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The 7 Deadly Sins of Personal Finance

07/26/2010

Envy

The 7 Deadly Sins are more universal than you think. While I don’t remember reading Dante’s Inferno  my senior year of high school (bad case of senioritis), I do remember seeing the movie Seven with Brad Pitt.

Below is my own interpretation of the 7 deadly sins, this time with a personal finance twist.

  1. Envy – Trying to keep up with the Jones’s – Even though, the Jones’s are broke, in debt, spend more than they earn, have a house they can’t afford, take 3 vacations a year on credit, etc… You still want to be more like them.
  2. Gluttony Spending More Than You Earn – Just like with calories, you can easily consume excess in personal finance. All you have to do is spend more than you earn each month. Doing this each month, has a 100% failure rate.
  1. Greed – Wanting More, When What You Have is Enough – Even though you have accumulated more than enough to live on, you still find it necessary to work 14 hour days avoiding your friends and family and other things more important to you.
  2. Lust – The Love of Money – Putting money first above family, friends, religion, contribution, etc…
  3. Pride – Believing Common Sense Doesn’t Apply to You – Thinking that the fundamental rules don’t apply to your situation because you’re better than everyone else. You don’t find it necessary to pay yourself first, start anemergency fund before you invest, or track your spending. You’re better than everyone else.
  4. Sloth Knowing What You Need to Do, And Doing Nothing At All – You know you have to maintain your checking account to avoid overdraft fees, or you have to perform a monthly review, or you need to sit down with your spouse and talk about money. You’re just too lazy to do it today.
  5. Wrath – Getting Angry At Things You Can Control – It’s not your fault you spent more than you earned last month. The problem was the car broke down because you hand’t changed the oil in 15,000 miles. Neither was it your fault that Christmas came in December this year and you had a ton of extra expenses. You just can’t control what happens every month.

Conclusion

While this was fun to write, there is a lot of truth behind it.  Never let yourself fall into one of the seven deadly sins of personal finance.

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