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Money Matters

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Ron: Uh, could I borrow a few bucks until payday? I'm a little (1) for cash.

Nancy: Uh, yeah, I guess, but I'm pinching pennies myself, and you still (2) me $20 from last week. And mom and your friend Ron said you borrowed money from them this past week. [Oh, yeah.] How ARE things going anyway?

Ron: Well, not very well. To be honest, I'm really in the (3), and I can't seem to make ends meet these days.

Nancy: What do you mean? I thought you landed a great job recently, so you must be loaded.

Ron: Well, I do have a job, but I've used my credit cards to pay off a lot of things recently, but now, I can't seem to pay the money off.

Nancy: Uh, do you have a (4)? I mean, how do you keep track of your income and expenses?

Ron: Well, when my money runs out, I come to you. Of course. [Great!] No, but I guess I should have some financial plan.

Nancy: Well, let me see if I can help you. How much money do you spend on your apartment?

Ron: Uh, I pay $890 on rent for the studio apartment downtown . . . not including (5) and cable TV. But the place has an awesome view of the city.

Nancy: Uh, $890! Why are you paying through the nose for such a small place when you could find a cheaper one somewhere outside of the downtown area?

Ron: Yeah, I guess.

Nancy: Okay. How much money do you spend on food a month?

Ron: Hmmm. I'm not really sure. I think I spend around $600. [$600?!] Well, I go out to eat at least four times a week, so those expenses add up. I just don't enjoy eating alone, and I don't have a (6) for cooking like you do.

Nancy: Well, I can understand that, but perhaps you ought to buy some microwaveable meals you could prepare at home.

Ron: Well, I guess I could.

Nancy: And entertainment?

Ron: Well, I spend a few dollars here and there on basketball and movie tickets, a concert or two, and ballroom dance lessons.

Nancy: Uh, exactly how much do you spend on all of these? Just a "few" dollars?

Ron: Well, oh . . . about $400 or so.

Nancy: Or so? No wonder you're having money problems. You can't just blow your money on things like that! And what about transportation?

Ron: Oh, I (7) to work everyday in my new sports car, but I got a great deal, and my monthly payments are only $450. Come outside and take a look. We can go for a spin!

Nancy: No, I've heard enough. You've got to (8) your spending, or you'll end up broke. I suggest you get rid of your credit cards, cut back on your entertainment expenses, and sell your car. Take public transportation from now on.

Ron: Sell my car?! I can't date without a car. What am I going to say? "Uh, could you meet me downtown at the bus stop at 7:00?" Come on!

Nancy: And you need to create a budget for yourself and (9) to it, and start with paying off your bills, starting with me. You owe me $50 dollars.

Ron: Fifty dollars! Wait, I only borrowed $20 from you last week. How did you come up with $50?

Nancy: Financial (10) fees. My advice is at least worth $30!

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