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3 Things 5-29-23

Thing One


Some Gave All, All Gave Some


(The following is a repost of some excerpts from an article on that we're sharing again in observance of Memorial Day.)


“…Memorial Day dates back to pre-Civil War times, but it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when because historical records are scarce for pre-Civil War grave decoration. On June 3rd, 1861, the first Civil War grave of a soldier was decorated with flowers in Warrenton, Virginia. But Memorial Day was first known by a different name - Decoration Day - when the practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers started in graveyards at certain times of year.


On Decoration Day, people got together to decorate the graves of dead soldiers with flowers or wreaths. In both the North and South of the United States, Decoration Day was observed on different days in different states. In some places in the South, local graveyards still celebrate this older day in addition to the modern Memorial Day.


During the Civil War, nearly 850,000 lives were lost. Decoration Day served the purpose of uniting both sides and healing the bitter wounds. Both the North and the South began to put into practice more formal, broadly accepted Memorial Day to honor soldiers who had fallen in battle. In the North, May 30, 1868, the first official Decoration Day was celebrated. The term Memorial Day was first used in May 1882. However, the name change to Memorial Day was not widespread until after World War II.


In 1968, Congress decided to pass a law, The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moving four federal holidays to a particular Monday in May, in order to have three-day weekends that were more convenient. This meant Memorial Day became the last Monday in every May instead of the traditional date of May 30th.


Memorial Day continues to be a holiday of special importance to those who have served in the American military, and family members (Gold Star Families) who grieve for their lost loved ones. Once a year, this holiday allows them to honor not only all those who have died fighting wars in the name of their country, but also those who served and survived war. This is why the quote ''All Gave Some, Some Gave All'' is frequently used in relation to the holiday…” 


Thing Two


Free May Still Be Costing You


Here are just a few examples to remind you to think it through before you take the "free" deal you're being offered:



Free Shipping


A blogger who sometimes sells on eBay discovered that it was easier to sell something for $19.95 and offer "free" shipping than to charge $14.95 and charge $3.95 for shipping, even though the second option is better for the buyer.  The lesson is, when shopping on line, always do the math between the free shipping on non-free option.


Free Checking


Many banks offer their customers a "free" checking account that charges a monthly fee of around $15 dollars if you don’t pay at least three bills a month using the bill pay service. Those same banks also charge various fees for things like going below a minimum balance, non–network ATM withdrawals, overdraft fees (regardless of how small the amount and how short the duration), and wire transfer fees.  While you may not be able to eliminate all of these, you should be aware of them and do your best to minimize them.  It is your money after all.


Free interest periods


Many credit cards have free, introductory periods where there is no interest.  After the "free" period is up, the rates usually adjust to the mid twenty percent range.  The credit card company hopes you run up a balance during the "free" period so they can make their money back (and then some) after the introductory period expires.


Free from payment months


Car dealerships often offer a few "free" months before you make the first payment.  But they more than make their money back over the course of the 5 or 6 years that the average car loan amortizes.




Businesses exist to make money. There's nothing wrong with that as long as they're operating within the law. And while it's not up to us to see to it that they operate within the law, it is up to us to make sure we're not paying more than we should pay, or want to pay, in the long run.

Thing Three


Just A Thought


"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy


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