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Will the monthly payment be the death of us?
Old 04-04-2008, 10:17 AM   #1
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Will the monthly payment be the death of us?

From my perspective, the "monthly payment" will bring down the economy. Think about it....

cable bill
internet bill
satellite radio
cell phone bill
day care
car lease
credit card interest

I'm sure I've forgotten quite a few, but consider it. All these things are small monthly expenses that add up to things we'll never own. We talk about the savings of our parents or grandparents and wonder why they were able to do it on such small incomes? They bought things, paid them off, then needed much less income to survive in retirement. What is going to have to happen to save the economy from a surefire broke economy in our senior years? You may think it won't affect you because you've saved, but we can already see the government's involvement with bailing out people. Is Rome about to burn? Even though you've saved, will you be paying for your neighbors retirement?
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:19 AM   #2
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credit card interest
Never had any of this...
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:19 AM   #3
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Well, at 58 I don't need day care and who would lease a car? Credit card interest, what's that?

But hey, I may need long term care.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
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Credit card debt was the beginning to the great fall. Consider the old process of "layaway". You didn't get the item until it was paid in full. Credit cards have created the "get it now" philosophy.
This guy is your culprit...
Frank McNamara (Diners Card) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Will the monthly payment be the death of us?
Old 04-04-2008, 10:43 AM   #5
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Will the monthly payment be the death of us?

I don't disagree with you. These little - and not so little - regularly occurring payments make it harder for people to save, and they are not easy to give up.

I know I pay too much for home internet access and have thought for a long time about switching to a cheaper alternative but I"m worried the service won't be as good and the annoyance of switching all of my email, etc.

I did give up the cable TV bill 6 months ago, and am thrilled to be rid of it. I don't miss TV for an instant. Cel phones - ugh. My wife has one. I don't. I like regularly looking at these recurring things and figuring out which ones can be eliminated or lowered, but I can't imagine most people do that. The fees just keep adding on, month after month, even when we stop getting full value out of the charge, like health club fees or netflix.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:46 AM   #6
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There is some truth to that. Now that the "savings" generation which remembered the Depression are either dead or very elderly, it seems their descendants are forgetting the lessons they warned us about.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 04-04-2008, 10:57 AM   #7
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I'd get worried about prop. taxes, too.
Even though values (and thus assessments) should be falling.. I've seen people reporting that (for example) some cities have decided to up assessed values of the underlying land to make up for declines in value of the actual bldg.. Many have already gone from a proportional assessment (like 70%) to 100%.. and some are raising the mil rate into the 20s and 30s!

Sis in an avg. suburban CT house is paying $8k or so: almost $700 month.
Longer-term residents complain their taxes are higher than their mortgage.
AND rates are scheduled to increase a further 6.6% this year!!!
Even w/o further increases.. over the time she plans to stay in the house, she'll have paid more than half-again its value in Prop. tax.

I wonder if people perceive this or not. Are prop. tax payments wrapped into mortgage payments so that people don't see the bills? I never had a conventional mortgage so I got my prop. tax bill directly; don't know how it works for mortgage holders.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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The American Bankers Assoc. said consumer credit delinquencies in the fourth quarter were at their highest levels in nearly 16 years as borrowers continue to fall behind on auto loans.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:59 AM   #9
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Are prop. tax payments wrapped into mortgage payments so that people don't see the bills?
Yes, if you have an escrow account with your mortgage, your payment will typically include roughly 1/12 of your annual property taxes and 1/12 of your annual homeowners insurance. If you don't, you'll get (and pay) the bills directly.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 04-04-2008, 10:59 AM   #10
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I'd get worried about prop. taxes, too.
Even though values (and thus assessments) should be falling.. I've seen people reporting that (for example) some cities have decided to up assessed values of the underlying land to make up for declines in value of the actual bldg.. Many have already gone from a proportional assessment (like 70%) to 100%.. and some are raising the mil rate into the 20s and 30s!

