It might help if he wasn't wearing a tie.
When you live in New York in the middle of summer during a heatwave and pandemic, your choices of fun are limited. You might want to go to a museum, movie or restaurant just to let someone else pay for air conditioning, but those choices are out. And as for the beach, well, great white sharks have been calling our area home sweet home recently.
That means the rest is mine, do you hear me? MINE! To do with as I LIKE! And I like Blu-Rays mainly. So many that I've ordered some haven't even been released yet. I'd make a list, but you haven't heard of them and wouldn't be interested anyway.
The only logical choice you have to survive the weather is staying inside and cleaning the house. Oh, and ordering stuff online. Since I've started collecting unemployment, that extra COVID-related bump -- which has come to an end -- has gone a long way to helping the family expenses. Half of it has gone straight into our joint savings.
|I told you you never heard of it.|
These and other purchases have gone on my AmEx card, the way all consumer-hungry Americans do it. The difference with me is that I pay off my bill every week. Whether it's 25 or 125 bucks, I want it taken care of faster than you can say "14.99% APR."
You see, back when I was steadily employed at my previous job, there were times I would go a little haywire with the green card. And it wouldn't take me long -- like, one day -- to forget how much I was spending.
So I'd study my checkbook or ATM receipt and think, Looks like I'm doing pretty good! Then Mr. AmEx Bill would come knocking without warning. Suddenly, my nice little cushion had deflated.
Not anymore! I'm all over my charges like purple on acai, so I know exactly how much I really have at any given time. You call it madness, but I call it peace of mind.
A few months back, AmEx wanted to let me know that there had been a change in my credit score. Expecting a gold medal for my fine payment history, I was flabbergasted to discover the score had dropped eight points.
Eight points?! For why?
It turns out that having a 100% perfect history of paying the bills isn't enough these days. Nope, what's hurting me, they report, is not having any loans.
Wait, I thought that would be a good thing! To my simple mind, it reflects what we're told to do since birth: LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS.
Well, apparently I've been doing it wrong. It's better, I've learned, having debt hanging over your head like the sword of Damocles.
And here's the big horselaugh: My score is 34 points lower than it was a year ago when I was spending less, dropping from EXCEPTIONAL to VERY GOOD.
All I have to do to improve my credit is borrow money for something expensive I don't need in order to pay it back with interest. While I'm collecting unemployment.
Forget about that "I never met a man I didn't like" jazz. Will Rogers' wisest remark was, "We are the first nation in the history of the world to go to the poor house in an automobile." An electric one at that.
Perhaps the credit reporting folks realize my simple mind needs some reassurance. This week, I was informed my score had gone up.
At this rate, my credit score should be back to EXCELLENT when I'm legally too old to buy a car. But I'll still have zero debt. Take that, Experian!