The Battle for Your Wallet

Do you need to save more money or rein in your spending? How about a set of unusual money saving tips? Sure, the holiday season is months away, but don’t be surprised if you start seeing early buy promos even earlier this year. With that in mind, how about a different approach? Especially if what you have been doing has not made a dent in your spending or your debt, it may be time to look at your finances from a different perspective.

It’s a War 

That’s right. There is an ongoing war raging all around you to empty your wallet and obligate you to yet another set of payments. Along the way there are battles you will win, battles you will lose and battles where you don’t stand a chance (like with our friends at the Internal Revenue Service).

What if you pull your head up from the sand and take a good look around? What if you finally see all these forces at work to empty your wallet? If you have any doubts about this at all, do a little bit of digging into Lotto or Powerball winners. You will find that all of sudden the world is at their doorstep asking for a piece of the pie. Sure, you may not be a Powerball winner, but just about everyone wants to take a whack at your wallet. With that in mind, how about some strategies you can use to win at this?

On Sale? 

Really? What is a sale anyway? A sale can be many things. A sale could be a retailer desperate for traffic in the store. Store management knows full well that is extremely unlikely you will only leave with the item on sale. Even if the retailer loses money on the one item, they will more than make it up on the other stuff you walk out with.

The question to ask yourself is this: were you planning on buying this item anyway? If so, you may actually save some money as long as you stop there and don’t wind up with a shopping cart full of other stuff to take home. If not, ask yourself a candid question. Why are you feeling the need to go in and buy this item? The point for you to get is that understanding the ins and outs of a Sale is a strategy you can use at any time.

Can You Afford It? 

Another strategy you can use in the battle for you wallet is to be clear on the budget question. Can you really afford that big screen TV that happens to be on sale for the next 48 hours? Seriously, if you absolutely positively have to have that TV do you have the cash to pay for it? Or how about this?

Will you be able to afford it when the credit card bill shows up? Here’s a clue you need to be aware of: if you can’t afford to pay cash you really can’t afford it. That means when you are looking at paying for that $3,799 Wide Screen LED TV the real issue is about paying the full price. Note that the affordability question here is NOT and should never be about being able to make the monthly payments. Ugggh! Monthly payments are for mortgages and rents and cars, if you must, not for discretionary items like a new TV.

The Sleep Test 

Go back to the example with the big screen TV above. Suppose you decide that no matter what you feel you deserve a new TV. You start telling yourself how you have been working hard, you just got a bonus for last quarter’s results, you could spring for at least half of the price right now. Should you go ahead? Short answer: probably not. Review the material on affordability above.

But suppose, you don’t care, you just have to have it. All right, then can you put one more step into play here? Can you put off a decision for at least twenty-four hours? That means you have to delay making a yes or no decision until the next day. You may be surprised to learn that by merely sleeping on it you come to the startling conclusion that maybe you can wait a little while longer for a new TV. Or perhaps not. At least you put up somewhat of a fight. Yes, you may realize three months down the road you could have waited. But that’s okay, keep in mind that you will win some, and you will lose some.

The bottom line is there is a war for your wallet, and you, and only you, can fight back.

What about You?

There you go. Bet you won’t hear this kinda stuff from Suze Orman and crowd. What’s your take on this?

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