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Story 181 for Stupid Tax
$800 dollar STUPID TAX
Original story submitted by Mike
on July 30, 2012
on July 30, 2012
$800 dollar STUPID TAX
Duh. That's all I can think. We were a two-vehicle family at the start of this year, with both paid for. One vehicle broke down hundreds of miles from home, and we sold it. We had just finished FPU, so we were going to wait it out, and be a single car family. Well, two months later, the transmission is going (along with a bunch of other stuff), and it won't pass inspection. The choice: Thousands in repairs, or thousands for another vehicle. So, we went with option two. I spent hours and hours pouring over websites, and hit upon a strategy. All these nice little cars are very popular with young people. And they tend to get beat into the ground. SO I started looking for cars less popular with young folks (what teen or 20 something ever walked into a dealership and said "What can you show me in a Buick?") I found a decent car, decent miles, not very expensive, big downpayment (just didn't have cash for the whole thing) and financed for the minimum number of months. Here's the duh moment. The dealer hit me with 800 dollars in charges for "vin etching" "pin striping" and "nitrogen filled tires." I pushed back, hard, and got a lot of that knocked off. But they told me basically, it was already on there, so they had to charge me. (This is painful just to write about!) Well, after signing, turning down the pile of add-ons and etc, I went home and gave the Carfax one last look. And there, in the report, was the vin etching, the pin striping, and the nitrogen tires - just before the PREVIOUS owner bought the car. That's right, they charged that guy for all this stuff, and when he traded it in, charged me when I bought it. Lesson: Ask when that stuff was done to the car - and BRING THE CARFAX WITH YOU!
33 of 35 found this story helpful.
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Story 182 for Stupid Tax
Money down the drain
Original story submitted by Rick
on July 23, 2012
Location:Lawrenceville, GA
Age: 45-55
Gender: male
on July 23, 2012
Money down the drain
I had noticed the dripping noise coming from the bathroom for a while, but I kind of tuned it out. One month, our water bill nearly tripled from about $25 to nearly $75.
Still, I tuned out the dripping sound.
When the water bill rose to a whopping $175 the next month, I investigated the noise.
Lifting the tank lid, I saw an old, worn flapper.
After a trip to the Home Improvement warehouse, and after installing a new flapper, the noise stopped.
An investment of $3.75 could have given me a return of $150. If I could do that well with my other investments, I'd already be a millionaire!
32 of 33 found this story helpful.
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Story 183 for Stupid Tax
Being Used at the Used Tire Dealer
Original story submitted by Ian B
on July 12, 2012
Location:Louisville, KY
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
on July 12, 2012
Being Used at the Used Tire Dealer
Dave would have been proud of me! I purchased a car from a college kid for only $800 last summer with only about 114,000 miles on it! After driving it for more than a year, I finally found myself in need of some new tires. I looked at the major chains and supercenters to see if I could find a good deal, but nothing really stuck out at me.
Whenever possible, I like to try to support local businesses, so as I was coming home one day about two months ago, I stopped at a small used tire dealer. I had never bought used tires from a dealer before, and his price seemed right - only $35 each! So I got three to replace the three worst tires on my car; two with nearly no tread and one that I would have to go to the gas station and fill with air about once per week.
Everything seemed fine at first, but then things became a bit shady... I asked if I could use my debit card to pay for the tires, since this was a more expensive purchase, but he then told me cash only. Fortunately, I had the cash, but when I asked for a receipt, he said he couldn't give me one. I should have disputed it there, but against my better judgement I went ahead and left - without any proof of purchase.
Well, all seemed fine for a while, but just over the last month I have become aware that the tires I purchased were worse off than the ones I replaced! One was going flat and just a couple days ago I found one had blistered and was causing the car to shake violently and was on the verge of a blow-out!
The story ends with me out $105 and going to one of the chain stores buying a set of new tires yesterday. Some things, I have learned, you just don't buy because it costs less. Some things you need to be willing to spend more on for better quality that will, in the long run, cost you a lot less over time. And it also helps with the wife's security gland. For some reason, wives don't like the thought of themselves careening off the road into a ditch! I just don't understand...
61 of 69 found this story helpful.
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Story 184 for Stupid Tax
Bounced Check charge
Original story submitted by Sean
on July 11, 2012
Location:Denver
Age: 35-44
Gender: male
on July 11, 2012
Bounced Check charge
"Floated" a check for $271.31 on thursday afternoon because I got paid on Friday direct deposit at 12:00 am. Of course the company uses the same bank as I do so I just bounced a check by .12 cents and cost me $10 in an overdraft fee! STUPID STUPID STUPID!
5 of 7 found this story helpful.
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Story 185 for Stupid Tax
My parents' stupid taxes
Original story submitted by June
on July 11, 2012
Location:Houston
Age: 25-34
Gender: female
on July 11, 2012
My parents' stupid taxes
My mother was always taken care of by her father who never taught her how to make financial decisions, but just made them for her, like the Army lt colonel that he was. SHe married my father, who was not nearly as capable as her father, and trusted him to make all the decisions. Moral of this story: teach your children about money and always know what your spouse is doing.
