Our culture is really weird when it comes to money. We base our financial status on how much stuff we have, rather than how much money we actually have. Banks have brainwashed us into actually evaluating a purchase based on how much the payment is, rather than how much the product really is. When is the last time you heard a car commercial that told you how much the car was? It’s not very often. They often say something like this, “You can sign and drive this great car and pay only $299 a month!”. We have it all backwards about what it means to be wealthy, and that is why you run into so many people that are broke. So, if you want to stay broke forever, follow this step-by-step process.
Step 1: Sign up for a payment every time you “buy” something.
Buying a couch? Finance it! Buying a car? Finance it! Buying a Mac computer? Finance it! Accumulate as many payments as you can, because the more payments you have, the less disposable income you’ll have to use for investing in index funds and real estate. But why bother with investing money in assets that appreciate? That would be silly!
Step 2: Listen to your friends that don’t have any money
Ever notice that people with the strongest opinion about personal finance are the ones without any money? If you want to stay broke for a very long time, continue to listen to their advice. Lord knows they have plenty of it.
Step 3: Be obsessed with your image
Broke people love to look good. They love driving a new car all the time, wearing expensive clothing, having the latest gadgets, and living in houses bigger than they need. Not only do they live in bigger houses than they need, they have renovated every square inch. Even the garage has granite counter tops! If you want to stay broke forever, continue to care about how you look and what other people think about you.
Step 4: Pay Retail For Everything
Not only are you accumulating every depreciating asset you can get your hands on, you paid too much for it. You don’t negotiate price, because that’s embarassing. You MUST have a certain name brand. You never buy used, and you never shop anywhere but malls and boutiques.
Step 5: You don’t think about the future.
You could care less about your 401(k) and the fact that your employer will match your contributions. You’re too young to think about retirement, right? You don’t have an emergency fund, because you’re too busy using every last cent of your paycheck to buy stuff, and insurance is just too expensive. You’ve got better things to do with your money than buy life insurance.
Get the point? Sorry for the sarcastic tone of this post, but the point should be clear. Does any of this strike a cord with you? If it does, I am not making fun of you. I am simply trying to help you see what kind of path you are leading if you don’t re-evaluate your financial situation. You can have a million excuses for why you are broke, but everyone has excuses. Rise above those excuses and take hold of your finances.