20 Signs You Need to Get Your Financial Act Together

In today’s fast-paced and complex world, making sound financial decisions is crucial for achieving financial stability and success. Unfortunately, some people consistently do things that clearly indicate poor financial decision-making skills.

One Redditor asked, “What screams “I make terrible financial decisions” ?” many users shared their insights, and we have selected the top 20 comments for you!

1. The Fake ‘Emergency Money’ Stories

funny guy holding money
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We all encounter unexpected financial hiccups occasionally, and it’s fine to ask for help in a genuine emergency. But when someone’s constantly coming up with new “emergencies” every other week, it’s a major red flag. 

Someone said, “Burning friends by asking for “emergency” money (based on some fake story) that you will never repay. Yes, oddly specific. Yes, all too common.”

Someone else replied, “My college roommate right there. Dude borrowed $150. He said he didn’t have the money yet to pay me back. But somehow, he had enough to order delivery all the time. When I finally called him out on it, he said some other friend bought him the food, lol.

Next year, his new roommate was furious because the dude hadn’t paid his rent but somehow had enough money to buy a brand-new MacBook.”

2. Changing Addictions

Angry man screaming
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A discerning Reddit user commented, “I quit drinking but took up a Lego addiction. It was cheaper being drunk.”

Another added, “This is oddly extremely relatable. I also got into Legos after I decided to stop drinking, and every time I’ve bought a new set, I’ve thought to myself, “Man, drinking was so much cheaper than this”. At least we have cute Legos now.”

In a nutshell, those who switch addictions instead of leaving them behind are flashing neon signs of terrible financial decision-making.

3. Bad Priorities

Beautiful young woman with shopping bags on color background.
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Now, here’s a big one: people who prioritize instant gratification over basic needs. They’ll drop their hard-earned cash on the latest gadgets, vacations, or fancy meals while ignoring important expenses like rent, bills, or even food. 

Someone said, “My neighbor can’t buy her kids’ school shoes – but has custom rims and wheels.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Not to the same level, but I internally have some judgment towards one of my husband’s siblings. They have brand new cars, lots of toys, etc., but have zero interest in helping fund any college for any of their kids. But then get annoyed when their oldest child says they don’t want to go to college.

Like, of course, your kid doesn’t want to get themselves into mounds of debt. But instead of helping, you bought a $50k new car. I obviously don’t say anything, but it makes me very grateful my parents prioritized my college and helped me pay for it.”

4. Buying Expensive Cars as a Private

An irritated young man driving a vehicle is expressing his road rage..
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Okay, let’s get real here. As a private in the military, you’re not exactly swimming in cash. So, when you drop a ton of money on an expensive car, it’s like chasing a money mirage!

One said, “A Private in any branch of the military buying a Dodge Charger.”

Someone else replied, “My nephew was a private, and he bought a Dodge Charger (then wrecked).”

Another commented, “Same story in the ADF because soldiers would get around $80k-$120k “danger pay” for 6 or 9-month warzone deployments (Iraq and Afghanistan), they’d come home with fat stacks in their bank accounts.

The barracks was always full of HSV Maloo and Ford XR8 utes and 200 Series Toyota Landcruisers, with owners that would eat in the OR’s mess every meal because they’d blow their pay by the first weekend.”

5. Flea Markets

Couple walking by flea market in late afternoon
Image Credit: goodluz/Shutterstock.

So, you’re thinking of starting a flea market, huh? It sounds exciting, but it’s not as glamorous as it seems. Because behind the scenes, it’s a different story. Many flea markets struggle to attract customers and generate consistent revenue. So, it’s a risky business.

A Reddit user wrote, “My ex-SIL went to Walmart and bought a load of nail clippers, files, polish, and anything to do fingernails with. I asked her what the h*ll she planned on doing with all that. She told me she was going to start a flea market.”

Another added, “I recently went to a flea market, and it is so god d**n hard to find a deal these days. I like to fish, so I always keep a lookout for lures and poles. The guys selling lures all wanted 7-9 dollars a piece. These were truscend lures in ziplock baggies that were 3 for 12 on Amazon. I ended up buying some pickles from the Amish and calling it a day. 🙄”

6. The Monthly Subscriptions

Hands holding a tablet with major streaming logos, Netflix Hulu, amazon video, HBO, And Disney Competing video streaming subscription.
Image Credit: Sadie Mantell/Shutterstock.

