Confess Your Money Sins

Personal finance management site Geezeo is running a neat little section where people can leave their “money confessions.” Here’s some of the best so far:

  • “Sometimes I have nightmares about being homeless. I wake up determined to save more money. And then don’t do it.”
  • “I just paid for a pay-per-view movie that I know I have but just didn’t feel like looking for it.”
  • “Just ignored 5 “unknown” callers. Oh I know who they are…Chase, Citi, WAMU. They’ll have to wait another week.”
  • “My six year old daughter this morning: “why can’t I have a credit card like moms?” yikes! “
  • “If I bounce my mortgage check before the 30 day late limit – they will not report to credit agencies… $35 fee gets me 30 more days.”
  • What things are you doing with your money that make you feel guilty? Leave your confessions in the comments.

    Money Confessions [Geezeo]
    (Photo: robinryan)

    Comments

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    1. Alexander says:

      I am not yet enrolled in my company’s 401k! Filled out the application and turned it in today though…

    2. char says:

      I’ve had to take money out of savings the last two months to make ends meet. I thought I’d had everything budgeted, but apparently I’m not following it :(

    3. m4ximusprim3 says:

      I resolved not to buy anything extra for myself until my bonus comes in march- but all I think about is guitar hero 3.

      I don’t think I’ll make it past february.

    4. DrGirlfriend says:

      I don’t balance my “checkbook”. I kinda sorta keep track of stuff in my head. I haven’t messed up yet but, really, it’s not a sound financial move.

    5. m4ximusprim3 says:

      @DrGirlfriend: Oh, oh, I do that too! Thats probably the most common money sin I can think of.

    6. zacwight says:

      Paying the minimum on my credit card statements. I know you pay them a ton of money and I should pay them off, but I don’t.

    7. dohtem says:

      I go grocery shopping, get a ton of food. Then order Chinese because I am too lazy to prepare anything.

      (I actually like to cook, but sometimes I can get really lazy)

    8. balthisar says:

      I paid 3% credit charge foreign currency transaction fees while on vacation last week.

    9. JimiV says:

      I didn’t pay off my credit card bill last month and as a result paued interst on my balence for the first/hopefully last time ever

    10. GinaLouise says:

      I dipped into my savings to buy insane $500 tickets to see a band I’d always wanted to see. It was a once-in-a-lifetime show, third-row seats, and I had a wonderful time with lots of fantastic memories, and I’ve since replaced the money … but $500 bucks! Damn! That’s two-thirds of a month’s rent!

    11. 92BuickLeSabre says:

      @dohtem: Oh man. Me too.

      I also convince myself every month that I can wait until the end of the month to make the balance of my checking my dedicated savings, which I do, all $0.12 of it.

    12. missdona says:

      I have zero self control. I just bought speakers for the living room and my husband doesn’t know yet.

      I’m going to set them up and see how long it takes him to notice.

      @DrGirlfriend:
      I haven’t balanced my “checkbook” in about 15 years. I don’t really write checks, and keep track of everything online. It works for me.

    13. alhypo says:

      @DrGirlfriend: Me either. If it weren’t for online banking, I would be helpless. It does bother me to think any mistakes in my bank’s favor will probably go unnoticed unless they are really obvious. Strangely, I did actually catch an error in my favor once. Damn this conscience of mine!

    14. DrGirlfriend says:

      @missdona: That’s why I said “checkbook” – I don’t write checks either, but still, I don’t keep better track of my expenditures. I do the addition and subtraction as I go and kind of estimate my balance. Heh.

      @dohtem: That’s me, too. I like to cook, but man, I get lazy sometimes. Especially after an exhausting trip to the grocery store.

    15. ExtraCelestial says:

      these are great, it reminds me of those anonymous Washington Post postcards.

      i unlinked my savings and checking, stopped shopping during my lunch break, and even decreased my speed to stay below 3 rpm on the highway to save money on gas (i have a long commute) … only to plop down $20 a day on lunch with co-workers :o(

      i take food to work and everything!

    16. clevershark says:

      When I lived in New York one of my friends would visit me often, and told me that the attraction of consumerism just being there was so strong that by the end of the week he felt practically drawn to buying things as an activity.

