How Will You Pay for This?

by Kevin on May 20, 2009

(Photo by re-ality)

Stop. Hold on just one second. Put your wallet down just for a minute. Let me ask you a few things.

Have you thought about this?

It’s a big purchase. Your cart is full, and you’ve got one of those little pieces of paper for items that are too big to put out on the sales floor. Those tags usually carry a hefty price to match their size.

Aren’t you supposed to be on a budget?

Oh. I see. Spending money makes you feel better… and you’ve been a little down.

Well, if that’s what you have to tell yourself.

I mean, definitely. You’re right about that. The economy does suck. There is a lot of unknowns out there. I just don’t think —

Wait — you’re worried about your job, too? So why are you racking up purchases today? You don’t really need that do you?

I see. You think you’ll make it through the layoffs. You’re in a good position with the department head.

But let me ask you this. Just one more question. Alright I’ll admit it’s a few more questions that just one. Hear me out.

Do you have any savings? An emergency fund?

I mean…

…what if you don’t make it through the layoffs? You’ve still got rent to pay and of course you’ve got to eat. What would you do if you lost your job?

Listen, I know it seems bad out there. You’re talking about layoffs at your own workplace, but you haven’t done anything about it. You need to start saving.

You don’t know how? Come on man, it’s not that hard. I’ll help you.

Let’s look at your expenses first. What could you cut back on?


There’s got to be something. I don’t buy that.

Okay, see, here. You could lower your cell phone plan and drop some of the extra features. And cut off your cable TV. Yes, yes, you can come over and watch the big game at my place. No big deal.

Please don’t tell me that number is accurate. $500 per month on food? For one guy? Are you kidding me? You’ve got to learn how to cook. I’ll help you. Trust me, if I can cook… anyone can cook.

And your car insurance… have you shopped that around, asked for a discount, or raised your deductible? Listen I know having a $0 deductible is nice, but you’re paying out the nose for it. And how many accidents have you had in the last 5 years? That’s money down the drain.

Okay, I’ve got to run. I really hope you’ll think twice about buying all that stuff in your cart. I’ll even buy you a cup of coffee — or heck, come over to our place and we’ll share a whole pot of coffee for less than that.

Remember, getting out of financial trouble is up to you. It’s your decision. I can only show you so much, but I can’t make the choices for you.

What will you decide?


[email protected] May 20, 2009 at 9:40 am

Shoot – if we can watch the game at your house, I’m in! 🙂 This is a good discussion to have with yourself – it covers some of the ‘excuses’ we try and use to justify our unwarranted spending, of which we are usually unprepared for.

Corporate Barbarian May 20, 2009 at 1:10 pm

It’s amazing that people still expect to have it all without any sacrifice. I hear it all day at work that people don’t have any money, and then they’re buying the latest GPS/iPod/iPhone because they “need” it, or they buy lunch every day because they “don’t have the time” to make their own lunch. Me, I’d rather eat peanut butter & jelly for lunch every day and have a few extra bucks in the bank.

Kevin May 27, 2009 at 8:38 pm

@Jeff: You’re welcome to come over, but only when Tennessee starts winning football games again…

@CB: Yea. It’s a blatant lack of understanding of money. Hey, who knew this house would cost me twice the cost of the house in interest? That’s crazy! …

The lunch thing bothers me a lot, too. I can have two bananas and a 6 oz. container of yogurt for $1.30 or so. Very cheap, and relatively healthy, too.

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