The Expatriated Consumer

Imagining life without debt. Working to make it reality.

Posts Tagged ‘money’

Dancin’ with the Devil…

Posted by Maxwell Finklewicz on September 6, 2008

I happened to be engaged in a rare activity today, viewing a little television, and my interest was piqued by a commercial advertising easy cash loans. On the surface, it sounds pretty decent: a no-nonsense loan, requiring no collateral besides employment, with easy repayment terms. However, the devil is in the details. If you can read faster than the fine print is flashed at the end of the spot, you find that the average finance rate for a typical $2600 loan is a reasonable 99.25%, (no, not a typo, thank you) with an origination fee of $75. Repayment terms are over a 40 month period.

If you don’t mind kicking over $6500 in interest and fees over three years, it’s not a bad deal!

That set me to wondering what else one could do to get out of a jam in a pinch. I realize, that with such agreeable terms as 99.25%, there’s not really any need to look further. But, just for the sake of argument, I decided to take a look at what other sources are out there for a reasonable person in need of cash. Here’s what I came up with.

Sell stuff. If you look around there are opportunities to sell things everywhere you look. Some ideas?
illegal contraband. The mark up on illegal contraband is generally very high, and as an aggressive salesperson, the returns can be quite good. Play your cards right, and inventory won’t cost you a cent either.
your body. No matter your body type, there is someone out there willing to throw their good cash at it. The investment on your part is minimal, and the rewards can be great.
your neighbor’s car. This has multiple rewards, in that you get the cash you need, and you no longer have to endure the neighbor dwelling on how great the car is at your emotional expense.

Find free money. There are a number of places to look, and if you’re creative enough, opportunities abound. While starting with the couch cushions is all well and good, unless you’re Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, it’s a safe bet that it was no roll of $100 bills falling out of your pocket. Some other ideas come to mind, though:
start a corporation. The possibilities here are endless. From exploiting tax loopholes, to setting up shell companies to hide losses, qualifying for government grants for R&D, and enjoying the perks of being a corporate CEO, you can use that ,Inc. status to generate mountains of green!
acquire a loan from the local convenience store. They’ll never know it’s you if you work it just right, and he’s certainly not going to question the authenticity of your instrument of persuasion. The beauty of this loan is that you never have to pay it back if you don’t want to.
– likewise, acquire a loan from the bank. Credit score be damned, with the right persuasion, any banker will hand over that much needed cash to get you out of your pinch. Though unconventional, the money is green. If free money doesn’t sit well with you, then perhaps:

Get a more conventional loan. Concerned about your credit score? It’s a safe bet that your local mob boss is not. No messy paperwork, no waiting, and the terms will be laid out for you. However, if you don’t understand the terms, you will be laid out. It’s advisable to avoid these loans if there is a chance that repayment will be a problem.

Start a side business. There is loads of money to be made for someone with the entreprenueral spirit. Examples include:
Establish yourself as a handyman, and sell your skills door to door. The elderly are particularly gracious contributors, and will pay to have almost nothing done. They are quite trusting, too, and will accept you into their homes, with few if any, questions.
Start a cross country moving company. Undercut the competition to get business, and then explain to the homeowner that the estimate was too low, that in order for their valuables to arrive, more money must be forthcoming. More often then not, they are agreeable to the new terms, as it’s not unreasonable for them to want their stuff to arrive unharmed.
Become a financial logistics coordinator. There are displaced princes, and other rightful rulers ousted from power in foreign lands all over the globe. Assist them in organizing the collection of the funds solicited by email from sympathetic people all over the world. Help them keep things organized as they attempt to wrest power back from those who’ve booted them from their rightful positions, so that they may pay back, with interest, all the generous souls who loaned them the money to make their coup possible.

If you’re desperate for cash, a 99.25% interest rate is just the ticket. While I tend to take those commercials with a grain of salt, because although I’ve mismanaged my funds in the past, I realize that easy money is never easy in the long run. You will pay for the easy part somehow, such as some sort of outrageous repayment terms. But it occurred to me that I’ve seen that commercial quite a few times recently as I pass through the living room while someone else is glued to the tube.

Why is this airing so frequently? Duh. Because someone out there is desperate enough to actually fall for the pitch. I’m betting, since it’s broadcast on a national network, that lots of desperate folks are falling for it. While it’s easy for me to dismiss it, knowing there is a monster in the closet, some people are gullible enough to believe that the services offered are just the ticket they need to get out of a jam.

While this list certainly isn’t exhaustive, it does highlight other ways of generating cash in a pinch. Just be careful you don’t get pinched. Of course, a good offense is a good defense, and properly managing your money in the first place is the best way of ensuring that you are prepared for unexpected issues that may lay in wait, and you have a better chance of avoiding more unscrupulous avenues of revenue generation.


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