The 10 Secrets to Attracting Money
by Gary Foreman
|Rational Financial Behavior|
Are there really secrets to attracting and saving money that most people don't know? Probably not. When you get right down to it, most money management concepts are centuries old. But, sometimes it's worth our while to refresh our memory of what we already know to be true. So with that in mind, here are the ten secrets to attracting money.
- Allergic to money. Some people act as if they're allergic to money. They wouldn't tell you that, but just look at how they act. No sooner do they get a raise or promotion than they find something to buy that will consume the extra income. The final car payment is a signal that the car is no longer any good and it's time to start shopping for a new one. Any inheritance or windfall will quickly disappear. No, they don't start sneezing or break out in rashes, but you can bet that they won't be around money too long.
- The Devil made me do it. Who makes your buying decisions? If you ask some people why they bought a new TV or car, they'll tell you that when they saw the ad they just couldn't help themselves. Or perhaps that 'everyone else drives a Super Speedbump'. What they're really saying is that they don't have control over their credit cards. They lack the ability to decide NOT to buy an item. You receive hundreds of urgent 'buy' messages everyday. Are you big enough to say 'no' to all of them?
- New and Improved. But is it really? Take your car as an example. What do you need it to do? It's supposed to get you and whatever you're carrying from one place to another safely and reliably. Just because a car is six or even twelve years old doesn't mean it can't accomplish the job. With a reasonable expenses for maintenance, most can. If you're buying because of styling changes, be honest with yourself. You might avoid car payments for a year or two.
- You deserve a break today. Most of us work pretty hard. And it doesn't take much to convince us that we're worthy of a special treat. After all, I'm a special person! But, when we give ourselves treats on a regular basis, they no longer satisfy. They become a habit and lose their appeal. A better system is to reward yourself for reaching a goal. When you've saved $1,000, go out and purchase that $200 gadget. You'll be motivated to achieve more and the rewards will be that much sweeter.
- Touchdown! We all cheer when our favorite team scores a touchdown. How do we know when to cheer? That's easy. They've crossed the goal line. The team knew where they wanted to go and headed in that direction. There's something almost magical about a goal. Researchers have discovered that your mind will subconsciously work on solving a problem while you do other things. You'll suddenly 'discover' ways to get closer to your objective. You'll also be alerted to actions that would push your goal further away. And, best of all, you don't need to buy goals, they're free!
- I'll never be a millionaire. Oh, yeah? If you work a 40 hour week from the time you're twenty years old until you're sixty-five, you need a wage of $10.68 per hour to earn a million dollars in your lifetime. Of course, you'll spend most of that money. But, you need to recognize that you have the potential to accumulate significant savings. Saying that you can't do it is quitting without trying. It's easier, but guarantees defeat. Chances are you'll handle a million dollars during your life. Will you choose to take responsibility and control over that money?
- It adds up. You can't do a whole lot in our economy with just one dollar. But, suppose you saved $1 a day. Maybe by bringing a thermos instead of buying your coffee at work. You'd have $260 in one year. After ten years the savings and earning would be worth $4,460. Is the inconvenience of carrying a thermos today worth the price of a down payment on a car in ten years? And just think of what would happen if you could save $2 every day!
- Buy now for savings! That's what the salespeople will tell you. If you don't buy it now you'll lose all those savings. But will you really? Think about it. How many things that you buy will be worth more tomorrow than they are today? Not many. So what if the sale ends. You might have to go to another store, but it's unlikely that will be the very last time that the item will be sold at a price that low. Unless you're buying something that truly one of a kind, it's almost always better to wait. By waiting until tomorrow you might find a cheaper source or that you really don't need to buy it at all.
- Wall Street Wizards. They come from fancy schools, wear fancy suits and use fast computers. Is it possible for us simple, poor people to manage our money? Sure, you can. The truth is, that wealth is created the same way today as it was a thousand years ago. You either own a business that creates a product or provides a service, own a natural resource or loan your money at interest. If you can follow a recipe or the instructions for a kid's toy, you can learn enough to manage your money. And if something is too complicated to understand, you don't want to invest in it. You won't know when to buy or sell it. And you just might avoid a scam.
- A penny saved. Ben Franklin was wrong. A penny saved is NOT a penny earned. Think about it. To spend a penny you need to earn the penny plus your income tax rate plus the sales tax rate. In most states you probably need to earn about 1.3 pennies for every one you spend. And if you borrow the money for the purchase you'll need about 1.5 pennies to spend one. On the other hand, if you save a penny you'll have the penny plus the money it earns. So what's the big deal about a half a cent? Nothing. But, understanding and applying this principle can put you on the path to a significant net worth.
So there you have it. When you add them all together it's surprising how little difference there is between those who accumulate money and those who don't. Given the choice, I'd rather be among those who do save money!
Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who founded The Dollar Stretcher.com website and newsletters in 1996. He's been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money and CreditCards.com. Gary shares his philosophy of money here. You can follow Gary on Twitter or visit Gary Foreman on Google+. Gary is also available for audio, video or print interviews. For more info see his media page.
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