Life-Ruining Financial Decisions

October 13, 2023 | Nur Karageldi

Life-Ruining Financial Decisions

Money management, investments, and savings. These are all things that people strive to be good at; however, sometimes trying too hard can actually have disastrous consequences. Whether you are a reckless spender or make very cautious financial decisions, one mistake is more than enough to turn your cash into dust. 

1. One Very Bad Decision

I won't name any names, but a good friend of mine literally had it all—a successful business, a high-rise apartment, a house down the street with a pool, a sauna, a Casita, Hummer, corvettes, and about $400,000 in Bitcoin—he threw it all away over a “hitman”.

10 years earlier, before I knew him, his business was booming...buthe got greedy. He no longer wanted to split the financial gain with his business partners.

So he hired someone on the dark web to carry out destructive thing across state lines. The only thing was, he communicated everything over text. 

All three men, my friend, and the guy they hired, were caught and convicted. 

One received life behind bars, and my friend is even up for the ending penalty.

Also, he was only 35 when he was originally convicted.

financial decisions

2. A Very Expensive Water

A friend of mine who is very bad with money bought some sort of water filtration system from a door-to-door salesman. He has to pay something like $300 a month for this filtration system. He was all stoked because it came with a free set of pots and pans.

Fast forward a year. His girlfriend broke up with him, moved out of the house, and he had to sell his home because he couldn't afford to live there. The water filtration system is now sitting in a storage unit and he still pays $300 a month for it because he's on a two- or three-year contract.

We have great water quality in my area.

young man with sale board selling his houseLightField Studios, Shutterstock

3. House In, Wife Out

A co-worker I used to have worked every second of overtime he could for several years to save up for a house. 

When he applied for a house loan, he based his mortgage payment on all of the overtime he had been working. I tried to tell him that wasn't a good idea but he didn't want to hear it. He ended up divorced a few years later because his wife got tired of him always working.

Man and woman sign in divorce papers at courtroom.Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

4. How Much Does Pettiness Cost?

My maternal grandmother bought an 8-plex to avoid having capital gains when she sold her large house.  

The apartment complex was in the red and needed a lot of repairs. She hired my father to do them and also be an on-site manager. The place started making money...but things would take a turn for the worse. 

My mom, who divorced my dad, was mad that my grandma bought it in the first place. She was even madder that she hired my dad, and was proven wrong about it being a good investment because it was making money. 

My grandma was in her 90's and my mom pressured her for years, so my grandma finally sold it. That place is in a high market area and is now worth millions. My mom made a poor financial decision based on petty spite.

surprised middle aged mature woman looking at paper letter sitting alone on sofafizkes, Shutterstock

5. For Figurines I’ll Always Have Money

When my ex and I lived together he suddenly got super into figurines and model kits. It got to the point where our living room was full of them...on every surface. One time, I counted and he had bought more than 30 over six or so months. 

The math worked out to him spending about $300 a week on these things.

The thing is, we were both full-time students. He was paying for these with student loans. And I had to drive him around because he "couldn't afford a car", but he could somehow afford these model kits and figurines and Door Dash for every meal.

He even tried to keep living with me when I broke up with him because he "couldn't afford to move" either. I had no sympathy at that point.

Angry woman with red sweater is looking at camera.Pavel Danilyuk ,Pexels

6. There Is No Motorcycle 

My brother's ex fell for a Craigslist play. She found a motorcycle and the guy "needed money up front to pay bills" before she even saw it. 

We told her not to do it since it obviously wasn't real. She said she already sent $1,000.

Of course, he was never available to show her the bike and we found out from my brother after they broke up that she actually continued sending him money in hopes of getting the motorcycle. 

I think she was out $3,000 by the end.

girl   holding wallet and giving moneyBangun Stock Productions, Shutterstock

7. Bye Bye Piano

My ex-husband got cheated out of tens of thousands of dollars just by being an over-trusting and under-thinking seller.

He had always wanted a piano his entire life. One day, a friend's father passed and left them an incredibly amazing old piano that she had no use for. She then gifted to him because he loved those things so much.  He tuned it and fixed it up.

Then, a giant ball of tragedies struck that put us in a very bad financial situation, causing us to no longer afford where we were currently living. We had to move to his family's old home which is off the mainland and on an island.

