Pardon me, folks, whilst I take a moment for myself. I’m going to vent right now, mostly because it feels like a great time to Go Soapbox on the world.
I don’t know exactly what set me off this evening (it’s late Sunday as I write this). But I’m pretty sure that the NY Times article “Couple Learn the High Price of Easy Credit” didn’t help. Thanks to Tricia at Blogging Away Debt for linking it. But after reading it, I don’t feel at all that this couple has what it takes to climb out of their hole. From the article:
A “CashBuilder Elite” Visa? Finance charges of $200? That’s the great thing about credit cards and the credit-card industry: Sometimes the irony is Just. So. Thick.
Anyhow, let’s get to the show. Let me find my trusty ol’ cynical soapbox…
12 Things You Hear From People
Who (Probably) Suck With Money
- “Don’t look at me. It’s my [wife/husband] who spends it all.”
Of course. And if you blame them long enough, it’ll all work itself out in the end, right? Or at least the judge will make it so it does. (“Work itself out,” and “end,” I mean.)
- “Who has time to budget? Not me.”
This one’s pretty universal. The convenient thing is that they’ll have plenty of time to budget when they hit retirement and stop workin—
Oh, wait. Never mind.
- “We refinanced last week and paid off our credit cards.”
No, you didn’t “pay off” your debt, Maureen. You just moved it. And you’ll be moving again when the bank forecloses on your house. But first things first: You need to get those cards maxed-out again.
Then . . . just give it time.
- “I wanted to pay off the cards, but my husband says his investments are doing better than the interest.”
If your cards are charging you today’s standard rates — say, 14 to 18 percent interest — then I have news for you:
Your husband is either lying, or he can’t do math.
(Note: Pfbloggers and FatWalleters are exempt from this one.)
- “Yeah, it was a lot of money. But you only live once, right?”
I’m not sure. But as long you’re alive, you might as well be making payments.
- “Of course I need the new Dodge Behemoth SUV. It’s safer for our child, and my show poodles need more space.”
Which is precisely why I can only dream of watching folks like this filling up in a world of four-bucks-a-gallon gas—
Oh, wait. Never mind.
- “I couldn’t save money even if I wanted to.”
No, what you probably mean is that you couldn’t sacrifice even if you wanted to. Which you don’t.
But that’s okay. The folks at Crate ‘n’ Barrel love you.
- “I could pay all my bills off if they’d just give me that [raise/promotion/bonus] at work.”
Yeah, you and everyone else. Except that when more money comes in, it just means that more money goes out, and you’re right back at #7 (above) again. That’s why they call it the Rat Race.
- “Man, if I won the lottery, all my money problems would be history.”
No, what you mean is that all your money problems would be historic. As in of epic proportions. Because if you can’t manage thirty grand a year, you can’t manage three hundred grand, either. Mark it down.
The line of lottery winners who’ve gone broke starts right over there. And it stretches all the way back to . . . oh, I don’t know. Maybe Miami.
- “I put it on my Worst Buy card, so I have six months to pay it off before there’s any interest. We’ll have it paid off by then.”
Sure you will. You, again, and everybody else. You could’ve paid for it with cash if you’d wanted to, right?
(Another instance where most money-bloggers and FatWalleters are probably exempt.)
- “But it’s my wedding! I dreamed about it forever, I want to remember it forever, and I want for that day to be fabulous!”
Okay. So I heard this from someone doing an interview on TV. It might’ve been a put-on for all I know. But there are ladies out there who feel this way, right? I just got exceedingly lucky and met one who didn’t, right?
Worth noting: It’s easy to remember your “fabulous wedding” forever when forever is how long you (and/or your parents) will be paying for it.
- “Hello there. I’m Joe Smith. I’m a U.S. Congressman. How are you today?”
Fine, thanks. So . . . you, uh . . . you deficit much, Mr. Smith? How’s that darn federal-budget-thing working out for you? Tell me: Do you guys ever actually use those calculators we taxpayers paid twelve grand for?
Okay. That’s about all I can come up with right now. What sorts of things have you heard uttered from the mouths of financial slackers? What little snippets tip you off that someone’s stuck on the First Rule of Holes, figuratively speaking?