I took Home Economics long ago in high school. We learned how to cook, sew, and make a household budget. It was mostly girls back then in the 70s, but it’s something every teen should learn how to do, maybe not make an outfit from scratch but how to sew on a button. And cook. And budget.
This post has been percolating in my brain for a while. My adult kids have been invited to get credit cards from every bank out there. My oldest knew a college couple that charged everything. They didn’t realize they had to pay it back. Seriously? Who thinks that way? There is no free lunch, guys.
And credit card interest rates are insane. My GAP card just switched to a new bank with a 24% annual interest rate. I cut up the card and threw it away. That’s insane, even though GAP has tall sizes in jeans and special discounts for using their card.
If I miss a credit card payment and get slapped with a late fee, I can usually call and get out of it. I had one bank, though, that kept adding late fee upon late fee to a $35.00 purchase. They wanted $79.00 in late fees, more than double what I paid for the shirt. Since I’m old, I was able to tell them to shove it. After all, my credit score was in the 800s last time I looked. They can ding my score if they want.
I feel bad for young people. There are so many gimmicks out there to lure them into spending money they don’t have. A friend of mine told her daughter to start putting away money in savings. But the daughter owes a lot on credit cards with much higher interest rates than a bank would ever pay for a savings account. In my mind she’d be better off paying off her credit cards first and then saving money at the 1% (or less) interest the banks offer.
I was always told to live within your means. That’s hard to do as a school teacher starting out, when I only got paid once a month. The first week I ate steak; the last week of the month I ate peanut butter. I could’ve gone out and charged steak on my card, but I didn’t do that. I didn’t want a lot of credit card debt. I like to pay off my cards in full every month. I did it while making $8600 a year and ever since.
When I bought my first new car, I took my Omaha girlfriends with me. They wheeled and dealed and got me a good price. After they left, the slimy salesman talked me into winterizing my car and getting the price back up with some special undercoat treatment that they may or may not have done.
Eight years ago, I looked online at the cost of a 2014 Prius since it was November and the 2015s were coming in. I took that price with me to the showroom on a rainy Sunday. A guy from Afghanistan who had lived in Des Monies for a while sold me the car (I’m from Iowa). I kept trying to leave and he kept lowering the price until it matched the price online. Then he handed me over to the finance guy. I told him I was paying cash so I could get the $2000 rebate. The finance guy tried to trick me into making payments, in which case I would’ve lost the rebate. I said no.
The jerk yanked the floormats out of my car before I picked it up, just because he couldn’t sell me the financing. It’s okay. Floor mats cost way less than $2000.
I poured Clorox in my fountain today to kill the algae. It foamed up. I don’t know why. I included it so you’d read the blog post.