Being that the only way to get anything moved was to ship it and that's extremely expensive, he had to sell a lot of things.  And much to his dismay, the piano was just too big and too heavy to afford to ship there.

So he put out a listing to sell it for a very reasonable price.  It was an antique, in spectacular condition, made in the early 1900s, and it was worth at the very least $80,000.

He listed it for a fraction of what it was worth due to time constraints and having to get rid of it before the move.

Someone contacted him and offered to buy it.  And here is where he did something monumentally stupid.

The buyer offered to have a truck come and pick up the piano in a very quick time frame. He asked if it would be alright to give my husband $1,000 upfront and then the rest in two weeks when they got paid.

I know he was under a lot of stress, but that was dumb. You do not let anyone walk away with an incredibly valuable item without it being paid in full.

As I'm sure no one here is shocked by, the person never paid anything else on the piano and just disappeared.

The money from that sale alone was pretty much all we were going to have to live off of until he was able to secure a new job in the new location.

Those people are truly awful and many people need to learn not to be so trusting. It's sad. But it's just how it is.

piano outsideMaria Tyutina, Pexels

8. Awful Auntie

My awful auntie was the trustee for my grandparents' estate. When they passed, she decided to sell their house to a random realtor who put a leaflet on the door. 

She thought she could get away with it, but she messed up big time. It wasn't put on the market, and the aunt rejected a matching offer I made after I argued hard to actually list the house and have people bid on it.

The realtor slapped a new coat of paint on it and sold it a couple of months later for literally a million dollars more than she bought it for.

Open House Signsirtravelalot, Shutterstock

9. Rookie Mistake

I applied for a 5k loan but didn't accept it quickly enough.

So applied for another 5k loan, and both got accepted, and ended up gambling it all.

Man taking loan from a bank employeecreate jobs 51, Shutterstock

10. Inheritance Down The Drain

My cousin spent all of her inheritance and took out a loan on her home to buy a second home in the mountains. The thing is, it was being pushed over by a mountain...and they thought they could fix it. I went to see it and every door jam was crooked and the doors wouldn't shut.

They took me down into the basement and they were trying to use I-beams to "stop the mountain from pushing on the home". 

I was just like, "What are you doing, that won't solve anything".

Fast forward six months and they asked me for $50K to help and I declined. A year later, the home collapsed. And now, they owe over $300k+ for a home that doesn't exist and if they don't make the payments, they lose their other house too because they used the original home as collateral and could not get insurance on the second home.

Total money lost: upwards of $700k.

loan to buy  real estateMIND AND I, Shutterstock

11. No Money For the Wedding

I knew someone who got a loan for their wedding, but their luck ran out real quick. They decided to spend it all at a casino.  Now they have a loan of $20,000 to pay off and nothing to show for it.

Person going to sign papers for a loanAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

12. Felt Sorry For The Old Lady

This older lady worked part-time in my kitchen. It was a fine dining, fast-paced environment.  She would only work about 20 hours per week doing busy work, like peeling vegetables, washing produce, etc. 

I only gave her tasks I knew she could handle.

Unfortunately, her husband was gone for good and she requested a few months off. I totally understood and told her to take all the time she needed.

I told her, “Let me know when you feel comfortable coming back to work, if at all”. 

Eight months later, she contacted me for a job. I was more than willing to have her back in my kitchen. I nonchalantly asked her how she was coping with her loss.

As she updated me on her situation, she broke down in tears. She apparently got a $500,000 insurance payout from her husband.

Within those months she attempted to open a restaurant and sink every dime into the establishment. 

It went out of business in six months.

She was now broke as an elderly lady having to go back to work.

Senior barista woman serving some coffee to goAJR_photo, Shutterstock

13. Vroom Vroom

I knew a guy who was terrible with money. He worked in a warehouse but spent all his money on bad things. Then one day he came to me to show me his brand-new car; probably around $40 to $50k.

He takes me for a ride and starts bragging about how he took his pay stub to like 10 of those cash advance places so he could get $10K worth of loans. He said he had been "living like a king".

It was as if he thought he found some sort of life hack. To this day, I'm not sure if he just thought he wouldn't have to pay it back or what.

A couple of weeks later, I learned he wasn't paying attention while driving and rear-ended a bus going way over the speed limit. He totaled the car. 

Trainwreck of a guy.

