It’s still pretty early in the 2014 year and many of you likely have a slew of New Year’s resolutions you are still working on. Or have already abandoned. Or never actually started.
Perhaps some of those goals were financial goals for 2014. If you want to go broke in 2014, check out the following things to do this year:
1. Embrace the “I deserve this” mentality.
This type of marketing has been forced upon us in the past decade or so. It invokes a spirit of entitlement within us. We did something really hard (big week of exams, received a promotion, woke up super early every day for a week, cleaned the house, etc.) so we deserve to reward ourselves with a manicure, Starbucks, an outfit, steak dinner, etc.
I could sit here and write an entire blog post on why we don’t deserve to reward ourselves anytime we work hard…but I will refrain from that soap box for now. This reward almost always has a price tag associated with it and can drain you financially when you aren’t planning for them…especially if this is a habitual exercise.
2. Keep up with the Joneses.
We all know the Joneses. They get married and buy a gorgeous house. Then they park a brand new SUV in the driveway. They’re always going on vacation to Mexico or Europe. They’re wearing the latest trends and buying the newest technology on the market. They eat at the best restaurants in town and go to the coolest sporting events or shows on a regular basis. Surely they don’t have financial worries, right?
Wrong. Check out this article. 70% of families are living paycheck to paycheck. What you don’t know about the Joneses is that the average credit card debt for the American family is $15, 270!!!! Debt is typically the favorite tool of choice for the Joneses lifestyle. What appears to be success is actually a negative net worth. The Joneses are broke. Follow them and you will be too.
3. Never budget.
Money comes in…money goes out….who knows what happened to it?!?! This is the typical American family and is a sure-fire way to end up broke, desperate, and stupid. Check out this post for why you need a budget. But if you are trying to go broke, don’t read it or implement its advice.
4. Walk into stores without a plan.
Walk into Costco, Target, Pottery Barn, Walmart, Ann Taylor Loft, Best Buy, etc. without a game plan on what you are looking for or how much you have to spend.
You will likely end up walking around, discovering needs you didn’t know you had before you walked in, and walk out having spend a coupe hundred buckaroos. Do this a couple of times a week or even a month and all your extra cash will be gone before you blink.
5. Put things on a credit card or payment plan.
If you want to win with money, you need to take “payment plans” off the table. Successful people don’t finance their couches. Or their bedroom furniture. Or their cars. If you have to put it on a payment plan, you can’t afford it. As the old saying goes, “Broke people ask, ‘How much per month?’ and rich people ask, ‘How much?’”
7. Take advice from broke family and friends.
Everyone has people in their family or friend circle who are always ready to give bad financial advice (finance this house or car, buy this whole-life insurance policy, pre-pay your funeral costs, learn how to flip houses with 0% down and using credit, etc). Follow every bit of that advice and you will most likely end up in a hot broke mess by the end of 2014.
How do you determine good and bad financial advice? Look at the fruits in that person’s life. Are they themselves up to their eyeballs in debt? RUN and don’t listen to anything they have to say unless you want to end up just like them. Are they debt-free, living below their means, experiencing financial peace because they are intentional with their finances? Pull up a chair and listen.
Remember the tortoise and the hare? If you want to go broke, follow the financial hares in your life and ignore the financial tortoises. We all know who ends up winning in the end, so if you are trying to go broke, you know who to listen to.
8. Embrace debt as a lifestyle.
If you decide in 2014 that you just can’t live the lifestyle you want to be at without debt…you will surely end up broke. This mentality is what credit card companies want you to believe. That you can’t live without them. You can’t live life at the level you want to without their “help.” That you will always have debt and you better just accept it sooner than later so you stop worrying about it. Once you start thinking about being on minimum payments for the rest of your life, you have embraced debt and will go broke soon.
OK, you’re all set to get out there and go broke in 2014! In case that isn’t what you were looking for, tune back later this week and I will blog about what to do if you want financial freedom in 2014! 🙂