When I was on my Spending Fast® and Spending Diet I wanted nothing more than to pay off my debt, and I wanted it done quickly! I had opportunities where I could’ve taken advantage of the situation and put my dishonestly accrued “savings” into paying off the debt. Desperate times, call for desperate measures, right? And when you are very serious about saving money, living frugally and/or paying off debt – you may find yourself tempted to steal or do other bad acts in an effort to reach your financial goals. I’m curious would you steal? Would you not tell the cashier if he accidentally forgot to ring up something? How far would you go to save money and get that debt paid off?
How Far Would You Go to Pay Off Your Debt? Would You Steal, Be Dishonest, or Do Other Bad Acts?
Taking Things from Work
Most people would say they would never steal for any reason, including to save money – but have you ever taken a stapler or pens home from work? You would probably never grab money out of the petty cash drawer, but a large percentage of people wouldn’t think twice about bringing home a package of pens from the office supply cabinet. It seems psychologically, the further we are from actual money, the easier it is to steal (and the less we get from an actual human, the easier it is too). Pens cost the company money to buy, but they’re just pens – and if you bring a few home that’s less you have to buy. In our minds, bringing pens home is not the same as stealing the equivalent in cash.
Not Paying for What We Should Be Paying For
Walking out of the store and knowing that the cashier has not charged you for everything is easy to let go and think is no big deal though it’s one of those things that will eat away at you and crunch away your soul if it doesn’t get reconciled.
Eating Food That’s Not Ours Out of the Fridge at Work
Those leftovers sure look better than that peanut butter and jelly sandwich that you’ve got waiting for you (I’ve been there). Resist the urge to eat someone else’s food from the communal work refrigerator. It might save you money when you decide to ditch your pb ‘n’ j but the bad karma just isn’t worth it.
The Downward Spiral
The trouble with small acts of dishonesty is that they often lead to larger ones. Small dishonesties may not seem like a big deal, but they tend to lead to bigger ones, and at some point – you start losing your sense of what is honest or not and begin to justify your behaviors.
Once you step over the line and make a bad decision, you may start subconsciously thinking you’re not all that good of a person and think, “Oh well – may as well take that, too!” It’s just like dieting! If you cheat on your diet once, it becomes even easier the next time you want a cookie.