Stupid Ways to Lose Money

While browsing the MSN message boards, one discussion really caught my attention. A post on Really Stupid ways you’ve lost money got me thinking about all stupid ways I’ve either wasted or lost money this year.

If we share our worst money blunders, maybe we can all learn from everyone’s mistakes.

I’ll go first. Here’s my top 5 worst money mistakes:

1. I purchased my Dell Latitude D610 computer through my school for $1,700. About two days later, I found the same exact computer on eBay for $700. That $1,000 setback hurts the most.

Lesson Learned: Always shop around for lower prices before you make a purchase.

2. Instead of taking the subway to work, I thought it would be a great idea to drive my car downtown. There were open parking spaces by my summer job, so I parked and spent an hour at the office. When I returned to my car, I got slapped with a $50 parking ticket.

My friends suggested that I fight the ticket, so I wrote an appeal to the courts. Nothing happened for a while, and I went back to school that fall. Then I got a letter mid-October notifying me that my parking ticket had doubled. $100 completely wasted.

Lesson Learned: Use public transportation when working in the city.

3. I was flying home from school last winter, and by accident forgot to take my cell phone charger with me. I had to charge my debit card in order to use the pay phone, and incurred $80 in billing charges.

Lesson Learned: Always charge your cellular phone before you travel.

4. One Friday night last spring, I wore a North Face jacket, and headed out to the fraternities. The night went on, and everything seemed normal at the time, as I can remember. The next morning, I wake up, and my jacket is covered in green paint. I haven’t worn the jacket since.Another $75 gone down the drain.

Lesson Learned: Never wear nice clothing to fraternity basements and/or other dirty establishments.

5. I always forget to redeem store rebates. I let $30 on a computer rebate, $10 on a cartridge rebate, and $15 for a paper shredder all slip away.

Lesson Learned: Redeem your rebate on the same day of your purchase.

6. Paying overdraft fees is a terrible way to lose money.

Lesson Learned: Always have emergency funds in your checking account to cover any overdrafts.

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