The Next Financial Services

The ease of making financial transactions and financial services in general, had first been revolutionised when telegraph companies introduced wire transfers. But with the coming of new age financial services like Bitcoin and Ripple, it is the time we address the question of what the future holds for the financial services of the world.

Traditional Wire Transfers

Let us begin by first taking a look at how things have been going on for these past 150 years since wire transfers were first introduced. Transferring funds using a wire transfer method via a bank is not a single step process but a multi-step process. It is like this:

  • The sender approaches his or her bank and orders the transfer of funds to an account. Unique codes like BIC and IBAN codes are provided to the bank by the sender so that the bank knows exactly where the funds need to be transferred.
  • The sender’s bank contacts the receiver’s bank by sending a message through a security system, such as Fedwire or SWIFT, signalling it that a transfer needs to be made. The receiver’s bank receives this message, which includes settlement instructions as well, and then asks the sender’s bank to transfer the amount specified in the message.
  • The sender’s bank now transfers the amount. This is not done in one go but bit by bit, so it can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days for the entire sum to be transferred.
  • To make the transfer, the two banks must have a reciprocal account with one another. If that is not the case, the transfer is made through a correspondent bank that holds such an account.

As one can see, this form of transfer relies overly on a mediator, takes more time than it should, and can prove to be costly as the banks charge some fee for their service. Distributed currencies like Bitcoin provide a viable alternative to this process.

Decentralized Currencies

What sets services like Bitcoin apart from traditional services is that they do not rely on a central mediator but rather operate using cryptographic protocols. The process is therefore faster, simpler, and much more efficient. The system is quite transparent to both end users as well while traditional systems are susceptible to fraud due to the complex process involved.

However, there is a downside to this too. With services like Bitcoin, it is simple to trace a transaction back to each unit value’s creation.

Solution? A Common Ground

More and more people are opting for services like Bitcoin and peer-to-peer mobile transfers, where a network operator could help users transfer funds by simply sending an SMS. Although these are indeed more efficient, they are a long way from global acceptance because there are many who still do not have bank accounts, plus there is the issue of limited user identification in such services.

What would be ideal for everyone is if banks could tap into the potential of decentralized currencies and overlap the source code of services like Ripple on their existing system to form a hybrid of the two. It would kill two birds with one stone as:

  1. Decentralized currency systems provide more efficient transfers
  2. Bank systems ensure only registered users access the service, taking away the possibility of foul play.

Conclusion

The world has come a long way since the last time an indigenous financial service system was introduced. There is definitely a crying need to improve this traditional service and decentralized currencies like Bitcoin have shown them the way.

Although these are two different services and proper cyber security measures with their own shortcomings, if they were to be applied together, they could fit each other’s gaps perfectly, making for a system that revolutionizes the financial service system again.

Consider This Before Choose a Financial Planner

Unlike someone calling himself a CPA or a physician, just about anyone can call himself a “financial planner” or a “financial advisor” regardless of their educational background and professional experience. Moreover, not all of them are unbiased in their advice and not all of them always act in their clients’ best interests.

To ensure your financial planner is well-qualified in personal finances and impartial in his advice, consider the following five things:

1. Planning Credentials: Having a highly-regarded credential in financial planning, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), confirms that the professional you intend to work with has acquired the education and experience necessary to serve as a financial planner. CFP and PFS credentials are awarded to only those individuals who have met the certification requirements of education and experience in planning for personal finances. In addition, they have to pass the certification examinations and agree adhere to the practice standards and continuing education requirements.

2. Subject Matter Expertise: Financial planners are planning professionals, not necessarily subject matter experts. For example, a financial planner will be skilled in tax analysis and planning,but unlike a Certified Public Account (CPA) or an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) he might not necessarily be a subject matter expert when it comes to tax rules Similarly,a he could be skilled in chalking out an investment plan, but unlike a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) he may not be an authority in the subject of investments. Work with a financial planner who is also a subject matter expert in those areas of personal finance that are important in achieving your financial goals.

3. Client Specialization: Not all financial planners serve all types of clients. Most specialize in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles. For example, a personal planner may build his expertise and customize his services to serve only those individuals and families who are in certain professions, or a particular stage of life with specific financial goals and net worth. Ask whether the planner specializes in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles to determine whether he is the right fit for your situation and financial goals.

