Should Personal Finance Blogs Come with Warning Labels?
I scan/read a lot of personal finance blogs. A few I find educational. A few others are worth reading because of the quality of the writing. Some I read for no good reason at all. (I gotta do something about that time-waster.) And then there are those blog posts that just make you shake your head in amazement. Some of those need “bad money behavior” warning labels.
Apparently Mr. Single Guy is cursed with being an impulse shopper combined with a yet-to-be cured gadget addiction. Recently, he wrote about his desire for a MacBook Pro. He did’t say he needed a new computer. He wanted it because it was “cool” and did “awesome” things. (Translation: Apple=Better computing through marketing=Paid too much.)
So Single Guy decided to dedicate a special savings account to accumulating funds to satisfy his gadget lust. An excellent plan but one that didn’t last long. Instead, he went into Best Buy to “look around and play with the computers.” Really – play with the computers?
That didn’t last long either. He went straight for the buy. And while he was at it, he bought a protection plan (I guess cool and awesome doesn’t necessarily mean reliable) and a case. And while he was satisfying his buying urges, he applied for another credit card so he could get “no interest financing” for his $1600 purchase. The “watch me backslide” jackpot!
So what do we learn from reading Single Guy Money? We learn from his 2010 behavior why he was broke in 1999. He called this episode being his “prior self.” Nope – he’s the same guy. Except now he writes about it, including this gem.
I’m not upset about making the purchase but I am upset with myself for not following my plan and delaying instant gratification.
So did he do the right thing or the wrong thing? And if he is truly upset with himself, why doesn’t he take that overpriced gadget right back to Best Buy?
I’m probably being too hard on the guy. We’ve all done our share of impulse buying. We all have our weak spots. Single Guy appears to have made progress in his debt management goals. But since he put his bad behavior out there, it’s fair game for a Mr. ToughMoneyLove comment. Your turn.