When I was a little boy, my dad told me that I’ll never be poor if I avoid 3 habits. These three habits are drug use, gambling, and overspending. He calls them wealth banes. As an adult, I have to agree with him. If your life is mired in any of these, your finances will suffer. I am glad to say that I manage to avoid all three to some extent.
Photo by Adam Baker via Flickr
It was harder to get into trouble with spending too much before credit cards became ubiquitous. Unfortunately, borrowing has been too easy over the past few decades and we are seeing all kind of problems as a result. These problems include:
- Unprecedented home foreclosure level
- House poor homeowners
- Widespread credit card debt problem
- Unfathomable amount of student loan debt
But you can’t blame this solely on credit card companies. There are also the consumer-oriented media and lack of personal finance education to blame. In general, we’ve forgotten the meaning of the word enough and are trying to live beyond our means.
I do gamble for entertainment purpose, but I do have a strict $100 per day policy when I visit Atlantic City or Las Vegas. In this instance, I am not talking about casual gambling. I am talking about compulsive gamblers who believe that the next bet will be the winner, or that they will have to recoup their losses. Basically, I am talking about people who couldn’t resist the temptation to gamble. Those who crossed the line between entertainment and addiction.
Since the odds are stacked against them, most gamblers do lose money. And those who couldn’t resist the temptation invariably lose a lot more than money. Get help for your gambling addiction before it’s too late.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Last of the wealth banes is alcohol and drug abuse. Drugs and alcohol rob you of self-control. They create a bottomless pit that you cannot fill. And yes, they are costly in more ways than most people realize. An addiction can cost you money, harm your health and relationships, destroy your career, and even kill you.
Do you know anyone who is afflicted by these wealth banes? I know a few and it’s not fun when you have to deal with them — especially when they are someone you love.
Pinyo is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance and a Realtor® licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, financial literacy author, and Realtor®.