Paycheck advance loans? cont.

So, remember that problem I talked about? This guy Tony was gonna get a paycheck advance loan. Here’s the deal:

Tony wanted a loan of $200. So they wanted him to write a check for $230, dated 2 weeks in advance. He can pay back the $230 or they’ll deposit his check. It’s only thirty bucks, Tony said. (Yeah, that’s why he’s broke.) But what kind of yearly interest are they charging?

The loan is for 2 weeks. There’s 52 weeks in a year. So the yearly interest rate is 26 times the percent interest he’s paying. (Get it? There’s 26 x 2 weeks in a year.)

Compare that to 20% yearly interest on a credit card.

He’s paying 230 bucks for a 200 loan. So he’s paying 30 bucks interest. Not cool. Cuz what percentage is that of 200 bucks? To figure it out, I take a short cut. See, 10% of 200 is 20 bucks. (200 x .1 = 20) So, I figure 5% (half of 10%) is 10 bucks (half of 20 bucks). That means 30 bucks is 10% plus 5%… 15%.

I can do all that in my head, see? But if you want to do the math, it’s like this:

30/200 = .15 or 15%

Fifteen percent interest don’t sound too bad, right? But that’s only for two weeks. To get yearly interest, you gotta multiply it by 26.

15% x 26 = 390%

Three hundred ninety percent! Almost 400% interest! I told Tony, you gotta get a credit card. You pay, what, 20% interest? Plus, if you pay it off when you get the bill in a few weeks, which is the smart thing to do, you don’t pay no interest at all. Just like a payday advance, but you’re payin’ nuthin!

Course, it’s dangerous to run up a big credit card bill. And Tony can’t trust himself. So I told him to get a card with a small limit, like $500. That’ll cover him for emergencies, right? Without him gettin’ ripped off too bad. He said, “I ain’t got no credit,” and I told him to call some credit card people. Try to get a card with no fees. Here’s some information I found. Some of it’s for college students, but hey, they’re in the same boat, just getting started with credit cards.

http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/drt/archive/2005/dt051013.html

http://www.youngmoney.com/credit_debt/credit_basics/041203

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/choose.shtm

Just see what to do to get started, cuz what’s the point in paying all that extra interest?

Paycheck advance loans?

Hey. Here’s my idea. The hardest thing on the GED for everyone seems to be math. Everyone’s always sayin’, when do you ever do math problems? In real life, you know? Well, every time you take money outta your pocket, you doin’ a math problem. I’m tellin’ you, smart money is math. So, I’m gonna focus on ways that math comes up everyday. You can get smarter in math for the GED and in your life, too.

Here’s something. This guy I know, Tony, he was strapped for cash. Had to make a car payment, and didn’t want his car repo-d. Yeah, we all been there. Best advice I give him is don’t spend all your dough and get into that situation. But, too late for that. You know how it is, everyone’s hard up.

He was gonna go to one of those payday advance loan places, and I said that’s no good. So let’s look at this. Here’s what they were offering:

Tony wanted a loan of$200. So they wanted him to write a check for $230, dated 2 weeks in advance. He can pay back the $230 or they’ll deposit his check. It’s only thirty bucks, Tony said. (Yeah, that’s why he’s broke.) But what kind of yearly interest are they charging?

The loan is for 2 weeks. There’s 52 weeks in a year. So the yearly interest rate is 26 times the percent interest he’s paying. (Get it? There’s 26 x 2 weeks in a year.)

Compare that to 20% yearly interest on a credit card.

Let me know how you figured out this comparison, and I’ll write later to tell you what I showed my friend.

GED Math: Translating English to Math

Trish Wrote:

I am really having a hard time understanding translating word expressions into equations, and wondering if you can help?

Example:
1. the sum of 16 times a number and the number less another number times 3

2. a number less the sum of another number and 13

Workin’ these problems is almost like translating another language. You gotta know exactly what each word translates to a mathematical expression. Here’s a list of how they break down:

+ = “the sum of x and y (you’d put the + where the “and” goes here: x + y)

− = “less” or “minus” (note that if it says something like “a less b” then it’s a − b but if it says “a less than b” it’s b − a)

× = “times” or “the product of a and b” (a times b = a × b)

÷ = “divided by” (a divided by b = a ÷ b)

a,b,c or x,y,z = These are variables, so if it say “a number” that’s one of these variables. You usually wanna start with the first one in a list. Then if it says “another number” you pick the next one. If it said “a third number” you’d pick the last one. I don’t think it’d ever go above three numbers. (a number = a, another number = b, a third number = c) Continue reading

GED Math: Percentage Decrease

Hey, yo, all. How’s the GED math goin’ on? Last time, I talked about problems with percent increase, and now let’s look at percent decrease. It be all about knowin’ what the question’s really askin’. Remember, I said, when it asks what’s the percent increase, what it means is:

What Percent OF the Original amount IS the Difference between the two amounts?

