I believe most people are good by their default switch.
Although I cannot argue the validity of that in particular, it is a subgenre of philosophy that people much smarter than me argued over for centuries. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.
Scientific research has demonstrated that modern primates tend to be altruistic in nature without reason or cause. Their conclusion to altruistic behavior ranges from feeling good about doing something good to another benefit of altruistic behavior which is an evolutionary advantage.
We are sociable creatures so we need to be altruistic.
Because…like…who wants to be friends with a dirtbag ape, amirite?
But the world gets more complicated when you throw money and power into the mix.
Are humans by default good? Yes. I believe so.
When money comes in, it’s a bit more gray. Like non-fiduciary advisors but…they have their families to feed, right? And they can feed their children by selling you overpriced financial services! ?
But this is not one of those morally confusing posts.
This is a collection of things I legitimately think anyone should get a punch in the face for doing – after being proven guilty.
(Don’t want to go around falsely punching people.)
Oh and not to braggggg…but I haven’t done a single punchable offense in this entire list! Good girl!
(Forget the fact that I wrote this list so, haha, I might be biased.)
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1. Owing friends money but still frivolously spending instead of paying your dues.
I HATE THIS. UGH. PET PEEVE x1000.
I’m very, super sure this has happened to most of us. That’s how common it occurs! Isn’t that sad? It’s one thing if they are in a financial pinch (Soaps, if you’re reading, this isn’t about you so don’t worry.)
But I’m talking about someone who has the means to pay you back, right now, today…but doesn’t.
I’m talking about that someone from high school that I hate to this day.
What neurological backflips are you DOING in your head that makes you think borrowing money from a nice (and economically poorer) friend then deciding to simply not pay it back is OK? Are you serious?
You know what I should do…I should send a small message to your fiancé on Facebook and throw to them that one memory of you they will never be able to remove from their memory bank. “The person I will spend my life took money from a person and deliberately lied about it? Hm…maybe I do need that prenup…”
2. “I’ll pay you back next time” AKA – excessive mooching.
Truth be told, I find mooching amusing if it’s like a meal or coffee every once in a while. If I happen to be economically better off and my friend needed to “mooch” a few bucks because their money could better go towards making ends meet, paying rent, or paying student loans then they can “mooch” off me.
For example, I am totally OK with picking up the tab at the cafe, especially if they decided to take time out of their life and converse with me:
“Thanks for your time and conversation, buddy. You don’t owe me nada. Forget about it.”
Plus, I get to feel like a nice
person altruistic monkey Lily. I don’t consider that mooching. That’s called spoiling your friend as long as they don’t start “forgetting” their wallets every single time.
Unfortunately, most of the mooching cases are people who are just generally irresponsible with their money and think they can take advantage of you.
Pretty much every single time someone says “I’ll pay you back next time” and then doesn’t is
A. Not your friend.
B. Never was a friend.
C. A loser with the introspection of a donut.
D. All of the above. Punchable.
3. Hiding money from spouse and family in order to spend it on yourself.
(Just curious…when you read that…did you picture a man…or a woman?)
I pictured a man. I pictured…Nicolas Cage.
I don’t know if that was sexist. I didn’t mean it to be. It could be that my husband makes the lion share of the money in our marriage so I probably wouldn’t even notice if he dipped his hand into the till.
When you are single, it’s all you boo. But if you combined your life with another person and swore to uphold them but instead go off and hide a $5,000 bonus for the down payment on a boat…you get punched.
Hiding an adequate amount of moolah from your loved ones for selfish guilty pleasures is only something I’ve seen in fiction. I would say this never happened to me but…I’m not actually sure now am I…
Fun fact: Remember the 10% stock market correction we had earlier this Feburary? My husband DID take a few thousand (or was it $10,000) from our emergency fund and dropped it in without telling me. He told me a day after he did it. Hubby had that “she might find out so I’ll just tell her for confession points” look on his face. He spent it at the Vanguard ‘casino’ (hahaha #jokes.)
So yeah, on rarer occasions, it’s not that bad or a moral gray area. Like the story from J. Money about this wife who was hiding extra savings from her spouse. Sounds like a responsible spouse to have! This was extra money hidden and saved.
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4. Hiding debt from significant other and keeping them in the dark.
This is just as bad as #3 and a little bit sadder. I could write an abject post about the type of debt that can prevent you from being loved (a basic human right in my opinion) but it would depress everybody.
