Are you drooling over the new iPhone 3G S, anxious to get your hands on Apple's latest creation this Friday? If you plunk your money down for the shiny new toy, maybe you need to take another look at your finances.
At least that's what suggested by the blogger who runs Free From Broke, which he bills as "A Personal Finance Blog for Regular Folks." In a recent post, FFB collected his observations on 25 traits of the "not-so-well-to-do." I had a laugh going through his list. He argues that, individually, the traits aren't bad per se, but if you spot too many in some people, there's a good chance they're blowing through cash they might not even have. And number 7 on his list is always buying the latest cell phone.
- Subscribing to too many premium cable channels ("When you mention that it’s expensive they insist that it’s cheaper because of a package.")
- Always buying the latest gadgets and newest computers ("[They] go through computers like my two year old goes through diapers!")
- Not having an online savings account ("...they don’t trust online banking, or so they claim. Yet they seem to be able to use their computers to shop online without trust issues, hmm.")
- Eating out often and expensively ("It’s great going out with these people because they are quick to pick up the tab and/or leave a ridiculous tip.")
He makes some sense to me. The temptation to buy every latest technology is strong, but giving into it ofen produces a short-lived high -- and only leaves you wanting more. And unless you've got a healthy disposable income, keeping up is not easy on the wallet. Some of his other assessments seem like common sense (buying holiday gifs you can't afford is never going to be a financially sound idea), while others discourage indulgences (hey, I like my HBO).
What do you think? Is FFB's list right on, or does it just boil down to the most basic rule: Don't spend what you don't have? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.