incorrect thinking about money.

And so we always need to take our beliefs and run them against biblical wisdom to say, what does God's word say? And where do I need to correct my thinking about money? Starting with the fact that God owns it all and I'm his steward and money is a tool to accomplish his purposes. And it's not an end. It's a means to an end and moving right on from there. And then we need to develop the rhythms, managing money every day and communicating with our spouse and thinking about goal setting and gratitude and all of the things that we need to have as routines that ultimately allow us to drive toward the outcomes.

And when we move from belief then to our behaviors and ultimately to our outcomes or our goals, that allows us to make sustainable progress. Well, we want to help you do that by looking at the Council of Scripture and applying it to what you're dealing with in your financial life today. So what's on your mind? Give us a call. We have lines open. 800-525-7000 is the number.

That's 800-525-7000. Let's begin today in Oklahoma. Hi, Linda.

How can I help you? Hello. I had a question about you said that not to fall for the scams, the big wigs that can help you get out of debt. Yes, ma'am. What about the Christian outfits that say the same thing?

I've heard it on this radio station, but I can't think of their name. Yes. Yeah, I think the key is to recognize the difference. And this is often a big misconception, Linda, so I'm glad you raised it. You know, there are folks that do what is called debt settlement, and that's typically what we're referring to. Now, that doesn't mean all debt settlement companies are a scam, although that particular industry is prone to scams. But here's why we don't recommend it. They're going to ask you to stop paying your bills.

Well, number one, I don't think that's supported in Scripture. But number two, unless you're forced to, you just simply can't pay them. But number two, it's going to trash your credit.

And then they're going to go in and try to negotiate a reduced payoff, but the collateral damage is already done. That's the kind of thing that I would say debt settlement you don't want to do. The other option that's often presented in this space is what's called debt consolidation. That's where you take out a new loan to pay off the other loans and try to move forward with a lower interest rate. The problem is that that new loan often has a longer payback period. So even at a lower interest rate, you may pay back more.

But the other issue is it doesn't solve the real problem, which is overspending typically. And so normally, six months to a year later, you will have folks that not only have this new consolidation loan, but the credit card debt is back because we didn't solve the underlying issue. So I would encourage you to stay away from credit or debt settlement. I would encourage you to stay away from debt consolidation. What we encourage, and that's what you'll hear on this program and throughout the day on Moody Radio, is debt management.

Now here's how that's different. These are programs that are in place by the credit card companies, where if you'll use a nonprofit credit counseling agency, they'll actually offer lower interest rates, lower payments, and help you get out of debt 80% faster. It's a program that's already in place.

You just slide right in. But more importantly than that, the folks at ChristianCreditCounselors.org that we recommend are all believers. They're going to help you set up a budget, make sure the plan fits into your budget, and then help you pay it off once and for all. Which, by the way, when you do that every month and do the hard work and get on a budget, the plan is that you get out of debt learning the habits you need to put in place so you don't ever repeat that again. So Linda, let me ask, does that make sense as to the distinction between the different things that we're talking about?

It very much does. Thank you. Can you give the phone number for that? I don't have the number handy, but I can give you the website. It's ChristianCreditCounselors.org. And if you head over to the website, you'll see how you can quickly get connected with them and they'll help you pay that debt off once and for all. In fact, I do have the number. Here it is, 800-557-1985. And we appreciate your call today. Ruth is in Ohio. Hi Ruth, how can I help you? Hi. I just want to say thank you so much for taking my call.

I first listened to you seven years ago. We had $80,000 in credit card debt. We owed on our house, on cars, and we were just way behind. We got everything paid off. Now we're working on our 401k and having an emergency fund.

And then of course something came up. My husband's parents are in their mid 70s and we're in our mid 50s and they're not going to have a place to live in a month or two. And suddenly we're at, do we go and take out another home loan and buy them a really small house and then work through a mortgage for the last 10 years of our working life? Or do we go into debt again trying to bail out families? That's how we got in trouble years ago was because we were helping bail out a lot of different relatives in their homes and so forth.

And we're like, we don't know what the options are. We feel responsibility towards parents, but they didn't work much. They never cared. They took their stimulus and bought games and TVs and not a physical care in the world. And now they're with nothing. And we're like, what do we do? Well, this is one of the most challenging situations, Ruth, because as you said, you want to honor your parents and clearly that's biblical.

