Saturday, May 16, 2015

stick it to THE MAN

Just found out that two of my US checking accounts have been charging me $12 a month, for years, because I don't have direct deposit or more than $5000 balance in them. Yuck.

Like many people I am a casual reader of Cracked, because every now and then they have really insightful articles disguised as humor.
This one stuck with me, because I know these things are 100% true.

My friend Astrid Sison gave a devmeet talk about what she took home from Craft conference in Buddhapest. She wanted to emphasize a panel she heard about Innovation - ie, solve a real problem.
There are so many really real problems in the world that have immediate needs immediate users.

I couldn't stop thinking about what she said, and that cracked article floated to the forefront of my mind. I tried to find a google entry about if there is any way to avoid these 'poverty taxes'; ie, the bullshit charges given to you because you don't have enough money.
so I googled 'poverty tax', and it showed me:
Then I googled 'app ghetto tax' and it shows an app alright, one for
"Avoiding the Ghetto".
Jeez, kinda insulting.
'avoiding the ghetto'

So this is an app that should happen, and it is kind of eating at me, making my heart pump loudly when I am thinking about it. I want to make an app, or something, to find a way to avoid the little 'f-yous' that come with poverty. I guess it would have to be by region... and right now I am in Japan, where I am hoping this is not so bad. A lot of things on the social front feel a lot more advanced here, like free medical insurance for children until they are FIFTEEN years old. never a bill for the doctor, or vaccines, or anything! it's AMAAAZING.... (anyway I digress). The problem I would like to help with is for people living in the US.

Any resources to avoid nickle and diming fees I should know about?
Cars that are cheap but aren't lemons?
gas stations?
ahhh so much to research ... and so dependant on area... and so subject to change...


Blogger Fugu Tabetai said...

We bought a car recently, and I plan to write a post about that. My feeling on buying a car in Tokyo is that you only do it if you are rich.

Maybe it is different in the countryside where you would need a car. I don't know.

My US bank charges a fee for checking as well unless you have lots of money. I closed my checking account, and got one with Ing Direct, which doesn't charge such fees. Then they got bought out by Bank of America, so I have to keep an eye on changes in their policy, but I suspect they will introduce more policies aimed at nickel and diming people.

By the way, my son was throwing up non-stop over the weekend a while back. I decided I needed to get him looked at. I knew of one place that was open, so I went there, but I was charged 8000 yen for the out-of-hours service. Apparently there are other hospitals that are open on Sunday, but I didn't know. The only thing that annoys me about health care here is that generally it is a M-F 9am-6pm sort of thing.

8:29 PM  
Blogger cat weaver said...

The Credit Unions don't charge you for not having enough money and you can join them pretty easily. I joined a local one that had a one-time $5 membership fee, and a $20 minimum in checking, and no other fees or penalties. Way better than Chase or B of A.

8:58 PM  
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