Okay, you know how it starts, right? You sign up for a subscription, and it’s just a few bucks a month- no problem. But here’s the thing: those few bucks add up. And before you know it, you’re subscribed to multiple services! 

Someone said, “When you ask them how much they paid for something and they only know the monthly payment amount.”

Someone else replied, “Worked with a new hire kid in a well-paying blue-collar job. Apparently, it was really common for new hires to just blow their first big paycheck on a car because our trainer told them not to do that in case they didn’t make it past the lengthy training probationary period.

Sure enough, the day after we got our first check, 19yo kid drives up in a ’68 Camaro…. in Alaska…..I asked him how much that bad boy set him back, and he said he managed to get it for less than $1500 a month. Had no idea what his out-the-door price was.”

7. Impulsive Decisions

Portrait of angry furious offended senior person with bob hairdo wear pink shirt scream in conflict isolated on blue color background.
Image Credit: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.

Picture this: payday finally arrives, and it’s like a party in your bank account. You’ve got some cash in hand, and the temptation to splurge is real. So, what do you do? You hit the stores and go out for expensive dinners. It’s all fun and games until the next day when you check your bank balance and go, “Oops, where did all my money go?” The paycheck party turns into a financial hangover!

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Making impulsive decisions right after getting paid.”

Another person pitched in to say, “You guys are amateurs. You have to get to the late stage of: “Wow, I was so frugal for almost 2 weeks, and I get paid in a couple of days! Guess it’s time to splurge!””

8. Ordering Food All the Time

Excited hungry pretty girl eats fast food, cheap burger, holds a cheeseburger and soda, open mouth.
Image Credit: Georgi Fadejev/Shutterstock.

In this era of convenience and endless food options at our fingertips, the temptation to order takeout is real. Those apps and websites with their mouthwatering food photos? They’re like a siren calling you to indulge. 

A Reddit user wrote, “I know someone who is always struggling with money. Then I found out he has individual cups of Dunkin Donuts coffee delivered to him (via third party apps of course) while he’s working at home. You know, instead of making a pot of coffee for yourself.”

Someone replied, “I know someone who struggles with both weight and money. I was visiting her one day when there was a knock on her door. She had door dash deliver her a cupcake from a local bakery. She also will travel to Europe and then complain she has no money for gas when she’s home. I basically tune her out when she’s complaining at this point. Edit: my husband informed me it was actually a cheesecake, not a cupcake, which I feel makes it worse.”

9. Not Paying Bills 

Man angry at bills he needs to pay.
Image Credit: Elnur/Shutterstock.

One Redditor stated, “Can’t pay rent on time, but never misses a night out.”

Someone said, “Can’t pay rent but got a new tattoo.”

Another added, “Landlord here. A former tenant told me she couldn’t pay rent on time one month because she had other bills to pay, like her new car. Then she told her daughter to get in said car cause they were going to Outback Steakhouse.”

Late rent payment means you’re constantly riding the stress and anxiety rollercoaster. Every month, you’re scrambling, trying to come up with excuses, promises, and last-minute solutions. Sounds too much to handle, right?

10. Always Looking For Ways To Spend Money

young curly girl posing isolated over yellow wall background holding credit card and money
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You know those people who can’t resist spending money, even if their lives depended on it? They’re always looking for ways to spend money, even when they don’t need to. 

One said, “Every time you get a chunk of cash, you think you have to find a way to spend it.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “This is a poor person thing. I had a roommate like this. It’s pretty sad because it’s kind of a chicken and egg thing. Of course, people who aren’t desperate and out of money all the time think, why wouldn’t you just save that extra $200 grandma gave you for when your car breaks down again.

But to them, they never have extra money. The next shoe-dropping is inevitable, and they will figure it out then. It will suck regardless, so might as well actually get some small luxury for once because they can afford it, and who knows when that will happen again.”

It’s like being starved for the smallest bit of pleasure or happiness and finally being given a loaf of bread. You can parse it out and make it last. But it feels so good to eat the whole {darn} thing.”

