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This Week on The Adult Dish:

Financials: Credit Cards and Minimum Monthly Payments
Responsibilities: Car Maintenance as Told By Dad - Changing the Oil
Lifestyle: Preparing for Your First Adult Job


Credit Card Series -
The Terms and Conditions

Minimum Monthly Payments

What are Minimum Monthly Payments?
  • When you get your bill, there will be a balance due, which is the total of what you owe for that payment cycle.
  • Then, there is a “minimum payment,” which typically can be a value like $25.
  • This means that for that bill cycle, you’re expected to pay at least the minimum value.
  • HOWEVER, if you don’t pay your credit card bill in full each month, you are going to start accruing interest according to the APR for the credit card.
  • So, if you only make the minimum monthly payment, the amount that you do not pay will start to tack onto interest initiating credit card debt.
  • IN SHORT: You do not want to only pay your minimum monthly payment unless you absolutely have to. It is best practice to pay your entire credit card balance each payment cycle. 
Keep in mind:
  • If you don’t pay your account in full by the due date, then the credit card company will go back to the date that the expense was initiated, and that’s when the interest begins (not just after the due date on the bill). This makes it really difficult and overwhelming to catch up so…
    • Does this sound familiar? It should.
  • OTHER KEY: If you are running into a financial situation where you cannot pay your bill, you have a few options…
    • If you KNOW that you will be able to pay back the remaining balance PLUS the cost of the interest on that balance PLUS the next bill’s balance, then you can wait and just pay the price of only paying the minimum payment for the current bill, if necessary.
    • For any other circumstance where you’re not sure how you’re going to pay it back, call the credit company immediately.
      • It may surprise you, but credit card companies can be willing to help take off fees in dire situations, especially when you are typically a good customer.
      • Either way, it never hurts to call and see what can be done.
      • Be prepared with answering these questions:
        • Why can’t you pay the minimum?
        • How much can you afford to pay?
        • When could you restart your normal payments?
  • There are also lots of resources where you can find credit counseling. And no, we're not talking about those for-profit companies that advertise their offers to consolidate your credit and “guarantee” they’ll get you out of debt. No, there are many non-profit organizations that can help you. See here for more information.

Still confused? Read more about minimum monthly payments here.
Infographic of the Week:

Car Maintenance as Told
by Dad - Changing the Oil

Our Research Assistant Allyse FaceTimed her dad Russ to learn the how-to's on changing the oil in a car. Not only is it informative, but it is also full of dad jokes and quips (in red italics) that you don't want to miss.

What you need:
  • The appropriate oil filter: The staff at an auto parts store should be able to tell you if you give them your car’s make and model.
  • The appropriate oil: Check your owner’s manual for the correct type and amount (this matters!), then maybe buy a little extra (such as 1 quart) to keep on hand for refills and top-offs.
  • You also need an oil pan or something to catch the oil, which can be taken to your local refuse station or to some auto parts stores for recycling after you’ve finished the process.
  • A clean funnel: You can get this at the auto parts store or on Amazon if you don’t have one.
  • An old pizza box (NOT the side with the greasy cheese leftovers on it) or an unfolded cardboard box to place underneath of you and the oil pan under the car
  • Plastic gloves
  • A socket wrench or wrench which fits the plug for the oil tank
  • A 6-pack

Learn the how-to on changing the oil in your car here.
Pro Tip: Pump Gas Like a Pro

Did you know?
Most cars have an arrow next to the fuel icon on the dashboard to remind you on which side of the car the gas tank is located. Now you don't have to second-guess yourself when you pull up to the gas station.

Preparing for Your First Adult Job

You got the offer, now what?

  • There’s more to a job than your salary! There are other incentives to consider like benefits, perks, growth opportunity, and “fit.” Be sure to consider the whole package, not just one number.
  • Respectful Negotiation: Know your worth (be realistic), consider your needs, and do your homework so you can engage in strategic and fair negotiations.
    • Be grateful for the offer, whatever it is, then present a respectful counter.
    • Be prepared to make a final decision whether or not they budge.
    • If they offered you the job, they clearly like you. It's okay to push for what you think you deserve. The worst that can happen is they decline your request.
    • Negotiations don't have to include a higher salary request. You can always consider negotiating for more days off, for a more flexible or remote work schedule, for better equipment, etc.
    • Most (if not all) companies expect negotiations in regards to salary. Don't miss out on the opportunity because you think you shouldn't. You should.
  • Benefits: Learn about the benefits that are offered at your organization. Be prepared to ask during the interview and offer process, as that's when the majority of this information should be discussed.
Learn more about preparing for your first job here.
Next Week on The Adult Dish:

Financials: The Infamous (Yet Often Unavoidable) Student Loans
Responsibilities: Car Maintenance as Told By Dad - Checking the Tire Pressure
Lifestyle: Keeping Your Pantry Stocked and Your Tummy Full
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