P × O = D

Percent decrease is pretty much the same thing. What percent of the original amount is the difference between the two amounts? Only difference in figuring it out is that the second amount is lower than the first, not higer. No sweat. The percent times the original amount still equals the difference. It’s just a decrease, not an increase. Get it?

Let’s look at it. Here’s a practice problem.

I filled up my car, so it had 15 gallons of gas in the tank. So, I drove out to my uncle’s house and back, and it took $18 in gas at $2 per gallon to fill up the tank. What was the percentage decrease in gas during the trip?

Did I get you with a tough one? More than jus’ one step here. Try to figure it out, then I’ll walk you through it… Continue reading

More GED Math: Algebra

Okay, still some confusion all over about algebra. It’s tough, cuz it’s what’s called abstract. Those x’s ain’t exactly somethin’ concrete. Here’s a run-down of some basic workin’ with x’s….

Algebra’s like a puzzle. Know those puzzles where you gotta move the pieces around to make a picture? It’s like that. To find what number “x” is, you gotta move the numbers around, so that “x” is by itself on one side. And there’s rules. Here’s the key: you have to do the same thing to both sides of the equation.

So, if x + 3 = 5 and you want x by itself, you’ve got to “zero out” the + 3. To make the + 3 cancel out, you’ve got to subtract 3. That means you’ll have 3 – 3 on the side with the x, and 3 – 3 is 0, and 0 is nothing. That’s what you want… nothing with the x.

But, if you want to subtract 3 from the left side, you gotta subtract 3 from the right, too, to keep ’em equal.

x + 3 = 5
x + 3 – 3 = 5 – 3
x + 0 = 2
x = 2

Okay, that’s the easy part. Hard part is, if you got x’s on both sides.

2x = x + 5

What do I want to do? Subtract x from both sides, to get rid of the x on the right (x – x is the same as 3 – 3 or 23 – 23…. it’s zero).

2x = x + 5
2x – x = x – x + 5
2x – x = 0 + 5
2x – x = 5

Now, what’s 2x – x? The shorthand rule is, you subtract (or add) the numbers by the x’s, and leave the x alone. “x” without a number has an invisible “1” next to it. So:
5x – 3x = 2x
22x + 5x = 7x
x + x = 2x
5x – x = 4x

That means, if 2x – x = 5, then x = 5.

Here’s why. 5x means 5 times x. And 5 times x means x + x + x + x + x. That’s what multiplication is, a shorthand way to add a number plus itself a bunch of time.
5 × 9 = 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9
5x = x + x + x + x + x

So, 2x – x means x + x – x. Two of the x’s cancel out (x – x = 0). So, it’s x + 0, or just plain x.

2 x’s minus 1 x is… 1 x. Just like if you got 2 apples and take away 1 apple, you got one apple left.

So, here’s a problem:

5x + 14 = 3x + 22

I can subtract 14 from both sides to move all the numbers to the right…
5x = 3x + 8

Now, I can subtract 3x from both sides to move all the x’s to the left…
2x = 8

The last step, since x is multiplied by 2, is divide both sides by 2 to get the x by itself….

x = 4

There ya go!

Some Advanced Algebra… But Not Too Hard!

Hey, all… Here’s a problem from Zaher that’s real good for thinkin’ skills:

If x= y-3 and y=z^2, what is x in terms of z?

That caret, that’s shorthand for “to the power of.” So I’m gonna state it:

x = y – 3

y=z2

What you want to get is x in terms of z. Well. This ain’t really too hard. It’s just figurin’ out how to make x equal to a bit of math with a z in it instead of a bit of math with a y in it. You know what x means in terms of y. It’s y – 3. And you know what y means in terms of z. The key is, with any type of algebra, if two things are equal, you can substitute one for the other. So, since z2 is equal to y, you can put it into the first equation instead of y. So:

x = z2 – 3

That’s all you need to do! That’s x in terms of z. You can’t really reduce it any, and it’s what the question asked for. It just asks you to understand that, if two things are equal, you can substitute one for the other.

For more information on the GED test and GED test preparation, visit the GED Academy at http://www.passGED.com.

GED Math: Algebra

Here’s a problem that Lyndia sent in, since she was havin’ trouble with it:

3x = 7 – 4x

You wanna figure out what “x” is equal to The problem comes in when you have a number befo’ the x, and need to get all the “x”es on the same side. Think of it this way… you don’t just got one x, you got four x’s. So, you gotta move all 4 x’s to the other side. In other words, think of “4x” as all going together. Continue reading

GED Math: Making a Problem into a Formula

Yo! Here’s one thing the GED math test definitely asks you to do: turn a word problem into a formula. Sometimes the GED test doesn’t ask you to solve the problem. It just asks you to look at a bunch of formulas and figure out which one’s the right one. Well, at least you don’t hafta solve it. It’s pretty useful to know, too, cuz it helps you solve other word problems. It’s one of the steps you gotta take to figure things out.

So, let’s try walkin’ thru one. Continue reading