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You're NOT a Buyer, You're a Person!
The first thing to do is to change your conditioning--almost everybody is conditioned to be a buyer to the point where we get a buzz just from acquiring something new. Many of us somehow feel grateful to the seller just for letting us buy their product!
* Are a person who deserves the best value in return for the money you give to other people.
* Have options--there are almost always alternative products of equal or even better value.
* Don't have to buy that particular item.
* Don't have to buy from that supplier.
* Don't have to buy now.
* Don't have to buy anything.
....it's your money and your choice.
Don't rush in to any purchase because your friends or colleagues have that item. Work out first whether you can afford it and if it is good value for you.
They might have taken on more debt to buy that item.
Maybe the benefits which they claim to have got are overstated. Many people talk up every deal they make and never admit that they might have made a bad choice with anything they buy.
They want their friends and colleagues to always look up to them.
Copyright (c) 2008 All rights reserved.--8--
"Cash Stretching 101" by Jerry McColl Page 9 of 59
Your Dollar Diary
If you don't have a diary now, get one [cheap as you'd like] and write down all the ways that you are spending your money and your time now.
Put aside an hour or so, when you won't be interrupted and have some privacy.
List everything that you spend money and time on from one pay day to the next.
If you are conscientious about this, youwill probably be surprised when you see all the little things which drain off your cash!
Make sure that you include an appropriate amount for things which you get during this period, but that you pay for on a monthly or quarterly basis.
* Your newspaper, if you have it delivered
* Your bus or train tickets
* Lease, mortgage or rent, and anything else where you don't put your hand in your pocket every single time that you use the service.
You're in This Together
If you're one half of a couple then, of course, your partner has to contribute their own diary entries. Everyone's expenses need to be together so you both have a true picture of your day-to-day finances.
You need to set up a private session when you won't be interrupted and at a time which is convenient to you both.
Keep it light, not like discussing things with your accountant. Share some nibbles and wine (don't forget to write them down.)
--Encourage each other [most important].
Copyright (c) 2008 All rights reserved.--9--
"Cash Stretching 101" by Jerry McColl Page 10 of 59
--Remind each other of things that might be overlooked.
--Be reasonable, even generous. Don't push for your partner to make most of the sacrifices.
--Make the business part as short as possible.
--Don't shut off discussion about any points that either of you feels strongly about.
--Don't waste much time on anything really trivial.
When to Start
You can start saving now, even if you can't put much aside.
Start your diary entries on a Monday morning or on your next payday, whichever comes first. Copyright (c) 2008 All rights reserved.--10--
"Cash Stretching 101" by Jerry McColl Page 11 of 59
Clear the Clutter
While you're clearing out some old thinking patterns and habits is also a good time to start de-cluttering your home.
Start to grab back the time you waste dusting and caring for stuff that is no longer important to you, when you throw away the junk.
Clearing it out will give you valuable stretching room and you might even be able to make a few dollars at the same time with a yard sale.
But, please focus on your main goal; get rid of every dust-catcher or cupboard-filler which has lost its hold on your emotions or you just no longer use.
Make the last act of your clear-up a trip to the local charity shop that you think can make best use of your discards.
Copyright (c) 2008 All rights reserved.--11--
"Cash Stretching 101" by Jerry McColl Page 12 of 59
It's YOUR Money
Whether your income is from working at a job, a pension or shares and other assets, you should focus on maximizing the amount you directly benefit from and cutting the portion which makes you feel that you're working mostly to benefit other people; finance companies, the Bank etc.
Pay Yourself FIRST