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It's Not Free Money
Money, Money, Money
Recently while watching the news I carefully listened to a reporter caution his audience about the pitfall of incurring debt, specifically by young Americans each year. We are working harder and paying more in interest now than ever before.
How can that be? Many quickly blame the economy but we have had other bad economies over the past decades. Surely we were no smarter then than we are now so what else could it be? I believe the real difference between then and now is the amount of disposable cash we have available.
One contributing factor is that cash seems to be more readily available now as opposed to say 30 years ago. Today you can access, via ATM, your money, or borrow other peoples money, 24 hours a day 7 days a week at numerous locations throughout the country. Anywhere from grocery stores to donut shops! Running low on cash while shopping? No problem, not only will most retailers gladly accept your credit or debit card but they will cheerfully offer you more cash back.
I often find myself with little or no cash and yet have no anxiety about it. There is no longer the need to run to the bank by 3PM closing. Do you remember a time, before banks were open 7 days a week, when you had to stretch your cash over the weekend!
Perhaps this is exactly where the problem lies! Could it be that we have become too lax in our skills when it comes to saving and spending? Does “plastic” money transaction register the same value in our minds as the folded bill?
Unfortunately it does not stop there. Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT), while convenient, can pose an added risk when it comes to balancing that check book or controlling the flow of your cash. Remember when you had to make sure you had enough funds to cover the check? Now with EFT's, it's money in - money out with no hassles. That is until it is time to pay those exorbitant interest rates!
It is quite possible that the computer, with its many advancements over the years, has somehow weakened us financially by providing a false sense of security when dealing with our money, or worse yet, other peoples money.