Sunday, February 26, 2006

Caveat Emptor

RIP Don Knotts

"Nip it in the bud." - Barney Fife

"Now Andy, if you let them take thirty, they'll take thirty-five. If you let them take thirty-five, they'll take forty. If you let them take forty, they'll take forty-five. If you... " - Barney Fife

If you hadn't guessed, this post is about credit card debt. Do you know how difficult it is to tie the death of Don Knotts with credit card debt and find appropriate quotes? Well, not very difficult! Mr. Furley was hot.

Sunday Morning reports that us Americans are in the negative for personal saving and in much too much credit card debt. This pisses me off because it's MY generation that has brought this financial scourge upon the land.

It seems like folks my age just don't understand the concept of working toward a goal. Why save a little bit out of a modest paycheck every month? Not when you can whip out your personalized-with-your-own-photo Visa and buy the newest Xbox! I deserve this right NOW! It's amazing they don't sell electronics at drive thru windows.

Oprah is focusing on her viewer's personal finances lately. So is Dr. Pheel. I boggle at the guests they have on their shows. Those who have no idea how far their lines of credit go. Those who have stolen friend's and family member's identities to maintain a false material lifestyle. Those who've mistaken that identity and character doesn't come by way of possessions.

I've been made fun by Gen X-ers for living under my means. When I was asked how I saved money on groceries, I gave the example of buying rice in bulk and broke down the price per serving. (25 lbs of rice, six bucks, breaks down to two cents per serving.) I was told to "enjoy counting grains of rice." Why yes, thanks, I will! I'll also enjoy, god willing, early retirement because we've saved. Cooking is a skill...if you have learned HTML you can learn how to cook a pot of rice. Honest.

Unfortunately those looking for the quick high of the purchase will also look for the quick fix to their debt. This impacts all of us. Though I've taken responsibility it peeves me that I'll still pay for other's whims in some form or another. I don't even get the stinkin' Xbox to show for it.

I know some of you agree with me. If you do, send five dollars to:
The Absent Minded Anti-debt Fund
The Red Garter Casino Parking Lot
Bendover Boulevard
Bendover, NV 90210

God Bless You.


  1. You are so right! I really worry about some of those in my Boomer generation who are approaching retirement age and have nothing to retire on but Social Security. SS will be there but I think that as time goes on it will not go as far as it has in the past toward meeting needs. Most people should have their homes paid for when they retire but they won't if they keep taking cash out of their equity to pay off bills, then turn around and run the cards back up.

    I saw the Opera show with the three couples they selected to work with and found them to be unbelievable. The one woman even forged her husband's signature to buy a car, their fifth one! I don't know if they will make it out of debt as they keep lieing & sneaking other purchases, even beer (mochas maybe, but beer?)

    It is a good subject for you to bring up. You might mention the Opera show has invited viewers to participate by logging onto her web site & joining there. A great and needed post, Becky.

  2. I have gotten an empty box the last few times on your blog where it looks like there should be a photograph. It is in the spot where the two brightly colored costumes had been. The label above the box still says "Going Ape Costume" but the photos are not there. There is a label in the block that says, “I’m a Chiquita banana and I’m here to reveal…” Or, is this just a tease to check back and find out what there is to reveal?

  3. Sorry about that Dick...I've been working diligently on my costume website. I've moved the pathway to my chiquita banana/carmen miranda photo. I'll go ahead and fix it.

  4. i applaud your sense of financial wisdom....and financial is such a materialistic world.....!

  5. Jill the favorite sis2/27/2006 1:41 PM

    We were taught very well by our parents about what was important. We would rather be a happy family than be miserable because of lots of debt. My hubby and I bought our first home when we were 20 and 21. We recently sold it and upgraded. We now have about 70 grand in equity in our home and we aren't even thirty yet. Plus we try and save as much as we can so when the kids are up and out of the house we can finally have FUN!!!

  6. I was amazed a few years ago when we bought a used car. The salesman told us we should buy new and sign a seven year note instead. We laughed at him. And now they're talking about new 50-year mortages. People don't realize that while the payment may be lower per month you end up paying so much more for the car or house or whatever when you do that. The book Rich Dad, Poor Dad changed the way I look at these things. I think realistic home finance should be required in high school and then again in college.

  7. Dadguy is a penny pincher and frankly... I find that very sexy!

  8. I agree with you and all...but...I need that 5 bucks to send to my Capital One credit card!

  9. I think this is just propaganda to make me feel bad about not being able to afford an xbox 360.

    Seriously, I'm pretty scared of how things are going nowadays. I made a post back in december about money and finances, the links at the bottom are probably the most relevant.

    Keep spreading the word. Maybe one more person will get a clue.

  10. I've read that half of all US bankruptcies have been filed because of medical expenses. We also pay a hell of a lot for crappy insurance.

    I can't afford an Xbox...I can't even afford it's redheaded cousin! But then, why do I need an Xbox and past that, why do I want one?

  11. Yeah I've noticed that on Oprah recently also. I can't believe that some of those people don't know they're in that much debt.

    I'm very frugal also, well as much as one can be moving every couple of years. I generally buy the 5 lb bags of rice at a time as I go through rice quite a bit.

    Keep up the good work.


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