So I choose anger:
Sam is an irresponsible drunkard. He has $20,000 of gambling debt and owes $58,000 in back taxes from a failing restaurant. He believes taxpayers like you and me should pick up his tab. Does he tell the woman he is about to marry about the debt? Nooooooooooo. Instead, he goes to have more kids with the new chick on top of the 3 broken down kids he has and ignores completely. Sam suckssssss.
5. Intentionally marrying and leaving your spouse saddled with your debt as you get away clean.
This happens! There are some horror stories out there, from the countless of hours I stalk the great Interwebs.
MOST OF THE TIME, IT’S SAD and less angry.
I don’t know the legal specifics but I know that when a person gets married, both parties would have to some combine their finances to some degree. The party with heavy debt can saddle (intentionally or accidentally) the debt-free spouse with their debt.
I’m talking about student loan debt right now. Private education loans are not dischargeable after death. Loan sharks can go to the next of kin be it parents or spouses to get their money.
That was the reason why Brodie was so depressed. It was not only the huge law school debt he was carrying but it was the fact that this debt will become a burden to his parents and someday life partner if he is not careful. Of course, he shouldn’t be punched. He would never do that.
But some people would and have done this intentionally.
Usually, one spouse isn’t financially aware you can inherit debt. Look, when you marry someone, unless you are being deliberate and extra careful – your finances will be combined together on paper. So often, the innocent spouse sign into co-owning the debt. When the original debt holder divorces and can’t or refuses to make payments, the loan sharks go to the innocent yet unaware spouse for the coins because yes – yes – yes – they really really owe that mess now too.
6. Ducking bills for work done because you feel like it (or tell yourself the work stinks.)
Ah, the stuff that makes up most of small claims court. This gets ugly really quickly among contractors who are responsible for making their own invoices and waiting for payment. It also happens to landlords.
Most commonly, it happens with dine and dashes.
I use to host at a bar. Once a couple (Sir neckbeard and Madame lip rings) were eating and drinking at the bar. I was across the room and saw from my periphery of those two getting up and dashing out of the bar. The manager and other patrons were much closer than I was and saw it.
The restaurant patrons thought it was amusing. My manager was mad (but not mad enough to chase them). I was…I was thinking about why people would need to dine and dash. Please tell me it was for thrills or the food was bad (which it wasn’t). Or were they that poor (yet still entitled) to afford a good meal?
I rather be angry than sad so I’ll go with the “they’re just dicks.”
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7. Intentionally leaving your cosigner’s to burn for your student loans.
I seem to be bringing up student loans a lot.
(Because they’re the CRAPPIEST debt you can ever HAVE.)
Unlike every single other debt that can be discharged in bankruptcy…student loans are non-dischargeable. Because you can’t really return your education so…
(Do those people who declare bankruptcy have to give back the 56 inch LED TVs they bought on credit or the vomit back up the food they ate in Vegas…?)
For 20-year-olds with zero life experience, many of them turn to their parents to co-sign for their student loans. The great thing is that vast majority of students would never drop the ball and drown their parents financially. Awesome!!!
BUT…it does happen. I know one story but I’m tired of name dropping stories…I’m just saying it happens in combination with #1, owing friends money but still frivolously spending instead of paying dues.
Some immature 20-year-olds grow up to be immature 25-year-olds and all they want to do is par-tay!!@@!@1 (FOMO, YOLO, Diplo…all that stuff.) So the guy spends all his earnings, end up in a bad financial position and automatically leaves his parents to clean up the student loan mess he should have paid back. The parents do OK but it will stretch them financially.
8. Thinking your parent’s money is yours and get an inheritance despite buffoonery behaviors.
No need to explain it. We have all seen it. It’s the Paris Hilton syndrome.
I can’t say I would be much different myself…I can be a brat, ask my husband, but getting older has taken better care of that.
For people out there who like me…why.
LOL just kidding!
So since I’m an only child (born under China’s One Child Policy, woo #madeit) anything my parents have will automatically go to me.
(Except they don’t have anything and we’ll end up taking care of them.)
BUT if they did have money, it’s mine. It’s mine. I’m a brat. But I’m their only blood so it’s totally mineeeeeeeeeeee.
Too bad they have nothing – ha! So technically I’m still a good girl!
9. Any form of scamming and preying on the helpless.
Example: calling elderly and gullible seniors pretending to be the IRS for their personal information.
Last week I got a call from the IRS. Apparently, the IRS sounds like an angry, coughing Russian man…on the last of his dime with a $2 voice recorder. He told me not to hang up because the call was regarding my social security–
I hung up.
