If you want to win a crushing victory on the personal finance battlefield, you’ll have to operate with a budget.
3. Your price book and research
Get a 74 cent spiral notebook and designate a page for each major category for your purchases (fresh vegetables, meats, household items, dry goods, pet food, etc). List the items on the left side and two to four stores across the top. Leave enough space to write the price, size, and date of each item.
|1% milk||$3.08 on April 12||$2.99 on April 10||2/$5 on April 12|
|4lb bag of cat chow||$5.49 on April 2||$5.19 on March 31||$5.89 on April 3|
|dozen large eggs||$1.09 on April 12||$1.19 on April 10||$1.49 on April 12|
Over time, you’ll develop a database and will learn where to buy those items you purchase most. I’ll guarantee you’ll find at least a few surprises when you start to truly compare prices.
4. Your willpower to say NO
Saying no isn’t always negative, even if you’re saying no to someone you love. We all need boundaries and I’ve found it important to set boundaries for myself. I know I’ve wished I said no to some purchases in my past, how ‘bout you?
The willingness to say no, whether to a salesperson, your child, or yourself is a powerful defensive weapon.
5. Your automation of your finances
Automation is a highly effective weapon. When you automate your retirement account deposits, they become like long range artillery shells that have an effect long after you’ve pulled the trigger. Automating payments for your utilities, cell phone, and credit cards are more like defensive weapons since they protect you from late charges and excess interest.
6. Your contentment with the secondary market
Are you willing to buy clothing from EBay? How about used books or other items? Your contentment with things from yard sales, Craigslist, or Goodwill can be an incredible weapon to help you slay the dragons that are consuming your money.
7. Your courage to negotiate
Learning the skills of negotiation is available to everyone. Once you learn a few quick negotiation techniques, you’ll probably realize how often they’ve been used on you!
Winning the battle is all up to you
No one can fight it for you. But there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what makes it “personal” finance.
Photo by Sister72