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The Things We Believe In - The Dollar Stretcher
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The Dollar Stretcher blog will explore people and money.

The Things We Believe In

The human mind is very interesting. We're given an amazing ability to think. And, yet sometimes we also have an amazing ability to deny the facts and believe whatever we want. Today I'd like to take a look at some of the financial things that we might believe.

Bad things won't happen to me. We'd all like to believe it. We own the one car that won't break down. Others will get sick, but not me. Therefore I don't need an emergency savings account or insurance. I can postpone the savings or insurance until I have more money. But, the facts are sobering. Every car will break down at some point. And almost all of us will spend some time in the hospital during our lives. The truth is that everyone needs a plan for handling unexpected expenses.

I did it before and didn't get hurt. Just because you got away with a bad decision before doesn't mean that you'll continue to get by with it. It's a little like walking away from an auto accident. You don't automatically assume that you'll be as fortunate the next time it happens. So the sane driver tries to avoid accidents.

That "everybody's doing it" is a good reason. If you hear yourself saying this, you need to check your math. Because it's very rare that everyone is doing something dangerous. Usually it's only a few people. And rarely do we know enough about their finances to know whether they're really getting away with it. Even if they look prosperous, that doesn't mean they don't get calls from bill collectors and worry themselves to sleep each night.

Besides, even if everyone were doing it, that doesn't mean that it's smart for you to do it. A few years ago lots of people were using variable mortgages to buy homes they couldn't afford. It seemed like everyone was doing it. But, now we know that it wasn't alright. Bottom line? Think through any move and how it might affect your personal finances.

That I'm smart enough to avoid problems. We'd all like to believe that we're smarter than average. And, that our smarts make us less vulnerable to financial problems than the average guy. The sad truth is that our guard is down when we're so sure of ourselves and we're probably more likely to have problems. Don't be fooled by your own arrogance.

That decisions don't have consequences. We all live with our decisions. But many of us fail to see the connections between the problems that we're having today and the decisions we made yesterday. We chose a new car instead of leaving the money in savings. Months later the refridgerator breaks down and we don't have the money to repair it. Bad luck has nothing to do with it. It's the decision we made to take the money out of savings that caused the suffering today. To understand what went wrong (so that we can learn from the experience) we often have to go beyond the first step. Sometimes the problem goes back a few steps.

Take a look at some of the things that you believe about your finances. You might just find that some of them simply aren't true.

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!

Gary

 

Comments

 

Millers Grain House said:

Nicely stated. Yes we tend to believe what we want even more than what may be true. Soul searching for false beliefs is always a growing experience. Thanks for the 'check up' Gary!

Best Blessings!

Donna

February 19, 2009 10:49 AM
 

Anne Cross said:

Gary, this is a classic. I'm printing it out and sharing it with others. Thank you for this.

February 20, 2009 6:13 PM

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About Gary

For more than 25 years, Gary Foreman has worked to manage money effectively. Prior to starting The Dollar Stretcher, he was a financial planner and purchasing manager. While helping clients manage their hard earned money as a financial planner, he applied commonsense, time-tested techniques during the turbulent 1980’s. The experience convinced him that you didn’t need to hit the lottery to accumulate significant wealth. Following that, Gary had an opportunity to learn more about how to get the best value for a dollar spent in the corporate world. As the Purchasing Manager for a computer manufacturer, he was responsible for supervising over $10 million in annual purchases. Gary began The Dollar Stretcher website <www.TheDollarStretcher.com> and newsletters in April 1996. Over 300,000 readers benefit from the time and money saving ideas presented in The Dollar Stretcher newsletters each week. His mission is to help people "Live Better for Less". He also provides private label newsletters for companies wishing to provide money saving information for their clients and/or prospects. Gary lives in Florida along with his wife of thirty years and their two children. Much of his time is spent working with the men's ministry of his church. One of their ongoing projects is the "Holy Smoke BBQ" which sells bbq on Friday nights with the profits going to support local foster kids and orphans. When he has a free moment you’ll find him restoring a Checker station wagon nicknamed “Two Ton” or cruising in a '65 Impala SS Convertible with doo-wops playing in the background.

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Gary is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who edits The Dollar Stretcher website <www.stretcher.com> and newsletters. You can follow Gary on Twitter.com/gary_foreman
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