Credit Cards

So after watching a ludicrous but somewhat thought-provoking video from Jake Paul, I thought I would elaborate on his idea. He says that formal school sucks, and that kids need a better education on real life “stuff”. That is the short version, however, he nor any of his “peers” are qualified to educate his millions of followers. One of the things he discusses (sort of as he throws money from a balcony) is the concept of credit. Which is ironic, since he so young it is unlikely he secured any on his own merit. Do people need an education in credit management/debt management? Absolutely. Do they need a full semester in learning all about how to borrow money and pay it back on time? No. I think maybe a mini-workshop within a conference for young new small business owners would maybe be a better venue.

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In this day and age, it is not so easy for a young person to get a credit card, store credit card, or a charge card. From what I gather from small business owners it is also not very easy for them either. So a class in credit, how to get it, how to keep it, what is the credit score and why you need to pay attention to it. What the heck is a credit inquiry? Who are the players and how do you win in the losing game of interest rates? Damn, all those things could make for a really good book, seminar, or Youtube video.

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Because of Covid19, no one is going to go to any seminar, workshop anytime soon.  So for the sake of today’s lesson, I will pretend that you are my 18 year old nephew who just graduated from high school and knows absolutely nothing about credit. Cool? First off, let me ask you some questions. Why do you want credit? Answer: I don’t have the amount of money required to purchase ______ and due to my current financial situation ($ ____ per month/week/hour) I can afford to allocate ____% of that toward my goal of ______. This “should” be the main answer when asked why they want to borrow the money they don’t have. Other reasons, which come up are things like renting a car, hotel room, buying a plane ticket, or maybe it is simply earning rewards points or getting things like extended warranty. All these things come up and are credit card/bank based.
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In order for an entity like a bank to loan you money, you have to prove that you are going to pay it back, on time – every month, until it is paid off in full, plus interest, the additional money the bank is making by loaning the money to you. There has to be something in it for them. How they determine if you are a risk is based on you payment history. We call this a credit score, a complicated report of numbers, accounts, dates, and historical record of YOU paying back an entity. Understanding how this report/credit number is generated is not what this article is about — you can go read about it from another expert. But in a nutshell, you as a consumer, need to pay back any money you borrow on time, every month. That’s it. You would think that was pretty simple, but guess what? Life happens, and some bills don’t get paid on time because there isn’t enough money. We call that being overextended, and that is a reason why banks want to know what your discretionary income is each month.

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A long, LONG time ago, credit card companies all charged an annual fee, just for the privilege of having/using the card. I think my first Chase Manhattan Bank card, billed me $19 a year! Credit cards today are mostly free, and if you get one from your local bank or credit union, there should be no fee. Prestige cards, such as the American Express charge card (green, gold, platinum) offer premium benefits and as such, charge fees to cover those benefits.
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So how did I get my first credit card, you might ask? Well, back in the 80’s I wanted a credit card and my mom understood the power of credit said okay. I was only 15 and at that time you had to be at least 18 to apply for any type of credit. Mom knew that one day I would want to buy a car and I would need to finance it, so starting a credit file of my own was going to be monumental. So mom “co-signed” a department store card, Herbergers, which went out of business prior to the coronavirus pandemic. What this actually means, is that my mom told Herbergers that if I failed to make a payment, that she would be responsible, and if she didn’t it would be bad for her credit report. The account was approved and they gave me a $5,000 credit line, which was all based on my mom’s credit file. THAT was not going to happen, as mom could easily see me going crazy and she called the bank and lowered the credit limit to $100. Yes, seriously. Why? Well, if I maxed out $100, she knew my hourly paycheck job, at $3.35 per hour would cover it. Very smart lady. NEVER give a minor a big credit line. Why? It is super easy to max out a grand, or two, and then not even have enough to make the minimum payment.
Eventually my credit limit got raised due to my excellent payment history. After doing this for almost 2 years, it was enough for me to get a car loan on my own merit. It usually takes about six months to establish a credit file, and then another year to start a payment history. An established payment history of making payments consistently on time, more than the minimum is important when granting someone a line of credit. Think about it, if you loaned a friend $20 and he paid you back the next day, you would be more likely to loan him money the next time he asked. If another friend never paid you back, would you loan him money the next time he asked? Doubtful.

