Please do not use the credit card information that was leaked!

Even if all you were planning to do is send 20 pizzas to their house, you are still committing a crime, it’s still identity theft.

Financial identity theft

The most common type is financial identity theft, where someone wants to gain economical benefits in someone else’s name. This includes getting credits, loans, goods and services, claiming to be someone else

This is what you’re doing if you choose to use the leaked information.  Sure there’s ways to hide yourself, but companies are getting better at detecting fradulent purchases.  As good as you think you are, high chance you’ll get caught.

It’s not worth the jail time and court/lawyer fees to do this. 

http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/news/congressional-testimony-and-reports/mandatory-minimum-penalties/20111031-rtc-pdf/Chapter_11.pdf

page 13 of this shows mandatory minimum sentence times. 

—Dionysus (seriously don’t take the risk)

Hello! My name is Sierra, and I’m currently a sophomore in college. Today, when I came home for Thanksgiving Break, I found out some devastating news. My family’s bank account has been hacked into and closed. My family already lives on a tight budget; both of my parents work seven days a week to make ends meet and they still require assistance from my grandfather (who lives with us) from time to time. My brother just had knee surgery; those of you who follow my blog know that I just switched medications, which is a bit more expensive than my family can handle. Currently we do not have money for a Thanksgiving dinner. We do not have money for gas. For clothes. For food.

Though there isn’t an immediate solution, there is one that hopefully will help my family financially over the next little while.

I knit hats and scarves, and I would love to be able to sell them to help my family out. Just tell me what colors you want, and I’ll make it happen. Hats would be $6 and scarves would be $12, not including shipping. I know that sounds pricey, but it includes the cost of the yarn with only a little bit of profit going to my family.

If you are interested or able to buy something, please let me know and message my inbox! Also please help spread this post?

Thanks!

Really tight on money, help needed!

I hate doing this because it makes me feel like I’m begging (which I am), but right now I don’t see how I’ll get through December without any financial aid. I still have a few bills to pay, one of which is extremely urgent (car insurance), and aside from that, I’m not even going to have enough to buy food, let alone gas/petrol to get to work. *

So, I really, urgently need a bit of help. Any dollar or euro you can spare - as an early Christmas gift of sorts - will help. 

Furthermore, I can offer to write you a drabble of 100-500 words, pairing and theme of your choosing (as far as I have at least some basic knowledge of the fandom), if you donate 5 € or more. I know other people are writing a lot more for commission, but I have neither the creative energy nor time to do more than that. If there’s something you’re not sure I could write just ask me. 

You can make donations to my paypal account leandra.locke@gmx.de 
Just select “send money” and “to friends and family” instead of services and goods. 

For anyone willing to help or even just reblog this so your followers might, here’s a virtual hug of thanks already

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And now, let me crawl into a hole because this is really horribly embarrassing and making me feel very guilty, but… yeah. Needed.

* (Yes, I have a job; in case you don’t know but want to: I’m working with my dad, and the business has been going extremely slow. There are several deals - real estate sale; we’re agents - in the making but everything’s being delayed, and I don’t see how even the 100% sure one is still going to be paid before Christmas. Maybe first week of January or so if everything goes well). 

Help Keep Me Sheltered And In School!

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Hi, my name is Serena/Rena and I am a currently enrolled college student.

The past few months my family and I have been struggling with financial issues, such as not being able to pay our bills.

We haven’t really been able to pay for our groceries either, meaning that more than often the only thing we can afford most of the time is fast food for our meals. (Which we all hate to consume and is especially hard for me since I’m trying to lose weight).

When we are able to afford the little groceries that we get and pay some of the bill payment we owe, it’s out of my financial aid for college.

Even though I don’t mind helping out my family out with this stuff cause I know it’s mandatory, I can’t help but feel like my heart is sinking every time I take out a chunk of my college aid, which isn’t a lot to begin with.

