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.
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-nobody-tells-you-about-being-poor/
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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghetto_tax
Then I googled 'app ghetto tax' and it shows an app alright, one for
"Avoiding the Ghetto".
Jeez, kinda insulting.
https://www.google.co.jp/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&es_th=1&ie=UTF-8#q=app++ghetto+tax
'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?
food?
ahhh so much to research ... and so dependant on area... and so subject to change...

2 Comments:

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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