Sis in an avg. suburban CT house is paying $8k or so: almost $700 month.
Longer-term residents complain their taxes are higher than their mortgage.
AND rates are scheduled to increase a further 6.6% this year!!!
Even w/o further increases.. over the time she plans to stay in the house, she'll have paid more than half-again its value in Prop. tax.

I wonder if people perceive this or not. Are prop. tax payments wrapped into mortgage payments so that people don't see the bills? I never had a conventional mortgage so I got my prop. tax bill directly; don't know how it works for mortgage holders.
Great point! I paid off my house last year, and yet my taxes make it feel like I've achieved very little.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:02 AM   #11
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Don't know if Rome is about to burn, but do agree that all those bills would add up and make it hard for many to save.

Many of us boomers have never learned to do without. Guess I was lucky my parents didn't have a lot of extra money when I grew up.

Of the things you listed, only have internet and cable. Could do without the TV easily enough and go back to dial-up if need be. Cell service is pretty bad on my side of town(had to go outside to use it), otherwise would have given up the landline.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:05 AM   #12
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Could do without the TV easily enough and go back to dial-up if need be.
I'd eat dog food before going back to dial-up Internet.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:12 AM   #13
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cable bill - DON'T HAVE ONE
internet bill - OK, HAVE THAT........
satellite radio - NOPE.....
cell phone bill - got it, but Verizon still gives me a 22% discount because they don't know I changed employers.
day care - Thank god those days are over.
car lease - Don't do that anymore.......
credit card interest - What's that
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:14 AM   #14
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I'd eat dog food before going back to dial-up Internet.
Didn't say I would like to go back to dial-up. Just an example of things I could do without if need be. But, since i LBYM on most things, probably not going to be a problem.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:17 AM   #15
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Well obviously all here are much smarter than the average American, however, no one has addressed how to handle your neighbor's debt. I read yesterday about the need to raise social security deductions in order to avoid the future shortfall. So, while you all are paying your bills and avoiding those "monthlies", there is little you can do to avoid rising taxes which will affect you in the future.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:19 AM   #16
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Well obviously all here are much smarter than the average American, however, no one has addressed how to handle your neighbor's debt. I read yesterday about the need to raise social security deductions in order to avoid the future shortfall. So, while you all are paying your bills and avoiding those "monthlies", there is little you can do to avoid rising taxes which will affect you in the future.
I think most of us are all too aware, unfortunately, that fiscally responsible individuals are going to be increasingly screwed to bail out the irresponsible in the years and decades ahead.

It's paying less and less to be an ant instead of a grasshopper. And if we allow the grasshoppers to reach "critical mass" to the point where ants aren't any better off because of all that's taken from them, we'll be screwed.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:20 AM   #17
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I'd eat dog food before going back to dial-up Internet.
One must keep one's priorities straight!

One of the issues is that there is so much more to buy now than there was in the '30s-'40. PCs (and their software) didn't exist, cable TV didn't exist, few even owned a TV, toys like snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles didn't exist, residential air conditioning didn't exist, most people got along fine without a car or just one, air travel was for the adventurous and wealthy, and so on.

So, many people apparently just can't distinguish between "wants" and "needs". People in the '30s knew that what they needed was food, clothing and shelter and everything else was "wants".
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:25 AM   #18
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Right, Art.. I hope I didn't hijack your thread but I fear the monthly costs we CAN't avoid.. taxes.. basic utilities.. that are outpacing the semi-optional conveniences like internet and cell phone.

Walt, it's true that people have spent on wants. But now the day is coming that they will be up against a wall with needs. Please look at the video lecture I posted on consumption, though.. the visible and apparent excesses may not be as we might think.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:29 AM   #19
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One of the issues is that there is so much more to buy now than there was in the '30s-'40. PCs (and their software) didn't exist, cable TV didn't exist, few even owned a TV, toys like snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles didn't exist, residential air conditioning didn't exist, most people got along fine without a car or just one, air travel was for the adventurous and wealthy, and so on.
But there were cool lamps shaped like a woman's body (made in Italy) back then.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:29 AM   #20
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Im getting tempted to turn off the cable TV in between football season Most of the good shows you can go rent the reason DVD.
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