Warehouse manager in bubble jacket holding tablet in warehouseTiger Lily, Pexels

14. The Venezuelan Economy

My dad worked for the UN and built up quite a good pension while he was there. A good $400k. He left the UN in his mid-to late-50s. 

Instead of looking for new work after leaving, he decided to move back to Venezuela, his home country, and just relax for a while.

During this sabbatical, his wife and her family talked my dad into putting almost his whole pension into a single stock with her stockbroker nephew. The stock was Venezuelan oil. Maybe you have an idea how volatile the Venezuelan economy is, and how high inflation is there...It’s a bad situation.

But still, my dad went through with it. At first, it was okay—but then it wasn’t. Predictably, the nephew lost my dad's entire nest egg. He ended up ghosting my dad and his wife.

At that point, my dad tried to find new work, but because he was so close to retirement age he couldn’t find anything decent. So my dad, a Ph.D. graduate who worked at a decently high level at the UN, ended up having to clean houses for money.

money that are disappearingevan_huang, Shutterstock

15. Exotic

I am a 21-year-old living in my dad’s basement, paycheck to paycheck.

I went to a reptile exhibit and brought home two exotic frogs and a snake because they didn't have enough money for a bearded dragon.

A pet frogAjayTvm, Shutterstock

16. A Crazy Night Out

When I was 19, I went to Miami with some friends in Cinco de Mayo. 

We got insanely tipsy and went bar hopping across the city. It was a fun night—until I woke up the next morning to a total shock.

I looked at my transactions first thing and realized I had spent over a grand.

A group of multiracial friends has a great time at the roof nightclubastarot, Shutterstock

17. Only For A Safe

I used to be a car salesman. I watched as someone traded in their six-month-old, $95,000 pickup truck for $70,000 just to buy the same $95,000 truck. It was the same truck. 

The only difference was that the new truck had a safe. I told the guy we could install a safe for $2,000. It would have been the same safe in the same place. The guy added $20,000 in debt for a safe. But hey, I got to make a $95,000 sale.

Smiling friendly car seller in car salon  holding tabletDusan Petkovic, Shutterstock

18. Sorry, Grandma

Someone at my work bought a brand-new Audi RS3! 

Around $70K to 80K euros. He got $40k from his grandma because she gave it to him "in case" she was about to go away. It was meant to be a small fortune that he could use to buy a house, maybe.

But no. What he did was put another $30K from his own money to buy the car. The guy has no house and has no money left.

blue Audi sedanMike Bird, Pexels

19. Bro, It Happens Because You Are An Idiot

The guy had $800 in his bank total. He spent $784 on an Airbnb for a single night to throw a party for his birthday when the owner said no parties. 

He lied to management at his job to throw it, then got kicked out of the Airbnb in 30 minutes. Unsurprisingly, he also got fired from his job for lying. 

He was a gas station clerk. All he could say was, “Bro I’m so broke...Why does all this bad stuff always happen to me”?

Worker at modern gas stationNew Africa, Shutterstock

20. You Got Played By Your Cousin

This happened in the past couple of years. My grandparents had a good amount of money put away, grandpa worked hard, bought a home in LA decades ago and sold for a crazy amount.

My uncle wanted to help them invest their money, about 500K after they'd bought a house, and had been searching for ways to get them more money for years. He got in contact with a distant cousin who started talking to him about investing online, how he had a full proof method to make money, etc

He was the guy that has an investment Instagram and is always posting pictures of his gains and cars and lifestyle.

Uncle transferred over the savings. Next thing you know, the method "failed" and my grandparents' money was gone. But the cousin had done well with "other investments" at the same time and started buying his close family members new cars, taking vacations, etc.

I googled the guy after the fact, and there's a whole Facebook page of people trying to get the word out that the dude is a con artist. Too little too late, I guess.

People signing agreement  about  co-investment businessAmnaj Khetsamtip, Shutterstock

21. No Luck For You This Year

I am a realtor in Southern California. A couple took out almost $120K equity in their home to buy lotto tickets. They thought with over $120k worth of lottery tickets, they would have a really good chance of winning.

The biggest issue they had was trying to buy $100k worth of lottery tickets within the timeframe between drawings. 

Not only did they fail to buy $100k of tickets, but they didn't win the drawing either. What they did with the remaining money is anyone's guess.

