Don't Get Played For Your Paper


At every turn someone is making a play for the money you work for. You have snake oil salesmen promising you beauty, health and wellness and a body to make the gods jealous. Advertisers and marketers are working overtime bombarding you with messages on your way to work, over the internet, on your way home and through your television. And if that wasn’t enough you have every Tom, Dick and Pastor trying to hit you up for whatever you have left. So how do you decide what to spend your money on? Your disposable income that is, because we all have the four walls (food, shelter, clothing, and transportation) in one form or another. Do you simply spend as you go and make decisions based on the amount of money on hand, or money that’s just around the corner? Or are you a planner who saves up for purchases or plan them out as you go? Do you have an amount of money allocated to clothing, entertainment, and recreation? I'm sure that quite a few folks will find that they are in that first category, because by and large decisions get made based on what is on hand or what is around the corner. No thought is given (or little thought is given) to previous purchases, savings, or emergencies. The decision is just made that says, “I want it.”

The problem with the standard approach is that you waste a lot of money. More money than you care to think about. Often times if you would just change where you place your money it could be the difference between making ends meet and having the money to do what you love in life without it being a struggle. For the sake of “living” we give away a lot of money. We have decided that there are a lot of “must have’s based on what is being marketed to us. Then we find ourselves complaining about not having the money we want when we have voluntarily given it away. Have you noticed how everything has a price on it these days? Nothing is free anymore. Not even water. We are being played at every turn for “things” and it’s not going to change as long as people keep offering up their hard earned dollars. I know we have to “live” but we also have to play a little defense if we are going to win at this game of money.

The money game is the oldest game around, yet people still try and play it by their own rules. You can bend the rules, but you can’t break them, because when you break them, you end up broke. So rule number one that I want you to remember is, Don’t Get Played For Your Paper.

Can you highlight some of the ways people are getting played for their paper? Also, tell us about some of the “gimmicks” you have fallen for so others won’t do the same. I’ll start you off. If you know you are lazy when it comes to working out, and only you know if you are, that new piece of equipment or video isn’t going to make it any better for you, you will still be lazy. Losing weight requires WORK, so save your money if you aren’t ready to put in the WORK. Now it's your turn. Discuss whatever you like as it relates to the subject, nothing is out of bounds.

About the host:
Rich Fitzgerald is the author of the short story "One to Remember" featured in Love and Redemption (Bloggers' Delight Vol. 1), a collection of short stories by authors who blog. To read excerpts or to order a copy of the title, visit i-Lit. The book is also available on Amazon.


The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

People fall for the you won the lottery scams. Send this much to cover the taxes and we will send the money. Or another one is asking someone to cash a check for lets say 7000 dollars (they claim not to have a bank account or some other weird excuse). They ask that you send back half which you do. The check bounces you now owe the bank and you have other charges adding up. (I know of others I work at a bank).

Me, personally, I will admit to my mistakes. I have given men money and/or expensive gifts they did not deserve. Stupid me.

I also have noticed I have spent plenty a dollar on unneeded items. I have cut back greatly. I am now practicing and actively saving.

shelia said...

One of the things that I know I've wasted money on is "fast food" or going to resturants instead of taking my butt to the grocery story. I could have bought food at the stores for several meals instead of spending X amount of dollars on just one meal.

I am a tickler for coupons though so when I do grocery shop, I save money. I'm also a bargain shopper when it comes to other things.

I hate spending full price for any item and with the internet at our disposal, there's no reason to spend full price on anything these days. It just takes a little time and effort.

Rich said...

@sharon, i can't believe people fall for those. i get at least 3 to 5 of those a week in my email, i just keep marking them as spam.

@sheila, boy do we waste money on eating out, but only because we are putting in long hours working on investment properties. But something has to change. I'm sure I could save up to a couple hundred a month if we just stop doing that. It's expensive for a family of six.

KIKI said...

I'm actually quite tight with my money. Not big on frivilous spending...normally only spend on a "as needed" basis, with the plan in mind that I need to save for times of emergency. I actually give myself an allowance of 20.00 a week to spend on myself...that's it. Any extra after bills goes into the bank.

