I'M FILTHY, STINKING RICH!
I found not one or two, but three separate credit card offers in my mailbox today! If I play things right, my spending power is about to increase three-fold! A world of riches will be mine, and the excitement doesn't even end there.
The credit company I do use just sent me an updated card as well. Along with it they sent me another completely different card. I didn't have to ask!
That’s right. I got an unsolicited American Express card. I thought it had to be a mistake. I'd never applied or even asked for one, but my credit card confirmed that it was mine. You see, they had been worried because my current card wasn’t accepted at Neiman Marcus. Such a travesty!
Alas, Neiman Marcus, with their upscale, over-priced clothes. That's my kind of shopping...except it isn't, really. In fact, I only have one thing in my closet from Neiman Marcus: a Marc Jacobs black fringed top I’d found double tagged on a clearance rack at Filene’s Basement.
Truth is, financially my family does okay because I don’t go credit card crazy. Credit cards can lure you into spending money, especially when you shouldn't.
I still remember back during my college days when a friend got her very first card. Her first bill was $34. She let it slide, rolling the bill to next month. Then she rolled it again. Six months later, finance charges and late fees turned that $34 into over $200. She nearly had a heart attack.
When it comes to credit cards, don't carry too many and do your best to pay them off every month. My rule is if I can’t pay for something straight out of my checking account, I can’t afford it on my credit card bill, either.
If you want a few more tips when it comes to credit cards, loans and money, take a peek below:
MOM'S MONEY TIPS
1. 'Special offers' aren't really special. If a company or salesman says you've been 'specially selected,’ don’t feel flattered. They just want your money. It’s called marketing.
2. ‘Low, easy payments’ are no deal. The lower your monthly payment, the more you pay in the end. Here's an example:
Say you take out a 6% loan for $5000.
- If you take out a 1 year loan, you’ll pay $430/month for 12 months. TOTAL: $5164.
- If you take out a 3 year loan, you’ll pay $152/month for 36 months. TOTAL: $5476.
- If you take out a 5 year loan, you’ll pay $97/month for 60 months. TOTAL: $5800.
3. Always ask yourself: Do you need it now, or can you wait? If you can wait, put that money in the bank until you’ve saved enough to buy it outright. For all you know, by that time you might not need or want it anymore.
4. Paying full retail price is for chumps. Wait until it’s on sale.
5. Cars are an expense, not an investment. Man, I've seen a lot of people become slaves to their car payments. Don't let that be you. Make sure buy a vehicle you can comfortably afford. Plus remember, its value decreases as as soon as you drive it off the dealer's lot.
6. It’s all about give and take. If you find something expensive that you absolutely must have, ask yourself what you’re willing to give up in order to get it.
7. The little things add up. A $3 cup of Starbucks coffee every morning = $90/month. Yowsers.
8. Time is money. If you make $8/hr and wait until those killer $60 jeans go on sale for $40, you're not just saving $20 but 2-1/2 hours of work.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Make me proud and spend your money wisely! And if you're wondering what happened to those offers and the American Express card, they're in the trash.