In the Behaviors section of The ABCs of Making Money we talk about the strategies for saving and growing your money. For example, one of the biggest wealth robbers involves carrying a balance on a credit card. The average American carries a balance of $15,000 on their credit card. This is shocking and at that level, it is unlikely that you’ll ever be debt free unless you take serious action, immediately. The problem is that bank associated credit cards like Visa and Mastercard charge really high interest rates; and the big box stores and department stores charge even more. Then, they entice you into paying the minimum due – say $50 – which is their way of keeping you on the hook for a very long time. Never, ever carry a balance on a credit card is the best advice.
Insurance is another example. You always want to have coverage for your car, your home, or a rental package if you’re a renter, health insurance if you live in the U.S., but don’t let anyone convince you that you need a policy with an investment component like Whole Life or Cash Value. These are only appropriate in certain rare tax strategies. So, keep your insurance and your investments separate.
Avoiding rip-offs is crucial. Just as important is understanding and controlling where your money goes. Use some of the tools like the Daily Money Monitor available in the free resources section of our website to track how you spend your money.
Once you have spending under control, you can concentrate on the fun things like cutting down your cell phone bill or cutting back on your cable or satellite bills – if you only tend to watch, say, 10 channels on an average week, why pay for 100? There are lots of tips in our books, and on our website there’s a 30 year Savings Chart showing how little savings add up over time. It’s easy to do and it’s all money back in your pocket either for paying down debt, having fun or investing for the future. Those are the Behaviors for success.