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February 19th, 2010
02:56 PM ET

Your $$ Questions Answered

U.S. consumers currently carry 13.6 trillion dollars worth of debt.  Quite an astounding number right?  This Saturday we'll examine how your relationship to money is impacting your spending style.  Financial Planner Karen Lee is joining us and she'll take your questions.  So ask away and we'll read some on the air at 2pm.


Filed under: Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Sandy~Las Vegas, NV

    My husband and I were making excellent money over 100,000 per year now its down to nothing. We did save for a rainny day an egg nest if thats what you want to call it. My husband has the smarts when to spend and when not to. Our home is energy efficient we wash only full loads of clothes and do this early. We have monitors on our water and energy use. We close unused rooms doors and have lots of blankets Our first priority is paying Mortgage and Car Payments what little bills we have pay we try to pay 2 weeks ahead of schedule. If we have any cash left over we usually buy a few grocery with coupons and shop at the dollar store. We cook in bulks beans etc and freeze we talk out food as needed. This has really taken a toll on me & my husband but we have learn how to manage our money by being thrifty. Sure its taken over our lifestyle we don't go out and eat dinner or even gamble have date nights like we used to. I don't buy clothes as often I live in sweats and love it. I'm sure if we all put our head together its easier than we all think. This has been going on for over a year I so proud we have taken he assentive to work with what we have.

    February 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  2. The Mommie

    I watched the interview with Ann Coulter; and it left me as confused as whenever I hear Sarah Palin talk. Ann, much like Sarah, talks over herself and says absolutely nothing. How do these women "represent" so many Republicans, and Conservatives?
    Is it more attractive to be an airhead, than an intellectual? I wonder. I just hope all of this negative press comes to a head and we, as a country start making positive strides to make this country great again. If the Republicans, and "nay-sayers" don't have a solution....then, they are part of the problem. Let's get this country together and make good things happen again for everybody, and stop complaining without having a viable solution to back up what you're complaining about. I would have more respect for all of you, then.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  3. lajuan

    One of the biggest cover ups in American history needs to be unveiled. The cover up involves a wide variety of criminal and civil matters involving a trust being administered by JP Morgan Chase and
    Company. Heirs of The John Hazelwood Estate and the trust created dates back over 80 years and is still active. This issue involves fraud committed by many local, state, and federal officials. A court order signed by Cass County Texas judge Ralph Burgess validates the heirs of John Hazelwood as the beneficiaries of the trust. JP Morgan has failed in living up to its fuduciary responsibilities denying the heirs access to the trust .Want more?

    company

    February 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  4. Richard A. "Red" Lawhern, Ph.D.

    We've heard a lot recently from various Government figures concerning a supposed near term US economic recovery. However, 25% of all homeowners are "under water" - they owe more on their mortgages than their property will sell for in still-depressed real estate markets. Five million homes are now in the early stages of foreclosure. And over 600 banks are on the FDIC "troubled banks list" even though the FDIC won't tell anybody which ones. If our 8,000+ US banks were forced to value their residential and commercial assets at par rather than at loan value, how many of them would be insolvent?

    February 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  5. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Can you break down the dept. To the greatest lenders to the smallest lenders and the % rate of payback from the U.S. For instance what do we owe China so on so on .

    February 19, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  6. Theron

    Let's say, I'm $4000 in debt and I'm thinking about buying a home. Can I pay off half of the debt and still buy a home? Of course I would be trying to pay off all the debt. But is paying off half of it going to enable me to buy a home or should I wait to pay off all of it?

    February 20, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  7. Morgan Freeman

    I live on disability and social security. I bought my home in 2007, which was a miracle feat on my income and situation. I bought my home completely online until the day of closing, from 1,000 miles away and have lived to tell about it! I have a $60k mortgage and $6k credit card debt. No wiggle room. What advice can you give to people like me hanging on with a good credit score, but one medical emergency or major house system breakdown from disaster? I have no savings. I'm only able to maintain a $500 emergency fund that has saved my financial life many times over. Help?

    February 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  8. shelly

    My relationship with money is directly related to healthcare. I have a pre-existing condition, so I do everything in my power to keep my job that I hate that doesn't even pay that well. I yearn to start my own business–something I would enjoy and has the potential to make me richer. The only thing really stopping me is my insurance. If I end up lapsing and re-apply with my pre-existing condition, the insurance providers would be pleased to deny my coverage, or more like delighted and ecstatic. Forcing me to go on welfare (cause I can't pay it). I really believe there is a big conspiracy of the rich. Why? healthcare costs go up forcing insurance premiums to go up. A big win for the medical suppliers and insurance companies working together to keep those costs over-inflated. A corrupt government that has lobbyists fighting against healthcare reform and slowing the process and lying to the public about what it would cost. The rich and powerful leave the people with pre-existing conditions with no choice but to remain wage slaves–never to get ahead. This keeps big corporations and the insurance companies in charge and us at their mercy–right where they want us. The high cost of healthcare causes small businesses to be forced to shut down laying off ever more workers–many of whom with pre-existing conditions that must find group insurance with a large employer that can afford it and offers it. How can we have any progress with such a large problem and such a corrupt government that is paid fortunes to lye to us and steel from us??? Do we really need the insurance companies at all. All they seem to be good for is profiteering.

    February 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  9. mary

    I filed Chater 7 bankruptcy, which was discharged in Feb 2008 I am employed. How long realistically will I need to wait until I can qualify for a home loan?

    What are your thoughts on Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares? Will they gain their former value back?

