Top Seven Stupid Financial Mistakes That I’ve Made – Part Two
Following up from my last post on this…
#4 – Seeking to live the “minimum payment” lifestyle
I remember my first credit card…after getting it I stopped at a sporting goods store and bought a gun. (Just like all pastors should!) It was $300 and when I got the bill in the mail the next month the payment was ONLY $15!!! (I didn’t know what 19% interest meant!) It was the beginning of a PAINFUL lesson for me—making the minimum payment is NOT a great financial plan!
Within four years I was carrying maxed out balances on around seven credit cards and “successfully” making the minimum payments every month…which was KILLING ME financially. I reasoned that if I continued to make the minimum payments that I would one day be out of debt…which WAS true…but “that day” would have been in the year 2900 at the rate I was going!
#5 – Transferring credit card balances
Don’t roll your eyes because some of you do this! I would get a “convenient” credit card offer in the mail and it would say, “transfer your balances today and get no interest for six months.” What the offer didn’t tell you is that the interest rate was an arm and a leg after that six months.
I always told myself that I could pay off the balance within six months—WHICH NEVER HAPPENED! I realized then that Proverbs 22:7 was and is true…in just four years of having a credit card (which was only going to be used in case of an “emergency”) I had DISCOVERED that my VISA to financial freedom wasn’t in obtaining more AMERICAN OBSESS but rather in turning over MASTER CARD to Jesus instead of the banks!
#6 – STUPID car decisions.
I used to be the guy who said, “I will always have a car payment.”
I used to be the guy that when a car needed a repair I would say, “Go get another one, you don’t want to sink money into that old thing.” (Which, by the way, is STUPID financial advice! Seriously! Spending $300 to fix a leak…or $30,000 on a new car—DUH!!!)
So…because of my desire to have a new car every year and a half (no, I am not making that up) I kept trading them in…and discovered what the term “upside down” means. It means, “I am a stupid, materialistic person”—at least that’s what it meant to me!
I once financed a car that was two years old for 84 months at a 12% interest rate…DUMB!!!
Today I own my cars, they do not own me. And that, my friends, is a very freeing feeling. Most people I have talked to who are strapped financially could free themselves up so much if they would just sell their car…but their desire for status rather than financial freedom will prevent them from it most of the time.
#7 – Not having an emergency fund.
One of the things that Joe and Dave teach is that emergencies are going to happen, the car is going to break down, the kids are going to get sick, the tire is going to go flat…and that if money is set aside for these emergencies then they are less worrisome when they take place.
You CAN set aside an emergency fund. It just takes time and discipline.