Cover your child’s ears as I am about to tell you a dirty word…
Okay…money isn’t really a dirty word but think about what that words means in your life. For many people it means stress; stress about their job; stress about their marriage; stress about their children. The current state of the economy only serves to exacerbate these stress points for many people.
With money, or the lack thereof, playing such an important role in our lives as husbands, fathers, and men of the community, I thought it would be a great time to focus this edition of Life’s Little Instructions, as found in the calendar from H. Jackson Brown, Jr. on financial tips that can help you reduce your fears associated with money.
Borrowing money to make money usually ends in disaster.
Maybe it was my proximity to the situation but this tip immediately reminds me of the Dot Com Bubble; a time when people were taking out cash advances, loans, and second mortgages to invest in the latest “can’t miss” stock tip they heard from a friend of a friend.
Only in rare cases, such as the business that beats the odds and succeeds, does borrowing money for the purpose of making money have a happy ending. While there is a lot of truth to the saying that it takes money to make money, that doesn’t mean that you need to borrow it.
Never buy anything frivolous on credit.
Ask anyone that has struggled with credit card debt about the purchases that they are still paying for years later. I’d be surprised if more than a handful can give you details about any of the items that they are still working diligently to pay off.
While I am certainly an advocate of using credit wisely, you need to be honest with yourself regarding your money habits and avoid frivolous purchases on credit. Some people have a serious issue with avoiding the frivolous purchases, which is fine as long as they are not made on credit. Save enough cash to purchase all of the frivolous items your heart desires, although by the time you have saved enough you will most likely realize that the item you wanted doesn’t seem nearly as important anymore.
When paying cash, do some bargaining. First ask, “Is that your very best price?” Then add, “What if I pay cash?”
This is something that I’ve been doing for quite some time, much to the embarrassment of my wife (although she has learned to accept it now that she has seen it work). People often assume that the listed price is the best price; however often times you can sweeten the deal just by asking.
While it won’t always be possible to receive a lower price on goods or services, you may find businesses willing to throw in a few extras at no cost. Don’t think this is just for big ticket items either, as you can learn to negotiate on common expenses and start saving money today.
Be the generous friend everyone longs to have.
The more the give, the more you get. Surely you have said or heard that phrase before. The funny thing is that this is one of those sayings that really rings true more times than not.
When you give to those that are close to you, often times you will find that it comes back to you many times over. The tendency of many people is to guard their commodity, whether it be time, money, or something else, very closely. Too closely. Unfortunately, people like this aren’t very fun to be around. If you find yourself being a little tight with whatever commodity you have at your disposal, evaluate your situation and see if you cannot be a little more generous.