I get bored quick so today is a change of topic. Tomorrow I will publish the Bottom Feeder Picks for Thursday and Friday. Today I want to talk about the miss use of the word FREE and some other words of finance. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the financial definition of the word FREE is : Not costing or charging anything.
Tim Horton’s is running an add for their 10 pack of Tim Bits. They say that if you spend $10.00 or more you get a FREE box of 10 Tim Bits. Maybe it is just me being anal, but the Tim Bits are not FREE!! You have to spend at least $10.00 to get them. If they were really FREE, you could just drive up to the window and they would hand you a box of Tim Bits. No money or anything else would be required. They should really be be saying that the box is NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE! In my book, if I have to spend $10.00 just to receive something, it is NOT FREE.
This is how so many of the words of finance have been mis-represented. The biggest one in my book (and according to Robert Kiyosaki) is the Word ASSET. OUR ASSETS are only things that put money into OUR pockets on a regular basis. Checkout the other posts on Assets on this site. We unfortunately get most of our financial education from the Banks. Banks are not dishonest, but, they will never tell you something that is more beneficial to you than it is for them. When I was 16 I finally had $1000.00 in my bank account. I was stupid enough to go into the bank and want to see my $1000.00. The teller laughed at me and pointed to the number in bank pass book. (That is what we used back in the 70’s) “There is your money. We don’t keep cash in an envelop with your name on it.” This was one of the most valuable financial lessons I have learned. Although it took many years to realize the importance.
The teller also did not go on to point out that money is not real. Back then it seemed that paper bills were actual money. Money is just a concept. Today money can be a plastic card that we “Tap” on plastic box full of electronics. Just how real is that?? The Teller did point out that I did receive INTEREST on my money. Savings Interest back then was far higher than it is today. She did not tell me that the interest I received was far less than the interest the bank charged. This is called the spread. She didn’t tell me that either. She also did not tell me that the bank lends out my $1000.00 17 to 19 times, and collects interest on each those loans, but only pays me once. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, the teller might not even have known that. It is called LEVERAGE.
Instead of walking out of the bank far more financially educated than when I went in, I just came out confused. Believe me, they like it much better that way. Many years later I was told, when asking a bank to sponsor my DIY Wealth Course, “No! The last thing the bank wants are Financially Literate customers.”
Another mis-represented word is SAVING. I really like the Wikipedia definition. “Saving is income not spent, or deferred consumption. Methods of saving include putting money aside in, for example, a deposit account, a pension account, an investment fund, or as cash. Saving also involves reducing expenditures, such as recurring costs.” Notice the difference between it and the general Definition: “the money one has saved, especially through a bank or official scheme.” I don’t believe that a good definition of a word includes using that word in the definition.
Look at almost every advertisement that offers SAVINGS. You have to spend money to get the so called SAVINGS. If you really want to save DON’T BUY THE DARN THING. Then you save 100%.
One of the most basic fears of people is Fear of LOSS? Now look, or listen to, almost every add. “For a limited time”, “get them before they are gone”, “offer only good for 2 days”. Every one of those appeals to your sense of loss, or missing out. Each of them also wants you to spend money. This is a particular tactic for the Brick. Every Sale is a limited time, so hurry and spend. But they have a different sale every week. So do they ever have Regular prices???
Every field has it’s own definitions for certain words. Money is no different. Learn the Wealth Accumulation definitions of the financial terms. If you hear a term used by a bank, consider how that term makes THEM money. Does the same apply to you. Some of the best financial advice I heard was, THINK/ACT LIKE A BANK.