The Purple Needle

I finally have a blog! This is my place to discuss my job search, my stitching, my addiction to the internet and whatever else crosses my mind! So stay, read, stitch and chat with me :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Financial responsibility

Anyone seen that show on A&E Big Spender? With that Larry guy? Kinda reminds me of Dr. Phil. He takes on people who have let their finances get out of control. Like seriously out of control. The people on the show often are spending at least 50% or more over what they earn in a month.

One wife took her family on vacation instead of paying the mortgage. They had sold their previous home and blew through their $80K profit in 6 months instead of putting it towards their new home. They were spending twice her income each month. The husband wasn't working and didn't want to settle for a $12/hr job. Umm, that $12/hr is more than you're bringing in now and would help close the gap between your income and spending.

The woman today ran up $10K on her boyfriend's credit card without telling him. Then she was angry because he broke up with her! She was lucky he didn't press charges against her. And she was upset with Larry for insisting she pay him back. She'd also run up her sister's and her friend's credit cards. Of course, hers had all been run up and sent into collections because she never made a payment on any of them. She hadn't paid her rent or her full deposit and was lucky the landlord didn't evict her. She spent $1600/mo on eating out!! She was crushed when Larry cut her back to $150/mo on eating out because she was used to spending that on one meal. (Where is she eating??) This woman has a nice income too (says she who has an income barely above the poverty line). There's no reason for her to be in this mess. She's just selfish and irresponsible.

Every time I watch this show, I can't help but wonder What are they thinking??? I'm sure we all have areas of our finances we could improve, but some things are no brainers. When payday comes, you pay your rent/mortgage first thing! Then your utilities, food, car payment, insurance, gas, etc. In the event you have money left, then you buy clothes and vacations and in the case of this blogger and her audience, cross stitch. Hello! Personal Finance 101!

There's nothing wrong with using a credit card (your own credit card, that is), but you have to pay the bill. And only spend what you can afford to pay off. The lady with the credit card habit decided that since it had already been sent to collections and was already on her credit report, there was no need to make payments on it. She kinda treated it like it was money only in theory. The idea of paying it back was just a nasty rumor. Or the responsibility of whoever was foolish enough to let her use their card. Just not hers.

I understand people who get into credit card trouble because their income isn't enough to meet basic expenses. Or they have some unexpected expense that sets them back, like medical bills or car repairs. But these people aren't doing that. These people make more than enough to cover basic expenses. They're just plain living waaaay beyond their means and won't or don't know how to do anything about it.

I know what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck, and I know that if I have barely enough to cover my expenses between now and next payday, this is not the time to hit the mall. Or my favorite ONS. Sometimes that means I have to wait for that new project (ok, not really a problem these days since I still have 49 more projects to go....) or that new outfit. Or I have to give up my Starbucks habit for a minute. I know most of you know I live at home, so I'm fortunate that my mother won't let me starve, but she's also not going to finance my stitching habit or wardrobe. If I don't have the money, I don't get it until I do.

And I know I've been kinda poking fun at Anna's gambling habit, but I also know she pays her bills before she gambles! She and her husband are silly - they like not having their house in foreclosure. They like good credit. They like financial solvency and stability.


At 6:53 PM, Blogger Sandy said...

Laurel, I could live on what they waste!!!! It seems to me that we have forgotten to wait and save up for what we want and plastic is too easy to come by. I get a real kick out of the 'reality checks' and you're right....that guy is like the Dr. Phil of finance! LOL


Post a Comment

<< Home