11. MLMs

Close up on businessman holding a wooden block with "Multi level marketing" message
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MLMs are notorious for selling dreams of fast money and financial freedom. They promise you’ll be sipping margaritas on a beach while your bank account magically grows. But here’s the reality check: most people who join MLMs end up broke and disillusioned. 

A Reddit user wrote, “Signing up for an MLM/pyramid scheme. When you can look at each company’s income report and see 99,7% of the sellers lose money, you must have some critical thinking issues to think it won’t happen to you.”

Another commented, “A low #s “momfluencer” I know on Instagram just quit her 6-figure job to “be her own boss babe” because a “hungry dog runs faster” …. 🙄😒 It’s been 2 days since she posted that, and she’s reached out to all of her followers to get them to sign up for her MLM stuff.”

This user responded, “This needs to be higher. I’ve lost friends over their being sucked into MLMs and sliding into being full-blown anti-science nuts, but the financials are what’s really sad. My husband works with a guy whose garage is packed with unsold merch from various failed attempts.”

12. Owning NFTs

A non-fungible token(NFT) is a special type of cryptographic token which represents something unique. NFT blockchain marketplace
Image Credit: Rokas Tenys/Shutterstock.

NFTs have gained tremendous popularity, but that doesn’t mean the market is immune to a potential bubble burst. Prices can skyrocket and then come crashing down like a Jenga tower. If you’re not careful, you might be left holding an NFT that’s suddenly worth a fraction of what you paid for it. 

Someone said, “You own a bored ape NFT.”

Another commented, “Neopets let you buy JPGs for neopoints. You never actually owned them, but everyone just accepted you did. Anyway, those who bought NFTs basically spent real money for neopets.”

Another added, “Here’s one better my childhood best friend has invested in a Bored Ape knockoff. No joke, it’s some poorly drawn kangaroos. I can’t believe money was ever spent on that stuff.”

13. Being In Debt

Asian couple fighting unpaid bills
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People take out loans left and right without fully understanding the terms, interest rates, and consequences. And then kaboom! Debt explodes in their faces. 

One shared, “Carrying long-term balances on credit cards. That interest will eat you alive. I know sometimes there are emergencies and people get overextended, but if you have a variety of debts than credit card debt is most likely the one to try to take on first.”

Another person pitched in to say, “As someone with way too much CC debt (some of it for emergencies, a lot of it my own stupid spending), this. I’m making dents in it now, small dents, but it’s something. But I continually think about where I’d be if I weren’t for my poor spending habits.”

14. Renting Furniture

Face enraged infuriated woman screaming emotion
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One said, “Why would anyone rent furniture when you can get virtually anything from freecycle.org, for free, of course, if you’re patient enough? Furniture is hard to sell, so I’ve seen all kinds offered there. And, bc people have to join to participate, and you get kicked out if you’re inconsiderate (being a no-show or giving away things infested with bedbugs), the offerings are pretty good (and if not, they’re honest about telling you upfront). 

My first experience with that site was furnishing my daughter’s first college apartment. Oh my gosh, she got everything from furniture to lamps to pictures for the wall to kitchen utensils.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “The sad reality (that a lot of Redditors refuse to acknowledge) is that some people are just really, really dumb. Poor people tend to rent everything or charge everything to Credit Cards. They do this partly because of the “cycle of poverty” but mostly because they’re just really, really stupid. Some human beings just have less active brain cells than others. It’s a fact.

I spoke with an adult man last week at work who was at a 2nd Grade reading level. He was not disabled. Everything about him was normal, except he couldn’t understand……anything. He had an intelligent girlfriend who knew exactly how stupid he was, so she took it upon herself to supervise our entire interaction and help him like he was an 8-yr old. Just a normal adult man…….except he was dumb. These people exist, and they’re renting mirrors for $10/month.

I actually dated a girl who was dumb too. She was pretty, funny, and an avid reader. But she just…….couldn’t understand basic stuff. She couldn’t even pass the test to get her driving permit (a test that most people pass at age 16). These people walk amongst us.”

Sure, having someone deliver and set up furniture for you is easy. But this convenience comes at a hefty price.

15. Fancy Cars With No Maintenance

Old stylish good looking man sitting in electrical car near the sport plane.
Image Credit: Danyil Sekunda/Shutterstock.

