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I opened my e mail this morning to discover two exciting ways to add to my dwindling bank account. I received a message from 'Pay Day- Need Quick Cash? - get up to $500 fast! Apply now for a fast cash advance of up to $500 with no credit check required. Your payday advance will be deposited directly into your checking account.' It was all so simple - all I had to do was click.

Consumer Incentive Promotions located in Delray Beach Florida had an offer from Visa. They graciously wanted to ship me my very own $ Visa credit card with a $500.00 advancement.

I receive many credit card enquiries in the mail with self addressed stamped return envelopes for me to use to send in my application I am concerned about the environment and I usually stuff the return envelopes full of their advertizing.

Last week 'Louise', a credit card representative called when we were having supper. She wanted to offer me a credit card with outstanding features; very low interest with a $1000 limit. She asked about my age, marital status, employment, housing etc.

I answered "honestly" telling her that I was unemployed after being recently released from Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre for fraud. My sole source of support was Ella, my gorgeous exotic dancer. She works the bars taking home $1000 a week in tips tax free - Emily promised not to tell Revenue Canada. Wow, everything seemed approved until I told her that Ella did not want to sign on the dotted line. Click went the phone.

We Canadian Boomers are into a spend now, suffer later syndrome. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada reports that; " credit cards allow full-time students to borrow $500 on as little as $600 of annual income."

Saving money is a habit that our grandparents used to practice. Many of us have lost the discipline. We have learned to spend now and worry later. When you can borrow to buy anything that your heart desires why deprive yourself?

Many choose to live pay check to pay check complaining - 'why is there so much of the month left at the end of my money?'

We can blame the banks, the low rates of interest, commercial card issuers with offers of immediate access to easy credit.

If you have a pulse and an address you can be enticed by yet another bargain. It used to be dollar down and a dollar a week when I catch you. To-day we live with the axiom - enjoy yourself, buy now. Savings are for to-morrow.

Reminds me of the story of Angelo, my favourite barber, who got a call from his bank advising that he has a debit balance. What does that mean, he asked. 'You have non sufficient funds to cover you checks', replied the accountant. What was my bank balance last week ? 'You had a credit balance,' was the reply - we owed you money'. Angelo angrily replied "Ya, but did I call you?"

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com