If you are doing any of these boneheaded, irresponsible things with your money – STOP! Someday there will be a need that you cannot meet. Maybe it will be your need or maybe it will be the need of someone you care about. Either way you are going wish you had back all that money you pissed away on _________.
ATM Fees, Overdraft Fees, Late Charges
Just hold that $20 bill up and set the corner on fire. You get no joy, no thing to hold in your hand, no future value from these stupid expenditures. You are a smart person, you can figure out which ATM’s are fee free, you can balance your checkbook and you can pay your bills on time. There is absolutely no excuse for wasting money like this. Get angry right now and vow never to just hand your hard earned money over to the banking fat cats again.
Rent to Own, Pay Day loans, Tote the Note Used Car Lots, Cash Advances
Dumb, dumb, dumb. You cannot do these things and win with your money. Follow these two simple rules always and forever:
1) If you can’t pay for it, you can’t have it
2) Spend less then you make
Can’t pay cash for that couch, TV or washer? Then you cannot have it; look to craigslist.com or freecycle.org for a short-term solution and save your pennies for what you really want.
If a spending is compulsive, you need to find a way to STOP. Meals out, coffee, purses, the latest electronic gadget and even books are extremely unhealthy when you continue to purchase them despite a stated desire to cut back. Sometimes it is helpful to:
Change your route so that you don’t drive past the place you spend
Don’t carry money or credit cards or debit cards if you have proven you can’t stop buying. Carry just enough cash to pay for what you need for the day
Replace your shopping with something pleasant. Take a walk in the park instead of stopping for coffee after work.
If you have a physically as well as financially destructive addiction, like cigarettes, alcohol or drugs seek help. Not only will the spending on these substances wreak havoc on your chances for financial independence, they will undermine your health.
Ignore your Health
Sadly, health insurance is a huge limiting factor in many people’s lives. I know people who want to retire or quit their job and start their own business and the only thing standing in their way is affordable health insurance. At a normal weight and without often avoidable conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure or a habit like smoking, insurance can be affordable. But if find yourself with a height & weight outside the insurance companies’ parameters or with a chronic condition and premiums for both your life and health insurance skyrocket.
I am in no way inferring that all cases of high blood pressure or Type II diabetes or any other chronic conditions are avoidable. In addition, I know that it is not equally easy for everyone to maintain a healthy weight or avoid addictions; but most of us, through exercise, addiction avoidance and healthy eating, can either avoid, postpone or control many diseases and conditions.
We’ve all done stupid things with our money, the secret to winning is to recognize when we are doing something dumb and find a way to quit doing it.