Soon, I won’t be able to pay for food, books, classes, etc., for the upcoming year. 

Please, if you can, just even donate two dollars, it would mean so much to me. Thank you for reading this and I appreciate you guys attempting to try to help me out during this time.

My goal is $3,000. I know it seems like a lot but it’s really just enough to provide for my family and myself. 

My PayPal emai is: sgoldengirl3@hotmail.com (Thank you for any donations made I’d appreciate it!)

If you truly can’t donate anything, even $2 dollars, please REBLOG this and spread the word ! Any way to help counts.

On budgeting your finances

Will you figure out a budget for me? I make 45k a year and live in Chicago. It’s probably not complicated—I’m just young and an idiot.


I started to respond to your question and then realized that over and over again my answer was just pointing you to Chelsea Fagan’s phenomenal new blog called The Financial Diet. (It really is great. You should all follow it.) Anyway, I thought it might be neat to have Chelsea answer your question directly as a guest contributor, and she very graciously agreed. Here’s what she said:


So, the first step to making a budget is asking yourself some basic-but-essential questions about your financial life: What are your goals? How do you spend your money every month? What are your weak spots? The real answers will vary in practice (you’re only human after all), but they’re a solid starting point for establishing your various categories of spending.

If you’re single earning $45,000 and you live in Chicago – where the city tax rates are much less insulting than here in New York — your take home is probably about $2700 a month, give or take. So let’s use that for the budget. Since I know nothing about you other than your salary and city, my answer will have to be somewhat generic, so apologies in advance if this does not accurately portray your real-life spending habits.

The first thing you’ll want to look at is rent. It’s usually the biggest chunk of your salary, and it dictates how much you’ll have leftover to do other things. In Chicago, you can either err to the luxurious side and get your own studio in a cool neighborhood for about $1300, or you can find a roommate in a slightly less-cool area for around $800. Having once been in a situation where I paid a full 50 percent of my take-home pay in rent every month, I can assure you that not only does your quality of life suffer greatly as a result, but no apartment is actually worth that kind of financial sacrifice. So let’s say you pick something in the middle, a nice roommate situation with a big space (maybe your own bathroom) in a fun part of town, and you pay $1,000 a month.

Now you’re down to $1,700.

There are several things you can budget for at this juncture, but the most adult-like and productive is, “How much do I want to be saving every month?” No matter what you choose, the most essential component of saving is that You. Do. Not. See. The. Money. Ever. Whatever money you are budgeting, it needs to go straight into some faraway account that does not have a card attached to it, one that you cannot access on a whim. That money should never hit your checking account, and your brain should never process it as “money I have access to.” Set up an automatic transfer every time you get your paycheck for the amount. For now, let’s say your savings goals are on the conservative side, and you put $200 into an untouched account per month. It’s not a ton, but it’s a good place to start if you’re not used to saving.

Now you’re at $1,500.

This the point at which you usually start asking yourself a lot of serious questions about your spending habits, and bring in the help of programs like Mint, which can analyze your checking account and tell you how you’ve been using your money in detail. You may be shocked at the amount of clothes you buy each month, or how little you spend on groceries. (I can almost guarantee that you will be shocked to the point of disgust at how much you spend on alcohol.) Usually the food/entertainment/shopping, or “living” section of your budget breaks down into something like $300 a month on groceries and household essentials, $300 a month on bars and restaurants, and another $300 a month on retail shopping and transportation.

And if this sounds like a lot, I can assure you that once you count all of your random trips to Sephora or Forever 21 for a throwaway dress, you will understand that “shopping” is much more than just “I am allowing myself the ability to purchase two nice, carefully-chosen wardrobe items each month.” And restaurants add up more quickly than anything else in your budget, without exception. Shopping and going out are huge, sprawling, monstrous chunks of our budgets that tick up in increments of $10 here and $15 there, and can leave us with nothing to our names but credit card balances and the hazy memories of all the martinis we drank while wearing cute but unnecessary new sweaters, so it’s better to err on the generous side with these categories at first to learn how much you’re actually spending and give yourself a chance to curb any recklessness slowly.

