Would you like to have money?
The obvious answer is YES. The real solution is to make more money than you spend. Interestingly, no matter how much you make, you will find ways to spend. That is where the problem is- you need to spend smarter.
It is best to address money issues quicker. Money is the number one cause of stress in the United States. Not surprisingly, money is the top reason for divorce. But money issues can be resolved, because most people make dumb money mistakes.
Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, has a new book out that explains some of the problems we’re prone to when it comes to moolah and what we can do about them. The book is Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter. Few highlights are listed here.
On Sale Signs Are The Devil
Simply do not pay attentions to “On Sale” signs. Most stores (online stores included) have high-markup price for each merchandise to begin with; so, when the merchandise is marked down, you are not necessarily getting a bargain. The marketing strategy of “on sale” is designed to simply dumb down your decision-making process. When an item is “on sale,” you are likely to act more quickly. Beware of comparisons with bonuses and specials.
So, focus ought to be on what the thing costs not how big a discount you are getting.
Extra Money Is Not Bonus
It is very common for you to get extra money by doing overtime at your work, getting bonus at work, or from winnings from casino, etc. You are likely to spend that money on unwanted stuff because that money is different. NO WAY, money is money.
People are likely to spend something like their salary on “responsible” things like paying bills, because it feels like “serious money.” On the other hand, money that feels fun—like $300 million in casino winnings—is likely to be spent on fun things, like more gambling.
Surprisingly, many people treat a tax refund as a “bonus” that they can have fun with. In reality, tax is not a “bonus” money, but it was your money to begin with. The government had taken an interest-free loan from you when you got your paycheck.
This attitude is termed as “emotional accounting.” Rationally, a dollar is a dollar. But as rationality-challenged humans, we feel the source of the money affects how we should use it. Really?
Paying Cash Curtails Spending
Paying cash really hurts because it creates true awareness of spending within your thinking process. Believe it or not, marketing folks have figured out to reduce your pain, by letting you use credit cards. Through studies, marketing folks know that people are not only more willing to pay when they use credit cards, but they make larger purchases, leave larger tips, are more likely to underestimate or forget how much they spent, and make spending decisions more quickly.
All in all, your purchasing is made painless process. The credit cards, gift cards, casino chips and nearly all online shopping is a financial opiate and dramatically reduces the pain that keeps your bank account flush.
So whenever possible, use cash. You may feel the pain, but you will not be stressed later.
Here’s the easy way to save money as stated in the book:
- “On Sale” signs are the devil: “Relative comparisons” mess with your head. Focus on the end price, not how good a “deal” it is.
- It’s not a “bonus.” Money is money: How you got the cash should not affect how you spend it. Saying that “bonus” money doesn’t count feels good but being broke feels very bad.
- Use cash more often: Make spending painful and you’ll spend less. (Using cash is simpler than having a friend punch you in the face whenever you whip out your credit card.)
- “Fair” is a four-letter word: Focus on value. The plight of moral justice in the economic universe can wait until after the electrician gets your lights back on.
- Try a “Ulysses Contract”: Send me the deed to your house. If you don’t have more money in your savings account two months from now, I keep the deed. See? Saving is easy.
- Drop Anchor: The only way to not be influenced by prices is to influence yourself ahead of time with other prices.
You are limited when it comes to earning more money, but surely you are bombarded with many ways to not only spend what you earn now, but against your future earnings by means of debt to the credit card companies. Learn to monitor your money today, so you will not be ruined by the credit card companies.