4. Fee structure: The fee structure largely determines whose interests he serves best – his client’s or his own. A Fee-Only professional charges only fees for their advice whereas a Fee-Based professional not only charges fees but also earns commissions, referral fees and other financial incentives on the products and solutions they recommend for you. Consequently, the advice from a fee-only one is more likely to be unbiased and in your best interests than the advice from a fee-based financial planner. Work with a professional whose fee structure is conflict-free and aligned to benefit you.

5. Availability: He or she should be regularly available, attentive, and accessible to you. Ask the planner how many clients he currently serves and the maximum number of clients he is planning to serve in the future regularly. This clients-to-planner ratio is one of the key factors in assessing your planner’s availability to you in the future. Also, ask which planning activities are typically performed by the planner and which ones are delegated to a para planner or other junior staff members. Lastly, make sure the planner is easily accessible via phone and email during normal business hours.

Once you have shortlisted a few well-qualified and unbiased financial planners in your local area, consult the ones who offer a FREE initial consultation first. During the initial consultation, assess the planner’s availability and any other professional attributes you are seeking in your financial planner.

Having a well-qualified and unbiased financial planner by your side is extremely important in your journey towards your financial goals. When searching for one, consider the planner’s professional credentials, client specialization, subject matter expertise, fee structure, and availability to select the right financial planner for your needs.

Tips Long Term Success

Why do so many businesses fail to make profits and achieve their financial goals? The answer is simple because many business owners simply ignore one or more of the 5 keys to financial success. Many businesses are making sales but are not profitable. Learn how to fortify your business model and set your company up for success. Developing a financial business model provides a clear picture of your company’s financial history as well as your company’s financial future. Working from a financial business model will help to prepare your company to make better decisions for the company in the future. And analyzing your finances on a regular basis will provide you with the financial success you are seeking to achieve. Get ready to gain more flexibility and financial freedom in your company with the keys to success.

Key #1) Don’t Go It Alone
Mismanagement of finances is not reserved for start-up companies but for all businesses. Many business owners are able to produce and sell their products and services but are not able to manage their finances. If you are not able to determine where you have been you will not know where you are going. Accountants and bookkeepers are able to assist your company with establishing a financial foundation and making predictions surrounding your financial future.

Key #2) Review Historical Data
By developing a financial history of your company’s finances provides you with valuable lessons for the present that will guide you into a more profitable future. Reviewing financial history helps you to know what to do and what not to do in your business. Compiling historical financial data can help your bookkeeper or accountant to assess the reasons for your success or failure.

Key #3) Project Sales and Costs
Once you have completed the second key it will set you on the trajectory to be able to project the sales and costs. Projecting sales and costs without historical data can be challenging but not impossible. Projections for your company are not a process that begins at the start-up phase, it is an on-going process to help determine areas of growth and change. Costs are always easier to project than sales. However, sales should not be your main focus but rather on the company being profitable!

Key #4) Develop Financial Statements
Financial statements are the framework for the accounting cycle. In other words, the income statement, the balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows provide a picture of how well your company is doing financially. Financial statements structure all financial data in a manner that is easy to understand and should be prepared with accuracy. These statements assist you with assessing financial performance and determining key business decisions.

Key #5) Assess and Implementation of Changes
This is the final piece in the financial business model. Once all of the first four keys have been established you will be able to assess your company’s financial position and implement changes where it is necessary to ensure financial growth and success. Tying it all together the financial statements will reflect your company’s historic information and decisions can be made about the future from that data.

The financial business model provides clear information to assist you in making sound financial decisions that can promote long-term success. Applying these five keys to your business will set your company on the path to achieving your goals and turning profits!

All About Capital Investment

It can be quite daunting to decode the jargon of financing businesses. In most cases, because of the similarity in the objectives of the different financing solutions, many have a tendency to exchange one for the other.

To simplify these very technical terminologies, most especially when you just have ventured into business and you do not have enough knowledge about it, here are some useful information regarding a fixed capital investment, which is one of the relevant business solutions businesses, either big or small, can opt for.

Facts About Fixed Capital Investment

First, they are often used to launch or perform businesses. Over a long period of time or about 20 years, they depreciate on the accounting statements of the company.

Second, though these investments can depreciate over time, they won’t depreciate the same way. Be reminded that there are investments that lose their value faster than the others. The perfect examples of those that devalue fast are communications equipment or devices since there is a rapid turnover of technology for these. Another excellent example is the company vehicles. Within the year of purchase, the value of a brand new company vehicle can depreciate by as much as 40%.

