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There is such a wealth of information available on Reddit - especially in the Personal Finance subreddit. Though, sometimes we need to wade through all the nonsense to get to the stuff that truly matters in our lives.
Lately, I've been glued to Reddit's personal finance subreddit and here are my 10 favorite threads that you owe it to yourself to read.
Top 10 threads in Reddit's Personal Finance subreddit
I'm a huge believer in asking for things that you want. In many cases, that includes more money at work, but it's not always easy. In fact, often it isn't.
We would be remiss if we didn't pause to discuss the psychological concept of anchoring here. Anchoring is our tendency to be "anchored" to the first number when making decisions. A simple example: Lets say I have an apple I want to sell you. I'm willing to part with my apple for a minimum of $5, but I'd really prefer to get more. For your part, you're willing to pay up to $10, but you'd really rather pay as little as possible.
This one is super interesting and, frankly, a bit scary. Apparently, scammers will intentionally bombard you with emails in the hopes of covering up a scam purchase. In this case, it was made on Amazon through an account that was compromised. Super interesting!
So I googled "suddenly getting lots of spam". Turns out, scammers do this to bury legitimate emails from you, most often to hide purchases. I started going through the 700+ emails one by one until I found an email from Amazon.comconfirming my purchase of 5 PC graphics cards (over $1000).
I logged into my Amazon account, but didn't see an order. Then I checked - sure enough those cheeky bastards had archived the order too. I immediately changed my password and called Amazon.
This one is just super helpful if you ever find yourself, or someone else, in this situation. Luckily I've never been in this position.
Unfortunately, posts on this topic are not a rare occurrence here. Teenagers are often kicked out of their home without support, sufficient money, or time to prepare in advance, but there are some resources and options for teenagers in this situation.
This guide also includes some information for teenagers who are at risk of being kicked out.
There are some additional resources on Reddit, too, that can help:
I fell into this trap in a previous life. I was cheating my budget, big time. I would budget money and then assume all that money could be spent.
I noticed some posts on here recently about people feeling guilty about spending money, even though they can afford it and have budgeted for it, since it's hard for them to get out of the "frugal" mindset. The general response seemed to be that they should learn to accept that it's okay to spend money on some things—that's what setting a budget is for, after all.
While this is great advice, I seem to have the opposite problem of these people.
Again, this one is from the "Never experienced, but could help someone else" pile. And, I'm afraid that this is much more common than most people think.
So my former apartment management has sent me a bill for carpet cleaning and professional cleaning. I can understand the professional cleaning although I left the place spotless it could just be protocol. However, the carpet cleaning is bullshit because I left the brand new carpet in brand new condition. It was just me without any animals, I am positive that the carpet was flawless. How should I proceed?
6. When heading into Black Friday sales, it's not a sale if you didn't plan to buy the item in the first place
Oh boy. I have written about the fallacy of so-called Black Friday deals before, and this thread was one of the most popular within the personal finance subreddit this year.
Many people I see go into a store to buy one or two things, and come out with way more than they anticipated, with the excuse "oh I saved money! It was all on sale!".
If you we're going to get the item anyway, yes you saved money, but if you didn't plan on it, you still spent money you didn't have to.
You could also set a budget, $150 for example.
Remember, most business can't actually afford Black Friday deals on their own. But, they end up making money because they get you in the door by selling cheaper, lower-quality electronics knowing that you'll probably buy something else (or, perhaps many different somethings) at full price.
And whatever you do, don't buy TVs on Black Friday.
7. As a former car salesman, these are the common fallacies that people used to justify purchasing a new car
New cars. We rationalize new car purchases every once in a while, don't we? Even used cars, we talk ourselves into periodic upgrades. I've done it, too. Trust me, we are all guilty. This thread has some gems.
Safety isn't something I mentioned before but probably should have. Regardless of how reliable a car is, if you are driving something with a rusted frame and 20-year-old safety features its time to upgrade (assuming you can afford it). My wife and kids drive in a 5-star crash rating car with every modern safety feature. We have chosen to be stingy in other places in our finances so we can afford to have a car with these types of features. It's worth a little bit of money to us to know our family is safe and to be able to see when backing out of the driveway.
That moment when repairs out the way the cost of upgrading is tricky. I have been burned several times by spending money on repairs that I thought were a good investment only to have more and more repairs pile up. I wish I knew some perfect rule for this. I don't. I have repaired cars I shouldn't have and I have gotten rid of cars that probably would have been great with minor investments.
Oh, this is cool! Imagine a society where all of our nation's young people understanding compound interest and how the stock market works. How investments grow. How to make their money work for them?
How different do you think our society would be?
My state is trying to make Personal Finance a required class for graduation. I think this is something we've needed for a long time. -- it made me wonder if any other states are doing this.
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