Now you’re at $600, but I assume you have insurance taken out of your check each month, and if you are going with the non-cheapie package, let’s put it at about $200 per month for medical, dental, and two pairs of glasses a year.

Now you’re at $400, but let’s say a $150 of that is going to cable and utilities, and another $50 to your phone. This brings you to $200 of mad money, which, if nothing else comes up – and something always comes up – you can do with as you please.

But this is a very generous budget, one that doesn’t take into account any student loans, credit card debt, or whether you live in suburban Chicago and need a car. This is the budget of someone who lives in the city with a $45,000 salary and nothing else to really worry about in life. If you have, say, $700 a month in student loan payments or you need $400 a month to cover all the costs associated with owning a car, the vast majority of this budget is going to take a huge hit. You’re not going to be able to go out much, you’ll have to live in a crappy apartment with a bunch of roommates, and you may only be able to save $100 a month.

The point of having a budget, though, even if you don’t have a ton to work with, is very similar to calorie counting as a means to eat better. It doesn’t mean you’re going to change your entire life on some sort of crash diet, it just means that you are going to be aware of what is going in versus what is coming out, and enable yourself to put something aside in a conscious, deliberate manner. Even if you have nearly no money to work with after all of your bills, it’s still important to set goals and track your spending for the little amount you are able to go out, and try your best to live within the parameters you’ve set. Because there is nothing worse than being blindsided by an unexpected expense you can’t pay, or a suddenly drained checking account. If (or, rather, when) that happens, you will be glad that you planned ahead.

This is a very important piece from Robert Kuttner at the American Prospect. I want to quote the whole thing, but that wouldn’t be a quote. Here’s an excerpt:

Economic history is filled with bouts of financial euphoria followed by painful mornings after. When nations awake saddled with debts incurred to finance wars, episodes of failed speculation, or grand projects that haven’t paid off, they have two choices. Either the creditor class prevails at the expense of everyone else, or governments find ways to reduce the debt burden so that the productive power of the economy can recover.

Creditors—the rentier class in classic usage—are usually the wealthy and the powerful. Debtors, almost by definition, have scant resources or power. The “money issue” of 19th-century America, about whether credit would be cheap or dear, was also a battle between growth and austerity.

The creditor class views anything less than full debt repayment as the collapse of economic civilization. In fact, however, debts are often not paid in full. In the 20th century, speculators lost fortunes as dozens of nations defaulted on debts. Several 19th-century U.S. states and municipalities defaulted. Losers in wars and revolutions seldom pay debts. (Those czarist bonds have no value except on eBay.) The Brady Plan of the late 1980s paid bondholders of defaulting Third World debtors at about 70 cents on the dollar so that economic growth could resume.

Sometimes, debts simply cannot be paid. That’s why debtors’ prison was a ruinous idea (except as a deterrent). The real issue is how to restructure debt when it becomes impossible to repay. This is not just a struggle between haves and have-nots but between the claims of the past and the potential of the future.

And here’s the whole thing; link via Elias Isquith at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen, who writes:

Another way to put this is that working towards increasing employment and reducing private debt is not in the rational self-interest of people who, for the time being, find themselves doing quite all right in this poor economy. Kuttner focuses here on those who are against shifting the balance of power between debtors and creditors. But the same dynamic is true regarding fiscal policy.

I’m most certainly not an economist, so I’m inclined to look at these issues largely through a political lens. And that means taking into account the dynamics of power. Doing that, it’s not so curious, the continued apathy on the part of the country’s elites towards reducing unemployment. After all, a market where everyone desperately wants a job is one in which employers have supreme leverage. Provided you’re not a retailer suffering from the lack of demand in the population, maintaining this economic status quo is a great way to control the rise of wages.

Read Isquith’s full post as well.