Laziness, Vanity, and Sharks
As a species, human beings are obsessed with spending money; we spend money to ameliorate our appearance, appease our anxieties, and flaunt what is often a false facade of luxury and financial comfort. Many of the biggest money-wasting tricks and traps humans are suckered into feed off of these insecurities, along with our laziness and our vanity, although some simply cater to our misconstrued concepts of what products are “best.” Advice: Beware of inclinations that direct you toward making a purchase for the wrong reasons. Increase your self-awareness, and steer clear of the myriad of money-hungry predators lingering on the Internet, on the phone and on the T.V., as they are all foaming at the mouth for the opportunity to scam, swindle and seduce you. Of the plethora of different ways humans tend to waste their money, the following conglomeration of illogical expenditures and decisions–and the mindsets which inspire them–are particularly detrimental to one’s bank account and, subsequently, one’s serenity and peace of mind.
The easiest way to waste your money is to be lazy. For instance, instead of taking the extra time to research their next big purchase, and instead of entering a store, lobby or office determined to unearth the best deal, humans tend to drift toward the brightest colors, the flashiest name and, most often, the most expensive price. Advice: Next time you buy a car, buy a model two years older than the newest in stock–that new-car smell will cost you 30% more money. Or, at least–and this goes for every other type of endeavor you sign up for–read every word of every contract you sign.
Laziness plagues the average consumer in facets of their life far removed from the local Mercedes dealer, as well. Always remember to unplug your appliances when you leave your place of dwelling for extended periods of time; of the total energy used to run home electronics, 40% is consumed when the appliances are turned off.
Another avenue of spending which caters directly to our lazy tendencies are credit cards. It is one thing to charge a large expenditure to your credit card, but it is something entirely different to pay for meals, cigarettes or candy bars with that little piece of plastic. Most major credit cards charge between 15% to 30% interest on the unpaid balance you have charged, and you can end up paying an astounding amount of interest over a year for very modest purchases–sometimes with the interest costs exceeding the original amount of the purchase.
The easiest way for a salesman to strip an innocent consumer of their riches is to tap into their desire to look and feel like the models said salesmen vehemently exploit. For instance, many companies advertise with strategies that sound a lot like: “Unless you buy this expensive brand of makeup, this expensive line of designer blouses, or this expensive muscle-enhancing substance you will be destined to a life mired in mediocrity along with the other ugly people of the world.” Advice: Don’t be fooled! In most cases, generic versions of such aforementioned items are the same as the brand name versions, as they often use the same formulas; what you’re paying for when purchasing brand name items is the advertising and artwork utilized in suckering you in to buying them in the first place. As well, many of the advertisers who shamelessly market these beauty products or enhancement supplements are flat-out lying when they say only their commodity will succeed in changing you as a person. Don’t be fooled!
Perhaps an even easier way to waste your money than being lazy is being susceptible to the money-hungry sharks lurking the murky waters of your Internet connection, your phone lines, your cable receptions and your mail boxes. Not only are the products you buy or the memberships you sign up for over the phone or on sketchy Internet sites often completely fraudulent in every way, but they usually require you to fork over your credit card number to a source you know nothing about in order to apply, thus creating a dark, endless abyss for the average consumer to blindly toss his or her money into. Advice: Don’t purchase anything over the phone, or at least refrain from supplying unreliable sources with your vital information. Just don’t do it!
Suffocating under heaps of debt is an unfortunate, avoidable fate. Be careful, be aware, and be smart when making any kind of purchase, and do the same in day-to-day life, as well. The money you earn shouldn’t seep through the unsealed cracks of your financial strategies and attitudes. Good luck.