This is why you’re broke Column


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 This is why you're broke 
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9 dumb moves to financial failure

At Bargaineering we usually talk about ways to save money, imparting practical advice on the best ways to get the most bang for your buck.

But it’s summer, and things are a little goofy, so today we’re going to suggest a few ways to wreck your finances and stop building wealth.

So here’s nine dumb things to do with your money. Fair warning: I have my sassy pants on, and I’m not afraid to show it.

Dumb Move 1. Buy or lease a luxury car. Investing $600 or $700 a month in a Mercedes, BMW or Land Rover is totally worth the admiring – even jealous – looks from your friends and family. You might not be rich, but all of the dudes and chicks in the Taco Bell drive thru will think you are.

Dumb Move 2. Pay for everything with credit cards. It’ so easy to whip out the plastic or wave your smart phone in front of a terminal. You might lose track of how much you’re spending but when you want something, when you need something, you’re never out of cash, and never leave a store disappointed.

Dumb Move 3. Chasing fashion trends You can’t expect to land the best dates, or invites to the hippest parties, if it doesn’t look like People Style Watch threw up on you. Yeah, today’s trends are so short-lived that they’re on way out before the credit card bill arrives. But you’ve got to wear something, even if the major purveyors of “fast fashion” are bad for the planet. (That John Oliver is such a know-it-all..)
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‘Free’ smart phone game is a shameless money suck


As always, there’s another scam to separate you from your hard earned money. Only this time, we can stop the madness.

The latest money grab comes from none other than Kim Kardashian, who has partnered with Glu Mobile on Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a smartphone game where users advance by living the celebrity lifestyle.

In order to go from an E-List to an A-list celebrity, players do things like going to fashion shoots and hanging out with other celebrities.

Yes, it’s vapid, but a lot of online games are. It’s not like there’s any existential meaning to Angry Birds or Candy Crush.

The problem is that people are blowing millions – yes millions – on the game.

The game itself is free but Kardashian and Glu Mobile makes their real money from in-app purchases. Players can buy “koins” to move ahead in the game, and can spend anywhere from $4.99 to $99.99 in one shot.

Estimates put those in-app purchases at $700,000 a day.
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This is why you’re broke, Whole Paycheck edition

They don't call it Whole Paycheck for nothing
I try to be frugal with my meager fellowship earnings while I finish grad school — I really do. But at the same time I want to eat healthy, and this is why I’m broke.

It’s much easier to eat healthy at the grocery store than at the fast food places around campus. But guess what the nearest grocery store is to my school? I’ll give you a hint: the one that has parking attendants and the apples cost $5? I’m kidding about the apples costing $5/each — it’s probably more like $10 — but we’re not to that part of the story yet.
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This is why you’re broke, going out to eat edition

going out to eat is expensiveGoing out to eat is great for a lot of reasons: no dishes, new culinary experiences, time to relax and share a meal with friends or my significant other, annoying the Internet by posting pictures of my food.

But those benefits come at a price. Going back to the days when I used to blow half my minimum-wage-landscaping-job paycheck at the local Chinese buffet, eating out has always been one of my biggest budget busters. I’ve been able to cut down on that over the years by learning to cook myself and having a wife who’s a really excellent cook (having two little daughters that aren’t amazing to take to restaurants also helps).
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Can you own a pet in a big city without going broke?

Think long and hard before getting a pet in a big cityWhen I first adopted my cat one year ago from the rescue group with which I was volunteering in Manhattan, I naively believed, beyond basic necessities, she’d be relatively low-cost. It turns out the “basic necessities” of pet ownership equate to approximately those of raising an actual human child. Much like raising a human child, these costs rise exponentially when you live in a major metropolitan area.

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Sock-of-the-month club a cool new way to squander money, dignity

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be sock of the month club subscribersIf you’ve got a hundo burning a hole in your pocket and are looking for the dumbest possible way to spend it, have I got a deal for you.

A sock-of-the-month club is a subscription service for socks, and yes it is a real thing that exists. You sign up and pay on a monthly or per-year basis and get socks mailed to you that typically cost $12 to $14 a pair.
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This is why you’re broke, auto pay edition

This is why you're broke, Netflix auto debit editionLike Wile E. Coyote and those canyon walls painted to look like a wide-open road, I can never seem to stop falling into the auto pay trap.

In theory, it’s great; having monthly subscription fees automatically debited from your checking account is so convenient it’s almost invisible, especially for smaller charges. But therein lies the problem for me: Even if I never use it I’ll wait much longer to cut back or cancel a service that’s auto pay compared to one where I actually have to log on and pay by hand, or God forbid, mail in a paper check.
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This is why you’re broke, college football edition

College football fandom ain't cheap, but to this writer, it's worth it.My name is Alana, and I’m a college football fan. Most months of the year I consider myself a rational, level-headed young lady. But come the end of August, for 12 weeks (more if I’m lucky), I become obsessed with college football. More specifically the Florida Gators. 

Now don’t get confused; this is not a post about a gambling addiction. My vice is far simpler than that: I find it nearly impossible to watch a game by myself in the comfort of my own home. 
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