Here’s the top 10 ways to stay poor… forever.
1. Impress the Neighbors: First and foremost, everything you do should impress the neighbors. Their opinion of you means everything and they probably spend their evenings talking about how cool you are. They often peek out their windows just to get a glimpse of you so make sure that everything you do, and everything you own, is awesome.
2. Get an Expensive Hobby: An expensive hobby is a great way to stay poor. Not only can you spend a lot of money doing it, you also get to impress others with your stories. Golf, skiing, and boating are both fun and expensive. Collections are another great way to spend money, but make sure you don’t collect anything of actual value. Make it really personal.
3. Start a Business: You have to be careful with this one. Starting a business might actually make you rich. So pick something you don’t have any experience in and do not, under any circumstance, do any research before jumping in with both feet. Buying old cars to fix up is a good one. But pay too much for fixer and don’t ever actually finish fixing it. You could also try to flip a house. Make sure you get in over your head. No matter what the business, start it with money from a home equity line of credit. Don’t worry about looking bad here. You can always spin your business stories to make you look good. No one needs to know you lost your shirt.
4. Finance Everything: Why put all your cash into an item? If you finance something you have more money right now to be cool. Keep all your cash in your pocket so you can spend it on impressing people. Plus you need that cash to make the monthly payments on everything else you own. You can have a lot more cool stuff faster if you just finance it. Credit cards count!
5. Make Minimum Payments: One of the best tools for staying poor is paying interest. So make sure that you are paying as much interest as possible. Get a high interest rate, which should be easy if you are already financing everything you own. But if you find your interest rates are too low you can always skip a few payments. That usually brings them up pretty quick! Interest is your new best friend.
6. Buy More House Than You Need: A very easy way to be poor forever is to become house poor. Put down as little as possible and get the longest term they offer so you can maximize the interest you will pay. The further it is from your work the better. Once you’re inside make sure to start renovating it as soon as possible. You are way too cool for laminate counters and standard fixtures. And don’t forget to throw lavish parties. What’s the point of having this huge house if you can’t show it off?
7. Don’t Save: Obviously if you want to be poor forever you should never save anything. This should be easy since you will be spending all your money on all the minimum payments you’re making. Don’t forget, your 401 (k) plan counts as savings, so stay away from that.
8. Pamper your kids: If you have kids (great wealth destroyers by the way!) then make sure you give in to their every desire. Dress them to the nines in new clothes and sign them up for every activity in which they show the slightest interest. Activities that require a lot of equipment are the best. Private school is also good.
9. Go on Vacation: Get that credit card out and finance a vacation. Make it fancy! You will be able to brag about this trip for years to come so don’t skimp. Plus, you deserve it. You work hard to provide your family with the good life. You need a break! You might also want to consider a time share.
10. Buy a New Car: When buying a car always buy new. It also helps if you get a new car every two or three years. Finance it (obviously), and get the longest term and highest interest rate possible. If you do this you should actually owe more than it’s worth after just a few years. This is great because when you trade it in, they will roll over your negative equity into your new car. If you play your cards right you might never have any equity in your vehicle. It’s a great way to stay poor forever, and look good doing it!
Bonus! Get Divorced: If you didn’t follow my simple plan above and accidentally accumulated some wealth then you need to get divorced. Almost nothing can wipe out wealth like splitting everything you own in half. Plus, anything you are left with will have to be paid to the expensive lawyers and you will be poor again! If you happen to be in loving, healthy relationship then you might want to get started on the above steps, not only will they ruin your financial life they will probably ruin your marriage too!