As you will know if you have been paying attention, I am now a fully-fledged member of the Car-less-bus-riding-walking-underclass. To be a health-fanatic member you must own a pedometer, and I duly bought one today.
According to the Doc, who claims to be the same age as me, everyone should walk 10,000 paces a day. At a rough calculation this is just under 5 miles a day.To and from the office is about 60% of this, so a couple of excursions daily are required to make up the balance. To and from the Bank just about does it. I don't need to go to the Bank every day, but hey, they are always very nice, so I may just drop in for a chat.
Today as I was waiting for something, a somewhat scruffy lady came in and approached a teller.
" Ahve got a charge on my credit card of twelve quid - wit's it fur?"
Turned out to be an over limit charge.
" But why? Ahve no' bin goin' mental nor nothing."
Yes but it's over the limit.
" Whit d'ye mean? Whit limit?"
The limit on your credit card.
" Naw naw, I alus piy the right amount ivry month"
To cut a long story short, she had been looking at the card statement, which shows the minimum payment requirement each month and paying that. Eventually, of course, she had run out of road, and was incensed by it.
And now she owed some £2500. Which drove her into a frenzy of self-justification that she had been paying what was asked every month, and how come she owed all this.
Eventually, the local manager took her into a meeting room and went through her account with her. I don't know what the eventual outcome was as I got what I wanted and left, but it did occur to me that if the banks and credit card companies are giving people credit limits of thousands of pounds who have no actual idea of what they are doing, then hell mend 'em.
In the old days, people didn't get credit, and in general didn't get into financial bother. I remember my mother buying a Hoover on the never-never in the late '50s and my father being enraged. People were taught debt was bad and ate into your soul - but none of that applies any more. They want it, and they want it now.
And the banks have obliged - up to the point where they themselves are over indebted and then we all have to pay - and suffer.