A young woman holds the lottery ticketMehaniq, Shutterstock

22. My Two Role Models 

My dad saved like crazy his entire life. He was minimalist. Hehad about a million saved by his 60s when my parents divorced. My mom, a shopaholic, fought him in court and received $800K from him, which he just let her have because all he wanted to do was live in a tiny house he already owned outright and spend the remainder of his years traveling in the cheapest countries. 

He’s still self-sufficient to this day at the age of 75 and has been to around 45 countries in the last 10 or so years.

My mom spent $800K in less than five years. She bought nothing but garbage. Collectible angels, a bedroom suite, a house she couldn’t afford. Just shopped and shopped.

She yelled at me this week for refusing to pay her electric bill which is about to be disconnected.


saving money in a jarlovelyday12, Shutterstock

23. 2008 Was A Bad Year For My Dad

When my parents split up, my father didn’t want to leave the house, so my mother’s attorney convinced him to guarantee my mother half the value of the house at the time whenever he sold it, and he could keep the rest. 

I still remember him telling me, “Housing prices only go up, I’ll come out of this way ahead, your mother is being foolish”. This was five minutes before the big housing collapse of 2008. 

By the time he was finally forced to sell five years later, his share was worth about a nickel He gave my mom half of what the house had been worth five years before. 

I think about this every time he complains about not having any money, which is basically every time he talks to me.

real estate housing market crashBrian A Jackson, Shutterstock

24. Crypto Bro

I had a friend who sold his house to move into a new one. The sale would essentially pay off his new one except for a hundred thousand dollars or so. 

It would have been fine, but he ended up making a really bad move—because interest rates were so low, he decided instead to put the majority of it into crypto.

The crypto crashed and it’s essentially worthless.

Spending over half a million on crypto and has nothing to show for it, or could have had a beautiful paid-off house with all the equity.

Stressed business man crypto trader broker investor analyzing stock exchange marketGround Picture, Shutterstock

25. Never Give Money To Strangers!

A couple of years ago, my friend was visiting Vegas for a few weeks. He lent out $170,000 to someone who was essentially a stranger, but my friend thought that he was a very rich stranger.

My friend is not rich by any means, and he was just on a hot streak while doing sports betting. He never saw that money again. The guy who he lent money to was actually broke, and does this type of stuff all the time.

VegasPixabay, Pexels

26. Trusting The Wrong People

My poor, sweet, trusting-to-a-fault grandmother lost her home after she put my aunt and her then-husband on the deed. He had a massive gambling problem and he took out a bunch of loans against the house, which of course he never got back.

There are few things more irresponsible than going into debt to gamble, but the resulting cruel twist could have been prevented if my grandma hadn't entrusted her life savings to that sleazebag.

grandmother opens an empty walletmarikun, Shutterstock

27. Who Needs A House When You Have An Audi?

I know several people who live at home with their parents because they can't afford to rent their place due to having a low-paid job.

However, they all have had an Audi or similar since they were 20 or so, paying a ludicrous proportion of their income each month on renting a stupid car.

audi parked near treesVlad Alexandru Popa, Pexels

28. Lord Of A Ring

I knew a guy who sold his Apple stock for a ring for his wife and a honeymoon trip, about $20,000. They're happily together—but he still missed out BIG time.

If he had held it until last year, it would have been worth, like, $2.5 million.

stock market risingBro Crock, Shutterstock

29. Passion Over Money

In 1988, this guy walked away from the final state job interview that paid $25K, free medical and dental and a pension.

He walked away so he wouldn't be late for your $9 per hour summer job as a lifeguard.

Young man in suit sitting at the desk at job interviewfizkes, Shutterstock

30. Wife Is The House Accountant

I bought my wife a surprise Lexus during the “December To Remember” sales event. I thought she was going to be so happy to see it in the driveway on Christmas morning, just like in all the commercials. 

Turns out, she just got really mad because I made a major purchase without talking to her, and we couldn't afford it because I had been unemployed for a year.

A beautiful new white car with red bowStandret, Shutterstock

31. Mama And Papa Are Broke

The worst financial decision is having kids. I’ve unfortunately seen so many couples I know go from being financially stable pre-kids to being financially ruined and 24/7-broke post-kids.

Small boy is comforting his upset mother.Keira Burton, Pexels

32. Retirement Community Mania

My in-laws. They sold a very nice house that was about ten years away from being paid to buy a trailer in a retirement community. Keep in mind at this point they are only in their mid-50s. The old man worked  for a couple more years then retired with a nice government pension.

