41 Taxes Only Ignorant, Lazy, or Unhappy People Pay, Part 2

By | November 29, 2015 Leave a Comment

Getting Ravaged Everywhere You Go, Part 2

In Part 1, I introduced the truth of the world to you.... which is, that you're living in a world of shysters who are constantly groping for a chunk of your wallet at every turn. This series continues today, in greater detail below...

As I pondered the comic on the left, I got to thinking about how much of a lazy sucker Calvin is, and how badly he's going to fail in life. He's as spoiled a child as they come.

Turn on your TV, swipe open your tablet, walk out your front door, or drive down your street. Individuals, businesses, and organizations are bent on getting as much of your hard-earned greenbacks as possible using advertising, psychology, convenience, bright signs, and even fear to coax you into having or buying things that won't lend you freedom, security, or give you lasting satisfaction.

The bamboozling cacophony of voices have no shame at all in making sure you stay poor, stupid, and  chained down to a lifestyle you probably never really wanted. It's sickening to think about.

There are hundreds of them out there, barely perceptible... it's like a living conspiracy theory. And the more stupid, ignorant, and lazy you are, the easier it is for you to get hoodwinked into forking over your wealth to some conniving shyster who doesn't deserve it.

These are the "taxes" I'm referring to--"tolls" you pay for making poor choices, or falling for wealth traps.

Not long ago, I read that many wealthy people making over $1 million a year pay absolutely zero in income taxes. Why is that?

They've figured out how to legally play the system in their favor, in order to avoid getting raked over the coals by the same machine that keeps the average Joe in the poorhouse.

Basically, they've learned how to avoid taxes on stupidity, ignorance, and laziness.

I want the same for you. You may not be wealthy yet, but someday you will be, if you play your cards right by making smart money decisions.

And after today, your eyes will be opened to ways the world takes advantage of you, the middle class, and keeps you poor in a micro-spending level. Consider this a wake-up call for ditching that lifestyle like a bat out of hell, and starting down the road to wealthiness by saving better, spending less, and investing your money like smart people do.

Here's a preview of what's in store in this and the next (and final) article on this topic:
  • Taxes on the Unknowledgeable
  • Taxes on Big Ticket Spenders
  • Taxes on the Easily Entertained
  • Taxes on the Impulsive
  • Taxes on the Technologically Impaired
  • Taxes on Personal Finance Ignoramuses
  • Taxes on the Poverty-Minded

Time Value of Money (Reviewed from Part 1)

As I continue to address all of these things, remember what we talked about in part 1 about the Time Value of Money.

If you have a $5 bill in your wallet right now, it's worth just $5. But what's it worth next year if you put it in a savings account or investment?

A savings account would make that $5 worth $5.05 next year. In an investment account, if we estimate an average yearly return of 12% (the return of the standard stock market index over approximately the last 70 years), your $5 is actually worth $5.60 one year from now. If you take $5 every year then, and invest it in the market, $5 per year over 40 years is worth $4295.71. Crazy, right?

That's the concept of "time value of money" in a nutshell.

We'll be putting all of the below "taxes" into this same lens to determine how much wealth you might be foregoing over for each of these areas over the course of 40 years.

Taxes On the Unknowledgeable

Home and Auto Repairs

Have you ever thought about what the actual, tangible cost of ignorance is? I know I have, many times. In fact, it wasn't long ago that I learned a $200 lesson in ignorance. 

My wife and I bought the home our family currently lives in about three years ago. During this time, I've learned a lot about the cost of owning a home--from home repairs to renovations, maintenance, and everything else you can probably imagine.

One of the things I didn't know anything about was a furnace. But lo and behold, fate presented me with an opportunity to learn about it. I was laying in bed one night, and smelled the scent of something burning. I jumped out of bed, worried my family was going to either die in a fire that night, or asphyxiate from the carbon monoxide that was somehow, for some reason, circulating throughout the house.

But through all my searches, I found no fire, no smoke, nothing. Then I realized the scent might be coming from the furnace itself--great, even worse! My furnace is dying. I switched it off for the night.

The next day, I called my home warranty company to have a technician come out and look at my furnace. It turns out, some wires within the furnace were in contact with a very hot circuit board on the guts of that thing, and the circuit board was getting charred... aha, the source of the scent! The technician took the liberty of replacing the circuit board and resolving my issue--at the cost of over $200. Luckily though, the home warranty I had in place covered the incident at only about $60 out-of-pocket for myself.

