Special Friday Post-Christmas in July

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“A deal is a deal, except for when it’s not…” Older Wiser Money Miser, July 2018

I’m posting a special Friday post to commemorate the upcoming “Christmas in July”, also known as AMAZON PRIME DAY!! For the uninitiated, Amazon Prime Day is a special day of deals that occurs once a year. You must be an Amazon Prime member in order to take advantage of the deals. The complete guide to how Amazon Prime Day works can be found here. Amazon has extended Prime Day to a day and a half-it begins at 3pm ET on Monday, July 16 and will end 36 hours later.

Amazon Prime Day offers a GREAT opportunity to make purchases taking advantage of some awesome deals, but it’s also a prime opportunity to get sucked in and buy things you don’t necessarily need but end up buying because of the dreaded F.O.M.O. Before you buy anything, be sure it is something you truly need and will use. The temptation will be great but if you use a good bit of restraint and common sense you should be OK.

IF you find something you truly need, and IF it’s in your budget, by all means take advantage of the sale. If not, step away from the computer, put your card back in your wallet, and DON’T MAKE THE PURCHASE!! If you should decide to shop on Prime Day, I would be most appreciative if you would shop using the link here. I will earn a commission for each sale at no additional cost to you. Thank you.

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…

Peace of Mind is Just an Attitude Adjustment Away…

“What you allow is what will continue…” Unknown

I love a good advice-giving meme as much as the next person and have been known to share the ones I think are worth sharing but when they start to contradict each other it’s hard to know which piece of advice to follow. One the one hand, you have the memes telling you that you should stop feuding, be the bigger person, and kiss & make up with the person you’ve been feuding with. Flip the coin and you have the memes telling you to “cut the toxic out of your life”.  What do you do if the toxic in your life is caused by the same person you’re feuding with? Worse yet, what if that person CAN’T be cut from your life? It could be a family member, a coworker, your boss, or someone else in your life whose presence drains the life out of you but, because of the dynamic involved in your relationship with this person, they can’t just be cut from your life without consequence. What do you do?

In all likelihood the behavior of the person causing you grief is never going to change unless they want it to. For whatever reason, this person has decided you’re a good target for their special brand of nasty. The first thing to remember is nothing you do or say is going to make it go away-only the person spreading the ugly can do that. Realizing this is the first step in dealing with the behavior and not letting it negatively affect you. Always remind yourself-you have full control over how you react to others in your space. I’m not saying it will be easy (trust me-it’s NOT!!), but it can be done. In days past I have been known to walk around like Eeyore with a cloud over my head because of something someone said to me. They go along with their day merrily ever after while I’m stuck stewing in misery because of nothing more than a few ugly words. It’s taken a whole lot of soul searching to realize the motivation these people have is to make themselves feel better by making you feel bad. If you feel bad, their mission is accomplished. Don’t give them that power! Mean for the sake of mean is a very revealing personality trait and once you recognize it for what it is it’ll never have the same effect on you again. The crazy thing is, once you change your reaction and the bully isn’t getting their desired result, the bullying will most likely stop. If it doesn’t you can at least be safe in the knowledge that you truly have been the bigger person and your reward for that is your own peace of mind.

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…

Embracing Compromise

“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” John Wooden

I had a conversation with my nephew Matt recently. Matt is a Marine Corps veteran (ooo-RAH!), married with 2 sweet little girls, and a recent college graduate getting ready to enter the work force as a civilian. I wanted to advise him about being sure to sign up for his employer’s retirement plan and he let me know he was on it! One topic led to another and we ended up discussing money management styles. While the conversation was not adversarial in the least, we didn’t exactly agree on how to do things, either. I’m a little bit “snowball” and he’s a little bit “avalanche”. (See what I did there?) (Please-some of you older readers let me know you get this reference!!) While I decided to be smart and remind him that avalanches start with snowballs, I definitely saw his point. He wasn’t comfortable dealing with his situation using the snowball method, and who am I to say he’s wrong? It works for him and his family and he’s working a plan. In the end, that is the most important thing. Lesson learned!

Even in my own situation I’ve found compromise is the best way to get it done. When the Hubs and I sat down to write our very first budget, he let me know in no uncertain terms that he had his own ideas on how he wanted to get our financial house in order before his impending retirement. His ideas were a little bit out of kilter with mine but rather than be stagnant and do nothing, we talked it over and decided a little bit of my way and a little bit of his way was the way to go. We are getting it done together using a variety of ideas from different sources that we’ve made our own. It really makes no difference how you get there. Communicating effectively, having a concrete plan that works, and reaching your goals is all that matters in the long run.

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…

F.O.M.O is a Four Letter Word

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think about how much we are bombarded these days with offers too good to be true. Offers that are only good for the dreaded “Limited Time Only!!” How many times have you been sucked in and opened your wallet only to be filled with regret later that the too good to be true offer was, indeed, that?

I was presented with an opportunity recently that was related to something I have been thinking about doing for a good while. It was a GREAT opportunity but, naturally, as with all things opportunity related, there was a cost involved. Not bank breaking, but not something I could ever think about spending significant money on without discussing it with the Hubs first. More on that later.

F.O.M.O. Four little letters filled with angst. For the uninitiated, F.O.M.O. is an acronym for Fear Of Missing Out. (There’s an acronym for EVERYTHING these days, isn’t there??) Infomercials are the worst offenders when it comes to stoking the F.O.M.O. flames. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve gotten sucked in on occasion. There are several shelves in my basement filled with my impulse buys because it was “such a great deal!” and “I just have to have this NOW!” and the worst- “if I don’t get it NOW it won’t be here later!” I’m currently scheduling my fall yard sale.

Part of the “Older Wiser” in “Older Wiser Money Miser” comes from my thought process evolving away from the “I MUST BUY THIS NOW” mentality to being intentional my funds. Advertisers don’t make it easy, and my email is constantly filled with stores and websites generously offering their advice about how I should best spend my money. While I’ve unsubscribed from some of the more obnoxious offerings, most of the others are treated with a visit from my “DELETE” key pretty regularly. One of the perks of no longer having my satellite TV service is that I no long have access to QVC on my television. I used to keep it on for background noise and boy, are they GOOD at getting people to open their wallets! I still get their emails, and occasionally I’ll find something I need and the price is right, but I no longer subject myself to the drumbeat of the “great” deal.

The most important thing to remember is that it’s the job of the seller to sell stuff. Capitalism at its finest, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. As a responsible steward of your money, however, it’s your job to determine whether you truly need what the seller is buying, and if it’s worth the price they want you to pay. Sometimes it is, but most of the time it’s not. If you’re looking at something you think you need, sleep on it. If you still want/need it in the morning, it’ll still be there. If it’s not, the world keeps turning and Life Goes On (hat tip to Todd Rundgren).

Back to that GREAT opportunity I referred to earlier. After giving it some thought, I decided that it wasn’t the right time for me to commit my hard earned funds to something I’m not 100% sure I want to do. The “old” me would’ve jumped on it and regretted it later when it didn’t pan out like I had envisioned it would. The “older wiser” me is at peace with my decision with the knowledge I can revisit it later or possibly find it somewhere else better and cheaper! That, my friends, is progress like I never thought possible for myself, and you’re struggling with F.O.M.O., it’s possible for you, too.

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…