In my last post I introduced the first aspect of the general subject of this unit: Beauty, Money and other trifles. Today we will discuss another aspect: Credit Cards.
Let's talk about it.
- What are credit cards?
- What are the advantages of credit cards?
- What are the risks involved?
- How could the risks be reduced? Suggest new regulations/limitations (e.g., age of credit card holder, number of credit cards allowed, limited sums, maximum use per week, etc.)
The following words may help you
carry cash – לשאת מזומנים
delay in payment – דחייה בתשלום
payment due on – מועד הפירעון ב
debts – חובות
installments – תשלומים
waste – בזבוז
Getting Ready to Read.
The following passage is about credit cards and their influence on people's consumption habits.
Make sure you know the meaning of the following words before you start reading the passage.
goods and services
Read the following passage and then answer the questions that follow.
1. Israel, as well as most western countries, has become a credit society. Today, buying only what we can actually afford seems outdated. A hard plastic rectangle allows us to enter the magic world of BUY NOW, PAY LATER.
2. The variety of goods and services that can be bought with a credit card is growing year by year. We can buy food at the supermarket, order a meal at a restaurant and even buy furniture, cars and airline tickets by simply flashing the plastic card. The use of credit cards has spread to all sectors of the population. Credit cards are no longer the privilege of the rich.
3. Credit cards have changed people's consumption habits. People often buy on a sudden impulse products they would never buy for cash. They often give in to temptation seeing an item at an attractive price and knowing payment will be due only in a month or two,.
4. The question is how to use credit cards wisely. Experts on credit claim that it is risky to spend more than ten or fifteen percent of one's net income paying installment bills. After all, credit may cause serious strain. Most people consider being out of debt a major accomplishment, but others may sometimes act irresponsibly and spend more than they can afford.
5. Most credit card holders settle their bills on time. Yet nearly five percent of all credit buyers fall behind in their payments. This is often true of people who live up to the limit of their income, and then, a sudden layoff, illness or rise in prices due to inflation, may upset their balance. They suddenly find themselves unable to pay their bills, the banks start charging interest and they may eventually face bankruptcy.
6. In order to enjoy the advantages of credit and avoid its risks, people should be taught how to balance their budgets and how to judge the limits of their borrowing ability. Such advice may not help the typical "crediholic", but it may warn most people against using credit cards irresponsibly.
1. Complete the following sentence (paragraph 1).
Not only Israel, but ———————————————————————-
2. What does the author mean by a hard plastic rectangle (paragraph 1)?
3. Give examples of what we can buy with a credit card (paragraph 2).
4. Which of the following factors does not lead to problems with credit payments (paragraph 5)?
a. prices rising because of inflation
b. card holders paying bills on time
c. workers losing their jobs unexpectedly
d. people getting sick and not being able to work
5. What is a "crediholic" (paragraph 6)?
Choose the most suitable word in brackets.
Prices are very (low, short, high, large) and it is often very hard to make ends (meet, met, meeting, end). One salary is certainly (quite, perhaps, not, rather) enough, but it is often (easy, hard, hardly, difficulty) to meet all the needs of a family (even, too, quite, together) when both parents work. The only solution is to (seem, do, be, act) very careful about the (method, system, process, way) we spend our money, (also, to, too, as well) balance our budget (in, we, they, and) to save wherever (them, we, they, all) can. For example, buying (more, much, most, fresh) vegetables is usually (good, cheap, cheaper, healthy) than frozen vegetables and home-made (fish, meat, chocolate, cakes) cost less (than, then, as, like) at the bakery. Clothes are (nicer, cheap, cheaper, expensive) when bought (to, of, at, by) a factory and taking the bus is (often, usually, not, generally) as expensive as calling a cab. (A, The, This, These) problem, however, is that (this, more, saving, spending) money usually involves more time and work. (It's, There is, That is, Actually) hard to set up rules, but we must try to avoid overspending whenever and wherever we can.
And that's all for today. More texts and suggestions in my next post.