Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What I Learned About Credit Cards, Teens & eBay From Disney's Hannah Montana

It pays to watch Disney shows with your children. I learned a lot about credit card debt, big-ticket shopping sprees and desperate cash-tricks by watching a recent episode of Hannah Montana at Through the Internet, my youngest children and I watched the program. (We don't have cable or standard TV). The story line evolved around credit cards, kids and consumer behavior. The 22-minute viewing time was well-spent.

Quick Plot Summary: Credit-card debt is dangerous/expensive and the financial burden forces you to work overtime and to sell your soul.

Here's my rundown of the show and the financial tips:

Series Summary:

The series focuses on MileyStewart / Hannah Montana played by Miley Cyrus, who lives a double life as an average teenage girl at school during the day and a famous pop singer at night, concealing her real identity from the public other than her close friends and her family. --From Wikepedia

The Cast:
1. Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana played by Miley Cyrus (The title character)
2. Robby Ray Stewart played by Billy Ray Cyrus (The Dad)
3. Jackson Stewart played by Jason Earles ( Hannah's Brother)

The Credit Card Episode: Basically, The Dad gives the two teens credit cards to be used for "emergencies only." Big Trouble.

Financial Follies:

1. The Brother loses his credit card repeatedly during the episode. He misplaces the card inside the piano and even inside an avocado sandwich.

Lesson: Don't give cards to kids who are prone to lose things.

2. Prompted by a friend, Hannah Montana/Miley goes to a flea market just to window shop.

Lesson: The road to financial trouble begins innocently even at a flea market. The main character did not intend to spend anything, but ultimately spent well over a $1,000. She would have saved money by just staying home, reading or playing sports.

3. Her spending spree began when she split her pants and that "emergency" prompted her to buy a new skirt, which launched the spending binge.

Lesson: Parents should define terms when dealing with kids and money. For example, teens and parents have different ideas about emergency.

4. After buying the skirt, Hannah/Miley purchased shoes, belts, a hand massage machine, carpet and bags of expensive and unnecessary stuff.

Lesson: One bad purchase leads to another. What's more, she had a tortured rationalization for each item. Personally, I winced with a been there/bought that moment of self-recognition.

5. Hannah tried to take back the merchandise based on her faith in the one-day money-back promise from a flea market merchant. No luck. The Flea market was gone the next day.

Lesson: Shop carefully. Know your stores.

6. To pay the credit card bill before her father found out, Hannah/Miley sold her own celebrity merchandise on eBay. Her online yard sales is big financial hit.!

Lesson: eBay is a quick source of cash. Hold your own flea market (online or traditional) to earn money.

7. The Dad finds out after tracking the sales of online merchandise linked to Hannah Montana

Lesson: We leave lots of fingerprints and footsteps on the Internet.


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mybadcredit said...
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Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing with us those infos!

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bad credit creditcards

Here's a list of lenders who approves cards for bad credit.

I hope these resources be helpful to you and your readers.

Anonymous said...

that is one of the advantages of a credit cards, the rewards! When you dine-in, take a plane or watch a concert, you can earn reward points or even cash backs! Just choose the card the fits your needs and surely you'll maximize the benefits of using it. :) Same as for my business credit cards, I choose the one that really gives the great benefits for my business.