ss_blog_claim=bf53c2c2a6b5e4b759eb9b46babec032 Stephen the dog: Keep the change? No thanks

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Keep the change? No thanks

Dear Bank of America,

Hi my name is Stephen and I am a dog, a 3yr old poodle golden retriever cross, to be more specific. I am sure you are thinking “I am a big important bank guy who makes money all day why am I getting a letter from a dog”

Well I have been making some money lately writing internet posts about all kinds of neat things. I wrote one about the best Goth Dating sites on the web that was worth $5. I totally sold out and wrote something about how an oil company was not polluting. Made $15 on that but did not feel real good about myself. However the way I figure it is that if someone is willing to pay me I will write about it. I put all these posts in pink so people can tell that I am getting paid for them. I also figure if some big company’s marketing plan includes having a dog write stupid posts for them then they are really in trouble. Would you take the recommendation of a dog on which pair of shoes to buy? FYI I don’t wear shoes.

I am currently looking for a place to store all my loot. Keeping it in the mattress of my dog bed is not working and burying it in the back yard is such a pain what with the ground freezing and all, so I was thinking of using a bank. I heard one of your radio commercials and was intrigued.

What is the deal with this keep the change program? Does it really work?

I believe the premise is that you round up to the nearest dollar on purchases made with you bank cards and transfer the difference to my savings account. Basically if I buy a bone for $3.29, it is a really nice buffalo leg bone, you will debit my checking account $4 and transfer $.71 to my savings account. I know I am a dog but I don’t get it how is that useful or saving me money. It seems silly to me aren’t you just moving money around in my accounts. It is not like I have to carry the change around. It is an electronic transaction if you did nothing the $.71 would still be in my checking account it would not be lost in the cushions of my couch like your commercial says. Since the wide acceptance of Debit and Credit cards that change problem as we know it has really been minimized.

How is moving money between my accounts helping me save money? I can still spend it from my savings account. I can always move it back. Let for a min say that I believe this is a good idea because it gets money into my savings account. Would it not make more sense to just move $100 a month into my savings account? Why do you want to do a ton of transactions that are less than a dollar? Is some executive at Bank Of America being comp’d on the number of transactions the bank does. It seems to me like you would not want to do such tiny transactions. Are you trying to create noise so people will forget the huge fees you charge them? Hey Betty I have all these cool transfers from my checking to savings account for less than a dollar. So many in fact I almost didn’t see the $15 month fee BOA charged me.

I also wonder how you can even state that this is patent pending. What are you patenting? The stupidity of the American public! I don’t think you can patent that. There is nothing here the whole thing seems to be a silly idea. It just seems to me that you are preying on people who are not too smart. By the way how are your sub-prime mortgages working out?

If you really want to help people save money I have several ideas I would be happy to share.

Turn your heat down to 56 in the winter. If you get cold you can get a nice sweatshirt at the Salvation Army cheap or go hang out at a friend’s house. Why should you be the one to pay for heat?

Stop buying toilet paper. Fast food restaurants will allow you to go in and grab as many napkins as you want. This is also true for condiments. You could save at least $15 a year on catsup alone never mind what you could save on ketchup.

Cut your electric bills by buying a UPS. Take the UPS with you to work and change it every morning. When you leave to go home for the day take the UPS with you. You now have free power. You can probably also drop that gym membership since you will be lugging around a big heavy UPS.

Instead of buying those silly pay per throw trash bags dump your trashing in small quantities. Gas stations, Super Markets etc all have trash cans outside as long are you dump small quantities you are fine. You can also take a certain about of trash to work. My A recommends coming in early if you are going to do this.

Don’t buy bottled water. Get one or two bottles and fill them up in any office building most have water coolers.

There are tons of things you can do to save money. Any one of these will actually save money and not just hide it from stupid people and make them think they are saving money.

As you have probably figured out I will not be depositing my bone money with your bank.

However would it be possible to get an autographed photo?



At February 13, 2008 at 6:21:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Stephen, yes, you've picked out the absurdity of the "keep the change" types of programs.

My math went something like this. If on average you generate about $0.50 per transaction, and let's say you're really spend thrifty such that you use your debit card twice a day, that's $1.00 per day, or $365 per year. That's a lot of usage, to generate not much return.

This type of program is designed for people who can't discipline themselves to save at all. For them, this would be "found money", and would no doubt go right back out of the account once accumulated. (That's the secondary problem: by just putting it in your regular savings account, there's no reason it wouldn't get dropped right back in checking by these same folks who can't save.)

You would be much better off scheduling a regular transfer to savings each month (paying yourself first), and hopefully you wouldn't just leave it in a savings account.

The people who win are actually the banks -- get enough people to participate in the program, and even though it's a small amount of money, over a large enough user base, it adds up to a lot. This is great for those unnamed large financial institutions who, after a sub-prime debt collapse, found themselves carrying a negative balance on their non-borrowed reserves, due to taking on lots of Term Auction Facility funding at the beginning of the year.

At February 14, 2008 at 10:16:00 PM EST , Blogger Christine said...

Stephen, you crack me up, but that letter was spot-on!

I just use the good old fashioned change jar on the dresser thing. We just drop our extra pocket change into it, and before we know it, we've saved up hundreds of dollars. Then we just roll 'em up and take them to the bank. We usually use this money to treat ourselves to something nice, as we already have other savings and investment accounts.

Did you hear about the guy who recently bought himself a pickup truck, with saved pocket change? He'd been saving it for years, and he actually brought the coins to the dealership and they sold him the truck. Pretty cool. Even cooler is that this wasn't the first time he did this, he bought his first truck that way, too.

No bank fees, no car payment interest...pretty sweet!


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