Thursday, April 29, 2010

Color Me Red. Again.

One of the best things about this horrible macroeconomic episode our country is facing is that so many more people can identify with one another's dilemmas -- too much month at the end of the money, being hit with the late fee from Peter so you can pay Paul, etc.  I especially enjoy news stories that show how many other people are waking up to the outrages committed by our banks.  The "overdraft protection" scam is a classic.  The bank allegedly does you a favor by letting an overdraft slide, but then they charge you for it.  Their thinking is, You, the customer, don't want your local merchant knowing you don't have sufficient funds.  You don't want the embarrassment of being turned we'll keep it between us...for a fee.  The trick, though, is that the bank will take their fee out BEFORE they post the withdrawal that puts you over.  They'll also post the highest amount that you've withdrawn at that point first.  It's a cascading effect.  It's happened to me numerous times -- I always hope the merchants are a half day slow in posting, especially at the end of a bad week, because my paycheck shows up at the stroke of midnight on Friday.  Often, a purchase on Thursday afternoon won't hit until after my check is in there.  It's been close many times.  Once or twice in the last year I've gotten slammed.  This week it happened again and the consequences were substantial.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Surveys and Dreams

Sorry for the looong absence -- just nothing worth writing about.  However, two worthy topics sprang to mind today:  Surveys and dreams.

I take a lot of online surveys, purely out of greed.  Periodically, I'll get a surge of ambition and sign myself up for anything and everything that promises an incentive.  I've been doing this for somewhere between 5 and 8 years and have done reasonably well with it.  If I spent more time and took more risks, there might be even more to brag about.
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