Sometimes I just get stuck on a subject and can’t get it out of my head. My wife often says that when I get like that I over-react; I grumble, mumble, and repeat my source of aggravation over and over again. I admit that it is true. But all of us have some pet peeves that bother us from time to time. When it does happen it’s bad, but when it happens repeatedly, it’s even worse.
Since this blog is in effect my financial journal, the subject of discomfort and annoyance that are relevant here are those financial pet peeves in my life that actually warrant a post. So here goes, and please don’t agree with my wife after you read them!
My Pet Peeves About Finance & Money
1. People who have never heard the word “budget”
Unless you are a zillionaire (and by the way, even they have budgets), the people who spend and spend and then wind up in a financial mess make me crazy. People who do not use a budget rarely gain a firm control over their finances.
Unless you use one and know where your money is coming from and going, you will, at some point soon, find financial disaster. When you do, who can you really blame?
2. Restaurants whose deals and discounts have a zillion qualifiers
I sometimes go to restaurants (usually part of a nationwide chain) because of the great deals and coupons that they offer.
Now I admit that my eyesight isn’t as good as it once was, especially when it comes to reading the fine print on all the offers. Maybe I should use a magnifying glass before I set foot out the door.
But truthfully, the exclusions, times honored, not in conjunction with, and must wear “blue socks only to qualify” are enough to make me scream!
In this day and age, if you’re going to invite me in to save money when I dine, please make it easy for me or don’t bother. I’ll open a can of tuna and make a tuna sandwich rather that choke on my missed discount at full price!
3. The “big income tax refund”
This one I not only grumble and mumble about at home, I also do it here on the blog.
I will never understand why someone plans to have their own money withheld on purpose by the government and then rejoices in getting it all back with no interest after a whole year! It’s just not very financially smart to do that.
If you think you can’t handle saving that money for a vacation or emergency fund, then give it to me and I will gladly use it.
To put it simply, it’s smarter to get the extra money every paycheck and then save it while you are earning some interest every week or month. Do I really have to tell you that and still listen to you complain about not having enough money?
4. The “auto-renewal”
I get it. Businesses need to make money. And what better way to retain customers than making the payment and renewal process effortless for them through automation?
I can count on my fingers the number of services we subscribe to with an auto-renewal process and for good reason. I guess I am sort of a control freak about my money and I really want to be the one who decides when/whether to renew a service, convenience be damned.
The red flag here is that they always ask for my credit card number and I can guess where that is going to go!
Often it’s all tied in to a free trial of something that is very tempting and then—whammo! One free month of trial and then they charge me the next month when the trial is over.
Now I know part of it is my own fault because I should pay more attention to the trial end date and cancel my subscription prior to that renewal. But sometimes I just forget (hey, I am a very busy guy!). But they tend to rub it right in my face with a special email telling me that I have successfully paid for something I don’t intend to keep any longer.
The final straw is the 6-8 weeks that the credit to my account takes for me to see that money again, if ever!
5. Sports gambling and the lottery
Don’t call me a party pooper; sure I’d like to win millions (or even a billion!) by buying a lottery ticket. The truth is, I haven’t purchased one of those in decades. The odds are so long against winning and it’s money that you might as well just toss in the trash. Now some people do win, I know that. But how much did they spend and how long did it take? And how long did they keep their money?
One way to wean yourself off lottery tickets is to play online sweepstakes instead. It may take you time to enter, but you’ll save money on lottery tickets and you’ll probably have better odds of winning, even if the prizes aren’t as grandiose.
My even bigger pet peeve is the sports betting and gambling wave that is sweeping the nation these days. It’s particularly offensive to me when it comes to sports.
I literally cannot watch a ball game without the odds being shown on screen for every kind of possibility in the game and it’s ugly.
Even baseball, my favorite sport, is guilty. MLB has endorsed it and the MLB TV channel even has a show called “Pre-Game Spread” (a play on words that makes me want to barf) promoting it.
I know that illegal betting has been around forever, but legal sports betting? Yes, he was an active employee at the time but it is the reason why Pete Rose has been banned from the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ironically, now he can bet all day long and no one cares at all!
It reminds me of the days of the Roman Empire just before it fell. What does it teach children about betting and sports? Let sports betting be limited to horse racing where it actually belongs.
In the interest of your sanity, I’ll stop right here. Actually, I could list another four dozen pet peeves, but then you’d never read my blog again and may even have me committed. I think that thought has crossed my wife’s mind a few times.
What pet peeves make you grumble when it comes to money and finances? I’d be curious about your comments, or am I just a lone voice crying in the wind?