(and yes I know I don't have far to go.)
One of the many things that irritates the hell out of me are the commercials on the radio to erase your credit card debt. You know--the ones that begin, "Do you have over $10,000 in credit card debt?" There's only one that I can listen to without steam coming out of my ears, and that's the one where the debtor actually has to pay his debt.
I heard a new one yesterday, though, that made me want to scream. It begins the same way-- with the $10,000 in debt thing--then some guy says, "I beat the system!"
Wait. It gets worse.
A woman comes on next and states, "The credit card companies are doing everything in their power to KEEP YOU IN DEBT! We'll eliminate your debt and you won't have to pay anything to the credit card company!"
Silly me. I was under the impression that if you bought something, you paid for it. I was taught that you should live within your means. If you can't afford it, DON'T BUY IT!
Boy, am I stupid.
When I was a kid, my mother had one credit card--back then it was called a Charge-o-plate. It was for the Gimbel's department store. We used to take a bus to downtown Pittsburgh and we only shopped in Gimbel's basement--where the bargains were. I don't think I realized until I was a teen that Gimbel's even had an upstairs. I don't know if my mother ever had a balance on her Charge-o-plate, but my guess would be no. She was the Queen of Frugal.
I realize the interest rates on credit cards are ridiculously high. You know what my solution is? Everyone get a pen and write this down.
Ready? Okay. You only charge what you can afford to pay off when the credit card statement comes. I know--I'm a genius. You never pay any interest this way. And if you're like me, and have a certain card that shall remain nameless, you get cash back. In other words, they pay ME instead of the other way around.
Why is it that instead of rewarding people for doing the right things, we have to keep bailing out everyone who is irresponsible? Take the Cash for Clunkers B.S. I know it's helped the car dealers, but really. We're rewarding the wrong people here. We're rewarding irresponsibility. And does anyone else wonder what's going to happen a couple of months down the road when some of the people who bought cars figure out they can't make their car payments? Some of them were driving clunkers for a reason.
But at least the car dealers can repossess the cars. Credit card companies don't have that option. Maybe they should.
That's my rant for the week.
Does anyone agree with me? Are we rewarding people for being irresponsible? What would be your solution? Feel free to chime in and tell us all what drives you crazy, too.