 

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Now that is how “I” did it back in the 80’s, but in 2020, credit cards don’t really work that way. Instead what you can do, is simply add your child to your account as an authorized user. This “does” technically start a credit file for the child, however, most bank officers are aware of this alternative move and take than into consideration before loaning a minor tens of thousands of dollars. As Dave Ramsey says, credit lines are demonstrations of how you borrow money. If you are debt free, you don’t need to borrow or have a credit score. I am totally with Dave on this one. I use the American Express card as it grants a lot of benefits, such as extended warranty, and it has to be paid in full every month. So it is unlikely you will go crazy knowing how much your monthly income is, and where is has to go. I always encourage people to have a monthly budget. Know how much is coming in from work and other sources, and know where it is going — bills, rent, groceries, and so on. When I was younger I used a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to budget wisely. If you are going to go gamble $100, it has to come from somewhere … less gas, groceries, entertainment or something.

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Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved. http://refer.amex.us/AaRONSPFre?xl=cp33 It is in the form of membership rewards points, which you can literally cash in for gift cards, prizes, credit statements or even as currency on Amazon.

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What is going to happen to our world?

The Global Economic State

Many of my fans and followers have been spending a lot of time reading the blogs, mostly as an escape, but many are also here to learn. Education at this point, is not so grand. I had a student tell me he learned more in my blogs than he ever did in school. Wow, that is quite the compliment, and warms my heart. Yes, I am a repository of a boatload of information. I totally get it. I mean, who wants to learn about history and math? Not me.
So, to address my topic, I was asked to shed some light as to my perspective of what is going on in the world with the coronavirus as well as the United States political economy. I have also had a large number of young voters who are looking to me for some guidance as to whom he/she should vote for this election in November. You would think that a lot of kids would look to their parents for guidance, but you also have to remember, there are thousands and thousands of children who have no such parent or role model. Whom do YOU look up to for advice about life decisions? If there is no mom or dad, then what? Did you see the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why? Wow, talk about some kids who have really bad role models. What if your dad left your mom and she was junkie bringing home nasty guys from the bar to have sex with while you are in the next room? Exactly. The world is a beautiful ugly place to live right now. There is fear, terror and most of, evil in this world. Let me repeat that. There is evil in this world. Now you can try to go around and point fingers and attempt to place blame on one person, or conspiracy theory.  But at the end of the day, what does that exactly accomplish? You are still you.

What Would Aaron Do?

So, a long time ago, I had a padewan/student who said I was a great role model. And rather than losing a temper, would pause and think what my response/reaction would be to the situation. Wow. That is pretty cool. I like to think I make the smart right choices in life, relationships, work, and friendships. First of all, I have watch Contagion, like a dozen times. If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch it. I also watched Carriers, with Chris Pine a few times. Needless to say, I am sort of a germaphobe. I carry Clorox wipes and spray everywhere I go. Not to gross you out, but there literally millions of men that never wash their hands after using the toilet. Disgusting. If you just imagined one of those guys touched what you are about to touch, you would wipe it off too. So, keeping things I touch clean and not going out in public very often. Okay, I need things. Groceries, so I go when the store opens at 6 or 7 am when there is no one there and I am in and out. Boom. Nothing dirty to touch or get sick or infected. Now there are a lot of media outlets and even some well known celebrities that are posting things on social media that the virus is fake, that people aren’t really dying from it, the flu is more dangerous, …. you get the idea. Well, what do “I” think? I think I need to do everything in MY power to stay safe, keep living this sabbatical, and use the time wisely to create some terrific content for future events.
The reality is, people are going to die. Do you really need to be one of them? I don’t want to die. Is it so difficult to cherish the time in my castle and pick up an old book to read, or revisit an old manuscript? As I type this blog I have soft meditation music playing in the background to raise my harmonic vibration.