And yet you're watching the behaviors that don't line up with biblical wisdom and even just conventional wisdom, which usually is biblical. And you've done the hard work to get yourselves back on a solid financial footing. And the last thing you want to do is go back into that. And I don't think the Lord would have you to do that in the sense that put yourself in a position where you're going to create a real financial hardship. It doesn't mean you shouldn't sacrifice. It doesn't mean there may not be a place for you all to help.

The question is how much and in what way? And how do you put the guardrails up so that, number one, you're protecting yourselves and what God has entrusted to you as the stewards of that to provide for your family and have something for the future and yet honor your parents, even in the midst of perhaps you watching them make some poor choices that has resulted in this situation. So let's talk about kind of what the options are.

So what is the pressing need at this point for them? Well, my husband's father just had heart surgery and he also has diabetes and his mom is having some walking problems, so they definitely could not work or subsidize. They're on some Social Security right now and they're living with his sister who's on Social Security. Well, not Social Security, I guess welfare or and her two daughters are both also welfare. They're in their 20s and they were all making, you know, rental payments together, but none of them ever really wanted to work.

And so we're just like, where are we throwing away money? Where's family responsibility? They've already went through all the extra money they got. And so now they just have the Social Security or welfare and that's it.

So what would it take to right size the monthly spending around the guaranteed income sources they have through Social Security and disability, whatever else they have coming in? Is there a gap that could be solved for with just them living within their means or is it we're going to require them to literally move out of this, you know, current home they're living in and so forth? They would definitely have to move out. The person doesn't want them in there anymore. And so they would have to move out and find a new place and most likely get rid of their pets because most places won't take pets. And it's unfortunate that is very hard to get an honest answer out of them. They don't give you the right amount that they actually bring in. And even if they did, they act like you want to steal it if you try to give them a budget.

It's basically give us money, let us do this, we'll pick which house we want. And we're like, we almost ruined ourselves once doing that. We really don't want to walk into that again. Well, and that's wise, you know, and here's the thing, you can have a desire to help you can come alongside with meaningful help. But that doesn't mean you need to abandon just sound thinking and discernment with regard to what's prudent moving forward, both for them to for you all to protect them from themselves and to not put yourself in a financially difficult spot. So I think you need to insist that they be willing to be held accountable.

And if not by you by a third party, perhaps one of our MoneyWise coaches could help. Perhaps you say, listen, we want to be helpful, but we're not just as you said, we're not going to get ourselves back into a financial hardship. And we want to do it in the right way. And that means there's got to be transparency.

If you don't want to give us that, then that's fine. You're going to have to choose then to make that decision and figure this out yourselves. But if you want us to be there with you, because we love you, and we want to assist, then we've got to do it in a way that provides for transparency, wise decision making and God honoring steps. So perhaps you say, listen, first step is visit with a MoneyWise coach or someone else that's going to get a budget, put the spending plan in place, look at the income sources, look at the expenses.

And I think that's then the starting point because obviously, you want to try to find housing that fits within their income, as long as they're willing to make the changes to bring everything in line and live within their needs. Stay on the line. We'll talk a bit more off the air. This is MoneyWise Live. We'll be right back. Thanks for tuning in to MoneyWise Live. I'm Rob West, your host. Have you downloaded the MoneyWise app?

If not, it's a great time to do it. We just released version three a few weeks ago, and it's the very first app that has three money management systems in one. You know, I was sharing at the top of the program that we all have different money personalities. Some of us are detailed and want to know everything tracked to the penny.

Others we call directional. You don't want to chase it down to the penny, but you want to know you're headed in the right direction. Others are hands-on, meaning they want to be in and active with their finances, and others are hands-off. They want things moving in the right direction, but they like to sit back and perhaps just kind of drop in every now and then.

Well, depending upon which you are, hands-on or hands-off, or perhaps you're detailed or directional, that has to do with how God has wired you. And we have a money management system that fits all of them. We have the system for the directional folks, where you're just tracking and seeing where your money's going.

We have one for those who are kind of in the middle. You want to make a plan, and you want to look at your spending against that plan, but you don't want to tie it down to the penny. And then for you detailed and active folks, we've got the digital envelope system where you're literally tied back to the penny to your funding accounts with envelopes that are funded, transactions going against them. So at any moment, you can see exactly what's in every envelope in your plan. And you can switch between the three at any given time. It's a great system. It's one that I've never seen before.

