It’s April Fool’s Day, one of my favorite days of the year at Get Rich Slowly. It’s the day I get to share the story of some foolish thing I’ve done with money in the past.
This year, though, April Fool’s Day falls on a Friday, which is when I traditionally field reader questions. So, I thought it would be fun to mix things up. Instead of me telling you how stupid I can be with my cash, it’s your turn to tell me your tales of financial foolishness.
As a reminder of my own follies, here are the stories I’ve shared in the past:
- 2007: Lifestyles of the Rich and Stupid — Okay, so this one isn’t about me. It’s about how the rich and famous squander their cash. Come to think of it, it may be time to update this article.
- 2008: How to Turn $500 into $7 the Hard Way — In which I buy a $500 encyclopedia set on credit, only to see encyclopedias become obsolete.
- 2009: The $1500 Frisbee — In which I choose a checking account based on a free Frisbee from the bank — and then spend decades paying a monthly service charge because of it.
- 2010: Confessions of a Gadget Junkie — In which I have a history of buying technological gadgets for top dollar (and usually on credit).
There are so many stories of my financial failures that it’s tough to choose a new one every April.
For instance, just last night I was remembering what I did with my end-of-year bonus in 2004. The box factory had a good year, so employees got a Christmas surprise. For me, that meant an extra $5000. Holy cats!
At that time, I was still mired in over $35,000 of consumer debt. Even after taxes, that $5,000 could have made a huge dent in what I owed. But do you think I used the money for good? Of course not! I spent every dime (plus a little more) on comic books. No joke. I went wild buying hard-bound compilations of my favorite series. To make matters worse, I ended up selling many of these same volumes at a loss just a year or two later as I was pulling out all the stops to pay off my debt.
Sometimes I’m an idiot.
Please tell me I’m not alone. Make me feel better by sharing your money blunders below. I promise not to laugh at you — too hard. (I’ll be laughing with you instead.)