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Friday, 18 April 2014

Productivity enemy 5: disorganized finances

Phone wakes me up from my slumber. "We are Do Gooders Ltd. We can save you time and money by finding you a better price for your current car insurance/home content insurance/mobile phone contract/body/girlfriend....."
I'm interested. I enquire further info.
Ok, for the last 2 are completely made up. Wait...The company name too.

Anyway.

These cold callers tend to promise the world, don't they? They sell dreams. You buy them only to find out there are just that. Dreams. Carefully crafted shiny-glittery-shams. Then you wake up and realise you've been robbed in broad daylight!

Yes this is a rant. For all these times I thought I was getting the best deal but I wasn't. All these times I bought something I didn't need because it just sounded cheap.

Enough is enough!!!


If I am to do things the entrepreneurial way, I need to have a firm grip on my finances at all times. I need to save for tax purposes,  to re-invest in my business and also need to have a little cash for rainy days (very important as income is very up and down, not like in employment)

Last weekend I went to visit a buyer expert friend of mine.
I had a serious look at my finances as a result and they don't look pretty. I knew on some level that I was sitting on a time bomb but now I know it with all the fiibers of my being. It's hit home. So I am taking action to defuse it. I'd better not be too late!

I know how much I've got in my account pretty much all the time but until now ,not  how much money I was wasting. Below are the principles I have to apply. This is a note to myself but if you are in a similar situation, it's for you too!

Credit Cards

Don't play the ostrich game.
 Be sure you know how  much you earn and how much your bills are.
Only put on the credit card what you know you can pay off at the end of the month. Pay the balance in full at the end of every month. The card will then work for you, your cedit score will improve and you will be in a position to negotiate better deals (APR, cash back...) because you would have proved you are not a risky investment. If you're not there yet, get yourself there. Aggressively pay your debts, reduce your credit card use, then stop using it until it's all cleared.

Check your bank statements

I got a gym membership that was supposed to be taken each month from my account. Turns out they take it bi-monthly. Thieves! That got cancelled.
I got a gold account from my bank but don't even use the advantages...They don't suit me. That's going too. I easily lose 1K per year on those stupidities.
 I got different insurances for content, life, critical illness...But there's only so many "what ifs" you can cover. The likelihood of some what ifs happening is infinitesimal. However, insurance companies would like you to worry about them so you can pay them for decades for something that may never happen. This is a grey area but I'm gonna cancel most of them. I can't keep losing money over imaginary problems.

Bills

Nowadays, you can shop for groceries online, keep an eye on offers and compare prices. This way you avoid the supermarket's tactics to encourage impulse buying, fill that trolley and end up with false bargains that you don't even need.

Car insurance is cheaper 30 days before renewal comes up. It gets more expensive towards the renewal date. The earlier you shop arround, the better.

Negotiate like your life depends on it. The prices you are quoted first are rarely the best.
Reduce your bills by negotiating. Why should you pay more and help businesses profit at your own expense?

Do your research, don't be afraid to pit 2 companies against each other for your business. A friend of mine did that when servicing his car. He ended up getting a lower price than what he was first quoted. Another one did that with a game he wanted to buy. He actually went back and forth between game stores to get them to battle it out. He got a much better price than the one in the price tag.

Banish from your vocabulary that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

My friend got free MOT, free cash back on a credit card, free service on a car just by negotiating (not the same day or from the same company, but still, who would have thought i's even possible).
Saying that, it's a skill she developed in 13 years.

But yeah... I want some of that please!


And it's time to go get it!

:P



 

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