My father grew up with nothing and so could never tell himself (or us) no. If I had known how much debt he had, I would have gone to LSU on a full ride plus room and board instead of going out of state on a tuition free scholarship. But i didn't know. He also paid for both my siblings living expenses (both got full tuition scholarships). (Rather I should say my mother's interest and dividends on her inheritance paid for our college.) moral of this story: make college choices with full information, don't pay for your kids college if you have no retirement saved, don't try to keep up with the Joneses.
Now he has no retirement because he sold a lot of the stock to pay for alternative cancer treatments (he got swindled on that one) and the rest is worth nothing since it is bank stock (she never diversified because she was emotionally attached to the bank her grandfather had helped start). moral of this story: diversify your investments so you are not overly exposed to the risk of a single stock.
My Mom died so he doesn't have her income. He has 70,000 in credit card debt, two personal loans to his only 2 business clients he has left because he doesn't do a good job of servicing business or sales, a personal loan from me (beginning this year I reserve 2.5% of my after tax income to put aside for him, considering it paying back the 4 years of college room and board--but he thinks it is a loan--it is, just a loan from the money I will have to help him afford a nursing home as I am not sacrificing my future family for him and I can't live with him. setting aside this money has made my life so my less stressful because I don't have to emotionally agonize about loans to him--if there is money in the account, he gets a loan, if not, no loan), a car approaching 150k-200k miles, no working heater except a portable one my brother and I bought him last winter. moral of this story: work hard at your job; if you aren't making enough money at your job, find a different or additional one; don't spend money you don't have.
He spent my mother's $34k life insurance on guns, considering them a good investment--wrong. Now he is paying 20% commission to a gun shop to sell them if he can't find a friend to have pity on him and buy them. moral of this story: invest in marketable items, don't follow fads.
He hasn't filed taxes in at least 6 years. Finally, he started working with a bankruptcy attorney who is making him file taxes. He only contacted the attorney when one of the credit card companies filed and won a lawsuit and now garnishes his bank account.
This man has a business degree from a top school. It just proves how influencial your family upbringing is. Actually, I suspect he is bipolar but he won't go to a doctor. I just have had to learn that I can't control him.
Thankfully, I only have a 9 year mortgage on a condo at 3.87% and one year left on a 3% car loan that I took to pay off the 7.875% second mortgage. I'm paying for my Dec wedding with cash. Thankfully, my brother and I learned from my parents' mistakes.
30 of 37 found this story helpful.
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Story 186 for Stupid Tax
Riches to Rags and Back Again!
Original story submitted by amy sue
on July 11, 2012
Location:minnesota
Age: 35-44
Gender: female
on July 11, 2012
Riches to Rags and Back Again!
I'd never would've thought 30 would be the end of my financial security. Growing up I had always had money and knew how to save. I was 26 and had 20k in the bank. Then it happened... I bought a fixer-uppper house and helped purchase an apartment complex with my parents. (subsequently I was bought out 6 yrs later by my parents.) Till I found myself strapped! To add misery to my already strapped lifestyle. I met a guy who was slick and used his charm to swindle money away from me in the form of CREDIT CARD DEBT, with the promise to pay me back. Our friendship lasted 3 yrs and ended when the bank started sending me forclosure notices. (I was 3 months behind) When I woke up, my dreamhouse that I fought so hard for was about to slip away. It hasn't been easy knowing that people can't always be trusted. Currently I've paid off 3 of the 5 credit cards and my mortgage payments are caught up and I'm on baby steps 1 & 2, tho the emergency fund is always being depleted as quickly as it's filled. But it's given me the excuse to start saving again and helped me get my life back on track.
22 of 22 found this story helpful.