When, or if, this happens again, I'll know where to look, what to do, and how to fix it. Since this first incident, I've had a few other issues with the HVAC in our home, and I've learned how to investigate on my own before calling a contractor to fix my problem. So far, it's saved me hundreds of dollars.

I've taken this same lesson to heart in other aspects of home ownership.

As I mentioned before, there were quite a few things we wanted to do with our little home to make it more "ours." I refrained from called in contractors on first point, because contractors are expensive--a ten minute job, simple for them, can cost you hundreds of dollars. Imagine having them finish an entire basement, doing things you can easily do yourself, legally without a permit--putting up drywall, replacing light fixtures, installing tile ceilings, painting, carpeting, and so on. I learned how to do all of these things myself.

It may just be my personality, but I'd much rather spend an hour learning how to do something online, and spend a day completing it myself, than pay a team of contractors the equivalent of $300 per hour for them to do it. This same principle applies to other things I do in life--simple, routine maintenance on my car (oil changes, filters, spark plugs, etc), plumbing issues, and other similar things. Learning about these things will save you thousands of dollars in the long run, and ensure that your wealth isn't sucked away from you unnecessarily.

How much do you estimate you pay per year for contractors or "experts" to fix things in your home or on your car, which could be done by you at a fraction of the cost? A couple oil changes a year, simple automobile maintenance, a plumbing visit to unstop your shower drain, and routine maintenance on a furnace or A/C unit, if all hired out, would probably cost you at least $400 a year.

What's that going to cost you in wealth accumulation over the course of your life? About $343,656 in foregone retirement wealth.

Think about other aspects of life's maintenance you could add to this list--money is wasted every day by lazy people on things like electrical work, yard maintenance, pest control, and even home security. Learn to do them yourself, and you'll be much more wealthy in the long term.

Taxes on Big-Ticket Spenders

Getting Bankrupted By Weddings

Is there any easier way to blow $30,000 in one day and have nothing to show for it, than by having a big, expensive wedding?

As I was researching this topic, I wanted to throw up when I read that the average cost of a wedding in the United States sits near $25,000. In most cases, parents who think their daughter needs to be spoiled have just blown the cost of a meager college degree in order to celebrate the giving away of their child to a young man who is probably not worthy of her (what man is better than a woman?), and done so in the course of just 24 short hours.

In worse cases, young couples pay for the wedding themselves, when they can't even afford it. It's not like young couples have $25,000 just lying around. Most will get a loan or put the wedding on a credit card, and will have to think about that wedding once a month for the next five or ten years while they amortize the loan they got suckered into.

Is there a worse way to start a marriage, than to have a $25,000 debt hanging over your head? Opt instead for a cheap but respectable wedding for a couple grand, go on a sweet vacation with some cash you've saved up, and enjoy each other's company instead of the threat of bankruptcy. Or elope!

A $25,000 wedding amortized over the course of your 40-year working life will cost you $625 per year, or $536,963 in foregone wealth.

Not Haggling on Appliances and Other Furnishings

Do you realize how fluid and negotiable prices on used items are? What about new items? 

Yes, it's true... even prices of "new" items are negotiable. Think of every big-ticket store you walk into as a bustling marketplace full of people who are ready to make a deal with you!

As I've written before, my wife and I are bargain shoppers. When we need something, we usually start at the bottom of the price spectrum at "used" and then move up to "gently used" before we even consider buying something brand new.

If you've never realized how important haggling and negotiation are, it's time to change your mindset. It's a given that if you're buying something used, and the price you're offered is higher than you think it should be, you should ask if the seller they will take less. But did you realize this can be done with new items as well? Here's an example.

About a year ago, we decided to get a chest freezer. We couldn't find anything used that looked reliable, so after exhausting those resources, we opted to look at Home Depot. 

We found a unit we wanted to buy, and the store offered free delivery. But their competitor, Lowe's, offered the same unit, without delivery, for about $40 less. After speaking with the store manager, I was able to price-match the item to what the cost was at Lowe's... and saved 25% off the sticker price, while getting free delivery.

This can be done anywhere, especially places where the sales people are paid on commission. They want to make you a deal, so they can get paid. Don't waste money by foregoing negotiation on appliances and furniture. If you shop around, and know you can get the item elsewhere, but like the store you're shopping at, find a sales rep and see how they can get you a discount by being loyal to them.

Haggling on a couple appliances or some furniture might save you an average of $200 a year in the long term, or $85,914 over forty years.


This is another HUGE area where it's easy to make gigantic, life-altering, regretful financial decisions in just a short time.

Education is expensive. There's no denying that. So, think about ways you can get the training you need without spending your prime of life (or middle age) doing it.

