Last week, I had envisioned a post that was light-hearted and kinda fun. Finance is important, and in today’s economy, we need to remember how to laugh. The economy sucks, but it won’t get any worse if we learn to laugh at it. Quite obviously, I’ve failed. What was intended as fun, became a sad, gritty reminder of those who we don’t necessarily want to be reminded. Oops.
First Serious Issue:
Freecreditreport.com, which is now freecreditscore.com, has never been my favorite website. Honestly, I hate it. I can’t imagine how this scam of a website keeps on keeping on without someone shutting it down. Where has the federal government been on this? Baseball players on the roids? Congressional hearings. Arizona passing a law that hurts the political class? Law suit. But a scam that charges (sorry folks, but you know it is true) dumb people money every month? Tumbleweeds.
All that being said, I used to enjoy their commercials. They followed a simple formula. This guy and his band are depicted in crappy situations because they didn’t take the time to learn about the pitfalls of misusing credit. That was the point. These guys were screw-ups. Not to be emulated. This guy and his band had the worst luck ever! The music was secondary. The music was there to be catchy.
Well, they have changed the band. For some reason, freescammer.com (or whatever they call themselves) have decided that they needed a fresh face. They came out with at least four so far. Here’s the new pitch. These bands sing a jingle. Boring right? Just in case you need convincing:
The Victorious Secrets
The Poets Dance
I Love Monsters
I can’t express my own reaction strong enough, so I’ve called in a favor from actor/director Johnathan Frakes and actor Patrick Stewart from Star Trek: The Next Generation (gives me an idea for the title of my next book). Okay, maybe they are reacting to something else, and maybe this has nothing to do with anything that I’m talking about. But still, I had a facepalm moment when I saw these new commercials.
The moral here is simple. Don’t lose your message because you wanted to save your delivery. They had a good message. If you screw up your credit, your life will suck. You can try to shine it up all you want, but it will still suck. They’ve lost tat message because they were afraid that their commercials were more popular than the website was. Their reaction was overkill. Now they are a bad website with bad commercials.
Second Serious Issue:
Recently, our Congress has decided to fundamentally alter the banking system in an effort to prove that they are doing something. I don’t know the actual name of this law, but I call it the Financial FUBAR Act. This law replaces the SNAFU Act previously voted on. For those who don’t recognize FUBAR or SNAFU, I suggest you talk to a military person. Probably someone older. They’ll explain how both terms accurately refer to our current Congress.
Anyway, There are a lot of changes that will affect you. A while back, my friends at FCN (www.fivecentnickel.com), created this graphic that tells you about how some of those changes will take place in your credit card statements. In their defense, they gave me this a while back, but I was working on other things, and so haven’t put graphic up. At FCN, they have a much, much better graphic. When you hover over a number, an explanation tells you what you are looking at. Please click on the picture to see this post. Doing so will take a lot of confusion out of your new credit card statements.
My thanks to Five Cent Nickel for putting this together. If I were trying to do this, I would have gone nuts already.
Third Serious Issue:
Recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Alan Buckler at WELV radio in Ellenville New York about FINANCE FOR YOUTH: THE BOOK. Alan did a fantastic job, and got my name out to his listeners. If you are my friend on Facebook, I have posted the interview, and you can hear it there. Let me warn you, it is a long interview. The plan is that I introduced F4Y to the listeners, and gave them opportunities to email to Tweet me questions. I will respond to their questions in a show later on in the month.
Hopefully, this will become the first of many opportunities I will get to spread the word about Finance For Youth and F4Y:TB. This is where I can use your help. Go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (websites) and order a copy or three of the book. Discuss the book with your families, friends, and anybody that has access to young people. Call the high schools in your area and ask them when they plan on bringing F4Y into their classrooms.
Finally, I wanted to play a video that was just fun and good to listen to. The one I found actually resonated with me. Dick Dale, King of “surf-guitar”, is the best. He does things with his guitar that I can barely do with a CD player and one of his CD’s. He never came out (to the best of my knowledge) with a book on personal finance. His focus is on what he is great at. I wish I was as good at finance or teaching as Mr. Dale is at playing guitar. Maybe when I’m his age.