Third, fixed capital investments won’t devalue rapidly. There are actually cases where it can even increase in value. Real estate properties like the company’s office buildings and land are among the examples.

Fourth, these will include the acquisition of tools and equipment required for daily operations, along with the real estate properties where the goods are to be produced and stored. Remember though that the materials used in the production of goods are not included due to the fact that these aren’t retained by the company.

Sixth, the amount of fixed capital will be different from one industry to another. There are enterprises that would require higher fixed capital investment than the others. These will include oil companies, telecommunications providers, and the engineering and manufacturing firms. On the other hand, businesses that will just require limited fixed capital are those that within the service industry. And these will include the law and accounting firms since they require more compact devices, tools and regular office appliances.

Lastly, getting fixed capital often takes a considerable amount of time. Thus, it is crucial to work with a reliable, competent financing institution that can efficiently minimize the risk of financial losses through a wide variety of proven methods.

Tips To Buy Car With Bad Credit

According to an article in consumers affairs;

In general, it is better to go with a bank or an auto financing lender rather than the car dealership down the street that is offering a “buy here, pay here” deal. If you do wind up with a high interest rate on your car, work on rebuilding your credit score so that you can eventually refinance.

If you suddenly find yourself without a car you might be asking, “How can I buy a car with bad credit?”, well, You DON’T! I know not having a ride can be a problem, like how do you get to work, or what if you want to go out? Well as far as getting to work goes, see if a work colleague lives near you and chip in on some gas for a ride. As far as getting out from time to time, there’s always Uber.

You want to give yourself a few months to save up some money and pay cash for a vehicle until you can get your credit to a point where you can get a 6% or less interest rate. Your choice of vehicle will be better and the total cost for the vehicle will be a lot less.

Another problem with buying a car with bad credit that most people forget is car insurance. Your insurance premiums unfortunately are also based on your credit score. The combined monthly cost of your car and insurance could be challenging. Again, waiting until you have a good credit score will save you on insurance as well.

Here is an example based on $35,000.00 vehicle purchase at 20% versus 6% on a 5-year loan.

$35,000.00 at 20% interest you will pay over $15,000.00 in interest at 6% you will pay approximately $5,000.00 in interest. Quite a difference.

Your total cost for the vehicle is about $15,000.00 less in interest at 6%, and your monthly payment is approximately $250.00 less per month!

OK let’s play a little game, what if you took that $250.00 per month that you’re NOT paying in interest and invested it each month over the same 5-year time period with a 6% return?

Well you end up EARNING $3000.00 instead of PAYING $15000.00. I’d say that’s a pretty good argument for doing everything you can to avoid a high interest car loan.

Instead, put ALL your resources into getting your credit fixed. This will put you in to position to buy at a good interest rate with minimum money down. This will save you a ton of money and you won’t regret it!

Buy a new car or even a used car is never a good investment, but one you can’t avoid. Buy a car with bad credit, as you can see, is yet a worse scenario. Make sure you do whatever it takes to avoid this costly mistake.

Pros and Cons Getting a Low Rate Auto Loan

Getting a good deal for your auto loan is important. It means getting the best possible interest rate on it. A low rate is helpful in more ways than one. But, in order to get a low rate auto loan, you need to know what to do and what to avoid. The following list will assist you in leveraging the best deal.

Do the following Things to get a Low Rate Auto Loan:

· Do consider buying a Used Car

Doing your homework is always helpful as it helps you to evaluate the type of car fit for you. Deciding the type of car you want to buy can depend on various factors such as your income and your core requirement. A used car can avail you a lower rate as compared to a new car. As the purchase price of a used car is cheaper than a brand new car, the lender will be willing to reduce the interest rate on a used car. Low risk attracts a cheaper interest rate. Thus, make a conscious consideration about buying a used car as it can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a low rate auto loan.

· Do know your Credit Score

When you have prior knowledge of your credit score, you are in a better position to negotiate a better rate. A good credit score enables you to build credibility and aim for auto financing that’s within your budget. If you are struggling to improve your credit score, start by paying off your pending debts and overdue bills. Once you have your credit score in check, obtaining a low rate auto loan will be easy.

