Have you seen the horror movie “It” yet? I haven’t. I am not into scary movies like that. But I know it is about a creepy clown that lures kids into the sewers with a red balloon. I have seen the trailers with the red balloon flitting through the town and the unsuspecting innocent children who follow and never heard from again.
It got me thinking, we all have an “It” in our lives. Especially a “Financial” It. We are unsuspectingly going through a store and a lure is placed in front of us and it grabs us and next thing we know, we have a basket full of junk we don’t need and a new store credit card that saved us “Ten Percent” but we spent 50% more than we planned and if we don’t pay it off right away, we will rack up interest payments at 28%! Scarier than a clown in a sewer.
Or maybe your scary “It” is a drive through the coffee shop where a fancy latte costs a mere $4.50 a day. Multiply that by five days a week, 52 week a year, and you have spent over $1,000 in a year just on coffee!
Perhaps you don’t shop your new mortgage interest rate and just take the first rate you apply for. After all, you might have only saved .50% on your mortgage interest rate. Did you know that it would cost you over $20,000 over the life of the loan?
Maybe you don’t understand how your retirement plan works. So, you don’t participate. That is a costly mistake. One that could haunt you for a long time.
There are a lot of little scary money things out there. In fact, advertising and marketing are designed to take advantage of our fear factor and scare us into believing we “Need” something or we “deserve” the best. Marketers know how to lure you out of your money.
The first step is to acknowledge that the little things you do everyday matter. Identify what your Scary Red Balloon is and then strategize on how to get rid of it. If you have a problem over shopping- then simply avoid stores. Go take a walk in the park instead. When you do go to stores. JUST TAKE CASH. Nothing prevents overspending than walking in with just cash.
Change your route to work so you don’t go by the fancy coffee place. Make a pot of coffee at home and put it in a travel mug for your drive to work. (I know, I know--- it isn’t the same. But a $1,000 a year savings. Remember?)
Money doesn’t have to be scary or complicated. Take a few minutes to learn how it works, to examine your behavior, and gain control of your “It”. We don’t want you dragged into a sewer.