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The Monthly Payment Scam

We have been duped into thinking in terms of monthly rather than total payment.

Have you ever asked yourself why there always seems to be too much month left over at the end of the money? In the next few articles we try to answer this by seeing how we have been lulled into thinking in terms of "monthly" instead of "total" cost. But the total cost isn't even the worst of it. Confused? Well, that is how your creditors want it. Here are the facts.

Let's first set the stage with a couple real eye openers.

  1. A trend-reporting publication suggests that, more men are worth more at age 18 than at age 65. Think about it! We are going backwards.
  2. We surpassed 1 million bankruptcies per year 2 years ago, and it hasn't let up since.
  3. IRS tells us that 85% of those reaching age 65 do not have $200 in the bank and that 87% retire on less than $250 per week for life.
"Oh, that won't happen to me", says you. I am certain it won't. And I am just as certain that is exactly what 87% of those reaching age 65 said.

So what happened? How did it get this bad? We are working hard and seem to be earning a good living. In comparison to our parents, our income is approaching wealth. But we do not seem to be getting ahead. Why? Where is the money going each month?

Have you ever noticed car dealers always ask something like, “how much did you plan to spend per month”? That is not meant to be a friendly introduction, though that is how it comes across. Rather, by design it is a sales technique because the car does not cost $20,000. Oh no, it only costs $385. That’s it. No strings attached. Just $385--- for the next 60 months!

I know. I was a retail manager for many years. The greatest pitch offered was a standard refrain, “anything in the store is yours today for just $39.00.” We did not say per month. We did not say forever. We simply said an amount. And it worked, over and over and over.

Ask yourself a question. When you see a written or video ad, which price is plastered in huge, bold print--- the total price or the monthly amount? Obviously, it is the monthly especially if the retailer or dealer does his own financing. [font color="#0000ff] Selling money is very lucrative as any bank will tell you.

The merchant lists the total price only because the law says it has to be there, but it is off lurking in some small corner nearly invisible. And mention of the monthly payment stays away from such naughty words as price, cost, or anything else that smacks of anything other than your comfort and convenience.

It is all based upon the same monthly scam that you can still afford it even if you don't have all the money. Ask yourself if that really makes sense. Is it truly based upon sound judgment or is it based upon instant gratification? Then why do we do it?

We do it because we have been brainwashed to think not in terms of total cost, but in terms of easy monthly payments, that’s why. The thought process goes something like this: “Well, let’s see. This bill will be paid next month. That frees up $22.50. And that pay raise is another $15. And if I can just squeeze another $7.50, I can buy it... I’ll do it!”

I know! I’ve done it and so have you. This is how we think because this is how we have been trained to think and the retailer and creditor knows it. We put ourselves into their clutches, because that is what we have been taught to do by the system.

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