Avoid the following Things to get a Low Rate Auto Loan:

· Don’t neglect the Benefits of a Down Payment

Many a times the benefits of a heavy down payment are ignored while buying a car. However, a good amount of down payment can directly reduce your interest rate. As a down payment is a proof of your strong financial position, you will be able to negotiate and obtain a low rate auto loan easily. The best down payment amount is 20 percent of the total car price. Therefore, making a down payment is an easy ticket to getting a loan.

· Don’t forget to choose a Short Loan Term

When shopping for such loan, you will have the option of choosing a short loan term. The longer you owe money to the lender, the larger the increase in the interest rate. A short loan term on your loan means you will be able to pay back your loan quickly. Also, it means giving less time for interest to accumulate. As you choose a short loan term, you automatically choose a low rate auto loan.

When you go shopping around for an auto loan, it is a good idea to be prepared. Knowing what to do and what to avoid can make all the difference. So, do not forget to refer to the list of do’s and don’ts for getting a low rate auto loan easily.

How To Repair Your Credit Loan

Having a car has become a necessity in today’s fast growing world. But to obtain a car you need a good credit score. What do you do when you know that it is not as good as it should be and you find yourself in a tight spot financially? The first thought that comes to your mind is whether you will qualify for an auto loan. And, why would a lender approve loan application of an individual who has a spotty credit score? But the good news is that you can get a bad credit auto loan.

What is a Bad Credit Auto Loan?

The simplest definition is that you can get money for buying a car with a bad credit score. A credit score depends on your ‘creditworthiness’. So when you have a bad credit score, getting an auto loan becomes difficult because a lender thinks that you are unable to repay your debts. Today, owing to online services many lenders offer attractive interest rates on a bad credit auto loan providing the borrower a sigh of relief!

It’s no Picnic!

Getting an approval for a bad credit auto loan is no picnic. It means that when your credit score is not in your favor, it becomes difficult to get approval. But, with the following guidelines, approval becomes easy:

· When your credit score is in question, don’t assume that it must be bad. The wise way is to check it yourself.

· It is the best time to shop around for a bad credit auto loan. Many lenders see borrowers with credit issues in a positive light. So it is important to shop around in order to make the right decision.

· Go online! Various loan options are available online which not only suits your needs but also offer you best interest rates.

· Consider a co-signer. A co-signer provides the security which lenders are looking for in a loan application. Your co-signer’s financial condition should be good in order to compensate for your low score.

Different Lenders have Different Viewpoints

Something that is multifaceted can be looked at from many points of view, with each point of view showing something new.

· You don’t have to worry about your credit score since the lenders are not going to looking at it. Instead, the lenders will look at how likely you will pay off the loan in future.

· The approval rate for a bad credit auto loan is higher than other conventional loans.

· It gives you an opportunity to improve your reputation. If you make timely payments, it can provide you with a chance to build a stronger financial standing.

On the approval of a bad credit auto loan, you will now have the money to buy a new car. You will have fixed interest rate and monthly payments. So now when you make the payments on time, it will not only repair your credit score but also build a good reputation with the lender.

Tips to get a Low Credit Car Loan

Many car dealerships advertise financing for buyers with bad credit or no credit at all. It is possible for those with less-than-ideal credit to get a car loan, but due diligence is required to ensure that the terms of the loan are affordable. These steps can help consumers with low credit scores find car loans that won’t break the bank.

1. Know the Score
The first step for potential car buyers who suspect they have poor credit is to find out exactly how low their scores really are. Consumers can access their credit reports and scores from both Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada, the country’s two credit bureaus. In general, a score of 650 or above is considered a good credit risk in Canada, while below that number puts buyers in the subprime category. This often means higher interest rates.

2. Save a Down Payment
In many cases, buyers can get a lower interest rate even with bad credit by putting money down on the car. A 10% down payment is often enough to access more favorable terms. That means buyers interested in financing a $10,000 vehicle should expect to put down at least $1,000, especially if they have a credit score below 650.

3. Consider a Cosigner
Those who have a trusted family member or friend who has good credit and is willing to cosign on a car loan may be able to afford a better financing package. However, this person must undergo a credit check and agree to serve as a guarantor should the loan not be repaid.

4. Shop Around
Subprime buyers can often pay 9 to 10 percent interest on an auto loan, compared to just 3 to 4 percent for those with better credit scores. Buyers should know these numbers when they apply for financing. Car loans with higher than 10 percent interest aren’t worth the cost, so it makes sense for shoppers to get a few different offers before committing to financing.

