finding a way.
I got a bit frustrated reading this
article about businesses that make money off the working poor,
often by predatory practices. It got me to thinking again about how
class status is passed down through families, not just through
opportunities or direct transfer of wealth, but in attitudes and
awareness about finance and money. If my parents had given me nothing
more than an understanding of how loans and credit work, I'd still be
miles ahead of a lot of other people. Using the first example in the
story, I would know that:
So then I got to thinking, "Jeez, if these folks remember basic math,
the really important financial stuff could be covered in one or two
classes." And then I thought, "It wouldn't exactly take an economist
to teach that." And then I thought, "I could teach that."
- Risky loans carry higher interest rates.
- If I made $15,000 a year, I'd be a risky loan.
- Higher interest rates can quickly have you paying multiples of
the loan amount.
- I should research things before I buy them, so I'd know that
$8000 is about $2000 too much for a 1999 Saturn with 106,000
miles. (In 2003, my 2001 with 30,000 miles was worth about $9,000).
- Corporations will probably try to screw you over, so read the
fine print. (I tend to be more harshly cynical than my parents, but
the idea is the same.)
Also, I think I've developed a Job Plan for the coming year. I am
pleased with my Job Plan because it involves smoothly managing
transitions and changes, and receiving money.