Got a cellphone? Then you need to make sure there is a contact number in it in case of an emergency situation that you may be involved in. EMT workers don’t know that your mom’s name is Barbara or your significant-others’ name is Lisa, so they won’t know who to call from your address book in case something happens to you. But the contact EMT workers do know (and other emergency personnel) to look up is the phrase ICE – In Case of Emergency. From Wikipedia:
I am no economist (as anyone who reads this site can attest to), but I have come up with a solution I think will fix the economy the minute it gets implemented. My plan involves the interest rate we pay on any money we borrow and how much interest we earn on any money we save. While current average interest rates, for anything from car loans to mortgages run between 0% and 5.5%, my plan is this: reduce the interest charged on every loan other than mortgages to just 2%. That’s car loans, student loans, payment plans, credit cards, everything. All the talking heads want people to shop, consume, and prop up the economy, so there you go – reduce the interest rate on everything other than mortgages to just 2%. Surely, people would start financing and borrowing money to buy almost everything you can imagine. Voila – the talking head’s wet dream – consumers who are back to consuming!
It’s all in what you make of it, really. As I am sure you are aware of, there are plenty of people who live below the ridiculously low poverty line (both here in the U.S. and the rest of the world) that are very happy; and there are also incredibly wealthy folks who are miserable as all hell. Money does not make a single person happy. You may think it does, but it doesn’t. Because if you are not reasonably happy with yourself in the first place, all money does it try to plug a hole that will eventually open up again – leaving you unhappy once more. Many people without money make due however they can; by sharing bedrooms, driving beat-up old cars, not ever going out to eat. But that doesn’t mean they are living poorly at all. They are living within their means, which for some actually means they are comfortable with where they are in the social strata.
In about 2 weeks, the nonprofit organization National Foundation for Credit Counseling, has teamed up with Council of Better Business Bureaus to bring you Protect Your Identity Week, taking place October 17-24th. Did you know that last year alone, about 10 million Americans were victims of identity theft? No? Me neither. A few years back one of my friends was a victim and it took her several months to recover from the damage. But during Protect Your Identity Week, you can visit www.ProtectYourIDNow.org, to take a quiz and assess your risk of ID theft and learn helpful tips to keep you and your family safe. Education is key to prevent your ID from being stolen.
I know it’s not going to be a popular opinion, but I kind of think this recession needs to go on for a little bit longer. The job losses suck, I get that – I hate that part of this whole thing. BUT, I am hopeful that the recession will bring back some sense of normalcy and common sense to personal finance. For too long, people spent and spent on anything they wanted, not paying any attention to long term saving and/or the debt load they were carrying. Many families were given loans for houses that they couldn’t afford, were driving cars that were way above their income level, and were basically living on credit instead of within their means. The recession, along with job losses, changes in the credit industry, and the massive amounts of foreclosures, have really forced people to think differently about their finances. Frugality has come back into fashion, “Check on Freecycle” has become a household term, and some stores are even going back in time to offer layaway programs. The idea of Keeping Up With The Joneses has lost some of its appeal, now that people are having trouble just making ends meet – never mind paying off those newer high interest credit cards that they thought they could manage. This recession has definitely hurt many, many people (my brother included, who lost 2 jobs in the last 2 years), but I think it is a necessary event to bring back some sort of “normal-ness” to our lives.