I think I know why people have such a hard time saving money, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements telling us we can afford anything. Even worse, if you can’t afford it there is financing available for everything. It takes a strong mind to consistently say no to all the things money can buy. Keep reading for a list of Money Traps to Avoid
Money Traps to avoid
Over the course of a few years, I have slowly trained my mind to ignore the slew of money traps that fly into my mailbox, email, and TV screen.
4 Money traps to Avoid
1 – Financing for something you shouldn’t need to finance
Tires Plus is offering to finance new tires – you shouldn’t need to finance expected auto maintenance. Start an Emergency Fund to cover these type of expenses, or pay cash and cut expenses that month.
2 – Longer payment plan to lower payments
How can we afford a nice truck with bad credit (from some auto commercial).
You can’t afford it, fix your credit and buy a vehicle you can afford after saving a huge downpayment
3 – Spend to Save Promotions
There are a TON of these out there:
Spend $50 get $25 off at a local furniture store – This one came personalized for my birthday (I think we bought our table there), if I remember correctly the things around $50 have no appeal to me, thrown out!
Coupons for 20% off $100 or more purchase. Spending money to “save” money is a scam, unless this coupon magically appeared before you needed whatever it is they are advertising, chuck it.
3 Cents off Gallon of Gas with purchase. You probably see this at your local grocery store hanging under certain items connected to some affiliate card. If you were going to purchase this item – great! Buy it and take the .20 cent gas savings. This tag usually hangs under the extra sodium Spam – hard pass.
My favorite one…
4 – Payroll Deductions
One of our customers at work created a program so employees could buy anything on their site through a payroll deduction – Are you kidding me?!? Screw the 401K, buy a TV at 8% interest and we will take your money before it even makes it to your checking account. Talk about the complete opposite of paying yourself first.
How to Ignore Money Traps
This is not a scientific method but here are some techniques I employ when things tempt me to spend money. Over time, it will become second nature and you won’t need to think.
Avoid Impulse buying
Before you spend money on anything (excluding gas and most groceries) ask yourself if you really need it. If you do, shop around for alternative products that are cheaper, or for the same product online at a better price. I am a big Amazon guy, down to buying my 30lb bags of dog food and having them delivered.
Avoid Interest Payments
Anytime financing is involved, consider the cost of interest since you are basically setting that $ on fire and making some genius rich. Think of some guy in an expensive suit using your $50 bill to light his cigar.
Pay Attention to Opportunity Cost
Don’t think about what else you could buy with the money, think about what the money can do for you if you invest it. $1 doubles every 10 years at 7.2% interest!
Burn Bad Memories into your Mind – Remember that one time you spent $200 bucks at the bar buying shots? No? Just me? ……Liar. Think about that every time you are tempted to blow a bunch of money on unnecessary crap. $200 should get you and 5 buddies buzzed up at least 4 times.
Avoid Money Traps – Put your blinders on when shopping
When you go out – only buy what you need! Trips to Target, Grocery store or gas station are filled with tempting offers. Do your best to ignore them and get the hell out of there. Ask yourself:
‘Did I come here for this?”
If the answer is no, take a pass.
For every advancement in helping you save, there are 100 new ways tempting you to spend. Now that I am done with this post its time to return to normal programming and start ignoring money traps again.
Are there any other Money Traps to Avoid that you are aware of? How do you avoid money traps?