You can get a formal education online now with the few clicks of a button, and at a fraction the cost of a full-time, in-person degree. And while some employers ridiculously look down on online degrees, this can be overcome by going to a "satellite" campus, where you still get name recognition, cheaper education, and the degree you need.

Speaking of name recognition, some very prestigious universities are actually beginning to offer FREE BEGINNING COURSES in a variety of fascinating fields. Picking up these courses will give you some skills you can use to pad your resume, even to the point where you might not need a degree to get the starter job you want because your skills overcome the deficiency of the "piece of paper" (degree).

In fact, some big employers are beginning to realize that degrees are becoming more and more useless as time wears on, and have begun to strike the requirement of a degree for potential job applicants. I think this is a fantastic development, and could change the culture we have which places too much emphasis on traditional college.

If you're dead set on some kind of training, consider trade schools instead of formal universities. The cost is lower, and the return is often much higher and much quicker.

Another way to save on formal education is to attend a 2-year college whose credits transfer to the university where you'll ultimately graduate, and once you're done there, you an transfer. You'll save 50% off the tuition cost of a major university this way, at least for the first two years.

Overpaying for education has huge life implications. At an average cost of $42,000 for a bachelor's degree in the US, if you can cut that in half, you'll save $500 a year over forty years, or $429,571 in foregone potential wealth.

Taxes on the Easily (and Foolishly) Entertained

Lots of Ways to Burn Money on Entertainment

Everyone needs ways to relax and recuperate from the stresses of daily life--entertainment is a good way to do that. But many look for entertainment and diversion in all the wrong money-sucking places.

A Washington here, a Lincoln there, every other day, and soon you've spent the equivalent of your monthly utility payment on various forms of entertainment that you'll hardly use, that will get broken, lost, or that corrupt your mind and body, and disrupt your sleep patterns. Here are the biggest taxes you'll pay by not being wise about your entertainment choices.

Television (Cable)

In the day and age of streaming entertainment, I honestly don't understand why anyone still has a regular cable television bill. When plans range from $60 anywhere up to $200 a month, and you only watch a few channels, a few hours a week, you have to realize how wasteful this is. Your television-watching could be costing you $5-10 per hour of actual watching!

What are the alternatives? Hulu, a television and movie streaming service, offers nearly ALL current television shows, with the exception of premium channels like HBO and Showtime--but who watches that trash anyways? Hulu gives you 90% of the good television shows out there for $7.99 a month. They also have steadily increasing movie offerings--even new movies!

That's not to mention Netflix, the leader in media streaming. Thousands of movies and television shows, new and old, at your fingertips for what, $11 a month now? There's also Amazon Prime, which has similar offerings of streaming TV and movies, for about $8.50 a month.

What if you like to watch sports? Isn't cable the only way? 

Heck no! Ever heard of Sling TV? It's $20 a month, and they often offer deals for less under promotions. You can pick and choose from the variety of sports and entertainment channels you want, no fluff! Less waste. Alternatively, consider MLB.tv, ESPN3, where you can subscribe just to one channel you like. Get an Amazon Fire or Chromecast stick for $20 and load the streaming entertainment on your phone or tablet, but beam it to your TV! Technology is unbelievable, and helps you live more financially efficient than ever before!

Or, you can be like me, and shun sports watching altogether. But then again, I'm antisocial.

Cut your cable NOW... save yourself an average of $57 per month, $684 per year, or $587,653 over a lifetime.

Movies and Music

Do people actually still buy music? Since the days when Napster was shut down in the late 90's, I've seen increasingly many free music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify popping up everywhere. 

These providers are basically a radio station that comes in over your internet connection (Wi-fi). You can choose your channel name, band, and genre.... so why would you ever buy music, ever again? Do you seriously go anywhere and listen to music where you don't have Wi-Fi? Don't waste money buying MP3's ever again! Never, ever, EVER again set your virtual foot in the iTunes store. What a waste!

And did you know that some cellphone providers, like T-Mobile and Verizon, actually let you stream Pandora content FOR FREE over their data connection, and it doesn't count against your data plan? Stream music all day at work, wherever you are! Look into it! 

Let's talk about movies. When was the last time you bought one? Where did you buy it? How much did you pay? How many times are you going to watch it?

If it's not a movie you're guaranteed to watch at least three times, don't bother buying it. Only stupid people become "collectors" of movies. 

You're better off waiting to watch the movie and pay $1.50 for it at Redbox for the night, or to do a digital rental for $1 or $2 online on sites like Amazon or YouTube. There are even sites like VidAngel, where you can digitally rent movies that are edited for content, for more family-friendly movie nights.

