Every parent who has kids planning to go to college thinks about the cost. How could you not? When we’re starting to see the $70,000 a year mark regularly surpassed at private colleges (for tuition, room & board), the idea of coming up with that kind of money by an August due-date four years running is daunting.
A few weeks ago, there was a radio commercial for some sort of money-making opportunity. I don’t remember the company or what they were selling. I do remember very clearly hearing the commercial say, “You can’t get rich by saving.”
Usually when people have a visit from the U.S. Secret Service, it’s not a positive thing. But when the Secret Service came to see us at Canton Co-operative Bank a few weeks ago, it was at our invitation and I think it’s fair to say it was one of the most fascinating presentations I have ever attended.
As I recall, it was the late WBZ radio host Lovell Dyett who used to say, “Spend your time wisely. It’s the only money you’ve got.”
I found myself thinking about that when reading a Page 1 Wall Street Journal article about people who get credit cards to chase bonus points and credit card rewards. One individual has 29 credit cards!
This is not just about Canton Co-operative Bank, though that is obviously the bank I know best. From my previous career as a bank examiner, I know that what I am about to say is true of many, many community banks throughout New England and nationwide.
Day-to-day money management is a huge part of people’s lives. It makes a big difference if you’re with a bank you like and trust. Ideally that will be a bank where they’ll get to know you as a person and, if you’re trustworthy, they will come to trust you too.
A gentleman came into the Bank to get an objective opinion on a car loan he was considering.
“The people at the dealership asked me what I was looking to pay a month,” he told me. “And that’s the amount the payment is. I can see that. But it looks like this car loan goes out to 2024. Can that be right?”
Have some people mis-used Home Equity Lines of Credit? Absolutely! In the mortgage meltdown of 2008, a lot of people used their equity to enhance their lifestyles, putting that spending “on the house” instead of on a credit card. (A colleague recently told me about a grandparent who maxed out $175,000 of home equity treating their grandkids to gifts and expensive trips – quite a sum.)