LEAVE OLD PEOPLE ALONE.
They could bad mouth you to God when they reach Heaven…which would be soon because they’re older so yeah.
Another form of this includes having friends trying to recruit you into their pyramid scheme based around diet acai berries or overpriced saran wraps. Ugh, “the friend” I’m still mad that they would think I’m that financially gullible to sign up for Amway.
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10. Negatively judging others when they’re trying to improve their situation.
We all judge people. That’s A-OK. But I try my best to not to judge people when they are trying hard to correct themselves. Everyone deserves a second shot at a clean slate.
If you’re kicking someone down who is trying to better themselves…you’re punchable.
11. Taking debt in your loved one’s name / mismanaging your children’s finances.
Opening a credit card for personal gains in your child’s name is the number one ‘dick move’ according to my husband. Parental mismanagement happens more often than you think. It’s really sad when parents are a child’s first line of defense against the countless dick moves this world could throw at an eggling.
Me and my husband browse the personal finance subreddits a lot and this topic pops up more than occasionally and it’s always very angering.
Fun fact: I am a colossal fan of Gordon Ramsay. He is…a sharp Scottish shar-pei looking dreamboat. I don’t care too much about ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ but ‘Kitchen Nightmare’ is one of my all-time food-related shows. ‘Hotel Hell’ is pretty good too.
There was an episode called “The Burger Kitchen” from Kitchen Nightmare and it’s backstory just blows me away every time I re-watch it. I’ll attach the video below at the part of the video clip where everything is explained and you can check it out.
Spoiler: Father stole $250,000 from his son to invest in his own failing restaurant.
The full double feature episodes are on YouTube as well. Bring your moral compass if you want to watch it!
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Ms. Frugal Asian Finance says
Those are my financial petpeeves too, especially scamming/preying on the helpless. I wasn’t that helpless, but people were trying to scam me, and it pissed me off. I’m like “Come on, you can do better than that!” Seriously, people should get a life.
I started using your @_@ face. Did you notice?! I like the face!
Sarah | Smile & Conquer says
These are all gross, and definitely punchable offenses! People can do some pretty terrible things when it comes to money. I think a lot of it comes out of desperation but that doesn’t make it any better.
There’s probably more offenses. I almost put in blackmail/extortion too.
Olivia @ Birds of a FIRE says
Can we start punching people now? It sounds like fun 😀
Whacking people with sticks is more satisfying because you don’t have to touch them at all. ?
Dave @ Married with Money says
Uuuugh #10, just the worst 🙁 Honestly that probably keeps so many people in bad financial spots because they try to improve their situation, get some troll who says it’s dumb or they can’t do it, so they give up. It’s really sad.
It just makes no sense to me. I’m always happy when I see others be successful. It doesn’t make me any LESS successful, so why would I be negative about that? The more positive people can be, the better place our world would be.
I was really defensive of her but I didn’t think about it from a moral POV. I just thought her money moves made good sense and you shouldn’t down her for doing something right. That’s like saying building an emergency fund is wrong, or contributing to retirement is wrong.
Whoa! Wrong picture for the current political climate. Cutting it close to a punchable offense.
All these are horrible. Not being transparent with your partner is the worst. You have to work as a team to get ahead.
Joe I think it’s lasers!! Like laser tag with a hot girl 🙂 Oh I think I told you know dipping into the emergency fund in one of your posts, I need to check that.
Maybe I should switch it @_@
Mrs. Picky Pincher says
Ughhh! This post makes me mad, but in a good way! I at least feel better knowing I’m clear of face-punching from FG. 😉 I HATE HATE HATE when spouses lie to each other about money. There’s no good reason to be dishonest.
Lol!! I did my job then if you’re mad!
These are all straight up a-hole moves!! Maybe #2 I could dismiss unless that person is constantly freeloading off you.
The last one could be the lowest of the low, I can’t believe parents to this to their kids. The least they could do is maintain good credit under their kid’s name.
Yeah right? That story’s crazy! I feel so bad for the son. And I can’t believe the dad doesn’t know why or what he did was WRONG. Crazy.
Ok these are terrible. But confession time. I have done #4 and #8. Please don’t come through the internet at me. But I don’t think I have buffoonery behaviors, so maybe that makes it less atrocious? 🙂
Haha of course not. That would be me committing #9! Plus I would jump on #8 if my parents had any asset truthfully hahaha…they only have me!!
