This week we’re doing something a little different, and giving the reins to our guest blogger Anne Caborn.
Anne and her co-author Lindsay Cook have recently released a money management handbook called Money Fight Club, and when it comes to hints and tips on saving your money, it really packs a punch!
Over to you, Anne…
Fight Club is a great movie and Brad Pitt looks fantastic with his top off. But the character he plays can also teach us a thing or two about a new style of money management. Heck, it’s how we came up with the title for our book!
The aim was to give people a fresh, more proactive way of protecting their cash from the growing numbers of scams, tricks and dubious practices that that threaten our financial wellbeing.
In the movie Brad Pitt’s character is a bare knuckle fighter called Tyler Durden, who teaches the mild mannered central character how to stand up for himself. Okay, that’s an explanation of the plot, but the fact is we could all do with a bare knuckle fighter standing in our financial corner. Why? Because we’re too soft!
Yes, the world is becoming an increasingly complex place and even apparently respectable institutions can be dangerous places if you don’t keep your financial guard up.
Yet when our finances go awry we tend to beat ourselves up rather than take on the shop, bank, building society, insurance or pension giant that seemed to promise one thing and delivered quite another. It’s time to toughen up.
The first rule about Money Fight Club…
So here’s our guide to just some of our Money Fight Club techniques that will make you more like Tyler Durden and less like Bambi.
- Be wary – it’s OK to trust people we know well but don’t trust a stranger just because he wears a suit or works in a financial institution. If something doesn’t sound right, investigate. Ask questions. Look for evidence.
- Don’t be distracted – staff at financial institutions are encouraged to engage in friendly chat about your family and even offer free gifts when you buy financial products to encourage us to let our guard down.
- Stay calm under fire – adverts, big posters at the bus stop and in store and on-pack promotions promising us discounts, or so much “extra free!” can get us way too excited. Keep a level head. Ignore the promotion and do the mental arithmetic before you buy.
- Be prepared to tough it out – sometimes getting what you want can be exhausting. You may have to ask loads of questions. If you snooze you lose.
- Seek out allies – if you feel out of your depth when talking to financial institutions get a good ‘coach’, as well as our book. That could mean using online price comparison sites or taking along a friend who’ll stand in your corner (and act as a witness to what’s said) at a face to face meeting. It could mean making your views known on customer review sites or through social media groups on Twitter or Facebook. But beware of cold calls from claims advice companies or ‘no win no fee’ legal firms who want to be your best friend and act on your behalf.
- Take your time – it’s better to miss a deal than snap it up and regret it. The next ‘bargain’ is just around the corner. And when it comes to fighting for your rights you’re more likely to win on points than with a knock out. For example, with complaints it may take several letters and threatening to take someone to court, not just one angry phone call.
- Stay in control – if you want to buy double glazing, do your research. Don’t just go with the next salesman who rings you up or the next flyer that lands on your doormat. Before talking to anyone you need to work out what you want, when you want it and at the price you want to pay.
The final word goes to Tyler: “Take some responsibility!”
About the book
Money Fight Club, by Anne Caborn and Lindsay Cook, shows you revolutionary tactics and techniques for battles with supermarkets, banks, utilities, mobile phone companies… Don’t get angry – get even! Published on Kindle – available from Amazon.