      I didn’t notice, and by the time I left I was about $10k down, despite making almost 6 figures for the past 3 years. Now (a few years later) I can go to stores without the feeling that I have to buy *something*, which is good.

    17. ExtraCelestial says:

      @CelesteD: post secret

    18. 92BuickLeSabre says:

      @DrGirlfriend: This thread made me actually cook the groceries I bought on the way home, that I was feeling to tired to cook. It’s really sad how that happens.

    19. techguy1138 says:

      @missdona: It ‘works’ for you because you trust the bank and other to not screw up.

      My grandmother is a retired business CPA and routinely catches bank errors by balancing her books. The bank never sees the error until you bring it up.

    20. spinachdip says:

      I haven’t put anything in savings since November.

      That should change, since most of my spending the last couple of months were holiday-related. Should.

    21. missdona says:

      @techguy1138: I keep a tight eye on it. I even noticed a random unauthorized $8 ice cream charge.

    22. Craig says:

      I can’t even think about the amount of money I’ve blown through in the past year, with very little to show for it.

    23. novelgirl says:

      @DrGirlfriend: I’m so bad at this too! I do a mixture of checks and automatic payments. I’ve gotten better about checking online.
      I’m still feeling guilty about closing out an IRA after starting a new job and not being able to pay all my bills/ having a large tax bill. I have a 401, but I still crappy when I think about my old IRA. *sigh

    24. KyleOrton says:

      @balthisar: Is there a better way to avoid this? I only run into this when out of the country so my company is actually paying it, but I honestly never looked at it as a big deal. Considering $1.50+ ATM charges in the US, it seemed like a bargain to have a bank watching my ass in Asia.

    25. warf0x0r says:

      I keep procrastinating opening up an IRA.

    26. azntg says:

      I pay my credit card bills in full… Wait, this isn’t a confession of my money sins as seen by creditors?

    27. Alexander says:

      @warf0x0r: I just began doing research into IRAs today. My head is officially about to BLOW!

    28. CaptainSemantics says:

      I’m procrastinating the IRA as well.

      I’m also procrastinating incorporating myself to stave off the IRS. I’m giving them too much of my 1099 side-gigs.

    29. forgottenpassword says:

      I have a lot of money in savings, but dont invest it as I probably should. Probably because I know NOTHING about investing & dont want to risk all my $$ I have suffered/worked for all these years working a low-paying job.

      I dont have an IRA or any retirement plans (because i am hoping I die before retirement age).

      I live quite a simple, frugal life where I have no debt at all, save obsessively (because i have a horrible fear of the future where I become homeless/destitute)…. in 2006 I put away about 30% of my income into savings. In 2007 I think it is closer to %45.

      I spend way too much money on fast food.

      I hope that I die with the majority of my $$$ in the bank. Its my security blanklet against the financial boogeyman.

    30. forgottenpassword says:

      @forgottenpassword:

      I forgot another one…. I dont keep a balanced checkbook. I really dont need to because i keep track of my spending habits & monitor my checking account balance several times a month via my bank’s automated customer service line.

    31. ARP says:

      I have a stock purchase program at work (20% discount) and don’t take advantage of it even though I have the available income.

      I have almost zero savings.

    32. B says:

      I don’t balance my checkbook either. I keep track of my expenses well enough, but if the bank makes a mistake, I’d never notice it. And I’m sure they have, but as long as amounts are close to what I expect, I don’t bother checking.

    33. HooFoot says:

      Was going to post that I feel guilty for spending the last few months shopping for an IRA rather than actually putting money into one. After reading some of the other comments, I feel slightly better knowing that I’m not the only one.

    34. B says:

      @forgottenpassword: You really should talk to a financial planner. With the proper guidance, you could easily find an investment plan that you’re comfortable with the risk level. And leaving your money in a low-interest savings account is a bad idea because thanks to inflation, you’re actually losing money.

    35. B says:

      @GinaLouise: That’s nothing to be ashamed about. We work to earn money so we can enjoy ourselves, and the memories of that concert will last a lifetime.

    36. redx says:

      Three letters: E-T-F. Learn it and invest in it.

