Saturday, January 30, 2010

Operation Stick-it-to-The-Man

I tried so hard to "Stick it to The Man." "The Man" figured a way around it (finally) though, so now I have to change my tactic. First, note that in this post, "The Man" refers to the same "Man" as "Uncle Sam" and "The U.S. Government." (no references to 'my' The Man in this, so don't get confused)

It all started about three years ago when I began paying back my student loan. I don't have a hefty loan or anything, enough for three years of tuition only at a state school, something completely do-able in ten years. I'm absolutely fine with having to pay the loan back, and I haven't been late with a single payment. "The Man" informed me that I'd have to pay the full amount plus interest for ten years, but if I made the payments electronically I could save 0.25% from the total cost of the loan. After a little math, I realized that I'd save approximately $16 over ten years. Wah-hoo, yippee, enough for a gourmet burger!

It was costing "The Man" $0.40 to send me each bill, so over the ten years it'd really add up. I was actually costing Uncle Sam more than he was offering me, so I did things the old-fashioned-through-the-mail way. And it worked.

After a while, I realized I could opt to pay things online manually every month, not by an automatic deduction, but by actually logging in and confirming a transaction. I liked that amount of control, plus it saved me the postage. Meanwhile, "The Man" still had to fork it over for postage to send me a bill. Operation Stick-it-to-The-Man was working perfectly for two years!

I just got my most recent bill in the mail from Uncle Sam. "The Man" informed me via six pre-scheduled coupons that I would save an extraordinary 0.25% on my loan if I allowed them to auto-deduct payments (not just pay online with clicks when I wanted, but give them permission to access my account monthly). They've changed their tune. AND THEN... they sent me six pre-scheduled vouchers for me to send them payment in the mail, therefore cutting their six stamps down to one. Operation Stick-it-to-The-Man has finally hit a roadblock. I'm no longer costing the government more than they were offering to discount my loan.

My plan now is to continue paying exactly as I have been: one month at a time using real interaction on my part. I hate that Comcast makes me give them permission to auto-deduct, and there's no way I'm allowing Uncle Sam to do the same.

It really did feel good to force them to send me paper statements and bills. I'm going to miss getting mail as often. Curse the Internet!

1 comment:

Jeff W said...

Wow, Comcast makes you use autodeduction? That seems kind of Big Brotherish. I like having my bills come out automatically though- several less things that I have to worry about. Most of them are the same from month to month so I know when they will come out and how much it will be for.