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12/01/13

Money Hungry: Getting more money means starving yourself on bad decisions

You rarely meet a person that isn't interested in saving more money, right?
The proverbial brass ring in the financial realm rests on the general public constantly surmising that they're finally going to start budgeting properly and watching what they spend down to the very last penny.
That certainly makes sense.
Often the misinformed consumer can't help but lean in a direction they believe is financially sound, only to realize that their misstep is a loud cry for help. Simply put, they aren't quite as savvy as they originally thought.
This behavior certainly wouldn't be deemed malicious but rather hinges on you succumbing to such hard to resist marketing campaigns or, surprisingly, being too stringent with your money when it comes to treating yourself.

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The latter aspect might sound somewhat contradictory in nature, but the truth is spending money often leads to saving it as well. Look at it this way: if you're always watching your money and never spend anything on yourself, you're more likely to splurge in one fell swoop. That mindset is like a financial landmine waiting to happen.
The flip side to that end all, be all shopping spree is continually spending money just because something is on "sale." The idea of a product, piece of clothing or appliance on sale doesn't necessarily translate into a must have item. That's just amassing debt for the sake of doing so. The only thing you have left to show for yourself at the end of the month is a ballooned budget and a closet full of clothes or a television in every room.
The same can be said for the interest free tagline that accompanies everything from televisions to end tables or other furniture pieces. Interest free is fantastic, but don't get too comfy on that new couch if you can't pay it off in the number of months stated on your agreement.
Otherwise, that interest that's been accrued for one to five years is money that you still owe. A safe bet is to follow one simple golden rule when it comes to credit card purchases: if you can't buy it outright, then it's probably best to skip it. Credit cards are for emergencies, at least that was their original intent. If you're unsure what the best next step would be as far as charging your way to happiness, always take a look at your debt to income ratio before a purchase. That number typically shouldn't exceed 30%, but keep in mind that takes into consideration your mortgage, car loan and a student loan if applicable.
That flat screen TV or expensive smart phone or tablet, even if they're discounted or conveniently available for 24 low monthly payments, can certainly wait, especially if you're main objective to fatten up that amazingly slim piggy bank.

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