So what if you have to have cell-phone service to stay employed but your plan is expensive? What if you Identified that you canít afford the HDTV Service or if your car broke down and you need to make a replace or repair decision? The answer is that there are alternatives for most ďobviousĒ decisions that many people donít explore or even consider. My
toaster broke, so I have to buy a new one. Ė No, you donít! You can buy a different, better type of bread that doesnít need to be toasted. It will cost more but therefore it saves you the money for the toaster and the electricity it takes. And a positive side effect is that the better bread is probably healthier for you anyway.
That works, of course, only if you don't eating toasted bread because you
really like it.
My car broke down, now I have to replace it. Ė Not necessarily! What about having it repaired? Have you done your research to find out who offers the best price for the repair? Have you done the math as outlined in the earlier chapter on identifying what you really need? Have you considered sharing a car among family members? How long would you be able to get to work and back using pre-arranged Taxi services if you just sold the car as is? What about carpooling with a colleague?
This is simple, people! You donít have to do what the TV ads, the Internet and the billboards drive you to do. You have the option to opt out. The only question is how much you are willing to go out of your way to have a healthy financial future.
Look, - I grew up in a mid-sized town in Germany of about 300,000 people. We lived in the suburbs and my
Dad worked in downtown. My parents decided early on in their lives, not to own a car. In fact, neither of them even have a driverís license. Why? Because they didnít need it! My
Dad took the bus to work every day, five days a week for 47 years. My Mom took the bus to go shopping and when they had to go somewhere special where the bus didnít go they took a taxi. They didnít conform to the stereotype of the standard citizen. They decided to opt out. As a reward, they were able to pay off their (very nice) house in less than 20 years and were able to maintain a lifestyle that allowed us to have a childhood
with basic needs met and without worries about money. We werenít rich but we never had to forego anything important because my parents couldnít pay for it.
Another option is to take up the "DIY" route. Yes, I know, many of you may think they donít have the talent. But consider this: I built my own house as the general contractor and in multiple craftsmen roles from masonry to woodworking to plumbing and tile laying. Youíd be amazed what you can do with a little guidance from a professional or a little practice. It saved me a whopping 60% of the building cost and dramatically increased my equity in my home. On smaller projects you can at least calculate that you save money on the ready product and end up with the tools to do more of them. Managing your financials has a lot to do with discovering and considering alternative ways to get what you want or to satisfy your needs.
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