Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Signs of Change?

Yesterday, when driving past a place that sells sheds and picnic tables, I saw a sign that read 'rent to own'. It suddenly hit me....can you now rent to own a picnic table or shed? I thought it was a wee bit odd. Companies are now making it possible for us to finance ANY purchase. Harley Davidson makes it possible for you to own a motorcycle with just $99 down, and 72 monthly payments. Wow, that is a lot of payments for a toy! And those payments substantially increase after the first two years. But a picnic table?

I wish people would stop and think it out before they finance unnecessary purchases. Do I really need this item? There is nothing worse than the feeling you get when the newness of an item wears off, you tire of it, it is in the way, and you are still paying for it. How much will it cost me if I finance it? Figure in interest rates (and possible penalties) and you could be paying 200 percent or more (usually more if you make the minimum payment) of the original purchase price. Is this item something I could save for a couple of months and purchase with cash? If it is, the peace of mind you purchase when paying cash makes it worth waiting. Then when you scratch it, dent it, your kid hits it with a baseball bat, it catches on fire, or gets damaged in a storm, you don't panic. It is paid for!

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