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When the character of Brad Pitt in the movie “Moneyball” was trying to convince a failed catcher that he would have no problem moving to first base, he asked his head scout to reassure the skeptical player that his new position was not there. is “not that difficult”. ”
The scout’s response?
“It’s incredibly difficult.”
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The same could be said of saving, budgeting, investing, and keeping your finances in good shape. But just like in the movie – a true story about a low-paying baseball general manager who had to get creative to compete with the big cats in the league – you’re not working on the budget you want. You work with the budget you have.
It’s mid-October, which means two things: The weather is getting colder and the MLB playoffs are getting warmer. As the World Series approaches, it’s time to apply the lessons learned from one of the greatest baseball movies in history to your real finances.
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Keep track of every dollar
Pitt’s character – legendary Oakland A general manager Billy Beane – started every negotiation knowing exactly how much money he could spend. You would be wise to do the same.
“Most people know what they’re making, but have no idea what they’re spending,” said Aviva Pinto, CEO of Wealthspire. “Besides credit cards, going to the ATM, sending money through Venmo and Zelle, and using Uber, Lyft – it all adds up. The best way to learn how to streamline finances is to track expenses, keep a budget and make a financial plan to see where you are, where you are going and how you are going to get there.
To find: How to set a realistic budget you can live with
But never pay top dollar
In the movie, Pitt’s character spends a lot of time on the phone spinning and negotiating until he gets the best possible deal for every player he trades – another lesson that transcends baseball.
“For your phone and cable bill, you really need to review your plan every two months to see if you’re using all of the features you’re paying for,” said Mark Chen, Founder and CEO of BillSmart. “Having an extra chain or two could cost you $ 50 a month. For your credit card debt, it’s a little-known secret that you can get a lower APR on your card by negotiating a better deal with your bank. Americans can reduce their APRs by 5% or more on average, which represents $ 500 in savings per year on $ 10,000 in debt. ”
Pick the winners
Pitt’s character was a master at narrowing down selections and focusing on the one player who would get the most for his team’s money. In your life, you would be well served to buy the highest quality products that you can afford, so that you only have to buy them once.
“We are in the age of fast fashion and mass-produced housewares,” said Nathan Liao, founder of CMA Exam Academy. “While this means that many products are now much cheaper than before, they are not of the best quality. If you always buy cheap, substandard clothing and other items, they can tear or break easily, and you may need to purchase replacement items regularly. On the other hand, better quality products will last much longer, so you don’t have to replace them. Constantly replacing items can really hurt your monthly budget.
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With A’s shoestring budget, Pitt’s character had to be fanatic about using every dollar wisely – so should you.
“To get the most out of your money, make sure you know where it’s going,” said Becky Blake, Millennial Money Expert, Financial Coach, Award-Winning Personal Finance Podcaster and Founder of TwentyFree. “Check your credit card statements for recurring subscription services that you don’t really like or use. ”
Jake Hill, CEO of Debt hammer, establish a monthly budget that includes all costs – even if it’s a $ 10 subscription service – to spot even the smallest frivolous expense.
“As I track each cost each month, I remember each service I pay for, and sometimes I find that I’m not really using that service,” Hill said. “This simple process ensures that I don’t waste money on unnecessary bills every month while getting the best value for the services I keep.”
Liao also offered some waste prevention tips, including:
- Avoid bank and credit card fees
- Choose bike and scooter sharing programs for local trips instead of Uber and Lyft
- Choose family-sized items
- Order meals for pickup rather than delivery
- Do not keep subscriptions to publications you no longer read
- Stop ordering groceries for delivery rather than going to the store
- Spend no more just to get free shipping
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Invest in safe things
Big-money, big-money clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox could afford to bet on exciting players surrounded by question marks. Billy Beane and the As couldn’t – and neither could you.
“Stay away from volatile investments,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with the shopping comparison site. DealNews. “A lot of people jumped on the GameStop bandwagon when stock prices started to climb, but most knew they weren’t going to make their fortune this way. Ignore those moves that get a lot of attention in the news and focus on more stable investments instead. “
Surround yourself with good people
Pitt’s character relied on the insight of the sabermetry madman who crafted his controversial player selection system, played by Jonah Hill. You also need the right people in your area.
“Whether you are a new investor or looking for new energy in your current strategy, we suggest investors work with a Trustee or Chartered Financial Consultant (CHFC) to develop a financial plan that outlines their goals and how to work for them. reach, “mentioned Katy Ufferman, Certified Financial Consultant with Maxwell Financial Management. “Financial independence begins with a plan, which should be the foundation on which every investor relies to get the most out of any financial investment. “
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Stick to the plan no matter what
Billy Beane had people telling him he was crazy every moment – but he never wavered. When you come up with a plan that you believe in, stick to it.
“Stay the course,” Ramhold said. “At the first sign of the downside, it can be tempting to sell your investments, but many experts advise against doing so. Whatever the market does, give it time to recover rather than panicking and selling right away. “
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Last updated: October 13, 2021