Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Lurking Danger of Perms

I’m sick of perms. Not perms for hair, though that type of perm could be included under the umbrella perm: per-month fees. Living at home and still sheltered from the full breadth of real-world expenses, I don’t even come close to experiencing the drowning sea of monthly fees many people incur. The average independent young adult faces not only the traditional monthly payments for rent (or mortgage), insurance (of several kinds), water, electricity, and other utilities, but also some or all of the following: car payments, loan payments, cell-phone bill, cable bill, internet bill, and gym bill, plus any number of membership fees, from tanning salons to Tivo, from Netflix to online communities (, Xbox Live, etc.). Some of these may start out as single charges (like a cell-phone plan), but quickly balloon with extra charges for texting and WiFi capability.

Modern living means much of our life is automated; chunks of our paycheck small and large are deducted like clockwork, no matter how much we make use of the amenities they pay for. It’s no wonder many Americans, particularly the younger generation, are in debt. Between perms, variable monthly credit card payments (often accruing massive amounts of interest), and other basic costs of life, much of what we spend leaves our pockets quietly and dangerously, like a cat-burglar sneaking off into the night.

It’s time people started paring down their expenses and paying attention to what products and services they actually need. Do this, and a bad perm is guaranteed to go down.

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