After a couple years they decide Midwest winters aren’t for them. So…. They sell that trailer…at a loss to move out of state into another trailer in a different retirement community. Then they decided after a year or two they didn’t like that one. So they sold it,  at a loss and moved to another one on the other side of the park.

A few more years go by.  They decide  they miss their family and kids. So they sell the trailer…you guessed it…for a loss and move back halfway across the country to the Midwest. This time they decide maybe taking loss after loss on a mobile home isn’t worth it. So they decided to buy a house.

Only they have burned through so much of their savings on these trailers they can’t swing the mortgage. So the oldest daughter cosigned a loan on a modest one bedroom house. It’s not much but it's affordable and the taxes are low.

Fast forward another few years. They decide taking care of a house isn’t for them. So they sell the house, at the very peak of the subprime crisis but actually manage to  make a bit of a profit.

Maybe things are looking up? Probably not. These two have the financial sense of an intoxicated sailor on leave. So of course let’s not buy a condo or somebody that might have earned little equity ... .No, let's move into an apartment, because it has a nice community center full of other old people.

Well rent in this fancy apartment complex is about 50 percent more than their mortgage. Surprise surprise! After a couple years it becomes apparent that they can’t afford to live there. But this time they are out of money.

In about 25 years they burned through their life savings because of some love affair with living in a retirement community. Had they just stayed in their house they would have been able to retire comfortably. Instead my mother-in-law is still working nearly full time to make ends meet. So now in their 80s they have no choice but to move in with their oldest daughter.

For Sale sign on houseWilliam Barton, Shutterstock

33. I Subscribe To Everything

The girl I'm seeing has made a lot of irresponsible financial decisions. She signs up for a retail credit card practically every time they ask at the register, she has subscription boxes for everything—shoes, beauty products, and even socks for some reason—and she has nothing in savings.

She's really great, but not really the brightest. She's easily swayed into ordering products she sees on Instagram and saying yes any time she gets prompted to upgrade to a premium service. 

It's been a bit of a struggle to get it all sorted.

Portrait of a happy young woman in sunglasses throwing out money banknotes isolated over white backgroundDean Drobot, Shutterstock

34. She Needed “Me Time”

My mother decided through sheer narcissism, during the peak of the pandemic when 1) our rent was late every month, 2) there was barely food in our fridge, and 3) we had to ask other family members for help, to open a credit card in my name without my knowledge or consent. She then used it to take a vacation for herself alone.

She told me she was going on a business trip.

woman hand holding credit carddean bertoncelj, Shutterstock

35. At Least They Got Back Together

My friend once bought a $200 to $300 Tote Bag, from Marc Jacobs. I spent two hours talking him out of it just for him to buy it for his girlfriend. They had only gotten together three weeks prior, roughly. 

He still bought it and she broke up with him two weeks later. About two months after that, they got back together and now are happy together.

I still don't think he should've bought the bag.

Woman with gray leather Marc Jacobs bagandersphoto, Shutterstock

36. Marriage Is Expensive

A couple was planning their wedding...on company time. She worked one desk over, and her future husband came in saying that he had maxed out all of his credit cards, but still needed to pay for something.

He asked whether she had a credit card he could use.

I still remember her concerning response: "Here is my Visa card, but it is maxed out. I have this Mastercard, but it is nearly maxed out. Here's the Discover card. You might try it, but I think it is maxed out".

Multiple credit cards in debt and not even married yet.

man holding his empty walletYingzaa_ST, Shutterstock

37. Check The Remote Control Buddy

My colleague's in-laws bought a a new expensive TV because their old one "stopped working" and they were too lazy to try to figure out what was wrong with it and if it could be fixed. 

Turns out the old TV was fine, the TV remote just needed new batteries.

expensive tvAlex Gorins, Shutterstock

38. Delusional

A friend of a friend of mine decided to leave his wife, his family, and his job because he was "in love" with some minor female celebrity. Keep in mind, that there was no evidence that she even knew he existed.

Honestly, she's probably a scammer or has a PR representative who handles her messages. His "plan" is to move to Hollywood, become a "movie writer" with no experience in the field, and live with the woman he "loves" and has never met. 

It's a disaster, and efforts to talk him out of it failed entirely.

