An inpatient population
We are becoming an inpatient population. A study of 2,000 people in England demonstrated that it took just 22 seconds for participants to start become irritated because they had to wait for something. We easily become frustrated when our Internet or computer are slower than we expect, when we have to go through the credits when a movie starts, when we are put on hold on the phone – even when we are buying something – it simply takes too long to pull out cash, count it, hand it over, and wait for change.
Packages are expected to be delivered next day or within a few days at most. This actually creates a need for instant gratification – the tendency, to forego a future benefit in order to obtain a less rewarding but more immediate benefit.
Have you noticed that when you receive a text, a chat, an email, a tweet, (any kind of electronic communication) many of us have a need (an increased inner pressure) to immediately look and reply instantly. If they don’t receive a reply to our message instantly, some people actually begin to twitch and become agitated.
This is especially critical when texting and driving, proven dangerous by approximately 30,000 distracted driving accidents, approximately 400 of which were fatal last year.
So how does this mindset affect us financially? What does it have to do with Invisible Money?
In your grandparents day, maybe even your parents time, they were used to waiting. They often saved for months before even considering making a major purchase because “cash” was the popular way to pay for items. They knew which months of the year were best for making particular purchases. They read ads carefully, clipped coupons, and planned for sale dates.
As people succumb to satisfying the need for instant gratification, they resort to the use of a “credit” card when we want to buy anything, rather than saving up for it and using cash or a “debit” card. This is the most popular type of “invisible” money – credit card loans, because that is what is happening when you charge something on a credit card – you are borrowing the bank’s money to make your purchase. It’s doesn’t seem to exist, until the bill arrives.
If you can’t pay the entire balance on time, the “invisible fees” began to add to your balance – money you weren’t expecting to add to your purchase price. If you don’t meet the store’s qualifications, you may also be changed “shipping and handling.” As returned merchandise becomes more costly for the stores to restock, new “restocking” fees may also be added. If you don’t pay the balance in full, “interest from the date of your purchase” is added on to the next bill. If you send the payment late, there are also late fees, and the possibility that the interest rate will increase for all future purchases, until your balance is paid in full. So let’s go over those fees again:
- Shipping and handling fees
- Return shipping fees
- Potential restocking fees
- Late fees
- Potential increase in interest rate
None of which these crossed your mind, when making that purchase,
What can you do
If you’re using a debit card, be sure to keep track of your purchases so that you do not “overdraw” your account, which also adds “invisible” fees to your purchase.
Then there are subscriptions: to games, music, news media, magazines, movies, diet plans, and gym subscriptions to name a few. When is the last time you used your gym membership? When you sign up, stores encourage you to use credit cards, so the fees go on and on and on, even when you are not using the product. These fees, fall under “invisible money” you are giving away.
And have you thought about the food you waste. It looks so good, or it is such a good financial decision to buy in bulk, you bought way too much and end of throwing that “invisible” money away, as well as polluting the environment. This includes subscribing to “meal plans” you are not going to eat. If you want to join, read up on the various plans available, and which best describes the meals you enjoy before you join.
Another way of looking at invisible money
Another way of looking at “invisible” money is the money you don’t receive. Keeping an item of clothing or small appliance because it’s too much of a hassle to return or because you forgot to return it by the due date, isn’t unusual. Closets are filled with clothes that are too small, too large, or just doesn’t look right on you – all of which should have been returned immediately. You need to track returns to make sure the credit went through or we received a refund check. Keep the mailing receipts until the returns are credited to your account – mistakes happen at even the biggest companies.
The video we are about to see will also discuss “invisible” money we don’t receive because we do not value ourselves as we should. Perhaps a class will make you eligible for the position you want, or some additional training will help you qualify. Your boss won’t know unless you talk to your boss about your goals and ask for help in reaching them.
And one final thing before we watch the video: It is so much easier to follow a budget when you use cash or debit cards. They are easier to control and avoid overspending.