Scariest thing to say to a personal finance geek

Scariest Things to Say to a Personal Finance Geek

In the spirit of this spooky Halloween holiday, I made a list of the scariest things you could say to a personal finance geek. Then I opened it up on Twitter:

The response was overwhelming. I immediately threw out my own list since all of them were covered. So, turn on the creepy Halloween music and prepare yourself for a Twitter storm of the scariest things you could say to a personal finance geek (ordered by category).


Spending Money:

Retirement Savings/Investing:


I hope you’re sufficiently scared! Happy Halloween!Ā Feel free to add your own in the comments section for some bonus scares!



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  1. Argh…After seeing your tweet I totally froze and couldn’t think of anything! Looks like you had plenty of replies! Today I finally thought of one…well, my BF provided me the ammo when he said “I don’t open those statements. I don’t want to know.” Smh. Really?!

  2. ROFL. I’m seriously dying over here over the last category. I’m definitely guilty of money stupidity sometimes. I think it’s really important that we call each other out on it. Love it, Maggie. Happy Halloween! Wishing you lots of candy and no money spooky stories today!

    • MaggieBanks

      Sometimes we’re all in the stupid category. But what’s different is that we know better! I really enjoyed gathering these!

  3. Matt @ Optimize Your Life

    Some of these felt like a real punch in the gut, which I guess outs me as a finance geek. I started noting the ones that were the most painful, but there were too many. I think the two most common ones I hear are variations on “Money seems like a lot of work” and “I’m not sure what my finance guy has got me in, but it seems to be doing okay at the moment.” Brutal.

    • MaggieBanks

      I know, right? So scary! This is an instance where I start yelling: THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW! šŸ™‚

  4. Taking those loans out for online or crappy for-profit colleges is just horrible. It’s not 100% the fault of the student. I’d say it’s a 50/50 split there – with the schools misleading these folks and students just not quite understanding the impact of huge student loan debt.

  5. Oh so good! Here is one my college roommate actually said to me:

    Her: “My credit card just gave me $500, and this time I want to spend on something really special, like maybe a new camera. Because last time I just wasted it on a bunch of little things.”
    Me: “Wait, your credit card just GAVE you $500?”
    Her: “Well, yeah, I mean they increased my limit.”

    I was 18 at the time, and remember thinking, this isn’t good!

  6. This is a horrible list which I love (if that makes sense?) Most had me raising my eyebrows, some made my jaw drop too. At least reading these online is easier than when someone says it directly to you, no need to hide the true horror you’re feeling. All my contributions were things I’d actually heard… I’m not sure how well I hid the horror in real life!!

    • MaggieBanks

      Most of these were stories from real people shared. EVEN MORE SCARY! šŸ™‚

  7. financialibre

    Amazing list… So many good ones, but I love the PIEs’ Maserati line. Ha!

    Thanks for the laughs – and Happy Halloween!

  8. Man, that list. Another one to add to it though.
    “So you’re going to roll your 401k into an IRA right?”
    “No, I’m just going to cash it out…”

    Oh wait, that was me many years ago – palm slap to forehead. šŸ™‚ At least that goes to show people can change.

    • I have a similar one. I was preparing to leave a job and having coffee with a coworker who just left.
      Me: “What did you end up doing with your 401(k) when you left?”
      Them: “Oh that. I meant to, but I never started contributing. Maybe I will at my next job.”
      (We had a match. This person was at the company for 3-5 years, long enough to be vested in the match. The person made six figures that entire time.)

    • MaggieBanks

      ha ha ha. We’ll ignore our own stupidity and pretend we’re awesome for the day!

  9. Oh… scary stuff! Crazy things people will do.

    Gotta say, I love these Twitter conversations. That’s the best part about using Twitter IMO.

  10. This post is inducing nausea! The 401(k) withdrawal ones reminded me of an old boss who liquidated her family’s entire retirement savings to start a (poorly planned, doomed from the start) small business that went bankrupt in less than a year. Argh!

  11. Pretty scary! True story: “I don’t know how much or mortgage is.” Another true story: “I don’t know how much we have left on our student loans.” Eek!

  12. Oh shivers. Literally!

    Listening to Bad with Money by Gaby Dunn was pretty scary / stressful for me, actually. Some of the stuff she admits to…!

    • MaggieBanks

      I’ll have to give it a try. I’ve never listened to it! Happy Halloween (though yours is long over, now right?)

  13. ExploreMountainsOnSkiFoot&Bike

    “I will never buy a house without an inspection, again.” Coworker told me this. Really!?!? I inspect fruit before buying them to make sure they aren’t too bruised or rotten.

  14. fantastic list, what a great use of Twitter!
    I thought of another ” I had a really nice surprise, I found out I just made the last payment of my son’s student loan. I think we might buy a condo in the city”

  15. We definitely fell into the ‘don’t look at our bank account’ category for a while there. EGADS!

    • MaggieBanks

      We’ve all been guilty of some of these (and still are for a few maybe!), but if we know it’s a problem, that’s the first step! šŸ™‚

  16. Hahahahaha these are all SO spot on.

  17. Haha reading this on twitter the other day gave me a few chuckles. Many made me cringe on the inside though šŸ™

  18. Oooh, these truly gave me more chills than anything I actually saw on Halloween!! Great post! ? Sarah

  19. I absolutely love this, haha. I don’t know how I didn’t notice this until now.

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