Our team has worked really hard, and I think it's the best one out there. So check it out today. Head to your app store.

Just search for MoneyWise Biblical Finance, and we'd love for you to check it out. Let us know what you think. All right, let's head back to the phones. We've got just a few lines open. Here's the number 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000.

We're going next to Durant, Iowa. Hi, Ed. How can I help you? Yeah, Rob.

Good afternoon to you. Hey, I wanted to talk to you just to share a thought or idea about how to improve your credit score. All right. Yeah. So let's say that I'm a credit card owner, and then I don't pay my statement until I get it in the mail.

Yes. And then there's a new balance, and then I want to pay it all off because I want to try to look good. I want to be less of a risk, so I pay it off every month. But the key of this is that if you pay on your account before your cutoff date.

Yes. So let's say if I charge $1,000 this last month, so I know my statement that's going to come in the mail is going to be $1,000. But if I pay the month, just as an example, that if I pay that off before the cutoff date, like the month, then that's going to show that the piece of pie that calculates. We're losing you a little bit there, Ed. Let me just recap what you're saying because, unfortunately, you're breaking up, and I want folks to get this. You're exactly right.

Here's the thing. If you pay based on the statement balance after the cutoff, before the due date, what's going to be reported to the Bureau is not the zero balance that you have after you pay it off, but the balance you had before you paid it off. So you may be handling credit very wisely, paying your balance off in full every month, but that balance as of the statement cutoff is still reported to the Bureau, and so that's what's going to show up as your balance if you pull the report during the month prior to the next reporting period. Now, I think what you're getting at is if that balance is higher than 30% of your limit, that's actually going to pull your score down. Now, most people, though, their limit is much higher than what they would put on their card in any given 30-day period. And so as long as you make sure you're keeping it below 30%, preferably below 10%, that's going to help your score, and if you want that to show as zero, you need, as Ed said, to pay that off before the end of the statement period because that's going to be reported to the Bureau. So the bottom line is, I know this gets complicated, just manage credit wisely by borrowing as little as you can and paying it off as quick as you can, and definitely don't carry a balance on those credit cards. We're going to pause for a break. 800-525-7000.

More to come just around the corner. Great to have you with us today on MoneyWiseLive. I'm Rob West, your host. We were talking at the top of the program about restoring your credit. We have a great article featured on MoneyWiseLive.org related to credit reports and scores.

If you want to learn more about what is a credit report and a credit score and how can you improve them, a great article from Compass Finances God's Way is right there on the homepage. MoneyWiseLive.org. And by the way, while you're there, create a free MoneyWise account. That will make sure that when the weekly wisdom email goes out this Thursday, you're included. I'll share a few thoughts on biblical financial wisdom. We'll give you our trending podcasts. We'll share any of our new articles that we think you need to see, and it's just a real encouragement every week as you try to live God's way in terms of how you handle your money.

Again, just create a free account when you visit MoneyWiseLive.org. We've got some lines open. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. Let's head right back to the phone.

Chicago, Illinois. Hi, Randy. How can I help you, sir? Hi, Rob. Thank you.

Thank you for your show. Yeah, I'm 58 years old, and I have about seven to eight years left before I retire. And I'd like to pay off my mortgage, which I have 140,000 left on it before then.

And just wanted to get your idea. My strategy was to potentially add more money to the monthly payment, but then I would probably decrease a little bit of my money going into my 401K. Yes, yeah.

Well, let's talk about that for a second. Have you done some retirement planning? Do you know what your ultimate goal is in order to be able to draw the income you need to supplement Social Security and fund your lifestyle? Yes.

Yes, I have. Okay. And how does that goal compare to your current trajectory with your retirement accounts? I believe I'm on track. I basically need about 3K per month to live comfortably and be able to vacation and so forth, and I'll be on track to doing that.

So, yeah, I think I'm on track there. All right. And if you just continue with what you're currently doing on the mortgage, whether that's just the payment or the payment plus something extra, do you have a sense of how long your payback will be just without doing anything beyond what you're currently doing? Well, I have 27 years left on the loan, and like I say, I know that if I apply a little bit more per month toward the principal, I can significantly knock that down. Yeah.