Then that friend in need comes along. It's the only time I think I get "played" for my money. You know...can you help me out with my light/gas/water bill? Can you take care of my dog for a while & I'll reimburse you? That type of crap. Then when it's time to pay up...they act like they dont know me, thus...I've been played.(smdh)

cmac said...

I remember a brother who worked in marketing told me, "You don't know what you like or what you want. We tell you what to like and what to want." Hmmmm.. so so true. So we have to be careful to know when we are getting played by the marketers that tell us to buy the new so and so at the restaurant or whatever. Also impulse buying - I seldom remember to make a grocery list so I end up buying more than I originally thought I would. I feel I am OK because I'm thinking to myself, "Its going to get eaten anyway." But still. Probably one of the biggest things for me is making sure I have a vision for the future as opposed to just livin for the now. I am doing a lot better in putting some savings away without regards to touching it. So thats a good thing.

Don said...

rich, i like how you have changed the blogging game. you inspire. i will still write f*cked up post, but i can see where my blog matures. one day i will be like you, or even better. lol. i'm just f*cking with you, bruh.

i have fallen for some money scams before. i have sent money scams out into the air and watch 'em come back right. but, mannn, i'm just glad to be alive, with a purpose, trying to see better days and be a good & gentle human being.

like i said, one day...

i do share your sentiment though. it has to be worked for. it can be everything else, but when its worked for and earned people tend to appreicate it more. maintain it.

sidebar: i will have the CTG outline before friday (your bad boy post is due). verbal vixen will help me with the outline. i imagine you are going to try and leave the group but don't. it will get better. i've already got it linked on the essence network. and is hiring - the link will be in the outline.

good day.

Don said...

@ kiki: You know...can you help me out with my light/gas/water bill?

have we dated before? i'm just saying...

Dilusi said...

Little things add up.. If it wasn't for the fact mother (50something) & Grandmother (70something) still don't get this I'd feel bad that it took me sooo long to put the pieces together.

I was always good for skipping outta class to fed all my singles into the vending machine for this or that.. picking up all the $1 items near the checkout.. daily texas cinibuns && powerades-- because well, it's only $1/.75

Then I'd end up broke and not know what happened. Bank account on -1.25 and nothing to show for it. People should track their spending for a week or so and see how much they spend on unnecessary stuff. It wasn't until I started working and gave myself $20 a week did I start thinking about the little stuff before buying it.


Opinionated Diva said...

Rich - I love this as a weekly post. Reading about my favorite thing MONEY will have me here every Monday! LOL

Lol @ Tom Dick and Paster!

I do have the “I want it” approach to spending, but mostly because it’s rare that I just have to have something. After kicking 6% to my 401K, I still send another 3% to my savings automatically, so I still think I’m doing a good job at keeping my spending in check.

I think we’re all seeing how people got played with those zero down loans. You think you’re buying a house with no money down and you end up paying so much more for it every month, between PMI (which is a serious bullshyt cost), higher mortgage rates, fees that wouldn’t even be there if not for that creative loan. A LOT of people seriously got played in that scenario.

Tony OH said...

This is America...Everything's a scam!

You know and I know.....Capitolism....Scam!


Mizrepresent said...

Rich - i am Sistah "save-a-lot" sister "invest"...been this way for awhile bc, i came up wanting so much that my parents couldn't give i save for rainy days, stormy days and f$%^K it's all good, especially for my children...don't know how long i will own this earthly presence...but i will leave them an inheritance...and i will enjoy the hell out of my fruits...know that!

CapCity said...

Now that I know I can survive in the "rotten" apple on less than $20,000 in this past year - I am SOOO much more aware of money & how well I actually do handle it! Now that I'll have a full time salary to manage again - oh, it's on & POPPIN'! As I said in one of my posts - I'll be saving up for my FREEDOM! ;-)

sista gp said...

I've gotten fooled once, and only once with those seminars that offer a ONE-TIME ONLY package at the end. This one was for a home-buying course. The information received could have been easily found in the library for free. I was young.

Another scam that legally protects itself is a modeling promotor. Since agents cannot charge a fee, they make sure all of their material states that they are promoters, not agents. The first round they have pictures taken of kids and a one or two question video clip. Then there is a callback which gets the (grand)parent(s)hyped that their child could be a model. During the callback the "fees" are introduced.
My girlfriends and I walked away with our (grand)kids, but there were plenty of folks in line to pay.