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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How to get rich on someone else's money... and how to get poor on your own.

Years ago when my job took me to New York City regularly, I would often ride the subways and read the advertising banners posted along the top of the cars. There was an ad for a court stenographer like this one promising "f u cn rd ths... " you could really "mk mo $" if you just learned to misspell words correctly. Well, I was cursed with a good grasp of spelling so I was out of luck. But my desire to have more money stuck with me, a young father with a growing family. It isn't that easy to find extra cash, as we all know... or is it?

A gold mine
In the seat cushions of America's couches, there is estimate to be as much as $100 million in spare change. So after a fervent search of my couches, I am well on my way with $3.17. (I'm a big tipper.). Yes, I know it is probably my money, but it feels like pure profit.

Actually, it does seem a little absurd, but if you figure there are 350 million people in the United States, then even counting for
families an the homeless, there are easily 100 million couches. And if the average change lost per couch is say one doller--5 dimes, a quarter, two nickles and  15 pennies--there's your $100 million! But there are, no doubt many more couches and old chairs out there. And some, like mine, are gold mines.

Well, how easy is that? All I need now is more seat cushions. Now that's how you get rich!

Our gold mine gone!

A confession: Before we were that smart, we sold our old couches and chair to this lovely couple for $100. Yes, it was a concession but they really needed these and didn't look like they could afford much more. HOWEVER, they are now probably very rich with all the couch money that we just said good-bye to. Silly us.

OK, here's how you get/stay poor:

We recently had to replace our refrigerator and dishwasher. And because we were swept away in an appliance-buying frenzy, we also replaced our double oven and we SAVED more than $3,000. (Am I missing something here?)

Anyhow, my clever wife had, over time, put aside almost $4,000 anticipating this need to purchase. Believe me, she had to look under many couch cushions to find that much. (See how easy it is!) To pay off the balance, we took advantage of a 12-month, no interest payment plan.

Our first invoice--showing the total amount before our down payment--stated that if we chose, we could pay as little as $100/month for 23 years. How simple is that?

Then there was a chart showing that if we chose the minimum payment, we would actually wind up, including interest, of paying $23,254. And that is just to pay off $6,645.18 at 26.24% interest! So, if you are not good at math like I am, we actually saved the original $3,000,,, PLUS the interest charges of $16,608.82 or $19,608.82 in total savings!

Hmm, looks like we are rich. I just didn't think of it that way. Our check, I'm sure, is already in the mail.

But sadly, paying the minimum is a terrible burden to those have to. It's called "Death of 1,000 cuts" OR "Death by paying $100/month for 276 months, at which time your appliances are 23 years old and themselves, dead."

It's no secret that the rich get richer easily and the poor, well they can just as easily get poorer,  simply by living. And we wonder why lottery tickets sell so well in those parts of town.

Wisdom from the ages: 

"Money is not the only answer but it makes a difference" Barack Obama

"A fool and his money are soon elected" Will Rogers

"A rich man is nothing more than a poor man with money." W.C. Fields


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