One of the keys to marketing, is to convince people that they “have” to buy your product. That somehow, the life of the consumer will improve if they buy a certain product. Then there is the mindset that we “have” to have the latest and greatest products on the market.
I know this certain guy who is big into computer games. When a new processor or video card is released, he has to buy it just to have the best. I’am sorry, but I can not afford to buy the newest video card, memory, processor or even the newest games. My last computer was a single core AMD3200 with 1.5 gigs of memory – and it lasted about 3 years. While stores like Best Buy were selling dual and quad core computers, I was still using a single core system.
A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to Frys in North Houston. While we were there I picked up a 1 gig chip of 800mhz memory. The guy helping me asked how old the system was “is this a 3 or 4 year old system?” I was kinda set back by his question,,, I do not have the money to spend on the latest and greatest computer parts. I simply replied, “I built this system in December 2009, I buy what I can afford.” The guy that was printing out the slip to get the memory just rolled his eyes a little bit. Lets see, I have a house note, house insurance, auto insurance, electric bill, children, child support, gas bill for my SUV and truck, cable tv bill, internet bill, cell phone bill, vonage,,,,,,,, and somewhere in there I’am “supposed” to fork out hundreds of dollars on just memory for my computer? Maybe when the guy stops living at mommy and daddies house, and has to pay his own bills, he might be a little more conservative with his money.
A few months ago there was a news article about people buying the newest DVDs. Your going to spend $20 – $25 on a DVD movie, watch it once and put it on the shelf,,, why? Why not rent that DVD through the red box for $1, and return it the next day? How much money have you spent on DVDs in the past year? For most people that number is in the hundreds.
If you want to eat out, do you buy a big meal from a fast foo joint, or do you order off the dollar menu. Most of the time, a single 1 dollar cheeseburger and a medium tea is all I need to break the hunger pains: total cost, about $2.75.
Beer is where a lot of people waste money. Your going to spend $6 or $7 on a 6 pack of beer, only to pee it out in a few hours. That is a total waste of money.
Buying a new truck or car – why do you need a new car or truck to drive back and forth to work? My truck is a 1996 Toyota T-100 with around 270,000 miles, and its paid for. I used to work with a guy who drove a late 1960s model truck back and forth to work. When he was asked why didn’t he have a nice truck, he simply replied back “why?” Meaning, why would you want to spend the extra money “just” to have a nice looking truck? But for a lot of people, their truck or car is their status symbol. That somehow, your more respectable if your driving a $40,000 new car, compared to a $10,000 used truck.
Most Americans live pay check to pay check, regardless of how much money they make. When I was working for Kingwood cablevision in Kingwood, Texas, I cut off the cable TV to homes that cost in the million dollar range. When I tried to collect the bill from 1 lady, she slammed the door in my face. When I cut her cable TV off, she came running out to my truck with a check. Her house backed up to Lake Houston, in one of the more expensive parts of Kingwood. Does living in an expensive neighborhood entitle you to not pay your bills and slam the door in peoples faces,,, I don’t think so.
Losing money in the 401k – just about every 401k I have been a part of, I have lost money in. When I was working for Kingwood cablevision, my 401k lost 20% of what I put in. There is no way I can afford to lose that kind of money. When I contacted the company that managed the money in my 401k, they refused to answer “where” the money was lost. Another company I worked for back in around 1993 or 1994 – Fabricon International in Beaumont, Texas – the people that manged their 401k kept losing money. Even when the stock market had an average yield of 12%, somehow that 401k management company was losing money. If I want to lose money, I’ll go to a casino.
Its like everywhere you turn, someone is there to try to take your money from you. My suggestion is to keep as much of your money as you can, and keep it out of the banks. The banks are nothing more then an extension of the government. If your money is in the bank, the government can seize it.
Credit cards – stay far, far, far away from credit cards, they will put you and your family on the fast track to the poor house.
Think about where you spend your money at, and how to save more of your money. You never know when that rainy day might come along and you need to pay a bill. I would rather buy what I can afford, and stay out of debt, then to live above my means and stay in debt.