Mrs. Adventure Rich says
I recently watched the new Netflix show called “Dirty Money”. The episode about Payday loans made me sick… it aligns with #9 and showed how this guy made millions and funded a lavish lifestyle by taking advantage of people who needed a loan and resorted to payday loans. Worth watching!
IVE ALREADY SEEN IT. It was uploaded on YouTube (now I’m thinking it was probably taken down for copyrights ha.) Payday loans are the worst! Ugh!
Sean @ Frugal Money Man says
Definitely feel you on #1!
The worst is when they have the means to pay you back, then tell you they can’t right now, then post a social media pic hours later of them at some winery/bar/etc….
I have never understood why that happens, but I guess to some people it’s no big deal.
Definitely a punchable financial offense!!!
I knowwwww. That has happened to people I know before. If that’s how they treat “friends” how do they treat their finances? And why did they go ON social media to show off?
I know someone who borrowed $1000+ from a friend. And never even mentioned or tried paying her back, yet still shops and eats out etc. I drove me nuts!!! And I hate pyramid schemes.
Holy cow, $1000? I would take that to small claims. That’s terrible of a “friend” to do.
One of my brothers is the worst when it comes to borrowing money. He will tell you he doesn’t have any to pay you back but spend it like there is no tomorrow. He did it to me once and I never loaned him money again. My sister still does. He currently owes her quite a bit of money but is busy vacationing in the Caribbean! It’s too bad because it really damaged our relationship.
Aw that’s terrible. I’m glad you’re not putting up with it like your sister though!
I remember working as an assistant dining room manager in college. A man ordered the most expensive dinner on the menu and dashed. I was furious. I chased him all the way down the street, but he got away. When I made it back to the restaurant, sans culprit, the restaurant manager asked what I would have done if I caught him. Honestly, I had no idea, but that thieving jerk never showed up againg!
Haha that’s some bravery Liz! I got such an imagery from your story. I think I asked my manager what to do about the dashers and she said “Nothing! What is there to do! The cops won’t take stealing a meal as a real offense.” Kind of sad that that is indeed very true.
Martin @ DiscussPF says
Quite a few of these I see from my family or friends and I can agree that they should be punchable offences. My friend is bad at giving me advice on my personal finances even though in reality I am in much better situations than he is with my money. It can be so annoying at times but I have learnt to just bite my tongue and ignore it.
What’s going on with his advice on finances? Is he preaching bitcoin?
G. Brian Davis @ SparkRental says
I hide money from my wife sometimes. But not to spend. I have to move money into savings and invest it before she has a chance to spend it!
I’m right right there with you with these face-punch-able offenses Lily. I have a particular pet peeve with people who count on their parents’ inheritance as being “theirs.” It’s not yours. You didn’t earn it. You may never receive it. And when the day comes when you do receive it, wouldn’t you rather have more time with your parents than their money?
Yes I rather have time! When we heard the grandparents moved into a retirement home, I was sad. I think they sold their house at the peak of the market but I much rather have everything go back to the way it was, just everything go back to the normal and them in their house when we visit.
Stock Street says
YEP This list is adequate for a few punches in the mouth for sure! I know number 1 hits home as my friend has owes me $300 for about 2 years now!
Phew, all that interest!!
So true story, my friend’s daughter is getting married and she doesn’t know how much debt he’s in. My friend is worried because he’s paying for the wedding and the fiancee asked him to pay for the whole wedding up front and then he will pay him back. Bad first impression for the inlaws!
Oh I wouldn’t touch that with a 5-foot pole. Are they still engaged?!
I have loaned close friend of mine 10% of my net worth last year and he had not been paying on time and is delayed by month in payment now. I had to chase him for payments which is embarrassing and recently stopped picking my calls 🙁 . Lesson learnt though never will I loan money to anyone and loaning 10% of net worth is stupidest mistake.
Jim Wang says
At first I was going to say that violence is never the answer! And then I read the first offense on the list and take back what I was going to say – completely punchable. You can’t borrow money and not pay it back, it’s not decent. I started reading more and had to stop because I felt myself getting angry. 🙂
I am so glad that me and my wife are on the same page financially and have regular conversations about money. At the very least, I sent her monthly financial reports in the form of spreadsheets! We also went over each other’s credit report prior to getting married.
I couldn’t not laugh at #8, you are so funny. I can’t stand people who think they’re all that just because their parents are rich. My friend is dating a guy like that and he’s so useless, he doesn’t even have a job and is just mooching off his parents.
I also really liked your “growing up poor” post…I grew up poor…and it was the motivator to “do something”. Med school, two specialties, and a side career now….I enjoy reading your blog!