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, you will 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