How To Stay in Debt Forever
Usually blog posts have the latest and greatest money tips for knowledge, fun, or suggestion. There’s an element of persuasion to get to the ultimate FIRE, financially-independent, retire-early status. Easy savings ideas are rolled out, coupled with side-hustle suggestions. I’ve done a few of the jobs on the list but in the end, they didn’t pay very well and I’d rather have time to myself than work a second job.
My hobby is making my money work for me. I’ve coached others on money management and I’ve conducted financial management workshops.
Through my observations and interactions with others, being a financial planner is not as rewarding as I thought it would be. People want an easy answer, one that they don’t have to take responsibility for. Like a financial windfall is going to fall out of the sky to rescue them from their foolishness.
It’s human nature to not want to be told what to do. Understandable. All the money books out there go unread because no one really wants advice. They hear it but brush it off. No one wants to step out of their comfort zone.
Someone I was coaching barely made any progress in the goals that I set for her. She became a little more mindful of what she was spending, but continued to spend recklessly despite having $30,000 in credit card debt. I listened to the same old blather…“But, then the holidays came…, and I haven’t started buying yet.” I was speechless.
I shake my head in disbelief when I learn that a couple earning almost $300,000 a year seems to be living paycheck-to-paycheck. I can’t wrap my head around that.
In light of the typical response to money advice, I’ll save the practical to-dos for another time. For this blog segment, I’m switching from the sensical to the nonsensical.
You asked for it – how to stay in debt.
How To Stay In Debt
Follow these simple steps to build a pile of debt. It’s easy. Start small, then keep adding. Very soon, you will have unmanageable debt. The good news is that if you were looking for a loyal companion, debt fulfills that role. Debt will stick with you through thick and thin.
Start by not saving any of your earnings. After all, money is overrated and who wants to live in austerity?
Next, go on a buying spree. Don’t wait for your next paycheck, just keep buying. The possibilities are endless. Don’t deny yourself anything.
The gem of debt generating is acquiring a car or truck you don’t need. Yeah, your car is getting dusty and has lost its shine. SUVs around you look so cool. Isn’t it time? Of course it is. You work hard too. Go ahead, you deserve it. How much extra monthly income do you have? $250? $500? You can swing it. You’ll always be working, and besides, you need a reliable vehicle.
Tell the car salesman the most you can spend on a monthly car payment. They will be happy to help you part with that amount.
Need money? Apply for a home equity line of credit. Start by taking small amounts, then keep spending and using the line of credit. You can pay it back in small, doable amounts over the next 30 years.
If the debt equals the market value of the home, it’ll be fine. Real estate always goes up in value, doesn’t it?
When your credit card bill comes, pay the minimum balance. Isn’t it nice of the credit card companies to not pressure you into paying off the entire bill? You’re paying interest but who cares? You got what you wanted in the moment and it’ll get paid off one day.
Plan an exotic vacation and pay for it on borrowed time (and money). Everyone deserves a vacation, right? Hot vacations are once-in-a-lifetime and you only live once.
Buy a new wardrobe for the vacation. You want to look sharp.
Post photos to Facebook every day. You want everyone to know what a perfect existence you have.
Ask for higher line of credit on your credit cards. Then keep spending.
Don’t cook at home, go out to eat on a regular basis. Cooking is messy. Who has time to clean up?
Buy expensive concert tickets from a broker. When you’re at the concert, make sure to buy an expensive t-shirt as a souvenir.
Buy new furniture. You want your home to look good. Make regular trips to Pier One Imports or Bed Bath and Beyond. Throw items into the cart impulsively. You’ll use everything.
Don’t tell your kids No, ever. You don’t want to be a downer. Then, keep buying things for them. They shouldn’t do without. They need every cool toy, sports coaching, music lessons, and clothes for every occasion. If you don’t buy it for them, their friends will have those things and you don’t want your kid to feel left out.
Take advantage of every sale, whether you need anything or not.
Withdraw money from your retirement accounts.
Don’t plan anything. Just wing it. Buy everything when you need it, or think you need it. Don’t delay any purchases. Don’t create a list for later in your online shopping site. Click away.
When you’re depressed or bored, go out and spend some money. You’ll feel better. Make it a large purchase too. The more you spend, the better you’ll feel.
When you’re at an event, buy a souvenir for everyone you know. They need to know how much you enjoyed your outing and that you were thinking of them.
Don’t keep track of what you spend. You’ll see it on the credit card bill and can worry about it then.
Don’t save up an emergency fund. You’ll deal, you always do.
Exercise envy by buying everything your friends have.
Don’t read any financial advice. You don’t understand it anyway. Maybe next year.
Pretend that you don’t know how to open an investment account. You only have to call a phone number and tell them that you want to open an account, but then you would have to put money into it and pick an investment. That’s too many decisions.
Pretend you don’t know what an IRA account is. Everyone with earnings can open one and contribute money to it every single year, but then you’d have to learn something new and isn’t retirement, like, really far away?
Take no interest in your employer’s 401(k) account. Invest in whatever they tell you to, whether or not it’s right for you. When you leave the job, cash in and close the account instead of rolling the account into an IRA. Pay the income tax and the 10% income tax penalty. Spend the money on a trip to Hawaii. Rinse and repeat at the next job.
Determine that everything is a necessity. Choose from the following list:
Rent/mortgage, food, lattes, GrubHub, car payment, new clothes to cram into your packed closet, knick-knacks from Pier One Imports, books, indulgences for your children, magazines, 5-star vacations, online subscriptions, the latest iPhone, Netflix, Hulu, concert tickets, car insurance, baseball game tickets, constant weekend getaways, hockey tickets, virtual reality goggles, player jerseys, happy hour cocktails, fancy sneakers, Tipsy Elf sweaters.
So many things to buy, so little time.
Tell yourself that you’re broke because of the economy. Or the Republicans. Or the job market. Keep telling yourself that it’s impossible to save because your boss won’t give you a raise. Do nothing about improving your job skills.
Stay in a dead end job. You could take a class at night, but you’re tired after work. When would you do homework anyway? On the weekends? Hell, no.
Don’t take care of anything. When something breaks, or is ruined beyond repair, buy it again. And again.
Get a raise and inflate your standard of living. Now you can afford the monthly membership fee for the underwater basket weaving lessons you were dreaming about. Buy the Michael Kors watch and purse you were eyeing. And a Rolex.
Pay for lessons for something you can learn from YouTube. It doesn’t feel the same unless you pay for it.
Get an inheritance and blow it all on a trip to Vegas. Impress all your friends by posting photos on Facebook.
When you’re deep in debt, don’t hold back. Keep spending like there’s no tomorrow. You’ll find a reason. It’s someone’s birthday, it’s the holidays, you need a new car to drive.
If all else fails, quit your job to take a “sabbatical.”
You’ll never know how badly you’ll miss a paycheck unless you’re away from a source of earnings. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.