Sunday, July 31, 2016

DO YOU HAVE $400.00?
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, July 30, 2016
(Note:  Anything in Blue is a link you can click on to see more on the subject)

47 Percent Of Americans Cannot Even Come Up With $400 To Cover An Emergency Room Visit

Click on this study link if you want to read more of the study that came up with the number 47 percent.

Question:  Do you have $400 cash, not credit card, real cash available to you on a moment’s notice?  According to the study if you do, you are part of the 53% and that is good.  But wait…what the study shows is that almost 50% of Americans DO NOT have $400.00 ready cash for emergencies or any other reason.  If you are one of the people who does not have $400 cash or if you know of someone who does not have $400.00, this Nugget is for you/them.

Almost everyone has access to credit cards, able to take out a loan or even have a line of credit on their home mortgage but they are all DEBTS!  The MOST VALUABLE lesson I have ever learned came from Gary Keller one of the co-founders of Keller Williams Realty International.  He has repeatedly advised his agents to lead with revenues not with expenses (debt)!  The theory is priceless and if followed will lead you to a very stress-free life at least financially.  There obviously are times when you have no choice but to take on debt like  buying a home.  Yes you can rent but paying a monthly rent is a monthly debt that you get absolutely no financial return on only an emotional return by living in the rented home.  Nor are you building your financial wealth by paying down the mortgage on a home that you can eventually sell; hopefully for a profit.  If you need a car you may have to take out a car loan but do you need a brand new top-of-the-line car or would a low priced used car serve the purpose at least for now?  You may also need cash that you don’t have to open a business.  That is far more stressful when you consider a lot of new businesses go out of business within the first 2 or 3 years.  Most do so because they failed to plan and/or have sufficient cash reserves to take them over the lean periods.  If they start out in the hole, they typically continue digging that hole until they realize they cannot get out of the hole they put themselves into.

Let’s concentrate on the $400.00; no, let’s make that $800.00 because that is what I am about to show you how to save with little to no pain.  This plan is so simple it ought to be taught in our schools at the earliest grades. 

This is how it works. 

  • Never use a credit card (debt) to buy anything unless you absolutely have to.
  • Always use cash to make your purchases.  If you use a debit card on your checking/savings account, using your card will NOT get you to the $800.00 cash-on-hand mark suggested earlier.
  • Therefore always carry cash with you.  Pay cash whenever you can.  Why is this important?  You don’t SEE your money leaving your hand when you use a credit card or debit card.  When you pay cash, you SEE the money leave and it hurts.  Quick test in regards to determining whether you MUST HAVE, NEED, LIKE TO HAVE or eventually ask yourself why on Earth did I buy this?  Ask yourself if I buy this item (let’s make it a huge flat panel TV that everyone seems to want as compared to need).  Let’s also say that the BIG TV costs $800.00 (there is that number again).  Now ask yourself, how long would I have to work at my job at the rate I am being paid or compensated just to pay for this TV at $800.00?    If you were making $15.00 per hour, it would take you 53 hours just to cover the basic cost but wait, if you charge it you have to add in interest.  If you were to calculate your minimal monthly payment on a charge card you will discover that it would take a lifetime of minimal monthly payments to pay off the debt on the card – a lifetime.  But wait, you have other expenses beyond the cost of the BIG TV do you not?  Back to the questions.  Do you absolutely MUST HAVE (in order to survive), a NEED, LIKE TO HAVE, or why didn’t I just pay cash for a much smaller TV or even a used TV?
  • When you pay for something using ONLY real cash, NEVER SPEND a Dollar Bill – NEVER.  Always use a $5.00 bill or larger regardless of the price.  If you want to buy something that only costs .89 cents, spend a $5.00 bill or larger.
  • When you get home put the Dollar Bills from your pocket or purse into a box or jar or something.  I like just putting them in a bunch all facing the same way (like the banks do) and then using a bulldog clip to hold them together.  I also clip a note to the pile of Dollar Bills that indicates the current amount of Bills in the pile.  Then as I add more bills to the pile I cross out the old balance and write in the new one. 
  • For what it’s worth, I also save quarters because they add up quickly as well.
  • Once I have $50.00 in a pile of Bills, I close out that pile and start a new one.  I put the old pile out of sight so it is also out of mind.  It is after all $50.00, exactly 1/8th of the $400.00 that the study indicates that people DO NOT HAVE for emergencies. 

You will be absolutely shocked at how quickly those bills and piles begin adding up.  When I was a license real estate agent I would routinely incur upwards of $1000.00 in annual fees that came due at different times of the year.  I was always shocked when so many real estate agents claimed not to have the money required to keep their licenses active.  Why?  Because they failed to have a plan and if they did have a plan, they failed to work their plan.  I found that by working my Dollar Bill Plan I was able to collect in $1.00 increments over $1000.00 a year.  That is $600 MORE than the $400 that people claim NOT HAVE for emergencies according to the study.

I retired from Real Estate in 2012 and I still save my $1.00 Bills.  With 4 children, 9 grand children and 2 great grand children we have a lot of Christmas and Birthday presents to buy.  Well there you have it, my collection of $1.00 Bills is used for that purpose.  It works beautifully.

As a side note, when you work your plan you often decide NOT to buy something simply because it is not getting you to your desired goal of saving money and being debt free.  Diane and I rarely go to the Casinos along the Mississippi Gulf Coast but when we do, we usually go for the shows or just to eat out; great restaurants in the casinos.  Occasionally we may play the slot machines.  A very good friend of mine once told me that you should never gamble with SCARED MONEY and most money IS scared money.  That simply means if you can’t afford to lose it, don’t bet it.  Ah, now for the quarters that I saved specifically for that reason.  Who cares about a quarter here or a quarter there?  Few people if any care.   You now have a stash of quarters that you can use for events such as visiting the casino and not being afraid to lose a roll of quarters that for the most part you had forgotten you even had.

This system works and I know it works because it has worked for me for 10 years or more.  It WILL work for you if you give it a try.  Try it, you’ll love it!

Just in case you didn’t believe that I actually do this…..

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