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Saturday Night Randomness

Parents visited tonight, which was great. I love living with Micah, but sometimes I miss being around them–especially my little mommy who’s always coming up in search of hugs.

That also means the apartment is clean again, mostly because I married the best guy ever. I was at both jobs today and when I got home I thought I’d have to clean. But no, it was all done and I was so happy. Micah gets 20 points. I’m also exhausted. Can you tell?

Jeremy at Gen X Finance wrote a couple days back (but I just read now) about something truly horrifying: the 401(k) debit card. I guess now that people are borrowing less against their houses, they have to find some way to satisfy their desires and put off saving responsibly for the future. After all, there are 401(k) loans you can get in cases of real hardship. Or for real real hardship you can get it out…maybe with a lower penalty. But a debit card is just asking for trouble.

On a completely different note, I got a “Nigerian” scam e-mail this weekend for the first time in a few years…normally they get filtered. Bonus cool points for this one: 1) It was entirely in French (which I speak, so no biggie) 2) the scam was actually to send money to a woman in Ivory Coast for her tuition–her brother would send me a money order, but he’s an illegal immigrant (in France…this assumed I was there) which is why he can’t wire her the money…I’m not sure why that matters, but there you have it.

Oh, and 5 minutes for mom is giving away a non-iPod MP3 player. Provided by Best Buy. Consumerist readers may have something to say about that idea…but anyway…if you’re someone like me who will probably never buy an iPod/MP3 player unless it’s much less expensive but are interested enough to look into contests, this might be for you. Ok, enough rambling.

Thought for the evening: Should there be laws about blogging under the influence of little sleep?


Early Retirement Extreme January 19, 2008 at 11:22 pm

401k debit cards?! That’s the craziest idea I have heard since somebody told me about home equity loans. I guess the principle is pretty much the same. It makes me sad.

Dad January 20, 2008 at 12:51 am

You’re right, a 401K debit card is VERY scary. I was just reading that around Chicago, a lot of medium wealthy people are now in danger of losing their houses. Why? They bought too big ( > $1M) with out really proper resources for it and the adjustable mortgages are kicking higher like everywhere else. They can’t sell their houses, they can’t refinance in many cases, they are stuck too. Actually, I’m not saying that I feel real sorry for them compared to a lot of less fortunate people who were sucked into this crisis by being oversold and taken advantage of. But what interests me and what applies here, is that most of these more affluent people were hit because they took home equity loans to support a high flying life style above their income levels. We are in a distressing level of consumerism. They also bought houses above their income levels. They are paid high enough you would expect they would know better.

Alice January 20, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Re: the Nigerian scam — if this most likely fictional brother existed and were indeed an illegal immigrant, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that he couldn’t wire money — from what I hear, you really can’t do much of anything in France without documentation.

CatherineL January 21, 2008 at 5:07 am

Mrs M – Sometimes I invite people round just to try to motivate myself into tidying up! Glad you had a good weekend.

SavingDiva January 21, 2008 at 9:26 am

Thanks for the link to the mp3 player contest! I entered too!

Hunter Nuttall January 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm

When I first heard about 401(k) debit cards, I wondered if it was just a joke. At least with a home equity loan you have to put forth the effort to fill out some paperwork. But if someone puts a debit card in your hand, what’s to stop an undisciplined person from destroying their retirement? If their 401(k) balance becomes negative, do they get a loan automatically?

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