Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When The Chips Are Down

You don't need to look too far to see an individual or a family in a crisis mode.  That person may be as close as your bathroom mirror.  Uncle Sam wants more of your chips, banks are slower to multiply them and Mother Nature has a way of draining them when she goes on a tirade.  Here are five ideas to help you or anyone you know stay in the game when the chips are down:
  1. Take a hard look at how you spend your chips.  It's the small things that eat your budget.  Bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to work.  Shop at thrift stores.  Check out garage sales.  
  2. Do it yourself.  My new Iowa home needed a face lift and I opted to paint it myself.  I asked the owner for free paint and went to work.  The whole family is pitching in, saving us thousands of dollars.  Hint:  If you decide to paint, use Frog tape for a professional look.
  3. Stop borrowing chips.  Your chips will never work for you if you are using them to pay interest.  The best way to do this is to pay cash for everything.
  4. Stash a few chips away in the cookie jar every month for emergencies.  Don't raid the cookie jar unless you have a legitimate need.
  5. Be thankful for the chips you have and stay positive.  The quickest way to rebuild after a loss is to maintain an attitude of gratitude.  If you think the deck is stacked against you and the world owes you something, it's time to rethink and change your approach.  Life does not have to be fair but it does present you with opportunities to make a contribution to the world no matter how many or how few chips you have.  Make every chip count.

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