Years ago, I went through a period where I had a lot of debt. It's a long story, but suffice it to say that I had to get creative. I now have no debt, due in large part to getting a nice windfall. It's nice to not have to worry about owing money (and I understand that I'm lucky, because some people assuredly are not). The experience did teach me to be mindful of what goes in and out of my wallet and to watch my expenses like a hawk. I'm happy to say that these habits have served me very well.

There are some behaviors that can really tell you a fair amount about other people's financial literacy, however. That's what we learned after Redditor Romeo9594 asked the online community,

"What common behavior screams, 'I make terrible financial decisions'?"

"I have a coworker..."

"Buying the latest everything. I have a coworker who struggles to pay rent and such but buys a new iPhone every time they release a new model."


That definitely adds up.

Probably doesn't help that Apple got into trouble for slowing down older iPhone models either.

"I know a woman..."

"Relying on pawn shops every time you're low on cash. I knew a woman who regularly pawned some jewelry, then got it out on payday, only to pawn it again a few weeks later."


"I had a coworker..."

"People who eat out for every meal. I had a coworker who did this, but then complained about never having any money. She'd eat out for breakfast and lunch and go down to the Walgreens for a midday snack."


I get it––cooking can be a total chore. Cooking for myself? I'm good at it, but it gets annoying. Cooking for other people? I enjoy it. It can be very fun.

"Credit card debt. If you don't or won't have the cash by the next bill you cannot afford it, don't buy it. Stop renting money at 18%."


"I think Starbucks..."

"I think Starbucks is delicious but it should be treated as a weekly treat, not a daily/multiple times a day indulgence."


Is it even really that good though? It always tastes burnt to me.

"People that look at income..."

"People that look at income by salary. You should always look at income by disposable income because you can be earning 80k in NYC and have less money compared to someone earning 15k somewhere else."


"Frequently ordering..."

"Frequently ordering to-go, delivery, restaurant food etc. when you don't have basic grocery staples in your kitchen (especially if you're already working from home)."


"Rolling car payments..."

"Rolling car payments into your next car. I can't count how many people I know who traded in perfectly functioning cars they still owed money on because they "needed something newer" or "outgrew their current car." I know someone who was paying $900/month for a Hyundai Tucson that was listed for like $25k. It ended up getting repo'ed."


"Sticking with something..."

"Sticking with something like cable that costs $250 a month when you don't use all the things you're paying for and could easily reduce your costs."


Cable is a money pit. You know what will go down the same path? Streaming services. They're practically the same now.

"I knew a guy..."

"Those predatory car loan places. I knew a guy who was paying almost $500 a month for a Pontiac Grand Prix. He didn't seem to know how much he was paying. Like dude, you could literally lease a Benz for that much."


Do you feel personally attacked by some of these? I definitely saw myself in some (looking at you, takeout cuisine). Don't fret: there's still time to turn yourself around.

Have some opinions of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!

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