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Screwed

January 11th, 2007 at 04:45 am

We are a nation dieting and not losing weight and we are a nation saving but not getting out of debt. What are we doing wrong?

Iím finding out that I represent a rather large segment of our nationís population. My expenses far exceed my income. I donít spend frivolously. I just scramble every month to pay the bills. It was just 40-50 years ago that a family could survive on one income. Today one-income families are a minority and now even children are getting jobs working along side adults (as opposed to babysitting and lawn mowing.) Where does it end? I guess it doesnít end; the road just takes another turn.

I recognize part of our problem as not having health insurance. I cringe every time the boys hop on their skate boards or play tackle football with the other boys in the neighborhood.

Homeownerís insurance is another strong current we are swimming against. My insurance more then doubled. Iíve been hit by two major hurricanes and never made a claim. Apparently this doesnít matter. I was told to be happy that I HAD insurance. I feel like Iíve been strong-armed by the Mafia.

My Chase credit card went from a 9.9% to 26%! Why? Not because I was ever once late on a payment (NOT ONCE!) but because they decided to randomly check my credit score and decided it was too low and raised my interest rate. I called them up and tried to figure this all out. If I had been late I would understand but I have always paid at least the minimum and always on time. Chase didnít care.

Iím all for being held accountable for my own reckless actions but I feel more and more that Iím carrying the blame for a situation that was destined to happen regardless of how frugal I was. We do shop at the thrift stores and we shop the grocery stores for sales and I wouldnít let the boys play Pop Warner this year because last year I learned the phrase "buckle fracture" and also learned that muscles can tear and pull. These are painful both physically and monetarily.

I feel sorry for families that have to pay for day care. Itís so expensive that in some cases it doesnít even justify the second job (which you need so that you can make ends meet).

I realize that our financial picture goes much deeper than just income vs. expense. I understand there are a lot of political strings behind the economy but you know Ö enough is enough. We are a democracy but I feel thatís just a book cover. We have no control over anything. I can get a job with great insurance but I have to take a $10,000 pay cut to take that job. I should be able to get affordable home ownerís insurance and it should be illegal for a Chase to do what they did without just cause.

I think we should not accept getting screwed day in and day out. I think we need to say "stop" and get answers. I know it doesn't happen overnight. It takes years to stop an out of control train. However, I think collectively we are a frugal voice that should be heard!


6 Responses to “Screwed”

  1. denisentexas Says:

    Great entry! I echo your words on this. I've said the same things for years and as time passes the situation gets worse, not better. Our expenses are better than a lot of people's but we still don't have the income to cover them all on time. It's a struggle from week to week and month to month and year to year. Sometimes I despair that we'll ever see the light of day. We have a lot less debt than many people and more than others but it's still too much. Any debt is too much and we're working on it slowly but surely.

    We don't have health insurance, either, and while my other half and I get our medication for very little cost or no cost, the cost of our glucose test strips is about $400 a month. We don't test as we should for that reason. The cost of food is outrageous and we do well in that area but not well enough.

    Yes, we're a democracy but the Constitution guarantees us a Republican form of government. We don't have that and I think that's part of the problem. Sometimes I feel like I'm being punished for not just my sins but those of others. I agree that we need to say 'stop' and get answers but how do we do that? The latest election caused a change in the people who make decisions but I don't think we, the people, will see a lot of change. We never do. It's just more of the same under a different name.

    At any rate, enough of my rambling. I'm with ya on this one!

  2. Broken Arrow Says:

    Yes, a great entry indeed!

  3. fern Says:

    I share your pain on the homeowner's and Chase. If it were me i would cancel the Chase card in disgust, they have no right doing that and it seems like they're trying to take advantage.

  4. alianora Says:

    Chase is busily screwing everyone over, it seems like. They just raised my APR to 29.99%, AND they raised my minimum payment! And i havent paid late or underpaid or anything!

  5. Brian Says:

    The issue w/ Chase is called Universal Review. A similar thing happened to a coworker. The only thing he did wrong was over utilize a different credit card! He never made a late payment on any credit card.

    I paid off all my cards last year, and hopefully will never have to use one again.

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    Pat--America is fat and in debt for the same reasons, eating fake food and spending fake money!

    Denise, the only thing to change from republicans to democrats is who we blame when they screw us over. Throw them all out and start over, I'd say, but who's to say the next lot would be any better?

    Chase just sent me an offer to transfer my balance back to them at 4.99% for the life of the loan. They lost my balance a few months ago because they raised me to 17% from 12% for no reason. Guess they didn't like me leaving one bit. Especially not someone with my credit score. I'll have to think about it.

  7. baselle Says:

    Don't go back to Chase, LuckyRobin. Just don't! It's a siren's song!

    Hear, hear on your post. But I would add from the comments and pulling from other blogs that we, as a nation, are spending fake money to eat fake food and to get fake stuff to pursue a fake form of status (toys, cars, house, etc), and we are all encouraged to do this by fake information, entertainment, and persuasion (c'mon TV and ads are not real), and we are led by fake leadership - both political parties, which are really exactly the same.

    The only solution I see out of this comes from Candide. "Cultivate your own garden." Chase credit card has no power over you if are a deadbeat - you pay in full each month. Have to ignore the siren calls of buying stuff, and it will be hard because your kids are innocents to the siren and the "cool" stuff is always expensive. You have to go with the basics and know that dropping your debt (by any means necessary) is the best way.

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