FIRE Station Fun – Crazy Money

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When we first got married, Mrs.FireStation worked at a bank and she would talk about how frustrated customers could be at times.  They would come in the bank – often overdrawn and not understanding why – and get all upset when she would try to help them sort things out.  As you can imagine, it wasn’t a great environment to work in as people were often angry at the situation they were in.

It wasn’t a surprise to me how frustrated people would get with money.  The problem with money is that you have to WORK t0 get it – and that means you have to do what someone else (your boss, or your customers) wants you to do.  For most people, nothing is more frustrating than being told what to do.  That’s why you get paid to work – to make the frustration tolerable. 🙂

As a result, people do dumb things to get money – like borrow it like crazy.  The latest NY Federal Reserve report shows that Americans have $12.3T in debt.  That’s  about $116K per household in the USA.  Of that amount, the vast majority is mortgage debt (68%).  Student loan debt is another 10%.  Combined these aren’t crazy expenses, although I’m sure people spend MUCH more than they need to on both housing and education.

At the same time, another $2.3T (22%) is just plain consumer debt.  Car loans, credit card bills and that kind of thing.  It’s really hard for me to make the argument that any of this is not CRAZY spending.  At least once you’ve been working for a couple years.

When we first got married, we had a fair amount of consumer debt – a used car loan and some credit card bills  – but we cleaned them up pretty quickly.  While we needed reliable car (spent $6K on a used Geo Prizm), we didn’t need the dinners out and extravagances we put on our credit cards.

Still, it’s hard to be frugal when friends and family are spending much more than you.  You don’t know if they are spending beyond their means or are being very successful in their work.  No one wants to look bad and that sucks many people into financial craziness of their own. They see crazy people and then emulate crazy themselves.

 

What CRAZY spending have you gotten into because you were responding to someone ELSE?

Image Credit: Pixabay

6 thoughts on “FIRE Station Fun – Crazy Money

  1. I’m not sure if we ever spent to respond to someone else’s spending. We did fall into the trap early on of not following out own money plan. We just thought to ourselves well everyone has a 30 year mortgage so that what we will do, everyone carries credit card debt, so that what we will do, rinse and repeat. It took us many years to wake up from that line of thinking.

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  2. We got a nice house a few years after I started working. All my coworkers had a house and it sounds like a good investment. I worked out because we sold it for some profit and it got us started with rental properties. 🙂

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  3. We owned a used Geo Prizm too! We bought a boat that we used early on but not much when the kids came along. We also bought one brand new van and that was just silly. We still have it 8 years later, but we probably could have bought one for less than half of what we paid – and still had it now too!

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    • The Prizm was a great little car. Later I bought a Toyota Corolla because I liked the Prizm so much (but they had stopped making them). Interesting fact: Tesla owns the Fremont CA plant where the Prizm/Corolla used to come out of.

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