5. Do the Math
In addition to getting educated on expected interest rates before shopping, buyers should be aware of what they can afford and stick to that price range. That means calculating the target purchase price based on the total amount you’ll expect to pay, not the monthly payment you can afford. Shopping by monthly payment often means agreeing to longer loan terms, which isn’t usually a good financial strategy when it comes to car shopping.

6. Provide Documentation
The best way to get a favorable car loan despite a poor credit score is by establishing good faith in other ways. When shopping for a loan, consumers should bring copies of recent pay stubs, utility bills, and other documents that prove their ability to generate income and pay back debts.

Though car loans for poor credit are common, a low score doesn’t mean settling for the first offer. Preparation and research can potentially help consumers qualify for more favorable interest rates and shorter terms, saving them thousands over the life of the financing contract.

Guide to Start Planning for Healthcare in Retirement

Plan for the worst and hope for the best. That’s what a friend of mine used to tell me she always did. That’s how she ran her life. I’m a planner – I plan just about everything. But I do not plan for the worst and I always hope for the best. However, when it comes to feeling good about what our future holds as far as health care and retirement looks like, this would be a time to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Health care is and will continue to be one of the biggest expenses in retirement. Yet many people nearing retirement don’t understand the risks these costs pose to their financial plan – and aren’t preparing for them. According to the 4th Annual Nationwide Retirement Institute survey, America’s workers are “terrified” of health care costs in retirement, but few are doing anything about their concerns.

Here’s just a few statistics and things to ponder:

Remember when everyone used to work at the same… department store, firm or manufacturing company for 35+ years. Back then, you were promised a pension and allowed to also keep your health care plan after leaving their employ – even for the whole family! Back in 1997, this was true for 1 of 4 in and in 2011 this number was down to 10% employer coverage.

Today, 26% of the American people don’t know what the annual health care costs in retirement will cost after stepping away from employment. The blazing question is: Did you or are you budgeting enough for this healthcare expense?

If you haven’t yet thought about it, and in order to plan for this, you’ll need to know what portion of your income or savings you’ll need for Medigap or medicare supplement premiums, Medicare Part B Premiums, Medicare Part D Premiums (Rx) and Out-of-Pocket Drug expenses.

Just released is the new Part B Deductible that all Medicare participants have to come out-of-pocket with. It went from $166 to $183.

To help you plan:

  • Have a very good idea of what income you’ll have in the 65+ years of your life. Typically, that would be pensions, IRA’s or other retirement accounts and Social Security.
  • Write out a budget. Know what your set-in-stone living expenses will be. Will you have an auto or home payment? What will groceries cost, special events/occasions such as birthdays, utilities. Be ver conservative here and allow for inflation.
  • Get a very good picture of what your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses look like. This should start with a conversation with your financial advisor.

Why People Spend Consistently More Than They Earn

Why do so many people spend consistently more than they earn? They fall deep in debt, their quality of life plummets, they retain their cherished buys, but do not enjoy them fully. Sadly, they believe seductive lies merchants put forth while peddling goods.

For over twenty years, I have been working with mainly churched individuals, couples, and families on personal financial matters. Many were in deep debt, concomitant stress, and joyless for long periods. Some emerged debt free in different time periods, while others stayed trapped in the debt cycle. During this time, I noted specific attitudes and behaviours that led some people out of debt, and attributes that appear to keep some folks trapped.

Ten Reasons people spend consistently more than they earn

Particularly, I noted ten reasons many folks seem to spend consistently more than they earned, and so, they remained stuck in a debt cycle. However, one significant observation surprised me. Folks who chose to stick to only some of the items on the list, never had sustained success as others who followed all of them. So, it was not good enough to set a goal, do a budget, and plan for emergencies alone. Instead, folks needed to be alert to all items to crawl out of debt and stay out.

  1. Ignore consequences of decisions
  2. No process to decide to spend
  3. No budget
  4. Easy credit
  5. Herd mentality
  6. No accountability
  7. Anticipate funds
  8. Emotional satisfaction
  9. Instant gratification
  10. Ignorance

1. Ignore consequences of decisions

Folks spent, PERIOD! They were not concerned with the effects of spending. Indeed, they didn’t think about how this spending might reduce their ability to do something else later. They considered nothing but spending to get the current item. But when they realized how much debt they incurred, they started the blame and victim games. Folks, let’s never forget this Benjamin Franklin quote: “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

2. No process to decide spend

People who remained in debt did not think it was necessary to follow a spending decision procedure before spending. They saw this as time consuming and unnecessary. Still, without a process to help you look at alternatives, including the alternative of not spending, you will let situations lead you. And you will end up with debt for a long time–a debt sentence.

