Friday Grab Bag – 7/24/2009

Waste not, want not

The video above tells the story of a sweet 89-year-old lady, Rachel, and her awesome 43-year-old Mercury Comet Caliente, affectionately named “Chariot.” Rather than send her car to the junk yard, she has meticulously maintained it for 500,000 miles.

We could all take a few lessons from Rachel. In our consumer-driven culture, we’re much more likely to buy, use up, throw out, and buy again. It doesn’t even matter if we have the cash; financing is available to get us into the car we want today. But why not at least try to preserve our Toyota Priuses and Honda Civics through the year 2050? Think of the money we would save on auto loan interest and car insurance!

Saying “I Do”…to debt

Miel at Dual Income No Kids shares her pre-wedding debt story, and how she and her partner worked together to pay down $13,000 in just nine months. With over half of marriages failing these days (largely due to lack of communication about finances), it’s crucial to know your partner’s money situation before you move in together or get married.

If only debt were a game

I loved playing LIFEĀ as a kid. Whether I won or lost, I could always just fold up the board game and put away the pieces, and move on to the next childhood activity without any real consequence. Unfortunately, the real game of LIFE isn’t quite as easy to pack away and put back on the shelf. Visual Economics uses the board game analogy to illustrate how Americans accumulate debt throughout the course of their lives. It’s sprinkled with interesting debt statistics, like the fact that the average American ends up paying over $600,000 of interest alone in a lifetime. I think the real winners of this game are the credit card companies.

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Police officer commits credit card fraud

Benjamin Miles Cordova, a cop in the North Las Vegas Police Department for more than six years, has been arrested for using the department credit card to make personal purchases, including three pieces of real estate. It’s unbelievable that anyone would use a stolen credit card to buy property (which can so easily be traced back to the buyer), and that Cordova did this not just once, but three times.

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