A few nights ago I was watching an episode of White Collar where Neal Caffery, the FBI’s criminal consultant is undercover working with some young risk-taking executive types. They invite him out for dinner where they play credit card roulette. The group goes out and runs up a high bill, the toss all the credit cards in a hat and the “lucky loser” is the one stuck with the bill. Neal, being the slick con that he is made sure he wasn’t stuck with the tab, but the poor sap that had his card pulled drained his account to the tune of $2,000.
The fact that they leave who pays the bill to chance isn’t what earns this act a spot in the “dummy money” category, in fact, it actually sounds like a fun way to decide who pays the bill if all are game. What makes this idiotic is they intentionally run up a high bill. I’d have to watch the episode again, but there were no more than 10 people at that table. That’s over $200 a person. This is beyond excessive!
I began to think of other dumb things people do with money. This is what I came up with:
- Writing bad checks
Some people write a check thinking they’ll have time to put the money in the bank. This is a huge risk and an integrity foul. When writing a check in signing your name, you are stating that the money is there to cover the amount of the check. This isn’t to say mistakes don’t happen. But intentionally writing bad checks is just dumb.
- Buying a house for the tax break
I will never understand this one. Buy a house because you want and can afford a house. Don’t spend a whole lot of money just so the IRS will withhold a little less.
- Forgetting to pay bills
OK, I’m guilty of this one! Rather you choose to automate or unautomate your finances, come up with a system that works for you. Online bill pay, auto pay or snail mail…it really doesn’t matter. Just set a date and don’t be late! A late fee is money down the drain!
- Parking & Moving Violations
Once you realize the cost of speeding, you’ll want to slow down. Wear your seatbelt, never drive without insurance, and only park in designated spots.
What about you? What other “dummy money” moves would you add to the list?