Buying a fancy car is one thing, but if you don’t take care of it, it’s like throwing your money out the window. Neglected maintenance can lead to costly repairs down the road and may even cost you your life!

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Fancy pickup truck with bald tires.”

Another added, “Oh, how about $10k worth of stereo equipment, speakers, etc., in a car that looks like it’s being held together by duct tape and is going to shake into pieces.”

16. Buying Luxury Brands

Glamorous woman with multicolored bags posing isolated background
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Luxury brands have this allure that can make you feel like you’re on top of the world. They’re the badges of status that say, “Look at me; I’ve made it!” But here’s the thing- this status comes at a price. Buying luxury brands just to show off can eventually drain your bank account.

Someone said, “Anything Louis Vuitton.”

Another commented, “This should be higher. Gucci and LV, are brands with pedigree that now profit from Middle Class trying to appear rich. While the genuinely rich are avoiding the grotesque branding. Edit to add: even if you bought genuine, if the rest of your outfit isn’t on the same level, we all assume it’s fake, which is the opposite of what the original intent is.”

17. Buying a Warhammer Collection 

toys for children figurines for adults warhammer rats in warrior outfits of battles with weapons and swords and shields pray in photo studio
Image Credit: ManekiNeko_Art/Shutterstock.

A Reddit user wrote, “Multiple Warhammer armies.”

Someone else replied, “My guy has like 3, plus Sigmar stuff and other games. They really do call it 40k because that’s what you end up spending.”

You start with a small collection, thinking it’s manageable, but soon you find yourself craving more and more!

18. Medicaid Programs

Doctor with female patient
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Fancy items have this temporary high that can make you feel like a million bucks. You buy that flashy gadget or designer clothing, and you’re on cloud nine for a moment. But materialistic possessions fade over time while your health is priceless. So, it’s time to shift your focus from temporary highs to long-term well-being!

One user shared, “As a doc working a medicaid program where most of the patients are low income so they get everything for free… When a patient needs to cancel a free 10,000$ appointment (anesthesiologist time, along with the surgical team) because they didn’t have money for the bus but then come in 2 days later with Nikes, Iphones, LV bags, etc…”

Another person pitched in to say, “Ughhh I’m a therapist, and I encounter this too. I really try not to be too judgemental, but I have a lot of clients with serious cases of “champagne taste on a beer budget.” But it gets exhausting to have someone who receives every assistance program available come in weekly and complains that they can’t make ends meet when they have plastic surgery, designer bags, and/or a luxury apartment. Especially when I’m busting my *ss to live in a rundown apartment and shop at TJ Maxx.”

19. Expensive Baby Clothes

newborn baby smiling wearing a baby hat
Image Credit: alenkasm via DepositPhotos.com.

One said, “Decking out a baby with expensive clothes.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “My MIL keeps buying North Face for our baby we are expecting. I LOVE my North Face jacket – I’ve had mine for nearly seven years. I can’t justify spending North Face money on a baby, though. I’m grateful for her, don’t get me wrong – but I just don’t understand buying expensive things for beings that grow out of things so quickly.”

Another commented, “My nephew wore Jordans and Nike at 3. My eyes couldn’t roll hard enough.”

Baby clothes can be cute as a button, and it’s tempting to dress your little one in the most adorable outfits. But spending a fortune on something your child will outgrow in a few weeks doesn’t sound like a smart idea, right?

20. Range Rovers

 Range Rover travelling on an English country road
Image Credit: Sue Thatcher/Shutterstock.

When it comes to Range Rovers, people get swayed by the perception of luxury and status without considering the practicality and long-term financial implications.

Someone said, “Range Rover, AKA “how to spend twice as much for a less reliable Jeep”.”

Another added, “Buying a Range Rover. Those are HORRIBLE cars, and they cost a lot. It’s not a status symbol because someone with money would just get a better car. It’s like tattooing stupid on your forehead.

I know, I know some people will go, “OOOMMMGGG but they’re so cuuu-yoooooot”. Just talk to any owner of a Range Rover, and they will have PTSD levels of twitchiness. “Oh yeah <twitch> I love <twitch> my Range Rover <violent twitch> <uncontrollable sobbing>.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.