We know it’s really none of our business how other people spend their money – at least unless they’re always asking us to borrow some – but sometimes it can be tough to miss the telltale signs that friends or family are living above their means.
These 16 people are sharing what they think are red flags in other people, ones that scream “I make poor financial choices,” so let’s see what they have to say!
16. Not a steal.
A former (contract) employee of mine was a strange fellow. He came into work one morning all excited because he bought two cars over the weekend. We all asked him what he got. “I got a new Maxima and an Altima, and I got them for a steal!”
Oh? A steal? Please, go on.
“24% interest for 72 months!”
The room went dead silent. $32k + $24k = $56k, at 24% over 72 months winds up being ~$106k over the life of the loan.
One guy said “Dude, you are going to pay so much over the life of that loan, you could have bought two more with cash…”
His smile slowly went away. Before the end of the week he had sold both back to the dealership for a massive loss and bought two crapboxes.
15. How do they get financed?
My cousin who has declared bankruptcy multiple times always seems to have a new car.
My ex declared bankruptcy then upgraded from a tiny efficient car to a Dodge Challenger, which I refer to as the MidlifeCrisismobile with its turbocharged engine to help you power away from your responsibilities.
He bought it from a “bad credit, no credit, no problem” dealership.
14. Their poor parents.
Seen a few people buy nearly all infant/baby/toddler cloths new from expensive brands. The most insane, a $350 dollar Canada goose winter jacket for a 4 month old. Jacket barely covered the winter and then was too small.
Oh and nearly everyone I know that does this needs their parent’s help each and every month to cover rent or mortgage payments.
13. That’s one investment strategy.
When “saving for retirement” means dumping huge sums into the lottery.
12. Why on earth?
This is my sister to a T. She had a baby and most of what she was asking for on her registry, I already owned. I offered her my stuff for free and she turned me down. Why did she turn me down you might ask, well it’s because she wanted “to go through the process” of purchasing new stuff for her daughter.
My sister married into a very wealthy family and has expected a certain level of gift giving. Nothing on her baby registry was less than $250. The level of entitlement is what ended our relationship. I haven’t spoken to her in 3 years and I honestly don’t think I ever will.
11. Pretty cringe.
Expensive clothes complaining about a lack of money.
I let a friend stay with me years ago after she got herself into financial troubles and had nowhere to go. She comes home one day raving about the $100 yoga pants she just bought at Lululemon.
I asked her if it was such a good idea to be spending that much money on yoga pants considering her situation and considering she didn’t even do yoga. She literally went back again the very next day and bought another pair.
Kicked her out after living with me for 8 months when I realized she was making no effort to improve her situation.
10. Meet every adult with ADHD.
Getting into a new hobby and by week 2 you have all the latest and greatest professional grade gear.
The dangers of having both ADHD and a disposable income.
9. It’s like a country song.
Having a really nice car that you can’t afford to put gas into.
I got myself a Cadillac But I can’t afford the gasoline I’ve got holes in my shoes And I’m way overdue Down payment blues
8. It’s a one-day party.
get into debt to pay for a wedding.
I read a post on here one day suggesting it’s better to save on the wedding and splurge on a honeymoon and that made so much sense. I’m not married but that’s what I would do.
7. Like it was burning a hole in his pocket.
I dated a guy who always impulsively spent his paycheck. If rent came a day or two after payday it got paid. If it came a day or two before payday it didn’t. It didn’t occur to him that he had to budget his check to meet expenses.
His mom had always covered everything that he didn’t pay so he never had to think about what his check needed to cover.
After while his car didn’t run and he couldn’t fix it and he had to move out of his apartment because he didn’t pay rent.
6. A vicious cycle.
Relying on pawn shops every time you’re low on cash. I knew a woman who regularly pawned some jewelry, then got it out on payday, only to pawn it again a few weeks later.
It’s a vicious cycle. I got caught up in it for years in my early 20s. It all started because my roommate went to jail for 30 days. I was a cook living paycheck to pay check, then suddenly needed to cover the other $400 of rent.
I went and got a payday loan. Next month when I got paid I paid it off, but then was once again a few hundred short. I made poor spending choices all along the way, but ever other month I was going from one payday loan place to get a loan just to pay off the other payday loan place.
Back and forth for quite some time until I reeled in my spending and started making more money.
5. That almost never works out.
Frequent gambling. More specifically, the people that always have an excuse to keep gambling.
“I win more than I lose.”
“You gotta have skin on the game to make it more fun.”
“I won’t be able to sleep tonight if I don’t check the scores.”
“Can’t end on a loss.”
I have an uncle that almost lost his house by blowing the mortgage checks on sports and poker bets. Nobody, including my aunt, knew anything was wrong because he was intercepting the notices from the bank. We just thought he really loved watching sports.
Turned out he was betting on every game, and nobody is lucky forever.
4. It happens to the best of us…but not every month.
Having too much month at the end of your money.
3. How can you help someone like that?
I am a real estate agent and I work leads with my lender.
We met this lady about 4 months ago who had bad credit and low income. We helped her identify what she needed to do to get better credit and she said she may get more money soon.
We follow up last week, she got a new higher paying job, but when he ran her credit, he saw she just purchased a $64,000 car. He told her “things look better income wise, but the car payments take up pretty much all of your debt to income ratio”
She said “I just can’t win. I gotta get to work somehow!”
With that kind of car, I bet she gets to work real fast. My lender said the only house she will get approved for now is a gingerbread house
2. The face you make…
Buying a 2nd car (convertible Corvette) after getting laid off during the pandemic. Shoutout to my neighbor.
Or if all of my middle aged friends are any indication…a Jeep Wrangler
1. Some people have zero money sense.
I recently moved out. My old roommate, who was already financially unstable is staying in the house. Which means his rent went from $530 to $1060. Two weeks before I moved out, he decided to upgrade his car. I told him to shop around, look at different APR rates etc.
He came home with a car worth 23k <at the max> Bought it for 28k with a 6 year loan with 10% interest. Six years from now, he will pay 38k for a 2015 Scion SRF. Cheers.
I think I agree with many of these, how about you?
What else would you add to this list? Share with us in the comments!