    February 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  10. Ron

    I am a mother of two boys (elementary age & toddler); I recently graduated with my M.A. in Political Science. I currently DO NOT have a job, and all my student loans approximately $70,000 are all coming due. I have gotten forbearances, hardship deferments and my options are running out. I thought gaining a graduate degree will up my chances at gaining employment. I have sent out almost a hundred resumes online looking for jobs, but to no avail. The devoting of my time alone looking for employment is a full time job which I do not get paid for. The only income in our household is from my husband who makes aproximately 38,000 a year, just enough to pay our mortgage, bills and living expenses (groceries...). I feel helpless, hopeless, and stressed out. The pondering keeps me up all night. If only I can get a chance at ONE job interview; I feel like submitting job applications online is a joke and a waste of time. Any advice for me? Honestly I am one of the last people that would have written on a blog seeking help, but at this point, forget my pride, embarassment and humiliation, there's no room for it, I'm open to anything. This sadly is real America today and what real people are going through these days.

    February 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  11. Natasha

    Nancy Lee is an idiot. Student loans have never been able to be discharged so for that to be new information to her shows her lack of financial knowledge. Secondly, her comment that "maybe too many people are taking out student loans and should go to community college" is her opinion and has no place being aired on CNN. The student loans are there to assist people to go to college and to pursue quality higher education. Thirdly, her comment that "the 1000 ft rule for credit card companies made her think about sex offenders" again shows that she is just stupid and that comment was completely inappropriate.

    February 20, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  12. cmeadows

    I will be losing my job in June and would like to go to back to college. I have heard that there is now federal money that will pay for classes, etc. If I am currently making $67,000+ will I be able to apply for this money? Who do I contact for info.?

    February 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  13. Larry DeLuca

    Remember, congress has no money to give away. Congress has already spent all the money in the bank ($2 Trillion this year) and more
    a total of $3.5 Trillion this year. The interest on the debt that congress has abused is over $1 Billion per day.
    Every day congress spends over $1 Billion in interest on the debt, Congress is financially destroying the equivalent of over 10,000 Households with a net worth of $100,000.00

    Let's keep it simple,

    1. Do not spend any money you don't have.
    2. Do not borrow any more money, instead, pay down the debt.
    3. Cut taxes and do not discriminate.

    February 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  14. John Sparling

    Question for Karen Lee...

    What is your opinion about companies that claim to reduce the amount of debt you owe ( principal ) on your credit cards thereby lowering your overall monthly payments and thus pay them off a lot quicker? Thank you.

    John

    February 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  15. Dee

    I am a business owner who had a 5,000.00 business credit card limit. I always paid at least the minimum payment on time all the time and then they sent me notice stating that they are lowering my credit limit. They lowered it down to 4,000.00 which is pretty close to what I had already used, now I have no liquidity. They say it is because of the new credit card change. That is not fair!

    February 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  16. DWIGHT MATTHEWS

    i explain to credit card people i lost my job that iam not working and told them to close my account but they still charging me late fee what should i do because the bill still going up

    February 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  17. Larry DeLuca

    Why are there no productivity gains in congress?
    Who promised congress private jet trips at $18,000.00 per hour, even when we have to

    borrow the $18,000.00 at 4.5% for 30 years at an interest of $24,300.00, making the jet

    rides cost $42,300.00 per hour, (plus the Fed Govt. costs of retirement ,premium

    healthcare, and bottles of premium booze.)? You and I can buy a ride on Jet Blue for

    around $100.00 per hour, plus $5 per glass of booze.

    February 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  18. Damon in Houston

    I have to say, Karen Lee's advice for the most part is disingenuous at best. She does not sound like she lives in the real world. I am a business owner and have watched real peoples lives come unglued by the current economy. Further, I have had to really scramble to keep my own family afloat and viable economically. Let her try functioning out on the streets with $10 in her pocket and see what she is really made of.

    February 20, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  19. txsux

    Lajuan they don't call it cash county Texas for no reason. Good luck. My advice. Move.

    March 3, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
  20. Kara

    i'm contributing $800 /month to my 401k at work in the high-risk category b/c I'm 39 years old. I'm losing between $900-$1200 a month due to the economy. I've always been told to ignore the month to month statements, but this just seems stupid. Basic question: is my 401k buying shares each month that i own so when the value of the share goes back up it was worth the investment now or am I just throwing my $ away?

    March 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  21. Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D.

    For John Sparling - Companies that promise to get your legal debts reduced are phony as a three dollar bill. Run the other way. Take a second job for additional income, pay down your balances and CUT UP ALL YOUR CARDS except for one to be used only in real emergencies. Eating out or buying cigarettes are not emergencies.

    For Kara - if the mutual funds in your 401K haven't made money under the market conditions that prevailed since March 2009, then you're invested in the wrong funds - big time! Likewise, if you now have your 401K funds in "high risk" categories, then you need to learn A LOT about investing. During the next equity market collapse, a lot of companies in whose stock your high risk mutual funds is invested may go bankrupt. While you are making yourself smarter, you need to minimize your losses. One option might be FDIC-insured bank CDs or money market funds. Note, however: I am not a licensed investment adviser. It sounds to me as if you need one.

    March 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  22. Daniela

    The fact that you ask the question, and that so many ppeloe are even giving it credence enough to discuss how the debt ceiling affects us, shows how important it is to so many ppeloe.But bottom line, there's a lot more than one issue on the table. The only reason we're so concerned with the national debt right now is because the media is telling us to be concerned, but not telling us to be concerned about other things. Our debt is huge, but look at the large amount that's public debt Don't get me wrong We need to recude it before we hit a major crisis But we've just killed Osama bin Laden, we've seen two previously-stable middle eastern countries topple, and three more are on the way Russia and China are exploding their GDP, and their military spending shows it Natural disasters are hitting ridiculously fast right now This is a very turbulent time for the world, and perhaps we should start watching international events rather than just focusing on what Republicans think is a good way to tear down a presidency.References :

    August 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm |

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