Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Writing What You Know by Christine Duncan
A current news story caught my attention. It appears that 25% of us don't have enough emergency funds to cover our debt. What caught my attention was that this news wasn't really news to me. After all, if you had emergency funds, they would only be earning a measly 1% in the bank. Why wouldn't you spend them and avoid the nasty credit card interest that currently is averaging 14%? Most of us would. Therefore, it seemed a no-brainer: people in debt don't have the money to pay it. That's why they're in debt in the first place. The only news to that news was perhaps the percentage. I would have said more than 25% of Americans were in debt. So what is the writing take away here? Well the obvious one is about writing what you know. Whoever wrote the news article was probably not feeling very stretched in the current economy. Or more likely they had a reason for writing the article just as it was. Because I think there is a reading take away here too. People writing articles of any kind, news or otherwise have a spin. For instance, most money advice is dispensed by ....whom? I mean, let's face it, you can pick up any magazine today, and it will tell you to put money away in an emergency fund...which was pretty much assumed by the article I was reading. But who writes these articles? How smart is it to put money away for again 1 to maybe 3% interest while you're in debt for an interest rate that probably is at least triple that? Common sense says if you're in debt in those circumstances, you're already facing the emergency and you'd better apply your money there first. Then get an emergency fund when the debt is paid. So two lessons here today. Write what you know. And apply what you know to what you read, because someone is always trying to sell you something. Or that's my take anyway.