Okay. Well, I mean, I'm on board with this idea that you would accelerate the mortgage payback. Perhaps we split the difference. I mean, I think you need to get in and use a mortgage calculator online, and there's a million of them that are free, and basically put in your details. What is your interest rate?

What is your current payment and the balance on the mortgage? And then begin to look at what it would take extra per month for you to cut this 27 years down to seven. It's going to be a significant sum, and then compare that to what that would mean in terms of first let's look at places in the budget you can trim to generate that kind of extra margin for debt reduction. But if you have to go to the retirement account, I think the key is to really just analyze what would be going in and what that would mean based on what you've already accumulated and what you would now be adding to it as a lower amount based on a modest rate of return. I'd probably use 6% over the next seven years and just see where you'd end up because ideally you'd be able to arrive at the savings goal you were targeting and have that mortgage paid off.

The benefit there is obviously that dramatically reduces your monthly need because you're eliminating what is arguably the largest expense in your budget. So I like that idea, but I also want you to take advantage of these last seven years of compounding, and I think the question is can you do both? Perhaps dial back the retirement account, dial up the mortgage payback, and if it's not right at seven years, it's shortly after. But I think you need to do perhaps a little bit more analysis on what is it going to take extra per month to get that mortgage paid off in the timeline you're describing, and what would that mean in terms of what you could expect based on this lower amount going into your retirement plan at a 6% rate of return over the next seven years.

And let's just see hypothetically where you'd end up, and ideally the retirement account would be such that if you took a 4% withdrawal every year, it would give you enough to cover your expenses alongside Social Security. Does that all make sense, though? Yes.

Yes, sir, it does. Okay. So I think that's the next step.

After you do that analysis, if you have some questions and you're struggling to make the final decision on where to go next, give us a call back. But in the meantime, God bless you, Randy. We appreciate your call today.

Let's head to Tennessee. Zarat, how can I help you? Hello, Bob. How are you?

I'm very well, sir. Thank you for calling. You know, I appreciate so much for your show. I mean, every time I go anywhere, I listen to your show, and thank you.

I do have two questions, and I'd like to be as focused as I can. Okay. My first question, Bob, is, you know, I did a great decision this year. I closed all my credit cards for good. Wow. Because I realized I think credit cards and loans, they are a roadmap to poverty.

So here is the thing. But unfortunately, the system is designed in a way always credit score. So is there a way to build my credit without having any credit card at all? That's my first question, because I don't have any information. My second question is about bankruptcy. You know, Rob, as you know very well, and thank you for your show, all these millionaires and corporations, they are comfortable on filing bankruptcy. But we, like the middle class, the people we don't have a lot of knowledge, we are always afraid. We have this fear of, if I filed, this would happen or that would happen. So what is the consequences or negative, the cons of filing bankruptcy? Because I don't have clear understanding.

So those are two of my questions, Rob, I appreciate for your show. I would never have credit cards. I would never take any loan. But help me if I am being emotional. I realize, I don't think I am, but I am so happy because I start money coming in when I close the credit cards. So please give me your wisdom on these two things.

I am happy too, Zarin, and thank you for your kind remarks. I will start with the credit cards. You know, if you have a conviction about not having credit or credit cards have been a problem area for you, then I would wholly concur with your conclusion. You are right, though, the system will penalize you for that in terms of the credit score, because the algorithms, at least today, and there is some talk that other factors will be brought in to measure your credit worthiness in the future, but today the algorithms to determine how likely you are to repay as agreed are largely based on your payment history, your balances versus your limits, and your credit mix. What types of credit do you have that you are able to handle a wide range of credit from revolving to installment, and the history that you have been doing this for a long time. The problem is if you take those off the table, then you are no longer able to demonstrate your credit history, that you are willing to be able to pay on time. So a solution to that would be a secured card. You put a certain amount on deposit, let's say $200, and then you charge against it, and only put just one small budgeted recurring charge on the account every month, and then pay it right off.

And that is going to be reported to the Bureau, and as long as you are not violating your conviction, I think that is a way to show that you are going to be an on-time payer every month, and not get caught in the trap of building up debt. I'll answer your other question on the other side of the break. Stay with us. Thanks for tuning in to MoneyWise Live.

