Culture and Entertainment

Wise-up in handling your personal finances.


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I recently read a blog about ATM’s moving to eye scans and smartphone checks from the traditional card and pin routine.  It gave me the creeps. We have to live with Big Brother I suppose but I kept getting visions from the movie “Minority Report”.  Why do people use debit cards and ATMs anyway? It just gives banks extra fees on the transactions and allows them to use the float to their advantage. These procedures are susceptible to EMPs (natural or otherwise), and human hacking. Pay in cash when you can, rather than debit cards or credit cards. Ask for a discount for paying by cash. The Merchant pays about 2.75% “merchants fee” on credit card transactions. Ask for a 1% discount if you pay by check. The merchant will still save 1.75 % on their operating expenses and reduce their gross revenue, (taxes) by 1%. Win-Win.

Develop a working relationship with your local bank managers so they know your face. They are a necessary evil. Pay off your credit cards monthly automatically. The bank manager should be able to set this up for you. My credit card account is paid off 25 days after the end of the month the transaction was posted in. That’s a 25+ day float on my purchases, which means I get free credit for the length of the float. This procedure also makes it easier to hit the banks up for fund raising activities you may be engaged in. Iam a member of the Friends of the Library and always hit upon the banks and, pizza parlors and guns shops for this purpose.

Use the float to your advantage, Most banks have a teller working on today and one on tomorrow, especially late in the day. Make your deposits at today’s teller and your withdraws at tomorrow’s teller. (A trick I learned from my Mom)!

Another way to lessen the impact of banks upon your lifestyle is to enter into barter arrangements for goods and services. This is the way Americans did it in the 18th and early 19th centuries. By all means pay the taxes on these transactions but discount the value of goods and service to cost. I.e.: no profit,or overhead included. Most business models mark up from 40% or 50% of list price. This will reduce your revenues and taxes!

Maybe your in a bind where you can’t pay off your credit card and use a debit card instead. That’s too bad but you can still do something about this. Talk to your local school board and convince them to teach a mandatory course in personal finance. Middle schools should do this in my opinion. It may not help you but you children and grandchildren don’t have to fall into the same trap you did.


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