Interview Series – Kylie Ofiu
September 10, 2011
Who could say no to a big list of ways you can make extra money? That must be why Kylie Ofiu’s original list of money making ideas on her blog was turned into a recently released book, 365 Ways to Make Money.
Like many parents of little kids Kylie was looking for ways to earn some extra money. She made a list of ideas and published them on her website. One thing led to another and now she’s an author and speaking at the Financial Blogger’s Conference next month. In case you missed the first few interviews, I’m asking conference speakers the same two questions, about how they handle being pushed around financially.
I can relate a little to Kylie’s first story below, I remember when my wife and I sat through a similar presentation right before we were married. We probably said no thanks about 50 times before they finally realized we weren’t going to buy and then they finally left us alone.
1) Describe a time that a person or company tried to take advantage of you financially and what you did to stop them.
When my husband and I first bought our house in 2006 we were setting it up with all the furniture and things when we got invited to a dinner party. The party was actually a hard sell for some pots and pans, which we were offered interest free terms for 5 years. They were fantastic pots so we signed up.
About 6 months later, I wanted to check our balance and see if we could get a discount for paying the whole lot out now. When they told me how much we owed it was $2,000 more than we had signed up to pay. When I queried it, they said well the weekly payments you signed up for over 5 years work out to be this amount, and we charge xx interest which is why you owe this much.
I pointed out on my paper work there is no mention of any interest, at all, or extra fees and charges. It would be assumed the weekly rate would mean the pots were paid off quicker.
They continued to push the point with me and I simply replied, “You have a choice. Remove the interest from my account or I take it up with Fair Trading Australia who will force you to remove the interest as there is no mention of it on my paperwork, so you have no right to charge it.” They said they would call me back. Within 5 minutes I got a call, they were going to drop the interest. On another call a few weeks later I also managed to negotiate a $600 discount by paying it in full.
2) Describe a time you were bullied into a financial decision (by a person or a company). How did it end up impacting you and if you could go back in time how would you handle it differently?
When my husband and I were looking for a house I wanted to buy in the state I grew up in, but he wanted to buy where he grew up, close to his family. After much ‘discussion’ we ended up buying a property near his family. I felt very much like I did not want to live here and I was being pressured by him. I really wanted to own a house, he didn’t care, so the compromise was we bought a house, but in an area he wanted.
I really wish I had pushed harder to buy where I wanted. My area was cleaner, lower crime rate, better reputation and has gone up in value $100,000 more than the area we bought in. 18 months after buying we ended up moving to where I wanted to live (due to issues with his family) and it cost us a lot. Had we bought there originally we would have been much better off both financially and emotionally.
At the time we also could not sell our house (due to the mortgage terms) so had to rent it out, which ended it in getting trashed and costing us more money. I really wish I had stood my ground and not bought where he wanted. Even he wishes that he hadn’t made me buy where we did.
All posts by Ben Edwards