MSN.com published an article last week on the 10 reasons you’re still broke. Unfortunately, I can’t access the MSN list right now. But Kiplinger has the list also, so here they are:
- You quit school. Yes, going back to finish school might mean more money in your pocket in the future. But the second paragraph below mentions that going back to school doesn’t guarantee a bigger paycheck, especially if you go back for your Masters in Puppetry. Choose wisely. (h/t to Captain Capitalism)
- You try to keep up with the Joneses. Never attempt to maintain a lifestyle you can’t afford. For more on this, I recommend Thomas Stanley’s book The Millionaire Mind.
- You’re hardly working. Straight from last month’s issue of “DUH!” magazine: if you don’t work and get paid, you won’t have any money.
- You have bad habits. Smoking and drinking cost a lot of money. The average price for a pack of cigarettes is around $5. If you smoke 1 pack a day, that’s $1,825 that is disappearing into thin air every year (literally). Same thing with drinking. I shouldn’t have to mention the health problems that indulging in these habits will cause down the road.
- You make impulse purchases. You don’t need that copy of Weekly World News or Us magazine. Trust me, Bat Boy doesn’t exist and that woman didn’t sleep with Bigfoot. Besides, Bigfoot swears he has never even met Kim Kardashian.
- You play the lottery. It has been said that a lottery is a tax on stupid people (or people who can’t do math). Stop wasting your time trying to be the 1 chance out of 126 million to win the lottery. BTW, that is statistically equal to zero. Which is what the people who run the lottery think you are when you play the lottery: a big fat zero.
- You make minimum payments. Your credit card bank loves it when you make minimum payments. Why? Because by making minimum payments, you take many many many years to pay it off while the bank gets richer and richer by charging you interest. And if they do it right, the bank can even charge you interest on the interest! If you have a credit card, make sure you pay off your balance in full every month. Better yet, don’t use a credit card at all.
- You lack goals. I don’t like the word ‘goals’. If you don’t have goals, it just means that you don’t have a plan for the future. And if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. You should sit down and work out what you want to achieve in your personal, professional, and financial lives. And then take steps to achieve those…um…goals.
- You hang out with the wrong crowd. In other words, it’s hard to soar with eagles when you hang out with turkeys. I have found this to be true in my own life. There are people in life who are just losers. The big problem here is not that those losers are losers, it’s that those losers will sabotage your efforts to improve your life. Remember, misery loves company. And so do miserable losers.
- You’re a couch potato. If you waste your time idling about and doing nothing, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have no money. You could be using that time to start a side job and earning a little extra cash.
And this wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t add #11: the government is making you poorer by (a) taking over half of your income through taxation and (b) reducing the value of the dollar by printing massive amounts of them.