Now that I've been out in the real world for a bit of time, I should probably know: what are some of the typical ways that people get themselves heavily into debt?
What a great question! You're young and fresh and ready to start incurring debt. Here is a strategy that will yield fast, effective results:
Step 1: Buy the biggest, most expensive flat-panel TV you can afford. Throw in a surround sound system, a couch for your friends to sit on, and a refrigerator to hold all the beer and snacks you see guys eating on Budweiser commercials. Make sure when you charge it on your credit card that it completely uses your available balance so, when they add interest charges, you will get charged and overbalance fee. Then make sure that the minimum payment (before you go overbalance) will make it difficult or impossible to pay the rent. As soon as you get the bill, make sure to make a late payment so your interest rate will go up and your payment will double.
Step 2: Get an expensive car (Lexus, BMW and Audi are nice) on a lease. Make sure it's the most tricked out one you can find, and is the most expensive one they'll let you buy. Of course, be sure that the payment - combined with Step 1 - will make it impossible to pay your food bill. And then make sure to skip a payment as soon as possible, but not enough - at least yet - to get a repossession notice.
Step 3: Treat yourself - and your special someone - to as many expensive meals and vacations as American Express will let you take. Make sure not to pay off the balance when you get the bill. Again, make sure that the minumum payment - combined with steps 1 and 2 - will make it completely impossible to pay any other expenses.
There, that ought to do it, skippy. For best results, do all of the above within two months - before your credit score drops from 700 to 500. Time is of the essence here.
Hope this helps!
Your friendly banker.
Credits cards are the drug of choice for a society addicted to instant gratification, but there are other seemingly innocuous factors. For example, many buy liabilities they think are assets. They buy a new car, a vacation home, a timeshare, etc. thinking it is an investment when they are losing money on the so-called asset every month.
I see a lot of people going into debt by trying to keep up. There’s always something new to buy. You can fight against this part of human nature to perpetually keep up with the Jones, or you can accept it. Instead of trying to change yourself – I won’t buy any new shoes until next winter! - , acknowledge your weakness for spike heels and make yourself a budget. Put $50 a month into a shoe fund (or an actual shoe!) and then you can spend guilt free.
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