1. I Must Have It…Now!

Remember the classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? In that movie there was a character Veruca Salt (the bratty girl that has everything) gave us the classic line “I want it now!” She wanted a golden goose that lays chocolate eggs, we want the latest smartphone, gaming system, car, or piece of fashion. In case you forgot how incredible of a singer she was, here is a reminder. We all have a little Veruca in us, that consistently says “I want it now!” Don’t let her push you around!

If you take cars as an example you can see this attitude play out. If you head down the road to your local Subaru dealer and pick up a brand new WRX, it will cost you about $27,000. In just one year that sweet new ride will drop in value by almost 20%. Is it really worth the new car smell to have it now? When we give into our desire to have something now, it usually costs us extra money. Don’t waste your money because you aren’t willing to shop around or wait until a product drops in price. Impulsiveness and impatience come with a very real cost.

2. This Is Worthless

When you are cleaning out your house or garage never utter these words, “this is worthless.” Whether it is an old piece of electronics, clothes, books, or simply something you are no longer using. You will be shocked at how many items that are worthless to you are valuable to someone else. You just have to find them. If you aren’t sure where to sell something here are some good places:

Don’t throw something away because you are frustrated with the space it is taking up, check and see if it has value. All you have to lose is a little bit of your time. Choosing to give into the “this is worthless” attitude will cost you money because you might throw away something that you could have sold.

3. I Can’t Afford To Save

There is always room in your budget to save for emergencies and for your goals. We can sometimes be tempted to think that unless we can save hundreds of dollars a month that we shouldn’t bother with it, we’ll start when we can. There isn’t anything wrong with putting $10 a month in your savings account, every dollar matters.

4. I Don’t Want To Be The “Squeaky Wheel”

Something you learn quickly when dealing with big companies is that they count on you being a complicit customer. There are dozens of companies who will tack on fees and hidden charges to your bill, hoping that you won’t say anything. In order to be treated fairly and to get the best price on your bills and other products, you have to be the squeaky wheel. As cliche as it is to say, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Is the price of that new TV you want the best price available? You will never know unless you ask. Sure it will cost you some face and it might be awkward negotiating with the salesperson but wouldn’t you like to know if you can get a better deal?

Just because a company sends you a bill with numbers printed on it doesn’t mean that is what you actually have to pay, ask and see if you can get a better price. We know that many of us are uncomfortable with negotiation but give it a shot. The reality is that if you don’t make a little noise it will cost you in the long run.

5. No One Can Relate, I Don’t Need Their Help

Many of us have the habit of thinking in the midst of difficult circumstances “no one can relate to what I’m going through, no one else has faced something like this.” Whatever financial crisis or struggle you are in, someone has already been through it. When we isolate ourselves because of our shame or because we don’t think anyone can give us advice, we deny ourselves the chance to learn from them and get their help. As military members you are part of one of the closest knit communities in our country. Press into it and you will find the help you need. 

What financial attitudes have cost you? Empower others by sharing your experience.