And in the credit category of “Say it ain’t so” many folks are still just making the minimum payment on their cards.
The report found that 32 percent of the 27,500 Americans who were polled said in the last year they had just paid the minimum due.
If you have to ask the following question, you’re in trouble already: What Happens If I Only Make The Minimum Payment On My Credit Card?
Watch this video from the Federal Trade Commission to see what happens when someone makes just the minimum credit card payment.
And if you really want to be scared straight into paying off your credit card watch this video: Credit Card Debt Explained With a Glass of Water It will make you want to drown out your debt.
Color of Money Question of the Week
What’s your biggest credit card mistake? Send your comments to email@example.com. Please include you name, city and state. In the subject line put “Crippled by Credit.”
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Staffers showing too much skin
A survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam found managers are complaining about the too casual attire worn by workers. When managers were asked about common dress code violations 47 percent of them said workers dressed too casually. Thirty-two percent said staffers show too much skin.
For last week’s Color of Money Question of the Week I asked: What do you think of casual wear at work?
Jennifer Allen of California had quite a bit to say, writing: “I work at the State Capitol in California, and my friends and I have been noting and discussing the lowering standards of attire for many years now. But it’s not just females dressing down and inappropriately. Males, too, continually lower the bar when it comes to professional attire. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve observed guys (I hesitate to use the word “men”) come to work dressed in board shorts, well-worn tees and flip-flops. When the legislature is out of session we’re allowed casual attire, but the business part of it seems to have been lost. So many just don’t grasp that casual attire doesn’t mean “wear whatever you like” attire. I think part of it is that in the governmental world – and maybe even the private sector – managers are overly reluctant to set any sort of standards lest you infringe on somebody’s “rights.” I’ve seen staffers in nightclub attire, pajama pants, sweats, too short shorts and more. I actually saw side boob on one occasion. Just a few weeks ago I observed a female staffer walking into the building in front of me in a skirt that was so short and tight she had to keep pulling it down as she walked. From the backside I saw far more than I wanted to see, and there was no way she was going to be able to sit down without providing a view that should only be shared with her gynecologist.”
K Shank from Roanoke, Va., 62, wrote: “When you have sat/lived in a ‘cubical city’ for years/decades and only come ‘out’ for a bathroom break or lunch, it is hard to understand why what I wore had any affect on my performance. On the rare occasion that there was a meeting with someone from the ‘outside world’ that involved me I would gladly dress more ‘professional.’ But to sit day after day staring at a computer screen for your eight-hour shift, why can’t I be comfortable in jeans/sweats/walking shorts & T-shirt? It is ironic that I now work part time in a computer lab at a local university and the only dress code is wear clean clothes and shoes. Amazingly enough folks show up for their shifts, do the required work and what you are wearing has little to no bearing on the work being done.”
“I totally agree with the whole ‘jeans’ at work is off limits policy,” Kelly Garrett of Upper Marlboro, Md., wrote. “I too am old school, and believe strongly that some articles of clothing are better suited for home, period. I’m both embarrassed and appalled by some of the clothes employees where to work. Some say it’s generational, its not. I’ve seen employees of all genders, shapes, sizes, ages, ethnicity wear clothes to work that leave your head spinning and simply wondering, ‘What were you thinking?’”
Lorna Gilkey, Alexandria, Va., wrote: “I am far more productive when I’m comfortable so I love business casual at work. However, the ‘business’ part cannot be lost. For me, being comfortable is a nice skirt & blouse that totally covers me. My only casual vice is wearing sneakers because I need them for medical reasons. There are some who arrive at work looking like they’re at a laundromat (including ‘bed head’ hair), which is inappropriate and a bit gross.”
Jenifer Taggart of Herndon, Va., wrote: From my own experience having made this mistake when I first starting working, I particularly hate seeing young people starting off on that same wrong foot. Fortunately, after a couple of years in the workforce, I finally had a supervisor who was courageous enough to tell me that if I wanted to advance in my career, I needed to consider dressing more professionally. I reflected on that and literally made the change the very next day, with noticeable results in how people treated me. Even after 20+ years in the workforce, I still start my day asking myself, ‘If I were to run into my CEO in the elevator, would I feel comfortable being seen in what I’m wearing?’ If the answer is no, I change.”
Dave Meier of Dallas wrote: “I love your column, and love casual wear at work. I work at a firm that has this in place seasonally or for some units permanently. For many millennials, and certainly many that struggle to save, casual dress definitely reduces the cost of maintaining separate wardrobes – one for business, one for casual. That goes right to the bottom line … savings!”
Financial news you can use
Retirement columnist Rodney Brooks Monday newsletter this week: Why don’t millennials contribute to IRAs? They say they don’t understand them.
Brooks’ most recent retirement column: The make-or-break factor in retirement: Keeping a budget
Color of Money Columns This Week
— Their money, their rules? Nope. A summer job doesn’t mean kids get free rein.
— With college debt, know before you go
July Color of Money Book club selection
Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1301 K St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to washingtonpost.com/business.