# GED Math… What’s the Best Deal?

Maybe pullin’ out the calculator’s the best way to figure this one out. Here’s the deal: I gotta buy me a sweet ‘Vette for \$27,599. And I can pick one of two deals:

1. \$3,000 bucks off and 4.9% interest for 60 months
2. Full price and 1.9% interest for 48 months Continue reading

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?

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: 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

# GED Math: Percent Increase

Percents! Yo, I know most everyone out there hates percents. I got a kinda question lots of people say’s confusin’. That’s when it’s askin’ about percent increase. This one’s in lotsa word problems. An’ I know how you love word problems! How ’bout we try one out?

I got a new hard drive, to back up my computer. The old hard drive I was usin’ was 250 GB. Now, the new one’s 640 GB. Sweet! So, what’s the percent increase in hard drive space from the old hard drive to the new one?

Give it a minute, try to work it out. What’dya think? Continue reading

# GED Math: Percent and Ratio Word Problems

Hey, yo. Here’s a comment Jen sent over:

Hi Curtis,

I need some help with percent and ratio word problems. Unfortunately your previous explanations regarding word problems have been too complicated. Perhaps you could give more information on the basics, the formulas? I know I am not completely understanding these formulas. My knowledge in math is only the basic concepts, and I do not understand algebra yet.

While percents seem simple enough; I become lost when I try to solve word problems with them. I have been using the triangle method to work with percent problems. [The method shown in the GED book.]

1- Multiply when the problem gives you the whole and the percent.

2- Divide when the problem gives you the part and the percent.

3- Divide when the problem gives you the whole and the part.

However, I am still finding word problems with percents and ratios very confusing, so I know I am definitely not understanding the formula. Ratios especially – the whole idea of cross multiplying sounds good, but when I do this I become lost as I attempt to finish the problem. I hope you can help me begin to make sense of these areas.

# GED Math: Another Percent Word Problem

Yo! Here’s a sample word problem from a GED student, wants to know more about percentages:

would like to know more about percentages. like dividing. here’s a question:

jacks auto service-summary of april sales activity

division …… april sales …… increase over march
parts ………. \$11,000 ……… %10
services ….. \$70,000 ……… %25

what was the combined sales revenue in march for the parts and services divisions of jacks auto service? answer is \$66,000 how did they get that answer step by step?

Hey! Thanks for sendin’ in a math question. This is a good one. Percents is pretty tough for a lot of people. This one is a little harder than the one last week, cuz it’s got more steps. So let me walk through it…. Continue reading

# GED Math: Word Problems with Measurements and Percentages

Here’s a comment from Kandyce about the GED math test, let’s see if I can help:

Look my only problem with this whole G.E.D test are the word problems that involve measurements and precentages….. They stump me really bad and I just get so frustrated and give up on it…I need some advice on how to solve these problems…They really confuse me and the more and more I try the more frustrated I get at myself cause I just cannont solve them….If someone could give me some advice it would be much appreciated. Thanks -Kandyce

Hey, Kandyce. The GED has all kindsa word problems. So, the first thing is figurin’ out what they’re asking, then doin the math. Of course. Measurements and percentages is actually a lot of stuff, but let me walk thru a couple of examples, and if you have some other problems you’re havin’ trouble with, send ’em to me, and I’ll work them out to show you how I did it.

Okay, here’s an example problem with percents, like you might get on the GED. Continue reading