Bi-weekly Loan Payments Are More Than You Might Think

Am I the only one who’s really ticked about these bi-weekly car payment ads?

It used to be that you bought a new car for, say, $18,000. You did the paper work and ended up with monthly payments of a somewhat manageable $250.

Now, every ad out there is offering payments of $136! $152! $171!

And we, who are used to the monthly payment standard think, wow, that’s bloody cheap! Those lowered interest rates are really making a difference in car payments. Maybe I can afford a new car after all.

BUT WAIT!! Read the fine print.

Those payments areĀ  bi-weekly payments. That means you’re making that payment every two weeks. Which means that you’re making at least two extra payments each year – that’s three car payments instead of two, every six months.

I don’t know about you, but that extra $150-$200 payment in a month would really set off my budget.

Be careful. When you’re discussing finances with the salesman, watch how you can’t get him to actually verbally tell you the full price of the car. Nor will he specify the monthly payment. He sticks to his insistence that the payments are a low, low $124. Anyone can afford $124, no?

It’s a sales tactic and nothing else. The idea is to make you think that you can afford the car. And once your heart is set and your mind made up, the reality of the financing won’t matter much.

Multiply your bi-weekly payment by 26 and divide by 12 to get your actual monthly payment – the amount you’ll have to budget for. If that amount fits you budget, then go talk to the guy.

Don’t let him throw numbers at you until you’ve done your homework. His only concern, regardless of what he says to convince you, is whether or not you buy the car.

Not whether or not you can pay for it.

 

The Price Of Ice Cream and Tampons!

Okay. This makes me crazy. Stay with me here.

I noticed it starting about 25 years ago. With tampons.

Now before you go running off thinking I just brought up a taboo subject, hear me out:

I used to get a box of 40 Tampax tampons for $4.99. A decent price. But then I began to notice the price going up. $5.99. $6.99. Every couple months. Infuriating to say the least. And then suddenly, the price dropped back down to $4.99! Woohoo.

But it wasn’t until I got home that I realized that the box had shrunk to only 30 tampons.

Grrr.

About a year later, it started again. The price went up and up and then back down and now the box only has twenty. And now the price is climbing up again. That box of twenty is about $6.99 now.

At this rate, I will eventually see an empty box for $4.99. How far can this go? And how stupid do they think we are?

Of course, now to get a box of 20 for $4.99, you have to buy the store brand, which is still made by Tampax and you think you’re knicking the big company in the pocket.

“Hey, hey hey!” you’re chuckling. “What do I care aboutĀ  – those things?”

Well, you should absolutely care about those things. Here’s why:

Whenever marketers want to try out a new trick, they start with women shoppers. Where better to get the most accurate picture of the average shopper. So tampons it was. And it worked. Although the flaw in the plan is that women who use tampons are NEVER going to go without; the options are too icky.

However, in the end, it worked. And here’s where you non-tampon users come in.

Look around. You’ll see them doing this little ploy everywhere!!

My personal current bitch is with ice cream. I used to buy a 2L carton of ice cream for $3.99. No bitching there. But then the price went up and I stopped buying it for quite a long time. Then I noticed the price had dropped again, back down to $3.99, and I bought some. Funny, I thought I used to be able to get at least 7 servings out of a carton. Now, the kids and husband are all looking at me like I ate half of it.

Closer inspection of the carton says that’s because there’s only 1.89L in the carton.

Shifty guys. Ooh, that makes me mad. They even made the print smaller and buried it into some fancy graphics.

Round two came within a year. Now there’s only 1.65L in the same damn carton.

Crooks!

I saw an episode of Marketplace where they examined this (at least fifteen years after I began bitching about it openly) and, sure enough, it’s not my imagination. I was right.

Turns out the marketers have decided that while we – the consumers – are not willing to pay a higher price, we’re willing to accept less product for the same price.

Even if this were true, we wouldn’t be so ‘accepting’ if it were out in the open. But they’re sneaky and they hide it ’cause they think we’re too stupid to clue in.

It’s everywhere. Cans of pop, blocks of cheese, boxes of cereal. Hell, even the Canadian government got swindled into switching the country to metric for the oil companies ’cause they were pretty sure we’d never pay a dollar for a gallon of gas. Now, at $1.27 per litre, we’re paying $5.77 per gallon.

Wow. Who knew.

Check your labels, know your prices, and watch for sales. When ice cream drops to $2.99 for 1.89L, stock up!!