Rudolph, Frosty and Santa are all timeless holiday stories that you’re probably sick of hearing. In the midst of the most wonderful time of the year, a dash of reality could be exactly what you need to avoid suffocating from holiday cheer. That’s why in This Week in Financial Blunders we’re focusing on two blunders far, far away from holiday spirit in terms of financial burdens and refusing to pay for tacos. You’ll see; just read on!
Five Hundred, Twenty-Five Thousand, Six Hundred Reasons to Be Upset
A new study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies shows bad news for those saving up for a home: Renting is more expensive than ever. The unsettling statistics from the study were condensed in an article from Businessweek, showing that twice as many renters are paying more than 30% of their income for rent, and these people are called “cost-burdened.” If a renter pays more than half of their income for rent, they fall in the “severely cost-burdened” bucket, and according to the Harvard study “By 2011, 28% of renters paid more than half their incomes for housing, bringing the number with severe cost burdens up by 2.5 million in just four years, to 11.3 million.” Despite the heftier payments renters are now making, the study shows that people are still enthusiastic about owning a home. Nineteen out of twenty people under the age of thirty in the survey said they intend to own at some point in their life. This part of the American dream isn’t getting any easier though; the previously mentioned Businessweek article says that if congress pinches pennies by cutting the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which creates incentives to create and preserve affordable housing, it’s only going to get harder for Americans to own homes.
To (Taco) Shell and Back
It’s hard not to love tacos. Delicious, spicy, portable – there are times you’d kill for some tacos, but you probably never meant it literally. Adam Kramer of Texas did. According to Huffington Post’s Weird News, Adam Kramer was at a Mexican restaurant called Alondras De Jalisco in Bexar County, Texas, when he took his love of tacos to a medieval level. Kramer demanded the waitress give him six tacos for free and the waitress denied him, at which point Kramer allegedly pulled a “large sword” out of a sheath and left the restaurant. The waitress promptly locked the door behind him and Kramer allegedly yelled something along the lines of “Give me free tacos or somebody is going to die.” He drove away after being unable to get into the restaurant and ended up (allegedly) trying to rob a gas station for $50 worth of gas but “eventually changed his mind” and bought $20 worth of gas instead. Kramer was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery.
That’s right folks: It’s a bad week for renters and sword-wielding-taco-enthusiasts who demand free things. Luckily, those audiences are probably mutually exclusive. If you have any other financial blunder stories we may have missed, please comment below.