I'm Rob West. This is biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Just before the break, Zerat called in from Tennessee with some very kind remarks about the program, which I'm grateful for, and we talked about his reluctance to have credit cards any longer and the implications of that on his credit score. But he also asked about the consequences of filing bankruptcy, and I would say Zerat first and foremost would be our obligation to honor our debts, to follow and honor our commitments, and that would include commitments we've made financially. Now, bankruptcy, you won't find that term in the Bible. It's a modern legal term that we've created, and I would say it's not a sin to file a bankruptcy. What I believe, though, is certainly, I believe a sin based on scripture would be not paying your debts if you have the ability to do so. The Bible says the wicked borrows and does not repay. It says don't neglect being able to satisfy a debt if you have the ability to do so. And so we should be purposing ourselves to honor our obligations. Now, you may find yourself at any point in a situation, perhaps not even of your own doing, you lost a job, a severe medical situation, where you're just unable to pay, and you may be forced into bankruptcy. Well, that's not the issue. You may have to go down that road, but I think as many have done in the past, you should come out of that looking to say, can I still honor my debts?

It might take me a long time, but I'm committed to that approach. What are the implications from a negative standpoint? Well, you'll obviously have an impact on your credit report. It'll be difficult to obtain a mortgage or a loan. You could lose property or real estate. You'll be denied tax refunds, at least those leading up to the discharge.

Your non-dischargeable debts remain, like student loans. So there's a lot of fallout from bankruptcy, but I think the overriding principle is, as believers, we should honor our obligations. But I appreciate you asking the questions, Zarett. And if we can serve you at any point in the future, give us a call back. Hey, before we take our final calls for today, we're going to pivot to a segment that we normally have on Monday. Today, joining us on Tuesday is our good friend Bob Doll. He's chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments, where investments and values intersect.

And you can learn more at crossmarkglobal.com. Bob joins us with his market commentary. And Bob, I'm curious, what are you looking at today economically and market-related? I think it's onward and upward. We said how many weeks in a row?

The path of least resistance, Rob, is to the upside. And that's what we're enjoying. The stock market recovered from that 6% decline a few weeks ago very quickly and very smartly on the back of third quarter earnings.

That's the story. There are other stories like what's going on in Washington, D.C. and the Fed, but the main story is corporate earnings in the third quarter. One more time, better than expected. Corporate America is finding ways to pass on price increases to make up for their cost pressures and the supply shortage problem that everybody's aware of. Yeah, I saw in your Doll's deliberations this week that nearly 80% of companies in the S&P 500 beat estimates, with some big surprises coming in certain sectors. What about growth estimates, though, for the economy moving forward given that COVID has not gone away and we've had these supply chain disruptions? Well, they clearly, both those issues, slowed the initial estimate for third quarter GDP to 2%. That's the lowest growth rate we've had in some time and, for reference, below the 6.7% that we saw in the second quarter. But, Rob, I think that 2% in the third quarter will mark the low and we will see some reacceleration. Both as consumers have a lot of money to spend, corporations are investing in their business, we're having some signs of relief of the supply shortage, and in many places the COVID delta variant is lessening.

So you put all that together, I think we're going to have a pretty good fourth quarter. Bob, we hear this term stagflation thrown around. We know what inflation is, but what is stagflation and should we be concerned about that? Yeah, stagflation is low economic growth and high inflation. And we did experience some of that a few decades ago, but I think all this talk about stagflation is not appropriate.

Why do I say that? Because growth is strong. The weakest quarter is 2% and before it was 6.7, let's suppose we get 4% in the fourth quarter. That's hardly very low growth. Now, high inflation, yeah, we've had higher inflation.

The trailing 12 months headline numbers are in the 5s, 5 point something. That's high inflation, but you need growth of like 0 to 2% and inflation of 6 to 8. That's stagflation. We did have it a few decades ago to repeat, but the risk of that now I think is near zero.

All right. Well, strong corporate earnings, clearly hyper accommodative monetary conditions that will persist, although perhaps we might see some more restrictive stances coming down the road. But you see signs pointing to decent growth moving forward, which means we should be still buyers of stocks, especially if we have a long-term plan, right?

