The Thank God it’s Payday Trap

By admin

When payday comes around, do you often hear your co-workers profess their utter relief that this day has arrived? The exclamation Thank God it’s Payday is unfortunately a popular phrase uttered across the entire country on the first and fifteenth of the month. And it’s pathetic. While sharing the details of your financial status is normally considered to be socially awkward, millions of people across America let everyone within earshot know that they are totally inept at managing their finances with this statement. Many are in the habit of saying it every single payday. Hey – you aren’t one of these people, are you?

If you are, there are a couple of things you need to do – and fast. The first is, quit letting the world know that you are such a financially irresponsible dolt. If you utter that phrase every single payday it’s a safe bet that everyone at your workplace, including your boss, knows you are not capable of handling your own finances. That doesn’t bode well for your chances of future advancement. Most likely the spouses of your more financially responsible co-workers have heard about this as well. If they ever meet you at the office Christmas party they will be thinking: Oh yeah, the stupid spendthrift who is living one step ahead of bankruptcy.

The second thing you need to do is get your financial act together. If you couldn’t comfortably skip your next paycheck entirely then you are doing something really, really wrong. What is going on with you? What are you thinking when you decide to spend money on anything but an absolute necessity if you need each paycheck to keep creditors off your back?

Perhaps you have fallen for the bill of goods being sold by financial institutions offering credit. It’s a pack of lies designed to make a slave out of you for life. They tell you that as long as you have a job you deserve any luxury in life that suits you. Just use that shiny credit card they gave you. It’s a reward for you being so smart and responsible to have gotten a decent job. This extends to car loans and, until very recently, home loans as well.

Maybe you have also bought into the great social hoax that you need to be a homeowner, otherwise you are a second-class citizen. Even though that house payment eats up more than half of your family’s take-home pay. Hey, everybody’s doing it. You don’t want to be a crummy renter, do you? No – you must own your own home! It doesn’t matter what housing prices are or what it does to your expendable income – if the lenders will approve the home loan, buy it! Even if you must sit for three hours in traffic everyday in order to do it.

What does that Godsend of a paycheck which you are so relieved to get on payday really do for you anyway? Allow you to buy groceries, pay the utility bills, make the minimum payment on your credit cards, and then what? Does the $20 extra left in your wallet tempt you to get the latest trick cell phone with all the new gadgets? Can’t you see the patsy you have become?

I am begging you right now to stop with all this nonsense. Sit down and get a grip on your finances. It’s Top Ramen time until you can answer all the following questions with a resounding yes:

1. Do you have 6 months expenses in a savings account (only to be touched for living expenses if you lose your job)?

2. Are you using only one credit card, and are you making at least ten times the minimum payment on that bill every month?

3. Are you presently on track to retire comfortably in your early sixties, with plenty of liquid assets?

If you cannot answer those questions confidently, then you are really acting foolish. You have no business going out to dinner or shopping for a new flat-screen TV until you get a solid grip on your finances. Hopefully by now the myth that ever-increasing home equity will continue to bail you out has been debunked. You do actually have to manage your own money and plan for the future. Otherwise you will be flipping burgers in your eighties to get the rent money for your trailer. Seriously.

If you are by some miracle able to sell your house right now above the zero line, do it. Move into a nice rental at half the monthly housing cost, closer to your work which will save money as well. Drive your car until it actually needs to be replaced, not just until the ashtrays get full. Get your credit cards paid off and then pay the balance off every month. Get fanatical about saving money. Start saving some now (even if it’s just a little) and start to feel the joy of having money in the bank.

In short, start living within your means. Save money for a rainy day. Above all, stay out of consumer debt. That is a trap which has been laid at your feet which is designed to enslave you for life. Don’t fall for it.

Papa Riah