Knowing the rules of the game is one of the 10 Money Mastery Principles I teach my clients. As simple as it sounds, you wouldn’t believe how many people do not understand this concept or who think it’s not that important. What you don’t know CAN hurt you, and I can personally attest to that. It is vital that you understand the contracts you have entered into when it comes to your mortgage, credit card usage, and insurance policies. If you don’t understand the rules, those who do (namely insurance companies, banks, and mortgage lenders) will run right over the top of you in an effort to get more money out of you.
Here are 5 things you should do to make sure you always “know the rules:”
- Don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of information you need to know. Remember, you don’t have to know everything, you just need to begin by knowing something.
- Take the time to learn the rules. It usually only takes 30 minutes to learn what you absolutely need to know in order to make informed decisions.
- Don’t trust others to know the rules for you. Take responsibility for your own financial well being and do what is necessary to ensure success: hire a professional if needed to help you understand the rules. This can usually be done for as little as $300.
- Do first things first. Avoid the temptation to dabble in risky behavior before you are secure enough financially to afford that behavior. Pay off high-rate credit card debts first and know the rules of the credit card game before you play it.
- Give yourself 24 hours to consider a financial decision. Never feel pressured to make an important financial decision on the spot. Take 24 hours or overnight to consider all the issues to which you will be obligated by signing a contract, and re-read anything related to the rules of that contract before signing.