The Questions of Life
Why do so many people struggle with money? Why is it so difficult to get ahead in a time of such prosperity? Why do the rich keep getting richer while the poor and middle class seem to continually struggle? I’ll tell you the answer: Most people follow bad advice and mimic strategies of the financially unsuccessful rather than imitating those who are already wealthy.
You see, every day you make money choices that affect all areas of your life. Try going a full 24 hours without doing something that involves spending, receiving, giving, or investing money. The truth remains so many people today, even with the 2008-9 economic collapse, spend more than they make. They live paycheck to paycheck and could be one missed payment from financial disaster. This could be you. Whether your finances are in dire straight or you just want a little fine tune up, I want to help fatten your wallet so you can improve the quality of your life and have the time and money to help others. In order to do this, you need to win the battle. What do I mean by battle? This is the battle for your money.
You’ve Sunk My Battleship
In the game of Battleship, the object of the game is to sink your opponent’s entire fleet without him sinking your fleet first. It is the same with the money game. You either sink or swim. With there being no shortage of companies fighting to win your money, only the warrior prepared for battle can win at the money game. The credit card companies, banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, and others all have one task at hand to win as much of your money as possible for as long as possible. Read that line again “to win as much of your money as possible for as long as possible”. They offer 0% financing, buy now pay later, extended payment terms, basically anything possible to get you to spend as much as you can and pay it back as slow as possible. My task is to give you the weapons and game strategies you need so the opponent doesn’t sink your battleship.
Let us not forget either, the other enemy: advertisers. They want to create dissatisfaction in your life. They solely aim to get you to upgrade, switch, change, try their product, and capture your business for as long as humanly possible. The average American is bombarded with thousands of advertisements every single day. From billboards, Newspaper, magazine, TV and radio advertisements, online banners, email solicitations – the list goes on. They all have one focus: capture your attention, create or solidify your perceived needs, and get you to pony up your hard-earned money.
Never Show up to a Gunfight with a Knife
There’s an old saying, “Never show up to a gunfight with a knife.” Your financial goals will require time and discipline. There is no shortcut to success. Getting in financial shape is a fight. Gaining financial freedom is a battle. While a fight may only be 12-15 rounds, it will be based on your desire to win. You can get in better financial standing in as little as 12-15 months, but you should focus more on the long-term battle at hand: obtaining financial freedom. This battle is a “must win” that will last years. Of course your financial goal and current financial position will determine whether you are facing a fight or a battle.
Take a look at your current financial situation. Is your outflow exceeding your inflow? Do you have more assets (things you own) or more liabilities (things you owe)? How large the gap is between the two? This will give you some indication as to whether you need boxing gloves or a machine gun.
If you are going to battle, would you march off without a battle plan? How many wars have been won without a plan? Unfortunately, many fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to financial planning. They are more reactive than proactive. It’s hard to gain position when you are constantly fighting an uphill battle. The most important thing is to have a plan. You must be prepared. Part of that planning is recognizing or predicting in advance the obstacles and challenges you are very likely to face along the way. Then create a strategy to offset the potential obstacles. Though you will never alleviate or predict every challenge, you will however, be better prepared for unexpected bumps along the way.
Choose Your Own Bailout
Now that the US Government has bailed out the same companies who have been maneuvering to take your money, isn’t it time for your own bailout? If the Government can take $700 billion and reward the banks, insurance companies, mortgage companies, and auto makers who have long taken advantage of consumers, isn’t it time you fought and won?
It is an extremely daunting task trying to borrow your way to prosperity. As the government digs itself further into debt, you do not have to follow suit. The one silver lining from the 2008-9 financial crisis is consumers will have to rely less on debt to finance their lifestyles. As credit becomes more difficult to obtain, consumers dare I say, have to pay cash for certain items, can no longer use the home equity as an ATM, and have to find more creative ways such as saving to buy larger items. I half joke about these points but the good news in this downturn is more and more people will have to go back to the basics: spend less than you earn, save money for a rainy day, try to avoid credit, and invest more for financial freedom to name a few.
As credit has become tighter, financial companies are scrambling for new ways to take money out of your pocket and line their profits. Can you say hidden fees, increased charges, misleading offers, and more fine print? The war has been declared; are you prepared to battle?
Win the Battle, Win the War
So how do you win the battle for your wealth? It starts with education! As English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon declared, “knowledge is power”, these pages will give you the knowledge to not only turn your financial life around but to build a new mentality to change your future. Fix your money problems and you will achieve more purpose, a stronger passion, and improved satisfaction in all areas of your life.
Chances are you are losing at this sophisticated money game. Don’t feel bad, the odds are stacked against you. Many people often pay 10-20% more than they should for goods and services simply because they are unaware or ignore hidden fees, extra costs, finance charges, and wasteful add-ons to name a few.
So what’s the bottom line? Arm yourself with financial knowledge. Assess your financial situation objectively and take the necessary steps to make changes in your spending and saving behavior that will allow you to come out victorious in this age-old battle.