3. No budget

Most folks I see do not want to budget. Moreover, they do not want to learn about a budget because they believe it is a strait jacket. But a budget is nothing more than a guide to help you get to your goals in a stress free manner. We don’t know the future so it will likely be wrong. But we need to go through the process. The late Dwight D. Eisenhower puts it this way: In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

To be sure, the budget is not a constraint. You prepare it. You implement it. The budget helps you consider opportunities and challenges in a future period so you might prepare to deal with them now. Often folks tell people to budget and all will be well. However, that’s just part of the journey. We need to review and update budgets and plans regularly as events change. And they do change.

In the budget, we can plan and save for emergencies that will arise. We don’t know when, but we know they will arise, so we should plan for them. According to Warren Buffet, “Do not save what is left after spending. Spend what is left after saving.” A budget is the best tool to help you do this.

4. Easy credit

It’s easy to get credit. And it can be cheap. Besides, it’s invisible money, so people spend confident they can make a small minimum payment for years. Indeed, I have seen folks with over seven credit cards, juggling monthly payments over long periods. I am not against having one credit card provided we convert it to a check. Sadly, many people focus on fixing credit scores and not fixing their attitudes and behaviour. These folks spend consistently on credit and end up with invisible electronic ankle bracelets reflected by intense emotional stress.

5. Herd mentality

Keeping up with the Joneses’ has never been easier. People follow their friends, family, neighbours. However, they forget two critical matters. First, their neighbours et al, might be deep in debt with no outward sign. Second, the neighbour might be at a different life stage where she can afford to buy that new car for cash.

Here is my paraphrase of a relevant quote from the late Adrian Rogers: Just as you upgrade to catch up with your neighbour, he upgrades again.

6. No accountability

Folks spend and spend and spend and do not account to anyone. In families this can be a huge issue. Husband or wife spends while the other is distracted, then voilà!, reality hits and the other party realizes the couple is broke and doomed for a long debt sentence. We should always remember we are spending God’s money and we will have to account for our stewardship. Romans 14:12 (ESV) reminds us, “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” We need an accountability partner to help us stay on course to do His will.

7. Anticipated funds

Your boss promises you a raise and a bonus. Immediately you leave her office you spend it on goods you yearned for. Before the raise and bonus materializes, the company is in trouble and you are laid off. Ouch! You can’t return the items; now, they are yours. That’s why it’s crucial you never spend funds before you get them. Apostle James reminds us that God alone knows the future in James 4:13-15 (ESV):

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”- 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.

8. Emotional satisfaction

Some folks spend to boost their image. They feel good after buying that new dress or new car (yes, a car, I have seen that a few times). They had a rough morning, or tough week and go strolling in the mall, and without thinking, they buy stuff on credit. Reality hits much later.

9. Instant gratification

We want that item now. Not tomorrow, not next week, now! That’s the society we live in. We hear it always. Why wait? The merchant says if you wait the price will go up. To be sure, there is always a sale, so you shouldn’t react to that hook. Often, waiting means you get something better and more effective for your purposes. Mull over Walter Mischel et al’s marshmallow experiment in the 1960s and 1970s. It showed that delayed gratification pays significant life benefits.

10. Ignorance

Ignorance comes in many forms, but the main area I see is people spending to save. So many folks believe they are great handling money because they get many deals. They are proud to tell you how they saved 50%, 70% on major buys. Sadly, they don’t realize that buying in these sales mean they spent; they saved nothing. Another area I see is people not reading the fine print. These folks get trapped with cell phone contracts, TV arrangements, and other contracts where understanding aspects of the fine print is crucial. The third ignorance area is people buying extended warranties whenever it’s offered. Research shows consistently that for most items, buying an extended warranty is wasteful.

Summary

I believe sincerely, if folks reflected on these ten items, and examined their situations, they might not spend consistently more than they earn. Indeed, they might decide that minor attitude adjustments will help them spend consistently less than today. And they might be able to get off the debt cycle, sooner rather than later. Let’s meditate on this profound Elise Boulding’s quote:

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.