We read and hear a lot about economics lately, however when it comes to handling one’s personal money, the majority have been so separated from it, they have of their own volition, arranged things as though it’s some kind of foreign exchange.

Millions have automatic deposit. Their money is automatically sent to a bank. They have a credit card used for purchases. When they buy something, they charge it. The first of the month they receive a bill with interest charges, they pay with a credit or debit card. They rarely see money. The next thirty days the cycle starts over again. There is a separation of one from their money.

I recall 20 years ago talking to my brother-in-law, who owned a steel company, and was on the board of directors at a local bank, telling me about the big change in the manner in which money was being handled. Sounded like science fiction at the time.

Then there was an incident my mother told me about, 20-plus years ago. She was at the Atlanta Yacht Club, when a man ran through yelling that his expensive yacht was sinking. He was hysterical because he did not have a dime in his pocket to make a phone call for help. She explained these wealthy folks at this exclusive club, never carried any money, just signed their name to everything. She handed the man a dime to call for help.

Now-a-days the methodology of handling money has trickled down to the millions receiving welfare and unemployment checks. That is separation from themselves and actual cash. And no one talks about it.

Personally, I’m of the old school, and stick to the things my mother taught me about money. Keep it close to your chest and keep up with it. And always carry a hundred dollar bill in your purse, in case of an emergency.
I use no credit cards, but do have a debit card, and the first thing I do every morning is check my bank account. If I use my debit card for groceries or any shoppping, the first thing I do when I walk in my house is write it down. If one has a little or a lot of money, the importance of being responsible for it is the same.

Lately I have become aware of how many companies, big and small, manipulate to take advantage of this modern-day trend of individuals separating themselves from their money. Understanding one’s relationship with money, and the abandonment of responsibility by so many.

I’m going to relate a story, I’m currently involved in, which has caused me time and money, dealing with it.

I order books and magazines through Amazon.com. A reputable company, so convenient to order from. All I do is place an order and one click, and the order arrives. I receive an invoice via email immediately, to record my purchase. When they have a magazine sale, I order magazines. In the past year probably a dozen subscriptions, now expiring. The renewals are at regular full price. When I ordered, I signed nothing and agreed to nothing for renewal.

This week, two charges appeared on my account, one for $38.00 and one for $26, stated Processing. I called the bank and they gave me the names of the two magazines and a phone number to call. I called and cancelled the renewal charge. But this morning, I see the charges went through and were deducted from my account. I had received no notice of any automatic renewal charges from the companies.

Yesterday I received a card in the mail from Stansberry Retirement Millionaire, stating: “As we promised when you subscribed to Retirement Millionaire, we will be providing you with uninterrupted service through our auto-renew program. To insure you don’t miss a single issue your debit card will be charged $79.00.” And gave a phone number to call with any questions. I thought, at least they sent me a notice of renewal. However I have neither agreed to, nor signed anything for renewal to any of the dozen magazines I ordered through Amazon. There’s no way I’m going to pay $79.00 for any magazine.

I called the number on the card and got an automated responder, with a list of questions to answer. The automated voice kept saying he did not understand my answers, which were pretty much yes and no. Eventually saying he was transferring me to a representative. I got a recording saying the volumn of calls would delay a few minutes. And about every twenty seconds gave me a web site to contact.

I held for twenty minutes, when I realized all this run around was a ploy, to prevent my cancellation of the subscription. So I just laid the phone down, and an hour later, the automated voice was still saying representatives busy and use the web-site to contact. After an hour I hung up, to handle another charge with the phone company I wanted cancelled, which wound up with a disconnect talking to a foreigner. Another unresolved charge, I’ll deal with on Monday.

I will cancel all magazine subscriptions and not reorder any, and am considering switching phone companies. A company I have been with for 40 years. This is just two of the many problems we are forced to deal with, pervasive with so many businesses these days, and money.

Fair-minded, courteous, common sense, customer service, is rare now-a-days. It’s no wonder so many are going out of business. It’s a dog-eat-dog mentality, with reference to doing business to live, and appears getting worse.
All the news and talk about the “economy” is about money. I’m discovering trickery, lies and deception, conducting one’s ordinary, everyday business, is the currency of exchange. The trappings of trying to live and handle one’s ordinary expenses on a daily basis, is steeped in deception.

A number of reasons for this, includes a prevalent pattern of the general public, and their attitudes and actions, of separating themselves from handling their money. All a part of the Socialist nanny state, of relinquishing control of one’s money, over to a system for others to handle, while the ordinary individual is unaware of what’s happening. But those in the upper echelon, operating the major businesses, are well aware of it, and in their scheme of things, have devised ways and means of taking, without one’s knowledge or consent, as I described in the one instance relating to magazine subscriptions. Nothing happenstance about it, a devious ploy. Definitely not exclusive to yours truly, because I hear complaints from others. But most have not figured out the game plan.

I pay my bills by personal check, and only rarely pay any regular monthly expenses by a debit card, and never agree to automatic pay via my bank. And I’ve been with the same bank for years. That old saying, A fool and his money soon part, is a truism. This idea of turning over the responsibility of handling one’s obligations for payments due, to someone else, is a trap I try to avoid.

But despite all my efforts, like trusting the intregrity of Amazon, ordering magazines, I still wind up with such undesirable consequences, as I’ve described, via their third party clients. As a result I will never order another magazine subscription.

Lessons in life are not free. All mine have cost me, but I try to learn from them. However, not the case with so many, because I hear the stories repeated, from others. Most will not admit it’s their mishandling their money, which causes the problems. Taboo to talk about that, but quite popular to talk about the undesirable results.

Monday morning I’ll be at my bank to discuss stoppage of any automatic pays on my account. Using my debit card to pay for some things is very convenient. However it causes me more problems than Dick Tracy from time to time. I just received a 5-year renewal of my debit card, and will change the card if necessary to stop any automatic pay, decided by others.

Freedom is self-responsibility and self-control, and when we allow “others” to “renew” payments without the control of our consent, we lose control. It’s been so long since I bought anything on credit I can’t remember. The use of a credit card is a set up for charges on top of charges, which has so many in the weeds financially.

I decided to write on this subject, when I realized I was “out-sourcing” my control of my money by purchasing a dozen magazines a year ago, and the publishers assuming they had a la carte to charge my account with renewals. I’m sure there are others encountering the same problem. Hope this article helps with insight into the modus operandi of publishing companies.


Just me AC

Email: annecleveland@bellsouth.net

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  1. Aaron says:

    Good note and one I hadn’t really thought of. We handle our money based on debit, checks and cash. Living in a small town, though, this is the norm. Businesses here don’t question your check unless they know you’ve bounced one in the past. The bank tellers knows us immediately – no asking for ID, no deposit slip even needed (they’ll fill it out for you, just sign here).

    It’s something I never knew I was missing until we moved out of the city. Yet with what I do for a living, I receive payments usually by electronic means and actually have to go through a little trouble to make that e-money into actual cash that I can use.

    But since you’ve brought it up here, I can see that you’re exactly right. People today are very separated from their money and it works to everyone else’s advantage.