Yesterday kind of got me on a roll so I decided to make another installment on this topic. Yesterday I demonstrated how most people willingly give their money to the rich every day through interest payments by choosing to buy an everyday coffee or other somewhat frivolous item rather than paying down their debt. In doing so, they are voluntarily giving their money to the rich in interest payments every month rather than choosing to pay down debt. Not only does this make that coffee cost that much more but the money goes to the rich.
But there is another whole aspect to this which is the use of credit cards. I am not talking about credit card debt this time. I am talking about the tiny percentage that goes to the rich every single time you use your credit card. That’s right! Even if you have a 0% interest card and pay it off at the end of every month, the simple fact that Americans use credit cards takes thousands and thousands of dollars out of our communities and puts that money into the hands of the rich every single day.
Here’s how it works. Businesses know that customers want to use credit cards for convenience. This means that businesses pay the credit card companies processing fees and costs. Depending on the credit card company, the cost for processing will be about 1.95%-2.50%. According to instoredoes.com “Although all credit card processors are subject to the same interchange and assessment rates for their issuing bank, the merchant services provider you select can change your costs by thousands each year. On average, however, credit card transaction fees on a $100 charge would amount to between$2.50 and $3.” This is from a 2013 article. http://instoredoes.com/making-cents-of-credit-card-processing-fees/ Credit card processing fees can be very complicated so it’s hard to know actual costs. However, because of the high demand for credit card use among consumers, businesses know that their sales will go up if they take credit cards even though they have to pay these fees to do so but what it means is that thousands and thousands of dollars leave every single community in the Unites States every single day by the choices everyone makes. Even though these fees seem invisible to the consumer, prices rise on everything because of them and so consumers end up paying the costs even though they are not seen.
Many people complain about the shrinking middle class and so much money going into the pockets of the rich. Especially those who complain about and are concerned about the shrinking middle class should consider controlling what we can control.
Now I am going to be honest. I do use credit cards and I use them to my advantage. Credit card companies pay me to use their credit cards. Why? Because we either pay 0% or pay the cards off at the end of every month. Still, credit card companies want us to use their cards even though they give us rewards like airline miles and cash back. Why would they do this? Because of transaction fees they get from the businesses. However, sometimes I pay in cash because I know that this money goes out of our communities and I just hate that. If we all started paying more often in cash, we would keep a lot more money in our communities.
Have you ever read articles about how only criminals need cash? Boy would credit card companies love for us all to think that! If we all used cash everywhere, it would cause a revolution. A real revolution! We would have thousands more dollars to invest in our communities every single month.
So, my opinion is this: If you want to support your communities pay off consumer debt, car loans and student loans before you support your community by buying from them. After that, you will have much more money to support your communities with. And, when you buy, don’t use credit cards as often or maybe not at all. (There are no hard and fast rules to this-we each need to tailor make how we apply these principles and there is no judgment here!)
But we have so much more power than we think. We are not powerless. We can make a difference.
Stop giving your money to the rich!