Arrogant man with a crown delusionalAJR_photo, Shutterstock

39. Oh God!

The worst decision I’ve seen was my friend giving all of his money to the Church believing God will reward him. I don't think he knows the Mormon church has 200 billion dollars.

This was given by Church members to help those in need like in Maui. So far, they haven’t given any money.  But in the first quarter of this year, they made another 2 billion dollars.

Hand Giving Money To Other HandAndrey_Popov, Shutterstock

40. No Credit For You

I moved out of my parents' house at 18 due to an unsafe living environment. I moved in with my existing family, but they could only support us for so long, so we got our own place two years later. We were making around $9 an hour and had gotten credit cards to use for only gas and groceries. We were supposed to pay them off at the end of the month.

It was going alright, until I decided to start online schooling and needed a laptop. My mom suggested I use my credit card to buy one, so I did! This needed up backfiring on me—it set me off on a binge spree where I'd use my credit card for anything I couldn't afford on my own.

Any time I wanted pizza or a quick dinner and we didn't have any groceries, I'd use a credit card. We were having friends over about once a week at that time and I'd supply the $65 drinks and $40 pizza order.

Soon enough, while still making $9 an hour and my rent being $850, I started using the credit cards for groceries and gas as well, but I was unable to repay them.

Interest started piling up and I was in over my head. I had used up about 30% of my card and knew I shouldn't use more than that, so I applied for a new card. I kept doing that method where I used up to 30% of a card and got a new one, until I couldn't afford any of the payments anymore and was accumulating interest at a fast rate.

My girlfriend and I broke up and, since none of the cards were in her name, I was on the hook for all of the debt. But I didn't stop there. I kept spending and spending. I tried to transfer the balance to a 0% interest card, but I didn't get a big enough amount for all of it. When I had the empty space on cards, I used them up again for bills, groceries, gas, anything and everything. 

I got a personal loan to pay them off and it got most of the debt, but not all of it. I then used up those cards yet again for expensive trips and gifts for my new girlfriend.

At the end of it all, I decided to try and use a debt relief company to settle my debts and then pay them off. I had around $30K to $40K in debt at that time and signed up to pay them $500 per month for 5 years. 

I recently had to leave my higher-paying job and can no longer afford those payments, so I'm looking at bankruptcy now, which I probably should have used in the first place.

Man using credit card to buy somethingCup of Couple, Pexels

41. Daddy’s Mistake 

My father took out an interest-only mortgage on our family house in Birmingham, UK that we moved into in 1986. The house was worth £60,000 in 1986. My father was on a good salary as a university lecturer and could have easily paid the house off in just a few years. 

However, he decided to have a sordid affair with his brother's wife, which his brother knew about. His brother didn't care as long as my father was basically funding his entire life—my father's brother is a lazy bum who never worked an honest hard day's work in life and has scrounged off my father all his life.

My father's finances were spent on funding and paying for both his sister in law's and brother's  property and lifestyle. He was also played into helping his brother and sister-in-law's daughter get on to the property ladder, because she found out that my father was having an affair with her mother. 

So, my father had to pay off a hefty deposit on a new home for his niece, just to keep her quiet.

Meanwhile, my mother, sister and I were completely in the dark about my father's true nature, and his sordid affair with his sister in law. He kept on remortgaging our family house and taking out ridiculous loans just to keep going financially.

To make things worse, the mortgage he took out on our family property is an interest-only mortgage. He had no life insurance of any sort. Even though our property was jointly held in my father and mother's name, my father was secretive and never used to discuss important financial matters with her. My mother, in her innocence and naivety, simply trusted that he was doing right by us, and kept signing whatever mortgage negotiation papers my father asked her to, without fully understanding the consequences of remortgaging via the interest-only route.

My father lost his in 2022 and most of the details I speak about now only emerged a year after his demise. The terms of our mortgage expired a few years ago, my father kept quiet about this too.

My mother is still working at the age of 66, a minimum wage retail job, and thanks to the carelessness of my father is faced with a debt of £200,000 in the year 2023, on a property that cost £60,000 in 1986, and could have been paid off easily.

My sister and I live with my mother. I work two jobs and we struggle to make ends meet. We basically are being forced to sell our property by the bank, but the cost of our property is a bit less than what we owe the bank. We'll be lucky to break even, with no money left over to spend on another property or to use for rent. 

