Like most people I carry way too much plastic and not just reward & membership cards. Like most people (according to all the stats that I read) I use them far too much, so a change had to come. Having just cleared all our debts (one “small” mortgage excepted) it was time to rid myself of temptation. So out came the scissors, then came the letters, phone calls and emails to the banks & money companies. It’s strange how people who can be so aggressive and treat you like a pariah one week want to be your greatest friend and behave almost as if you have snubbed and hurt them the next. It wasn’t easy getting rid of all these easy sources of credit but once they were gone it felt very good.
Now that was liberating….
Anyone who has seen me speak knows that I have a “credibility creating” slide of a letter from Lloyds Bank (before they were Lloyds TSB and therefore before they became Lloyds again – how much do those changes cost? and were they really needed?) The letter includes the mind concentrating line – “I will need to take further steps which may result in your bankruptcy”.
The threat was not realised, the main reason being that the bank had engineered the situation, whether through either incompetence or malice I don’t we never discovered but they ended up refunding me interest, charges and lumps of money. Very expensive and stressful way to learn a lesson.
- Don’t spend what you don’t have.
- Stay away from salesmen unless you really need what thay have got to sell.
- Get your finances in order and keep them in order – every day, every week, every month, every year.
- Don’t tolerate accountants who take an age to complete your accounts – you must know where you’re going as well as where you have been.
- Work with accountants who understand you and your business.
- Set budgets and stick to them.
- Get real with how much you need to earn and therefore have to charge in order to have the life you want.
- Money is just another commodity, when you have to borrow (& every business has to borrow sometimes) shop around for the cheapest provider.
- You don’t have to stay with the same bank for all your life – they are more than happy to move the goalposts for your business, what price loyalty?
- Use a Financial Planner who understands you, your business, your family and your aspirations.
Finally please don’t do what so many do: