money management

Personal Finance Fails That Drive Me Crazy

fail-whaleThe Twitter “Fail Whale”

Subscribing to every TV channel ever invented. Now don’t get me wrong, if TV is your passion, by all means go ahead and sign up for the Sports Channel Package, the Film Channel, or the Unlimited History Documentaries Bundle.  But it’s pretty widely accepted that TV is more of a luxury than a necessity – especially when you already have financial problems.  Side note:  I love me some TV.  I absolutely cannot live without certain TV shows.  BUT when I was paying off my debt, you better believe I did NOT have a cable bill.  And yes, it was torture.

Drowning in debt and thinking it’s okay.  We all know those people that rely on their credit cards to save them.  I used to be one of them.  It would be an understatement to say that being weighed down by credit card debt is uncomfortable.  It’s not fun living month to month wondering if you can pay your bill.  Thanks to my favorite guy, Dave Ramsey, most of us know that:  debt = bad, cash = good.

Buying a brand-new car every other year.  True story:  I had a early ’90s Honda all through high school and college.  Even after college when I started making the big bucks (ha ha), I didn’t buy a new car.  Even when my speedometer stopped working and I had no idea how fast I was going, I didn’t buy a new car (it’s pretty easy to just go with the flow of the rest of the cars).  When my poor little old Honda finally just stopped putting along (literally), then – and only then – did I buy a new car.  Which I plan to drive until the day the engine konks out on me.  I realize this is a little extreme, but let’s face it, cars are a horrible investment and only good for getting you from point A to point B.

Applying for the Bank of Your Best Friend Credit Card.  No.  I get a tiny ulcer everytime Lloyd’s friends go on a group outing.  Guess who always foots the bill and gets IOUs from all his friends?  That would be Lloyd.  Guess what?  In my experience, you very rarely get paid back in full from everyone without pestering them like a whiney kid every five minutes.  Either don’t let friends borrow from you or just expect to be nagging them until you get the cash.

Sporting a Coach bag on Target budget.  I’m not knocking those people that CAN afford a Coach bag, buy one as a reward for a big accomplishment, or get one as a gift.  I’m talking about the people that don’t pay their water bill so they can spend their paycheck on a handbag.  Priorities, people!

What personal finance fails annoy the crap out of you?  Do tell!  I’m sure I’ll have plenty more lists in the future… 😉

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  • erm.. it bugs the crap out of me that I try to keep my household’s utility bills in check – but no one else seems to care. Turn the lights off people!!

  • my boyfriend and our roommate both leave the ac on all day when nobody’s here. Um, expensive! Sadly, I’m the first to leave each day, so there’s really nothing I can do :-/

  • My ex would do this all the time, go on random out of state trips just about every other weekend with 61k of student loan debt! Not having a budget and just spending random money. The saddest part of all this, is his degree was paid for by his job. He took the student loan money to live off of in addition to his 75k salary!!!
    Yeah once he told me, I started to distance myself from him after I tried to get him to read Dave Ramsey. Like they say people only change when they want to.

    Sorry for the post being so long.

  • Haha… I’m totally guilty of #1. But one of my goals this month is to rectify that situation! =)

    Actually… now that I think about it… most of the personal finance pet peeves I have are ones that I do myself. I’m such a hypocrite sometimes.

  • I love your list! Especially the bit about cars. I have a co-worker who is living rent free with her sister but is living paycheck to paycheck because of a $430 monthly car payment! That is almost the price of our monthly rent (of course, split in half, I only pay $230 on rent!). I just cannot imagine financing a car. They lose so much value in the first couple of years… Just no. I drove the car I was given when I was 16 (a car that was only a year younger than I am) until my parents literally made me give it up. (It leaked oil and had no airbag. The parents got paranoid.) My dad bought a car for $900 wrecked, fixed it up – total put in about $1,800 – and I’ve been driving that car ever since. I will drive it until it dies for good. And you know what? When I do need another car, I will shop around and buy used. And I will pay in cash or I’ll take the bus until I can afford to do so.

    Another of my pet peeves is the utility bill. I’m so good on my own about not running the heat during the winter. I just bundle up in flannel PJs. But D has to always be toasty. My bill has tripled. 🙁

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