Our extended family has neglected and abandoned us, so we have been begging friends to let us stay with them to avoid becoming homeless. We face an uncertain future.

I've been battling depression and have even contemplated ending my own life, but I love my mother and sister too much and don't want them to suffer without me.

Approved mortgage loanFabio Balbi, Shutterstock

42. Conference Call

Years ago, I worked as a medical courier, driving long hours to deliver medical specimens and equipment. A senior driver was giving up his route with plans to retire and move away. I won the bid for his route and spent almost 30 hours with him over two days learning all the locations and procedures.

During that time he repeatedly told me all about the big investments he had made in the Iraqi dinar. I forget exactly when this was taking place but due to the US invasion he was under the impression that they would somehow have their currency restructured and it would be worth 10-100 times as much overnight. 

At first some of this made sense, on the global scene it's possible for some currencies to be artificially undervalued and when certain geopolitical doors open those currencies rebound.

After hearing the vague details a dozen times I kinda started to become concerned though and pushed back on it a little. This wasn't a long term plan to flip junk currency but rather a get rich quick scheme. 

I asked how much he'd invested and how exactly this restructuring works. He couldn't really explain it himself except to claim it happened before with the Kuwaiti currency and supposedly some people holding certain bank notes became rich overnight. He wouldn't say exactly how much, but I got the impression he'd put a significant portion of his retirement into the scam, perhaps 20k or more.

While we were out on route it was time for his "investment group" to have a conference call, and he "let me listen in even though it was very private".

The call was a total freak show. The host immediately opened the call with an awkward and hostile rant about how anyone suggests that he was tricking people and not legit after his firm works so hard to find their clients winning investments and that if anyone dared slander him again they'd be sued into the dirt for libel.

Host number two awkwardly wrestles control of the call away and reminds everyone that this is a private call and not to share any of their sensitive investment information.

The hosts spent a good 30 minutes stringing along the Iraqi dinar scheme, that it was too late now for new investors but those already on board would surely see their held currency go up in a massive spike any day now. 

No details about how or why it worked that way. They were sure though, absolutely certain it wouldn't be more than another week or so until the currency went up. At this point the retiring driver informs me he pushed his retirement up early and made plans to move because he was expecting this payout so soon. 

The previous month's call they expected to have the money by Thanksgiving, and hosts even went so far as to tell their conference call to start picking out new cars to drive for the holidays. They made sure to tell their flock repeatedly not share any secrets of the call, and that the amount of money they were about to make could make them targets and celebrities. 

Even going so far as to include instructions on getting a private box at the bank and telling no one about the Iraqi dinars stored inside.

The rest of the call was an advertisement to buy Zimbabwe currency.

I really hope everything worked out for him and that he had enough money on hand to live out his days comfortably. The route he left behind changed my life. I don't miss the 70+ hours a week on the road, but I wouldn't have been able to buy my home without the income upgrade.

financial investment business stock growthd.ee_angelo, Shutterstock

43. Crypto Parents 

Parents-in-law had invested money in Bitcoin when it was only a few dollars to a few hundred dollars for one Bitcoin. Can't recall when Bitcoin hit big, right before or during the pandemic, but their investment paid off. 

They ended up making close to or over six figures.

They were smart with it at first. Taking out small increments to pay off debt, bills, etc. But out of nowhere, they decided to purchase a plot of land in the middle of nowhere. They had intentions of building a home there, but then decided not  to because they got hit by IRS taxes.

They owed tens of thousands of dollars in taxes that they can't seem to pay off. They took a loan out for the property that they also have to pay back. They also have three kids, and reinvested in crypto in hopes that it hits big again. They don't have a house, instead they all live in a cramped trailer on their property.

When asked how they owed this much and how they didn't think they would, they said they weren't sure and how they didn't know they would get taxed for it. One of the parents was an accountant.

Pretty business woman accountant   working in the officekurhan, Shutterstock

44. Paying Someone To Mess Up Your House

I hired a contractor on a friend's referral. I made sure he was licensed, bonded, insured. No lawsuits or fines in his licensing history. I got a bid to extend the whole back of our house 12 feet for a fourth bedroom, open concept kitchen, master suite with five piece bath, and full interior remodel. 

I got two other bids and this guy was like $50K cheaper. He said, "I'm going to do all the work myself to save you money".

