The following is a post by staff writer Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. Her blog covers living expenses, saving for your future, and the fun stuff along the way.
There is supposedly good debt like home loans, bad debt like credit cards, and then there is debt that just truly baffles me. This article at Yahoo! Finance covers several stories of crazy debt:
1) One lady ran up about $30,000 in calls to a telephone psychic. She ended up having to declare bankruptcy.
This one makes me cringe the worst since it feels the most wasteful to me. I can imagine the woman becoming enamored with the idea of actually hearing true fortunes of the future, but spending into bankruptcy for it sounds more like an addiction.
2) Another woman ended up with $11,000 in debt by buying men drinks at bars to get their attention.
I know this may sound bad, but even as a slightly chubby woman, I think a low cut blouse would work better for me than buying every good looking dude a drink. This just made me sad because the woman didn’t have enough self-confidence to pick up men in a cheaper way…
3) One couple threw themselves into bankruptcy through random acts of kindness. They wanted to help homeless men and women, but charged hotel stays and food to the point that they lost their home and car.
If you have to spend yourself into problems, this seems like the nicest way to do it. I don’t think that becoming homeless will actually help the homeless in the long run, but this was the sweetest story of debt that I’ve heard lately.
4) One woman had lost control and was spending thousands of dollars on wigs to the detriment of her actual living expenses.
I know a new hairstyle makes me feel good, but I do hope my friends would let me know if I start going too far. Thousands of dollars a year on wigs when you actually have a full head of hair seems like yet another addiction to me.
5) One poor widow ended up putting a $30,000 basement remodel on credit cards after using all of the insurance money to buy the new house.
I cannot guess how I’d react if Mr. BFS passes away before me, but I do hope I don’t do something out of character like this. I know I spend more when I’m stressed on convenience items to make life a tiny bit easier, but I’ve never been so traumatized that I started buying nesting items. This will remind me to seek counseling if life ever throws me a huge curve ball…
My most illogical purchases happen after I research a specific item for weeks or more.
I’ll finally settle on my choice and buy one but I’ll still have the urge to keep searching and buying for a month after that. For example, when I decided to start carrying a purse, I went purse crazy and ended up with 3 expensive bags in 2 months simply because I could not get the purse idea out of my head. I try to control urges like that now by disallowing myself to buy a second whatever for at least 30 days after I buy the first one. That usually works like a charm.
What’s the craziest thing you ever bought? Have you ever ran up illogical debt?