Friday, October 2, 2020

Talkin' Money and Taming the Family Budget

Money on the Twos is a new regular feature on Dystopian Survival. Every 2nd, 12th, and 22nd of the month will feature a new article on  Financial Preparedness, one of the most import aspects of modern dystopian survival. 

By Timothy Gamble


Having trouble making your budget fit your paycheck? Here are a few ideas that you may find helpful.

Small Purchase = Big Money

Money spent on little things - sodas, snacks, and impulse items of all sorts - can add up really quickly. A great example is a guy I used to work with who constantly complained about not having any money. Every afternoon he would head down to the break room and buy a Pepsi and a Snickers bar from the vending machine. It was only a $1.75, but he spent that money five days a week. Over the course of a year, that adds up to almost $450. 

We tend to dismiss small purchases as being insignificant - its only a couple of bucks, after all - but when we make a lot of small purchases, those couple of bucks add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over time. 

Impulse purchases are especially bad for our budget, because we make those purchases without thinking. Often, the fact that the item isn't expensive and seems like a good idea in the moment, allows us to convince ourselves to make the purchase. Later, we usually regret it.

10 Ways to Avoid Impulse Purchases:
  1. Plan ahead. Bring a snack from home instead of hitting the vending machine.
  2. Shop only with lists, and stick to them.
  3. Don't pay attention to TV, radio, or print ads. Hit the mute button. or simply don't watch or read the ads.
  4. Don't watch infomercials or home shopping channels. Marketing is a multi-billion dollar science designed to separate you and your money. 
  5. Leave junk mail unopened. Recycle catalogs, fliers, and leaflets unread.
  6. Don't use shopping as a form of entertainment or a means to relax. Don't go to the mall or shopping center just to have something to do.
  7. Avoid social shopping with friends. People tend to talk each other into things, not out of them.
  8.  Don't browse Amazon, eBay, or other Internet sites. Shop them the same way you would a physical store - with a list.
  9. Shop with cash only at brick-and-mortar stores. Spending cash feels more real than using checks or credit cards, so you are apt to spend less.
  10. If you do find an item not on your list that you think you can't do without, wait at least 24 hours before buying it. Chances are the impulse will pass.
Check out these other articles on Financial Preparedness by Timothy Gamble
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