Category Archives: Financials

Chase’s Minimum Interest Fee

So I just took a look at my Chase account (checking and credit card) and saw that on my credit card, I had a balance of $1.50. I wouldn’t have charged $1.50, so I took a look at the statement to see what it was. Chase now charges their customers a “Minimum Interest Fee” if you have a $0 balance between the end of your month statement month and when your statement is sent to you. I paid mine off a few days before and was apparently penalized for having a $0 balance on my credit card. It’s total bullshit – just a way for Chase to make up the $$ they’re no longer making from the new restrictions the government has placed on them. When I called they removed it as a courtesy. Courtesy my foot, it’s just supposed to make me feel better. All these made up banking and credit card fees are so ridiculous.

Student Loan Due Date

Today while cleaning my room, I was putting away and going through some of my paperwork stuff. I usually open my bills, but pay little attention to the dates on them because I pay everything online. I look at how much is due, basically. For my student loan, I look at how much there is left to be paid off. Today I looked at the date the bill was sent and the due date. 3/27/2009 and 6/16/2010, respectively. I was so confused but thought, maybe since I over pay every month and they expect me to pay this off in x amount of years, my overpaying pushes back the due date, so that it will still be paid off at the same time as if I was paying my minimum. I asked my mom and a couple other people and this was confirmed.

Apparently when you over pay on a loan, your car, your house, etc, it just pushes out the due date because they don’t necessarily want you to pay something like that off early – when you do, “they” don’t collect as much interest. Soo…because I over pay every month, my loan payment is not necessarily due the next month, it is due when the amount I have paid is equal to what the bank thinks I should have paid off at that point in time. Interesting.

2009 Job Cuts

I was reading a Bloody Monday article on CNN Money last night and it’s all so sad. Over 207,000 jobs lost so far. I found this chart that breaks down where cuts have been made – it seems like it’s missing a lot of companies (GM, Ford, all the banks, etc), but I think that is because it’s from 2009 only – nothing before the New Year.

chart_job_cuts

I was reading yesterday that the economy is not expected to get better until at least the end of the year and that it may get worse. It’s so scary to think about how much more job loss there will potentially be – and then to start thinking about who is actually safe? I mean, I guess teachers are. But who else? Even doctors aren’t necessarily safe. Sure, people still get sick, but hospitals are still a business and they can still lose money and lay off or close things down. Travel is down, gas/oil consumption is down, retail numbers are down, the housing market is down, I’m sure restaurant/the service industry numbers are down…

I was talking to my mom last night about the last time the economy was really like this with job loss and all. She said it was the 80’s and at that time, a job and the economy were definitely not on my priority list, so I don’t really remember things being bad. But it is a little comforting to think that I don’t see any lasting effects areound me from the 80’s. When I am around my grandparents, I do see lasting effects on them of the depression. They still wash and reuse plastic bags, plastic dishes that I would throw away, buy only clothes that are on sale, save everything, clip coupons, etc.

I take comfort in the thought that what is happening around me is like the 80’s as opposed to the 30’s and hope things don’t get worse. The idea of another depression is so scary.

The Recession

I am so tired of hearing people say “with the economy the way it is…” or some variation of that phrase.  There is always an economy.  We are in a recession, not an economy.  We have been a recession for a year.  It’s like people are afraid to say that.  It might be a little scary, but there are a lot of worse things – look at all the things our country did after the great depression…and we’re not even in s depression!  I hear “with the economy” or “in this economy” so many times a day and it’s getting on my nerves.  There is always an economy.  This is a recession.  Call it what it is.

Things I want:

-a tan

new pages for my planner

book to teach me about personal finance

-yarn and more time to knit

-a livingroom

-furniture for that livingroom

-strappy summer sandals

-summer clothes

movies

I know there’s more…hrmm…

Stimulus

Earlier this week I wrote an email to my parents (we email each other during the day from work) and told them:  I could use a little stimulous in my life!  This was in reference to the $600 stimulus checks everyone’s been told will be sent out starting this week.  Yes, they do say “up to,” but if the cut off of peoples’ income is $75,000, I have to get $600, right?  I mean, I only made $21,000 last year and I’m not a dependant.  Today I checked my bank account and there was my deposit.  For just over $300.  Wtf?!  If $21,000 doesn’t qualify you for the entire amount, what the heck does?!?  So much for my spring shopping.  I already transfered over half of the money to pay part of my credit card off.  The rest will stay in my checking account to get me through to my next paycheck.  Without that I have $25 to last me for the next 2 weeks.  Yes, some people would be fine with that, but to put things in perspective:  Last weekend I went to the grocery store and bought 2 small plastic bags almost full of groceries for $40.

This is New York

The prices at my fruit stand have gone up.  Yesterday I payed $.50 for a banana.  One banana.

Last weekend when I was walking to the gym I saw Russell Simmons’ car.  I know it because his office is about a block up from mine and I doubt there are two of that car in this city.  I figured they had just dropped him off or they were waiting to pick him up.  As I got up next to it it pulled away from the curb and the back window was open.  He was in it.

That same day when I was leaving the gym I walked past a store called “Big D.”  A man came out, bend down, picked up a joint that was on the ground and stuck it in his mouth.  I guess he’d put it there for safe keeping?