    37. Imaginary_Friend says:

      @forgottenpassword – Are you kidding me? You oughta be saluted for having the discipline to save that much.

    38. quail says:

      I never do the checkbook register math; I just check off what is deposited, what is cleared, and match things up to what the bank says I have.

      Big Confession: Back in the day of banks reading the magnetic bank account numbers on checks I used to spray the numbers down to remove the magnetic property of the ink. Did it on tight months to give myself an extra 3 days of float. Never once bounced a check. (Today it’s all optically scanned and my trick would have no affect.)

    39. Sudonum says:

      If I die with any money in the bank, then I’ve done something wrong….. Just kidding

    40. theutopian says:

      I haven’t made a credit card payment since April. When you have to choose between food and rent or credit card, guess which one gets paid first?

    41. rockergal says:

      my biggest money sin : not being able to quit smoking.
      ugh, I did the math on how much money I would save and it drove me nuts!
      I am seriously going to quit this year. (or try to) and make a habit out of setting $ aside each week that I would have burned anyways. (should make for a nice vacation)

    42. Pylon83 says:

      @rockergal:
      Move to Chicago where Cigarettes cost $7-9/pack and you’ll quit real quick. My wife did.

    43. MercuryPDX says:

      I don’t save as much as I should. Getting blindsided by a layoff last July taught me that.

      I can honestly say that since making an extreme effort to reduce my CC debt since coming here the year before made a HUGE difference when it came time to paying the bills during my four months of unemployment.

      Thank you Consumerist. I’ll try to double (or better) the savings I have by the time next year’s article rolls around.

    44. forgottenpassword says:

      @B:

      Make that a high-interest savings account.

      …. and as for the financial planner…. I just dont have faith in people at all… especially when a certain amount of risk (when handling your money) is to be expected.

      The “proper guidance” is what worries me.

    45. ab3i says:

      i dropped an insane amount of money on last minute business class seats to asia for an unplanned vacation… even though i had alternate plans that i had to cancel :(

    46. nlatimer says:

      I’ve been off my dad’s health insurance since June and have yet to replace it, I’m just going to get into something cheap with catastrophic coverage, but I should do it now. I was in a car crash in November and luckily was relatively unharmed, just a small scratch on my forehead.

    47. B says:

      @forgottenpassword: But you trust your bank, right? Talk to them. They can help you invest in CDs or bonds, put some money in an IRA. Yes, there are unethical people in the financial industry, but there are honest ones, too. Just don’t put all your investments in the same place.

    48. mac-phisto says:

      i paid a bunch of bills before new year & then took all the money out of my checking to party it up.

      luckily, the float worked this time. =)

    49. karenw says:

      Let’s see: lost the house and the cars in early ’05 after spouse and I lost our jobs. Still paying for my mistakes with extremely painful garnishment that takes half of my check . . . still haven’t signed up for the 401K because I feel like I’m barely able to breathe.

      I guess the biggest thing to confess is the feeling of hopelessness that gets so overwhelming at times – I’m sure that everyone thinks I’m a failure and wonder if I’ll ever see financial daylight.

    50. bonzombiekitty says:

      I resolved not to buy a car until mid february (after potential bonuses and salary increase and I turn 25). I bought one last night. On the plus side, the deal for the car wasn’t that bad and the trade in value of my old car was more than I initially paid (well, really I think they just took money off the MSRP and said it was part of the trade in). But still way less expensive than a different deal another dealer tried to give me. Rationalize. rationalize.

    51. B says:

      My main financial sins are buying shiny electronic stuff I don’t really need. That and I’m eyeing a new car despite the fact that my car works perfectly fine and only has 50k miles on it.

    52. @karenw: OK, you lost that job and maybe made some mistakes. But that doesn’t make you a bad person. Anyone that thinks you’re a failure is a jerk and who needs those guys, right?

    53. Pixel says:

      I ignored the investments/roth IRA?stocks my late father gave me for so long the statements were still coming to my mom’s house five years after I moved out. I finally kicked myself sufficiently hard in the ass in December to actually at least consolidate them in one place and get the statements set to me …so I can ignore them now without my mom noticing.