By the time we fired him a year later, it was already too late—we had gotten conned out of all of our money and he had only done half the job. So now, we're homeless and I've been spending my weekends for the last year fixing his mistakes and finishing his job.

We won our Breach of Contract lawsuit, but dude's a tweaker and lives in a trailer park, so we'll never see any money other than his bond.

This dude's workmanship was so bad, it was clear he's never done anything of this scale before, and we've had to hire two engineers to find ways to bring his slope up to code.

Handsome construction worker  in protective helmet shaking hands  with ownerVGstockstudio, Shutterstock

45. No Diploma, Only A Lease

One of my older cousins. She dropped out of college like two months into it. Used college loan money to put a security deposit down on a two bedroom apartment, she lived alone.

I was using some of that money each month to pay rent because she couldn’t afford it on her 20 hours a week Starbucks job.  

COVID hit a few months into this whole mess. She ended up not paying rent for a year because she couldn’t get evicted. She also got crazy money during COVID every week. Did she save any of it? Nope. Blew it all on stupid stuff and partying.

COVID ended, and I was shocked that her landlord evicted her even when she offered to start paying rent again.

She’s now somehow in debt even though she got free rent for a year while getting thousands of dollars from Covid. No landlord will rent to her now and she’s too broke to afford it even if she could. Took out more loans and I legit have no idea what her plan is.

Woman checking her finances at homefizkes, Shutterstock

46. Just Call Your Dad

The other day, someone called my brother but our dad’s name came up on the phone. So he said, “Hi, Dad!” And a guy on the phone said he’d taken away my dad but would return him unharmed if my brother gave him $900.

My brother said he didn’t have that but could use PayPal to get the guy $500. Then he proceeded to pay the guy $500! 

Guess what…Dad was not taken away. And my brother had people in the house when this happened but decided not to have them call my dad or the officers. I am not making this up. That’s the worst financial decision I’ve ever seen…

Shocked man in blue shirt and glassesMaster1305, Shutterstock

47. Should’ve Taken The DNA Test

My ex. He was going broke keeping up child support payments to a cheating ex for a child that is likely not his. 

He saved enough for a DNA test—but what he did next was just utterly disappointing. He bought a new iPhone instead. 

He will continue payments for 18 years for a child he has never met, for a woman who never loved him.

Child support and alimony moneyBurdun Iliya, Shutterstock

48. Plain Bad Math

I watched someone I know who has a wife, two kids, and five dogs sell their house so they could "move to Florida". They sold their house for about $400,000 and then bought a $200,000 camper, a $40,000 plot of land, a $120,000 truck, and a $40,000 Razer. 

They bought more stuff than their house was worth and ended up having to sell the camper, truck, and land for less than half of what they paid for it. To say they paid the price for their habits is an understatement—they are now living in a short-term rental, with no money, no plans, no jobs. 

We think they are waiting for one of their parents to go away so they can inherit money, but they will obviously ruin that too.

man buying or selling a  houseCrizzyStudio, Shutterstock

49. Fate Intervened

Two decades ago, a friend took out her entire 401k to make a trip to the Antarctic to see penguins. She was beginning to lose her eyesight, and it was a dream of hers. She was so happy—until she received some devastating news.

Turns out, it was a good thing that she went because within a year she had lung cancer and she didn’t survive. It was not a great decision on several levels, but in the end, it worked for her, because fate intervened.

penguins on icePixabay, Pexels

50. Wifey Put Me In Debt

I knew a dude who married a girl three months after hooking up with her. He thought she had a good job because she liked expensive things. Turns out, it was Daddy's money and he cut her off when she married the dude. 

The dude went from “kind of struggling” to $70K in debt overnight. His wife was a massive idiot and refused to change her spending habits.

Bride and groom exchange rings at the weddingdigitalienspb, Shutterstock

51. Self-Starter Mindset

I had a friend cash out all of his stocks and savings so he could spend $100K on his own online marketing business. 

He had no prior experience and no clients lined up. He had about four clients over the course of two years, one of whom never paid him.

businessman   losing money

52. Back In Town

I watched a friend of mine give his wife of one year power of attorney right before deployment. They had known each other for all of about a year and a half at that point.

Eight months later, she was six months pregnant and had maxed out three credit cards in his name. She also had the divorce paperwork ready.

Young couple are seating and talking with lawyer at his office.Pavel Danilyuk, Pexels

Sources:  Reddit 

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