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Story 187 for Stupid Tax
Filling the void
Original story submitted by Lorin
on July 11, 2012
Location:Long Island, NY
Age: over 55
Gender: female
on July 11, 2012
Filling the void
How do I start a story about greed and stupidity? Where does it start? Go back to the point where I started filling the void with 'things'. And as the void grew, the size of the 'things' grew. But the void was never filled. I work as the Director of a homeless shelter in NYC. I am well paid, with a salary that should take care of me for life. But the void was huge. My world was the shelter. Stuck in a government job, with no real fulfillment in what I did left a void. No family and no relationships, just the job. And the void grew. There came a point where three children from my shelter were freed for adoption as their mother had abandoned them. I had gotten to know them and care about them so I agreed to take them into my home. All my focus became these three very very troubled children. The Courts agreed to allow them to move with me but stated that due to the fighting I had to have a home with separate bedrooms for each of them. And so it began. All of a sudden what I had had as a child I wanted for them. I bought a house on the beach with a bedroom for each. The mortgage company was happy to give me a mortgage that I could never afford. And I convinced myself that moving out of state to a better educational system would be best for them even if I did have to commute 4 hours a day. (2 each way) And even if I had to pay extra taxes, and even if I paid $600 a month in tolls, and even if I had to buy a new car (on credit) and even if I lived in a behemoth that sucked 1300 a month in utilities and my taxes were 10 grand a year and even if flood and homeowners was 12 grand a year. I was determined to give these kids everything they had never had. I had convinced myself that as the kids graduated from college they would each get a job and contribute to the home costs. At first I was very good at keeping up with the mortgage and other bills, even paid ahead. Credit cards came in by the dozens. But then the heating system went and I dipped into the cards. The kids needed computers, I dipped into my pension. A small trip for them and me, I dipped again into the cards. And on and on. Let's skip to the end of the story. Two kids are in jail, one has moved out. I was alone in huge house, had maxed out all my cards, borrowed all I could against my pension to keep the payments up and the value of my house had dropped from 370,000 to 190,000. I had hit the wall. Then hurricane Irene hit and I found out I was underinsured with flood. No repairs. Lost the heating system, electrical and hot water heater. The value of my house drops again. You reach a point where there is nothing else to do. I called a short sale realtor. My first bit of luck was finding a realtor that was not a scam artist. She told me I had to file bankruptcy before I sell the house. And so, I moved out of my unlivable house into a rental in Long Island. Because of my bad credit and my dog, I had to give the land lord 6 months rent and 3 months deposit. I moved the first load of 'things' into the rental and returned to NJ to pick up the second load. When I returned to Long Island, all my 'things' were gone. And so ends my story. After 11 years with me I never saw the children again. I live in a rental. Next week I close on my house which sold for 170,000. I purchased the house for 370, put 50 grand in renovations (curse you HGTV!), I owe 39 grand to my pension, my credit is...well who knows any more. But guess what, I am ok. I have learned that I can live without the 50 inch flat screen, or the ipod, or the ipad, or the computers. I would like my pots and pans though. (yes, they stole my pots and pans). I know the void is back and maybe it will never be filled, but I am careful what I try to fill it with now. I try to fill it with good books, good friends, and peace.
38 of 38 found this story helpful.
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Story 188 for Stupid Tax
Stupid Stupid Stupid
Original story submitted by Chappy
on June 25, 2012
Location:Michigan
Age: 35-44
Gender: male
on June 25, 2012
Stupid Stupid Stupid
I am still paying on my stupid tax and and will be for a long time.
My stupid tax is largely based on poor decisions, but is also due to a lack of planning on my parents part. The idea of planning for college was never on my parents radar. Their idea of planning was me getting a college scholarship or something. That didn't happen. The backup plan is they would somehow cover whatever student loans did not cover. Then my mom lost her job, so that was out the window. Now I was stuck with little help from my parents and going through school on student loans. To supplement my spending I signed up for those credit card offers that were all over campus.
Now fast forward 15 years and now I have 60K in student loan debt, 30K in credit card debt, and had to take out another 12K in student loans to return to school to renew my teaching certificate.
Currently, the lack of planning by my parents, my stupid decisions and life have combined to have me 100K in debt and living in my parents house at age 35 while working as a substitute teacher and athletic official.
Stupid me has a LONG way to go making 20K per year or so.
25 of 68 found this story helpful.
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Story 189 for Stupid Tax
Snake bite!, Bit by a waking snake
Original story submitted by mike
on June 25, 2012
Location:Prince George B.C.
Age: 45-55
Gender: male
on June 25, 2012
Snake bite!, Bit by a waking snake
My brother told me story, Altough i have done my share of stupid i would have been too embarrassed to tell this one. My brother picked up an item at Home Depot and while at the check out he was informed that if he were to pay with the Home Depot credit card (He would no payment or intrest for a whole year on purchases over $400.00). About a year later while he was out hunting deer realized that a year passed since the purchace, The snake woke up and bit him good like 29.9% good. The dumb part is he could of paid for the item out of his checking account. I didn't ask my brother if got his deer but we do know that Home Depot got their buck.
28 of 28 found this story helpful.
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Story 190 for Stupid Tax
Never Borrow from your 401K-!! NEVER NEVER NEVER
Original story submitted by LadyKermit
on June 20, 2012
Location:Austin, Texas
Age: 35-44
Gender: female
on June 20, 2012
Never Borrow from your 401K-!! NEVER NEVER NEVER
Wow, did I make a mistake, not only did I borrow 4,000 from my 401K to pay off debt (robbing Peter to pay Paul as it were). The job became intolerable so I had to leave after only paying off 1000.00 of it. So now, all of a sudden, I have to pay back every penny of the 4180.00 (you didn't think it had tax, but oh you would be wrong!! ) so I didn't have an emergency fund so I had to borrow it from my parents in 2008, and finally finished paying them off in 2011. I can tell you from bitter experience. Everything is tainted when you borrow money from your parents, you feel like you have to justify every single thing you buy that isn't paying them back.. Trust me, don't borrow from your 401K!! In better news, after going to see Dave Ramsey live in April, I have been listening to the show daily for inspiration and working on the budget, working lots of overtime at my current job, so after, 3 months, I have 1000.00 in my EF.. so it gets better!! Keep it up!
20 of 22 found this story helpful.
4.4 out of 5
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