Especially with that long-term plan, no question about it. We need to mention the Fed, they meet tomorrow, Wednesday, and they will probably announce and begin the tapering process whereby they are buying less paper every month and preloading the way to eventually raising rates. So, path of least reasons is up, but there's a lot of flies in the ointment that bother me from time to time. All right. Well, we'll see what new flies emerge next week when they join us on Monday. Crossmarkglobal.com. Bob Doll is the Chief Investment Officer. Check him out there and you can read his dolls deliberations. Bob, thanks for being with us. God bless. Bye-bye. All right. You too. All right. Back to the phones today to Montana. Cassius, how can I help you?

Good morning. Thanks for taking my call. Sure. I have just a simple question, which is I have a number of credit cards, and recently my oldest credit card, which was 26-plus years, sent me a lovely note that they were canceling my credit account because I don't use them. My question is, does that have a negative impact on my overall credit score?

Yeah. Well, just to the point here, it is in the fine print that there are certain conditions under which they will cancel the account because part of the credit they have available to extend to card users is allocated to you. And if you're not going to use it, they'd rather allocate it to someone who is.

They're hoping that they'll carry a balance and they can charge a lot of interest and late fees and over-limit fees and all the other things. So you're not playing along nicely, Cassius, and that's why they canceled the card. Now, does that affect you negatively? Not the fact that it was closed because you didn't use it. That in and of itself doesn't impact you. But you could see a decline, and the reason would be that it affects three of the five factors that measure your credit worthiness, your credit utilization, which is 30 percent. So as soon as we take that off the table, that brings your total credit limit down, which means any balances you're carrying are a higher percentage of the new lower total. The average age of the accounts is 15 percent.

If this was one of your older accounts, that could affect you. And the types of credit is 10 percent. This is a revolving account. It's one less revolving account.

If you have others, it's probably not going to be a big deal. The bottom line is, I don't have any problem with you closing accounts or somebody closing it for you. The key is that you're demonstrating yourself to be a good credit risk by paying everything on time, keeping your balances low, certainly less than 30 percent of the utilization, and that you have active accounts, a wide range of them, demonstrating that you can manage credit wisely.

If you're doing all of those things and living by biblical principles, you're going to be rewarded with as high a credit score as you need, even if it's not perfect, and there really is no way to attain a perfect credit score. So bottom line, I wouldn't be terribly concerned about the fact that this account was closed because of inactivity. Okay? Excellent. Thank you very much. All right. God bless you.

We're going to finish today in Chicago, Illinois. Hi, Autumn. How can I help you? Hi.

Thank you for taking my call. I am a Middle East woman. I have been working in ministry for the past 18 years.

In that ministry, I had no retirement, so I have no retirement currently. I'm having some health issues, and I've been out of work the last five months and waiting on a decision for disability. I sold my home to try and downsize. My plan was I was going to buy a condo and try to pay it off outright so I wouldn't have a mortgage with the money that I made from the sale of my home, which would leave me with about $20,000 that I could keep in a bank account and $25,000 that I thought I've got to try and put in some kind of retirement account for myself to get something started and just work a few days a week until I find out about the decision about disability and if I don't get approved to look for full-time work again. A friend of mine suggested to me that instead of buying a condo outright that it might be better to either rent or to buy a place but not pay it outright and instead invest some of that money and to try to make the money that I have from the sale of my house work for me in a better way. I'm wondering what you would suggest.

Yeah. I mean, I think I wouldn't do anything until you have resolution on what your income is going to be and make sure that everything plays out the way you're expecting. But apart from that, I kind of like the idea of you downsizing, buying something smaller, owning it free and clear, which gives you peace of mind. You're not opening your statement every month wondering did I beat the 3.5% interest rate that I'm paying on my mortgage to try to make a little bit more for the future and then we get into a recession and it's down and now you're concerned and you don't have peace of mind.

I kind of like the idea that you would balance the budget, own the condo free and clear, keep your expenses as low as possible and then take whatever margin you have and invest it diligently by dollar cost averaging it in. You stay on the line. I'm out of time but I want to talk to you a bit more off the air and make sure we chat a bit further but thanks for your call today.

MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. I want to say thank you to my amazing team answering phones today. My awesome Gabby T. Engineering was Dan Anderson.

Producing today, Amy Rios and my researcher, Jim Henry. Thank you for being here as well. Hope you'll come back and join us tomorrow. I'll be here, Lord willing. God bless you. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-28 07:37:50 / 2023-07-28 07:55:04 / 17

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