A mother’s advice at graduation [by rochelle]

balloonsVery soon my little girls, along with many others, will be graduating from college and heading out into the grown-up world of all those things you couldn’t wait to be a part of. Hopefully all of you will find work and have long, wonderful lives.

Can I please tell you just one little thing? Just the tiniest piece of advice — I swear it isn’t nonsense. I will leave all the usual stuff for your relatives to annoy you with as they hand you envelopes filled with money.

OK it is actually a two-parter.

Part A: If you ever sign up for something and it says “FREE” but then asks for your credit/debit card number then it is not free. Oh, perhaps there is something free for a little while, or a free item, but I promise you if you are giving a company a way in which to bill you then there is a reason and it is because they ARE GOING TO BILL YOU! So please stop and read, and know what you are signing up for and know how to get out of it before you hit the submit button.

Part B: Read your bank statements and credit card statements. Banks make mistakes, stores make mistakes. I have caught them. If you do not look at your statements you will not see if there are errors like double billing (I have caught this multiple times), fraud (even a $1 charge can be an indication of fraud), billing for services you swore you canceled but apparently didn’t, bank fees for services you don’t have (happens all the time), and any number of other crazy charges.

You may think it’s silly and don’t want to bother, but you do not want to be a victim of any of the above. With online banking you can check your account easily and if you don’t recognize a charge you need to call the credit card company. Charges that you didn’t make or you believe are wrong can be disputed.

My girls are probably laughing because they know what a maniac I am about this stuff.

Many adults in this country are still very child-like when it comes to money. I see it everyday at my job. They make bad choices and then say they “didn’t know” or blame it on someone or something else. It is pathetic. Don’t add to the idiot population. Be smart. Be responsible. Read before you commit to things and pay attention to what you’re spending your money on.

Congratulations on graduating from college. Be thrilled, be excited! It’s a great accomplishment. See you at the party!

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Comments

  1. Agree 100%. I’ve only been out of school a year now, but if there’s one thing that I can add, (not from my own experience, but I learned it by seeing so many other people make this mistake *daily*) it’s to maintain good credit. I work at a car dealership and I can’t tell you the number of 20-30 year olds who come in with no credit, bad credit, or horrific credit. Unless you have thousands upon thousands saved up, I’m sure you’re going to need to finance something in your life or take out more loans. If you miss even a few stupid payments on something as trivial as a cell phone bill, it rapes you a lot harder than you might think. It’s a bad system, but it is what it is. Don’t miss any payments… ever. And now a days I’ve heard people talking about a recession of some sort, which means that your credit score really needs to be top notch just to looked at by banks. That’s why online banking is awesome. You can set up automatic payments for your bills (like student loans), and by paying attention to it, like Rochelle said, you can build strong credit and make your life a lot easier when it comes time to actually spend the money you work for.

    Thanks Grandpa Will!

  2. tis true! always check your statements, and keep important receipts. it’s important to keep track of your records.

    – Ivan Cordero

  3. well i’m screwed.

  4. Rochell is a wise woman. I agree completely. Pay attention to your credit and what you use cards for. If you don’t, then start NOW.

  5. Part A: nice. but if people actually did that, we may not have jobs (and no free friday lunch)!

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