Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Set Thine Affairs In Order

I just opened our credit card statement for last month. This card is what we use for daily purchases, and we pay it off in full every month. We earn something like 1% cash back. Thanks to new Federal law, they print on the statement a handy table telling us how much we could pay per month to pay off the balance. We could pay the minimum payment and have it paid off in one generation, paying more than double the total balance in interest, or we could pay about 120% of the balance in interest if we pay a paltry sum every month, and pay it off in three years. That, plus the principal.

This balance will be paid off in about an hour or so, at a cost of $0 interest. By not spending more than we can afford, we are saving several thousands of dollars every month.

Explain that to a student about to graduate government high school in America. Moral of the story: Don't spend money you don't have, and you end up not-spending WAY more money in the long run.

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