Maybe you’re a prudent spender and have some money saved. Maybe you’re the heiress to a billion-dollar fortune and have, well, a lot more money saved. Either way, you’ve got money to burn… and an inkling that maybe burning it is the way to go. If so, this read on financial failure is for you.
We all know the saying, “You only live once.” That should apply to your bank account, too. So throw caution to the wind. It’s time to start funding that side-gig as an Instagram star, max out your credit cards buying things you don’t need, and building up that reputation as someone who throws caution—and money to the wind!
7 Simple Tips to Fail in Your Finances in Epic Fashion
Every well-executed financial initiative needs a plan, so here are seven tips to make the fiscal magic happen. The tips listed here will surely help you become a financial failure in no time. And because knowledge is power, also included are tips that would be the exact opposite of what a financial failure would do.
1. Spend beyond your means.
Who says you need to live below what you earn? Who says you need to track your spending? Don’t listen to them. Come on, enjoy life. Eat out often. Buy that new phone. Get those limited-edition sneakers. You may not be rolling in the dough in the long run, but you sure can get your 15 minutes of fame in social media today by spending that money on Instagram-worthy meals and Facebook-worthy folly. Like they say, “Flaunt it if you got it, baby!” So, spend a lot today, show it off, and don’t save up for tomorrow.
THE OPPOSITE: Spend below what you earn, so that you don’t go over your budget, you don’t fall into debt, and you can set aside some savings.
2. Always give in to instant gratification.
You just can’t stop looking at those new designer-line shoes through the store window. You want to buy it bad. You know what? Get it! That is what credit cards are for. Shop now, pay later. Don’t worry about it. Buy it—and be happy now.
THE OPPOSITE: Practice delayed gratification by assessing first if you need to or simply want to buy something. If something catches your eye in a store, don’t buy it at the spur of the moment. Think it over or sleep on it, then decide.
3. Repeat this mantra: “I always have enough money in the bank.”
Don’t consider your daily expenses. It’s simple enough: You have money? Then spend it. Do you work? Then you have money. And if you have money, then spend it. Repeat the cycle without bothering with a manageable budget that helps you live within your means. Just remind yourself that you have enough money in the bank—regardless of whatever your bank account says. That’s a steady path toward financial failure.
THE OPPOSITE: Regularly check your bank account and manage a budget that helps you live within—or more ideally, below—your means.
4. You don’t need to save 10% of your salary. It’s bothersome.
Aside from not maintaining a budget, you can also opt not to save a percentage of your pay. That way, you can have extra cash for that new gadget you’ve been eyeing. Plus, you don’t need to bother with calculating the percentages and with details like your gross or net incomes and such. Just forgo the hullabaloo and spend that extra cash!
THE OPPOSITE: Habitually set aside at least 10% of your pay as soon as you get it. Practicing this can help you build your savings which you can use in the future.
5. Just pay the minimum amount of your monthly credit card bill—or better yet, don’t.
Having a credit card or two is becoming more and more a norm. If you have one, just pay the minimum when the bill arrives. It is true that by paying your credit card bill’s minimum—which is 2–5% of the balance due—you will feel like you’ll never get your bill paid even for years to come. But at least you’ll have more money in the bank for spending.
THE OPPOSITE: Pay your credit card bill in full. You can avoid the “minimum payment trap” by always paying the outstanding balance on the bill.
6. Travel, travel, travel! Emergency savings are for the sissies.
It’s good to invest in experiences to boost your happiness, as research suggests. So why not kick it up a notch and travel as much as you want to? You don’t really need to set aside 10% or 20% of your pay for emergencies. Sure, financial experts say that it’s best to have six months’ worth of your salary in the bank for unforeseen circumstances, like losing your job. But it’s your life. It’s your money in the bank. Just use the cash for excessive traveling or eating out or whatever else you can think of. And you’ll surely live in financial failure in no time.
THE OPPOSITE: Besides setting aside an amount for your savings, save at least 10% for your emergency fund—or make sure you always have six months’ worth of your salary in your bank account for emergencies. This fund will be for your rainy days.
7. Surround yourself with like-minded spenders.
Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Keep away from people who have the habit of saving for rainy days, and surround yourself with people who like to spend, spend, spend! They can spur you—even inspire you—to spend more than what you earn. This step works marvelously because by surrounding yourself with veteran spenders or aspiring spenders, you can basically do all the previous tips shared with more ease.
THE OPPOSITE: Surround yourself with like-minded savers—people who value spending money wisely and saving up for the future. By doing so, you can be encouraged and motivated to keep the habit of saving and to be frugal in spending.
A Final Note of Warning
The tips mentioned are easy to remember. By following them, you won’t need to sweat saving up or organizing your budget anymore, and you can focus on being happy today. Keep in mind that doing the opposite, like saving up 10% of your salary each pay cut or spending below your means will only help you live life without any worries about money—that won’t help you achieve financial failure.