When you decide to pull-up your big girl panties and take charge of your finances like a grown woman, you may begin to realize that everyone will not be happy with your new frugal lifestyle. Your shopaholic friends will become your new financial frenemies and say things to keep you chained to the door of revolving credit, conspicuous consumption and living beyond your means. But they will never outwardly admit that they want what’s financially worse for you. They are like wolves in sheep’s clothing–they will sugar coat what they have to say the way a true financial enemy would do—with flattery and platitudes.
Discerning between you financial frenemy and financial friend is a cornerstone to developing a healthy financial backbone. But be strong and of good courage when you come across the forked tongue of your financial frenemy. Your wallet and your financial future depend on it.
Here are five things that financial frenemies love to say to appeal to keep your financial situation in critical condition:
1. “You only live once (YOLO)”: It’s true; you only live once, but here is something else to remember: each of your credit card bills, mortgage payments and car notes has their own life cycle OAM (once a month.)
2. “But it is on sale…” If you are desperately trying to adhere to a budget, a financial frenemy will gladly try to throw you off your course to debt-free living by saying, “but it’s on sale” to justify something that is not scheduled in your budget. What your financial frenemy fails to understand is that buying unnecessary items whether for a little or a lot is wasted money if it is not a need.
3. “You work hard, you deserve it.” This statement really kills me. When your financial frenemy starts whispering this yadda-yadda, ask them to be more specific about what “it” really means. Because when it comes to spending money that you do not have on things that you already own, “it” really means the following: less money, more debt, more crap, and more clutter. I doubt that that is something that you work hard for or deserve.
4. “It’s an investment…” Your financial frenemy really has a warped understanding of the definition of “investment” when she views spending your tax refund or rent on clothes, hair, electronics, or a car—all items that lose value over time.
Quick reminder, as one of my financial-friends-in-my-head Michelle Singletary loves to say, “If it is on your ass, then it is not an asset.”
5. “But that’s what credit cards are for…” Your financial frenemy will say this when she is trying to convince you to buy something that is WAY out of your financial comfort zone. I mean, way out. Here’s the thing: credit card money IS NOT yours. If you could not afford to buy an item without the credit card, how do you expect to repay that amount of money PLUS the interest that is slapped on for borrowing someone else’s money?
Kara is a life coach, motivational speaker, author, and founder of The Frugal Feminista. She has been featured on Black and Married with Kids, The Root, The Grio, Ebony.com, Ebony Magazine, Black Enterprise, and Clutch Magazine. She also pens a personal finance column at The Huffington Post. Connect with Kara @frugalfeminista.
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