A mother’s advice at graduation [by rochelle]
Very soon my little girls, along with many others, will be graduating from college and heading out into the grown-up world of all those things you couldn’t wait to be a part of. Hopefully all of you will find work and have long, wonderful lives.
Can I please tell you just one little thing? Just the tiniest piece of advice — I swear it isn’t nonsense. I will leave all the usual stuff for your relatives to annoy you with as they hand you envelopes filled with money.
OK it is actually a two-parter.
Part A: If you ever sign up for something and it says “FREE” but then asks for your credit/debit card number then it is not free. Oh, perhaps there is something free for a little while, or a free item, but I promise you if you are giving a company a way in which to bill you then there is a reason and it is because they ARE GOING TO BILL YOU! So please stop and read, and know what you are signing up for and know how to get out of it before you hit the submit button.
Part B: Read your bank statements and credit card statements. Banks make mistakes, stores make mistakes. I have caught them. If you do not look at your statements you will not see if there are errors like double billing (I have caught this multiple times), fraud (even a $1 charge can be an indication of fraud), billing for services you swore you canceled but apparently didn’t, bank fees for services you don’t have (happens all the time), and any number of other crazy charges.
You may think it’s silly and don’t want to bother, but you do not want to be a victim of any of the above. With online banking you can check your account easily and if you don’t recognize a charge you need to call the credit card company. Charges that you didn’t make or you believe are wrong can be disputed.
My girls are probably laughing because they know what a maniac I am about this stuff.
Many adults in this country are still very child-like when it comes to money. I see it everyday at my job. They make bad choices and then say they “didn’t know” or blame it on someone or something else. It is pathetic. Don’t add to the idiot population. Be smart. Be responsible. Read before you commit to things and pay attention to what you’re spending your money on.
Congratulations on graduating from college. Be thrilled, be excited! It’s a great accomplishment. See you at the party!