1) I can fix it, or I will find out how
We lose money when we give up on the items we already have. Our lawn mower breaks down and instead of taking time to fix it we just scrap it and buy a new one. Our television’s screen gets a little scratched and we don’t even consider replacing it (plus we’re not really sure how you even do that – right?)
One way to keep your budget in check is changing your attitude about what’s broken and subsequently what lengths you’re willing to go to fix the problem. We know not every case provides less expensive alternatives to fix rather than purchase new (and sometimes we like to use that broken couch as an excuse to buy a new one), but we’d be willing to wager if we spent a little time researching our options and putting some effort into getting the most mileage out of what we already have, we might be pleasantly surprised how much money stays in our pockets.
We invite you to think “How can I fix this?” before you consider “Where can I buy a new one?”
2) I can wait for the right (time/moment/item/price)
Whether buying a car, sticking with our investments or prolonging an exciting purchase in favor of a little more savings, patience really is a financial virtue.
We can think of a hundred examples of when this is true (but I won’t bore you by listing them all). An obvious example is buying a new phone. We often want the newest and most advanced accessories. With the current speed with which technology advances we also know that all Android phones drop 30% in price after only 35 days on the market. The corporate world knows we just can’t WAIT that long to get the latest and greatest and they keep coming out with new stuff to capitalize on our impatience. Beat the system! Good things come to those who wait, and at good prices to boot.
3) I know everything has value and I will find out what it is
When you start to feel overwhelmed by the clutter in your home change your attitude from “where can we dump this” to ‘could we make money from these items in some way?’ This question has generated tons of ideas and provided many surprises when we discover yes, our things can make us money.
It’s all about creativity and venue. Sprucing up old furniture and selling it will be more profitable than taking it to the dump or leaving it with a free sign on the road. Taking old technology like the ‘ancient’ GPS, the old phone chargers or camera lenses and listing them on Ebay or trading them in on Amazon will bring some extra cash. We always encourage decreasing the amount of stuff you have in your home, by all means live as simply as possible. But unless you’re giving your things away to a great organization or family, why not try making a little something extra? You’ll be shocked to see what others consider treasure, it just takes a little effort.
4) I can help
At first glance this may not seem to fit into a financial strategy, but we would argue this is the one attitude that can save you the most money (and stress). Friends, family and all sorts of communities are filled with people who need help. People need help moving, painting, watching their children, feeding themselves during rough times – you name it. People have needs.
If you change your attitude from ‘how can I get out of these obligations’ to ‘I can definitely help out’ magical things happen. People start offering to help you when you need something, they show up to your house with random items they thought you might want, they call to ask if you want to join them for a meal, they offer to take a look at your car when they notice a funny sound coming from the exhaust pipe.
This is the beauty of living around people, they’re filled with such variety and talent. Tap into that! The best way to reap the benefits of being surrounded by awesome people is to be a contributing member.
Not to mention this attitude makes #1 come true and contributes significantly to #5.
5) I don’t have time for cynicism
If you play the ‘it’s not worth it’ game, you will never win. As soon as the thought enters your mind you’re already half way to walking out the door, so don’t let it come in! There is always opportunity. The best piece of advice we can offer is find people doing what you’d like to be doing – getting out of debt, saving money, reinventing themselves- and ask critical questions. How are they doing it? What can I do to move in that direction? There is always someone who’s been there (review attitude #4) and usually those people are willing to help.
Like any sport psychologist will tell you, simply feeling something is impossible is enough to make it impossible. Don’t go there. Are you $100,000 in debt and can’t see how you’re going to pay rent next month? Get creative! Ask for help! Read some great financial blogs and get inspired! Just do NOT assume you can’t do it and NEVER feel like the world is out to get you. It isn’t and you can.
What have been some attitudes you have cultivated that have contributed to your financial health? Share them with us.