Every one of us should be suspect of the imposter among us. You don’t even have to look far to find potential danger. Many times, what you should be worried about is likely lurking in your mailbox.
You might think we’re talking about the hit game, Among Us, that’s dominating Twitch streams at the moment. But we’re really talking about your personal finances!
Among Us finds a group of otherworldly creatures crammed into a spaceship together. As a player, your job is to keep the ship running smoothly. But among your ranks, some players are trying to sabotage the team’s efforts by backstabbing players when others aren’t looking. As the game progresses, players huddle together to try and figure out who’s betraying them and who’s on their side—a modern day murder mystery.
How often have you felt your credit card or furniture loan was your friend? When making purchase decisions it can often feel like your best friend is the financial tool there to help you get happiness.
Seemingly friendly financial offers aren’t dissimilar. Sometimes a credit card can help you in smart ways. Other financial products may bring chaos. It’s up to you to figure out what’s safe and what could bring about certain death to your pocket book.
Actually Do Your Tasks
In Among Us, players get a list of tasks to perform during their gameplay to keep the spaceship running. All of the “good” players scramble around the ship to complete their tasks. However, imposters are forced to pretend they’re working on fixing things so as not to be detected.
Just like your finances, there are unwieldy tasks that none of us want to actually do. Shuffling papers around on our desk or stuffing receipts into a box may feel like taking care of your money. But who are you kidding?
Taking the time to actually create a budget and stick to your financial plan goes much farther than pretending to do it.
Instead of standing by and hoping no one notices, take action! Stabilize the steering of your personal financial journey.
There are Imposters Everywhere
An offer of 0% interest for 24 months on a new couch may sound heavenly. Getting you into a new car for no money down may sound appealing. But hidden beneath these friendly financial offers are damaging imposters. And if you’re not careful, they could kill your financial plans.
Hidden in these attractive financial contracts are often scary pitfalls. A 0% furniture offer may come with harsh interest penalties for not paying it off in time.
A car loan that doesn’t require a down payment may have you locked up with high interest rates and excessive loan lengths. Signing a car loan for 8 years at 12% APR isn’t normal! Even if it means you can get a brand new car today.
Be suspicious about any financial offer that seems too good to be true. Take your time before signing up for new financial products. Use the old trick of waiting 24 hours before making a large purchase. Go home and think it through before rushing into something that could affect you for years to come.
Call an Emergency Meeting
As imposters backstab their teammates, others start to get suspicious. It’s hard not to when you haven’t seen certain players in a while or you think they’re acting suspicious standing in front of a task for too long.
Teammates can call an emergency meeting to talk about their suspicions and interrogate each other.
Your finances aren’t something that will solve themselves. If you think there are parts of your personal finances that are suspect, call a meeting! Get your family and your team together to discuss what’s going on.
Maybe you want to make a plan to address your rent payments. Or maybe your grocery bill is getting out of hand and you can’t figure out why.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your significant other or family if you think something isn’t going well. Take the time to listen to everyone’s needs and find the things that aren’t setting you up for success.
More than anything, don’t be afraid of the imposter among us! If you’re aware that not all financial offers are there to help you, you’ll make smarter decisions. Know that you can always call a meeting to assess what’s going on. And the sooner you start doing your financial tasks, you’ll start to see what things aren’t helping you.
And just like the game, there are plenty of rounds to get through. Decisions you make right now don’t have to mean game over. You’ve got your whole life to play and get better at detecting the imposters in your financial life.