It's no laughing matter that the ratio of Canadian household debt to personal disposable income was 153 per cent at the end of 2011. But maybe it's time to lighten up and send in some comedians to educate consumers.
Below are three light-hearted YouTube videos with pertinent tips that can help sharpen our wits about money-related risks and challenges. From slapstick customer service to turning the tables on debt collectors, these video sketches use fast-paced comedy to get across some helpful financial messages.
1. The lost credit card: Sometimes, there's
only so much client services will do for cardholders. Acting in the role of call centre agent, comedienne Roseanne Barr
delivers a flurry of zingers at the expense of customer Phil Hartman. The
latter plays a customer who has lost his credit card at 3 a.m. and desperately
needs a replacement card for an important business meeting.
Tip: Carry a backup credit card for emergencies when you travel.
2. Maxing out in public: It's
embarrassing to have your credit card declined in front of other shoppers. Credit
card processing machines cause so much stress that Peter Berman demands
voting-booth curtains at checkout. The comic comes up with other amusing
options, including paying small amounts on different cards or writing a cheque
Tip: For a superior credit score, your card balance shouldn't exceed 30 per cent of the account maximum.
3. The $10,000 credit card bill: Apparently, not
everyone considers education a good investment. In this tongue-in-cheek skit, a father scolds his studious daughter
for running up a $10,000 bill to pay for her college education. Instead, Dad
encourages his youngster to scan comic books and generally disobey authority.
Tip: Low-interest credit cards can help finance worthwhile purchases.