10 Best Ways to Blow Your Money
By Donna Freedman
Money. Just about everybody has an opinion on it, and most of us wish we had more of it.
Look around you, though. Doesn't it seem like a lot of us can't spend our funds fast enough? From cash advances to time shares and constant tech upgrades, we fall for that old rationalization: "It's only money -- I can always make more of it."
What is money for, anyway, except to enjoy? You work hard for a living and deserve all the perks that salary will buy. Be daring, not dull.
Thinking like that is a great way to put yourself perpetually into debt, or at least living paycheck to paycheck. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, here are 10 surefire ways to blow your money.
1. Drive a super-hot car. It goes without saying that your wheels will be expensive. The best always costs more, right?
So what if a high-octane sports car or top-of-the-line luxury vehicle is a bit beyond your price range? These days you can get an eight-year car loan. Drive on!
2. Buy a huge home in a posh neighborhood. Many of us believe that where we live should make a statement: "I'm successful! Look at my house!"
With this mentality, bigger always be better. After all, you might decide to have kids someday. Each child will need his or her own room. You'll also want a hobby room, a man cave, a family room ...
Don't worry about saving up a large down payment, or having to swing a monthly payment that leaves you at the edge of your budget. Remember, you've got the rest of your life to work and pay it off!
3. Decorate on a grand scale. Think how much fun you and your significant other will have making that house your own. Start by buying a bunch of home decor magazine and books. Then, watch as much HGTV programming as one human possibly can stand.
Maybe you can hire an interior decorator to come up with grand designs that will make family and friends ooh and ah. No money? No problem! Just sign up for zero percent financing for three years and get all the furnishings you want.
Yes, the bill will come due someday. But that is just some other time, right?
4. Eat out often. Why spend your valuable free time slaving over a hot stove. Sure, it's less costly than eating out. But by spending at every dining option in your area, you are doing your part to help the local economy.
Your kids will benefit by having tried varied cuisines, even if they refuse to eat a lot of it. Making cooking more of a hobby than a habit is a time-honored way to blow money.
5. Try new stuff, constantly. Hobbies are good for you! Whether it's taking up a new sport, art or craft, learning new things keeps life interesting.
Sure, it can be expensive, especially if you splurge for top-of-the-line supplies. But that's the price you pay -- you can't impress everyone on the golf course by pulling around a bag of bargain clubs, can you?
And what if most of these new hobbies come to nothing, and those expensive golf clubs or quilting fabrics end up collecting dust? Oh, well -- you only live once.
6. Dress to impress. Stay out of discount stores. Instead, wear designer fashions that you get from specialty shops. At a more exclusive boutique, you get one-on-one attention from a sales associate who takes time to get to know you. You might hire a personal shopper to make sure you look your best.
Put the new duds on a credit card. Wear now, pay eventually.
7. Waste money perfecting your body. Great-looking clothes on a so-so body would be jarring. Sign up for a personal trainer at the best gym in town.
If the gym seems like too much of a hassle, consider plastic surgery and Botox injections. Get your hair cut and styled frequently so that you always look freshly coiffed. Change the color now and then because ... well, why not?
Isn't it fun to waste all this money?
8. Be an early adopter. Stay on top of the latest technology and purchase each iteration for every member of the family. You don't want your children's classmates looking down on them.
Keep your own iPhone or e-Whatever fresh, too. Suppose your boss saw you using an 18-month-old smartphone: The horror!
9. Indulge your children. In addition to those gadgets, make sure your kids have lots of expensive clothing and toys.
That goes for college, too. Make sure they go to their dream schools. If a bank is willing to finance their educations, so much the better!
10. Get away from it all. Take plenty of vacations. You deserve them! Stay in the nicest places you can find. Better yet, buy a time share in a luxury resort because -- again -- you only live once.
It doesn't matter if you don't have the ready cash for any of this. Let someone else -- a credit card company, bank or credit union -- finance your good times.
Follow these 10 spending patterns is a guaranteed way to impoverish your future. But look on the bright side -- the fond memories of all those good times and fancy toys will comfort you during retirement, when you are eating ramen noodles in your dorm-sized apartment.
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