Rock the Vote

So if you were living under a rock, just got out of jail, woke up from a coma, or just landed on earth, … welcome!  I just wanted to share with you that in the last three years or so, there has been all kinds of ruckus in the United States, and unfortunately the school shootings have transferred to blacks being killed by police officers. Now that is not exactly everything, but it has caused all kinds of protests and marches. The leadership in this country hasn’t exactly been remarkable and the President was impeached this year, but due to dirty politicians, the Senate, did not approve it as there are more republicans than democrats. So basically the president is a liar, cheater, thief, and is immoral, and most of America seems to be okay with it. At least the racist hating republicans anyway. Hey there are racist democrats and independents too, so I’m not calling out one group over the other.
Hate is hate, and if you know me, then you know that sort of negative energy is self destructive. I like to focus on the love, not the hate. I love that I will get a tax return someday. I love that I can drive around with expired new car tags. I love that I still am healthy and keeping a positive mindset. I love that my readers leave me comments how I have inspired or helped them. Or in some cases, gotten a free lunch due to my content/articles.
So if you are undecided as to whether you should vote republican or democrat this November, I am going to tell you I am voting for Joe Biden. As you know, I am from Nebraska. Last year when the floods hit Nebraska, Trump did nothing for my fellow friends in the next state. When I was in the Walmart shooting in Thornton, Trump did not even acknowledge it or even tweet shit about it. So yes, I have personal feelings towards the serial pathological liar.
Alrighty, so here comes the hot stepper. Many of you were wondering when I was going to throw out some marketing statistics and “things”. First off, let’s talk about the thousands of voters dying everyday. We all know that old people are dying way faster. Cancer I think is still up there for high number of deaths. And I am only focusing on registered voters. I am not going to even GO there — kids missing. So first off, at a local level, we all know we vote for local issues. School bonds, funding, judges, and also some bigger issues, like senators and congress representatives. Oh yes, and this year, is THE commander in chief, mister president. Most people don’t understand economics or politics or government. Shit, most people can’t balance a checkbook or even have a monthly or yearly budget. Perhaps another day for an article on those topics.
For now I want those young  people to understand that in order for good and evil to balance each other out, those local senators votes are more important. It is BULLshit that one man is above the law. So it is my duty to come forward, speak out to young impressionable minds and tell you that regardless  who you vote for as president, the democrat senators must get your vote.  Now in Colorado that is a done deal. Former governor John Hickenlooper is running against askhole Corey Gardner. Basically he and Governor Jared Polis changed positions. Since the last election, there are less voting registered republicans and thousands more democrats keep moving to the state. Last election, millions of voters decided to sit it out and not vote. And now this is what happened.
Every day hundreds of minors turns 18. Every day an old dying baby boomer republican also dies. With the virus I bet the number is even higher, but they don’t report on what political parties are dying and at what rate.

Well that is all for now, I hope you enjoyed it. If you are not registered to vote, do it now.

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Toys

“When are you going to learn … that people will like you for who you are, and not what you can give them? Now you go back and get your toys back … NOW.”
 

I thought at a very young age if I gave away my toys that people would want to be my friend. I was right and I was wrong. So I learned to detect when someone wanted something that I possessed and wanted it for themselves, or if that person was a genuine friend, and only wanted to spend time with me.

 

So now that I am a grown-up, the things that I can give to the people in my life consist of laughter, smiles, happy days, hopes, dreams, an imaginary world that I created, stories, songs, dances, and sometimes a little bit of magic.

 
There is something else that people will want from you, and you need to decide if you are willing to give it — your time. Your time is valuable and precious. We never know how much time we have before we expire.
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Who Are You?

Knowing who you are is just as important than where you came from, or whom you were birthed. A lot of people identify with their occupation, or what they do for money, as to answer this question. Sometimes it depends on who your audience is, on what your response will be. If you are looking for a job, then you would focus on your primary area of interest in your occupation. So I might say that I am a writer, or a web designer. If I an talking with a colleague I might call myself a human resource authority.

 

Although sometimes I like being introduced as “my friend” rather than an occupation. It’s natural for people to tell something about their new friend, and usually it is meant in good will with positive intentions. Many times you might be in a social situation where you job isn’t relevant at all. Sometimes your skills or talents might help set you apart when being introduced. When I was younger, I would go to raves. My friends would always tell people I was an awesome raver/dancer and to look out for me later in the night. When I sang in the choir, I was always known as Tenor Aaron.

 

You are only limited by your imagination.

 

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Government Conspiracy

In a cold stale room smelling of old cigarette smoke, two indecent politicians sat under flickering florescent lights brainstorming on possible ways to “improve the economy” without raising taxes. 

 

It is the problem politicians have faced since the people organized and began governing themselves. We need money to operate, but no one really wants to pay it. And who can blame them? You can’t just raise taxes a slight percentage without majority rules, which means a ballot issue that everyone votes. Where does that money come from? Did your bank account suddenly go up for a cost of living, gas, utilities and food increases? No. 

 

Then it came to them. Invent “The Lottery”. People will pay money willingly in the unrealistic hopes that they will win this big prize. Since they don’t really know how much is collected, the government could easily dip into it, and maybe even swindle the winners out of their money. It was genius. Not only would they collect thousands if not millions of discretionary income from the middle class and the poor. They would also get the really needy to make sacrifices to buy more tickets. 

 

The magic was that the jackpot would be so enormously big that the one or two winners would be taxed at the highest tax bracket, giving almost 40% of the jackpot to the government. The magic was so powerful that the one lottery called “Powerball” expanded to “Megamillions” and “Lucky for Life” where gamblers can willingly give their hard earned money to the government every day of the week, except Sunday. 

 

Sure it is fun to spend $2 and play the “What if?” dream. But you should never bet your whole paycheck like some people. Simply put, the odds are never in your favor.

 

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