Life

‘That’s How They Get You!’ — All The Ways You’re Screwing Yourself Financially

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I always say I’m going to get my plane tickets home for Christmas early. “I’ll buy them this summer,” I think. “I’m not going to get screwed the way I was last year.” But then summer comes and goes. And then fall. And suddenly, it’s winter. Because every time I go to buy my tickets, there are a million other things that come up. Rent is due, the dog needs to go to the vet, an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth and only I can save humanity… you get the idea.

Every year, I put off buying a ticket as the prices steadily climb. And every December 14th, I finally have a panic attack and throw thousand dollar tickets on a credit card. Which I never pay down. So I get late fees on top of interest on top of late fees. It’s a super fun cycle.

The truth is, we’ve all been there in some form or another. It sucks to live pay check to pay check. Because there are endless ways we get screwed over by the system. We buy the single versions of things rather than saving money with bulk pricing (because we don’t have the immediate money for that option even if it means you save money over time). We have to miss early bird specials because we’re just barely scraping by. We’re late for car payments, and insurance payments, and student loan payments until our late fees are more than the original principal. Our credit blows so we get higher interest rates, and have to put down bigger deposits for basic things like gas and electricity. And then — God forbid — you have any health issues arise. Medical bills are insane and because we can’t afford the best insurance, we pay through the roof when bad things happen. One car accident (that isn’t even your fault!) and you can be out tens of thousands of dollars.

Truth be told, I cry about my lack of money AT LEAST once a week. But is it all everyone else’s fault? Probably not. Because even though it’s hard, I have made some really poor (get it?) decisions financially. So when it comes to being financially responsible and getting our shit together (even if the odds are stacked against us), there are plenty of ways we screw ourselves over by making stupid financial decisions. For example:

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