If you're even too cheap for that, just check the movie out from your local library FOR FREE for a week. You might have to wait a while for your turn if it's a new movie, but heck, it's freaking FREE.

Don't even get me started on how expensive regular visits to the movie theater can be. That would double our entertainment costs, so I'll be conservatives and won't even include it.

Entertainment wealth savings on movies and music:  $50 a month, $600 a year, or $515,485 over a lifetime.

Cellphone and Tablet Data Services

It's incredibly unfortunate that many don't understand the concept of data conservation. Teenagers who don't understand the concept of self-control will live stream videos on their cellphone data connections, and burn through a month's allotment in an hour!

There's no reason for this to EVER happen. In today's technological world, free Wi-Fi is almost literally EVERYWHERE. Public transportation, airplanes, airports, train stations, you name it. Some are calling the internet a HUMAN RIGHT for crying out loud!

It's likely your employer even has Wi-Fi for customers and employees to use. Log into that bad boy if you're going to surf the internet on your devices on your break, instead of using your own data connection. Save your money!

Do you have a data plan for your tablet? Get rid of it! That's a huge waste! Why? Because you already have one on your phone, that you can beam out for use on your tablet if you're out of range of Wi-Fi for some obscene reason. It's called a Wi-Fi teathering. It turns your phone into a mobile WiFi Hotspot, which you can login into from a separate device. There are hundreds of apps out there for it.

Cellphone carriers used to hate and block Wi-Fi teathering, because it meant you could use your data on more than one device, without having to pay them for a separate plan. Some would even block teathering on devices. But If I'm not mistaken, I believe there was a recent court case that now restricts them from doing that by law.

Need a cheap, awesome cellphone carrier with a cheap data plan? I use T-Mobile, have a prepaid data plan, and it costs me $28 a month per line. Service is awesome, reliable, and consistent. I share the plan with five family members. They just send me a check or some money via PayPal for the monthly bill.

Wealth savings on cellphone/tablet data plans:  $35 a month, $420 per year, or $360,839 invested over a lifetime.

Cost of the Apple Tax

Are you stuck as a slave in the world of Apple's entertainment and media trap? Everything the company does locks you into using their service--almost for life. The content you buy from them is not your own. They keep files you download from their store in a proprietary format, so they can't be dumped onto your computer and used on another non-Apple device.

Even the devices you buy are incredibly over-priced and carry a significant premium over comparable devices from other manufacturers.

Their devices, while user-friendly to the non-tech-savvy, are not friendly to those who like the freedom to share content they've legally purchase across their devices. They restrict content in the Apple store to verified publishers, and even selectively remove apps from their store at their leisure if they don't like you.

Everything you buy from Apple to entertain yourself can be had by Samsung, Android, or other manufacturers at a lower cost, with the same value. 

Getting caught in the Apple Traps costs you  AT LEAST $30 of your wealth per month, $360 a year, or $309,291 in the long term scheme of things.

Taxes on the Impulsive

Impulse is the lifelong enemy of money. The Archenemy, if you will. Impulse steals more money and wealth than you care to count or discuss. How so? Let's count the ways.

The Morning Coffee

A $3 cup of coffee everyday on the way to work costs you $66 per month, $792 a year, or $680,440 over a lifetime. All because you were too rushed in the morning, and needed a pick-me-up. Get a Keurig, you lazy mofo.

Rent-to-Own Stores

Oh, so you absolutely needed that new furniture for when the friends come over this weekend, but didn't save up the cash? Or that big TV so you could watch the big game this weekend in style?

RTO stores like to claim they're saving you from wasting time, money, and deprivation by offering you their crap to buy over time. Well guess, what? On average, you end up paying THREE TIMES the actual value of things pick up from these shops--all in the name of convenience.

People who buy at these stores are getting taken advantage of. Learn more about how they work byreading this article. They're buying fully into the "have it now" mentality. It's bankrupting them. It's costing them $200 a year, or $171,828 over a lifetime.

Fast Food / Convenience Food

How many times a month do you grab a pizza because you aren't in the mood to cook? Or how often do you grab food from a vending machine, the checkout line at the store, or the deli, because you don't have time to create a decently healthy meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

In my case, it's more than I like to admit. Probably three times a month, and looking over my budgets, I would guess it costs me about $30 a month, $360 a year, or $306,291 in foregone wealth. And guess what? I like to think I'm much more frugal than most. I have a friend whose family eats out three times a week. They are wasting five or ten times the amount of money I am, since they live in a much more expensive neighborhood, and have more "refined" tastes than I do.

