The C’s that Keep You Broke & How to Beat Them
Every month I’ll share a few little things that can cause you lose to money and some possible solutions that can be implemented to avoid them. Here’s the third installment of the series! Again, as I said before, my disclaimer on this little series will have both educational benefit and comedic relief. Some of the items I choose will honestly be all in good fun.
Cars – These suckers can end up being money pits. Instead of driving a car, maintaining it, feeding its gas guzzling belly, go walk in that 8 inch deep snow! You’ll love the exercise, seriously! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to bring your shovel and come my way to shovel out my walk. Thanks! To be truthful though, cars can end up doing this very thing. You have to buy the car, feed it with gas, maintenance, auto insurance… It’s worse than a house! Something that can help you save some money though, is to coordinate your errands with the other people in your circle/home. When the weather does get better, go walk/ride a bike to do your errands. I see many who put a milk crate on the back of their bikes or even wear a back pack. Not only will you be limiting your budget for what you can carry or transport, but you’ll also be exercising.
Credit Cards – Worse things in the world! Cut these up asap, as they have no positive function for you! Perhaps they can help you earn credit for other various purposes, but they can become a black hole for your debt. They crush you with their weight in interest fees. Be very careful with them. Make sure you have the money to begin with and pay it off immediately. If you can follow that rule and never actually spend more than you make, you’ll be fine.
College – Don’t go! As Admiral Ackbar likes to say, “It’s a TRAP!” This academic realm is nothing but loans and debt! No, really… students graduating today are on average 40k+ in debt by the time they graduate. I, myself am only just under that, and I trying very hard even in my unemployment to get the rest of my debt out of the way so that when the student loans come around…. I don’t end up getting in trouble. These are the worst kind of debt to have, as even bankruptcy can’t help you. And don’t even think that dying will do the trick, as many former students who have had tragic ends end up still owing thousands and it’s up to the family to deal with it.
Cellphones – Smartphones are all the rage. Everybody has to be able to prove they are the best of their peers when it comes to Angry Birds. In reality, the data plans, texting charges, minute overages can cost you. Consider having a pay as you go phone. In many cases, these are just as great as big boys, you just might be a little limited on your phone upgrades. In my area, it’s actually a well kept secret that the pay as you go phone’s service (because they rent cell towers from everybody) is actually better than most of the regular providers as I live in a valley. If you insist on having all the trimmings, consider joining forces with your parents or siblings on a plan. Granted, you have to be able to trust they’ll take care of their end of the bill, but it can be just like having a roommate – you get the smartphone and data plan of your dreams.
Cigarettes/Cigars – These cancer sticks will cost you not only money, but your life! Beware! Take heed of the surgeon general’s warning on the pack! Run away, and never return to the nasty habit! Meh… while quitting would most definitely save you money on perhaps a daily basis, it’s a little harder to quit than non-smokers think. Knowing and living with smokers, I am very much aware of the problems that are associated with this lifestyle choice, but I also realize that sometimes it’s a crutch that might be necessary. Perhaps consider cutting it down to a pack, or half a pack a day if you can. If you’re really wanting to quit, consider e-cigarettes. If you’re needing the motion, these are just the trick. Many of my former regulars have quit using these babies, and it’s really encouraging.
Be safe this New Year’s Eve! Don’t let amateur night get the better of you! Here’s a more successful and rewarding 2013!
Count those Raindrops!