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Habits That Make You Poor

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  • Habits That Make You Poor

    What are some habits that make you poor that you've observed people doing?

    I’ll start: buying water in a can.

    james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
    202.468.6043

  • #2
    Auto loans are probably the most common and consume huge percentages of peoples income.

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    • #3
      I'd also say spending money on lottery tickets.
      james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
      202.468.6043

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      • #4
        For me gambling & strippers but I'm disciplined and won't let it consume me. Last night I bought $5 worth of lottery tickets, one Mega $2, one Super Lotto $1, and one Powerball $2. Also drinking is another one of my vices but it hardly puts a dent in my finances. Most people have an image to protect and even as an anonymous poster on a forum won't reveal their skeletons in their closets but I got nothing to hide (lol).

        Edit to add I was thinking short term drinking won't make a dent but long term if cirrhosis occurs it could be very costly.
        Last edited by QuarterMillionMan; 05-21-2022, 10:39 AM.

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        • #5
          I think of the biggest offenders in a few categories: Excessive spending, laziness/inaction, and life choices.

          Spending every cent:
          ​​​​​​- Overspending on stuff, conflating needs & wants, often driven by ego..... You need transportation to get to work, but want a nice brand new car. You need clean/serviceable clothes, but want to have the new styles every few months. You need adequate housing, but you want a McMansion.
          - Eating out for most meals. Restaurants are expensive! You can pretty easily cook an identical meal at home for no more than 25% of what a restaurant would charge.... Often closer to 10% of that cost.

          Laziness/inaction:
          - Failing to pursue self-improvement/settling for a dead-end, low-paying job.
          - Relying on debt to get/do what you can't actually afford
          - Inadequate (or non-existent) savings... Often rationalized/"justified" by all of these other factors.
          - See "eating out" above

          Life choices:
          - Divorce sucks the life out of you & your finances.
          - Maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle in a wide variety of ways, impacting lifelong medical costs, way of life
          - See just about all of the above.

          I know that may be harsh, overly judgemental, and so on... Just my opinion.
          Last edited by kork13; 05-21-2022, 10:48 AM.
          "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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          • #6
            I think lying to yourself that buying that coffee or soda or bottle of water is only so much and what can it hurt, not considering how it adds up. Also when one says they deserve to buy something because they did without has a child or were deprived...just finding a way to justify it.

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            • #7
              Vehicle purchases. People spend a lot of money on cars whether it be turning over luxury leases every few years, to buying used $80k pickup trucks on 7 year loans. Or worse....recreational vehicles. Hint: Taking a 20 year loan on a 5th wheel or motorhome is a really, really bad way to go.

              The other thing: Buying "stuff". I can't believe how much "stuff" people buy. So much stuff they have to have garage sales just to get rid of stuff, and to clear out the garage where all the "stuff" eventually lands when it's not novel anymore. Stuff for stuff, and their kids seem to pick up the habit too. All those things are parasitic drains on personal finance.

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              • #8
                I’m not sure if the definition of poor aligns with the examples given.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jluke View Post
                  I’m not sure if the definition of poor aligns with the examples given.
                  I agree. I didn’t like the question. I’d say habits that make you broke, which is very different than poor. Poor is a much deeper issue than broke. You can fairly easily fix broke. Fixing poor is far more difficult and involves societal change, political support, etc.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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                  • #10
                    I get the gist of the question.
                    You're asking what makes people broke.
                    Others have pointed out the poor versus broke thing.

                    Probably lifestyle choices. Keeping up with the Joneses, treating credit cards like they are your money, trading in cars way to often, etc.
                    Brian

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                    • #11
                      Eating out too much. Everyone has to eat and we spend money on food one way or another - eating out, or eating at home. But the incremental cost of eating out can be insane, especially if any alcohol is involved. It doesn't even need to be somewhere fancy, but fancy places really slay the budget!! I love my food...Even buying the really good stuff at the grocery store can be a huge savings over picking up lunches and dinner here and there.

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                      • #12
                        buying things to keep up with the jonses...like $300 plus for shoes/handbags etc

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                        • #13
                          an instant gratification mentality
                          Brian

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by QuarterMillionMan View Post
                            For me gambling & strippers but I'm disciplined and won't let it consume me. Last night I bought $5 worth of lottery tickets, one Mega $2, one Super Lotto $1, and one Powerball $2. Also drinking is another one of my vices but it hardly puts a dent in my finances. Most people have an image to protect and even as an anonymous poster on a forum won't reveal their skeletons in their closets but I got nothing to hide (lol).

                            Edit to add I was thinking short term drinking won't make a dent but long term if cirrhosis occurs it could be very costly.
                            This is all a manner of moderation.

                            Religious and moral concerns aside, gambling & strippers would fall into the category of Entertainment or Hobby. If you're going to blow $300 in an evening on one or the other, so long as you've budgeted for it I think it's fine.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by myrdale View Post

                              This is all a manner of moderation.

                              Religious and moral concerns aside, gambling & strippers would fall into the category of Entertainment or Hobby. If you're going to blow $300 in an evening on one or the other, so long as you've budgeted for it I think it's fine.
                              Exactly. Plenty of things we all do regularly could make you broke if you over do it. We enjoy going to the casino and I have dropped several hundred on numerous occasions, but we're not going every week. Maybe 2 or 3 times a year at this point, though we used to go a lot more. It's entertainment. It's no different than going to a Broadway show. If we do that a couple of times a year, it's fine. If we started doing it every weekend, we'd go broke.
                              Steve

                              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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