This generation might be the worst when it comes to managing money. I say that as one who has experienced “dumb debt” firsthand. “Dumb debt” being debt that you could have avoided if you would have practiced just a little bit of self-control.
So here are my top 5 worst reasons for getting into debt by means of maxing out your cards or taking out a loan.
Christmas, birthdays, valentines… Special occasions like these tend to get us into a lot of trouble with our finances. For some reason we justify spending money we don’t have.
This issue can be easily solved by planning ahead for such things. What’s great about holidays and birthdays is that they happen on the exact same date every year. I know we all say something like, “Wow, Christmas really snuck up on me this year.” No, it didn’t. You didn’t plan ahead and now your bank account is in real pain.
I recommend opening up a separate account just for gift funds. So every month add a little in the account, then when the holidays or a birthday comes around you can just pull from that account without that feeling of desperation.
We are human and we like to have fun. That looks different for everyone, but most are willing to spend something on entertainment like movies, going out to dinner or vacations. The problem comes when we feel we deserve a treat and maybe you do, but that’s no reason to harm yourself by getting into debt.
Do yourself a favor and plan your vacations ahead of time as well as your mini, weekly vacations. I have begun to designate Friday night as the only night that I go out to dinner. When I begin to take spontaneous vacations or begin to eat out multiple nights is when I start to get into trouble.
You wouldn’t believe how many people go into debt during this time of year. There are a lot of people who want to host the greatest Superbowl Party and I don’t blame them, but some of these people are willing to go into major debt over it. TV sales soar this time of year and this is from those that want to host and want to offer their guests the best viewing experience. This isn’t a problem if you have the money, but for most this is a spontaneous buy.
My only advice for this is to either don’t host or enjoy the game from your smaller TV.
Buying a new car isn’t easy, there are a lot of shady dealers and car lots out there who would like to scam you. Even if you buy used from the original owner you can never really know how well the car was taken care of.
My one piece of advice for a car seeker looking to save is to never buy brand new off the lot. The value of the car drops significantly the moment you drive it off the lot. You could save thousands by purchasing used.
Keepin’ up With Jones’s
I don’t care how old you are, we all deal with some form of peer pressure. This can lead us into making poor buying decisions.
Before you buy anything, ask yourself if it is something you need or something you want because your neighbor has it. Buying a product simply for status sake is childish and not worth getting into debt over.