A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

FPU Lesson 5 – Buyer Beware

With the fifth lesson, we start putting up our shields and gaining power over our spending habits. Below are my notes from the lesson, including the key points that I highlight from the video when leading the class, and some supplemental material that I think could help the class go further on this topic.

Financial Peace Unversity

Lesson 5, Buyer Beware

Key Points

Learning the methods used to market products to you can put you back in control. Major corporations and organizations spend millions of dollars determining the best ways to convince you to buy their stuff. Color (Century 21 signs are an ugly shade of yellow for a reason), repetition (who deserves a break today?), perceived value, product placement, and on, and on. What they’re doing isn’t necessarily illegal, or even immoral, but it’s important for all of us to be aware of  it.

Always talk to your spouse before making any major purchase. Each family has to determine for itself how much constitutes a “major purchase.” (On average, it’s about $300.) When you get ready to buy something over that number, though, everyone has to agree to the reasons the money is being spent. No exceptions.

Wait 24 hours before making a major purchase. One of the biggest traps we fall into in our culture is the false sense of urgency that is applied to everything in our lives. We’re always being urged to “ACT NOW!” It causes to move on a purchase before we’ve completely thought it through. By taking the time to sleep before you spend the money, you give yourself the chance to feel the true weight of that purchase.

Challenge

End Immaturity. On its own, “I want it!” isn’t a legitimate reason to make a purchase. Tell your inner child to shut up by memorizing and implementing these five key strategies:

  1. Wait Overnight. (We’ve already covered this one.)
  2. Consider Your Buying Motives. (Consumption will never result in happiness.)
  3. Never Buy Anything You Don’t Understand. (If you can’t explain it, then you don’t understand it.)
  4. Consider the Opportunity Cost. (If you spend this money here, what are you unable to use it for later?)
  5. Seek Counsel. (Start with your spouse, but also have wise friends. Maybe even a financial coach is needed.)

Go Deeper

  • Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, and Thomas H Naylor
  • Stop Acting Rich: …And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire by Thomas J. Stanley

Next week:, lesson 6 – The Role of Insurance (Everyone say “Yay! Insurance!”)

April 3, 2013 Posted by | Marriage and Family, Past and Future, Work and Money | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on FPU Lesson 5 – Buyer Beware

FPU Lesson 4 – Dumping Debt

The fourth week of FPU attacks the biggest problem most of us have when it comes to winning financially. Out-of-control debt. Below are my notes from the lesson, including the key points that I highlight from the video when leading the class, and some supplemental material that I think could help the class go further on this topic.

Financial Peace Unversity

Lesson 4, Dumping Debt

Key Points

Consumer debt has only become accepted as normal in America over the last 40 years. The credit card has only been in existence since 1950. It wasn’t until after 1970 that their use became widespread. Your ‘need’ for a good credit score is a recent invention. The Sears catalog used to warn customers against buying on credit, and now it’s their biggest money-making department.

Don’t believe myths about debt. It isn’t part of a healthy financial plan. Debt is a product being sold. Remember that whenever they offer a financing option. You’re being sold a product that is tremendously profitable for them. You don’t have to have a car payment. “90 days same-as-cash” isn’t actually the same as cash. Your FICO score has nothing to do with your financial stability. You can live a perfectly normal life without ever touching debt.

Remember the importance of gazelle intensity. It’s very easy in our culture to wander into a crippling amount of debt. Between stupid loans and consolidations, you can suddenly wake up and find yourself under a mountain of payments. Escaping from that kind of mess takes focus, sacrifice, and intensity. The same motivation a gazelle has when it’s running for its life.

Challenge

Chop some plastic. The first step to getting out of debt is to STOP borrowing more money. This is the week we break out the scissors and ask the class if they’d like to cut up some credit cards.

Go Deeper

If you want a more honest picture of how debt and wealth really works, check out these resources:

Next week, Lesson 5 – Buyer Beware.

March 27, 2013 Posted by | Marriage and Family, Past and Future, Work and Money | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment