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Friday, October 7, 2011

10 ways to avoid Cash on the Barrel Head

In 1973,
my grandfather said to me
"If you want to be free,
neither a borrower or lender be"

It was good advice. At the time I don't remember that it rhymed, but it sounds good this way. Now as an old guy myself, I am qualified to ask you, what do you suppose has happened to the idea of "cash on the barrel head"?

The phrase means, You need to pay now, before you get the goods. Have the money in hand, before I put dinner and drinks on your table...

We talk to elementary school kids about about buying wisely, how to calculate per-unit costs, etc. in our Excel Math curriculum. But since we are aimed at such young students, we don't deal with free credit cards, dangerous debit cards, and high-interest loans. Maybe we should, given the state of many people's finances by the time they get out of college!

Here are some ways I found today that let you avoid having to pay cash:
  1. Apply for a personal loan to pay traffic camera tickets
  2. Rent fancy wheels and tires for your car
  3. Accept the maximum student loan to train for a new career
  4. Sign a no-cash-down vacation timeshare contract
  5. Get a credit card loan to pay income taxes
  6. Borrow from family and friends to finance your recording studio session
  7. Take a cash advance from one credit card to pay off another credit card
  8. Exploit your over-draft protection and write checks on an empty account
  9. Withdraw money from your retirement account and buy a new car
  10. Get "free" DVDs by purchasing 3 a month at the regular price plus shipping & handling
These ten ways of avoiding payment will cost you a small fortune. I won't do the math for you, but I will caution:


If you are tempted, read some of the 49 pages describing "stupid taxes" you may pay.

As one person said about the traffic ticket loan,

"The government is HAPPY, the Banks are HAPPY, but your wallet is very SAD!"

I'll finish this short blog with a taste of a song called Cash On The Barrel Head:

all right, ooh yeah
got in a little trouble at the county seat
they put me in the jail house
for loafing on the street 
when the judge gave the verdict, I was a guilty man
he said forty-five dollars or thirty days in the can
said, that'll be cash on the barrel head, son
you can take your choice, you're twenty-one 
no money down, no credit plan
no time to chase you cause I'm a busy man ... that'll be cash on the barrel head, son
If you would like to hear the original, from 50 years ago, click on the image below:

Inspired by one of the viewers of this video, I offer a concluding stanza:
I wanted this album so bad, had to put it on my tab
but the store clerk said,  "Cash on the barrel instead!"
So I went online, to buy it just fine, 
but my card was declined, and the computer whined, 
and a window popped-up, and in ma face it flashed
"Sorry pal-we're gonna need cash"
That'll be cash on the barrel head ...