15-member Credit Elite Family’s Secrets

13 children live with Rob and Sam Fatzinger. They only have one source of income. They completed an early mortgage payoff. Rob earns a score of 804, while Sam has an astounding 809. What is their method?

How to Handle Credit and Money

Your largest reward for maintaining excellent credit comes from paying off balances—on time, every time—which is an unglamorous but effective truth.

Sam added, “We haven’t had a credit card balance since 1988.” Rob oversees the daily financial operations and keeps track of expenditures using spreadsheets. He works on it for approximately five hours a week; he used to work in banking and has a thing for numbers. He likes coming up with innovative strategies to increase his savings or increase the profits on his investments.

By email, he said, “I could probably do what needs doing in an hour a week.”

The list of “what needs done” includes organizing approaches to reach goals earlier and setting up automatic payments to prevent missed deadlines. They are only 13 years away from retirement and paid off their mortgage quickly (which will be no small accomplishment on a single income with 13 kids).

Even when they receive larger paychecks, they maintain a thrifty lifestyle as their key to success.

They never stated, “Well, we’ll never watch pennies again,” when Rob got paid more. Instead, they decided to put more money toward retirement or the house. They made modest purchases. We knew we had a lot of money since we bought paper towels, Sam added. Regarding the paper towels, she is just half-joking. Their economical lifestyle entails looking for sales at the grocery store, seeing movies only after the audience has left, and making practically all of their own meals, even while on vacation.

This is not to imply that the Fatzingers’ way of life is entirely frugal. The kids have electrical devices, attractive clothing, and toys. Knowing when to save and how to make use of a few more bucks is their plan of attack. When you know you can get a half gallon of ice cream for $2 at the mini-mart across the street, it’s simpler to say no to a $4 ice cream cone on the boardwalk. The $4 ice cream cone would have been an outrageously absurd expenditure with 13 kids.

Good Credit Scores Are Not Necessary—Or Any! Income

Did you notice that despite living off one salary (Rob’s), Sam and Rob both have credit ratings over 800? Sam is a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her kids. Sam demonstrates that even a non-working spouse can join the credit elite and that income has little bearing on credit score. Having and using credit products (responsibly) is essential for having a high credit score. Not all of Rob and Sam’s accounts were opened in Rob’s name solely. This was quite clever.

  • Sam and Rob can create separate accounts to be eligible for twice as many freebies and bonuses (like credit card bonus offers). Spouses who are not employed can declare household income to be approved for credit cards.
  • Sam is in a terrific position to get finance on her own if she ever needs it because to her long-term work at building excellent credit. Not every couple can say they enjoy a happy, healthy marriage like Rob and Sam do. A spouse who never had accounts in his or her own name may find it difficult to qualify for favorable conditions on other credit products, such as a mortgage or refinance, rent an apartment, or obtain a credit card. Both widows and widowers can experience the same difficulties.

Choose credit cards with the Credit Elite in mind.

You can use a card without being concerned about interest rates or late penalties if you never carry a balance and make your payments on time. The advantages that credit cards offer the Fatzingers influence their decision. For a family that spends roughly $1,300 per month on food alone, Amazon incentives, extra transportation, and supermarket points all add up.

Depending on their demands, they may select a different credit card. Currently, they have three, one of which is an account they no longer utilize. Having a long credit history benefits your credit score, therefore keeping an old account open is beneficial.

The Fatzingers instantly selected an airline credit card to begin accruing free tickets when one of the children began planning a wedding across the nation. Increasing excitement for the trip assisted in defending some essential budget cuts.

Sam said that the expense was significant: “We had to pay for 14 flights to Arizona. “We were aware of [the wedding] nine months in advance. We read a lot of books about Arizona and the Grand Canyon. See, this property has a hot tub and a pool table, and we’ll be able to eat rattlesnakes, [we informed our kids]! Getting the kids enthusiastic made it easier to deliver the news that the airline ticket was their Christmas present and that the next summer’s traditional family vacation would be replaced with local beach days.

Speak About the Money Up Front

You might believe that it is impossible to forego buying Christmas presents. Money is simply not a topic that many of us discuss, especially with our children. As a result, money matters can come off as mysterious or even magical. When a treat you anticipated is taken away, disappointment is certain to follow. The entire family may, however, buy into sacrifices and splurges far enough in advance to modify expectations with an open, realistic perspective on economics.

Bringing up the subject more frequently is one of the easiest ways to begin started, whether with your kids or a partner. Around the dinner table, the Fatzingers frequently have informal conversations about money. To teach their kids about labor and earning money, they encouraged them to start lemonade stands or seek babysitting jobs.

It’s surprising how well our kids learn to budget and manage when they have to pay for things on their own, Sam added. They obtain a credit card at some point during their time in college in order to establish their credit, but they are aware that it is not a magic card. Pay it off each month and be mindful of the fees.

If done correctly, starting to build credit in late adolescence can benefit children’s scores in the future. Three of the older Fatzinger children, including Rob and Sam, listen to financial podcasts and blogs in addition to asking their parents for guidance. One enrolled in a high school course on monetary independence.

Educating children about money involves more than just getting ready for a low-key Christmas before a lengthy trip. The Fatzinger children’s increased financial independence has encouraged them to be more independent and charitable.

“We had planned a trip to Florida for our 25th wedding anniversary. When I opened my suitcase after we arrived, I discovered a note from my daughter. It had $200 in cash. I broke down in tears. This youngster wanted to help because she had been saving money from babysitting jobs.

Welcome to Credit Sesame, Fatzingers

The Fatzingers chose to examine Credit Sesame after I introduced myself. One way Rob and Sam keep their credit elite status is by taking use of new financial instruments.

What does someone with a score of 800 or above use Credit Sesame for? A lot of consumers who look for credit tools aim for a high score.

“I use [Credit Sesame] mostly to check that my credit is still excellent and that there aren’t any unauthorized requests. Rob commented through email, “I don’t intend to take out any loans, but it’s nice to have strong credit in case I do, so I can find a better deal.

The following generation’s adherence to frugality may be maintained with the aid of financial instruments.

As many recent graduates are well aware, it’s all too simple to graduate with truckloads of debt. By the time Caleb, one of the Fatzingers’ kids, received his physical therapy degree, he still owing $90,000 on student loans. He’s trying to come up with innovative ways to pay off the debt early, modeling himself after his parents.

The oldest daughter of Rob and Sam, together with her husband, just bought a second home. As they work toward leading their own debt-free, financially savvy life, Credit Sesame might help them stay on track.