This is somewhat a scary story. It’s almost Halloween, isn’t it? Who knew that my innocent “yes” may have bury me into $4,000 debt.
It was an innocent invitation at first, till, it wasn’t. You probably have an idea of what I’m talking about.
I call it the Demo Day. Did it ring a bell already? A friend asked me if someone could do a demo at our place at no cost. This should be a red flag waving at me but I ignore it as if I’m looking from miles away.
It’s just a demo right? Or more like a vampire in a sheep skin.
Come and Get the Freebie
OK. The demo cost us nothing other than our time. (I wasn’t the only who was in the demo.)
And wait her’’s what made me somehow said yes in the first place. I’ll be getting a gadget worth $200. (The fire alarm sounded in my ear but not in my brain. Run to safety. I just sat as if waiting for a treat.)
Why on earth would someone give an item for nothing? Guess the saying that some things in life is free rings true. (It better be. I was determined not to spend even a cent on this demo day.)
The demo started after an ice breaker and supposed free lecture about the importance of heath. I’m not going to lie the product is great and worth it.
Now here’s the catch. The product costs around $2,000 only if we buy it that same day before the agent leaves. Otherwise, we’ll have to pay double if we decided to buy it later.
Imagine me screaming as if I’ve seen Chuckie from the horror movie Child’s Play, which I haven’t watch. (But I was brave enough to watch The Ring much to my regret. It’s eerily good for a coward like me.)
Have no fear. The agent is so kind enough to offer ways on how to come up with a fund. I can use the line of credit that was offered to me earlier this year.
Wait a minute. I’m using LOC for house repair. Fortunately, it was now fully paid.
I keep doing the math in my head like I do when I send money online to the Philippines, converting Canadian dollar to Philippine peso.
Like the Ghostbusters (with female casts including my favourite comedian Melissa McCarthy), I armed myself with weapon and zap the impending debt with adamant “NO.”
I even explained that I couldn’t afford it which is true, even if I paid it with my housemates; sharing the responsibility made me stronger to decline the offer of discount and financial aide (more like a trap).
Don’t be like the dumb secretary in the movie. He’s cute and all, just like the debt but definitely a pain in my bank account.
To be honest, I felt uncomfortable but empowered. It took a lot of experience and learning about personal finance to ward off debt. Not to mention intuition. Seems like a sweet deal but my gut is puking with the future unnecessary expenses.
It’s Not the First
There was the beauty products. The ridiculously expensive rice cooker. And add the whole life insurance I don’t need and later realized my mistake so I switched to term life insurance.
These past experiences involving product demo had taught me to simply say NO.
No need to explain but felt I had to, instead of saying out loud how such scheme can do people more financial harm, especially to a person who already racked up all sorts of debt.
With an enticing product and persisting encouragement, a shopaholic can easily fall prey.
I had to pat myself on my shoulder for standing up for my priorities like investment, house (residential not a rental property), and travel.
No for More Yes
It turns out the show I use to watch as a child about saying no to strangers help me as an adult.
The products in the demos are fine but I can easily shop around in the market for a somewhat similar thing for a lesser price, if I have the need for it in the future. Take note, need not just want.
Takeaway: Never buy on an impulse. Think things through.
Some have 24 hours waiting time to make a decision if they have to go back in the mall or buy something online. Most of the time, the itch to spend has been cure. Time can indeed saves you money.
Saying no means saying yes to your priorities.
This Wouldn’t be the Last
Just last week I was approached in the library, first, if I am a Filipino, second, if I want to earn extra income.
I almost lied but I didn’t.
Yes I’m a Filipino and no, I’m not into sales or anything like that.
I prodded the lady with questions although I know where this conversation will end: me saying no.
What happened next caught me off guard. She got mad and muttered something while walking out of my sight. I was shocked. My brain froze. When I recovered, my rebellious self was hysterical clamoring how I am working hard to earn passive income by blogging and working in a company.
No, I don’t want to become a predator looking for a prey.
This is one of the reasons why I blog. I want to share my money mistakes and victory (eg. investing in ETF).
Don’t be a victim. Decline the offer and maintain your composure regardless of persistence. Your priorities must prevail in the end.
Have you experienced the same thing? Were you able to avoid spending?