There are many out there receiving each dreaded letter from a bank, credit union or other financial lending company explaining that interest rates have risen.
The blame is quickly shifted to the Reserve Bank and a simple statement about the "new" minimum payment is listed.
There is no reference to what the "old" minimum payment was, before rates went up.
By contrast, when the interest rates were going down, these same letters from our lenders (mine at least) would carry glowing language about how wonderful the lender was in lowering the interest rate attached to the loan.
Further, they would proudly proclaim the "old" minimum payment as being $XXX dollars per payment and now the new minimum payment would be a much lower $XX dollars per payment. Bravo.
Having the "old" and "new" payment figures sitting side by side on the one letter, as rates were going down, would allow the mortgage holder to immediately think about what they might do with those extra few dollars that had been freed up.
But the opposite is now true. Having only the "new" minimum payment listed, and no sight of the "old", makes it unnecessarily difficult for the mortgage holder to consider what spending cuts one might have to make to meet the new higher payment.
Surely, surely, the Banks and lending institutions should, at a very minimum, be putting both the "old" and "new" payment figures on that one dreaded letter.
In other news:
I remember being quite a young lad when we would pull the family car into the petrol station only to be greeted by a pump attendant who would ask how much petrol we wanted and would then fill the car with that much fuel.
No need to get out of the car. Pay the cash through the window and off you go.
Those pump attendants had disappeared by the time I was driving my own car some 10 years later and it was all "self-serve".
Each time I now visit most supermarkets or department stores I am struck by the wealth of available "self-serve" check outs and the very few check outs that have attendants ready to help.
It's the petrol station all over again, 40 years later. But then there are also the disappearing banks.
Sure, it is seemingly convenient to be able to do one's own banking online and move money around and make payments, but it is simply another version of "self-serve" and the bank clerks that used to greet us at the counters are disappearing.
And of course, there are things like online bookings, shopping, and registrations.
All of these things used to be done by people paid and employed to do this work, but now it is done by many of us, for no pay and with no training.
I often finish my own days' work and then find myself doing this other "work" that used to be a job for someone else.
Is this one of the reasons that many of us feel so time poor - the fact that we are doing more than one job?