How Much Are Ignorance and Avoidance Costing You?

Imagine this scenario: You arrive home from work to find a vague voice mail waiting for you that goes something like this: “Please call 1-800-xxx-xxxx regarding an important matter.”

Would you call back?

I didn’t, when it happened to me a few years ago — at least not the first few times they called.

Eventually I found out they were a collections agency. I didn’t actually have a bad debt, but they sure thought I did. Not dealing with the situation could have been costly.

Or imagine you keep getting statements from an account that you closed years ago. Would you open up the statements to see why you were still getting them? If not, you might be missing out on money — or fees — that you didn’t know you had.

Then there are the notices sent out by credit card companies. The fine print is so mind-numbing that it’s tempting not to read it at all. But if you don’t, you could be hit with unexpected fees or increases.

Finally, there are investments. Investing in things that you don’t understand is like playing with fire. Chances are you’re going to get burned. And not investing at all because you haven’t taken the time to learn about your options can end up burning you as well in the form of lost opportunities.

The things you don’t know and the things you avoid can cost you. I’ve gotten started with investing over the past year or so, but still need to do more research in that area and learn about additional options. Is there an area of your finances that you could benefit from taking a closer look at?

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4 comments

  • Hey Jackie I got here through Smart Passive Income blog. First time here and I’m already loving your stuffs. What I like about your posts is that they contain psychological factors that affect us A LOT when it comes to money. Totally bookmarked it.

    Back to your post, I believe this is a major challenge for all of us. We often do not know that we need to know something to earn more/avoid loss, and even if we know we might not take any actions because well, we’re lazy.

    A first step to remove that hurdle is to read personal finance blogs like this and figure out why you have to start paying attention to your hard earned money and hang out with like-minded people through comments and forums. It keeps you going and helps you to work through any problems you face.

    Your posts actually make me want to know more about the topics, I’ll dig around more for sure. Thanks!

  • Ken, I’m glad to have you here :)

    I agree, a good first step is to start reading about personal finance so that we can get ideas of what we may need to learn. And paying attention is critical — it’s probably the single biggest factor for improvement in anyone’s life.

  • Eliminating and avoiding this stuff in one’s life is a key to financial success.

    Don’t people know that this is exactly what banks and CC companies prey upon? Our ignorance and laziness?

    A simple plan to avoid it all–

    Never call back (re: the voicemail).

    Get yourself to where you don’t pay any finance charges on your creidt cards, that way you can toss the Terms and Conditions crap you get from the CC companies.

    Finally, take five seconds to open up the statement from the old account to see if they’re trying to milk you out of money, and raise hell with them if they are

  • David, I imagine most people think that they can handle things, and that they won’t get into trouble with their finances. I’m sure no one intends to go into debt, so they probably don’t know — or else think they will be the exception. (If I hadn’t called back about the voice mail, I wouldn’t have found out about a problem until nearly a year later when I checked my credit report.)