      I also haven’t balanced my checkbook in years, I keep track of my money in my head to the nearest $5. I’m surprised sometimes that I have yet to not cover something, and the only times I’ve bounced a payment is because my bank failed to process a deposit on time (a check drawn on one of your own accounts, paid into another of your accounts should not take a week to clear).

      I don’t directly put any money into savings. I’ve managed to compensate slightly for this by budgeting high for variable bills (cell phone, etc) and letting the excess roll into savings when the bill is lower. But it is way less then I *should* be putting aside.

    54. AndyFromTucson says:

      I just don’t get the whole concept of money “sins”; Its as if being responsible about your money is something you “should” do as a “good” grown up to satisfy some unknown authority figure. Guess what? You are a grown up and no one other than your spouse and dependents care if you handle your money responsibly or not, and if you feel like blowing it all and not saving a penny then party on. Just don’t whimper too loudly 30 years from now when you are trying to figure out how to stretch your social security check to pay the rent on your studio apartment in the worst part of town plus pay for your meds and still buy something to eat other than catfood.

    55. heavylee-again says:

      This thread has made me feel so much better about my level of savings, debt and my retirements accounts.

    56. topcad says:

      I feel like I’m on FARK.com. This is an awesome thread. Consumerist should do this once a month. My sin? Not balancing my “checkbook” and trusting the bank too much.

    57. Mary says:

      When I go to the grocery store, on the way out we pick up some pizza from their deli. We get home, put up the groceries, and then eat a few slices of cheap pizza. It’s an expense, but not as bad as ordering any kind of delivery : )

      I find it far too easy to justify big expenses and put off savings. I do need a new car, but do I need it NOW? Our tv is terrible and doesn’t even have two speakers, but do we need a new one now since this one still works?

      My gut reaction is yes, but thankfully my husband talks me out of it.

    58. Narockstar says:

      I pushed back paying my rent until today so that I could buy new clothes over my holiday trip last month.

      And I buy all my alcohol with cash so that I don’t have to see how much I spend on it in my budget.

    59. B says:

      @meiran: I try to eat before going grocery shopping, that way I buy less junk food.

    60. bluesunburn says:

      My wife handles most of our finances, and I don’t look at the books as often as I should.

      Fortunately, she’s amazing at it, and does a better job than I ever could.

      (Marrying a math teacher was a good move…)

    61. pglyman says:

      Hey Ben, Thanks for the post about Geezeo Money Confessions!

      And thanks to all the readers that have recently visited Geezeo to check out this new feature. Seems like everyone is enjoying it!

      I also wanted to let everyone know that you can also follow the anonymous confessions on Twitter at [twitter.com]

      Thanks again for the support!

      Pete Glyman
      Co-Founder, Geezeo
      [geezeo.com]

    62. pglyman says:

      looks like the twitter address got reduced…the twitter profile is “moneyconfession”

    63. hoosier45678 says:

      Willfull ignorance.

      I have so fully convinced myself that I am frugal and good with money because I’ve nailed all the big stuff that I refuse to acknowledge the white elephant in the mailbox. My wife and I manage to put about 3k a month on the credit cards (which we pay off in full), but refuse to look into it any closer because we don’t want to have to restrain ourselves on the little things (that clearly add up quickly).

    64. selianth says:

      We contribute 8% of our salaries or so into our 401Ks, but beyond that we have very little savings and consider our home equity line of credit as our “emergency” money. I have a dreadful feeling that this is somehow going to come back and bite us some day.

    65. dalieu says:

      About two years ago I was stupid and spontaneously bought a car on my birthday. I found out I got a horrible deal (first time buying a new car myself). I felt guilty and paid off the car asap to minimize how much interest I would be paying over the lifetime of the loan.

      Since that mistake, I have read books on investing and stocks. I have been contributing 5% (max percentage matched by company) to my 401k ever since I got my job and recently opened a roth IRA.

      Overall, I’m not doing too bad now, but the thing that scares me now is when I empty my online savings account for a down payment on a house. *yikes*

      The way I see things now is: money is like life… could be better, but could be a lot worst.

    66. edwardso says:

      I bring my lunch to work to save money, but drop $3-4 dollars on coffee or kombucha almost everyday. I feel like I have to bribe myself to go to a job I don’t like very much