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06/16/2008 Entry: "Jim's MI-5, a Few Days Late"

Jim sayz:

As some of you may know I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan. www.daveramsey.com Dave stresses debt repayment and saving. These questions were inspired by him.

1. What are your thoughts on the use of credit cards?

~I'd prefer not to use them. Sometimes, though, they can help you out of a jam. I recall an incident about two years ago when my car needed a head gasket. I didn't have the cash to pay for it. I put it on my card, and paid it off in a month or three. Though I try to keep the balance down, we struggle in my household with their use. Recently, Susan gave her cards to me in an effort to avoid temptation. They will be paid off soon; the amount of debt Susan and I carry, though it's higher than we like, is considerably less than average.

2. When it is time to get a new car will you buy new, used or lease and why?

~Used. I think I'm in the camp my sister wants to be in. My cars are used, but not used up. $5000 can really buy you a decent automobile. My wagon was $3000, and I paid cash for it. (Dave would be proud of me!)

3. Tell us something major in your life you saved up for and if you had to do it again would you save up for it or do it differently?

~The major things that I've saved for have required much thought. Because of that, I don't regret any major purchases. It's the stuff I didn't save for which I wish I could do over again.

4. If you had to watch your pennies a lot tell us one guilty pleasure you would not curb spending on?

~Good coffee. It's worth the extra price!

5. What do you think your retirement will look like financially and will you be ready?

~I've been asked this question before, and my answer it rather melancholy. Having lost my Dad just three years ago, and he being only 58, well, I'm not really holding out too much hope of "retiring." Instead, I will probably work until I die. I don't see any hope that Social Security will be around, so I won't be getting that little bit of scratch back. I do have a little in some IRAs, but it won't be anywhere near the amount we'll need. Wow. I feel so happy all of a sudden...

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