Entries tagged with “Credit card”.

This always makes me laugh when I see it on my Discover Card statement.

You see… The Hub Bike Co-op is a bike shop here in Minneapolis. I’m not sure why I would ever need flight insurance on my purchases there… but who knows!

Anyway, just wanted to share my laughs with you!

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I always knew Rent-to-Own places were too good to be true and scams. Sadly they take advantage of poor people more than anyone else. There are probably lots of reasons why those living in poverty are more susceptible to these scams than others, but I think at one point or another we are all desperate enough to try and do anything to feel pride in ourselves and our material goods.

Take all of the newest gaming technology. You can buy a Nintendo Wii for a couple hundred dollars. Or you can rent-to-own the same product for a total cost of around $950. About 400% of the actual cost over a 12 month lease.

Sound ridiculous?? Check it out at the Consumerist. These type of deals often cater towards individuals with limited, no, or bad credit. It is cheaper to place it on a credit card and carry the balance for the year than to go to one of these stores.

This ranks right up there with Cash Advance stores on the evil factor. If we could get rid of these types of thieves we could begin to make some progress against poverty. I would venture to guess that this is pretty similar to what caused the sub-prime mortgage mess.

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The Dumb Little Man had one of his brilliant moments and created a list of 30 Easy Was to Save Money and he claims we aren’t doing all of them. So I looked through the list and here’s part of what I found:

Things we already do:

  • Cook at home often
  • Brown bag lunch at least a few days a week
  • Make a list before going shopping – you have to actually stick to the list, which we do sometimes!
  • Watch out for expiration dates on perishable goods
  • Consolidate and pay off debt as soon as possible
  • Pay your bills on time and avoid late fees
  • Be aware of your bank balance and avoid over draft fees
  • Avoid ATM fees
  • Avoid credit cards with annual fee
  • Disconnect land line if possible
  • Buy in bulk whenever possible
  • Buy generic products whenever possible
  • If you have to buy books, check if you can buy it used – Amazon!
  • Price check before buying anything expensive
  • Avoid the vending machines
  • Keep your car as long as possible
  • Do regular scheduled maintenance on your vehicles
  • Avoid buying a new car
  • Ride your bike or carpool whenever possible – taking the bus, its free with work!
  • If you like watching movies at the theater, go before 6:00 pm – we do discount theaters
  • Regulate your electric use.

Things we need to work on:

  • Go grocery shopping while you are in a hurry
  • Avoid impulse buying
  • Bottle your own water

Things that won’t happen:

  • Make your own coffee
  • Use grocery store bags to line trash cans
  • Instead of buying books, borrow books from the library
  • If you watch a lot of DVDs, get an online DVD store membership – we don’t watch a lot!
  • Plan vacations ahead of time
  • Finally, keep distance from lavish, high-roller friends – we don’t really have any of these!

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Today we recieved in the mail our new credit cards from Citibank. They had discontinued the credit card we were currently using and so issued us new ones from a different product line (see side note below). When I called to activate the cards I spoke to Adam (definintly foreign). He asked how my day was, I replied and asked how his was. He paused and said, “good, thank you for asking” in a very suprised voice. I think he was shocked and his little script wasn’t prepared for that remark! At the end of the call he said “have a good day” and I replied “you too” and again he seemed a little suprised.

Why are we rude to call-centers? Maybe because we can’t understand their accented English, at least they are working! I hate to see jobs we can do here go overseas, but why not let our brothers and sisters enjoy the benefits of gainful employment??


When we first got notice that Citi was changing our cards from a Visa to an American Express we didn’t like that idea and so applied for a Citi Visa. We subsequently got rejected by them. However when I called customer service to talk about changing of the cards, they said I did have the option of going to a Citi Master Card, so that’s what we did. The funny or ironic, or weird part is that the Master Card is the same exact card as the Visa for which we got rejected!

Oh well… maybe that wasn’t such a great story! Anyways…

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