Good habits are boring. I mean, yes, they will help you succeed and provide some security, but so what? Bad habits are fun. Except meth. Meth is a bad habit that is decidedly not fun. Don’t do meth. Seriously.
There are so many entertaining bad habits that I couldn’t possibly cover them all. I’m going to stick to the bad financial habits that will make your life more exciting.
- Break your budget. A budget constrains you, keeps you from buying the things you want and traveling to distant, exotic places when you know you can’t afford the trip. The best way to build this habit is to not only avoid tracking your expenses, but also avoid tracking what you actually spend. If you don’t know what you owe or what you’ve spent, the end of every month is an adventure!
- Impulse shopping. For the next week, I want you to go to your favorite store every day. Buy the first thing you see that makes you want to hum. Every day. Don’t worry about being able to afford it. That’s what credit is for, right? Bonus points for buying it on the “no interest for a year, then we screw you” plan. I’m sure you’ll be making more money by the time the bill is due. You could get lucky and have a rich relative die and leave you a fortune. That’s like winning the lottery twice, because you won’t have to buy him Christmas cards anymore.
- Meals on the go. Cooking is a drag. Besides, who wants to slap a slice of meat and cheese on a couple slices of bread, when you can get a drive-through case of the Aztec two-step for $5. Did you know that the big yellow ‘M’ stands for “Montezuma?” On your way to practice impulse shopping, pick up some lunch. For your money, you’ll get less convenience, more additives, and the opportunity to gamble on the lunch employees caring as much about cleanliness as you do. It’s a win for everyone!
- Ego shopping. Actual accomplishments and improvement are hard. It’s much better to wrap up your sense of self-worth in the smartest phone, the shiniest car, or the Gucciest purse. Allowing Mastercard to finance your self-esteem guarantees that your next smile is just a shopping trip away. Who needs the hassle of dealing with things that matter? After your impulse purchase, buy something fancy! Show your friends that you are not only a more discerning consumer, but also that you are better than they are. Watch them turn green with envy. When they shrug and tell your that their phone has the one feature they need–the ability to ring when called–know that it is envy speaking.
- Expensive Vacations. You need to relax. I know how hard it is lugging that iBlackPhoneP(a/o)doid in and out of the designer sportscar with all-leather cow interior and big, brown baby seal-eyes for headlights. It’s work. Back and forth buying crap you don’t need to fuel your ego, dodging vicious calls from creditors and having to Dine-N-Dash every time a friend invites you out for dinner makes a dude tired. Take a week in Europe to calm your thoughts. You deserve it, even if you don’t actually have the money for it. Isn’t Great-Uncle Horace sick?
What are your favorite bad habits?
Update: This post has been included in the Carnival of Personal Finance.
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