Taxes on the Technologically Impaired

Antivirus Software

Do you seriously, actually buy this? Most reputable modern operating systems, internet browsers, and email servers now have built-in antivirus detection software by default. And if you'd like an extra layer of protection, you can find plenty of free, high-quality anti-virus detection programs, or at least get a year's worth of free coverage when you buy other items from tech deal sites like Tech Bargains. Not knowing this could be costing you $30 or more a year, or $25,774 over forty years.

Internet Routers--Are You Renting?

Is your internet provider charging you a fee to "rent" their router every month? The router is the little box where your internet signal comes from.

There's basically nothing special about the router your service provider typically sends you when you begin service with them. In fact, usually, their router is sub-par. You can buy your own for $25-40, and it will last you for years. The one I have is about seven years old now, and works great. Over that period, I've saved $420 in router "rent." I could have bought ten routers by now.

Check the bill you are getting each month for this service charge--it's typically anywhere from $5-10 a month. This mistake could be costing you $60 a year at least, or $51,548 over your lifetime.

Computer "Cleanup" Charges

A lot of people pay through the nose to have their PC or laptop "cleaned up" every once in a while. Why do they do that? It's simple ignorance. And it's costly.

Look on YouTube to learn how to periodically clean up your computer, by backing up all the files, formatting the hard drive, and reinstalling the operating system. It's actually incredibly easy, and it's more effective than what the computer repair place does. It takes an hour. And it's free. 

Paying someone to do this once a year will probably cost you $75-100. I'm not kidding. That's $64,435 over your lifetime. If you need guidance on how to do this yourself, just ask me, and I'll send you some links and information.

Internet Providers - Switch Up Often

Don't get suckered into paying any more than $50 a month for internet. There are much cheaper options out there.

I get 25 MBPS internet every month for $30. It's part of a "promotional" plan I've been on with my provider for the past three years. Every twelve months, when the promotional period is about to expire, and my internet cost is about to double, I call up my provider, and tell them I like the service, but I'm looking at comparable plans that are cheaper. They offer to keep my on the promotional plan for another 12 months at no extra cost. If they ever tell me they can't do it, I'll go to another provider, and get on the other company's "promotional" plan that's cheap and effective for the next twelve months.

If you save $20 a month on internet, you're keeping $103,097 in retirement money. It all adds up!

Online Bill Pay & Check Deposit

Are you still wasting money every month on postage to pay your bills? Do you know how much money you're wasting, and how insecure it is to send checks these days? Doing things online is actually much safer, quicker, and cheaper. In fact, it costs nothing.

Set this up for all utilities, mortgages, cellphones, and student loans. Never have another late payment again. Never worry about forgetting to pay and having the lights go our. Save yourself the $4 a month on stamps, save on buying checks from your bank ($25 a year), and save yourself the time of having to fill out those bill slips and send them off. 

Also, do you waste time driving around to deposit checks? Ever heard of mobile deposit on your phone? You can deposit a check sipping lemonade by your bedside at night with today's technology. It takes 30 seconds and it's always free. Download your bank's mobile app onto your phone or tablet.

The savings on postage and checks alone lets you keep about $30 extra per year, or $25,774 in accumulated wealth. That's not to mention the time you save.

Summary - Rescued Wealth Saved So Far--And More to Come!

Let's recap. Here's a summary of even more wealth we've decided to NOT forego by avoiding taxes on stupidity, laziness, and ignorance in our lives:
  • Learn Home and Auto Repair: $343,656
  • Elope in Vegas:  $536,963
  • Skip traditional college: $429,571
  • Cut the Cable:  $587,653
  • Stream movies and music instead of buying all the time:  $515,485
  • Be smart about data usage and cell phone plans:  $360,839
  • Shun the Apple Tax:  $309,291
  • Get a Keurig coffee maker:  $680,440 
  • Save money to buy your crap instead of Renting to Own:  $171,828 
  • Make your food, quit being lazy:  $306,291
  • NEVER buy antivirus software:  $25,774
  • Quit renting your router: $51,548
  • Fix your own dang computer:  $64,435
  • Ditch expensive internet:  $103,097
  • Use the God-given gift of Online Bill Pay and Check Cashing:  $25,774
Total Savings from Part I:          $7,276,070
Total Savings From this Article: $4,512,645

Grand Total so far:  $11,788,715

Are you feeling rich yet? I know I am!

Stay tuned for Part III!

Live long and invest,


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