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THE UPRISING OF THE AMERICAN PARTY "Clearly the voters are engaged right now, at least for sure on the republican side, and what they have concluded is that the republican party has not done their job. Thus, Donald Trump gets their vote."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Playing Broke To Save Money

There are a ton of tips and tricks on how to stretch your dollars and of course, save money. And believe me, I employ a number of them. I am as miserly as they come, and quite frugal as well to boot. Of course some have another name for me.

Cheap.

Go ahead and have your fun, I say. I am laughing all the way to the bank, and when I really want to have a little extra money for something, I can have it.

So what's one little trick to saving money and having money? It's time to return to the days of make believe like when you were a kid. Only for this play, instead of pretending like you are Warren Buffet or Bill Gates, or perhaps the man who trumps all of their massive wad of cash, you play broke. That is, you severely limit what you have on hand for money, and make it damn difficult to get money in a pinch.

When I was in the Navy one of the things I did, and I'll admit that back then I was still not as good with my money as I am now, but I did still think about. It was a work in progress, shall we say? I made my money hard to get. I left very little funds right up front and accessible, and made sure that the rest was socked away into a savings account at a bank that was 30 miles from where I lived, and that I had no ATM access whatsoever to.

This meant that in order to get access to any of that money I had to physically get into the car during bank hours, and drive 30 miles to make a withdrawal.

That took a little bit of thought. It required a little bit of planning. And that meant that 90% of the time the money stayed at the bank just because it was too much of a pain in the ass to get at. I found other ways to get what I wanted. Or I simply went without.

These days I don't resort to bank accounts miles away. In lieu of that I keep most of my money in my brokerage accounts, and most of that is tied to a stock. It's still accessible. But again, far less accessible than if I could just walk up to an ATM machine and draw it out.

I have to think about a tax implication of selling shares of stock, or have to wait a couple of business days for funds to be transferred to my checking account from my cash account. Especially if I sell shares I have to wait a couple of days for the transaction settlement, and then have to wait a couple more days to transfer the funds. Often times I don't even resort to doing that.

Again, just like before, I find other ways to get what I want. Or I simply go without.

The one thing I have learned over the years is that if you make money too easily accessible it gives you far too much freedom to simply give in, and take it. And 90% of the time it is simply something squandered on, on an impulse. Like New Year's resolutions are rarely followed through on, saying in the moment "I will deal with it later" is a sure way to ensure that it never gets dealt with. And time and time again you will simply find yourself going through more and more cash.

Playing broke is sometimes painful and frustrating, I will admit. But at the end of the day it just seems to make sense to me. When I really want the money for something I know it is there. I can enjoy skipping a fish fry today, for example, to better be able to afford a fishing trip I'd rather do tomorrow.

At the end of the day it is about having security and freedom. But not the freedom to frivolously spend. Rather, the freedom to spend wisely.

Besides, the best part is that when you get tired of playing broke and need a break back to the wondrous reality that you actually have money, it's right there, and you can go wild if you want and still not break the bank.

Joyous really. And perhaps, in some ways, quite brilliant, however conceited that may sound.

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