Change Anything: Blind and Outnumbered
Everything in the world is hoping to part you from your money!
- Just a sample
Sampling something before you buy. How many times have you been in the grocery store and gotten a sliver of a pizza slice or a few of the newest chips handed to you or some other goody, then picked up one of the stack of product sitting next to the person handing it out? You were just a victim of the free sample.- THE ALTERNATIVE –
Pass up the sample or take the sample and don’t feel obligated to buy. They’re giving it away!
- What’s personal finance?
Tracking expenses, keeping a budget, and keeping your personal financial wits about you is not complex or complicated. In order to survive, you need to do it and stick to it. These basic skills are unfortunately deeply lacking in the general population. People not knowing the basics of personal finance is at least part of the reason why the country has a debt problem :/- THE ALTERNATIVE –
Find out about and know personal finance. Keep track of your spending and keep a budget. Set limits and stick to them. Keep yourself and others accountable.
- Keepin’ up with the Jones’
This is a two-for. Peer pressure and bad examples. Bob down the street just got a shiny new car, now your few year old car is ‘old’. Time to upgrade! Bob’s also got a new computer that takes 10 seconds to start! Yours takes a whole 30 seconds!! Time to upgrade! Jack next door just got an awesome new home addition! Now you’ve gotta build one at least as good!
Hold on! Cool it! Wait up! … Guess what Bob and Jack also have now?!? $30k in debt that’s going to take years to pay off as well as tens of thousands of dollars in interest! Do you want that????? Didn’t think so.- THE ALTERNATIVE –
Maybe get different friends? Look at Bob or Jack’s new stuff and ask yourself (or even them) how long is it going to take them to pay that off? What opportunity cost is there? How could the money have been better spent? Perhaps a nice $10k gently used car and $10k into the Freedom/FIRE fund? Perhaps get rid of a few things so that your space is more spacious? Point these things out to Bob and Jack. Maybe it will help them in the future 😉
- My money is plastic
If you’re not very, very careful, spending with credit can really come back to haunt you. Until you become disciplined enough to use credit (or even a debit card), don’t use one. Believe me, I know. I did it…twice! I’m still paying back for my past mistakes. If you do get into trouble, it’s an emergency!! Tackle the debt with the highest interest rate first. I’ll have another post on my troubles with this later.- THE ALTERNATIVE –
Yes, I somewhat already answered this, but this is a biggie with me. Be accountable to yourself and others, especially a spouse. Admit if you have difficulties or simply be transparent with your personal finances. Cut the plastic up and throw it out. Use cash only if you need to. I feel that I would now be disciplined enough to be able to use a credit card properly, but I would only want a joint card with my spouse and complete transparency. I would refuse to carry a balance month-to-month. Paying 12-24% interest or more on any amount of money is simply asinine and asking for trouble.
- Advertisements work!
It seems that just about everything out there is an ad in one way or another. You are being sold to at all times. Ads are everywhere; keep that in mind at all times…CONSTANTLY! You are being sold to right now by something or someone. In reality, TV shows are just ‘filler’ for ad spots. How does the almighty Google make it’s money? Ads. There is likely an ad right under this posting (I have no control over that at this time – feel free to donate).- THE ALTERNATIVE –
Ignore the ads as much as possible. Notice the small “ADVERTISEMENT” at the top of magazine ‘articles’. Turn off the TV and/or pay for ad-free stuff on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or other such services. I can all but guarantee that it will save you and your family more than the cost of the service in even a short time frame.
In marketing classes, all of these ways and more are plainly spelled out. It is up to you yourself to know and keep these things in mind. If you are aware of them and actively avoid or turn them into forces in your favor, they can be overcome.